SocraticGadfly: The future of Dennis Bonnen — has just imploded

October 21, 2019

The future of Dennis Bonnen — has just imploded

BREAKING UPDATE OCT 22: Bonnen pulled the viper of Mucus too close to his breast. He has just announced he is NOT running for re-election.

Surely the GOP Caucus pressured him, and also the "Straus Republicans" may have said in the wake of "I'm going to screw cities and counties, and even more next term" that Mucus recorded, may have said they couldn't support him.

Did anybody quote Rick Perry's famous "Adios, mofo"?

Update related, Oct. 25: Bonnen won't face charges. I'm not surprised, but NOT for Kuff's reasons. Per the old "prosecutors can indict a ham sandwich" plus the fact that a Lege media pass is a thing of value, there was an argument for indicting Bonnen, rather than letting it go. Contra Kuff, it's arguable that there was a quid pro quo here somewhere.

And now, to the original, with new information in the same color as above.

A few quick hits here.

House Speaker Dennis Bonnen offered a resolution calling for him to resign at a meeting of the House GOP Caucus just after Mucus released the tape of their meeting this summer. (I've updated that story here.) He eventually withdrew it and no vote was taken; whether that's good news for his political future or not remains to be seen. There could have been a quid pro quo where he binds his future, at least as Speaker (not talking about his House seat) to a caucus vote. If that is the case, do House Dems, if they hold serve or get closer to a majority without hitting 76, look for a new dance partner? If so, who?

As for Bonnen's overall political prospects? Other than the occasional Libertarian, per Ballotpedia, he's not faced a general election challenger for more than a decade.

So? It's a 50-50 that Bonnen is Speaker again next year.

It's 90-10 he is re-elected to his seat unless he chooses not to run.

And, per the above? Texas Democrats? Can't take you that seriously, unless just like with Drew Springer up here on the Red, you start running state House candidates in every district.

That last paragraph still stands. And is even more important now that it's an open seat.

OK, next question is, what more authentic Straus Republican than Bonnen is going to look to be the leader of Straus Republicans? What sort of Democratic dance partner will they find? And, how soon and how public will a battle for this position start?

Related questions: Will the House GOP caucus push Bonnen to go ahead and resign as Speaker now? What if this push happens and he resists?

Also, what gave between the "offered a resolution" last week and the new announcement today? The Trib has the answer. Monday night, five Rethugs, all in Bonnen's general political territory and all, like him, not full on Tea Partiers (but more conservative in some ways than Straus, and who knows what Bonnen-like secrets lurk in their political hearts) told Bonnen they couldn't support him. Some additional support started flaking off later Monday. Clearly, Bonnen couldn't stay as Speaker, on a straight numbers count.

The Trib's not running again story said he'd lost more than 30 backers. And it, and others, has this unintentionally ironic comment by Mucus:
"He had gone from 3rd constitutional officer in Texas to a cautionary tale."
Yeah, the cautionary tale part is NEVER TRUST MUCUS. (Nor the man that Jim Schutze calls Christofascist Tim Dunn who's behind Mucus.) This is so elementary that it shouldn't need repeating, even to a Mucus suck-up like Bonnen. (Schutze pegged this totally right long ago about the not-so-Strausian Bonnen.)

On the other hand, you can trust Mucus to be more right than the Snooze, not that that's hard to do.
That said, Bonnen still could have run for his seat even while stepping down as Speaker. Tom Craddock is still in the House, as Example No. 1. Maybe I'll have enough for a folo in a couple of days.

I will say for now that Bonnen's too-clever-by-half hubris did him in. The House gym rat thought he could run circles around everybody else and instead entrapped himself.

That said, Mucus has the same too-clever-by-half hubris, and it may also wind up backfiring. Now, every House Rethug who isn't full-on Tea Party is probably looking over their shoulders at others in their band, wondering who else might be a rat fink, not a gym rat.

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