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Texas Wants Independence?

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By Ben Cohen

Governor Rick Perry of Texas apparently thinks the Obama Administration is turning into a Stalinist oppressor. In a statement to the press, he said:

“I believe that our federal government has become oppressive in its

size, its intrusion into the lives of our citizens, and its

interference with the affairs of our state,”

“That is
why I am here today to express my unwavering support for efforts all
across our country to reaffirm the states’ rights affirmed by the Tenth
Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. I believe that returning to the
letter and spirit of the U.S. Constitution and its essential 10th
Amendment will free our state from undue regulations, and ultimately
strengthen our Union.”

Along with this ridiculous 'Tea Bag' party, it shows how desperate the Right is to capture some populist anger, and how badly it is misjudging it. As Matt Taibbi writes:

This must be a terrible time to be a right-winger. A vicious paradox

has been thrust upon the once-ascendant conservatives. On the one hand

they are out of power, and so must necessarily rail against the Obama

administration. On the other hand they have to vilify, as dangerous

anticapitalist activity, the grass-roots protests against the Geithner

bailouts and the excess of companies like AIG. That leaves them with no

recourse but to dream up wholesale lunacies along the lines of Glenn

Beck’s recent “Fascism With a Happy Face” rants, which link the

protesting “populists” and the Obama adminstration somehow and imagine

them as one single nefarious, connected, ongoing effort to install a

totalitarian regime.

While this is fairly amusing to people with half a brain, the undercurrents are somewhat worrying. The descent into utter madness is laughable only when the stakes are not so high that they do not matter. But as the fate of the economy is largely unknown, the tone of this fake right wing anger could turn very real, very quickly.