Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Remap could create an endangered species - Texas' white Democratic Reps struggle for survival
The Dallas Morning News ^ | January 8, 2004 | By ROBERT T. GARRETT / The Dallas Morning News

Posted on 01/08/2004 1:50:22 PM PST by MeekOneGOP


Remap could create an endangered species

Texas' white Democratic representatives struggle for survival

08:32 AM CST on Thursday, January 8, 2004

By ROBERT T. GARRETT / The Dallas Morning News

AUSTIN – Texas WD-40. It's a commodity in short demand and ebbing supply these days.

A term of art in political circles, it refers to white male Democrats over 40 – the kind who are running for their political lives after federal judges on Tuesday approved a new GOP congressional map aimed at cleansing the state's delegation to Congress of WD-40s.

For decades, the state was controlled by WD-40s and sent many of them to Washington, where ambitious ones went on to legendary careers. Lyndon Johnson, Sam Rayburn, Wright Patman and Jim Wright were just a few.

Also Online
Remap could create an endangered species
State Dems plotting for political lives
Q&A: Congressional redistricting
Audio: Robert Garrett discusses effects of congressional redistricting on Texas Democrats
Maps:
Former Texas Congressional districts
NEW Texas Congressional districts, approved 1/6/2004
Now, the court case bodes ill for latter-day Texas Democrats who aspire to follow in their footsteps, experts said Wednesday.

"I don't see anybody like that on the horizon," said Lyle Brown, professor emeritus of political science at Baylor University.

At its extreme, scholars said, the trend could have long-lasting and polarizing effects on the electorate in Texas – casting the Democratic Party as the party of blacks and Hispanics, while reinforcing the GOP's image as the party of whites.

"Not only does it reduce the scope and the breadth of the appeal of the Democratic Party, but it also reduces the prospects for white politicians to rise through the ranks, at least through the congressional route, in places like Texas," said Bruce Buchanan, a government professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

Boosting GOP margin

The new map, if allowed to stand by the U.S. Supreme Court, is designed to swing up to seven Texas seats from Democrats to Republicans, padding the GOP's narrow, 12-seat margin in the U.S. House. It would also give the GOP the first majority in the state's delegation to Congress since the 1800s.

But Southern Methodist University political scientist Cal Jillson warned that benefits to the GOP could dwindle over time.

"It's a short-term gain for the Republicans that will lock in control of the U.S. House for at least a decade or more," he said. "But you are flying in the face of attempts to lure Hispanics into the party."

In an irony for Republicans, news of the redistricting decision "seemed like it was stepping on the message" of President Bush, who on Wednesday proposed granting legal status to millions of undocumented workers, Dr. Jillson said.

The map was drawn to eliminate most white Democratic incumbents who are indebted to blacks and Hispanics. Minority voters in their districts were scattered among GOP strongholds. One prime target was Rep. Martin Frost, D-Arlington, whose district was dismantled.

"It is a fairly clear strategy on the part of the Republicans that will not be lost on the minority voters of Texas," Dr. Jillson said.

The damage to Democrats should soon be evident, unless the Supreme Court blocks the map's use in the March 9 primary.

In the 2002 midterm elections, 10 white Democrats bucked a national GOP tide and snagged Texas seats in Congress, giving Democrats a 17-15 majority in the delegation.

Experts say half of those WD-40s could be goners after elections in the fall.

With the redistricting decision looming last week, Rep. Ralph Hall of Rockwall jumped to the GOP. Rep. Jim Turner of Crockett announced his retirement Tuesday.

The rest have scattered like quail in search of safe perches – though experts say as few as three such hide-outs remain, so thoroughly did GOP map-makers do their job last year.

"The trends look pretty inexorable. The districts have been rejiggered," said UT's Dr. Buchanan.

Having a mere handful of white Democrats in the congressional delegation would be a stark contrast to 20 years ago: That year, when the Republican National Convention came to Dallas and renominated President Ronald Reagan, there were 16 white Democratic congressmen from Texas, out of 27 total members.

Several WD-40s said this week that they're not finished yet.

"Come November, I'll still be a white Democrat," said Rep. Charlie Stenholm of Abilene. "The bunch on the other side are making a better Democrat out of me every day."

'Balkanize' politics

But unless courts stop the highly partisan remapping, legislatures will continue "to balkanize American politics along [ethnic] lines," Dr. Buchanan said.

"There's something unsatisfying about it to most friends of the system who are not thinking about it in purely partisan terms."

He and SMU's Dr. Jillson predicted that Mr. Frost and Mr. Stenholm, both 25-year veterans, may survive, along with one or two others with strong name recognition.

WD-40s given the best chance of surviving are freshman Chris Bell and six-term incumbent Gene Green, both of Houston, and Austin's Lloyd Doggett, who is campaigning in a newly drawn district that stretches from his hometown to the border.

But Baylor's Dr. Brown said the lineage of the Johnsons and Rayburns may be played out.

People once may have seen a future House speaker in Mr. Frost, he noted. "It looks like his goose is cooked," Dr. Brown said.

Rice University political scientist Earl Black, who has written extensively about Congress and Southern politics, said the GOP's success in Texas could lead to a more liberal Democratic leadership in Congress.

The map was primarily championed by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Sugar Land.

"What DeLay is doing is making the House leadership on both sides more and more from the very hard-line groups," Dr. Black said. "There are very few conservative Democrats left in the House from anywhere."

Staff writer Todd J. Gillman in Washington contributed to this report.

E-mail rtgarrett@dallasnews.com


Online at: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dallas/tsw/stories/010804dntexwd40.a9058.html


TOPICS: Politics/Elections; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: democrats; electionushouse; redistricting; texas

1 posted on 01/08/2004 1:50:23 PM PST by MeekOneGOP
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Dog Gone; deport; hocndoc; Flyer; Eaker; WOSG; lowbridge; Concerned; jmaroneps37
The Texas Dodocrat:


2 posted on 01/08/2004 1:51:10 PM PST by MeekOneGOP (Howie Dean in the South !!: http://Richard.Meek.home.comcast.net/IowaRatsLastMealNewDeal.JPG)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Conspiracy Guy
Here's what I was working on ...

3 posted on 01/08/2004 1:51:57 PM PST by MeekOneGOP (Howie Dean in the South !!: http://Richard.Meek.home.comcast.net/IowaRatsLastMealNewDeal.JPG)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: All
Rank Location Receipts Donors/Avg Freepers/Avg Monthlies
42 Kuwait 100.00
1
100.00
3
33.33


Thanks for donating to Free Republic!

Move your locale up the leaderboard!

4 posted on 01/08/2004 1:55:16 PM PST by Support Free Republic (Freepers post from sun to sun, but a fundraiser bot's work is never done.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MeeknMing
Beautiful! Kudos Or maybe Dodoes!

CG
5 posted on 01/08/2004 1:59:35 PM PST by Conspiracy Guy (Happy Birthday Elvis. You don't look 69 years old. The cake is ready.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: MeeknMing
I'd feel a bit more sympathy for the Dems' positions if not for the sure conviction that, if the roles were reversed, they'd do exactly the same thing without batting an eyelash.
6 posted on 01/08/2004 2:01:02 PM PST by GOP Jedi
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MeeknMing
At its extreme, scholars said, the trend could have long-lasting and polarizing effects on the electorate in Texas – casting the Democratic Party as the party of blacks and Hispanics, while reinforcing the GOP's image as the party of whites.

The truth hurts?

7 posted on 01/08/2004 2:23:31 PM PST by 07055
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Conspiracy Guy
LOL ! Thanks !

8 posted on 01/08/2004 2:58:27 PM PST by MeekOneGOP (Howie Dean in the South !!: http://Richard.Meek.home.comcast.net/IowaRatsLastMealNewDeal.JPG)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: MeeknMing
You da man!
9 posted on 01/08/2004 3:03:54 PM PST by Conspiracy Guy (Happy Birthday Elvis. You don't look 69 years old. The cake is ready.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: MeeknMing
He and SMU's Dr. Jillson predicted that Mr. Frost and Mr. Stenholm, both 25-year veterans, may survive, along with one or two others with strong name recognition.

LOL!!!

10 posted on 01/08/2004 3:03:57 PM PST by stands2reason ("Dean is God's reward to Mr. Bush for doing the right thing in the war on terror." Dick Morris)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MeeknMing

Blue Dog Democrats

There were 37 Blue Dog Democrats when the 108th Congress convened. Some of them are actually quite liberal, but we'll let them self-style as centrists.

Of the 37, one (Ralph Hall) has become a Republican. Four are retiring: Chris John and Brad Carson to run for Senate, plus Ken Lucas and Jim Turner. Two others (Stenholm and Sandlin) are highly endangered, while five more (Dennis Moore, Rodney Alexander, Jim Matheson, Baron Hill, and Earl Pomeroy) are very vulnerable. Allen Boyd is facing the race of his life against Bev Kilmer in Tallahassee, and several other Blue Dogs may draw strong challengers.

Bottom line is that 13 Blue Dogs, over a third of the caucus, are on the outs or on the ropes in 2004.

11 posted on 01/08/2004 3:09:56 PM PST by JohnnyZ (Abolish the food tax)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MeeknMing
Great graphic!

These so-called political experts are smoking crack if they think Martin Frost has even the slightest chance of being re-elected under the new map.

12 posted on 01/08/2004 3:21:42 PM PST by Dog Gone
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: GOP Jedi
I'd feel a bit more sympathy for the Dems' positions if not for the sure conviction that, if the roles were reversed, they'd do exactly the same thing without batting an eyelash.

The commie Dems did it in California.

13 posted on 01/08/2004 3:29:44 PM PST by Visalia
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: JohnnyZ
Thanks ! Sounds good to me ...

14 posted on 01/08/2004 3:37:36 PM PST by MeekOneGOP (Howie Dean in the South !!: http://Richard.Meek.home.comcast.net/IowaRatsLastMealNewDeal.JPG)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Dog Gone
Thank you !

LOL ! Yep ! They're smokin' something alright ! ...


15 posted on 01/08/2004 3:38:54 PM PST by MeekOneGOP (Howie Dean in the South !!: http://Richard.Meek.home.comcast.net/IowaRatsLastMealNewDeal.JPG)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: MeeknMing
But unless courts stop the highly partisan remapping, legislatures will continue "to balkanize American politics along [ethnic] lines," Dr. Buchanan said

The voting rights act required that the districts be drawn so as the maximize minority representation. Don't blame the Republicans.

16 posted on 01/08/2004 3:49:10 PM PST by FreedomSurge
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FreedomSurge
I have a completely different take from these liberal experts regarding hispanic voters. Under the new map, many will now be represented by popular Republicans. They might get used to it and begin to like it.
17 posted on 01/08/2004 3:54:58 PM PST by Dog Gone
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Dog Gone
This guy Cal Jillson is a joke. Evidently, he's trying to be the liberal media's go-to guy on Texas. In 2002, he ran his mouth on TV, saying that Tony Sanchez and Ron Kirk would win. The guy needs a new profession, because he clearly sucks at the one he has.
18 posted on 01/08/2004 6:57:40 PM PST by Holden Magroin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: MeeknMing
Thanks for the ping.

But, I can't believe that the DMN is mourning the dearth/death of white Democratic politicians. Unless they are afraid they're not going to be able to identify with their Representatives anymore.

But, I feel like shouting, so I will:

THE LINES WERE REDRAWN ALONG ***POLITICAL**** LINES.

The new maps group the Dems in some districts, and the Republicans in others, and then there are the districts in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio which are stable because the courts said they had to be, to protect traditional racial groupings.

But, the only racial groupings that are there and that are legal are the court-ordered ones.

Good grief.
19 posted on 01/08/2004 8:54:37 PM PST by hocndoc (Choice is the # 1 killer in the US)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Dog Gone
I for one am thrilled to finally see the green-light on redistricting. However, I have mixed emotions about the demise of Martin Frost in the 24th. Frost has always driven me crazy with his liberal hand wringing and pandering to minorities, but there's another side to him I can't ignore. Frost if you'll recall authored and passed the Amber Hagerman bill, a brilliant piece of legislation that's been credited with saving dozens of abducted children. Last April, Bush signed the Amber Alert system into law which extended the plan beyond Texas borders with phenomenal results so far. Frost is also for 2nd amendment rights and the death penalty. All in all, not a bad record for a Dumocrat.
20 posted on 01/09/2004 5:10:56 PM PST by Rimfire Rob (Amnesty ? We don't need no steenking amnesty)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Rimfire Rob
Oh, please. He's a rabid Democrat sleazeball who wants to undo everything conservatives fight for. His American Conservative Union voting record in Congress for 2002 is 4.

That's a horrible record, even for a Democrat.

21 posted on 01/09/2004 5:26:49 PM PST by Dog Gone
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: stands2reason
I am beginning to think that Stenholm will defeat Neugebauer based on name recognition and experience in the House. It could also be that after 20 years of Republican representation in Congress that many, but not a majority, in Republican Lubbock are longing for a return to their old Democrat roots, and Charles Stenholm would fill that bill nicely. I would think that if Stenholm can get 40 percent of the vote in Lubbock Co., he will be as good as elected. Probably the only thing that can defeat Stenholm is his perceived arrogance.
22 posted on 01/10/2004 8:54:20 AM PST by Theodore R. (When will they ever learn?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Theodore R.
Possibly, but a lot of panhandlers might not have the urge to split their vote.
23 posted on 01/10/2004 11:29:30 AM PST by stands2reason ("Dean is God's reward to Mr. Bush for doing the right thing in the war on terror." Dick Morris)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: stands2reason
No, the Stenholm-Neugebauer race is not in the Panhandle. The Panhandle has one representative, Mac Thornberry, who probably has minimal if any opposition. Stenholm is running in an historically Democrat corridor between Abilene and Lubbock, but much of this area is now Republican. The trick is for Stenholm to poll a larger than expected vote in Lubbock Co., which he is convinced he can do.
24 posted on 01/10/2004 12:35:08 PM PST by Theodore R. (When will they ever learn?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson