This online publication has been around for a long time. Its founder and editor is Gary Polland, a former three-time Harris County GOP chairman. Texas House Speaker’s Race: Should There Be One and Is There a Real Race? TCR has watched with interest the developments in the Texas Speaker’s race since the great GOP victory in November. With the GOP majority up to 99 seats it sure will be easier to pass conservative legislation. Soon after the election, some conservative activists and a handful of legislators decided they wanted a new speaker and a speaker’s race arose. We looked into the incumbent Speaker Joe Straus to see if his critics are correct. Straus’s record is one as a lifelong Republican, former member of the Reagan administration, and a conservative voting record in the Texas House. As Speaker, in the last [election] cycle, he donated around $1.6 million to GOP candidates working closely with such conservative groups as Associated Republicans of Texas, Texans for Lawsuit Reform and the State Republican Party, which makes him a key factor in our great victory this year, picking up 22 House seats in Texas. As for conservative issues, he joined Attorney General Abbott’s amicus briefs in opposition to Obamacare and in support of the Arizona illegal immigration bill, has a proven record as an anti-tax and spend conservative. And for those who say he isn’t conservative enough, we say look at his plans with a super-majority in the House as opposed to a nail-biting majority he dealt with last session: a real voter ID bill, balancing the Texas budget without raising taxes, and strengthen border security. As for the race, it appears all but over. Despite two opponents running for weeks and lots of noise, Speaker Straus has as of today, 120 pledges, down a mere 6 from November 2nd. It takes 76 votes to be Speaker. The continuing efforts of some to attack Speaker Straus for not being conservative or for his religion are both bogus. The attacks are now needless distractions from our legislators preparing to deal with real issues come January. When we start discarding those we don’t think are conservative enough we are heading into a difficult situation where our hold on power would be tenuous at best. This is not a case where we are dealing with a RINO (Republican in name only). The Texas Conservative Review endorses Joe Straus for Speaker in 2011. We urge all of our friends in the legislature to do the same. * * * * The speakers race has been over for weeks. In fact, there never has been a true race. It takes more than candidates to make a speakers race; it takes votes, and the opposition doesn’t have them. Every play they have tried, including a Republican caucus poll, has failed. The opposition to Straus is not inside the Capitol, except for a handful of Miniver Cheevys who yearn for a return to the Craddick years. The most vocal opposition is outside the Capitol — a few political consultants, a few far-right demagogues, a handful of hatemongers, one or two bona fide nut jobs, an SREC member who says, “We elected a house with Christian, conservative values. We now want a true Christian, conservative running it.” Most of these folks, if they have power at all, inhabit the outer circles of influence and depend upon creating the illusion of power. As mean and mendacious as the attacks on Straus have been, they served mainly to expose the weakness and waywardness of the groups attacking him. Miniver Cheevy Miniver Cheevy, child of scorn, Grew lean while he assailed the seasons; He wept that he was ever born, And he had reasons. Miniver loved the days of old When swords were bright and steeds were prancing; The vision of a warrior bold Would set him dancing. Miniver sighed for what was not, And dreamed, and rested from his labors; He dreamed of Thebes and Camelot, And Priam’s neighbors. Minever mourned the ripe renown That made so many a name so fragrant; He mourned Romance, now on the town, And Art, a vagrant. Minever loved the Medici, Albeit he had never seen one; He would have sinned incessantly Could he have been one. Miniver cursed the commonplace And eyed a khaki suit with loathing; He missed the mediæval grace Of iron clothing. Miniver scorned the gold he sought, But sore annoyed was he without it; Miniver thought, and thought, and thought, And thought about it. Miniver Cheevy, born too late, Scratched his head and kept on thinking; Miniver coughed, and called it fate, And kept on drinking. –Edward Arlington Robinson