Democrats in Alabama must climb a mountain that's far higher than Mount Everest if they want to regain control of state politics. Frankly, it's a climb I can't imagine being completed in my lifetime.
Republicans sit in every political seat in Alabama that requires a statewide vote. You name it, Republicans control it.
Our Montgomery reporter, Mary Sell, outlined the state's switch from being solid Democrat to solid Republican in an informative series last weekend. If you missed it, visit TimesDaily.com.
Democrats brought this on themselves. They did a poor job when they were in charge. For instance, they did nothing to change the state's awful tax structure, which is the root of 99 percent of our problems.
Then they did the unthinkable when they ignored the people's vote in the party's gubernatorial runoff between Bill Baxley and Charlie Graddick in 1986. They took the nomination away from Graddick because he courted Republicans to cross over and vote for him, which is legal in Alabama. Voters lost their trust that day.
State Democrats know they have problems, and they lack leadership. It appears only Republicans can ruin the monopoly.
For state Republicans, their fear is not Democrats. Privately, they will tell you the problem is with the extreme radicals of the tea party, some of whom would have us driving on cobblestone streets instead of allowing governments to build roads.
Folks in Montgomery say fear was on display recently when House Republicans released their agenda for the upcoming legislative session. The agenda was filled with elements preying on the emotions of the most conservative Alabamians. It's an agenda built to mock President Obama's administration and the law of the land.
House Republicans are pushing a statewide amendment that would guarantee Alabamians' right to "keep and bear arms." At the end of the day, it's an amendment that would be meaningless and cost the state money.
Another bill gives the perception that abortions could not be performed in Alabama, or at least face more restrictions. Another one allows employers to opt out of portions of Obama's health care plan. If passed, it could defy federal law. From a political standpoint, it's great strategy.
The Republicans are smart enough to know these initiatives are at best meaningless and at worst a prelude to an expensive day in court. Yet, they also know the agenda should keep the tea party extremists from finding someone to run against them in the next election.
Mike Goens is the TimesDaily managing editor. He can be reached at mike.goens@TimesDaily.com.