There was a time, way back in 2015 and 2016, that Texas Republicans were part of the last line of defense against the looming specter of President Donald Trump. Former Gov. Rick Perry, Sen. Ted Cruz and a bevy of Lone Star Never Trumpers held the line as best they could, calling Trump a "cancer on conservatism," a "pathological liar" and utterly amoral. Even as late as the 2016 Republican National Convention, it seemed like Texas might end up being home to conservative resistance against Trump.
Over the last three-plus years, that balloon has popped. Disappointing, if not entirely unexpected. What's been less predictable has been Texas Republicans' growing, literally religious fervor for the president. Perry, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and First Baptist Dallas Pastor Robert Jeffress, among many, many others, have gone in on the idea that Trump isn't a gift to those who have longed for a conservative leader willing to exercise hard power, but an agent of God.
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