Imagine being a typical shy kid at summer camp. You go off to a foreign place for a few weeks, have to meet new people and get involved in new situations. Inevitably, you'll realize that certain people are being more outgoing or otherwise more successful than you. Perhaps during the big dance, you'll be too shy to talk to those aesthetically pleasing members of the opposite sex, instead lurking silently in the back.
This narrative, though, gets positively wharped once you return back to your native town. Instead of uneasiness, timidity and fright, the recollection you transmit to your friends is one of you being the suave, fearless and ever-popular center of the party.
This is basically what happens to members of the state Legislature once the body adjourns sine die and the members disperse throughout the state to their individual constituencies.
It doesn't matter how feckless a freshman representative might have been on the floor of the House this session, when he — or, sadly, far less often, she — returns home the ineffectiveness is brushed aside and replaced with tales of their audacious leadership on some big partisan issue.
Take state Rep. Matt Rinaldi (R-Irving), a freshman representative already in a contentious primary fight for renomination. Rinaldi, who had an unsuccessful session with no bills making it out of the chamber and onto Gov. Abbott’s desk, is already touting how ostensibly invaluable he was during his first 140 days in government. He points to his supposed work on gun rights, anti-abortion legislation and even anti-LGBT matters — all better, I suppose, than admitting the spectacularly inefficient and unsuccessful legislative season this year.
I suppose, too, it's a better way to whitewash that Austin sleep-away camp experience.
Horwitz is the Senior Associate Editor.