The following post is my own—I speak for no one else but me, and I do not represent the views of anyone else who posts on this website or anyone who is mentioned in this post. With that said, I have something to get off my chest.
Yesterday, after leaving work early for a brief meeting, I started my typically long drive from the Greenway Plaza area to my home in Taylor Lake Village (in the Seabrook area near Clear Lake). It was just after 4 p.m., and I decided to tune my radio to AM 700, KSEV. Then, I was greeted to a rant from one of our local State Senators, who also serves as an owner, producer, and radio host on this station—I know you know who I am talking about, so he needs no further introduction. After listening to his description of recent political events at the national, state and local level, I got really incensed.
Before I go further, I want to say that I have tried very hard over the last year and a half since the 2010 Republican Primary run-off election to do what I could to help the party, its candidates, and our elected officials. I purposely have stayed publicly mute over the recent further deterioration of our local party organization and office, because the voters spoke in the last election when they had a clear choice between better management and organization, and a continued exclusive focus on special-interest political promotion. They chose the latter—to continue with local party leadership that effectively promoted our positions in the media, but that neglected management and organization. I have tried to graciously accept this verdict and quietly work within the system for three reasons:
• because I like and agree with the people with whom I work on our local party committees and organizations on virtually every political issue we confront;
• because, for all my disagreements over management and organization, I admire our current HCRP Chair’s dogged defense of our party and our principles; and
• because I do not believe that further internal debate at this time about our few differences, which are primarily tactical and strategic, helps prepare us to unite to defeat the Democrats in 2012.
But some people—like the mouthpiece who serves as our dear State Senator from SD 7—just can’t let it go. So, yesterday, listeners were not only treated to this self-anointed tribune of conservatism’s self-promotion of a procedural rule for the possible selection of a Lieutenant Governor and Governor from the Texas Senate by the Texas Senate, which would effectively prohibit any participation by the minority party in the selection process; but also his unprovoked verbal assault on our Republican County Judge, Ed Emmett. Frankly, I see the former issue as a no-brainer; and it is practically irrelevant because of the size of the majority that Republicans hold in the Texas Senate (which they are projected to either hold or increase through redistricting), unless you are planning to be one of the candidates vying for one of these offices in 2014. However, the gratuitous attack on Judge Emmett was simply unnecessary and divisive at a time when Republicans should be uniting for the battle in 2012.
The excuse for the mouthpiece’s diatribe was Judge Emmett’s selection of the long-serving and well-respected county trial court judge, Jack Cagle, to serve the remainder of Jerry Eversole’s term as County Commissioner for Precinct 4. Mind you, our dear tribune of the people made it clear that his criticism had nothing to do with Judge Cagle himself—just with the appointment of Judge Cagle by Ed Emmett. It seems that Judge Emmett had the gall to appoint someone who will run for the office himself in the upcoming primary, rather than simply appoint a caretaker to sit in the office while others ran for the office in the primary. Then, the State Senator shifted his attack from the process to Judge Emmett himself. After having subjected his listeners to a long discussion of how the GOP is still infected with moderates, the radio host reminded them that he is a true conservative, and that he disagrees with Judge Emmett on a whole range of issues because our County Judge isn’t “conservative enough.”
I guess the clear message we were to take from this lecture was that Judge Emmett and his supporters are hidden moderates in the shadows of our party, who are waiting for just the right moment to infect us all with their moderation. In the meantime, our Fearless Fosdick of a State Senator made it clear that he is here to protect us from the spread of this deadly virus.
Is there anyone out there who is as tired as I am of this bull—especially flowing from a State Senator with a radio license? I, for one, have had enough! So, Senator Fosdick, if it is a constant internal fight you want within the GOP to boost your radio ratings, let me lay a few markers down for you now:
• We know why you are unhappy about Judge Emmett’s selection of Jack Cagle, and it has nothing to do with either Emmett or Cagle. You wanted your own ally in that office, who you’ve been promoting to succeed Commissioner Eversole for more than two years now, and who few people outside your circle believe is qualified for that job.
• You are not the only conservative person in Harris County, and the rest of us can think for ourselves. Judge Emmett was working for conservatives and to build this party, while you were still a sportscaster, and neither he, nor his supporters, need a lecture from you about the difference between being a conservative and being a moderate.
• Judge Emmett understands that ultimately Republicans have to govern, and that Republicans in local offices actually have to pave roads, maintain courthouses and parks, conduct elections, collect taxes, and educate our children. Admittedly, not every issue that local Republican officeholders face while dealing with these mundane issues of building and maintaining our community can be as important for the future of our Republic as those you champion in Austin. But, then, let’s face it—all you have to do is talk and vote, while men like Ed Emmett and Jack Cagle have to build and maintain our communities. Talk is cheap, Senator Fosdick.
• Finally, as I have said on many occasions, Ed Emmett is a dedicated public servant, a fine conservative leader, and a great GOP elected official, and the people of this county were blessed when the right man at the right time was appointed to serve as County Judge after Robert Eckels retired.
There is a lot more I would, and could, say right now about the state of our local party, and who is pulling Senator Fosdick’s strings to prepare him to run for another office in 2014, but, for the sake of the party and for winning the next election, I won’t go there—at least, for now. But, Senator, if you want to continue bashing fellow Republicans like Ed Emmett in the name of your view of conservatism, I will defend those Republicans and I will address the real problem with our local party.
It’s your choice, sir: continue this assault in the hopes of increasing your ratings and your profile, and tear this party apart so the Democrats win again; or stop it now, grow into the job to which you’ve been elected, and build this party.