Inside the Beltway: Texas calls in the grassroots army

It is some genuine boots-on-the-ground thinking. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is looking toward residents to provide firsthand information about the troubled southern U.S. border with Mexico.

Mr. Abbott is urging landowners in Texas border communities who have been “affected by the influx of unlawful immigration” to complete a new, self-reported survey of the damages on their properties.

“I strongly encourage Texas landowners along the border to report any personal property damages they incur due to unlawful immigration,” Mr. Abbott said in a statement.

“Our state will be equipped with the necessary data to continue addressing the ongoing crisis at our southern border and provide the support our land owners and communities need to stay safe and secure,” the governor said.

The voluntary survey is available in both English and Spanish.

Meanwhile, Mr. Abbott also faces another challenge.

Allen West, a former chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, announced during an appearance Sunday at a church in Carrollton that he plans to run for governor. Mr. West’s resignation from his party post, announced last month, takes effect July 11.

Actor Matthew McConaughey has also declared his intent to run for Texas governor as well, as has Chad Prather, billed as the “common-sense conservative” by his fans.

BUILDING A WALL AROUND TRUMP POLICY

Let’s continue to consider the complexities of the southern U.S. border.

A new poll from the Trafalgar Group and the Convention of States Action reveals many Americans say that politics — especially reactions against former President Donald Trump‘s border policies — now influence White House border policy.

One-third of Americans believe that President Biden stopped construction of the border wall as “an effort to reject another Trump policy” while 26% said Mr. Biden’s was motivated by “compassion for migrants and asylum seekers.”

A significant number — 23% — thought that the president shut down the border wall to “increase the Democrat voter base.” Another 6% say he has “a lack of understanding about the consequences” of compromising the border wall” while 10% are unsure about the issues and 2% say the president hopes to “satisfy businesses who need low cost labor.”

There are significant partisan differences, of course. The poll found that 37% of Republicans say Mr. Biden is trying to attract more voters for the Democratic Party, compared to 21% of Democrats themselves. Just 9% of Republicans, however, say the president is motivated to stop construction of the wall out of “compassion for migrants and asylum seekers” compared to 44% of Democrats.

“If Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are wondering whether they’ve fooled the American people as to the actual reasons behind their disastrous border policy, they haven’t. Across all parties, it’s clear to voters that the Administration’s open borders approach is driven either by naked political motivations or gross naivety, and not by the best interest of the nation,” said Mark Meckler, president of Convention of States Action.

“It’s time for border state governments to get even more aggressive in protecting their citizens, because the only people the federal government seems to want to protect are violent extremists behind border walls in places like Portland and Seattle,” he says.

FOR THE LEXICON

“SGOTUS.”

In use since Jan. 20, this acronym stands for “Second Gentleman of the United States,” and is in fairly constant use these days in White House press advisories.

Indeed, Douglas Emhoff — husband of Vice President Kamala Harris and the nation’s first “second gentleman” — is very active on behalf of the White House and is now “pioneering the role of male spouse to a woman in national office,” according to The Los Angeles Times.

Mr. Emhoff travels to promote President Biden’s $4 trillion infrastructure plan and encourage people to get their COVID-19 vaccinations.

For those of you keeping track, SGOTUS now joins POTUS, FLOTUS, VPOTUS and SLOTUS in the political lexicon — and now has been included in the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

‘DESANTIS DERANGEMENT’ PART TWO

PJ Media columnist Rick Moran recently coined the term “DeSantis Derangement Syndrome.”  That’s a malady among members of the press who can’t stop bashing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — just as they bashed former President Donald Trump when he was in office, a practice called “Trump Derangement Syndrome.”

But back to Mr. DeSantis, Others observe that journalists and news organizations indeed have it in for him.

“The Trump-obsessed media may have found its new villain: Gov. Ron DeSantis. I’m generally an optimist. When Trump exited the White House in January, I had some hope the media would return to its pre-Trump ways — with at least some semblance of perspective and objectivity. If Trump ran for president again in 2024, we know it would all come flooding back. But if not, maybe the pendulum would swing back slightly toward reality,” writes Steve Krakauer, a columnist for The Fourth Watch.

“Instead, the opposite has occurred. For some in the press, their Trump addiction has continued, as they scrounge up Trump-related, semi-news scraps to get their fix. But for others, the Trump vacuum has brought the urgent search for a new villain, a replacement antagonist in the narrative of the day. After an unsuccessful attempt to elevate scrubs like Marjorie Taylor Greene to this level, the media seems to be galvanizing toward Gov. Ron DeSantis,” Mr. Krakauer advises.

NEWS YOU CAN USE

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POLL DU JOUR

• 81% of U.S. voters currently have a Google account; 76% of Republicans, 80% of independents and 86% of Democrats agree.

• 76% overall currently have an Amazon account;  77% of Republicans, 68% of independents and 80% of Democrats agree.

• 70% overall currently have a Facebook account; 73% of Republicans, 62% of independents and 92% of Democrats agree.

• 46% overall currently have an Apple device: 46% of Republicans, 36% of independents and 50% of Democrats agree.

SOURCE: A Fox News poll of 1,001 registered U.S. voters conducted June 19-22.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

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