|After two lackluster years, we pretty much know Greg Abbott’s pattern. On a day-to-day basis, Abbott is more passive and reactive than assertive. He chats up donors behind the scenes while using his Twitter feed to put out trite comments on noncontroversial issues along with an occasional “me too” comment on the actions of some other far right ideologue.|
It turns out, Abbott’s follow-the-stronger-leader nature is very responsive to Donald Trump. Over just the last few weeks, Abbott has adopted Trump-like tactics. His recent comments and actions against locally-elected Texas officials, broken promises, and flat out lies on voter fraud are more an indication of his own insecurities than any real conviction on his part.
Abbott trying to pull off Trump-like political payback
Donald Trump captured fame and fed his ego as a reality TV celebrity. “You’re fired” became the Trump brand and ripping off contractors and stiffing employees was his method of operation. Now as a politician, Trump takes a similar approach in moving to quash political opponents who stand in his way. Dangerously, Greg Abbott seems to be following Trump’s lead by threatening to remove the duly elected Travis County Sheriff from office because she dared to disagree with him on Travis County immigration policy.
Abbott’s soft threat – while weak – does send a dangerous message that Texans shouldn’t ignore. Abbott is taking cues from President Trump – if he senses an advantage, he will abuse his office to bully and harass political opponents.
Abbott’s alternate facts
It also didn’t take long for Abbott to pick up on Trump’s “alternate facts” approach. Barely a day after Trump again made the demonstrably false claim of widespread voter fraud in the 2016 elections, Abbott reinforced his false claims of voter fraud in Texas. Just last year, PolitiFact said Abbott’s phony claims about voter fraud were “ridiculous” and gave Abbott its worst rating, a “Pants on Fire” – a rating he received three times last year alone.