Texas Republican lawmakers have a long history of successfully passing legislation in defiance of federal law — suppressing the vote is an excellent example. Texas has lost many Court battles for suppressing minority voters, and pre-clearance has repeatedly caught them red-handed. Yet, they have still successfully suppressed, restricted and nullified minority votes for decades, along with other likely democratic votes — including the disabled, poor, young, single mothers, non-drivers, first-time Texas voters and urban dwellers — through numerous, skillful, creative, complicated and often subtle obstacles throughout the voting system, which cannot be adequately explained in a soundbite, but are easily denied and distorted. The 2020 Cost-of-Voting Report named Texas as the most difficult state to vote in (yet not so much for rural and wealthy conservatives). So I respectfully disagree with President Biden’s statement at his last Town Hall that you can’t keep Americans from voting. I could write a book about it.
We still have some cunning Republican lawmakers — evidenced by their vast “voter integrity” proposals, causing Texas Democrats to flee — covering for the Big Lie and Trumplicans taking over, passing extremist legislation that repeatedly failed for years and the majority of Texans oppose, such as the no-permit-required, open-carry gun law. Criminal AG Ken Paxton transformed the horrible but once moderate Greg Abbott into an inept dictator, constantly spewing lies and propaganda, inciting fear and hate.
Abbott started postering for Trump and his MAGAts with border theatrics, helping Trump kill us by lifting and banning Covid protection efforts, and promoting and enacting illegal but useless legislation such as SB12 — a total scam, falsely claiming it allowed Texans to sue Big Tech for violating free speech. Despite pledging to be transparent through regular town halls, he started having “private” invitation-only town halls, for which no records exist (or at least that was the response to my FOIA request, even though I witnessed a portion of one). Then of course there’s the Big Lie and big failure of the Texas lawsuit, thrown out by SCOTUS.
Abbott promised to complete Trump’s border wall with transparent private donations, but again failed to deliver. He stole money from the prison system for it by making fake disaster declarations, rejected and denied by the largest, most active border-crossing areas.
Abbott took nabbing ‘dangerous criminal and covid-infested migrants” into his own hands, subverting federal immigration laws, falsely claiming “Biden’s system” is “catch and release” while his is “catch and jail.” (But it’s actually catch, jail and release, and federal authorities always deport migrants unqualified for asylum. Biden recently enacted “expedited removal.”) Abbott’s confusing and illegal ‘border security initiative’ has had numerous missteps, alarming local law enforcement and citizens in border towns deluged with state law enforcement, arresting harmless asylum seekers for “trespassing” the minute they walk across the border, separating fathers and husbands from their families, while falsely claiming they are only nabbing illegal single males — racking up “easy numbers” while avoiding the hard work of catching criminal repeat-offenders.
But Abbott went bonkers when he entered an outrageously bizarre, racist, confusing and vague order, attempting to scapegoat migrants for the recent surge in Covid, obviously caused the same as other red states having even worse surges — by extremely dangerous Republican lies, propaganda, policies and legislation, falsely crying liberty while stomping on it. The overwhelmingly majority are Delta cases in large urban areas nowhere near the border. It is highly unlikely any unvaccinated, Delta-infected migrant would even be capable of trekking across the border in this heat.
Abbott’s order insanely instructs State Troopers to stop any vehicle across Texas with “reasonable suspicion” of carrying migrants who potentially have Covid — once again illegally ordering the impossible, diverting law enforcement, risking our safety, and costing a fortune. But he went too far. Merrick Garland urged Abbott to rescind the order, warning him it was “dangerous and illegal,” not to mention unconstitutional. Abbott refused. So the DOJ filed suit.
I have a hunch Abbott’s order may also be related to some vague language in “voter integrity” proposals, ordering the SOS to review driver’s license records and purge voter rolls of anyone whose citizenship was ever questioned. Even if resolved and proof was provided to the proper authority and at registration, the voter must provide it to election officials and re-register. Most would have no idea of this until they couldn’t vote, when it was too late. Maybe I’m crazy, but Texas Republicans are sneaky pros at this.