Yesterday when he told the Urban League he was going after Texas on voting rights, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder quoted a federal court decision last year in which the court said Hispanic plaintiffs in Texas had "provided more evidence of discriminatory intent than we have space, or need, to address here."
See, that's the thing. If Democrats in Texas just lie down, if they give up on voting rights because of last month's Republican U.S. Supreme Court decision knocking several teeth out of the mouth of the Voting Rights Act, then we're moments away from an all-white, all-Tea Party electorate in Texas.
Answer me this: How long after the high court ruling did it take Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to gleefully declare the Texas Aryan Nations Photo I.D. law fully operational? About 30 seconds.
The path from here to 24/7 Tea Party Texas is not a slippery slope. It's a buffalo jump. Take a long hard look at Ted "Strangelove" Cruz, the hottest political property in the Lone Star GOP right now. He's our future, man, if Democrats can't get to the polls.
That's the urgency. In Texas right now, Democrats are so close and yet so far from being able to turn the sky from red to blue. It's a moment made more poignant by the recent Wendy Davis drama in the state Senate, which showed the world that Texas doesn't have to be this way. Hopefully it's what Holder and other national Democratic leaders see here.
In a prescient piece last May, The Texas Tribune said dreaming of a blue Texas is all about Harris County:
For Texas to ever become competitive for them, Democrats will need to lock down Harris County. Home to 4.2 million Texans, almost 70 percent of whom are non-white, Houston is the present and future face of Texas. Former state demographer Steve Murdock has estimated that by 2040, Harris County will have 516,000 fewer Anglos than in 2000 while the number of Latinos will surge by 2.5 million. As Houston goes, so goes Texas.
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The Texas GOP sees the same thing, of course. That's why its leaders are so determined to keep Hispanics away from the polls, and yesterday's announcement by Holder immediately became their rallying cry. Within moments of Holder's speech, Abbott was all over the air waves waving the bloody shirt. The Texas Tribune's take was that Holder had just handed Abbott a political bonanza. Yeah, whatever.
Abbott's hip-shot reaction illustrates what the real game is here. The Texas Republican strategy from here on out will be based on two tenets: 1) dive right, and 2) dive white.
If we keep our eyes on those numbers from the state demographer quoted above, we can see that the right-white game plan has a half life. Eventually it is subsumed by the demographics, if the demographics can be turned into show-ups at the polls.
And that's where Holder comes in. We need his help and the help of anybody else who has a good idea. Please, Mr. Attorney General, invade us now! Tell us what bridges you need us to blow up. Lots of Texans are on your side. Vive la Resistance!