Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick wants to keep state National Guard troops on the state’s southern border.
Here’s the question: Is the state’s No. 2 elected official getting ahead of its No. 1 official, the governor, who’s actually in command of the Texas National Guard?
Former Gov. Rick Perry dispatched the National Guard to the border a year ago in a move seen by many as little more than a grandstanding act designed to make himself look tough in the face of that mass migration of children into Texas, who were fleeing political and economic repression in Central America.
You’ll recall, perhaps, that Gov. Perry sent the troops there with no clear mission — or even any authority — to make arrests.
There’s a new regime at the top in Austin, with Perry now out office and Abbott occupying the governor’s seat, and with Patrick having defeated Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in the GOP primary this past spring.
It’s interesting to me that, according to the Dallas Morning News, House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, has taken a cautious approach to Patrick’s call for keeping the troops on patrol along the border. “I appreciate Gov. Patrick’s remarks,” Straus said. “But Gov. Abbott is the commander in chief and he will decide whether to extend the National Guard’s deployment.” The Morning News reports that Abbott had no comment on Patrick’s statements.
All of this has me curious as well. Is the lieutenant governor’s stay-tough approach to border enforcement a symbolic shot across Abbott’s bow to ensure that the Big Man — Abbott — is equally stern in his approach to border enforcement?
Some folks seem to believe Patrick has his eyes set on another political prize in 2018, the one currently possessed by Greg Abbott.
I’m just wondering.