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Volume 68, Issue 53, Thursday, November 7, 2002

Opinion
 

Republicans take over the world

Brandon Moeller
Opinion Columnist

Jeepers, man, the Republicans are going to rule the world. The American voting public sent a clear message Tuesday: We love Bush and most of his cronies or did they?

Maybe more people should have watched Journeys with George, a video diary detailing the adventures of a television journalist on the campaign trail with then-Governor George W. Bush. In the film, Bush seemingly ate nothing but peanut butter and jelly sandwiches while en-route to different campaign stops. Never trust a man who wants to lead the free world with peanut butter and jelly in his belly.

You'd think the American people could have learned something in the past two years. But oddly enough, those who voted (33 percent of registered voters in Harris County) chose to initiate regime change in the Senate.

Could the Democrats have made a difference if they would have said "no" to Bush's new war, or was there any merit to the media's argument that war dissenters will be voted out in this election? These are hard questions to answer. 

However, here in Texas, there is one case study that proves a point, and her name is Sheila Jackson Lee. Jackson Lee is the only congressional representative from the Houston area who voted against Bush's Iraq attack proposition when it reached the House. Others were afraid a vote of no confidence would find them without a job after this election.

However, incumbent Jackson Lee racked in an amazing 77.1 percent of the vote in her district, which includes the Montrose area as well as the Heights.

The close race that was decided late Wednesday night between Republican Henry Bonilla and Democrat Henry Cuellar was a disappointment for the Democrats in more than one way. Cuellar lost, which meant that the GOP won more House races than the Democrats.

When that election was called, it became official that the Republicans took 15 races and Democrats took 14. It's especially disappointing because the party of the current president usually loses seats in the midterm election when things like the economy aren't going well.

Also, a race to watch was for the Senate, where Texas could have had its first black senator, Ron Kirk. But instead, John Cornyn, yep the guy who didn't avidly prosecute Enron, was elected to the position by 55.3 percent of all votes tallied by press time.

I've long held a theory that politics, especially in Texas, has been lowered to that of mudslinging and non-issue, irrelevant displays of "who's the bigger Texan." That was the case in this election, and I believe the winners were picked by their physical appearances.

For instance, take the governor's race. About the only issue the Houston Chronicle concentrated on was the fact that Tony Sanchez footed the bill for a large amount of the costliest battle for that office ever. Though Sanchez would have been the first Hispanic governor in Texas ever, the fact of the matter is that Rick Perry has better hair. I heard Molly Ivins say on 60 Minutes that Perry had a head of hair that could make any Texan proud, and I agree.

Kirk and Cornyn both look too old for me, but one thing I noticed about Kirk is that depending on the television lighting, he doesn't have much in the way of eyebrows. I was utterly convinced he didn't have any at all until I saw him under more natural lighting in one television interview.

Unfortunately for the UH community, three of our members-turned third-party candidates did not win. UH physics professor George Reiter garnered 1.2 percent of the vote running for the Green Party against Tom Reiser and Chris (another aesthetically pleasing Texan) Bell in the 25th Congressional District.

UH physics researcher Drew Parks got 11 percent of the vote in his Libertarian campaign against 7th Congressional District incumbant John Culberson.

Monica Granger, a 19-year-old political science major, took 12 percent of the vote away from incumbent Republican Beverly Kaufman for county clerk. Kaufman was the one who decided to use Harris County as a test for the new electronic voting machines.

Moeller, a senior communication major, 
can be reached at brandonmoeller@hotmail.com.

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