Once a favorite and a “rising star” in the national Republican Party, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has fallen from grace. Recent polling shows he has lost his lead in the Texas GOP gubernatorial primary, dropping nearly 20 points in just three months.
Abbott’s collapse was not brought about by dishonest attacks from the corporate media. On the contrary, his inauthenticity has become too much for conservative Texas voters to bear. In the era of Trump’s Republican Party, the conventional wisdom of Republican in Name Only (RINO) hacks simply won’t cut it, and it is clear to all that Abbott’s inner circle is chock full of them.
In a previous article, I noted that Mitchell Carney, Abbott’s political director, has a history of Never Trumpism and that he turned on the President at a personally opportune time after January 6th. Carney is far from a lone wolf. In fact, his presence in the Abbott sphere of influence is a product of low-grade nepotism. There is far more to the Carney story that merits examination.
Mitchell’s father, Dave Carney, serves as a senior adviser to Abbott, and has been a swamp dweller for decades. Carney previously served as the White House political director for George H.W. Bush. Like most political operatives, he functions as a parasite, popping up every election cycle to siphon as much donor money off as possible.
Dave Carney’s tweets are as ill-advised as those of his son. He peddled left-wing talking points throughout 2016 in an attempt to sabotage President Trump:
Carney praised milquetoast RINO Sen. Susan Collins of Maine for not being a “Trumpist stooge”:
Carney promoted the candidacy of Senator Ted Cruz, who coincidentally then became his client:
Carney also welcomed the support of Mitt Romney, who accused Trump of “racism, misogyny, bigotry, xenophobia, vulgarity and, most recently, threats and violence.” At the time, Carney commented: “It’s about delegates, numbers and math… Cruz is the only person in America who can stop Trump.”
Carney’s influence on Texas politics is just as toxic as his influence on the national political scene. He led Abbott’s establishment insurgency to purge the Texas Republican Party of any state house member who refused to toe the RINO line. Instead of mobilizing his tens of millions of dollars to defeat Democrats (as Abbott had promised he would in fundraising emails), that money was used in Republican primaries to purge conservatives at the behest of special interests. Carney played the architect of this scheme.
“There’s no sense in being governor unless you have a legislature supportive of your ideas,” said Carney in defense of Abbott’s civil war against conservative Republicans on behalf of the donor class.
Carney got his start as part of the campaigns that squandered the momentum of the Reagan revolution. He infected the GOP as the national field director for the failed 1992 Bush-Quayle reelection campaign. He parlayed this into a cushy role as a top consultant for the 1996 Dole-Kemp ticket, getting routed against a scandal-plagued Bill Clinton.
After this, he glommed onto former Texas Governor Rick Perry. He kept Perry away from the anti-establishment, spitting in the face of his Tea Party base at the height of the movement when he called an idea of an alliance between Perry and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin “the most retarded thing I’ve ever heard” in 2010. Perry would go on to get destroyed in the 2012 presidential primary after following Carney’s advice for years.
Carney has undoubtedly enjoyed the spoils of being an establishment operative throughout the decades. He co-owns a private island off the coast of New Hampshire with prominent Texas lobbyist Mike Toomey, who also serves Abbott. Toomey has been frequently named in pay-to-play scandals throughout the years and was influential in developing Perry’s policy to force Gardasil vaccines onto young girls. Toomey became a top lobbyist for the Big Pharma giant Merck, which created Gardasil, shortly after serving as Perry’s chief of staff.
Carney has shown an unwillingness to get with the times. His public comments make it clear that he is stuck in the bygone era of the Republican Party that voters desperately want to usher into the dustbin of history. What was Carney’s recipe for the GOP after Mitt Romney’s crushing and humiliating defeat to Obama in 2012? Keep on keeping on, he said. Everything was just fine. No changes were necessary. Keep on playing the role of the Washington Generals to the Democrats’ Harlem Globetrotters and never be ashamed to lose with honor as long as those fat consultant paychecks keep coming in.
“We lost young people, we lost Hispanics, so we lost hope I guess. What tripe. One campaign loss does not call for an extreme makeover of our movement,” Carney blabbed in a 2013 op/ed.
Hillary Clinton would be in the White House if the GOP had followed the Carney blueprint after a loser like Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio was sacrificed to her in 2016. Abbott is following the Carney blueprint right now, and his campaign is sinking. Creatures of the swamp do not understand the nascent America First movement, not out of foolhardiness, but because, like pigs at the trough, they cherish their way of life too much to give it up. Carney has earned millions of dollars, bought a private island, inculcated a personal feeling of prestige and self-satisfaction, received backroom deals funded by lobbyists, and so much more. It is not in Carney’s self-interest to give up this lifestyle.
This is why voters must wrestle power away from Carney and the other power-brokers who feast while Texas creeps closer to being a blue state with each passing day. The days when a candidate like Abbott could coast to victory with his establishment backing and lobbyist payola are over not a moment too soon. After years of President Trump, conservatives have seen what can be achieved with a candidate who bucks the corrupt system and fights the entrenched powers rather than serves them. They are never going back, which could mean the end of Abbott.