A saying comes to mind when I consider the infighting and back-biting within the Texas Republican Party’s political hierarchy.
Be careful what you wish for …
Gromer Jeffers Jr., who covers politics for the Dallas Morning News, refers to the “scrum” that has developed between Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. Both legislative chambers are at odds with each other over Gov. Greg Abbott’s No. 1 legislative priority: school vouchers.
Republicans who command a super majority in both chambers cannot bridge the chasm that separates the MAGA/Freedom Caucus crowd from the more “establishment” elements within the GOP.
This thought entered my sometimes thick skull this morning as I read Gromers’ piece in the DMN: Might it be time for Texas Democrats to re-emerge from their decades in the wilderness to become a political force in this state? Ponder this for a moment: It could serve Republicans well to have a strong opposition party with which it could do battle rather than wasting time squabbling among themselves.
Phelan and Patrick’s alliance flew off the rails when the House impeached Attorney General Ken Paxton. The impeachment vote was heavily bipartisan; it was overwhelming. Paxton’s subsequent acquittal in the Senate trial brought out Patrick’s scorn for the decision delivered by the House … and he stated his contempt for the House immediately after Paxton’s acquittal.
Both sides are digging in. House GOP members dislike much of the voucher notion, much to the chagrin of GOP senators. Phelan backs his House colleagues, while Patrick stands with the Senate.
How do Democrats parlay all of this into political advantage that suits them? I suppose they can beat the drum over governmental incompetence, noting that Republicans are so damn entrenched in their dislike for each other that they let key legislation slip away. Then again, a united Republican Party would do Democrats little good … correct?
I am just one Texas resident who has grown tired of the Legislature’s inaction. I favor good government over no government. Republicans who own most of the Legislature’s seats — along with every statewide elected office — have continued to demonstrate big-league incompetence.
Democrats might have a way out of the darkness, but only if they can cobble together an agenda that doesn’t draw heavy fire from the demagogic wing of the Republicans.