Texas politics has always been a great spectator sport. Growing up in Granbury, Texas, the name of Henry Zweifel would sometimes come up in the dinner conversation. Stephen Ambrose tells the story of how Dwight Eisenhower became the 1952 Republican nominee:
In 1952, Taft’s son was trying to use his father’s tactics to capture the nomination. True, he did not control federal patronage, but he had the support of many state party leaders, conservative businessmen who controlled many of the delegates and the machines of the party at local levels in the South. Republican party structures in the South were little more than clubs resuscitated just before national conventions. Despite their meager constituencies, these rotten boroughs controlled almost a third of the convention delegates. None were elected by primaries. All were handpicked by party bosses. As in 1912, there were a number of contested delegations from the South, the most important from Texas. There, on May 3, 1952, some 185 precinct conventions were held. Normally these were small, friendly affairs with foregone conclusions. But in 1952 thousands of Texans showed up, signed a pledge that committed them to participate in Republican Party activities, and then voted overwhelmingly for pro-Eisenhower delegates to the state convention. The Texas national committeeman, Henry Zweifel, charged that these “one-day Republicans” were actually Democrats set on stealing the Republican Party from its rightful owners. He also launched a smear campaign against Eisenhower, creating such headlines as “REDS, NEW DEALERS USE IKE IN PLOT TO HOLD POWER” and “IKE CODDLED COMMUNISTS WHILE PRESIDENT OF COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY.” Then, on May 27, when the Eisenhower delegates showed up at the state convention at Mineral Wells, Zweifel rejected them and selected a delegation that these “one-day Republicans” were actually Democrats set on stealing the Republican Party from its rightful owners. He also launched a smear campaign against Eisenhower, creating such headlines as “REDS, NEW DEALERS USE IKE IN PLOT TO HOLD POWER” and “IKE CODDLED COMMUNISTS WHILE PRESIDENT OF COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY.” Then, on May 27, when the Eisenhower delegates showed up at the state convention at Mineral Wells, Zweifel rejected them and selected a delegation
Ambrose, Stephen E.. Eisenhower, Vol. 1: Soldier, General of the Army, President-Elect, 1890-1952 (Eisenhower Biography) (Kindle Locations 10317-10328). Premier Digital Publishing. Kindle Edition.
Leap forward several decades, and the show continues to be a great spectacle. Which leads me to the following. I received an email from Texas Governor Greg Abbott, and I felt the need to respond. The mail was a request for support, support for his re-election campaign and support for conservative Republican values. The governor’s disconnect from reality is refreshing to such a degree that I need to share my response with readers. Read it below. A full copy of the governors email is available on request.
I want to thank you up front for taking time to send me your thoughts by email. That said, I need to let you know who I am.
I was born in Hood County, Texas, as was my father. His father was born in Johnson County, Texas, and his grandmother was born in Texas back when this was part of Mexico. On both sides my grandparents were farmers from Hood and Coleman Counties. I was raised in small town Texas, educated in Texas public schools, served in the military, and was educated at Texas state universities. Most recently I read what I received from you by email, and now I wonder where you are coming from. Where did you get stuff like the following?
All over the country, we are seeing a new group of radicals seize control of the Democrat Party.
Self-identified socialists and “progressives” have all but declared war on the Democrat establishment, angered that leaders like California Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and New York Senator Chuck Schumer are supposedly not left-wing enough!
It would appear you are talking about me, although I am not a self-identified socialist. Then there is this.
They’re calling for everything from taxpayer-funded abortions to “single-payer” healthcare, open borders, higher taxes, and the outright elimination of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
To put matters straight, taxpayer-funded abortions, a legal and sometimes necessary medical procedure, would be a good idea for the many in our state who cannot afford adequate medical care. Higher taxes are one way for us to pay our bills. I could stand higher taxes if Texas would use the extra money to pay higher teacher salaries and boost state funding for things like the University of Texas and the Texas A&M systems. Don’t count me as one who wants to eliminate ICE, but recent scandals coming out of the agency indicate some restructuring is necessary.And, yes, a single-payer health care system would bring Texas and the United States into line with the remaining major nations of the world.
The truth is, these are the radicals supporting my opponent and her campaign for governor. These are the plans left-wing BILLIONAIRES like George Soros and their radical pals have for Texas if they get their way in November.
They know if they can ever seize control of Texas and our 38 electoral votes, Republicans may never win the White House again. And they’ll finally be able to get down to the business of destroying every last shred of freedom our country has so long enjoyed.
Hey, it’s good to see that a rich Jewish refugee from Hungary is willing to add some of his money to that I have already contributed to your opponent’s campaign, and it is also pleasing to learn I am one of his radical pals. Regarding the Republicans ever winning the White House again, I’m thinking this should never happen until the party quits kowtowing to a rich, blow hard, white collar criminal, who now occupies that spot. And speaking of destroying every last shred of freedom, where should I start? I volunteered to review public school textbooks for the state, and I encountered creationists assigned by the Board of Education to review biology books, this at a time when two consecutive Texas governors nominated creationists to head the Board.
Governor, if your desire is to continue to lead this state, you are going to need to get past your Jade Helm 15 delusions and other disconnects and get serious about running a 21st century society.
[End of my note to Governor Abbott]
To add perspective, here is an image left over from the Jade Helm 15 episode three years ago.