By Gail Collins
In the most explosive and well timed political books in years, Gail Collins broadcasts that "what occurs in Texas does not remain in Texas anymore."
Not until eventually she visited Texas, that proud kingdom of massive oil and larger goals, did Gail Collins, the best-selling writer and columnist for the New York Times, discover that she had neglected the single position that mattered so much in America’s political panorama. Raised in Ohio, Collins had formerly visible the yankee basic divide as a conflict among the Republican heartland and its liberal coasts. however the genuine tale, she got here to determine, used to be in Texas, the place Bush, Cheney, Rove, & Perry had created a conservative political schedule that's now sweeping the rustic and defining our nationwide id. via its energetic help of banking deregulation, lax environmental criteria, and draconian tax cuts, via its fierce championing of states rights, gun possession, and, after all, sexual abstinence, Texas, with Governor Rick Perry’s presidential objectives, has turn into the bellwether of a far-reaching nationwide flow that maintains to have profound social and monetary outcomes for us all. love it or now not, as Texas is going, so is going the country.
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Extra info for As Texas Goes...: How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda
But Texas does have one lesson the rest of us can’t ignore. Housing there is easy to build, and therefore very cheap. “Houston’s the only place in the world that if the demand were there they could put 60,000 lots on the ground next year, mainly because there’s no red tape,” said Ronald Welch of the University of Houston. You are probably waiting to hear the downside, and there are several. For all its energy, Houston proper is a stupendously ugly city, and many of the suburbs have a mind-numbing sameness.
Soon. We’re not used to thinking of Texas as a driving force in American affairs, but there you are. Even when Democrats held the White House in recent decades, Texans seemed to be holding the reins—reins that were being used mainly to hog-tie the chief executive. Bill Clinton had to deal with two Texans—House majority leader Dick Armey and whip Tom DeLay—whose lasting contribution to American history was mainly the thwarting of the Clinton agenda, particularly health care reform. Barack Obama has been hamstrung by the power of the Tea Party Republicans, whose first big coming-out parties were organized by Armey and whose ideology sprang, as much as from any place coherent, from the thinking of Texas congressman Ron Paul.
I can go ten minutes from now and be out on the open plain,” said Chris Steinbach, who works in Austin as Kolkhorst’s chief of staff. Houston is so huge that the regional planners cannot find anyplace to meet that doesn’t require some of the members to drive more than 75 miles. It goes on forever. But its size feeds into the empty-place mentality because it’s not an urban bigness with everything mashed together. There’s something here, something there, but you’ll still see a large open tract of land between this shopping area and that neighborhood, between that block of houses and the apartment building .
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