Governing is hard. You have to actually DO something rather than campaign against something. And since Governor Rick Perry left office and more specifically since Steve Munisteri left as the chair, the Republican Party of Texas seems to be tired of the whole governing thing. So the question is not Erica Grieder’s question in her latest column:
I’ve found myself wondering, in the wake of the primary, whether Texas Republicans are secretly tired of winning.
The Republicans at the state level that I know actually like winning. They like seeing their faces plastered around noting that they are elected to running the state. But you know what they don’t like? Yeah, that’s right, actually doing anything.
Think about it for more than five seconds and you’ll agree with me. Address the education problem in Texas? Oh hell no. Fix the transportation system? Of course! Let’s figure out how to pretend we aren’t raising revenue with tolls while at the same time sending contracts to our friends (people that give us money for our campaigns). Address flooding issues on the coast, which is the economic center of the state? Oh, hell no, we’re going to demand that the federales do that! But hey, we’ll spend $800 million a year on the border instead of insisting that the federales do that! And to the substance of Grieder’s column, we’ll support adding a question to the census that insures that we actually lose influence at the federal level. And I’m not even going to mention Gov. Greg Abbott’s “passion” for pre-K that he’s abandoned.
What a freaking mess.
But in the midst of the storm, we have good old Tio Pablo to tell us that nothing is wrong, Texas R’s have everything under control!
Despite what you have heard, the “blue wave” in Texas stalled out before it came ashore. Statewide, Republicans outvoted Democrats by more than 500,000 votes and set a record in turnout. Democrats had just over a million votes in their Primary, a number they last matched back in 2002. Texas remains a solidly “red” state going into the November election.
To be fair, Tio Pablo notes that Harris County is, in his words, “much more purple”. Purple? Sheesh. But hey, it’s all good because his Senate District “remains a Republican powerhouse”. Thanks for that enlightenment Tio Pablo.
Meanwhile, newly reelected HCRP Chair Paul Simpson recognizes the problem that we have in the county. So he decided to engage with a member of the local media that has a very big platform. He actually had enough of a “spine of steel” to invite Ms. Grieder to moderate a panel of Republicans at the annual HCRP Lincoln-Reagan dinner. Oh my, Tio Pablo didn’t like that one bit!
During the dinner, Grieder moderated a panel with U.S. Rep. John Culberson (R–Houston), State Rep. Jim Murphy (R–Houston), District Clerk Chris Daniel, and Harris County GOP Chairman Paul Simpson on Hurricane Harvey relief.
State Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R–Houston) told Texas Scorecard he was “astonished” by Grieder’s inclusion due to her “constant hammering of Attorney General Ken Paxton, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and Gov. Greg Abbott,” adding that “by her own definition, or anyone’s definition, she’s as liberal as they come.”
Grieder is as liberal as they come? Really? This is the woman that literally wrote the book titledBig, Hot, Cheap, and Right: What America Can Learn from the Strange Genius of Texas. And supported (and still supports) Gov. Rick Perry. And supported Ted Cruz for President in 2016. Granted, she doesn’t like Donald Trump or Greg Abbott. And she doesn’t seem particularly in tune with the current emphasis on social issues by Republicans in the main. But “liberal as they come”? Hardly.
The interesting thing is that both Gov. Abbott and Lt. Gov. Patrick were singing the praises of unity if Republicans were going to maintain power at the state level and the local level. So what does Tio Pablo do? He writes a letter to the Houston Chronicle, criticizing the Republican dominated Commissioners Court. Republicans that understand a little something about governing if not politicizing every issue. Unity, eh?
I’ll be honest here. I tune out whenever either Dan Patrick or Paul Bettencourt rail about property taxes. You know why? They’ve been screaming about that issue for over 20 years and have done nothing substantive to address it. I’m sorry but the bill that they put forth last year did absolutely nothing to address the problem. Forcing local entities to have elections while the state does zero? Sorry, I ain’t buying it. And don’t forget that Harris County Judge Ed Emmett said that he would be in favor of eliminating Harris County property taxes in favor of a sales tax. But Tio Pablo was having nothing to do with that. Why? Well, he told me that it was because Ed didn’t come and testify in front of his committee when they came to town. Please.
So, here we are. One HCRP precinct chair gets it:
Open your eyes, Senator, and stop being in denial. A big blue wave has taken over the city of Houston. The map tells the truth. I heard you and several elected officials on Sat at the SD7 Convention say that we can defeat the wave and y’all had us chanting about not letting the Dems win. 200 people chanting about keeping harris county red isn’t going to make it so. I got involved 9 years ago to make a difference and we hear the same things year after year, that now is the time. Ummm, we need new leadership in Congress and in Texas. The county is turning blue cuz all y’all continue to disappoint.