Assclown Alert is a column of opinion, analysis and snark.
When play acting, it’s even more exciting when dressing the part. Just ask any kid who dons fatigues when he shoots his cap gun or puts on her sparkly dress when having tea with her dollies.
Or ask Texas Gov. Greg Abbott or U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz when they’ve made their recent treks to the border. You know, the ones they took to look like they’re actually doing something about the flood of unaccompanied minors seeking asylum in the U.S.
Both politicos donned spiffy military-looking outfits to look stern and official. And, perhaps more importantly, so they could play to the portion of the Trump base that thinks the U.S. is under attack from brown people crossing the Rio Grande.
Abbott did it first, showing up near the town of Mission in a spiffy kaki shirt with a star-shaped logo and military-style epaulets to announce the launch of Operation Lone Star, which would send more Department of Public Safety and Texas National Guard personnel to the border.
“[President Joe Biden] does not care about Americans. He cares more about people who are not from this country,” Abbott declared against an imposing backdrop of DPS vehicles.
Not to be outdone, Cruz made his own visit — and no, we’re not talking about him crossing the border to sip margs in Cancun while his constituents froze their assess off. No, Cruz’s recent jaunt included a photo op of him riding in a Border Patrol boat and a press conference where he told us how bravely he stood up to the mockery of cartel smugglers. During both, he was attired in a kaki hat with a Texas flag patch and a matching shirt stretched across his paunch.
In both cases, the military gear was a cover for their political posturing. Neither has offered real solutions for remedying the humanitarian crisis. Further, their attire plays to false narratives that South Texas is violent and dangerous.
In contrast, when Bexar County leaders held their presser to announce Freeman Coliseum would house migrant children while they waited to be placed with relatives, none of those officials felt the need to don kaki, camo or flags to show they were doing their jobs. Nor do the tireless workers at groups such as RAICES and Catholic Charities as they try to better the lives of asylum seekers.
That’s because real leaders solve problems, while assclowns play dress-up games.
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