Interesting question. In my mind, there is no question. But that isn’t why I’m writing this.
I attended the Downtown Houston Pachyderm Club weekly luncheon today as usual. As most of you know, that is my favorite club in the Houston Metro area. I attend dozens of club meetings but this is the one club that I call home. I like it because the attendees are a broad cross section of the Harris County Republican Party. You always have attorneys and judges because of The Spaghetti Warehouse’s proximity to the various courthouses in downtown Houston. As well, you get grassroots activists such as Harris County District Clerk Chris Daniel, Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart, and their supporters. You always have candidates testing the waters. And you have bloggers, such as Bob Price of TexasGOPVote.com, and Yvonne Larsen and Don Hooper with BJP. And always a lot of HCRP precinct chairs like Betty Avery, Peggy Lindow, Ann Lee, etc. Tea party folks like Jim Lennon and Fred Blanton. SREC reps like Valoree Swanson and Bonnie Lugo. Insiders, outsiders, grassroots, and newbies – the perfect place to gauge Republican politics in Harris County. Plus, to be frank, the food is good and cheap – hey, I’m down with $8 for a salad, entree, and drink. Yeah, I’m a (cheap) conservative!
I’ve never witnessed anything like I witnessed today at that club. Texas Sen. John Cornyn sent a representative to the meeting, which in my memory is the first time he’s done that. I do know that he’s hired a lot of people lately, so perhaps that is why she was there. I didn’t catch her name but when she stood up to introduce herself and stated who she was shilling for, she received a chorus of boos. Never, ever would I have expected that at this club. Club President Sophia Mafrige told the crowd that the club doesn’t greet people that way and did a redo, forcing people to applaud.
I think that this incident shows the level of frustration that Republican primary voters have with the senior senator from Texas.
After the meeting was over, I was approached by Ed Vidal. Ed is what I call a “super Cruz” supporter. I didn’t know him last year but after I decided to support David Dewhurst for Senate, I kept noticing him at every meeting I attended. He would be passing out Cruz push cards or placing them on top of Dewhurst push cards that were placed on tables.
Earlier this year I decided to meet Ed. I invited him to lunch and told him that I wanted to write about Cruz and if his supporters were happy with his performance in the Senate. I never got around to writing that post. Ed was ecstatic about Cruz’s actions and loved what he was doing. Now, for those of you on the left that are reading this (I’m talking about you Scrambled Brains and others), the caricature you have of Ted Cruz supporters is wrong. Incorrect. Idiotic. Whatever adjective you choose.
Check out Ed’s Linked In. Please. I beg you. I’ll wait. And if those big words scare you, I can understand.
So when this tri-lingual international attorney approached me after the meeting and asked me to tell David Dewhurst to run against John Cornyn, what choice did I really have?
David Dewhurst should run against John Cornyn. Hey, primaries sharpen our candidates and at this stage of the political game, no one else has a chance. I think that Dewhurst would beat Cornyn, hands down, at this time in Texas politics. If someone with fewer resources would have listened to me back on January 1, 2013, perhaps they could have rounded up enough support to run. But that was then, this is now. Now it is going to take someone with significant personal financial resources to beat Cornyn at this point. The idiotic federal rules limiting contributions from any one person is an incumbent’s dream.
Look, Cornyn knows he’s vulnerable. Why do you think he’s hired so many people even though he currently has no opponent? Okay, he has a couple of guys that have zero chance of beating him as opponents but really, he has no serious opponent. He’s fielding a huge staff trying to intimidate serious potential challengers.
I don’t have any particular beef against Cornyn. He is a solid conservative, albeit thin skinned. Lord knows I’ve defended him enough that people call me a RINO. And his votes are decent enough if you look at his overall record. But he doesn’t inspire anyone and he certainly doesn’t listen to current grassroots Texans. In his heart of hearts, he supports amnesty – if you don’t believe me then talk to his closest supporters. His bad luck is that amnesty rears its ugly head in years that he is running for re-election. I think that in his heart of hearts he is against Obamacare but his ambition will not allow him to listen to his constituents. He would do Texans a much greater service by advocating for his positions, rather than trying to convince the base he is with them on these issues. Ambition seems to be his highest priority.
Dewhurst has done a lot to repair his reputation with current grassroots conservatives. He has spent a tremendous amount of time with grassroots activists this year, something he didn’t do in his race against Ted. ‘Cardboard’ Cornyn has been so absent that groups literally have to use a cardboard cutout of his likeness.
Does Dewhurst really want another term as Lt. Gov.? I don’t know the answer to that. More importantly, would Texans be better served with him at the helm of the Texas Senate or with him as a Senator in Washington, doing the will of the Republican base unlike Sen. John Cornyn? I’d submit that Dewhurst’s legacy would be better preserved by leaving state government and entering federal politics. As I did last year.
I started this post by saying that in my mind there was no question. No question at all that Dewhurst should run against Cornyn. In fact, after the RRRW forum last week, I told him that. Think about it: Dewhurst presided over the ‘Texas miracle’. Dewhurst has a solid record of cutting spending and growing an economy. Cornyn? Well, he did file a bunch of bills to defund Obamacare. But he doesn’t support Ted Cruz’s effort to kill it.
You are either with the base or against it. Hiring a bunch of ex-Freedomworks employees isn’t going to change that.
There you go Ed.