The land of Lyndon Johnson and Tom Delay. Where big business has bought so much, there are few states where money has mattered more. It started with Johnson, as chronicled by Robert Caro, who understood that oil had overtaken ranching and tapped into these young oilmen way back to the 1930s. Ever since then, both parties have gone running to the trough. As the 20th Century moved forward, these reactionary oilmen moved to the Republican Party and gave us two different Bush presidencies and the Republican money machine of Tom DeLay.
Yet in this US Senate primary between Ted Cruz and David Dewhurst, there is an actual Republican running against K Street and big business. The article sums it up best, but perhaps the biggest (and best) influence of the Tea Party in Republican politics is reigniting a conservative populist mistrust of big business. Oftentimes, as we were rudely reminded during the 2008/2009 bailouts, the biggest of big business rely on the government as any other institution out there. Take, for example, big Dewhurst backer Chesapeake Energy Corp:
David Dewhurst is not a bad person. He's one of these politicians who have seen the ground shift underneath them. Conservatives, especially newer tea party activists who don't care how long you've held office, have woken up to the hypocrisy of our politics throughout the late 1990s up until now. No longer is it just good enough to be pro-life and rant and rave about gays. We elected a ton of people who claimed to be conservative but who ended up just looking for power, and the quest for power means expanding government and exploding our debt.
Ted Cruz could be a charlatan, as many are claiming. But we know what David Dewhurst is, and Ted Cruz is campaigning against everything that Dewhurst and the Old Republicans represent. This race is showing us the evolution of out movement. Dewhurst has the support of the professional class in Texas and DC. Polling indicates Dewhurst has support among much of the old conservative base, especially in rural Texas. Old versus New.
Let's hope The New can overcome.