Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Greg Abbott and Beto O'Rourke


Every time I read something about Texas in this Trump era, I get a stab in my heart, because I grew up there and still have connections. There's no earthly excuse for my native land to be so cussedly, dangerously backward.

I came across this yesterday

The Lincoln Project, an American political action committee formed in 2019, made up of former and current Republicans, issued a statement questioning why their TV ad [blasting Gov. Greg Abbott for his bad handling of COVID], funded for $25,000, did not run on ESPN during the nationally televised Texas vs. Rice college football game. The group said the ad was pulled 10 minutes before it was expected to run, despite ESPN's legal team clearing it beforehand.

The ad was pulled, citing a "university-made" decision. And a spokesman for Abbott told The Dallas Morning News he had nothing to do with the decision. Still, the Lincoln Project asserts that Abbott, a Texas graduate who appoints members of the school’s board of regents, played a part in the ad not running and said it plans to file a public records request to determine that. [USA Today]

So I found the ad: 

You might be forgiven for thinking that Gov. Abbott might could maybe be beaten in 2022 by a good, well funded Democrat. You would think that already perhaps, before seeing the Lincoln Project silent condemnation of his criminal ineptness. For Abbott's been a visible and willing advocate for backwardness of a shocking stripe, the curtailing of ballot access and the ending of legal abortion. The abrasive impact on independent voters of these policies perhaps accounts for the University of Texas poll that found Abbott moving underwater for the first time this summer, his approval rating sinking to 41% with 50% disapproving.

Could Beto O'Rourke be The One? 'Cause he's running, have no doubt. Hans Nichols at Axios wrote:

O'Rourke's entry would give Democrats a high-profile candidate with a national fundraising network to challenge Republican Gov. Greg Abbott — and give O’Rourke, a former three-term congressman from El Paso and 2020 presidential candidate and voting rights activist, a path to a political comeback.

"Comeback"? O'Rourke lost the Texas Senate race to Ted Cruz in 2018 (O'Rourke got a respectable 48.3% of the vote),  and then his presidential bid fizzled in 2020. So less than four years later, yes, we're talking "comeback"? Though it's not as though O'Rourke retired to a monastery. He's been active and out there on voting rights especially and he's lent his name and sweat equity to Democratic candidates for the Texas state legislature. Plus he's a proven, exceptional money magnet. Who else would have a better chance, taking it to Greg Abbott? Abbott pushes many buttons on the negative partisanship consol, and money will flow to any star Democrat willing to challenge him. Beto might have the appeal to pull it off. (Hope springs.)

July 17, 2021: 

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