They’ve got a lot of fleas in Texas. Apparently, though, of late there are a few dozen less of them. Especially given what happened yesterday since the whole Democrat legislative delegation chose to flee the state rather than engage in a special session at which election reform was cued up.
Texas House Democrats are again using the quorum-bust maneuver — this time as a means to draw attention to their opposition to the special session agenda’s call for election reform.
Given, Speaker of the House Dade Phelan cannot, by law, call for the Texas Rangers to arrest quorum-breakers until there has actually been an opportunity to break it. In this week’s case, that would be Tuesday at the first opportunity when the full House is scheduled to meet.
The first of two anticipated special sessions began Thursday, and without two-thirds of the House present business cannot legally be conducted on the lower chamber’s floor.
But the hunt is already on for the runaway Dems, who seem to be having quite a time at it. Pics shared by the 58 House Democrats showed a case of Lite beer on a bus before or after boarding a private jet to Washington D.C. — to which state Sen. Dawn Buckingham quipped “Not what I had in mind when we passed beer to go.”
The jets appearing in other pictures making the rounds on social media, according to Hayride contributor and pilot Leland Freeman, cost around $100,000 at least to charter, per plane, and one-way. The depicted House Democrat passengers, who made a big deal about masks at the Capitol over the past half-year, are all apparently unmasked.
It’s an embarrassment of hypocrisy, obviously, to watch the fleas take their beer and go “home,” as DC would be the ideological home of the Texas Democrat Party if not its physical home. But performative hypocrisy is the stock and trade of the flea. For example, there was this…
“We left Texas, not because we want to,” state Rep. Chris Turner, D-Arlington and chair of the House Democratic Caucus, told reporters in the Dulles parking lot. “It breaks our heart to do it. We are in a fight to save our democracy.”
Yeah, whatever, Chris.
The truth of the matter is that quorum-busting is now a tradition for that party. The fleas are now heroes on the Left. And for right now it’s a creditable strategy to defeat the 11 measures on the session’s agenda, most but not all of which are Republican priorities like election integrity, protecting girls’ sports, addressing critical race theory and punishing social media platforms for censorship.
Except it can’t last. There are levers the governor and the legislative leadership can use. Greg Abbott said yesterday he was going to arrest the fleas as soon as they came back from the Swamp…
First of all, I’ll tell you what the House of Representatives can do. What the speaker can do is issue a call to have these members arrested. In addition to that, however, I can and I will continue to call a special session after special session after special session all the way up until election next year. And so if these people want to be hanging out wherever they’re hanging out on this taxpayer-paid junket, they’re going to have to be prepared to do it for well over a year. As soon as they come back in the state of Texas, they will be arrested, they will be cabined inside the Texas Capitol until they get their job done. Everybody who has a job must show up to do that job, just like your viewers on watching right now. State representatives have that same responsibility.
Abbott is talking about a “Call of the House,” by which Speaker Phelan can legally summon the House Democrats back. It’s even being bandied about that the families of those legislators could be charged with conspiracy to escape the call and arrested themselves, which would be a bit of an overreach and a political mistake.
There is no real time crunch here, though. Abbott can call special session after special session, on on top of another, and absolutely ruin the lives of the Democrats until they give in and come back to Texas to be cabined at the Capitol. This could drag on for months. If it drags on for a year, it won’t really hurt much of anything. And eventually, they’re going to have to come home for redistricting; if not, that process would take place through a commission of Texas’ statewide officials who are all Republicans and for 10 years the fleas would have created the worst possible situation for themselves.
Not to mention it’s expensive to live on the lam in DC, even if you’re raking in donations from leftists. Sooner or later you’re going to have to file ethics reports on those expenses, and it’s inevitable that complaints will come from those reports and what’s in them. Most of those House members don’t have enough money saved up to pay for their exile out of pocket.
It might have seemed like a good idea for the fleas to flee. But it wasn’t. They’re now in a corner, and they’re largely at the mercy of Abbott and Phelan – who don’t appear to be in much of a mood to cut them any slack.