I thought I had written about Rick Perry's Gardasil fiat a while back but all I could find in my archives was an unpublished draft from June 22. Here it is:
Katie Thompson, writing at Legal Insurrection, makes a case for a Rick Perry candidacy and goes through some of his baggage. Blogger RhymesWithRight commented on the Gardasil controversy:I was hoping for an acknowledgment from Perry that this was all a dreadful mistake, a serious misjudgment on his part. He has recently expressed regrets, but weakly and with less than total candor.
1) Actually, the executive order did not include much of an opt-out provision.
2) Perry and his staff initially indicated that he would not abide by any legislative directive to discontinue the program, because he didn’t believe the legislature had the authority to overrule the executive order. he only changed his tune when legislation was passed in both houses by more than the margin needed for impeachment.
3) The logic behind vaccines as a condition of admission to schools is that certain diseases are likely to be passed in a classroom setting. Speaking as a teacher, I’d like to point out that since HPV is a sexually transmitted disease, it is unlikely to be passed in the classroom. Interestingly enough, there are a number of vaccines (meningitis, for example) that Perry did not seek to mandate, despite the fact that they are more easily passed in the classroom.
I like Rick Perry but I have a real problem with this.
Please see the following for the full story of his controversial 2007 executive order to mandate the newly-approved Gardasil vaccine for every sixth-grade girl in Texas:
Tom Bevan, June 4: Rick Perry's Gardasil Problem
In January 2007, Gardasil was put on the "recommended" immunization schedule issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control. Merck immediately mounted a massive lobbying effort of state legislatures around the country to get Gardasil added to their respective lists of state-mandated vaccines.Joshua Mercer, June 16: Rick Perry's Catholic Problem
But in Texas, Gov. Perry chose to bypass the legislature and on Feb. 2, 2007, he issued an executive order making Texas the first state in the country requiring all sixth-grade girls to receive the three-shot vaccination series (which cost about $120 per shot). The move generated a fierce public debate. Conservatives slammed Perry for promoting what they saw as an intrusion by the state into private health decisions of parents and their children. Some also complained that the mandate would encourage promiscuity among teenagers.
Mandating that all 11-year-olds get vaccinated against a sexually-transmitted disease represents a statist mentality when it comes to the fundamental need to reform the role of family in culture.Michelle Malkin, today: Rick Perry's bad, Obama-style Medicine
Not only did Perry defend going above the heads of elected state legislators, but his office also falsely claimed the legislature had no right to repeal the executive order. “The order is effective until Perry or a successor changes it, and the Legislature has no authority to repeal it,” Perry spokeswoman Krista Moody told The Washington Post in February 2007.Perry also opened himself to charges of cronyism, mandating the vaccine to put money in Merck's pocket. Read the rest of Michelle's column for the details.
When both the House and Senate repealed the law six weeks later, Perry did not — as he now claims — listen humbly or “agree with their decision.”
Human shield demagoguery. In response to the legislature’s rebuke, the infuriated governor attacked those who supported repeal as “shameful” spreaders of “misinformation” who were putting “women’s lives” at risk. Borrowing a tried-and-true Alinskyite page from the progressive left, Perry surrounded himself with female cervical cancer victims and deflected criticism of his imperial tactics with emotional anecdotes.
He then lionized himself and the minority of politicians who voted against repeal of his Gardasil order. “They will never have to think twice about whether they did the right thing. No lost lives will occupy the confines of their conscience, sacrificed on the altar of political expediency.” Perry, of course, has now put his own ghastly Gardasil order on that same altar — but with no apology to all those he demonized and exploited along the way.
It can't be seen as anything but glaring government overreach, can it? I'm still very disturbed by it. Speaking as a mother of daughters, I have to say that Perry's Gardasil mandate is the kind of unholy statist invasion into the family that makes me crazy, and angry. What's more, I'm turned off, repelled, even, by the hubris evident in Perry's unilateral mandate. In my wilder fantasies, I dream of a president whose confidence is tempered by humility. I fear this isn't one of Perry's strengths.
But reasonable people have reminded me that the Gardasil fiasco is just one part of Perry's ten-year record as governor. His pro-life record is unassailable. His commitment to smaller government seems genuine. I'll take him over Romney without hesitation. (I do like a couple of the other candidates but I expect them to be long gone by the time my primary rolls around next spring.) Behind-the-scenes agitation aside, I'll be very surprised if someone new and wonderful jumps into the race. So I'm looking at what's offered and taking a tentative step in Perry's direction.
Michelle Malkin is right: now is the time to take a hard look at the candidates:
As for the ridiculous idea that scrutinizing Perry’s much-bragged-out gubernatorial record is tantamount to “smearing” him, toughen up, buttercups. This is just the beginning of 2012 campaign heat. Limited government activists already know Perry’s ready, willing, and able to dish it out against them. If Perry can’t take it from supposed allies and friends on his own side of the aisle, why should he be trusted as the GOP contender against our Democratic enemies?We need to know what we're getting.
Linked by Michelle Malkin -- thanks!
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