Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Straus for governor?

At the end of this Jon Tilove/First Reading blog post, he speculates that the Speaker of the Texas House might be the only person who can defeat Greg Abbott in 2018.

[...] Joe Straus could conceivably run for governor or lieutenant governor in 2018, and win.

He just can’t do it as a Republican, because he would never survive a Republican primary. But he could do it as an independent in which the Democrats, who really have no prospects of winning for either governor or lieutenant governor next year, simply stand down.

Straus would run as an independent – in the name of saving Texas and his Grand Old Party from the extremists – pick up most of the Democratic vote, and win just enough of the independent and Republican vote to defeat Abbott or Patrick who would be in the unnatural position of having to pivot to the center.

I don't think Texas Democrats, with at least two candidates mentioned and one running full tilt already, would be willing to quit on the Lite Gov race at this juncture.  But nobody wants to take on Hot Wheels and his $41 million; consequently I find a Straus indy gubernatorial bid a highly plausible scenario ... at least here at the start of the special session.

Joe Straus and his band of Democrats and moderate Republicans, frankly, is the reason why we didn't get an anti-sanctuary law two (or four) years ago.  Straus, et.al., is the reason why we don't already have an anti-transgender bathroom law in this state.  Joe Straus is -- reach for your butthurt ointment, Donks -- as much a Democrat as Sylvester Turner is, for Pete Laney's sake.  If we're going to have anything resembling two political parties in Texas in the foreseeable future, they're going to be comprised of this kind of cobbled-together Straus House Caucus, and the Right Wing Freaks.

If Straus can beat Patrick and Abbott over the next thirty days -- perhaps even if he can't -- his political future might very well lie elsewhere than on the House dais, wielding the gavel.  It's sure not going to be on Pennsylvania Avenue; that's a bad joke.

In the Mansion, he can veto any and all of the BS legislation that Patrick and the next House Speaker, who will without question be selected by Tim Dunn and Mucus, pass up his way.  It strikes me as the best plan available if sane leadership is your goal.

(Boy, have we lowered the bar over the past twenty-five years.  I suppose that's what happens when you cut funding for public education down to the bone.)


Gadfly said...

Interesting. The LBJ law doesn't apply to two separate state offices, of course, so he'd have to make his choice, and, allowing for his loss for gov, have a Plan B for a replacement as a non-wingnut Speaker. Because, if he would lose, and Mucus et al pick his replacement as Speaker, then to quote a quote at the start of each Lege session, or similar: "God help the great state of Texas."

Of course, there is no god and I am his prophet, as you know.

PDiddie said...

I believe he's going to be fed up with dealing with Abbott and Patrick in thirty days, like the rest of us, and if he runs only for re-election and loses to an Abbott-funded or Mucus-enabled TeaBagger ... same boat.

If he wins and is re-elected Speaker in two years, he knows what he has to look forward to.

On the other hand, he upset Tom Craddick using this coalition, and if he gets the bathroom bill shoved down his throat, as Republicans like to say about various things, then perhaps he can be convinced to 'save' Texas. His Plan B is a very lucrative set of contracts as a Lege lobbyist. Not a bad fallback position (everybody knows the lobbyists write the bills, you know).

Frankly, I'm not as convinced as you that Abbott beats him.