As a third generation Texan, I was very happy to see my home county (Harris) go blue in the recent presidential election and begin throwing out the Republican rascals in the county courts.
I was also happy to see a Delaymandered Texas House designed for a 120-30 Republican majority dwindle down to a 76-74 GOP majority and best of all, Tom Craddick is no longer Speaker of the Texas House.
But the best news I received in the wake of those positive trends is that the Democratic Party may finally be getting serious about returning Texas to its progressive roots and making Texas competitive again by the 2012 election cycle.
The state Democratic Party has been resurgent and wants to become a player even sooner, as in 2010. Whether it's 2010 or 2012, it can't be soon enough after 14 years of Republican mismanagement of my beloved birth state.
In 2005 Texas became one of several states in which the combined minority population outnumbers whites. With the 2010 Census looming, most projections show a possible three seat gain in Texas' already sizable 32 member congressional delegation. If those numbers hold it means that Texas increases in value to 37 electoral votes and becomes even more important on the Electoral College map.
The Repugs know this as well and are alarmed because their presidential election scenarios start with Texas as the base for their electoral vote calculations. They will fight tooth and nail to keep Texas in their column
But demographics, their own shortsightedness in failing to diversify their party, coupled with the young multiethnic coalition the Democrats built that carried Obama to victory will probably put Texas in play in the next four to eight years.
But the national Democratic Party needs to do its part, too. It needs to quit using Texas as a political piggy bank and source for volunteers to send to other states. It needs to invest money in the Texas Democratic Party and aggressively go after the Latino and African American vote there as well.
It also needs to put serious money in statewide races as well. Rick Noriega was probably the best candidate in a decade we've had for the US Senate, and was up against an unpopular Republican. Had the national party passed more cash to him, we'd probably be hailing the first Latino Senator from Texas and we'd have our 60 seat majority in the Senate.
It's past time that the Democrats made a serious play to take Texas back from GOP clutches. The conditions are ripe for it and Texas Dems are more than eager and willing to do the work to make it happen.
All that's needed is the will and the money.