They are not even faking it anymore.
For years, the Texas Republican Party has been less about Texas than about a national far-right ideology driven by Koch Brother-style economic elitism and Steve Bannon/Stephen Miller-style White nationalism. However, flat demeanors and even temperaments of high profile Republican elected officials like Greg Abbott and John Cornyn camouflaged a party that had abandoned mainstream Texans and ceded control to the most divisive elements within its ranks.
Off-the-Edge Allen West New TX GOP Chair
The election of off-the-edge Florida import, Allen West, as the new Texas GOP Party Chair throws a harsh light on a Texas Republican Party that is controlled by Trump loyalists and ideologues. Anyone else is just along for the ride.
Nine years ago, Allen West represented a congressional district in Florida before being booted from office by voters. After losing his seat, West joined Fox News and started a search for a new home to revive his flailing political career. West settled on a move to Texas. Since arriving, West has run a far-right think tank into the ground and then teamed up with an Illinois billionaire to bankroll his campaign for Texas GOP Chair. Texas Republicans barely put up a fight, surrendering to bluster and devotion to Trump over Texas.
And, Donald Trump didn’t take long to put his stamp on the win. Trump took to Twitter to celebrate West’s victory and his hostile takeover of the Texas Republican Party.
Texas GOP Goes DC
West’s election as State GOP Chair is just the most visible move by the Texas GOP to get in line with Trump. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has followed every demand out of Trump’s failed playbook from rushing to reopen to blocking responsible local leaders from requiring masks. Lt. Governor Dan Patrick has been Trump’s mouthpiece on Fox News and Attorney General Ken Paxton used the massive resources of his office to push a fringe political agenda completely at odds with public health. John Cornyn has questioned respected scientists about the ability of children to become infected with COVID-19 and Ted Cruz is falling in the President’s lap by refusing to wear a mask on a commercial flight.
Trump’s Texas Republican Party has no interest in promoting rational public policy or defending mainstream Texas values. As Texans across the state are dying and hospitals are reaching capacity, the only priority of Texas Republicans is the reelection of Donald Trump.