Run. Hide. Obstruct. Nothing new for Texas Democrats

Democrat Lawmakers in Texas ran and hid to stop legislation that would protect the voting rights of all Texans, especially Blacks. Legislative leaders ordered their arrest. The Sergeant at Arms crashed through a window into their locked party room and forced them back to work.

This happened.

I’m not talking about this week; I was referring to an incident back in 1870.

Breaking Quorum to stop free, fair, and accurate elections is nothing new for Texas Democrats. It’s the same story, same political party, just a different century.

No Sergeant at Arms will fit through the tiny window of the private jet used to flee the state this time, but there is no doubt history is repeating itself right before our eyes. Members of the party of racist Jim Crow laws are once again running and hiding because they do not have the votes to uphold their radical agenda to prevent free and fair elections.

In 1870, parts of Texas were in absolute chaos, and the intimidation against both Black and White republican voters was intense and real. Legislation by republicans, designed to restore order and protect voting rights, would ensure Reconstruction. This was much to the dismay of the Democrats still brooding over the end of their preferred institution of slavery.

But the 1870 quorum breakers were far less flamboyant than the 2021 Texas Democrats flying off to party in DC.  The 19th-century Democrats fighting against Reconstruction and the Black vote simply hid away in a locked room at the Texas Capitol.

One of the more dramatic, violent, and athletic moments in Texas political history occurred when it came time for the Sergeant at Arms to “compel the attendance” (Texas Constitution Article III, Section 10) of those who were “particeps criminis in the revolutionary, unpatriotic, and disgraceful design and intention of breaking up the Senate” (Journal of the Texas Senate).

Sergeant Faulkner dove through the window, “head over heels among them,” and then escorted the quorum breakers back to the Senate Chamber. Some of them would spend three weeks in jail, while some were forced to stay in the Senate to uphold the quorum.

Democrats would do this again in 1876 and many, many more times, including the famous “Killer Bees” of 1979, again in 1981, 1991, 2003, earlier this year, and again this week.

One theme seems consistent for these Texas Democrats throughout all of the obstruction: “We don’t have the votes through representative government, so we’d rather break down the republic than do better at actually winning the support of the public through elections.”

Non-Texans may wonder why the people of Texas let their representatives act like spoiled children throwing a good ol’ fashioned fit to get what they want.

Whether you view them as cry baby kids taking their ball and going home or as bullies trying to force their will on the public through raw power… you’re right. Texans dislike this abuse of power so much we have a specific provision in the Texas Constitution to stop it. Still, clearly, leaders must be willing to use that provision to discipline the child kings and queens and prevent their tantrums in the future.

Unfortunately, the current Texas Speaker of the House rewarded the spoiled behavior back in May and announced there would be no consequence for the tantrum. Any parent knows that if you give the kid the cookie because they’re flailing about on the ground and screaming, you can expect more and more of that exact behavior.

So here we are again in July with the legislative children demanding their way, or else there will be no legislature at all.

This time may be different.

Using a private jet with drinks flowing as they flaunt their own mask orders and then deploying nonsensical arguments claiming that voter verification to stop illegal voters somehow suppresses the vote is not winning supporters. It hurts their party and our trust in government when democrat princes and princesses skip out on work to party while hard-working Texans cannot do the same and still expect to get paid or keep their job.

It is all just too much.

Too much for the voters. Too much for the political opposition about which the lies are told. And much like the child who finally pushes too far, the ride home after the public fit is going to be spent contemplating the discipline to come.

The Texas Speaker of the House has now put in motion the “Call of the House” (House Rule 5, Section 8), passed with a 76-4 margin, giving the Sergeant at Arms authority to “compel the attendance” of the jet-setting party goers as soon as they set foot back into Texas.

Will the Texas Republican leadership have the courage and boldness to do the right thing and not give in to the bullying tantrums?

The Speaker is certainly responding better than in May.

Serious primary challenges from Col. Allen West and Senator Don Huffines have forced Governor Greg Abbott into finally acting on conservative principles rather than continuing his COVID-19 dictatorship. If the Governor continues to call 30-Day Special Sessions and the Speaker continues the Call of the House, the Democratic frat party will eventually come to an end, and voter integrity will ultimately pass.

Somewhere along the way, Democrats forgot that the story of Texas is one of courage and conviction winning against overwhelming odds because true Texans stand and fight for what they believe.

Not Texas Democrats. They turn and run. Somehow in their twisted view of history, they believe that cowardice ultimately wins.

Now is the time for Texas voters to show them otherwise.

• Rick Green is a former Texas State Representative and founder of Patriot Academy.

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