Lawmakers have a choice between two groups: the conservative Texans who put them in office, or the contrived political tool constructed to produce anti-budget-cutting drama. Texans responsible for electing this legislature want cuts in current spending and are hoping they sent people to Austin with the mettle to follow through.
Opponents of budget cuts are relying on the old myth that cuts lead to electoral defeat, a roundly discredited notion. Unions and associations, agencies, and government-connected businesses are hoping to protect their piece of the budget pie by perpetuating the myth.
Meanwhile, a drummed-up opposition, consisting of media/union smoke and mirrors, is attempting to give legislators political cover to do the wrong thing. In truth, the majority of Texans are still comfortably in the position they were in on November 2nd and are watching the gesticulations in Austin with all the focus of a probation officer.
Coverage of a recent protest at the capitol made teachers, parents, and students appear as the only substantial groups of attendees. In fact, the protest was widely attended by extremist groups and special interests.
Now the media is seasoning their political theater with a message of budget “trouble in the Senate.” They’d have House members assume the Senate is unwinnable, and Texans assume Senators are unbeatable in the next primary/election cycle.
Conservative lawmakers should know that the left will attempt to defeat them in 2012 no matter what they do. As ever, honesty will be no tactical barrier in that effort. Conservatives should understand liberal legislators, media, and pressure groups didn’t put them in office and won’t take them out. Well-mannered, conservative, engaged Texans put them in office, and well-mannered, conservative, engaged Texans will be responsible for their defeat should they earn it.