Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is a nasty little man. He’s one of the leading practitioners of performative politics: Owning the libs is what he does best. His idea of a good time is to “deport” undocumented immigrants to Vice President Harris’ DC crib. You can see his latest costly and cruel stunt in the featured image.
The buoy barricade at the Rio Grande River has cost Texas taxpayers $1 million so far. Abbott is just getting started. He has big plans for his buoy wall. There’s a problem: It’s of dubious legality.
The Mexican government has filed a diplomatic complaint over the buoy barricade. I can’t blame them. The buoy wall is arguably an act of war: It definitely violates a riparian treaty between the U.S. and Mexico:
Abbott has gone from owning the libs to owning the Mexican government. It wouldn’t surprise me if he said the treaty was irrelevant because it was negotiated by a Democratic administration, not Texas. That’s right, he’s trying to own FDR who has been dead for 78 years.
The feds aren’t treading water on Abbott’s fakakta buoy wall. They’ve filed a lawsuit seeking to have it removed. Abbott demanded that the feds sue, hoping to provoke a constitutional showdown with the Biden administration.
Unfortunately for the Texas Buoy Bully, the suit doesn’t cite the constitution but an obscure federal law. I’ll let Slate legal eagle Mark Joseph Stern explain:
“Texas Gov. Greg Abbott craved a showdown with President Joe Biden over illegal immigration. He wanted a test case that would give the Supreme Court a chance to expand states’ authority to repel, persecute, and brutalize unauthorized immigrants. He wanted nothing short of a constitutional revolution that would shift jurisdiction over the southern border—and perhaps even the power to wage war—from the federal government to the state of Texas.
What he got, instead, was a dispute over the Rivers and Harbors Appropriation Act of 1899.
Abbott’s scheme to seize control over immigration enforcement crashed against that law on Monday, when Biden’s Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Texas. At Abbott’s direction, state officials constructed a 1,000-foot barrier in the Rio Grande designed to block migrants from crossing the river. The governor justified the project in a letter to Biden by asserting Texas’ alleged prerogative to defend itself against “invasion,” teeing up a constitutional confrontation. But he and his lawyers appear to have overlooked a more mundane problem with this plan: Federal law prohibits any state from obstructing a navigable waterway like the Rio Grande without a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers. Abbott’s brawl over the border is fizzling into a dispute for permitting—one that the governor will lose.”
Stern goes on to sternly lecture the Excitable Buoy about his latest stunt. That’s all it is: more dick measuring from MAGA-land.
Abbott is not a detail guy. It’s doubtful that he’s aware of either the 1944 treaty or the 1899 law. Taking on the Army Corps of Engineers strikes me as a losing battle, but the Texas Bully Buoy doesn’t care. It’s all about the show. At the risk of repeating myself from yesterday’s malaka of the week post, Abbott is all hat and no cattle.
I had an internal debate about the post title. My choices were excellent: The Texas Bully Buoy or Excitable Buoy. The winner is a pun on one of Warren Zevon’s best known songs. It’s about a murderer. That struck me as fit for the task: People could die because of the razor wire associated with the buoys.
You say Texas Bully Buoy, I say Excitable Buoy. Let’s call the buoy barricade off.
Does Greg Abbott care that his buoy wall could be lethal? Hell, no. He’s showing off to his fellow wingnuts. It’s all about the show. Performative politics is the pits. In this instance, it could get someone killed.
The last word goes to Warren Zevon: