Thursday, June 20, 2013
Texas GOP History: When John Cornyn Replaced Phil Gramm
Cahnman's Musings just had an epiphany about when the GOP descended from the (relatively) principles-based party of the 1980's and 90's to the rudderless mess it is today. We think it came during the midterm election of 2002. In Texas, that was the year John Cornyn replaced Phil Gramm.
(Author's note: 2002 was also the year Bob Dole's wife replaced Reaganite Jesse Helms in North Carolina.)
First elected to the United States Senate in 1984 (following three colorful (party switching) terms in the U.S. House), Phil Gramm was a key Congressional Lieutenant for President Reagan. Over his quarter century career, Phil Gramm helped launch and maintain the quarter century Reagan boom. In 2002, he retired from public service.
John Cornyn, by contrast, was a close confidant of Karl Rove. Rove helped launch Cornyn's career in the 1990's. Over his decade in Congress, John Cornyn's record speaks for itself.
The mess in today's Republican party has many origins, but replacing a principled Reganite like Phil Gramm with a Rovian jellyfish like John Cornyn explains a lot.