Texas Governor Doesn't Have Patrick Back
after Senate Chief's Bolder Words on Riot
January 12, 2021
Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick showed no signs of holding a grudge in public on Tuesday when he welcomed Governor Greg Abbott to the Texas Senate after being left out on a limb by him the day before on the explosive issue of the attempted coup in Washington D.C. last week.
The GOP leadership duo had remained silent in the faces of unprecedented crisis for two entire months, Patrick acknowledged on Sunday that President Donald Trump's supporters were predominantly to blame for the deadly riot at the nation's Capitol on the day that Congress certified Democrat Joe Biden's victory in 2020.
After repeating countless Trump lies about the coronavirus crisis, election fraud and the state of Texas in Fox News interviews, Patrick's decision to finally face the truth on the insurrection had to be painful in light of the way he's put the president on a pedestal as his campaign chairman in Texas for the past five years.
But Patrick also sought to debunk bogus claims by Trump and high-level Texas allies about the involvement of leftist extremists in the Antifa movement in the riot that left five dead in D.C. after it erupted in the immediate wake of a rally where the president called on militant right-wingers to march to the Capitol and keep fighting to keep him in power.
While Abbott hasn't tried to deny that Trump loyalists had been responsible for the attack on the heart of American government, the governor finally broke his own long silence on Monday when he suggested that Democratic attempts to remove or to impeach Trump or both were motivated by blatant political greed.
Abbott's comments seemed unusually callous compared to Patrick's the day before - and the governor took it a step further by suggesting at a coronavirus vaccine briefing in the Dallas-Fort Worth area that Trump should face no criminal liability for the riots despite the words that had ignited them.
“Violence always obviously is unacceptable,” Abbott said. “But the people responsible for that violence are the people who did it. They’re the ones who should be punished for it.”
But the governor knows that the logic is badly flawed in light of the fact inciting a riot is a blatant violation of criminal law. If Abbott's explanation had been true, a person who hires someone to kill a spouse and an accomplice who comes up with a gun wouldn't be subject to criminal charges as long as neither pulled the trigger.
Abbott has stoked fears on Antifa to help sell a plan to punish cities that defund the police like he's falsely accused the Austin City Council of doing in a reorganization plan that hasn't appeared to have an adverse effect on the public safety here despite the governor's assertions to the contrary.
But Abbott also wants to shift the responsibility of law enforcement in Austin to the Department of Public Safety as an executive agency that he controls. The governor could find that proposal to be in serious trouble after a U.S. Capitol police force had been totally unprepared for the terrorist assault in Washington despite a budget increase of 200 percent or more last year.
Patrick, however, may have effectively put an end to the use of Antifa as a publicity gimmick to boost positions that have no credible evidence to support. The lieutenant governor also beat Abbott to the punch with pitch for unity and healing amid the uproar on the riot in Washington a bitterly divided America.