Joe Straus became the speaker of the Texas House in 2009, when Democrats and Republicans had nearly even numbers in that body.
Every deal had to be brokered. Party lines were soft.
Republicans clobbered the Democrats in the 2010 elections and ran over them in Straus’ second term as speaker. They had a supermajority, and they acted like it.
As a bloc of votes, the Democrats were broken. Demoralized, they never coalesced behind any particular leader. They had a caucus head in Rep. Jessica Farrar of Houston. And they had a brawler, Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer of San Antonio. But ...