I included the unannounced candidate, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas. As of that writing, he was said to be undecided. Well, last weekend Perry declared his candidacy and was, as expected, leaped on by weasels in the the media. Now we are swamped with critical articles about Perry and backward Texans, by people who knew very little about the state or its governor until a few days ago.
Having grown up in the Great State of Texas and now living in a neighboring state, I have observed Perry's career as Governor, as I did with the Arkansas Clown with the pants problem, Bill Clinton.
So, my friend Publius Minimus and I will now analyze the effectiveness of these media criticisms, and once we're finished you shouldn't need to read any more articles about Perry (unless I write them, of course).
PERRY IS A MORONPerry scored mediocre exam results (a D in Shakespeare, a D in economics, a C in American history) did not graduate FROM YALE OR HARVARD; a propensity for wearing cowboy boots; Texas accent; grew up on a farm.
*This strategy was used against Ronald Reagan (amiable dunce) and failed; Yale grad Bush, Jr. was also characterized as an imbecile, and served two terms. Why? Because labeling as fools politicians who embody (whether truthfully or not) the aspirations and ideals of vast swathes of the population alienates the very people “liberals” (20% of the electorate) most need to win over to their side. It’s pathological, not strategic. As governor of Texas, Perry has a strong economic record, and this, in most people's minds will be more important than some exams he took forty years ago; which leads us directly to…
THE TEXAS ECONOMIC MIRACLE IS A MYTHPerry's most powerful argument for his candidacy is Texas's record of job creation- 37% of all jobs created in the United States since June 2009 were created in the state. Perry argues this is a result of sound economic management, low taxes, minimal regulation, tort reform, etc. To which Democrats and media talking heads reply: Texas is just lucky, it has oil, the military, and most of those jobs are minimum wage anyway. Plus, you’ve still got high unemployment.
*Iran is awash with oil and soldiers but it is not very successful economically. Obviously policies play a part, otherwise California, blessed with abundant natural wealth, beautiful weather and the 8th largest economy on the globe, would not be teetering on the verge of bankruptcy and experiencing a mass exodus of its population…into Texas. The comments about minimum wage jobs smack of an elitist disconnect from reality as these days just about any job is a toehold on the ladder up. Nor are they true: since the recession started, hourly wages in Texas have increased at the sixth fastest rate in the US. Texas unemployment is still high, but lower than the national average, and Obama is on very weak ground indeed when he talks about job creation.
PERRY IS A RELIGIOUS NUT/HATES ABORTION/GAYS, ETC.Perry held a big prayer rally in Houston at the start of August – creepy! He talks about Jesus – what a nut! He’s against gay marriage…. probably hates Muslims, too.
*Perry’s religiousness and social conservatism is something he shares with many millions of Americans, so see the problem with Criticism #1 above. His stance on gay marriage is the same as Obama’s. I vaguely recall that Perry once received complaints from Buddhists who were upset when he said they won’t go to heaven when they die. Some reporters will have fun with that if they can be bothered to dig it up. At the end of the day, when one in five people in the country are on food stamps and the economy smells like a vast sinkhole filled with rotten fish, only ideologues care about these issues.
Thus, we're not persuaded that these early lines of attack will prove very effective against Perry, who has never lost an election. Unless the governor fails to adapt his Texan “screw you” style of campaigning to the national level, or is revealed as a cannibal, he will prove a strong candidate.
The key thing to know about Rick Perry is that in Texas, nobody loves him very much, not even Republicans, and yet he always trounces his opponents. That translates to one thing; he has skill.
...and unlike Barack Obama, he has a Brass Pair!