Houston: A Donkey Move

Guess if you live in Houston, there's always hope you'll be like Dallas; what else ya got, right? At least, that's what some Democrats are figuring: They're looking to their neighbor in the north--at least, the Houston Chronicle is--and figuring that last week's lean to the left might some day tilt Harris County back toward the blue ledger. Well, sure. Might help if the Democrats in Harris County actually turned out to vote; on Tuesday, says the Chron, there was a "low turnout by the Democratic minority." Well, that's no way to win.

Then again, there's always the presidential election in 2008; maybe more Dems'll turn out then, says the Democratic Party chair down there. Because everyone knows politics is essentially little more than wishful thinking and crossing fingers. From the sound of it, the Harris County Democratic Party didn't even assemble a roster of qualified candidates to run against the GOP. But, of course, they look up here, see Jim Foster and Craig Watkins winning despite all odds and predictions and figure, Well, hell, you don't even have to try that hard anymore. All ya gotta do is get someone on the ballot with a (D) after their name; the rest'll take care of itself.

Says the Chronicle:

"A template for that outcome occurred last week in Dallas, where a Democratic tide turned 42 judgeships from red to blue and ousted the Republican county judge and district attorney. Election analysts attributed the sea change to the continued flight of conservative Anglos to suburbs outside the county, the same phenomenon that to a lesser extent has eroded the Republican base in Harris County.

As that scenario could happen here two years from now, Harris County Democrats must be prepared to nominate qualified candidates in dozens of races. Party chair and attorney Gerald Birnberg said the process of recruiting future judges and officeholders and planning campaigns is already under way."

At least Houston has a championship soccer team. That's gotta count for something. --Robert Wilonsky

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