Tuesday, 1 Dec 2020

Opinion | I’m Dreaming of a Blue Texas

It’s happening again — the belief that this is the year Texas will turn blue.

Remember when people believed that Beto O’Rourke might take it from Ted Cruz in 2018? Or that somehow, miracle of miracles, the liberal Wendy Davis could wrest the governorship from smug Greg Abbott in 2014? The political sages of both parties scoffed at such hopes: It has become common in Texas to point out that no Democrat has won statewide office since Ann Richards in 1994. And Texas hasn’t supported a Democratic candidate for president since the Paleolithic age of 1976. Waiting for the Latino wave to sweep a Democrat into office has become a little like waiting for Godot.

Facts, however, didn’t keep cockeyed optimists from believing in Beto, or Wendy, or countless other cactus Kamikazes who believed that one day the Texas Democratic Party could emerge from the ashes. With every election cycle in recent times, the same question comes up: Is this the year Texas will finally change its hue?

The question has persisted because parts of the state have already gone that way: not just the cities, but suburban counties that were once swaths of scarlet. Democratic hopes, we’re told, now lie with suburban women, Latino women and Black women. The latest Dallas Morning News poll says Joe Biden is leading President Trump, 48 percent to 45 percent (though, OK, the FiveThirtyEight polling average of the state has Mr. Trump ahead by 1.4 points). Turnout has surged past that of 2016 with hurricane force. As of Friday, turnout had already surpassed the total for 2016, which lends credence to Democratic field organizers’ mantra in 2018 that Texas wasn’t a red state but a nonvoting one.

There is a lot of eerily confident talk about taking the Texas House. After writing us off for most of the campaign, the Biden team dispatched Kamala Harris in a last-ditch show of hope and change.

Are Texas Democrats fantasists again, or has the moment finally arrived? After so many years of waiting and watching, maybe the safest way to answer is in song, with apologies to Irving Berlin.

‘Blue Texas’

I’m dreaming of a blue Texas
Just like I did back in ’16.
Where the kids have schoolbooks
And pols have rule books
And no one lives in quarantine.

I’m dreaming of a blue Texas
With every storm that comes ashore.
When the floods keep rising
And emphasizing
That climate change is at the door.

I’m dreaming of a blue Texas
Just like I did eight years ago
Where the cities’ bounties
Trounce empty counties
And votes say Abbott has to go.

I’m dreaming of a blue Texas
When border walls come tumbling down.
With reproductive choices
We’ll lift our voices
When Dems take charge in Austin town.

I’m dreaming of a blue Texas
When executions disappear.
Medicaid comes hither
With lots less dither
And guns are just for shooting deer.

I’m dreaming of a blue Texas
Just like I longed for in ’08.
Hoping Cornyn crashes
In Trump’s red ashes
And Latinos vote their ticket straight.

I’m dreaming of a blue Texas
The pollsters tell me it’s the year.
When the lege redistricts
We’ll all eat brisket
And down an icy Shiner beer!

Chorus:

I’m dreaming of a blue Texas
Just like you know I always do.
May your vote be counted and true
So that one day Texas will turn blue.

The chorus is to be repeated every four years until, well, you know.

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