Texas Liberal

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Democrats Should Have No Voice In Texas Speaker Vote

A Republican Texas House member from Plano named Brian McCall is challenging incumbent Tom Craddick for the post of Speaker of the Texas House. The coalition McCall hopes to put together would involve House Democrats.

This bid should not involve Democrats. Republicans won a majority in the election last month. The election of the Speaker should be an internal matter of the Republican caucus. If Democrats want to elect a Speaker they should win a majority for themselves. 

So-called bipartisanship in the Texas legislature was a big way Governor George Bush established the phony image of someone who worked across party lines. 

This bipartisanship rewards sycophantic and double-dealing House Democratic members with various committee chairs and committee assignments for working with the no-good Republican majority.

This so-called bipartisanship will handicap a future Democratic legislative majority from enacting its policies.

Most importantly, this bipartisanship thwarts the will of voters who elected one party to govern and placed another party in the minority. 

It is one thing for state legislators to work with members of the other party on specific bills. Cross-aisle cooperation has some virtues as long as it does not get out of hand. However, institutional posts such as the Speaker and committee chairs should be held only by members of the majority. The electorate has given Republicans that right.

For 2007, Democrats should nominate a candidate for Speaker and stick with that candidate win or lose. At whatever point Democrats re-take the House, they should leave Republicans out in the cold.  

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December 26, 2006 - Posted by | Best Posts 2006, Politics, Texas

2 Comments »

  1. 1. Bipartisanship in the Texas House is a positive tradition that is older than the current power bloc, older than George W. Bush, and apparently, older than your memory.
    2. The position of Speaker is to serve as administrator for the entire House — both parties included. The Speaker is supposed to serve his colleagues, not dominate them. Speaker Craddick has abused the position and contorted it, making it all about his power, his party and his donors. No one before Craddick had ever treated the position of Speaker that way. Craddick includes many Democrats in his loyalty list; he relies on them. So should any contestant for Speaker rely on the whole House, not just his own party. All are affected by the power of the Speaker.
    3. Polls have shown for the past 12 years that the majority of voters do not choose party so much as person. Swing voters, for example, couldn’t care less about party, and we welcomed that fact as we relied on those same swing voters to come to their senses about Bush et al this past election. They helped the Dems triumph nationally.
    4. You make statements of pure partisan ideology, such as “leave Republicans out in the cold.” I feel someone should remind you that in Texas, we Democrats are the ones still out in the cold. Major shifts in partisan power do not come quickly, history tells us. The House does not shift suddenly one year from GOP domination to Dem supremacy. There are nuances and shades of gray that get us back to power one step at a time. Democrat involvement in this Speaker’s race is of the utmost importance if we are to assert our eventual return power in the House.

    Comment by Xtine | December 28, 2006

  2. 1. So-called Bipartisanship in Texas and other Southern States is a toxic left-over from Jim Crow. 2. Speaker Craddick is a passing figure and not the issue here. 3. Personality driven politics are a big part of our current problem. 4. Majorities do shift in just one election as the most recent election for the US Congress shows.

    Comment by neilaquino | December 28, 2006


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