Clayton Williams: A Reasonable GOP Voice

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At least with respect to one issue: Science.

You all know that Texas had a messy Board of Education fight over whether to teach good science or something else (creationism) in Texas schools. You also know by now what Texas Governor Rock Perry, whom we count as a presidential contender, made the statement in public that “we teach both creationism and evolution in our public schools — because I figure you’re smart enough to figure out which one is right.” (This is totally incorrect, of course.)

Perry is now raising funds in Texas for his run at the Oval Office, and there is a fundraiser coming up hosted by wealthy Texan and former GOP gubernatorial nominee Clayton Williams. It turns out that Williams was concerned some time back about the effects of hitching the statewide Republican Platform to the anti-science unicorn, and told Perry this in a letter, which said:

“If Texas enters into a debate on the teaching of fundamental religious beliefs in public schools, it will tarnish our strong academic reputation, set our ability to attract top science and engineering talent to Texas back decades and severely impact our reputation as a national and global leader in energy, space, medicine and other high tech fields … Governor, this is a very important issue for Texas. I urge you to quell this issue quietly, firmly and permanently.”

Perry ignored this advice.

The story is here. That news site allows comments, so you may consider taking the opportunity to put a word in for science!

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4 thoughts on “Clayton Williams: A Reasonable GOP Voice

  1. Well, my sense about this guy is that he’s going to be real rough around the edges and not make any concessions toward the middle until he’s the Republic nominee. Then he’ll start in with apologies about how he was way too religious before and he regrets it. And he’ll admit that handcuffing the Fed Chairman for printing more money, well he didn’t actually do it, he just said it, but it probably gave everyone the wrong idea, and he regrets it.

    But I don’t think he’ll budge too much on the Education issues; if he’s asked about his appointments to the BoE Chair he’ll get his back up and act insulted and then say something like, “Well, now, maybe I should have appointed someone a little less intolerable to be the Chair of BoE. Maybe. But to me that’s a big decision and it’s one of those State’s rights that I care about,” and on and on. He might slip in a pointed, “You’re not from Texas, are ya?” But everyone will stop paying attention after he says State’s rights. And he’ll also say that even though he appointed the most rigid authoritarians, I mean, trustworthy and responsible people in the state of Texas, his appointments really didn’t change the curriculum. So everybody back off and let the guv do his job. Then he’ll laugh and half-shrug and not say anything stupid until December.

    I sure do miss Molly Ivins. She’d have something to say about this testosteroney wrapped in a suit.

    RIP Molly

    1. You have to remember that Molly Ivins rose to national prominence by ripping to Clayton Williams back when Ann Richards was first running for governor. And now Calytie is a voice of reason. Clayton Williams didn’t change, Texas and the whole national discourse changed.

      Where the hell did the progressive Texas of the 60’s through 80s that I grew up in go to? We still got in inner-loop Houston with Mayor Parker and it still lives on in Austin, as everyone knows. Dallas seems to not be ruled by idiots. So how did we end up becoming so crazy that Williams is the voice of reason?

  2. Off topic

    Greg, my apologies in advance for commenting on something that is none of my business, but I want to say that I think the photo you have chosen for your FTB blog is a particularly bad choice.

    To get the ruder observation out of the way first – I would say that this particular photo makes you look like some cheesy politician. (Sorry!)

    My more general thought is that on any blog I don’t want to have to scroll past a large full face close-up of the author. It is disconcerting at the very least.

    It may be the case that the current FTB layout has settled on a size for the photo box that is too large for my personal taste, or alternatively that I have my web browser at a higher than normal size.

    My advice (for what it’s worth) would be to have a shot from a greater distance, and also one with a background that tends to reduce the contrast between the individual and the rest of the photo. i.e definitely not blue screen, or standing against a curtain, or as you have here, blurred so that the face is the only thing to focus on. (Your wedding photo on your other blog was ideal by my standards)

    Once again, apologies for sticking my oar in!

  3. Strange to think that around twenty years ago we thought Clayton Williams was a bit crazy and voted against him as governor. Now he’s a voice of reason and moderation. What the hell happened to us?

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