Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

Now Perry WANTS Federal “Intrusion?”

I can’t resist pointing out this utter hypocrisy.  Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) has stirred up a neo-secessionist movement among far right Republicans in his state and elsewhere because he thinks federal laws are “intrusive.” (Yeah, and your segregationist Southern governor predecessors thought the federal civil rights laws were “intrusive” too. We’ve been here too many times before.) BUT, now that he’s facing swine flu outbreaks from Mexico, Perry is asking for help: specifically anti-virals from the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.  Um, Gov. The CDC is a FEDERAL agency.  Don’t you think such aid would be “intrusive?”

I’m sorry, but we can’t just want to be part of a nation when it suits us.  We can, of course, dissent from national policies we believe to be wrong. We can be vocal in our dissent from those policies. I was vocal in my disagreement with invading Afghanistan and Iraq, with the torture,  the spying on citizens without warrant, the suspension of habeas corpus, etc.  I remain a vocal dissenter of Obama’s refusal to try torturers, his Afghanistan policy, his continuing of Bush’s blurring of lines between church and state, etc.

Dissent is a vital function of liberty of conscience and is a fundamental right and necessity of a free society.  Long may it be practiced by conservatives, liberals, etc. in EVERY state.  But dissent is not flirting with secession.

One cannot decide to be American for the things one likes and secessionist Texan (or Alaskan, etc.) for the things one doesn’t like.  If you want the aid that comes from the CDC  (or hurricane relief, etc.), then you take the responsibilities, too. 

If the federal government under Obama were REALLY the tyranny that Perry and his teabagging band of fellow nutcases think it is, it would demand that the TX legislature rescind its “sovereignty” declaration and impeach Perry before it gave any help with swine flu.  But, guess what, Gov.? That won’t happen. The CDC help will be there.  And no one will even mention your seditious language or wait for you to be grateful.  Why? Because we ARE one nation and those are OUR citizens who are threatened, not just Texas residents.  We’ll be helping out KS, and OK, and CA and anywhere else that this shows up, too.  Plus, we’ll probably give aid to Mexico where this began to help them and us.  And it won’t surprise me if Mexico thanks us before Gov. Perry does.

We AMERICANS through our government will give the aid to our fellow citizens (and to our neighbors, the Mexicans). And when we are done, Gov. Perry will probably go back to planning to attend a 4th of July tea party where he runs down his country, again.  But I hope everyone in this nation sees this blatant hypocrisy for what it is.

Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX), LOSER OF THE WEEK!

UPDATE: Guess what, Gov. Perry? Guess what, Americans?  Today, the U.S. government, that “intrusive, oppressive” federal government, declared a public health emergency because of the swine flu pandemic outbreak. But the Centers for Disease Control would have had more money available to help than it will, now.  Why? Because REPUBLICANS stripped $900 million in pandemic disease preparedness from the stimulus/recovery package! Yep! Just as the Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) mocking of “something called volcano monitoring” meant that Alaska was less prepared for the eruption that is harming its citizens still, so the GOP objection to this “pork” means that the nation is less prepared for fighting the swine flu than we would otherwise be.  Nice.

It was Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), one of only 3 Republicans to vote for the stimulus/recovery package, who insisted on stripping this from the bill.  She argued, correctly, that this money does not directly stimulate economic recovery.  However, the reason House Democrats originally included it should be obvious:  A pandemic during an economic downturn would be more devastating than in a healthy economy.  A pandemic can lead to workers being ordered to remain in their homes to avoid spreading the disease. It can lead to the shuttering of workplaces or transportation in order to slow or stop the spread and, of course, it can lead to massive public health intervention.  So, RESPONSIBLE planning in a recession would allocate funds for a pandemic to prevent further slowing of the economy.  Now, of course, we don’t have that.  By the way, Sen. Collins brags about having stripped the stimulus bill of that money on her website! 

  And Gov. Goodhair, secession-loving Perry? You can thank Sen. Collins if the CDC is not able to intrude as effectively in TX during this emergency.  FORTUNATELY,  most of that pandemic preparation money was passed in March as part of the Omnibus funding (leftover from last year because the GOP wouldn’t allow a real budget to be passed last year) that passed the senate on voice vote.  So, we’re not quite as screwed as we would be otherwise, but I am tired of Republicans playing with people’s LIVES for political points: from levees, to bridges, to volcanoes, to pandemics–preparation for disaster is VITAL.  And think LONG AND HARD, Goodhair, over how much harder your job would be if you were not TX governor, but President of the Republic of Texas.  Then you’d have to beg for the good ol’ USA to give you foreign aid to help with this flu.

GET IT THROUGH YOUR THICK SKULLS: We need government to do things, to be a stable civilization.  For government to work, it needs money.  That means taxes. You don’t get something for nothing.  FORTUNATELY, that flu pandemic money was included in the budget–but only in the House version. So, it has to survive the reconciliation process. And that’s the 2010 budget!


April 26, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. You go guy! Great post! We can’t pick and choose. We are one nation all of the time through the good and the bad.

    Comment by Ralph | April 26, 2009

  2. Yeah! You tell ’em Michael.

    I’ll be so glad when I don’t have to look at his good hair anymore.

    Comment by Marty | April 26, 2009

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