Politics is always interesting in the abstract. When you ignore the fact that real lives are involved you can even find it downright entertaining. Tip O’Neill said all politics is local. When you combine O’Neill’s sentiment with the entertainment factor you find that politics at the state and local levels are more entertaining and important than the national level.
The Texas Democrats are using one of the more controversial strategies with the Lieutenant Governor’s race in the Republican primary. They are throwing their weight behind Dan Patrick. This is not a unique strategy. The Persians used it in ancient history when they financially backed both the Athenians and Spartans in their war with each other. The idea was to weaken both sides so they could easily defeat them in a war later on.
As a confused child once said, “a horse divided against itself cannot stand.” Truer words have never been spoken. In this case, the idea is that a horse’s ass cannot stand in a general election. For many Democrats, the race between David Dewhurst and Dan Patrick is akin to the Southpark battle between the turd sandwich and giant douche. History clearly demonstrates that there are some considerable differences between the two.
Dewhurst hasn’t exactly been a friend to Democrats, but he is the closest thing to a reasonable person in this race. Patrick is an idealogue that seems more interested in scoring political points with the radicals on the right then actually doing the people’s work. After all, there is ideology and there is just being an ass. Patrick is clearly the latter.
The Democratic strategy makes some sense. The basic idea is that Patrick can get out of the primary then he will be vulnerable in the general election. I have no doubt that this is true. However, this would assume a certain amount of faith in the general voting public that I simply do not have. After all, this same voting public have sent Rick Perry back to the governor’s mansion for about fourteen more years than he should have gone in the first place. As one ad campaign said, “every four years we keep sending him back to the governor’s mansion and in between we wonder why we sent him there.” It should be noted that this ad came from one of his Republican primary opponents.
The implication is clear. When you support an idiot then you run the risk of that idiot representing you. You can never assume that your guy (or girl in this case) will prevail over that idiot. Instead, you should look across the aisle and support the person you can most stomach. I’m not a big Dewhurst supporter, but he has at least been somewhat flexible on occasion. Even people in the Republican party hate Patrick. That’s because Dan Patrick represents Dan Patrick. The road to hell is paved with good intentions and Democrats may have a good reason to support Patrick in the primary. The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.