Trump Texas Trek Could Pressure Power Pair
to Join Insurrection or Try to Save the Party
January 9, 2021
President Donald Trump could be trying to flush his two highest-ranking Texas allies out of hiding with plans to travel to the Lone Star State on Tuesday when the Legislature will be convening in regular session while Congress weighs impeaching before his terms expires 11 days from now.
After two months without a word of public support for the president's bid to overturn the election that he lost last fall, Governor Greg Abbott and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick may finally feel compelled to break their silence with Trump heading for Texas for the dedication ceremony for the border wall that will be coming down soon.
The timing of Trump's upcoming trip to the Rio Grande Valley - whether by calculation or premeditated design - is horrible for the Republicans who control the statehouse in Austin. But the last-minute South Texas visit appears to be part of a frantic Trump scramble to reassert his iron grip on the GOP in a state where Abbott and Patrick have appeared to abandon him by keeping themselves on mute in a time of monumental crisis.
Trump will be effectively forcing Abbott and Patrick to take a side in the civil war that he's trying to start by showing up in their home state on the same day that lawmakers converge on the Capitol where the GOP still has House and Senate majorities after squandering control of Congress and the White House on the lame duck's watch.
Trump is trying to keep old-school establishment Republicans like Abbott and U.S. Senator John Cornyn from taking the party back amid the chaos from the insurrection at the nation's Capitol that left five dead including a police officer.
Trump scored a tentative victory in that regard this weekend when the Republican National Committee appeared to join the crusade against democracy when the activists who run it heaped praise on the president while refusing to acknowledge that he'd been directly responsible for the violence that they condemned with self-righteous indignation.
The Trump loyalists on the RNC continued to parrot the claims of massive voter fraud that the president's lawyer recycled in a flood of lawsuits that were rejected countless times in courtrooms in battleground states where the president says the election was stolen from him.
But Trump hasn't been getting the kind of love here that he'd come to expect despite major supporting roles that U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, Attorney General Ken Paxton and more than a half-dozen U.S. representatives who voted against Biden's certification in a move that has them being referred to now as the Treason Caucus.
Patrick's worst nightmare could become true if Trump summons him to the event at the South Texas border when he's supposed to be in Austin to gavel the state Senate into session on Tuesday. Patrick was a no-show on opening day in 2019 after being ordered to Washington for advice on border security.
But Patrick could be squirming more if Trump wants to look him in the eye and demand to know why he hasn't done anything to come to his defense since the launching of a voter fraud bounty fund that will be two months old on Sunday.
more to come ...