When Tom Craddick became speaker, Pete Laney remained in the Legislature for two sessions. Craddick believed, rightly or wrongly, that Laney orchestrated the Democratic resistance to his leadership, and he deeply resented it.
Is history going to repeat itself? Is Craddick going to take his seat on the floor and lead the new insurgency? I hope not–not so much for Straus’s sake as for Craddick’s. How much better it would have been for everyone if he had called it quits after his third term, taken his victory lap as the person who had carried the Republican party to its first majority since Reconstruction, and secured his niche in Texas political history. Now he’s just another guy who got beat.
How ironic it would be if Craddick does exactly what he said Laney shouldn’t have done. But I don’t think he can do anything else. He is 100% instinct, 0% self-awareness. His instinct drives him to get the best of anyone who stands in the way of what he wants. He has to win them all. A compromise is a defeat. He’ll stay. His enemies are still out there, and he will not rest until the score is settled.