This week’s criminal super-genius comes comes to use from Davenport, Iowa. Warning: The codeword for this caper is “Ewwwwwwwww!” I wouldn’t click that link before dinner, as the perp was a complete dumbass in more than one sense of the word.
Since that piece came out December 19, it’s hardly cutting edge news. But I’ve been ruminating on it for a while to try and figure out if I have anything more to add. I think I do. And with the Iowa Caucuses looming, I probably should.
I haven’t covered much of the 2012 Presidential race, mainly because I’ve been focusing on the Texas Senate Race and everyone and their dog was blogging every twist in the POTUSA race.
OMG! Ron Paul is up 3 points!
Plus I don’t have cable, so I wouldn’t be able to watch the interminable numerous debates.
Finally, a baseball team the Astros can beat
Which is why I didn’t see Perry commit his brain freezes, of which there were many. (My theory is that he was still hopped up on goofballs from his back operation.)
Percocet makes me see tiny little Jim Hightowers, and I have to grab and crush each and every one of them
Having lived in Texas for the entirety of Rick Perry’s tenure as governor, I can attest that he is not a perfect candidate. There have been times (Gardasil, the Trans-Texas Corridor) when he’s strayed from conservative principles. And he’s not as polished as Mitt Romney or as articulate as Newt Gingrich.
But Perry isn’t running against the second coming of Ronald Reagan, or even Sarah Palin. Every other major Republican contender is not only at least as flawed, they’re considerably more so.
Despite cheer-leading from the likes of Kathryn Jean Lopez and Jennifer Rubin, Mitt Romney has always struck me as a phony without any real core convictions except that he should be in charge; sort of the Republican answer to Bill Clinton, without the charm or adultery. Pick an issue and Romney’s been on both sides of it at one time or another. He seems the most likely of all the major candidates to be praised by The New York Times and The Washington Post for “growing” in office. Romney is most likely to disappoint me in caving in to D.C.’s usual free-spending, pork-barrel log-rolling.
I could get behind voting for the Newt Gingrich of 1994, the one whose laser-like focus on the holding the Democrats accountable for their misdeed and promoting the Contract With America helped Republicans take the House and Senate, set the stage for a welfare reform and helped (temporarily) balance the budget. Sadly, that Gingrich is not up on offer. We have to deal with the idea-a-minute-and-many-of-them-bad, ex-lobbyist, “Big Government Conservative” Newt Gingrich of 2012, the one so devastatingly and accurately skewered by Mark Steyn in this week’s National Review. (As Bruce Sterling once said at a Turkey City Writer’s Workshop, “Cruel, but fair!”) No matter how many times he tries to sound like Reagan, there are all those other times when he sounds like everyone from Al Gore to Faith Popcorn. I imagine that I would be disappointed many times in a Gingrich Presidency. Unlike Romney, I’m sure Gingrich would find entirely new and innovative ways to disappoint me.
I could almost get behind Ron Paul, based on his absolute, rock-steady position on the biggest problem facing America: out-of-control government spending and ever-increasing size and power of the federal government. The debt bomb is an existential threat to American prosperity, and If we don’t shrink government and get the deficit under control, none of the other issues really matter. And I lean heavily on the libertarian side of the spectrum. But even given that, there’s just too much weirdness (what Kevin Williamson called “his Ronness”) about the rest of Paul’s policies: the newsletters, the footsie with racism, the conspiracy theories, the weirdness about gays and wishing Israel didn’t exist, the running against Reagan. Being just one of 435 House members was a great place for Paul to be, since he could bring up conservative and Libertarian issues without any chance that his wackier ideas would ever end up in legislation, but the Presidency is a different kettle of fish. Plus there’s the problem of his electability, or rather lack thereof. With all his diverse baggage, I believe that Paul is the GOP candidate Obama would have the best chance of defeating. Ignore all the hard-left liberals talking up Paul as a better choice than Obama; it’s just a smokescreen that would evaporate at the first excuse to jump back on the Obama bandwagon. William F. Buckley always said conservative should support the right-most viable candidate. I don’t think Paul is a viable candidate.
Michelle Bachmann’s star has faded even more than Perry’s, and she doesn’t have Perry’s executive experience or record on job creation. The fact she’s neither dumb nor crazy doesn’t mean the MSM won’t pull the Full Sarah Palin Treatment on her (Andrew Sullivan womb-diving optional) were she to get the nod.
Rick Santorum: Too little, too late, he lost his last election, and his strengths don’t lie in the economy and job creation.
Jon Huntsman: Which part of “Republican” was unclear?
By process of elimination, that leaves Perry. As I said before, Perry isn’t perfect, but he has a record on holding the line on government spending and enabling job creation that puts Romney to shame. One again, let’s go to the charts that the indispensable Will Franklin of Willisms has provided on Texas job creation:
And the case for Perry over Romney (again thanks to WILLisms) is even more stark:
While I have criticized Perry’s campaign budget proposals for being too timid, Perry insisted on balancing the Texas budget without tax hikes. I assure you that California would love to have Texas’ budget. Indeed, adjusted for inflation, population growth, and federally-mandated spending, the Texas state budget has actually gone down under Perry. His guiding principle has been “don’t spend all the money,” and it’s one that Washington desperately needs.
One final, very big reason to support Perry: He can win. Perry’s never lost a race, because he’s a tough and tenacious campaigner who’s not afraid to hit his opponent\s hard. Everyone thought Kay Bailey Hutchison was going to cream Perry in the 2010 governor’s race, and he beat her like a rented mule.
Or maybe a rented donkey.
In the general election against Bill White, he ran an ad featuring a police widow talking about how her husband had been killed by a multi-arrested illegal alien while White was touting Houston as a “sanctuary city.”
Even professional MSM Perry hater Paul Burka says that Perry is a hard man. “He is the kind of politician who would rather be feared than loved.” Perry will have absolutely no fear of taking the fight to Obama and going negative early and often, and he won’t let political correctness cow him into treating Obama with kid gloves.
Will the media savage Rick Perry for his flubs? Of course they will. But, as Ace noted, they’ll always find a way to crucify any Republican candidate to make Obama look better. They’ll use the same “he’s an idiot” line of attack they used on Reagan and Bush43…and you so how far that got them.
If you’re still undecided on Perry, this video should at least give you a more rounded picture of him:
For those who think Perry is already out of the race, remember that at this point in 2004, the consensus was that Howard Dean was going to be the nominee. There’s a reason Americans actually get to vote, and they frequently prove the pundits wrong.