President Donald Trump will be holding a rally at the American Airlines Center in Dallas on Thursday on the 1,000th day of his presidency.
It ought to be a doozy.
How could it not be.
The House of Representatives is bearing down on an inquiry that will most likely lead to the president's impeachment by year's end.
On top of that, in the last week he green-lighted Turkish attacks on America's loyal Kurdish allies in Syria after a phone conversation with Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who exudes the strongman qualities Trump admires. It was a wholly unanticipated move that even outraged folks like U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who otherwise consider Trump unimpeachable, but who denounced this as "disgraceful," apparently not calmed by Trump' tweeting "that if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!).”
Other Texas Republicans, including U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, piled on, saying Trump's move would undermine U.S. efforts to keep the Islamic State on the run and "will ultimately threaten our homeland."
Even before this most recent tumult, it is not clear if Trump, who defeated Hillary Clinton in Texas by 9 points in 2016 but is, according to recent polls, no better than even money to carry Texas in 2020, is doing Texas Republicans any favor with his visit.
As one sage Texas Republican political observer noted, "Trump is killing us in the suburbs."
That sage would be House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, R-Lake Jackson, and that observation is among many he made in a June 12 meeting with conservative activist Michael Quinn Sullivan, according to folks I've talked to who have listened to Sullivan's surreptitious recording of the conversation.
We should all be able to listen to it ourselves with Sullivan's promise Thursday to release it publicly this coming week with the warning that, "certain statements by Speaker Bonnen could cause harm or embarrassment to individuals and their families, while other statements he made could be used by Democrats to undermine the GOP."
Suffice to say that Bonnen, who in his first session as speaker helped to rebrand Texas Republicans as what Gov. Greg Abbott described as the "party of results," will face a House Republican Caucus retreat Friday in Austin, its ears ringing with audio of a speaker who, reports suggest, sounds like a mix of Machiavelli and Don Rickles, and his longterm future as speaker hanging in the balance.
But the wisdom of his analysis of Trump and the suburbs is unassailable.
Just ask Pete Sessions, the Dallas Republican who after 11 terms in Congress was soundly defeated in 2018 in his heavily suburban district.
When Sessions recently announced plans for a comeback, it was not in the deepening blue of his former district but in the more dependably red 17th Congressional District stretching from his birthplace of Waco to Bryan/College Station and down to Austin. That plan was panned by Bill Flores, the district's retiring Republican incumbent who read me emails about Sessions from local conservative leaders, like this: "He would hang his hat on being ‘from’ Waco, but truth is few would claim him and those that would are likely to change their position after getting to know him."
Sessions may get a shout out from Trump Thursday. Sessions' longtime campaign chairman, Dallas businessman Roy Bailey, is Trump's national finance co-chairman.
Sessions also got an oblique shout-out from the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Thursday, at a press conference on the indictment and arrest of two businessmen charged with illegally funneling campaign money to "Congressman-1" as part of a successful scheme to force out the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. Campaign finance records indicate that Sessions is the unnamed congressman, who has not been accused of any wrongdoing, though he could be entwined in the impeachment inquiry, as will former Gov. Rick Perry, whose dealings with Ukraine as Trump's energy secretary, earned him a subpoena Thursday from House Democrats.
Amid the din, the rally rhetoric of Trump interweaved with the unguarded Realpolitik of Bonnen could produce a dissonant fugue that will be music to Texas Democrats' ears.