Merry Christmas, Republicans!

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You know a party's in bad shape when it's still losing Congressmen a month after the damn election.

Former Congressman Ciro Rodriguez defeated seven-term Republican Henry Bonilla in a runoff election Tuesday, adding another Democrat to Congress.

With more than half the precincts reporting in the state's largest district, Rodriguez had 57 percent to Bonilla's 43 percent.

This won't be huge news tomorrow but it's actually a little earthquake in Texas. Henry Bonilla was a star in Republican politics, a conservative Hispanic and an ally of Tom DeLay. He raised millions of dollars for a prospective Senate run this year, but demurred when Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison decided to run for another term. After tonight, Democrats will have 233 seats in the House of Representatives.

UPDATE: Jonathan Martin at NRO notes that Bonilla is the eighth Republican appropriator to take the fall in 2006. I'd also just remembered that Bonilla was the genius who wanted to rename D.C.'s crucial 16th St. after Ronald Reagan.

NEXT: IMproper Conduct

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  1. Oh crap, I forgot to vote in that election today. Oh well, so long, Henry!

  2. Trivia note: 233 seats may not look like a huge majority for the Democrats, but it’s more than the Republicans have had since the 80th Congress (1947-9):

    http://clerk.house.gov/histHigh/Congressional_History/partyDiv.html

  3. Assuming that the Dems are able to rope in the White House in a couple years, what the hell are they going to do with themselves? To me, they seemed very happy being the party of whiners and blame-Bush-for-everything, and not having to have a real plan/agenda of their own.

    This all may be actually be worth it, just for the entertainment.

  4. Mr. Nice Guy

    The Democrats have a program. It’s the same social democrat program they have wanted since the Truman administration.

    Infighting will prevent most of it passing (factionalism is the savior) but we’ll get plenty of what’s good for us , good and hard.

    Mind you, considering the anal probe we’ve been getting from the Republicans, does it matter?

  5. David T,

    No kidding. The Democrats have run the House of Representatives almost continuously since the New Deal, and look at what a libertarian paradise they have left in their wake.

  6. So when did this site merge with “The Nation”?

  7. So when did this site merge with “The Nation”?

    Ask again after the new Congress has been sworn in and seated for awhile. The following weeks and months here should be enlightening, if not snarky.

  8. Ben,

    When Matt Welch left reason for the L.A. Times. Losing Welch and gaining Weigel was like the Boston Red Sox trading Jeff Bagwell for Larry Andersen.

    Don’t worry, though. Even though Weigel is an over-educated intellectual lightweight, his libertarian credentials seem to be in order and will probably show better once he’s finally decided to quit trying to impress his Daily Kos buddies.

  9. Jesus Weigel can you just wear skirt and pom poms when you do these posts? Does the DNC at least give you a kiss after you get off your knees? I thought Reason was supposed to be about ideas and substance rather than inside baseball cheerleading and score keeping. I expect that kind of crap from National Review and their endless postings on who is going to win the election for deputy assitant minority whip or some such nonsense.

  10. Trivia note: 233 seats may not look like a huge majority for the Democrats, but it’s more than the Republicans have had since the 80th Congress (1947-9):

    http://clerk.house.gov/histHigh/Congressional_History/partyDiv.html

    Not quite. It is more than the Republicans picked up in any election, but the Republicans won 230 seats in 1994, then five southern Democrats switched parties after the election, bringing the Republicans up to 235. They got up to 236 before the 1996 elections.

    The Democrats need a few party shifts, which may well happen.

  11. To correct the record: I was a replacement for Julian Sanchez, not Matt Welch. Which, I suppose, isn’t going to clamp down the “Sic Semper Lightweights!” talk.

  12. The important thing is that you’re reporting a Republican loss. Only The Nation does things like that.

  13. Celebrating the humiliating defeat of the Republicans isn’t merging with “The Nation.” It’s merging with the nation.

    Only a few dead-enders with ties to the overthrown regime can fail to see that. Of course, they have been fed a line of bull about being a majority of the country for many years, so it’s not surprising when they continue to insista the the overwhelming majority of the country is a radical fringe. Anyway, they keep this insurgency thing up, it’s going to turn into a civil war, and the numbers are against them.

  14. Only a few dead-enders with ties to the overthrown regime can fail to see that. Of course, they have been fed a line of bull about being a majority of the country for many years, so it’s not surprising when they continue to insista the the overwhelming majority of the country is a radical fringe. Anyway, they keep this insurgency thing up, it’s going to turn into a civil war, and the numbers are against them.

    Yes Joe. Now if only you can send us dead enders off to reeducation camps to increase our political awareness to the proper levels everything would be just marvelous.

  15. John,

    We don’t need reeducation camps. A few more electoral defeats is all it will take to reeducate most of you.

  16. Joe, by all means enjoy it, but keep in mind that if you get too smug about it, you encourage us to really savor your teeth-gnashing when the pendulum inevitably swings back to favor Team Red. 😉

  17. A couple weeks ago, I posted a comment about Texas becoming a solidly Democratic state in a few years, based on its changing demographics.

    Someone refuted my argument by pointing out that Latinos in Texas vote for Republicans at much higher rates than Latinos in the rest of the country.

    Well, they certainly used to. Yet another subheading in the “Realignment or Blip?” debate over the 2006 midterm results.

  18. Aside from the headline, how can this post be read as Dem cheerleading? Even the headline isn’t rooting for Dems, it’s just snarky about a Repub loss. The Repubs have been arrogant a-holes. Why can’t we cheer when it bites them in the ass?

  19. highnumber,

    This is probably too late to be read, but I have to say it. The Republicans absolutely deserved to lose both houses of Congress, and if the Democrats could find a way to impeach both Bush and Cheney, life would be grand. However, the Democrats already got both houses (pending the health of Senator Johnson) and this post is just nothing but meaningless gloating. Until either the LP or another meaningful pro-liberty third party can begin to make inroads into the system, simply rah-rahing for the Democrats is naivet? of the highest order.

    I’m also willing and able to be proven wrong by David Weigel, and it would only take a few posts that demonstrate an allegiance to libertarian values, as opposed to Democratic candidates, to convince me.

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