Dan Patrick might be poised to become Texas’s next lieutenant governor.
If that’s the case — and the betting is that he will — then the Texas Senate, where this guy now serves, is going to become a certifiable loony bin.
Texas Monthly, which takes pride in a reasonable, studious and careful analysis of legislators’ performance, rated him among the worst of the 31 men and women who serve in the state Senate. To think, then, that Patrick now aspires to be the man running the state’s upper legislative chamber, which is what the lieutenant governor does.
I know what you might be thinking: Oh, yeah. Texas Monthly’s nothing more than a pandering mouthpiece for them nutty liberal Democrats.
The magazine, though, has routinely heaped plenty of praise on Republican lawmakers over the years. Former Sen. Bob Duncan of Lubbock? One of the magazine’s favorites. Former Sen. Bill Ratliff of Mount Pleasant? He, too, has received plenty of praise. Why I that? Because these are reasonable men who knew how to legislate, how to work with Democrats, who worked and studied hard on key issues of the day.
Patrick isn’t cut from that cloth, according to Texas Monthly, which wrote this about Patrick’s service in the 2013 Legislature: “There are few types of lawmakers less helpful to the legislative process than bullies and ideologues. Unfortunately, Dan Patrick too often seemed to be both in his first session as the chair of the Senate Education Committee. The Houston radio host fell into a habit of lecturing his fellow legislators, interrupting witnesses, and accusing those who disagreed with him of simply not understanding his bills. In short, he ran his committee like he runs his talk show, where the only opinion that really matters is his own..”
This is the guy who figures to ram his own ideas down the throats of the individuals who will serve in the Senate.
While chairing the Education Committee, he decided to badger Education Commissioner Michael Williams — himself no shrinking violet — about end-of-course exams that students need to take to graduate from high school. Williams sought to “respectfully disagree,” but before he could, Patrick cut him off and berated him.
It utterly amazes me (a) that this guy won the Republican Party nomination over a sitting lieutenant governor and (b) is favored to win the office over another state senator, Democrat Leticia Van de Putte, who happens, shall we say, to be more interested in legislating than showboating.
As the late lieutenant governor, Bob Bullock, might say if he were around today: God help Texas.