Christopher Hooks

Christopher Hooks is a freelance journalist in Austin.
A collage of Donald Trump, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, and Pete Buttigieg around a cartoon brain.
Columns, Editorial, The Issue

A Radical Idea: Vote Your Conscience in the Presidential Primary

Democrats spend a lot of time thinking about what Democratic voters might be thinking about. Columnist Christopher Hooks argues that this focus on electability isn't how primaries are supposed to work.

As the 2020 presidential election draws closer, a lot of people are struggling to make up their minds—about what is in other people’s minds. The last election was a disorienting experience that made Americans second-guess the way they thought things … Read More

Briscoe Cain
Columns, Editorial, The Issue

The World’s Briscoe Cain Problem

The far-right Texas lawmaker and other political trolls are holding us hostage to the idea that the world is more chaotic, unfixable, and stupid than it is.

One of the fun things about covering Texas politics is that every once in a while, a political figure you know too much about, and no one else cares about, does something deeply unwise. Suddenly, they’re in newspapers from Aarhus … Read More

Trump Houston Cruz
Texas Politics

Could Trump’s Reelection Campaign Turn the Texas House Blue?

A number of high-profile GOP electeds are throwing in the towel in advance of the 2020 election cycle—with more expected in the coming year.

For Texas Democrats to do well in 2020 and potentially secure the state House and a number of additional congressional seats, they need to organize themselves effectively—and have a lot of things line up just right. The jury’s out on the … Read More

Texas Legislature

Power Steering

The most interesting story in American politics in the coming year isn’t in Iowa, but on the outskirts of Houston and Dallas.

For years, the question asked of Texas politics has been whether or not the state would “turn blue” during a presidential election or high-profile statewide race. It’s an all-or-nothing proposition: A race is either won or lost, and you don’t … Read More


Bucking the Reign of Oil

With more of oil’s boom years behind us than ahead, oil and gas interests will become known increasingly by their uglier side effects, rather than their benefits.

The tank farm owned by the Intercontinental Terminals Company in Deer Park burned for four days, producing a cloud of thick black smoke that rose a mile above greater Houston. The ITC site boasted a storage capacity of 13 million … Read More

Texas Politics

Winning Isn’t Enough. The Next President Needs to be a Doer.

We think what it takes to shake up Washington is an outsider with new ideas, but what’s needed is an insider with strong convictions.

The next president will have a lot to do. Each and every executive agency, down to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, will need a deep cleaning. Unidentified fluids will have to be expunged from the carpet in Scott Pruitt’s … Read More


Trump’s Border Wall is a Vortex of Stupidity that Trump and the GOP Can’t Escape

The Wall started as an applause line at Trump’s campaign rallies, and has morphed into one of the dumbest policy debates in the history of American politics.

“This is the stupidest day in American history,” wrote Matt Christman during the Donald’s inauguration, “a record that will be broken by every subsequent day in American history.” PolitiFact says: Mostly true. But it feels especially true these days, in … Read More

Texas Legislature

The Texas GOP May Actually Get Serious about Real Problems During this Legislature

On the heels of a miniature suburban revolt in the midterms, it seems unlikely that Dan Patrick and friends will be able to hijack the session again.

So: The world’s finest deliberative body convened in Austin on Tuesday, and by early summer, if God’s grace once more falls upon this benighted state, the Texas Legislature will leave town. That much we know. What will happen at the … Read More

tim dunn
Texas Legislature

Empower Texans Flushed Millions Down the Toilet

After a decade spent trying to remake Texas politics, the right-wing enforcement group has achieved nothing interesting or notable with Tim Dunn’s money.

Earlier this decade, there was no more interesting subplot in Texas politics than the Republican Civil War, a somewhat grandiose name for the discomfort the tea party was causing the more polite faction of the GOP. But much of the … Read More