Thursday, October 13


Conservative republican governor Rick Perry of Texas has found religion -- the kind of religion that President Bush ought to champion, rather than trumpeting the religious faith of his cipher nominee to the SCOTUS, Harriet Miers, as if that somehow makes up for the shortcomings of her resume.

This morning's print edition of the "Houston Chronicle" (registration required for online edition) carries a front page, above-the-fold story on the governor and with the following quote of the governor's prominently displayed:

With more than 1,200 miles of border shared with Mexico, Texas is clearly at the center of the important debate about how best to secure our border. In this post-9/11 era, there is no such thing as homeland security without border security.

That observation is so obvious, so irrefutable, and yet 180 degrees from President Bush's position of near indifference to our nation's porous borders and the national security threat they pose.

Well, good for you, Governor. And shame on you, President Bush. The man who succeeded you in Austin, Texas, sees now what you never saw while there and what you refuse to acknowledge from the Oval Office even to this day. Indeed, your "hear no evil, see no evil" position vis-a-vis 11+ million illegal aliens and 10,000/day breeching our borders is as galling, as it is unconscionable.

While such gubernatorial epiphanies have resulted in clarion calls for tighter border security from governors in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California, your only interest is in securing amnesty for the border-crossers and liberalizing so-called "guest worker" programs. Some guests!

Two republicans and two democrats hold governorships in the four border states contiguous to Mexico, Mr. President, and all, and regardless of past positions, get it now. So why not you; why can't you get religion and quit talking about "homeland security" in the context of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, absent talking about "homeland security" in the context of the invasion from the south that's wreaking havoc in our own homeland?

But back to Governor Perry. As the Chronicle reports:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry outlined a six-point plan Wednesday to combat drug violence and prevent terrorist infiltration along the Texas-Mexico border.

His $9.7 million plan would help beef up local law enforcement patrols along the border, help pay overtime, assign 54 state investigators to the region and enlist the help of the Texas National Guard.

James Pinkerton of the Chronicle goes on to write:

The Texas Border Sheriff's Coalition strongly supports the plan. "We are elated," said Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez, the coalition chairman. "It will help the war on terrorism and protect the country."

The governor proposes drawing $9.7 million from state grants to hire additional border lawmen, fund overtime pay and upgrade police radio networks. He also wants to expand state wiretap authority and develop a binational disaster response plan with Mexican border officials.

Al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations see the border as a way to import terror, drugs and weapons of mass destruction, the governor said.

"Texas cannot stand idly by when the safety and security of our people is threatened by multinational criminal syndicates that seek to spread fear and do harm," he said.

No wonder President Bush's numbers have fallen dramatically in the polls. He's been spending taxpayers dollars (and refusing to use his veto powers' trump card) like a reckless riverboat gambler, sits idly by while the biggest illegal immigrant invasion in the history of the world goes largely unchecked, and despite having made an election campaign commitment to nominating candidates to the SCOTUS in the Scalia-Thomas mold, instead selects a close personal friend and former personal lawyer who has never been a judge in her life or written on the great social issues of our day. Add to that double-digit increases in gasoline prices and an upcoming winter season that will see natural gas and heating oil prices go through the roof and you have a political disaster in the making.

The president's stubborn streak has served him well in the global war on terror. But he needs to find religion here on the homefront and should start by belatedly securing America's porous borders. Governors are not the nation's chief executives and Commanders-In-Chief. The president is.