More on the Speakers Race, Which May or May Not Exist
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1. Several members saw Craddick and Keffer leave the chamber together on Friday, headed for the speaker’s office. Do you think they were talking about the weather? Yes, it has been a rainy spring in West Texas. Isn’t that nice. Midland sure does need the rain. Yep, Eastland too. Looks like the storms are headed for Austin. Sure does. Severe weather alert.
2. I was wrong in writing that the filing of papers is a necessary step toward running for speaker. Filing papers is required only if a candidate intends to spend money. Papers must be filed before any money can be expended. Question: If you pay your phone bill on a plan that buys a certain number of minutes (as opposed to paying long distance rates, if anybody does that any more), do phone calls to members count as an expenditures?
3. Don’t believe everything you hear. This is always good advice in politics, but I’m referring here specifically to disinformation. When Democrats tell me why Keffer might not be acceptable (things I mentioned on Friday, such as Keffer’s letter supporting Craddick prior to the session, and Keffer’s presumed business ties to Craddick), that may be a ploy. The Ds–the Coleman/Dunnam/Gallego Ds, that is–have played this very smart. They are now working in concert with several Republicans, not just Talton and Geren. It certainly serves their ultimate goal of bringing Craddick down not to indicate their support for Keffer, if they really want him.
4. Or is bringing Craddick down their ultimate goal? A Craddick supporter told me the other day that the Ds are no longer interested in a Republican alternative to Craddick; they want to elect one of their own in 09. They would, of course, have to have a majority, which means picking up at least seven more seats while holding what the 69 seats they have. That isn’t likely. There just aren’t enough swing districts. The point of the tale is that this may be what Craddick’s allies are putting out to the Rs.
5. The weakness of the Republican party in this state is becoming apparent. In the Bush days, Fred Meyer could get things done. Karl Rove could get things done. If Rove were here, do you think that Craddick would be allowed to remain as speaker? No way. Craddick lost six seats. He has presided over a session with little to show for the Republican rank and file back home except a bunch of silly social-issue bills. He can’t lead the membership. But there are no party leaders or consultants with the stature to get the bigwigs together and say that Craddick has to go, and the bigwigs have no reason to want a change because they’re cozy with Craddick.
6. Remember the galactic enormity between thought and deed. Insurrection can occur only when outrage overcomes the inertia of fear.