First, Dew No Harm

Will the lieutenant governor mess with tradition to satisfy the demands of party hacks? Or will he save the Senate—and his own reputation?

AT SOME POINT, YOU’D THINK the state’s Republican leadership would be ashamed of the mess it’s made of things. The laundry list includes the school finance debacle; Tom DeLay’s fund-raising activities in the 2002 election; the midcycle congressional redistricting, another DeLay-inspired adventure, which now faces review by the U.S. Supreme Court amid revelations that the fix was in when the Department of Justice gave the plan its blessing; the continual sniping and snubbing by and among the governor, the lieutenant governor, and the Speaker; and the current campaign by the party hierarchy to defeat legislators who have dared to suggest, by their votes, that the leadership is on the wrong track. The common flaw uniting these embarrassments is a desire for power that exceeds a desire for policy—and a complete lack of shame. There is no sense of restraint. There is no impulse to govern. There is only the desire for more power.

The latest indignity is an attempt by Republican activists, including party higher-ups, to force Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst and the Senate’s GOP majority to change the Senate rules so that the party’s agenda can win approval without resistance. This fight, which is taking place out of public view, is yet another indication that the real battle in Texas politics at the moment is not between Republicans

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