What will it take to get Texas Republicans to just tell the truth?
It’s something I’ve wondered about with a frequency I would find unbearably depressing if I hadn’t already grown so jaded living in Greg Abbott’s Texas.
But, alas, we’re here, y’all. And it’s been driving me crazy for days.
Where will the lying end? Or, perhaps equally as important, where did the lying begin in the first place? Was it Jade Helm? Was it birtherism?
To be sure, having survived the Trump era has given me a new appreciation for just how brazen the lies from the right can get, but I always assumed at a certain point we would all agree enough was enough and lean back into telling the truth, at least for a little while. At least as a palette cleanser.
But watching Greg Abbott set aside the mask mandate and allow businesses to reopen to 100 percent, and then draft a few deranged tweets where he placed the blame on rising Covid cases on Joe Biden’s immigration policies (I know, lolwut right?) has reminded me how clearly some Texas Republicans are willing to work off of their own invented set of facts.
It is irrefutable that Abbott’s decision to obliterate his mask mandate and let literally any Texas business that wants to open its doors to 100 percent capacity, is steeped not in science but in politics, an inventive way to distract from his nearly decade long failures to help Texans literally keep the lights on.
Abbott is literally betting our lives that things won’t get so bad between today and when we’ve vaccinated every Texan that people will be so relieved to have some semblance of normalcy they’ll forget their busted pipes and those frigid nights with the power off.
And when cases will surge, which they did the last time Abbott tried to roll back Covid restrictions, he’s already telegraphed who he’ll blame.
It isn’t him, with his failed leadership and ignorance of science. It’s the Democrats, and those immigrants he’s warned you so much about.
It isn’t his full year of failing to corral the pandemic that’s to blame. It’s the Democrat who has been on the job less than two months who is at fault for all of it.
No matter that it’s you and I that will be dying in the streets. That’s just collateral damage in Abbott’s latest salvo in the culture wars. The cost of doing business in a Republican primary in Texas.
I, for one, am tired of reading about the lives we lose every day to Covid-19 in this state and knowing that they don’t amount to more than the cost of doing business to our own governor.
There are risks you should never take in politics, and the risk of creating an atmosphere where the effects of the coronavirus pandemic could worsen, significantly, should be at the top of that list.
Photo: Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons
Joe brings over a decade of experience as a political operative and creative strategist to Texas Signal, where he serves as our Senior Advisor and does everything from writing a regular column, Musings, to mentoring our staff and freelancers. Joe was campaign manager for Lina Hidalgo's historic 2018 victory for Harris County Judge and is a passionate sneakerhead.