Occasionally speaking of herself in the third person, Joann Fleming, the self-proclaimed head of an East Texas “Tea Party” group, led a press conference at the Texas State Capitol on Wednesday. The Fleming gang demanded that Governor Rick Perry and Attorney General Greg Abbott order a Special Session of the Texas Legislature (cost: well over $1 Million) in order to spend the Rainy Day Fund (cost: up to $4 Billion) and that the Governor declare martial law (cost: immeasurable).
Fleming (“. . . if you’re like me, your brain will be screaming to you . . .”) shrilly stated that the Federal government has no right to tax Texans “except when they have declared war or a state of emergency” and that “Maybe we can’t count on our State officials to protect us, either.” Calling Texas a “sanctuary State,” Fleming ignored the fact that Governor Perry “alienated some potential supporters after his push to ban so-called “sanctuary cities” in Texas.”
Failed 2014 Republican Congressional candidate, Katrina Pierson, who once called a US Marine Captain “deformed” because of his war injuries, took the stage to complain that 50% of Texas’ budget comes from Federal dollars! Where does she think “federal dollars” come from? In fact, through 2010, Texas was a “donor State. Since then, Texas received a bit more than Texas taxpayers sent to Washington – if you count Medicare, Social Security and the money that supports the military in our State. Sounds like pay back to me.
Another member of the gang, a lawyer, said that the Governor (and Attorney General?) had been getting bad legal advice. When asked what difference this plan would make, since Texas can’t legally deport illegal aliens, the lawyer suggested that the Governor should ignore the law, order the Guard and DPS to deport illegal aliens, and bypass Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He said that the worst that could happen is that President Barack Obama and Holder could sue.
Article 1, Section 10 of the United States Constitution:
“No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.”
Under the usual circumstances, the National Guard is under the command of the President of the United States, rather than control of the Governor. As explained by the (far-right wing) Red State last year, the National Guard is not the “militia” of the several States. Instead, the men and women serving in the Guard are considered ‘troops.”
It is true that in times of “imminent danger” the Governor may declare a state of emergency and call up the Guard for duty within the State. You may even remember that in 2010, then-US Attorney General Napolitano told Governor Perry that if he wasn’t happy with the 250 troops sent to the Texas border, he was welcome to call them up himself and pay for it. Unfortunately, the current US Attorney General is Eric Holder.
The emotional demand by one woman, Alice Linahan of Women on the Wall, that Governor Perry and General Abbott “Show us that you’re actually different from Obama,” sums up the cognizant dissonance of the entire press conference. The gang seems to have no understanding of how quickly President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder ignore the law, at the same moment that they condemn it.
Because of the run-off win by incumbent Mississippi Republican Senator Thad Cochran, there is a renewed effort to split the “Tea Party” from the Republican Party.
Forget for a moment that Senator Cochran was backed by the very Conservative former Governor Haley Barbour and appealed to voters who weren’t traditional Republican voters. (Or that Chris McDaniel voted in the 2003 Democratic Party Primary.)
The question is who will elect the winners – and choose the Senate Majority Leader and Speaker of the House – in November, 2014?
We Republicans are the Tea Party. If you look at the Tea Party, you will see the Conservative foundation, the remnant that have opposed “centrists” and “moderates” for years. We are the ones who have known all along what the Dems relearn each election cycle, but some of our own never seem to: Americans are conservative, to the right of center. When all the couch potatoes woke up last year, we were the ones who were here to welcome them and give them somewhere to start.
Some of us sat out the 2006 and even 2008 elections to “teach them a lesson;” that they need to legislate like Republicans if they want us to support them. Where Republicans turned out to vote, we held offices. Where the Republican voters were no-shows, we lost ground and offices. In a few cases, Republicans crossed over in the name of Chaos and strong conservatives were narrowly defeated in the Primaries, leaving us with a choice between a RINO, a Democrat or an under vote. We ended up with candidates chosen by the least knowledgeable voters.
Well, that was successful, wasn’t it?
If there is a move to form a “Third Party,” let it be after the November elections.
Contrary to what many seem to believe, the Founding Fathers didn’t spring full grown from the Liberty Bell on July 4, 1776. They had served in their various Colonial legislatures for years before the Declaration and held other offices, both elected and appointed. George Washington served in the Virginia House of Burgesses for 15 years before his two terms with the Continental Congress. Jefferson served 7 years alongside Washington in the Burgesses, two terms as Virginia’s Governor, two terms on the Continental Congress, body and then became the “establishment” Secretary of State, Vice President, and President for two terms in the nascent United States.
However, the anti-establishment cry to “throw them all out” – that men and women who have served the public for years should be replaced with untried political neophytes for no other reason than that they have served for years and are now considered “establishment” – has become an emotional, knee-jerk reaction that has nothing to do with any other quality or qualification of the candidates.
For example, my email is full of pleas to help Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, who faces a recall election this week, alternating with demands to defeat Lt. Governor David Dewhurst of Texas in his race for US Senator. The complaint against Dewhurst is that he is “establishment” and a “professional politician.” There are no similar complaints against Governor Walker who has been in political office of one sort or another most of his adult life. In contrast, Dewhurst served in the Air Force, worked for the CIA, and built a very successful business before running for office in his 50’s. In addition, he’s no more “establishment” than Governor Walker, having led the Texas Senate to passage of the Defense of Marriage Act, Voter ID, de-funding Planned Parenthood, Jessica’s Law, defending our State and Nation’s border and cutting relative and actual dollars from the State budget.
When all the newly political activists got tired of yelling at their TV’s and jumped up off their couches and recliners to join our Taxed Enough Already (TEA) Party over the last 4 years, who welcomed them and gave them somewhere to start? It was the more seasoned of us in the Republican Party, since, at least until recently, virtually every Conservative was a Republican. If you look at the Tea Party, you will see the Conservative foundation, the remnant that have opposed “centrists” and “moderates” for years. We are the ones who have known all along what the Dems re-learn each election cycle, but some of our own never seem to: Americans are conservative, to the right of center.
In politics, as in the rest of life, “new” is not always “improved.” New candidates are not better than the incumbent just because they’re new any more than the old guys earn their promotions by merely sticking around. By the same token, long time Conservative leaders may or may not be more able to judge policy and candidates than newer or younger members of our group. But a record of experience and training is – or should be – considered an advantage, not a “dissed”-advantage.
Or, as my husband says, “Age and cunning trump youth and enthusiasm.” Every time.
You may hear about a media event held yesterday, when some self-proclaimed and self-promoting “Tea Party leaders” held a press conference.
Don’t forget that there really are no “Tea Party leaders.” We in the Tea Party are a very loose group, organized around the theme that we are “Taxed Enough Already.” I seriously question whether this theme is consistent with a call for an expensive special session for a single issue.
In addition, there are no “sanctuary cities” in Texas. We have individual police chiefs and city officials who discourage law enforcement checks for citizenship status. Is it appropriate for those of us who believe in local, small government to over-ride local officials by an Executive Order or even legislative action that can’t garner wide spread support??
In this case, Governor Rick Perry put the “sanctuary cities” legislation on the emergency list for the Regular Session that began in January and then he brought it back during the Special Session called in June for the Budget Bill. During both the Regular and Special Sessions, the Governor brought pressure to bear on the Senate and the House to pass legislation. He called attention to the widow of the Houston police officer who was killed by an illegal alien. The Senate passed the Bill during the Special Session, but the House did not.
Another problem is that the so-called “leaders” can’t get their act together. During the Special Session, the “leaders” sent conflicting messages, with disagreement on the language in the Bill that had been cleared by Attorney General Greg Abbott. Take a look at this article from the same publication, “Sanctuary Cities Cause Rift.”