Saturday, April 18, 2009

Loan Star State

The events of teabaggage set off a lot of those indifferent to facts, chief among them being Texas' governor Perry. Declaring that the Great State was not going to Take It anymore he harked back to our previous existence as a country and the myth that we could go there again without consequences.

A lot of folks who were listening remember that Texas has no state income tax and is a taker, not a giver, when it comes to federal funds. Our public services are not great even on the basis of milking the public outside the state.

Reality-based functionality has not been a characteristic distinguishing the right wing for a long time, but the flights of fancy have taken over their public statements since the 2008 election. Retreat from reality isn't working out, though. Operating in fantasy land may get votes for those playing to the functionally challenged, but it isn't making it any easier to operate a state.

Gov. Rick Perry appears to have given new life to the state's two-decades-old tourism promotion – Texas: It's like a whole other country.

The empathy Perry has shown this week to those spitting-mad-at-Washington secessionists had newscaster Geraldo Rivera calling him "grossly irresponsible" and ripe for impeachment, while former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said that Perry was being a righteous governor "standing up for the sovereignty of his state."

What is certain is that Perry has struck a chord. And it is aimed at Texas' ultimate mythology – that because it began as a country, by gum, it could go it alone again.

Unlike Texas, said state Rep. David Swinford, "other states know they don't have the right to secede. But that has been built into the Texas fabric, so we have the right to talk about it."

A poll of 500 Texans released Friday showed that 31 percent believe (incorrectly) the state retains the right to form an independent country. And another 18 percent said, given the opportunity, they would vote for Texas to secede.

The fact is, the treaty under which Texas joined the U.S. provides that it could be divided into five separate states. But it is not empowered to leave the union, a question that the Civil War seems to have settled once and for all.

Perry has expressed bewilderment that his statements drew so much attention. And he did not, as some national media reports said, advocate secession. He did, however, assert Texas' right to leave the U.S., and he expressed sympathy for those so frustrated with the federal government's taxes, spending and mandates that they feel secession is an option.
"Real leaders work to solve problems, but when Rick Perry fans the flames of frustration like a right-wing talk show host, he becomes part of the problem," said state Democratic Party Chairman Boyd Richie.

Richie and others said that Perry is targeting a narrow base of enflamed Republican voters while preparing to run against U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in the 2010 Republican governor's primary.

"Clearly, he's playing their song," said political consultant Bill Miller. "And he was tone-perfect actually, for that group."

Appealing to state residents who are feeling alienated from the country, as it receives control from public interest representatives for a change, is nothing new here in flyover country. Nothing like aggressive ignorance to set off its constituency. The fact is, though, that rightwing propaganda doesn't benefit the state, either. Voting in public officials who despise the public has worked against the country for the past entire maladministration, and it will take a long time to dig back out of the morass they've made with a government opposed to the governed.

This should be a really good example for voters of what kind of service Perry exemplifies. We've had enough of lies and false claims.

Can we have a responsible official in the next election, please? On the right, there haven't been any yet.

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Blogger Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

Texans DON'T have the "right" to secede, though I'd welcome it.

And they don't have any right to creat any "five" new states either, such being expressly prohibited in some part of the constitution which I recall reading lately buyt cannt find the citation/link for. Something about it being forbidden to create a new state within the boundaries of an existing one.

Texans: Blowing smoke since 1836...

12:13 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

True,but of course Perry wouldn't be inclined to act constitutionally, would he. And as you know, the U.S. would have been most likely the ultimate winner if it hadn't prevailed in the Civil War. The southern states have dragged us down ever since.

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