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.