A Shining State in America, not according to Hutchison
Ronald Reagan once passionately spoke about a shining city on a hill in describing his enthusiasm of America, his belief in that America had greatness in her. Its roots is from the The Gospel of Matthew, 5:14-16, which reads, “You are the light of the world, a city set on a hill cannot be hid.”
A week from Tuesday at 7pm, the polls will officially close meaning no more (legal) votes will be cast for the Republican nomination for Governor of Texas. It will also close a chapter in Texas Republican history where the goal of two were to tear down rather than build up…talking not of a “shining city on a hill” but more of a rhetorical message of doom.
Over the course of the last four years, when you think about it, Kay Bailey Hutchison has been a purveyor of gloom rather than a recognizer of good when it comes to Texas. To understand what has taken place, you must first understand how we got here. Hutchison was the Texas State Treasurer (a position that no longer exists) who immediately got herself in trouble with an indictment and stories of being less than a warm person to be around. It was this scandal that led her to change focus away from the Governor’s mansion and towards Washington D.C. To her credit, she has been one of the strongest vote getters in the Republican Party only because her opponents have been…well…less than stellar. Richard Fisher, Gene Kelly, and Barbara Ann Radnofsky are not what you would call Democratic Party heavyweights. Popularity, in her case, came from never having to work to get elected.
Moving to today, it is clear that Senator Hutchison has decided to try to paint a picture of gloom and doom for Texas that we cannot survive as a state without her swooping and becoming Governor. If her campaign is a measure of how effective of a Governor she’ll be, only then do we have a true gloom and doom scenario playing out in the Lone Star State.
In a recent interview, Kay Bailey Hutchison made some incredible remarks that only reinforce this “without me, we’re going nowhere” type of attitude:
When asked about jobs and the economy being the top issue on the mind of voters, does she regret making her campaign one of attacks against Governor Perry rather than putting forth a clear plan of her own on how to grow jobs in Texas, she had an stunningly out of touch answer to the question. Now consider, just for a moment, that Texas is #1 is job creation. We’ve created more jobs in our state than all other 49 states combined. Our unemployment rate is lower than every other major state in America…so this would be a tough sell to voters. The Senator’s response was we’re not going to create jobs in Texas while he is in office because he has created an anti-business climate and that property taxes have gone up. Neither of those boats will float when you consider business are already moving here and the Governor has been out in front of capping appraisal values, the real culprit in the tax burdens of homeowners in Texas.
The topic then moved to Hutchison portrayal as being more Washington than Texas, something that has limited her campaign and kept her at a disadvantage. The answer again was as if no one had been paying attention to reality, instead saying she has been there everyday fighting against government-run healthcare and stimulus packages. Again, the facts don’t match the rhetoric. Her vote that helped expedite the healthcare debate and deciding to increase debt and spending has given her zero credibility to make these kind of claims…plus, she has one of the worst voting records in the Senate to boot. Saying she is up there everyday fighting is like saying Tiger Woods was being faithful to his wife – we know it just isn’t true. Sadly, she was even arrogant enough to say that she deserved praise for being there to fight for Texas values and Texas tax dollars. Hmmm, when we have seen no significant increase in the money we sent to DC coming back to us during her term in office…that message has no merit.
Term limits…the Senator wants to own this issue but again, we have a credibility gap. Saying you are for congressional term limits when you violated your own promise to stay in the Senate for just two terms leads one to have a reasonable doubt as to you keeping your own word. It wasn’t a law, it was a campaign promise. One that now she says she there were issues she needed to work on? What, voting for bailouts and increasing the debt load on Americans?
And the cherry on top of the Sunday was we saying we had a balanced Federal Budget during the beginning of her term and only 9/11 caused the issue to go in the red. Really? So would that same logic apply to Texas’ need to increase its own homeland security budget, efforts to strengthen the border, keeping us safe here at home? First of all, there hasn’t been a balanced Federal Budget since 1957. Second, she praised George W. Bush for having a 3.3% growth rate but failed to understand that Governor Perry has kept the growth rate to just 1.6%. Isn’t that twice as good as the man she praised?
Kay Bailey Hutchison’s hope is that she can somehow squeak into a runoff, which seems less likely as every day goes by. The strategy then becomes Governor Perry is not good for the Republican Party. However, that’s a loosing issue for Kay when you look back at redistricting and endorsements members of the state’s Republican executive committee as well as past and present chairmen of the party.
Hutchison is not someone can look to for inspiration, for projecting strentgh…but someone who has fallen into the Democratic gloom and doom approach one would expect after sixteen years in Washington. She’ll be returning to the Senate after the primary…the only question is for a few months or till 2012 or beyond. The good news is, she will not be taking Texas down the road that Washington has taken America because Republicans will be rejecting her rhetoric after looking at her record.