Monday, October 3, 2011

Adios, Mofo, Indeed

Two months ago the Republican party was clamoring for Rick Perry to come and save not only the GOP but the nation as well, claiming his "Texas miracle" in the jobs arena was as miraculous as the governor walking across the Red River. Cue the Jerry Bruckheimer-tinged ads and roll straight to the White House...right after he explains his Dream Act, contributions and hires from Merck after his vaccination policy, and the fact that the Texas miracle was more plucking jobs from other states and leaning heavily on federal dollars to make these things happen.

Perry does need to shake things up, and he needs to show he is serious about being leader of the free world. But he's not. Most of the candidates in the Republican field aren't. Perry shows that he did not do the work necessary to prepare himself for a presidential run, and then his people state their grand plan, showing how seriously they take this process (and after Florida conservatives said 'give us Herman Cain'), is to double down on kicking Mitt Romney's tokus.

Not only is the Republican field in trouble, the Republican brand is in trouble. Cheering for people dying in hospitals and booing a brave soldier (who was in theater - he asked the question from Iraq) is the calling card of this party. That soldier, along with every other service member, swears an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. The candidates for president envision taking this same oath in front of the Capitol on a cold January day, and not one, especially Gov. Perry, has shown the ability to defeat President Obama and get to that day.
A free tip to the governor and his staff: he's not Sam Houston. He is running for president of the United States, a vast and wonderful land of diverse people and needs. "How we do it in Texas" was dial-tested for the first eight years of this century, and it did not fare well.

Perry has not shown the effort it takes to be in this for the next year. Running for president is an seemingly unending march, even for the best prepared and financed individuals (when Perry stated people didn't have a heart, he meant he didn't have the heart to keep running). Treating it like a formality is an insult, even to those of us on the other side of the aisle. Put forth your best, and we will beat them. But give voters a choice of candidates that really want to be in the arena, to fight the fights. So far, the saviors have not brought salvation.

Eventually the Right will have to accept that their team is on the field, and they will have to choose accordingly. Just wanting to be crowned is not enough - you have to pass the talent portion of the pageant as well. In Joseph Heller's Catch 22, stating you were crazy proved you weren't, because you had the ability to see your mental state clearly. Almost every time out, stating you are ready to be president of the United States shows you aren't.