Why didn't Texas go blue?
This one's easy to answer. Texas didn't go blue because the Democrats in charge of turning it blue didn't approach the task seriously. They put forward a not-ready-for-prime-time candidate who appealed to radical lefties on the East and West Coasts but not to Texas Democrats, much less Texans in general.
The Texas economics and policies blog WILL.isms.com pointed out the problem in May 2014, right after the primaries:
Texas Political Enthusiasm Gap Continues
Jazz Shaw on the conservative blog HotAir.com rounds up the partisan links (from both sides) better than I could and discusses my theory ditto in her final two paras:
How did it all go so wrong with Wendy Davis?
To put that another way, all politics is local, as the old saying goes. If you want to win a state-wide election in any state, you need to put forward a candidate who appeals to voters in that state, not one who appeals to the pundits.
To put that another way, let's visit the excellent blog LegalInsurrection.com:
Nor is Texas finished. Back to LegalInsurrection.com again and writer Amy Miller:
And Salon.com's post-election griping doesn't hold a whole bunch of water. Take it away, Ace of Spades HQ (and readers, please be careful stepping around the snark):
Salon Writer: Stating That Greg Abbott won the Women's Vote in Texas is Racist because He Didn't Win Black Women's or Hispanic Women's Votes
Why is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as the PPACA, the ACA, or Obamacare) heading back to the Supreme Court? Didn't it already win a couple years ago?
Well, part of it did, but not all of it. Ed Whelan sums up the issue in question on the conservative website National Review Online:
King v. Burwell
Cornell Law School prof William A. Jacobson gives a more technical rendering on Legal Insurrection:
Ace of Spades HQ discusses:
Supreme Court Accepts Obamacare Subsidies Challenge for Review
What's astonishing here isn't that the Supreme Court is revisiting the PPACA. With 1000+ pages in the law, there's a lot to debate and analyze, and various questions will continue arising in the future (if it isn't repealed and replaced). What's astonishing is the way SCOTUS has taken the case.
Normally the Supremes would wait for several federal Circuit courts of appeal to weigh in on a legal question, especially if the various courts return conflicting opinions. Only then, with a Circuit split, as it's called, would they accept the case, listen to arguments, and render a final verdict.
But this time, SCOTUS didn't do that. There was a short-term Circuit split between the court in Washington, D.C. (which ruled against giving out ACA subsidies in the federal exchange) and the 4th Circuit in Richmond, Virginia (which ruled for the subsidies in the federal exchange). But that split was pretty much guaranteed an overturning in favor of the subsidies when its case went to the complete D.C. Circuit Court for full en banc review. (Most Circuit court decisions are made by three-justice panels rather than the full court.)
Harry Reid's political skulduggery aside, for the Supreme Court to basically reach out and grab this case without a Circuit split does not bode well for the ACA. Among other things, it means a) the Supremes are not fans of the way Harry Reid packed the D.C. Circuit Court (because if they were fans, they'd have waited for the D.C. Court's en banc review), and b) at least four SCOTUS justices think the case (ACA subsidies allowed through the federal exchange) is bunk. (Granted, they might change their minds between now and the final ruling.) Four out of the nine Supreme Court justices must vote to accept a case they believe to have been wrongly decided, and the case they voted to accept is the one that upheld the subsidies, not the one that denied them.
We're told to expect a decision before June 2015.
Got political questions you want answered? (Serious ones, please, not partisan snark. Even though I love partisan snark.) Drop 'em in the comments and I'll see what I can find for you. No questions = I'll be back next Saturday with another roundup of political links on one or two issues of my choosing.
Thanks for stopping by. Cheers,