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Rick Perry's Extremist Views

Rick PerryI had been thinking about writing a blog entry about Rick Perry to highlight his extremist views. I realize his popularity in the polls has dropped quite a bit from when he first entered the presidential race, but I still have to live with him here in Texas, and I'd love to see him get voted out of the governor's office. Plus, there's still the slim possibility he might get the Republican nod, and given Obama's current approval rating, it scares the hell out of me that Perry might have a chance to be President (as a friend of mine put it, a sack of potatoes has a decent chance of beating Obama this time around).

But when I checked my inbox this week, there was an e-mail from the Texas Freedom Network, with a link to a page that had already done what I was intending to do. The page is:

Rick Perry Watch

They've provided details on Perry's stance on the following issues:

  • Using Faith as a Political Weapon
  • 'The Response' Prayer Rally in Houston
  • Creationism
  • School Prayer
  • Same-Sex Marriage
  • Sex Education
  • Private School Vouchers
  • Women's Health and Reproductive Rights
  • Texas State Board of Education

Needless to say, his stances are pretty extreme. Go read that page for details.

But, I noticed that they left off a few other issues, so I figured that I'd still make a blog entry out of this. Here's some more info on why Rick Perry is just so bad.

Execution of an Innocent Man and Subsequent Interference with Investigation

I've mentioned this on the blog before, but it bears repeating. In December of 1991, there was a house fire that killed the three children of Cameron Todd Willingham. Willingham was accused of started the fire, convicted of murder, and sentenced to death. Prior to his execution, other arson investigators questioned the evidence that led to his conviction, and determined that the fire most probably was accidental. However, Perry refused to grant a stay of execution, and Willingham was killed in February of 2004.

The Texas Forensic Science Commission began an investigation of the case, and was due to issue a report in August of 2009. However, just days before the report was to be released, Perry replaced three members of the board, essentially killing the investigation.

So, not only did Perry do nothing to stop the death of a likely innocent man, he interfered with the subsequent investigation that could have cleared Willingham's name.

More Info:

Suppression of Scientific Data on Global Warming

According to Mother Jones:

For the past decade, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), which is run by Perry political appointees, including famed global warming denier Bryan Shaw, has contracted with the Houston Advanced Research Center to produce regular reports on the state of the Bay. But when HARC submitted its most recent State of the Bay publication to the commission earlier this year, officials decided they couldn't accept a report that said climate change is caused by human activity and is causing the sea level to rise. Top officials at the commission proceeded to edit the paper to censor its references to human-induced climate change or future projections on how much the bay will rise.

As a sign of just how egregious this censorship is, every single one of the original authors of the report have demanded that their names be removed from the final version.

More Info:

Marriage Equality

I've already mentioned this particular issue on this blog before, and the TFN article discussed same sex marriage, but TFN left out Perry's vow to support a Constitutional amendment that would define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Denying marriage equality is bad enough, but to actually want to pass a Constitutional amendment that would take away people's rights is un-American.

More Info:

Sodomy Laws

As if banning marriage for homosexuals wasn't itself bad enough, Perry actually supported Texas's anti-sodomy laws, making the very act of homosexual sex illegal. Even after the Supreme Court said the laws were unconstitutional in Lawrence v. Texas, the Texas legislature hasn't removed the laws from the books, and Perry dismissed the court's decision as the product of "nine oligarchs in robes."

More Info:

Direct Election of Senators

This issue isn't morally reprehensible like the four previous issues I discussed. It's just ... odd. For a quick history lesson, U.S. Senators were originally elected by state legislatures. Although intended to keep the senators isolated from the whims of the population, for a variety of reasons (such as susceptibility to corruption), it was decided that direct election of the senators by the people they were supposed to represent was a better approach. So, the 17th Amendment was passed to effect that change. For some reason I can't follow that supposedly has to do with states' rights, Perry doesn't like this, and would like to see the 17th Amendment repealed.

More Info:

I had found a couple more articles on Perry that highlight some of his crazier positions and actions. Although some of the points in those articles are a bit of a stretch (such as his remarks about secession), many are valid. Here are links to those articles.

If it was just for Perry's anti-science stances, or his bigotry towards homosexuals, that would be enough to not get my vote. When you add in things like his personal integrity or his crazy views on government, I don’t see how anybody could support him.

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