Ken Paxton’s failed impeachment is a disaster – but there’s a much bigger story being missed here

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Texas Republicans have now voted against removing corrupt Attorney General Ken Paxton from office. It was a bizarre turn of events, given that Texas Republicans were the ones who impeached him to begin with.

We’re already seeing folks lining up to chant the usual slogans like “They’re getting away with it all.” But while Paxton’s ability to remain in office is obviously bad for the good people of Texas, there’s a much larger story here – and it’s one that I fear the entire media and pundit class will overlook in their eagerness to spin this.

The real story here is that Republican politicians these days, on every level, simply have no idea what they’re even doing. Texas Republicans impeached Paxton not long ago, under the belief that they had the votes to remove him. But as of today they weren’t even close to having the votes. Republican politicians are so chaotically and ineptly out of control, they can’t even come through for each other anymore. And it’s not just in Texas.

The Tennessee Republican legislature was certain that it had the votes to wrongly oust Democratic legislator Gloria Johnson. But within the span of a few hours they lost some of those votes, and Johnson was rightly acquitted.

So we got a bad result in Texas and a good result in Tennessee, and the only common theme was that Republicans are so chaotically inept at this that they can’t even get a stable headcount within their own party. They just keep humiliating themselves.

It’s the same story with the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives. They thought they had the votes to shut down the government earlier this year, then it turned out they didn’t. Then they thought they had the votes for an impeachment inquiry, and it turned out they didn’t. These Republican buffoons are flip flopping so quickly that even their own party leaders can’t keep up with whether they have the votes for something or not.

So this is a lot bigger than Ken Paxton. And keep in mind that he’s under active criminal prosecution by the Department of Justice. That criminal case, and not impeachment by his own friends, has always been the most likely route for Paxton’s takedown. But on a broader scale, this goes way beyond his fate.

What we’re really seeing here is a complete and total lack of leadership within the Republican ranks. No one is in charge. No one has the muscle to get these Republican buffoons to fall in line with the party’s overall strategy, or to keep them in line as that strategy moves forward. During the course of the Trump implosion, every Republican leader who had that kind of muscle was either forced out or neutralized. Instead of new leaders taking their place, there’s simply no Republican leadership at all.

We’re seeing instances where this chaotic Republican ineptitude has a bad result for the country, and instances where this chaotic Republican ineptitude happens to work out in our favor. But such results are mere happenstance. The only common theme within the Republican Party these days, and the recurring pattern that we keep seeing, is the chaotic ineptitude.

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