The conservative movement in Texas is alive and well.
Sadly, 46 states are languishing in Obama’s America, with a loss of hope that can only be described as un-American.
Hope has been maintained in three out of fifty states. All three - Wisconsin, Michigan, and Kansas - are infused with hope due to healthy conservative movements accomplishing things like right to work. These states know what it looks like for the ruling class to lose, and, as a result, have hope.
Texas is the fourth state that hasn't descended fully into Obama’s America. Texas defunded Planned Parenthood last session, giving Texans a reason to feel good about ourselves. Texans preserved an honest witness in the legislature by rejecting the “we were conservative” chant lead by Speaker Straus.
This set the stage for a dramatic improvement in the makeup of the House during the primaries. Many powerful crony moderates lost in favor of conservative statesmen.
The speaker’s race is a principle manifestation of what makes Texas the fourth state not relegated to Obama’s America. For many reasons, the speaker race is stronger, and more necessary, than it was last session.
For one thing, Speaker Straus said long ago he wanted to be speaker for only three sessions. The next one would be his third. This means that he would spend zero political capital if he became so unpopular that he can’t be re-elected speaker next time. He has “yep, my three sessions are up” to fall back on. This will make him bold.
In short, a third Straus term would have the same dynamic as Obama’s scary second term, because Straus doesn't have to be political anymore. Conservatives beware.
Next, Straus has removed cover for conservatives to vote for him. Remember the last speaker race? He danced his heart out to the fiscal and social conservative tune. Now Straus has turned the music off.
Straus is opposing the Governor and Lt. Governor on the issue of the Texas Budget Compact. Straus campaigned for new revenues without lifting a finger to find efficiency or waste in government. He’s gone public as a fiscal moderate.
Straus is also rumored to be telling social conservatives to save ink by not submitting any bills to make Texas less dangerous for its unborn. According to the Texas Tribune, Straus strongly implied this session's important abortion legislation - the fetal pain bill - isn't a priority. He’s gone public as a social moderate.
These things make a Straus vote even less defensible in-district. He has raised the price for House conservatives to vote for him.
But, as a matter of fact, the House isn’t the same as last time. It is better. Straus dynamics aside, the House has many more conviction conservatives. This makes the speaker race stronger this time.
Finally, if transparency and accountability are good things, running a speaker race, regardless of the outcome, is excellent for the state of Texas.
This is because normal order in politics is to have a small band of unapologetic bad guys in the legislature, a small band of unapologetic good guys in the legislature, and a huge ambiguous middle who are relatively unsorted.
The speaker’s race changes all of that. It basically provides Texans rankings for the entire House. Who has guts, and did they have it early, middle, or late?
And anyway, the original conservative movement took 30 years to win on the national level.
The reinvigorated Texas conservative movement will take nowhere near as long, but must possess the patience and resolve the original movement had, if it is to provide strength to America.
This type of resolve creates an Obi-Wan Kenobi effect. A battle loss is a win, because it serves to inform average citizens of what kind of reinforcements are needed. Losses become movement accounting and team-building.
Without bold, consistent moves like these, the movement operates in the dark.
Tired and cowardly conservatives who are out talking down the speaker’s race know not the forces they are playing with.
If they were to crush the speaker race, as they have already failed at doing, they would sink Texas squarely into Obama’s hopeless America with 46 other states. It would be left to three states, and none of them mighty Texas, to reignite hope for Americans who love America as founded.
It is our responsibility to cultivate the flame, not to lay down arms and walk willingly into Obama’s America.
Every conservative politician and activist first got involved to fix the system. The argument against the speaker race boils down to “leave the system alone”.
This isn’t good enough. Conservatives with a fighting spirit are ready for battle, and will benefit from their boldness. Conservatives who can’t stomach the fight should step aside for someone who understands where we are in time, and what is needed.