The Annoyed Man wrote: ↑Tue Oct 22, 2019 5:00 pmWell, maybe the rest of the GOP caucus will figure it out too. THEY voted for both Strauss and Bonnen. Surely they can do better. Is there a supermajority needed or something? Why do they have to pick someone that satisfies the s̷w̷a̷m̷p̷ ̷r̷a̷t̷s̷ f̶e̶v̶e̶r̶ ̶s̶w̶a̶m̶p̶ s̶ǝ̶ᴉ̶z̶ɐ̶ɹ̶ɔ̶ democrats?
It comes down to game theory and a form of the median voter theroem.
Basically, there are 150 seats in the TX house. 83 are held by R's and 67 held by D's. To select a speaker, all members of the house vote and only a simple majority is needed. If all the R's voted for their guy and all the D's voted for their guy, then the speaker would be chosen effictively by the R's. However, not all the R's in the house are conservative/libertarian, many are RINOs. They basically say that they aren't going to vote for the guy that (for example) John Strickland would also vote for because that person is too extreme, and intead will vote for someone else. There's not enough of a R majority in the house to make their threat irrelevant so whoever the R's pick will be someone more toward the center, because the hardcore R's know that if they dig in their heels, the speakership will be chosen by the D's and RINOs who will vote together.
What Bonnen did was, knowing that he didn't have the support of a lot of the non-RINO R's, pledged committee chairs to D's to get their support. The D's also know he's a bit of a RINO so they viewed him as their best realistic shot at having some sort of legislative control At the same time, Bonnen was threatening R members that if they ran against him or opposed him, there'd be consequences in terms of committee assignments, etc. This is why you saw both D & R votes for Bonnen. No R wanted to run against him and effectively split the R vote because the consequences of that would have been a D speaker, which, in their view is far less preferable than a RINO speaker (I disagree with that analysis but whatever) - and they also didn't want to be Bonnen's target since the speaker wields a lot of power in the TX lege.
And that's why you had Bonnen torpedoing gun laws and appointing anti-gun D's to chair key committees....that was essentially the price of his speakership. Amazing what people will do for power.