Tag Archives: Greg Abbott

Beto tosses in towel?

Photo by Richard W. Rodriguez/AP/REX/Shutterstock 

I can’t stand it when candidates I support say the kind of thing that came from Texas Democratic Party candidate for governor Beto O’Rourke.

O’Rourke responded to a question involving a recent poll showing that he continues to trail GOP Gov. Greg Abbott in the head-to-head race for governor.

“The only poll that counts,” said O’Rourke, “is the one on Election Day.”

I winced when I saw those remarks. You see, that is the kind of response one sees coming from trailing candidates who seem to secretly acknowledge that they’re cooked, that they have no chance of catching the opponent.

It’s a form of political code-speak.

I hope that’s not the case with O’Rourke. Quite clearly, I cannot read the candidate’s mind, unlike some pundits out there who believe they can do the impossible.

Maybe it’s just a throwaway line that O’Rourke decided to toss into the air. Whatever, we have a month to go before Midterm Election Day. Abbott still must be held accountable for his non-response to the Uvalde school massacre, for his showboating by sending migrants to New York and other “liberal” states.

I just don’t want to hear O’Rourke seeming to give up a fight that still is worth the struggle.


Use the ‘bully pulpit’ to end gun violence

Greg Abbott has a forum called the “bully pulpit” to advance causes he deems essential. The Texas governor has used it with minimal effect to call attention to illegal immigration.

The Republican, though, needs to fire it up to talk about another key issue on the minds of parents, students and educators: gun violence in our schools.

You know what I’m talking about. The Uvalde school massacre in May remains on the top of Texans’ minds as Abbott campaigns for re-election against Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke.

We’re seeing campaign ads now calling attention to what Abbott has failed to do in the wake of Uvalde. He has opposed efforts to increase the minimum age for those who purchase weapons from 18 to 21 years of age. He has failed to call a special legislative session to deal forthrightly with gun violence.

O’Rourke is seeking to make Abbott’s non-response to Uvalde a campaign issue. I don’t yet know whether it is resonating with voters who are sickened by what happened at Robb Elementary School, when a lunatic packing an AR-15 rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammo walked into the school and slaughtered 19 fourth graders and two educators who sought to protect the children.

One of our nation’s greatest Republicans, Theodore Roosevelt, used to proclaim that the bully pulpit existed precisely for officeholders to further worthy causes. Protecting our children against random acts of evil certainly qualifies … yes?


Explain yourself, Beto

One of the discredited public policy pronouncements coming from the far-left wing of the political spectrum has been the “defund the police” calls emanating from the deaths of Black men at the hands of rogue cops.

Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic candidate for Texas governor, was one of those who spoke about how delighted he was to see the “defund the police” movement gathering a head of steam.

I want O’Rourke, who I happen to support in his quest to become Texas governor, to explain whether he still believes in the defund the cops movement. Or has he moved on?

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott is beating Beto up on that notion, which might be contributing to his continued strong showing in the polls leading up to the Election Day.

The two men are going to debate later today in the Rio Grande Valley. It’ll be their only joint appearance prior to the balloting in November.

I want to hear some specifics from O’Rourke on the defund police idea that he once praised. More to the point: Has his view “evolved”?


Will this strategic appeal to women work?

A political action committee has launched an intriguing midterm election campaign in Texas that appears plainly aimed at turning women out to vote in this year’s campaign.

They call themselves “Coulda Been Worse, LLC.” The PAC has paid for a series of TV ads that tell voters that “three men” are responsible for virtually banning abortion in Texas, despite polling that shows a significant majority of Texans favor allowing women the right to choose.

Coulda Been Worse singles out Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. “Three men,” the ad repeats, have decided that Texas women must not be allowed to determine whether to end a pregnancy.

The ad concludes with Abbott uttering “it coulda been worse” while he was briefing the public about the Uvalde school massacre, which killed 19 fourth graders and two heroic teachers in Robb Elementary School.

Coulda Been Worse LLC also has broadcast an ad telling voters how Abbott made a choice in the wake of the Uvalde slaughter to attend a fundraiser rather than visit Uvalde to perform his duties as “the father of Texas.”

I am not going to predict that the campaign against Abbott, Patrick and Paxton will prove decisive. But, man, the PAC has plenty of material with which it is working. It has the backdrop of that Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, a ruling that has outraged millions of women everywhere … including Texas!

Paxton is seeking a third term — despite being under felony indictment for the past seven years — against an ACLU lawyer, Rochelle Garza; polls show the contest a virtual dead heat. Patrick is facing Mike Collier in a lieutenant governor rematch from 2018.

Of course, Abbott is facing former Congressman Beto O’Rourke, currently the darling of the Texas Democratic Party; polls in that race are all over the place, with some of them showing a tightening contest while others suggest Abbott is pulling away.

If there is a hot button to push, my hope is that Coulda Been Worse can find it and push it incessantly until it produces what I deem to be the desired outcome: the defeat of Abbott, Patrick and Paxton.


How much longer must the immigrant stunt go?

Two Republican governors — Greg Abbott of Texas and Ron DeSantis of Florida — are doing a fine job of turning human beings’ hardship into a political stunt that they believe will resonate with Americans.

They are engaging in some of the cruelest policy decisions many of us have ever seen. They have decided to send migrants seeking entry into the United States to more liberal-leaning states to … seemingly make some kind of political point.

I wanted to toss a heavy object at my TV earlier this week when I witnessed the image of DeSantis laughing at the torment he is inflicting on immigrants from Latin America. He put 50 of them — including families with small children — on a chartered jet and flew them to Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.

He told them they would begin processing for entry into the United States. The migrants instead were delivered to an empty parking lot. Ah, but there was DeSantis in Florida, yukking it up over the game he is playing with the lives of desperate human beings fleeing tyranny.

Greg Abbott isn’t any better. He is shipping migrants out of Texas on buses, delivering them to Chicago, Washington, D.C., and other communities known to be friendlier toward these migrants.

I understand fully that President Biden’s immigration policy so far is not dealing adequately with the numbers of people seeking asylum and even a safe place to escape the horrors of life in their home countries. However, is the Republican response any better? Do these governors offer any policy alternatives?

No! Instead, they play games with human lives in a disgraceful display of callousness.


So many villains

Texas has the unfortunate title of being home to too many political villains, all of whom — it’s safe to say — happen to belong to a single party.

Yep. They’re Republicans.

What do you expect? Every elective office in this state is held by members of the one-time Grand Old Party. There was a brief moment just about four or five years ago when a sitting judge on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals changed his party affiliation Republican to Democrat; then Larry Myers got beat for re-election … by a Republican, of course.

The ranks are so full of villains, it is difficult for me to single many of them out.

I have to mention three obvious villainous pols:

  • Gov. Greg Abbott, who has concocted this goofy illegal immigrant busing program, only to blame President Biden for what Abbott labels an “open-border policy.” Foolishness.
  • Attorney General Ken Paxton, who has served as the state’s top law enforcement officer almost entirely while being under felony indictment right here in Collin County. Preposterous.
  • Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, the leader of the Texas Senate, who just manages to piss people off every time he opens his pie hole. Idiotic.

Will Democrats ever be able to break the GOP stranglehold? I keep hearing about how Texas is believed to be “trending” toward a more competitive political environment.

Oh, how I hope that’s the case.


Age limits on guns: ‘unconstitutional’?

Greg Abbott cannot be serious … but he surely is being serious when he declares that attempts to increase the minimum age for individuals to buy high-powered rifles are “unconstitutional.”

I will have to disagree with the Texas governor, a Republican who continues to hide behind a canard that declares the Second Amendment doesn’t specify age limits for keeping and bearing arms.

The debate has arisen in the wake of the Uvalde school massacre when an 18-year-old shooter purchased two AR-15 rifles, then walked into Robb Elementary School where he killed 19 children and two educators before the cops killed him.

The Texas Tribune reported: Abbott at his Wednesday campaign event brought up court rulings against gun restrictions from the past three months, including a federal court in Fort Worth on Thursday that struck down a Texas law limiting adults under 21 from carrying handguns. U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman wrote that the Second Amendment does not specify limits on age.

Greg Abbott says raising the age to buy assault rifle is unconstitutional | The Texas Tribune

Pittman is correct. The Second Amendment makes no mention of age limits. I guess the judge presumes, therefore, that a six-year-old is able to carry a pistol in his pocket. Hey, the Constitution is silent on age limits, right?

That, of course, is nonsense. It is in my mind just as nonsensical to suggest that state legislatures or Congress, for that matter, cannot enact laws that restrict the age of those who can purchase weapons such as those the moron used in Uvalde.

Therein sits one more reason to vote Greg Abbott out of office when Election Day rolls around.


Last hurrah for Beto?

Oh, brother, I hate thinking about this, but I just have to get something off my chest.

It is that those of us who want to see Texas Democrats break the stranglehold that Texas Republicans have clamped on the roster of statewide public office might have to start looking for even fresher faces to carry their message forward.

I am thinking specifically of Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic nominee for Texas governor. This might be the last hurrah for Beto.

I keep reading information about polling that puts Gov. Greg Abbott out front by around 7 to 9 percentage points, which is beyond the margin of error built into these polling surveys. It just feels to me that Beto is running out of steam.

He already came close to defeating Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018. He got many Texans’ hearts fluttering when he came within 3 percentage points of defeating Cruz. Then he ran for president of the United States in 2020; his candidacy never grew wings.

Now he’s making the case yet again for governor. He has been handed tremendous issues on which to campaign: Abbott’s horrible handling of the border crisis; his mishandling of his response to the Uvalde school massacre; Abbott’s fixation with blaming President Biden over every issue that flashes in front of his mug.

They don’t seem to be sticking to Abbott. At least not according to the public opinion polling.

Look, I want O’Rourke to win. I am doing everything within my limited ability to make it happen. Hey, lightning could strike! There might be something of a political miracle in the making that escapes my attention.

But if not … well, I believe it might be time for Beto to call it good and leave the fight for someone else.


Waiting for fur to fly

It’s going to happen any day now. Beto O’Rourke and Greg Abbott are going to don the brass knuckles and will start throwing rhetorical haymakers at each other in the race for Texas governor.

Yes, I know … I have seen the polls that show the Republican incumbent, Abbott, holding onto a 7-point (give or take) lead over the Democrat O’Rourke. And, yes, I want Beto to win.

I am not looking forward to seeing these men sling rocks at each other via my TV screen. However, we know that in Texas, politics is what the late Sen. and treasury secretary Lloyd Bentsen used to call a “contact sport.”

The Abbott ads so far have been tame. They feature his wife Cecelia recalling their early years together and the courage he showed recovering from the accident that crippled him for life. That’s fine. I want to know what he’s going to do for me now … not that it matters much what he says. Gov. Abbott already has disappointed me to the point that he’s lost my vote forever.

As for Beto, he’s going to make abortion and gun violence the twin cornerstones of his campaign. One bit of advice: Don’t spend an inordinate amount of airtime telling us what we know, that Abbott has failed on both issues; tell us what you’re going to do to fix them both.

OK, are we good? Let the campaign commence in earnest.


MAGA takes new form

So … you think you know what MAGA means, yes?

It has become sort of a term of art, an acronym for Make America Great Again. But when you use the acronym form it becomes an adjective, as in “MAGA voter,” or “MAGA policy.”

Ah, yes. Now comes the newest MAGA, which is one that I would be inclined heavily to support. The new form stands for Mothers Against Greg Abbott.

This MAGA’s unofficial godmother is Austin resident Nancy Thompson, who told Sharon Grigsby of the Dallas Morning News that she has grown tired of Gov. Abbott’s miserable performance on gun violence, on COVID protocols, on abortion rights and the Republican Party’s “general assault on public education and kids.”

She wants to form a movement. Thompson says her Facebook page has more than 50,000 members. Local chapters are forming across Texas.

Grigsby reports that Thompson “describes the group as ordinary Texans fighting for their children’s future. ‘This isn’t about Republican or Democratic families,’ she said. ‘It’s about fighting for what’s right to keep all families safe and healthy.'”

Grigsby said she isn’t willing to wager on MAGA’s effort moving the political needle in Texas, particularly as it regards Abbott’s campaign against Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke. I believe she is right to hold back on any thought that this MAGA group is going to make any sort of dent in Abbott’s standing.

Whatever, this potential movement appears to be one more chink in the armor that has shielded Abbott and Texas Republicans quite well for the past 30 years.

Read Grisby’s essay here: How one Texas woman’s protest led to Mothers Against Greg Abbott and its viral abortion ad (dallasnews.com)

Grigsby asks: “Does Mothers Against Greg Abbott create a huge shift? Don’t count on it. But does it make a consequential dent? As one mother in its video campaign says, ‘They say nothing changes in Texas politics — until it does.'”

I am hoping for a change.