How can you rush to a man’s side if that man is stuck in the middle? Republican Speaker Joe Straus is a moderate hoping to retain his position of leadership but that could prove to be a difficult task when the 2011 Legislature convenes.
Recently newsman Jason Embry and left wing blogger Charles Kuffner have suggested that Straus is safe based on the outcome of the March primary (which have yet to be completed). Straus has been laboring to convey the same sentiments claiming that voters gave him and his leadership a vote of confidence. I think most in the know are thinking, “Bless his heart.”
An overwhelming majority of those responsible for Straus’ appointment are Democrats. If as Embry and those wearing rose colored glasses surmise that the gap between R and D remains close or flips Straus is out in favor of the party in power. Discounting or totally ignoring the effect of flipping seats in November could prove to be foolish.
Ignoring the fact that neither side’s base was well served by last session is equally ill advised. Conservatives and a majority of the state did not get voter ID legislation. Democrats had to sacrifice unproven early education and the expansion of social programs. The session was a stalemate.
Each writer sets up the power struggle as an either or argument between Straus and Craddick. It is early in the game so discussions around other potential speakers is nonexistent but either or arguments don’t have great appeal.
There has been a creeping shift of power in the Texas House over the last decade. Similar to the creeping of a stock market over time smart money hedges on a correction.