As their state grapples with a historic storm that has left millions without power in below-freezing temperatures, prominent Texas Republicans are learning the meaning of the adage, “There’s always a tweet.”
Last summer, an extreme heatwave plunged California into an energy crisis. To handle increased demand, the Golden State asked residents to conserve electricity and implemented rolling power outages to avoid prolonged, widespread blackouts with potentially catastrophic consequences.
As they often do, Texas politicians seized upon the opportunity to vilify the nation’s largest blue state.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) quote-tweeted the California governor’s call for citizens to conserve energy with a barb about the state’s “failed energy policy,” and joked, “Hope you don’t like air conditioning!”
Republican Dan Patrick, the lieutenant governor of Texas, expressed similar sentiments.
Those tweets are coming back to haunt them now that millions of people in the Lone Star State are in the dark amid dangerously cold temperatures and historic snowfall.
“This tweet is a whole 6 months old,” @craigstuntz reflected on Patrick’s tweet. “I’d say ‘it aged poorly,’ but it’s not even a toddler yet.”
Many turned the representatives’ words back on them, suggesting that Texas’ power woes are the result of Republican leadership.
As numerous Twitter users pointed out, Texas is the only state that isn’t on the federal power grid. It’s something of a point of pride in the state (though the nearly 4 million residents without power Tuesday morning might not be so inclined to brag about it at present).
The Wall Street Journal reports, “Texas likes it that way and has taken sometimes dramatic steps to ensure its grid is overseen in Austin, not Washington, D.C.”
Climate change was a frequent subject in the comments on the unearthed tweets.
Others noted the irony that just weeks after prominent Republicans in the state yet again threatened secession, its representatives are begging for help from the federal government. President Joe Biden’s administration obliged.
The cumulative effect was a thorough Twitter thrashing on three fronts.
This isn’t the first time Texas has struggled to provide power during a winter weather event.
The recommendations weren’t mandatory.