Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Texas House Members Lie & Scheme In Speaker’s Race While US House Elects Speaker Voters Intended

The U.S. House is set to convene and elect Nancy Pelosi as Speaker. For Texans, what will take place in Washington must seem amazing.

In Washington, Democratic members will vote for a Democrat for Speaker and Republicans will vote for a Republican for Speaker. The Democrat will win with Democratic votes because that is what the public wanted.

Some call might call it excessive partisanship. Others with a more firm grasp on the process will call it democracy. Elected representatives will reflect the will of the people that elected them. They won’t be looking to cut sneaky backroom deals for committee chairs and committee posts in exchange for supporting a specific candidate for Speaker.  

It is not about left or right. The new Democratic majority in Washington has many different viewpoints represented. It’s about governing in a rational and coherent way. It’s about having an accountable majority. It’s about having an opposition that opposes and offers voters a choice. 

Texans should flip on C-SPAN and watch Congress select Ms. Pelosi for a good lesson in democracy. They won’t get that lesson here. 

Many good people are caught up in the get-Craddick grudge match and caught up in the prospect of a few shreds of power in Republican-dominated Texas. These good people are in this case fumbling away the future and fumbling away the prospect of a future Democratic House truly governed by Democrats.      

January 3, 2007 - Posted by | Politics, Texas


  1. dude, for the last time, Texas is not Washington.

    Comment by Joe | January 3, 2007

  2. Thanks for your unwavering commitment to having things suck forever.

    Comment by neilaquino | January 3, 2007

  3. Uh …. Republicans in Washington won’t be voting for a Republican speaker; they’ll be voting for a Republican minority leader, and Republicans don’t get a vote in the Democratic Party’s speaker election.

    Texas doesn’t have party votes for party leadership positions. Instead, it has votes open to all members no matter what their party affiliation.

    If the Republicans picked a consensus leader as their speaker candidate, he’d have enough Republican votes to marginalize the Democratic vote. Instead, our speaker completely dropped the ball this election and cost us several seats; plus, he’s doing his best to make the phony “Republican culture of corruption” seem real in the Texas house so he’s hemoraging GOP support. He should step down gracefully and name a consensus Republican to replace himself, but by refusing to do this, he is unnecessarily splitting our vote. This unnecessary divisiveness is the ONLY factor which makes the Democrat vote relevant.

    Comment by tired of perry | January 3, 2007

  4. Each party nominates a candidate for Speaker in Washington and a roll call is taken.

    An absence of party leadership contests in Austin would seem to be part of the problem. That’s even more power for lobbyists with weak party structures. I should’ve put that in the post. Thanks for the reminder.

    Your point about Craddick’s troubles have great merit. Thank you for your comment.

    Comment by neilaquino | January 3, 2007

  5. I’m not committed to having things suck forever…you’re committed to having them suck for the next 2 years.

    69 House districts in Texas voted for Democrats. Because 81 voted for Republicans doesn’t mean that the remaining 10,350,000 constituents in Democratic districts go unrepresented.

    The 200,000 children that lost health insurance don’t want to wait for 2 more years. For that matter the 25% of Texans without insurance don’t want to wait. The teachers that lost their insurance stipends and real pay raises don’t want to wait. The low income folks that will shoulder the burden of the Republicans suggested sales tax increase do not want to wait.

    There are things that rise above party – that’s what both you and the current speaker have forgotten. We can win races based on what we get done, not on how the other side screws up. Refusing to participate in the process is negligent. Tom Delay tried to make Texas work like Washington – I’d suggest you stop doing the same.

    Comment by Joe | January 4, 2007

  6. I have thought about it in the terms you suggest. I don’t want to give up on the next two years. Members still work across the aisles just as they do in Washington.

    What I’d say is that 25% of Texas without health insurance and lousy teacher pay are problems that go far back. They are problems that can in many respects be laid at the feet of system we have operated under here in Texas. As awful as Mr. Craddick is ,these are pre-existing conditions to his speakership.

    What defense can be offered for the “bipartisan” support that helped make Governor Bush look credible? Given the small margin of his “win” in 2000, I think we can say that a real opposing party in Austin might have done him some damage.

    A real democracy where people have choices is what is at issue here. It’s not about Tom Delay type politics. It’s about what a democracy should be.

    Thank you for your good comment and for reading my blog.

    Comment by neilaquino | January 4, 2007

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