It’s been almost exactly one year since Texas mom Nancy Thompson launched the MAGA State PAC, also known as Mothers Against Greg Abbott. Since then, the group has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, and in addition to supporting pro-public school board candidates and Democratic gubernatorial nominee Beto O’Rourke, MAGA State PAC has every intention on kicking Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to the curb in November.
Thompson tells Daily Kos that Abbott “is not a governor who is out there making friends. Every single day, he's at war with a different group of Texans. And every time he opens up his mouth, our group gains more followers. He's even at war with his own political party.”
MAGA comprises regular Texas folks—moms and dads, Democrats and Republicans—who essentially agree on one thing: getting Abbott and the Texas GOP out of office.
The group has had huge success due to their clever, politically incendiary ads about everything from book bans, attacks on LGBTQ folks, especially transgender youth, education, gun control, and personal health care choices.
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MAGA’s most recent ad, entitled “Whose Choice,” takes a direct hit at Abbott and the state’s archaic abortion policies.
But Thompson says what really bothers her about the governor is that he’s “a bully.”
“[Abbott] talks that Texas Southern nice and sweet and stuff, but he really is just such a bully. I mean, why are you picking on LGBTQ kids? Leave them alone. … These are kids that come from some of the best families. And I say that they’re some of the best families because the families that help kids get their gender-affirming health care are families that accept the kids the way they are—and we know that it's not happening in every family who has a transgender child.”
Thompson says Abbott is simply on “the wrong side of history,” and “he is actively seeking to hurt Texans. He’s the villain in this story.”
MAGA’s next ad will be one that endorses O’Rourke for governor, an admitted long shot in a state that has not had a Democrat governor since Ann W. Richards, who served from 1991 to 1995.
But, Thompson says, when it comes to whether or not O’Rourke can beat Abbott, it’s all about messaging.
“All of the complaints that regular, everyday Texans have—the grid, for example—the Republicans are responsible for.”
She cites the Texas power grid; Abbott’s most recent stunt to bus asylum-seekers to Washington, D.C.; his pathetic COVID-19 response; and a Texan’s right to safe and legal abortion.
“We owe all of that to Abbott. The attacks on women's reproductive rights—it's also an issue with Greg Abbott. He created that. And what does he think? Republican women don't like reproductive rights? They don't like their freedom?
“I'm sorry, but I know so many Republican women who've had abortions. And to have laws in which the rapist has more rights than your daughter's body is a problem,” Thompson says.
She adds that the Democrats also have to do a better job educating Texas. “So we have to go out there and figure what our talking points are and start hitting hard across the board with the same talking points. Also, we don’t need to be simply registering people to vote; we need to work with them on a plan on getting out to vote.”
Thompson says all of the Democratic candidates need to be like the Avengers and walk out onto every stage together, unified. “Those are the optics we need in Texas.”
When I ask Thompson what her biggest fear is aside from Abbott returning for another term, she says it’s the dismantling of the 14th Amendment.
“Right now, we're not just fighting for democracy as we know it. We are, but we're fighting for all of those privacy and personal rights and freedom in the 14th Amendment … They're trying to have it be a country that is ruled by a very small percentage of Americans that are just really extreme nationalists. Unless we do the big pushback now in 2022—if we don't push back, that's what's going to happen,” she says.
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