Couple of things before I start citing the article to which the title refers:
1) I have no problem with taking a candidate’s religious views and practices into account. In fact, I always do try to discern the veracity of the stated views that their actual practices expose. But I tend to do that privately, as my personal religious views and/or biases will always win out in reaching conclusions about a candidate over what others’ takes mean to them based on their own views/biases. So this post is not going to be about Perry’s religious or morality views, but rather his objective record of governance as Governor of Texas for the last decade or so.
2) I have one problem with Malkin’s repeated use of the words “Tea Party” in this article. As I read it, every time it was used it should have been substituted with the word “conservative” or some synonymous derivative thereof. She is describing what any conservative should expect/demand from someone running on a conservative platform, and I personally see the Tea Party as nothing more than the collective memory of what the Republican Party’s platform always was up until GHW Bush, on through to W Bush and many, if not most, of today’s Republican candidates/office-holders. Perry, as well as all the rest, should be evaluated on their adherence (or lack thereof) to traditional, constitutional conservative values, not just on what the Tea Party espouses.
So, with those caveats, here we go:
Yesterday, the Washington Post asked me to comment on conservative concerns about Texas GOP Gov. Rick Perry’s records.
Here is what I told them in full:
“The Gardasil debacle is just one of many concerns a wide range of grass-roots conservative activists have about Perry’s record as governor. He’s soft on illegal immigration despite a few recent nods to border enforcement. He’s prone to crony capitalism. And as the vaccine mandate scandal shows, he demonstrated Nanny State tendencies that are anathema to Tea Party core principles.
A clearer, more forthright apology about the Gardasil executive order would have helped. But in the end, I don’t think there’s anything he can do to ‘fix’ his political/ideological instincts. They are what they are.
The reaction to my criticism of Perry’s Gardasil mandate is mixed. Yeah, I’ve gotten heat for not falling in line with the latest GOP bandwagon. Many Perry backers will accuse detractors of being single-issue purists making mountains out of molehills. Some Texan readers will defend him to the death out of parochial loyalty. The majority of responses have been positive, though. If we demand that Obama answer for the glaring discrepancies between his rhetoric and his record, we must do the same for our candidates.
The important thing is that we’re having the debate. It’s healthy. It’s necessary. It’s why we have primary battles for the GOP nomination and not coronations.”
Michelle and I are simpatico here. I am not a registered Republican, so I guess it stands to reason that I would refuse to get on board with any GOP “bandwagon,” but Michelle Malkin is indeed a Republican, and I appreciate the standard to which she is attempting to hold all voters who will likely vote Republican in primaries and the General, regardless of party affiliation. As previously mentioned, “Tea Party” should have been substituted with “conservative,” but the message should be the same for anyone trying to scrutinize Perry’s record, even if they don’t consider themselves part of the Tea Party.
Here is the article in the Post, which concludes:
“Perry’s campaign is brushing off the criticism, saying there’s nothing in his record that a conservative wouldn’t love.
“The governor has a conservative track record on fiscal issues, on social issues and on the border,” said spokesman Mark Miner. On the HPV vaccine, Miner, said, “this is a life issue and he erred on the side of life.”
But on this issue — and others — Perry is only likely to get more scrutiny, not less.”
Once again, the Perry campaign proves my point about the non-walkback-walkback. If Perry “erred on the side of life,” what his campaign continues to suggest is that those who opposed his Gardasil mandate from the beginning chose death. Instead of renouncing the human shield demagoguery he engaged it after the repeal, the Perry campaign has doubled-down.
There is nothing — nothing — Tea Party about this.
Nothing conservative about it either, and that’s the point. If you don’t know about the Gardasil controversy, please follow the link above or Google it and read up on it. Forced vaccinations by the state, whether federal or state-level, should scare the crap out of all of us. I realize Perry isn’t the first to implement such things, nor will he likely be the last, but I can’t see any argument that supports the contention that forcing a given medical treatment on kids against what their parents believe is in their best interest is in any way an “error” that any “conservative wouldn’t love.”
It is no surprise — given the Merck ties — that Perry is a consummate practitioner of corporate welfare “public-private partnerships.” Tim Carney, who wrote the book on Obama’s crony capitalism, dissects Perry’s big government-big business collusion in the Examiner today. As with the Gardasil mandate, Perry exercised his habit of overriding the deliberative process, exercising unilateral executive authority, and benefiting donors and cronies.
She cites quotes in the article supporting the above contention, which you can check those or follow the links above to, and which I will leave out here for brevity’s sake, but which, again, Michelle and I are simpatico on.
The Wall Street Journal earlier scrutinized Perry’s crony capitalism here.
Then there’s Perry’s troubling erosion of private property rights via the Trans Texas Corridor.
Michelle goes on from there to link to articles of hers decrying “big government public-private partnerships” by Obama and GW Bush, claiming what I agree is the consistency high-ground in her cross-party government analysis over the years.
Jennifer Rubin explains to knee-jerk Perry supporters why all of this matters — and why the vetting of Perry and every other announced candidate is imperative:
“The downfall of the Republican majority in Congress in 2006 was the perception that conservatives had gone to Washington and become ensnared by lobbyists, donors and special interests who used the federal government and taxpayers’ money as a piggy bank. Republicans should examine candidates’ records and see not only if they have successfully created jobs but how they have done so, what the appropriate model is for the relationship between government and the private sector and whether that model is one we should adopt in Washington.”
Has anyone noticed that, in the journalistic realm anyway, most of the steely-spined conservatives are women these days? I mean, yeah, there are exceptions, but many of the Tea Party notables are women and many of the most committed and deeply-convicted conservative bloggers are women. I’m not sure whether it’s refreshing or embarrassing considering I’m a man, but it sure does seem rather undeniable in any case.
Anyway, back to Malkin:
How are Perry defenders responding to criticism?
This is typical:
Richard.Rekieta@cityofhouston.net to malkinblog
I am a fan of yours, but your hack job on Governor Perry was not necessary. Why are we dumping on our own? If you cannot say anything good about a Republican, shut the hell up. There are plenty of Dems around to trash our side. Overall, Governor Perry is the best we got.
Ugh. Maybe those reports on the death of the Tea Party movement aren’t so premature after all.
Someone give me hope out there, please.
And no, I will not shut the hell up.
I wish she would have couched it as the “death of the conservative movement” rather than the Tea Party, but other than that I say, you go girl.
She concludes with:
More on Perry and our favorite Latino supremacists at La Raza.
From the American Thinker, Perry’s problematic jihadi-friendly pals.
On the plus side, he’s saying the right things about global warming junk science. That’s an improvement over the climate change Republicans and GOP enviro-nitwits from the last presidential campaign season.
For my own self, I am not posting this to pick on Rick Perry. I have major problems with all of the so-called conservative candidates. I do have a particular problem with Perry filing to run one day after avoiding a major debate, and the next day being the front-runner by double-digit poll points though. That fact alone seems to expose a rather disturbing dearth of thoughtful analysis of the candidates by voters. Of course, that dearth may or may not be manipulated by the polling agency in the way they conduct or weight their polls, but even if that is so, are “our” voters so easily manipulated, and if so, does that say anything more positive about them than what an almost complete lack of investigation of Perry’s record would say if the polls are accurate?
Always question them, always scrutinize their records. Anything less makes us, as voters, the problem, not them as the entitled power-hungry overlords that they all see themselves as in the deepest, darkest recesses of their psyche.