Saturday, June 09, 2012

Crumbling from internal strife, TXGOP continues to wage jihad

Republican delegates to the state party convention in Fort Worth continued for a second day Friday to tussle among themselves over the direction of their party. Some booed the name of Mitt Romney, their presumptive presidential nominee, and a sizable number of convention-goers walked out on House Speaker Joe Straus.

The moves highlighted tension between traditional conservatives and tea party or movement conservatives, even as the GOP celebrated its Texas dominance, legislative accomplishments and unified front against President Barack Obama.

Nearly 300 miles to the southeast, Democrats at the George R. Brown Convention Center spent Friday attending caucus gatherings and tending to party business, but many kept an ear half-cocked to what was happening in Cow Town. To those of a certain age, it brought back memories of their party struggles during the so-called McGovern era, when true believers worked to purge the party of its moderate elements.

“The problem for Republicans, the challenge for them is that they are losing control over their own folks,” San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro said. “They have no control over their party right now. They have no control over their base.”

Although Castro professed to prefer “level-headedness all around” among elected officials of all stripes, he maintained that Republicans were leaving their constituents behind – to Democrats’ benefit.

“They’re leaving everyone behind,” he said. “They’re leaving the business community behind, that knows you have to invest in brain power to be a competitive 21st-century Texas. … And, of course, they’re leaving women behind and Hispanics behind and everyone else. It’s not a question of wishing them to be more extreme; we wish for the exact opposite. It’s a comment on the consequence of what they’re doing that I don’t believe they fully realize.” 

What's kinda fascinating about this to me is that I feel precisely the polar opposite from Speaker Straus -- who for a Republican surprisingly makes sense on an occasional basis --  with respect to what's going on the TDP (which is why I can't be a MOT any more.) Today Dems will either elect a progressive woman to chair of the state party or a conservative male. Same in CD-07. Same in other races in other places around the state. I advocated for the only progressive running in the US Senate primary; Democrats instead nominated a Blue Dog from East Texas and a 79-year-old man with a familiar last name who had run as a Republican previously.

Even if you take into consideration that the people in the article are talking about George McGovern forty years ago in this context (and recall that gave us Richard Nixon, a RINO by today's standards), no sane person could consider the developments to date in the Texas Democratic Party as 'moving to the left'. That will be the subject of tomorrow's post, however.

Straus had a tougher audience at the convention, where Rep. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, has set up a booth and is handing out stickers touting his plans to challenge Straus for House leadership in 2013. The speaker got applause, but there also were some calls of “oust Straus” during his speech, and there was a walkout by a large number of convention-goers who left the arena individually but gathered outside to chant “Oust Straus.”

“We’re upset that Straus is not a conservative, and he’s not by any means our candidate,” said delegate John R. Marler of Georgetown. “He has granted to Democrats key committee positions that should never have gone to anybody but Republicans.”

Asked about the boos for others before his own speech, Straus said, “I think it’s disappointing when our party’s leaders or even those who are contenders to be party leaders are booed, but there are no flags for unsportsmanlike conduct at political conventions.” 

Straus got elected -- by Democrats and not-extremist Republicans -- because he was the lesser of two evils running for speaker. It will be the same in 2013. He then hands out committee chairmanships to the opposition, just as every single other Speaker has in the history of Texas.

Try as they like, TeaBaggers cannot, will not ever have total control. They have too much as it is.

Yes, November cannot come soon enough so that these RWNJs get their sacs sails trimmed back a good bit.

It works for me that they don't see it, don't get it.

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