If I understand Tom Pauken correctly, the fact that the state’s attorney general actually supports the federal government’s decision to fight a proposed airline merger makes the AG’s position a non-starter.
Why? Because the AG has been fighting the feds for years and the state simply cannot possibly be on the same side as the enemy — no matter the merits of the case.
Ah … Texas politics. Nothing like it.
Pauken is running for the Republican nomination for Texas governor against AG Greg Abbott, who says he fears a proposed merger between American Airlines and US Airways would result in fare increases and reduced service to rural areas.
The feds say the same thing about the proposed merger. Thus, Abbott and the U.S. Justice Department are on the same page on this very specific issue. Abbott and/or his staff of lawyers presumably have analyzed the specifics of the case and determined that, by golly, maybe the feds have a point.
Isn’t that what lawyers do? Pauken, himself a lawyer as well as a former Texas Republican Party chairman, ought to understand that principle.
Instead, he seems to be suggesting that Abbott — who is fighting on behalf those who want to repeal the Affordable Care Act — simply must remain opposed to President Obama, Eric Holder and the federal government because they’re just so darn unpopular in Texas.
This is where every single policy statement becomes a campaign issue.
Ain’t Texas politics grand?