Texas politics daily reading (28 September 2011)

Top Stories

  • A Crisis of Confidence Deep in the Heart of Texas – Mimi Swartz, New York Times

    But the possibility of a President Perry has brought about a strange and, to my mind, never-before-seen turn of events: bragging about how bad things are here in Texas. Not just Democrats but also a growing number of Republicans are quick to mention that Perry pushed the Legislature to cut $4 billion out of public education. And they talk about how Texas now has the highest rate of the uninsured in the nation — the largest percentage of uninsured children too — and how we’re dead last in the percentage of adults with a high-school diploma. “What will eventually happen is the debate about Perry in the primary or in the general election will shift from being about Perry the candidate to ‘Does the rest of the country want to live in Texas?’ ” says Bob Stein, a political-science professor at Rice University. And strangely, Texans most likely won’t respond with a shrugged-off “of course.”

    Consider the mainstream Texas media. Unwilling to be taken for saps this time around — the local press pretty much gave G. W. B. a pass leading up to the 2000 election — many of the major publications have sharpened their coverage, especially since Perry announced. Cronyism? The Houston Chronicle has been relentless in tracking Perry’s pay-to-play tendencies. Opposition to progressive health care? The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit Web site (which is affiliated with The New York Times), revealed that Perry had an experimental adult stem-cell procedure for his back pain. And my Texas Monthly colleague Paul Burka has been moonlighting as Cassandra, deploring the collapse of state institutions during Perry’s term.

    Conservative governor makes the one or two unnamed “Republicans” that cross Mimi Swartz’s social circles nervous? Shocking!

    Bob Stein, left-leaning Dem activist (whose day job is PoliSci Prof The State’s Lockstep Political Media Love To Quote, and who also reportedly hangs at Houston’s Wednesday Journo-List style roundtable) isn’t the biggest fan of Perry or conservative Texas? Shocking!

    Left-leaning lockstep Texas political media attack long-loathed conservative governor who’s never given them the time of day? Shocking!

    And working in the lie that $4 billion was cut from the public education budget this last session (when it actually increased slightly)? Also shocking!

    The real crisis of confidence comes when Texans take a long hard look at what passes for Texas political journalism these days. Much of what stinks about it is fully on display here.

  • Texas Vs. US Job Growth Since January 2009 – Texanomics
  • On "Texas Dream Act" the GOP Flipped, but Perry Hasn't – Mark Jones, Texas Tribune
  • Texas's Immigration Choices – WSJ.com
  • What Constitutionalism Means – Ramesh Ponnuru, National Review Online
    Excellent reading for the state’s lockstep political media, most of whom remain clueless over Gov. Perry’s consistent constitutionalism.


Perry for Prez

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