From Texas to Washington: The return of federalism?

C. CataniaBy C. Catania

As we watch Governor Rick Perry and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison gear up for the Texas gubernatorial primary, it’s now time to start asking the tough questions. The question on all of our minds is the elephant in the room that nobody wants to touch— well, nobody but Governor Perry. Why, in a year that conservatives need to be concerned with putting themselves into the House of Representatives, are we going to be pushing a primary that may well tip the scales at over $50 million?  That money, most likely would be going towards electing conservative House members in 2010 otherwise, which is particularly important since we will be re-districting in 2011 after the census. If you think that Governor Perry is only asking this question because he is in the hot seat, you’d be wrong. After supporting “America’s Mayor” in the 2008 Republican presidential primary, he announced support of John McCain after Giuliani withdrew, and after Mitt Romney withdrew from the race earlier than expected, Perry personally called Governor Huckabee to ask for his withdrawal as well. Why? He saw the need to save crucial funds for the campaign against the Democratic nominee.

Rick Perry is a shrewd politician, which is actually Hutchison’s stated reason for running: Texas needs more than a politician. Okay, but… is it possible to be both? Governor Perry, since taking office in 2000, has pushed a law requiring school districts to spend at least 65% of tax dollars in the classroom instead of administration, resulting in better test scores and more children going to college. Texas has been rated as one of the best places in America to run a business. Also in Texas, insurance costs have been decreasing steadily due to a massive tort reform bill passed. The result? New doctors are flocking to Texas to avoid outrageous malpractice lawsuits (and insurance).

Senator Hutchison is correct though; Rick Perry is a politician like no other. He has used the publicity of his office to make a national name for himself in the name of the 10th Amendment. Perry is both vocal and loud about an issue that he claims affects all Texans. I’d like to do him one better. The 10th Amendment affects all Americans. All of us. Rick Perry has been a catalyst of halting big government and returning decisions back to the states. To be fair, it is hard to comprehend. Why on Earth would anybody want to take power away from Washington? No Child Left Behind has worked so well for all of us! Truly, what better feeling is there than getting unfunded mandates by the federal government? Doesn’t it make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside?

The abomination that causes desolation is here and its name is BIG GOVERNMENT! I venture to say that each state must stand up and be counted! The residents of each state must say, “No more!” Education, among most of the other issue areas that Washington has so kindly adopted, is a state, if not local issue. If history has taught us anything, Americans know what they need and localities, not Washington, is most responsive. While we can all applaud the desire to “do better,” which is what Senator Hutchison wishes for Texas, how can we be sure that removing a conservative governor, dedicated to liberty and freedom from a tyrannous government, is the answer?

Chuck Catania is a contributing member of The Arkansas Patriot.  Contact Chuck at ccatania@harding.edu

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  1. Pingback: A Call to Unity « The Arkansas Patriot

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