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Strange Bedfellows

Ted Cruz and Dan Patrick put the past behind them.

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Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, left, endorsed Ted Cruz on Monday in Houston.
AP Photo/Pat Sullivan

Yesterday morning Dan Patrick appeared at Ted Cruz’s campaign headquarters in Houston, where he officially endorsed the senator’s campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, and announced that he will serve as the chairman of Cruz’s campaign in Texas. Patrick Svitek, of the Texas Tribune, reported from the scene:

“Our party has been asleep for more than eight years come election time against the Democrats,” the lieutenant governor said. Cruz, not known for understatement, returned the praise, saying Patrick would “crawl through broken glass with a knife between his teeth” to fight for conservative values.

Three things jump out to me here.

1) It is totally unclear what either of them, as quoted by Svitek, is talking about. Despite what Patrick said, the Republican Party of Texas has been full of sturm und drang about Texas Democrats and Battleground Texas lately, despite there being no apparent reason for alarm—and nationally, the GOP won landslide victories in 2010 and 2014. And despite what Cruz said, Patrick is currently in the midst of asking Texans to vote for Proposition 1 on November 3rd—the “property tax relief” measure that is, effectively, an Obamacare-style subsidy from the state government to local school districts, and does not meet my definition of conservative.

2) As Texans know, Cruz and Patrick have a frosty history, dating back to Cruz’s 2012 race for the U.S. Senate nomination. Patrick, then a state senator, was backing David Dewhurst, then the lieutenant governor. The iciness has persisted until just now despite Patrick’s overtures; yesterday’s announcement is a sign that Cruz has revised his calculations in light of the potential benefits of an alliance with Patrick.

3) Though Patrick continues to insist that he has no plans to run for governor in 2018, the fact that he is now chairing Cruz’s Texas campaign means that Cruz, who has historically been close to his old boss Greg Abbott, may have a tough choice to make (or deftly avoid making) in the event that those plans are revised.

Other than that, an unremarkable morning of political theater.

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  • Rules of Blazon

    It should pain all Texans whenever ridiculous, contemptible figures like Dannie Goeb and Ted Cruz make news, for whatever reason. It’s a reminder that we lack a functioning state government, and that folks who make fun of our great state for that reason are fully justified.

    • Carol Morgan

      And it will get worse. You ain’t see nothin’ yet. Just wait until Dan gets his legislative wish list next session–his top priorities–religious liberty and school vouchers. They won’t stop until they’ve recreated our state into a Christian theocracy with the added benefit of a Texas currency, courtesy of the new gold depository.

  • “You may say I’m a dreamer
    But I’m not the only one
    I hope someday you’ll join us
    And the world will live as one”

    Just imagine MeNDanNTed

    • dave in texas

      John Lennon is now spinning in his grave fast enough to power a medium-sized city for a year.

    • John Johnson

      Now that would be something to see…and we might when we are all living in a yellow submarine.

    • wessexmom

      That really would be the nightmare before Christmas!
      Patrick PLUS Cruz = EEK! and ICK! What creepers!

  • bj1650

    Thanks, Erica, for your short column brimming with insight, and thanks, please, for continuing to cast a cold eye on Senator Cruz.

    Any additional progress made by this McCarthy-like (Joe McCarthy, of course) tyrannical totalitarian is very bad for our country. Cruz makes one yearn for a Rubio nomination, as difficult as that is to write down. BUT, it is easy and sensible to write DOWN WITH CRUZ!!

  • Beerman

    “Strange” is the perfect word for these two demagogues……

    • Rules of Blazon

      I can think of other words that are, uh, even more perfect. “Strange” will suffice for today.

      • wessexmom

        How about creepy?

  • dave in texas

    I don’t think they’re all that strange as bedfellows; they’re both from the furthest-right fringes of the Republican Party. Lt. Gov. Patrick simply made a wrong political calculation when he backed David Dewhurst in the Senate race a couple of years ago. And it was a perfectly understandable decision; Dewhurst was the heavy favorite in that race almost until the end. It’s almost inevitable that they would have reconciled with one another at some point, given that there’s not really an ounce of difference between their political viewpoints. Add to that the fact that, as statewide chair, Lt. Gov. Patrick will gain access to an ever-wider group of powerful donors and supporters, and this looks less strange and more like an alliance that will influence statewide politics for years to come.

  • Texas Publius

    Nothing changes the fact that Cruz doesn’t like Patrick, and Patrick doesn’t like (and is jealous of) Cruz. Both are playing to the whimsical emotions of the Texas R Primary base for their own gain. Both can talk, but only one of them has a high IQ (hint: it’s the same one that has more than 5 years left in his political career).

    It is funny to watch a Baltimore carpetbagger endorse a Canadian carpetbagger, all in the name of conservative Texas.Patrick has no influence outside of Texas, so it’s hard to see what either gains by this. This will only hurt both of them by pissing some off unnecessarily.

    If Dewhurst had educated Texas voters that Cruz is actually from Canada, Dewhurst would be the US Senator right now and Cruz wouldn’t be running for president. I suspect this same mistake won’t be made in the 2016 general election.

    • dave in texas

      If Dewhurst had educated Texas voters that Cruz is actually from Canada, Dewhurst would be the US Senator right now and Cruz wouldn’t be running for president.

      Maybe. It seems to me that birthplace only matters if the candidate is a Democrat, especially an African American Democrat. Remember, nobody said anything about John McCain being born in Panama, and also, too, these are the same folks who wanted to amend the Constitution so Arnold Schwarzenegger could run for president.

      • JimmyNeutron

        I’m no McCain supporter in any fashion. To call him being born in Panama and equate that with Cruz in Canada or Obama in Kenya… or even worse, Hawaii is obtuse. McCain was born in Panama where his father was stationed while serving in the Navy. I was born in Mastershausen, FRG while my Dad was in the Air Force and Mom taught school on the base. I think that qualifies me as “More American” than Cruz or Obama and also should not interfere with my native Texan-ness. Also, there is no question I can be President (of USA or hopefully Texas if my secession movement ever takes off) because a US Air Force base is considered “America”.

        • dave in texas

          I wasn’t in any way trying to imply that John McCain wasn’t able to serve as president because of his place of birth; his temperament and his policy positions were enough to convince me he wasn’t. I was just laying a little bit of snark on those idiotic birthers and their insistence that President Obama produce his birth certificate.

          And just for the record, I don’t believe that any American is more or less ‘American’ than any other American. In fact, the notion that anyone is somehow more American than anyone else lies at the heart of most of the troubles facing the country today.

          • JimmyNeutron

            I disagree. I’m the uber-American.

        • Indiana Pearl

          Hawaii is as “American” as a military base. It became a state in 1952.

          • dave in texas

            Umm, 1959, actually. 🙂

          • Haldave

            My memory isn’t what it used to be. 1959 it is.
            .

          • Indiana Pearl

            Irrespective of the date, Obama was born in America, not Kenya.

          • Not what Hillary says….Hillary started the rumors about Obama not being born in America and a Muslim. That is why there is no love between the Obamas and the Clintons.

            “Clicking the link brought up a Drudge exclusive, reporting that Clinton staffers circulated the image via email. “Wouldn’t we be seeing this on the cover of every magazine if it were [Hillary]?” one Clinton staffer complained.

            The Obama camp went ballistic, calling it “the most shameful, offensive fear-mongering we’ve seen from either party in this election.” Clinton aides at first brushed off the story entirely, but then denied having ever sent it. Even though, months earlier, the campaign was forced to fire two Iowa staffers caught forwarding an email saying Obama was a Muslim.”

            hahaha those dirty dems.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Drudge? Looney tunes again . . .

          • wessexmom

            Hillary’s camp didn’t start the rumor but her sleaze bag campaign manager Mark Penn and press guy Howard Wolfson did spread the rumor out of desperation.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Drudge? Naw . . .

          • 6660splendidday

            LOL.. you are one demented dude, aren’t you.?

          • Haldave

            1960

          • Indiana Pearl

            Okay. Make a liar out of me for eight years.

          • oh those pesky facts…

          • wessexmom

            What about 1960? Hawaii officially became a state on August 21, 1959. An extra star was added to the US flag in 1960.

          • JimmyNeutron

            Wrong Sparky. Hawaii became a state in 1959. That said, it’s a liberal state and the people are weird… what with their friendliness, giving leis and such. Just doesn’t seem American to me… plus I’m not sure they have oil.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Missed the point, Einstein.

            Obama is as American as you claim to be.

          • JimmyNeutron

            Missed my sarcasm, Einstein. Are all Hoosiers as humorless as you, or are you an exception?

        • wessexmom

          SECEDE NOW! PLEASE!

  • John Johnson

    I think you will find that most of those on Patrick’s goofy citizens’ advisory board probably support both Cruz and Patrick. I think most of the elected Tarrant County Tea Party neophytes do, as well.

  • Gunslinger

    I wish I could get a picture with me and Ted Cruz. Then I could show it to everyone.

    • Indiana Pearl

      Someone who wantswantswants one will never be invited.

      • Actually that is known as the “Beerman lie.” He was either in a stupor or confused, can you relate?

        • Indiana Pearl

          You won’t be on the invitation list.

          • I’ll be heading up the invitation list…

          • Indiana Pearl

            Got a reliable source we can contact for confirmation?

          • Indiana Pearl

            Crickets . . .

          • me…I’ll fix you up

          • Beerman

            The Cruz photo story is true, it was told to me by a Republican friend in Ft. Bend County, she thought it was hilarious and shared some other interesting tidbits about the troll.

          • Gunslinger

            Do tell. I think we all want to hear more about the tidbits.

          • Beerman

            Wacky describes all the tidbits…believe me!

          • No it is a lie and you can’t back it up.
            I expect nothing else from a dem.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Call the police.

  • PrattonTexas

    The “icy” nature did not exist much past the election. All new why members supported the sitting Lt. Gov. in the race. This was openly discussed.

  • Sen Cruz memorized the US Constitution in high school. Harvard prof Alan Dershowitz said Sen Cruz was the best debater he has ever seen.
    Lt Patrick excels when people tell him he can’t do something.
    Are we looking at a Cruz/Patrick ticket?
    Lemme see the dems have…a grandma and……and…..and….well Bernie?
    Holy smokes I can see the democrat’s ad now vote for a grandma and a socialist, its all we got.

    • Indiana Pearl

      President Grandma will be inaugurated January 2017. Fat people will be allowed to attend.

      • WUSRPH

        Nothing.

        • Indiana Pearl

          An idiot savant . . .

        • I agree you have proven memory by rote is useless without comprehension.

    • wessexmom

      Yeah, right. Cruz is so “brilliant” that he chose to destroy his entire political future about 10 minutes after he arrived in Washington. He is widely despised by everyone, even his former boss W THE WORST. NO ONE, inside or outside his party, likes him! He’s incapable of governing because he’s incapable of forging cooperation or heaven forbid, seeking compromise. And he’s a impostor: He shut down the government over Obamacare but now he and his family are covered under guess what? An Obamacare plan! His pointless shutdown stunt cost the American taxpayer 25 BILLION DOLLARS! Those are not the actions of a “principled conservative”.

      In truth, Cruz doesn’t give a damn about the people of this state or this country. He doesn’t believe in governance of any kind. It’s simply too boring for him! He only feels alive when he’s being destructive–just like his dear old dad! The senior Senor Cruz threw Molotov cocktails in Havana; Baby boy drops stink bombs on the Senate floor.

  • Bodhisattva

    1) Patrick’s endorsement of Cruz is the least surprising thing that could happen. If you recall, Patrick only endorsed Dewhurst in 2012 after a running feud with the Lite Guv for several years prior. And Patrick was rewarded for his endorsement of The Dew with the plum Senate Education Committee chairmanship. Patrick has always been a Ted Cruz fellow traveler, and the endorsement was no surprise.
    2) I disagree with Erica’s characterization of Prop 1. It is only an “Obamacare-style subsidy” to local school districts if you think it’s not the state’s responsibility to educate its children. As for that, see Art. VII, Sec. 1 of the Texas Constitution.

    • nickthap

      Only people like the author who think Cruz is somehow not a scumbag politician (and is always attempting to convince TM’s readers of this) is surprised by anything these people do.

  • WUSRPH

    One general comment:

    Since I will only drop in occasionally to see what is going on…and will comment only even more infrequently, soon leading to no comments at all. (Don’t you all wish that was already the case?), I wanted to make one request to those of you who will be commenting:

    That is: Would you please explain to the troll (JBB) what the First Amendment’s protection of “freedom of speech or expression” means.

    As you may have noticed, usually when he is questioned or rebuked for one of his outlandish entries that often distort the truth, he claims “FREEDOM OF SPEECH” as his defense. The problem is that this clearly demonstrates that he has no conception of what the First Amendment says or means.

    His view is a common misconception. In fact, many people think like he does…and virtually all of us would like if it were that way…But it is not!

    The Constitutional reality is that NOTHING IN THE FIRST AMENDMENT or any part of the US or State Constitution or laws gives the troll or anyone else (including me) any protection for retaliation for anything we say by anyone OTHER THAN BY THE GOVERNMENT.

    This means TM could, if it choose, exclude the troll and anyone else it choose (including me) from entering any statement on its property—this blog…..and in doing so would in now way affect, infringe or deny anyone a First Amendment Right. (Whether that would be a wise action because of the possible public reaction is questionable…but what is what question is its legal AND CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT to do so.)

    The First Amendment DOES NOT give anyone any sort of right to say anything with no fear of any consequence. For example, if we say something politically or otherwise offensive to a private employer he is perfectly free to fire our ass on the spot unless he had voluntarily agreed to give up his right thru some contractual or other agreement. Similarly, if we say something that libels or slanders another we can be sued and punished for our statements. And, in neither case does the First Amendment provide us with any defense..

    The protection of the Freedom of Speech and Expression in the First Amendment has NO effect or any action by a private institution or individual to deny us a so-called but non-existent right to say what we want, where we want, when we want, etc. and be protected from any response.

    The sad but unchallengeable fact is that the First Amendment ONLY prohibits GOVERNMENTAL bodies from infringing on our right to express our political views by punishing us or prohibiting us from saying or printing our views. (And it may do so in some restricted circumstances.)

    https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/first_amendment

    So, sorry, troll…neither you or I have any constitutional right to say what we want on this blog.

    • Unfortunately for the left we do not line in a socialist nation where the thought police can control my thoughts, or the comment police can control my comments.

      • WUSRPH

        I, too, am glad that we live (or, as you put it “line”) in a nation where we are free to think what we want and, except in the rarest of cases, the government cannot stop us from doing so. In fact, I view the Bill of Rights (and particularly the First Amendment) as the greatest example of what makes this a nation unequaled by any other.

        It is a sad reality that too often in too many places governments and societies—of the right, center or left—deny their citizens those rights. For example, the term “thought police” which you attribute to “socialist” nations is taken from the name of a agency of the Japanese government that prior to and during WW II enforced “patriotic thought” and that was hardly a “socialist nation”.

        As to you personally, it is more than clear that no one can (apparently not even you) can control your thoughts or you comments…. But do not forget that, whether we like it or not, as long as it is not the government doing it, others have the right to control where and when you can express them. You are indeed fortunate that TM has so far chosen not to exercise their right.

        • WASSUP would you like a signed autograph picture?

        • Indiana Pearl

          A nice conservative woman I know here talks occasionally about “political correctness.” She claims it infringes on her First Amendment rights. As I tell her, she can say what she wants, but I have the right to respond to her sometimes racist comments.

          The First Amendment is not a one-way street.

          • dave in texas

            Despite what a lot of folks seem to think, the First Amendment does not mean that a person can spew all kinds of stupid BS without facing any kind of consequences for it.

          • Indiana Pearl

            The Bill of Rights was created to protect the citizens from the government, not to give unlimited rights to undisciplined individuals.

          • unfortunately the grown ups understand when you say undisciplined it “means not under our control.”
            No one is more undisciplined than dems. Most suffer from a lack of impulse control.

          • Indiana Pearl
          • wrong, dems are allowed to make fools of themselves over and over. It is a right.

          • Indiana Pearl

            It’s a right for baggers as well. You prove that every single day.

  • nickthap

    How in the world is this odd in the slightest? Both of these mooks are just typical scumbag politicians.

  • Just like meNTed planned….

    “The Texas senator has nudged Fiorina out of the top tier of the GOP primary. He now sits in the No. 4 slot, behind Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla, leaving the top tier conspicuously void of governors.”

    http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/run-2016/2015/10/26/carly-fiorina-fades-as-ted-cruz-climbs-in-the-chase

    The democrat is faltering and meNTed are rising….

    • Indiana Pearl

      Which Democrat is “faltering”?

      In your dreams . . .

      • Most of us are aware Trump is a democrat. But I’m not surprised you didn’t know.

        • Indiana Pearl

          You mean “Mr. Make America White Again”?

          Booksie, you’re always good for a laugh.

          • Why do you think a dem want to make America white again?

          • Indiana Pearl

            Is Trump black?

          • Is Rachel Dolezal and are you related to her?

          • Indiana Pearl

            Rachel’s not running for president and you’re still fat.

          • hahaha….how childish

          • Indiana Pearl

            You have a thing for Rachel Dolezal.

          • which Rachel the white on the black one?