Who would think that Texas Republicans weren't really all that different from those in Massachusetts, Connecticut, or New Jersey?
I must admit I haven't kept up with politics, especially at the state level, for very long. With a session of about four months every other year with little media attention, it can be easy to miss. It wasn't until 2007 that I tried to keep up with what went on, a difficult task for a conservative far from Austin.
I see relatively little discussion of the Texas legislature relative to those in other states, and I can't figure out why that is. Forget ANY up-to-date conservative perspectives, publications, or discussion web sites. Even the mainstream media is more focused on city politics. By the looks of things, I'm guessing that the vast majority of Texans, particularly Texas Republicans, are paying NO attention and could likely not even name their state representative or senator. Texas voters need to realize NOW that they cannot continue to do so if they don't wish to be overtaken by the left.
My representative spoke last year at a small gathering, and he said that most Republicans in the state legislature were quite liberal. The truth is that voters don't pay much attention to these races. Incumbents win primaries, though they rarely face any challenges; and general elections are based on party ID. It makes sense. I know that the house Republicans cannot possibly be reflecting the views of the people who elected them. If they were, people would have voted for the Democrat.
This year, former house Speaker Tom Craddick, who apparently was a conservative, was thought to be "too divisive" by certain Republicans. In particular, it was a "gang of 11" who sought his defeat. From everything I heard and read, it was only because of him that conservatives ever stood a chance at having any legislation voted on.
So these eleven RINOs teamed up with the Democrats to unite against Tom Craddick in support of one of the eleven, Joe Straus.
Joe Straus appears to be a NIGHTMARE for Texas and for the Republican party. You know it's a problem when he is supported by the most liberal Democrats and praised by the media as one who will end the "divisiveness" and bring "diversity" to the legislature (apparently because he is Jewish). For those who didn't know, politics is SUPPOSED to be "divisive" by nature. That's why the legislature still exists. Anyway, there is a sickening similarity between the press's depictions of Straus and Obama. It literally makes me want to vomit.
It seems Craddick was opposed for not allowing for debate of matters he did not agree with. It's hard to confirm because there is so little unbiased information available. Yet that is exactly why Democrats and liberals were so supportive of Straus. When you lack votes for your own legislation, your best bet is to stop the majority from bringing up and debating their legislation. So now rather than opening debate to both sides, as the Dallas Morning News would have us believe, the new speaker will shut off debate for anything conservatives might support. Time will tell if Texas voters fall for the media's lies.
So if you are a Texan with a Republican representative, I urge you to examine his record and positions. As believers in federalism, we must set the bar higher and be a lot more picky when it comes to state-level officials. Unfortunately, people all too often seem to do just the polar opposite.
So if your representative is one of the eleven RINOs listed below, I urge you to vote against him in 2010:
Those eleven MUST be defeated.
As many have pointed out here, it's fine to welcome Republicans into the party who disagree on some fundamental issues. However, such people should not be placed in any sort of leadership position to represent the party, especially when their goal is to "end divisiveness" (aka silence debate on matters where they are in the party minority).
Of course now we've got Kay Barely Republican to worry about. I'll save that discussion for another day except to say that it may come to illustrate my point quite well.