Thursday, January 10, 2013

Weak Tea in District 102

Two years ago, newly elected Texas state representative Stefani Carter pissed off local Tea Party activists with her support for establishment figure Joe Straus for Speaker of the Texas House. The Dallas Morning News had the story in November, 2010. Carter's support for Straus cost her "TeaApproved" status from the North Texas Tea Party. The Texas Tribune had the story in January, 2011.

It wasn't just that Carter supported Straus (although that would have been bad enough for the Tea Party). It was that, in the Tea Party's view, in public Carter was professing to be uncommitted, but in private she was pledging her support to Joe Straus. As the North Texas Tea Party put it, "Stefani Carter has no problem talking out of both sides of her mouth."

Two years later, where do things stand? After the jump, let's catch up.

In the 2012 election, Stefani Carter's earlier support for the traditional GOP establishment didn't hurt her with the Tea Party. Nor did her active and enthusiastic support for Massachusetts moderate Mitt Romney, the quintessential traditional national GOP establishment candidate. (Do you see a pattern here? Do you think Carter might support just about anyone who might be able to help her career, all the while assuring the Tea Party folks back home she's really one of them?) Having no power to defeat her or even influence her, the Tea Party weakly fell in line.

Yeah, We all know our disappointment with Stefani on the Straus fight. But she was pretty stellar AFTERWARD on fiscal responsibility. And she was one of the FIRST to tell Straus there would be no pledge card this time. She's FAR better than her Democrat opponent.

"Far better than her Democrat opponent." Given that the Tea Party thinks any Democrat is Uncle Joe Stalin in disguise, that's damning with faint praise. The Tea Party's embrace of Stefani Carter suggests that politicians like Carter and political parties like the GOP have been very successful at using the Tea Party rather than the other way around.

In 2013, the Tea Party continued to promote an anyone-but-Straus strategy. There was Bryan Hughes. There was David Simpson. In the end, there was no one. Joe Straus easily won re-election as House speaker by acclamation. Where was Stefani Carter this time? Not surprisingly, still riding the coattails of powerful establishment figures.

State Rep. Abel Herrero on Tuesday poses with state Rep. Stefani Carter, R-Dallas. Herrero and Carter were among a dozen chosen to escort Speaker-elect Joe Straus into the House chamber.

That's some weak tea they brew up in north Texas.

P.S. It was once said of Texas Senator Phil Gramm: "The most dangerous place in politics is between Phil Gramm and a camera." I have a feeling that Stefani Carter will soon earn that reputation herself.

No comments: