Texas Governor Rick Perry likes to talk as big as the state he governs. Unfortunately the talk is big but what's behind it is small. Unless you like your hypocrisy big.
Perry has long been a Tea Party darling, has joked about Texas seceding from the Union ( yes he was joking, but used it to make his point) and has been anti-Washington and Washington policies and Washington spending since there has been a Democratic president ( like most conservatives he had no problem with Bush creating a $1 trillon deficit by not paying for the war in Iraq and putting it on a government credit card). He has spent a lot of time chest beating about how independent Texas is, independent of Washington politics, policies and money. That is until he needed something.
Perry as governor rejected $500 million in federal stimulus money joining with other conservative and Republican governors in opposing the stimulus package in 2009. He also rejected federal money for Medicaid for the same political reasons. He supported Mitt Romney for president who took the conservative position that FEMA should be abolished (bad timing considering Hurrican Sandy devastated the northeast a month before the election). But Perry's disdain for federal government programs didn't stop him from applying for tens of millions of dollars from FEMA for West Texas, the town damaged by the fertilizer explosion. FEMA rejected his request. And Perry is not happy.
When his own ox is being gored, or the oxen of the people of his own state, suddenly political philosophy and grandiosity and disdain for Washington goes out the window. Perry wants money from the very federal government agency whose very existence he opposed.
FEMA, much to Perry's chagrin has taken him at his word and agreed that the state of Texas and local governments have enough of their own money and resources to pay for the rebuilding without federal tax dollars from FEMA and ruled they do not qualify for FEMA money.
Perry says they NEED the money. And he is appealing.
This isn't the first time that Perry, after trashing Democratic tax and spend policies in Washington which provide money for emergency funding as well as other services has gone ten gallon hat in one hand and the other hand out to ask Washington for money. He did the same when he pleaded (or groveled depending on your point of view) with the federal government to send money to help Texas fight its wild fires. That time he got it.
This time he isn't. And he can't understand why. Maybe there are members of the Tea Party who can tell him.