Why Rick Perry Isn’t Suited To Be President

Fit to Serve?

I’ve lived in Texas throughout the entirety of the Perry administration.  He hasn’t been the most awful governor we might have had, but in truth, he’s been mediocre.  It is true to say that Perry deserves a little credit for the better economic conditions in the state, insofar as he’s done no particular harm.  On the other hand, it’s fair to say that part of the reason Perry’s done no particular harm, and perhaps the sole reason he hasn’t damaged the economy, is because the Texas people, through their legislature, won’t let him.  The governor’s real shortcomings are not to be seen so much in the matter of economics, but in his unceasing drive to tamper with the freedoms and lives of Texans for the sake of his corporate cronies.

One of the issues in which Perry first ran afoul of conservatives was in signing an executive order requiring all sixth-grade girls to receive the three-shot series of vaccines known as Gardasil.  The vaccine is intended to prevent contraction of Human Papilloma Virus, or HPV.  In an effort that was pushed by a group funded by Merck, the whole situation took on the stink of official corruption in the name of Big Pharma.  The problem is that the drug was of questionable efficacy, but more importantly, given the fact that the disease is spread through intimate contact, many Texans wanted immediately to know why the governor of Texas was assuming all their daughters needed this shot, and how the Governor dared to try to push this on them.  This began a minor revolt, and the relatively conservative Texas legislature acted to set aside his executive order by a vote of 119-21 in the House, and 30-1 in the Senate.  In Texas politics, that’s as stunning a rebuke of a governor as you’re likely ever to see, but it points out the problem with Rick Perry: Business-friendly administrations are what we need for the sake of economy, but leaping into bed with business to the detriment of voters and tax-payers is to take the notion much too far.  It could be said that Perry himself needs a form of inoculation, but  rather than HPV, instead against his tendency to leap from one corporate bed to the next.

On to the next question of his poor judgment and his tendency to view the people of his state as means to his own ends, Perry was the driving political force behind the Trans Texas Corridor project.  This ridiculous project proposed creating a system of toll roads that would have consumed a portion of the Texas land-mass that would have effectively killed agriculture in the state.  Worse, the primary contractor, Cintra, a Spanish conglomerate, was to have a virtual monopoly on the construction and concessions on what promised to be a closed system.  Still more infuriating to the people of Texas was that the deal would have mandated that there be no free alternative  competing roads, meaning such vital arteries as I-35 and I-45 along with I-10, I-20, and I-30 would have been required to become toll roads as well.  This, combined with the projected $0.26-$0.40 per mile they intended to charge made it an unconscionable bit of corporate predation that would have crippled the Texas economy.  These things, together with the expanded use of eminent domain by the state on behalf of a corporate contract made this project much too bitter a pill for Texans to swallow.  It actually spawned an independent gubernatorial campaign by former Texas comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn.  It generated much ill will between Perry and his conservative voters, so that at present, while they think he’s better than a Democrat, the difference is only slight, and he should bear just as much attentive watching.  Perry hasn’t given up his Trans Texas Corridor plans, but they’ve been scaled back and re-named.  Once again, the Governor of Texas has shown his willingness to climb into bed with corporate masters, and more importantly, just as with the Gardasil issue, former staff members seem to be part of a constant recycling through a revolving door between his corporate cronies and his own office.  This is precisely the sort of governance the country does not need, Washington already being thoroughly polluted with such schemes.

Governor Perry’s appeal to conservatives seems to hinge on his Christian values, but the problem is that his proclaimed Christian values are in distinct and thorough opposition to some of his actions as governor.  At the same time he seeks to share the stage at TEA Party events, always ready to throw out more red meat for the crowd, but seems much less than sincere in his stance by the time he arrives back at his office This sort of schizophrenic, unprincipled and insincere conservatism is already thoroughly represented in DC, and while Mr. Perry would certainly feel at home there, the politicos in DC being his kind of people, I’m strongly convinced that while he might do well in such a role, it’s not clear that the country would fare any better.

When you examine his record in its totality, what you find is not that Governor Perry has been such a capable steward of the Texas economy, but that surprisingly, the Texas Legislature has fulfilled that role, bouncing egregious Perry initiatives in a number of cases.  The Trans Texas Corridor project would have crippled commerce in this state, and contrary to the billing, would have achieved little but to make Texas just another link in the NAFTA chain, bypassed by most of the commerce, its people tasked with the duty to pay for a system of toll roads from which they would see little benefit, but would bring substantial costs.

For these reasons, and a lengthy list of similar problems, I cannot recommend the governor of my state, Texas, to the people of America.  It’s not so much that he’s presided over an economy of his creation, so much as the fact that the people of Texas have managed to succeed in spite of him.  Given his embellished relation to the relatively good performance of the Texas economy in admittedly hard times, and acknowledging that the damage he might have done, had he been unopposed by a conservative legislature,  it’s clear that while Rick Perry might be good for corporatist Washington, he’s not the right choice for America.

 

See also: Mitt Romney’s Enduring Problem

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  • IwjwI

    Very good info on Perry! We will need this a part of our battle gear. Thx.

  • Paul A.

    I have also been trying to spread this message to my fellow Texans. Also anyone that might consider this Texas gov. as a viable candidate for the WH. He is a fraud and has repeatedly sold out the citizens of Texas in the name of big business. Pretty much explains why the Texas border is still wide open to the
    invasion of Mexico. If it is good for Perry's pocket, Texans' be damned. Just how did Perry become a millionaire while in office? Hmmmm?
    Paul A.
    Technotrucker

  • Dawson

    Pretty darn weak. Also, I'm sorry if some parents may be offended by the Gardasil issue, but the disease can only spread through sex, right? No sex no HPV. However, the HPV disease is continuing, meaning the kids are continuing to have sex. So how conservative and strict are the parents in this matter? Not enough to stop the virus.

    Rick Perry should work to destroy HPV through the course of action he's taken. It's the only method that'll work, except for chastity, which the Texan parents cannot produce well enough at all. Just get offended over the concept of vaccines when the only ones who are obsolete are them.

    • http://www.markamerica.com MarkAmerica

      I'm hoping, based purely on the quality of your post, that you don't have children. Really. As the father of a daughter, I worked very hard at the job of keeping my teen daughter well away from the need of Gardasil. While I will grant that not all parents are as strict as I had been, it still bothers me because what his proposal suggested is that all 12yo girls are sexually active. Sorry, but that 'dog won't hunt' as we say here in Texas, and fortunately, the legislature agreed. If that's the totality of your argument against my article, I'll take that as a compliment. Thanks! Mark

      • Dawson

        I don't have kids but with people with your mentality around, Human Papiloma Virus will still be exist in their lifetimes because the opposition viewpoint is more worried about the connotations about the enforcement of a vaccine for sexually transmitted diseases than actually destroying the disease.

        Not only do I agree that the parents attempts to lower child-age sex seem to be futile, but I also agree that mandating the vaccine is a good idea also. Mankind has got to eliminate the diseases where ever they hide and however they spread. The following implication: but children shouldn't have sex so therefore *the solution to the disease* (indirectly) paves the way for childhood sex – is beyond reproach.

        What I have in asterisks *the solution to the disease* is the only thing the government should be focused on. Once HPV is taken out, I suggest the next target should be Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, because that's all the anti-vaccination side of the argument sounds like to about anybody reading them.

        • http://www.markamerica.com MarkAmerica

          Dawson, do you honestly think a vaccine solves the problems associated with childhood sex? No, it merely eliminates one of the many consequences. The whole range of STDs along with pregnancy, not to mention the psychological impairments are not going to be cured by a vaccine.

          You mention "mandatory vaccines," as if we're cattle. That's one of the problems with the current governmental view of such things: They view us as cattle. I'm now sure Rick Perry is your guy. Good luck.

    • Crystal

      Gardasil has been shown to not be effective and in fact has serious side effects that have impacted the lives of 1000's of girls and KILLED 89 of them. It's very fortunate that the legislature took action against Perry's premature and reckless action. Unfortunately it was not soon enough for many families.

  • George

    Two things that were not mentioned here is that the vaccine was "mandatory" in order that the $360 be covered by insurance. Another is that if you don't want to have it you can opt out of having to take it. The thing about ALL the Interstates coming under this toll…..can't happen as those are Federal roads and can not be turned into toll roads. So this piece here lacks a lot of creditability and shows that whoever wrote this really didn't do much investigating!!!!

    • http://www.markamerica.com MarkAmerica

      Sorry George, but you're wrong on both counts.
      1.) This very afternoon, in New Hampshire, when asked about the Gardasil issue, Rick Perry admitted he had been wrong.
      2.) You're obviously unaware that I-35 is tolled through other stretches of the country. You're also obviously unaware that TXDOT applied for and received permission to toll I-35 in advance of the proposed first leg of the TTC corridor to be known as TTC-35. Once the TTC was more or less killed(it's not entirely dead yet,) there was no requirement and no political support to collect a toll on it.

      So, having covered these two issues, whose credibility is in question? Ahem.

      Oh, and one other thing. Unless otherwise indicated, every article on this site was written by me.

  • k. sandy

    I called Republicans on the last Election Day to remind them to vote, and asked if we could count on them. Most Republicans didn't want to vote for Rick Perry and , in fact, they were angry that they were going to have to vote for him . They are mad at Republicans for supplying a candidate like Rick Perry. They were almost always deeply disturbed, and frequently I heard, "Yeah, I'll hold my nose." We preferred his pretending to an outright commie pinko, but the American government needs more than Rick Perry. Did America learn nothing from voting for Obama last time? We don't need another unknown person in the Presidency, do we?!!!!! We can't afford pretending right now. TxLasso

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  • Julie Casale

    Interesting that TX legislature has saved the man from cutting his own throat. His desire to it needs to be as important as if he was successful. Another example of how politicians play their role for what they profess to stand on and then do the polar opposite. Thank you Mark for getting the truth out there.

  • http://none C Bartlett

    Mark:
    I, too, am a lifelong Texan who has lived through Perry. I held my nose and voted for him because the alternatives were much worse. I, however, do not share your complete lack of support for him because, once again, the alternatives are MUCH worse. For sure Obama is, and I personally think Perry would do a much better job leading the country than Romney would. Your posts indicate that you also do not support Romney. I don't think this country will elect Cain, Bachmann, Santorium or Gingrich – they just do not have enough popular appeal. I don't like the Guardisil thing – but there WAS an opt out and the "mandatory" part really was primarily to get it covered by insurance for those who couldn't afford it. He did back down when the Legislature didn't support it and he admits it was a mistake on his part. When was the last time you heard Obama do that? I actually worked on the TTC project (as a consultant to TxDOT) for over 6 years and I could discuss a whole lot of details that the public dies not know concerning the project for hours. I don't necessarily support everything about the project but understand that many of the "facts" you quote are actually "myths" that are not 100% true and could not happen. It is true that TTC was "Perry's baby" to start with but, make no mistake, the Texas Legislature passed the legislation making the study possible. Many of them came out later against it after public sentiment changed. Kind of that "against it before I was for it" kind of thing? There was a huge, organized, grassroots effort to demonize the project and perpetuate myths to gather opposition. The truth is, if Texas is going to build roads in the future, there are going to have to be some kind of "user fees" or tolls. There just is not enough money to do what we need to do to build roads – the feds keep too much of our gas tax money and the EPA and other agency regulations to get anything built are ridiculous. The alternative is a state income tax and I do not believe that is the right answer – everyone will suffer and pay for that, even those who never have a need to drive on a particular
    road. There are certainly some issues with the way TTC was done that need to be changed but realize that wasn't all Perry either. There were some state agencies invovled that carried out the "wishes of the legislature" – they had to follow the law as written. Fault the way the law was written first before blaming Perry 100% for the mess. And – BTW – TTC is really gone now, as of the last legislative session. Yes, upgrades to I35 and I69 are still in discussion – as they have for 20+ years and probably will continue, but NOT as the same animal that TTC was.

    When push comes to shove, Perry is a moral conservative and a states-right guy and I think that attitude of doing whatever it takes to get rid of the federal government intrusion in our lives is what this country needs right now more than anything RINO Romney has to offer. Yeah – I'm tired of voting for the least-worst option but I don't think in today's campaign world we are going to get anything better. The good, smart, real leader-types don't WANT the job. I've seen it in our local elections and state and national races are only worse. We HAVE to get Obama out of there – we must find a way to defeat that regime. The field we have to choose from is NOT perfect but we better come up with something – fast!