TEXAS VIEW: Bipartisanship still breathing in Texas, even if it’s dead in WashingtonTHE POINT: The Texas Legislature, by tradition, doesn’t generally operate the way the undrained swamp does.

We don’t like to think of ourselves as cynical about government — just experienced.
It becomes harder to believe, with each passing election cycle and the omnipresent gridlock, that the work of Washington is about anything beyond the accumulation of power for one party and the denial of power to another. The stakes are so high, you see, that what was once the workaday business of governance is now a pitched battle pitting the forces of good vs. evil. It’s rank manipulation, of course, but plenty of Americans bite the bait and so the cycle continues.
It was nice, then, to turn to Austin this week where it seems adults with good intentions for the people they serve still hold some sway. The Texas Legislature, by tradition, doesn’t generally operate the way the undrained swamp does. And we cheer that, not only because it cheers us, but because it holds out the promise that our representatives will work as the servants of the people who elected them.
The elevation of Angleton Republican Dennis Bonnen to speaker of the Texas House came in a unanimous vote, with Democrats and Republicans joining in solidarity to elect a leader. Make no mistake; plenty of horse-trading and political struggle proceeded that vote. But there is value in the symbolism that, in Texas, we come together when the politicking is over. There’s even more value in this: Senfronia Thompson, dean of the House Democrats with 45 years in office, praised Bonnen after the vote. The incoming speaker “has learned the ins and the outs of the Texas House as well as anyone I’ve ever served,” she said, according to The Texas Tribune.
For his part, Bonnen promised his House colleagues that the coming session would be about the business of serious governance and solving the people’s problems. We believe him.
“As Texas goes, so goes the nation,” he said in closing his remarks.
Oh, if only we were so lucky.