Tag Archives: TEApublicans

Changing Texas’ TEA- Driven Politics

In government, there is an inextricable, but also uncomfortable link between politics and policy.  Politics is something of a theatrical endeavor… a compelling story, a charismatic candidate, the right thing (or the wrong thing) said at the right moment that motivates voters in one direction or another.  It’s an art form that in many ways seems a natural fit for the most brilliant of performers.

Policy, in so many ways, is the polar opposite… taking the most difficult problems of a community, and trying to make them better. Policy is best structured when people of differing opinions come together, debate each other’s views and forge a compromise that works for everyone.

Recent years in Texas have seen a whole lot of bad politics, and very little policy.  Thanks to regressive TEA party influences, Republicans in the legislature have wasted lots of time and money making harmful cuts to the state budget, while creating massive problems for families across the state.  For evidence of this, look no further than the devastation waged during the 2011 legislature.

Thankfully 2014 has seen the re-emergence of diverse ideas, and a robust policy conversation in Texas.  Even before November votes are cast, the influence of Texas Democrats has done a great deal to counter policies driven by the TEA party.  Take the latest ad released by Republican Gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott, which promotes his plan to improve state infrastructure.  This is the most recent proposal from the Republican candidate which proposes an increase in investment for public projects… a far cry from the “cut any and everything!”  mantra of 2010.

It’s no surprise that Greg Abbott is suddenly taking such a dramatic shift from the cut-and-kill ideas of the past. He’s being forced to do so because of his Democratic opponent Wendy Davis, who has been discussing infrastructure investment for months now on the campaign trail. Sure, the Republican candidate may have been the first to run an ad on the subject, but he’s doing so after Democrats started the discussion.   In response to Davis, Abbott has also pledged to invest more money in education and healthcare.

This is the power of having opposing arguments in an election… It forces the other side to respond and moderate, which makes better policy for all. If Texas Democrats achieve nothing else in 2014, they can take Abbott’s actions as proof that Republicans can’t just ignore their policy views any longer, and the TEA party’s strangle hold on the state has been greatly diminished.

On infrastructure, Greg Abbott won the Politics… he was the first to bring the issue to the forefront with a big, glossy ad.  But the substance within that ad, investing “billions in new road construction”?  We can thank Democrats for advancing the Policy debate.  Let’s hope voters know the best choice on November 4th.

Texpatriate has a different view on Greg Abbott’s infrastructure plan.

Arizona SB1062 is Gone. What’s Next??

Don’t get me wrong… I’m glad that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has spared her state a bitter set of legal battles by vetoing a controversial bill aimed at codifying discrimination under the guise of freedom of religion. It was a terrible piece of legislation, and everyone from the Progressive community to business leaders to even common-sense conservatives could see it was terrible a mile away. People are now celebrating the bill’s defeat, and claiming victory (forever!!) over discrimination.

But here’s the truth folks… SB 1062 is just a symptom of a much larger disease, and that disease can only be cured through the ballot box.

The real question should be: Why do we keep electing these people?? And by people, I don’t just mean Republicans, but anyone that chooses Legislate their narrow-minded beliefs as a substitute for reality. The “this I believe” caucus isn’t just in Arizona, but it’s a disease that has spread throughout every GOP-dominated legislature in this country. These lawmakers refuse to see our nation for what it really is… a diverse mosaic of peoples that will never agree on everything, especially a single set of morals and values. No matter how one chooses to live their personal lives, that choice cannot be enforced upon someone else successfully. The purpose of law is to solve issues, not create them. But for “this I believe” lawmakers, creating problems seems to be the only thing they are good at. Remember before the outrage of SB 1062, both houses of Arizona’s legislature had numerous hearings where people testified, warning them “This bill is discriminatory” “It will cause an uproar throughout the state”. They’re the ones that listened to all arguments for and against, and after (supposedly) weighing things carefully, STILL decided to vote for a ridiculous 2-page prejudice fest.

The central issue here is not the bill, it’s the lawmakers that are cruel enough to send this bill and ones like it to the Governor’s desk. They’ve done it before, and they will do it again.

As much as the populace would like for these lawmakers to learn their lessen, it’s just not going to happen. The only way to break the cycle of extremism in these legislatures (including the US Congress) is to vote the extremists out of office. It’s great that sanity won the battle on SB 1062, but the war can only be won at the ballot box. If you really care about equality, go educate yourself and vote for candidates that support your views.