Texas Gov. Rick Perry riled up the “anti-government protesters” at an Austin “tea party” rally Wednesday, said Michael Landauer in The Dallas Morning News. But later he uncorked some truly “over-the-top radicalism,” calmly suggesting to reporters that Texas might secede from the United States. People are angry, but stirring up the “Republic of Texas nuts” to potentially “dangerous levels” won't help.

Perry shouldn’t have mentioned “the ‘S' word,’” said Michael van der Galien in PoliGazette, but it’s “difficult to disagree” with his main criticisms of “Washington’s wasteful spending and unconstitutional projects.” The federal government for decades has been overreaching into states’ business, and if Perry can become an influential voice for federalism, great.

He’s become influential, alright, in a way that's “simply awful” for conservatives, said Allahpundit in Hot Air. Chuck Norris is one thing, but having the Texas governor “pulling the same whiny, anti-Democratic crap that the Left pulled under Bush” is an embarrassing distraction. Perry only helped the media “tar” the tea party protests as a “crackpot neo-confederate” thing. Thanks, Rick.