January 05, 2007

But children are so tasty...

..or so Tom CradDICK tells me. That, my friends, is why you eat your young.

This is, of course, a Speaker update. I'm on the clock during the day so I don't get to talk about the race during normal hours unlike some other bloggers. I'm especially grateful for the work of Pink Lady, Matt, Muse, WCNews and Rawhide and all the others who are actually taking to the time to keep up with this bullshit.

For those of you in the real world, that's what this all is...bullshit. There are some who think certain progressives who are promising to support primary challengers for our weak Democratic brothers and sisters are employing nothing more than a CradDICK style control device.

It's a fucking stupid argument which I'm sick and tired of hearing it. Why? Because there just isn't any reason for Dawnna Dukes to vote for Tom CradDICK. Sure, there are excuses which she and other CradDICK D's have been more than happy to share with any reporter in earshot. However, excuses (much like assholes) are extraordinarily common and they all stink. What CradDICK and the Talipublicans do is force a member to vote against their district and the good of the state. What we are trying to do is to get the Reps. to actually, you know, REPRESENT THEIR DISTRICT. There is no reason that someone like Sylvester Turner should support Tom CradDICK. Oh sure, he gets to keep his little bit of power but in the end, that's all he has. He can't do anything with it. He certainly couldn't help the kids who ended up being losing health insurance.

One has to wonder how much bad legislation passed during the last four years would have made it to the floor had CradDICK not been speaker. 3588? 1361?

HJR 6?

This is a fantastic chance for Democrats in the Lege (who are, by and large, a moderate group) to actually work with moderate Republicans for the good of the state and the citizens they serve.

Yes, the vote for Speaker matters. Yes, we are paying attention. No, we won't forget.

Posted by mcblogger at January 5, 2007 02:02 AM

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You're right about one thing- this is all bullshit. You're an extremist who believes he can criticize his "enemy" in terms that are highly inflammatory, but when faced with the fact that you employ the same tactics you're criticizing, you claim special exemption. You are as dangerous as the religious right, because your ends justify your means.

To say there's no reason for Dukes to vote for Craddick is laughable. She has been rewarded handsomely for her support of Craddick. Aren't you the same person who's running around crowing about how great it will be to see the Transportation Chair ousted under another speaker? You support a candidate, you're rewarded. You oppose, you're busted.

This isn't about Craddick. It's about whether to have a strong speakership or a weak one- McCall said it yesterday in his press conference. Under a weak speakership, which is what Pitts or McCall or anyone else who stepped into the race now would be promoting, it just means that LOTS of people, but mostly Coleman and Dunnam, will get to talk a LOT longer on the mic about whatever they're upset about.

Posted by: Disappointed in you- You're normally more mature. at January 5, 2007 10:27 AM

mcblogger! Someone is accusing you of usually being mature. Make them stop!

Posted by: muse at January 5, 2007 11:15 AM

My point, DIYYNMM, is that the only person who benefits from the Dukes/CradDICK relationship are those two people, certainly not her constituents.

I'm hardly an extremist, just being honest. And it's about goddamn time we started being honest with some of the sacred cows we have in this party for whom we are constantly making excuses while they fuck over the rest of the state.

Yes, there is room for differing views in the Democratic party, as long as you do right by your constituents and never make it about yourself or your own power. These folks aren't and, again, this is one vote that matters.

Yes, the stakes are high and they need to be aware that people are paying attention.

One last note, there is such a thing as unselfish concern for the well being of others. It's called altruism and should be the guiding principle of anyone who serves the public. These folks have forgotten that.

Posted by: mcblogger at January 5, 2007 01:52 PM

By the way, while the prospect of Krusee being taken off transportation thrills me to no end, if it happens it will not be due to my actions. You vastly overestimate my significance as well as the amount of time I spend thinking about Mike Krusee (maybe 1 minute/per week, when I first get on one of the fabulous new toll roads).

Whoever you are, you obviously don't know me well.

Posted by: mcblogger at January 5, 2007 02:06 PM

re: 1:52 p.m.

Ok, but aren't the spots on Appropriations coveted for the value they provide the constituents of a district, too? Is it not a great service to the east side of Austin to have a member sitting on Appropriations? These chairmanships and apps. seats aren't just a popularity contest. The members develop influence and knowledge that can help their districts, while also serving the more "altruistic" purpose of monitoring/developing a state budget.

It just seems completely strange that you're casting disparagement on members for that reason- everyone knows a committee appointment means something for the members' constituents.

If you believe, on the other hand, that all Democrats should vote as a bloc for a speaker they believe will better serve Texas, it seems like a more debatable point. In this matter, it seems clear that this race is more about reducing the powers of the Speaker and less about the personalities of the candidates-- the same charges of "strong arming" existed under Laney, it's just that you probably didn't notice it because your party was in the majority.

I think the ability for strange bedfellows to mix it up and overcome an incumbent speaker to be a very healthy exercise. But it is troublesome to observe falsehoods, like an Appropriations seat being irrelevant to a member's district, being used to attack a member-- it stops the debate completely and forces everyone to huddle in the fringes developing a defense. Dukes is a Democrat serving in a highly coveted seat on Appropriations under the opposing party's leadership, and Central Texas is better served. Surely you can acknowledge it.

(By the way, I hardly know her, and I don't know you at all.. I just read your blog from time to time and have often thought you were reasonable.)

Posted by: Disappointed in you- You're normally more mature. at January 5, 2007 03:45 PM

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