Like the late Rodney Dangerfield, poor Rick Perry don't get no respect nowadays. However, unlike Dangerfield, he just doesn't deserve it.
Both Perry's state and his party couldn't vet themselves out of a paper bag, so it's no surprise that, for Perry, emerging from a caccoon-like state into the national arena presented, shall we say... difficulties. He also doesn't have enough brain power to learn from campaigns like that of Michele Bachmann: when your campaign goes into backpedaling mode, it's over, and you can't answer every probing question with "I am running for President of the United States" as Bachmann did. Of course Bachmann is clueless, so she'll probably keep on skipping her merry way through everything simply because she lives in the fool's paradise of the Religious Right. Perry can't be afforded that luxury: he must know when to retreat or his political career will be totally annihilated.
In America, the steadfast rule of political campaigns is: the second you say "I am running for dogcatcher" you had better have all your tracks covered - yes, from the time the doctor spanked your behind and you began to wail. The fact that Perry's "Camp N*ggerhead" has been brought to light now is a sign of careless career cover-ups coupled with the back-slapping bravado that went out with George Bush.*
As David Axelrod put it: "Campaigns are like an MRI for the soul -- whoever you are, eventually people find out...Time will tell whether this comes to reflect him or not." But with the way today's voters view time - in micro-bites - time has already run out for Perry: his erratic actions, along with his calls to prayer, shot - staccato-like - into any defense he might have molded had he given any thought to them.
Indeed, it's a wonder that Perry's campaign went as far as it did, considering his poorly timed "Response" and his pre-campaign endorsements. Being backed by such luminaries as Cindy "Japan-is-shaped-like-a-dragon" Jacobs and Peter "Statue-of-Liberty-is-a-demonic-idol" Wagner is worse than McCain's trumpeted support by John "Rome-is-the-prostitute-of-Babylon" Hagee.
IN DEFENSE, THERE IS NO DEFENSE
"There is no hint of prejudice or race-baiting in Rick Perry's long career in the public eye." - Hugh Hewitt.
As with his religious supporters, Perry also needs to backpedal from erstwhile pundits like Hugh Hewitt. Hewitt's latest tome is titled A Mormon in the White House?: 10 Things Every American Should Know About Mitt Romney. And the problem with Hewitt's above statement is that the phrase "in the public eye." begs the question: "Well, what wasn't in the public eye?" After George Bush, many Americans didn't want to even think about Texas, much less anything related to its leap backward into the 14th century.
Or the state's obvious bloodlust:
It has been pointed out that Perry's main defense problem is now in his inability to stick to one cohesive story:
Which is it? Did Papa Ray Perry find the word so offensive he immediately rushed out there to brush it away? Or did he wait, possibly as much as a full year, before he was told to take it off?
In addition, his campaign did not bother to check to see if any other testimony as to the offensive sign's MORE RECENT existence would countermand his story:
Some of the people interviewed by the Washington Post gave different accounts, with one former ranch worker saying he saw the word as late as 2008.
So now we have the pieces of Rick Perry and his campaign strewn before us:
- A pre-campaign call for all the Religious Right crackpots to come to his support
- A mottled, "I'm liberal/compassionate in some areas" stance on social issues
- A Texas-is-best diplomacy started by talk of secession and culminating in pride of its execution record
- A lackluster response to another rattlebrained campaigner about a vaccine
- A lack of political savvy in covering up obvious, past-life, racist stumbling blocks
So, does Rick Perry deserve respect?