Hooray for the Killer Bees!
59 of the 62 Democrats in the Texas House have left the state in a bid to break the quorum and kill legislation that the new Republican majority has been cramming through the Lege in a one-sided, partisan fashion. Here are the latest details.
I'm glad to see that the Texas Democrats are finally showing some backbone! We are going to be bombarded for the rest of the week by Republican namecalling, but these lawmakers should be applauded for standing up for their constituents. Republicans are complaining that they never used these extreme tactics when they were in the minority, but what they don't admit is that they still managed to get much of what they wanted while the House was controlled by Democrats. When the Republicans took over earlier this year they made many of the same mistakes as their counterparts at the federal level did 8 years ago under Newt Gingrich. Rather than working with the minority party to reach a bi-partisan consensus on major legislation the way Democrats did for years - they have plowed ahead in a power-hungry bid to get everything they want all at once without compromise. Republicans never opted for the Killer Bee tactic because they were never driven to it the way Democrats have been this year. Conservative Democrats like former House Speaker Pete Laney always gave the Republicans plenty of leeway to keep them happy over the years. Now, the fact that Pete Laney is among the missing is very instructive in how harsh and partisan the House has become under Tom Craddick.