Last night I watched the 'debate" between the two contenders for the Democratic nomination for Governor of the State of Texas - Former Houston Mayor Bill White and Businessman Farouk Shami. I parenthesize debate because that's not really what they are. Talking heads throwing out questions is not a debate.
Last week I watched the three-way GOP shit flinging contest, er, I mean "debate". Am I just daft, or does anyone else see the difference between these two camps?
Debra Medina, the dark horse Republican candidate, had me squirming in my seat with her far right wing railing against, well, just about everything, while eternal governor Rick Perry and fellow former cheerleader Kay Bailey Hutchison held a no-holds-barred Texas Grudge Match of innuendo, accusation, and pass-the-buckism at its finest. No accountability. No answers. Just finger pointing. If the buck doesn't stop there, what is the point?
So it was refreshing to watch White and Shami. White is seemingly unshakable and remarkably intelligent and articulate about the issues and what he plans to do about them. Shami, although at a disadvantage because of his thick accent and, at times, vagueness about the power of the governor, was passionate and had outside-the-box solutions to the problems.
I especially liked Shami's response that, to paraphrase, the solution isn't in continually cutting programs, but in growing revenues through job creation. Yet, at the same time, he wasn't touting the usual laissez faire attitude of "cut taxes for corporations, overlook pollution, and let business police itself" mantra of the Repubs. One thing Farouk Shami clearly understands is that we have a one-time opportunity to retool and create green jobs - solar and windpower in particular - or we will relinquish that role to China, whom clearly understands and is forging ahead while Nero fiddles.
But the main thing that stood out while watching these two men talk about the issues was their courtesy toward one another, even when they had differences. Not once do I remember either of them beginning a response with "My opponent..." - the typical political method of avoiding that they have no solution by going into attack mode. Someone once said, "When you point at someone else, three fingers are pointing back at you."
A real change of energy in the Texas Governor's Mansion would be as refreshing as West Texas breezes turning those wind turbines 24/7.