Friday, September 23, 2011

The Troubles of Rick Perry

Everyone left, right and center is piling on Texas Governor Rick Perry for last night's disastrous debate performance in Orlando.  The debate was remarkable on many fronts.  It featured Perry once again defending himself from attacks on his right for showing too much compassion when it comes to illegal immigrants.   But his worst moment occurred late in the debate when he bumbled a simple recitation of the many flip-flops of Mittens Romney. It was supposed to sound like one of those nice singing-songey litanies but instead came off just a bit less stupid than Shrub's infamous "fool me once, shame on--shame on you. Fool me-- you can't get fooled again." 

Romney was attacked by Perry for changing some damning passages in a book as it went from hardcover to paperback.  Instead of weaseling out of it the way he normally does, Romney simply lied.  He said he hadn't changed a thing.  Perry was left wondering which campaign staffer  had given him that line of attack.  If he was smart he would call Romney out on it immediately and change the conversation from his dismal performance.

The debate was also remarkable for once again putting the full-throated ugliness, pettiness, smallness of the right-wing mind on display. No, I'm not talking about the candidates (though they share the same impulses).  I am talking about the yahoos in the crowd.   In previous debates they cheered on executions and the denial of health care to the uninsured.  Tonight it was the creepy booing of an out gay soldier  serving in Iraq who asked a you tube question on DADT.  It was up to the vile Rick Santorum to once again use his podium to foment hate and lies.  This is the man who passed around his wife's dead fetus around to his small children after a miscarriage.  

The Perry implosion is not good news for a White House privately hoping for a Perry nomination.  Instead, Romney keeps getting raves from the mainstream media as well as from Frank Luntz's Fox News focus groups.  Perry's Texas provenance makes him right-wing in all the right places except when it comes to Mexicans and like Shrub Perry courted them.  But that courting didn't cost Shrub in 2000, the way it seems to be costing Perry in 2012.  This is not an audience ready for compassionate conservatism.   But the big question remains is this: if Perry is not the answer, then will the wingnuts accept a patrician Mormon to carry the mantle of their insanity in 2012?   Some wonder if a Romney nomination will cause a Tea Bagger third party revolt.  Romney could head that off by running with a Tea Bag darling like Rand Paul or Marco Rubio.  

But before the coronation of Romney is complete, let's not forget that Palin is lurking--especially given the weaknesses of the Bachman and Perry candidacies.  I doubt she will do it.  It is shocking to witness the ineptness of Perry.  He has been a big-time big state governor for 10 years!  He knew the whole world would be watching.  Look for the Perry campaign to start the Romney Mormon cultist meme quietly in the coming months.  Cheer up fellow Dems, we ain't seen nothing yet.   Perry will not go down without a fight.  It will get really, really ugly.

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