It’s no longer Our Little Lone Star Secret, if it ever was.
State Attorney General Ken Paxton’s impeachment trial begins today in the Texas Senate, putting our shame, ignorance, apathy and abdication on global display. Our state’s top-ranking law enforcement official is himself the most hardened white (always emphasize “white”) collar criminal in Texas.
Texans generally know that. But most really don’t care. They have twice re-elected Kenny Boy knowing full well that he’s a crooked shake-down artist. He has been under federal indictment for securities fraud since 2015, one year after he was first elected. Voters not only are willing to overlook these little flaws, many find them downright charming, as long as he’s “sticking it” to somebody that want it stuck to.
As is the case with Trump, the facts are widely documented. Paxton has abused his office by accepting bribes, peddling influence, illegally retaliating against former aides, improperly intervening on behalf of a rich donor and demanding that the state pay for his official fuckups.
Understand, he’ll slide on all of that. The Christian Soldiers in the Senate are fine with corruption. They care only that he is alleged to have had an extra-marital affair. There—and only there—is where they draw the line. See, it’s OK if Kenny Boy is screwing you, but…
Oh, Paxton’s wife will witness these proceedings as a member of the Texas Senate, although trial rules prohibit her from voting. Because, you know, that would be wrong.
So the circus comes to Austin today, conducted by Lieutenant Governor/Ringmaster/Carnival Barker/Paxton Crony Dan Patrick.
Conviction and removal from office requires the votes of 21 of the 30 eligible state senators. All twelve Dems will vote against Paxton. That means that the votes of nine of the 18 Republicans are required to convict.
Ain’t gonna happen. Convicting Kenny Boy would be a political liability for Republican senators among their fire-breathing constituents. They like Kenny Boy. Not in spite of his despicable conduct, but precisely because of it.
Step right up, Texas.
All hail the mighty state.