Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Mickey Leland In The Texas Observer On Party Loyalty

Though I am of the left, I believe in a big tent Democratic party. In America we have two main parties for 300 million people and people will differ and disagree. In Texas, we have over 23 million people and again, people will differ and disagree.  

A workable standard for party loyalty was well-established 26 years ago by late Houston Congressman Mickey Leland.

Mr. Leland wrote an article for The Texas Observer in 1981 called The Tumor in the Texas Democratic Party. The article is reprinted in the book Fifty Years of the Texas Observer

Mr. Leland wrote about Texas Congressional turncoats such as Phil Gramm and Kent Hance who helped sponsor the poor-bashing tax cuts and budgets offered by Ronald Reagan.

Here is what Leland said—

Now, I want to carefully distinguish between those members of Congress who have or who will vote contrary to the Democratic position either out of personal belief or because their districts demand it….and those few members who go far beyond a vote and undertake a leadership role in sponsoring and working for the Republican program.

Mr. Leland got it exactly right. You don’t have to vote with the majority of Democrats every time, but you do have to have a good reason to bolt the party. If you vote the other way out of conviction or for survival, we can still work together at the end of the day.

If you’re selling out your colleagues for personal political gain or you’ve moved impossibly far away from the positions of your party, then you’re no longer welcome.     

October 4, 2007 - Posted by | Books, Houston, Political History, Politics, Texas | , , , ,

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