Alan Keyes
Perry's National Guard maneuver: is it for real?
By Alan Keyes
July 29, 2014

"The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States." (U.S. Constitution, Article II.2)

They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. It can, however, also be an antidote to foolish enthusiasm, especially when it comes to actions that emanate from a less than trustworthy source.

I think that's why I feel no particular temptation to join in the enthusiasm some people are expressing for Gov. Rick Perry's decision to deploy the Texas National Guard along the Mexican border. This is not because I question the lawfulness of his action, or even its potentially salutary effect, for the purposes he has declared. The Constitution plainly recognizes the residual power of a state to respond to an actual invasion of its territory.

I have to assume, however, that Gov. Perry can also read the words of the Constitution, quoted above. He must know that Barack Obama can easily counter his show of independence by declaring an emergency along the Texas border and calling the Texas National Guard "into the actual service of the United States." In that event, instead of serving Perry's purposes, Texans will be constitutionally required to obey the commander-in-chief.

With this in mind, what does Gov. Perry think he will actually accomplish by his action. Conservatives are applauding his move because it seems to represent opposition to Obama's border-erasing intentions. They seem to think that it is his intention to goad Obama to action. But unless the invasive purpose of Obama's policies changes, we have to assume that any actions Obama is goaded into taking will aid and abet the invasion. Instead of border enforcement, he'll call the Guard into service to wipe the noses and tape the diapers of the supposedly "unaccompanied minors." Those "minors" might even be housed in the armories of the Texas National Guard, after the arms therein are "called into service" in some storage facility under the control of some federal department or agency.

The likely prospect of this constitutional jujitsu gives Gov. Perry's media-touted move rather a hollow ring. He appears to be a tough champion of border security right up to the moment when his drawn rapier is deftly torqued from his hand, and caught up by his opponent, with a maneuver he should have anticipated. At that point, the governor must stand by helplessly as his intended demonstration of his opponent's weakness turns into a rather conclusive demonstration of his own shortsightedness.

Of course, there is another possible scenario. Maybe Gov. Perry is expecting Obama's maneuver, and even welcomes it. Having made himself the focal point of America' s righteous desire to see the immigration laws enforced and the nation's sovereignty upheld, he could step forward to call Obama's actions by their right name. He could denounce them as willful dereliction of duty, consonant with the actions of foreign powers bent on erasing America's sovereign jurisdiction over the nation's borders, which therefore rise to the level of a high crime, directly and immediately damaging to our society itself.

With this action, Gov. Perry would cast the impeachable character of Obama's policies into high relief. He would offer himself as a national spokesman and sincere representative of the people who are demanding that Congress call Obama to account for his ongoing assault on the Constitution and sovereignty of the people of the United States.

Given what we know to be the contrary inclinations of the GOP's elitist faction leadership, this substantiation of Gov. Perry's commitment to the restoration and perpetuation of the nation's sovereignty would require precisely the courage and sincerity his quite possibly hollow Texas National Guard maneuver leaves in doubt. Since a long record of treachery leaves conservatives (and other Americans concerned for the perpetuation of our free institutions) disinclined toward partisan delusions, the GOP label is no longer sufficient to forbid doubts in this respect. Neither is Gov. Perry's record. Particularly on the issues of border security and immigration, the well-known predilections of the elitist money masters who now wield inordinate influence over the GOP's elitist faction leaders demand proof that will not be hollowed out by easily foreseen events.

For myself, what I have learned from reading, from firsthand sources in Texas, and from my personal experience leaves me disinclined to believe that I should ignore my very reasonable doubt that Gov. Perry actually opposes the elitist faction's amnesty push, or its ideological commitment to the withering away of our sovereignty as a people. Yet I would be compelled to give him the benefit of the doubt if he joined the ever-increasing number of voters who have pledged to make the commitment to constitutional accountability the sine qua non of their support for candidates for Congress in the fall election. This would substantiate the sincerity of his opposition to Obama's offensive against that sovereignty.

Have you taken that pledge? If not, do so now. And from now until Election Day, encourage everyone you can influence to follow suit. In the end, it is your courage and good faith as voters, not the calculated maneuvering of self-serving politicos, which offers the best chance for our God-endowed liberty to survive the Obama/elitist faction assault against it.

To see more articles by Dr. Keyes, visit his blog at and his commentary at and

© Alan Keyes


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Alan Keyes

Dr. Keyes holds the distinction of being the only person ever to run against Barack Obama in a truly contested election – featuring authentic moral conservatism vs. progressive liberalism – when they challenged each other for the open U.S. Senate seat from Illinois in 2004... (more)


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