Now that Mitch Daniels and the other starters have refused to take the presidential field, Republican leaders are taking a look at the scrubs and pine jockeys. When you can't get the best, try out the rest. Yesterday, the GOP lost a special election in a solid red district. Maybe, Howard Camping, the prophet of doom, was half right. Last weekend wasn’t the end of the world; it was just about the end of the GOP as a viable political force in 2012.
The GOP has gone from it’s A Team to the party's C List. One of the Republican C List presidential possibilities is the Governor of Texas, Rick Perry. The big question Governor Perry needs to ask himself is whether he wants to lead the United States or secede from it. [Check out a roundup of political cartoons on the 2012 GOP contenders.]
In 2009, the governor threatened to withdraw the Lone Star state from the union. His reason was the failure of D.C. politicians to cut the federal budget deficit. What he failed to note was the guy who did more to run up the deficit than anybody else was a Texan, his predecessor as governor, George W. Bush.
Will Americans accept a leader to move this country forward who threatened to turn his back on the United States? I don’t think so. Governor Perry doesn't know his Texas history very well. When Texas seceded from the union in 1861 to preserve slavery, things didn’t work out real well. Perry’s threat, for Texas secede for a second time, is like contemplating a second marriage. It’s the triumph of hope over experience. Too bad Jeff Davis isn’t still around to be his running mate.
The governor has talked about seceding from the union because of out of control federal government spending. But that didn’t stop Texas’s chief executive from begging for federal money in April to repair the damage from wildfires across his state. Hat in hand, he also asked Uncle Sam to clean up the oil spilled along the Gulf coast by one of the governor’s beloved oil companies. My heart went out to the people of Texas and the Happy Hypocrite Award goes out to Rick Perry. The U.S. government does come in handy sometimes; doesn’t it governor? [Vote now: Who is your pick for the 2012 GOP nomination?]
Perry would find a ready audience in a Republican presidential primary. If he just got all of the hypocrites in the GOP to vote for him, he would be a lead pipe cinch to win the presidential nomination. Republican hypocrites in Congress:
-voted to end healthcare coverage for millions of Americans but none of the conservatives who voted to kill Medicare gave up their gold plated, socialist federal healthcare coverage.
-always complain about the federal budget deficit but extended the Bush budget busting tax breaks for bankers, billionaires and oil companies. [See a slide show of GOP 2012 contenders.]
-oppose abortion because of their concern for the life of a child but cut funding for nutrition programs for women and their infant children.
If Perry does run, he’ll need every bit of luck he gets. The last president who was governor of Texas also didn’t have any foreign policy experience. That president started a pointless war in Iraq that cost our nation the lives of 4,000 brave Americans and $2 trillion.
Americans won’t be sending another untested Texas governor to the White House for a long time.