Archive for the ‘Texas’ Category
Attending a conservative conference, even after a losing political season, encourages people. Liberals even when winning, mope. Conservatives, when losing, drink and have a good time anyway. Well, they usually do. That hasn’t been the case for the last two years. Conservative gatherings have been depressing and sometimes, strife-filled.
Not this Labor Day weekend in Dallas, Texas, though. The Americans for Prosperity leadership picked a weekend after school started in Texas, picked a state that is an instant sweat bath in August, and decided it would be a good idea to ask activists to listen to politics and policy rather than eat dogs and burgers and drink beer and watch football on Labor Day weekend. And still, the people came.
More than 3000 very excited, energized conservative-libertarian activists descended on Dallas and joy abounded. Ronald Reagan would be proud of the happy warriors here.
“…the new message is that preaching to the choir isn’t going to advance the message or persuade those who either disagree or are uninformed and whose hearts and minds we need to win.
In fact, overwhelmingly, the discussion in sessions and speeches is that techniques that work on conservatives are likely to backfire when talking to those who are receptive to conservative principles but are predisposed to reject the buzzwords usually associated with them.”
The happy warriors speaking the language of building bridges to disaffected Obama voters should scare the Democrats. The conservative depression has lifted.
Based on this sold out conference, the right is back.
Allow dollars to follow the child. A Texas teacher makes her case for school choice:
Texas has increased education spending 95% with a 19% increase in school age population while test scores are flat.
I’m coming to believe test scores are less important. A child should be able to read, do simple math, and write by the age ten–5th grade (and that’s me just being arbitrary). With the innovations in education and the ability to tailor education to a kid, the money should be freed up. There are just so many ways a kid can be educated now.
My kids are in public school and all of them could probably be in environments better suited to their needs. Children develop in uneven ways.
It’s strange to think, but the one-room school house actually catered to kids better in some ways. A slow learner could be paired with kids coming along. A quick learner could accelerate as quickly as he wanted.
Our current educational system is just not responsive to the individual. Freeing up money and allowing kids to thrive in environments suited to them would be a step in the right direction.
Who wins between California and Texas? Well, as a Texan who lived in California for three years, the answer to this question is clear.
Will Franklin has put together some fascinating infographics about how Republicans and Democrats feel about Texas and California. Go take a look. It’s not surprising, really, but to see it laid out is still disturbing.
Fascinating. There are two dominant models for governance in America today. The California model of high taxation, bloated government, forced unionization, enviro-luddite regulation, higher unemployment, and intense domestic out-migration of individuals and businesses, versus the Texas model of low taxes, streamlined government, right-to-work labor laws, balanced environmental regulation, abundant job creation, and robust domestic in-migration.
Despite having 12 million fewer people, Texas exports 56.8% more than California.
My conclusion? Democrats really, really don’t care about fiscal responsibility at all–not even a little bit. They must think there’s a magic money tree somewhere.
Liberals don’t like Texas. Whether they’re liberal Democrats or liberal Republicans, Texas inhabits a hard-scrabble mythology. Red dirt, rocks, heat. A tough landscape. A big sky. Openness. Hardness.
After living in California, New York and Michigan, I’m convinced environment shapes our view of the world more than we care to admit. The coasts, used to milder weather and milder expectations, don’t like the tough life inherent in living in oppressive heat, freezing cold and general discomfort.
Texas ain’t that pretty. It certainly isn’t lush. There’s space. Hard ground. Texas is big. Texas is not, however, soft. There are no rolling hills of heather. There are no natural lakes. And yet, the people come.
People have had to make Texas what they want it to be. They have wildly succeeded.
The government reflects the landscape: spare and open.
Want a life of government paid-for ease? Don’t move to Texas. Move to California, New York or Michigan–well, until they stop using debt to finance their lavish ways. They’re out of money.
So, on this backdrop, here’s a story about the kindness of capitalism in Texas.
Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and thousands of exiles trekked to Texas. When the crisis hit, Governor Perry called mayors, business leaders, and probably most importantly, church leaders. [Aside: Governor Perry’s leadership through Hurricanes has been impressive and stellar. It’s difficult for outsiders to fathom the sheer magnitude of evacuating a city the size of Houston, for example. When the first evacuation showed logistical weakness, local and state leaders did a correction of errors and the next one was flawless.]
The church leaders sent the call out to the churches. The mega churches have huge charitable organizations. They coordinated the smaller churches and resources. They asked church and community members to help. And the local people responded. So enthusiastic was the response, that when I finally got to Target to buy supplies for folks (toothpaste, brushes, and all the rest) the shelves were empty. Nada. Picked clean.
Helping Hurricane Katrina victims was probably the single largest charitable outpouring in a concentrated time for that many people in American history.
This charity was, is, a result of capitalism. People had the extra resources to give because all their extra income wasn’t soaked up in taxes.
There is a palliative effect from this sort of action–both for those who are suffering and those who are relieving the suffering. The sufferers often got to meet who was helping them. They were prayed with and cared for and loved by individuals profoundly moved by their plight. The caregivers were blessed to see their actions making a direct difference in the lives of those in need. This was not some antiseptic government bureaucrat having a person check off a list in order to get a bar of soap and diapers. This was a friend helping a friend.
The government helped, too. But it took a while to get the government engine going. It always does. People got vouchers to find homes and apartments. The Houston public school was flooded with new, and woefully behind, students (an average of two years behind academically).
After six months of the transplanted New Orleans folks living off the kindness of strangers and the government dole, a Democratic Houston city councilwoman told the visitors, pointedly, “It’s time to get a job.”
At the time of her pronouncement, the unemployment rate was 4%. She rightly noted that no one had an excuse for not working. It was time to get to work and become a member of their new community or go home. And so, some people went back home. Some people stayed.
One woman who stayed is my favorite grocery checker at my local HEB. She got plunked in my community because her house was flooded and destroyed in New Orleans. She decided to make Texas home. When I asked her why, she said that she got a job, found a rental home in a neighborhood she really likes, the schools were great, her son was happy, New Orleans was violent and scary, and she was happy here. Mind you, she’s living happily and well in one of the best school districts in Texas as a single mother on a grocery checker’s wage.
Another woman, a nurse, moved here and stayed. She was thrilled with her pay (40% more than in New Orleans!) and the low cost of living (cheaper house!).
Capitalism, the Texas kind, is kind.
The free market here in Texas creates jobs. People with jobs have dignity.
But it’s not a living wage! liberal Democrats and Republicans cry. Really? In Texas, the cost of living is a fraction of what it costs in other states in the nation. I know this from personal experience having lived, and decently, on $2000 a month gross, with a baby. Mind you, that was without delux cable, smart phones, and home entertainment systems. It was eating Ramen noodles and sitting on the floor. Is that a horrible way to live? It’s a way a person starts. Where he ends is his choice.
But insurance! Texas has a high number of uninsured people. A good chunk of that is illegal immigration. I’m sorry, liberals, but I do not want to pay for someone else’s insurance. Still, Texas has programs for those who have difficulty. Lots of young Texans don’t want to pay for insurance. When we first started, we had no insurance. What’s the first thing we purchased when we had two nickels? Insurance. Many people choose not to make that expenditure. Fine. It’s a choice. With Obamacare, no one can be turned away from insurance. People make choices. Let them choose.
If they choose poorly, they end up at the free clinic where local doctors donate time. They get wonderful care. If they really get messed up, they end up an an emergency care center (Texas communities have lots of these) or the hospital. If they don’t have eye insurance (my family doesn’t), they go to Walmart (I do) and have a reasonable eye appointment and get low-cost glasses (which I have on my face right now). In a Texas hospital, you get damn good care. The problem with illegals overwhelming border hospitals is something that’s the Fed’s failing that’s become a state problem. Illegal immigration needs to stop. It’s sucking up resources.
Kindness according to big government types is some distant person making a decision for another person with other people’s money. It’s all very detached. It lacks personal warmth, connection and accountability.
Liberals want social services to not have any behavioral expectations. When a person is receiving help from a local charity or church, the organizations know the people. There’s an element of involvement and expectation. Isn’t that a good thing?
Wasn’t it a good thing that the city councilwoman loved the Hurricane Katrina folks enough to tell them to go get a job rather then subject themselves to the corrosive effects of living helplessly, waiting for the next check to come in? Isn’t it important for people to have to look those who are giving to them freely, from their own cupboards of food and necessities, in the eyes? Isn’t it important for those in need and those giving to be connected? That is the essence of community, is it not?
Many liberals find this sort of thing demeaning–both the charitable work and seeing those who need charity. It’s uncomfortable. They don’t think of the churches that built hospitals and homeless shelters and rehabilitation centers and pregnancy crisis centers. The intimacy scares them.
Capitalism, though, creates this intimacy. Both the consumer and supplier are connected. So too, are the needy and the charitable connected.
It is tougher. Just as a loving family will boot a kid out of the nest who needs to be on his own (or should), a loving society encourages its members to live as independently as possible. This is for the good of the individual and the good of the community.
From the outside, liberals see Texas and recoil. From the inside, Texans are quite content. Hard work, independence and autonomy are appreciated. And when community is needed, charity comes out of love and desire rather than force and coercion.
Is it a perfect system? No. But I’d point to the city of Detroit and to New Orleans as examples of entrenched corruption, excessive government services, and desperation among generations of inhabitants enslaved by an anything-but-loving liberal compassion.
I’ll take the kindness of capitalism any day. Given the choice between a job and independence and an unemployment check and dependency, the thousands of people moving to Texas every month agree: capitalism is kind. They’re counting on it.
Understanding The Texas Dream Act, American Majority’s Training Bomb, & What Really Happened At The CNN/TeaParty DebateWednesday, September 14th, 2011
My Right Doctor podcast this week features three awesome Texans. First, Raz Shafer of American Majority talks about their nationwide “Training Bomb” that will hit swing states and key areas this coming Saturday, September 17. Then, Will Franklin who is doing social media and communications for the Perry campaign explains the Texas Dream Act (it is not anything like the evil the Dems tried to foist on Americans. Finally, Ali Akbar was in the audience at the CNN/Teaparty debate and explains who shouted out and clapped at the debate. Do Tea Partiers want people to die? Do they? Find out!
Video of Governor Perry:
Howdy. Thank you, Erick. It is great to be at RedState. And I’ll tell you what, it’s even better to be governor of the largest red state in America.
It’s sure good to be back in the Palmetto State, in South Carolina. I enjoy coming to places where people elect folks like Nikki Haley, true conservatives. And also where they love the greatest fighting force on the face of the earth…the United States Military.
And I want to take a moment and ask you to just take a silence, think about those young Navy SEALs and the other special operators who gave it all in the service of their country. Just take a moment to say Thank you, Lord, that we have those kind of selfless, sacrificial men and women. Their sacrifice was immeasurable, their dedication profound, and we will never, ever forget them.
I stand before you today as the governor of Texas. But I also stand before you the son of two tenant farmers, Ray Perry, who came home after 35 bombing missions over Europe to work his little corner of land out there, and Amelia who made sure my sister Milla and I had everything that we needed, including hand-sewing my clothes until I went off to college.
I am also the product of a place called Paint Creek. Doesn’t have a zip code. It’s too small to be called a town along the rolling plains of Texas. We grew dryland cotton and wheat, and when I wasn’t farming or attending Paint Creek Rural School, I was generally over at Troop 48 working on my Eagle Scout award.
Around the age of 8, I was blessed – didn’t realize it, but I was blessed to meet my future wife, Anita Thigpen, at a piano recital. We had our first date eight years later. And she finally agreed to marry me 16 years after that. Nobody says I am not persistent.
There is no greater way to live life than with someone you love, and my first love is with us today, my lovely wife Anita. We’re also blessed to have two incredible children, Griffin and Sydney, and they are also with us today, and our wonderful daughter-in-law Meredith. I’d just like to introduce those two. Thank you.
What I learned growing up on the farm was a way of life that was centered on hard work, and on faith and on thrift. Those values have stuck with me my whole life. But it wasn’t until I graduated from Texas A&M University and joined the United States Air Force, flying C-130’s all around the globe, that I truly appreciated the blessings of freedom.
To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan, I realized that the United States of America really is the last great hope of mankind. What I saw was systems of government that elevated rulers at the expense of the people. Socialist systems cloaked maybe in good intentions but were delivering misery and stagnation. And I learned that not everyone values life like we do in America, or the rights that are endowed to every human being by a loving God.
You see, as Americans we’re not defined by class, and we will never be told our place. What makes our nation exceptional is that anyone, from any background, can climb the highest of heights. As Americans, we don’t see the role of government as guaranteeing outcomes, but allowing free men and women to flourish based on their own vision, their hard work and their personal responsibility. And as Americans, we realize there is no taxpayer money that wasn’t first earned by the sweat and toil of one of our citizens.
That’s why we reject this President’s unbridled fixation on taking more money out of the wallets and pocketbooks of American families and employers and giving it to a central government. “Spreading the wealth” punishes success while setting America on course to greater dependency on government. Washington’s insatiable desire to spend our children’s inheritance on failed “stimulus” plans and other misguided economic theories have given us record debt and left us with far too many unemployed.
But of course, now we’re told we are in recovery. Yeah.
But this sure doesn’t feel like a recovery to more than nine percent of Americans out there who are unemployed, or the sixteen percent of African Americans and 11 percent of Hispanics in the same position, or the millions more who can only find part-time work, or those who have stopped even looking for a job.
One in six work-eligible Americans cannot find a full-time job. That is not a recovery. That is an economic disaster.
If you think about it, for those Americans who do have full-time jobs, they aren’t experiencing economic recovery with the rising fuel costs and the food prices that are going up. Recovery is a meaningless word if the bank has foreclosed on your home, if you are under water on your mortgage, or if you are up to the max on your credit card debt. Those Americans know that this President and his big-spending, big-government policies have prolonged our national misery, not alleviated it.
And what do we say to our children? Y’all figure it out? Don’t worry, Washington’s created 17 debt and entitlement commissions in 30 years, but the fact of the matter is they just didn’t have the courage to make the decisions to allow you to have the future that you actually deserve? That Washington wouldn’t even make modest entitlement program reforms in this last debate? And the President even refused to lay out a plan, for fear of the next election? How can the wealthiest nation in the history of civilization fail so miserably to pay its bills? How does that happen?
Well, Mr. President, let us tell you something: you can’t win the future by selling America off to foreign creditors.
We cannot afford four more years of this rudderless leadership. Last week, that leadership failed, and the tax and spend and borrow agenda of this President led to the first ever downgrade of the credit rating of the United States of America.
In reality though, this is just the most recent downgrade. The fact is for nearly three years President Obama has been downgrading American jobs. He’s been downgrading our standing in the world. He’s been downgrading our financial stability. He’s been downgrading our confidence, and downgrading the hope for a better future for our children. That’s a fact.
His policies are not only a threat to this economy, so are his appointees – a threat. You see he stacked the National Labor Relations Board with anti-business cronies who want to dictate to a private company, Boeing, where they can build a plant. No president, no president should kill jobs in South Carolina, or any other state for that matter, simply because they choose to go to a right-to-work state.
You see, when the Obama Administration is not stifling economic growth with over-regulation, they are achieving the same through their reckless spending. Debt is not only a threat to our economy, but also to our security.
America’s standing in the world is in peril, not only because of disastrous economic policies, but from the incoherent muddle that they call foreign policy. Our president has insulted our friends and he’s encouraged our enemies, thumbing his nose at traditional allies like Israel. He seeks to dictate new borders for the Middle East and the oldest democracy there, Israel, while he is an abject failure in his constitutional duty to protect our borders in the United States.
His foreign policy seems to be based on alienating our traditional allies, while basing our domestic agenda on importing those failed Western European social values. We don’t need a president who apologizes for America. We need a president who protects and projects those values.
Look, it’s pretty simple: we’re going to stand with those who stand with us, and we will vigorously defend our interests. And those who threaten our interests, harm our citizens – we will simply not be scolding you, we will defeat you.
Our nation cannot and it must not endure four more years of aimless foreign policy. We cannot and must not endure four more years of rising unemployment, rising taxes, rising debt, rising energy dependence on nations that intend us harm.
It is time to get America working again. To get citizens – to get our citizens working in good jobs and getting the government to working for the people again.
Page one of any economic plan to get America working is to give a pink slip to the current resident in the White House.
Listen, we just got to get back to the basic truths of economic success. As Governor, I’ve had to deal with the consequences of this national recession. In 2003, and again this year, my state faced billions of dollars in budget shortfalls. But we worked hard, we made tough decisions, we balanced our budget. Not by raising taxes, but by setting priorities and cutting government spending. It can and it must be done in Washington, DC.
Dr. Schwertner (State Representative, R-Williamson County, TX), we have led Texas based on some just really pretty simple guiding principles. One is don’t spend all of the money. Two is keeping the taxes low and under control. Three is you have your regulatory climate fair and predictable. Four is reform the legal system so frivolous lawsuits don’t paralyze employers that are trying to create jobs.
Over the years, we have followed this recipe to produce the strongest economy in the nation. Since June of 2009, Texas is responsible for more than 40 percent of all of the new jobs created in America.
Now think about that. We’re home to less than 10 percent of the population in America, but forty percent of all the new jobs were created in that state.
I’ve cut taxes. I have delivered historic property tax reductions. I was the first governor since World War II to cut general revenue spending in our state budget. We passed lawsuit reform, including just this last session a “loser pays” law to stop the frivolous lawsuits that were happening.
And I know I’ve talked a lot about Texas here in the last little bit. I’m a Texan and proud of it. But first, and foremost, I’m an incredibly proud American.
And I know something: America is not broken. Washington, D.C., is broken!
We need balanced budgets. We need lower taxes. We need less regulation. And we need civil justice reform – those same four principles. Our country’s most urgent need is to revitalize our economy, stop the generational theft that is going on with this record debt.
I come to South Carolina because I will not sit back and accept the path that America is on. Because a great country requires a better direction. Because a renewed nation needs a new president.
It is time to get America working again. And that’s why, with the support of my family, and an unwavering belief in the goodness of America, I declare to you today as a candidate for President of the United States.
It’s time for America to believe again. It’s time to believe that the promise of our future is far greater than even our best days behind us. It’s time to believe again in the potential of private enterprise, set free from the shackles of overbearing federal government. And it’s time to truly restore our standing in the world, and renew our faith in freedom as the best hope for peace in this world that’s beset with strife.
The change we seek will never emanate out of Washington, D.C. It will come from the windswept prairies of Middle America, the farms and factories across this great land, from the hearts and minds of the goodhearted Americans who will accept not a future that is less than our past, patriots – patriots who will not be consigned to a fate of less freedom in exchange for more government.
We do not have to accept our current circumstances. We will change them. We are Americans. That’s what we do. We roll up our sleeves. We go to work. We fix things.
We stand up and proudly proclaim that Washington is not our caretaker and we reject the state that, in Margaret Thatcher’s words, she said a state that takes too much from us in order to do too much for us. We will not stand for that any longer.
We’re dismayed at the injustice that nearly half of all Americans don’t even pay any income tax. And you know the liberals out there are saying that we need to pay more. We are indignant about leaders who do not listen and spend money faster than they can print it.
In America, the people are not subjects of government. The government is subject to the people. And it is up to us, to this present generation of Americans, to take a stand for freedom, to send a message to Washington that we’re taking our future back from the grips of central planners who would control our healthcare, who would spend our treasure, who downgrade our future and micro-manage our lives.
It is time to limit and simplify the taxes in this country. We have to quit spending money we don’t have. We need to get our fiscal house in order and restore our good credit. And we will repeal this President’s misguided, one-size-fits-all government healthcare plan immediately.
We’ll create jobs. We’ll get America working again. We’ll create jobs and we’ll build wealth, we’ll truly educate and innovate in science, and in technology, engineering and math. We’ll create the jobs and the progress needed to get America working again.
And I’ll promise you this: I’ll work every day to make Washington, D.C. as inconsequential in your life as I can. And at the same time, we’ll be freeing our families and small businesses and states from the burdensome and costly federal government so those groups can create, innovate and succeed.
I believe in America. I believe in Her purpose and Her promise. I believe Her best days have not yet been lived. I believe Her greatest deeds are reserved for the generations to come. With the help and the courage of the American people, we will get our country working again. God bless you and God bless the United States of America.
America’s Next Impact, a Texas youth advocacy group entreats the Texas Congress to do the right thing with the current budget:
The eyes of Texas are on the legislature, but the eyes of the nation are on Texas.
Specifically, young Americans look to this Texas legislature to make decisions that will restore jobs and the opportunity to participate in the American Dream. If it can’t be done in Texas, can it be done anywhere?
At the end of this semester, I will graduate from college. Millions just like me worked hard to be able to secure good jobs and enjoy a standard of living similar to our parents and grandparents. Nevertheless, the current level of government spending undercuts the possibility of good jobs or prosperous futures.
In fact, Texans of all ages are fed up with the status quo.
Hardworking taxpayers and small businesses already feel the burden in this struggling economy right along with recent college graduates who are facing increasingly tight job markets and diminishing prospects. The simple fact is that our legislature cannot continue to kick the can down the road and count on someone else to fix it.
Elected leaders at all levels of government need to act quickly to reduce the debt and control spending. Local governments in Texas are more than $175 billion in debt, including school districts, cities and counties.
And even though Texas is better off than most states, our lawmakers must bridge a revenue shortfall estimated to be more than $15 billion. A state known for fiscal responsibility is in a fiscally tight spot.
Texas lawmakers must make tough decisions about where to cut government spending. Many understand the Lone Star State cannot continue to prosper unless we cut the size and scope of government.
Right now, Texas is at the forefront, shaping the nation’s recovery. Decisions made in this legislative session will affect the state’s economic stability and prosperity for years to come.
How can our legislators keep the economy going without raising taxes or raiding the rainy day fund? How can we remain a beacon for job creation and business relocation without sound fiscal policies passed by our lawmakers?
It comes down to one thing: Spending must be reduced.
FIRST, TRIM THE FAT
The Texas public education system, which constitutes more than 40 percent of the state budget, is ripe for cuts. Texans value education, and education funding is rarely subject to scrutiny – but this budget cycle, we must make cuts that include education.
For the last few years, state spending per student has increased dramatically, yet academic results don’t reflect that investment. More dollars are being spent on administrative pay, hiring non-teaching staff and building Taj Mahal-style facilities. Available education dollars should be spent on priorities, which are teachers and instruction.
Average salaries for professional support staff and administrators in Texas are typically $9,000-$38,000 more than teachers earn, with as many non-teachers as teachers on payrolls at school districts across the state. Sen. Florence Shapiro suggests just cutting administrator salaries by 10 percent would save $2 billion over the next biennium.
That would be a promising start.
Another possibility would be to limit school district superintendents’ salaries to the governor’s pay, which is $150,000 a year. That would save Texas schools $20 million a biennium. Currently, 214 district superintendents earn more than the governor, not including their perks and benefits that range into the tens of thousands of dollars.
Many members of my generation do not want higher taxes and bigger government. We support trimming bureaucracy and saving taxpayers’ money – both in the short and long term – to keep Texas back on track.
History underscores the fact that we cannot tax or spend our way into prosperity.
Elected state leaders’ commitment to the principles of low taxes and limited government is critical to all Texans today, and essential to young Texans like me eager to start a career.
My generation’s message to elected officials is simple: This is no time to waver – now is the time to reduce government spending and debt to protect this great state’s economy for current and future generations. We ask our elected representatives to meet the challenges ahead and stay committed to the difficult choices they need to make today to ensure an economically viable and prosperous tomorrow
Keeping the American dream alive for this and future generations rests squarely on the shoulders of the men and women of the 82nd Texas Legislature.
Christopher Covo is a political science senior at Texas State University and director of America’s Next Impact, a new youth outreach project of Americans for Prosperity.
Drug wars, corruption, gang violence, murder, kidnappings, torture–it’s all part of Mexican culture these days and it’s getting worse. Why? Well, trouble has been brewing for a very long time.
A while back, I wrote about how the border will never get closed because it is like steam from the Mexican teapot. Illegal immigration gets workers to the U.S. where there are jobs and sends money back home to Mexico where there are not jobs. But now, the U.S. economy is tanked and thousands of workers have moved back across the border to find a better landing spot at home. They aren’t finding it.
Closing the border would do much the same thing. I wouldn’t be surprised if Mexico suffered something night unto civil war. The fact is that Mexico needs to clean up its mess and create a place where people want to live and work and feel safe doing so. Corruption and nepotism are so rife there, though, that it’s nigh to impossible to “reform” anything.
Anyway, Michelle Malkin talks about the rancher who got killed. There will be more of this. Mexico can no longer contain their problems.
Now why would he do that? A little preventative, cyber guerrilla warfare, I’d say.
Here’s the things about moderates, independents, or leftists in moderate name only (LIMNO–hey, it’s better than FCINO), whatever, they seem to hate everyone and stand for nothing. For all their “independence” they certainly seem to roll with popular opinion.
Now, Obama and the Dems are great, according to the nuanced moderates. A guy like Rick Perry (small government, conservative, fiscally responsible–isn’t that what the independent people want, by the way?) might threaten a more “reasonable” moderate like Barack Obama so guys like Johnson find some wacky group (not-so-subliminal message: ALL Texans are wacky and cannot be trusted) and tries to attach them to Rick Perry.
Newsflash haters: Texans are doing well because they’ve clung to rugged individualism, their guns, their God, their independence, their fiscal responsibility, etc. I know it’s galling when secular humanistic states like California are going down the crap-hole. It’s tough to see small government being such a big win while big government harms the very people it’s supposed to help.
But that’s just the way things roll, guys. Good luck finding evidence that big social programs are ever a cultural, fiscal or social win. They NEVER are a win because they strip the individual of his ability to choose his own life. It is axiomatic.
And by the way, Jerry Brown has actual radical ties. Will that disqualify him to run for Governor in California? Why no! No, it won’t.
Over at the New Ledger, Ben Domenech interviews Rick Perry and muses over Perry’s success. He says:
It’s a funny thing how political predictions work. When Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison declared her candidacy for the governorship of Texas, few would’ve bet against her — popular, moderate, and established, the ex-cheerleader who loves the cameras seemed a perfect fit for the limited authority (and sizable promotional duties) of the Texas governor’s mansion.
Except at some point, when no one outside Texas was paying attention, Rick Perry got good at politics. By understanding the zeitgeist of the 2010 cycle and connecting with a surprising upsurge in populism, Perry somehow managed to make an anti-establishment case to the voters despite serving as governor for a decade — an impressive feat for any incumbent.
Perhaps a small quibble: The problem for politicians is being perceived as voting D.C. interests over voting the voters’ interest. In Kay Bailey Hutchison’s case, she is perceived as D.C.
The other problem for national Republican incumbents is being perceived as standing for big government, big spending, big regulation, and big invasion into Americans’ lives. That will be a problem for state-wide politicians, too…except for maybe California.
Rick Perry was very smart over the last year and half. He had a misstep when he talked about mandating Gardisil vaccinations for all Texas girls. After that “big government intervention” backfire, Perry got the message loud and clear: Bug out.
And so he has.
More than any other politician, he has consistently told Washington, D.C. “no” for the last two years. That has won him big points in Texas and won him envy among citizens unfortunate enough to live anywhere but Texas.
It should not also be ignored that Texas is humming along economically. By Texas standards, the economy isn’t wonderful, but it’s doing so much better than the rest of the nation, citizens are wanting to keep a good thing going. Who can blame them?
Who can blame Perry for paying attention to the feeling of his constituents? Funny thing, that. So many politicians in D.C. still want to do what they want to do, not what their constituents want.
Ben asked Governor Perry about the Tea Party movement and populism. Perry said this:
I think what you’re seeing now is the result of years of people’s frustration with government frittering away their hard earned money. It was fermenting in the mind and soul of the public for years, but I think you started to see a real response to it in mid 2008. They were really frustrated with what they saw, particularly from Republicans, when it came to handling governing.
Now this is self-evident truth, unless you’re a moderate Republican hell-bent on being Porky-the-Pig. It has been utterly astonishing how arrogant and out of touch D.C. Republicans, the ones voters count on to be the grown ups, have been.
As for the populism, Perry says:
I’m not sure I’d put it as just “populist” — I’d say it was common sense. I see regular people who started to look around and see a Congress and a president who are on a path that is very socialistic. They’re seeing things happen in Washington that are way out of their comfort zone. And because of that, they’re afraid for their country.
Again, this will be considered a genius statement only because D.C. Republicans are so out of touch, or have been. And Kay Bailey Hutchison, while living and immersed in D.C. culture, totally misjudged Texas sentiment and culture. She is not alone in her Stockholm-like syndrome. Once inside the D.C. bubble, it seems rational thought and common sense go out the window. That’s why the voters nationally are anti-D.C. anybody–Republican or Democrat.
Rick Perry sums up the national mood:
That’s easy. Any Republican candidate, any Republican activist or consultant or what have you, who is not paying attention will be so much roadkill.
The gravity of this, the weight of it, the momentum — whatever you want to call it, I’m convinced it’s unstoppable. You can join with this movement, and most people who are comfortable in the Republican Party should be very comfortable with what’s being said, or you can find another line of work.
Go read the whole article. It’s not difficult to see why people look to Texas and to Governor Perry.