Remember when the Houston Chronicle endorsed Ted Cruz for the U.S. Senate instead of "establishment" conservative David Dewhurst? You don't? Well, they want us to forget it too. They also told us Ted Cruz was "thoughtful." But they don't want you to remember that either.
Yesterday, the editors penned a piece pining for the days of Kay Bailey Hutchinson. Here's a few choice snippets:
And dare we say it? We miss her extraordinary understanding of the importance of reaching across the aisle when necessary. Neither sitting Texas senator has displayed that useful skill, and both the state and the Congress are the poorer for it.
One reason we particularly believe that Hutchison would make a difference in these hectic days is that if she had kept her seat, Cruz would not be in the Senate.
When we endorsed Ted Cruz in last November's general election, we did so with many reservations and at least one specific recommendation - that he follow Hutchison's example in his conduct as a senator.
More on this classic moonwalk in a second -- the first question it raises is: well, why didn't you endorse Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst? Turns out the Chronicle has a good excuse for this as well:
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While we're on the topic, we'd like to think our first choice to succeed Hutchison in the Senate, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, would have been more amenable to following Hutchison's example than Cruz has been. But these days, we're not so sure. Dewhurst, long considered a moderate in the Texas GOP, clearly was rattled by his unexpected loss to Cruz for the Senate seat.
Since the defeat, the lieutenant governor has attempted a full-blown political makeover designed to make him the darling of the conservative wing of the Texas party.
Faced with the impossible task of outflanking three strong conservative challengers, the traditional moderate Dewhurst does not seem like a man comfortable in his own skin. It's painful to watch.
But what is really painful to watch is the editorial board's johnny-come-lately approach to Cruz -- we hate him too! -- and "just so" story regarding their Kreskin-like ability to see into the future and know, just know, that Dewhurst would have been a disaster too. (To the Chronicle's credit, it did endorse Hutchinson over Perry in the governor's race).
Our real question, though, should be, what did the Chronicle's editors see in Cruz's campaign rhetoric and political past to make them think he would not turn out to be an embarrassment to the State of Texas. Cruz was supported by far-right ideological organizations like the Club for Growth, the Senate Conservative Fund, the Tea Party PAC Freedom Works, the conspiratorial right-wing blog Red State, the Tea Party Express . . . the list could go on. Did our city's paper of record not do its homework? Did it simply not want to endorse the Democratic candidate who had no chance of winning? Nobody likes a loser! How did the editors come to the conclusion that Cruz was thoughtful?
We will never receive good answers to these questions, but let's hope the next time the paper attaches its good name to a political candidate, it's the Chronicle who is a little more thoughtful.