With Joe Straus Gone, Will Gov. Abbott Board the Crazy Train Or Hit the Brakes?

AUSTIN — Teeth are gnashing and hands are wringing among Texas Democrats and moderate Republicans in the wake of bombshell news this week that House Speaker Joe Straus will depart the statehouse.The politician who ought to be most worried over the impending titanic shift, though, is Gov. Greg Abbott.As Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and the Texas House Freedom Caucus have driven the policy discussion under the pink dome further to the fringes of the GOP’s right wing, Straus has been the strongest Republican voice for sanity. He snatched the brakes of the conservative crazy train and kept it from careening through the guardrails and going over the cliff, dashing the party’s hopes with business interests that have long been the Republicans’ foundation.Abbott, meanwhile, has been happy to watch from the fences.   Continue reading...

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