Thursday, October 26, 2017

#TXLEGE: Straus Done in by own Arrogance....

"He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck,
Will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy."
Proverbs 29:1

Following the disappointing results of the 2016 Texas House primaries, we had a conversation with our most trusted Capitol source; this person made a point about which we've been thinking ever since:
The Straus people won [in 2016].  But they didn't win by much.  And considering how arrogant they already are, I wonder if they're going to get so arrogant that they over-interpret their mandate and doom themselves to something far worse in 2018.
Less than two years later, that's exactly what has happened.

Two year ago, the name of the game for Team Straus was stealth.  Sure, they were terrible then, but they were a lot less in your face about it.  That changed in 2017.

This past March, following the minimum wage fiasco, we had a conversation with the leaders of a few statewide grassroots organizations.  We all remarked about how Team Straus' was being a lot more open about everything they had historically tried to keep quiet.  That continued throughout both the regular (and especially) the special session.

Consider just a few examples:

  • Botching the Sunset bill -- There wouldn't have even been a special session in the first place if Team Straus hadn't failed to pass a major bill related to continuity in state government.  Straus' failure necessitated the special session.  And it was all because they got cute and tried to pass it right before a deadline.
  • Every absurd spending proposal during the Special -- During the special session, the House proposed one spend-a-thon bill after the other.  There was "school finance," there was the Medicaid fiasco; essentially, there was every single bill referred to Appropriations.  They weren't hiding their desire to spend to the hilt.
  • Killing Property Tax Reform -- NEWSFLASH: Property taxes are a general public issue.  Texans all over the state are getting killed by property taxes.  77% of Texans (including 63% of Democrats) support statewide property tax caps.  By killing property tax reform, Team Straus moved beyond alienating activists to a issue average voters care about a lot.
And those are just a few examples off the top of our head before we get into the regular lawlessness.

If we wanted to, we could probably list 30 incidents from this past session that we're either designed to alienate voters or completely lawless.

The ironic thing is that the same thing happened to Barack Obama.  In 2012, following his re-election, Obama got really arrogant and over-interpreted mandate.  In 2016, Obama's actions during his second term led to a far worse outcome for his party than would have happened had he correctly interpreted his 2012 mandate.

Bottom Line: Arrogance always catches up with you; sometimes it just takes awhile.

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