The thought of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton fleeing a subpoena server by having his wife, a Republican state senator, whisk him away from the family's home in a truck is a perfect, albeit unwitting, encapsulation of the modern-day Republican Party's approach to law and order: Consequences for thee, but not for me.
According to an affidavit filed in federal court Monday, a man attempted to serve Paxton a subpoena to testify at a hearing Tuesday involving a federal lawsuit filed by groups that want to help Texans access abortion services outside the state.
Rather than be served, Paxton allegedly went all-hat-and-no-cattle and, emulating the bravery Sen. Ted Cruz showed when he fled to Cancun during a deadly winter storm last year, ran away. (It was move similar to the one GOP Sen. Josh Hawley pulled on Jan. 6, 2021, when he saluted insurrectionists outside the U.S. Capitol then ran like a frightened man-mouse when the masses stormed the building.)
Honey, pull the truck around, we gotta get outta here!
The process server, Ernesto Martin Herrera, said in the sworn affidavit that he saw Paxton coming out of his garage door: "As soon as he saw me and heard me call his name out, he turned around and RAN back inside the house through the same door in the garage."
The server then saw Paxton's wife, state Sen. Angela Paxton, leave the house and get in a truck in the driveway: "Mr. Paxton RAN from the door inside the garage towards the rear door behind the driver side. I approached the truck, and loudly called him by his name and stated that I had court documents for him."
Paxton got in the truck and his wife drove him away, according to the affidavit.
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It appears one of the few things Paxton believes a Texas woman has the right to choose is the getaway route.
Paxton responded to claims he pulled a reverse Alamo by releasing a nonsworn statement on Twitter: "Given that this suspicious and erratic man charged me on my private property, he is lucky this situation did not escalate further or necessitate force.
It's a good thing Paxton didn't have to whip out his phone and tweet
Again, Paxton nailed the GOP's "like John Wayne, only chicken" branding by driving off in the backseat of his wife's truck and then later talking tough via tweet.
By late Tuesday morning, a Texas judge ruled Paxton didn't have to appear at the abortion hearing anyway, which is a perfectly fine outcome that didn't require the state's top law enforcement official to run Bonnie-and-Clyde style from a subpoena.
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Republicans have grown allergic to the 'law and order'
But let's cut Paxton a little slack. Dodging subpoenas is all the rage in Republican lawmaker circles these days. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has refused to cooperate with congressional subpoenas from the Jan. 6 committee. Same with former President Donald Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows.
And GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham has been fighting tooth and nail to avoid testifying in a Georgia case involving fake electors.
The same party that still wants to lock Hillary Clinton up - probably because crowds memorized the "Lock Her Up!" chant and don't want to learn another - has made "fleeing justice" seem righteous.
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A new campaign ad for Ken Paxton, who put the 'running' in 'running for office'
To that end, I've prepared a script for a new political ad Paxton can use in his ongoing reelection campaign in the great state of Texas:
Hi, I'm Ken Paxton ... **pant, pant, pant** ... and I'm running ... OW! LEG CRAMP ... for reelection in the race for Texas Attorney General.
You may be wondering ... **pant, pant** ... why I appear to be running across a neighbor's farm ... NO! BAD DOG!
Don't worry about ... ACK! RAKE! … that … I'm just sprinting away from a liberal who wants to … hang on, I gotta duck behind this hay … take away your God-given freedoms!
**Pant, pant, pant** … Do you really want to live in a world where people who look like me have to follow the so-called rule of law? HAH! No, of course you don … AUGGGHHH! Horsefly bit me!
In a moment, you'll see my lovely wife Angela crashing through the fence over there to pick me up. That's because I believe in family and … aw crap, he's comin' … faith, mainly my faith that family will get me out of a jam. DAMMIT, ANGELA, WHERE ARE YOU?!?
Oh, there she is, thank God. As I run to the backseat of my wife's Chevy Tahoe, I hope … **pant, pant** … you'll vote for me in November so you can help me save Texas from … THROW THE BACK DOOR OPEN, ANGELA, AND DON'T SLOW DOWN!! … the godless liberals and their lawbreaking … (EXPLETIVE) YOU AND YOUR SUBPOENA! … ways.
**leaps into backseat as Tahoe speeds off in a cloud of dust**
My name is … **pant, pant** … Ken Paxton and I approved this … try to run him over now, Angela …message.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Texas AG Ken Paxton runs from subpoena. So much for law and order