Her latest column is called "A Ted Cruz on Every Corner." The premise is that not just Cruz but "so many other members of the state delegation" to Congress were "doing crazy things during the government shutdown debacle." Some thoughts:

1. Based on the examples given, by "doing crazy things," Collins apparently means saying silly or intemperate things. Most of the comments cited are indeed both, and McCain's response to Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert is pretty funny. However, Collins' characterization of what Cruz has been up to--"trying to win the hearts of American voters by spreading fear, terror and economic chaos"--strikes me as equally silly and intemperate. 

2. I still wish someone would explain to me how, exactly, Cruz caused the shutdown. Telekinesis? 

3. Although that account of Cruz might be intended humorously, it's not nearly as funny as Greg Abbott's explanation of his work as the state's attorney-general, which Collins cites disapprovingly: "I go into the office, I sue the federal government, and then I go home."

4. Speaking of Abbott, he does have about $20 million in his campaign war chest. I'd be surprised if it's enough "to buy Nebraska," as Collins asserts; but for anyone who is fearful as a result of Ted Cruz's wanton terror-spreading, keep in mind that any attempt to purchase Nebraska would arguably be in violation of the 10th Amendment, and General Abbott would have no choice but to sue himself over it. 

5. The fact that George P. Bush is running for land commissioner is the opposite of "strange." 

6. The boring truth is that Rick Perry supports funding the water plan (and has, in fact, been a voice of reason on the budget this year). 

7. "The rest of us will just sit here and mull the fact that Texans feel the need to make these jobs elective." ???

8. In the space of three sentences Collins says that Wendy Davis is an "exciting" candidate for governor, notes that some people think she "might actually have a chance," and but then makes it clear that she herself knows better than that: "But anybody who could just raise money and get 45 percent of the vote would be the party’s biggest star since Ann Richards." It's hard to argue with Collins' logic on this--I mean, how could you read this list of a half a dozen carefully cherry-picked comments and fail to agree that this state is irredeemably fucked? I will, however, say that in my opinion, while Davis's biggest barrier to victory is Abbott, her second-biggest barrier to victory is the national Democrats who are simultaneously fawning over her as if she's their hand-selected ambassador to Texas while sighing over what they see as her inevitable loss. 

9. I'm surprised that Collins hasn't knocked it off with the tired and misleading secession jokes yet.

10. Collins is correct to observe, as many Texans have observed this year, that "the pragmatic Texas Republican establishment is pretty much on its back, hyperventilating." That's true. The causes are complex and the ramifications could be significant, for the state and for the country. It's a phenomenon that is eminently worthy of serious consideration--an approach that Collins once again eschews in favor of the har-har perspective that she previously brought to her commentary about Texas.
 



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