Sunday, February 28, 2021

CPAC: This Is Your Government On GOP

 "It is a party that has been fashioned in the mold of Trump — Trump's message, Trump's tactics — and it is perfectly comfortable being a party that is defined by what it's against," he explained before adding, "... you become almost toxic as a party brand to larger, growing parts of the electorate. … The limitation of a message and a platform that's just about disagreeing with the opposition is that it doesn't speak to the broader concerns or anxieties of a big part of the electorate."

I'll keep saying this because it keeps being true.  Texas in winter is a microcosm of GOP governance.  Do nothing, praise business as the savior of all things, and find someone to blame when that explodes in your face.  The only thing being offered by Greg Abbott and Ken Paxton (who, like Abbott, is desperately looking for a distraction from his problems) and Dan Patrick (who is so crazy nobody invites him to the press conferences or utters his name in public.  They fear it would invoke him and he'd appear in a puff of smoke.) is blame.  That is, "disagreeing with the opposition."

Which, frankly, is how Republicans get elected in Texas:  by not being Democrats.  It works, usually.  It will probably work again in 2024 and 2026.  But it's not putting groceries on the tables of people queuing up for food 5 hours before the distributions start; it's not generating one kilowatt of power, or paying the outrageous bills of people who got screwed by the very market system Republicans told us would save us from the dreadful fates of benighted fools in the other 49 states; or fixing one leaky pipe (not really a government problem, but such distinctions are lost on people right now).  Nor is it making it easier for rural counties to get the disaster relief they need as desperately as urban counties do (who have the $$ and employees to file the paperwork.  It's incredible how much of the world runs on paperwork, especially government, and how quickly we forget that simple fact.  It's especially damaging when your governing philosophy is "government is bad, stand on your own two feet!").  Texas is happy to take federal funds; Texas doesn't give a shit if those funds don't get to every county in Texas that needs them.

This may not be a watershed event; but it should be.  This storm didn't effect the Gulf Coast or East Texas or the Valley or north Texas or the Panhandle or.... It affected all of Texas all at once, and the response is coming primarily from:  Beto O'Rourke and volunteers; AOC and her social media presence; and food banks, which are still handing out massive amounts of food because so many people, after covid and a solid week (or more; some employers may still be cleaning up/waiting for plumbing supplies and plumbers) of no business are facing no paycheck and do they pay rent or buy food (and where do they get water?), are absolutely up against it.  And they may decide blaming someone else for their problems is not really the job of government.

It could happen.

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