Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, speaking to a group of business leaders in Dallas last week, called for a more “enlightened” Republican leadership in Texas.
“It is in all of our best interest that we have a Republican Party that’s worthy of governing in Texas and also having the message go out to American that the biggest state that is still reliably Republican is a state that has enlightened Republicans in leadership.”
That is an obvious reference to herself and her differences with Governor Perry. She disagrees with his comments in April to TEA parties around the state in which he focused on the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and said he understands why people might talk about secession. She refers to such talk as “silly.” Many Texans see opposition to unrestrained federal power as dangerous to our freedom, not silly. She also has blasted Perry for refusing to take federal stimulus money for unemployment benefits, while she voted for the federal bailout plans before Congress last year, which many Texans did not find “enlightened.”
A good example of Perry’s “unenlightened” leadership is last year when three Democrat members of the U.S. House Judiciary committee, international courts and then President George W. Bush called on Texas to postpone the execution of a Mexican national who had been convicted of the brutal rape and murder of two teen age girls. Perry could have postponed the execution for thirty days in an act of “enlightenment” but chose not to do so. Judge Cathy Cochran of the Texas Court of Appeals expressed the sentiments of most Texans when she said, “Some societies may judge our death penalty barbaric,” she noted. “Most Texans, however, consider death a just penalty in certain rare circumstances. Many Europeans disagree. So be it.”
While Senator Hutchison takes the “enlightened” approach that the right of abortion is enshrined in federal law and has joined liberal Democrats in the U.S. Senate in supporting Roe v. Wade, Governor Perry takes a conservative, pro-life position.
It seems to me that what Senator Hutchison really means is she wants to provide moderate leadership rather than conservative leadership, and I don’t know that most Texans would agree with that.