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Sun Aug 31, 2014, 01:13 AM

Greg Abbott's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Weekend

Last edited Sun Aug 31, 2014, 09:57 AM - Edit history (1)

By Carol Morgan

Poor Greg Abbott! He can’t catch a break these last three days. It’s certainly no bedtime story like Alexander's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. It's more like a campaign nightmare.

On Thursday, Abbott lost his fight to defend $5.4 billion in education cuts as the Texas school finance system was ruled unconstitutional.

On Friday, a federal judge ruled that HB2 (the law shutting down women’s health clinics) was unconstitutional.

Worst of all, Abbott unwisely decided to back out of his commitment to a previously agreed-upon debate with his opponent, Wendy Davis. His campaign manager claimed it was because of the roundtable format which has no response time limits, but in May, it was quite a different story.

Abbott sent a letter accepting WFAA’s terms of the debate, along with the cheery statement, “We’ve made our personal engagement with voters a focal point.”

Yeah, right.

The controversy worsened because it was announced on a Friday before a long weekend. Abbott mistakenly believed he could sequester himself from the political repercussions of his decision, but there was some fall-out, plenty of it.

One Ft Worth columnist tweeted that it was because Abbott “didn’t come off well on TV.” A member of his own party, Republican Senator Robert Corona commented that Mr. Abbott either couldn’t or wouldn’t defend his side on the issues.

We won’t know until September 2nd or 3rd as to when or even if there will be a televised debate between Davis and Abbott. Abbott wins; Texas loses.

When Abbott back-pedaled and announced he would agree to another debate (although not the previous one, no one knew which debate he was talking about), Harvey Kronberg of the Quorum Report shamed the AG, commenting that Abbott was “looking an awful lot like Clayton Williams refusing to shake Ann Richard's hand”, claiming “it looks like the Abbott Campaign is the one that can't shoot straight.”

If I were Greg Abbott, I’d definitely want to avoid debating Wendy Davis. First of all, Mr. Abbott’s not exactly the most charismatic speaker (bless his heart!) and the camera doesn’t love him very much.

But the most important question is this: What is it that Greg Abbott could defend in a debate?

Would he really want to defend his record in front of a television camera with millions of Texans watching? That he “gets up every morning and sues the federal government?”

His record of cutting funding to education, siding against rape victims, allowing his campaign donors to pilfer CPRIT, money that was meant for cancer victims? His record of taking money from the Koch dynasty in return for doing nothing about regulations that would prevent another West explosion? His records of siding with political insiders over hardworking Texans?

Perhaps he worries over losing two court cases? Or that he leads Wendy Davis by only eight points? Or is it his involvement in CPRIT? And with good reason, the CPRIT fiasco’s already taken down Teflon-Rick a notch or two; perhaps others will follow.

Ms. Davis has requested multiple statewide debates, but Abbott only committed to two—one in McAllen and one in Dallas. The Dallas debate scheduled for the end of September would have reached 83% of all Texas voters. So now we’re down to one single debate, and that’s exactly how Abbott wants it; as little exposure as possible about his record would be a mark in the "win" column.

If we examine the GOP candidates down the ballot, avoiding debates seems to be their “thing”.

Dan Patrick has scheduled only a SINGLE debate with Leticia Van de Putte, yet when he ran in the GOP primary for Lieutenant Governor, he participated in over twenty debates.

Glenn Hegar won’t respond to Mike Collier’s debate requests.

And Ken Paxton? Maybe he’s afraid to debate Sam Houston because he admitted to committing a felony. Or could it be his possible disbarment? It’s hard to believe that a candidate with two pending strikes could even be considered for the office of Texas Attorney General.

All the Texas GOP candidates are afraid to debate because their extremist agenda will reveal itself in the spirited context of a televised discussion (emphasis mine). No meaningless buzz words like “family values” and “border security” can camouflage the facts and the truth.

The people of Texas deserve to hear from the candidates running for the office of governor and every race down the ballot. They want to hear about the issues that Texans face and how the candidates will solve them.

Only then can they make some thoughtful choices for the right candidate for Texas' future. We have only 66 days to think on it.


Permission granted to post this blog in its entirety. Cross-posted in the General Discussion forum.


Carol Morgan is a career/college counselor, writer, speaker, former Democratic candidate for the Texas House and the award-winning author of Of Tapestry, Time and Tears, a historical fiction about the 1947 Partition of India. Read her work at the Houston Press and MetroLeader News Service. Email Carol at elizabethcmorgan@sbcglobal.net , follow her on Twitter and on Facebook or visit her writer’s blog at www.carolmorgan.org

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Reply Greg Abbott's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Weekend (Original post)
TexasTowelie Aug 2014 OP
NBachers Aug 2014 #1
TexasTowelie Aug 2014 #2
3rdwaydem Aug 2014 #3
TexasTowelie Aug 2014 #4
Gothmog Aug 2014 #5
TexasTowelie Aug 2014 #6
Louisiana1976 Aug 2014 #7
libdem4life Aug 2014 #8
TexasTowelie Aug 2014 #9

Response to NBachers (Reply #1)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 01:25 AM

2. Thanks for posting that!

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 02:27 AM

3. Thank you for this post.


This is good news but, I still don't see Wendy Davis winning in the General Election. I'm giving my money to those Democrats in close Senate races. I just think contributing to Wendy Davis is tantamount to throwing my money away.

However, she is still relatively young and I would like to see her try again. Texas is on it's way to becoming a purple state. There will be better opportunities for our side in the not to distant future.

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Response to 3rdwaydem (Reply #3)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 02:50 AM

4. I do understand.

This race is still a longshot, just like all of the Democratic statewide races. Unfortunately, the lack of educational resources in Texas has resulted into a significant number of idiots who are clueless. While money can help win an election, character also matters so GOTV if you are a Texan is even more important.

If we are unfortunate enough to elect Abbott, then I hope that Wendy Davis does run again. She has a lot to offer to this state and we need the change from RW politics.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 03:45 AM

5. Greg is running a bad campaign

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Response to Gothmog (Reply #5)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 04:10 AM

6. My primary challenge

is to remain sane enough to still be declared legally competent to vote in the election while being certifiably crazy enough for the government to declare that I'm eligible for disability. This is a hard job.

Election and employment double entendres are intentional!

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 08:29 AM

7. Excellent post. I wish I lived in Texas so I could vote for Wendy Davis and all the other

Democratic candidates.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 09:20 AM

8. I know that book, and you are right !!


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Response to libdem4life (Reply #8)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 09:50 AM

9. Just to clarify,

I'm not Carol Morgan (the author of this column); however, I respect her writing skills immensely. I've posted many of her columns over the past three years that I've been on DU and I normally give her a by-line at the top, but I'm getting forgetful and losing some cognitive abilities over the last few months. Kudos for Carol!

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