Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, is everything you would expect a Republican governor of Texas to be.
Much like his predecessor, some dude who astonishingly became President, Perry oozes swagger, cockiness, and very few brain cells. He illustrated this a few years ago when he suggested that Texas should secede from the United States, a notion at which many non-Texans nodded approvingly.
Now Perry is refusing federal funds for education, because the Democrats actually had the chutzpah to put language in the laws of the state saying the money actually had to be used for, you know, schools and not whatever Perry wants.
Perry also has some, eh, interesting thoughts about contraception and abstinence. Thoughts that in 2011 make him even more bat-shit crazy and pigheaded than previously thought.
Check out Gail Collins’ excellent column for all the details.
**Unfortunately, this next story isn’t an original one. At the Iowa state high school wrestling championships this week (which is by far the biggest scholastic event in the state each year; a great book was written about it by Mark Kreidler) a boy named Joel Northrup was scheduled to compete against a girl named Cassy Herkelman in the first round.
Northrup refused, and forfeited the match. He said he didn’t believe, in his conscience and his faith, that he should be wrestling against a female.
Some have applauded Northrup, a 10th grader, for his decision. I think it was disrespectful and silly.
Cassy Herkelman had earned the right to compete. Northrup knows there’s nothing sexual about wrestling, and there have been hundreds of girls who’ve competed against boys in this sport with no problem whatsoever.
I suppose you could argue, as my father did when we discussed this Friday, that Northrup only hurt himself by doing this. He was the one who forfeited.
But I disagree. It hurts Herkleman, too, because it reduces her to a sideshow, a spectacle, when all she wants to do is wrestle like thousands of others do in Iowa.
Northrup and his father (who attempted to use religious grounds as a reason for his son’s decision) tried to look big by making this move. I think they end up looking extremely, extremely small.