Is the country ready for another rightwing Christian fundamentalist yeehaw president? Here are some highlights of Texas Governor Rick Perry's 10 years in office:
"Texas Gov. Rick Perry is less than revered back home, where he is widely ridiculed as Gov. Good Hair. So he's now on the road with a traveling medicine show, billing himself as the "Texas Miracle Man." From New York to New Orleans, he's been wowing the Republican hard core by telling astounding tales of his job-creating prowess in our state, suggesting he can do for America what he's done for Texas.
Such GOP sparklies as Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich are hailing the economic wunderkind, and his roadshow spiel has prompted some party stalwarts to tout him for the presidency, hoping he can do for America what he has done for Texas. As a giddy New Yorker put it, "We want a piece of that!"
Hold it right there. First, while the Texas unemployment rate of 8 percent is 1 percent lower than the national rate, 23 other states are doing even better — including New York. Also, his self-touted record of job growth is essentially the same as Democratic Gov. Ann Richards produced and far lower than what Texas had under George W.'s governorship.
Most damning, however, is that Perry-jobs are really "jobettes," offering low pay, no benefits and no upward mobility. In fact, under Rickonomics, Texas has added more minimum wage jobs than all other states combined! After 10 years in office, Gov. Perry presides over a state that has more people in poverty and more without health coverage than any other.
Meanwhile, the Miracle Man has dug Texas into one of the deepest budget holes in the country — $27 billion short of the money needed to cover the same miserly level of state services Texans now get. Although his party controls the state Senate and has a supermajority in the House, he was unable even to get a budget passed in the regular legislative session, forcing him to convene a costly special session. His plan is to cut $4 billion and as many as 100,000 teachers from our public education system, even as school enrollment is growing exponentially."
How would this Republican governor improve our economic growth? He wouldn't. He's had 10 years with a Republican legislature to plunge his state into a deep, economically miserable hole.
There is also Perry's treasonous suggestion that Texas could secede from the Union, which he happily demagogued during a frenzied Tea Party gathering in April of 2009. Even hinting at secession should have landed him in an impeachment trial and resulted in his being run out of office, after being tarred and feathered.
If the secession-loving governor didn't look foolish enough when he made his treasonous threat, he eagerly added to his reputation as a wingnut by a proclamation that designated a weekend for Texans to pray for rain.
Perry harangued against the federal government and spending money, but then scolded the federal government for not sending him money to deal with the drought in Texas. Change you tune a little bit, Governor Good Hair? When the prayers don't end the draught, Uncle Sam can be counted on to help out.
Rick Perry for president? Yeah. When long horns fly.