Don’t Mess With Texas?

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Former Mayor of San Antonio and Barack Obama’s Secretary of HUD Julian Castro put it best on Chris Hayes’ show on MSNBC the other day: “We need to stop electing people who don’t believe in government, to political positions in the government.”

I wonder how the people of Texas are feeling about their elected GOP leaders these days. Millions are freezing their asses off, being told to boil water, standing in line for groceries and propane, and seeing their neighbors dying after being forced into unsafe acts to stay warm. Is this what they signed up for?

One would think that this might be the final straw. After decades of corporate hack GOP leadership and deregulation on steroids, the state now resembles a failed third-world dictatorship. What more will it take for Texas citizens to throw these idiots out of office and try something different?

They had a chance in 2018. They could have elected Beto O’Rourke. Instead, they chose chronic liar and Trump boot-licker Ted Cruz. By now, I’m sure most of you are aware of Cruz’s midnight rendezvous to Cancun while his fellow citizens were suffering unimaginable conditions at home. It wasn’t just bad optics. Cruz again showed why he’s the most disliked politician in Washington, D.C., and that includes by members of his own party.

O’Rourke, for his part, has spent the last several days making phone calls to thousands of senior citizens in the state – making sure they were doing ok and offering assistance. Does anyone in their right mind think that O’Rourke wouldn’t have been doing the same thing if he was the actual sitting Senator from Texas – instead of the elitist and insurrection-backing Cruz?

Texas could have had United States Air Force veteran MJ Hegar in the Senate, but they chose to reelect the do-nothing corporatist and big oil sycophant John Cornyn to a third term in 2020. Cornyn, along with Cruz and U.S. Representative Dan Crenshaw, have been beneficiaries of thousands of dollars from the oil and gas industry, including multi-nationals like Exxon and Chevron and local power players like Texas TransEastern and Wildhorse Energy.

All three have been peddling the lie this week that it was “frozen wind turbines” that caused most of the damage to the state’s electrical grid. They all know it’s not true, but it was sure to please their big oil corporate overlords – not to mention spreading more disinformation through far-right media, which is more than happy to oblige.

Then, there’s Governor Greg Abbott, who handily beat Democratic State Senator Wendy Davis by 20 points in 2014 and was reelected in 2018, defeating Democrat Lupe Valdez by 14 points. Abbott, much like his predecessor, Rick Perry, is also in bed with oil and gas behemoths. He, too, tried to blame the current disaster on wind turbines, although he only did that when he was on Fox News. For his press conference with national and state media, he laid blame where it belonged: the failure of oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear facilities across the state.

Yes, wind turbines play a part in Texas energy infrastructure, but only roughly 10 percent. So why would Abbott spread lies on Fox but tell the truth to the rest of America? It’s as if he doesn’t want the people who watch that network know the real truth. As I wrote in a post last week, Fox News is a stain on America.

Texas was told in 2011 by the federal government that they needed to weatherize their energy infrastructure to avoid the blast of cold air the state received that year. While the situation wasn’t as dire as the one we see right now, they were warned about what could happen in the future if they did not act.

They did nothing of the sort. Perry didn’t act when he was governor, nor did current Governor Abbott. Now they’re all playing the blame game. Perry, who also was Trump’s Energy Secretary for a time, suggested that Texans would gladly suffer a few days of no power if it meant the state could keep that damned dirty and rotten federal ‘guvment’ off their backs. He’s since walked that statement back a bit, but he got it out there because that’s what he thinks, as do the rest of Texas’ state and federal elected officials.

If you look at a map of our east and west electrical grids, you’ll notice a massive outlier: that big ol’ chunk of land called Texas. That’s right, most of the state isn’t part of the national grid. Again, they wanted no part of Uncle Sam telling it what to do. And now, millions in the state are suffering.

Several times in recent years, Republican-led Texas statehouses have introduced legislation to secede from the United States. It’s mostly bluster, of course. But when the shit hits the fan, as it’s doing right now, and as it does when massive hurricanes come ashore, guess who comes to the rescue? That’s right, those scoundrels from the federal government.

Our new president was glad to help. Abbott asked Joe Biden to declare a national emergency, and he’s done just that. He’s been on the phone with Texas officials and told them he was ready and willing to send them whatever help they needed. There are currently no reports of Biden ripping Abbott for his state “not voting for him” or holding money hostage until he apologized. Oh, wait, that was the ‘former guy.’ Never mind.

Our hearts break for the people of Texas. And yes, that includes those who voted for the former president and who continue to elect the same fools repeatedly. Americans know what it’s like to suffer in one way or the other and most of us are willing to give a helping hand to those in need.

But Texas, for the love of God, will you please vow not to forget what GOP leaders have done to your state? Will you please cement this moment in your mind for years to come? Because it’s way past time to give the other party a chance. Democrats aren’t perfect, far from it. But one thing is sure about the Democratic Party: They do believe in government. They do believe in governing for all the people – not just the economic royalists.

Several years ago, there was a campaign in the state whose stated goal was to curb littering. The slogan was: “Don’t mess with Texas!” Since then, though, that slogan has taken on a new meaning. People use it as a way to say, “we’re independent and tough, don’t mess with us!” Again, another way of saying to the federal government to mind its own business.

I’m sorry, Texas, but the federal government is NOT your enemy. It’s high time you begin looking at different leadership. Because while you may not want people “messing” with your state, the current situation requires fundamental change. You cannot keep electing folks who view government as the enemy of the people.

“Don’t mess with Texas?” Sorry, friends, Texas is a mess. Please, never forget.

44 comments

  1. Just about an hour ago, I read that a man died today because he had no electricity to power the oxygen tanks he relied on for life. 😥 I am proud of President Biden for his offer of support and help, despite Texas being just about as red as a state can be, despite they didn’t vote for him … Joe Biden is a man, Beto O’Rourke is a man … Ted Cruz and many other Texas politicos fall somewhere short of that status. Good post, Jeff!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Jill, and thanks for the reblog! Yes, Ted Cruz falls well short of ‘manly’ status. Hell, he falls short of what it takes to be a decent human being, period. These guys have no shame. No guilt. They draw a nice salary, many perks etc…but it’s mostly they power that goes to their heads. That’s what fuels them. They hate government. Until they need it. When will they learn Jill? When will the people of Texas say they’ve had enough of this shit?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think ol’ Ted has likely just put an end to his political aspirations. The people of Texas will not soon forget his trip to Cancun, and he even left the poor doggie along in an unheated house! Bastard! To answer your question, my friend, I don’t think they will ever learn, for they are convinced that their way is the right way and the rest of us are airheads. Sigh.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Spurred on by a right-wing media echo chamber that gives them all what they want to hear-not the actual news and facts. Unacceptable!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Sigh. How do we change the world, my friend? How do we make people wake up and see the truth, cast aside the conspiracy theories? How do we stop hate? Must we sit back and watch as the people in this nation … and others … destroy each other? Sigh.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. in order to understand the reasons behind the failures of the Texas government to come to the aid of their people, you have to understand basic Republican Political Theology: You see, in the eyes of true Republicans, it is not the job of government to bail people out when they get into trouble. In the eyes of true Republicans, it is the responsibility of the individual head of household to go out and find heat sources and water and food for their families on their own without any government intervention whatsoever. In the eyes of true Republicans, if a person finds themselves in need of any kind, then it is their own fault or it is ascribed to faulty upbringing. Republicans do not believe in government hand outs to citizens of any kind under any circumstances. Now you know. The failure of the Texas government is not the fault of the elected officials; it is the fault of the right wing ideology!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I agree. Yet when some kind of disaster hits, who do they call? RARELY are they able to manage things on their own. Nevertheless, to listen to them, Government is the Big Bad Wolf.

      BTW, John, the link to your site (“linesbyliming”) doesn’t work.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I agree John. And this ideology has been running rampant since Reagan had his infamous speech about saying government IS the problem. Always denigrated it, and scapegoated ‘those’ people for living off the government dole etc..You’re very right, it’s the ideology-coupled with highly unregulated corporate and wealthy donations to them. Texas, and the rest of America for that matter, must do better. I hope the citizens of Texas finally take a stand in the coming elections. I have my doubts, though. And thanks for responding John. I appreciate the comments.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you for your kind and encouraging words and believe me when I tell you it is refreshing to find a blog that operates from the basis of common sense such as yours does.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks for that John. As you know, common sense seems to be lacking quite a bit in this country. It would be nice if we could get it trending!!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Jill, there is an age old problem in governing and public service. When things hit the fan, it is often due to problems that were not fixed due to budgets and were left to linger. Politicians are good at blaming others are asking how can you let that happen. When some one in a social worker’s care had a horrible episode, the fact the social worker is serving 160 people versus the best practice 16 does not get enough consideration. When a train wrecks on an old trestle bridge, the fact the bridge has never been fixed does not get enough consideration. When Katrina devastates New Orleans, people forget the Corp of Engineers said the levees could not stand a direct hurricane hit a few years before. And, In Texas, the vulnerability of their independent electricity system was a festering problem.

    Avoiding disasters by planning is a rare commodity in governance. No one wants to pay for it. As we speak, we have thousands of bridges in need of repair, we have antiquated electrical grids, we have poor water piping (think Flint), etc. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Keith, we hear all of the time about infrastructure. Trump used to say we’ll have the most ‘beautiful’ airports the world has ever seen when he does infrastructure as president. Well, he never did. And frankly, the political will always seems to fall by the wayside. I hope this time will be different. Biden, I’m sure, would love to go big on this. Of course, we’ll have to pay for it. This time, it ought to be an absolute priority for this Congress and Biden to get it done. My fear, as it usually is, is that Republicans will not play ball simply because they don’t want to give Biden any credit-much like their approach to Obama. I do feel people like Romney, maybe Murkowski and Collins and a few others might be willing to work on infrastructure with Biden. I’m keeping my fingers crossed on that. We’re talking into the trillions of dollars as far as what’s really needed. But damn it, this is America and it’s time to do big things again. The American people must demand action.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Come on, Texas!! Get this done – you gotta change this!! … “Cornyn, along with Cruz and U.S. Representative Dan Crenshaw, have been beneficiaries of thousands of dollars from the oil and gas industry, including multi-nationals like Exxon and Chevron and local power players like Texas TransEastern and Wildhorse Energy.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I wonder if they will accept the million dollars OC raised for them while Cruz was in Cancun.
    They hate the federal government but accept the monies and jobs the 31 military installations and also NASA sites add to their economy. Also 15% of the federal tax grants go to Texas and accounts for the second biggest source of the state’s revenue.
    I know in the past there have been petitions circulating in Texas demanding Texas succeeds from the Union, again. I wonder if I could sign one of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah Don, they love to talk tough about secession. It still hasn’t happened though, has it? Nothing but blowing smoke about how tough they think they are. Well, they aren’t so tough now, are they? You’re also 100% correct about the government jobs in Texas. So many of them talk out of both sides of their mouths. It’s time to kick them all out and let the other party have a chance. Like the former disgraced president used to say: What the hell do they have to lose?

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Maybe this is not the time to mention that Texas was founded by slave owners who seized land from a nation which had abolished slavery?
    Or there again someone had to high-tail it back from a holiday in Mexico ‘because it didn’t seem right’… Should have checked the weathercast before he went.
    Ahhh LBJ, if only you had not given into your demons.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So true, Roger. Take away Vietnam, and LBJs status as one of the greatest presidents ever would be easy to argue. But, we can’t erase that one. He did have many accomplishments though. Those are facts as well.

      Liked by 1 person

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