No Texas officials have been more strident and less forgiving on alleged voter fraud than Greg Abbott and Ken Paxton. They have brought dozens of cases to court claiming voter fraud supported by only hyper-technical interpretations of the law. They regularly seek prosecution for actions more easily explained by voter confusion or simple error than the intent to do harm or violate the law. Abbott and Paxton have been relentless and unforgiving while pushing for prosecution and punishment of voting violations, yet neither can muster the courage or character to condemn clear, crass and overt efforts by Donald Trump to illegally alter Georgia’s election results.
Yesterday, an audio tape recording of a conversation between President Trump and the Georgia Secretary of State and his legal counsel was released. It includes comments by President Trump that taken at face value are clear violations of Georgia and federal law. A full transcript of the call can be seen here.
Abbott & Paxton Pander to Trump After Prosecuting Texans
Both Abbott and Paxton have been condemned many times by the Lone Star Project and others for targeting their voter fraud prosecutions at African Americans, Hispanics and other individuals and groups they believe do not support them politically or whose prosecution has political value to them.
The failure by Greg Abbott, Ken Paxton, and other Texas Republican elected officials to condemn Trump’s call to Georgia election officials and demand formal investigation confirms the illegitimate and corrupt nature of their own voter fraud investigations.
Don’t Hold Your Breath
No one should hold their breath waiting for responsible action from Greg Abbott or Ken Paxton. Abbott’s most consistent move in the face of scrutiny and controversy is to shrink away, taking comfort in cowardly silence. For Paxton, corrupt actions are a feature of his broken character. Paxton will help lead an anti-democratic pro-Trump rally in Washington, DC this week that is nothing short of promoting a coup attempt.
A Coup is Not Conservative
At this point, the media and others who short hand “Republican” as “Conservative” are simply inaccurate. Honoring the results of American democracy after an election that has been reviewed and certified is not ideological, it is basic patriotism. Not a single Texas Republican elected official has yet condemned the overt attempt by Donald Trump to strong-arm Georgia officials into “finding” votes for him. Their pandering to Trump now is just the most recent confirmation that Texas Republicans aren’t guided by conservative or any other set of principles. They are undermining the Constitution and putting American democracy in grave danger.