Recently there has been a transformation in the political bent of David Dewhurst. Prior to his disastrous run for the U.S. Senate, I’d always considered Lt. Gov. Dewhurst as a rational Republican who more often than not was inclined to do the right thing. Unfortunately, after his defeat by Ted Cruz, Dewhurst has taken a sharp, right turn and appears now to be willing to put politics ahead of progress for the state of Texas.
Small episodes sometime can be very revealing about the motivation and character of people. In the recently completed regular session of the Legislature, Lt. Gov. Dewhurst, who controls the agenda of the Senate, had the opportunity to place before the Senate a solution to our highway dilemma in this state. Unfortunately, he placed a vote for abortion above maintaining roads, bridges and highways in Texas. Apparently, he did so to prove he was more conservative than other Republican potential candidates for office. As a result of this choice, highway funding was never really addressed by the Texas Senate during the regular session.
Not acting on highways in an expeditious manner was in part responsible for multiple sessions costing over two million dollars.
Dewhurst has fallen in line with other statewide officeholders in apparently caring more about their conservative image than the people of Texas. Rick Perry, for example, has turned down billions of dollars in federal funding, which will go to other states, just to show how tough he is in opposing federal mandates. Perry has done this at the expense of poor people and uninsured citizens of this state.
Perry’s actions will assure that he has burnished his credentials as a conservative candidate for president while at the same time assuring that Texas will continue to have more citizens without health insurance than any other state in the union.
We should not leave out Attorney General Abbott, current odds-on favorite to be elected governor, in the scenario of placing politics above the needs of our citizens. Abbott has wasted $2.5 million suing the government (our government). Most of Abbott’s lawsuits against the federal government have been to oppose measures which would assure citizens of Texas clean air and water. The remainder have been wasted on Abbott’s efforts to maintain partisan reapportionment and throwing roadblocks into the average citizen’s ability to vote for candidates of his or her choice.
This kind of partisanship may be good for our politics. It’s not good for progress.