Saturday, April 18, 2009

Secede! Or, drink some more tea.

A lot of media attention has been focused on Governor Perry's comments that bordered on calling for secession. Hilary Hylton of Time Magazine reported, "It was the shout-out heard around the world: Texas' Republican governor Rick Perry's praise for his state's tea-party protesters, accompanied by not-so-veiled references to a potential Lone Star State secession."
Dressed in jeans, boots and a baseball cap with a camouflage peak and a hunting outfitter's logo, the Texas governor was one of the few major politicians to appear at the tea parties across the country. While crowds yelled "Secede! Secede!," Perry — 60 but telegenic and youthful — thought out loud that secession might be the outcome if Washington does not mend its "oppressive" high-spending, dictatorial ways. (Most experts say the notion that Texas can legally secede is mistaken, but the state does have the right to split into five states, offering the prospect of 10 U.S. Senators, math that would send cold shivers down any Democratic back.)

After the rallies, Perry downplayed his secession comments, amending them in an interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram to say, "I'm trying to make the Obama Administration pay attention to the 10th Amendment." The so-called 10th Amendment movement, asserting the rights of the states to claim all powers not granted specifically to the Federal Government, has been grist for conservatives for more than a decade. The movement got a boost following the Democratic return to dominance in Congress and more traction when federal dictates about how to spend stimulus money raised hackles in places like Texas and South Carolina. Some two dozen state legislatures are considering or have passed resolutions supporting the 10th Amendment.

Governor Perry seems to be pandering to the radical right wing supporters who seemingly hate President Obama. Hilary's article in Time Magazine is humorous and shows just how much Perry's national media strategy seems to be working.

Hilary's article in Time continues with comments from Royal Masset:

Nevertheless, one longtime Republican analyst and numbers cruncher, Royal Masset, believes Hutchison will defeat Perry and be the next governor of Texas. Polls suggest she has an early lead, and Masset points to her overwhelming victories in the past as evidence of her wide support not only among Republicans but also among independents, who can vote in Texas primaries. He has urged Perry to forgo another gubernatorial bid. Masset believes that Perry should be content with one major accomplishment: helping to create more jobs in Texas than the rest of the U.S. during his tenure. "Your place in history is secure," Masset wrote in a recent analysis piece for the Quorum Report, an insider political newsletter that circulates out of Austin, the state capital. "You would be freed up to do great things on the national scene where real power is now held by media stars such as you."

It is not likely to be advice Perry will heed. He is already the longest serving governor in Texas history — as lieutenant governor, he took over for President-elect George W. Bush in December 2000. That has given him unparalleled influence over state government, where much of the governor's power resides in appointments to boards and commissions. Masset believes that more of that kind of centralization of power "will lead to Washington-style corruption. We need new people with new ideas. We need new appointees and new blood."

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