Perry’s hypocrisy isn’t nearly good enough for Texas’s junior senator, Tea Party darling Ted Cruz.
Cruz defeated Perry’s favored candidate in the GOP primary by attacking the big-spending establishment that didn’t spend enough time pretending they were the only people who had ever read the Constitution.
One of Cruz’s first stands as a senator was to vote against aid to the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Why?
“Emergency relief for the families who are suffering from this natural disaster should not be used as a Christmas tree for billions in unrelated spending, including projects such as Smithsonian repairs, upgrades to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration airplanes, and more funding for Head Start,” he said in a statement.
What Cruz didn’t note is that the extra appropriations in the bill were mostly demands — some would say bribes — that red-state senators negotiated for their states to pass the aid that had been blocked by the last Congress.
Cruz’s stand after the Sandy aid — which took exponentially longer to arrive in the affected blue states than it typically does when a disaster strikes a red state like Texas — is in sharp contrast to the statement he made after Wednesday’s explosion in West.
“It’s truly horrific and we are working to ensure that all available resources are marshaled to deal with the horrific loss of life and suffering that we’ve seen,” Cruz said.
LOL. All available resources. Hmmm. So the blue states shouldn’t do to Texas what Republicans did to the northeast after Sandy?
Paul Abrahams calls this a “teachable moment” and thinks help for Texas should be tied to numerous demands, including Cruz being forced to lead the fight for aid on the Senate floor and Texas being forced to accept Medicaid expansion. Basically, in exchange for help, Texas would be forced to do something it hates doing — saving the lives of the uninsured.
But President Obama has already pledged help to the region and Democrats likely will rush to do what they believe the federal government exists to do — provide the help no one else can.
Both Rick Perry and Ted Cruz fiercely oppose “big government” — except in cases when it may cost them votes. And this leads to the darkest part of both Perry’s and Cruz’s hypocrisy in attacking federal government overreach.
Cruz has falsely accused the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of “trying to use a lizard to shut down oil and gas production.” Perry has built his career on attacking the EPA. If God wanted us to protect the environment, why would he have created Republicans?
We’re not sure how many of Texas’ recent disasters were caused by climate change, but it’s certainly making the state a tinder box.
The government that deals best with disasters is the one that avoids them.
Sources say the plant that exploded was last inspected by OSHA in 1985, when it received a $30 fine for storing ammonia. A plant in Texas can expect to be inspected every 126 years, even worse than the appalling national average of 99 years.
For most of the last two decades, Texas has elected nothing but Republicans who want to get government out of the disaster-prevention business in statewide votes. And it’s often done so in a highly undemocratic manner. In the last two presidential elections, Texas has been 48th and 47th out of 50 states in voter turnout.
If turnout improves dramatically, voters in Texas could take a major step to improving their own well-being by sending disasters like Perry and Cruz back to the private sector.
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak
Copyright 2013 The National Memo