The promoted issue of Texas conservatives influencing Texas state representatives to elect a “Conservative House Speaker” has died on the vine as only a few of the Republican caucus sided with those backing Joe Paxton.
I personally have to confess some ignorance on all the ramifications of this matter but here is what I do know. This is largely a matter of “social conservatism”, not “Fiscal and economic conservatism”.
The Tea Party was and likely will continue to be successful and influential at the national level to the extent that it continues to focus on economic issues.
T.E.A. = Taxed Enough Already
The Tea Party is comprised of several factions including traditional religious right, independents, libertarians, fed up Democrats, and others with no clear affiliations. We are pretty much in agreement that nationally, the Tea Party should stay clear of social issues. That’s because the economic problems have a clear priority. Many of us think that a smaller national government is better, one that extends it’s tentacles into fewer aspects of our lives.
But what then should conservatives do at the state and local level? I don’t have any problem with a push for a conservative house speaker, but at the same time, I don’t clearly understand what that would mean for the state. More importantly, I think that with Texas facing a 20B shortfall in funding the next year, we need a focus on fiscal conservatism much more than anything else right now. Looking at a recent interview by the state Tea Parties with Straus and Paxton, there are few differences in their apparent stands on issues. We know Straus is pro gambling, and we know Paxton is pro life.
Given the resounding defeat of Paxton in the Monday caucus, I have a suggestion. Texas representatives are not across the board RINOS, that is a ridiculous proposition. If they overwhelmingly supported Straus, the Tea Party groups should strive to understand the reasons.
Should people promote their own opinions on social issues at the state or local level instead of national? Absolutely! If you are not promoting them at the national level due to principles of small federal government, then it follows that the state and local level is the correct place. But what should be the priorities at this time? Are we in Texas immune from the economic catastrophe of California? Or is it just coming a bit further down the road?
That’s the memo.
PS: If I’ve been running this blog since 2-2009 and trying to stay informed on issues, and I don’t clearly understand the implications of a “Conservative House Speaker for Texas”, it would seem to be the case that those implications and advantages for the state resulting from this switch have not been clearly articulated. That’s a problem whether this issue or others is the matter of advocacy of the moment”.