Commentary: Gov. Perry should watch his words

April 17, 2009 

This editorial appeared in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Gov. Rick Perry should be ashamed.

To even discuss, as Perry did Wednesday at a Tax Day rally in Austin, that Texans just might consider seceding from the United States, is a shameful act by our governor.

Legendary Sam Houston, the first elected president of the Republic of Texas, fell on his political sword in 1861 rather than secede from the union that Texas had joined in 1845.

He correctly predicted that the Confederacy was doomed and that Texas would suffer deeply by joining it.

Rick Perry is no Sam Houston, and we never expected him to be. Nor would we imply that he disrespects that legendary leader. Anyone who has walked through the Governor's Mansion with Perry (before it burned last year) knows that he has obvious pride in his state and its heroes.

But Perry has at least two significant flaws: Sometimes he talks before he thinks, and he has a penchant for explosive remarks aimed at enhancing his own political profile.

On Wednesday, he sank to a new low. The Associated Press reported that in answering a reporter's question, he suggested that Texans might at some point get so fed up they would want to secede from the union. Perry stressed later in an interview with the Star-Telegram that he never specifically said the state should consider doing so.

For the governor to even talk about secession can do real damage to Texas.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

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