Friday, April 13, 2007

Whitmire blasts Patrick in Senate debate

First, the links: Off the Kuff, In the Pink Texas, Postcards from the Lege, Texas Politics, PinkDome's picture, Capitol Letters, and DMN Editorial Board Blog

I won't try to repackage everything these blogs say, so I'll give a 10 second summary of what happened in the Senate yesterday in the spirit of the 7 minute Sopranos.

A man from Houston gets his own radio show, then gets neutered. The citizens elect him to serve the people of Texas. He harasses another man from Houston who just returned from a liver transplant. His best friend, also from Houston, gets mad.

A day late and a dollar short, the man wants $3 billion cut from a budget that's already been debated. He only plans on sharing his cuts with the media, but not with any lawmakers who have the power to change anything. The best friend Houston man stands up.

Whitmire: "It's your time to show this body that you know what you're talking about."

Patrick: "I don't have to be lectured by you."

Whitmire: "You can dish it out but you can't take it. You lectured the man his first day back. Get started. Go tell us how you're going to cut the $3 billion."

The conclusion came after neutered man reads a list of state agencies and declared he has the power to vote on the budget, insinuating he favors his standing in the press to his position as public servant. Moments later, the budget passes by 26-5. Man gets ridiculed in several blogs.


At 2:58 PM, Blogger paprgl said...

What is difficult in this situation is that too many people find it easy to ridicule Patrick. He got up, and in his big radio voice, chastised the Senate for its work, having never been on the committee, etc.

That's all a given.

But... on the OTHER HAND... Let's all recognize that Patrick and his frustration and his comments represent a voice of the conservative populace out there. People who ridicule government for not cutting costs. People who don't understand how the budget has grown by $40 billion in 4 years.

What this should be/could be is an opportunity to justify spending. To talk about why and how we're spending men. Instead of using it as a chance to ridicule a man who bucks the system.

Of course, I like people who buck the system. It opens up discussion. It keeps government open. It provides an opportunity to talk about policy if it's done wisely and for the benefit of all.

At 9:38 AM, Blogger imasuit said...

OK, fair enough, it is important for anyone of either party to start a dialogue on ways to improve the system. We all wants what's best, that's a given. However, it's the way Patrick done that's earned him scorn.

The budget's been in the Senate for several weeks now, and he did have a chance to go to committee to try to work out any concerns he had. I even understand why he didn't go to committee since there's a good chance he would've been ignored.

However, Patrick didn't plan on releasing "the list" to the media until after they voted on it, which would've made it a completely moot point (Is this what he wanted?). If he wanted people to talk about "the list," then he should've made some copies and brought up the topic well before they were 5 hours into debate and moments away from casting their votes. The only thing his stunt ensured is that he won't go to conference committee.

There are appropriate ways to debate and inappropriate ways; Patrick acted as an outlandish radio talk show host that day, not as a state senator.

As for the budget remark, I'll direct you to Sunday's Statesman article:

Whatever they come up with, the latest budget is unlikely to change the fact that, adjusted for population growth and inflation, spending in Texas has actually grown little even as billions of new dollars have poured into state coffers.


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