Saturday, April 27, 2013

Rick Perry outraged by cartoon explosions, not real ones

Jack Ohman and I were on the same wavelength last week. And for the first time in a very long time, something published in a newspaper got the governor's attention.

Gov. Rick Perry said Friday he's disgusted a California newspaper ran a cartoon that depicts him boasting about booming business in Texas, then shows an explosion, a week after a fertilizer plant explosion killed 14 people in a Texas town.

Perry said he wants an apology from the Sacramento Bee on behalf of the town.

The cartoon in Thursday's edition shows Perry crowing that "Business is Booming," flanked by signs saying "Low Tax!" and "'Low Regs!" It's a play on the Republican's often-repeated mantra that his state's low-regulation, business-friendly climate has its economy humming.

The next panel reads "Boom!" as a blast engulfs the area behind the governor and his signs.

In a letter to the Bee's editor, Perry said it "was with extreme disgust and disappointment I viewed your recent cartoon."

"While I will always welcome healthy policy debate, I won't stand for someone mocking the tragic deaths of my fellow Texans and our fellow Americans," Perry wrote. "Additionally, publishing this on the very day our state and nation paused to honor and mourn those who died only compounds the pain and suffering of the many Texans who lost family and friends in this disaster." 

Ohman is, of course, mocking Perry and not the dead of West, and even Perry is smart enough to understand that. Which is why he's crying like a Boehner about it.

The Bee's editorial page editor, Stuart Leavenworth, responded Friday that the artist, Jack Ohman, "made a strong statement about Gov. Rick Perry's disregard for worker safety, and his attempts to market Texas as a place where industries can thrive with few regulations."

"It is unfortunate that Gov. Perry, and some on the blogosphere, have attempted to interpret the cartoon as being disrespectful for the victims of this tragedy," Leavenworth said. "As Ohman has made clear on his blog, he has complete empathy for the victims and people living by the plant.

"What he finds offensive is a governor who would gamble with the lives of families by not pushing for the strongest safety regulations. Perry's letter is an attempt to distract people from that message."

Rick Perry is, as we know, the guy who ignored every Texas newspaper editorial board on his way to re-election in 2010. Rick Perry is the guy who brags about how great the Texas economy is when the state has the most minimum wage jobs in the nation. Rick Perry is the guy who, in his pitch to out-of-state businessmen, makes analogies of burning buildings about to collapse. And he is also the guy who believes that Texans, with their ballots, have endorsed all of his lazy-ass-faire libertarian notions of regulation.

You cannot make these things up. Rick Perry has exposed himself on a weekly basis for the past two years as the King of All Buffoons, and appears (with an indignant response to a cartoon) to have finally realized that we're onto him. When even the Texas Republicans in the state legislature are tired of your act...

I have to say I am still doubtful, however, that the greater ramifications of Ohman's cartoon will successfully penetrate our governor's dense mind. I just don't think his brain can be fracked. He's been such a national laughingstock for so long that it's hard for me to see anything that occurs outside of his tea bubble will actually influence his actions. That David Dewhurst -- who has a lot of fencing to mend with the extremes in the TXGOP -- would go a step further and demand Ohman's firing is evidence that the Glenn Beck caucus, Texas chapter thinks there is still mileage to be gotten out of strenuously objecting to a cartoon.

Cartoons, as you may recall, were what resulted in the fatwas against both Danish and American cartoonists in the past ten years. And that is essentially the state of play in the Lone Star State today: Texas is right on the verge of becoming the Afghanistan of the western world. That's where the Tea Party has brought us.

Either the people who vote in the GOP primary in Texas will put an end to this bullshit, or they won't. It's up to them.

Hurry up, Battleground Texas.


lokywoky said...

Perry was making those statements about the low taxes and no regulations two days AFTER the plant blew up. Talk about disgraceful!

The cartoon is entirely appropriate and I am super glad that Ohman drew it. Kudos!!

Don Gomez said...

How fitting that the man indirectly responsible for the lack of safety at the plant, now wants to blame it on someone else.Perry is the classic GOP voice for less government(unless it benefits them,of course)....Texas is leading the downward charge to privatize water and do away with minimum wages....their textbooks are a bad joke on any scale,and now their newest incarnation of the Village Idiot wants an apology? Surely he jests.