On Monday, Rick Perry announced that he will not be seeking reelection as the governor of Texas next year, a proclamation that is sure to come as relief to progressives.
Perry, has done plenty in his 13 year tenure (longer than any other governor in Texan history) to cause his constituents a lot of grief. Here are 10 reasons we aren’t sad to see him go:
1. He legislates against women’s bodies
Let’s start with the most recent: lady hating.
Perry has worked to restrict women’s reproductive rights through various measures for some time now. After Wendy Davis successfully filibustered legislation that would effectively end abortion services throughout much of the state, Perry stepped in to assure everyone that the pro-choice movement would not be able to declare a victory.
Having the power to call a special Senate session in emergency situations, Perry decided that denying women health services was just the reason to use his privilege. What a hero!
2 … and their wallets
If you can’t trust women to make decisions about their own bodies, how can you trust them with money, either?
Last month, Perry vetoed a bill that would work to ensure women receive equal pay to men. Despite that women still make just 77 centers for each buck a man earns, Perry said he felt the legislation was unnecessary.
3. Uh, what’s the third one?
Let’s see. I can’t, I can’t [remember] with the third one. Sorry. Oops.
4. He is a major obstacle in the race to address climate change
With leaders like Perry politicizing rather than tackling the issue of global warming, the human race may be doomed. Perry has labeled this environmental crisis “all one contrived phony mess that is falling apart under its own weight.”
He even publicly denounced groups who tried to educate Texans about environmental policy.
As Perry sees it, scientists are fabricating climate change data in the hopes of profiting… you know, as opposed to corporations who are denying they are causing global warming so that they may continue to profit at the earth’s expense.
5. He wants to repeal corporate taxes
Of course Perry takes the corporations’ side: he might as well be their best friend. After all, he is very vocal about eliminating corporate taxes – a plan that sounds appealing to no one but CEOs and their cronies.
How strongly does Perry feel about this topic? Well, he actually compares it to the Civil Rights movement.
It’s pretty disturbing to liken a push to exclude wealthy entities from paying their fair share of taxes to an oppressed minority population seeking acceptance and equality.
Then again, it’s hard to imagine that a guy who vacations at a place called “Niggerhead” has a firm understanding of what Civil Rights is really about.
6. He is dismissive of the LGBTQ community’s fight for equality
When he’s not demonizing gay marriage in offensive commercials, Perry is diminishing the magnitude of the ongoing gay right’s movement, dismissively calling it “the flavor of the month.”
Sorry, Perry, but the movement’s popularity is more than a passing fad, and you’re sorely mistaken if you think it’ll disappear a few weeks from now.
A fan of both Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and a state’s right to define marriage as between a man and a woman, Perry has most recently championed the cause of excluding gays from the Boy Scouts, vowing “Not on my watch.”
7. He is an unapologetic killer
While serving as governor, Perry has overseen 250+ executions in his state, a national record.
He not only supports the death penalty, but has also tried to widen the pool of prisoners who can be put to death. Vetoing a bill that would exclude mentally disabled convicts, and decrying a Supreme Court decision that forbid kids under the age of 18 from being sentenced to death, Perry shows little mercy.
Sadly, that also includes cases where subsequent evidence indicates a person on death row is innocent.
In the infamous case of Cameron Todd Willingham, Perry refused to offer the man clemency or even a stay despite that new information had emerged to likely exonerate him. To this day, Perry shows no remorse for his role in the execution, although most now consider Willingham innocent.
8. His economic recovery “successes” stink
Though Perry labeled himself a “miracle man” for fixing Texas’s economy, the true results fall far short of miraculous. The jobs that Perry managed to create for his state were low wage and without health benefits. In fact, he oversaw the addition of more minimum wage positions than all other 49 states combined.
But, hey, a jobs a job, right? Maybe, but a minimum wage salary still leaves a lot of families living below the poverty line. As for the rest of the economy, his budget left Texas $27 billion in debt, the sort of deficit that Republicans tend to frown at.
9. He vetoed a bill making texting-and-driving illegal
Even though a Republican majority in the State House twice overwhelmingly tried to put legislation on the books to help keep the roads safer, Perry vetoed it once and would have done the same a second time if he hadn’t first intimidated the Senate from introducing the bill to its floor.
Perry’s reason for the veto?
“Freedom.” He thinks a texting while driving ban is just the government infringing on your rights… to be a distracted driver.
While Perry acknowledges the activity is “reckless and irresponsible,” he prefers educational outreach to tackle the problem instead of legislation.
Forgive us for laughing at his preference for “education” because…
10. He played a huge roll in the degradation of Texas’s educational system
The same man who suggested he would eliminate the Department of Education in a presidential debate similarly butchered his own state’s public education system.
The funding for schools has barely increased, despite a 21% enrollment increase.
As a result, Texas spends about $1,500 less on education per student than when Perry first assumed office. Moreover, Perry’s recent budget left the state’s schools short $4 billion. When test scores were lackluster, Perry blamed the immigrant population.
Photo Credit: DonkeyHotey