Again... the more of this kind of drivel I read in the liberal press, the more I am leaning against Straus. The best thing Straus could do right now is get the newspaper writers to stop writing nice things about him and bad things about his critics...
From Jason Embry's column (link). Excerpt follows...
Certain Republican lawmakers and activists don't like that it was mostly Democrats who gave Straus the early support he needed to beat Craddick. They want to prevent Democrats from again having the dominant vote in the speaker's race, even though dozens of Republicans who backed Craddick two years ago now want Straus to stay.
So the alternative they favor is to gather all GOP lawmakers in a caucus and choose a speaker from among their ranks. All of the Republicans would then agree to support that candidate when the formal vote for speaker arrives, and those who didn't would risk, at the very least, defeat in the next GOP primary.
The thinking here is that voters loudly and clearly spoke in favor of Republican rule when they gave the GOP a 99-51 House majority on election night, and those voters deserve a speaker who has the support of most Republican lawmakers.
Seems reasonable enough, but let's be clear: This is the Washington way of doing things.
Whichever party has the majority in the U.S. House chooses the House speaker from among its own membership. That person then functions as the leader of his or her partisan team, instead of trying to be the leader of the entire House, as Straus has.
Would Nancy Pelosi have been elected speaker if she had to campaign in front of the entire House, instead of just the Democrats?
This approach would prevent, say, 46 Republicans from joining with 30 Democrats to elect a speaker, because 53 other Republicans wanted someone else. A majority in the Republican caucus would become more important than a majority in the full House.
OK, but I have this nagging memory that I can't quite shake. I swear I remember hearing over the past several years that Washington was a broken, poisonous, corrupting place that had lost touch with the American people, and that the Texas way was always superior to the Washington way.
But now some proud Texans want to take a major step toward Washington-style governance?
My memory of this whole anti-Washington fervor really does seem pretty clear. I'm almost certain it happened. But maybe it was all in my head.
This is just stupid.
The Texas way is whatever Texans say the Texas way is. Republicans getting together and agreeing to take a vote as a caucus and abide by that vote isn't the Washington way or the Texas way. It's called listening to the voice of the people in Texas who overwhelmingly expressed that they wanted the state to become more conservative... if Joe Straus is willing to make that happen then maybe he would be a fine speaker... if he is going to lead the way he did 2 years ago with lots of Democrats in committee chairmanships and a lackluster agenda then he should probably be replaced because that is not what Texans chose just two weeks ago. I don't know which Joe Straus we will get. I don't know that he has yet adequately indicated which Joe Straus he intends to be... I think he needs to do that with greater specificity and more firmness if he wants to reassure peeps getting heat from constituents.
What I do know is that if 99 Republicans allow 51 Democrats to dictate who the speaker is even though Republicans absolutely have the capacity to make their own choice... and even though the victors choosing the speaker is not unusual at all in Texas or any other system... just because some msm newspaper guy uses a sardonic writing style that belongs in a 1998 episode of Friends to make a tortured point about victors choosing being the Washington way... well... that is not leadership...
Texans didn't vote for bipartisanship or getting along or some mythical Bob Bullock Pete Laney let's all be friends thing (which is incredibly overblown, believe me I was there... it wasn't as friendly and happy go lucky as certain peeps try to make you think). Texans voted for a conservative agenda and to send a message to Obama.
I am not anti Straus or pro Straus and I really don't have an endorsement to make but again these sorts of msm articles and editorials are making me inch away from Straus...
Again I think Straus would do well to stop promoting these really faulty msm ideas and start telling us how he intends to lead if chosen as speaker again... he could end up being a great speaker in 2011 and even perhaps beyond, but not if he lets the editorial boards run his agenda...