Experience has taught me that the old saying, “Be careful what you wish for,” is often more true than not. After George W. Bush left for the White House, many Texans claimed that it “couldn’t get any worse” than Bush was as Governor of Texas.
When millions of Texans uttered those words, they had no idea how terrible Rick Perry would be. And he proved beyond a shadow of a doubt, it could get a lot worse.
Following Rick Perry’s announcement that he will not seek another term in 2014, millions of Texas Democrats have celebrated the news. Finally, less than 2 years from now, Rick Perry’s horrible tenure as governor will come to an end. All Texas Democrats should celebrate, right?
Well—be careful what you wish for.
So let me introduce to you Perry’s likely successor, Greg Abbott. A man who once, when asked to describe his job, responded with the words, “I go into the office in the morning, I sue Barack Obama and then I go home.”
And that’s exactly what he’s done — twenty-seven times — costing millions of dollars paid for by Texas taxpayers.
You just have to love that “fiscally conservative” government, right?
But let’s look at a list of just a few things which Greg Abbott believes or is responsible for:
- Led the push for radical congressional redistricting maps which disenfranchised Latinos and African Americans in Texas.
- Accidentally released the Social Security numbers of millions of Texans.
- Once said the Americans with Disabilities Act is unconstitutional, therefore the state of Texas shouldn’t have to provide wheelchair access–he’s a paraplegic that relies on a wheelchair.
- Strongly opposes equal rights for homosexual couples.
- Supported strict voter ID laws which 3 judges overwhelmingly concluded targeted minority voters by trying to prevent them from having the ability to vote.
- He denies climate change while accepting money from big corporations that oppose EPA regulations which prevent them from polluting.
- Has sued the federal government over “Obamacare,” and is directly responsible for keeping millions of low-income Texans from obtaining affordable health care.
- Believes the United Nations arms treaty threatens our Second Amendment rights and is an attempt to confiscate our guns, even though anyone who’s sane has clearly said this treaty in no way threatens to supersede our Constitution.
- Sued for Texas to have the right to display the Ten Commandments at the state capitol.
- Has openly implied that if given the power, he would abolish the EPA.
- Has compared the funding of Planned Parenthood with that of funding a terrorist organization.
- Was honored by a far right-wing religious group whose leader often compares President Obama to Hitler.
- Once tweeted “Whatever happened to global warming?” in Midland, Texas on a day of freezing temperatures—in January.
- Believes carbon dioxide can’t be a pollutant because it is emitted by humans.
- In his 27 lawsuits against the federal government, he’s won outright a total of 4, with it being estimated that his 23 losses have cost Texas taxpayers $2.8 million.
- Was a leading figure behind Ted Cruz and his rise to the Senate.
I’ll stop there.
So, imagine a man that supports almost everything for which Rick Perry stood, plus all of that.
Ladies and gentlemen, the current leading (and most likely) Republican candidate for next Governor of Texas. Oh, and he’s historically been one of the biggest fundraisers in Texas, so money will not be an issue for his campaign.
This is why it’s imperative that Democrats in Texas run a strong candidate—Senator Wendy Davis, perhaps? I really hope so. She’s the exact type of strong, intelligent candidate that won’t shy away from a big challenge and doesn’t hesitate to take on the Republican establishment.
And that’s what we need in Texas, because Abbott has had aspirations to become Governor of Texas for quite some time. I’m sure he’s well prepared for a campaign after planning it for years.
The only reason Greg Abbott never challenged Rick Perry for governor is because they’re such close friends. So do you really believe he’s going to deviate at all from the same radical policies for which Rick Perry strongly supported?
So while it’s easy for millions of Texans (heck, Americans in general) to celebrate the countdown till the end of Rick Perry’s terrible leadership in Texas (and rightfully so), I just can’t feel the same excitement that many seem to share.
While I love the idea of Rick Perry no longer being Governor of Texas, I can’t help but think to myself…
“Be careful what you wish for.”