Friday, March 16, 2012

Austin Freedom Press: What needs to happen in Politics

Looking forward this year, certain political realities are obvious.  The first is that Republicans suck; not only do Republicans suck, but in Congress they've failed to learn many basic lessons from why they were thrown out in the first place.  A fundraising e-mail from Senator Jim DeMint yesterday said it best:

Let's be honest. One of the reasons our country is in such trouble right now is because too many Republicans in Washington were unwilling to fight for our principles. They thought by supporting more spending on new entitlement programs and corporate bailouts they would win swing voters and protect themselves from liberal attacks.
They were wrong.
Instead, each time Republicans abandoned the principles of freedom they claimed to support, voters lost trust in the Party and kicked many out of office.
Senator DeMint is right.  Unfortunately, the Democrat party has been taken over by open and outright communists. At the same time, the Obama administration is engaged in a clear war on Texas, and Texas Democrats are aiding and abetting this war.  Obviously, they're not an option.

Thus, on the political level, we're stuck working thru the Republican Party, at least thru the end of this election cycle.

This, however, does not have to be cause for despair.  I quoted the fundraising letter from Sen. DeMint for a reason.  We need to apply the Jim DeMint approach inside Texas.  While the Presidential and U.S. Senate level is different, in the U.S. House, the Texas Senate, and the Texas House you don't need more Republicans, you need better Republicans.

As the most well known elected official in Texas has made clear, we need a simple four point governing philosophy: 1) Do Not Spend All the Money, 2) Keep Your Taxes Low and Simple, 3) Have a Regulatory Climate that is Fair and Predictable, and 4) Reform the Legal System to prevent over-suing.  These are the core issues and the core questions.

In other words, we need to find Republicans who will actually live up to their own party platform.  Unfortunately, that's easier said than done.  In the 2011 Session, there were 101 Republicans (ie. a Super majority) in the Texas House of Representatives.  Unfortunately, they didn't accomplish much.

To accomplish more, we need to become masters of process.  First things first, we need to get our candidates thru Primary day (when they can be overwhelmed by people coming out to vote in the Presidential election) and into run-offs.  In Texas, run-offs occur 9 weeks after primary day.  Given the shenanigans in this year's election scheduling, that means that run-off elections won't occur until late-July or August.  As smug dickhead mainstream journalist Paul Burka recently pointed out: "If this scenario comes to pass, it means that the runoff electorate will be dominated by the ultraconservative base of the party, and the majority of the turnout will be tea party types."  Amen to that....

Furthermore, in Texas, it's actually the legislature that writes the budget.  The original budget is proposed by the Texas Legislative Budget Board, who's membership is decided by the Speaker of the House and Lieutenant Governor.  The budget is then passed thru the state House and Senate and the two plans are reconciled in Conference.  The Governor only comes into the picture AFTER the conference committee, and his only leverage is his ability to either sign or veto the budget.

To summarize, we need to elect better Republicans to the State Legislature (and U.S. House) seats we already have.  We then need to master the inside baseball and get a good person elected speaker, who is pledged to appoint solid conservatives to the LBB (we can't do anything about the Lieutenant Gov. until 2014).  Then, we need to watch the 83rd legislature like a hawk and hold the people we elected accountable.

Over the next several months, I'll profile candidates running in Central Texas who fit this profile.

In 1975, Ronald Reagan said: "Is it a third party we need, or is it a new and revitalized second party, raising a banner of no pale pastels, but bold colors which make it unmistakably clear where we stand on all of the issues troubling the people?"

I say the latter.


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