Speaker fight; Perry's no caretaker; demographics is destiny
William McKenzie posits that the fight over Craddick is really a fight over the future of the Texas GOP:
Is it, really? It seems to me like it probably has more to do with how satisfied members are with Craddick's management and leadership.
As late as last night, the Texas House continued to rock back and forth on the consequential question of whether someone other than Tom Craddick should be its speaker. As if that weren't important enough, that wasn't even the real question. Dig a little, and you'll find a referendum on the GOP's direction.
Team Craddick would probably be much happier with the idea that this is a referendum on ideological future or partisan unity, because that's something he's likely to win -- grassroots Republicans don't want Democrats and the media taking down their speaker. And it certainly could become a fight about that, because when the Lege isn't in session it's less about the internal and more about the external. Which is why Paul Burka must be right when he says that Craddick's chances of remaining as speaker increase if he makes it through this session.
Eh, there's some short-term truth to this idea, but in the long term, demographics is destiny.
Not a first for Texas Republicans, but this uproar is one of those debates that will influence the party and Texas years down the road.
One of those down-the-road matters is how long Republicans will run Texas. If key players make the right moves now, they can extend the GOP's reach well into the next decade. Make the wrong moves, and the party will confirm what Democrats have been saying about Republicans being incapable of governing.
Three thoughts here:
Rick Perry got the message when he received only 39 percent of the vote in November's gubernatorial race. He pivoted and put out some futuristic ideas about health care and education.
1. While Perry may have only gotten 39%, it was a very comfortable victory. There was absolutely no point during the campaign where the outcome was in doubt, once KBH exited the race.
2. I see zero evidence that Gov. Perry or any of his advisers care one scintilla about how much of the vote he received. Publically and privately, the answer is the same: the governor is fully governor, whether elected with 25% or 75%.
3. Seems to me that Perry has always taken a visionary, long-term approach to governing. This is something that the Texas media has largely missed, perhaps because he doesn't seem to trumpet his vision. Agree or disagree with the Guv, he's not been a caretaker. Caretakers don't come up with a plan to completely redesign Texas' transportation.
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