On the advice of his good friend God Almighty, Texas Gov. Rick Perry officially threw his ten-gallon Stetson into the 2012 GOP primary race Saturday with a stirring collection of half-truths, misrepresentations and falsehoods that would be the envy of any national politician. This guy is going places!
Coincidentally, at the exact same time as he was announcing to Iowa voters and America at large that he was finally descending upon them as their savior, he also changed his mind about this state-wide mandatory human papillomavirus vaccine he's been championing for the past four years…
For years, Gov. Rick Perry has taken flak for his 2007 attempt to require girls to be vaccinated against the human papillomavirus, the most commonly sexually transmitted disease and the principal cause of cervical cancer. At the risk of angering fellow conservatives, Perry has always insisted he did the right thing.
That unapologetic approach changed this weekend.
A few hours after unveiling his campaign for president, Perry began walking back from one of the most controversial decisions of his more-than-10-year reign as Texas governor. Speaking to voters at a backyard party in New Hampshire, Perry said he was ill-informed when he issued his executive order, in February 2007, mandating the HPV vaccine for all girls entering sixth grade, unless their parents completed a conscientious-objection affidavit form. The vaccine, Merck & Co.’s Gardasil, would have protected against the forms of HPV that cause about 70 percent of all cervical cancer, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control.
You see, the thing about this vaccine is that is protects women (generally-speaking, not one of conservative America's favorite groups of people to begin with) from getting cervical cancer after they become sexually-active. Or, to put it another way, it turns otherwise morally upright young women into nymphomaniacal sluts with insatiable appetites for cock. Obviously, if you take away the fear of a disease that will tear its way through their lady parts, then our daughters and wives would have no reason to refrain from sticking every dick they run across into every orifice in their bodies. It's simple math.*
Now, you may be asking why God's most-trusted confidant would issue an executive order that elixir of such evil be injected into all of Texas' womenfolk in the first place. Funny you should ask. Turns out Perry has some friends even more powerful than The Creator of All Things…
Merck could generate billions in sales if Gardasil _ at $360 for the three-shot regimen _ were made mandatory across the country. Most insurance companies now cover the vaccine, which has been shown to have no serious side effects.
The New Jersey-based drug company is bankrolling efforts to pass state laws across the country mandating Gardasil for girls as young as 11 or 12. It doubled its lobbying budget in Texas and has funneled money through Women in Government, an advocacy group made up of female state legislators around the country.
Perry has ties to Merck and Women in Government. One of the drug company's three lobbyists in Texas is Mike Toomey, Perry's former chief of staff. His current chief of staff's mother-in-law, Texas Republican state Rep. Dianne White Delisi, is a state director for Women in Government.
But, hey, the important thing is that he changed his mind and has stopped caring deeply for the health of his state's daughters. Maybe he had a crisis of morality. Maybe a revenue stream suddenly dried up. Who knows? And what does it matter anyway? Just so long as the women of Texas live in fear. As God intended.
* But not evil sciencey math. Jesus math.
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Corporations, Health, Health Care, Iowa, Men and Women, Primaries, Republicans, Rick Perry, Texas