Governor Perry Appropriately Compliments Wendy Davis; Left Goes Crazy

“Perry Launches Vicious Attack On Texas Lawmaker” — so declares the Huffington Post on its front page. The story itself claims Texas Governor Rick Perry jabbed new feminist hero Wendy Davis “for being a teen mom.” Reading on, I see that Davis herself reacted with outrage, declaring in a statement:

Rick Perry’s statement is without dignity and tarnishes the high office he holds,” she said. “They are small words that reflect a dark and negative point of view. Our governor should reflect our Texas values. Sadly, Gov. Perry fails that test.”

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, was similarly upset:

Rick Perry’s remarks are incredibly condescending and insulting to women,” Richards said. “This is exactly why the vast majority of Texans believe that politicians shouldn’t be involved in a woman’s personal health care decisions. Women are perfectly capable of deciding whether to choose adoption, end a pregnancy, or raise a child, and they don’t need Rick Perry’s help making that decision.

And here’s Daily Kos writer Joan McCarter:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is digging his hole deeper with women, and decent people, with his War on Women, and he’s making it really ugly, and really personal about his new nemesis, Sen. Wendy Davis.

I could go on (and on and on) with the outraged commentary in the Twitterverse and lefty websites, but the tenor of the commentary is clear. Governor Perry said terrible things.  Awful things.

What did he actually say? This:

“Who are we to say that children born in the worst of circumstances can’t grow to live successful lives?  In fact, even the woman who filibustered the Senate the other day was born into difficult circumstances. She was the daughter of a single woman, she was a teenage mother herself. She managed to eventually graduate from Harvard Law School and serve in the Texas senate,” Perry said Thursday in a speech to the National Right to Life Convention. “It is just unfortunate that she hasn’t learned from her own example that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential and that every life matters.”

In many ways, Senator Davis has a remarkable and admirable life story to tell. A child of a single mom who chose life, she has — through grit and determination — done some amazing things. Governor Perry’s first statement regarding her life story is a compliment — an appropriate and generous thing to say about a political opponent.

The next remark is, quite simply, the obvious thing to say. In fact, the Governor is more tempered than he needs to be.  It’s not just “unfortunate,” it’s tragic that she has taken the remarkable gifts that she’s been given and the remarkable achievements she’s earned and turned them toward the cause of death.

The Left grabs the smelling salts not because Governor Perry’s words are outrageous but because they hit upon a moral truth the abortion industry is desperate to deny: No person should judge the worth or potential of another person’s life — especially when that judgment can have fatal consequences. No mother, no father, no family member, and no doctor is qualified to judge whether a child’s life is worth living. An abortion isn’t a “personal health care decision,” it’s a decision to kill another human being — a person with the potential to live a life just as remarkable as Senator Davis’s.

Conservatives should be proud not just of Governor Perry’s action in calling back the legislature, but also of his generous and honest rhetoric in the defense of life.

This article first appeared here on National Review.


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  • Frank


  • Jay Blossom

    I think the insulting thing that he implied was, “From your tragic, pull-up-by-the-boostratps life, you should have learned the lesson I think you should have learned.” I am pro-life, but pro-lifers are not very good at listening to, and respecting, the other side. (Neither are abortion rights advocates, but we can’t change other people. We can only change ourselves.) Respect doesn’t say, “From your life, you SHOULD HAVE LEARNED my lesson.” It says, “From you life, WHAT LESSON DID YOU LEARN?”

    Gov. Perry’s remarks remind me of some of the rhetoric that I have heard from Republicans about race. “All the segregationists were Democrats, so African Americans SHOULD VOTE REPUBLICAN.” Um, no. Telling people what they SHOULD do is not a sign of respect unless you are so close that you have earned the right to say something so bold.

  • KarenJo12

    1. Perry was wrong. Sen. Davis mother was married when Wendy was born but divorced later. She was married when her own daughter was born. Suggesting she’s the daughter of an unmarked woman who also had a child out of wedlock, as Perry does in his comment, subtly tells his listeners that she’s a whore and the child of a whore.

    2. What Jay Blossom said. Perry implies that Davis should have reached the same conclusion from her experience that he did.

    3. Perry, and conservatives in general, have eliminated almost every program on Texas that makes life bearable for poor people. Davis herself noted that she relied on Planned Parenthood for health care before she went to law school. That is not available to women now. Everything from public transportation and schools to student loans have been slashed and burned by conservatives, who now want poor people to raise kids with no help.

  • Wayne Froese

    Ask yourself why someone doesn’t do what you want them to do rather than “SHOULD” all over them. Then ask them if you want to know.

  • Jim

    1. Perry did not imply in any way that either Davis or her mother was a whore. That’s just spin. And he said she was raised by a single mom, not born to a single woman, so he was not incorrect.
    2. If by reaching the same conclusion he meant choosing life, then to say he should not make that claim is to say he should concede the whole issue of the immorality of late term abortion. IOW, you are begging the question here.
    3. To say that TX has unfairly cut what you say are necessary programs for the poor, while a related issue pragmatically, in no way establishes the moral right or wrong of late term abortion. If the fetus is a person, then it has rights regardless. One can advocate for BOTH a social safety net AND protection under the law for late term babies.

  • KarenJo12

    1. Given Perry’s other statements about women, he doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt here, and there is definitely a doubt whenever a conservative mentions single mothers.

    2. Perry’s comments about Davis don’t address late-term abortions either.

    3. No one actually advocates for expanding the safety net and restricting abortion, including the Frenchs. Everyone in this country who passes laws against abortion also passes laws giving the Koch brothers giant tax breaks and shredding public transit, public schools, Medicare, Medicaid, and public housing subsidies.

  • dixhandley

    Wendy advocates the murder of children…how sad.