Ever since Rick Perry, the Texas governor, announced his intention to seek the Republican nomination for president, he seems to be all the punditry can talk or write about, except of course when they are excoriating Obama for what they see is his failed leadership. The Democrats bemoan Obama’s failures as they point out Perry’s flaws, while the Republicans gloat over Obama’s failures and try to construct something of a messianic narrative around Perry’s leadership abilities.
As for pundits opposing Perry, there’s the Washington Post’s Fact Checker article I posted on yesterday. There’s Paul Krugman’s assessment of the so-called “Texas miracle” economy, also the subject of a post. There’s Education Secretary Arne Duncan proclaiming that he feels, “very, very badly for the children” subject to the Texas education system Perry has overseen since assuming the governorship in 2000. There’s even an article by Bloomberg columnist Ezra Klein asking Is Rick Perry Too European to be a US President?
And for every pundit opposed to Perry, there are as many or more ready to defend him. The Wall Street Journal’s Review and Outlook seems to have already cast its vote Mr. Perry’s way, running an article seemingly every other day defending and supporting Perry, the latest being The Texas Jobs Panic, a rebuttal to claims that Perry’s Texas economy was anything but miraculous. The rebuttals were in large measure responding to a previous Review and Outlook column, The Texas Jobs Miracle, upon which even I felt compelled to post a rebuttal.
The sport these days seems either to be castigating President Obama, from all corners of the political spectrum, or alternatively castigating or praising Mr. Perry, depending on one’s political perspective. Perry seems to be a quite polarizing figure, and appears to have, in less than a month as an official candidate, taken on the aura of the man to beat for both Republicans and Democrats.
If Perry wins the nomination, the presidential campaign might get interesting. If he wins the presidency, the country will have lurched hard right after again after toying with collectivism. But nothing much will have changed if, once elected, he runs the White House for the benefit of the capitalists, which translated today, means for investment banks and the banking industry. His remarks equating money printing with treason seem to imply that he wouldn’t run the country for the bankers, but there’s no way to know for sure what he will do until he is elected.
A Perry election would also represent something of a resurgence of the dominant white culture. Still over 70% of the population is white, which is obviously big enough to elect Perry without the need of attracting very many blacks or Hispanics, but whites don’t vote along racial lines. At least a third of the whites will vote Democratic, and all of the blacks (whether Obama runs again or not), so Perry will have to attract a few Hispanics. Being from Texas can’t hurt him in that regard.
Would a Perry presidency help or hurt the United States? That’s hard to say. It seems as if Perry might help folks come to terms with the idea that the government can not and will not be able to deliver on the promises it has made to its citizens, particularly regarding health care, something the pandering Bush-Ama (the terms of Bush-Obama, I like to call “Bush-Ama”, the candidate against which Obama will have to run) refused ever to do. The promises will be breached one way or another. Perhaps a Perry presidency could help prevent a crisis from causing the promises to be broken. It seems the slime mold that is American society (Bloomberg columnist Nathan Myhrvold’s characterization, not necessarily mine) only acts when forced to do so because of a crisis.