Target practice

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Remember that comment Perry made a week or so ago, when Obama talked about adding jobs at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida but remained mum about the Johnson Space Center in Houston? Perry said that Obama had “put a target on Texas’s back.” One hardly expects Obama to love a state that he failed to carry in 2008 by 43.68% to 55.45%, and in which his job approval rating today is a lowly 42%. Perry is right about one thing — there’s a target on Texas’s back, all right — but a good case can be made that Perry himself bears some of the responsibility for putting it there. His attacks on Obama have been very personal. In a campaign speech at Midland last fall he said, “This is an administration hell bent on taking America towards a socialist country. And we ought not be afraid to say that because that’s what it is.” In his recent speech to the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, he made the same point, that the country was engaged in “a great struggle between socialism and democracy.” Perry has also complained about the federal Alien Transfer and Exit Program, which he implied would dump illegal immigrants captured in the western United States into the remote border city of Presidio. In fact, as Brandi Grissom of the Texas Tribune reported at the time (last fall), the program called for around 100 illegals a day to be deported by bus at a remote border crossing. In fact, a spokesman for the Border Patrol Marfa Sector, where Presidio is located, said the plan would not create any burden on the local community. Then too, Perry famously has hinted that Texas might secede from the union for which Obama is head of state, something that has not been heard from a governor in a century and a half. All of this is good politics in Texas but very reckless behavior that may produce exactly the result that Perry fears. Socialism, by the way, is defined in Webster as “any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.” There is exactly zero chance of that coming to pass on a permanent basis in America — notwithstanding temporary measures such as the bailout of the automobile and banking sectors of the economy.

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