TX politics are a national security threat.
Case-in-point: The sordid tale of Texas AG, Ken Paxton and his cohorts
As most who follow TAT already know, my focus is on the most severe threats to US national security. It’s not politics or anything else, just severe threats. Post retirement from the US Army in 2015, I now mostly focus on informing readers accurately, without the political spin. I also teach, mentor and speak when asked, about topics within my wheelhouse. Today’s article will be about how, in the Trump era, and now beyond, certain political movements and their vocal leaders, are severe threats to US national security.
Today, using Ken Paxton, the Texas AG, as the example, I’ll show how his actions are a threat to all of us. He is but one of countless other leaders, claiming some sort of moral framework but are literally spineless, when it comes to true patriotism. True patriotism is based on US values, ensconced in our founding documents, organized and codified by our Constitution, as constitutionally sound, law. This only works in our, “nation of laws” if the enforcement arm, stays between our constitutional guardrails. Ken Paxton, the enabler of the TX GOP, fails his oath and intentionally removes these guardrails, often at the behest of Abbott.
Today, I’ll make the case that Paxton’s selfish, immoral, anti-American assault on our Constitutional guardrails is a full, frontal assault on what keeps America as the land our founders envisioned. Without that core set of unifying values, the nation not only becomes more chaotic and partisan, but disposes of those values that are also the key to national resiliency. Insufficient resiliency is a death knell for teams, movements, nations, alliances, etc. I will support the conclusions of my analysis on this topic, with open-source, PAI (publicly available information) from only the most credible sources. I am merely the interpreter for the perspective these sources provide. I won’t bother with Ken’s whole history but, will focus on the time since I made TX my home state, in 2005. Please read carefully.
When I moved to TX in 2005, due to my Army assignment, Ken was working his way up the political hierarchy in the usual way, House rep, State Senator and upward, eventually landing in the AG office in 2015. This was also the year that I stopped deploying to combat zones yearly and retired from the Army. Like so many veterans retiring from a San Antonio base, my retirement was held at the Alamo, redoubling my efforts to connect with my home state on a deeper level. What raised the hair on the back of my neck, was that I found that my new home state had become a snake’s den of US political extremism. Tragically, this was from the very party that had run TX exclusively since the 90s and still does.
The TX GOP in 2015, coinciding with Trump’s infamous candidacy, supported by Putin, were now extremists, not politicians. I know this because the mission I’d been deploying on and supporting in between deployments was extremism, or rather the violent extremism of combat zones. Now, the US and my home was being victimized by a different type of extremism, the extremist notion that somehow what Paxton, Trump, Abbott and their ilk were spewing, was conservative. As my UK friends would say, “that notion is “bollocks.” In other words, pure BS.
While taking a breather, post retirement in September of 2015 and looking for, “what comes next,” I finally had the time to understand my new home of TX, far better. After so many combat deployments, focused on CT, Counter-Terrorism, what I saw in TX, startled and frightened me. It was the same extremism, but it had a new name, Republican party of TX. Ken Paxton was and still is, the poster boy for far-right extremism, masquerading as a politician. His endless string of lawsuits against the Federal government, much like Abbott’s before him, are proof of their attempts to undermine our federal government’s role.
I had seen all of this before in combat zones and other places, but with different names. Intolerant, extremist and xenophobic religious extremism, in pursuit of a theocracy in TX, was no different from dealing with the Taliban, AQ, ISIS, Al Shabbab etc. Such rigid, intolerant ideology is nothing more than a tool of acquiring and sustaining power. In Ken and Greg’s case, claiming some sort of religious foundation is the propaganda they use to sustain control of Texans who base their conservatism on their Christian beliefs. That was and still is the hook that keeps so many Christian Texans, under the influence of MAGA extremists. The key point here is that like every other religion on the planet, there are multiple versions of Christianity, often the abhorrent version is the fake conservative/ Christian values, sold by snake oil preachers and political leaders. They sell this snake oil for their own power, not for anyone else’s good.
Sadly, Ken, Greg, Trump and the MAGA movement, proffer a highly distorted version of Christianity that is no different from the extremist narratives running through the bibles of far-right extremist movements, such as those of White Supremacists. Those narratives are not the same as in actual bibles, interpreted by religious leaders who see Christianity as love, inclusion, tolerance and forgiveness. My response to home state extremism, was the same as it was in Afghanistan, Iraq or a couple of other, less than hospitable locations around the world… no! Not on my watch!
Phew, finally, back to Ken Paxton
As mentioned above, our US constitutional values are not only the core of US resilience but also the moral and legal guardrails of sustaining those values. This makes chief law enforcement officers of individual states, the caretaker of those values… except for Ken and the other rabid extremist, AGs from deep red states.
The TX GOP is not your parent’s conservatism
In my youth, the Republican platform of President Eisenhower, a personal favorite of mine, represents what I understand to be true conservatism. “Ike” would be repulsed by the extremist pursuits of today’s party. A simple glance of his 1956 GOP Platform says it all. His commitment to the nation and its values unified Americans over a healthily framed set of our values, as then interpreted by the party. Today’s MAGA movement, adheres to almost nothing of Ike’s interpretation. Ken Paxton, openly rejects and throws away our tax dollars suing the federal government, to remove the guardrails that Ike worked so hard to protect, on and off of the battlefield.
This though, is Paxton’s character talking. His selfish pursuit of power and position is well known in TX, even among those on his side of the aisle. He’s been competing with Abbott for airtime since he became AG. His sucking up to Trump and others who could facilitate a national level position of power, is just as infamous.
Ken is in no way, other than title, experienced in law enforcement. His non-LE/ law enforcement legal career is also the beginning of his very long list of legal woes. Indicted in July of 2015, just months ahead of him taking the AG job, still hasn’t gone to trial. As the TX head of LE and with a state senator wife (whom he cheated on) have managed to prevent or substantially delay his chances of actually being tried. This is political corruption on an enormous scale. Also, of interest and related to his affair, the woman involved is also tied to Ken’s related legal problems.
Since July of 2015, Ken just keeps on racking up legal scandals, which have cost the Texas taxpayers well over a half a million dollars to protect him.
In one of Kens more farcical and utterly humiliating episodes, he hid in his home to avoid being served with a subpoena. Made even worse by his wife, starting their truck, opening its doors and picking up hiding Ken, before speeding away from their home.
“When Herrera arrived at Paxton’s home in McKinney on Monday morning, he told a woman who identified herself as Angela that he was trying to deliver legal documents to the attorney general. She told him that Paxton was on the phone and unable to come to the door. Herrera said he would wait.
Nearly an hour later, a black Chevrolet Tahoe pulled into the driveway, and 20 minutes after that, Ken Paxton exited the house.
“I walked up the driveway approaching Mr. Paxton and called him by his name. As soon as he saw me and heard me call his name out, he turned around and RAN back inside the house through the same door in the garage,” Herrera wrote in the sworn affidavit.
Angela Paxton then exited the house, got inside a Chevrolet truck in the driveway, started it and opened the doors.
“A few minutes later I saw Mr. Paxton RAN from the door inside the garage towards the rear door behind the driver side,” Herrera wrote. “I approached the truck, and loudly called him by his name and stated that I had court documents for him. Mr. Paxton ignored me and kept heading for the truck.”
So at least, with the above content and embedded links, it’s safe to say that Ken Paxton meets no religious or moral standard. To call him a liar, would be euphemistic. His actions to undermine both the US and Texas Constitutions are well documented. His efforts to keep Trump in power via the January 6th armed rebellion against our nation though, is a whole other story.
Paxton’s lawsuit, attempting to reverse the results of the 2020 election were soundly thrashed by the AGs of the four other states TX sued. In the following embedded link, you can read the entire motion presented to the US Supreme Court by the AGs of Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Wisconsin.
That state funds were used to support an overthrow of the US government, is about as far from being a patriot as you can get. Also, just to be clear, there’s not one thing Christian about overthrowing the US government. Ken doesn’t give a damn, so long as he can continue to climb into higher positions of power… by any means possible. Even the TX Bar association has called for Paxton and accomplice, the now infamous Sidney Powell, to be disbarred.
The Dominion conspiracy was a key plank of Trump’s strategy and was cited in a fruitless lawsuit by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton that challenged the outcome of the 2020 contest in four states outside of Texas. Dominion has since filed a $1.3 billion defamation suit against Powell. And both she and Paxton have fought efforts to be disbarred after being reprimanded by the State Bar of Texas for making false claims about election fraud.
As every single honest American knows and Paxton knew then, Trump and Co.’s, “big lie” was just that, a fabrication that was the key narrative, in fomenting the January 6th armed rebellion. The dominant/ controlling faction of the GOP will never give up on the big lie. It has become part of their identity. Even today, polls show that 2/3 of the GOP still believe all or part of the big lie. Embarrassingly, Texas has a very large and humiliating role in creating, working towards and sustaining both the big lie and the armed rebellion. Ken simply wants to be the leader of this unholy pack.
Since we’re talking rebellion and Ken’s contribution to its success, let’s expand the view just a little. The question of whether Greg Abbott approved the trip to DC for the Stop the Steal rally on January 6th is still submerged in political and legal “sleight of hand” by Abbott and Paxton. Now, despite ignoring court orders, Paxton nor Abbott will talk about using tax dollars to pay for Paxton’s seditious support to the coup. In fact, both have blocked all attempts to show state records on travel expenditures for Ken’s trip to the coup rally.
Writing more about Paxton’s immoral, anti-patriotic and fake Christian behavior would require far more than my old, arthritic fingers could achieve, but… there’s one more thing to cover before wrapping this piece up, and it’s a doozy.
The 2022 TX GOP platform is more insurrectionist manifesto, than a political party platform. You may read the whole thing at this embedded link. I will only highlight a few items that Ken would be defending in Federal Courts.
Item 31, page 6
Returning religion to school
Item 32, page 6
Repealing all Federal and State gun laws
Item 9, page 3
Limiting marriage to a biblical definition
Item 19, page 4
Amendments to the US Constitution:
a. Support term limits of twelve years for federal and state offices. b. Oppose “packing” (or enlarging) the United States Supreme Court and support the pending “Keep Nine Amendment” as filed in the United States Senate and the House of Representatives with bipartisan support.
c. Support repeal of the 16th Amendment (Federal Income Tax).
d. Support restoring state sovereignty with the repeal of the 17th Amendment of the United States Constitution and the appointment of United States Senators by the state legislatures.
e. Support a change to the 14th Amendment to eliminate “birth tourism” or anchor babies by granting citizenship only to those with at least one biological parent who is a US citizen.
f. Support a constitutional amendment making English the official language of the United States, and one of no more than two official languages of all US territories and other possessions.
Item 36, page 6
Equal Protection for the Preborn: We urge lawmakers to enact legislation to abolish abortion by immediately securing the right to life and equal protection of the laws to all preborn children from the moment of fertilization, because abortion violates the US Constitution by denying such persons the equal protection of the law.
With these anti-US Constitutional examples, we can plainly see TX leadership is attempting to undermine the constitutional responsibilities of the federal government. Abbott, Paxton and the rest of the TX GOP are clearly attempting to create an unconstitutional theocracy in Texas and closes their eyes to calls for secession in the TX Legislature. We went down this road in the 1860s but Ken, Greg and the rest, they’re all about a confederacy 2.0. They even passed Jim Crow 2.0 voting regulation not long ago, that has already drawn the ire of the federal Justice Department.
Well, we are long overdue to bring this piece to a close, but there’s just so much evidence of the threat of Ken, Greg and the TX GOP’s threat to the nation.
As bad as our Texas leadership is, tragically they are not alone. Most so-called red states behave in a similar fashion. We have a SCOTUS that appears to be hellbent on doing precisely what the father of our constitution, James Madison specifically warned against, putting state’s rights over federal. Both have their roles but insurgents like Ken and Greg, want to control everything from the state level. James Madison, the preeminent scholar of our founders regarding representative government from antiquity on, and our 3rd president, prepared himself by analyzing similar republics in order to avoid their failures. Ken, Greg and their cohorts would disregard his scholarship, much the same as they avoid science, reason, knowledge and federal law.
Texas serves a variety of important roles as part of the United States. Our path towards theocratic authoritarianism (much like Iran) would not only deprive the US of what TX brings to the table, but when other red states behave in a similar fashion, we are right back where we were in 1861, civil war.
It would be illogical to see such a path as Abbott’s and Paxton’s as anything but an attack on our American democracy. By default, this makes the TX GOP, a threat to the nation. All states have their radicals but somehow in the Trump era, radical, anti-American behavior is allowed to stand as, “political.” Not for me and not for most of the other good people of TX, right, left or otherwise.
It doesn’t matter if any American is right, left, independent or some other belief system. What matters is that we all, regardless of difference, stay within the very guardrails that the Paxtons and Abbotts of America are trying to dismantle for their own selfish reasons. Passionate debate over truth and different opinions regarding facts is the American way. Corrupt, power-mongering by conspiracy theorists doesn’t meet the American standard for passionate debate.
Real patriots have values. This concept is lost on Ken, Greg, Ted Cruz and their ilk here in TX. Whether you’re a Texan or from any other state, there’s a lesson here for all of us. The lesson is simple, the current version of the GOP is the antithesis of American values. The Texas version, even worse. If we allow them to continue unopposed, there will be no true America left. Not on my watch!
Austin, TX News - Austin American-Statesman
The Televangelism of Ken Paxton – Texas Monthly
Texas AG Ken Paxton Refuses to Turn Over Records Related to Jan. 6, Could Face Lawsuit (newsweek.com)