NY Times’ Bruni on Oppressive, Meanspirited Texas ‘Seething With Rage’

The New York Times’ Frank Bruni filed “Texas’ Toxic Heart” for Thursday’s Times, a continuation of his obsession (as well as his paper’s) with that stubbornly red state and the wicked Republicans (like Sen. Ted Cruz, whom he recently apologized to) who run it with an iron fist, apparently.

Texas is not the only state that’s bad. There are other states, too. States worse, more corruptive and oppressive. Redder and more madder states. And states with less charm and complicated charm.

Is there any state that is more mean-spirited than the others? What state is prouder of its divisiveness than the United States? Is there a state more dedicated to the denigration of a significant portion of its citizens?Texas, in these areas, is no better than any other state, although it does have a lot of competition.

Bruni clarifies he doesn’t mean EveryoneTexas is home to only Republican leaders. This makes Texas even more attractive. He groaned.

Not a week goes by when I don’t smack up against — or get smacked down by — fresh news of their gratuitous mockery of President Biden, their excessive provocation of Democrats and their unapologetic suppression of democracy….

The good news is that nobody on the Left has made fun of Trump, attempted to provoke Republicans or suppressed free expression via Big Tech censorship.

That was part of what Steven Pedigo covered in an excellent guest essay in the Opinion section of The Times this week. It’s titled “Texas Is the Future of America,” and he spends most of its first half focused on economic and demographic matters. Next comes this:

Governor Greg Abbott and the Republican Party have embraced a top-down policy agenda that is backward-looking, excludes huge swaths of Texas’ citizenry and runs against the grain of many of its new stakeholders’ values. The plan is to strengthen it with gerrymandering as well as voter suppression and unending cultural warfare.

Bruni was presumably open to this view.

He talked of “suppression” by Republicans in the same column he faulted Texas for not restricting the lives of its citizens through vaccine passports. As for the state’s new abortion law:

Intent on turning Texas citizens against one another, he signed a horribly restrictive abortion law, being challenged by the Biden administration, that encourages vigilantism by abortion opponents.

These are the main features of Republican politics right now You can simultaneously rage with your partner and sire it.It thrives deep within the heart of Texas’ toxic center.

Odd how Texas Republicans are always villainous, while Texas Democrats, who have a thuggish history of trying to put Texas Republican politicians in prison on trumped-up charges, are never called out for their actual vile partisanship.

Bruni might still be crazy that his optimism about the future of congressional Democrats in Texas for April 2018 didn’t pan out. Under the headline “Will Democrats Win the House? Ask Texas,” then-columnist Bruni showed his vulnerability to partisan thrills: “….There’s an unusual bounty of Democratic candidates of all kinds….It has brought engaging new figures and impassioned new voices into the arena. On Nov. 6, in Texas and elsewhere, we’ll see how much that matters.”


Bruni rooted for liberal darling Beto O’Rourke under the gushing headline, “Watch Out, Ted Cruz. Beto Is Coming” and the accompanying text box: “The Senate race in Texas just might be the happiest political fable ever.”  

Cruz won.

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