Marble Falls There’s politics and there’s policy, and then there’s just plain reckless, egomaniacal tomfoolery. It’s no longer “don’t mess with Texas.” The signs should now say: Texas is a Mess! Governor Greg Abbott should have his picture on that sign, rather than in public offices around the great state. He’s abandoned public service, making it all about him. Welcome to crazy-ville!
What am I talking about? Well, if you live in the northern US, you might just find out soon enough. Thanks to Abbott’s high jinks, you might get laid off because auto parts weren’t available in your factory, or you might not like paying more for avocados, oranges, tomatoes, and other produce, or you might not get the goods at all. Why? Because in a wild abuse of power, in a tantrum Texas Governor Abbot has managed to slow the border between Mexico and the USA down to a crawl. Actually, that’s not right. A crawl would mean something was moving, but this is a virtual stalemate.
Here’s the skinny. Abbott is running for re-election, likely against Beto O’Rourke, the former Congressman from El Paso who made a splash running against Senator Cruz in a tight race before collapsing in the 2020 Democratic primaries for president. Devoid of much in the way of principles when it comes to harming people in his own state or the rest of the country when it comes to trying to fire up his red-hot base with hater-ation, Abbott ordered secondary inspections once trucks have made it through US border control. A governor, even a hothead like Abbott, has no powers to police the border, but even a brief memory might allow you to recall that Abbott also wasted millions of tax dollars having the Texas National Guard hover around the border behind the US Border Patrol holding thousands of migrants’ captive without being able to file hardly any cases last year. This time without any evidence, Abbott is claiming that the Biden administrations termination of emergency orders during the pandemic that had restricted immigration would allow criminals and drugs to cross the border.
All of this is redundant in the extreme. Mexico inspects the trucks before they reach the US border. Customs and Border Protection then scan, x-ray, and drug-dog sniff the trucks before letting them shift gears and head north on US highways. The only thing Texas troopers are doing is wiping dust off the truck windows and their own shoes. This is the equivalent of the fourth inspection you get before boarding a plane in India after you have already been through x-ray machines, hand scanners, and luggage checks three times. It’s nothing but cosmetics there, and here it’s just a chance for Abbott to get some headlines following the motto that “any press is good press” no matter how stupid, costly, and painful.
Mexican truckers, stuck for up to 30 hours on the other side of the border, have now started their own blockade at several points of entry. Mexican officials have urged them to stop, calling it self-inflected wounds, but two can tango in this Texas-sized mess.
Immigrants, guns, and abortion seem to be Abbott’s only platform. His next stunt will probably be trying to stop people at the Texas border traveling to other states to make sure they are not carrying women on their way to get healthcare or an abortion. If he keeps this up, women won’t be the only ones running from the state, instead lots of families might come to the conclusion that no matter how much they love Texas, it’s too much of a mess. I have a friend and comrade who is now moving to New Jersey of all places. That’s how bad it’s getting in Texas now! Abbott is out of control. Texans might be willing to vote for an ol’ mangy dog rather than endure another couple of years with him in Austin.