Friday, August 12, 2011

Rick Perry's self-styled apostolic vision

SHOULD WE ALL be preparing to don our Sunday Best a day earlier this week to witness the official arrival in the Republican presidential field by America's 13th Apostle, Texas Gov. Rick Perry? Rather than Mt. Sinai or the Alamo, Perry has chosen South Carolina as the honorary center of his universe for his pursuit of the next Enlightenment that has been created by something they call the Texas Miracle. Sorry, but that won't qualify him for sainthood.

Still, for a guy who has talked of secession for rhe Longhorn State, South Carolina is as worthy of his vision as any other place. It was, after all, where they fired on Fort Sumter and declared themselves free of the Feds, if not slavery.

You may expect to hear a lot of crowing from now on about that Miracle - a fiction writer's term to flatter the rise of the Texas economy under Perry, regularly calling attention to the report that Texas has created more jobs than any other state. That, plus the wisdom that Perry says he has received from God, will lead him to take his revival meetings across the land now deprived of milk and honey. But as with most statistics, there is a catch : For starters, Texas, which boasts of scant taxes, has a $4.3 billion budget deficit with a projected downside of upward of $27 billion.

Social services are a disgrace. The neglect is hardly benign.

The Huffington Post recently reported that 37 pct. of the jobs Texas created last year paid at or below minnimum wage. "Texas,"according to a public policy expert quoted by the the Huff Post said, "is tied for last with Mississippi for the highest perentage of minimum wage jobs and Texas by far the leader of residcnts who don't have health insurance " The article added: Dig beneath the talking point and you find a more troubling picture: Rising unemployment, a glut of low-wage jobs without benefits, overcrowded homeless shelters and public schools facing billions in budget cuts,..,."

Having noted all of the dark side of Texas planet there is one other thing to keep in mind as Perry adorns his campaign rhetoric with a Bible in one hand and an elixir of progress in the other: He will be also reminded often by the fact that he was a willing accomplice in the execution of an innocent man - Cameron Todd Willingham, the father of three who was wrongly convicted of arson in the death of his three children. Although Perry was alerted to the faulty evidence against Willingham, he approved the execution - and then blocked any inquiry into the grave injustice as further evidence exonerated the executed man.

And Rick Perry wants us to believe that he is qualified to be America's president.

No comments: