Our whole damn state is being twitched.
A twitch, for those who haven't had the pleasure of trying to pull a swinging, wild-eyed, bucket-shaped head down from the rafters of a barn in order to trim the fine hairs in the ears or nostrils of a horse belonging to a little girl whose parents pay enormous sums of money to keep looking well-kept, is a method of restraint.
In history, twitches resembled that of the non-business end of an ax attached to a loop of chain. Newer models, sometimes given the oxymoronic term of "humane twitches," are two aluminum handles with an opening on the end that resembles a nutcracker that, when tightened, stay clamped together with a string wrapped tightly around the end.
The methodology of the twitch is simple: it is placed over the sensitive upper lip of a horse -- you know, that little soft spot that everyone always says feels like velvet -- and is rapidly compressed. As a result of the intense pain it initially creates, the brain releases a surge of endorphins that act as natural pain killers. It's also widely believed that the distraction alone will keep a horse adequately occupied and that in itself will "inspire him to stand quietly while you accomplish your task." For this reason, twitches are often used when a horse will not stand still in delicate situations or during painful procedures like injections and castrations.
On that note, let's talk about Rick Perry.
"While the budget is our top responsibility," Rick Perry said last week as he addressed the 82nd Legislature, "there are other pressing issues that have waited too long already. That's why I'm declaring emergency items for the upcoming session starting with the pressing need for tougher eminent domain laws."
Our Governor continued: "Next, we must abolish sanctuary city rules and free up our peace officers to do their job keeping our families and neighborhoods safe."
Flailing heads. Tossing manes. The Texas Tribune's Ross Ramsey summed it up well in a headline: "Perry 'Sanctuary Cities' Focus Offers Political Cover." Paul Burka over at Texas Monthly calls it a "red meat" strategy:
"Perry’s designation of two sideshow issues as 'emergency' legislation, when lawmakers should be spending every possible moment on the state’s budget crisis, is a continuation of his campaign tactics, which were to do everything possible to deflect voters’ attention from his mediocre record in Texas by throwing them red meat."This isn't red meat, it's horse meat. The entire state of Texas is being twitched by our self-serving Governor as he hacks his way to the White House or Senate or wherever it is Texas Republicans go to get richer. Got a problem with the budget? Who cares. Looking for a job? Get in line. Need money for schools? Who doesn't. Rick Perry's got a bigger task at hand, and Texans are just collateral. He's got us by the nose, hard, and is just hoping we'll stand still long enough for him to finish.