The Weekly Standard has a piece by Andrew Ferguson on the governor of Texas, Rick Perry:
Perry's emphasis on federalism is commonly taken to be a species of anti-government libertarianism. It's not. Perry isn't anti-government; he is anti-federal government. (Whether he'll remain anti-federal government when he's running it can't be known.) He is after all a man who has spent his entire professional life working for the government as a state legislator and executive. You might even call him a big-government conservative whose reach is constrained only by the Texas border. ....Perry's greatest failure as governor, to cite one example, was his plan to build a vast trans-Texas transportation network of new roads and rail lines. The plan would have allowed the state to wave around its power of eminent domain like a two-by-four, an exercise unprecedented in state history. Perry couldn't overcome opposition from landowners and conservatives who objected to what Tea Partiers might call a "land grab."
The Texas Miracle that Perry embraces and Democrats say they loathe would make a presidential contest between the governor and President Obama more interesting than these things usually are. Voters could at last confront the tradeoff they've been trying to avoid since the Great Society, maybe since the New Deal. On the one hand, we might have job-generating economic growth with all its necessary disruptions and uncertainties and stark inequalities of income and living standards; on the other, free health insurance, generous labor guarantees, greater income equality, a pristinely regulated natural environment, high unemployment, and declining national wealth.
A majority of American voters may reject the first for the second, as voters have in Europe for half a century. At least in Perry vs. Obama, the choice would be clear. We can be France or we can be Texas.
These two passages from the piece seem contradictory. If Mr. Perry is really a "big-government conservative," then the choice isn't really a clear one between France and Texas; it's a choice between France and France. The article as a whole is nonetheless well worth a read.