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How a Reagan Republican Became an “Embarrassed Conservative”

Growing conservative frustration in the Panhandle.

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I’m not a liberal. If anything, I’m part of a growing group I’d call “embarrassed conservatives”—a large, growing faction that admired and voted for Ronald Reagan, but is now wondering what in the world happened to sane, reasonable conservatism in the wake of Donald Trump. That group seems to be growing in the Texas Panhandle and through West Texas—those reddest of red counties where Democrats are like Big Foot, rumored but seldom seen.

There is a limit as to how far right a right-winger like me will fly, at least as it pertains to the pet projects of Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. Some of his antics leave a growing number of West Texas conservatives as distanced from him politically as they are in miles. Patrick leads the parade on both Senate Bill 3, otherwise known as the “bathroom bill,” and the never-ending pursuit of state vouchers.

On July 29, I ripped into the bathroom bill. It targeted transgender people under the overhyped and unfounded excuse of public safety, all the while putting Texas into needless jeopardy of losing billions of dollars in lost jobs and tourism. This isn’t Reagan Republicanism, but a bill that erupted from a movement that lives in perpetual fear that the boogeyman is coming after its citizens as their leaders cling to one worst-case scenario after another.

Republicans have always been the standard bearers of limited and smaller government. So here are Senate Republicans throwing down the Big Government hammer in the face of all kinds of rational arguments that span the gamut from business leaders to school districts, from chambers of commerce to police chiefs. Why the heavy handed legislation? Whatever happened to local school districts or city councils voting on their own policies?As I wrote then, in summary, this is a bill that would be hard to enforce, with little to no penalties over an imaginary issue that would cost the state billions of dollars.

I waited over the weekend for the inevitable onslaught of critical emails, voicemails, and Facebook comments. There was one man who went to great lengths to take me to task. In his diatribe, he wrote, among other things, “Enough with all the liberal stories, editorials, and editorial cartoons. Why should we pay for the privilege of having you insult and ridicule our conservative Christian values every day?” There was another mild email rebuke, but that was it.

Meanwhile, there were four voicemails, all backing my opinion that it was a needless bill—including an 83-year-old woman who said she too was embarrassed. There were eleven emails that surprisingly—and refreshingly—agreed with the stance. Jim Mitchell of Amarillo succinctly summarized the feelings of several people, writing, “‘Embarrassed conservative’ sums it up perfectly on this and a host of many other issues both in Texas and nationally. A backlash is coming that will set real conservatism back by decades.”

So it seems that Patrick’s “must pass legislation”—as he’s called it—gets an “I’ll pass” from many West Texans who are struggling to see what the problem is.

Then there’s private school vouchers. Patrick has pounded that drum since he became lieutenant governor in 2014.  Educators in predominantly rural West Texas tuned him out long ago on that issue. In 2015, Charles Johnson, executive director of Pastors for Texas Children, spoke to a large room of educators at the Region 16 Service Center in Amarillo. Johnson’s group is against using public tax dollars for private school vouchers. He was clearly preaching to the choir. His speech was interrupted several times by applause, and when one woman somewhat tentatively began to clap for something, Johnson said, “It’s OK, sister, come on!”

Patrick prefers to frame the private school voucher issue as “school choice,” but Panhandle superintendents aren’t buying. “This voucher movement is not a movement to help poor kids get in better schools. I don’t think anyone believes that’s really the intent. It’s about getting a tax break for the rich. I don’t see it any other way,” said Kyle Lynch, superintendent of the Canadian ISD, 110 miles northeast of Amarillo. “That’s the world Patrick comes from in Houston. I just think that’s his agenda, and you can quote me.”

It’s hard for administrators in rural locales—where there is a dearth of private schools—to see any benefit from vouchers, particularly when public school funding is coming up short for many. “If you want to talk vouchers to me, take care of public schools adequately,” said Jay Lamb, superintendent at Groom ISD, 40 miles east of Amarillo. “Take care of what we have now, and then we’ll talk about expanding programs. To me, it’s big city versus small rural area.”

And Lamb believes that he can speak for the majority of rural superintendents. “I’d be surprised if it’s not 100 percent,” Lamb said. “Again, I’m not opposed to a voucher program once we take care of the business we have at hand. I am opposed to it as it stands right now.”

Embarrassed conservatives. Frustrated conservatives. Open-minded conservatives. There’s more out there than ever before. Look no further than the Texas Panhandle.

Jon Mark Beilue is a columnist for the Amarillo Globe-News.

 

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  • WUSRPH

    Let us hope that these “embarrassed conservatives” do more than simply be embarrassed. It would be nice to see a few more of them both voting in the GOP primary and attending the precinct conventions where the radical extremists, masquerading under the guise of being “conservatives”, set the future positions to be taken by the GOP. It might even be nice if they actually ran for office themselves and stopped contributing to Abbott, Patrick and their ilk….But, I will believe it when I see it…

    • Don Baker

      If there is anyone who should be embarrassed, it is the anti American communist democrat party.

      • WUSRPH

        Back to the old commie baiting I see…..next you’ll be using that one about us all being ….. lovers..

        • BCinBCS

          I’m sure that Don Baker is a Comrade Trump/Bannon man so the irony is not lost that he calls the Democratic party communists.

          Projection much?

  • José

    Your Congressman, Mac Thornberry, has a perfect 100% rating from the Family Research Council and the National Right to Life Committee. Both are extremely socially conservative lobbying groups. That kind of agenda is typically inconsistent with a small government conservative philosophy. Seems a bit inconsistent with your observations viz Mr. Patrick.

  • dave in texas

    Mr. Beilue, like you, I’m very surprised at the lack of significant pushback from your readers. Surprised, but gratified. I’ve been in Austin for a long while now, but I grew up in Amarillo, and I would have expected a firestorm of criticism over your editorial. For too long, Republicans have been in the grip of a reactionary radicalism that bears no resemblance to actual conservatism. This is purely speculation on my part, but I’m hoping the events of the past weekend might serve to break the fever, so to speak, and make actual conservatives stand up to the radicals who have hijacked the Republican Party. Since our system, especially nationally, almost demands a two-party system, it’s imperative that both parties have a grip on reality, and that is currently not the case. Here’s hoping.

    Also, I’ve enjoyed reading your stuff over the years. My parents still live in Amarillo, and they send me the occasional article from the Globe News, and they also gave me one of your books for Christmas one year. Keep up the good work. The Panhandle is in desperate need of more voices of reason.

    • SeeItMyWay

      Dave, I’m with you. I have been Twittering my fingers raw responding to the radical pap those at Empower Texans is broadcasting. Ross Keseg, Michael Sullivan don’t like me much, nor does my Senator who, I believe has MQS right her op/Ed’s. Both of the later have blocked me. I ask questions they refuse to answer. They call me names.

      The old Professor here poo-poo’s the statements I have made about a change in the air and asleep at the wheel Reagan Repub’s waking up. Mr Beilue obviously sees it to. We can only hope.

      • WUSRPH

        To perryphrase Ronald Reagan: When it comes to any move away from the radical extremist position by the Official Texas Republican Party in is platform and what Patrick and company and your senator try to do: Trust BUT VERIFY…..I’m waiting to see some evidence of any change. Why don’t you go to your precinct convention come March and offer some resolutions and see how many votes you can get.

        • SeeItMyWay

          You just have to add your salty comments to any of us who are rolling around in this Repub political turmoil, don’t you? You lessen your creds with all when you keep wanting to prognosticate. Your track record sucks. You are a Dem. Quit trying to act like a professorial middle of the road’er. Please.

          • WUSRPH

            Sorry, but I base my less than optimistic view of what the GOP will do on a record of involvement IN GOP politics—as a born and raised Republican—that extends back to when you were still wearing diapers. I was an active young Republican as long ago as the Nixon-Kennedy election when, even thou I was a Catholic, I supported Nixon…and was asked to give a speech at a GOP rally…I was for John Tower in 1961 and for all the Republican sacrificial lambs for governor during the 1960s….in fact I was actively supporting (and working for) GOP candidates up through 1968 and as late as 1970 for George HW Bush for US Senator….I began to move away from the party in 1968 with Nixon’s election (but, to my everlasting shame) actually voted for him in 1972….I did not actually make the change to being a Democrat until about 1973 when, as some of the former Democrats who were at that time moving over to the GOP used to say: “I did not leave the party. The party left me”….Throughout all those years I have watched as the GOP moved farther and farther to the right and, based on that experience, I doubt it will move back. I salute your efforts, but I fully expect that you will fail…

            PS. You keep making that stuff up about my “prognosticating” skills…but, have never been able to point to anything other than misstating what I said about the impact of the oil price drop on the Texas economy and the fact that I still had a slim hope for Hillary. And, when challenged for proof, you duck it…..But then you love your myths.

          • SeeItMyWay

            Thank you for another lengthy response which shows you to be locked into another lengthy excuse for predicting doom and gloom after Greider’s piece suggesting something different regarding the oil patch downturn, and Hillary’s sure fire win. You kept posting all the goofy poll figures right up to D-Day.

            Other old-timers here have witnessed this. Let’s see how many post something which agrees with your defense.

            I like you. You are a great Texas political historian; you are a terrible prognosticator.

          • WUSRPH

            Did you see the references to your (currently) favorite legislator, Mr. Krause, being a strong member of the Freedom Caucus?. I guess Koni Burton isn’t the only local legislature who does not listen to you when it counts…

          • SeeItMyWay

            See…this is a prime example of you just showing your ass when you act like you know all, but don’t. There have been several members of the Freedom Caucus who have shown some independent thinking and have been, if not by name, criticized by Empower Texans for things like forcing the funding for special needs kids. Krause led that deal; you must have been writing some lengthy, professorial piece to post when that was going on. Stay up with current events and the ancillary signs that this radical movement is hitting the end of it’s chain. History will not expose this to you.

          • WUSRPH

            I actually hope that for one of the rare times it will or has happened, you are right about this one….I certainly hope there is a revival of “traditional Republicanism”, including the traditional pro-civil rights positions whose deliberate abandonment to appeal to racism caused me to leave the GOP..
            Actually, the study of history may give one clues or signs to look for in the decline of a political movement….but, to date, all those that anyone can see seem to show it continuing to head toward the radical…..as Trump has more than demonstrated. But, I’ll keep watching for good signs for your side…..One could be if you could at least defeat on of their leading advocates in your precinct on election day. Another would be if you could get enough of your kind of GOPers to go with you to the precinct convention to at least down the expected resolution condemning Joe Straus…Let us know the day after the election how well you did in achieving at least these minimal goals….
            But, remember it is a very tall mountain you are trying to climb and those with more passion for the cause stay on the hill longer that the lukewarm…To date, I’ve seen a little grumbling but little evidence of passion among your semi-mythical throngs. The postings on this blog are clearly not a scientifically accurate sample, but, if you tried to base a prediction on them, you have much more support among Democrats than you do among Republicans.
            P.S. Be prepared to be more than “blocked” by the other side…The names you will be called and things you will be accused of when you go more public will be sickening….I salute you for being willing to face them.

          • WUSRPH

            P.S.P.S. A legislator—like your favorite of the season Krause—who spends a good deal of his time trying to legalize discrimination on the grounds “sincerely held religious belief” (which he cannot or will not define) is not what I would call an opponent of the radical extremists who you are supposedly battling. And, remember he was not just talking about transgender individuals are even them and same sex-marriages….He has been pushing for two sessions now for a full-fledged IN OUR CONSTITUTION guarantee by the State that, if something or someone offends your “sincerely held religious beliefs” you will have the full legal backing of the State is discriminating against them. That is not the state tolerating an individuals “right” to discriminate….IT IS LEGALIZATION IT AND APPROVING IT.

          • SeeItMyWay

            MQS and Burton blocked me months ago. They can’t or won’t answer specific questions. They deal in rhetoric without any sound gameplan.

            I have 6500+ homes in my Nextdoor network that I share pertinent TT and Quorum Report pieces with. Burton, according to responses, is not well thought of in this North Arlington area. Krause is active on FB and Twitter, and answers any and all questions in a dignified and thoughtful manner. The difference in the two of them is night and day.

          • WUSRPH

            Krause may be active on FB and Twitter…but where he does not seem to be that active is in passing bills….He filed 26 (and sponsored one SB) this Regular Session….Passed the SB. He authored 21 in 2015…Passed two.. Your last enamored legislative hero, Wendy Davis, was also well-known for her inability to pass bills although you can–and you did–say in her defense that many of hers were “good” bills that the lobby opposed. Both “talked a good game”, however. Why this attraction to the ineffectual?

          • SeeItMyWay

            Let’s see…using your flawed reasoning for supporting a person, why aren’t you a Texas Republican? Your Dem’s can’t get anything done and are ineffectual?

          • WUSRPH

            The man talks to you…..and you fall for it….try taking a look at his voting record with the farthest right radical groups, such as the Young Conservatives of Texas (96%) and Empower Texas (another 96%)—groups you constantly condemn—- before you decide that he’s your guy……You are a perfect example of one who consistently falls for the First Rule of Politics—Perception is more important than reality—and who cannot seem to tell the difference between a “show horse” and a “work horse”.

            P.S. If you check the records you will find that you don’t have to be a Radical Republican to pass legislation in Texas….several Democrats pass a whole slew of bills each session… They have to work harder and select their issues…..but then they don’t file bills to require that a brain-dead pregnant women be kept alive despite the feelings of her family, like Krause.

          • TacoRub

            If any group represents a euphemism for asses devoid of reason “Freedom Caucus” has earned it. Sometimes staying up with current events, which predict non-negotiable changes in what Texas will look like and respond to, requires a clean and malleable state of mind. Calling people who have gotten there names, by the way, is a poor way to be part of the answer.

          • Vik Verma

            There is nothing untrue in what he said with respect to the precinct/county convention part

          • TacoRub

            I am a “Dem” through and through. A deeply conservative but heart-still-alive consistent voter who made the decision long ago to respond to reason. Your “rolling around in turmoil” condition might be alleviated if you try reason with a little common sense.

        • Don Baker

          Radical extremist? Oh, you mean anyone who disagrees with a left wing loon like you.

          • WUSRPH

            Sorry, but I have this basic problem—although I often may disagree with the outcome I respect the voters right to chose when Donnie, Greg and their ilk only respect the right of the voter to choose if they choose what they favor. I believe in local control. They don’t…I believe in the separation of Church and State…They don’t. To me that makes them radical extremists……

          • TacoRub

            A prescription for disaster when I hear it (you, RPh, see those a lot, right?). Dissent offered and acted on with the good sense we develop through experience and good judgement is a better alternative to acquiescing to mobs gone wild.

          • WUSRPH

            If what you are referring to is the possibility that the mob might get out of hand and do something stupid (other than vote for Trump, of course)….I fully agree….The need to protect our rights from, as Madison described it, “the momentary passions of the mob” is why we have laws and constitutions……

          • BCinBCS

            Don, have you noticed that you can’t seem to disagree with anyone without calling them names?
            Grow up.

      • WUSRPH

        So, how is the great battle against the evil Empower Texas coming?…I assume you have given up your effort to get The Great Listener to join your struggle…It might be a little hard for him to break with the group which named him the 9th best member of the Texas House and gave him a 98% pro-Empower Texas voting rating in the ratings it released yesterday.

  • ChynnaBlue

    So, my question is how are these particular Republicans voting? Because if they continue to vote for whomever has the R by his or her name on the final ballot, we’re never going to get out of this mess. Are you embarrassed but voting for the R no matter what or are y’all actively saying No to the far right Rs?

    • Jed

      right. it’s one thing to express dismay at recent events.

      but when i hear someone say they won’t vote republican anymore because of it, it will be (a) the first time i’ve ever heard anyone say that, and (b) too damn late.

  • John Bernard Books

    Oh come on you can admit you voted for Obama……don’t be ashamed.

    • SeeItMyWay

      Jeez, JBB…you have to feel it coming…these guys you support are loons. Plastic bags, trees, bathrooms, open carry, a sneaky, pass the buck move to blame municipalities for property tax increases when they are decreasing the funds being sent back to us every session…this is snake oil stuff.
      Your hero is a bozo; he needs to go back to redneck radio. Our Gov is a pandering chameleon who can reinvent himself at will…or more precisely at the will of those dangling big contributions. I have no respect for him whatsoever. Then there are the legislative darlings who kissed the feet of Dunn and the Wilkes brothers and got elected solely through their money contributions and a sleeping voter group. Things they are a changing me thinks.

      I will add that this group does not support our President; they are still asking God why Cruz was not elected. The silent majority voted for Trump, and while many are having second thoughts, like I am, there will be no apologies for not backing Cruz. I do appreciate the fact that Trump is poking a big finger in the liberal press’s eye at every turn and not giving an inch. I also like his calling out life long politicians for running things to insure reelection instead of doing what is right. How can you scream for ACA repeal for seven years and not have a viable replacement plan in place when your chance comes? Did they all expect Hillary to get elected so they could just continue to be chirppers?

      • John Bernard Books

        Jeez…this from a Windy supporter? Do you have a pair of pink tennies too….

      • Jed

        “Did they all expect Hillary to get elected so they could just continue to be chirppers?”

        yes.

    • dave in texas

      I’m certainly proud to have voted for Obama. Just like I’m sure you’re proud to have voted for the man who yesterday mounted a full-throated defense of N*zis and white supremacists.

      • John Bernard Books

        Hahaha….you’re now calling me a white supremacist?…..hahaha

        • dave in texas

          No, I didn’t, but reading comprehension has never been your strong suit. However, if the shoe fits…

          • John Bernard Books

            Oh come on Dave stop being such a racist….no really stop it

        • Unwound

          You are though.

          • John Bernard Books

            hahaha….oh the boy is back

  • Texas Publius

    Dan Patrick is not a republican or a democrat or a libertarian or an anarchist or a populist. He’s an autocrat.

    He doesn’t believe in federalism, separation of powers, or checks and balances – the bedrock principles of our nation’s Founders. In fact, he detests those ideas and we’re seeing it live in HD. He believes only in consolidating all state and local government power in Texas unto himself. Straus is a check. Abbott is a submissive enabler.

    The good news is Patrick’s worm has turned: he’s failing and his path is now set to continue to fail. He’s alienated Republicans, Democrats, Hispanics, women, rural Texans, teachers, school administrators, local officials, law enforcement, and now the business community. Division is always, in the end, a losing and uninspiring leadership strategy.

    • Kozmo

      I wish I shared your apparent optimism.

      • WUSRPH

        Me too.

  • Kozmo

    I agree that the “bathroom bill” has become a sideshow and opportunity for political grandstanding. It wasn’t even an issue until social activists made it an issue. That said, I will pass on my wife’s comments, as a voice of reason and practicality amid the shrillness: that the new movement toward only “gender neutral” bathrooms in restaurants etc. is only causing men to foul ALL the restrooms, so women don’t even have a clean place to retire to these days. Way to go, guys! Maybe what we need are more laws against being a big fat slob and pig.

  • Kozmo

    Ah, Saint Ronald Reagan, who ran up huge government debts and increased the federal payroll. Yet somehow remains an icon of “small government” to deluded conservative idol worshipers.

    • WUSRPH

      All true, but he talked so good and said all the “right” things that it didn’t matter that it was all words and little action… As the First Rule of Politics says: “Perception is more important than reality” and Reagan was so, so good at shaping that “perception”…..He turned himself into probably the 20th Century’s greatest myth.

      • John Bernard Books

        Tell us again how you were a Reagan republican…..

    • SpiritofPearl

      Reagan launched his campaign in Philadelphia, MS, where the bodies of three civil rights workers murdered by the Klan were found.

      That says it all. Let’s take St. Ronnie off the pedestal too.

    • John Bernard Books

      Actually he didn’t but I wouldn’t expect a dem to know that.

  • AlmostNormalTexan

    This doesn’t surprise me.

    Go back and look at the results from the 2012 Republican Senate primary. Cruz ran the table in the big counties and the suburbs and exurbs adjacent to them. He didn’t do great in the rural areas like East Texas and the Panhandle.

    The same story was at play in the 2014 race for LiteGov – Dewhurst lost because he held rural Texas but got killed in the suburbs and exurbs.

    It reminds me of something Mike Toomey used to say when he was a State Rep for the Houston suburbs – that his constituents all lived in brand new, rich neighborhoods of new houses with new roads and new schools; their towns’ populations were growing and that meant a growing tax base; they didn’t need or want “help” from the state government.

    The situation is very different for most Texas towns under 50,000 people – they’re stagnating or getting smaller; kids go away to college and never come back, leaving a population that gets older and more dependent on government services like Medicare, Social Security and public pensions; they don’t have the tax base to pay for schools and local services on their own and meanwhile the Legislature is making it next to impossible to raise property taxes to pay for things they need.

    • WUSRPH

      Good analysis….It is too bad more of their leaders–elected an non-elected—won’t admit the truths you point out….but when the public prefers myths too many are afraid to try to show them reality.

    • BCinBCS

      AlmostNormal, you hit the nail on the head. What you describe are the exact conditions that make trickle-down (supply side) economics a failure. That saying “It takes a village” applies to economics as well as kids. Trickle-down economics accelerates the down-turn of small and rural cities. Those new suburbs, where trickle-down has the most supporters, is not immune either; they will eventually need to repair and replace their infrastructure and trickle-down is not designed to allow that.

  • John Bernard Books

    I loving this the crazies are losing and they ain’t happy…..

    • SeeItMyWay

      I take it you mean Abbott and Patrick. They are the only ones I see who are currently baring teeth.

      • John Bernard Books

        the left lost the election…..haven’t you heard?

  • SpiritofPearl

    Rats leaving a listing ship . . . CEOs abandon The Grand Dragon’s “Manufacturing Jobs Panel,” so he disbands the panel to save face:

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/trump-disbands-jobs-panels-charlottesville

    • anonyfool

      The entire Presidential Evangelical Board – crickets.

      • Jed

        evangelical christianity is itself a product of racism.

        the “evangelical” version of protestant denominations separated from their respective main (original) branches over slavery and segregation. southern baptists, evangelical lutherans, evangelical presbyterians, evangelical methodists, etc. they exist because the churches they were splitting from were not sufficiently racist.

        so yeah. evangelicals are literally the last place you should look for sentiments of morality or racial justice.

        • WUSRPH

          You got one wrong…the Southern Baptists were formed because the then national Baptists were considered to be too liberal on race. The SBs were the racists in that split.

  • Add to that the baffling shutdowns of local government over issues such as the very existence of tree ordinances or bag bans. If you really believe that tree ordinances hurt developers, let them decide to move out of Austin (for example) – or maybe take a step back and a serious look at whether or not cities should really not be allowed to make regulations that benefit their residents more than their businesses.

  • BCinBCS

    The embarrassment caused by modern day Republicans extends to those at the national level. After the recent pronouncements by Comrade Trump/Bannon about the violence in Charlottesvill, Virginia, many Republicans are indicating that they are extremely displeased by the grifter-in-chief.

    Jennifer Rubin of the WaPO wrote an opinion piece calling for five actions that the Republican Party must take in order to save itself from the man-child that heads it. She justifies the necessity of these actions by writing:

    The party of Lincoln is now the party of Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis and Southern slave owners who decided to kill fellow Americans so that they could keep men, women and children enslaved. The Republican Party, in other words, has obliterated its entire historical legacy and become the party of the Enemies of Lincoln.

    And let’s be clear: Republicans cannot say, “That’s not us — that’s just President Trump.”They supported him, they elected him, they defended him and they gave him the aura of a normal presidency. They cannot be the party of Lincoln and be the party of Trump. In that vein, we can dispense with Republicans’ ‘outrage’ ‘frustration,’ ‘anger’ and all other meaningless expressions of internal sentiment. Unless and until they are prepared to do something — not just send tweets — to politically disown Trump, the party is toast and none of its members should be elected or reelected.

    She goes on to list the actions that should be taken to save the party. The full opinion-piece can be read here:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2017/08/16/republicans-cut-the-outrage-its-time-to-disown-trump/?undefined=&wpisrc=nl_most&wpmm=1

    It seems to me that Dan Patrick, and to a lesser extent, Greg Abbott have put themselves in the same situation as Comrade Trump/Bannon.

    • WUSRPH

      Believe it or not, Gov. Abbott while declining to join with those who want to remove them yesterday made a fairly acceptable statement on the question of removing confederate statutes and monuments:

      “But we must remember that our history isn’t perfect. If we do not learn from our history, we are doomed to repeat it. Instead of trying to bury our past, we must learn from it and ensure it doesn’t happen again. Tearing down monuments won’t erase our nation’s past, and it doesn’t advance our nation’s future. As Governor, I will advance that future through peace, not violence, and I will do all I can to keep our citizens safe.”

      He is right about how taking them down won’t change our history, but my one major disagreement is with the part about how removing them “doesn’t advance our nation’s future”. Leaving them up–without installing markers next to each of them discounting what they stood for—may well hurt our nation’s future. It it will encourage our descendants to believe that there must have been something noteworthy and worth honoring in what these men (and women) tried to do. And, ignore the fact that their goal was to destroy the world’s first large representational democracy–“a light to the world” and “dedicated” as the Declaration of Independence so proudly declares to the concept “that all men are created equal”–in order to defend the right to own other people like they were animals and the dogma of White racial superiority…. Taking them down, on the other hand, would affirm to our descendants and the future that we as Americans disown their actions.

      I will not deny the courage of my great grandfather, a slave owner and veteran of Co. K, 2nd Virginia Cavalry, Pelham’s Battery of the First Stuart Horse Artillery and of the First Maryland Regiment of Cavalry, CSA. But, I will not honor “THE CAUSE” for which he fought.

      For as Gen. Grant so eloquently described his feelings on hearing that Lee was ready to surrender:

      “I felt like anything rather than rejoicing at the downfall of a foe who had fought so long and valiantly, and had suffered so much for a cause, though that cause was, I believe, one of the worst for a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse.”

      We have for too long sat by silently while these symbols of oppression stood in front of our public buildings and in our public squares and parks proclaiming to the world that what they did—and what they believed—was somehow acceptable and honorable. They must no longer be allowed to proclaim some “glory” in our nation’s greatest shame. Bracket them with plaques rejecting their “Glorious Lost Cause” or rip them down!

      • WUSRPH

        Since I am hearing from the old “alternative history” defenders of the confederacy, I thought it best to make it clear that I do understand that most confederate soldiers were not slave-owners and some may not even have been White Supremacists (although that is less likely to be the case). And, I know that people go off to war for all kinds of reasons including solidarity with their neighbors, social pressures, a search for excitement and a belief in myths about the other side and their own cause and that some were even drafted (late in the war)….BUT those who voluntarily joined the confederacy CHOSE to stand with slave owners, White Supremacists and traitors…..and, myth or no myth, that cannot be defended.

        • WUSRPH

          The best one yet….Now I’m being told that, even if your ancestor did not personally own slaves or support White Supremacy, it was okay for him to support destroying the Union and the continuation of slavery because it would have hurt the South’s economy to give up its slaves….The old pocket book wins out over morals every time….(Of course, that is what Patrick would say happen with the killing of the bathroom bill.)

      • Don Baker

        There are more, but the only countries that destroyed their history and statues to fit their political agenda was communist China and the Taliban. But then their philosophy differs very little from the democrat party.

        • WUSRPH

          I think you will find that a lot of countries have taken down statutes…In fact, it was quite common in almost all of the old Soviet Bloc after the fall of the Iron Curtain and the collapse of the Soviet Union…And, then, there was a very famous one from Iraq but then maybe all those pictures of citizens expressing their rage at the oppression those statutes represented were all “Fake News”…..It is a sad fact that most of the confederate statutes were put up to remind blacks who was in charge…..As such, you can see where they might feel it is a good idea to remove these symbols of their oppression….

        • BCinBCS

          …countries that destroyed their history and statues…

          Don, I call bullsh!t. Taking down statues and memorials to traitors does not destroy history. What it does is destroy the glorification of those who were traitors against the United States for a policy to enslave men, women and children.

          And, your equating the Democratic Party with communism and the Taliban demonstrates your ignorance.

    • WUSRPH

      While Trump seems to have an on-going problem with once and for all on moral grounds condemning White Supremacists and White Nationalists, it is interesting to note that Steve Bannon apparently does not…. Bannon, in his Scaramucii-style interview, was very careful to distinguish between Ethno Nationalism and what he calls Eco-Nationalism…..which, other than being bad economics, is almost a defensible position….where Racial based nationalism—at least until the next election—is not. However, his comments on how he wants the Democrats to continue with their concern on racial issues and how they would help the GOP suggests that he has no problem with racists voting for the GOP. After all, where else can they go?

      His realistic (i.e.—non-Trumpian comments) on North Korea were also noteworthy….One has to wonder if he either knows he is on the way out (Kelly wants him gone) and thus feels free to point out Trump’s weaknesses or that he just got carried away. What effect this will have on his future in the WH is unclear…since Trump appears more than willing to dump long-time supporters if they do not continue to crow how great he is …as Trump said, “we will see about Mr. Bannon”…but one would hope that he is gone soon no matter what the reason.

    • Don Baker

      Jennifer Rubin is a left wing propagandist who despises the Republican party.

      • Jed

        she’ll be surprised to learn that.

  • Lynn Patterson

    A group of educators have vowed to block vote during next year’s election for candidates who support public ed, regardless of their party affiliation. The group will identify the candidates to support and members promise to vote for them during the primaries and general election. Texans for Public Education is the group’s name and anyone can join by going to their facebook page.

    • Jed

      “A group of educators have vowed to block vote during next year’s election for candidates who support public ed, regardless of their party affiliation. ”

      this should be simple, as long as straight ticket voting is still allowed. if you “support public ed” in texas, you are a democrat. “regardless of party affiliation.”

      • Lynn Patterson

        I’m afraid that straight ticket voting may be the reason we are in this dilemma. There are republican candidates who support public ed. In many parts of the state, the election is decided in the primary and that is where the group’s efforts will be focused.

  • Don Baker

    I will continue voting for outstanding leaders like Dan Patrick and against RINO squishes. To me, voting for any democrat for any office is an act of treason

    • Jed

      the good kind of treason, like the confederates?

  • WUSRPH

    That “Independent streak” somehow seems to carefully follow the instructions that MQS and Empower give him every day on what is a “good vote”…..But, as I said, you don’t seem to care how he votes as long as he talks to you.

    Your inconsistency of opposing the TP, with whom Krause is closely and proudly linked, but not holding him responsible for being part and parcel of it is astounding…But, then, maybe it is that you are not as “moderate” as you claim.

    A lot of other legislators would be happy to have constituents like you who it is so easy to please….All you have to do is talk to them and they go out and vote against what they proclaim to believe and they don’t care.

    • WUSRPH

      PS.. Some day I would like to hear your reasons for increasing the sales tax (to up to as much a 20%) to cut your property taxes…maybe when, of if, RG does a post on state finances….(his predecessor appears to have been more interested in that area, but he may have to talk about it more when the Governor’s special commission starts talking about more state revenues for education rather than just “efficiencies” and vouchers)….

      • SeeItMyWay

        See…there you go again. I have never said anything about a 20% sales tax, but you continue to put words in peoples’ mouths. That’s an old political trick you learned a long time ago when you were earning a living in the cesspool.

        • WUSRPH

          You said, and I quote “he proposed a decrease in property taxes by raising sales taxes. I agreed with both positions.” And I asked you to explain your reasons…..You are correct in that you did not specify a rate….which may be because you, like most pushing this idea, want to duck that question or because you do not know enough about the subject to know what kind of a rate would be required for any meaningful replacement of the property tax.

          And, I assumed, since you were talking about what you and Krause agree upon, I assumed you were familiar with the fact that he was a co-author of a bill (HB 82 First Called Session, 2017) that called for replacing the property tax for school district M&O with a state sales tax and that was the proposal you and he support.

          And, as such, I also assumed that you understood that even its most avid proponents (your good friends at the Texas Public Policy Foundation) now admit that would require a state sales tax of no less than 12% (that becomes at least 14% for most Texans when you add on the local sales tax)….but, since that low of a rate would only be possible by abolishing most of the exemptions under the sales tax which most view as highly unlikely, would probably be closer to 20%.

          I am sorry that you think this was “putting words in your mouth”, but forgive me for assuming that you knew something about what you and Krause apparently both support.

          I repeat, however, in light of all that….and the fact that the sales tax is the most regressive of all taxes….I am still serious about learning why you and Krause apparently think this is such a great idea.

          • SeeItMyWay

            Do your ears slam shut when others are speaking? Do you glance at what others post while already well on your way to formulating a lengthy response? It would seem so.

            I am no politician; I did not make my living as a hired political wonk and practice all the stinky ploys that go with the job.

            You fabricate and speculate and pontificate when making responses. You change the subject. You are good at it.

            I make no specific statements about how a goal should be accomplished; I simply make statements about what seems like a good path to follow based on what I know as a businessman and not a political animal.

            Krause filed HB301. It was a starting point in my mind. I liked it.
            http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/851/billtext/pdf/HB00301I.pdf#navpanes=0

            Here’s the other piece that caught my eye. I agree with it.
            https://thehayride.com/2017/08/matt-krause-statesman-gentleman/

            Krause is someone I can reason with because he listens, doesn’t attempt to control the conversation, doesn’t interject a bunch of “yeah but’s” to divert the conversation off course, and is young and just getting started. You are the antithesis.

          • WUSRPH

            HB 301…Truly a great bill…..No vote approval (no need for that)….a rate that starts out as being enough to raise 108% of what the property tax raised the prior year…no cap on the rate that can be set thereafter, again with no vote of the people……and it is IN ADDITION TO THE EXISTING 8 1/12 % rate…..A GREAT DEAL for business….A VIRUTAL FREE RIDE, in fact and to a few homeowners…..But stick it to those consumers….especially the poor ones…..But, of course, you’d be off the hook for both your house and your business…so that’s fine with you……Of course, being you who does not bother yourself with little things like the details and the impacts…you would see it as the sign of a truly great legislator.

          • WUSRPH

            To help you understand the blatant ridiculousness of this great plan by Krause. & JJ in my role as a former “cesspool dweller”, I did some quick figuring for you to illustrate what this concept would have meant it HB 301 had passed and you–and Krause and company—had beat on the Arlington ISD board of trustees until they adopted your great idea.

            First, the Arlington ISD raises over $300 million per year with the property tax. Thus, if they adopted the swap out the local property tax called for by HB 310, they would have to set a sales tax rate that would generate at least that much..

            ..
            I cannot tell you just what a sales tax would raise in the Arlington ISD, but I can tell you what the current 1.75% rate levied by the City of Arlington brings in…and, by assuming that their boundaries are about the same, make an estimate of what the sale tax rate this additional sales tax rate on the citizens of Arlington would have to be in order to replace that $300 billion.

            This year Arlington’ city budget estimate is that its 1.75% local tax rate will bring in about $69 million…. or about FIVE TIMES LESS than the Arlington ISD raises with its property tax. This, then, suggests that to raise as much as it does with property taxes with your new local ISD sales tax, the rate would have to be about 5 TIMES the current 1.75% or about 8.5%.


            Now, since you might have forgotten, this is on top of the existing state and local sales tax rates paid by residents of Arlington….which, adding the local rates to the state’s 6.25% rate, is at least 8% (if not higher)…..That produces a sales tax rate for the Arlington ISD of about 14.75%…..which would be on the highest in the nation.

            Yeah, it is a great bill…I know his constituents will just love it.

            I must admit and apologize for the fact this is a rough estimate…since I no longer have all the data sources to work with and had to pick data off the net, .but, as they would say around the Texas Ranger’s stadium, “it is at least in the ballpark”

          • SeeItMyWay

            You are talking out your ass. You are talking over heads. You are exaggerating; you are doing what you did all your life…muddying the water with a grossly skewed concept of what could be by interjecting false narratives that no one is going to take the time to analyze or comment on; therefore, you think you have won some big battle. I feel sorry for you. Had I personally known you, I bet I would have tried to befriend you knowing that you had few friends. You can comment on my future posts all you like…just don’t expect a retort. I will no longer feed the monkey.

          • WUSRPH

            Sorry, but you are the one who bought onto HB 301 sight unseen. And proclaimed it a sign of what a great State Rep. Krause may be. It is a shame that there are just one or two problems with it when one—as you never did or would–takes a look at just what its impact could be.

            But, as usual, when reality enters your world you first attack the messenger in the hope that no one will see the message and then start with the insults….Are you sure you are JJ and not JBB?

            “Exaggerating”–“grossly skewered”—show me where. Challenge my numbers and my assumptions, not my character. (To help you a bit—as I said I used the City of Arlington’s official estimate of its sales tax revenues and assumed that their boundaries overlapped—-if they don’t you can challenge me on that.) I might even be off on the new combined rate by as much as a percent….but, since it has to raise at least 108% of $300 million I doubt it)…

            But that would take some effort and some thought and insults and blanket denials are so much easier.. .

    • SeeItMyWay

      You are becoming a buffoon. First of all, who’s going to run for office against him. I think he has a great moral compass that will finetune with time. You think great politicians just show up and become great overnight? How did you morph from being a do what I’m told lapdog for a guy with questionable standards and methods into a righteous person? This should be a good story. I like Matt; I have faith in him. You know nothing about him except his votes, and certainly nothing about the bills he filed. They weren’t given much consideration because he is (1) an FC member who the establishment Repub’s retaliate against by killing bills, and (2) the FC group did not support because they were too middle-of-the-road for them. Speak on something you know something about. That would be history. You are just another pontificator on what’s happening now or in the future. It grows old.

      • WUSRPH

        I have read his bills and watched his “career” and have noticed what I consider a particularly disturbing common element—-the desire to use government to enforce his religious beliefs on others in matters ranging from divorce (which he would make much, much harder) to a woman’s choice. That suggests a very weak understanding of the First Amendment but, what else could you expect, from a graduate in the first class of Jerry’s Farwell’s Christian law school? That alone makes him someone I cannot support…I, unlike you, would find it very hard to be saying all those nasty things about Empower Texas and its ilk while at the same time proclaiming the merits of one of its strongest supporters (as his voting record shows)….but maybe I expect more from my representative than just listening to me…

        PS: Have you asked him if he would support Straus if he and his fellow Freedom Caucus members are able to hijack the GOP Caucus?

        • SeeItMyWay

          I don’t actually care what you think. Can’t you get your arms around that? Go preach to someone else. I am a moderate conservative; you are a dyed in the wool liberal, no matter how you attempt to present yourself. You are angry because I don’t kiss your feet and think you are anything more than a good historian. Learn to live with it.

      • WUSRPH

        A couple of things I have noticed about you and the politician’s with whom you get enamored, first Wendy Davis and now Matt Krause:
        First, despite their totally different political views and parties, you seem to be attracted like an insect to a flame by a candidate who “listens” to you…no matter what their views and voting records…..
        Second, you will fiercely defend their less than stellar records of being able to pass legislation claiming, for example, that Davis could not do anything because she was working for the little guy, the consumer, and the GOP who wanted her seat in the Senate, and the Lobby killed her stuff….
        You make a slightly different claim for Krause.. You can’t claim that it is because of his pro-consumer legislation…since, if we base your definition of what that constitutes on the bills authored by Davis that you proclaimed, he does not have any….But, just as with Davis, it is the powers that be that keep “The Great Listener” from accomplishing anything—this time, of course, he is too far to the right to suite Joe Straus and because on ONE ISSSUE and one ISSUE alone, he did something that Empower Texas did not like. (You don’t get a better than 96% rating from a group with a record of opposing them).
        You don’t give the evil anti-consumer lobby credit for Krause’s limited success in pushing his agenda because since he appears to have little trouble raising money from most, if not all, of the usual lobby sources…For example, during the last two months of 2016 (after the general election but before the session) he took in more than $67,000 and, even after a General Election opponent, still had more than $225,000 in cash on hand…Not in the really big league of those who enjoy the lobby’s support…but certainly not someone they oppose.
        All in all, I guess this tells us more about you than it does Krause who is such a limited player that he is probably not worth paying much attention…..As such, I’ll make you a deal…Except when it is commenting on something you say about him such as his joining in with you in your battle to save the GOP or the totally impossible event that he falls below a 90% rating with the Texas Young Conservatives. Empower Texas and the Eagle Forum, I won’t mention him. Okay?

        • BCinBCS

          A couple of things I have noticed about you and the politicians with whom you get enamored, first Wendy Davis and now Matt Krause:”

          And don’t forget his unqualified support of Comrade Trump/Bannon.

        • WUSRPH

          One last comment on you and your relationship with “The Great Listener”…

          Today Dan Patrick said that every GOP primary voter should ask every candidate for the Texas House next year whether they would vote to Joe Straus in January of 2019 and make the answer the grounds for their decision on how to vote. (Of course, Dannie wants the answer to be “No”)

          Have you asked Krause this question? If not, will you ask him? Or, are you too afraid of the answer you will get? What will you do if he says :”No” he won’t? And, if the says, Yes, and DOES NOT (for any other reason other than the possibility that Straus will not be a candidate) will you still praise him so highly?

          Just a though for you next lunch with him.

  • WUSRPH

    Thanks for this entry…I welcome it.
    As I said before, attack my numbers, my logic and my facts anytime you want. I am a big boy now and I can take it….but telling me I lived in a cesspool, etc. is NOT ACCEPTABLE.
    I look forward to a continued open exchange of views….

    • SeeItMyWay

      Professor, the cesspool reference is not going away. It continues to be a quagmire, and has been for eons. To promote what goes on in Austin as acceptable because it has been this way for years is simply not acceptable.

      • WUSRPH

        Then I must assume that your good listener Krause pours on the perfumed cologne before any of your meetings….or that somehow he maintains his purity….PS How much did he take from TLR before voting for the blue tarp bill you hate so much? Since you proclaim they buy their votes, it would be interesting to see–but how much he got—and whether they think Krause is a “cheap date” or not.

        • SeeItMyWay

          This conversation would hold more merit, if your despise for Krause wasn’t based more on your dislike of me and the fact I respect him, and not more on the fact that many people across the board also highly respect him….Dem’s included. You don’t like me…I get it.
          If I said white was white right now, you would call it black. Next thing you know, you will be besmirching my wife and children because I love them. Get your anger under control. You are making a fool of yourself.

          • WUSRPH

            Your ego is showing again and you give yourself far, far too much credit for being able to affect how others feel about things. My disdain for Krause has nothing to do with you….it is totally related to his voting record on issues which I believe are important to the future and people of this state. He could be your worst enemy and you could be condemning him night-and-day and it would make no difference to how I regard him.. He may be a wonderful guy….fun to be around with…love his wife and kids and kiss dogs. He may even quietly sit there will you babble on about how he lives and works in a cesspool surrounded by liars, crooks and thieve who sell their votes (as you are wont to do from time to time) BUT anyone who so proudly votes 96 to 100% of the time with outfits like the Young Conservatives of Texas, Empower Texas and the Eagle form has earned every bit of disdain I may have for him all on his own. You have nothing to do with it.

          • SeeItMyWay

            OK. Got it. You have no idea about the lunches I have shared with Matt, what was discussed, how I viewed my pleasure or displeasure with him through FB, Twitter or phone conversations. You have no idea. I posted a link about how others through the Haywire lens views him. It was right on the mark as far as I am concerned. I have pounded in him; his FC buddies have pounded on him; Empower Texans has pounded on him. He is showing signs of growing independent thinking. As I have shared with him, if you get $5 and a vote from the majority in your district, and continue to listen and communicate through all the social media outlets specifically with your district, you do not need outside influences $ to get reelected. Times are changing; methods of reaching voters is changing; you are still preaching history and old school. Got a Nextdoor account? How about Twitter? You are a dinosaur. This is the only place where you get a chance to roar. The sound is growing dim. No one is listening. You write rheams here; the responses by those willing to back and forth with you on a regular basis have dwindled. Surely, you can see this. The same goes for mine. No one wants to read off topic posts to a thread or a long, drawn out diatribe. Do you not get this?

          • WUSRPH

            Yes to Nexdoor, LinkedIn, FB. etc….. No to twitter…I read some of it, but don’t send any….I fully understand the “modern methods” of communicating……after all, I worked in campaigns and political offices that were using advance communication techniques when most politicians thought that working the bowling alley on league night was a great way to campaign. I have also worked in campaigns where we were greatly outspent, but we still won because we were using advanced techniques. In fact, we were years ahead of most candidates in being able to identify and reach the likely voters. The method we used to reach them–primarily directed and targeted to the audience direct mail which was “advanced” back then—may be somewhat outdated now by the tactic is not.
            My favorite campaign, in fact, is the one in which the candidate was so confident of his ability to reach the VOTERS, (as distinguished from the public) that he made a deliberate decision to avoid all the then expected campaign techniques. As such, we had no TV, no radio, no signs-even yard signs, no block walking and only a few public appearances limiting 90% of the campaign to a few letters to carefully targeted individuals while our opponent while greatly outspending us did all of that and became totally convinced that we had given up and that he would win. Boy, it was fun on election night when he watched the returns come in and saw that our candidate won every precinct in the district. So you are screaming, not preaching to the choir.
            (Of course, as more and more people turn off’ on even the social media methods, hitting Friday night football games and other places where people gather and using the old “one on one….I’m listening to you directly” campaign styles may come back. After all, most people still like to think they have some personal contact with a candidate)….
            As to people not reading my postings or yours for that matter….I am sorry to have to tell you that I’m not one of those people (like Trump) who cannot survive without some sort of adulation….I post the stuff, because I enjoy doing it….Whether anyone responds is not that important….In fact, I would be more than satisfied if a survey showed that only a small percentage pays attention to what I say….You see, the primary purpose is to exercise my mind as I long ago gave up trying to save the world from itself…But I must admit that sometimes I do get a little hit about exposing the reality of things liked Krause’s HB 310 and, in that case, watching you slip and slide into not having to face up to it.

          • SeeItMyWay

            Here’s response from Matt Krause, Pedant:

            “John,
            Not sure who this is, but I don’t believe they have even read the bill before railing against it. If they had taken the few minutes to actually read the bill, they would know that this bill does not apply to ISD’s. Only county and city governments. So, the worries and concerns of this person are literally without merit.”

          • WUSRPH

            Fine….so lets take a look at what it would mean it the CITY of Arlington adopted the JJ/Krause plan:
            Currently, the city of Arlington estimates that it gets $60 million per year from its local sales tax…..Similarly, it projects that its property taxes will yield some $98 million and HB 301 GURANTEES that it must get at least 108% of that total…
            This means that, if you adopt HB 301 for the City of Arlington, it would have to more than double its current tax rate.
            So, when you add the existing state sales tax rate, the existing city sales tax rate and the NEW property tax rate (which, under the terms of HB 301 must yield at least 108% of the amount it got from property taxes or more than $105 million) you are probably looking at about a 2% addition….So, adding 6.25 (state), 1.74 (existing local) and the NEW local we get a rate of about 10% in the City of Arlington, again one of the highest sales tax rates in the country.
            And that’s okay with you?
            PS Did you ask him about what he was going to do to replace ALL M&O SCHOOL property taxes under the bill of which he was a co-author in the special session?. It is when you start talking about that, as shown by the figures of the Arlington AISD, that you really get up into the stratosphere of sales tax rates. Or, did he fail to mention that?

          • SeeItMyWay

            You are a sad case. You waxed on and on about his flawed bill like you had actually studied it only to find you had’t and had it all wrong. No sense in carrying this forward; your credibility is shot. See ya.

          • WUSRPH

            There you go again….ducking the facts and sliding away with an insult.
            As to “a flawed bill”:
            Don’t you think that a proposal that:
            (a) if adopted in your fair home town could likely produce a combined sales tax rate of about 10% (subject to refinement by actual modeling) giving it one of the highest rates in the country?
            (b) can be adopted (and increased) without any vote of the people (no roll-back election on this one);
            (c) starts out by guaranteeing that the new revenues must be at least 108% of the current with no need to justify that increase;
            (c) gives business and commercial/rental property owners a virtual free ride when it comes to supporting and paying for the services they receive from the city;
            (d) transfers the burden of supporting the city

          • WUSRPH

            IF you can ever deem it not below yourself to soil your purity by looking into the details of something like this proposal, I suggest you start with the fiscal note for HB 301…Skip all the boring stuff and go to the table showing the ADDITIONAL sales tax rate that Krause’ harmless little plan would require in some Texas cities, etc.

            http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/851/fiscalnotes/pdf/HB00301I.pdf#navpanes=0

          • SeeItMyWay

            The bill…virtually any bill…is a starting point. You know it; I know it – but you want to pontificate …so you start out railing against it without even reading it.
            And yes…a 10% sales tax with a decreased property tax would suit me just fine. Arlington derived about $1.4B in sales tax revenue from out of town’ers.

          • WUSRPH

            Since the official Arlington City budget presentation for next year’s budge (on line for your viewing) says that Arlington expects to get less than $70 MILLION from its sales tax next year, I must assume your $1.4 billion figure is for some cumulative period or that it represents total purchases by out of towners and not the amount of sales tax paid by them.-

            Of course, all bills are “starting points” but when one starts as far behind as this one there is probably not much hope it can be improved enough to make passage even a thought. I spent a good deal of time knee deep in that cesspool trying to make silk purses out of legislative sows’ ears…but there is so little ear here that it might be impossible in this case.

            I am glad to see that you are willing to go to 10%….I presume that the fact that your business would walk away virtually tax free has nothing to do with that….But I wonder how far you are willing to go…How about the likely 15% to do away with the school district M&O taxes as would be required by another bill Krause co-authored during the special? Or how about doing away with ALL local property taxes? After all, we could probably do that with a 20% rate?

            I am sorry but the reality (not the myth) of HB 301 is that it is a perfect example of the famous description by the late US Sen. Russell Long about what people want in taxes:

            “Don’t tax me…don’t tax him…Tax the man behind the tree”

            But, as long knew, it somehow turns out that the man behind the tree is the consumer and the poorer he is the more likely it is going to be him.

            May I suggest that the next time you lunch with Krause you might want to ask him some direct questions and get away from the broad concept and “starting point” level.
            For example, you might ask him to give you on of his “direct answers” and ask him just how far he is willing to go in raising the raising the sales tax to replace property taxes…I am sure he can tell your about all the investments that would bring and how it would all “trickle down” to the rest of us…(at least that is the theory/myth)>
            You might also ask him why he favors increasing the sales tax over other possible forms of taxes (but please, please don’t say the evil “I” word in his presence…It might be too shocking. And, again, please do not hassle him with the estimates that as many as 80% of all Texans would wind up paying more taxes under a system which replaced property taxes with a sales tax).

            You might even want to bring up the concept of “regressiveness”—you know the fact that, under our current tax system the poorer you are the higher percentage of your income you pay in taxes and how that would only be made worse by going only to a sales tax. Of course, he will probably rather talk about how much the rich pay…as opposed to what percentage it represents of their income. And, he will probably immediately click on “Stock Speech No 1: Waste in government”…but it would be nice to at least try to get a few direct answers from him.

          • WUSRPH

            One of the reasons I don’t use twitter is that because somehow I have gotten on a list to get them from your outstanding (SIC) State Sen., Konni Burton, and our legal genius of an attorney general….Even 120 words of them at a time is too much to stomach.

  • Sybil

    There may be a lot of “embarrassed conservatives” out there, but they’re apparently not embarrassed enough. They continue to vote the slack jawed yokels like Dan Patrick into office, so you can keep your embarrassment. You SHOULD be embarrassed.