May 26, 2014

Is Dan Patrick fit to be Texas' Lite Guv?

Per David Jennings' Big Jolly blog with the Houston Chronicle, the answer, as he shows, is a very arguable no.

One could argue that a Greg Abbott, the fox guarding the henhouse of CPRIT and such, isn't 100 percent ethically fit to be governor, but this goes beyond that.

If Dan Patrick is lying about the extent of his mental health problems, as well as lying about what exactly his mental health problems are, then obviously, he's not 100 percent ethically fit.

But, per the extent of the mental health problems themselves, one can argue that he's simply not 100 percent fit.

Stigmatizing depression is one thing. Raising serious questions about just how manic Patrick can be in manic phases of bipolar disorder, assuming that that is what he has, is another.

Per being lieutenant governor? The lite guv presides over the Texas Senate. As such, he has to cooperate with the Speaker of the House on some legislative calendar issues. He has to work with the House and the Speaker on conference committees for bills that have passed the two houses in different versions. And, that's where his old rubber hits the road. Per Big Jolly:
During the 2011 session Patrick was carrying the sonogram bill and got into argument with House Sonogram sponsor Sid Miller. Patrick blew his cork one day and walked over to House where he threatened, in front of House members, to beat up Sid Miller. The House then got mad at Patrick; he went to see (Speaker Joe) Straus and they had an argument and Straus told Patrick to stay away from the House.
Does Straus still want him off the floor of the House? Metaphorically as well as literally? How can Patrick actually work with him?

Meawhile, at Jennings' personal Big Jolly blog, the rats are coming out of the woodwork, the sewer and other spots to defend Patrick. No surprise there.

That said, both David Dewhurst and Jerry Patterson brought this on themselves.

If Patterson thought this was that important, why not bring it up in the original primary? The issue of Danny Boy hiring Ill Eagles was nice, but, Jerry, even when you had it prepared, you had no guarantee it would have that much impact. Why didn't you, your private eye and whomever else, have this one also ready to release in March?

As for Dewhurst, to riff on Sean Connery in "The Untouchables," in the whole campaign, he's brought a knife to a gun fight. That said, in good country club style, he has stuck his pinkie out away from the knife while holding it. When you did finally bring a gun, it wasn't your own, but the hired hogleg Patterson keeps in his boot. In any election not involving Dan Patrick, Patterson would have a good chance of being a loose cannon.

Instead, due to bungling by Dudley Dewless compounded by that of Señor Hogleg, Dan Patrick, of all people, may get a sympathy backlash tomorrow. If he gets the GOP nod, this is an issue that obviously won't go away, but while it will make the Lite Guv general race tighter than the guv's election between Abbott and Wendy Davis, I doubt it will be enough to unhorse Patrick in November.

That said, if there is some chance he would lose in November, and GOP wingnuts want to double down on him tomorrow, by all means, go ahead. And, non-wingnuts in the GOP have brought this on himself. Per Jolly's laundry list, there's clearly enough misconduct of lack of decorum as a state senator that he could have been officially censured or something. Instead, to riff on another blog post of Perry's, you have someone unfit even to be the Houston Astros GM running for lieutenant governor. He's also not fit to be dogcather of Utopia, though maybe Kinky Friedman and his Utopia rescue society would take him in.

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