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Greg Abbott's Very Bad Month
Texans are fed up as Abbott's misplaced priorities lead to mounting frustration against GOP governance.
Texas Republicans are having a very bad month, especially Greg Abbott. For the rest of us, we see what’s happening, and we’re outraged. But the constant flow of bad news is pecking away at the right, and enough people are angry to make them regret it.
The biggest news this month is the situation at the border. Last week, the Houston Chronicle reported that Troopers with DPS were ordered to push children back into the Rio Grande and deny exhausted refugees water in 110° heat. Then the New York Times followed it up with another report (gift article) about how the razor wire deployed along the Rio Grande was maiming people and how badly the situation has deteriorated.
Because of Abbott’s action on the border, the State says they’re investigating, Mexico has filed a diplomatic complaint, and the DOJ is suing. The DOJ lawsuit prompted Abbott’s response, “See you in court.”
As the week has progressed, more and more reports of bloodied and drowned migrants have emerged. There have been at least 26 drownings in that area of the Rio Grande, and the State Troopers may or may not have been involved in some or all of those drownings. Again, the State has opened an investigation.
People are angry about this. Rightfully so. Meanwhile, Republicans have responded with blood lust and are seemingly asking the Governor to continue the actions that are killing asylum seekers at the border.
Then, yesterday the Wall Street Journal (a right-leaning publication) put out another scathing report stating that Operation Lone Star has cost Texas taxpayers $4.5 billion so far and has had little effect on migration. It accounts for how thousands of arrests by state troopers under Operation Lone Star have been unrelated to border security. Instead, they netted U.S. citizens hundreds of miles from the border.
Greg Abbott’s border narrative is falling apart.
This matters since every Republican in America who cries about an imaginary border crisis got their cues from Greg Abbott. We probably can’t expect the GOP base to develop a sense of compassion for what’s being done to children and pregnant migrants under Abbott’s watch, as they are too far gone in the culture wars and have lost their humanity in their quest to own the libs. We can expect those who usually don’t pay attention to see these human rights abuses and feel as angry as we do now.
Before the reports of the atrocities at the border broke, much of Texas focused on how the State dropped off CNBC’s America’s Top States for Business for the first time in history.
Power grid issues, rising crime, poor health care, and a rollback of diversity, equity, and inclusion all contributed to the declines. Texas is now the sixth place for business, and with another two years until the legislature meets again, you should expect to see a further decline. CNBC also listed Texas as the worst place to work and live in.
Because of this ranking, you should expect a slowdown in businesses and people moving to the Lone Star State. These reports are put out annually. We will see a massive drop by the time next year is out. Abbott has continued to say how great Texas is because of our GDP and low unemployment, but he completely ignores the high poverty and wealth inequality levels.
This will tip the political climate.
This week a report was released stating that Texas has seen a sharp increase in infant mortality.
From CNN: Some 2,200 infants died in Texas in 2022 – an increase of 227 deaths, or 11.5%, over the previous year, according to preliminary infant mortality data from the Texas Department of State Health Services that CNN obtained through a public records request. Infant deaths caused by severe genetic and birth defects rose by 21.6%. That spike reversed a nearly decade-long decline. Between 2014 and 2021, infant deaths had fallen by almost 15%.
Is this what being “pro-life” looks like?
Texas successfully decreased the rate of aborting fetuses and increased the death rate of actual newborns. Restricting abortion increases maternal and infant mortality rates. We already knew that. There’s a reason the maps of abortion restriction & highest maternal mortality are almost identical.
While you may hear Republicans touting how there have been 10,000 extra new births in Texas since the end of Roe, you probably won’t hear about how there has been an increase in abandoned infants, forcing the government to update Safe Haven Laws.
Texas has the highest uninsured rate in the nation. Women and women’s healthcare has been under attack since the GOP took control 30 years ago. Millions no longer have access to safe abortions, so we’re seeing spikes of dead and abandoned babies.
Texas A&M has been in the news for the failed hiring of Black journalism professor Kathleen McElroy.
Race was a factor in Black professor’s failed hiring. This was due to the State’s new DEI ban, which I covered extensively during the legislative process. The bill author, Senator Brandon Creighton, made it clear that this bill intended to hire white faculty because diversity was unfair to white people.
The Black and brown Democrats made it clear that the DEI ban was racist. Hundreds of people testified against it, stating how egregiously racist it was. Yet, Republicans pushed it through anyway.
After Texas A&M hired Kathleen McElroy, the Texas Scorecard (a Tim Dunn-funded publication) went on the attack, calling her a “DEI hire” and a “Marxist.” All because she once said that there should be more diversity in newsrooms. In fact, her only crime was being born the wrong skin color, and Conservatives used the dog whistle of “DEI” to get her offer rescinded.
Now, A&M is under fire, President Kathleen Banks resigned due to the backlash, and CNN commentator and A&M alums Roland Martin is calling for an all-out boycott for Black students not to attend A&M.
Kathleen McElroy is only the first Black professor to lose a job offer over the so-called DEI ban, but you can believe that she won’t be the last. This will hurt Texas University badly enough that it will take years, even decades, to recover from. Of course, unless the colleges choose not to follow the GOP’s push for segregation.
The GOP's bad governance and Governor Greg Abbott's pandering to the wealthy are starting to catch up with them. Texans are witnessing the consequences of their leaders ' actions, from the border crisis to the decline in business rankings and rising infant mortality rates. We are all witnessing the harmful repercussions of the GOP’s regressive policies.
All these issues fuel public frustration and may ultimately determine whether enough people will be motivated to vote for change in upcoming elections. The question becomes whether Texans will channel their anger into meaningful action at the polls to bring about the desired change.
Get involved now, and start mobilizing, organizing, and reaching out to your local political groups. Enough is enough. It’s time for us to take Texas back.