Great piece by Jason Stanford. Stalin would be proud. -Angela
My next column on the Viewpoints page of the Austin American-Statesman comes Monday. Republican Matt Mackowiak and I take on the budget. That’s Matt on the right in the photograph. Fun fact about this column: I called Sen. Tommy Williams’ office to ask his new press guy, Gary Scharrer, whether he thought his boss’ quote was more Kafkaesque or Orwellian. I left a message but did not get a call back.
Whenever a Texas Republican makes the national news for saying that “ping-pongs are more dangerous than guns”, for alerting Anderson Cooper to the danger posed by “terror babies”, or for shooting a coyote while jogging, friends from the boring states ask me, “How can you stand to live in Texas?”
It’s not just because of these colorful threats, though they do lighten the mood. I majored in Russian in college and lived in Moscow for almost two years after that. I studied the state-sponsored balderdash of Socialist Realism that paid artists to paint record harvests while peasants starved. I experienced the free-market dystopia that followed Communism’s fall and preceded the rise of the Putinocracy. The oft-comic consequences provided relief from the grinding stupidity of a false economic ideology.
This prepared me well for Rick Perry’s Texas. Keep reading here.