Thursday, October 13, 2011

Perry/Thompson 2012

I must say that one of the few genuine pleasures of the GOP presidential candidate nomination process has been playing witness to the Rick Perry implosion. It reminds me so much of what happened in 2008 with the candidacy of Fred Thompson. With his genial grandad persona and "plain spoken horse sense" Thompson was the Republican. Dali Lama, a reincarnation of Ronald Reagan who would carry the presidency by channeling the Gipper, carried aloft into the White House by a throng of GOP faithful. Yet when he dropped into the race, instead of walking on air, Thompson fell to earth with a dull thud. Apparently the guy was just too lazy to get up and walk, and the rest of the field just ambled past him.

Perry, likewise, came into the race as gun-wielding, the neo-secessionist, guru and anointed prophet of the Tea Party cult. His initial poll numbers were staggering and he was pronounced the Republican frontrunner before he had even officially announced his bid. But he too, quickly fell to earth once it became amply clear that the quip that Perry was "George W. Bush minus the gravitas and intellectual curiosity" was far from an exaggeration. Indeed, it was so close to reality that even the Tea Party (heretofore enamoured of certifiably insane Christofascist Michelle Bachmann) was able to see him for the pretty-faced imbecile he was.

For me, the last nail in the Perry coffin was finally hammered in last night when, responding to an accusation of Mitt Romney's that Perry has thus far failed to present a viable economic plan, Perry responded by noting "you've been doing this much longer than I have" or words to that effect (I'm quoting from memory). It's always a bad sign when your retort to an accusation could just as easily have been an extension of the accusation itself. Had I been Romney My response would have been "You're right, Rick... I have been thinking about these issues and developing policy proposals much longer than you have. Thanks for making my point for me."

That said, I don't want to give the Tea Party too much credit. After all, their current darling appears to be Herman Cain, a guy who ridicules the notion that he should be expeceted to have a rudimentary grasp of geopolitics (or even, geography) and whose 9-9-9 economic plan reads like it was dreamed up in a Vegas hotel room by a trio of junior hedge fund managers after snorting a few lines of coke off the ass of the sleeping hooker they just shared.

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