Two years ago, Gov. Greg Abbott was so desperate to play down the rancor and infighting at the top of Texas state government, he tweeted a pic of himself and Comptroller Glenn Hegar holding a cutout of children’s book character Flat Stanley.
"It’s Kumbaya time. Flat Stanley unites us all," Abbott wrote.
In the background, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and then-Speaker Joe Straus gripped and grinned. Just as easily, though, they could have bared their fangs, given what happened in the ensuing four months: deadlock over a bathroom bill and property taxes. A special session. Recriminations between Patrick and Straus. GOP dysfunction on display.
This year, by contrast, Abbott doesn’t have to tweet in hopes of party unity. With some exceptions, which so far seem manageable, the unity is real.