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Greg Abbott

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Abbott at the WTTC Global Summit 2016.
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Something, some force, some gathering of sane, rational, authentically concerned human beings generally at peace with reality must emerge in the next four to six years from the right, or our opportunity will be lost for a long generation. Needless to say, Greg Abbott and Jodi Ernst are not that force.
—Chris Ladd, a sweet and naive child[1]

Greg Abbott (1957–) is the creepy current Governor for the state of Texas, taking office in January 2015. Prior to this, he served as Texas's attorney general, beginning in 2002; and prior to that, he was actually an associate "justice" on the Texas Supreme Court. He has been in a wheelchair since the age of 26, when he was out jogging and a tree branch fell on his back. He is currently considered to be part of the batch of Republican state governor that are considered Trumpists alongside current Florida governor Ron DeSantis and current South Dakota governor Kristi Noem.

Questionable jurisprudence[edit]

Abbott attempted to use federal anti-terrorism law to justify denying the Texas chapter of Planned Parenthood funding through the state's Women's Health Program, because there was no guarantee that such funds could not be used to fund elective abortions, and because the "First Amendment does not prohibit application of federal material-support statute to individuals who give money to 'humanitarian' activities performed by terrorist organizations."[2] The hole in this argument is that Planned Parenthood's voluntary provision of completely legal abortion services (or other, less controversial "humanitarian" services including pap smear and breast cancer screenings) seems quite unlike real terrorist acts undertaken by Al Qaeda or even certain extremists affiliated with Operation Rescue.

Establishment Clause follies[edit]

Abbott (along with his political ally Rick Perry) stuck his nose in a First Amendment case after a letter of complaint[3] was sent by the Freedom From Religion Foundation to the Kountze Independent School District, after the FFRF became a little concerned that the banners the football team ran through at the beginning of games might be a bit, well, proselytizing in nature.[4] After a temporary restraining order overturned the prohibition of display of such banners, Abbott made predictable noises about how the Wisconsin-based FFRF was engaging in all sorts of "menacing and misleading intimidation tactics" and was probably going to attack Kountze with cheese-festooned tanks any day now.[5] Abbott might think that he's well within his rights to inveigh against "secular beliefs," but one or two documents seem to contradict his views on the issue.

Dumb international incidents[edit]

Abbott also took issue with those damn foreigners election observers from the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights over actually coming to Texas in order to observe their 2012 election.[6] As a matter of fact, he even threatened to prosecute any ODIHR observers who stepped within 100 feet of a Texas polling place[7] despite the fact that the State Department invited ODIHR observers to not just Texas but to the rest of the United States as well.[8] Needless to say, ODIHR director Janez Lecarčič wasn't in on the joke,[9] and neither was the Washington Post (which went so far as to compare Abbott with the likes of Vladimir Putin and Kazakhstan's Nursultan Nazarbayev).[10][11]

In his letter to the OSCE, Abbott also stated that the Supreme Court has ruled that "Voter ID laws are constitutional". Just not the ones in Texas, though.[12] Oops.

2014 Gubernatorial Bid[edit]

It's early, but an article in the Dallas Observer noted that Abbott's Facebook page was displaying all sorts of posturing noise after Obama's re-election, namely referring to how "Texas remains one of the reddest states in the country and is the last bastion of conservatism"[13] and that "now more than ever Texas must lead the nation" and that Abbott will "continue to fight every day against an overreaching federal government to protect the liberties that Texans hold so dearly".

All of this may come off as beyond the pale sabre-rattling until you realize that a Gubernatorial election (or another run for Texas AG, at the very least) is in the offing in 2014. It also panders nicely to fringe political groups like the Texas Nationalist Movement and other pro-secession types who then linked a petition (created by the TNM) to secede to Abbott's Facebook wall.[14]

He did end up running for Governor in the 2014 Midterms and (surprise, surprise) flattened opponent Wendy Davis 59%-39%. Mere hours after being elected, he's already promised to sign open-carry handgun laws and to continue to defy the government's current stand on same-sex marriage. Will he be worse than Ricky-boy? Time will tell. Yes.

Abbott's Tenure as Governor[edit]

For the first few months, Abbott said very little, and simply kept spouting the usual nonsense, until he was one of the many idiots who thought the United States military's Jade Helm operation was an excuse to invade Texas. And then from there, it started snowballing.

Shortly after, in mid 2015, scientists at OGE at the University of Oklahoma released a report that supported a direct link between fracking and an exponentially increasing frequency of earthquakes in the state. Oklahoma's government responded by implementing a bill to prevent towns from imposing any kind of fracking regulation. Down in Texas, the city of Denton passed an ordinance that prevented fracking within city limits, and within a week, Abbott signed into law a bill that prevented Texas cities from banning fracking in any sense. Like any real Republican governor, his COVID response neatly straddles the line between stupid and murderous. He would get another chance to fiddle while Rome burned during the power crisis of February 2021 (damn wind turbines! It's not the deregulated power grid, it couldn't be!).[15]

Banning Covid-19 vaccines[edit]

Through executive order, Abbott banned government agencies from requiring individuals to get vaccinated or provide proof of vaccination. Public and private entities receiving state funding are prohibited from denying entry to individuals based on their vaccination status, but all nursing homes and living facilities can still require inoculations for their residents. He even threatened to issue fines of up to $1,000 on those who fail to comply. [16]

Anti-abortion bounty hunters[edit]

A new set of anti-abortion laws in Texas would ban abortions, even in cases of rape, at six weeks, and allow any U.S. citizen to sue Texas-based abortion clinics, doctors, and "anyone who aids in an abortion." If successful, the petitioner, who does not have to reside in Texas, will "receive an $10,000 award and the cost for attorney’s fees." Pro-choice advocates worry that "this cash prize may create a new cottage industry of aggressive antiabortion bounty hunters." [17]

Threatening to arrest political opponents[edit]

When Texas Republicans forwarded a bill that would restrict voting, Texas Democrats fled the state, depriving Abbott of a quorum required to actually conduct business in the state legislature. Frustrated with being unable to limit democracy for the time being, Governor Abbott threatened to use Texas House rules to arrest the Democrats, force them back to the state capitol, and get a quorum to restrict voting rights. [18] [19] In May 2021, when Democrats walked out to prevent the voting restriction bill initially, Abbott vetoed a section of the state budget that funds the Legislature for the two-year budget cycle that starts September 1. [20] Abbott's veto "threatens the livelihoods of 2,165 legislative staffers and individuals working at legislative agencies," who will lose their salaries and potentially cause a brain drain for the state legislature. [21]

Banning abortion after six weeks[edit]

Governor Abbott signed into law a bill that bans abortion after six weeks. Most women don't know they're pregnant until the sixth week, effectively banning abortion as a whole throughout the state of Texas while also putting up bounties for those who do abort their embryos. In addition, there are no exceptions for rape or incest.[22]

Other weird shit[edit]

The day after Obama's re-election, Abbott made some comments on his Facebook page pandering to in-state wingnut secessionist organizations like the Texas Nationalist Movement.[23] As governor, he hasn't brought back up the idea of secession, and secessionist fervor has generally died down around the country. At least, for now.

In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling narrowing the scope of the Voting Rights Act in June 2013, Abbott seemed quite gleeful about imposing Texas' voter ID requirements (i.e., the same ones previously mentioned above) and — as usual — made it all about Texas vs. The Federal Gummint (as embodied in this case by Eric Holder and the Justice Department).[24] No word on whether he'll challenge Holder to a Mixed Martial Arts event yet.

Jade Helm conspiracy theory[edit]

In 2015, Abbott gave the veil of respectability to the Jade Helm 15 conspiracy theory by calling out the Texas State Guard to monitor the military exercises, stating:[25][26]

It is important that Texans know their safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed upon. By monitoring the Operation on a continual basis, the State Guard will facilitate communications between my office and the commanders of the Operation to ensure that adequate measures are in place to protect Texans.


  1. Clearly a RINO
  2. Texas AG Uses Anti-Terror Law on Planned Parenthood, Dispatches from the Culture Wars
  3. FFRF letter to the Kountze ISD
  4. Texas Town Rallies for Christian Hegemony,] Dispatches From the Culture Wars
  5. Texas AG stirs up wrath against atheists,
  6. Texas Attorney General Threatens Foreign Poll Watchers, Talking Points Memo
  9. Threat of criminal prosecution of observers at odds with established co-operation on United States elections, ODIHR Director says, OSCE web site
  10. Texas, an election model for autocrats, Washington Post
  11. The Washington Post Sees Striking Similarities Between Greg Abbott and Vladimir Putin, Greg Abbott, Dallas Observer
  12. Federal Court Rules Texas Voter ID Law Is Discriminatory, Talking Points Memo
  13. Never mind all those other southern states that voted for Mitt Romney; obviously, they don't exist
  14. Texas Nationalist Movement Would Like to Secede Now, Please, Dallas Observer
  16. "Texas Gov. Abbott threatens fines again against local officials and businesses that enforce mask mandates, vaccine requirements," Robert Towey, CNBC
  17. "New Texas law opens up abortion bounty hunting," Nicole Goodkind, Fortune
  18. "Texas governor threatens to arrest lawmakers who fled state," Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Las Angeles Times
  19. "Texas House Democrats flee the state in move that could block voting restrictions bill, bring Legislature to a halt," Alexa Ura and Cassandra Pollock, Texas Tribune
  20. "Gov. Greg Abbott vetoes funding for Texas Legislature and its staff as punishment for Democrats’ walkout on elections bill," Cassandra Polluck, Texas Tribune
  21. "2,100 state workers caught in the crosshairs of Gov. Greg Abbott’s veto of Legislature funding," Heidi Pérez-Moreno, Texas Tribune
  22. "Texans Are ‘Scared, Confused, Angry’ As Extreme Abortion Ban Goes Into Effect," Sara Boboltz, Huffington Post
  23. Texas Nationalist Movement Would Like to Secede Now, Please Dallas Observer
  24. Texas Advances Voter ID Law After Supreme Court Strikes Down Voting Rights Act, Talking Points Memo
  25. "Texas Governor Deploys State Guard To Stave Off Obama Takeover", Wade Goodwyn, NPR.