Definitely so. Think about it.
He voted to increase federal income taxes on “rich folks”, giving more revenue to a bloated government without demanding cuts in spending. He voted to increase capital gains taxes without demanding cuts in spending. He voted to increase dividend taxes without demanding cuts in spending. He voted to extend unemployment payments to the tune of $30 billion in more debt without demanding cuts in spending. He voted to extend the marriage penalty for those of us that are married without demanding cuts in spending. He voted to extend the Earned Income Tax Credit for couples making $50,270 and singles making $45,000 (this is the program that basically pays someone to have kids) without demanding cuts in spending.
That is way, way, way, way, way, way out of step with Republican primary voters in Texas. I guarantee it.
So what was his excuse? According to Richard Dunham’s report in the Houston Chronicle:
“I voted for this bill because it prevents a huge tax increase on 99 percent of all Texans and Americans. Nonetheless, I am dismayed at the lack of seriousness by the president on dealing with the core issues of our fiscal problems. Our spending is unsustainable and it is high time the president and his party engage in meaningful dialogue to get this county’s spending under control.”
LOL, according to Sen. Cornyn, “Our spending is unsustainable” – so he votes for more spending? No restraint? Another $4 TRILLION added to the country’s debt?
And it is really interesting to note that Sen. Cornyn agreed with noted taxpayer champion Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee’s reasoning for voting for the “deal”:
Yeah, he’s ripe for a primary challenge.
Look, I’ve been a supporter of Sen. Cornyn’s for a long time but that doesn’t mean I can’t criticize him, as I did with his support of the original TARP bill. And yes, he is a conservative and has done some good stuff for us during his time in Washington DC.
But at some point, you have to ask “why aren’t you voting conservative on fiscal issues?” And not accept a non-answer like the one above.
If someone does challenge him, they will face an uphill fight to be sure. Sen. Cornyn has deep roots, an extensive campaign organization, and the support of many party leaders. I think, as do most people, that Atty. Gen. Greg Abbott would easily beat him in a primary but I’m told that they are such good friends that Abbott will not challenge him. Which makes you wonder about Abbott but that is for another day.
Is this the race that State Sen. Dan Patrick will attempt? Before you dismiss him, remember, this is a Republican primary we’re talking about. What happens if Dan Branch takes a shot? Now that Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has decided to embrace Tea Party groups and far right activists, will he forgo another run at Lt. Gov. and give the Senate another run? Stranger things have happened. Does George P. Bush have the spine to challenge him? Doubtful because they run in the same circles but if he sees an opening, does he take the chance? Who knows?
What I do know is that Sen. Cornyn’s vote on the fiscal cliff is out of touch with Republican primary voters in Texas. And that can’t be a good thing for him. Perhaps he is betting that Texas Republicans are going to move towards the center in the next 15 months.
I darn sure wouldn’t take that bet if I were him. If a miracle occurs and the House stands up and votes this “compromise” down, perhaps Sen. Cornyn will use the opportunity to make amends by demanding that spending be cut.
We can only hope at this point.