The Texas Republican Party is dying, the rats are jumping ship, and it’s all self-inflicted.
Representative Lyle Larson announced last week that he wouldn’t be seeking re-election for his seat in District 122. Although, some saw it coming because of his recent criticism of the GOP. But yesterday, Lyle Larson poured gasoline on every bridge he had and then lit the match.
“Looking back,” he said, “Dan Patrick is an awful human being.“
Lyle Larson has been in office for an entire decade, and it took him that long to realize Dan Patrick is an awful human being?
Of course, on-lookers from the center to the left oohed and aahed. How great he is to speak out against Dan Patrick, finally. Lyle Larson has often been hailed for being a “moderate Republican.”
Sure, he’s thrown his vote in with Democrats here and there, but not enough. And not always when it matters. He has still voted on plenty of terrible stuff that’s come from the legislature.
Maybe that’s why he’s retiring. Maybe he feels bad about the things the Texas Republican Party has done.
Here’s the thing, though. Lyle Larson isn’t the only one.
This week, both HD 127 Rep Dan Huberty and HD73 Rep Kyle Biedermann also announced that they would not be seeking re-election.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. All of these House Reps had good reasons to resign.
- Lyle Larson doesn’t like how far right the Texas Republican Party has moved. They’ve gone so far right that they’ve nearly fallen over.
- This year, Dan Huberty had a huge scandal after he was arrested for a DWI following a car accident. Then he admitted on the House floor that he was an alcoholic and was seeking help for his disease. Huberty likely wants to be out of the public eye for a little while.
- Kyle Biedermann participated in the January 6 Insurrection. Although there is no proof that he ever entered the building, he was pictured near the steps of the Capitol. At one point, Biedermann was questioned by the FBI, but we never heard about it anymore. Aside from that, Biedermann has been one of the least effective legislators all year long (maybe only second to Bryan Slaton). He only introduced a handful of bills; only one made it to the floor—the bill about whitewashing the Alamo. You have to see the clip; Biedermann was made to look like a racist and a moron. The most ironic thing about it is that Republicans still voted in favor of it.
While these three lawmakers each have reasons not to run for re-election, several other GOP members also announced they wouldn’t run again.
State Senator Kel Seliger announced his retirement this week. There’s drama there, too.
The following Republican State House Representatives have also announced they were not seeking re-election:
- HD9 Rep Chris Paddie
- HD13 Rep Ben Leman
- HD70 Rep Scott Sanford
- HD133 Rep Jim Murphy
HD19 Rep James White is running for the Agricultural Commissioner seat, leaving his House seat open. HD61 Rep Phil King and HD63 Rep Tan Parker are running for the State Senate, leaving their House seats open. And HD93 Rep Matt Krause is running for Texas Attorney General.
Then, SD12 Senator Jane Nelson is retiring.
While there are a few Democrats who have announced that they weren’t seeking re-election or were running for other positions, it’s just a small few in comparison with the amount of Republicans jumping ship. Ten House Republicans and two Senate Republicans are leaving their seats, opposed to four House Democrats.
On top of that, there is a rumor that last week Speaker Dede Phelan received a list of over 20 House members that will not be seeking re-election. There will be more announcements to come. I haven’t heard anything about party affiliation, but likely many of them are Republicans.
It isn’t only the Republicans not seeking re-election. There’s a lot more going on.
At the end of June, the Texas Republican Party had $905,000 federal cash on hand. Then, at the end of September, they had $490,000 cash on hand. That’s only a 3-month time frame. They have a ton of cash going out the door and none coming in. At this rate, they won’t be sustainable much longer.
Why is the Texas Republican Party hemorrhaging money?
The party in-fighting is at the maximum level of absurdity in the post-Rinaldi takeover. Former State Representative Matt Rinaldi was elected to the Texas GOP Party Chair in July this year, making him the third Party Chair over the last year.
Each GOP Chair has been further right of the last. Didn’t you think you could go further right than Allen West? You can, and that is Matt Rinaldi.
The entire party is a complete shit show. Allen West’s election to GOP Chair wasn’t legitimate, and Matt Rinaldi is so far extreme, he lost re-election for his House seat by 13-points to Julie Johnson in 2018.
It wasn’t just a loss of his House seat; it was a slaughter. So, in all of their brilliance, the GOP thought that someone who loses to Democrats should run their party.
Why was Matt Rinaldi a bad decision for the GOP?
In 2017, when protesters came to the Capitol to protest the Republican’s ban on Sanctuary Cities, Rinaldi announced on the House floor that he called ICE on the protesters because they had brown skin.
This nearly led to a brawl on the Texas House floor.
The ban on Sanctuary Cities was racist, and Rinaldi threatening to call ICE on Hispanic protesters was racist.
Having a GOP Chair with a racist past isn’t going to do much for the Republican Party in Texas when white people now only account for 39.75% of our state’s population.
Because of the ever-changing demographics in Texas, the only way Republicans can win is by cheating or appealing to minorities. They’ve chosen the former.
Everything Rinaldi has pushed since assuming the chair position has been extreme and meant to cause division.
When Democrats broke quorum, Rinaldi bullied Speaker Phelan to remove Democrats from their committee chair positions. He’s been a vocal advocate of the Texas House’s attack on transgender youth. He supported Abbott’s ban of mask mandates. Matt Rinaldi has been a cheerleader for every oppressive and unconstitutional bill which has come from the Texas Legislature this year.
Rinaldi is far from the only right-wing extremist making noise in the Texas political spectrum.
True Texas Project, run by the former Tarrant County Tea Party leader, Julie White McCarty, has also made waves.
Here’s an anti-Semitic Facebook post she published earlier this year. This one anti-Semitic post doesn’t scratch the surface of the amount of hate and racism coming from this organization.
Here is a 2019 article from the True Texas Project titled “Prepare to be Intolerant,” which seemingly advocates for racism to stop socialism.
Earlier this year, some of their members protested a voter registration drive held by Beto.
The True Texas Project is a conservative organization founded on racism and is one of the largest and most prominent racist organizations in the south. Members of the group have spread dangerous lies and misinformation for years. They have even been known to threaten the safety of those with opposing views.
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick is in bed with Donald Trump.
Whatever Dan Patrick and Donald Trump have going on, it’s been a thorn in Greg Abbott and Dade Phelan’s sides.
Make no mistake about it, Donald Trump has been pulling a lot of levers in Texas Politics when it comes to the GOP, and he’s been using Dan Patrick as his vessel.
Austin insider, the Quorum Report, recently wrote about the extent of their relationship.
Abbott has bent to every single far-right wish coming from the Trump camp this year because every single one of his primary challengers is further to the right of him.
This is why the 87th Legislature has been the most extreme legislature that Texas has ever seen.
Texans have been so angry and outraged at some of the laws passed in Austin this year that some in the GOP have been privately asking if they’ve gone too far.
The Texas Scorecard/Empower Texas are fighting with the Texas Republican Party.
Michael Quinn Sullivan, the CEO of Empower Texas has been nipping at various Republican leaders all year long. Sullivan is anti-Abbott, anti-Phelan, pro-Huffines, and pro-Slaton.
Yes, Slaton, as in Bryan Slaton… You know—the HD2 Rep who has spent all year obsessed with what’s in kid’s pants.
It’s so bizarre.
Bryan Slaton is widely unliked by both Democrats and Republicans. When I say, he has been obsessed with children’s genitals all year…I mean OBSESSED. He tried to introduce an anti-trans amendment on dozens of bills that came on the House floor, whether it was relevant to the bill or not.
He didn’t get one bill passed this year. Not one. But he introduced several anti-trans bills, a pro-Confederate bill, and suggested the death penalty for women that have an abortion. On both sides of the ale, all of his peers mocked him and made him look stupid countless times this session.
Yet, for some reason, as much as no one seems to like Slaton, and even though he’s been largely ineffective, the far-right and Empower Texas/Texas Scorecard to think he’s some Mr. Wonderful. As I said, it’s bizarre.
The in-party fighting in the Republican party is because of the ideology split.
The far-right has been pushing far-right and has dedicated themselves to scorched-earth politics. Unfortunately, they’ve gotten away with it in Texas because of voter suppression, apathy, and decades of gerrymandering.
Now, there are a lot of Republicans questioning whether they’ve gone too far. They’re pointing fingers, blaming reach other, and seemingly some of them know what’s coming.
Republicans are about to lose Texas.
Although, many of them fail to see the signs on the wall. Texas in 2022 is nothing like Texas in 2010.
Far-right extremists have taken over the Texas Republican Party.
This is why so many Republicans have chosen not to run for re-election. The Texas Republican Party is only interested in pushing racism, bigotry, hate, and divisiveness. They’ve gone too far, and the few Republicans left with any sense know it.
The new census just came out; white people have lost their majority in Texas, and 95% of the population growth was from people of color. They are hell-bent on stripping away voter rights and implementing racial gerrymandering because it’s the only way that they can keep control. However, the GOP doesn’t realize that Republican voters will be hurt by their voter suppression, too.
All of those empty seats the Republicans are leaving will be taken by either someone further to their right or a Democrat.
When the new far-right batch of loons run their campaigns from now until election day, moderate Republicans and the ones who don’t follow politics daily are going to look at them and say, “WTF?”
The new far-right batch of GOPers running for the Texas Legislature will be pushing secession, and they will be pushing defunding public schools. In addition, they’ll want to ban birth control and lower the age for constitutional carry from 21 to 18.
The Texas Republican Party is more vulnerable and weaker than they have been in the last 20 years. Now is the time for Texas Democrats. If we show up in 2022, we win.
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