Michael Maiello's picture

    I'm Ron Burgundy?

    He has the hair.  He doesn't know anything about science or history.  He likely misuses the phrase, "when in Rome."  My column for The Daily this week is about Rick Perry, the conservative superstar and great Republican hope of the moment who reminds me entirely of Ron Burgundy.

    I know I shouldn't be stunned by the Perry phenomenon.  He's pulling from the Michele Bachmann crazies, which is probably good as we always want the wild-eyed vote divided.  But Perry also seems to be a threat to Romney. Somehow, a guy who doesn't believe in climate science, doesn't believe in evolution and thinks that Texas can leave the U.S. at anytime, is getting support from the more responsible Republican voters who want to run a mainstream candidate.  It may well be that the mainstream Republican voters, which also means a lot of mainstream Americans, think that most of science is hooey.  I sometimes forget how backward the country can be.

    A big part of Perry's credibility is the "Texas Miracle."  Unemployment in Texas is lower than the national average.  But Texas is a heavily federally subsidized state.  It's a huge destination for Pentagon spending and its too major industries -- farming and energy -- are among the largest recipients of federal largesse.  Just like everywhere else in America, Texas lost private sector jobs during the recession.  But it replaced most of those lost jobs with public sector jobs.  Texas is a success  story for the Keynesian policies that Perry disagrees with.  Perry is also proud to have balanced his budget even during lean times.  But that would not have been possible without $25 billion in federal stimulus money from the very program that Perry hates.

    Obviously, I have a hard time taking Perry seriously.  But he might be a threat.  Ron Burgundy was a buffoon too, but he was popular. 




    I'd take Perry very seriously, Destor. Here's why.

    He gives the impression that he knows who he is, knows what he believes in, says what he means and means what he says. Decisive. He'll get it done. And he's a man of the people. 

    In other words, he's the anti-Obama.

    There may be ghosts in his closet that will bring him down, or he may overplay his hand in the primaries. But if he survives to become the nominee, his campaign will have a lot of money to play with and he may be formidable indeed.

    Ya gotta love the metacommunication of your post.


    Obama has no fuckin idea who he is, or what he believes.  He will say anything, and it means nothing to him, nor can you rely on the meaning you choose to derive from his verbiage.  He is indecisive, can't do a fuckin' thing, and is an effete elitest.

    All undeniable.

    Fuck us....

    I'm talking about perceptions.


    Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. — A. Einstein (attributed)

    Oh yeah?  I'm..... talkin'....' reality...

    Are you thinking 11-dimensional chess is a dimension too far?

    I'm  pretty sure the correct rendering is "eleventy-dimensional"...but I could be wrong.

    As any JRR Tolkien reader would know, eleventy = 110, as in Bilbo's eleventy-first birthday.  In the interests of full disclosure, it would seem that the Urban Dictionary disagrees.

    Perry is only as constant as his base of supporters is. He is very good at identifying who will vote for him and what they want to hear. That includes an excellent ability to use dog-whistles so he can talk to his supporters without antagonizing his opponents.

    The reason he appears "constant" is that his state-wide base is primarily evangelical fundamentalists and movement conservatives. They had allied themselves in the 80's in Texas to gain control of the Texas state-wide political offices, largely through the efforts of Karl Rove. Rove recruited Perry to run for state Agricultural Commissioner. Perry's good old boy Texas Aggie schtick was a perfect match for those conservative voters and they still dominate Texas politics so he has not changed his beliefs.

    Had Perry come into state-wide politics twenty years earlier he would have been a raging anti-civil rights politician. That was no longer workable in the late 80's. He is as flexible as his voting base will let him be, and he'll say and do anything to get more votes and more wealth for himself.

    You have to live in Texas to really appreciate "Texas  Aggie schtick".

    As Churchill said about Aggies:, "Never have so few unexceptional people, with so little self-awareness, shaped the culture of an entire state."

    Slick Rick is a politicians version of a phenomenal used car salesman.  Campaigning is what he knows how to do.  He is a professional and I have no doubt that he can talk out of both sides of his mouth while selling America all of his 'junk' and people are going to buy.  He is wrapping it in religion and giving them the sense that this guy is confident and knows what hes talking about.  People will sincerely believe that this guy can put things right.  He will convince them.  I have no doubt that he could become our next president.

    Every day I watch the president and the republican candidates and I think no matter who wins... we lose.  I seriously can't see the president winning the election next year and it's hard for me to watch everyone insist that we should put all of our faith in him... and try to get him elected next year... I wish I could see that working.  I'd take it over President Perry but I don't see it happening. 

    Asking the president to remove himself from the race may seem like a crazy and unrealistic thing but from where I see things... it's better than doing nothing and watching this go down they way its headed.

    OMIGOD--Jack Warden for president...an idea who's time has come.

    Destor, my money is on Perry for the nomination. But I think Perry's biggest liability as a candidate is his heavy emphasis on job creation in Texas. If the strength of that argument flags, he looks like even more of a dope than he is.

    I think parsing issues like what kind of jobs, jobs in relation to population growth, etc., are problematic for Obama and soft balls for a salesman like Perry because of the public's low attention span. The argument gets bogged down in definitions, difficult to score a knock out, though could be a draw.

    The real problem for Perry, I think, is the headline unemployment number for the state which just went from 8.2%  to 8.4% , a point at which the national number actually went down. Firstly, 8.4% in the highest rate for Texas in 20 years. If the National rate actually falls below the Texas rate, Perry cannot dance his way around the issue without losing complete credibility.

    Texas has just implemented huge cuts in state spending and some feel the unemployment will rise as a result of it. Texas has large immigration, a lot of people going there without jobs. So the score today is 8.4 vs. 9.1. Let's see if the national numbers can come down, a la Lavorgna.


    The guy looks and sounds just like w.

    Let us all go back to the good ole days when our entire country; defense, wall street, employment ended up on their face in the gutter!

    the end

    File:Rick Perry leaning against a jet.jpg




    Just put some sunglasses on the single most incompetent president of the last seventy years or so; and there he is or there she goes!



    OK but I think Perry is one up on W, literally.  You may have noticed Perry's signature "thumbs up" pose which as been widely misinterpreted as a gesture of optimism when actually Perry is trying to convince everyone that unlike W he only has one thumb up his... well as you would say "the end."

    All of which suggests a good campaign slogan :  "One thumb free and ready to lead."

    I already wrote you but about this extra thumb?

    Where exactly is that extra thumb placed?

    Doubly plugged.



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