"The lips of the righteous feed many,
But fools die for lack of wisdom."
Southern Methodist University -- Last night's speaker's race debate between Matt Rinaldi and (my good friend) Jason Villalba was a study in contrasts. Rinaldi discussed the "clear message" voters sent regarding their desire for conservative legislation in the 84th legislature. (my good friend Jason) Villalba, meanwhile, attempted to recycle a decades old playbook no one believes anymore.
Rinaldi discussed how, following the election of a conservative Governor and a conservative Lieutenant Governor, the Texas House is the largest remaining obstacle to passing conservative legislation. Rinaldi specifically listed "every element of Governor Perry's budget compact" as legislation that died last session in the Straus led House. He also discussed illegal immigration.
On the other hand, (my good friend Jason) Villalba attempted to suck up to the crowd and make excuses. For example, when discussing legislation that dies last session, he attempted to say that it was because 80% of bills that are filed die every session. While technically true, most of those bills are frivolous and there's still substantial discretion about which bills to pass among those that have meaningful (if not universal) support.
The full debate can be seen in the video footage below, but two moments stand out:
Towards the end, (my good friend Jason) Villalba attempted to confuse two studies about the 83rd Legislature, then told a(n admittedly cool) story about Turner; Rinaldi responded with a story of his own about a state legislator he was debating a few minutes earlier who deliberately confused two studies.
A few minutes later, (my good friend Jason) Villalba had a Freudian slip that has to be seen to be believed:
Last night's debate underscored the current reality in Texas politics. Democrats are irrelevant, the voters are sending "a clear message" and legacy Republicans can't use the old playbook indefinitely. Whatever happens January 13th, the disconnect between the voters and the (current) members will resolve itself soon enough....