David Broder, writing from Seattle for the Seattle Times, did his best to ignore the recent events which have shown clear setbacks for Democrats and gains for Republicans. Claiming in his recent editorial that the “story line of the week was "Republicans in Retreat,"“ Broder managed to continue to tradition of other MSM outlets by, to put it bluntly, lying through his teeth. For instance, in addition to ignoring all of the salient events which have moved opinion back to support for the Right, Broder also claims to speak for the opinion of Texas regarding the President and Republicans.
Speaking as a resident Texan, I know something about our history and culture. Broder quickly demonstrates that he speaks from the level of expertise about Texas which is, well, about what you might expect from someone who views the world from Seattle. Broder opines “Bush and others like Karl Rove … are Texans, and Texas is different.”
Well, that much is true. We see the world from a unique perspective, the kind of perspective that sees flying a hijacked plane into the World Trade Center as an act of barbarism and war against civilization, to be punished and its perpetrators destroyed, not appeased. But Broder quickly shows what he really means:
“Historically and culturally, it has been part of Mexico.”
No, no, and HELL NO. If Broder had bothered to even read a respectable textbook on the Texas Republic, he’d have learned that no one living in Texas was really interested in being a subject of Mexico. The regime which kicked out the Spanish Empire was pretty much just a local version, big on taxes, feudal practices and subjugation of regular people. Texas was a chance for people to get away from big government and live their lives with something like independence. A lot of people need to remember how many Hispanics fought at the Alamo and at Goliad and at San Jacinto AS TEXANS. Only a prejudiced moron could make the statement that Texas EVER “belonged” to Mexico. The fact is, Mexico tried to grab it and failed in the end.
Broder, oblivious to the facts, then suggests that in Texas, Republicans and Democrats alike have tried to make pawns of Hispanics. In some specific cases, this is doubtless true, but to say that such is the rule, by either party, again shows the limits of Broder’s mind and experience. In Texas, the Hispanic influence is undeniable, and ignoring Latinos would be to ignore a segment of your demographic, no matter who you are or where. And both parties in Texas have known this for a long time. It’s not about ’playing’ with Hispanics, but keeping them in mind, at all levels of a campaign.
Undaunted by his stupidity and disingenuous attacks, Broder concludes by claiming “the Texas perspective is not that widely shared in the modern GOP.” This is, once again, a lie meant to distract people from the truth. As far back as Eisenhower, modern Republicans knew and respected the Texas influence. Eisenhower was born in Texas, President Johnson represented Texas in the Senate, Reagan needed Texas more than any other state to win in 1980, which is one reason why he picked G.H.W. Bush as his running mate. And of course George W. Bush is a Texan in a very real and substantive sense, which is why we are winning in Afghanistan and Iraq, why Saddam is in a cell instead of a palace, and Zarqawi was retired by an air strike. People like Broder speak from the Seattle perspective the unrealistic hope that Texans will simply go away and let Republicans drift back to the weaker, milder version we saw accept the likes of Jimmy Carter and Tip O’Neill.
As we head into the summer and fall, it seems to me that we Republicans should be emphasizing the better qualities of our leadership, and the Texas influence is not one which is either out of place or in decline.