Anybody who has read this blog for a while knows better than to expect my applause for Rick Perry’s entry into the race for the Republican presidential nomination. But neither am I wringing my hands and proclaiming doom because he certainly hasn’t made the GOP field any worse. That would have been impossible.
Perry is merely the latest to join a parade of pandering politicians, including several who have made lucrative careers in government, assuring disgruntled, antigovernment Americans that government, mainly President Obama, is the cause of all their troubles.
The Tea Party and their allies don’t want to improve government. They want to shrink it, at any cost, and they are driving the Republican presidential race, much as they drove many legislative and congressional races last year. You saw the result in Texas, a $5.4 billion cut to the public education budget and billions more to health care.
A telling point came during last week’s debate of Republican wannabes in Iowa. The moderator asked who would reject a longterm debt reduction package that had $10 in spending cuts for every $1 in revenue increases.
All eight debate participants raised their hands. Perry hadn’t joined the field yet, but had he been there he would have raised his hand as high as everyone else’s because, as he demonstrated in Austin earlier this year, there is nothing balanced about his approach to a financial crisis.
Linked below is an editorial from The Dallas Morning News challenging Rick Perry, the presidential candidate, to start offering more than catchphrases.
Perry knows how to win, the editorial points out.
But it adds: “In nearly 11 years as governor, he has not been known for his problemsolving or innovation. Perry has instead established himself as a power governor who doesn’t like to be crossed, and many Texans are far more familiar with what he is against (like ‘Washington’) than what he is for.”
The editorial is worth reading. I doubt, so far, that Perry – or anyone else in the GOP presidential field – is up to the newspaper’s challenge.