Posts Tagged ‘perry’

Bachmann Out, Perry Reassessing

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

 

One Goes, One Stays, For Now...

Michele Bachmann is suspending her campaign while Rick Perry is said to be reassessing his, but he’s gone on to campaign in South Carolina. This is part of the inevitable process of winnowing the field, and the hand-writing has been on this particular wall for weeks.  Bachmann was clobbered by Perry’s entry, and a few gaffes, and she never regained traction.  Some of her critics say she tried to hard to be somebody she isn’t, but it’s certain that Bachmann will remain a popular figure in the conservative and Tea Party movements.  There’s no shame in it, and she should hold her head high as she returns to her Congressional duties full time.

Maybe she will now have some of the impetus required to wrangle with leadership over some more fiscally conservative legislation, that is so desperately needed in this current Congress.  Here’s wishing all the best to Representative Bachmann!

Rick Perry’s story is somewhat different.  Though he finished fifth, it’s safe to say that he’s got a bigger war-chest at the moment than Newt Gingrich, and he’s apt to put up one heck of a fight in South Carolina, where Gingrich is thought to have something of an advantage, being from neighboring Georgia.  Time will tell if Perry’s all finished, but the fact is that his debate performances have really set him back.  It’s hard to recover from the sort of public shellacking he’s taken over that sore topic, but one thing remains true about the Texas governor: He’s tenacious and he doesn’t go away quietly.  I expect him to remain something of a factor if he decides to stick it out, and with Bachmann gone, he will likely benefit from some of those who’ve now been left without a horse to ride in this primary race.

If Perry doesn’t turn things around substantially in South Carolina, money or not, I can’t see him staying much longer, so we may get an answer regarding his real electoral future soon.

Virginia Shocker: Bachmann, Huntsman, Santorum Not Qualified(Updatedx2)

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Really?

In what must be considered the biggest blunder in electoral history, Michele Bachman, Jon Huntsman, and Rick Santorum failed to gather enough signatures to qualify to be on the ballot in the pivotal swing-state of Virginia.  As HotAir is now reporting, the only thing worse is that Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry might also have failed to gather enough, as it requires 10,000 qualified signatures.  Gingrich and Perry both have more than 10,000 signatures, barely, but they may not have enough qualified signatures by the time the petitions are examined.  Of course, this is great news for RINO-in-Chief, Mitt Romney, because if all five of these failed to gather enough signatures, his only other qualified opponent will be Ron Paul.  I have a hard time believing in coincidences, and this really makes one wonder about the intent of some of these campaigns.  Clearly, this throws into question the matter of competency.

Note to Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Utah voters: You might as well scratch Bachmann, Huntsman, and Santorum off your list.  Any of these will now have a hard time winning the nomination, as Virginia has a large number of delegates, and none of these candidates can get any from Virginia.   More, if they can’t manage a campaign to get themselves on the ballot in Virginia, they may not be presidential material.  Advantage Romney, and you had better believe that’s the point of all of this, and to me, it has the look of a set-up.

I’ve begun to think we’ve all been had by the establishment [again.]  Make of it what you will, but this stinks to high Heaven, and it’s not conceivable that these candidates hadn’t know this in advance.  10,000 signatures is a large number, but extrapolating the polls across the population of Virginia, it wouldn’t seem difficult for any of them to obtain the requisite number of qualified signatures with a large number to spare, excepting only Huntsman, who might not be able to gather that many signatures across ten states.

This is an unmitigated disaster for Bachmann, Huntsman, and Santorum, and the margin will be close for Gingrich and Perry.  One would think it might have been more important to these candidates to spend a little time on Virginia signature-gathering if they expected to be around for that primary.  Maybe they didn’t, and then, why are they still in at all?

Update: Perry has been DQ’d also.

Update 2: Newt also gets DQ’d.

Cain Campaign Accuses Perry Campaign…Without Evidence

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

As Mitt Romney Looks On

I don’t wish to seem too indignant, but why is the Cain campaign now accusing Perry’s campaign of outing this story about sexual harassment allegations and settlements about Cain?  It’s not that Perry’s campaign wouldn’t have any motive, but I’m going to need to see more evidence, just as I’ll need to see more evidence on the allegations about Cain before forming any judgments.  Earlier in the day, there was an equally plausible story about Cain’s successor at the National Restaurant Association, now a Romney supporter, who may have been in a position to have known some details about the Cain story, and then it was revealed that Karl Rove and Karen Hughes had connections with the same fellow, Chris Wilson, the pollster who was interviewed on KVOT in Oklahoma and said several things about the Cain allegations.

Why, with all of this, would Herman Cain’s campaign leap out there and make these accusations against Perry’s camp?  Do they have any more evidence to which we are not privileged?  Or is it something else?  You folks know by now that I am a bit cynical about all of this, and that my own speculations are based on reading the same information widely available to everyone, but what you expect is that I will consider things from a different perspective, and I have done so knowing I am challenging conventional wisdom at times, but that in lieu of evidence to the contrary, we ought to consider all the possibilities.  Some wondered early on if Herman Cain’s campaign was a shell operation because there is so little organization or firm foundation there.   Dana Milbank seems certain that his campaign was never supposed to go anywhere, as she absolutely rips him in the Washington Post.  Cain at times has seem ill-prepared for questions, and at times his answers have been unfocused, vague, and self-contradictory.  Cain was the immediate beneficiary of Christie and Palin bowing out, and none other than Rick Perry was passing his peak in the polls as Cain started briskly upward.

Honestly, I’ve had some doubts about Herman Cain, and they are born of an observation about his campaign, and his preparedness.  At times, I haven’t been alone in wondering if he wasn’t simply trying to secure the VP slot.  It’s entirely possible that I have misread Cain, as he is genuinely likable and seems a good-hearted man, but his tendency at times to align with Romney have left me to wonder how serious about the presidency he has been. Some have suggested that he knew all along these allegations would be coming, and ought to have known they could wreck his campaign.  I don’t know about that, but what I do know is this:  An allegation of the sort Cain’s campaign is now making against Perry could be the fatal blow that sends Perry home to Texas, whether founded in facts or not.  For their part, the Perry campaign is flatly denying the charge.

So who is the beneficiary if Cain is taken down a notch or two, and Perry is delivered a knock-out blow?  This is all speculation, but one could just as easily link these allegations to Romney as to Perry.  While all of this goes on, who is sitting pretty, safely out of the fray, as the opponent he really worries about – Rick Perry – takes a black eye he may not deserve?  That’s right.  Part of the problem in all of this is how it reveals the incestuous nature of Washington DC politics.  For all of his bluster about being a sort of outsider, Cain worked as the CEO and President of the National Restaurant Association in DC.  According to Wikipedia:

The association lobbies for the restaurant and foodservice industry and represents the industry on Capitol Hill.[15] It was the largest food and beverage political action committee contributor to both the U.S. Democratic and Republican Parties in the 2004 election cycle.[16]

Now that puts a little different light on the subject, and a little different light on Mr. Cain, the “outsider,” doesn’t it?  That’s sounds vaguely like it could be a part of that whole beltway-insider system we keep hearing about.  It would be apparent to the various GOP establishment operatives that they would have to defend Romney from the outset if they were going to get their chosen candidate across the finish line.  They must have known that Romney’s RINO skin would begin to show through the paper-thin conservative veneer with which they had covered him.  How better to defend him by preventing him from having to do battle at all?  As Machiavelli might have observed, what better way to be sure your candidate prevails than to control all the candidates?

For the record, I’m not suggesting that all of these candidates are merely establishment shills, in this campaign only to set things up for Romney or anybody else, but let’s at least be honest in that most of these people do the same cocktail party circuits, know most of the same people, employ the same law firms, lobbying companies, and public relations outfits.  In short, they all speak a different language and have different points of reference from most of us wee folk out here in fly-over country.  It’s the reason why for most of them, it’s impossible to listen to the claim of being “an outsider” while maintaining a straight face.

Herman Cain’s successor at the National Restaurant Association is a Romney donor.  Chris Wilson, the pollster who was on the radio today, worked for Karl Rove and the National Restaurant Association, along with many others, but only recently, for a PAC associated with Perry.  If you go through all of these candidates and compare their lists of donors, contributors, volunteers, lawyers, pollsters, and PR flacks, you’ll find that over time, there have been all sorts of overlapping relationships and linkages.  This is the ugly truth of how the game has been played all these years, and it points out the intractable problem with the desire among so many to “clean up Washington:”  To untangle this spaghetti of associations, connections and relationships is nearly impossible.

When Herman Cain’s campaign comes out with this flimsy link to a pollster who has only recently begun work for a Perry PAC, you must realize that they’re trying to sink Perry, but if they have no more evidence than this, I’d suggest as much or more caution as I had suggested earlier Wednesday.  On the other hand, Perry’s campaign might be behind this, but the sense I’m getting from the reports of the Cain campaign’s charge is that it has less foundation in fact and substance than the already pathetically flimsy allegations Politico published about Cain, and that should give you pause.  Why would his campaign leap to this accusation, particularly on such a flimsy basis?  Do they have more evidence?  Do they have something concrete tying this to Perry?  I’m no Perry fan, and no I wouldn’t be surprised, but let’s just say that something about the way this charge against Perry’s campaign came together makes me wonder.

I Don’t Know If Any of Them Are Fit

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

The "Not Ready for Primetime" Players?

As you know, I don’t support Rick Perry for a whole host of reasons, particularly having been a Texan throughout the time he’s held state-wide office, and knowing he’s got a number of really ugly crony-capitalist skeletons in his closet.  With that in mind, I must say that this story about the hunting lease, and the rock with a racial epithet stinks to high heaven.  I realize that a hint of racism would disqualify a candidate from consideration, and well it should, but to extend this story to impute some racist motives on the part of Rick Perry is simply going too far, and is mere race-baiting nonsense.

Perry has done himself enough damage with his poor debate performances, but what I found stunning in the aftermath of the Washington Post story on this greatly overstated controversy about Perry was that Herman Cain exploited it to make an attack on Perry, by calling the instance “racially insensitive.”  He later walked that back once the full context became known, but his reflex to run with that sort of inflammatory story has caused me to question the temperament of Cain more than Perry.  The only thing perhaps more disgusting was the fact that even after the story had begun to lose some of its initial traction, Romney’s camp pounced once they thought it was safe.  Like you, I believe every one of these candidates should be thoroughly vetted, but I think we’re coming to the point in American politics where the “Gotcha” business that Newt Gingrich has lamented is getting out of hand. Rather than focus on the real shortcomings of the candidates, we’re off on these over-hyped tangents.

This display of wretched gutter politics makes me question the lot of them.  When it boils right down to it, none of them are really exhibiting the character I expect from a president.  Perry has a whole host of problems on a substantial basis of facts, as does Romney, and as I’ve been learning more recently, Herman Cain as well.  The problem is that when you see them pile onto a story like this, you know it’s not about substance.  It’s about scoring “Gotcha” points.  For Herman Cain to now sink to the level of playing the race card, after already having accusations of racism thrown at him over his remarks about “brainwashed blacks” is a matter of a serious failure in judgment.  Romney ought to know better, but he’s apparently happy to stand back and let others make the first attacks and then stick his two cents in and kick his opponent once he’s already on the ground.  That sort of cowardly play is just what you’d expect from a candidate who seems to seek victory by default.

All in all, it’s a pretty sorry state of affairs.  Here we have nine candidates in the race, and they seem muddled and dominated by the media narratives of the day, and that may be the saddest declaration about this field one can make:  None of them seem fit.  More fit than Obama?  Yes, perhaps that’s the case, but are any of these really the people we want to lead(not run) this country?  While the jury is still out on the question, I believe it’s become time for we voters to being answering it.  It’s astonishing that at this late date, what we now seem to have is a group of people engaged in a fight to avoid the worst “Gotcha” moments, but apart from some platitudes, and a horrible lack of policy details, I’ve yet to see anything particularly compelling from any of them, and none of their records offer much solace.

They all need more vetting, and as they become the front-runner, or challenge the front-runner, one after the other, we need to examine their records and their history in office and in business.  Issues like this Perry story are simply concocted nonsense in an attempt to drive the election according to a media narrative.  If we’re to select a candidate, that candidate should have an impeccable record in office, and we must do our best to avoid this sort of tabloid journalism.  It simply doesn’t serve the electorate, and while it can create many nifty headlines and soundbites, it doesn’t do anything to take us in the direction of restoring our country.  I can think of thirty reasons not to support Perry, but none of them have anything to do with some painted-over, turned-over rock on a hunting lease in West Texas of which Governor Perry may have once been aware as an artifact of a terrible, but thankfully bygone era.

Romney Bickers With Perry; Perry Stumbled; Cain, Gingrich Shined

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Bickering Between Perry and Romney

As expected, the spectacle at center stage between Perry and Romney bickering over their respective interpretations of their books became a recurrent theme.  Perry took the first real shots at Romney, looking much too aggressive, and coming across as too eager to hammer his opponent.  Romney battled back, but as a Texan, I became  embarrassed for my Governor.  He looked confused at times, and ill-prepared.  By contrast, the stars of the show were Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich, the first revealing his fight with stage four colon and liver cancer, and expressing his strong support for Israel, and his 9-9-9 plan, with Gingrich providing the real wit in the crowd.  Bachmann was flat, while Romney was wooden.

Cain had many great lines, but among his best was this gem:

“Ronald Reagan said we’re a shining city on a hill. We’ve slid down that hill.”
Gary Johnson had one of the funniest lines of the night:
“My next-door neighbors two dogs have created more shovel-ready jobs than this current administration.”
The rest was  fairly standard. Aside from Cain and Gingrich, the remainder of the field sounded tired.  Romney’s rhetoric was particularly flat, and Perry came out too aggressively, and sounded confused by the end.  He has shown in two successive debates that he has a problem holding himself together for more than an hour.

Perry’s worst moment may have come when he seemed to double down on his compassion argument for the in-state tuition to illegal immigrants.  That was astonishing and drew some extended booing from the crowd.
This field needs something that’s missing.  I have my own ideas. What are yours?

Rick Perry’s Immigration Surrender

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

More Insincerity?

Let me start by saying that I know a little about immigration.  My wife is an immigrant, and even married to a soldier, the hoops through which we were forced to leap and the fees we paid seemed outlandish as we prepared to move to Texas from Germany.  It was simply another brief hardship we happily faced together in our young marriage.  After I left the Army, we concluded that Texas would make a great home, and it was here in Texas where we came face-to-face with our national crisis in illegal immigration.  In the time we’ve lived here, what we have learned is that both parties tend to ignore the problem and downplay enforcement.   On the Democrat side, there is a tendency to see illegals as more votes, since Democrats aren’t picky if even the dead vote, so non-citizens voting isn’t really a problem in their view.  Some Republicans turn a blind eye for another reason, and it’s simply this:  Illegals are frequently paid in cash, under-the-table, and for jobs in agriculture and construction, they thereby hold down the cost of labor.  This increases profits on any job, and it’s on this basis that many otherwise law-and-order conservatives refuse to rock the boat or challenge the status quo.

This has been true with Democrats and Republicans in the White House, and in charge of Congress.  It’s been true whether Texas had a Republican or Democrat governor and legislature.  Nothing seems to make much difference, and many Texans in either party are in a hurry to sweep the issue under the carpet.  As Texas has grown and its illegal immigrant population has ballooned, is it also true that our economy here has continued along better than most, in part due to our competitive advantage with other states.  Part of that competitive advantage owes to illegal immigrants.  Rick Perry enjoys pointing out how many jobs have been created during his tenure as governor, but the truth is that many of them are low-skilled, low-wage jobs, and many of those are filled by illegals with stolen social security numbers.  Everything has a cost in the real world, and while you may gain an advantage one area, somewhere, somehow, the cost are being borne by somebody.

Let me state plainly that I don’t blame anybody born elsewhere who concludes that their best bet for prosperity lies here in the United States, particularly when measured against the conditions of their home countries.  I understand, because I’ve been abroad to places where I wouldn’t have wanted to raise my child, or build much of anything, because freedom is so sparse and opportunity is so rare.   Let none misunderstand what I’m saying to be some sort of anti-immigrant bias.  Often, I think immigrants more readily appreciate the opportunities this country represents more thoroughly than some fair number who were lucky to have been born here.  It was certainly true of my mother’s grandparents.  For them, America was the greatest opportunity they had dared ever to imagine, and they set out to make the most of it.

With this in mind, let me state it quite bluntly:  You cannot build a nation that provides such freedom and opportunity without defending the rule of law on which these precious commodities had been based.  This means that we must require people to enter legally, and to obtain legal documentation to work.  Who can claim that it’s too much to ask?  If a nation is defined by geographical boundaries, and a common base of governance and law, who can argue that it may be maintained by ignoring its laws or its geographical boundaries?

My first personal experience with illegal immigration consisted of rescuing a young Mexican fellow who had been treed by a neighbor’s young bull.  Clinging to the trunk of an old Live Oak, standing on a stout limb some ten feet from the ground, he was in this predicament because he had wandered into our secluded property, and when he saw our dogs, he flung himself over the barbed-wire fence that separated our property from our neighbor’s pasture.  Landing in that pasture, the young bull came to investigate the barking dogs, and upon spying the young man, gave chase, with the poor fellow seeking refuge in the tree.  I managed to move the bull away, long enough to get the terrified young man down, which was difficult because he understood almost no English.  Once down, I led him to the gate and tried to discover what he had been doing there.

Another neighbor, having spied the goings-on, had called our local constable who was a fluent Spanish-speaker.  The constable arrived, and asked him a question, and all I could make out was that he’d asked for a green card.  The young man lowered his head, and shook it signaling “no,” and the constable loaded him in his car, and thanked me for rescuing the young man from his predicament before departing.  He explained that the young man was working his way north, looking for work, staying off the highway where he might be picked up by law enforcement.  I couldn’t help but feel bad for him.  He looked to be no older than 18 or 19, and he surely had experienced hard times well before he walked into my yard and then leaped from the frying pan into the fire.  My dogs might have scared him, but the young bull would have hurt him.  All this, he risked for work.  Being in Central Texas, if he had walked any part of the distance from Mexico, he’d been on foot a long while.  The term “economic refugee” played in my mind, and I knew what it must mean to people who come here from Mexico and elsewhere.

The next experience we had with illegal immigrants came when we had an occasion to go to the emergency room.  An incident with a bucking horse resulted in a trip to the ER, where Mrs. America was diagnosed with a broken hand.  While we were in the waiting area, a broken hand being relatively lower priority, we encountered a number of illegal immigrants who were there for everything from early labor to children with fever, to more serious conditions.  In short, the place was swamped with them.  You might wonder how I could know their status, but it’s really as simple as this: The lady who was checking us in and verifying financial responsibility took my wife’s insurance card, and said “Praise the Lord! A paying customer!”  Naive as I was in those days, I asked her what she meant, and as she shoved forms in front of me to complete, she explained that most of the people in the crowded waiting area were people who would never pay.  I commented on the fact that it seemed terribly busy for a Tuesday evening, and she remarked that this was turning out to be a slow day.  I asked her bluntly: “If they’re not paying, who does?”  She laughed at me and said: “Dear boy, that’s Medicaid. Most of them are illegals, and we’ll wind up filing for payments from the State. It’s called Indigent Care.”

As I returned to where my wife was seated, cradling her hand, I pondered what all of this must cost us each year.  As I looked around the room at the scale of the problem, I became dizzy with the implications.  My education had only just begun.  Next came the schools.  This is where I learned that in my daughter’s classroom would be children who were receiving an education for which we all pay, but whose parents don’t pay any taxes beyond those unavoidable ones on sales.  Slowly but surely, this all began to add up to something, and then one day, years later, I saw two people walking across my back horse pasture.  I wondered what they might be doing, when one of them inadvertently made contact with one of the electrical strands.  There was an eruption of cursing in Spanish, and I walked out to see who they were and what they were doing.  Like the young fellow of more than a decade before, these two didn’t speak much English.  They seemed harmless enough, but they asked me if I had any work.  “Work” was approximately the extent of their English.  I told them I hadn’t, but I could see they had been walking many miles.

What I realized as they left my property and onto the next was that they probably would avoid detection, and so large is the problem that even a law-and-order conservative like me had no particular concern about it, and had shrugged at the futility of it all, simply returning to the task at hand.  I too had become thoroughly desensitized to it.  Of course, if you live for any time in Texas, particularly in rural areas, you become accustomed to all this as an ordinary part of life, and therein lies a serious problem:  We’ve become accustomed to law-breaking on a wide scale, and no politician here or in Washington seems the least bit interested in addressing it.  Their answer seems to be to simply legalize the former illegality.

Rick Perry is just one more in a long parade of politicians who have done little – virtually nothing really – to discourage all of this, and the problem is that so long as we shut up and pay, that’s how it’s going to be.  Don’t misunderstand: I don’t blame only Rick Perry, not by a long-shot, but the truth is that every time somebody in our legislature has raised a ruckus and offered a bill on the subject, Perry has been there to shoot it down.  More, he’s been happy to sign things into law that effectively act as encouragement, and I can’t endorse any part of that, including the bill that gave in-state tuition rates to the children of illegals.  I realize that politicians also feel stuck between a rock and a hard place on this issue, but after all, for whom do they work?  The answer to this question may contain the key to a larger  universe of issues in which our government is intransigent in the face of our demands.  In too many cases, the answer may well be that they’re not working for us, but for other interests upon whom they rely in order to maintain their power, and as a result, we pay, often in more ways than one.

Rick Perry: Is His Real Problem Insincerity?

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Can the Spurs be Far Behind?

It’s been just more than 24 hours since I defended Rick Perry against the smear by Jonathan Martin about his intelligence, but today, a bit of information arrives to more strongly suggest that Mr. Perry has other problems.  In addition to the other instances in which his conservative credentials have come into question, now arises the question of his tacit support for Hillary Clinton’s healthcare plan of 1993.  In a letter to Mrs. Clinton, then Agriculture Commissioner expressed support for the ill-fated overhaul plan. Many are inclined to ignore this because in addition to being an eighteen year old letter, everybody knows Rick Perry had been a Democrat before becoming a Republican, so the thinking is that this should present no problem.  Unfortunately, Rick Perry had already changed parties in order to run for the post as Agriculture Commissioner, the post in which he served at the time of the letter.  Rather than questioning Rick Perry’s intelligence as does the leftist media, I believe we conservatives must ask a much more serious question about the sincerity of his most deeply held philosophical underpinnings. Does he mean it?  Is it just an act?  Is he really a conservative?

Changing political parties is not unusual.  Politicians do it frequently, and in several watershed election years, waves of elected officials have done so.  Still, for the electorate, a change of parties generally also signifies a change in underlying philosophy.  I was raised in a household and extended family consisting entirely of liberal Democrats, such that virtually nothing I said about politics prior to 1983 would be in agreement with my positions some three decades later.  My conversion was different from Rick Perry’s, in that before I changed parties, I had changed my outlook.  Philosophy drove my political affiliations, but not the reverse.  This is how most people come to make a change:  Their knowledge, experience, and ultimately, their philosophy changes, and this leads to a change of parties.

This is not necessarily the case among professional politicians.  All too frequently, their change in political party is instantaneous and without apparent philosophical reflection or study.  Instead, they are frequently motivated solely by the desire to win.  The letter from Rick Perry to Hillary Clinton is indicative of this same trend.  Perry had been a Republican for four years before writing this letter, leading one to wonder if his party conversion hadn’t been a matter of political convenience rather than a deeply held philosophical awakening.

Once you realize this, the rest of his record begins to make sense.  Over the period defined by his electoral career, the general political atmosphere in Texas has been steadily creeping from left to right, with only a few aberrations.   Rick Perry’s apparent political position has closely mirrored this shift, from Democrat to Republican moderate to GOP establishment to conservative, and finally to Tea Party.  This is an odd sort of conversion, particularly measured against the sort of conversion most ordinary Americans may at some point undergo.  Instead, it looks like a conversion of political convenience, born not of deeply stirring study and thorough argumentation, but of calculations in the back rooms of Texas political expediency.

This sort of conversion of convenience speaks to the character and leadership of the politician in question.  What it implies is a calculated attempt to position himself in accordance with his election prospects rather than with his philosophy.  This isn’t leadership, and what it illustrates is just another politician scrambling to the head of the parade, pretending to have led it.  At this point, you’d be right to wonder if his espoused beliefs are simply a different skin uploaded on the Rick Perry App. Considering his progression, it actually demands an answer to the question: “When did you become a conservative?”

What was the moment of conversion?  What was that issue that cinched it for Mr. Perry?  The elections of 1994 caused similar spontaneous conversions for elected officials all across Texas, but Mr. Perry’s party conversion five years earlier simply suggests he was out ahead of the curve.  Writing a letter such as this, we know he was not a conservative in 1993.  Did the elections eighteen months later convince him?

With this in mind, the other issues that arise with respect to Perry’s more recent acts that seem in opposition to conservative principles begin to make more sense.  A reflexive action to mandate Gardasil?  His remarks on his belief in an open border?  His chameleon-like sliding in and out of La Raza and ACORN events?  The TransTexas Corridor?  Now, knowing this, and having seen this letter begins to put in context what a few seeming aberrations couldn’t quite nail down.  Perry may be a conservative today, a Tea Party member tomorrow, or a member of the John Birch Society yesterday.  Next week, he’s likely to be a globalist, a corporatist, or frankly, anything under the sun.  He’s shifting, but his reflexes indicate he still suffers from a fundamental misunderstanding of what is conservatism, because he doesn’t really mean it.  His re-election campaign of 2010 along with his election campaign this year seem to bleed the standard stereotypes of a southern, Christian conservative.  In truth, he’s becoming a caricature that hardly resembles most Texas conservatives due in part to its gross overstatement.  One almost expects him to show up at a rally with a six-shooter, wearing spurs and a Stetson.  Actually, he’s already done that.

Mr. Perry isn’t a conservative.  He’s playing a role.  He’s doing what he believes it will take to get elected.  His record is thick with instances in which he did not behave as a conservative, or even a Republican, and all well after his conversion to the GOP.  This is the real problem with Rick Perry.  He’s not “dumb,” he’s insincere.   He’s a political opportunist who has great instincts for getting out ahead of his electorate in form, but in function, he remains what he has always been:  A political actor.  If he goes on to win the nomination, he’ll have deserved an Oscar.

Is Jonathan Martin Stupid?

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Stupid or Simply Dishonest?

Does he think the American people are stupid? In his recent smear of Rick Perry, he poses the question “Is Rick Perry Dumb?”  Having met the governor, I can answer that question easily.  Rick Perry is not a stupid man.  By way of full disclosure, I am one Texan who does not favor Governor Perry even slightly in the upcoming Republican primaries, finding any number of other perfectly valid policy reasons to oppose him from my position as a conservative.  Nevertheless, in the interest of fairness, we mustn’t permit such obvious Obama shills as Jonathan Martin to smear another Republican candidate as “stupid.”  Rather than engage in a point-by-point rebuttal of Mr. Martin, I would like to pose my own question:  “Is Jonathan Martin stupid?”  I submit to you that this is a far more relevant query, and given the media tendency to avoid questions aimed at their own, I intend to ask them mercilessly about such members of the press.

If I ever find myself in close proximity to Chris Wallace, for instance, my first question for him will be: “Sir, are you a flake?” Just as I have challenged the wisdom of others in the media, so too will I challenge anybody who carries out a war of smears against Republicans, Conservatives, and Tea Party folk, all under the guise of “News.”

The media likes to plant these words in association with Republicans and Conservatives(particularly those perceived by the electorate as the latter): Dumb. Stupid. Ignorant. Reactionary. Extreme. Chris Wallace added “Flake” with respect to Michele Bachmann, and Maureen what’s-her-name over at the NYTimes says Tea Party folk are “terrorists.”  Karl Rove added “thin-skinned” to the arsenal of the media in a smear against Sarah Palin.

What none of these people will ever tell you is that Barack Obama is dumb, is an extremist, and has hung out with terrorists, while his wife is a barely-restrained racist.  (“Racist” is another favorite, used most recently by a true dim bulb, Al Gore, to describe the nature of climate change skeptics.)  How many times has Sarah Palin been called “stupid” or “self-absorbed” or dismissed as a “publicity hound?” A thousand?  More?

No, it just won’t do to buy the left’s smears against the intelligence of center-right politicians any longer.  When considering the piece Mr. Martin has written, you might consider this: Virtually every source upon which he relied in order to make the case that “Perry is dumb” was a leftist politico, like Democrat legislators from Texas, and Paul Begala, a longtime political hack for the left.  This then prompts a question:  Does Mr. Martin think we’re dumb?  If so, he’s underestimated the people who read his columns on occasion.  Of course, the real problem is that Martin doesn’t care if you read it, but whether it pleases his masters, and provides another smear.  We’ve been down this road before with Mr. Martin. He certainly must be stupid if he had thought we would have forgotten.

Jonathan Martin has been in the limelight of political smears before, including his attack on Sarah Palin based on a completely manufactured story about Palin allegedly backing out of an interview with Mark Levin.  Levin was livid, and demanded an apology.  In fact, the episode turned into quite a big deal before all was said and done.  True to form, Martin has been involved in many smears against center-right folk, in a number of instances calling them “extremists.”  Not that we didn’t expect this, but to see it played out repeatedly in such a brazen manner suggests that if you ever get inside, you would be stunned at what these people really think.

We might well wonder what sort of surprise Mr. Martin has in store for his next release.  Let me guess: “Sarah Palin lacks gravitas.”  Yes, that would be par for the course, but I think it’s unfair to suggest that Mr. Martin is stupid.  It’s far more accurate to say he’s simply dishonest and incapable of thorough, accurate, and unbiased reporting.  In this whole smear against Perry’s intellect, I could find few things that were not twisted renditions of reality, but one did stick out:  He accurately described Texas Transportation Commissioner Ric Wiliamson as the intellectual force behind Perry’s ill-conceived and ill-fated TransTexas Corridor plan.  This is the most damning thing Martin manages to say about Perry, mostly without knowing it, while scurrying to advance his narrative about Rick Perry’s intellect.   You see, the TTC was a monstrosity, but so thin is Martin’s research that he never really addresses issues of substance, and this is key in understanding leftwing media.  It’s difficult to explain to readers the intracies and many problems with Perry’s ill-fated toll road project, but it’s much easier to imply or simply state the thesis of Rick Perry’s alleged “dumbness.”

For these reasons, I would suggest my fellow conservatives ignore these sorts of smears, against whichever candidate they may be leveled.  Instead, demand that the media provide real information, and real policy positions, and fact about politicians’ records on which voters can make informed decisions.  Of course, in their mission to elect Democrats, this becomes an obstacle to the real objects of the left-wing media scorn: Liberal-leaning voters.  These sorts of attacks on the intellect of center-right folk seem to play well with the liberal audience, and one could only wonder why.

As I said, Mr. Martin is not stupid, but he is artfully dishonest.  Translated, as he would present it for his lefty audience, he’s a “good liar.”

Perry’s Book a Complete Load

Monday, August 29th, 2011

When Gary P. Jackson says it, I think it’s safe to say you can bank on it.  The man does his homework, but in this article, I think you should read it for yourself:

 

Perry Campaign: Everything in “Fed Up!” Was Meaningless BS

 

Nothing much else to say. Read it. It’s enlightening as hell.

Thanks!

Rick Perry’s Own Nutty Supporters: The Perry-Krishnas

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Blind Faith, False Prophets, We Got it All!

As we see so often in politics, there will always be those who take their advocacy too far, and see their candidate as flawless.  Perry now has a growing throng of people who fit the bill.   Much like many of us have grown frustrated with the so-called “Paul-bots,” so too have I found that some of Rick Perry’s supporters deserve similar poking.   In their honor, I’ve dubbed them “Perry-Krishnas” for their cult-like support of their chosen candidate.  I have no problem with ordinary Perry(or Paul) supporters who are willing to advance an argument, but the senseless rumor-mongering of the Perry-Krishnas must be rejected.  I’ve found an image that really captures their spirit, and I hope it will help you spot them in a crowd!

 

This Is a “No-Crony-Capitalists-Zone”

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

One Has a Drawl

I believe that capitialism is the only economic system under which a free people can thrive. I don’t believe in “too big to fail,” and bail-outs, hand-outs, or other subsidies for anybody.   Have I been clear enough?  I believe in the form of capitalism best expressed in the writings of author Ayn Rand.  For those of you familiar with the book Atlas Shrugged, I would like to remind you of three characters you ought to consider when deciding who to nominate as the GOP’s candidate for President in 2012.   Those characters are Orren Boyle James Taggart and Wesley Mouch.  If you’re not familiar with the book, I’ll try to help you along.  These three are important characters because they define the problem we have with the establishment Republican Party in Washington, DC, and elsewhere.  By understanding the flaws of these characters, it may help to understand what is wrong with the current front-runners in the Republican primary race.

Orren Boyle fancied himself a steel magnate, but he was not interested in competition.  He wanted controls placed on his competition that would favor his interests, investments, and incompetence.  Boyle was one of those captains of industry who prefers to make social statements than to produce goods for the market, so the quality and production output of his steel mills showed it.  Reduced to the state of a scavenger by his incompetence in his own industry, Boyle came to rely upon government to boost his sales and fill his coffers via regulations on his competitor.

James Taggart was the President of Taggart Transcontinental Railroads, and his connections to Washington were his main source of power.  His sister, Dagny, was actually responsible for keeping the company afloat, because James had never troubled himself to learn from his father what makes a railroad go.  James fancied himself a cultured man, and enjoyed using his political connections to destroy his competitors.  He had no competency for business, and instead spent his time plotting how to ruin his own sister even if it meant destroying the railroad over which he presided.  Not satisfied to ruin businesses, he also took a bride in order to destroy her.

Wesley Mouch began as a lobbyist for Orren Boyle’s main competitor, Hank Rearden, and while Rearden didn’t know much about what his lobbyist was doing for him, everybody told Rearden he needed a lobbyist to defend his interests in Washington.  Mouch double-crossed Rearden and set him up, eventually becoming the chief adviser to the President on economic matters, and essentially the economic dictator of the country.  Wesley Mouch was the perfect government man, using the power of government and law to extract money from people and businesses to the detriment of a few wealthy interests, particularly Orren Boyle and James Taggart. He also used his power to destroy his former employer’s business.

Now that you have some familiarity with these three characters, let me explain to you that they were all quite obviously villains.  They exhibited all the traits of the crony capitalism I despise, and believe you ought to also.  It should be noted that among the various people now entered in the race for the GOP nomination, nearly all of them have these sorts of skeletons in their closet.

Mitt Romney is a fake capitalist.  There’s really nothing more to say about it than that.  The moment you consider his Romneycare law in Massachusetts, there’s really damn little else to say.  A government, at any level, that mandates you buy a product or service, for any purpose whatever is a tyrannical fascist machine.  As an actual capitalist, I know that such mandates serve only four purposes:

  • To enrich politicians via lobbying and political contributions
  • To establish and maintain a captive market
  • To drive up costs for every customer, on average
  • To enable politicians to disclaim future responsibility with a claim of “It couldn’t be helped…” when things go wrong

That’s it. That’s all there really is, and it’s all you should need to know to understand why Mitt Romney is wrong for America.

Rick Perry has many of the same attributes, as I’ve covered at length in other posts. There are those who do not like my willingness to point out these problems with Rick Perry’s actual record, but I won’t retreat.  His record is one of repeated dips into the barrel of crony capitalism if we inspect only two notorious issues: The TransTexas Corridor and the Gardasil flap. There are many, many more.

You’re free to tell me you’ll support him anyway, but you’re not free to pretend his record has been anything but filled with such instances.  You lose all credibility to suggest otherwise, and you can bet that just as I am pointing it out now, the Democrats in 2012 will shove it down his throat(and yours) with glee.  Rick Perry has been a government guy almost the entirety of his adult life, trading favors and peddling pull all along the way.

You can pretend to yourself that Mitt Romney and Rick Perry aren’t really modern day, real life versions of Wesley Mouch, but you’re only pretending, and the only person you’re likely to fool with all this is you.  If you’re happy with this sort of fake capitalism, and aren’t worried about its implications, and if it doesn’t bother you enough to reject either of these, how can you be upset by Obama’s use of similar tactics?  Jeffrey Immelt? (Orren Boyle?)  George Soros? (James Taggart?)  If you can look at these things when done by Barack Obama and consider them a travesty, why can’t you see the timber in your own eye?

My conservative friends, I’d ask you to consider that rather than worrying about “who can win,” or other such nonsense at this early stage, you should instead take great care to vet your own candidates based on their records.  If you put up a nominee who is compromised by the same ethical troubles, and therefore indistinct from Obama, how do you intend to defeat him?  Will you suggest to me that you’d be happy to have somebody to run who can pretend not to be a statist?  Will you offer to me that this is good enough because Obama must go at any cost?  Any cost?  What about the cost of your intellectual integrity? Your soul?  Your sense of right and wrong?

Ladies and gentlemen, I stand prepared to vote for any plausibly capitalist candidate who is not part of the problem we’re already experiencing so bitterly and thoroughly. Neither of these fit that criteria.   The country cannot be saved by Wesley Mouch.  You’d better learn to identify the fakes in your midst, and your time is running out.

Some of You Tea Party Folk Think Perry’s the Answer?

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

Looks Tough Firing Blanks

If you’re a Tea Party member, or you have significant sympathies with them, I’d caution you against climbing aboard Rick Perry’s TransTexasCatastrophe.  The Media is doing everything possible to paint this guy as a bronc-busting, cattle-roping, Texan, but in truth, there are more than a few things you ought to know about him.   He’s no friend to individual rights, except in an election season, and he’s not really the trend-setter he’d have you believe.  His record on jobs isn’t actually so swift as he’d have you believe, and he’s got less in common with the average Texan than he does with the Wall Street types with whom he prefers to consort.  He’s no friend of Main Street, and he’s certainly no friend to real entrepreneurs, and for all his posturing as one of us, he isn’t, and it’s been quite plain.  Those of you from outside Texas can be forgiven for mistaking Perry for a conservative.  It’s assumed because he’s a Republican, and he’s from Texas, he must be. Let me now explain a bit of why this isn’t the case.

Friday I heard the increasingly estimable Mark Davis claim that you shouldn’t mind that Perry converted from the Democrat Party to the Republican Party because, as he points out, Ronald Reagan was once a Democrat too.  Of course, this is a lie by omission, because what Davis doesn’t mention is that it was a long stretch of years between Reagan’s conversion and his arrival in California electoral politics.  This isn’t the case with Rick Perry.  He was Al Gore’s Texas Campaign Manager in 1988, and following the loss, immediately reversed course and ran as a Republican.  I don’t know about you, but despite Davis’ rather disingenuous interpretation of Reagan’s conversion, painting it as just alike, I’m inclined to believe he left some details out intentionally.

Rick Perry has been a regular guest on Davis’ show on WBAP in the D/FW area for years, and to consider Davis anything like an objective or unbiased voice in this stretches all credulity.  Frankly, I hope Limbaugh finds somebody else to be a regular fill in, because Davis is clearly in the tank for Perry, and it runs against Limbaugh’s general premise that he will take no position in a Republican primary, except in general terms on behalf of conservatism.

You may have heard some of Perry’s more recent statements about conditions along the Texas border with Mexico, and you might be inclined to believe Mr. Perry thinks more should be done.  He even tried to repair his credibility on the issue by being broadcast on a live feed from a base of operations near the border for an interview on Greta Van Susteren’s show.   If you believe that stage-managed bit of theater, I’m inclined to let you know right now that he’s relatively no more conservative in real terms than George Bush, which is to say on the matter of his statist, globalist reflexes, he’s no conservative at all.  I’d hate it if anybody else broke the news to you, because I believe bad news is best delivered by a friend.  Check out the following video for where Rick Perry really stands on issues of the border:

I realize there’s a tendency to overstate things in the name of supporting one’s position, but it’s really no exaggeration to suggest that Perry isn’t really very close in his thinking to Tea Party Members, not when measured against what he’s been saying since October 2010, but in what he has said all along throughout his career.  He’s taken money and support from La Raza, ACORN, and other groups that advocate spending tax-payer dollars for dubious programs and projects.

He’s also a crony-capitalist.  If you’re like me, that’s simply something you can’t abide.  I love the free market, but Governor Perry’s revolving door between his staff and corporate boardrooms is a well-established phenomenon, and frankly, if you buy into his nonsense, he’s going to wind up exploiting your good intentions too.  Companies like Merck and Cintra are more his style, and his staff has reflected this over the years of his gubernatorial reign.

You’ve undoubtedly heard about the Gardasil flap, and likely been willing to dismiss it as a fluke.  That would be a serious and potentially tragic mistake.  The most ridiculously egregious thing he may have done in his tenure as Governor of Texas was the proposed TransTexas Corridor.  You may have heard of it, but may not have any details, so let me expound on that for a moment or two.  This was the project that first enlightened me to Perry’s big government answers to all things.  The upshot is this:  It was to be a vast network of toll roads, but more, it would have included some form of light and heavy rail, pipelines, and all manner of things.  On the surface, this might sound attractive, but as with any such project, the devil lies in the details.

The plan included 4400 linear miles of a toll road network, running parallel in many cases to existing Highways and Interstates already in existence.  The corridor’s right of way was to be a full 1/4 mile wide.  Simple math tells you that even ignoring junctions and interchanges, this would have consumed 1100 square miles of Texas’ territory.  You might argue that while it’s a lot of land, Texas is a big state.  That’s all well and good if the state already owns the land, but since it doesn’t, it was going to acquire it by use of eminent domain. Again, you might argue that building roads is one function for which eminent domain ought to apply, but once you look at the rules to be applied to this project, you might well conclude otherwise. Rather than basing their offers to property owners on free market value, they instead intended to limit it to “fair market value” as determined by a panel of cronies they would gin up for the chore.

This project actually proposed bisecting county and farm roads, and even property, dead-ending what are fairly important thoroughfares for the communities they serve.  More, it would have bisected school districts and even towns along its path.  Again, you might think that impossible until you understand that this was to be a closed system with few exits or on-ramps, only permitting access at major Highway and Interstate junctions.  This threatened to destroy many rural communities, and they rose up against it.  Once the details became clear to the public, it was quickly sent back for re-work, and eventually dumped.

Here were the things they didn’t advertise, but you need to know. It was supposed to be operate by a concessionaire, Cintra, for a period of 50 years.  It was going to employ tolls of roughly $0.26 per mile.  A geographical understanding of the scale of Texas immediately prompts the question: “Who on Earth would voluntarily pay to enter a closed-system roadway at that cost over the huge distances in Texas, when a free parallel alternative is just a few miles away in the form of an Interstate, or Highway?”  Good question, and the answer is: Almost nobody.  So how did they intend to make this work?  In 2004,TxDOT applied to the USDOT for a waiver so that they could charge a toll on the existing I-35.  The first leg of the proposed TTC system was called TTC-35, the leg that would run from Laredo to an undetermined point on the Oklahoma border.  In other words, it was a corridor to nowhere, but in order to get you to use it, they were going to toll the free Interstate and let it fall into disrepair.

Opponents at the time argued that the existing I-35 corridor could be widened, and this was met with a dismissive rejection by Perry’s Transportation Commission.  They said it couldn’t be done in a cost-efficient way.  Your confusion at this statement matches that of the average Texan who realizes that this couldn’t possibly be true. How hard is it to add a few lanes here and there?  Yes, you’ll have some eminent domain issues, but nothing on the scale of what the TTC proposed.

They also promised it would promote economic development, but what they kept concealed for a while, until they no longer could do so under the law, was that because it was a closed system, Cintra, the corporation from Spain that would build and operate it, would also have exclusive rights to all concessions along its length. More, due to the limitations on exits and on-ramps, it could never be shown how this colossal highway system would provide any sort of economic boon to anybody, because you wouldn’t be able to access most smaller towns from along its length.  I’m sure you’ll agree with me that the fact that one of Perry’s top staffers was a former Cintra VP, and the fact that one of his own staffers had gone on to work for Cintra had absolutely nothing to do with Perry’s TTC plans. Right?

Ladies and gentlemen, if you’ve fallen prey to the hype about Perry, you may be forgiven, particularly if you’re not from Texas. You’re not aware, as so many here, that Perry isn’t the fellow he’s now being portrayed to be.  He’s not a friend to the Tea Party, despite his seeming 2010 conversion, because much like his conversion in 1989, this conversion also seems to be one of convenience.  I will assure you, this is most definitely the case.

Perry likes to put on an act about his conservative credentials, and his sympathies with the Tea Party, but if the truth is told, he’s no more one of us than the man in the Moon.  You might want to let your fellow conservatives and Tea Party patriots know it too: We’re being hustled again.

Previous Posts on Perry:
Rick Perry Shows His True Nature
Why Rick Perry Isn’t Suited to Be President

Rick Perry Shows His True Nature

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

How Dare You Ask Me That?

I’ve told you before what I think of Rick Perry.  As a Texan, I really don’t think all that much of him, and as a governor, the only thing that has stopped him from making a complete mess is a legislature that is more conservative than he.  His pandering to La Raza and ACORN along with his tendency to govern as a statist has always caused me heartburn.   Combine that with his crony-capitalist ways, and no, I don’t think he should be allowed anywhere near the White House unless he’s on a tour as a member of the public. In this instance, a student at the University of Iowa, Drew Hjelm, tries to ask him a question about the debt problem in Texas, and Perry cuts the guy off, lies, and says the kid doesn’t know what he’s talking about.  Nonsense!  The young man had it right.  I also wonder about the bullying implied by poking his finger on the young man’s chest.

I don’t know what they do about such behavior out in Paint Creek, but that’s a sure-fire way to start a fight in many parts of Texas.  One wouldn’t want to try that for fear that you might well pull back a stump.  What’s next? Is he going to pull off his boot and pound it on the lectern? This sort of tactic simply isn’t acceptable in a modern campaign.  Pointing would have been sufficient, but this reaction was more than Perry should have permitted himself, especially since he was trying to evade answering the young man’s question. Under pressure, in front of the cameras, Perry reverted to bullying and obfuscation. Nobody needs a President like that.

Check out this  excellent article for full coverage on this incident during which Rick Perry was trying to dodge the student’s question at Conservatives4Palin.

Fiscal Conservative, Social “Moderate”?

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

Which Way, Which Day?

One of the worst lies told by so-called “moderate” Republicans in each election year is that while they are “fiscally conservative,” they are also “socially liberal” or “moderate.” This attempt to ignore reality is perhaps less excusable than the constant delusion of the left, because these people aren’t insane. They’re simply wrong, and they know it. Part of it stems from a desire to avoid seeming “judgmental,” but if truth be told, only the worst possible judgment can originate in the minds of those who accept this shoddy idea. Attempting to walk the fine line between the political left and right, they’re not capable of energizing their base or even capturing a substantial portion of the squishy middle. The reason is simple: Their would-be supporters immediately recognize that the fatal flaws of the latter position negates any virtue to be found in the former.

 

Any Way They Can

Consider President George W. Bush, whose argument was that he’s a compassionate conservative. The base implication of that label is that conservatives have no compassion. It was designed to reassure voters that he’s a social moderate. His first term punctuated the notion, as he assisted in crafting laws on social policy including the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit, and an education act that was drafted largely by such great conservatives(?) as Teddy Kennedy. These programs will eventually have cost Americans hundreds of billions, if not trillions of dollars, all in service to a liberal social agenda. How can one then contend that the notion of a fiscal conservative and the idea of a social liberal/moderate could be anything but mutually exclusive?

Because Bush claimed to be a conservative, however, many on the right happily went along with the programs in the name of ‘bi-partisanship.’ We’ve seen recently in the Debt Ceiling debate what that sort of joined-hands surrender to the left this approach offers up in the end: A complete and utter failure that serves no one but government. What really defines a social liberal isn’t merely the so-called “social issues,” but the unflinching willingness to spend tax-payers’ dollars on them. It is this fundamental contradiction with all such “ideological moderates” that labels them dishonest brokers for a failed statist ideal. Many got a moments’ chuckle from my post on the mythical program S-GROPE, but these are the sorts of mindless, destructive federal expenditures born of moderate Republicans.

Consider what would have been the case if moderate John McCain had been elected in 2008. He too would have enacted some sort of health-care reform, but Republicans would have surrendered in sufficient numbers to pass it because of the shoddy notion of party loyalty, rather than loyalty to principle. Since McCain didn’t win, Republicans made a principled stand against it, and the issue is still very much in doubt as Federal courts continue to find parts or the whole of the law to be unconstitutional, nearly ensuring it will have a future date before the United States Supreme court. Had it been enacted by a moderate Republican like John McCain, few would have said even a word in opposition, and they would have been painted as “Hobbits” or “terrorists” or some other smear.

This is why when you see a governor like Rick Perry, willing to use the power of the state to require vaccines against the spread of a behaviorally-transmitted disease like HPV, you can bet you’re looking at another moderate “do-gooder” willing to spend the peoples’ treasure on the advancement of a leftist policy imperative. Not satisfied with defaming all girls twelve years or older in the state of Texas as sexually active, he actually wanted to mandate this and have it administered at school, without charge. Notice how the social moderate winds up always dismissing his fiscal conservatism in the name of some imagined public good on behalf of statist dogma.

Consider Mitt Romney’s ridiculous health-care plan in the state of Massachusetts. It’s not possible to suggest that Mr. Romney doesn’t understand how ridiculously simplistic his arguments in favor of a mandate are under logical scrutiny. First, he offers that it’s a states’ rights issue. That really doesn’t hold water, so instead he offers up a sorry analogy to auto insurance. What sort of auto insurance may any state mandate on drivers? Liability insurance. They don’t mandate collision or comprehensive or road-side assistance or towing or any of the other options you can purchase with your policy. They require only that you cover the losses and damages you inflict upon others. In all logic, there can be no way to contort health insurance to fit such a mold, and yet this is the policy initiative of a man who claims to be a conservative.

These are among the sort of issues in which the social liberalism reveals the true nature of one’s fiscal orientation. When a politician claims to be a “social moderate,” he or she is attempting to govern as a liberal, but generally more slowly, hoping to disguise it all behind the ski-mask labeled “fiscal conservatism,” and further hoping you won’t notice the philosophical slight of hand. Unfortunately for them, voters catch on to this maneuver quickly, and the slick ones will always try to stay a bit ahead of the unmasking, some of them now claiming to be social conservatives on the basis of their professed faith, or their stance on one or more divisive issues preferred by people of faith.

In 2012, we conservatives will be faced with two momentous questions: First, which candidate for the nomination will we support, and second, will we show up to vote in the election? It’s my contention, aimed squarely at the GOP establishment, that if we don’t nominate a real common-sense conservative, this time, that will provide the answer to the second question. Rather than preach to us about the necessity of winning at the expense of our principles, it would be surprising if those glorious advocates of compromise would allow themselves to see it our way, for once in a generation. Rather than being the hidden enemy in our home encampment, let them discard their principle of the center stripe, upon which we’re frequently mowed down, and side with us for a change. A real change.

Desolate and Dry, Texas Awaits Relief From Obama and Perry

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

No Relief in Sight

Rick Perry likes to point out how long it has taken President Obama to take notice of the crippling drought that’s been baking the landscape of Texas for two years, but the Texas Governor has bigger priorities these days.  Texans already know that Obama cares not for the Lone Star State, except wherever he can raise campaign cash among the few Texans still inclined to support him.  What has been more amazing is how little Rick Perry has managed to do about the situation on the ground in Texas, particularly given his oft-lamented concerns for States’ rights and the 10th Amendment to the Constitution.  So what is Perry’s answer to the drought?  After a prayer for rain, he’s off to South Carolina to pray for something else.  One can only imagine that he’d offer scant improvement over Obama, as he seems equally unconcerned about the crisis in the state he now governs.

The truth is that there isn’t a government answer to every problem, particularly some of the ones nature throws our way.  Still, it would be nice to know that one’s Governor was actually doing something proactive to the degree he’s able.  Most of Texas languishes under extended outdoor burn-bans and drought conditions that now threaten to wipe out the state’s entire agricultural base.  Cattlemen are beginning to sell off their herds for lack of feed and hay, and horsemen are now giving away their precious bloodstock because it costs more to keep a horse the span of a month than the horse will fetch at auction.  Recently, one thoroughbred breeder locally advertised his entire herd to any who want them.  Forty-two horses more will head for parts and fates ultimately unknown, if he can manage to give them away.

That’s the situation in which this author is quickly finding himself, like so many others in our region.  Between Governor Perry’s own sabotage of expanded gaming at our tracks, that would merely bring us on par with neighboring states, to the indolent excuses he makes about his own lack of capacity to do anything useful in this clear and present emergency, Perry’s no more help than Obama.  Even so simple a matter as helping local governments better manage their water resources has been far-removed from Perry’s plate of things to do as he gets ready for a presidential run.

Today, we received a notice in the mail from our local water utility that since the drought has been making things incredibly dry at this point, they have asked us all to reduce water usage to the bare minimum.  My wife and I looked at one another in grim astonishment:  We thought that’s what people would do on their own, anyway, since we’ve always done so ourselves.  Apparently, some small Texas towns are now on the verge of being without water.  Our own town is heading that direction, and the newsflash from Austin is: “Gone to South Carolina. Leave your message at the tone.”

It’s so dry here in the Texas black-lands that the once fertile soil, given to cracking and heaving in ordinary wet-dry cycles, is splitting wide open in places to a depth of three to four feet, and in runs of a half-dozen yards or more.  Normally pale green with a hint of brown this time of year, it’s been so dry for so long that our pastures  are now the dusty brown of nearly naked, twice-baked earth.  Before our eyes, what had once been the green and rolling grasslands are becoming a hell on Earth.

I, like may Texans, once had great hopes for Governor Perry, but hopes have turned to disappointment much as the country’s hopes for our current president have faded.  People understand that Governors can’t control the weather, just as Presidents can’t control all facets of the economy, but for once, it would be nice to believe they were even remotely concerned with those suffering under the negative conditions that sometimes prevail in weather patterns and markets.  At a certain point, you find that you’d be satisfied with simple and unwavering leadership that knows what’s right even when what’s easy or fast seems so much more alluring, but for Texans, such leadership is now fully absent as Governor Perry runs off in search of presidential glory.

As a conservative, I will wish him good luck, and for the people of America who think he’s a strong and genuine leader, as you may have once thought Obama to be, I want to wish you all good luck as well.  As I’ve reported in the past, he simply isn’t the right leader for America, if he’s a leader at all.

On the heels of the Obama disaster, if you elect Rick Perry, you’re going to need all the luck you can muster.

What the ‘Lame-Stream’ Media Won’t Tell You

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Perry Joins 'Savior-of-the-Month' Club

It’s time for some frank discussion of the coming election and how the media is attempting to influence the outcome.  The media has no particular love of the country, because they serve corporate and political masters who don’t share the average American’s interests or visions.  You may think some network is telling you the entire truth, but all of them are compromised in one way or another.  Many center-right folks trust Fox News, but it cannot be said that this organization remains untouched by the political bias of the DC culture, particularly given the enlarging legal problems the network’s parent company, News Corp, is facing abroad, and more recently here at home.  What none of them seem interested in telling you is the identity of the real GOP front-runner.

For their dismissive attitude toward her on-camera, or in print, the media is overwhelmingly focused on the possibility of Sarah Palin’s entry into the GOP field.  Happy to leave them guessing, Governor Palin’s One Nation bus tour is back on the road, while the Lame-Stream Media pursues her, all the while feigning an indifference to her potential candidacy.  This duplicitous approach to covering the former Alaska Governor is intended to extinguish her popularity in the face of a string of flavors of the month.  Ignoring what they say instead of how they behave, their pursuit of her goes on without pause in the manner of the Paparazzi pursuing royalty.  Fortunately for the American people, this approach seems to be failing, because after each successive introduction of the next “GOP Savior” of the moment, what commences is a long trail of diminution in the eyes of the public.   Trump was going to save us.  Huntsman was going to be the ‘real deal’.  Anybody remember the name “Mitch Daniels” any longer? Then it was Bachmann. Now we’re being offered another “No, really, trust us, we’re right this time.”

The latest alleged savior of America is Rick Perry, but once again, this is largely a manufactured sentiment of the LSM.   As I’ve detailed elsewhere, for a variety of reasons related in part to eight years of a George Bush presidency, combined with Perry’s own shoddy record that wilts under the sunlight of intense examination, it’s clear that soon the bloom will be off the rose from Texas, as well.  Perry can’t win a national election.  His Texas mannerisms and speech simply aren’t salable in the immediate future, not because Americans dislike Texans, but because so many are soured on Texas by Bush.  Perry’s abandonment of conservatism when it has suited political expediency almost certainly dooms his candidacy from the outset.  After all, Barack Obama would love nothing better than to be able to launch a campaign against George Bush’s lieutenant governor.

Meanwhile, Sarah Palin is in Iowa, and is scheduled to be on Hannity tonight from the Iowa State Fair.  At almost any moment, she threatens to swoop in and suck the thin political oxygen out of the GOP primary race, with the Iowa straw poll set to take place on Saturday.  This approach certainly leaves the field in turmoil, left to wonder when Palin will drop the hammer and crush some of the less popular candidates.  It’s an open secret among many now loosely in the Michele Bachmann camp that in some sense, while well-liked among Tea Party Republicans, she’s become a sort of place-holder for people who would prefer to support Governor Palin.

This suggests that a high-stakes, well-placed announcement by Sarah Palin could very well overwhelm the latest “savior,” whomever that may be.  Sarah Palin’s in the cat-bird seat, and she knows it.  She’ll likely jump in when she sees the best moment, likely surprising everybody, and this possibility has the remainder of the field sweating, leaving the savior of the moment wondering when his halo will evaporate too.