Hallelujah, We’ve Got the House

Ten things the new Democratic majority should do right away.

If you’re like me—and the good Lord hopes you are—you are grieving over not having Senator Beto represent Texas, and that we’re stuck with six more years of Ted Cruz. Momma used to say, “Honey, you can’t keep trouble from visiting, but you don’t have to offer it a chair.”  

You get seven years of bad luck for breaking a mirror. Well, apparently electing Ted Cruz gets you six years of dreadfully bad luck and an extra dose of creepy.  

On the upside, we had electoral merriment locally. Both Harris and Fort Bend counties took the bridle off, threw out the frying pan, and let the panther scream. Democrats took every countywide office that was on the ballot.  

Although Democrats made big gains in the Texas House, we will have to do better in two years to capture a majority. So, I want you to start sleeping with one eye on alert and the other half open. It looks like the new speaker of the Texas House will be GOP representative Dennis Bonnen, although members won’t vote on a new speaker until January. Bonnen is not fond of people, and supports as much hate legislation as allowed by law. However, I do think he likes girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes, as well as snowflakes that stay on his nose and eyelashes.

Bonnen is a 46-year-old from Angleton. You know Angleton—it’s Beaumont with five more adult bookstores, and gravel roads in front of the shopping mall.  

In 2014, Bonnen signed the Texas Conservative Coalition’s amicus brief urging federal courts to uphold Texas’ antigay marriage ban. His pro-discrimination argument compared same-sex marriages to polygamy, pedophilia, and incest. 

And if that ain’t enough, he voted against a Texas law for free breakfast for Texas schoolchildren, but he supports allowing teachers to carry guns in school. Hungry kids, underpaid/overworked/stressed teachers, and guns—well, ya think that combination ought to lift Texas up from 49th place in education? The short answer is no. The long answer is “Oh hell no, othertrucker.”

And of course, Bonnen has a 100-percent rating with the NRA. But hey, there’s that snowflakes-on-his-eyelashes thing he’s got going for him.

I realize that he may be the best of a bad lot for Democrats, and since we don’t have enough votes to install a Democratic speaker, Bonnen may be the best we can do. In theory, I might agree with that. (In theory, I might flap my ears and fly to the moon.) So keep an eye on this guy. My guess is that we’ll have bathroom wars in the first two weeks. You can put angel wings on the devil, but he’ll still stick a fork in you.

One place we don’t have to compromise is Congress. Democrats in Washington are about to own the House of Representatives. 

I was pondering what I want the Democratic House to accomplish next year. The list is long: healthcare, criminal justice reform, education, infrastructure, a $15-an-hour minimum wage . . .  

Then I stopped and asked myself what I see them doing in my wildest dreams. So, here are the Top 10 Dreamy Things the New Democratic Congress Should Do Right Away: 

10. Make “Presidential Tax-Return Display Day” a national holiday with lots and lots of fireworks.

9. Declare special prosecutor Robert Mueller a national monument.

8. Auction off Florida. Seriously, y’all, we should do that.

7. Issue a proclamation saying they feel really bad about former attorney general Jeff Sessions losing his job (but not really—the guy’s a jerk).

6. Give Donald Trump Jr. a bus pass to Mueller’s office, and a dime to call Daddy when he finishes his deposition.

5. Require CSPAN to air Trump golfing weekends live. If that’s successful, they must add a live weekday feed of Trump during his daily “Executive Time.”

4. Challenge Russia to a dodgeball game. They get Putin, we get Trump. We can cheer for both sides. The loser just remains a loser.

3. Require Trump to sign all vetoes with the motto “Tiny Hands, Tiny Brains.”

2. Require Beto O’Rourke’s punk band to play right after the official prayer that opens Congress on January 3. 

And Number One: Give Maxine Waters a bullhorn. 

I hope your holidays are merry, bright, and full of jingle. Have a Happy New Year’s Eve and kiss somebody gorgeous.

This article appears in the December 2018 edition of OutSmart magazine. 


Susan Bankston

Susan Bankston lives in Richmond, Texas, where she writes about her hairdresser at The World’s Most Dangerous Beauty Salon, Inc., at
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