Because of a few throwaway lines tacked on at the end, many in the state's political media apparently saw in Rick Perry's farewell speech yesterday a call to bipartisanship and compromise.
Which is strange, since to us it sounded an awful lot like the prelude to another schlep around the GOP presidential primary circuit. Perry espoused the "simple philosophy" that "job creation, not higher taxation, is the best form of revenue generation." He championed tort reform and Texas having "the most sweeping lawsuit reforms in the nation" -- ironic for a guy who relished legal fights with the feds at every turn (in the Obama years, of course). There was grandstanding on border security, the pot shots at Washington, and the well-worn warnings against over-taxation and excess regulation.
There's certainly a lot to chew on when you consider the at-best mixed legacy Perry leaves behind after 14 years in the governor's mansion, and the uncertain (and potentially embarrassing) future he hopes to chart in national politics. Along with the "Texas Miracle," we've got about 6 million people in this state without health insurance. Our public school funding scheme has twice been ruled unconstitutional. We have one of the highest teen birth rates in the nation -- likely the result of limited access to healthcare, poverty, high rates of school dropouts, and a laughable system of sex-education. We could go on.
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SHOW ME HOW
So, how should we best reflect on the Perry years? If you're Houston GOP State Rep. Dwayne Bohac, you pen a slobbering, obsequious poem, that's how.
Bohac and his former district director Kay Clinton handed Perry a framed copy of this poem during yesterday's festivities at the Capitol. If you feel the urge, feel free to follow suit by writing your own odes to Perry in the comments (what rhymes with Oops?).
Now, courtesy of Bohac and Clinton:
He strolled out of Paint Creek with a twinkle in his eye His future was uncertain but his expectations high
He was no ordinary man, though from humble West Texas roots This was a man of destiny wearing cowboy boots
He'd been an Eagle Scout, distinguished from the pack He later penned On My Honor, as a way of giving back
Standing out in College Station, this boy was on his way How far this Aggie from the Corps would go - no one would dare to say
His anchor since elementary school, she keeps him grounded indeed With Anita, along with Griffin and Sydney, they're all he'll ever need
Quite the natural leader with downright Texas appeal He soon stood out from all the rest, yes he was the "real deal"
Committing early to his country it was the C-130 he flew The Air Force couldn't hold him, he had great things to do
To the Texas House he made a bee line, yes he waltzed right in Everyone knew he had a future, a success story about to begin
The next step on the master plan was becoming Ag Commish His star was on the rise and on that star Texas made a wish
Knee deep in cotton, a country boy, for Ag a perfect fit But by now his worth was known - the political fire lit
Lt. Governor became his goal and Texas chose her man In a few short years when "W" left, at the top of the heap he'd stand
To the Mansion he made his way, "He's The Best" we say it loud A man of honor & character, yes he has done us proud
The longest serving Governor in our proud state's history What he accomplished was through hard work, there is no mystery
He gave Texas her reputation as 'conservative to the core' If you don't like the way he thinks, we'll show you to the door
A tax cutter from the git-go, Perry fiercely holds the line A man with more restraint in spending you will never find
Our economy and jobs they are the envy of the nation Californians are moving here for a permanent vacation
Through low taxes and housing costs our robust State has spoken Businesses are flocking here the floodgate has been opened
Of frivolous lawsuits he is no fan, "throw 'em out" we hear him say Only suits that are legit should see the light of day
The Feds are out of control, stealing our rights without debate Walking on the Constitution, our Governor won't tolerate In our midst hides
Liberty's enemy - a wildfire we must quell But the warrior who lives among us, for justice would walk through hell
You know him by now, he's a 10th Amendment guy Stomping on State's rights is like pokin' a stick in his eye
He has a higher calling, leaving Austin is a must He'll be remembered far and wide for his support of the least of us
Making all of Texas proud he stood Austin on its head They say "We wish he'd stay forever" - I say "Amen well said"
We love you Rick, your kind will never come again But we know you're on your way, God always has a plan
Stand tall O man of Texas, never waiver on your way We'll be with as you take your place to fight another day
We'll miss you when from Austin your new ship must set sail Your legacy will live forever and history your story tell
With strong & grateful hearts we salute you one & all You are the Pride of the Lone Star State, making Texans stand tall