Texas GOP Boss May Be Firing in Wrong Direction
in Cenotaph Shuffle that Patrick Also Wants to Stop
By Mike Hailey
Capitol Inside Editor
September 18, 2020
State GOP Chairman Allen West lashed out on Friday at the San Antonio City Council for allegedly pandering to leftist revolutionaries with plans to relocate the Alamo Cenotaph as part of a proposed remodeling of the makeshift mission fortress in downtown San Antonio.
"The San Antonio City Council is in a rush to appease the mob, and by doing so will set a precedent that we can abandon our history and heroes," West declared in an email. "No Texan should support such an egregious measure.”
But the Texas Republican Party's new leader who's been on the job for three months appeared to be barking up the wrong tree in light of the fact that the Texas Historical Commission actually is the government body that will weigh the fate of the monument's location in the Alamo City at a meeting on Tuesday.
Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick - a newfound ally - echoed West's position on the Cenotaph shuffle. Patrick, however, aptly directed his message to the state agency that could be making the call next week with a five-minute video that concentrates on his passion for the Shrine of Texas Liberty. Patrick reminisces how he'd been fascinated as a kid with the legendary landmark in San Antonio while watching Davy Crockett on television and the version that John Wayne portrayed in the epic 1960 film that he directed called The Alamo.
Patrick said that he plans to testify at the upcoming THC hearing on why he thinks the monument to the men who died fighting the Mexican army at the Spanish mission should remain inside the walls of the battlefield where it would be after they'd been extended in the redesign of Alamo Plaza.
Patrick doesn't go into detail in the video on how he blames Republican Land Commissioner George P. Bush as the mastermind of the entire Alamo recreation project that would send the Cenotaph around the block. Patrick and Bush have both appeared to be posturing for a primary bout for lieutenant governor in 2022 or for the state's top job if Governor Greg Abbott doesn't seek re-election in two years.
Patrick points in the YouTube pitch that he's a current Texan without mentioning that he'd been born and raised in Maryland before migrating here as a middle-aged adult. But Patrick has lived in Texas for three decades or so while West didn't settle here until four or five years ago after a stretch of time in Florida where he served one term in Congress in the wake of a career in the military.
That could help explain why West seemed confused about who's running the show at the Alamo with the broadside that he fired at a SA city council that's dominated by Democrats.
West could have confused the Texas Historical Commission with the city of San Antonio’s Historic and Design Review Commission, which voted 7-4 in December for the massive redevelopment initiative that includes the Cenotaph's relocation. The Alamo City council had endorsed the package in 2018.
The San Antonio City Council has been in the crossfire - having had a meeting in May interrupted by a group that caused a ruckus with their opposition to the Cenotaph move and an anti-hate resolution that the local governing board had passed.
West has been attacking Abbott for coronavirus restrictions since winning the party chairmanship at the virtual state convention in June. Considering that Abbott has appointed a significant number of the commissioners on the 18-member THC, West could see the state agency as just another extension of the anarchist mob that he's been warning Texans about while touting his signature slogan We are the Storm.
Regardless of whatever government jurisdiction will decide where the Cenotaph will eventually land, West and the entire Texas GOP support the status quo 100 percent on the issue.
"The men who gave their lives at the Alamo deserve our respect and gratitude," the state party organization said. "Any attempt to move their tombstone is an insult to their sacrifice. The GOP of Texas is diametrically opposed to any measure that will lead to desecration of that hallowed ground."
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