Thursday, August 18, 2011

Rick Perry is fed up, part 2

Continuing with Rick Perry’s 2010 book Fed Up! (First post here.) Chapters 2 & 3 today.

In chapter 2, he explains that the Founders gave Congress neither police power or the power “to make decisions about morality for the American people.” No, that’s for the states. Rick Perry is not a limited government guy, he’s a limited federal government guy.

Indeed, he’s even willing to let Massachusetts be Massachusetts: “I would no more consider living in Massachusetts than I suspect a great number of folks from Massachusetts would like to live in Texas.” Why, Massachusetts elects people like Ted Kennedy, Kerry, Barney Frank, while Texas elects folks like Perry, the kind of guy who jogs packing a Ruger .380 with laser sights, loaded with hollow-point bullets and shoots a coyote.

That’s not me saying that, that’s Rick Perry (p.27).

And under federalism, we have the right to exercise our liberty by moving to a state that better matches our preferences. That’s Rick Perry’s notion of liberty. He doesn’t seem to know the difference between a small 17th century Puritan colony and a gigantic state with a population of 25 million.

Indeed, population growth has rather undermined his discussion about how the Founders saw that people couldn’t control a national government in a country with a population of 4 million (1790), but could control their state governments.

With all this states’ rights talk, he has to address slavery. He notes that half the states were free and had the Underground Railroad. “This was federalism, or certainly local control, in action.” Actually, it was organized law-breaking, but whatever.

chapter 3 is about how the growth of the federal government’s powers came about. 1) judicial over-reach, 2) those darned Populists, 3) the New Deal, 4) the Great Society. Along the way he explains that the robber barons the Populists reacted against were great job-creators, that the New Deal was a failure, and that the 16th and 17th Amendments (income tax, popular election of the Senate) were wrong, and that Social Security sucks. It’s pretty much a cut & paste job from a variety of right-wing, non-academic sources (there are footnotes).

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