| It was a holiday yesterday, so you might not have been paying full attention to the Texas legislature-- specifically the Texas House.
Voter ID has slowed the Texas House to a near crawl. Republican's put the bill on the calendar and refuse to take the highly controversial bill off the general calendar.
Paul Burka criticized Democrats and since then, we have been making it a point to show the error of his logic. As Phil points to, this is Republican Joe Straus' House. As Phil aptly points out, "Democrats can stand on principles while [Joe Straus] stand on politics."
KT then made it a point to discuss who controls what part of the legislative process. It looks a little like this:
Republicans control the Texas Senate.
Republicans control the Texas House.
Republicans set the calendar.
Republicans set the speaker.
Republicans set the agenda.
Now Evan Smith, President of Texas Monthly, has chimed in and agrees with us.
Had Craddick not be ousted, had they still hovered somewhere just south of 90 members, etc., etc. But the fact is, he was, and they don't. So it's up to the House Rs, not the House Ds, to get the train back on track. They're the ones who have to get the Ds to compromise, because unless they do, the Ds can use, in the Speaker's parlance, the process that's available to them.
Smith even quotes the Speaker himself from the Quorum Report.
"Democrats have been using the process that's available to them to use in a way that I wouldn't suggest is helpful," he said in an impromptu gaggle with the press during floor discussion of the Top 10 Percent Rule debate. "I would say the more they talk, the more explaining they have to do and I feel like the entire Republican caucus agrees with me on that. And I just hope they put aside some of this, some of the abuses of the process - legitimate - but I think ill-timed beyond just making their point."
Smith finally boils down the debate to the simplest point.
As for the explaining to be done, I would say it falls to those people who are so hell-bent on passing voter ID ahead of windstorm, insurance sunset, and other bills that pass the test of pressing need.
This is a complicated issue. Republicans control every branch of government in Texas. The far right wants voter suppression legislation over any other bill. They have made that decision... not democrats.
We have 1 day left to get to work on the people's business. It is only up to the Republican's in the House to get that done. They are the ones in power after all.