A Texan Should be Speaker

Considering the outsize influence Texas has in the current GOP domination of Congress, it only makes sense that a Texan should be Speaker of the House.  And at least three Texas Representatives seem willing to step forward if Paul Ryan (now allegedly too liberal – if you can believe that – to be Speaker) decides to decline to run.  The Texas Tribune indicates that Bill Flores (TP-Bryan), Michael McCaul (R-Gerrymanderland), and Mike Conaway (TP-Midland) are all interested in the job.  All would be midgets following in the Texas-sized footsteps of Congressional giants and former Texas Speakers Sam Rayburn, John Nance Garner and Jim Wright, but at least they would be Texas midgets.

 U.S. Rep. Bill Flores, R-Bryan, said Monday he intends to seek the gavel of the United States House of Representatives if his colleague, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, doesn’t.

Though GOP lawmakers have been urging Ryan to run as a consensus candidate, Flores said in an interview with The Texas Tribune that he spoke to Ryan on Sunday.

“I don’t want to share private conversations, but he was still a ‘no’ as of yesterday when I spoke to him,” Flores said. 

If Flores is to succeed, he will need the 25-member Texas House delegation behind him. That’s no certainty yet, given  possible home state competition. U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Midland, has said he will consider running for speaker if Ryan opts against a run. U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul is also mulling a run, a source close to him confirmed. 

Where we are now is, what we’ve agreed is that we’re going to hold our powder dry,” Flores said of his fellow Texans. “And then we’ll see which Texan gets the most traction, and the thinking is today that we’ll coalesce around one Texan eventually.” 

The race is complicated by the Gang of Forty ultra-right wingers who are making outsized demands as a condition of support for any candidate for Speaker.  So right now we have about 10% of the Congress who represent the most far-right lunatic fringe of what used to be a mainstream political party controlling who will hold the third most powerful position in American government.  If Ryan bails, Flores might just be the man.  First, he apparently doesn’t understand the meaning of a private conversation which positions him well to betray anyone who strays from the Tea Party line.  And second, he is apparently willing to kowtow to the Gang of Forty demands of ideological purity at the expense of actually governing.

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