Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh was one of those perpetual Republican candidates who couldn’t seem to get elected, not even in the tea party wave of 2010. You see, there was something…special about Twinkle, something that people just didn’t quite get about her at first. It was only by running in one of the least-exciting races available, the last statewide office held by a Democrat, and by having multiple election-cycles of signs with her name tacked to poles along highways such that her name became a household word, that Twinkle finally became the public servant she dreamed of being in 2012.Then it was just a matter of time before her…specialness…earned national attention, which seems to have finally happened Monday when she invoked God against the EPA‘s new rules on greenhouse emissions alongside a man who is actually named Beeker:
At their news conference today Cavanaugh and PSC commissioner-elect Chip Beeker invoked the name of God in stating their opposition to the EPA proposal. Beeker, a Republican who is running unopposed for a PSC seat, said coal was created in Alabama by God, and the federal government should not enact policy that runs counter to God’s plan.
“Who has the right to take what God’s given a state?” he said.
Cavanaugh called on the people of the state to ask for God’s intervention.
“I hope all the citizens of Alabama will be in prayer that the right thing will be done,” she said.
Claiming an absurd number of jobs will be impacted by regulations that will bring the cost of coal closer to its actual costs to humanity, Twinkle declared: “We will not stand for what they are doing to our way of life in Alabama.” Presumably, she wasn’t referring to the dozens of coal ash impoundments abutting major rivers in our state that provide drinking water to our cities and towns, or the dirty coal-fired electric plants that the Tennessee Valley Authority is already retiring. Neither Twinkle nor Beeker cares about the miners’ union.
No, these people are speaking to abiogenesis theory: God made this coal, not time and life and geology, so He means for us to burn it.
In other words, coal is not a fossil fuel to them because they do not believe in fossils. This is a narcissistic worldview, and incompatible with the gospel’s concern about mammon: there is only so much coal in the ground, so rather than save it for someone who might need it in the future, we must let billionaires like Shaun McCutcheon extract it and turn it into cash now, because “our” God-given right is actually his God-given right. It all makes sense if you think money is speech and billionaires are America’s most-oppressed minority, but not if your Jesus is concerned with the welfare of the least and lowest.
Of course, the subtext here is that Twinkle also believes in the end of the world, which on closer examination is a terrible event that happens only to other people (the ones known as “sinners” or “Democrats”). But I think Twinkle is aptly-named: special people like her are probably going to make the human race extinct, and when the end comes, we will have been a mere twinkle in a big, dark sky that did not hear our prayers — and did not care about our politics. Our gods will all wink out of existence with us.