Texas Tribune CEO Compares Texas Senate to USSR's Communist Politburo

Evan Smith is the CEO and editor-in-chief of the avowedly non-partisan Texas Tribune.

During Sunday’s airing of WFAA-TV’s Inside Texas Politics, Evan Smith made the following statement when asked about the future make-up of the Texas Senate: “If anything Jason we’re going to have a more conservative Senate than we did last time. Now there are lots of people who probably think ‘How could you be more conservative than the senate last time?’ I am here to tell you that this senate is going to make the last senate look like the Politburo.”


As in, the rubber-stamp parliament ruled by the communists during the dark days of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Smith’s comment comes at the 8:30 mark in this video of Sunday’s show.

In other words: Because the already conservative Texas Senate will pick up a couple more “movement conservatives” and Dan Patrick is likely to be its next leader, it makes last year’s model look like communists. That’s how conservative it will be!

But don’t accuse Mr. Smith of engaging in any irresponsible partisan fear-mongering…

Seriously, Smith is not trying to damage Texas Republicans or Dan Patrick. He’s non-partisan.

For those of us who are old enough to remember the Cold War and the utter tyranny imposed on the Russian people during that time, hearing a so-called non-partisan journalist compare the conservative members of the Texas Senate to those who ordered people to gulags and ultimately their deaths crosses the line. We’ve gone from partisanship straight into callow, Vox.com-level “explaining.”

Just for reference, the original Politburo was created in 1917 and included Joseph Stalin and Vladimir Lenin. We must remember that Stalin was “an amoral psychopath and paranoid with a gangster’s mentality [and] eliminated anyone and everyone who was a threat to his power – including (and especially) former allies. He had absolutely no regard for the sanctity of human life” as described by Palash Ghosh in an International Business Times article. Ghosh adds that “in February 1989, two years before the fall of the Soviet Union, a research paper by Georgian historian Roy Aleksandrovich Medvedev published in the weekly tabloid Argumenti i Fakti estimated that the death toll directly attributable to Stalin’s rule amounted to some 20 million lives.”


While there are so many different problems with Smith’s analogy, his repugnant comparison is even worse when you are given it a second chance to think about it.

The leadership of the Soviet Union was never elected (they took power in a coup), was a group of atheists who killed and tortured people, and ensured there would be no independent thought nor allow individuals have liberty or freedom. Soviet rule was totalitarian. They controlled the media.

Conservative members of the Texas Senate are freely elected, tend to have a strong faith in God, and fight for individual rights and believe in liberty and freedom. They are fighting for the rights of the people over the increasing power of the state/government, and the media. So, pretty much the opposite of the Politburo, both in 2013 and 2015.

When I questioned Smith about his comment via Twitter, he doubled down.

Pretty much anyone will disagree with that. The analogy just doesn’t make a bit of sense. Unless Smith is just trying to scare people.

But that can’t be — he’s non-partisan!



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