Thursday, November 6, 2014

Flip Flop

While the hand wringing and gnashing of teeth has ended for one party, for the other it's just beginning.

Used to be that an election meant you got your airwaves and your mailbox back for at least a year before the next cycle of propaganda and oneupmanship began. Not any longer.

Electioneering has become such an expensive sport that candidates must spend the entirety of the legislating cycle raising money. There's nowhere for exhausted donors to hide. And perpetual fund raising means perpetual politics, tearing down and maligning the other side in an effort to get enough of someone's attention that they'll open their checkbook to you. (Yes, I know that super PACs and IEs contribute far more spending than candidates do these days, but that's a post for another time.) When all you do is campaign, it can be difficult to shift gears into governing.

Fortunately, in Texas, there's no fund raising while the legislature is in session. At least there's a brief reprieve from always being faced with a collection plate. And with a part-time legislature, the folks that make the laws have to go back to their districts and work, actually live with, under, and by the laws they pass. When 3/4 of your term in office is spent as a private citizen, I think you tend to take more notice of what exactly it is you're doing to residents of your state during the months you're at the Capitol. At least I hope so.

Anyhow, one cycle has barely ended and the next has already begun. Heaven help us all keep a relative sense of civility. And maybe even a sense of humor.

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