It appears that if your approach to appealing to area and state voters is to bad mouth the federal government while declaring how much better state government takes care of its own while masking your allegiance with right-wing fanatics about seceding, then you are opening yourself up for condemnation when you try to turn on this perception.
Following an anti-tax Tea Party rally two years ago, Texas Governor Rick Perry egged on the secessionist notion in the state by telling reporters later that if people get fed up with the federal government they may want to secede.
“There’s a lot of different scenarios,” Perry said. “We’ve got a great union. There’s absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique place, and we’re a pretty independent lot to boot.” SOURCE
Perry has been falsely claiming that “the federal government is strangling Americans with taxation, spending and debt.” Actually personal income taxes are lower now than before Obama took office in 2009 and the deficit didn’t matter back when Dick Cheney told then Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill in 2002, “‘Reagan proved deficits don’t matter. We won the midterms (congressional elections). This is our due.’ A month later, Cheney told the Treasury secretary he was fired” and the federal budget went from a $1 trillion surplus to a $500 billion deficit. Perry further bolstered his anti-government gravitas by rejecting $550 million in federal economic stimulus money in 2009 that was slated to help Texas’ unemployment trust fund.
In all fairness to the controversial governor, Perry’s premise has been that the federal government has “abandoned the country’s founding principles of limited government”. This of course is a highly charged comment that overlooks what the limits of the government really are over time under the Constitution. Slavery was still in existence when the Constitution was ratified and women were not allowed to vote. Did Perry want to go back to those “good old days”?
Perry however has made no case to express the role of government in favorable terms leaving his excited crowds to continuing swallowing the wrongful notion that all government is bad and never the solution to some of the problems we face as a nation.
Perry’s adamant vitriol against the federal government was further pronounced at those Tea Party meetings two years ago when he said “ “We think it’s time to draw the line in the sand and tell Washington that no longer are we going to accept their oppressive hand in the state of Texas.” Yet since then, Think Progress’ Yglesias has pointed out that Perry has gone to the federal well more than once because the state was not “independent” enough to handle massive issues following Hurricane Ike back in Bush’s presidency and the drug-related violence occurring along the border in early 2009.
All of this has come back to bite Perry in the butt as the recent wild fires in Texas has led Perry to once more ask Washington for help, even as he cries foul that his popular punching bag is not there to console him quick enough.
Gov. Rick Perry criticized FEMA for its slow response to his request for federal disaster recovery assistance in connection with the state’s wildfires during an emergency management conference in San Antonio Friday.
”We can’t always count on Washington to come running. It’s been two weeks now since I wrote President Obama requesting assistance to deal with these wildfires,” Gov. Perry said. “We’re still waiting on a response.” SOURCE
Last week Perry invoked the aid of God for help as he called on all Texans to pray for the “end of [this] ongoing drought and these devastating wildfires”. This didn’t pan out since most of what rains Texas received during this time was in an area that wasn’t suffering the worst of drought and wildfires. Some of the these storms were strong enough though to create even further property damage from high winds, flooding and tornadoes. Be careful what you pray for Governor Perry.
This failed attempt left Perry to call down the federal government for not doing it’s share even though FEMA has reported that “the federal government has been supporting the State of Texas with 22 Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) declarations, including 16 FMAGs since the beginning of April”.
How much is Perry and the GOP responsible for the travesty that wild fires inflict in this state? They lower taxes that cut in to the state’s ability to properly fund resources that are needed to prevent and fight fires. They promote the use of fossil fuels over renewable energy sources disproportionately as more and more evidence mounts showing a relationship to global warming and man’s increased used of emitting CO2 into the atmosphere from fossil fuel use.
Let’s not forget that Perry and the GOP state legislature have not offered to use the “rainy day” fund for this crisis. They seem to be holding onto to this “emergency” money until their corporate buddies need the help. The state of Texas is also battling the EPA these days to prevent them from regulating CO2 emissions at coal-fired power plants and other industrial sites yet their own agency (the TCEQ) lacks the man power from defunding to help contain this growing problem.
Anti-government and anti-tax rhetoric is appealing to most hard-working people but when it is used to their detriment it is often difficult for a misinformed public to see the forest for the trees. The notion that all federal assistance is bad and the government is more the problem than the solution plays into the hands of polluting industries trying to avoid taking necessary action to curb these toxins or paying their fair share of taxes to fund emergency situations.
Perry has revealed in his recent tap dance around the facts that you can only blow smoke up the asses of naive citizens so long before you are forced to choke on it when the wind direction changes. But the frozen mindset most voters have in Texas regarding anything tainted as “liberal” is the real factor in why this state continues to sink to the bottom of all categories that show where we stand when it comes to needs of our children, the elderly and the unemployed.