Nobody is ever fully prepared for natural disaster. When hurricanes, blizzards or tsunamis strike they always reveal weaknesses — failure to plan, failure to invest in precautions.
The disaster in Texas, however, was different. The collapse of the Texas power grid didn’t just reveal a few shortcomings. It showed that the entire philosophy behind the state’s energy policy is wrong. And it also showed that the state is run by people who will resort to blatant lies rather than admit their mistakes.
Texas energy policy was based on the idea that you can treat electricity like avocados. Do people remember the great avocado shortage of 2019? Surging demand and a bad crop in California led to spiking prices; but nobody called for a special inquest and new regulations on avocado producers
In fact, some people see nothing wrong with what happened in Texas, in the past week. William Hogan, the Harvard professor widely considered the architect of the Texas system, asserted that drastic price increases, while “not convenient,” were how the system was supposed to work.
But kilowatt-hours aren’t avocados, and there are at least three big reasons pretending that they are is a recipe for disaster.
Socialism is what they called public power.
Socialism is what they called social security.
Socialism is what they called the growth of free and independent labor organizations.
Socialism is their name for almost anything that helps all the people.
—Harry Truman, 1952
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) February 20, 2021
Senate Republicans just refused to convict a president who incited a deadly insurrection against the U.S. government.
Their cowardly betrayal will be remembered for the rest of history, but we can't let it be the end of the story.
Here's how Trump can still be held accountable: pic.twitter.com/19uK7THEpH
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) February 13, 2021
Former President Trump’s actions that preceded the riot were a disgraceful, disgraceful dereliction of duty, Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day.
Below are links to two recent post by two of my favorite economists and serious thinkers, Paul Krugman and Robert Reich.
Below are selected quotes from Reich “Why Biden Can’t Govern From The Center:”
I keep hearing that Joe Biden will govern from the “center.” He has no choice, they say, because he’ll have razor-thin majorities in Congress and the Republican party has moved to the right.
Rubbish. I’ve served several Democratic presidents who have needed Republican votes. But the Republicans now in Congress are nothing like those I’ve dealt with. Most of today’s GOP live in a parallel universe. There’s no “center” between the reality-based world and theirs.
Last Wednesday, fully 95% of House Republicans voted against impeaching Trump for inciting insurrection, even after his attempted coup threatened their very lives.
The week before, immediately following the raid on the Capitol, more than 100 House Republicans and several Republican senators objected to the certification of Biden electors in two states on the basis of Trump’s lies about widespread fraud.
Trump has remade the Republican party into a white supremacist cult living within a counter-factual wonderland of lies and conspiracies.
According to various surveys, more than half of Republican voters – almost 40 million people – believe Trump won the 2020 race or aren’t sure who won; 45% support the storming of the Capitol; 57% say he should be the Republican candidate in 2024.
In this hermetically sealed cosmos, most Republicans believe Black Lives Matter protesters are violent, immigrants are dangerous and climate change doesn’t pose a threat. A growing fringe openly talks of redressing grievances through violence, including QAnon conspiracy theorists, of whom two are newly elected to Congress, who think Democrats are running a global child sex-trafficking operation.
How can Biden possibly be a “centrist” in this new political world?
There is no middle ground between lies and facts. There is no halfway point between civil discourse and violence. There is no midrange between democracy and fascism.
Biden must boldly and unreservedly speak truth, refuse to compromise with violent Trumpism and ceaselessly fight for democracy and inclusion.
Speaking truth means responding to the world as it is and denouncing the poisonous deceptions engulfing the right. It means repudiating false equivalences and “both sidesism” that gives equal weight to trumpery and truth. It means protecting and advancing science, standing on the side of logic, calling out deceit and impugning baseless conspiracy theories and those who abet them.
Refusing to compromise with violent Trumpism means renouncing the lawlessness of Trump and his enablers and punishing all who looted the public trust. It means convicting Trump of impeachable offenses and ensuring he can never again hold public office – not as a “distraction” from Biden’s agenda but as a central means of reestablishing civility, which must be a cornerstone of that agenda.
It is a question of political will. It requires a recognition that there is no longer a “center” but a future based either on lies, violence and authoritarianism or on unyielding truth, unshakeable civility and radical inclusion. And it requires a passionate, uncompromising commitment to the latter.
If you watch nothing else today, I urge you to watch this. Thank you @jaketapper for speaking truth. He delivered a powerful statement on the events of this week and how we got here. It was with the help of many, many enablers today seeking to rewrite history. https://t.co/Wlw5jOIYop
— Ana Navarro-Cárdenas (@ananavarro) January 10, 2021
The cynical ploy of Ted Cruz and 10 other Republican senators will now force every other Republican member of Congress to openly choose democracy or fascism.
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) January 2, 2021
You don’t get to do this, you disgusting opportunist. You don’t get to ignore your role and responsibility in all of this.
You incited these people by feeding them lies and mounting a charade, for your personal political ambition.
You, Rafael Cruz, have blood on your hands. https://t.co/EUkbKpG3o4
— Ana Navarro-Cárdenas (@ananavarro) January 8, 2021