WED brief 6.22.22
Welcome to a late evening brief. Sign up if this email was forwarded to you (hint: here’s the button).
DADE PHELAN, the nominally “Republican” speaker of the Texas House, was caught on video defending the practice of awarding committee chairs to Democrats.
Several of Phelan’s comments are notable, but that he felt compelled to make them at all is the most significant development.
Whereas Joe Straus would have ignored his critics, Phelan ran his mouth. This could boil down to countenance or indicate Phelan is feeling more heat over this subject than Straus ever did.
Also, it’s incredibly popular with the GOP base and was named a priority at the convention as a result.
Phelan’s remarks can be broken down as follows:
“Why now?” – Better late than never is too easy a retort. Conservatives have derided the seedy practice for at least a decade, and it has risen in significance recently as the result of greater message discipline, not because objections are newfound.
[The last Democrat speaker to serve] Pete Laney appointed Republicans to chair significant committees.
We’ve heard Capitol old-timers suggest that Laney was a more conservative speaker than Phelan, but LOL on Phelan explicitly proving their point.
For an incumbent (Republican) presiding officer to admit a (Democrat) predecessor, 25 years ago, ran a more conservative chamber isn’t the flex he thinks.
He removed Democrat committee chairs who had killed bills under the previous Speaker.
Phelan admits the practice is a problem.
(Democrat) Harold Dutton was a more conservative Public Ed. Chair than (Republican) Dan Huberty.
The old joke about being the prettiest girl in Arkansas applies here. Even if you win this dubious beauty contest, consider the competition.
Speaking of Democrat committee chairs in Republican majority chambers, see next item.
CHIP ROY blasted the practice and several similarly abusive practices in Congress during a wide-ranging interview at the RPT convention.
Roy decried Texas’ lack of leadership at the state level and the consequences it begets in Congress. Roy continues to have a high political ceiling, with three obvious open paths:
Stay in Congress with an eye on the speakership. This would require the cooperation of colleagues who hate his guts. Unlikely.
Run for U.S. Senate (likely open due to incumbent running for POTUS) in ‘24.
Run for Governor (likely open seat) in ‘26.
HERBERT HOOVER’S GRANDDAUGHTER thinks RPT convention delegates are nuts. The collective wisdom of the RPT delegates, setting aside a plank-by-plank analysis of the platform, can be trusted over the bloodline of Herbert Hoover.
JOHN CORNYN’s recent game of footsie with the anti-gun crowd might not be about guns at all, according to one liberal hypothesis. It remains to be seen if that hypothesis is correct, but Cornyn paid one heckuva price.
Hit the links
Is Immigration “Selectionism” the best path forward?
Democrats and Asian-Americans: It’s Getting Bad
Thanks for reading
Push Junction grows through word of mouth. Please consider sharing this post with someone who might appreciate it.