Monday, December 29, 2008

On the Perils of Addition

I follow a canon in life that has served me well over the years. On its face, it seems a little obvious, and that’s part of its elegance. It’s a simply stated obvious fact, but I think people forget about its truth sometimes. Here it is:

Some of it plus the rest of it equals all of it.

Now where am I going with this? It has to do with the public pronouncement of 64 Democratic Texas House Members who have publicly proclaimed that they will vote for Anybody But Craddick on January 13th.

Now 64 votes don’t make a majority but that’s the point. These 64 ABC votes represent the “some of it” in my equation. The announcement comes on the heels of the notice that a 12th House Member has thrown his hat in the ring to become Speaker. These 12, a mish-mash whose views run across the political spectrum, represent “the rest of it.” The intent here is to demonstrate that there are 76 ABC votes out there and Tom Craddick’s hope for a 4th term as Speaker is doomed.

That is, if indeed we have 12 actual “rest of it” votes, and I’m not so sure we do. And therein lies the rub: when we do this addition, we need to be certain we have the right numbers.

First we have the enigma that is Sylvester Turner. Now Turner announced that he was running for Speaker just before the end of the 80th Legislature. Right at about the time that he was supporting Craddick’s refusal to recognize a motion to remove him from the Speaker’s office. Sylvester Turner, I think, is not part of “the rest of it” and from the lack of his signature on the ABC 64 document, he’s not part of “some of it” either.

And you really have to wonder about the sincerity of Dan Gattis. Is this guy still playing the role of stalking horse for Craddick? Granted I am influenced by his filing of a constitutional proposition that seemed on its face to be anti-Craddick. Now you have to wonder, as Matt Glazier does on BOR, whether this is just another ploy.

All of this has such a familiar ring to it, you know. This is how things were playing out the last time we went through this. We have conflicting lists of supporters now as we did then. Indeed, the only names on that list of 12 that I think are “for real” is Senfronia Thompson, Scott Hochberg and Pete Gallego.

We see mostly the same Democrats not signing on to an ABC document. Flores, Dukes, Giddings, Peña, Dutton, Guillen, King, McClendon, and Turner. However, two former Craddick supporters, Rose and Lucio, are now aligned against him.

So the shell game is afoot again and it would normally be such fun to watch, except that there is more at stake this time than last.

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