Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 30, 2011

RICK PERRY WANTS MORE PRESIDENTIAL ATTENTION.... For quite a while, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) vowed to fight the "oppressive hand" of the federal government intervening in his home state. His hostility towards Washington reached a boiling point two years ago, when Perry raised the specter of secession.

Now, however, Perry is whining that the "oppressive hand" isn't intervening in Texas enough.

As wildfires continue to do significant damage to the Lone Star State -- last weekend's state-sanctioned prayer days didn't do anything -- Perry wants increased federal assistance.

And when President Obama visited tornado-struck Alabama yesterday, this apparently made poor Rick Perry jealous.

"You have to ask, 'Why are you taking care of Alabama and other states?'" said Perry.

Texas officials asked the White House to make the declaration, which would have allocated federal funds to help the state deal with the crisis.

"I know our letter didn't get lost in the mail," Perry added.

Daily Kos' Jed Lewison sets the record straight.

So hundreds die in storms throughout the South and Rick Perry's response is to question why those states are getting federal aid instead of Texas? Funny how he doesn't mention that Texas has already gotten at least $39 million in firefighting aid from FEMA over the past two fire seasons and has already received 22 grants in this fire season alone.

I'm not even sure what Perry is insinuating when it comes to politics. Does the governor expect us to think Obama favors Alabama over Texas for some kind of political reason? The last time I checked, they're both very reliable "red" states.

But what makes the governor's complaints especially noteworthy is the larger context -- it's a reminder of how offensive Perry's anti-government rhetoric was in the first place. He hates federal intrusion, except when Democrats in Washington are helping him balance his budget. He wants to keep federal officials out of his state, except when he's facing a natural disaster.

For this guy's feelings to be hurt when the president visits another state hard hit by a devastating natural disaster is bizarre.

Steve Benen 8:45 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (21)

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'I love the smell of hypocrisy in the morning. It smells like - victory.'

Now, if only some people in our 4th Estate would notice and bring attention to it.

Posted by: c u n d gulag on April 30, 2011 at 8:52 AM | PERMALINK

It bears all the attention that can be gathered , to make a sorrowful sound when the agents of misery and despair are set loose as hounds against the weak and defenseless American "consumer" . If only we could get our citizen status back we might also vote , when we are not so busy consuming .

Posted by: FRP on April 30, 2011 at 9:02 AM | PERMALINK

Rick Perry speaks the language of a horse's ass! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on April 30, 2011 at 9:04 AM | PERMALINK

Texas is emblematic of the sad state of US politics.

Florida too, Texas and Florida.

May as well toss Arizona in that pile too, Texas, Florida and Arizona.

Darnit, we can't leave out Kansas, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Mississippi, Michigan ... YIKES !!!

Posted by: Patrick DeBurgh on April 30, 2011 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

I suspect that he is setting up the rhetoric for the next election -see, we got no help from that foreigner in the While House. The fact that it is all demonstrably false will, as usual, be irrelevant.

Posted by: gelfling545 on April 30, 2011 at 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

Zero Empathy or Imagination

Several wise people have noted, sadly, Republicans are unable literally to imagine what a misfortune is like unless they themselves have experienced it, and therefore think it would be a good thing overall to wish afflictions upon their Republican colleagues.

Like New Mexico's Pete Domenici, who got religion on mental health services when a member of his family needed them, as but one example.

The problem with Perry and the Texans and Tejanos who love him is that they only got the wildfires. They need the supertornados, too, in order to realize how much Alabama requires assistance, too.

Posted by: zandru on April 30, 2011 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

"Governor Perry, here are some bootstraps. You may pull yourself up by them."

"I'm sorry Governor. Government is never the solution, only the problem".

"Governor, you could solve all this if you'd just open up your strategic bootstrap reserve".

"Governor Perry, I don't believe the original intent of the Founders was for the Federal Government to intrude on a State's right to go up in flames."

I could go on....

Posted by: IanY77 on April 30, 2011 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, yes, Rick Perry, it is all about you.

Whiny bastard.

Posted by: biggerbox on April 30, 2011 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

Someone, ahem Perry, has been spreading the word in Texas that Obama has a personal grudge against the state and is taking it out on them policy wise. Obama had an interview recently with a local Tex station and the guy asked more than once if Obama was personally responsible for scuttling some shuttle project. Obama kept telling him that the WH had nothing to do with that decision, but the reporter kept pressing him on it anyway. They believe he hates Texas and Perry is slowly building that lie up. Why Alabama and not Texas? Why everyone else and not Texas?

Posted by: Alli on April 30, 2011 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

He's pretty despicable, but what makes him over-the-top despicable is that he chose this occasion, when searchers are still looking for bodies in Alabama, to whine about it, and to actually invoke the aid Alabama needs in his whine.

It's like watching a starving kid in crisis being fed nutritious gruel, while throwing a tantrum for more hot pancakes with syrup. Why's mom paying attention to the sick little brother when Rickie wants another lollipop?

Posted by: g on April 30, 2011 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Governor Perry could easily solve this problem by cutting taxes on the wealthy and eliminating public fire services. After all, these merely impede the free market solutions that would surely be there if the government wasn't intruding...

I feel sorry for the folks in Texas suffering from the wildfires - but these are also the voters who keep electing people based on promises of tax cuts and elimination of government services. They're getting what they want.

As for Governor Perry's accusation that Obama is punishing Texas - typical Republican projection. Remember when W's Energy Department did nothing to rein in Enron's manipulation of California's electricity prices? Republicans think that everyone else is as cynical, manipulative, and morally bankrupt as they are themselves.

Posted by: RepubAnon on April 30, 2011 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

We gotcha money, Texas. Fust, though, y'all gotta send Perry on his knees t'apollergize f'all that secession smack ya bin talkin'.

Posted by: beejeez on April 30, 2011 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

Hey asshole, go ahead and secede you WATB.

Posted by: angryspittle on April 30, 2011 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

Since these states are all run by morons who claim there's nothing the Federal government can do for them that they can't do better, let them go save themselves. We can put disaster relief on the list of the rest of the welfare services the blue states are forced to pay for these people.

Posted by: TCinLA on April 30, 2011 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

If Obama has a sense of humor, he'll announce next week that all NASA operations are slated to be re-located from Texas to 'Bama.

Posted by: JL on April 30, 2011 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

What? Perry just wants to throw money at the problem?

What can the government do to solve problems.

Fighting fires is a JOB and Republicans explained to me that the government has never created a single job in its entire existence. If you need social workers or a nanny state, call us. Until then, fight your own fires, we don't know a thing about solving problems. You don't want us in there... next thing you know firefighters would unionize or some commie BS like that.

Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on April 30, 2011 at 8:50 PM | PERMALINK

I long for the days when LBJ would have made a little phone call to a little pipsqueak like Gov Perry, and fifteen minutes later the Gov would be calling a press conference to talk about the outstanding work the Prez is doing...

Posted by: Coop on April 30, 2011 at 11:20 PM | PERMALINK

Where's the late, lamented Molly Ivins when we need her?

Governor Goodhair, alright,

Posted by: Zorro on May 1, 2011 at 12:21 AM | PERMALINK

Perry may feel that since so many of the Alabama victims were black, Obama is favoring them.

Posted by: bob h on May 1, 2011 at 6:43 AM | PERMALINK

I heard Obama call for God to bless the United States of America. I think that includes Texas.
I don't know what more Perry wants.

Posted by: Marc on May 1, 2011 at 8:44 AM | PERMALINK

Perry needs to understand that if they were to accept government handouts, it would make them a bunch of lazy welfare queens who can't take care of their own little fires. If the people out in the panhandle can't deal with some stupid brush fires, they should use some of that rugged individualism they're always talking about to move somewhere that isn't on fire.

If an inner-city single mother can just pull herself up by her bootstraps and find a job, I don't see why some Texas rancher can't quit whining and do the same.

Posted by: jonas on May 1, 2011 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK
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