To use the popular vernacular, it needs to happen yesterday. If only it could have happened yesterday, he would not have been able to do the bidding of his leash-holder Mitch McConnell and vote for billions to protect the borders of Ukraine while offering nothing for the borders of the very state he supposedly represents. 

John Cronyin, as I prefer to call him, is everything that is wrong with Washington, the Republican Party, and politics in general. His brand of betrayal is a cancer that only the good people of Texas can excise. I know that sounds harsh, but isn’t 22 years enough for anybody? Well, yes, but apparently not this body. He’s long had his eyes on eventually becoming the leader of the Senate, succeeding his ever-more disastrous turtullian mentor. And in doing so, it means he pays more attention to the head-pats and attaboys he gets from his fellow swamp-dwellers than his fellow Texans. 

In 2020, a University of Texas poll of registered voters in the state found that a quarter of them were either “neutral on his job performance or had no opinion.” Say what you will about these times we find ourselves living through in Texas, they are not the times for neutral or unremarkable leaders. To be fair, he’s certainly not neutral when it comes to the defense of borders on the other side of the world and is, in fact, quite robust in voting to shovel more money that direction, with nothing for the folks back here. 

The worse news is that Texas is stuck with him until 2026, but that’s also potentially the best news. The process of rooting him out must start now. And though I’d hate to lose him from the attorney general’s office, I believe Ken Paxton is the man for the job. This is not a man who elicits neutral or non-opinions. In fact, from his less lofty platform of attorney general, he’s done far more for our state in just a few years than Cronyin’s done in over two decades. Moreover, as I’ve long said of President Trump, Attorney General Paxton pisses off all the right people. 

I’ve heard murmurs that such a challenge is one of several things Mr. Paxton may be considering going forward. He would certainly have the votes of myself and the many other Texans long-betrayed and ignored by a senator straight out of central casting who only acts in the interests of anyone not called a constituent. 

When booed at the Texas G.O.P. convention a while back, his response was that he “doesn’t bow to the mob,” with said “mob” being the people he supposedly represents. Keep this in mind the next time he comes back home, dons his cowboy hat, talks up his Aggie roots, and tells you how he’s doing his dangedest to fix that dagnabbed border situation. 

For now, we’ve got two years to transition Senator Cronyin into his next gig as a bigtime K Street lobbyist—which—as it turns out won’t be much different than what he’s been doing for the last 24. 

And yes, he’ll probably fight like hell to stay dug in and it may well be a very long two years, but there’s no question he’s got to go. 

Only thing that is still in question is whether we have that long. 

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Mike Renfro

Mike Renfro is an author, former NPR commentator (seriously!) and 39-year veteran of the marketing and advertising industry. He writes from a fire lookout tower high above the Brazos in Palo Pinto County.