Perry’s problem with Populism

Gov. Rick Perry has decided to pull Texas’ application for the $700 million ‘Race to the Top’ grant on Wednesday. He explained in a press release:

Texas is on the right path toward improved education, and we would be foolish and irresponsible to place our children’s future in the hands of unelected bureaucrats and special interest groups thousands of miles away in Washington, virtually eliminating parents’ participation in their children’s education.

Perry is doing a masterful job at showing the destructive influence of the Tea Parties have on state policy downstream. Pandering to Tea Party style populism, he turned down a shot to do a lot of good for Texas schools. With the inability to articulate legitimate policy, I cannot see the Tea Parties making much more than noise on a national level. But in a state like Texas, Beck-style conservatism holds sway, even though the ideology is even less relevant in making policy on the state level than on the national scene.  It’s a shame that Texas student have to suffer because Governor Good Hair has presidential aspirations.


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