September 21, 2011

On Rick Perry's compassion...

...and why Michele Bachmann can go f*ck herself.

Last week Michele Wild Eyes Bachmann went off on some moronic tirade about how a vaccine for the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) causes girls to become promiscuous and causes mental retardation. Apparently, she had quite the dose of it.

She is, of course, backing the hell up from those remarks now, saying that she has 'heard' that those things happen. She doesn't 'mean' that they are absolutely true. Huh?

No matter your personal thoughts on this cancer vaccine, it is easy to understand why Rick Perry wanted to make it mandatory.  He wanted to save lives.  He wanted to enact a law that would have the effect of making the vaccine more available to the general public. If it is a required vaccine, insurance has to cover it. Health departments have to administer it. Otherwise, it is an expense to be borne by the consumer.

Perry had every opportunity to plead his case during last week's debate and the resultant round of follow up interviews and press releases. He exercised an enormous measure of restraint, and I learned just how much from a local news item.  What you never heard him say was 'Heather Burcham'. He never trotted out the dead woman that was the driving force behind his push to make HPV accessible and affordable. He hasn't hit the road with members of her family or posted pictures of Heather's last months. He has never mentioned spending time with her or speaking at her memorial service where he said:
I think Heather would tell all of us that strive to live a successful life that, more than that, we should strive to live a significant life. Success is measured by the world’s standards, significance is measured by God’s. Heather’s life was short but significant. Many of her dreams were not realized, but because of her, I believe others’ dreams will be realized. She has only begun to symbolize the importance of preventative healthcare for millions of young girls. And though some could not see the benefits of the HPV vaccine through the prism of politics, some day they will. Someday they will recognize that this could happen to anyone’s daughter, even their own. Someday they will respond with compassion when they once responded with ignorance. And, someday, they will come to a place where they recognize the paramount issue is whether we will choose life, and protect life, without regard to what mistakes, if any, have been made in the past.
Rick Perry has resisted further politicizing a young woman's death during the most important campaign of his life.  That is one hell of a show of integrity and class.  Makes me proud to be a Texan today.   Wish Bachmann would come around here so I could show her what a Texas ass kicking looks like.

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