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But when Perry left office in 2015, as Jillson said, “traditional conservatism went with him.” Governor Greg Abbott and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, right-wing ideologues who both won reelection last year, have unchained the pent-up lawmakers and activists who’d long chafed at the relative moderation of party leaders—and they’re steering the Texas GOP straight toward self-destruction. “You’ve got a very conservative group of Republicans in the legislature passing their preferred legislation,” Jillson noted, “while the wave builds on the other side and Democrats are making gains.” Even though Republican leaders have grown increasingly alarmed about the Democratic renaissance, “there’s no move to moderate what the party is doing, or to speak to those growing constituencies in Texas. The Republicans are locked in,” Jillson said. “There’s a lot of money and a lot of institutional influence on the right that keeps the Republicans worried about primary challenges from the right more than winning general elections.”
While Republicans have been busy planting the seeds of their likely doom, the Texas Democratic Party has been rebuilding itself into a force capable of capitalizing on its opponents’ strategic insanity. A decade ago, when I was running a political magazine in Texas, the state’s Democrats were comically inept; while Texas grew browner and younger by the day, the party was led by a gang of aging, nostalgic white moderates who clung to the outdated strategies that had won them elections in the 1960s and ’70s. These dinosaurs couldn’t understand why Latinos weren’t registering and voting Democratic in far greater numbers, or why upward of 40 percent of those who did vote sometimes cast ballots for Republicans like Perry—what was wrong with these people?
Course - Texas - Democrats - Latinos - Whites
What was wrong, of course, was that Texas Democrats were giving Latinos and young whites no reason to engage. That started to change in...
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A pox on both their houses!