Last week the New Yorker magazine ran an article assessing Rick Perry’s Candidacy for the office of President of the United States (“A Different Kind of Texan,” by Lawrence Wright of Texas Monthly). http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2011/08/29/110829taco_talk_wright
Somewhat predictably, Eustace Tilley’s monocular examination found Rick Perry an extreme rightist, probably much too conservative ever to be President:
Perry’s combative governing style has left a residue of bitterness in Austin, especially among traditional Republicans, such as Rove, who see their party being commandeered by the fringe.
Perry would like to return the country to an idealized past—a time when government was an invisible presence. When he appeared on “The Daily Show” last year, to promote his book “Fed Up: Our Fight to Save America from Washington,” Jon Stewart asked him when Washington had gone “off the rails.” “About a century ago,” Perry said. He blamed Woodrow Wilson and the Progressive movement, which promoted the passage of the Sixteenth Amendment, sanctioning a federal income tax, and the Seventeenth Amendment, mandating direct election of U.S. senators rather than their selection by state legislators.
“There are very few people that, I think, would go back to a pre-1920 United States, because that movement didn’t arise out of nothing,” Stewart observed. “Children worked in factories. Women were not allowed to vote.”
“I get that,” Perry said, amiably, although he and Stewart were clearly talking past each other—to audiences in two Americas who are no longer within shouting distance of each other. ♦ See also: http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2011/08/29/110829taco_talk_wright#ixzz1WaHexzsf
Anyone who hasn’t seen me since back in my college days at Tulane or Harvard would be astounded to hear the former President of Tulane College Republicans, Founder of the Tulane Chapter of Young Americans for Freedom, and certainly the only known denizen of the North Campus Museum Complex between Oxford & Divinity Avenues in Cambridge 02138 to ever have admitted proudly to have voted for Ronald Reagan in 1980, say this, but no conscious, genuine Patriot or lover of the Constitution could ever vote Republican these days. If Reagan’s complete betrayal of the right (and yes I do mean not merely the “Right Wing” as a political movement and philosophy, but more importantly the small letter “right” here, in reference to the moral and ethical “right thing to do”) didn’t convince us by 1988, if George Herbert Walker Bush’s 41st Presidency and embrace of Globalism and the United Nations didn’t persuade us by 1992, and if George W. Bush’s career hadn’t removed any last lingering doubts on the subject, then the fact that Rick Perry is now considered a Right Wing Ideologue who could win the GOP Nomination as a “fringe” conservative—categorized as “fringe” according to the New Yorker by no less moderate a lover-of-liberty and honest government than…..Karl Rove…..should close the case forever.
In essence, I write to say that if Rick Perry is a “true believing conservative”, then I am surely the bastard son of Golda Meir and Pope Paul VI (the Ecumenical Pope of Vatican II and the Fourth Prime Minister of Israel were more the generation of my grandparents, actually; the were born a year apart, in 1898 & 1897 respectively; still, they’re both dead now, died in the same year 1978 when I turned 18 in Copan Ruinas, Honduras, Central America, in fact, so they can’t clarify one way or the other or otherwise defend themselves, I guess, so my word stands….).
Several conservative constitutionalists and commentators have already questioned Perry’s standing as a genuine conservative based on, just for example, his overt actions & advocacy on the following subjects (“End of the American Dream” http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/14-reasons-why-rick-perry-would-be-a-really-really-bad-president):
#1 Rick Perry is a “big government” politician. When Rick Perry became the governor of Texas in 2000, the total spending by the Texas state government was approximately $49 billion. Ten years later it was approximately $90 billion. That is not exactly reducing the size of government.
#2 The debt of the state of Texas is out of control. According to usdebtclock.org, the debt to GDP ratio in Texas is 22.9% and the debt per citizen is $10,645. In California (a total financial basket case), the debt to GDP ratio is just 18.7% and the debt per citizen is only $9932. If Rick Perry runs for president these are numbers he will want to keep well hidden.
#3 The total debt of the Texas government has more than doubled since Rick Perry became governor. So what would the U.S. national debt look like after four (or eight) years of Rick Perry?
#4 Rick Perry has spearheaded the effort to lease roads in Texas to foreign companies, to turn roads that are already free to drive on into toll roads, and to develop the Trans-Texas Corridor which would be part of the planned NAFTA superhighway system. If you really do deep research on this whole Trans-Texas Corridor nonsense you will see why no American should ever cast a single vote for Rick Perry.
#5 Rick Perry claims that he has a “track record” of not raising taxes. That is a false claim. Rick Perry has repeatedly raised taxes and fees while he has been governor. Today, Texans are faced with significantly higher taxes and fees than they were before Rick Perry was elected.
#6 Even with the oil boom in Texas, 23 states have a lower unemployment rate than Texas does.
#8 Between December 2007 and April 2011, weekly wages in the U.S. increased by about 5 percent. In the state of Texas they increased by just 0.6% over that same time period.
#9 Texas now has one of the worst education systems in the nation. The following is from an opinion piece that was actually authored by Barbara Bush earlier this year….
• We rank 36th in the nation in high school graduation rates. An estimated 3.8 million Texans do not have a high school diploma.
• We rank 49th in verbal SAT scores, 47th in literacy and 46th in average math SAT scores.
• We rank 33rd in the nation on teacher salaries.
#11 Texas has the highest percentage of workers making minimum wage out of all 50 states.
#12 Rick Perry often gives speeches about illegal immigration, but when you look at the facts, he has been incredibly soft on the issue. If Rick Perry does not plan to secure the border, then he should not be president because illegal immigration is absolutely devastating many areas of the southwest United States.
#13 In 2007, 221,000 residents of Texas were making minimum wage or less. By 2010, that number had risen to 550,000.
#14 Rick Perry actually issued an executive order in 2007 that would have forced almost every single girl in the state of Texas to receive the Gardasil vaccine before entering the sixth grade. Perry would have put parents in a position where they would have had to fill out an application and beg the government not to inject their child with a highly controversial vaccine. Since then, very serious safety issues regarding this vaccine have come to light. Fortunately, lawmakers in Texas blocked what Perry was trying to do. According to Wikipedia, many were troubled when “apparent financial connections between Merck and Perry were reported by news outlets, such as a $6,000 campaign contribution and Merck’s hiring of former Perry Chief of Staff Mike Toomey to handle its Texas lobbying work.”
Rick Perry has a record that should make all Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and Independents cringe.
I highlight only three of these 14 items (4, 7, 14) because these issues go most directly to the topic of this essay, namely “Insincerity”, especially “corrupt insincerity based on aspirations to personal economic gain at public expense.” One could add to this list of 14 Perry’s preposterous claim that Texas Proposition 12, adopted in 2003, has raised the number of doctors in Texas by 21,000 (see, e.g. St. Petersburg Times: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/aug/25/rick-perry/rick-perry-says-texas-added-21000-doctors-because-/. I was involved in the campaign against Proposition 12 while working with liberal Democratic attorneys Francis Williams-Montenegro, Valorie Wells Davenport, and U.T. Mathematician & healthcare activist Corinne Irwin, but I can tell you that there is nothing worse than Tort-Reform for healthcare or the honor and integrity of the medical profession. All Republicans, in fact, should be staunchly and firmly in favor of the maximum possible extension of the federal Bill of Rights’ First Amendment Right to Petition for Redress of Grievances, and for the Original Intent of Article I, Section 13 of the Texas Constitution of 1876 should be preserved intact an inviolate: “All courts shall be open, and every person for an injury done him in his lands, goods, person or reputation shall have remedy by due course of law” pursuant to the guarantee of Article I, Section 29 of that same Texas Constitution: “To guard against transgressions of the high powers herein delegated, we declare that everything in this “Bill of Rights” is excepted out of the general powers of government, and shall forever remain inviolate, and all laws contrary thereto, or to the following provisions, shall be void.”
Perry’s endorsement of “Tort Reform” was an absolutely corrupt kowtow to the Insurance Companies in the State of Texas more than to any friendship for medical doctors or their patients.
But to this list of insincerities and rotten, corrupt policy choices on Perry’s part, I would like to add my own list of critical omissions, bad things to which Rick Perry has never objected, which are in fact hopelessly corrupt in the State of Texas and nation generally:
(1) Unlike every real Patriot, Rick Perry has never spoken out against the Patriot Act adopted by Congress with four days of deliberation in October 2001. How could one expect George W. Bush’s handpicked successor ever to object to the Patriot Act?
(2) Like President Obama, Perry supported the Real ID act of 2007. It has not been fully implemented in Texas due to popular opposition, but not to any objection on Perry’s part. In fact, according to at least one source:
The driving force behind the new push for Real ID rulemaking at DPS in Texas is, none other than, the Texas Governor’s Office. Rick Perry is trying to get the job done before the ’09 Texas legislative session and possibly before Bush leaves the Oval Office. Texas State lawmakers may be battling a bad example in the White House; one of delegating too much power to appointed officials (DPS Chair Allan Pollunsky) and thus abusing executive privilege.
(3) While he has jingoistically recited words and phrases in favor of secession from the Union as a God-given (and treaty-secured) Texas right reserved in 1845, Perry has never once effectively resisted any assertion of power by the Federal Government, either over the Texas Budget or Texas policies… For example, when the Texas House overwhelmingly voted to limit (effectively “nullify”) the power of the Federal TSA to perform “intrusive” searches at Texas Airports, and the Texas Senate was prepared to vote, Perry allowed the issue to die on the floor of the Texas Senate due to bullying Federal Threats. A REALLY Patriotic Governor of Texas would have called the Federal Bluff (on the confrontation that wasn’t really anything but a publicity stunt, see: The Atlantic, June 21, 2011: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/06/rick-perrys-populist-attack-on-tsa-frisks/240798/
Oh, and Orly Taitz, who turned 49 on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 appears to be endorsing Rick Perry for Governor—it is for Orly and Ricky very easy to quote the great Patriots of the past, but to act like “Real Patriots” and risk all in the name of “our lives, fortunes, and sacred honor”, well that’s a different story….