I don’t know how you can write an entire story about Greg Abbott’s political ambitions without stopping to ask the basic question about whether he’ll need to take Rick Perry out in a primary to get what he wants, but Nolan Hicks managed it. Look, you may not believe Rick Perry when he says he’s going to run for Governor again in 2014. Some people think he’s positioning himself for another Presidential run in 2016, some people think he’s just bluffing so the Lege won’t treat him as a lame duck next year, some people think he means it. Four years ago, everyone thought Kay Bailey Hutchison was going to have a clear path to the Governor’s mansion. We know how that turned out. The question I’m asking is what happens if Perry isn’t bluffing? Does Abbott take him on in a bloody, multi-million dollar primary, or does he continue to be the loyal consigliere and stay put as AG, filing lawsuits against the federal government every time the President sneezes? Unlike KBH, Abbott is very much like Perry in how he conducts his business, and as the story notes he has been working hard to appeal to the same fanatical dead-enders in the GOP primary base that Perry counts on. It wasn’t that hard to see how the 2010 primary would play out, but we don’t have a blueprint for 2014 if Abbott and Perry go head to head. Writing a story about how Greg Abbott hates the federal government as much as Rick Perry does – as long as there’s a Democratic President, of course – is easy. Writing a story about what happens if the two of them decide they want the same thing, that’s what I want to see.
On a side note, I thought this quote was precious:
One of the driving forces in Austin promoting this renewed emphasis on states’ rights is the Texas Public Policy Foundation, an Austin-based think tank that has deep ties to Perry and prominent Republican donors.
“The tyranny of the majority is great so long as (it is) embracing policies that you like,” said Mario Loyola of the foundation. “But when it goes against you, and you realize that you have nothing to protect you from the tyranny of the majority because the federal courts don’t enforce the Constitution anymore against the [state] government, then when that goes against you, you’ll realize why some of us are so unhappy about what [Perry] is doing now.”
I edited the quote slightly to make a point. I’m never sure if these guys simply forget the reason why there was a federal Civil Rights Act passed in 1964, or if they just hope the rest of us are too stupid to remember why that legislation was needed.