Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) made national headlines this month when he said that Texas may have to leave the United States, due how bad things could get in Washington, but in order to deal with swine flu outbreak, Perry has requested federal help. Maybe all that secession talk wasn’t such a great idea?
Perry said in a statement, “As a precautionary measure, I have requested that medication be on hand in Texas to help curb the spread of swine flu by helping those with both confirmed and suspected cases of this swine flu virus, as well as healthcare providers who may have come in contact with these patients. We will continue to work with our local, state and federal health officials to ensure public safety is protected.”
This current tone is different than Perry’s re-election pandering at a tea party, “We’ve got a great union. There’s absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique place, and we’re a pretty independent lot to boot.” Perry became a national joke with his talk of secession, but he did accomplish his goal of staking out some far right turf ahead of his reelection campaign.
Perry is going to be challenged by popular Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in the 2012 gubernatorial GOP primary. Perry isn’t very popular in the state. At best his approval rating is a 50/50 split in some polls, while Hutchison’s approval ratings are usually around 60%. Hutchison is also popular with the state’s conservative Democrats, so Perry is facing an uphill battle for reelection against a well known, liked, and well funded opponent.
Perry has a responsibility to take care of the people in his state, but taking a far right position on secession, then asking the federal government for help, not only makes him look like a hypocrite, but also a fool. Perry is desperate, and desperate people often act and speak in a contradictory manner, which is what Perry is doing in this case. The fact that he had to ask the government for help with the swine flu, illustrates how stupid his secession comments were.