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Texas Republicans Appear To Be In A Fabulous Suicide Pact... It Couldn't Happen To A Nicer Bunch

Ken Paxton & Greg Abbott Seek Revenge Not Unity


Progressives in Austin were delighted to see conservative DA candidate Jeremy Sylestine (D) go down in flames Tuesday. In a state known for filthy campaigns, his run against incumbent José Garza was one of the filthiest of all. Bolts reporter Daniel Nichanian painted a lurid picture of a campaign that deserved to lose as big as it did: “A despondent teddy bear sits below a grainy picture of Travis County District Attorney José Garza, flanked with a warning that says ‘Garza is filling Austin’s streets with pedophiles and killers.’ The alarmist mailer, sent to voters by a dark money group, lit up the final days of Austin’s DA race… But while no one claimed responsibility for the mailer, it mirrored the language that Garza’s opponents have long used to say his reforms ushered in a period of lawlessness, despite data showing crime is on the decline. Sylestine claimed that Garza painted a ‘political bullseye’ on police officers, and aired an ad accusing him of being ‘lenient’ on child sexual assault.”

Sylestine operatives were handing out flyers near polling stations on Tuesday comparing Garza’s mustache to Hitler’s. That kind of thing might work in the Texas Panhandle but not in Austin. Despite being heavily outspent, Garza routed Sylestine 66.86% to 33.14%. At his victory celebration, Garza told the jubilant crowd, “We scored a major victory for our progressive movement and for criminal justice reform in this county.” The final nail in Sylestine’s coffin came on Tuesday when the arch-villain of American politics, neo-Nazi billionaire Elon Musk endorsed him and urged Tesla workers to vote for him.

Trey Wharton has a runoff

The Texas GOP primaries were far worse, with both Governor Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton spending huge amounts of money to target fellow  Republicans in the state legislature who refused to tow their lines. Both were largely effective in moving Texas further in the direction of fascism and corruption. House Speaker Dade Phelan— Paxton’s number one target— was forced into a run-off with David Covey, who had also been endorsed by Señor Trumpanzee. “Tonight,” crowed Paxton, who may still be facing prison time, “Texans have spoken loud and clear... Let this runoff be a rallying cry for all conservatives across Texas. The battle lines are drawn, and our resolve has never been stronger.” Paxton worked to defeat 34 House Republicans. His efforts paid off in some cases and fell flat in others. And some of his own allies, like Abbott enemy Travis Clardy of Nacogdoches, were also defeated. Abbott targeted fewer Republicans— just 10— and had a greater success rate than Paxton.

Paxton was angry with Republicans who tried holding him accountable in an impeachment effort and Paxton was furious that his school privatization scheme failed. Six anti-voucher GOP incumbents were defeated by anti-public school fanatics. Four others were forced into runoffs. Paxton also targeted 3 top state judges, who all lost, including Chief Justice Sharon Keller.

The May 28th primary runoffs are sure to drain millions of dollars from GOP fat cats as the several sides battle each other. 

Only one Texas member of Congress was forced into a runoff, erstwhile moderate-turned-conservative Tony Gonzales. He’ll face MAGA-nut Branson Herrera who accused him of working with Democrats on gun safety and gay marriage legislation. Although Gonzales led in all 29 counties in the sprawling south Texas district, he failed to get the 50% + one vote that would have clinched his reelection.

I was in the audience when this 1977 Fleetwood Mac classic was re-recorded live for The Dance and I would suggest that Ken Paxton listen to it very carefully, particularly during his trial this spring. I always thought the lyrics hit themes of conflict, betrayal and dysfunction within relationships right on the head. And today I see it as a metaphor for internal conflict and the damaging consequences of discord within the Texas GOP. Or am I stretching it?


Mar 09

TX is a nazi state. They don't need to "seek unity". They've already won. They're just waiting for the reich to commence. Maybe they're hoping the new white man's house will be put in the DFW area.


Mar 08

And abbott takes the lead for vice fuhrer. paxton maybe for the himmler job.

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