by Zero Hedge
Update (0930ET): Texas’s Republican governor, Greg Abbott, has vowed to arrest the Democrat lawmakers who fled the state in an attempt to stop an overhaul of election laws…
“As soon as they come back in the state of Texas, they will be arrested, they will be cabined inside the Texas capitol until they get their job done,” Abbott said.
* * *
Texas Democrats have up and walked out on the legislative process.
As AmericanThinker.com’s Andrea Widburg details, the background to the story is that the Texas legislature, which currently has a Republican majority (18-13 in its Senate and 83-67 in its House) is poised to pass a voting reform bill. As with similar bills across America, the point is to ensure that the people voting have a legal right to vote and are, in fact, who they claim to be.
The most contentious issues for Democrats are cleaned-up voting bills and, especially, photo ID. The problem is that most Americans support photo ID. According to a Monmouth Poll, when it comes to photo ID, 62% of Democrats, 87% of independents, and 91% of Republicans support it. Texas, with a strong Republican majority, is intent upon passing a bill that the vast majority of Americans would back.
Texas Democrats fled their state on private jets Monday in order to stop Republicans in the state from passing their voting rights bills through the state legislature.‘Today, Texas House Democrats stand united in our decision to break quorum and refuse to let the Republican-led legislature force through dangerous legislation that would trample on Texans’ freedom to vote,’ the Texas state House Democratic caucus said in a statement.
At least 58 Democratic lawmakers left Austin to fly to Washington D.C. on two private jets chartered for the occasion and will use the time in the nation’s Capitol to rally support for federal voting legislation.
The Democrats’ departure paralyzed the Texas state house as the legislature requires a quorum of two-thirds of lawmakers be present to conduct business. It’s also akin to a move Democrats used in 2003 when they fled to neighboring Oklahoma to block Republicans‘ plan to redraw the state’s congressional districts.
The Democrats risk arrest and expect state Republicans to send law enforcement officials, possibly including the Texas rangers, after them.
To permanently block the two voting bills that Texas Republicans are pushing, the Democrats would have to stay away through the end of the special legislative session, which can last as many as 30 days.
In addition to this profoundly anti-democratic (small “d” democratic) act, the Democrats on the lam seem to have forgotten that Greta Thunberg would be very angry at them for using private jets. Depending on how many passengers those jets carry, they “create ten times as much greenhouse gas as an economy class traveller on a commercial flight, as well as 150 times more than those travelling by train.” (Think about that the next time some leftist billionaire who only travels by his private jet scolds you about your carbon footprint.)
One more thing: I hope you noticed those beaming smiles, courtesy of the fact that none of them are wearing masks…
Oh, and there was that alcohol issue. As the Democrats were ferried somewhere on a bus (presumably to the private jet airport), Julie Johnson snapped a selfie in which she proudly boasted about how the Texas Democrats are protecting democracy by refusing to let the Republican majority vote on an act that comports with the public will.
The whole thing would have been a lot more profound if the snap hadn’t caught a case of Miller Lite on the bus too. Johnson deleted the tweet, but Twitchy caught it:
They promptly earned some media coverage and went without masks, in violation of the FAA’s COVID restrictions.
But as PJMedia.com’s Bryan Preston details below, this is not the first time such malarkey has occurred.
Inexperienced media seem to think Texas Democrats abandoning their posts rather than doing their jobs is new.
Who are these “veteran capitol observers” you’re tweeting about?
They must not have been around all that long.
The Texas Democrats did this before, back in 2003. I’ll quote a bona fide veteran capitol observer who wrote about it at the time — who is actually a veteran in addition to observing the capitol: me.
The Ardmore fraternity party, as state GOP types have taken to calling the 53 wayward Democrats, said their flight was to protest what they called a highly partisan Republican redistricting plan. State Rep. Jim Dunham of Waco led the group, insisting that the plan was not only too partisan, but that adopting it in a non-census year was an outrage. Dunham has a short memory — he had his own district redrawn in 1997 so that he could build a house in a different neighborhood without having to run in a new district. Of course, 1997 was not a census year. The Ardmore 53 have also tossed up the canard of “diversity,” arguing that the GOP plan would dilute African-American votes and diminish their representation. That’s a funny argument, given that the state currently has three African Americans holding statewide elected office, and all are Republicans.
The truth is that the only thing about the GOP plan that is unprecedented is the fact that Republicans drew it. Tellingly, none of the fleeing 53 voiced any concern about the plan before heading for the Oklahoma flatlands. The two Democrats that did raise concerns during the legislative session had their questions addressed, and stayed in Austin to support the plan’s passage. Republican party Executive Director Wayne Hamilton recalled a bit of Texas history when summing up the state’s view of the hightailing Democrats: “The fact is, the line was drawn at the Alamo and these guys all cut and run.”
Indeed. Perhaps it’s telling that the Democrats who run the media in San Antonio are trashing the Alamo itself now, just about every day. They never saw a fight they weren’t eager to turn tail and run away from and they’re happy to kick the dead if it suits their political aims. Neither is very Texas behavior.
The 2003 Democrats didn’t accomplish anything by running off to Oklahoma. Today’s Democrats won’t accomplish anything either. They are the butt of informed jokes across the Lone Star State.
Double gross. They couldn’t even feign being Texan and loft some Shiners? C’mon.
The state House speaker is signaling he may penalize them, following Gov. Abbott, who already has. Democrats hold an awful lot of chairmanships and vice chairmanships in the Texas House despite the fact that Republicans control it. It would be a shame if anything happened to those chairmanships and vice chairmanships.
Then there’s redistricting, which will be the subject of another special session later this year. District lines and therefore seats will be in some state of uncertainty. The Texas GOP also has a new chairman, elected Sunday, who might have thought about all this. The Democrats’ flight north certainly presents an opportunity.
The Texas Democrats have become a full HOA of Karens, seeking to speak with the manager until the manager — Texas voters — tells them something they don’t want to hear. Texas voters want secure elections in which it’s easy to vote but dang near impossible to cheat. The Texas Democrats don’t want to hear that.
So they’ve boarded a comfy chartered flight, sans masks and with weak non-Texas beer, to belch too much carbon into the skies and skedaddle away north. Typical.