Let’s just lay a couple of cards on the table and see how they play, shall we?
Amarillo and the Texas Panhandle — a region of the state I know well — are served in Congress by someone who doesn’t belong there. Republican Ronny Jackson became embroiled in an incident at a rodeo near Amarillo the other day. He got roughed up by cops patrolling the event and then used language that — to say the very least — is totally unbefitting a member of Congress.
Jackson said he was trying to help a teenager who was under duress. Police say he was interfering with their efforts to do the same thing. A tussle occurred and Jackson got handcuffed briefly.
After being freed of the cuffs, Jackson launched a series of f-bombs at the cops and threatened Carson County Sheriff Tam Terry politically, saying in effect he would ensure he loses the next time he runs for re-election.
I’ve heard the bodycam audio of the incident and, so help me, it sounds to me like something one doesn’t say if (a) he is an elected member of Congress and (b) is totally in control of himself and is not intoxicated. Per the latter point, Jackson has been known to imbibe … you know?
I have taken a dim view of Jackson ever since he moved to Amarillo in 2020 to run for the seat vacated by longtime U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, a native of Donley County and an individual who knows the region well. I can say without an ounce of equivocation that Thornberry never would be caught saying the things to a police officer that flew out of Jackson’s pie hole.
This incident likely will blow over eventually. Panhandle voters will move on to something else. Jackson’s behavior will be swept away and he probably — as much as I hate to acknowledge it — will be re-elected in 2024. After that? Rumors are flying that he might decide in 2026 to challenge John Cornyn for the senior Republican’s U.S. Senate seat. It all would be a shame.
My own belief is that he has disgraced himself.