Why are they so mad?

Statewide elected officials in Texas, 2012

While checking some facts I came across the Texas Tribune’s directory of elected officials.

The directory is an excellent reminder of voters’ loyalty to the Republicans since every statewide elected official is Republican. If you were to look back over the last decade you’d see the same distribution in statewide offices. You would also see the domination of the Texas legislature by Republicans.

The question is: Why are Republicans so mad? They are, after all, running things in Texas.

I think that part of the answer is that the tone of Republican leadership has changed since Reagan left the scene. Ronald Reagan was an optimist and took a positive outlook on politics (and life). His approach to a compromise was to claim victory if he got half of what he wanted. Today, Republicans don’t claim victory unless they get 100% of what they want (and you almost never get what you want in politics). So, Republican leaders always talk as if they are losing.

Reagan’s leadership style was somewhat unique–and not easy to pull off. George W. Bush tried to convey this tone. However, he was often ignored or was unable to drown out some of the more negative voices in his party.

There are a number of people in the Texas Republican party who can tell you every single bill they did not get in the last legislative session. Many fewer seemed to notice their victories.

The Texas Republican party has won a lot in Texas. What they haven’t done yet is convince themselves that they aren’t losing.


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