Thursday, October 22, 2009

Texas as a model for the nation...

Last week Rick was in Ft. Worth, and Anna Tinsley wrote about it (link). Excerpts follow...

FORT WORTH — Gov. Rick Perry, shaking hands at a local grassroots gathering Friday morning, was greeted with one question: Why isn’t Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison stepping down?

"That’s not a step down," he said with a chuckle, referring to Hutchison’s plan to challenge him in the Republican primary for the governor’s post. "Being governor of Texas is a lot better gig than being in the Senate."


"Washington’s solutions are devastating," Perry said. "I think Texas is the blueprint America needs to look at to go forward."

He focused on Texas’ record, such as attracting new businesses, drawing more film and video game industry work, balancing budgets and passing tort reform.


He also stressed that he’s a strong supporter of the 10th Amendment, which he said essentially boils down to the fact that "the federal government was created by the states to be an agent for the states, not the other way around."

Perry said he doesn’t want Congress to make all the states into cookie-cutter versions of one another, because he believes that competition drives success.

"With the blueprint Washington is trying to force on us, we . . . would all look alike . . . build our roads alike, educate our kids alike," Perry said. "With due respect, I don’t want to look like Connecticut.

"If we compete against each other, they will force us in Texas to do things that without competition we wouldn’t do."

His talk to the group won him some new supporters, such as Robert Fortier, 44, of Fort Worth.

"I was on the fence between Gov. Perry and Kay Bailey" Hutchison, Fortier said. "I did a lot of research and realized that I liked what Gov. Perry was saying more."

In some ways this primary is very healthy for our party. We have been complacent in a lot of ways... this is forcing us to come to terms with what it means to be a Republican. Do we support candidates because they are Republicans, or because of what they believe?

While I think this election is probably a waste of money and is giving Democrats opportunities by splitting the GOP and causing musical chairs scenario. A little competition and a little introspection might not be so bad for our rank and file.

I think this Rick vs. Kay race also gives our party an opportunity to think about the ideas and the results of those ideas. Rick embodies the staunch conservative platform almost to a fault. Even the Trans Texas Corridor... arguably his most unpopular idea... was not UNconservative. Privatization was just more libertarian conservative than populist conservative. Mitch Daniels ran into the same thing in Indiana, except he privatized existing roads while Rick was trying to build entirely brand new roads.

I think when Kay attacks Rick's record, she has to be more careful, because right now Rick is wrapping himself in Texas and himself around Texas, which makes it look like Kay is attacking Texas itself...

With Obama trying to reshape America in the image of Chicago, and with Texas continuing to be listed on "best places to do business" lists and have an unemployment rate much lower than in America that attack from Kay carries with it a lot of baggage. People want Texas to be different and successful even if it is not true. In this circumstance it looks like it is true.

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Hey now, campaign characters. Be nice. I know a lot of you on both sides, so I don't want any overly foul language, personal attacks on anyone other than the candidates themselves, or other party fouls. I will moderate the heck out of you if you start breaking the bounds of civility.