As King Ad-Rock said about some unnamed trick, maybe Lucy but they all called her “Loose,” Gov. Greg Abbott sure is crafty.

The Republican nutjob currently occupying 1010 Colorado St in Austin is poised to blame immigrants at the border for the upcoming surge in COVID-19 numbers. Never mind that Gov. Greg rescinded the mask mandate weeks ago, just in time to prop up struggling businesses whose owners and employees could benefit from a Spring Break boom. And never mind that the man also removed social distancing orders, bullied cities into complying with said mask and social distancing orders, and screwed up the vaccine rollout — only 11% of Texans are fully vaccinated, including me now but only partially. (Hey, take it up with my doc. She claims that I am quote-overweight-unquote. Psh. Two-hundred-and-five pounds on a 5-foot-10 frame never looked this svelte.) (It has. Billions of times before, undoubtedly.) No, because of Abbott’s posturing, the Central Americans fleeing two natural disasters and nonstop drug wars and the droves of Mexican immigrants at the border now will be blamed by our fearless governor for the forthcoming bad COVID numbers. He’s crafty! He’s got a gripe!

The Biden administration *blesses self* has offered help that Abbott has denied, which simply encapsulates the entirety of the Republican party post-Dump. People do not matter. Poor people really don’t matter. Only power does.


Because Abbott is just more of the same party-over-country crap we’ve come to expect from so-called conservatives, I’m really looking forward to voting for Beto O’Rourke for governor in two years. In a social media post the other day, the former Texas pol and now all-around do-gooder says everything we all know about Abbott’s manufactured border outrage but that our friends and loved ones on the right won’t see or hear because of the right-wing media bubble, which is more like a steel cage tipped with razorwire but that we’ll call a “bubble” to drive home the imagery of gun-toting, bible-thumping rich white folks floating away, hopefully to be wonderfully popped and come back down to Earth.

“You care about immigrants?” our future governor wrote. “The day before a white supremacist killed 23 people in El Paso (claiming there was a ‘Hispanic invasion of Texas’), you mailed a letter urging Republicans to ‘DEFEND TEXAS NOW’ from immigrants and ‘take matters into our own hands.’ ”

Beto goes on to say that Abbott can continue to “stoke fear about immigrants and asylum seekers” because the governor rejected an offer from the Biden administration *blesses self again* to set up a system to provide COVID testing and quarantine for families released from Border Patrol.

And the border mess, Beto goes on, “provides a convenient scapegoat when COVID cases spike following your surrender of all public health protections for a state that has seen nearly 50,000 killed by your ineptitude. You’ll just blame it on the immigrants.”

This, what Abbott is doing, is craftiness on the highest order. Whatever we may say about the guv, we can’t say he didn’t set this up perfectly. Already, conservative media are ignoring the fact that the former occupant of the White House and future felon dismantled large parts of the asylum system, handcuffing the Biden administration *blesses self once more* in its ability to process the migrants in a lawful, humane way. Thanks, Obama.

The sad part, other than families suffering at the border, is that when time comes to vote in 2022, so many new, probably manufactured crises will obscure what Abbott is doing now. And what he did back during the snowstorm, leaving dozens to perish “because the profits of your energy industry donors were more important than the lives of the people of this state,” Beto says. “So go on with your radical right-wing theatrics and your scapegoating of the vulnerable and defenseless. Texans will take care of each other and work to help these families and children, just as we have during the pandemic, just as we did during the winter storm. Without your help.”

Well said, Beto. — Anthony Mariani


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