Turning Texas Blue

1215027804large Bob Moser in The Nation:

[I]n the March presidential primaries, a startling show of Democratic enthusiasm was the big story buried under the Clinton/Obama headlines: just 1.3 million Texans voted Republican, while nearly 2.9 million voted Democratic–more than voted here in either of the last two general elections for Gore or Kerry. Political scientists are projecting that Bush Country will morph, by 2020, into the nation’s second-largest Democratic state. “Texas,” Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean enthused during the DNC’s rules committee showdown in May, “is ready to turn blue.”

Yes, Texas.

“Until three years ago, the Texas Democratic Party was just brain-dead and prostrate,” says Southern Methodist University professor Cal Jillson, author of Texas Politics: Governing the Lone Star State. “They were beaten down. During the Bush years, people wouldn’t even admit to being Democrats in Texas. Now they’re up on their hind legs, feeling confident. It’s the Republicans who are sullen and downcast.”

What in the name of Sam Houston is going on down here?