Here, you are urged and encouraged to run your mouths about something important.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Message from a Texan: Don't Drink the Perry-Aid

Conservatives need to be careful that the fervor they have for Texas governor Rick Perry as the Republican nominee doesn't cause them to abstain from vetting him. Remember, that's what happened with Obama in 2008. I'm not comparing the two men; Perry would be an exponentially better president than Obama. The point is that Perry is NOT the man portrayed by his tough campaign talk. As Obama falls in the polls, the electability of a true conservative increases. A Rick Perry presidency would be the equivalent of electing a RINO at the end of the Carter administration. Don't settle in RINOville folks. Please.

Don't Drink the Perry-Aid
Ben Barrack

As a Texan who studies politics for a living, I beg conservatives not to eat the red RINO meat Rick Perry is throwing their way right now. The gap between his Tea Party rhetoric and his deeds is cavernous; he wants you to cross that bridge without looking down. Doing the latter would quickly send you back where you came from.

Of course, Perry's history includes a gig as Al Gore's campaign manager and support for HillaryCare. In 2001, he signed hate crimes legislation; he also supported the Trans-Texas corridor. In 2007, he signed an Executive Order that mandated all 12-year-old girls be vaccinated against a particular kind of venereal disease with a drug called Gardasil. The public outcry was fierce and the governor relented when he could not overcome legislation that overwhelmingly rebuked him. This is all to say nothing about Perry's coziness with individuals whose allegiance to the US should be questioned.

While in New Hampshire recently, Perry called the idea of a border fence “nonsense.” In 2001, Perry signed Texas' version of the DREAM Act; it allows illegal aliens to pay in-state college tuition. Yes, an American citizen from Oklahoma would have to pay more to attend the University of Texas than would an illegal alien.

Then, last year, when his border state colleague, Jan Brewer, was locked in a battle with the Federal government over Arizona's tough immigration law, SB 1070, not only was an expression of solidarity with Arizona absent, Perry took it a step further. He said such a law would not be right for Texas.

Now, fast forward to the September 7th MSNBC debate. In particular, consider the issue of repealing Obamacare. Perry pledged that, if elected, the first thing he would do would be to sign an Executive Order granting waivers to all 50 states and then said he would work to repeal Obamacare “as much as it can be.” Neither assertion instilled much confidence for a full repeal. In fact, when one looks at Perry's record and compares it with rhetoric intended to demonstrate he's read the tea leaves properly, the disparity is very significant.

The most recent legislative sessions in Texas – one regular, one special – may provide a look into what a Perry presidency might look like. When the regular session started, Perry put sanctuary cities legislation at the top of the list, as an emergency item. As governor, that's all he could do, really. The sausage would made by a legislature equally responsible for choosing what got processed. Perry's proclamation was music to the ears of conservatives but the odds of something getting to his desk were long. Perry wasn't responsible for putting bills on the agenda and such legislation was unlikely to overcome required super majorities. The sanctuary cities bill – which would have prevented municipalites from instructing police officers not to check immigration status during taffic stops – died and Perry could say he did all he could. Aw, shucks.

Then, when a Democrat unwittingly filibustered a bill that couldn't be left unresolved, Perry had to call a special session; he immediately had more power. Not only could the governor suddenly put bills on the agenda but super majorities were no longer required. With sanctuary cities legislation being the only “emergency item” not resolved, it should have been the first order of business for Perry, right? It wasn't. The governor waited several days before putting it on the agenda. Upon doing so, he did virtually nothing to help push it through. In fact, when two of Texas' wealthiest men – Charles Butt and Bob Perry – threatened to withhold contributions to the Republican Party if the legislation passed, Perry's silence practically communicated a desire that it not reach his desk at all.

Another bill of great significance when it came to Perry's allegedly tough stance on states rights was the TSA anti-groping legislation, which would have made it a misdemeanor for TSA agents to grope airline passengers in Texas. Passage of this legislation would demonstrate Perry was ready to back up his rhetoric with action. It's true that the governor placed the bill on the agenda but again, he did so three weeks into a 30-day special session and the bully pulpit remained vacant as the legislation died. Nothing illustrates this disparity between words and actions better than a video of Perry on April 9, 2009, just six days before the first Tea Party. As you watch, think about the fate of the two bills Perry refused to fight for when it mattered most.

The best indicator of future behavior is past behavior. When you look at Texas governor Rick Perry's actions, you will see an executive whose political rhetoric is not met with a matching dose of political will, not by a long shot. If it's important for conservatives to elect a president who will doggedly pursue things like the repeal of Obamacare, Perry's record demonstrates he's not your guy.
If you contrast Perry's performance at the MSNBC debate with that of Michele Bachmann, relative to repealing Obamacare, Bachmann showed more resolve, resolve that she has a history of backing up with action. Unfortunately, the congresswoman from Minnesota may not have what it takes to overcome the perception that Rick Perry is the Tea Party candidate of choice. There is another woman who might; her name is Sarah Palin.

No comments:

Accuracy in Media
American Spectator
American Thinker
Big Government
Big Journalism
Doug Ross
Flopping Aces
Fox Nation
Fox News
Free Republic
The Hill
Hope for America
Hot Air
Hot Air Pundit
Jawa Report
Jihad Watch
Michelle Malkin
Naked Emperor News
National Review
New Zeal Blog
News Real
Pajamas Media
Red State
Right Wing News
Say Anything
Stop Islamization of America
Verum Serum
Wall Street Journal
Washington Times
Watts Up With That
Web Today
Weekly Standard
World Net Daily

Blog Archive