No Room At The Texas Inn, Or The US Naval Observatory – OpEd


One thing you can say about Texas Gov. Greg Abbott: He has no sense of irony or timing.

Bad enough that this smug Christian fundamentalist lacks any sense of human empathy, choosing to take “the least among us” — that being penniless immigrants fleeing crime, poverty and oppression in their countries–7900 of whom he has so far stuffed onto buses with nothing, not. even donated coats and blankets, and shipped of to northern “liberal” states to be abandoned on the street to make a political anti-immigrant point. But this Christmas Eve he did it to another 140, who were bussed north on a grueling 36-hour ride to the nation’s capital, where they were dumped for effect outside the home of Vice President Kamala Harris, who has been charged with dealing with the nation’s purported immigrant crisis.

Now, even athiests like me, and lapsed Christians know the story of baby Jesus and how he was born in a stable because no inn would take them in on a cold desert night in Bethlehem. “No room at the inn” has long been a holiday staple in Black families, who for generations heard that line themselves when traveling the nation’s highways, and have no trouble relating.

How, you have to wonder, could that MFer Abbot fail to have seen how phenomenally off the mark he was dumping these poor coatless and shelterless migrant families in the middle of the a windy 18-degree night on the coldest Christmas Eve in Washington DC for decades –and on the anniversary of that night 2000 years ago in Palestine?

Of course with an immoral scumbag like Abbott, nothing should surprise anybody.. He’s only a step removed from the conscience-free psychopaths who drive to progressive protests to run their pickup trucks into peaceful demonstrators.

Still, on Christmas Eve? Abbott needs a visit from Ebenezer Scrooge’s Christmas future.

Of all people Abbott, who has been confined to a wheelchair for 38 years after having a tree fall on him as he was jogging along a road at 24 and had his spine broken in what I assume he’d join the insurance industry in calling an “act of god.” No doubt over the years he has had plenty of people show empathy and help him, for example in getting into a building that didn’t have handicapped access, (like no doubt many voting places in minority voting districts in Texas). So you’d think the guy would have at least a scintilla of sensitivity for people in hard-luck situations. But no. He’s s a governor and a rich conservative, he has transcended sensitivity, so he doesn’t need to give a crap about the suffering of others. In fact, he’s ready to cause more suffering, or to encourage his border patrol to inflict it, if it will gain him popularity among the state’s white nationalist yahoos.

But while I’m condemning this worthless piece of Texas cow dung, I want to also mention Kamala Harris, who instead of inviting the immigrants dumped in front of the Naval Observatory that has been her Vice Presidential home since her election, and providing them with sustenance and clothing, along with toys for the kids, she has remained strangely silent about this atrocity, actually turning away and leaving reporters on two occasions when she was asked for comment. It appears there’s no room at the US Naval Observatory either.

Why the stony silence, I wonder? Maybe with her presidential aspirations, she doesn’t want to stir up more anger at her among conservative Democrats and independents. Aside from her being about as tone-deaf a politician as one can imagine, I’m left aghast at her basic lack of humanity. Hell, even if she only has one cook on her staff, she’s located just two miles from the White House, which she could have asked President Biden to have put his kitchen staff to work on making a Christmas dinner for 140 to send over to her place. Even if it were just for show, it would have made a heart-warming story for the holiday.

Instead, for the second day in a row, Harris walked away from reporters when asked to comment on Gov. Abbot’s latest cruel immigrant transfer political stunt.

It was left for her husband, the so-called “Second Dude” Doug Emhoff to express his outrage, saying, “I think it was shameful. These are human beings. These are people, They needed to be treated with dignity and kindness and respect and they weren’t, And we have so-called leaders in this country who, rather than focusing on what’s good for the public within their own states, they’re using people as pawns for a political stunt.” (Was he referring to Abbot or his wife?)

Really, would it be that hard for Harris to say at least what he said?

Forget What Would Jesus Do”. Abbot (and Harris) should be asking: What Would Any Compassionate Human Being Do?

If only they’d been white Ukrainian refugees…

Dave Lindorff

Dave Lindorff is a Philadelphia-based journalist and columnist. He is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective. Lindorff is a contributor to "Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion" (AK Press) and the author the author of “The Case for Impeachment” (St. Martin’s Press). He can be reached at [email protected]

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