WED brief 11.3.21

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Today’s Stories

GLENN YOUNGKIN’s win in Virginia, a tight race for Governor in New Jersey, and a failed abolition of the police in Minneapolis are bad omens for Texas Democrats.

A repudiation of Joe Biden is certainly part of last night’s result but, more globally, the woke agenda was rejected and that isn’t just a two or four-year problem for Democrats. These are foundational issues.

Democrats are at an impasse. They can exacerbate the pain of last night and the magnitude of Republican gains in 2022 and 2024, doubling down on spending and social upheaval, or they can pivot.

The furthest left, for their part, want to double down; they’ve conflated progressivism with populism. David Axelrod on CNN said that Democrats need to lock in (strong arm) moderate and swing seat Democrats to push for progressive policies now.

If this is ultimately the chosen path, it will destroy the Democrat party in our lifetime.

Minority voters (noted previously) are not enamored of CRT, hobbling the economy to entertain green energy gadflies or corporations illegally importing competition for steady paying jobs. If the GOP can stay in the middle of the populist lane, these voters can continue to fill what is now an actual big tent.

This enlarged tent and restart of the party are thanks to President Trump who (unless your brain is TDS riddled) remains an integral part of the ongoing success of the GOP.

Suburban voters who have been trending to Democrats over the last four years (as predicted) are ready to shift back to Republicans. Part of the draw will be taking on issues that were previously off-limits, behavior modeled by Trump, and part of the draw will be Trump isn’t on the ballot.

While Youngkin had Trump’s endorsement, and it was helpful with the base in rural Virginia, the candidate happened to not be Trump (who Surban women were conditioned to revile) and Democrat attempts to run a proxy fight were ineffective.

This is a valuable dynamic for GOP and deadly for Democrats.

One lost item of note about the Youngkin run is it, like Trump’s, was largely self-funded. Voters appear to be interested in politicians who aren’t bought and paid for by corporate lobbyists, even if they were formerly part of major corporations.

Aside from the issue of education (indoctrination) vaccines mandates were on the ballot last night. What did Youngkin do three days out from election day? Reiterated his position against vaccine mandates.

This was an election about multiple and substantive issues. Democrats and the talking heads ignore this or trivialize it to base talking points at their own peril.

Goofy takes like calling all Republican voters white supremacists, and the January rally at the Capitol an insurrection, don't play and miss the new draw of the GOP to a broad and expanding base of voters. Both tired talking points were bandied about on CNN, MSNBC, and social media in knee-jerk reactions to last night’s election.

Related: Julian Castro has less than zero clues about what wins

GLENN HEGAR released an estimate of the economic cost of February’s winter freeze and power grid failure. It’s not pretty.

According to the comptroller’s office, the February debacle led to somewhere between $80 and $130 billion in direct financial outlays and foregone economic opportunities. For reference, in 2019, Texas’ State GDP was $1.8 trillion.

In other words, three and a half days without power begat an economic contraction between 4.5% and 7.5% (back of the envelope calculation). Yikes.

Meanwhile, Greg Abbott is accepting million-dollar campaign contributions from Kelcy Warren.  Warren is the CEO of Energy Transfer Partners, which raked in billions last February. This comes after the Texas Legislature, during its regular and three subsequent special sessions, did nothing to upset the pre-winter storm status quo substantively.

It’s bad policy and even worse optics.

Texas Democrats, in those rare moments when they act like a serious opposition party, have criticized the GOP on this subject. They’re not wrong. While Texas Democrats, as they exist in the real world, are too incompetent to capitalize, the incumbent party’s performance on this subject remains indefensible.

Texas is in an economic war, and our current political “leadership” is incapable of fighting it to win.

LOCAL ELECTIONS matter, and voters appear concerned about their pocketbooks.

Across the state, Texans were confronted once again with the prospect of billions in bonds. In Fort Worth, only one of four ISD bonds appeared to have won approval ($1.2B) and by just 42 votes. Leander ISD’s most expensive bond proposal ($722M) failed by just over 200 votes.

The three defeated measures in Fort Worth (B, C, and D) were dedicated to improving extracurricular facilities. These measures were broken out of the total package after legislation passed in 2019.

This tactic should be reused to cut into astronomical measures. In the case of FWISD’s $1.2B, one board of trustees, a member, suggested: “the district could tackle everything it wanted through a smaller proposal.” 

In San Antonio, bond proposals were rejected in multiple school districts.

Hit the Links

Josh Hawley is right

The Woodlands rejects incorporation

Religious businesses shielded From LGBT Bias Claims

Election Roundup: ISDs going Anti-CRT

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