At this point there are very few things I can say to describe Washington D.C. that have not already been said. We all know it is a corrupt and wretched place filled with some of the worst people imaginable. Many politicians have been in the “swamp” so long that they have become completely detached from their constituents, the needs of the nation, or the principles they claim to hold. Amongst these swamp creatures is the distinguished Senator from Texas John Cornyn– a man as strong and interesting as soggy bread. Cornyn has made headlines recently from spearheading a bipartisan move to seek “gun law reform” and for being booed by attendees of the Texas Republican State Convention. To give props to Cornyn, at least he had the gall to go out and speak to a crowd he knew was angry, but that is the extent of the praise I will give him. Yes, John Cornyn is truly a weak Republican, a faux-conservative, and a downright poor Senator. I hope to make that clear in this article.
John Cornyn has an extensive history in politics. He has served as an Associate Judge on the Texas Supreme Court, Texas Attorney General, and the US Senator from Texas. Cornyn has gone on to serve as both Senate Majority and Minority Whip. He currently serves on the Senate Finance, Judiciary, and Intelligence Committees. While Cornyn’s political resume is long and impressive, his conservative record is less than stellar. Cornyn currently has a 52% score from Conservative Review– an F ranking. Conservative Review’s ranking ties Cornyn as the 15th most liberal Republican in the US Senate–he is ranked between Utah Senator Mitt Romney (53%) and Mississippi Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (52%). This ranking also makes Cornyn the second most liberal Republican from the Texas delegation to Congress– with Congressman Mike McCaul as the most liberal. Cornyn also is weak on specific policy positions and areas like fiscal conservatism, immigration, and–more recently–the second amendment.
Putting the “Con” in Fiscal Conservatism
On his website, Cornyn states– in regards to the economy and fiscal responsibility– that “congress must also be careful stewards of your tax dollars, focusing on lowering annual deficits and recovering from our $22 trillion debt so future generations can enjoy the same opportunities available today. By eliminating excessive spending and increasing economic activity over time, we can reduce the current budget deficit.” Firstly, despite this coming from the official website of the senior senator for the state of Texas, Cornyn is not even up to date on the current level of the US debt– which is over $30 trillion. Secondly, Cornyn is a prime example of talking the talk and not walking the walk. Recently, while inflation was at 8.6%, Cornyn voted to give $40 billion in aid to Ukraine. Cornyn also voted for a $1.5 trillion omnibus spending bill in early 2022– again, with inflation and an out-of-control bureaucracy on the rise. Cornyn, once again showing off his fiscally conservative credentials, voted to raise the debt ceiling by $480 billion in October of 2021. John Cornyn’s fiscal record shows an “America Last” pattern. Cornyn has a “moral duty to support Ukraine,” but he seemingly does not believe he has a “moral duty” to help struggling American families with rising gas and food prices by curbing inflation and reckless government spending.
Cornyn once again received backlash from conservatives due to a comment he made regarding immigration: “first guns, now it’s immigration.” The comment references Cornyn’s role in getting Republican support for the recent gun control bill and seemingly suggests that Cornyn plans to work with Democrats on an immigration bill. However, strangely, Cornyn played off the comment as a “joke.” This is an incredibly odd thing for Senator Cornyn to “joke” about given the serious national and statewide implications of immigration policy. Cornyn’s pathetic attempt to play off his comments as a “joke” should not be taken lightly. If Cornyn will betray his base on an issue as fundamental and sacred as the Second Amendment, he will certainly do it again on immigration. Cornyn has previously shown support for amnesty and DACA. This would be disastrous given the current state of the border, with over 239,416 border encounters for the month of May alone. With the pouring in of countless immigrants also comes the pouring in of drugs–such as fentanyl. This influx of drugs will certainly spell trouble for countless communities and families. Amnesty also encourages more illegal immigration. The imigration reforms of 1986–which granted amnesty to 2.7 million immigrants– caused the number of illegal immigrants living in the country to quintuple since 1986. Amnesty would also put a massive strain on many social services, cost taxpayers at least $2.6 trillion, and would require an increase in taxes by $1.29 trillion. Amnesty could also spell trouble for Conservatives and Republicans in the political arena. Pew Research found that 31% of Latino immigrants who are not US Citizens identify with the Democratic Party– with only 4% identifying with the Republican Party. 35% of Latino immigrants that are not US Citizens and have spent fewer than 10 years in the US identify with the Democratic Party– and only 9% identify with the Republican Party. If Cornyn seeks to also work with the left on immigration, he could not only be putting communities at risk, he could also be betraying his base and condemning them to lose.
The Second Amendment
Finally, I will discuss Cornyn’s record on the second amendment. Cornyn’s recent actions regarding gun control serve as the inspiration for me writing this article. By working on the “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act of 2022,” Cornyn supported the federal subsidization of “red flag laws.” There is inconclusive evidence that “red flag laws” reduce crime. More so, “red flag laws” violate due process of law. The Constitution states that ”no one person shall be…deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law,” but by depriving property (firearms) from individuals that have not been convicted of a crime, the government would be doing exactly that. Depriving a citizen of their rights (in this case, the right to keep and bear arms) without charges or before a trial propagates the notion of “guilty until proven innocent.” The bill also expands background checks by requiring the National Instant Criminal Background Check System to conduct an enhanced review of purchasers under the age of 21. However, a report finds that the effect of background checks on violent crime and homicide rates is inconclusive. Senator Cornyn has enabled the support of ineffective and possibly illegal means of gun regulation. He has aided the left, helped deliver a legislative victory for Joe Biden, and betrayed his base (which supported Cornyn with 76% of the vote). He has broken the trust we have placed in him to defend the Constitution and caved on an issue as sacred as the second amendment.
Where do we go from here?
I hope that I have presented some legitimate and thorough grievances with Cornyn. However, the question remains as to what we do now. We delivered Cornyn another six years in Washington back in 2020, and we can’t recall him. So, we’re stuck with him until 2026. In the meantime, we can make like the Harrison County GOP and censure Senator Cornyn, and we can work on finding a proper replacement (if Cornyn retires) or primary challenger. I will now discuss some people that I think should and shouldn’t replace Cornyn.
The Congressman from the 21st Congressional District of Texas seems like the perfect replacement for Senator Cornyn. He is the most conservative member of the Texas delegation to Congress– with a stunning 100% from Conservative Review. He has an impressive history working in the Senate as Ted Cruz’s former Chief of Staff and John Cornyn’s former Staff Director. Roy is a strong fiscal conservative with a lifetime rating of 100% from the Club for Growth. At a time of record inflation, Roy voted against more foreign aid to Ukraine. Roy also voted against a $1.5 trillion omnibus spending bill–unlike Cornyn. Roy has also been a strong advocate for border security and has drawn attention to the border crisis. Again, Roy can be seen fighting staunchly against gun control. Chip Roy has shown a consistent conservative record, has the fighting spirit, and the experience needed to serve as a strong Senator for the state of Texas.
Huffines is a former State Senator from Dallas and a former Gubernatorial candidate. During his time in the Texas Senate, Huffines stood out as one of its most conservative members–he received a 99% from Texans for Fiscal Responsibility. Huffines also has a history of fighting corruption and against weak Republicans. Huffines is strong on numerous cultural issues like CRT, abortion, and transgenderism. Where Huffines stands the strongest however, is on his positions regarding the border and taxes. Two noteworthy platform points of his campaign were the elimination of property taxes and his border plan (which called for, amongst other things, “building Trump’s wall” and “placing economic pressure on Mexico”). After losing in the Republican primary for Governor, Huffines has taken up the mantle of supporting strong conservatives with the Huffines Liberty Foundation. We need someone with the dedication to the Republican Party Platform and conservative values in the US Senate. However, Huffines seems more focused on state politics and the Governor’s mansion than he does the halls of the US Senate. Regardless, he is a strong fighter and fierce conservative advocate and, I believe, he would make a solid candidate to be the US Senator from Texas.
Like Huffines, Burton is also a former State Senator, and, like Huffines, she maintained a stellar conservative record while serving in the State Senate. In fact, during her tenure, she was named the most conservative State Senator (along with Van Taylor) by Texans for Fiscal Responsibility–receiving a 100% rating. Burton began her venture into politics through grassroots activism; she played a vital role as “one of Ted Cruz’s top organizers in DFW during [Cruz’s] 2012 Senate Race.” As Senator, Burton distinguished herself through her independent spirit which often put her at odds with other Republican figures. Burton stood as a strong defender of property rights and advocate for taxpayers–her office even instituted a policy that “turned away lobbyists that represented taxpayer-supported clients.” Burton was also strong on cultural issues long before it was cool; she introduced SB 242 which increased transparency between parents and teachers. Since leaving the State Senate after the 2018 election, Burton has been running The Texan: a “fact-based political news organization” that presents readers with–shockingly–the news–no political opinions or editorial opinions. Burton’s record as an independent minded, steadfast conservative, and staunch defender of taxpayers shows that she would make a stellar contribution to the US Senate and a phenomenal representative for the people of Texas.
Somebody outside of the political/government bubble
What Texas may need is someone with a record primarily in the private sector. The person we need may be someone we don’t know about yet. We may need someone that has little interest in having a long career in elected office and simply cares about the people of Texas and conservative values. Time will tell if someone such as that will enter the public sphere. To put it simply, we have had career politicians serving the state of Texas for a long time–as mentioned in the beginning of this article, Cornyn has an extensive political resume. Maybe it’s time we elect somebody that isn’t from politics.
The Congressman from the 2nd Congressional District from Texas has received mixed reactions from many within the Republican Party. Many hardline conservatives have greatly criticized Crenshaw and have gone on to label him as “eye-patch McCain.” Some members of–what could be considered–the “old guard” of the Republican Party–particularly those that hold more neoconservative views on politics–have applauded Crenshaw as a rising star. Crenshaw, to put it lightly, has been a disappointment. Compared to the rest of the Texas delegation to congress, Crenshaw holds a mediocre 72% rating from Conservative Review–a C. Crenshaw falters on some key issues. At a time of high inflation, Crenshaw voted to give $40 billion dollars in aid to Ukraine and voted to pass a $1.5 trillion omnibus spending bill. Crenshaw has also entertained the idea of supporting “red flag laws” and expanding background checks. Picking Crenshaw to replace Cornyn wouldn’t be doing much; we would simply get a slightly more conservative and younger version of Cornyn.
There is no question in my mind that, if Cornyn were to retire at the end of his term, Greg Abbott would be the frontrunner. Greg Abbott has political ambition; he has even been rumored to be interested in running for President. In fact, Abbott is a natural at politics. He has been in elected office since 1996. He knows how to say the right things and do as little as possible to get by– like signing an election law that lowers the penalty for voter fraud from a felony to a misdemeanor, or passing a law “banning” CRT that lacks viable enforcement and allows schools to continue pushing CRT. I am confident that he would fit in perfectly in Washington. Abbott has extensive experience in violating the Constitution– he closed churches and private businesses, and determined what people were and weren’t essential. Where Abbot fails more than Cornyn is that Abbott didn’t have the courage to attend his own party’s convention. Instead, he held his own rally near the convention. Abbott couldn’t stand the idea of getting booed by activists at the convention; for that, I give Cornyn my respect. In the end, Abbott fits in too well with the “swamp.” He would make a weak Senator, and we should avoid him at all cost.
In conclusion, Cornyn is failing us. He is no conservative and is a weak Republican. His actions regarding the Second Amendment, fiscal issues, and immigration–amongst many others–makes him a poor Republican. He voted to confirm Attorney General Merrick Garland, Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. He has enabled the left, weakened us financially, and attacked our constitutional rights. We have four years to get ready for the end of Cornyn’s term, and we should not waste any time to make sure we hold Senator Cornyn accountable. If you are a precinct or county chair, begin the process of censuring Senator Cornyn. If you are a voter, reach out to your precinct and county chairs to censure Senator Cornyn– don’t forget to vet and vote for your candidates. If you are one of the names I mentioned in this article, either start working on your campaign or stay away from the US Senate, as appropriate. Regardless of who you are, I hope that I have made a compelling argument and have convinced you that Senator Cornyn needs to go. We have four years until 2026; it’s time to get to work.