To: Twinkle Cavanaugh, president of the Alabama Public Service commission
From: GOAD (Ghosts of Alabama Demagogues)
Subject: You go, girl
In the words many a brave knight has spoken to his star pupil, we say to you: You have done well, my apprentice.
Your actions in the first part of 2013 are an inspiration. Most of us can’t remember when we’ve been so tickled by an Alabama politician. You’ve turned your main job — ensuring Alabamians pay a fair rate for their electricity and gas — on its head by refusing to formally examine why utilities charge what they charge. It’s a classic bait-and-switch. Protect your friends from utility companies by creating a sideshow out of taking on environmentalists who, as you say, want to set up shop in Alabama to drive into the poor house all the good people of Alabama.
We are particularly pleased given the vocabulary limitations you face that most of our membership did not in the era of Jim Crow. Let’s just say we had a larger palette from which to draw colorful and anger-inducing phrases. It’s not so easy for folks like you, Twinkle, what with all those PC language police running around. However, you are up to the job.
What’d you call those asking for a formal review of rate structures of utilities doing business? That’s right — “fancy San Francisco environmental lawyers and junk-science hucksters” whose “agenda-driven actions threaten to raise the rates you pay for electricity and other utilities.” Inspirational.
Of course, the real test for membership in our group is on the follow-up, the point where the reasonable start to question your fiery words. Our best work fires up Alabamians, yet invariably there will be questions from some pointy-headed smarty-pants who can’t even park a bicycle. This is when you double-down, when you pound the table even harder.
You knocked it out of the park, Twinkle. We loved it when you told The Birmingham News, “I want to exclude the environmentalists from taking part in the process.” Bravo.
You’ve got promise, kid. We understand it’s hard work, generating all that faux outrage, but trust us, the alternative of reasoned examination of the facts will be far worse for your ample political ambitions.
The members of GOAD (Ghosts of Alabama Demagogues)