Or better yet, I’ll do it for you.

Micromanaging is a concept developed in the early 1980s revolving around excessive attention to detail in business ventures. It’s rather like accusing someone of parsing, or reading the details just a little too literally. It’s an issue that arises in politics surprisingly often.

This definition doesn’t seem to apply when Governor Rick Perry uses the word to quash valuable pieces of legislation, like the bill he vetoed last week that would prohibit drivers from reading or composing text messages on the road. What was Perry’s politically valid reason for vetoing a bill born of a fatal texting-related traffic incident?

He called the bill a “misguided government effort to micromanage the behavior of [adults]”.

A study released in 2009, found that drivers who were texting or reading texts while driving were 23 times more likely than drivers not texting or reading texts to have a collision or almost-collision. Representative Tom Craddick, a republican from Midland, sponsored the bill after a fatal texting-related accident in his district.

Approximately thirty states have put legislation in place that bans the use of texting devices while driving; Dallas County prohibits the use of cell phones in school zones. The states and districts that have decided to ban the use of texting devices are not doing so to “micromanage” anyone; they’re doing it to prevent the fatal traffic collisions that often force this sort of legislation to be brought up in the first place.

I’m sure we all recall the recent legislation requiring women seeking abortions to view their sonograms and have their physician describe the embryonic development, despite the obvious ethical violations therein. If we recall slightly older pushes by Perry, we might remember the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine bill, wherein Perry wanted to require all femlaes between the ages of 12 – 24 to be vaccinated with Gardisil against the four strains of HPV most likely to cause cervical and anal cancers. I agreed with the governor on this count, but is it not similar “micromanagement,” if that’s what he’s going to call it? 

If Governor Perry wants to end what he calls government “micromanagement”, first he should get a dictionary and find out what that word really means and then he should retroactively dismiss the abortion bill mentioned above. At least the prohibition of texting while driving would defend the lives of real living people, instead of taking up arms for a blastocyst—that’s the tiny ball of cells that usually gets terminated during abortion procedures.

The problem with Perry’s claim is that the majority of government action is an attempt to control, to some extent, the actions of adults—that’s the purpose of a law. The misguided part only comes into play when the government starts infringing on the rights of the adults they exist to protect.

I may have the right to be dumb enough to send text messages while driving, just like anyone else, but the passengers in the cars around me have a lot more right to not be killed by my need to respond to the latest Facebook update.

The results of the 2009 study can be found here: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-10296992-94.html

The Dallas Morning News’s report of Governor Perry’s veto can be found on their website here: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/local-news/20110617-perry-vetoes-texas-bill-to-ban-texting-while-driving.ece

Contributed by Glenn Averoigne