Top Texas Republicans on the ropes after tone-deaf storm response

February 19, 2021 ☼ texaspower-failuregop

Source: POLITICO - Link

Sen. Ted Cruz was discovered to have slipped off to Mexico on Wednesday night, only to announce his return when he was caught in the act. Gov. Greg Abbott came under fire over his leadership and misleading claims about the causes of the power outages. And former Gov. Rick Perry suggested Texans preferred power failures to federal regulation, a callous note in a moment of widespread suffering.

It’s more than just a public relations crisis for the three politicians. The storm has also battered the swaggering, Texas brand of free-market governance that’s central to the state’s political identity on the national stage.

“Texans are angry and they have every right to be. Failed power, water and communications surely took some lives,” JoAnn Fleming, a Texas conservative activist and executive director of a group called Grassroots America, said in a text message exchange with POLITICO.

Abbott has called for an investigation of the state’s main power grid, Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which was once a source of laissez-faire pride because it’s heavily deregulated and separate from the federal power grid. On Thursday, Abbott called for winterizing the power grid to keep wind turbines and natural gas in pipes from freezing — an idea recommended a decade ago after the last severe winter storm, when Perry was governor.

This is what happens when you try to do governance on the cheap, or worse, for profit.