Thursday, February 18, 2021

The Republican Myth of Governance

     Until Ted Cruz's ill-advised trip to Cancun today, the top news story has been the plight of Texas losing power during icy storms caused by a polar vortex that was in turn started by the Arctic heating up.
     This polar vortex has, in turn, been responsible for freakish weather from Athens, Greece to Athens, Georgia. To date, at least 10 Texans have been killed by storm-related reasons, including a mother and daughter who were found dead in their garage, having died of carbon monoxide poisoning when they got in the car and left it running just to keep warm.
     It seems inconceivable that a state swimming in oil can be quickly felled by a winter storm and that 4,000,000 of its citizens had at one time or another lost electricity. And this is for one reason: Right wing insistence on remaining independent of federal energy regulators and not investing in energy infrastructure.
     As a deep nod to secessionist-minded Texans and energy corporations, Texas is the only state that has its own self-contained power grid. As stated above, this is to escape from being subject to federal energy regulations. This has resulted in, among many other nightmarish scenarios, a wild west type of wholesale energy market in which kilowatt hours are now being bloated to cartoonish proportions in an orgy of price-gouging. Imagine finding out, after two days without power, that each kilowatt of electricity you use can cost up to $9000? This had resulted in one Texas woman getting a bill for $202,102. Power companies are actually telling their customers to flee them before they get socked with such a bill.
     Before Ted Cruz even had time to pack his Tommy Bahama shirts for his aborted Cancun vacation, the right wing backlash began. Greg Abbott wasted no time in blaming AOC and the nonexistent Green New Deal. According to the fourth most important man in Texas, the power outages were also the fault of the frozen wind turbines that provide Texas with just 13% of its power.
     The rest? That would be the equally frozen coal, gas and nuclear industries. Plainly not having a contingency plan in place and not investing in measures aimed at forestalling or at least mitigating such problems as ice buildup has resulted in the chaos we're now seeing in the Lone Star state.
     In a nutshell, this is the result of right wing governance. You get useless assholes like Abbott telling us that renewable energy is a nonstarter and that burning the remains of dead dinosaurs is the way to go without explaining why the gas and coal industries also fell down on the job in a state drowning in crude oil.
     You get assholes like Rick Perry telling us that Texans would be glad to endure a few more days without power (despite some being out of power since Monday) just to keep that evil federal gubmint (of which he was a part) out of their lives.
     And you have assholes like Ted Cruz saying "Adios, Mofos!" to his fellow Texans while they're shivering in the dark and worrying if they'll survive the night as he jets off into the sunset for palmier, balmier climes then blame his daughters for his dick move. And we thought Chris Christie was so horrible over a decade ago for going to Disneyworld while New Jersey got battered with a blizzard (His Lt. Gov. Kim Duadagno, in an eerie prologue to Cruz, simultaneously also went to Mexico. Funny how right wingers love to flee to Mexico while telling us of the evils of allowing its people into our country).
     Meanwhile, Democrats like Beto O'Rourke have arranged phone banks to be set up to make wellness checks on Texas senior citizens and his Twitter feed has been filled to bursting with news on where to go to get help if you're in Texas.
     Republican "governance", for want of a better word, gets you death, disease and ruin. It gets you partisan sniping and excuses for their own failures while madly pointing at straw men or phantom enemies. Electing Republicans gets you killed and found dead frozen stiff in your garage while your elected "leaders", completely oblivious about what they possibly could do to make a difference, offer not solutions but hyper-partisan spin-doctoring.
     Here's the difference between a Democrat and a Republican:
     Jimmy Carter builds a house for someone who needs a home.
     A Republican will come in and seize the land it's on through eminent domain. They'll jack up the price of the house, hook up the power, gas, phone and internet with services provided by multi-billion dollar conglomerates that will reserve the right to raise your rates with impunity because they ensured you can't sue them and would have to settle for corporate arbitration permanently tilted in their favor. Then they'll give you a huge smile and say, "It's all for your own good because who wants Uncle Sam in your life, right?"


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