State Sen. Dan Patrick, the Houston Republican who chairs the Senate Education Committee, on Thursday criticized those who oppose his bill to expand charter schools in Texas:
“I want you to understand that when you testify, you’re not testifying against a bill. You’re testifying against 100,000 families who are are on the wait list who are desperate for their children to have choice.”
Sen. Patrick’s attempt to portray those with honest concerns about his bill as somehow standing against “desperate” families was more than a little self-righteous. Let’s apply the senator’s logic, such as it is, to some of his positions on other issues:
- We want you to understand, Sen. Patrick, that your vote in 2011 to cut the state’s public education budget by more than $5 billion wasn’t just a vote against using money that was available for schools in the state’s “Rainy Day Fund.” You were also voting against nearly 5 million Texas schoolchildren and the thousands of teachers who subsequently lost their jobs.
- We also want you to understand that your vote in 2011 to cut two-thirds of the state’s budget for family planning services for women wasn’t just a vote against spending. It was also a vote against the low-income women who rely on those important services and against taxpayers who end up covering the greater public costs that result from unintended pregnancies.
- And we want you to understand, Sen. Patrick, that when you oppose expanding Medicaid for the working poor, you’re not just opposing Obamacare. You’re also opposing millions of Texans who are desperate for access to affordable health care for themselves and their families.
We could offer plenty of other examples, but we think the point seems clear enough.