The man in the legislative catbird seat after last night’s election may be none other the Democrat House Leader, Craig Fitshugh.
How is that possible, you ask? Or more accurately, you might ask: Has RTP lost their minds?
No. Work with us here for a second. As counter-intuitive as it may seem, the man who lost another two seats and saw his caucus dwindle to just 26 members may just be in position to create major mischief and help drive legislation on important issues such as Common Core and Medicare expansion.
It’s just elementary math. It takes 50 votes to pass or amend a bill on the floor of the House. If his caucus votes in a block, Fitzhugh is more than halfway there. To gather the other 24 votes needed, Fitzhugh has to find that number of Republicans to agree with him — just 1 our of three members of the House GOP caucus. A tall order, you say? In most cases, yes. But on certain issues, not so much.
It’s already happened in recent history. Take Common Core, for example. It was Fitzhugh’s maneuverings, in coalition with conservative Republicans, that blindsided the leadership and forced the House vote that was an overwhelming embarrassment to the Haslam administration. That was achieved by their shared interest in opposing Common Core, especially the excessive testing provisions.
But RINOs like Haslam and like-minded members of the GOP caucus can get in on the Fun-with-Fitzhugh game as well. Haslam’s near fanatic desire to expand ObamaCare through Medicare expansion — considered by most observers to DOA in the House — could rise from the dead should the leadership and the governor find 24 votes for passage among the more squishy members of the GOP caucus.
Sometimes just when you think you can write someone off as inconsequential and not a threat is when they turn and bite you. Republicans can play with Fitzhugh as long as they realize the risks going in…