Tag Archives: Tom Mechler

Austin is ‘weird,’ all right


There’s a saying one sees on bumper stickers or on wall posters in Austin, the capital city of Texas.

It urges everyone to “Keep Austin Weird.”

Well,Ā a fellow named Robert Morrow is doing his part. He’s doing more than his part, actually. He’s gone above and beyond the call.

Morrow is the former head of the Travis County Republican Party. He had to quit his party job when he announced he would run as a write-in candidate for president of the United States.

But before he left his party office, Morrow had some choice words to say about the GOP’s presidential nominee.

When Trump appeared at a campaign rally earlier this week in Austin, Morrow paraded outside the meeting hall with a sign that read “Trump is a child rapist.”


Morrow said later that the party sought to oust him because he had “embarrassed the living f*** out of Trump.”

Texas GOP Chairman Tom Mechler of Amarillo, of course, is having none of Morrow’s behavior. He wants him gone. Morrow, according to the Texas Tribune, responded by inviting Mechler to “perform a sex act” on him.

Mechler, someone I’ve known for years, is moving forward with selecting a new Travis County party chair.

Good luck, Mr. State Chairman, in that search. Just remember: There’s a reason Austin is proud of its weirdness.

Texas Democrats already are ‘demolished’


I consider Tom Mechler to be a friend. I’ve known him for about a dozen years and we have a nice relationship — even though we disagree politically on just about, oh, every single issue.

Still, I was glad to seeĀ the dedicated Panhandle Republican re-elected chairman of the Texas Republican Party this weekend. He survived an attempted coup by a fringe wing of his party that sought to topple him because he’s supposedly too friendly with LGBT elements within his party.

I’m going to takeĀ issue with something Mechler said in a statement after his re-election as party chairman had been assured.


According to the Texas Tribune, Mechler said this in a statement: “Our Party is strongest when we are united and I look forward to working each and every day to keep the RPT the most dominant state party in the country. Today the work begins to demolish the Democrats this November.ā€

Demolish the Democrats?

You mean, Mr. Chairman, that you’re going to wipe them off the face of the state map?

By my way of thinking, the Texas Democratic Party already is demolished. Good grief, dude. You guys occupy every statewide office there is. Democrats can’t field a credible challenge in any of them.

Has the chairman really considered just how dominant his party is these days?

I’ve long been a supporter of a strong two-party state. Before you accuse me of wanting to see Democrats come back, I assure you that I’ve said the same thing back when Democrats stood over the landscape. I once lived and worked in a Democratic bastion — the Golden Triangle — and I witnessed plenty of political arrogance there.

Texas is a one-party state. There can be no doubt about that.

What the GOP must concern itself with, though, is what is happening at the national level. The Party of Lincoln has become the Party of Trump. Mechler and his fellow Texans cannot control what the probable GOP presidential nominee is going to say as he stumps the nation. If anyone is capable of making Texas competitive this fall it’s Donald J. Trump.

Mechler need not worry about demolishing Texas Democrats. He needs to focus his concern about whether the party’s presidential nominee’s statements about Hispanics and women will breathe life into an opposing party that’s already been given up for dead.

Good luck with that, Mr. Chairman.


Texas GOP at war with itself


Do you want to see a prime example of how badly fractured the Republican Party has become?

Take a look at the fight for the Texas Republican Party chairmanship.

This is an amazing development.


State GOP Chairman Tom Mechler has been accused of promoting a “disgusting homosexual agenda.” The accusation comes from supporters of Jared Woodfill, a Houston GOP activist who’s challenging Mechler for the party chairmanship.

Why is this so amazing?

Well, I happen to know Mechler. He hails from Armstrong County. He’s a Panhandle guy who is as conservative a politician as one can imagine. I consider Mechler to be a friend and, take my word for it, he doesn’t exactly line up with gay-rights activists’ world view.

The Texas GOPĀ had the temerity to allow a gay and lesbian group to set up a booth at the upcoming state Republican convention. Does that constitute a “disgusting homosexual agenda”? I do not believe it does.

What it constitutes is a recognition that Texas comprises a wide array of individuals who have differing orientations.

That’s it.

Mechler is putting some distance between himself and the gay-rights group. According to the Dallas Morning News: “Mechler said he had nothingĀ to do with the decision to allow the group, the Metroplex Republicans, to have a booth at the state GOP convention.”

Just as the national Republican Party is fighting among itself, the Texas GOP is exposing deep fissures within its own ranks.

The ultra-uber conservative wing of the Texas GOP is tossing out the “RINO” epithet at Mechler, who is the farthest thing possible from being a “Republican In Name Only.”

Believe me when I say this: Tom Mechler is a true-blue Republican believer. He’s the real thing.


Secession talk resurfaces in Texas


We moved from one corner of Texas to another cornerĀ more thanĀ 20 years ago.

It turns out our former home, in the Golden Triangle, is home to as much political wackiness as our new home in the Panhandle.

A group based in Nederland wants a non-binding referendum placed on the state ballot next year that supports the idea of Texas seceding from the United States of America.

This is wrong on more levels than I can count, but in a strange way I almost hope that the Texas Nationalist Movement gets enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot.

It won’t pass. Indeed, if voters get a chance to decide this issue at the ballot box, then perhaps this nutty talk can cease forever.

Texas cannot secede legally, despite what the nutty notion’s proponents say.

The movement wants to put the ballot on the Republican Party primary ballot next spring. State GOP leaders aren’t too happy with the idea, but mostly it appears because the party dislikes the idea of an independent group trying to muscle its way onto the GOP ballot.

Texas Republican Party Chairman Tom Mechler, who hails from the Panhandle, ought to go ahead and bless this kooky idea. I know Mechler — but I do not know whether he actually supports secession; he and I have never had that discussion.

Let’s settle this nonsense once and for all. Go ahead and vote on secession.

My hunch is that it’ll go down on flames.


Panhandle activist to lead Texas GOP

There’s a certain justice in the selection of Tom Mechler to lead the Texas Republican Party.

Mechler is from Amarillo, the unofficial “capital” of the Texas Panhandle, which is the unofficial capital of the Texas conservative movement that is so tightly bound to the Republican Party.


I’ve known Mechler for a number of years. I like him. I admire his tenacity. I think he’ll do a good — maybe even a great — job as chairman of the Texas GOP.

Why the justice angle?

Mechler served on the Texas Criminal Justice Department of board. So he’s well-versed in punishing criminals for the misdeeds they commit.

But more to the point: The Panhandle has been known for decades as the place where conservatism was cool before it was cool anywhere else. The state’s political tides began turning first in the Panhandle. While the rest of Texas remained solidly Democratic, the Panhandle started turning Republican, sending up signals that the rest of the state began to understand.

There’ve been pockets of arch-conservatism here, starting with the John Birch Society, which for many years has preached a brand of isolationism that hasn’t really gone mainstream.

I don’t know how Mechler intends to lead the Texas Republican Party. Perhaps he’ll take this advice, should he ever read it. It would be that the party needs to return somewhat to the center, back toward the few remaining Texans who still call themselves Democrats.

There once was a tradition in Texas of the parties working together for the common good. The reality of late has been that Republicans — who’ve grown into a colossus — are trying to bulldoze an agenda into public policy that isn’t a good fit for all Texans.

Mechler seems on the surface to be of a quite conservative persuasion. Maybe that’s how he campaigned for the office he’s just obtained. Now that he has, might he drift more toward the center?

I’m hoping.