Big Government, Texas style

The GOP prides itself on two points. First, it is the party of less government, and, second, it is the part of local control. There are myriad exceptions to these points, however, specifically in examples where another platform of the party is threatened by either less government or local control. These usually have to do with social issues.

For example, Mitt Romney and John McCain frequently stated that they wanted “government out of your life,” but what they really meant is that they wanted it out of your checkbook. The GOP, especially in Texas, has no problem with entangling itself between a woman and her doctor, or between two consenting adults in a bedroom. Further, even though the GOP seems to love the mantra of “leave it to the states,” they have no issue with mandating federal regulations/amendments that would prohibit things like gay marriage or the legalization of cannabis, over the objections of states.

We see another good example of this from the Chron about a recent Senate bill. Senator Hegar introduced a bill, SB 987, which would prohibit cities and counties from regulating gun shows. Specifically, the legislation was raised over the idea that Austin and/or Travis County would ban gun shows from public buildings. In a classic example of the State Legislature bullying the Capital city, the Senate voted overwhelmingly (24-6) to prevent Austin, or any other municipality, from issuing meaningful gun reform measures.

What disturbs me the most about this vote (you know, besides my state’s unhealthy little juvenile obsession with instruments of death), is how many Democrats voted for the measure. 5 out of 11 Democrats voted FOR the bill, mainly the Rio Grande Valley ones (Whitmire, Ellis and Garcia voted NO). Interestingly, Wendy Davis voted for the bill. I like Davis, so I am going to excuse this stupid position as bandwagoning to join an otherwise inevitable vote, in light of her difficult re-election bid next year. Good to know, nevertheless, that the Houstonians are from the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

UPDATE: Also, and I include it down here because I don’t have enough to say for a regular post, but WFAA (DFW’s ABC) is reporting that yesterday the Texas Senate voted unanimously to stop ticketing juveniles for classroom disruptions, instead focusing on counseling. It was proposed by Royce West (D-Dallas), and had bipartisan support because of the money it was projected to save.

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