“It’s Because of Texas”

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At my polling place in San Francisco this morning, all the talk was of a contest that didn’t appear on the ballot: The Giants’ World Series victory last night over the Texas Rangers. A Birkenstock-clad woman from the Haight explained her glee. “It’s because of Texas,” she said. “It’s the land of oil drilling, conservative textbook defining, Bush electing—you know?”

I know. In a depressing election year for liberals, the Giants’ unlikely victory has emerged as the rare silver lining: A way to sock it to all those conservative Republicans who are going to otherwise kick our asses at the polls today. As my colleague Adam Weinstein notes, the long-haired, beard-wearing, ganja-puffing Los Gigantes embody Left Coast rebellion. Meanwhile, former Rangers co-owner George W. Bush was on hand along with his father to root for the Red State home team at Game 4. That San Franciscans got to rob Bush of a win makes up (a little bit) for the one that he stole in 2000.

People say that sports is a way to distract the masses from the social fights that really matter. Or maybe it’s a way to blow of steam so that we don’t shoot each other. Of course, El Salvador and Honduras once fought a war over soccer.

All I know is that sports rarely fits neatly into politics. Take the example of Texas, where Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill White actually has a small chance of toppling incumbent arch-conservative Rick Perry. Mother Jones‘ Suzy Khimm points out that shifting demographics will turn Texas blue in the not-distant future. Or take the example of me: I was born and raised in Dallas and my father hasn’t talked to me in awhile, not because we disagree on politics (he’s a staunch Democrat) but because we kind of disagree on baseball.

I ultimately decided to root for the Giants because I left Dallas after high school and have lived in the Bay Area for almost ten years. Still, I would have been happy if either team had won. I wish I could say the same thing about politics.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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