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Day Six Of The GOP Civil War - Texas Republicans VS Themselves
A House divided: Inside the feuds, accusations, and political theater.
Now that the impeachment hearing is over, the Senate and all parties involved are no longer under a gag order. And boy-oh-boy, have they been talking—especially Dan Patrick, who was the one who initially put the gag order in place.
On September 18, Dan Patrick went on the Mark Davis show, saying, “I conducted a fair trial.” He also claimed that his speech after the acquittal wasn’t to attack the House but to attack the process. Another thing he said was, “There was no evidence because nothing was under oath.” (Senator Bob Hall said something similar last week, implying that Paxton was acquitted because the witnesses were not under oath during the House investigation.)
Patrick also told Mark Davis that the first time he spoke to Dade Phelan in two years was when Phelan sent him a text toward the end of the legislative session. Then, they got together for a chat, and Patrick asked Phelan (allegedly) if they were planning on impeaching Ken Paxton. According to Patrick, Phelan told him it was up to the Investigation Committee, and he didn’t know anything about it.
This matters and is crucial in the GOP Civil War because the Paxton side, including Dan Patrick, is all trying to say that Dade Phelan did the impeachment at the behest of the Bush Dynasty and Texans for Lawsuit Reform. Although, that’s not at all what happened.
On that same day, Dan Patrick also ordered an audit of the impeachment trial.
He wants to tell the people of Texas how much the impeachment process cost the taxpayers. Fine. But it’s all political theater. It will be used as ammo against Phelan and his side during the primary elections.
Later, Dan Patrick went on the Chad Hasty show, reiterating how fair he thought he was. He said that Representative John Smithee said there were no facts or evidence, which he went by. He claimed that the process in the House went against the norms and denied Ken Paxton due process because Paxton’s lawyers weren’t allowed to interrogate the witnesses during the House investigation. He called the entire House investigation based on hearsay. This was complete bullshit because it was no longer hearsay once the witnesses testified, under oath, in the Senate. Again, it’s all about building a narrative.
While on the Hasty’ Show, Dan Patrick claimed he wrote two speeches, one if Paxton won and another if Paxton lost. Do you believe that?
He wasn’t done. After that, Lt. Governor Patrick went on the Michael Berry podcast, saying that the House treated Ken Paxton’s impeachment like a parking ticket. He called Dade Phelan a “sore loser” who rushed to judgment over the Memorial Day weekend. Patrick again spoke about how the impeachment trial wasn’t about innocence or guilt. It was about the process (referring to the process in the House).
Michael Berry, who must be popular enough to have Dan Patrick on his show, called the impeachment trial an “impeachment coup.” Berry said that real Texans are angry over how the impeachment went down and are mad at Dade Phelan.
However, I’d like to point out (again) that the anti-impeachment crowd mainly consists of carpetbaggers, while the pro-impeachment group consists of real Texans. Case in point:
Berry claimed Dade Phelan has torn the party apart, and people are asking for his resignation.
The GOP needs a scapegoat. While I’m no fan of Dade Phelan, as some of the most monstrous legislation has been passed under his watch, he didn’t orchestrate the impeachment. The highly corrupt Ken Paxton asked taxpayers to pay the whistleblower lawsuit, and because of that, the House Investigation Committee opened an investigation into that lawsuit. Sure, Phelan appointed the committee and gave them the green light, but ultimately, the committee substantiated the corruption claims and recommended impeachment.
Dade Phelan trusted the members of the House and their judgment, and that’s precisely what a good speaker should do.
On the Michael Berry Show, Dan Patrick accused Dade Phelan of wantingly putting him in a no-win situation where he would be criticized no matter what happened. He went on to say whenever they pick the next Speaker, that the Republican Caucus needs to determine who it is and not allow Democrats to have a vote.
Since the beginning of time, the House members, as a body, have always chosen the Speaker. There are 86 Republicans and 64 Democrats. The Republicans do not have a supermajority. Therefore, they need to compromise with Democrats, not only on the election of the Speaker but on a multitude of legislation that goes through the House.
Dan Patrick wasn’t done. He said, “Dade Phelan needs to stand up and be a man and say I was wrong and Dan Patrick was right.”
I hope Phelan gets a chance to listen to the Michael Berry podcast and hits Dan Patrick back because he concluded by saying, “I don’t tell the Senators how to vote. That’s what happens in the House, not in the Senate.” Those are fighting words.
Ken Paxton has also been making the right-wing media rounds.
You might have seen/heard about Paxton’s groundbreaking interview on the Tucker Carlson show.
I watched it, so you don’t have to. And it was conspiracies and propaganda-driven lies. Carlson framed it as “Liberals like Karl Rove tried to annihilate Ken Paxton.”
Liberals like Karl Rove. KARL ROVE. Stop laughing. Take a deep breath. It gets more absurd.
Ken Paxton said that because the Democrats are a voting bloc, 65 Democrats plus 10 Republicans elect the speaker, and Democrats choose who the Speaker is. Which is horseshit, Dade Phelan is far-right, but he’s easy to get along with. The Speaker needs 75 votes to win. Dade Phelan won the Speaker's election with 82 Republican votes and 64 Democratic votes. So, the Republicans would have elected him even if they had 0 Democratic votes. The only Republicans who voted against Phelan were Bryan Slaton, Tony Tinderholt, and Nate Schatzline.
Paxton also said that some of the lawyers on the House Impeachment side worked under the Biden DOJ (not sure who he was talking about, but I couldn’t find any evidence of that), which was proof that Joe Biden was a driving force to get him impeached. Obviously, that’s not true.
Carlson said Karl Rove was a huge liberal because he called Ken Paxton a bad person.
That’s the threshold for whether you’re Conservative or Liberal in the GOP’s book. It has nothing to do with policy or ideas, but do you like my guy who is a criminal and a fascist? No? You are a Liberal.
Paxton claimed that Rove was tied in with the Bush family (we all knew that) but also had ties with Texas for Lawsuit Reform (TLR).
TLR, led by billionaire Dick Weekley, is a far-right PAC that has spent the last two decades pushing for changes in Texas laws that would make it harder for workers and consumers to sue businesses after wrongdoing or injury.
They weren’t done bashing Rove, though. Carlson said, “Rove is hardly an intellectual,” calling him stupid. Then Paxton said Rove was politically aligned with Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. While listening to this, I had to pause and Google if there was more than one Karl Rove in politics because that’s absurd.
Paxton went on to say that there wasn’t an ideological difference between him and Dade Phelan (no shit), and for Phelan, it’s all about staying in power, and Phelan cut a deal with the Democrats to be Speaker. Now, he has to deliver to the Biden administration. Paxton doesn’t think the Biden administration went directly to Phelan, but they went to Texas Democrats and ordered them to take Paxton out. Then, the Democrats demanded Dade Phelan to impeach Paxton.
As long as Democrats are playing the puppet master, I wish someone could explain why they didn’t expand Medicaid, raise the minimum wage, or legalize weed.
My favorite part of the interview was when Tucker Carlson said, “It looks like Texas is going to be a Democratic state soon.”
You better believe it. People are sick and tired of the Republican corruption. This Civil War between the GOP is very public and will hinder their ability to govern.
In related news, Montgomery County Representative Steve Toth pulled out of the Texas
Fascist Freedom Caucus.
The Texas Freedom Caucus is in shambles. The Chair, Matt Schaefer, did not vote on impeachment and has announced his resignation, while the Vice-Chair and Treasurer, Briscoe Cain and Cody Vasut, were impeachment managers.
Brian Harrison is a Caucus member but has been a loud advocate against the impeachment and Dade Phelan. Other House members have been attacking Harrison on various issues.
Brad Johnson, a reporter for the far-right Texan News, reported that Toth said, “The Texas Freedom Caucus is feckless, and it's lost its way.” Johnson also noted that Toth specifically cited playing ball with House leadership.
Did that mean Toth was pulling out of the Caucus because members were throwing around a football with GOP House leadership? Or did he mean they were complicit in the impeachment? The statement was unclear.
Last week, some Republicans criticized Brian Harrison as it was uncovered that he was pro-vaccination before he was anti-vaccination.
Because of that, Anderson County Representative Cody Harris called Harrison a grifter. The Defend Liberty PAC cheerleader, Luke Macias, then asked if the Texas Freedom Caucus planned on putting out a statement opposing House leadership’s attack on their members.
Cody Harris is not in the Texas Freedom Caucus or part of House leadership. At this point, all the Republicans are talking shit and pointing fingers at their peers. There’s no rhyme or reason, but they need targets to hate. It’s who they are.
Tom Slocum, a failed GOP candidate, compiled a list of their targets.
Those include Dade Phelan, Google (??), Dustin Burrows, Jared Patterson, Charlie Geren, Jacey Jetton, Jeff Leach, Andrew Murr, Lynn Stucky, Todd Hunter, Glenn Rogers, Stephanie Klick, Justin Holland, Craig Goldman, Mano DeAyla, and Texas for Lawsuit Reform.
If the Republicans managed to take down the far-right PAC, Texans for Lawsuit Reform, that’ll be a win for all Texans. It’s hilarious because they’re calling Jared Patterson a “RINO.” But Jared Patterson literally hangs out with domestic terrorists (DFW Deplorables), has called the majority of Texans mentally ill for not supporting the GOP, and was responsible for implementing vagrancy laws and the book-burning bill.
Patterson put out a statement regarding being a “RINO.”
Don’t you love to see it? Stick around because this is going to get ugly.