Johnny Winter, in his song ‘Dallas,’ sings, “There’s so much shit in Texas, you’re bound to step in some.” My desperately sincere recommendation for Rick Perry should he choose to run for president is that he step exceedingly high. There may have been assistance manufacturing the distinctive substance piling up in the pastures of Texas, but Rick is the Big Ole Texan who thinks he can be president.
Delusion is an overstocked commodity in Republican circles, but the fact that Rick Perry thinks the job he has done in Texas makes him a political beauty contestant makes you want to applaud. The current lineup of prospective Republican presidential candidates undoubtedly has P.T. Barnum rolling over in his grave with envy. The mixture of sleepwalkers, walnuts and people just really high on life has its own sort of intoxicating wonder. Perry believes, according to his recent speeches that Republicans are holding back in their ideological push to the right, are too apologetically temperate in making their case, and that the Republican id remains in regrettably low gear. So it’s difficult to overstate exactly how much fun his candidacy ought to be.
The first line of Perry’s résumé from Hell is a Texas budget deficit of 27 billion dollars. He is seeking to be the nominee of a party whose current raison d’être is pretending to care about deficits just before and immediately after running them up. This is much easier if one does not presently have one hanging around one’s neck like an iron lariat. Of course, any nominee of his party will be selling the alchemy that governments no longer need to collect revenue, a sort of James Dean mathematical defiance I’m not altogether unimpressed with, at least from a theatrical standpoint.
Like many another Republican Daniel Boone, he brayed about the iniquity of government bailouts several minutes prior to hosing up 6.4 billion dollars worth. Texas is ranking 34th among the states in median family income, probably giving him dibs on the dreamy bumper sticker, “A little below average in Texas.” Texas has the highest percentage of minimum wage jobs in all of the fifty states, surely sealing proprietary rights to, “We’re tops in bottoms,” though that will be less than helpful putting to bed the rumors about his sexuality.
The Texas legislature has become a budgetary abattoir, about to commence cutting the funding for public schools for the first time since 1949 and shuttering dozens of nursing homes. I know Texans are supposed to be tough monkeys. But chasing granny out of her nursing home in an election season takes a hard man.
If one were to observe Mr. Perry simply in terms of his presidential temperament…and I’m only guessing here…several threats to secede from the union may detract from any Lincolnesque aspirations he holds. What with holding the union together somehow having gained historical favor over ripping it all apart, stirring unity among Americans in these United States is seemingly a basic qualification.
So, there isn’t a whole lot for Perry to brag about. And a Texan who can’t brag, is like a Canadian who can’t ice-skate. To be fair, the man does put on a helluva stage show. Perhaps he really does believe the country retains a deep-seated desire for a president who presents himself as a cross between Elmer Gantry on pharmaceutical coke, and Liberace playing Batman. Of course, if I get a little time to think about it, that may be exactly what I’m looking for.