Gov. Greg Abbott Issues Confederate Manifesto

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For Gov. Greg Abbott so loved the US Constitution he sought to radically alter it with 9 Amendments that threaten the supremacy of the federal government.

It seems Abbott pines for the days of the Confederacy, when states could thumb their nose at the feds and ignore individual liberty at the behest of popular political opinion.

So far, even Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick hasn’t jumped on board — and that is saying A LOT. Patrick and Abbott are often competing to issue the first press release when an opportunity to pander to the base arises. However, even as Patrick claims he does not have plans to run for Governor, some see this as posturing by Abbott to defend his right flank. Patrick’s silence certainly lends some credence to that theory.

And it’s not just Patrick staying silent. Speaker Joe Straus, who already tends to avoid needless controversies, declined to weigh in upon request and right-wing (and felony indicted) Attorney General Ken Paxton “stopped short of confirming he supports Abbott’s proposal.”

Some high-profile conservatives have come out to actually oppose the idea as unnecessary, and others because it could open a can of worms including: Julie McCarty, president of the infamous NE Tarrant Tea Party, Senator Konni Burton, State Representative and Senate candidate David Simpson.

If anything, the State of Texas needs to concentrate on rewriting its own Constitution. Senator Bill Ratliff speaking on the idea of a new Texas Constitution said, “(Voters know) that any document that you have to amend 20 times every other year is broke. It’s sort of a Texas tragedy, actually, that we can’t seem to come to grips with the fact that we need a new basic document going into the next century and the next millennium.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says, “most Americans have no idea what our Constitution says,” and in order to take full advantage of that view, he has offered 9 Amendments that act as a power grab for states’ rights.

Many young folks may not know their constitutional history, but there are still folks that are alive today who remember “states’ rights” as the mantra of those fighting integration and civil rights, and more recently marriage equality. Abbott’s intent would be to reverse progress on things like safe and legal abortion access, the Affordable Care Act, marriage equality, clean air and water, carbon reduction, and gun regulations.

Abbott’s proposal would cripple the checks and balances system that has been a hallmark of our republic and would allow states to override the Supreme Court and curtail executive orders. Let’s remember that both have been used to make unpopular but necessary actions that upheld the individual rights of citizens.

Abbott’s record of dismissing and even exploiting minority populations for popular support makes this proposal hair raising, especially considering how he has consistently sought to tear at the wall separating church and state.

Sanford Levinson, a constitutional law expert at the University of Texas, told the Texas Tribune that such a move is like a sweater. “You see a thread loose, and you pull at it, then you discover that the whole arm is falling off because things are connected to one another.” DUH!

In his executive summary Abbott writes, “The miracle of our Nation’s birth is that the Founders were willing to sacrifice their personal ambitions and egos to the rule of law.”

Well Mr. Abbott, you’re no Founding Father.

 

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About Author

Joe Deshotel

Joe was born and raised in Beaumont, Tx, but live music and politics brought him to Austin. He has worked in and around government and elections for over a decade including for a member of US Congress, the Texas Legislature, the Mayor of Austin. He currently serves as Communications Director for the Travis County Democratic Party. He is most interested in transportation, energy and technology issues. He also likes Texas Hold'em and commuting on his electric skateboard. Follow me on Twitter at @joethepleb.

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