Free Markets, Free People

Rick Perry


The anti-Perry full-court press begins

I‘ll be honest with you. I dunno if Rick Perry would be a good president or not. I don’t even know if he’s been a particularly good governor of Texas. But it’s becoming apparent he’s perceived as a pretty big threat to Barack Obama. The guy entered the race less than 48 hours ago, and we’re already being treated to things like this, this, and this, from the usual suspects on the left. It’s like the oppo research has already been done, and they were just waiting to go with it. As hard as that might be to believe.

In the next couple of weeks, we’re going to learn more about Rick Perry than we ever thought possible. Which kind of inclines me to think that anybody that has the Left jumping in to castigate them this quickly must have something going for him.

What’s especially interesting about this response is that we knew what Rick Perry’s college grades were before he even announced his candidacy, and 2.5 years into Obama’s presidency, we can merely state, with some degree of confidence, where he went to college.

At least we won’t have to worry about whether Rick Perry gets properly "vetted".

~
Dale Franks
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Observations: The QandO Podcast for 14 Aug 11

In this podcast, Bruce, Michael, and Dale discuss The Ames Straw Poll and the 2012 election.

The direct link to the podcast can be found here.

Observations

As a reminder, if you are an iTunes user, don’t forget to subscribe to the QandO podcast, Observations, through iTunes. For those of you who don’t have iTunes, you can subscribe at Podcast Alley. And, of course, for you newsreader subscriber types, our podcast RSS Feed is here. For podcasts from 2005 to 2010, they can be accessed through the RSS Archive Feed.


Perry in, Pawlenty out

It should really come as no surprise that former MN Governor Tim Pawlenty has chosen to drop out of the race for the GOP nomination for President.  AP reports:

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty dropped out of the race for the GOP presidential nomination on Sunday, hours after finishing a disappointing third in the Iowa straw poll.

"I wish it would have been different. But obviously the pathway forward for me doesn’t really exist so we are going to end the campaign," Pawlenty said on ABC’s "This Week" from Iowa shortly after disclosing his plans in a private conference call with supporters.

The low-key Midwesterner and two-term governor had struggled to gain traction in a state he had said he must win and never caught fire nationally with a Republican electorate seemingly craving a charismatic, nonestablishment, rabble-rouser to go up against President Barack Obama.

Whether or not it is necessary for the candidate to be “charismatic, nonestablishment and a rabble-rouser” remains to be seen, but the activist community within the GOP didn’t seem to be particularly taken by Pawlenty or his campaign.   He blew his first chance to impress them by pulling punches when it came to Mitt Romney, and while a bit more feisty in this last debate, he faded into obscurity during the second hour.

But in the final analysis, Pawlenty obviously saw the handwriting on the wall with the entrance of Rick Perry, governor of Texas, into the race.   He quickly vaulted to the top of the charts and Pawlenty, being the sensible and reasonable person he is, weighed the possibility of his success in the pursuit of his goal and decided it wasn’t going to happen.  I respect him for that.

Doug Mataconis at Outside The Beltway adds:

Pawlenty had begun telegraphing this possibility last week, and while a third place finish was within the range he said that he wanted to finish in, the fact that he finished far behind the two leaders and only a few hundred votes ahead of Rick Santorum was likely the death knell for his campaign. As I’ve said here repeatedly, Iowa  was a do-or-die state for Pawlenty, if he didn’t succeed there his campaign was never going to take off nationally. For a time, it seemed like T-Paw would be the candidate who would rise to challenge Romney, but he remained at single digits in the polls and was eclipsed, first by Herman Cain and then by fellow Minnesotan Michele Bachmann. Now, with Rick Perry in the race, the odds of Pawlenty ever becoming anything other than a minor candidate were likely pretty much dead.

Have to agree.  As Mataconis mentions later on, look for Pawlenty to be on the short list for VP when the eventual nominee is decided.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


How do you bring a run-away government under control?

Rick Perry (Governor of Texas) and Nikki Haley (Governor of South Carolina) have a piece in the Washington Post in which they offer a solution to that problem we’re now experiencing:

We oppose an increase in the federal debt limit unless three common-sense conditions are met: substantial cuts in spending; enforceable spending caps to put the country on a path to a balanced budget; and congressional passage of a balanced-budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That amendment should include a requirement for a congressional supermajority to approve any increases in taxes.

We can quibble about the particulars but in general I’m in agreement.  That said, I have little hope that a balanced budget amendment will ever pass or that a congressional supermajority will become a requirement for tax increases.  But the basic premise – cuts in spending, enforceable spending caps and difficulty in passing new taxes would indeed help begin to bring the national government under some semblance of control.

Here’s the crux of the problem with the Federal government:

Washington’s ability to continuously vote itself more fiscal breathing room may help Congress — at least in the short term — avoid making the kinds of tough decisions made by states, businesses and families. But ignoring economic realities will lead to even more painful choices down the road and increases the potential for a financial collapse that could permanently cost America its role as the world’s leading economic power.

Unfortunately, the system in Washington makes it easier for elected officials to bury their heads in the sand, avoid responsibility and make the easiest choice of all: borrow more, plunge our nation deeper into debt and allow this generation to punt the tough decisions to our children and grandchildren.

Such moves may be good politics, since they mean officials don’t have to say no to anyone, but as a matter of policy they are indefensible.

That “reality” and the trump of politics over statesmanship are the reason we’re in this deep hole and most of us don’t expect to see anything serious about correcting it come out of Washington.  After all, those that have to alter the reality inside the beltway are the same ones who have put us in this position in the first place (and I mean as a group going back decades).  The proverbial fox guarding the hen house situation.  That’s why it is difficult not to be cynical and skeptical about “solutions” – even this political show we see going on over the debt ceiling.

Perry and Haley are touting a pledge they’ve signed called the “Cap, Cut and Balance” pledge:

The only way to get the federal government to end this indefensible practice is to draw a line and finally hold Washington accountable. The pledge we’ve signed represents an important step in this process.

It calls for the kinds of budget cuts Washington needs now and for a hard cap on all future spending. And it finally moves us to a mandatory balanced budget that will end the era of national debt, raging deficits and failed “stimulus” programs that have negatively affected so many aspects of American life.

Americans must continue to stand up for the principles that served as the foundation for our nation’s unparalleled successes. The principles of a limited federal government and responsible fiscal leadership have sustained us during tough times, and they can lead us out of this period of sluggish economic growth.

Yeah, pledges are nice and sure it makes us feel better and focuses us on the problem.  However, we’ve heard political pledges from politicians for years which have essentially promised to fix the problem in Washington.   And here we are.

That’s not to say that Perry and Haley aren’t right.  They are.   It’s to say we’ve heard all this before, we’ve seen pledges come and go, and we’ve seen solutions offered that were perfectly reasonable that have never seen the light of legislative day.

We seem to have a class of politicians who seem to find it difficult to deal in the reality the rest of the country deals with every day – spending within our means, meeting budgets, and being responsible.  I’d like to say I knew how to fix that, but after half a century of watching these nincompoops at work and how they’re seemingly rewarded for doing exactly what we’re now lamenting, I’m not sure the system can be fixed.

My cynical take on the day.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

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