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Rick Perry’s HPV U-turn

Gov. Rick Perry has suddenly decided that he made a mistake back in 2007 when he issued an executive order mandating that all sixth-grade girls in Texas receive a controversial vaccine against the human papillomavirus:

Some conservatives believe Perry’s about-face is genuine — he’s thought about it and now admits it was a mistake. The Family Research Council is now “satisfied” that Perry’s sudden interest in HPV was based on Perry’s “concern with protecting human life” at the time.

But a trip in the Wayback Machine shows that this is actually a case of Perry being hoist[ed] on his own petard: He tried to be a good Republican by doing what big business lobbyists paid him to do and now finds that conflicts directly with what the good Republicans of the anti-vaccine religious right want him to do. He cannot have it both ways, so he’s chosen the latter.

Short form: Gov. Perry is for sale and he always has been. He was for Al Gore (Texas campaign manager during Gore’s run for president in 1988) before he was against him. And now he’s against Merck — ever since last weekend, when he publicly announced his run for president.

Sadly, the Family Research Council and other conservatives officially interpret Perry’s about-face as genuine and not as a cynical attempt to pander to evangelicals. The FRC is apparently believes the end justifies supporting whichever Republican they think can win the next election.

More disturbing, though, is that those of us who’ve raised the issue (and questioned the efficacy, safety, and need for an HPV vaccine) are portrayed as “anti-vaccine crazies” by other conservatives!

That’s as insulting and ignorant as the claim by Obamabots that opposition to the president is naked racism.

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