A Talking Points Memo
“Next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be president of the United States, please pay attention.”
“In Texas, we do not hold high expectations for the [governor’s] office; it’s mostly been occupied by crooks, dorks and the comatose.”
~ Molly Ivins
The good news is this: if Gov. Rick Perry gets his way, it won’t be long before he will no longer be the governor of Texas. The bad news is this: if he gets his way, he will be the President of the United States.
We were in Dallas over the weekend and, after Gov. Goodhair’s announcement Saturday that he would acquiesce to his understanding of God’s command, my self-described Republican brother-in-law turned to me and asked, “So, really, what has this guy ever done for us?”
That’s a very good question. Looking back, I don’t know of any one positive thing Perry has done for the state. He can brag about jobs but, if you read the stories at the end of some of the links below, you’ll see that most of the net gain in jobs came from growth in government-related spending or the oil boom. The rest of the jobs paid nearly minimum wage and had few benefits.
Really, I can easily point to many things Goodhair did TO us, but few things he did FOR us. So, before Perry’s presidential band wagon gets too much inertia behind it, let’s review. I’ve picked out some reading for you — and, please pass this on to every one you know who lives out-of-state.
• As Saint Molly once said, “Texas is like Mississippi except with better roads,” and that we can afford to do better than that poor state, we simply don’t want to. In an article I posted here earlier this year, I noted that this state lags far, far behind the rest of the nation in many, many areas.
- Poverty rate — 46
- Children in poverty — 44
- Corporate tax burden — 46
- Minimum wage job growth — 1
- Health Insurance — 50
- Early Prenatal Care — 50
- Children in Poverty — 44
- Public health funding — 42
- Uninsured children — 51 (That’s right … 51)
- Education spending — 48
- Completed 10th grade — 49
- Failed to graduate High School — 49
• The national press is beginning to catch on to the myth that Perry and other conservatives have tried to sell about the economic engine that is Texas. The New York Times and the Financial Times both published articles this week debunking this myth. Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein and NYT columnist Paul Krugman (who also won a Nobel Prize in economics — compared to Perry’s “D” in economics at TAMU) have also weighed in on this myth this week. Krugman’s been talking about it for months. It is to be devoutly hoped that the national press corps vets Perry much more thoroughly than it did G.W. Bush, the “edumacation president.”
• Then there’s Rick Perry’s religion. Okay, our constitution forbids any sort of religious test for holding public office — not that this has stopped folks from objecting to religious practices of Catholics (Pres. Kennedy) or Muslims (no one, but try telling that to Pres. Obama’s detractors). But the particular brand of religion with which Perry is associated seems to blend the Prosperity Gospel (which preaches that the rich are rich because they are the chosen of God — never mind all of the New Testament passages to the contrary) with Christian Reconstructionism (which preaches that Christians should take dominion of the world and not abide the rule of anyone else —like Democrats). If you question this assertion, check out the guest list for Perry’s “Response,” then Google “Christian Reconstructionism” and see how many of the names are the same.
- Texas Observer: Rick Perry’s Army of God
- The Daily Beast: A Christian Plot for Domination
- Religion Dispatches: Rick Perry’s Jesus Imperative
Aside from the fact that it is as scary as hell (or should be), the biggest trouble with the Dominion Gospel is that it treats non-believers as second-class citizens and makes the Taliban mullahs look down right tolerant. For even more, click here.
My search for talking points yielded a few more links worth noting.
- The Guardian: Who is Rick Perry?
- Austin Chronicle: The Perry Trap
- Think Progress: 10 Things Perry doesn’t want you to know about him
- Milam Blues: Mr. Peabody’s Improbable History
- Secessionist Rick Perry: President should be ‘in love with America’ (dailykos.com)
- Peter J. Ognibene: Rick Perry: A Record to Run on — or Run From? (huffingtonpost.com)
- Truth About Perry (maboulette.wordpress.com)