In a 2011 Republican primary debate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry told us he would eliminate three federal agencies. And then he forgot the third one … “Oops.” He didn’t withdraw for another two months, but that night he showed Americans he wasn’t suited for the White House in 2012.
Perry looks like he’s running again, and danged if he isn’t efficient. He’s already showed us he’s not suited for 2016 either.
Perry was asked Sunday about a Texas law that would require abortion clinics to meet the standards of ambulatory surgery clinics — requirements that would lead to half of the clinics being closed.
“Clearly, the will of the Texas Legislature — which I agree with — that it is a state’s right to put particular types of considerations into place, to put rules and regulations into place, to make a clinic be as safe as a hospital,” Perry said. “It was interesting that, when Joan Rivers, and the procedure that she had done where she died, that was a clinic. It’s a curious thought that if they had had that type of regulations in place, whether or not that individual would be still alive.”
First off, Texas’ abortion clinic requirements wouldn’t have helped “that individual,” because — follow me here — Joan Rivers didn’t go to an abortion clinic. She went to Yorkville Endoscopy, which its website says is, “ ready to handle all of your gastroenterology needs,” but is clearly not equipped to perform an abortion.
But let’s assume the Texas law were applied to endoscopy clinics. Wider hallways wouldn’t have helped Joan Rivers. Additional janitor’s closets with painted concrete floors wouldn’t have helped Joan Rivers. Two parking spots per operating room wouldn’t have helped Joan Rivers. Ceilings set at 8 feet, 6 inches wouldn’t have helped Joan Rivers. These are required renovations that may force clinics to close, and they have nothing to do with women’s safety.
Second, where was Perry’s concern over life-saving regulations last year, when a fertilizer plant in West exploded?
I’m not sure if you’ll recall, given the explosion’s diminished coverage due to the Boston Marathon bombing, so here’s a review. The plant carried enough explosives for the work of 1,300 Tim McVeighs, and went without an OSHA inspection for 28 years. The plant was located across the street from a nursing home and the city’s public school due to lax zoning regulations. The plant owner only carried $1 million in liability insurance (the same amount that’s offered when you rent a car), because that’s all the regulations required.
Meanwhile, Perry was putting out radio ads in other states trying to lure businesses to relocate and enjoy Texas’ “sensible regulations.” And after sensible left a 100-foot-wide crater in West, Perry was shaming the federal government for declining to send FEMA recovery money, believing the states that did regulate to avoid disasters should foot the bill for the state that didn’t.
Please don’t pretend ceiling heights, hallway widths and parking spaces are about women’s safety, or that they would have helped Joan Rivers during a procedure on her vocal cords, when the only thing you care about is creating an effective ban on abortion to gain primary votes.
I was always taught to say please and thank you, though. So with that in mind, thank you for saving us two years wondering if you’re right for the Oval Office.
Kevin Wilson is a columnist for Clovis Media Inc. He can be contacted at 575-763-3431, ext. 318, or by email: