Tuesday, January 8, 2013

On Cowardice in the Texas State House

"Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." Joshua 1:9

The vote for Texas House speaker was today, or it would have been if a vote had actually occurred.  David Simpson withdrew without a voteHere's Simpson's statement:
If fear of retribution were not so very real, conscientious support for an alternative choice for speaker would not cause such trepidation.  But, since it is, and absent a certainty of winning this contest, at the request of my colleagues, I withdraw my candidacy.
Obviously, that means Straus will retain the Speakership.  I'm not surprised by the result, but I am disgusted by how we got there.  Texas House Republicans are a bunch of cowards.

I was given information, in confidence, about how the final lobbying push went down, but the details are irrelevant.  Members were pressured intensely by Team Straus, yet knew voters back home would not appreciate individual members voting for him.  Simpson's withdrawal allowed legislators to avoid the wrath of either.

And that's what bugs me.

Why are these people so afraid of Joe Straus in the first place?!?  The worst thing he can do is deny them a committee assignment and not raise money for them.  Maybe they'll lose their seat.  So what, stand for principle!  Texas legislators only make $7200 per year.

This result is disappointing, but very predictable.  We still have a solid Governor and the Senate still leaves us cautiously optimistic.  As for the Texas State House, we'll just have to improvise....

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