I’m told by sources who heard it from the horse’s mouth, that the light gov has decided on his top priorities for the 2013 session, issues he would like to see designated as “emergencies.” (They would have to be designated as emergencies by the governor.) This is what my list would be:
(1) Funding the water plan.
(2) Funding transportation.
(3) Restoring funding to higher ed.
School finance is being litigated, so it is not on my list.
This is the Dewhurst’s “emergency” agenda, and I’m not kidding.
The TSA groping bill
Poor old Dewhurst. He doesn’t even realize the depths to which he has sunk. This list is an embarrassment. It’s all pandering. There’s nothing here that addresses the real priorities facing the state. He’s going to cozy up to Michael Quinn Sullivan and Dan Patrick and TPPF, and you know what? It isn’t going to do him a bit of good.
Ted Cruz proved that Dewhurst has NO constituency. If there ever was one, it’s gone. The only way he can win a race for light gov is to buy it, and he has already thrown away tens of millions in the Senate race. He’s going to find himself in a race with at least three opponents (Staples, Patterson, Combs), maybe four (Abbott), and he won’t be able to get out of the primary. The brand is ruined. He thinks that veering hard right will save him. It won’t. Perhaps he is counting on another endorsement from Perry. After all, the last one worked so well.
This is just sad. There was a time when Dewhurst was an effective public servant. He was heroic in the 2003 budget fight with the House (but 2003 was a long time ago). Signs of disintegration began to appear when he flip-flopped on using the Rainy Day Fund last session. Dewhurst’s problem is a fundamental insecurity about his political beliefs. He is a moderate in a state that is seething with strident conservatism, and there is no safe refuge for politicians like him. The conservatives in the Senate will play him like a banjo–and he’ll let them. His conservative credentials go only so far as replicating Perry’s record. Whenever I talk to his defenders about Dewhurst’s inclination to pander, the answer is always the same: “He has no choice.” Not so. We all have choices. Dewhurst has made his.