Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Whither Speaker Craddick again

Charlie Kuffner has the numbers and Paul Burka has the gossip regarding Tom Craddick's tide seemingly going out again. Let's sample a bit from each; first Kuff:

I point all this out, apparently just as the arm-twisting efforts on Craddick's behalf are being ramped up, so that the next time you hear a Craddick acolyte, like Rep. Will Hartnett or Burnet County Republican Linda Rogers, president of Texas Republican county chairmen, claim that opposition to Craddick is all about "liberals", you ask them to explain those good, solid Republicans in Midland and the rest of HD82 who voted to oust him from the House. Maybe, just maybe, it's possible to be a Republican and to think Tom Craddick is bad for Texas, too.

And then Burka:

The problem for Craddick is that things have gotten to the point where every time he acts like, well, Craddick, he reminds GOP members why they wish he would just go away. Many members are still fuming about Craddick’s iron-fisted control of members’ races. Candidates had to come to Austin and appear before Christi Craddick, the speaker’s daughter; operative John Colyandro; and consultant Dave Carney. They were told what they had to do in their campaigns in order to get money that the speaker controlled. They had to bring their campaign plans and subject them to Christi Craddick’s scrutiny. She could overrule the members and insist on their using speaker-approved campaign materials that had already been prepared by consultants. Many members were furious; they felt that they knew their districts better than Carney, who is from New Hampshire, or Ms. Craddick. These hard feelings have not subsided. ...

I think Republicans in the House are finally beginning to realize the damage that Craddick has done to the GOP majority. Does it mean that the GOP rank and file will turn against him? The discontent with Craddick is far greater than I thought it was. But at the moment, it appears that fear still outweighs outrage.

I've seen this little melodrama before, and I suspect it's going to end the same way it did two years ago: with that weasel Aaron Pena escorting Craddick to the dais and introducing him as the Speaker of the Texas House. Phillip Martin has a compelling set of reasons for enthusiasm, but I'm going to remain "skeptimistic". Some of the members of the choir may change, but the song remains the same.

Show me otherwise, House Republicans. Prove yourselves capable of carrying a different tune.

I dare you.

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