I'm not watching the Republican debate tonight, mainly because I have no idea how you can hold a real debate among nine people. When it gets down to two, then I'll watch an actual debate. There's no need to watch another yet another crammed Q-&-A session billed as a "debate" just to heighten the drama (wait . . . who would have guessed FOX is involved in such a thing???). I'm saying this just to disclaim that I'm sure this issue will be "debated" tonight, but I felt the need to put the facts out in regard to the Perry/In-state Tuition for Illegals issue.
As you'll be able to tell from by sporadic but consistent posts and comments, I am supporting Gov. Rick Perry for the Republican nomination for President. Many Tea Partiers and other conservatives were waiting for him to come out, and when he did, he was immediately the front runner, and remains so.
The arguments thrown against Perry basically fall into three categories:
1. He's an opportunist. He's only running for president because he's a politician that sees and opportunity.
2. He's a RINO. As governor, he dictated the Gardasil vaccination for teenage public school girls and he signed into law legislation that granted in-state college tuition rates to the children of illegal immigrants.
3. He's dumb. He got lucky and inherited a prosperous Texas that is no reflection on his philosophy, leadership, or intellect.
I believe, by far, that #2 is potentially the most harmful to Perry, particularly the issue involving college tuition and children of illegal immigrants. First, let's totally and obviously dispel numbers 1 and 3.
Rick Perry is an opportunist?
Reasons for this claim:
- Perry was once a Democrat: Any fellow Southerners over the age of 50 can remember a time when everybody was a Democrat. Perry, in fact, switched parties earlier than most. He was a Republican when "Reagan Democrats" were still the rage.
- Perry is a career politician: Yes, Perry has held office for quite some time. He's also a farmer, and former solider. Not such a bad resume.
- Perry only got in the race because he perceived an opening: DUH. In reference to the "dumb" claim discussed below, I would be worried about the governor if he jumped in the race WITHOUT a perceived opening. However, I don't believe this was the only reason he jumped in. Examination of his activity in reference to the activities of the current regime can point to the fact that Governor Perry felt Washington was "Messin' with Texas." And we all know you DON'T do that.
Rick Perry is Dumb?
Reasons for this claim:
- He got lucky. He inherited a prosperous Texas and didn't really have to do anything. Problem with this argument is who he inherited it from. WOW. Amazing. Ann Richards much have done such a great job that even almost two decades of Bush & Perry couldn't mess it up. Great job, Ann!
- He called Social Security a Ponzi Scheme. What a doof! A "Ponzi Scheme is an operation that pays returns to its investors from their own money or the money paid by subsequent investors, rather than from any actual profit earned by the individual or organization running the operation. The Ponzi scheme usually entices new investors by offering returns other investments cannot guarantee, in the form of short-term returns that are either abnormally high or unusually consistent. The perpetuation of the returns that a Ponzi scheme advertises and pays requires an ever-increasing flow of money from investors to keep the scheme going." Social Security, on the other hand, is an operation that pays returns to its investors from their own money or the money paid by subsequent investors, rather than from any actual profit earned by the individual or organization running the operation. The Ponzi scheme usually entices new investors by offering returns other investments cannot guarantee, in the form of short-term returns that are either abnormally high or unusually consistent. TOTALLY DIFFERENT.
Rick Perry is a RINO
Reasons for this claim:
- Perry issued an executive order requiring public school girls to get the HPV vaccine Gardasil. This, quite frankly, is a non-starter for several reasons. God love her, Michelle Bachmann's faux pas aside, states have no Constitutional restrictions on public health requirements like vaccines for public school students (measles, mumps, rubella . . . anyone?). For the Gardasil vaccine, there was a very liberal (that's with a small 'l') opt-out, and we must remember it only applied to school children attending state-funded public schools. Plus, Perry readily admitted that he handled the situation less than perfect. Situation dead, done, over.
- Perry signed into law a bill granting the children of illegal immigrants the benefit of in-state tuition. As The Great One noted, this is basically subsidizing the children of illegals. It smacks of political opportunism. Problem is, what Perry did is being mis-characterized, misunderstood, and is, quite frankly, actually in line with Perry's philosophy on Rule of Law and States Rights.
THE FACTS ABOUT THE IN-STATE TUITION ISSUE
Federal Statue, specifically the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, as well as definitive (be it wrong or not) case law (Toll v. Moreno particularly) make it clear that in particular circumstances, established residents of states cannot be denied in-state tuition rates based on the citizenship status of their parents. Let's also consider that the Texas bill Governor signed was passed by two-thirds of the legislature (thus likely would have been overridden by a veto), and also stated that the person in question must have been applied for U.S. citizenship to be eligible.
Governor Perry, if nothing else, has staked his career on being a federalist (that's with a small 'l' . . . don't worry Whigs) and supporter of states rights. His decision to sign the tuition bill in question wasn't only correct, it was consistent with what had to be done under the law.
Illegal Immigrant Student Tuition-gate done, over, finished.