In contrast to the Democrats’ complete lock on power in Washington, D.C., Texas Republicans control the governorship, the state Senate and the state House. That’s why passing the Election Integrity and Bail Reform bills over the weekend was expected to be a layup.
Traumatized by the GOP’s plan to end “necessities” such as 24-hour voting and drive-up voting centers, Texas Democrats were adamantly opposed to this legislation. They are well aware that the emergency measures put in place because of the pandemic handed Biden the presidency. They were never intended to be made permanent although Democrats hoped they would.
But, of course, they portray this bill as the Republicans’ attempt to suppress the minority vote because we are all racists.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the Texas Senate debated the bill through the night on Saturday, finally passing it early Sunday morning. At that point, the state House took up debate. The House was required to vote on the measure by midnight (on Sunday) when the legislative session would end.
About an hour before the deadline, House Democrats walked off the floor, thus denying the Republican-controlled chamber a quorum and killing the bill – for the time being.
Following this stunt, state Rep. Chris Turner, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, told reporters, “Democrats used the last tool available to us. We denied them a quorum and we killed that bill.”
The Republican House Speaker Dade Phelan clearly saw the situation differently. He said, “Texans shouldn’t have to pay the consequences of these members’ actions—or in this case, inaction—especially at a time when a majority of Texans have exhibited clear and express support for making our elections stronger and more secure.”
Needless to say, Democrats throughout the country applauded the Texas House Democrats’ effort to block the Republicans’ “assault” on voting rights.
Gov. Greg Abbott was “deeply disappointed” over this move and threatened to veto Article 10 to cut off funding for the legislature in the tweet below.
I will veto Article 10 of the budget passed by the legislature.
Article 10 funds the legislative branch.
No pay for those who abandon their responsibilities.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) May 31, 2021
Abbott also plans to hold a special session of the legislature to take up the Election Integrity and Bail Reform bills which will most likely be passed.
Okay, so the Texas Democrats have learned that it’s not much fun to be in the minority. They flexed their muscles and used a loophole to temporarily halt legislation they disagreed with, a move that was met with praise from across the nation. They stood up for their convictions.
Compare this to the behavior of the Democrats’ push to end the filibuster in the U.S. Senate where they hold the majority. Although they used the filibuster to their advantage on hundreds of occasions and argued against its elimination when they were in the minority, now they claim that it’s racist and authoritarian to require 60 Senate votes instead of 51 to pass sweeping, radical, game changing laws.
For the Democrats, it’s never about standards. The rules don’t matter. Winning matters. And they will do whatever it takes to win. They’ve won – for now – and they will try to prevent the pendulum from swinging back as pendulums inevitably do.
In their desperation to hold onto power, their lack of principles are on full display. Whether they’re in the minority or the majority, the script never changes.
There are no principles left in the Democratic Party.