Dan Patrick Plays Trump Rally Fall Guy
after Speculation on Ties to Waco Cult

Capitol Inside
March 26, 2023

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick appeared to throw himself under the bus on Saturday night when he offered to take the sole responsibility for a monumental public relations gaffe that Donald Trump created when he set his first campaign rally for 2024 in Waco during the anniversary of the Branch Davidian siege there 30 years ago.

"I picked Waco," Patrick told thousands of Trump loyalists at the local airport on the outskirts of the Central Texas city while waiting for the former president to arrive.

Having been reappointed as the campaign chairman for Trump in the Lone Star State, the Texas Senate president demonstrated his loyalty by falling on the sword for the rally's setting while mocking reports that linked the campaign event to the Branch Davidians as fake news.

The Trump campaign revealed the Texas Elected Leadership Team at the Waco rally with Patrick at the pinnacle of a list that includes three fellow statewide officials in Attorney General Ken Paxton, Land Commissioner Dawn Buckingham and Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller along with a dozen congressional Republicans from around the state.

Governor Greg Abbott and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz were the most conspicuous omissions from the Trump campaign team in Texas as a pair of GOP leaders who'd gone to great extremes in the past to curry the ex-president's support and endorsements for their own re-election races. U.S. Senator John Cornyn and 13 Texas Republicans in the U.S. House failed to appear on the Trump state steering committee here for 2024.

Most if not all of the Republicans who represent Texas in Congress said before the rally in Waco they would not attend due to other plans that they'd made for the weekend and apparently could not break. But Patrick cleared his calendar despite the lack of significant advance warning so he could be there for the Republican that lost the White House to President Joe Biden in 2020.

Patrick's assertion that he'd made the call on Waco as the setting for the event is a plausible explanation as a solid red area that bills itself as the Heart of Texas and is located three hours away or less from the state's four largest metropolitan areas where the vast majority of the state's population is based. Patrick's children attended Baylor University and he's a Bears ever since.

But Patrick's failure to anticipate the backlash that the campaign would face as a consequence of the rally's time and place may be surprising given his deep love for Texas and vow to protect the state's history and values alike. Patrick is a Maryland native who was born and raised in Baltimore. But he'd lived in Texas for nearly a decade when the cult that engaged in pedophilia, polygamy and other deviant behavior set itself ablaze in April 19, 1993 in an apocalyptic inferno that leader David Koresh had been predicting.

Many Texans never knew or have forgotten that the Branch Davidians killed four federal law enforcement officers who were attempting to serve a warrant for Koresh's arrest 51 days before the final showdown that left 76 cult members incinerated in its wake. Twenty-five children who had been fathered by Koresh with a multitude of different wives were forced to stay and die with the elders while others who were not related to him were released.

Based on evidence that was overwhelming including eyewitness accounts from survivors, young girls in the cult would line up each night to see which one would be chosen by Koresh to spend the night with him in his special quarters at the Mount Carmel compound site.

Trump announced plans for the rally in Waco a week ago without an initial explanation on the decision for the location. That sparked widespread speculation on an unspoken attempt to associate with the Branch Davidians amid a narrative that portrayed them as religious freedom pioneers who were persecuted by a federal government that the Trump base despises now more than ever.

The Trump campaign allowed the conjecture to percolate throughout the week with efforts to confirm or deny that the setting had been chosen in an attempt to capitalize on the standoff to appeal to anti-government sentiment that the former president has cultivated and hopes to ride to a belated second term as the nation's top leader.

Patrick's sought to blame the mainstream media for the theories on the Branch Davidians as the inspiration for the selection of the rally site. But the lion's share of pundits on the far right embraced the theory while many hailed it as a genius move that would boost attendance significantly.

The Trump campaign declined to deny the speculation on the Branch Davidians as the rally's impetus until a spokesperson said on Saturday that the site was been selected for the geographical proximity. Trump dodged a question on Newsmax the previous day on the cult as a factor in the choice when he opted to discuss his predictions for turnout size instead. The lieutenant governor waited a week before his casting as the fall guy.

more to come ...







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