Political And Other Miscellany From A Stout Democrat In Dallas Texas.
"Politics is the only game for adults." --from Robert A. Heinlein's Double Star

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The apparent win by Republican Jean Schmidt in Tuesday's 2nd Congressional District election was in no way shocking, but the fact that Democrat Paul Hackett made it a very close election is nothing short of astounding.

Seven weeks ago, when Schmidt won an 11-candidate primary, few on either side believed that, in a district where President Bush won 64 percent of the vote last fall and no Democrat had come close to winning the House seat in decades, this would be much of a contest at all
So the blind Bush loyalists did pull it out with their lies and sleazy campaigning against Hackett. The good news is that they only barely made it.
In a race that had been the focus of national attention, Republican Jean Schmidt beat Democrat Paul Hackett for the 2nd Congressional District seat – though by far less than Republicans had anticipated a few short weeks ago.

With all precincts reporting, Schmidt had 52 percent of the vote to Hackett’s 48 percent – the closest election in the district since 1974.
This is an inspiring result, which the GOP and its captive pundits will now try to ignore or deny the meaning of, but the handwriting is on the wall. Hackett and everyone who worked in or gave to his effort deserve congratulations and thanks. As Swing State Project reported
The mood is jubilant as we look forward to 2006. When Howard Dean was elected as DNC Chair, he made a promise to fight in every precinct, in every district, and in every state. For the past several weeks the future of the party, the grassroots, came together and fought a fight that the pundit political class said wasn't worth fighting. Consider this the opening salvo of the 2006 election cycle.
But there is something more ominous about the results, which we here in Texas will recognize at once.

In 1941 Lyndon Johnson ran for the U.S. Senate from Texas. He lost because of late reporting counties in east Texas, whose racist and reactionary political machines supported his opponent, and added enough votes at will to overcome LBJ's lead. Seven years later Johnson ran again, but this time he had learned his lesson, and was not going to let those thugs steal his victory again. Once again, the racist and reactionary counties of east Texas were backing his opponent. This time LBJ made sure that some of his supporters in south Texas held back their county returns until they knew how many votes were needed to overcome the padded totals for his opponent. They finally reported just the margin he needed, and Johnson won by 87 votes, which was later upheld by various hearings. He became known as "Landslide Lyndon". He went on to give us the Civil Rights Acts, the War on Poverty, and a host of other progressive programs,

Here's something else from that second story quoted above:
After all six other counties in the district had completed their ballot counts in what was a low-turnout election, Schmidt’s home county, Clermont, had reported a little more than half of its precincts. “I have no idea what is going on over there,’’ said Hamilton County Board of Elections chairman Tim Burke. “I don’t know what their problem is.’’

Hackett, the Indian Hill lawyer, and won Brown, Adams, Scioto and Pike counties.

In Hamilton County, the largest of the seven counties, Schmidt led by 51 percent to 49 percent of the votes, about 1,400. Clermont finally reported its final vote tally around 11 p.m.


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