Thanks, But No Thanks, Governor Perry

Rick Perry wants to make the rest of America like Texas.  Thanks, but no thanks.  Do we really want fewer people with high school or college diplomas?  More people without health insurance or working for minimum wage?  That’s a pretty pathetic standard of prosperity.  Such a lowest-common-denominator, dumbed-down prosperity guarantees that the 21st century will not be another American Century.

All of us deserve better, including the people of Texas.

I Blame John McCain for Michele Bachmann

We get used to things and eventually accept them as normal.  If Michele Bachmann had started running for president without the precedent of Sarah Palin, I don’t think she would have gotten very far.  Sarah Palin didn’t gain acceptance in national politics through coming up on her own through caucuses and primaries, and I doubt she ever would have, but from being dumped on us by John McCain.  We were forced to watch and listen, over and over again.  Now we’ve become inured to attractive women screeching bizarre things as plausible candidates for our highest office.  Bachmann is much more articulate than Palin, but the thinking behind those more coherent sentences is just as dumb and dangerous.

If you doubt this, think of gay marriage.  As gays began coming out of the closet, and people realized that more of their relatives, friends, and co-workers were gay than they had known, the idea of gay marriage has become much more acceptable.  We’ve gotten used to a lot more sex and profane language on TV, when this used to be unacceptable.

Mitt’s Lost His Swagger

Rick Perry may be the Texan in the race, but it’s Mitt who’s swaggered around, acting as if the nomination is his, focusing on President Obama and ignoring his primary rivals.  That chapter ended yesterday with Perry’s entry.  Bachmann is not a direct threat to Mitt, but she hurts him in the way she sets the contours of the race.  As long as Bachmann is there on his right, Perry looks more reasonable and electable as a compromise between Romney the establishment guy and Bachmann the grass-roots girl.  Being left, right, or center is never just about you, but is always relative to who else is around you.  Perry takes the spot Pawlenty hoped to have, to Bachmann’s left and Mitt’s right.

Jon Huntsman was helping Mitt by appearing as an establishment candidate to Mitt’s left, but Huntsman hasn’t taken off and won’t.  There are only three serious candidates now (sorry, Paul people).  Mitt finds himself the left-most one, never the “right” place to be in the Republican party, especially with the Tea Party’s power and Mitt’s pathetic retail-campaigning skills.

Mitt cannot swagger his way to the nomination or the White House.  Can Perry?  It remains to be seen, but this race just became one worthy of getting the popcorn out for.

Bachmann and “submissive”

Michele Bachmann is the first Republican woman to be elected to Congress from Minnesota.  To achieve that, she had to convince a whole lot of religious conservatives to vote for her, folks who think a woman’s place is in the home (not the House).  So she cleverly pretended that her whole career was what her husband wanted, not what she wanted.  That’s why she said that he told her to go to law school, he told her to get a Master’s in tax, etc.

Instead of an uppity, ambitious career woman who would turn off the voters, she portrayed herself as submissive to her husband.  But she can’t admit that in a presidential debate, so now she’s stuck explaining the “submissive” story that was always a lie.