Greg Abbott’s drift from conservatism easy to track, appears he’s betting on a Trump loss

Pratt on Texas - copyright Pratt on Texas all rights reservedTwo Texas regular legislative sessions ago, Governor Greg Abbott pushed an agenda of limited government conservatism. After that session, in the 2018 primary elections, Abbott worked to defeat a symbolic set of liberal Republican legislators – they won re-election anyway.

Then, in 2020, Abbott flipped and fully endorsed many liberal Republicans including legislators he had told voters should not be re-elected just two years earlier. And to make matters worse, Abbott and his Dave Carney-run political machine came in very late in the delayed primary runoff elections and backed the anti-conservative candidates – Abbott’s liberal candidates only won in one of these contests. It was so bad that former allies of Abbott at the state’s leading outside-the-party conservative group published a piece titled Abbott Declares Open War on Conservatives.

Gov. Greg Abbott

In the 2017 85th Legislature Abbott pushed a full-plate of conservative reform but legislators carped that Abbott’s “zipped-lip” policy toward legislative leadership frustrated efforts to pass his conservative red meat agenda, a complaint that continued through the 86th Legislature. The special session he called ended with no action on half of the key items, which were largely the most important issues. He didn’t bother calling another special to push legislators to at least hold votes on these key issues.

Then in 2019, the 86th Legislature, Abbott again brought forth a set of admirable “emergency” items and an agenda worthy of support and some key issues such as property tax reform did pass due to the efforts of the Lieutenant Governor and key legislators. Abbott refused to call a special session to push the failed items over the line and didn’t make much of the line-item veto threat to wrangle legislators into action on key items during the regular session.

Not being adept at how the legislature’s sausage grinding works in the way previous Governor Rick Perry was doesn’t make Abbott non-conservative. However, not using the tools readily at his disposal to push his conservative legislative agenda raised questions as to his sincerity.

Carney’s remark to the Times was gratuitous and designed to damage President Trump in the house organ of the American Left.

Then in 2020 came his utterly capricious and numerous decrees during the great WuFlu crisis. Governor Greg Abbott fully embraced the patrician style of the Left, trying to be our daddies and doctors to “keep us safe,” something for which he was not elected.

Abbott topped it off with the biggest indictment of all: He refused, after the initial few weeks of emergency passed, to call a legislative special session to let our representatives have a say in the massively intrusive and costly policies of the virus scare. This shows that, like a Leftist, he covets power and believes in top-down management of the allocation of resources and of the daily decisions of a free people – many of whom his orders have bankrupted.

And then, as if to give out the full story that the Abbott machine is rooted in the Bush and Never-Trump movement, Abbott’s mercenary chief strategist Dave Carney told none other than the “New York Times that “the president got bored with it [the coronavirus,]” so Abbott regularly speaks with and directs his requests for any assistance to Vice President Mike Pence.”

The President put V.P. Mike Pence in charge of the issue and thus it is only correct form that WuFlu requests go through Pence. Carney’s remark to the Times was gratuitous and designed to damage President Trump in the house organ of the American Left.

Dave Carney

I believe this gives strong evidence to my voiced opinion that Abbott and his machine have decided, for Abbott’s own popularity and ambition, to pivot away from Republican conservatism and toward the Romney-like patrician liberal Republicanism these folk believe sits well with the often discussed “suburban women” polling data they are obsessed with.

In short, Carney and Abbott expect a big Trump loss in November (with Carney already helping to achieve such with such quotes as given to the New York Times) and are setting themselves up to be part of whatever new amalgamation ends up dominating the GOP for the 2022 cycle.


  1. I sure would like to forward some of your commentary to friends and relatives but there is no email icon with which to do so. Any chance that could be added? Thanks for all your hard work.

  2. This really needs to be his last term, he’s cost a lot of people a lot of money, and really for no good reason

  3. Harold Bedsole says

    Abbot and cornyn both need to go. We’ll be blue in no time. I never thought I’d see the day that Texas would ever become California. We’re Just about there. Austin has become the representation of what Abbott and others like him.

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