Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Duplicitus Rex: Prayer-a-Palooza Perry Reprises "Let's Do the Flip-Flop Again"

Political columnist Lisa Falkenberg had an excellent commentary in yesterday's print edition of the Houston Chronicle on how often Texas voters have allowed Rick Perry to change his mind on important political issues over the last 20 years.

Unfortunately, since the Chronicle has thus far not seen fit to post the column on-line, we'll have to rely on my typing skills to give it the internet presence it deserves. The column is below, followed by a link to the Chronicle's take on Stephen Colbert's suggestion that the best running mate for Perry would be ... GOD!

The latest breathless dispatch from the Rick Perry presidential watch beat is that the governor told the Des Moines Register he's getting "more and more comfortable every day that this is what I've been called to do."

Now, if Perry really believes he's being called, I won't blame the Lord, whom Perry has falsely accused before. Recall that unfortunate Gulf oil spill that Perry famously blamed on "an act of God."

And there's always a chance the governor didn't hear quite right. It could have been a bad connection, like the time Perry prayed for rain and we got the worst drought since the 1950s.

That being said, it doesn't surprise me one bit that Perry would suddenly become"more comfortable" with the idea of leading a country he once flirted with seceding from.

If our governor is consistent about anything (other than good hair days) it's his penchant for changing his mind. Call it flip-flopping. Call it hypocrisy. But nobody does it better than our Perry.

It is, for me, the single most irritating thing about Texas' longest surviving governor. But it's also one of his best weapons. While other candidates may be bound by silly, old-fashioned things like truth, and principle and vertebrae, Perry -- the Democrat-turned Republican-turned Tea Party Darlin' -- is free to be whoever he needs to be in any given polling period.

He's an anti-government crusader who's a career politician who's collected a government paycheck for 20 years.

He's a fiscal conservative who called on lawmakers to make up a budget shortfall in the tens of billions by living within our means. Yet he's charging taxpayers $10,000 a month for a 6,386-square-foot rental mansion in the West Austin hills with seven baths and $1,000 Neiman Marcus window coverings.

He railed against federal stimulus funding, then took credit from a misinformed Fox news host who applauded him for not taking "any stimulus money," when, in fact, he signed a biennial budget in 2009 plugged with $12.1 billion in stimulus funding.

During the last gubernatorial campaign, Perry made a big do-to about so-called "sanctuary cities" like Houston when, by his own standards, he's the governor of a sanctuary state. Houston officers don't ask about immigration status in the field, but neither do troopers with the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Perry opposed the federal health care reform act, but considers it an "emergency" for government to force a woman considering an abortion to have a medically unnecessary sonogram.

While the governor is perfectly comfortable with government micromanaging women's wombs, he's appalled by such overreach in the form of, say, a bill that would have banned texting while driving. Our proudly "pro-life" governor saw nothing wrong with vetoing the anti-texting measure that would have surely saved lives.

The good Christian governor wears his faith like a campaign bumper sticker, and makes headlines with events like the upcoming prayer-a-palooza at Reliant. But when it comes to putting his money where his mouth is? The Chronicle's Gary Scharrer reported recently that, of the $2.68 million he's earned since he became governor, only half of a percent went to churches and religious organizations.

He's Fed Up with the federal government, and even wrote a book saying so. Texas can take care of itself, he says. He wants Washington out of his life, he says. Unless of course, he needs it. Like in the case of a wild fire, or when his political ambitions have grown too big even for Texas.

The subtitle of Perry's recent book is Our Fight to Save America from Washington. If Perry gets in, it'll be up to those of us who know him to save Washington from Perry.

1 comment:

Gerald T Floyd said...

Update: the Chronicle has now posted the column. It's at