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"There is no distinctly American criminal class - except Congress." Mark Twain (1835-1910)

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"Liberty must at all hazards be supported." -John Adams (1735-1826)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Leadership, what leadership? I’m disappointed – 08 Mar 11

I’m gonna have to get up on my soap box today. I’m disappointed in our legislative leadership and the rest of our state leadership in general. I just wanta rant ‘bout it. This, most likely should be preceded by a short history lesson – bear with me please – it shouldn’t take long.

Texas designed its government after that which most of those that came before us was used to – the government in Washington, D.C. And they should have done so as it had worked so good for some fifty plus years at the time of their Declaration of Independence in 1836. Of course they had to redo the whole shebang after the events of the 1860s – probably a good idea then also. The current constitution has been in place since 1876; with a few amendments.

The Founding Fathers (USA) set up the US Constitution after the failed experiment with the Articles of Federation; opting for a strong central government with some very effective checks and balances. The chief of these was the division of power between the three branches of government: the executive, the legislative and the judicial. The Founders wanted the government to be responsive to the populous but realized that the whim of the majority carried with it a problem that needed to be offset by deep rooted senior logic. Therefore they set the terms of those members in the three branches to be different to counter balance this fear of radical whims of the populous.

The house members, representatives, are elected every two (2) years. This insures that the current feelings of the electors are heard. The president’s term runs for four (4) years, twice that of the representatives; thus insuring that the majority think through the voting process when electing the chief executive. The senators are elected to terms of six (6) years; half again as long as the president. The supreme court justices are appointed (not elected) for life terms; a result that is many times the length of the other three (even combined).

The longer terms were to give the much needed (or so they thought at the time) wisdom of a longer viewpoint to the proceedings of the entire process of government and preclude the back and forth of the popular look of the majority.

The Texas State Constitution is just a little different, but not by much. The governor serves a two (2) year term, where the president serves four (4). The representatives serve the same two (2) year term. The senators serve a four (4) year term and the Supreme Court justices serve a six (6) year term: they are elected instead of appointed as the US Supreme Court Justices are. The basic point here is that the senior leadership still resides in the same branch; it’s just a wee bit shorter in duration. The state Senate is still supposed to be the un-upheavalbe source of leadership.

This being the case; I ask you why are our state Senators acting like they are members of the state House of Representatives? This is not their role – it never has been. So what has predicated the reversal of roles.

As a (usually) Republican; I find myself having to side with the Democrats on issues. This is largely due to the nature of legislation that is currently being generated in the Senate instead of the House. It has been left to the House to see that the “strange” (sometime just plain “weird”) legislation does not see the light of day as laws.

Why is this element of Texas leadership not standing up to their jobs? I don’t want to hear this “guff” about no more taxes, voter ID, required sonograms, use or not use the rainy day fund, new text books or the theory of evolution and guns on campus. Most of all that is just slight-of-hand and not really good slight-of-hand at that.

I want to hear that they have fixed the budget. I want to hear that they have fixed the education shortfall and upgraded the State Board of Education (SBOE) outlook on their role. I want to hear that they have moved on from the petty “rebel rousing” talk that they seem to think is the answer to getting re-elected the next time. I want all this stuff to be past tense – put it all behind us and move on to the twenty-first century where the rest of us are scrapping to just get by and survive. This is what we deserve. This is what we elected them for – but won’t again if they don’t come with us into the twenty-first century.

I think we need to promise them that! Do you have an opinion? I, for one, would like to hear it.

I came across this picture of one of our leadership and thought I would share it with you.

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