Texas Republican voters cheated by House speaker deals

Pratt on Texas - copyright Pratt on Texas all rights reservedThe Pecksniffian attitude of some elected officials serving the Texas Legislature when it comes to their backroom deals to establish leadership through a Speaker of the House is nothing new;  I’ve heard it from the elected since before many of the current members had ideas in their heads that they would someday serve as state representatives.

Often members exhibit a pharisaical self-righteous, or unctuous, attitude when challenged on their actions related to their private backroom deals and dcisions in selecting a speaker that is all wrapped up, to continue with the theological analogy, in a form of gnosticism.

Despite some members’ claims, there isn’t much real mystery to the speaker selection process.

Members who have a shot at increased influence and power tend to get behind whichever candidate they believe will indeed boost their power. If they back a non-winner they expect their clout will diminish or collapse completely.

This leads to coalitions of compatible members informally backing different candidates and to the abuse to which Republican voters have been subjected: The twisting, or perverting, of the process of selecting a Texas Speaker of the House which rewards Democrats with influence Texas voters denied them at the polls.

See: Rep. Phelan, other Republicans intent on giving Texas Democrats that which voters refused to give

Because the GOP is the majority, it is accepted that a new speaker will be a Republican. That means that it is only Republicans competing with Republicans for the power that comes from originally backing a winning speaker. In turn that means that, given that Republican members are divided up into coalitions competing for the same rewards of power, the way to not have to fight it out fairly within the GOP caucus and ensure an ultimate candidate who best represents the caucus as a whole is the winning candidate for speaker is to invite Democrat support for your coalition’s speaker candidate.

Knowing themselves to be in the minority, most ambitious Democrats will agree to join together with one of the Republican coalitions behind a speaker candidate which then overwhelms the numbers of any other purely GOP caucus coalition and elects a Speaker of the House fait accompli.

The problem? That speaker then owes those Democrats influence and power that voters refused to give them through the ballot and that power, gifted to Democrats for their support, is then used effectively to stop or dilute legislation and reforms highly prized by Republican voters.

 

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