As a Texas girl, I feel I should be able to offer some sort of special insight into hurricane Rick Perry. The truth is, the man is a complicated mix of occasionally competent and wildly dangerous. He's never met a special interest that he hasn't bowed to in exchange for money, a number of his published and stated beliefs are openly unconstitutional, and yet he handled Hurricane Katrina/Rita better than anyone expected.
I've been trying to come up with something fresh yet erudite about Rick Perry, but I cannot best the evergreen words of Molly Ivins. She may not be with us anymore, but her barbs live on.
Unless otherwise noted, quotes are from her opinion columns in the Fort Worth Star Telegram.
Ivins on Perry's general snake-in-the-grass-ness:
Of all the crass pandering, of all the gross political kowtowing to ignorance, we haven't seen anything this rank from Gov. Goodhair since … gee, last fall.
Then he was trying to draw attention away from his spectacular failure on public schools by convincing Texans that gay marriage was a horrible threat to us all. Now he’s trying to disguise the fact that the schools are in free-fall by proposing that we teach creationism in biology classes.
The funding of the whole school system is so unfair that it has been declared unconstitutional by the Texas Supreme Court. All last year, Rick Perry haplessly called special session after special session, trying to fix the problem, and couldn’t get anywhere – not an iota, not a scintilla, of leadership.
Instead of facing the grave crisis that might yet result in the schools’ being closed, Perry has blithely gone off on creationism – teach the little perishers the Earth is 6,000 or so years old, that people lived at the same time as dinosaurs, and who cares if the school building is falling apart? (Jan 12, 2006)
Ivins on rhetorical strategy:
Ivins on Perry's incredible hair:
Bush was replaced by his exceedingly Lite Guv Rick Perry, who has really good hair. Governor Goodhair, or the Ken Doll (see, all Texans use nicknames—it's not that odd), is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. But the chair of a major House committee says, "Goodhair is much more engaged as governor than Bush was." As the refrain of the country song goes, "O Please, Dear God, Not Another One." ("Shrub Flubs His Dub"—The Nation, June 18, 2001)