November 07, 2014

Will Speaker Joe Straus Reappoint Dem Committee Chair Who Called Republicans Stupid, Ignorant?

You may recall that I mentioned a quote from Democrat State Representative Senfronia Thompson that appeared in Wednesday's Houston Chronicle.

"Ignorance will not prevail," Thompson said while watching returns from the party's Harris County headquarters. "I am hoping the public will wake up and see that stupid does not work."

It seems that nobody else has picked that comment up. That's surprising, given that Senfronia Thompson is one of the big beneficiaries of Texas House Speaker Joe Straus's efforts at bipartisanship.


Yeah, that's right -- Speaker Straus has made Thompson the chair of a fairly significant committee and the co-chair of another! In return, she calls Republican policies, Republican elected officials, and Republican voters ignorant and stupid! Such gratitude! Such class! Such bipartisanship!

Which leads me to a significant point.

Joe Straus did not become Speaker of the House because Republicans put him there. He became Speaker because Democrats put him there along with a handful of GOP turncoats.

Over the years, Straus has shown himself to be no friend to Texas conservatives. But Straus himself has certainly been a friend to liberal Democrats like Thompson and her Democrat allies even as their ilk have been rejected again and again by Texas voters. Now, having seen conservative Texas Republicans smash the Democrats, it appears that Speaker Straus is going to once again give members of the minority like Sefronia Thompson such plum assignments.

And he's going to do so despite the fact that the likes of Sefronia Thompson has declared those voters, their votes, and their political beliefs to be ignorant and stupid.

Speaking as an activist, a party official, and a commentator on political matters here in Texas for the last decade, let me say that one of two things needs to happen as we prepare for the start of the legislative session in January. Either Joe Straus dumps Sefronia Thompson from her position as chair of one committee and co-chair of another and publicly rebukes her, or the Republican Caucus unites to demonstrate their respect for the voters of the state of Texas and dumps Joe Straus from his position as Speaker of the House.

What say you, Republicans of the Texas House of Representatives? Are you going to demonstrate a little backbone and stand with the voters who elected you this week, no matter who you may have previously pledged to support? Or will you be spineless poltroons who knuckle under to the threats that we all know Straus has made in the past against Republicans who have opposed him? Will you stand like the brave Texicans who fought and died at the Alamo and Goliad and who were victorious at San Jacinto, or will you instead wave the white flag of surrender and submission in a betrayal of the people of Texas? Remember -- the filing date for the 2016 primary is a mere 13 months away and there is no shortage of men and women of character and principle to challenge you if you choose the latter course.

UPDATE: This matter is certainly a blast from the past.

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Shows that seniority still counts in the legislature. Senfronia (with 42 years) has more than anyone else in office. By way of perspective, she was elected when Louie Welch was mayor and people hadn't heard of Watergate.

|| Posted by Tom Zakes, November 8, 2014 06:51 AM ||

I don't object to the notion of "seniority" per se -- but when your party has been decisively rejected by the voters and you then insult the voters and the policies they back, your seniority doesn't mean squat. Appoint chairs from the majority, or at least appoint ones who respect the people and their voice.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, November 8, 2014 09:18 AM ||
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