My deliberate avoidance of what passes as the latest in political news is proving to be a good deal easier than I thought it would be.
I gather that there’s yet another email story circulating, this time about the former president’s assistant and chief of staff pressuring the Department of Justice to investigate claims of voter fraud in last year’s presidential election. Well, they lost me at “email.”
President Biden met with Queen Elizabeth II (the original “Lilibet”), remarking that she reminded him of his mother. Well, Joe, I suspect you’ll never get invited back now.
I’m pretty sure that when one is Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, one might consider oneself such a singular personage (she actually believes that Grace of God stuff) that being a reminder of anyone else would be quite impossible.
But take heart, Joe. At least you didn’t keep her waiting or give her a big old hug.
Oh, and there was a summit meeting with Putin this week, too, right? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m guessing nothing substantive came out on sanctions, Cybersecurity, or Ukraine. However, if Biden and Putin issued a joint statement on the relative advantages of Botox versus Dysport or Restylane versus Juvederm, the whole world would applaud these two leaders finding common ground on a subject they both seem to know so much about.
I’m all about the common ground these days. We Texans are an ornery lot, and we argue about almost everything. From gun control and abortion rights to whether potato salad should be made with mustard or mayonnaise, we all have an opinion, defined in this context to mean the right answer. We know it all, even if we disagree on virtually everything.
But this week, Texans found something on which we could all agree. I once thought that one thing would be recreational marijuana usage, but too many Texans who smoke it prefer to act like Southern Baptists who pretend they don’t drink.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), an entity many of us had never heard of before we had to contemplate the possibility of freezing to death in our own homes a few months back, had the gall to “encourage” Texans to set their thermostats to 78 degrees or higher and to avoid using large appliances during peak hours. And in so doing, a carpet was rolled out marked “Texas Common Ground,” and a whole lot of the state figuratively ripped off wigs and earrings and a cry of “Not today Satan, not today” went out across the land.
Texans may not agree on whether or not beans go in chili, sugar goes in cornbread, and Miracle Whip goes on or in anything. Some may still be wearing masks, and some have never worn one. But we pretty much all agree that “encouraging” us to voluntarily try to sleep with the thermostat at, oh, 82 degrees means some of us will turn it down to 72 out of spite and do laundry while baking a pie in the middle of the day just because we can.
Because, by God, we’re Texans, and we know what Liberty is. So if you want to get the Republicans to demand that we get more solar and wind mills operational while the Democrats protest (peacefully, of course) to have a new nuclear power plant built in their own backyard, just threaten us one more time with rolling blackouts and no air conditioning.
Those folks need to get their grid together, because this isn’t February and the roads aren’t icy. When the only air conditioning is in our Volvos or our F-250s, there’s a risk that a bunch of hot, angry, pissed off Texans might take an unscheduled road trip to Austin. And thanks to Republican legislative priorities this session, that sweaty crowd is more likely than ever to be heavily armed.
We don’t want or advocate for any kind of “rising up” or insurrection, if you prefer. But Governor Abbott isn’t that popular, even with many Republicans, and he’s running for a third term. The last thing he needs is to have to hole up with his government in the Capitol like it was the Alamo.
Remember the Alamo? Well, I don’t know how Texas history is taught in schools these days, but I seem to remember that one didn’t turn out too well.