Jack Ohman: Rick-a-roni, a San Francisco treat
06/29/2014 12:00 AM
06/26/2014 6:12 PM
Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s confession that he is considering moving to California after his term is up made absolute sense, in the same way that one might feel after hearing Fidel Castro was thinking about getting a nice little condo in Miami.
Personally, I hope that Perry does move here, because, after all, it would illustrate precisely, in a Seinfeldian manner, what he’s all about: nothing.
After all, this is the same guy who seems to come to California every six weeks to poach businesses to bring back to Texas. Perry’s personal affect conveys insincerity anyway, which is why he didn’t get a lot of traction in his last presidential campaign. So, fine. Move to California. We’re big-hearted and welcoming.
Once Perry does get here, it is inevitable that he’ll then become more Californian, and that’s a good thing. Because right now he just looks and sounds like some sad Death-of-a-Salesman-from-Fort-Worth type, with too-combed hair and faintly plastic-looking suits. California, with all its faults, has a way of loosening up whatever’s tight in a person.
Personally, I think Perry should be allowed to live here, but with a catch:
He has to do a year in San Francisco first.
Not San Diego. Not Palm Springs. Not Carmel.
Well, first, he thinks gays are like alcoholics. So I’d like to have him spend a year explaining that on the street to everyone he runs into. After about two hours of this, he’ll make the personal lifestyle choice to stop thinking that.
Second, he can see all the charging stations for the electric car batteries he so badly wanted to get for Texas. Maybe someone can show him how they work.
Third (and, yes, I remembered the third), living in San Francisco would mellow him out.
You see, it is very stressful being a Texan.
Being a Texan means you are the representative of the Best State in The Country, and that requires a lot of work. For example, Texas is the best at not graduating students from high school (or, expressed another way, 50th). Texas is the best at producing hazardous waste, as well as citizens lacking health insurance. Texas is also best at producing women without health insurance. But it’s only second-best at producing uninsured children.
Texas is also best at producing carbon emissions, like those coming from Rick Perry while at Sacramento news conferences.
This isn’t some gay alcoholic over-regulated corgi-owning San Francisco-based California study, either. This is a 2013 study from the Texas Legislative Study Group, from some Texas state legislators who actually care about Texas and its success.
Maybe some of them even voted against Rick Perry.
Not that California has anything to brag about in voter turnout, but Texas is also the best at low voter turnout.
There are some things Texas isn’t best at, though. It’s only fourth best in the whole U.S. for percentage of women living in poverty. It’s only third best for lowest SAT scores.
No wonder Perry wants to move to California. When they talk about Not Messing With Texas, who knew it was Perry who messed it up?
So Perry can move wherever he wants to in California after his Year Abroad in San Francisco is up. He says he loves San Diego. Who doesn’t? He can visit the San Diego Zoo, Sea World and have a nice Chardonnay in La Jolla. All wonderful things.
And, once he establishes residency here in California, he can be just like his hero, Ronald Reagan.
One of Reagan’s oft-quoted lines was, “Facts are stupid things ... stubborn things, should I say.”
You know, like the fact that California actually is better than Texas in some ways.
About This BlogJack Ohman joined The Sacramento Bee in 2013. He previously worked at the Oregonian, the Detroit Free Press and the Columbus Dispatch. His work is syndicated to more than 200 newspapers by Tribune Media Services. Jack has won the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, the Scripps Foundation Award and the national SPJ Award, and he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2012 and the Herblock Prize in 2013. Contact Jack at email@example.com. Twitter: @JACKOHMAN.
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