In one of the Sherlock Holmes novels, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote something I think is not only relevant, but is also critical to understanding Texas politics. He said, “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

For the last couple of months, I have been spending a lot of time thinking about some troubling facts within the Republican Party of Texas.

Specifically, I have been thinking about how for 27 years, Texas Republicans have elected a Republican governor, and for the last 19 years in a row, we elected enough Republicans to give a solid majority in both the Texas House and Senate. These are facts.

And yet, very little of the Republican Party platform has been enacted into law during the last 19 years. That, too, is a fact.

When we elect people to represent us in Washington, D.C., I found that the most common excuse for why they didn’t do what they promised is that they were prevented by Democrats.

I used to think that explanation didn’t hold water in Texas. That is, until I realized Austin is in even worse shape than Washington, D.C.

I believe the biggest problem within the Republican Party of Texas is that our political enemies essentially have two armies. One army openly wears a distinct uniform showing them to be Democrats. The other is the more effective army; it is the one in which the Democrats wear Republican clothing.

Although this explanation is uncomfortable, it does fit the facts.

It is the reason I started telling people that I belong to the “Republican Wing” of the Republican Party. It started out as a joke. But it is no laughing matter.

I also want to suggest there is a relatively easy way to get back on the right track. It is simply that we must look at and make our neighbors aware of the actual voting record of our elected officials.

Stop accepting their sorry excuses, and start using this question:

In comparison to how Democrats vote, if you didn’t know [insert your representative’s name] was a Republican, would you be able to tell that he or she is a Republican?

If not, it gives you a clue about how to hold them accountable with your vote next time.

So, there it is. If you have a better explanation for why things have played out this way, I would love to hear your theory. Send me comments at

This is a commentary published with the author’s permission. If you wish to submit a commentary to Texas Scorecard, please submit your article to

Jon Francis

Jon and his family are Eastland County residents.


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