Boy, howdy, do I wish Molly Ivins was still around. After I reread “Shrub” I realized what a well-informed, insightful, witty, intelligent observer of politics she really was. And now with Rick Perry entering the race we have another partisan, “born again”, conservative Texas Governor running for President and we will especially miss her insights.
An observation of hers from 1992 rings true still today:
“Ronnie Reagan, who was not the brightest porch light on the block, used to go around proclaiming, “Government is not the solution; government is the problem.” Me, I think government is a tool, like a hammer. You can use a hammer to build with or you can use a hammer to destroy with. Whether government is good or bad depends on what you use it for and how well you use it. On the whole, it’s a poor idea to put people in charge of government who don’t believe in using it.” (Emphasis mine)
Grover Norquist devotees who are trying to shrink government down to the size where it can be “drowned in a bathtub” are taking over Washington. If we choose another partisan Republican we will get what we deserve. The good news is that the “Bush” people and the “Perry” people are not great pals so we may see even more fracturing in the Republican party.
Perry was responsible for the redistricting in 2003 that increased the Republican representation of Texas by five seats in Congress. And in a state that ranks near the bottom of all the indicators of student achievement (graduation rates, SAT scores, etc) he wants to teach “intelligent design” along side evolution as a “valid scientific theory.” He may not be a “Shrub” clone as some people claim but he has enough in common to make it a frightening deja vu.
He has worked on the family farm and was elected Agriculture Commissioner of Texas (defeating Jim Hightower) twice so he has to have some grasp of the struggles of farmers. I worry (although’ I can’t find any detailed accounts of his policies during that time) that he is in the pocket of Big Aggie (read Cargill, Monsanto, Archer Midlands, etc etc).
And so I end with a quote from a blog that really is Channeling Molly, Richard Dunham in “Texas on the Potomac“:
“I gave you fair warning. After Shrub became president in 2001, I wrote: Next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be president of the United States, please pay attention. Beloveds, it’s time to pay attention.”