A lot is being made these days of the so-called Texas miracle, in which that state has bucked the national unemployment trend. Governor Rick Perry hopes to ride that success all the way to the White House, with the promise of extending that miracle to the rest of the country. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Except there’s something decidedly less than miraculous when you dig a little deeper. First of all, Texas’ unemployment is hardly anything to brag about, Yes, it’s below the national average, but only by a little. Many of the jobs pay minimum wage or less. Texas boasts a huge number of working poor, as evidenced by a poverty rate well above the national average. One-fourth of the state’s children live below the poverty level. The number of uninsured, highest in the nation, should be a national scandal. Yet he’ll have nothing to do with any rational health care reform. Perry’s answer to his state’s problems? Cut benefits for the poor and unemployed. Cut Medicaid. Cut education. And pray for divine intervention. I didn’t even mention his stance on climate change in the cartoon. The drought, predicted by climate scientists who study such things, has hit his state hard. Wildfires continue to burn across wide areas of the state. Perry’s hatred of the federal government and taxes hasn’t stopped him from applying for federal disaster relief–paid for by tax money. Perhaps his weird contempt for the good done by Social Security for the past 75 years will derail his ambitions, but don’t count on it. He is a prodigious fund-raiser and a dogged campaigner. He’s at least an even bet to win the nomination. Maybe we should all be praying for a different miracle.