Local Issue of the Week: Robert Eckels Justifies Leaving

I attended the Harris County Republican Party Executive Committee meeting last night. Now, let me say at the outset that I don't think these meetings are particularly well run, and I'm not into all the cheerleading and speechifying. I think the folks who donate the food and drinks to the meeting should be properly thanked, but not by allowing them to give 5 minute "inspirational" speeches. I typically give these meetings about 1.5-2 hours and if they're still going, well then, so am I. Needless to say, last night I skipped out early. I did, however, hear the exchange between Dan Patrick and Robert Eckels, as well as Judge Eckels' talk to the group.

I applaud Dan for not backing down from his opinion on the matter, and tend to agree with what he had to say, which most who read this already know, so I'm not going to repeat it. Dan has a way of throwing a dead fish on the table, reminding everyone in the room what it is, making you look at it and sometimes he makes you touch it. I really do admire that about him. Yeah, I know it makes some people uncomfortable, but it is also necessary to honest discourse. And I believe Dan coming out early on the matter and telling Eckels that he's wrong for what he's doing totally changed the tone of the debate. It made people not feel intimidated to speak their own minds, which can happen in a lot of groupthink situations.

I personally believe Eckels is doing us all a large disservice by stepping down early from the position to which he was elected to serve a full term for nothing more than personal gain, and appointing a relative unknown into his place. I also think he was his own most damning critic by stating something to the effect that if he held the position until the end of his term, he'd only be "coasting." I don't think that speaks particularly highly of his personal or professional character. True character is putting 100% into the position you're in for as long as you hold it, and in this particular case, finishing out your term and not seeking re-election. He admitted that this position with F&J would probably still be waiting for him in 6 months, so it isn't like he really has a compelling reason to go at this point.

So, like everyone who spoke last night I say to Robert Eckels, thank you for your past service to the party...you've been a great friend to Harris County Republicans...but....for this THPPPT you suck.


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