Two weekends back, Texas governor Rick Perry joined the 329 declared candidates for the Republican Presidential nomination, replacing Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Donald Trump, and other former titleholders as rightblogger favorite for 2012 (and frontrunner).
The brethren were so excited that they generously extended to Perry their trademark persecution complex. They also started explaining away his many unfortunate statements and actions.
LD Jackson of Political Realities detailed “The Campaign To Smear Rick Perry.” “String of attacks against Texas Governor Rick Perry,” warned HoosierAccess. “The left must be very, very afraid of Rick Perry,” said neo-neocon, “because the attacks on him have come with almost unprecedented speed.”
When they embrace you like that, you know you’re in. They’ll even defend you from such heavyweights as Charlie Rangel.
Also, they’ll protect you from allegations of gayness. “Left-Wing Politico Spreads Rick Perry Gay Smear,” roared Fox Nation. (That’s an odd way to characterize Politico, one that certainly doesn’t appear in the post’s source material at the Advocate — wait, Fox is citing the Advocate? Time to tick that one off our list of signs of the Apocalypse.)
“It is astounding that they’d do this,” said Robert Stacy McCain, “and I’d rather ignore it altogether, but now the desperate and ridiculous gay smear against Rick Perry has been promoted at both Politico and New York magazine.” Funny — the first place we heard about these rumors was at RedState, discussed — sorry, we mean “spread” — by no less than Erick Erickson. The liberal conspiracy runs deep!
“Out here in the blue-blue City of Angels I am already detecting severe signs of PDS — Perry Derangement Syndrome,” claimed Pajamas Media’s Roger L. Simon. “Most of this comes from liberal christians and jews (lower case deliberate) for whom public displays of faith are considered vulgar, even suspect. An Elmer Gantry lurks around every corner.”
But these liberals and lower-case Jews are wrong to worry, Simon explained; though communists like Obama and Bill Clinton have “a kind of wink-wink relationship with religion, largely attending church for political purposes,” Obama “spent two decades in the fold of the execrable race-hustler Jeremiah Wright…” Presumably Simon viewed tapes of Perry and saw no evidence of wink-wink, and thus found “a general atmosphere of religious phoniness — a baseline hypocrisy — on the liberal side and what is often genuine religious faith on the conservative side… Frankly, I prefer honesty. So I respect Perry for his faith.” (Simon describes himself as an agnostic, which suggests an entirely new audience for TV preachers looking for donations.)
Not all conservative operatives are rushing to Perry — not even in his home state; former Texas Congressman Dick Armey is playing it close to the vest, and Ron Paul seems downright hostile.
And at The American Spectator, John Guardiano said Perry’s veiled threat to lynch Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke showed he wasn’t “disciplined and focused,” in contrast to… Michelle Bachmann, whom Guardiano called “a much better and more deliberative presidential candidate.” Wicked burn!
But those who’ve already clambered aboard his bandwagon exhibit great loyalty. Take the issue of immigration, on which Perry is vulnerable, having endorsed a Texas version of the DREAM Act and other Mexican-friendly initiatives. Some conservatives have already attacked him for it.
Perhaps sensing this, Perry recently suggested Predator drones be used to patrol the Mexican border. The brethren rejoiced. “Certainly a better idea than Obama/Holder I know nothing about botched Operation Fast & Furious gunrunning program,” whooped The Jawa Report. W. James Antle III of The American Spectator and Ben Shapiro of FrontPage also saw it as a plus. Never mind that the Feds already use Predator drones on the border — Perry used belligerent language, and that’s what counts.
Some conservatives also complained that Perry had advocated a (now moribund) Trans-Texas Corridor roadwork project, which would have involved extensive use of eminent domain, among other statist outrages. To the rescue came Chuck DeVore of Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government. He explained that, unlike the highways built by the socialist Dwight D. Eisenhower, the TTC would have been funded by private companies (who would also get a cut of the tolls).
And as for the eminent domain, DeVore shrugged, “But, when hasn’t eminent domain been used to build infrastructure? Unless land is already owned by the government, eminent domain is the proper Constitutional tool to use… Without eminent domain, virtually none of today’s current interstate system could have been built.” It’s always good to see small-gummint conservatives standing up for the little guy at a site dedicated to exposing Big Government. DeVore also found it ironic that “such populist-minded conservatives” as opposed the project “are actually using one of the same arguments that the Sierra Club and other environmental left, anti-growth groups, have used against Perry.” Environmentalist cooties! Now you have to vote for Perry.
Rightbloggers became even more defensive when the Perry-bashers were actual liberals.
At a campaign event, one Kristin Bunce had her nine-year-old son ask Perry how old the earth is — a twit at Perry’s evolution-averse views. Rightbloggers protectively embraced Perry, and showed their claws.
“Gov. Perry peppered with irrelevant questions by liberals,” cried PrairiePundit. “That woman who decided to use her son as a prop for a question that is totally irrelevant should be ashamed.” “This woman and her ilk don’t care about science,” snarled Jim Treacher of The Daily Caller. “Look at how they treat people who don’t agree with them 100% on global warming. They just want everyone to defer to their chosen group of experts…”
Jammie Wearing Fool made an important discovery — Bunce was in the employ of the lieberal lamestream media/gummint complex the whole time! The proof? She used to work for the socialist Department of Education. Also, her surname is Bunce, but her son’s surname is Beane — who ever heard of such a thing! “I wonder when she dropped the last name?” asked JWF. “According to the New York Times, her name was Bunce. Who knows, maybe she’s trying to hide something.” Questions Remain, among them, “Why doesn’t Barack Obama put country before party and order his educrats and bureaucrats to stop using their children to ambush opposing candidates?” per the PJ Tatler.
So what are the reasons for Perry’s popularity? A big point with Perry partisans is Texas’ high job growth rate (though unemployment there remains over 8 percent). They brag that Texas has poached jobs from other states — though how whatever ingenuity this represents would work if Perry were leading all U.S. states, and had nowhere else from which to poach them, remains mysterious.
Critics pointed out stuff like this, and his defenders answered. “Many in the news media have pointed out that hundreds of thousands of minimum-wage jobs have been created during Perry’s tenure in Texas,” said Bernard Goldberg. But, Goldberg countered, the less you pay, the more jobs you can make, at least in theory — “Wouldn’t lowering the federal minimum wage, perhaps for a few years, entice companies to create jobs?” he asked. “Though not ideal, low-paying jobs are certainly better than no jobs.”
Perksy Truth concurred: “Here’s a thought… isn’t a low paying job in Texas better than being jobless in another state?” In the same spirit, we can imagine being told, some years down the road, that under the New Feudalism you at least get a place to live and some food.
Whatever you think of the Texas job situation, Jan LaRue of American Thinker said that it’s better than California’s — both economically and spiritually. Former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger “fathered a love child’ with the family maid,” said LaRue, while Perry loves Jesus. “Comparing Texas with California,” said LaRue, “a reasonable person might conclude that there’s a better chance of enjoying life, liberty and happiness in a state with a governor who calls people to pray as opposed to one who preys on women… Prosperity follows liberty and morality. In Texas, the Second and Tenth Amendments are reality, not a punch line.” LaRue didn’t mention that Schwarzenegger is also a Republican; perhaps God told him it would just confuse his readers.
But the main argument for Perry, as made by Andrew Ferguson at The Weekly Standard, was that he’s jes’ reg’lar, plain folks, as have been all Republican Presidential candidates from Texas.
“He’s from Texas,” rhapsodized Ferguson. “He used to wear cowboy boots stitched with the bad-ass Texas slogan ‘Come and Take It’ until back surgery this summer forced him into orthopedic shoes. He took out a coyote with one shot from a .380 pistol last year while jogging.” (This last anecdote is mainly supported by Perry’s own testimony, as his security detail was not around to witness it.) Also, “His mother, a seamstress, made his clothes for him, including his underwear,” etc.
That is, Perry is George W. Bush with a more authentically folksy backstory: “In the Perry campaign there will be malapropisms, which is just one among many similarities often drawn between Perry and George W. Bush,” Ferguson wrote. “But like Bush he usually winds up saying what he means.”
Not that Ferguson didn’t see differences between the former and future disastrous Presidents: “George W. Bush’s distinctive hand gesture, you may recall, was to press his fingertips together and then sweep his hands outward,” Ferguson said, whereas “Perry’s hands move in the opposite direction, starting out far apart as though he’s about to catch a medicine ball, then bringing them close together as if he’s caught the ball and is squeezing it to dust.”
And so — wait, you know what? We won’t try to improve on that metaphor.