November 27, 2010

National Democrats Have Wounded Oklahoma Democratic Party

[This Marlin Oil advertorial appears in the forthcoming issue of The City Sentinel.]

Wesley Burt of SoonerPoll recently summarized a new public opinion survey finding that 55.4 percent of Oklahomans believe “teachers unions are an obstacle that keeps schools from getting better.”

The results are not really that shocking, in light of the fact that a Time magazine poll in August found half of all Americans believed the same thing.

Public relations specialist Renzi Stone commissioned his own poll to investigate how Oklahomans feel about being tagged “reddest of the red states” after giving Republicans total control of the executive and legislative branches of government in the Sooner State.

The “Saxum Poll” (named for Stone’s PR group) found that 74 percent of Republicans and a surprising 37 percent of all Democrats were proud of being deemed “reddest state in the nation.”

The Saxum Poll also found that three-fourths of Oklahoma Republicans and 49 percent of the state’s Democrats believe repeal -- not reform, but repeal -- of the federal health care law should be the priority for Governor Mary Fallin and the Legislature.

Greg Treat, an architect of the 2010 Republican Victory drive, told Pat McGuigan of CapitolBeatOK and The City Sentinel that 40,000 Oklahoma Democrats were identified before the election as straight ticket voters -- for the Republicans.

It seems hard to overstate how shocking and significant is the Grand Old Party’s current advantage in Oklahoma.

Nothing is permanent in politics, and that will no doubt remain true in this case. It took decades of ill-conceived liberalism and attacks on mainstream culture to get here. President Barack Obama’s drive to introduce European-style social democracy into America may have been the straw that broke the camel’s (or is it the donkey’s?) back.

In scattered pockets, Democrats still predominate, including neighborhoods here in Oklahoma City. No one should underestimate the ability of Republicans to get sidetracked by misguided legislators who want to divert focus from the economy and job creation.

Still, the national Democrats have inflicted a stunning wound on the Oklahoma Democratic party, once the safe and happy home of such political giants as Robert S. Kerr, David Boren, and Carl Albert. It will be a long time before the party of Jefferson can restore itself to that formerly lofty status.

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