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Endorsement watch: Lecturing

It’s not a surprise that the Chron endorsed all incumbents plus Nick Lampson in the Harris County Congressional races. For better or worse, that’s exactly what I expected. The one race that for which I wasn’t fully confident of this prediction was CD07. Indeed, the Chron did not have the guts to endorse Jim Henley, but neither did they endorse Culberson. What we got instead was basically a big lecture to Culberson, sort of a Festivus-like airing of the grievances, in which they list all of the things that Culberson has done to disappoint them, presumably in the hope that he’ll come to understand the error of his ways and reform himself. As I recall, that was the basis of their 2004 re-endorsement of President Bush. I’m not sure why they see fit to take this approach – as a famous philosopher once said, “That trick never works!” – but at least they didn’t give Culberson their stamp of approval as they patted him on the head and told him to go and sin no more. I suppose that counts as progress. If nothing else, you can bank on Culberson never getting an endorsement from them again, because (and I hate to be the one to point this out to them, but someone must) like the scorpion in the river-crossing fable, he’s just going to keep on doing what he has always done. It’s his nature. Either the Chron approves of that or they don’t. I say they should endorse accordingly.

(Hey, if they can lecture, so can I.)

Elsewhere, the Star Telegram became the only one of the five major metro dailies to endorse Chris Bell.

Texans should elect a new governor: Democrat Chris Bell.

Bell, 46, is a seasoned public servant, with five years on the Houston City Council before his election to Congress in 2002. The 2003 redistricting spearheaded by Tom DeLay, then U.S. House majority leader, targeted Bell and other Texas Democrats by placing them in new GOP-dominated districts. Bell lost his bid for re-election.

The governor of Texas does not have much power — just enough to make the Legislature think twice about what it is doing. That’s exactly what today’s monopolized state government needs.

Electing Bell would give Texas a taste of two-party government again, although this time dominated by Republicans instead of Democrats, as was long the case.

What power the governor has derives from the bully pulpit that the office provides, the ability to veto legislation and the power to make appointments — with the approval of the Senate. Used judiciously, these can be great powers. If overused, they can become inadequate and ineffective. Even a speech from the governor can be ignored, and a veto can be overridden — but each still makes the Legislature think just a bit harder before it acts.

At least they recognize the need for a change. Even the Abilene Reporter-News called for a change in the Governor’s mansion, though by leaving it up their readers to choose between Bell and Strayhorn they didn’t exactly choose an optimal strategy for making that happen. They’re still better than the Morning News, the Statesman, and the Express News, all of whom call for staying the course and damning the torpedos. When they start complaining about all the bad things that will certainly occur during the 80th Lege, remember that they endorsed the status quo. Shame on them all.

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  1. Dennis says:

    I see the Galveston Daily News endorsed Kinky. Says he won’t win, of course, but that maybe a high protest vote will demonstrate to Rick Perry that he has to govern more from the center. Yeah, right. As you correctly note, that’s what the Chron said about George W. and now about Culberson. Gutless, if you ask me.

  2. Charles Hixon says:

    The Chronic endorsement is for the benefit of attracting local retail advertisement – the main source of revenue for the Chronic and without which the Chronic couldn’t survive.

    Although the local retailer and more specifically the Chronic’s benefactors play a minor role in many citizens’ daily activity, many other citizens owe a large portion of their debt, their future, to those who support the Chronic: specifically the homebuilder.

    Most homebuilders do not recognize our judicial system by requiring the citizen to agree to the homebuilders version of binding arbitration. The Chronic sees this contradiction as pointed out in their article dated Oct. 15th: Information on builders getting tough to nail down that you reference in your short last week: WHO’S BUILDING YOUR HOUSE?

    A comparison to the Lemon Law for new cars is a good example – where you can return your car for full refund if it fails to function as a car. No such law exists for your house if it floods.

    Until the Chronic can come to terms with our Constitution, their endorsements of the various lawmakers, elected judges and administrators (whose campaigns are financed by the homebuilder) is based on flawed reasoning and selfish motives. Motives that do not reflect the will of the citizen.

  3. jim says:

    A golden opportuniny for the Re-pubic-ans

    The Mark Foley scandal has given the social conservatives who control the Republican Party a golden opportunity to place their agenda front and center for national consumption. With Foley soon to be released from an alcohol rehab program, one of the leaders of the Party — say, Bill Bennett (oops, gambling addiction) or Rush Limbaugh (oops, drug abuse) or Newt Gingrich (oops, infidelity and twice divorced) or Tom DeLay (oops, indicted for campaign finance abuse and money laundering) — should now step forward and mentor Foley, one of their own, by persuading him to enroll in Exodus, the organization touted by the religious right as capable of facilitating changes in sexual orientation through conversion to Christianity. The Republicans will then have their perfect poster boy: reformed alcoholic, ex-gay, born-again Christian, credentials which should escort this eligible bachelor to the front of the line for marriage to the preacher’s daughter. And who better to continue the crusade against gay marriage and protecting minors from predators? What a Karl Rovian coup. Pardon my skepticism, but better the preacher’s daughter than mine.

  4. […] see what the Chron would have done, given that they endorsed the challenger in 2008 after giving a decidedly un-ringing endorsement to the incumbent in 2006. (They do seem to like telling certain candidates to change who they are.) […]