Dewhurst and Straus as a Texas G.O.P. Microcosm – NYT

Editor’s Note:  The Texas Tribune believes that Texas House Speaker Joe Straus has enough votes for a new term.  This would be a crushing defeat for the Tea Party, who labelled him a moderate.  Some TP members wanted a “Christian conservative” to replace Straus.  The obvious anti-Semantic jesture may have cost the Tea Party more than they would ever know. Read the entire article below.

By ROSS RAMSEY

Published: November 10, 2012

David Dewhurst and Joe Straus might as well be the Republican Party in miniature.

Mr. Dewhurst, the lieutenant governor, defeated in a jolting United States Senate primary he was supposed to win, is running to the right, where he apparently thinks the party is regrouping. Mr. Straus, the Texas House speaker, already defined by his foes as a moderate, remains where the mainstream party used to hang out.

The question, for them and for the party, is this: Where will the Republican Party, in Texas and elsewhere, end up? The national punditry is already yammering about whether the Republican Party’s leaders should run to the base or reconsider and follow the country’s demographics. It is one of the fundamental questions in politics or marketing: Do you go where the most loyal and enthused voters and customers appear to be going or do you try to go where you think the crowd will be in the years to come?

via Dewhurst and Straus as a Texas G.O.P. Microcosm – NYTimes.com.

Rough time for House Speaker Straus | Amarillo.com Mobile

Despite a loss of seven seats in the 150-member Texas House of Representatives and failing to win what once looked like a winnable state Senate seat, Republicans remain in firm control of the statehouse.

Whether that’s good news for House Speaker Joe Straus is debatable in light of some developments after Tuesday’s election.

First, more than 100 conservative activists from across the state have endorsed East Texas GOP Rep. Bryan Hughes, the only challenger Straus has so far. By this time two years ago the San Antonio Republican had two, one of whom was Warren Chisum, R-Pampa.

If Straus has the 76 pledges he needs to win a third term as speaker, he hasn’t said it.

One reason may be because 40 of the 43 new House members are truly first-timers. The other three – all Democrats – are former members returning after a two-year absence.

The other reason may be the Democratic minority, which once embraced Straus, remains unhappy with him. As San Antonio’s Democratic Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer – a former ally – said before last year’s session ended, Straus “has turned his back on Texas women and minorities.”

via Rough time for House Speaker Straus | Amarillo.com Mobile.

Political Rancor: The Season is the Reason

By Jay Goode

Several urgent calls to me this week emphasized what season it is. It’s the political season of course. It’s the season of anger and discourse. There seems to be a hate brewing, too. Just read the Texas Tribune.

There is a lot riding on a number of political campaigns in North Texas. Also at stake is the prestige of the tea party. The Dallas Morning News says that Senate candidate Ted Cruz lashed out at his opponent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst over immigration attack ads. Those ads are working. It has caused Cruz to go off-message to respond to Dewhurst. This may be adding more steam to Dewhurst’s campaign. No one disputes that Dewhurst has the lead in name recognition. Independent voters hate rancor and discourse. This may drive them to Dewhurst.

Adding to the rancor are the charges and accusations in the responses to news articles.

This blogger believes that the tea party is being painted as extremist by the state and national media. The Dallas News has intimated that in a front page article a week ago when it suggested that the tea party has peaked.

One caller I received charged that there was a pattern of cronyism in some of the tea party political picks. Another tea party member admitted their picks were based on “who was the most Christian”. One of the Texas Tea Party Alliance’s picks is Jewish. None of the TTPA’s picks were based on religion alone. Who can honestly say what is in the heart and mind of a candidate?

If the tea party fails to defeat Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, where does that leave the newly elected Republicans in North Texas? Politics 101 says that freshmen lawmakers have very little impact in the Texas Legislature. Straus — if he wins — will seek political vengeance against the recalcitrant Republicans by allying with the Democrats, mostly experienced imcumbent lawmakers. He has done that before. The current political rancor will be nothing like what Straus and his liberal Democrat allies will unleash on North Texans. The media will applaud. Should we get ready for casino gambling, higher taxes, and more spending? It may not sound democratic, but that is the way politics works.

Short-sighted innuendo that Straus is unacceptable because he is not a Christian has now caused the national media to focus on the speaker’s race.

“The battle was less than gentlemanly. Mr. Straus’s Jewish faith briefly became an issue when e-mail was circulated suggesting that the House needed a “Christian conservative,” according to a New York Times article.

The liberal media continues to paint tea party Texans are right-wing extremists.

“But opponents of Mr. Straus, convinced that the San Antonio Republican is too moderate for Texas…,” according to a New York Times article reprinted from the Texas Tribune. The article points out that Straus is holding a $4 million pot in this high-stakes poker game where his opponent Beebe is practically broke. Articles like this are sure to cause more money to pour into Staus’ coffers from the East Coast and West Coast.

That’s a bad move on the part of the tea party.