Rick Perry's Choice: Hoist Texas Flag or Wave the White One

The TSA is now groping Texas state officials. Chairman of the Texas Public Utility Commission, Barry Silverman and State Rep. Barbara Nash both told their compellingly disturbing stories to Fox’s Austin affiliate in a news report:

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Before the end of the Texas state legislature’s regular session, a bill had been passed unanimously by the Texas House. HB 1937 would have made it a misdemeanor for any TSA agent to commit what would be considered a sexual assault anywhere else. That bill was defeated in the Senate not by a vote but by a letter of intimidation from a U.S. Attorney. Texas faced the prospect of essentially becoming a no-fly zone. The bill was dropped.

Then came the special session, which was brought about by an ill-advised Democrat filibuster over a bill that couldn’t be left unresolved. The new session granted far more power to Texas governor Rick Perry than he enjoyed in the regular session. In the special session, Perry is responsible for putting bills on the legislative agenda. There are also no super majorities to overcome, just simple ones. To Perry’s credit, he put a very solid Sanctuary Cities Bill on the agenda and it’s looking like it should pass.

Unfortunately, Perry has still not moved on HB 1937 despite its expected unanimous passage in the House again. State Senator Dan Patrick (R-Houston) says he has the votes in the Senate. Lt. Governor David Dewhurst wants Perry to put the bill on the agenda as well. The special session is expected to adjourn by July 1st.

On April 9, 2009 Governor Perry held a press conference to affirm his vehement support for House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 50. That resolution strongly asserted Texas’ 10th Amendment rights; Perry spoke boldly. Here is an excerpt of what he said:

“I agree with Texas’ seventh Governor – and I happen to think its greatest Governor, Sam Houston – who once said, ‘Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may.’ We didn’t like oppression then; we don’t like oppression now.”

The entire speech is full of instances in which Perry barks loudly at the feds:

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When HB 1937 failed, Governor Perry had plausible deniability. As Governor, he simply stayed out of the legislature’s business. Now, the decision to pursue this legislation rests solely with him. If he puts it on the agenda, it will likely pass. If he doesn’t, it won’t.

Rick Perry has two choices and two choices only, relative to this bill. He can either follow the example set by the man he believes was Texas’ “greatest Governor” or he can follow the example set by the French.

It’s time for Governor Perry to back up his bark with some bite.

Ben Barrack is a talk show host on KTEM 1400 in Texas and maintains a website at benbarrack.com

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