Speaker spits into the wind

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus has weighed in Gov. Rick Perry’s remarks about state Sen. Wendy Davis’s controversial – and in some circles highly acclaimed – filibuster of an anti-abortion bill.

Perry said Davis, D-Fort Worth, had failed to learned from “her own example” that children born into “unfortunate circumstances” can grow up and be successful, as she has done.

Straus told the Texas Tribune that Perry’s remarks damaged the Republican “brand.” He didn’t like their personal tone.


Well, I happen to agree with the speaker. Then again, I’m not a member of the Texas Republican Party’s extreme right-wing fringe, which includes Gov. Perry as its star member – and which has been highly critical of Straus’s speakership, not to mention his leadership style.

You see, Straus is a Republican as well, but he has this nasty habit of working across the aisle with legislative Democrats. Does he favor the restrictive anti-abortion bill that Davis filibustered into (temporary) oblivion? Yes. That’s not good enough to suit some within his party, who want him to be even more hard-nosed than he’s been. It kind of reminds me of liberals within the Democratic Party who didn’t much like former Speaker Pete Laney’s willingness to work with those dreaded Republicans, chief among them being then-Gov. George W. Bush. Laney, the Panhandle cotton farmer, wasn’t dissuaded by his critics and I’m guessing Straus won’t be deterred by his critics, either.

Straus still will be in the doghouse with righties within his party, even though he’s right to be critical of Gov. Perry’s big mouth.

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