Yesterday was a bad day for the insurgency. It’s one thing to have a floor strategy of parliamentary maneuvers designed to loosen Tom Craddick’s hold on the speakership, and it’s quite another to pull together a disparite group of disgruntled members into a united front capable of bringing him down. No one appears to be capable of doing the latter. Consequently, the movement to oust Craddick from the chair has lost its focus. Instead of concentrating on how to achieve their objective, the plotters have fallen out among themselves over who should be the next speaker. Keffer, McCall, Pitts, and Talton all have their adherents and their critics. Geren says he’s out.
This is like a presidential candidate getting into an argument over who is going to be in his cabinet before the New Hampshire primary. It’s so stupid I hardly know what to say. My fellow bloggers at the Burnt Orange Report savaged Keffer yesterday:

No wonder Keffer loves Craddick’s policies and leadership style, the two see eye to eye on issues like destroying the environment, forcing religion into our schools, and eliminating the rights of women.

Keffer scored a whopping 20% with Texas Freedom Network.
An impressive 8% on the environment.
Environment Texas was generous with their 17%.
25% from TexPIRG.

One groups [sic] that loves Keffer. After all he scored 100% from Alliance for Life.
And he was one of the Recipients of 2001 FREEDOM AND FAMILY AWARDS – Honorable Mention from the Texas Eagle Forum.

Nobody will ever claim we like Craddick’s policies or leadership style, but it is quickly becoming clear that Keffer is just more of the same. If the rumors are true and they vacate the chair, then lets make sure the next Speaker is an improvement.

Welcome to the world of liberals, where the perfect is the enemy of the good. It has been ever thus. In the days when Texas was a one-party Democratic state, the Texas Observer used to call for liberals to “go fishing” on general election day rather than support the conservative Democrats who usually won the primary. Their reasoning was that if conservatives realized that they couldn’t win as Democrats, they would all become Republicans. Sure enough, they did. How did that work out, BOR guys?

The insurgents’s point of view ought to be, ANYBODY is an improvement over Craddick. Any other attitude guarantees failure. Worries about Keffer or anybody else are premature. Keffer is a Republican. It should not come as a shock that he votes like a Republican. The issue–about Keffer, about all the wannabes–ought not be how he votes, but whether he has enough of a following to defeat Tom Craddick. The right questions to ask about the speaker hopefuls are: Can he win? How he would run the House? Would he make fair committee appointments? Would he make fair parliamentary rulings?

Even as I write these words, I believe it’s too late. You can’t beat a pro like Craddick by acting like amateurs.