Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 25, 2011

PERRY SHOULD PROBABLY TAKE SECESSION OFF THE TABLE NOW.... In early 2009, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) was so outraged by Democratic efforts to clean up Republican messes, he pushed the rhetorical envelope much further than he should have.

In April '09, he denounced the federal government as "oppressive," arguing that it was "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." Soon after, he said he doesn't want to "dissolve" the union of the United States, "But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that."

Away from the cameras, Perry doesn't appear to mind that "oppressive hand" all that much.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry likes to tell Washington to stop meddling in state affairs. He vocally opposed the Obama administration's 2009 stimulus program to spur the economy and assist cash-strapped states. Perry also likes to trumpet that his state balanced its budget in 2009, while keeping billions in its rainy day fund. But he couldn't have done that without a lot of help from ... guess where? Washington. Turns out Texas was the state that depended the most on those very stimulus funds to plug nearly 97% of its shortfall for fiscal 2010, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Imagine that.

In August '09. The New York Times' Ross Douthat insisted that President Obama needed to move to a "red-state model" in order to be effective. Douthat singled out Texas for praise, calling the state "a model citizen," and emphasizing, among other things, its ability not to run budget deficits.

What Douthat didn't know at the time was that Texas' budget looked a whole better thanks to those oppressive socialists that might push clowns like Rick Perry to secede.

Indeed, for all the conservative celebrations of the triumphant Texas model, most of the successes are a myth, while the rest was covered up by federal spending Texas' leaders claim to find offensive.

And as of now, after more than a decade of conservatism in the state, Texas suddenly finds itself facing a drastic budget mess -- one much worse than the shortfall the far-right governor predicted.

For quite a while, leading conservatives argued the rest of us were just confused -- if only everyone else, including D.C., would simply follow the fiscally responsible example set by Texas, everything would be fine. We don't need "big government," they said, we just need to do what Rick Perry has done.

I suspect the right will be saying this a little less in the near future.

Steve Benen 2:20 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (28)

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Perry just lied and obsfucated the extent of the budget problem while he ran for re-election. His state Comptroller and Atty. General assisted in keeping a lid on any numbers that would have shown his deceit - although state agencies were told months ago to expect severe cuts- all the while Perry was campaigning on a "Texas is Fine and everyone else is in trouble" and "Keep Washington out of our business" and every other TeaParty lie and misdirection possible. The day after he was re-elected the truth of the budget deficit came out of the closet and his reaction since then has been a classic "Cut Every LIberal Giveaway Program". He also has fast tracked the Voter ID program as well as a law to force women about to choose abortion to view the sonogram and listen to the heartbeat before having the procedure. Quite a piece of cake, that Perry. Anyone who doesn't think he has his eye on the White House is dumb.

Posted by: T2 on January 25, 2011 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

"I suspect the right will be saying this a little less in the near future."

I suspect they won't. The next time they stop saying something because it's proved to be false will be just about the first.

Posted by: matt w on January 25, 2011 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

It's so awesome that the national "liberal media" are still hiding the Texas budget clusterfuck inside their Cone of Silence.

Posted by: Steve LaBonne on January 25, 2011 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

To the right, facts are like deficits.

Posted by: ComradeAnon on January 25, 2011 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, but Steve Cohen was right: they do lie, repeatedly, these republicans and it wins them elections.

As long as the news media never analyzes a word they say, then it is true that Goebbels' technique wins.

And democracy really loses.

Posted by: jjm on January 25, 2011 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

Steve B. said: ----- I suspect the right will be saying this a little less in the near future. -------

Really? Why? Lies and obfuscation is the way of the GOP. What makes you think this would change now? They live and lie in an alternate reality. I'd expect their voices to only get louder and lie more boldly.

Today's GOP: total scam artists.

Posted by: MsJoanne on January 25, 2011 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

This is just like when Dubya bragged about the success of his Texas education reforms and used them as a model for NCLB.

Later we learned that the numbers were fudged and that his program in texas was mostly a vehicle to line his brother Neal's pockets.

By the time Texans figured out they had been duped, they were already on their way to the bottom in terms of student achievement.

Similarly, after a decade of No Child Left Behind, we find that what was really going on was no child was being left behind because no of them were advancing. Student achivement in the US, is a national embarassment. We are globally irrelevant.

Posted by: Winkandanod on January 25, 2011 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

"I suspect the right will be saying this a little less in the near future"

You mean the same people who still think that tax cuts increase revenue?
Who think that less federal protection will keep Americans safer?
Who think that corporations can regulate themselves?
And who think that private companies put in charge of government services always put the interest of the people over profits?

Sorry, but you can't fix stupid.

Posted by: 2Manchu on January 25, 2011 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

"I suspect the right will be saying this a little less in the near future."

Sorry Steve, but they will keep saying this again and again. For starters the Texas budget disaster doesn't get much press, so a good portion of uninformed voters (read: Republicans) don't even know how bad Texas is screwed up right now.

You're little saying "reality has a liberal bias" is 100% true. The other side deals with this fact by ignoring reality. That won't stop. There is no one who can make them stop.

Posted by: Mitch on January 25, 2011 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

jjm: absolutely Cohen was right. The Republicans are a political party that deliberately tells lies over and over as a matter of policy. They act against their country's interests in pursuit of power. The only other political party in world history that they can be appropriately compared to is the Nazi party.

I mean maybe Cohen could have been a bit more "civil" and just called them Stalinists, but right-wingers probably wouldn't have gone for that, either.

Repeal Godwin's Law now!

Posted by: hells littlest angel on January 25, 2011 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

Slightly OT, but just wanted to point out that Perry's thinly veiled references to an (armed?) Texas secession are truly Dog Whistle Politics 2.0.

Whereas wingnuts used to speak in code so that they wouldn't catch heat for their communication to the base, now they openly make insane statements and expect (and generally receive) a pass precisely because the statements are insane

IOW, Rick Perry gets a pass for making secessionist comments because the media essentially says "you obviously can't take Perry seriously. Perry obviously doesn't REALLY think that Texas would secede.

The same is true of Sharron Angle's "Second Amendment Remedies" comments. While Palin's bullseyes may have been controversial, one could argue that Palin intended her actions to be benign. But there is truly no rational justification for referring to "Second Amendment Remedies" unless one is defending armed resistance.

Posted by: square1 on January 25, 2011 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

someone smarter than me recently noted, texas is like ireland...THE fantastic economic model conservatives believe others should follow... shortly thereafter, they go belly up

Posted by: dj spellchecka on January 25, 2011 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Dear Texas,

We tried to make things work, but it's obvious that we have irreconcileable differences. You want our money to continue your profligate ways, but you never acknowledge all that we do for you. We're sorry, but this can't continue forever. Please secede, and take the Cowboys with you.

The American People

Posted by: danimal on January 25, 2011 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

Justice Scalia to congress at Bachmann meeting "States rights? Fugeddaboutit"

Posted by: Kill Bill on January 25, 2011 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

We were telling people this at the time. Our budget holes were being filled by stimulus money. Perry also rejected Unemployment Insurance aid and then went back to the feds to get a loan for Unemployment Insurance.

We spent more to get less money all to avoid those dreaded "strings".

This place sucks.

Posted by: buggy ding dong on January 25, 2011 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

Does this mean Texas has surpassed Alaska in federal handouts?

I want to be able to chant Texas Number One!

Posted by: Kill Bill on January 25, 2011 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Curious, that so many of these "Red States" get back more Federal dollars than they send to Washington. Alaska is Number One, with over $2 for every $1 they send to DC.

Anyone remember Reagan's "Welfare Queens"? I think it's time to start calling them "Welfare States." As in, "Rick Perry, governor of the Welfare State of Texas. . ."

Posted by: DAY on January 25, 2011 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

Dont blame Perry he is just a figure head and just repeats what he is told.

Perry/Bachmann 2012!!!

Posted by: Kill Bill on January 25, 2011 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

The comments must have been written by Texas Democrats; there is no way to improve upon what has been written here!

Posted by: captain dan on January 25, 2011 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

I suspect the right will be saying this a little less in the near future.

Unfortunately you will be hearing MORE of this since Texas was one of only 11 states to add private sector jobs recently. Expect that to be MAJOR Republican talking point for the next few weeks.

Of course, left out of that statistic is most of those being low wage jobs, many of which don't offer any kind of benefits (Many Texans get their healthcare through evil socialist programs like Medicaid and Medicare or emergency rooms). And that the low tax environment means most (if not all) of the profits generated by those industries simply end up going out of Texas.

Posted by: thorin-1 on January 25, 2011 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

Californicatia, unfortunately my home state since the high costs of the third divorce rendered me unable to move, could learn a lot from Texas and Arizona. Both are thriving while Fruit and Nut Land goes down the rathole.

I wouldn't be surprised if radical Marxists tried to silence Gov. Perry the way they tried to assassinate another Republican governor, Jay Nixon. See my blog for details on this crime, which has been ignored by the liberal media just like the attack on Haley Barbour was. I couldn't find a story on that but I have no reason to doubt it. Leftists lose their mind when their version of reality is challenged by the facts.

Stay safe, Republican Governors Nixon, Perry and Palin. I fear for all of you.

Posted by: Mlke K on January 25, 2011 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

"I couldn't find a story on that but I have no reason to doubt it. Leftists lose their mind when their version of reality is challenged by the facts."

And Righties proceed merrily along when they can't find their facts.

Posted by: jTh on January 25, 2011 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

"I suspect the right will be saying this a little less in the near future."

Unfortunately, I suspect the right will keep on saying the exact same thing, irrespective of any liberal "facts" regarding the Texas budget crisis.

Indeed, I fully expect to hear that Federal Stimulus Dollars _caused_ the Texas budget crisis.

Posted by: Davran on January 25, 2011 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Mike, Fruit and Nut land is fucked up because your previous GOP staties decided taxes were bad and you need 3/4 of those staties to be sane enough to raise said taxes. There are few Goopers with enough brains to know what is needed to fix your state, abd laying off teachers, cops and stopping way too many services ain't it.

Do try again though. Well, not marriage...you don't seem to do that too well.

Posted by: MsJoanne on January 25, 2011 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

They will lie again and again and again and again, because they don't pay any price. The news media lets the insanity pass and never examines how the Right actually governs.

No, the Right will lie again. Count on it.

Posted by: Darsan54 on January 25, 2011 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

Hey MIke,

Texas is not doing well (I live there) and Arizona is trying to balance the budget by letting people who need organ transplants die. If you think that's OK, change your name and drive across Nevada. With the name/SSN change, you'll do fine. Of course, make sure you are healthy.

Posted by: Sarafina on January 25, 2011 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

Steve, "the right will be saying this a little less in the near future" is just wishful thinking. That the Texas miracle is a fantasy won't stop the true believers.

Let me add a bit to the general train of the comments. Here in Texas people do know that the state deficit is $27 billion, one of the highest if not the highest in the nation. But they don't care. The general run of the mill Texan somehow thinks that by cutting services to working class and poor people (i.e., Hispanics), everything will be just tickety-boo. If you read the comments sections in any of the major newspapers associated with stories about the deficit and what is happening, the TPers here believe that Texas is an economic miracle with low unemployment, low taxes, and a wonderful place to live.

Posted by: Texas Aggie on January 25, 2011 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

And as of now, after more than a decade of conservatism in the state,

Try 163 years of "conservatism" in Texas, the state founded by cashiered Army officers, failed Congressmen, back alley assassins, slave catchers, bank robbers, highwaymen, bank robbers, and general scum, and still ruled by them 163 years later. The "Conservative Democrats" of Lyndon Johnson's time are the "Conservative Republicans" of today.

Texas, it's a whole other country. And we ought to let it go and after evacuating the 10,000 people there with IQs over 100 who qualify as members of the human race, we should then nuke the place as the fundamentalist-run, terrorist-supporting enemy state it is.

Said as a native-born Texan who is damned glad to be as far from Texas as I can get and still be on the same continent.

Posted by: TCinLA on January 26, 2011 at 1:00 AM | PERMALINK



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