Obama learns about racism
Although a number of folks may think the late iconoclastic columnist Molly Ivins knew something about the race for the 2012 Republican presidential race that we didn’t, she didn’t.
Molly, who died Jan. 31, 2007, wasn’t writing in the early 2000s to warn of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s desire to copy George W. Bush in moving from the Texas governorship to the White House. Hers was actually a commentary on Bush holding the job that Texans Lyndon B. Johnson and George H. W. Bush once held.
Still, there are a considerable number of folks who think the idea of Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry following in the footsteps of Texas Republican Gov. George W. Bush in going to the White House will re-create the result.
While that judgment might be true, in how things might turn out – particularly with regard to tax cuts, higher deficits and mine-is-bigger sword-brandishing in the world – Perry and Bush are different guys.
Though they grew up less than 200 miles apart, their educations beyond grade school were somewhat different.
Bush, born in Connecticut, but who spent his early years in Midland, was sent off to Exeter Academy in Massachusetts for high school. Perry, who spent his early years working on the family ranch, remained in Paint Creek, where he was born.
Both qualified as pilots in the armed services, though Bush’s service in the late ’60s flying F-102 fighter jets was viewed as a means to keep Bush from going to Vietnam. Perry actually spent 4 ½ years in the Air Force flying C-130 transport planes here and there in the world.
Perry attended a state school in his home state, Texas A&M University, where he was a proud member of the all-male Corps of Cadets, and a yell leader.
Bush moved to Houston with his parents as a teenager and attended the prestigious Kinkaid School until he was shipped off to prestigious and expensive Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., for high school. Bush, incidentally, was a cheerleader there.
Then Bush, in the family tradition, attended Yale University. He later got a master’s degree in business administration from Yale’s Ivy League sister school, Harvard University.
He became governor not because he should be, but because he could be – with the help of his dad’s household name and golden Rolodex.
Perry worked his way up the governmental ladder: state representative, agriculture commissioner, lieutenant governor, governor, now running for president. Both have a shambling, cowboyish gait, complete with the Texas Swagger.
Both are hooked on fitness.
Both have lovely, smart wives whom they married in their 30s – Perry his girlfriend of 16 years, Bush a fellow Midlander, whom he’d met three months earlier.
Both couples have two kids. The moms are credited by their friends as more genetically responsible for any academic excellence by their kids than are their husbands.
Both couples have a net worth easily on the north side of a million dollars.
Both have the West Texas drawl, having spent most of their early childhoods there -- Perry in Paint Creek north of Abilene and Bush in Midland, just under 200 miles to the southwest.
Both have boasted about not raising taxes in Texas. Both have boasted of balanced Texas budgets, without pointing out that the Texas constitution requires it.
Perry first became governor not because he was necessarily the most qualified Texas person for the job, but because he had been elected lieutenant governor two years earlier, with the critical help of Gov. Bush’s re-election coattails.
Bush got along well with Democrats while he was governor. Perry, who started out as a Democrat, has, with few exceptions, been a quite partisan Republican.
Anyhow, the bottom line is, these guys are different. Don’t assume that when you scratch Perry, you get Bush. It’s worth studying Perry’s record before you vote next year.
And So On. . . . Perry, in a news release on Nov. 1, boasted that Texas’ “healthy economy and robust job creation climate” had combined to earn it the top spot in the nation for business climate.
The same day, the Austin American-Statesman reported that “more than 60 percent of Texas school districts expect further staffing reductions next year as they grapple with state budget reductions, according to a survey by school finance consultant Moak, Casey & Associates.”
The survey said 9,600 jobs – about a third of them classroom teachers – were eliminated this year because of budget cuts. More jobs are expected to be lost next year, when one-time federal money used this year to prop up school budgets runs out.
Contact McNeely at firstname.lastname@example.org or (512) 458- 2963.