Musings: Welcome to ‘21

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Welcome to Musings, a new weekly Monday morning opinion column from Texas Signal that will ponder life’s big questions, or at least strive to make sense of the latest in Texas and national politics. The views expressed below belong to the author.

Well, dear readers, we have at long last entered 2021, a year filled with possibilities and fraught with danger. 

I must confess, dear readers, I am somewhat at a loss on this Monday morning. So far, for me, 2021 has been no giant step for mankind. If, like me, you periodically found yourself seeking escape through the screen of your cell phone, the news continued to bring little to no comfort. 

First, it was the voice of Louie Gohmert, a man not well known for maintaining a firm tether on reality but a member of Congress nonetheless, calling for violence after a Trump appointed federal judge dismissed his hairbrained lawsuit against Vice President Mike Pence.

That of course triggered Ted Cruz and his perpetual fear of being left out of the 2024 Republican primary. Our junior U.S. Senator is now leading a pack of 11 GOP Senators who will join fellow 2024 aspirant Josh Hawley in objecting to certifying Joe Biden’s electoral college victory on January 6th. 

This latest stunt from Cruz is just the last in a long decline for his spine. After Donald Trump insulted his wife, accused his father of being involved in the JFK assassination, and leaked (admittedly false) rumors that “Lyin’ Ted” (Trump’s words, not mine) was having extramarital affairs to the National Inquirer, Cruz became his chief sycophant in the Senate, carrying his weight at every turn. 

This seditious behavior should be the lead national story, and would be were it not for Trump’s own ability to upstate even the most ridiculous carnival barkers. After a negative tweet condemning the Georgia Secretary of State on Saturday, the Washington Post managed to obtain an audio recording of the hour long call between Trump and Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger.

On the call, Trump repeatedly prodded and cajoled Raffensberger, a fellow Republican, like the cheap mob boss Trump always wished he was. In some of the most remarkable leaked audio of a president since Watergate, Trump goes so far as to tell Raffensberger the exact number of votes he wants the Secretary of State to “find” for him, going so far as to say any failure to do so before tomorrow’s U.S. Senate runoffs in Georgia would have a negative impact on the Republican candidates.

About those runoffs…watching from my limited vantage point here in Texas, it seems that Georgians are leaving nothing to chance in their quest to flip the Senate majority. Candidates Jon Ossof and Reverend Raphael Warnock have run strong campaigns backed by a true coordinated campaign that is engaging every community of color in the state, particularly the Black and AAPI voters who helped Biden flip the state in November. 

It makes you wonder what would happen if we had the same resources and approach in Texas in 2022.

Next week marks the dawn of a new legislative session when the legislature gavels in on January 12th. While Greg Abbott has remained opposed to enforcing any new coronavirus restrictions, the state’s cases continue to surge. 

Please be vigilant about washing your hands, wearing your mask, and avoiding any unnecessary contact with people outside your home. Please also be assertive about practicing gratitude, and call your parents if you can. 

Together, we got through 2020. Together, we’ll get through 2021, too. 

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