Sunday, January 1, 2012

Rick Perry for prez

By Rick Morris

NOTE: FDH does not endorse political candidates. But I reserve the right to do so. So this is a personal endorsement, not with the “managing partner” hat on right now.

C’mon, Republican party. Shake yourselves before it’s too late. Not Duck Phillips errrrr Mitt Romney.

Granted, there’s a good reason a very wise man long ago dubbed the GOP the “Stupid Party.” Aside from nominating Ronald Reagan for president (after twice passing him by), how often have they made a good choice? And while party diehards will never admit it, the fact that most of America wouldn’t release their bladders on George W. Bush if he was on fire JUST MIGHT indicate that those of us pleading for a better choice 12 years ago were right. After all, Dubya bequeathed Barack Obama. Heck of a legacy, Georgie, to paraphrase a nitwit after a big tragedy.

Only the Stupid Party could be serious about nominating a greasy, flip-flopping, business-as-usual, say-anything weasel like Mitt Romney at a time when the American people are so fed up with the status quo.

In other words, America is about to be screwed, given the single worst choice between two undeserving dweebs in its entire history.

It’s a measure of how poor the Rick Perry campaign has gone that there probably are people reading this who don’t believe I’m serious about endorsing him. And while admittedly that’s probably the most damning-with-faint-praise endorsement I’ve probably ever written, you need only read the above material on Mitt Romney to understand the motivation. Because of the money he has raised – and could raise again if he can again show serious viability – Rick Perry is the only remaining candidate who could make a strong run at Romney and stop him down the road IF he can finish strongly in Iowa.

Don’t believe this? Then consider that:

^ Newt Gingrich has his own set of sellout acts and has already peaked.

^ Rick Santorum is still a low-polling fraud who thinks he’s Churchill just because he’s an insane warmonger.

^ Ron Paul has a ceiling on him because he’s an isolationist (the Bizarro World Santorum).

[It’s worth noting, though, that while Paul has been portrayed as the extremist in the race, just about everyone on the other side – Perry, regrettably, included – is guilty of militaristic extreme rhetoric. As a common-sense non-interventionist, I’m troubled by this, but I am realistic that it’s going to take the Republican Party quite awhile to come back from the road of careless preemptive war that Dubya dragged them on and I can only hope that won’t lead to disaster in one form or another.]

^ Michele Bachmann has already peaked and has been exposed as a grandstander leveling attacks on Romney’s behalf in order to get picked as VP (as if!).

^ Jon Huntsman buried himself early by posing, for whatever reason, as more moderate than his record and the fact that he’s holding back on putting his personal fortune into the race points to him pointing to 2016 instead.

So to sum up so far: Perry has cash and the others are electoral and/or policy losers.

The case does get better than that, though.

Perry has a pretty good limited-government record in Texas, better than anyone else’s with the possible exception of Huntsman. He hasn’t been very productive on border security, though, and he really screwed the pooch on not allowing for a parental opt-out on the cervical cancer vaccine. I think he takes a bad rap for his policy on new toll roads in Texas, though; he recognized that the state’s infrastructure needs massive upgrades for continued 21st-century growth and he moved to tackle those needs at the state level. If I saw the full details of the plans, though, I’m not saying I would approve of everything, but I don’t give credence to the attacks he’s received from the right on this issue. His overall small-government credentials seem pretty good to me and in this race, a pretty good record combined with the ability to raise money makes you Superman.

Granted, he’s still got very real obstacles in front of him.

^ In terms of superficial style, he comes across as very similar to George W. Bush. However, there’s no comparing the small-government credentials and, thus, the successful governing records of the two. This point of comparison between the two is inherently unfair and can be beaten back with facts (assuming the almighty royalist Republican Party doesn’t get its panties in a wad at the notion of somebody, of necessity, pointing out that they are better than the last flaming wreckage of a chief executive put up by said party).

^ The last point feeds into a critique of Perry’s intelligence, since Bush at the very least did not present himself as overly smart through his speaking style. Perry is, however, the nation’s longest-serving governor and one who has thrived in a state that usually churns chief executives in and out with regularity – not the track record of a dummy.

^ He was horrible in the debates. However, in his defense, he had yet to learn how much different a national campaign would be (keep in mind that he has NEVER lost a race in his life and sometimes when you’re that successful, you just don’t know what you don’t know). He got into the race on fairly short notice – compared especially to Romney, who has been running continuously since 2006 – because he felt compelled based on the weakness of the field and what he felt he had to offer. Additionally, let’s face it, his major back surgery in late July really hurt him in those debates. At the time, he had to deny it, although he’s been more forthcoming lately and if he survives the next few weeks, he’ll have to really have a “Look folks, that wasn’t me” confession ready in order to appease Republican voters seduced by the false god of “electability.”

And let’s bring it around on that note. As mentioned above, Romney’s persona – almost a parody of how Americans perceive their politicians – could only be perceived as electable by people who’ve drunk too deeply of the Beltway swamp water. Mitt Romney, who repulsed voters in his 1994 Massachusetts Senate run and his horrid 2008 presidential campaign, is the Can-Do Slam-Dunk against Obama? Seriously? Considering that Obama is dying to demagogue the nation’s economic problems and shamelessly divide the country by class, does it make any sense to run a vulture capitalist whose track record shows that he’ll never need Viagra so long as he can derive excitement from kicking blue-collar folks into the street?

Mark my words: if elected, Romney’s complete lack of principles will leave him so disarmed for the task at hand that he will make bad deals domestically (like Bush Senior) and probably start an unnecessary war or two (like Bush Junior). The Democrats will be back in 2016, quite possibly with the man we might come to call Grover Cleveland Obama taking back the White House with him and governing with a mandate greater than the one he received in 2008 with his overwhelming congressional majorities. This paragraph explains why I will not be joining any lemmings voting for Romney this year under any circumstances (Hello, Constitution Party!) and why I expect to have a number of heated confrontations with any number of people babbling the know-nothing crap that “anything’s better than sending Obama back to the White House next year!”

Rick Perry has a record of accomplishment, he shows signs of having learned from his mistakes, he can raise the money to be successful, he’s certainly not George W. Bush, he’s anything but the dummy he’s been portrayed as and unlike Mitt Romney, he’s a real person, not an android. That’s not a very compact sentence, but it’s the only one you need.

Rick Perry for president.

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