Why Rick Perry Can Still Win the Republican Nomination

If he hustles, his story and his record could set him above the pack.

By Comments

Republican presidential candidate former Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks during a forum Monday, Aug. 3, 2015, in Manchester, N.H.
AP Photo/Jim Cole

Tomorrow night, ten men hoping to be the Republican nominee for president next year will meet for the first official debate of the 2016 cycle. Rick Perry, the former Texas governor, will not be among them.

Having failed to rank among the top ten candidates in the most recent Fox News poll, Perry has has been relegated to the overflow debate being held at 5pm.

Since Perry was among the candidates jostling around the 10th place position, it wasn’t clear until yesterday whether he would make the cut. The news that he wouldn’t was, for many pundits, just one more piece of evidence for what appears to be the conventional wisdom: Perry’s presidential prospects are as grim as a snowball’s chance of surviving Texas in August.

I disagree. Perry’s non-inclusion in the main debate isn’t even proof of his current standing in the polls based on the margin of error; Sarah Rumpf explains the math, over at Breitbart. I would hardly call it a referendum on his candidacy. Of the ten candidates on the main stage, only seven strike me as “serious candidates” in the sense that they are sincerely running for the Republican presidential nomination (see my special bonus section below for an explanation). The cumulative talent is roughly the same on both stages. Looking at the field as it stands, with 17 declared candidates, I think Perry has a pretty good chance of ending up among the top three candidates after all the delegates are counted. And if I were to place a bet on the eventual nominee today, I’d put my money on him.

Four years ago, I felt the same way. And yes, I remember how that presidential campaign imploded a mere two months later. But some things, crucially, have changed. Others, equally crucially, have not.

For context, here’s what I wrote about Perry back in 2011, on the day he announced.

Like most journalists based in Texas, I was expecting the news in a general way; I had gone to his prayer rally in Houston the week before, and filed a dispatch about it for The Economist, where I worked at the time. For the next week’s issue, naturally, I wrote a piece punditing about his candidacy. But on the day he announced, August 13th, I was moved to elaborate for two reasons. One of my motives was thinly-veiled: garden-variety professional ambition. The announcement created a surge of interest in Texas’s governor, and the state more generally. I considered myself pretty solid on those subjects, and although I’m not as magnificent and successful as Donald Trump, I do have a little bit of hustle. My other motive was secret, and more important:

Since returning to Texas in 2007 for the job with the Economist, I had become a true believer in the Texas Miracle. My conversion was due to my work. By 2011 I had logged four years writing about the Texas economy. I was therefore very familiar with a dispositive body of evidence, much of it from the sterling economists at the Dallas Fed, substantiating an empirical phenomenon that was vivified by my personal experiences. At a time when millions of Americans were in real distress as a result of the housing crisis, the financial crisis, and the Great Recession that followed, I felt genuinely blessed to live in Texas. And like all evangelicals, I was always looking for chances to tell the world the good news.

As for Rick Perry, I liked him pretty well at that point, albeit because of my belief in the Texas Miracle rather than the other way around. At some point I had concluded that regardless of his reputation, and politics aside, he hadn’t caused any concrete harm to anyone I care about, or interfered with the economic performance I believed us all to be the beneficiaries of. That made the governor good enough for me, because my opinion is that politicians, like doctors, should First Do No Harm. It only sounds like a low bar if you don’t think about how few manage it. So when Perry announced, I was hoping the nation would at least give the governor a hearing.

In retrospect, I don’t think I was wrong about Perry as a governor, although after four more years I’d have more to say about his role in the Texas Miracle. I was wrong about Perry as a 2012 presidential candidate, obviously, for two reasons. The same two as Perry himself, perhaps: I was blithely dismissive of how important the actual campaign is to a campaign’s prospects. Similarly, I didn’t take into account that a surgical procedure in June would have left him dealing with a difficult recovery while trying to persuade the American public to put him in the world’s most powerful job. Well, so it goes. Oops.

Today, on the basis of the Texas Miracle alone, I’d be unwilling to dismiss Perry as a candidate in 2016. Like I said, I drank the Kool-Aid. And I have a lingering suspicion that at some point this spring, we might see this hopeless long shot come smashing to the front of the field like the Kool-Aid Pitcher. Beyond that, it’s clear that the governor remembers his brief 2011 campaign as well as everyone else does. He’s back on his feet, and he evidently planned the campaign before announcing it this time around, by hiring talented staff and doing debate practice and so on. He may not be on the main stage tomorrow, but twice in two months surprised his critics with substantive speeches on the politically sensitive subjects of race relations and Wall Street reform.

The public’s perception, clearly, has also changed. Four years ago Perry entered the race as the presumed frontrunner. But in retrospect, that status proved fatal for his candidacy. It put him in the spotlight, and the crosshairs of all the other candidates: the wobbliest period of his life in public coincided with the two months when he had absolutely no room for error. That’s why he’s been widely written off; this time around, he’ll have to hustle to get a hearing. But if he does, Perry’s greatest weakness could come back to help him. An underdog from Paint Creek, fighting for his principles, backed by the Texas record, stifled by the widespread derision of the media elite? That’s a little more appealing than The Jeb Bush Story, at least.

BONUS: Here’s my breakdown of the talent distribution between the two debate groups. Chris Christie, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Scott Walker, Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and John Kasich are the ten candidates on the main stage. Three of those guys, in my assessment, aren’t actually running for president: they’re trying to sell books, land a cable-news gig, or otherwise promote their personal brands. (If you’re reading, Mr. Trump, Mr. Huckabee, and Dr. Carson: I appreciate your entrepreneurial hustle.) Of the seven serious candidates, I only see four without an irreducible problem. Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey, has the personal charm of Trump and a record that only looks good if you’re comparing him to other governors of New Jersey. Rand Paul, the senator from Kentucky, has the natural support of libertarians and the esteem of people like me, who appreciate libertarian principles and mischief but nonetheless support things like the Federal Reserve. In other words, his ceiling of support is 20 percent. John Kasich, the governor of Ohio, seems level-headed and likeable, but his record seems to deviate from fiscally conservative principles. I’m not an expert on Ohio, and it’s possible that Medicaid expansion was the right call for that state–if so, I commend him for fighting for it–but this is the Republican presidential primary. That leaves Rubio, Cruz, Walker, and Bush. To be clear, all four of them have their weaknesses, in my view. But they also have various strengths, and at this point in the campaign, I wouldn’t rule any of them out.

On the kiddie stage, meanwhile, Perry will be alongside Rick Santorum, Carly Fiorina, Bobby Jindal, George Pataki, and Jim Gilmore. For starters, none of these people are loudmouth clowns. Like most Texas conservatives, I disagree with Santorum at least half the time, but he was the runner-up for the 2012 nomination. Jindal seems like a credible Louisiana governor, if not much of a political star. I’m skeptical of Fiorina’s experience in business, and total lack of experience in political office, but I know some respectable people who support her, which is a good sign. I have no idea who this Gilmore guy is, and although I knew Pataki was a figure in modern politics, I couldn’t have told you he was alive and well, and a Republican, until he announced this campaign.

Related Content

  • Rich Jone-s

    You consider Ted Cruz viable? /credibility

    • WUSRPH

      You ever hear of a governor from Georgia or one from Arkansas? People with less credibility (in terms of public awareness of them and/or their records in office) have surprised everyone in the past. I certainly hope it does not happen….but I do not think we can spread dirt over the face of Cruz’s campaign YET!

      • Rich Jone-s

        Credibility, viability and visibility are different things. Sen. Cruz is not viable not because he lacks visibility but because he’s impractical grandstanding button. And he’s Canadian.

        • WUSRPH

          It seems a lot of “impractical grandstanding buffoons” (if that Is what you meant)…have been getting elected in recent years….especially in Texas. A bunch more have won various GOP nominations for U.S. Senate, etc. in other states but lost in November. It seems the GOP primary voter likes that kind of a candidate.
          But, I have said more than enough. So good night.

          • Erica Grieder

            “impractical grandstanding button”–that’s so adorable that i want to believe it’s exactly what Rich meant. (And Rich, as for Cruz: I have some thoughts. I’ll lay them out sometime soon)

          • Indiana Pearl

            Autocorrect sometimes makes for interesting prose.

          • Stuart

            great, then there is hope for Louie, Louie.

      • Iowamutt

        Carter and Clinton are bad examples. Once the public got to know them, they had nowhere to go but up. But Rick Perry has already run before and is widely known. My very conservative relatives in Texas absolutely loved George W. Bush but don’t hide their contempt for Perry.

  • WUSRPH

    Assuming you are right about Perry being a much better candidate this time, it probably will make no difference if he does not make the cut for the second debate. He came close this time…and he may outshine the others on the mini-stage Thursday night….but close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades….Fail to make the cut twice, and potential supporters will write him off and look elsewhere.

    As a Democrat I, of course, hope they pick the very worst possible ticket….a real Trump–Palin fiasco…but most folks I know think that Kasich is going to be on the ticket somewhere. NO Republican candidate for president has ever won without carrying Ohio……Democrats like to carry it, but they have won without it. He will probably wind up as the VP. The question is with whom? (If you base the choice on geographic/electoral vote calculations the best ticket is Rubio (Florida)–Kasich (Ohio) or vice versa….but the last time that method really worked was JFK-LBJ. Cruz and the other alleged Texans add nothing in this kind of a calculation because Texas is a sure GOP state. Ohio and Florida, on the other hand, are ones that could go either way….so adding them to the ticket can win votes that might be in doubt.)

    It will be interesting watching all the other candidates trying to figure out how to gut Trump without making his supporters angry. Their hope is that he will explode with some really off the wall comments and then one of them will jump in and make Trump’s weaknesses crystal clear. But they all want it to be someone else. Maybe the other candidates should draw straws to see which one of them has to beard the dragon.

    It will also be interesting to see if Trump goes after all of them “professional politicians…had their chance….cannot get anything done”, etc. or whether he picks one of them as his special target. He has been taking a few shots at Gov. Walker recently and may want to go after him in the hope of knocking him off before Walker’s campaign can really get going. Of course, all of that assumes that Trump actually thinks he has a chance and is really trying to get the nomination. You tagged him as not being a serious contender. It was not clear whether you meant that he does not have a chance or that he is running without any real hope….. but I am certain Trump is convinced he is better than all the others combined. After all, he’s made a lot or money and what have they ever done to equal that?

    P.S. Rick says not to call it the “Texas Miracle” any more. That makes it seem like humans—especially him–had little to do with it. He prefers the “Texas Plan” or the “Texas Method”.

    P.S.P.S. You are right about Perry having given at two notable speeches this time. Both got some notice, but I doubt they moved him by as much as a half-point in the polls. However, that was probably not their goal. Instead, they were aimed at the “opinion makers” with the specific aim of making them think that maybe he is not as dense and totally unprepared on the issues as he was in 2012—something that the publication of his college transcript certainly did nothing to refute. His hope has to be that, based on these speeches, some of the opinion makers will write columns or say something on the air about him being a “serious” candidate, even if not a contender. That will counteract the image of him being a light weight and maybe keep his candidacy alive while he hopes for a breakthrough.

    • Erica Grieder

      “The Texas Method” sounds like a 19th century form of contraception that works out great if you’re quietly hoping for a bumper crop of farmhands.

      • yup

        *ranchhands

        • Erica Grieder

          Nah, it really caught on more in Arkansas

          • WUSRPH

            She is right…Rick may have dressed like a cowboy, but his daddy was a cotton farmer….not a stockman.

          • John Johnson

            You mean gimme caps, coveralls and work boots on a cotton farmer and wranglers, Justins/Noconas, and Stetsons/Baileys/Reistols on ranchers?

          • WUSRPH

            Yeah, but the cowboy look sold better in this first TV ads….

    • Beerman

      The GOP need for carrying Florida and Ohio in order to win Presidential election is a very viable and accurate point. Texas is a slam dunk for the Republicans.

      Oops is wasting a lot of time and donor’s money running for President.

      • Blue Dogs

        GOP needs the following states to WIN the White House:
        1.) FL: if the nominee is either Jeb or Rubio
        2.) WI: if Walker is the nominee
        3.) OH: you need to win the Buckeye State to win the Presidency & it’s got a 92% accuracy rate
        4.) VA
        5.) IA
        6.) CO
        7.) NV: assuming the NV GOP ground-game can push the GOP picking up Reid’s open United States Senate seat there & expand their majorities in the Legislature.

  • Rules of Blazon

    The 2012 Perry candidacy was most notable in exposing the pathetic weakness of what passes for political journalism in Texas.

    The virtual ink had yet to dry on Paul Burka’s puff piece in this very space anointing the charmed and invincible Perry the next President when the national press reported on the name of Perry’s family ranch.

    Of course, it wasn’t the “N*ggerhead” revelation that sunk Perry’s candidacy. Perry made quick work of himself in his few public appearances to where there was no reason for the national press to dig any deeper into his past. But how revealing that it was merely a matter of seconds before someone found an ugly skeleton that had been hiding in plain sight from our Texas journos for decades.

    Perry self-destructed, so the national press essentially left him alone in the 2012 cycle. And he remains his own worst enemy: only days ago, he choked on his own tongue when Mark Halperin tossed him a softball by asking for comment on the recent achievements of Boehner and McConnell. Given his evident inability to think on his feet, there’s scant reason to believe his candidacy will survive much past his not-ready-for-prime-time appearance at the GOP kiddie table tomorrow.

    But if – despite himself – he manages to, the national press once again stands ready to do the job Texas political journalists have consistently failed at.

    Perry’s personal finances will finally be explored in depth. A guy who has been a professional politician for decades in a state that pays pittances to public officials but who is now a multi-millionaire will deservedly attract the attention of curious, responsible journalists. They will expose the corruption the Texas press can’t seem to.

    And then there’s the issue of Perry’s marital fidelity. The Texas press is bizarrely disinterested in going anywhere near this, even though each and every member of its ranks knows darn well there’s a “there” there.

    But the national press won’t hesitate.

    It’s almost inarguable that Perry’s candidacy is doomed. It’s hard to find anybody in or out of Texas who seriously believes the guy can ever get past “oops.” But if- against all odds- that happens, he will be flayed in short order by the national press.

    Once again, the nation will wonder just what it is about Texas that puts such morally bankrupt cretins in positions of power. And the smartest observers will recognize the role played by the feckless Texas political press.

    • Erica Grieder

      This is an interesting amount of vitriol to direct at a candidate you consider “doomed”.

      • Rules of Blazon

        I said it’s almost inarguable that Perry’s candidacy is doomed. For that to be true, his candidacy would need to viable in the first instance- which, now that I think about it, is rather debatable.

        But that’s mainly beside the point. I disagree that there’s any “vitriol” in my observations, which aren’t directed at Perry for the most part. They’re focused on the weak coverage of Perry by the Texas political press. Might you know anyone who could rectify this ongoing grievous problem?

        • Erica Grieder

          Well, it’s difficult to take your indictment of the Texas press corps seriously if your grievance is based on evidence such as “the issue of Perry’s marital fidelity” and “the “N*ggerhead” revelation”.

          Assuming the former refers to the rumor that Rick Perry is gay: that’s a rumor that was flatly made up by a guy who ran statewide against Perry when I was in grade school. You may have heard otherwise from a guy you met at a bar who knows a guy whose college roommate, swear to God, had an affair with Rick Perry, but until one of these mysterious affair partners someday musters the courage to tell their story in the vicinity of a reputable journalist, even off the record, the stories they putatively have will remain untold, alas.

          As for the latter: that “revelation” is thanks to the Washington Post, which poured its resources into investigating the automatic Republican frontrunner as soon as he entered the campaign, and got one story out of it. The story of the time that Rick Perry’s dad leased a property one time, only to find that on this property there was a rock that had once been emblazoned with a racial slur, and so the Perry family painted over the slur and turned the rock over. It’s true that the Texas capitol press corps didn’t break that story, but to be fair, I barely consider that an anecdote.

          But do feel free to let me know if you have any grievances that are worth taking seriously. Perhaps I will. Perhaps.

          • Beerman

            EG, your posting/article and follow-ups to “Rules” on this subject reminds me of an old Dwight D. Eisenhower quote:

            “An intellectual is a person who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows.”

          • John Johnson

            You’re on a roll today, Beerman.

          • Indiana Pearl

            He’s back!

          • Rules of Blazon

            How did Perry go from rags to riches on a state rep stipend and a government salary? Your rebuttal is oddly silent on that topic, which I personally find more significant than who Perry does or doesn’t sleep with. The “underdog from Paint Creek” sure has developed a taste for the finer things over the years- remember his rental mansion? But, in the post-Citizens United era, how he pays for his luxuries apparently isn’t “worth taking seriously.” Silly me.

            Along with just about everyone else in the world paying any level of attention to the presidential race, I really think Perry’s candidacy is going nowhere fast. That means he’ll soon have more time to devote to fighting off the felony charge that has already survived one level of appellate scrutiny. And it means the press here and nationally will be less incentivized to delve into such matters as where Perry’s money came from, how he managed to whip the Ruger out of his jogging shorts in time to kill the imaginary coyote, etc. So be it.

            We can only hope that, going forward, the Texas political press is much less indulgent of state politicians who are demonstrably not ready for prime time. Texas will be well-served as a result.

          • Erica Grieder

            I ignored that point because it’s not my job to graciously address every assertion made in a comment, and it’s not worth my time to do so when the comment is clearly based on the commenter’s motives rather than evidence, as is the case here. His net worth isn’t as high as you think and he spent more than half his years in public office as lieutenant governor and governor. The salaries for those jobs are more than a “pittance” by most standards. Other than that he’s made some money in real estate deals, which I suppose you’ll get in a lather about, because you’re determined to.

            Incidentally, there are valid criticisms of Mr Perry. I can think of some, and it stands to reason you can too, if you’re willing to do some real homework. But you’re grasping at straw men with these, sir/ma’am.

          • Rules of Blazon

            Did you know your “Ronald Raven” name is “Erica Gadwall”?

            http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/low_concept/2015/08/ronald_raven_name_generator_what_bird_name_would_rick_perry_give_you.html

            Not to worry – if Rick Perry hustles, his story and his record could set him above the pack.

          • ClawhammerJake

            If journalists in Texas are undemanding and lack curiosity it is simply a reflection of their readers. Texas newspapers are really glorified advertising circulars, put together by wrapping wire service reports and press handouts around car and real estate ads.

          • Blue Dogs

            If those revelations had been revealed back then, Perry NEVER would’ve won reelection as Governor in 2006 or 2010!
            Because any of Perry’s previous opponents could’ve brought up those rumors in debates or negative TV attack ads.
            Heck, KBH should’ve gone for the throat & brought all of that up back in 2010!

        • Rick N. Backer

          Calling Perry a “morally bankrupt cretin” is definitely vitriol. Did you read your own post?

    • Blue Dogs

      On 2012: Perry should’ve NEVER ran back then, but when he did, all of the skeletons came out!

    • Stephen Gross

      Go cankles

    • Kozmo

      Yes, and the truth hurts some folks.

  • I agree Erica. Many are making a big deal out of Perry not making the cut for the prime time debate. But have no fear some in the 1st tier will stumble and with Perry sitting in the #1 spot he will likely move up.

    As far as the impractical grandstanding buffoons” comment, what would democrats know about “impractical grandstanding buffoons?”

    http://insider.foxnews.com/2015/08/05/charles-krauthammer-slams-obama-comparing-republicans-iranians-chanting-death-america

    • Erica Grieder

      Hey thanks, JBB. Incidentally, I seem to remember you also like Trump, so let me ask you a question: Who would you rank as your top three candidates? (I’m curious if Trump has the same appeal in Texas that he does in other states)

      • My top 2 are Walker/Cruz then there is Perry, Fiorinia,Carson pick em

        Did I call it or what?

        Carly knocked it out of the park, too smart to be a democrat

        Carson moves up.

        Unfortunately, JJ’s guy doesn’t do well in debates.

        • Immir

          Lol, there goes your last shred of credibility.

    • Immir

      We run against them every election cycle, we know them well.

      • Who’s we you have a rat in your pocket?

      • Frank2525

        This is Frank 2525. Somewhere you said I don’t have much of a life, and I can’t find it to reply. So will plug it in here. I saw my cardiologist week ago Thursday, and he was very pleased with my amount of life at 85, will be 86 in November, after 3 cardio versions (2 in 2009, 1 in 2011, and came back out of severe fibrillations 3 times under medication. So thank you, I have much life left, wife and I will celebrate our 63d anniversary this month, and I NEVER LUSTED FOR ANOTHER WOMAN IN MY HEART, AS ONE OF OUR PAST PRESIDENT STATED. Have a good day.

  • Stuart

    From a complete political idiot, I;m hoping for a the Bernie v. the Donald. Two children of immigrants, from the town that doesn’t sleep, running for President nowhere else but this great country.

  • dave in texas

    It seems to me that the elephant in the room here is that Governor Perry is under indictment, and the resolution of that problem is going to come at the worst possible time. Whether he’s acquitted or not (and if he’s not, this whole discussion is moot), being in the headlines for legal troubles is not exactly a ringing endorsement of his judgment or his integrity.

    • Erica Grieder

      That’s a good point, although I see the problem slightly differently. It’s really hard for me to see how a jury could find him guilty of abuse of power (the only charge, since the judge threw out the coercion charge, which also seemed far-fetched to) considering that all the known anomalies in how he handled the situation are the result of anomalies in the situation (the weird structure of PIU, Lehmberg’s travails). And to me, at least, any legal fouls were correlated with ethical goals, which is pretty unusual. Like, the prosecutor asked for a bribery count: from what I’ve heard, that was because Perry offered to help Lehmberg get a different job–because she was insistent on staying in office because she couldn’t afford to lose the job. It’s not exactly Ken Paxton stuff. With all of that said, I think any indictment makes it harder to raise money (especially when you’re polling at 2% and it’s hard to begin with)

      • dave in texas

        I always thought the coercion charge was the one more likely to stick and that the abuse of power charge was largely bogus, as it is of course within his power to veto funding. Offering her a job (or help in finding a job; to my mind those are roughly the same) in exchange for her resignation struck me as a much more egregious quid pro quo situation. Given that the weaker charge (to my mind, anyway) is the one that stuck, I have to agree with you. I don’t see a jury finding him guilty, either.

  • José

    It seems to me that when Perry put on the glasses he also set aside the Bible. I don’t see him pandering to the Religious Right nearly as much as four years ago. Remember that massive prayer service / campaign event? Lawdy me. Maybe this trend is true for the whole cast of candidates in general, or maybe it’s that Perry decided that the slice of diehard single-issue primary voters aren’t worth fighting for against the likes of Carson, Huckabee, or even Jindal.

    • Erica Grieder

      Ha, yes I do. I was there! This is a good observation too. Although my perception of the prayer rally was “ok, Perry is running for president” because he seems to get churchy only intermittently (in contrast to someone like Santorum, who is churched up on a full time basis as far as I can tell)

      • WUSRPH

        And it still didn’t rain.

        • Yes it did, the only drought in Texas is the democrat’s 20+ year losing streak.

  • Texas Publius

    And here’s why Perry won’t be elected President…

    No one ever elected President in US history wore their college ring after age 25, if ever.

    • WUSRPH

      I doubt most of them had a college ring…They did not do that at the time…but I bet that Ike wore his West Point ring for a number of years after he was 25.

    • José

      Advantage Walker.

      • Erica Grieder

        lol!

    • Beerman

      Perry flashing his class ring is an Aggie thing………..

      • John Johnson

        And one most don’t understand. I still wear a state champion football ring that we got about 20 years ago for a championship won 50 years ago.

        • Beerman

          I bet the old letter jacket fits a little tight?

          • John Johnson

            I took the patches off of it and gave it away.

  • Indiana Pearl

    “Tonight, tonight,
    Won’t be just any night.
    Tonight there will be no Morning Star . . .”

    —Bernstein/Sondheim

  • José

    So Perry failed to make it into the Top Ten list, 15 months before the election. Erica says that this is not a meaningful indicator of his current support or, more importantly, his potential. Granted. But the more important factor is something else. Not what this means as a symptom of the health of his candidacy, but instead what it means as a cause for his future performance. Put more simply, this is a lost opportunity, big time.

    Perceptions matter in politics and they have a tendency to reinforce themselves. By being bumped off the main stage Perry will be seen as a lesser candidate. That’s going to affect not just the voters on primary day but also the folks being polled and the fat cats handing out the big checks. And Perry is missing out the chance to appear on stage in a national prime time broadcast that will be viewed by who knows how many people. You can’t buy that kind of exposure, and it’s a big loss for him.

    The important number for Perry right now isn’t 2%, which is his polling average according to our friends at Fox. A more important number is 10, which is the number of people ahead of him in the polls right now. That’s 10 alternatives that he needs to prove himself superior to, which is a heck of a lot harder than, say, two or three. Has any underdog succeeded after trailing so many other candidates at this point? I don’t know of any. Perry has some hard work ahead, and he just missed the cut on a great chance to make up ground.

    • WUSRPH

      At this point in 1975 no one had ever heard of James Earl Carter.

      • Indiana Pearl

        Don’t forget, “You won’t have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore.”

      • José

        I was going to reply with a “Yeah, but back then there were only X contenders.” Then I looked up and found about 16 Democratic candidates during the primary season, not counting some big names sitting on the sidelines, ready for a call. Oops.
        Still, I question how well you can compare the presidential process of 40 years ago with what we have today.

  • Beerman

    “Texas Miracle” reminds me of a recent article making an eye opening point:

    “Politicians who preside over economic booms often develop delusions of competence”.

    • John Johnson

      I repeat…a chimp in a suit and boots could have overseen the Texas economic boom.

      Perry’s blind supporters don’t seem to remember the Texas Corridor (let’s bring in the Spainards through Julliani deal), the forced vaccinations, the double dipping, the Horseshoe Bay land windfall during a depressed real estate market ( kinda like Hillary’s cattle deal), his part in electricity deregulation, and his slush fund giveaways in return for campaign contributions and promises of big benefits after he left office…like the $250K per year spot on Holt’s board of directors. Did I miss anything?

      Those who have made their living from being in the political arena like Burka, and WUSRPH…and Erica…grow fond of people who are attractive, have good personalities, offer them smiles, and, over time develop a working friendship. Blinders slowly build up and before you know it you start to hear comments like “everyone has done it”.

      Perry, from a political strategy standpoint has changed colors about as many times as anyone I have ever seen. He would be spouting Ted Cruz type rhetoric today if Cruz hadn’t assumed the uber conservative position before he could get there. We now see him as a “moderate”, and that is how chameleons are programmed.

      If you want to home in one one thing that irks me the most about him, let’s talk about the border. All his moves have been for show. He could have put clamps on the hiring of illegals in Texas; he didn’t. He could have shut down sanctuary city, turn your head procedures in Texas; he didn’t. He could have put Texas National Guard outposts all along the border, right on the border, but he didn’t. Tell me how those Fed checkpoints 90 miles in do squat except make life miserable for the locals having to cross through them everyday. If we send Marines to outposts in strategic places in Afghanistan why not along our border? If the Feds won’t do it, why didn’t Perry? Don’t tell me it would be too expensive. How much is saved by cleaning out prison cells? How about the anchor baby births? Lo siento, Señora, you have to turn around and go back. How much do the 60,000 births a year cost us at Texas county hospitals? How much does it add to our health premiums?

      I think Erica truly has OD’d on the Perry kook-aid. I see a good half dozen choices in the running who I consider much smarter, more up to speed and much more honest than Rick Perry, and if it comes down to a vote, mine will simply negate Erica’s. I bet all I own that it will no come to that. The rest of the U.S. ain’t buying this new look, new line of b.s.

      • WUSRPH

        I object to any suggestion that I support/favor/have anything good to say, etc. Rick Perry. I have been on the opposite side from him since his days in the Texas House of Representatives. I am one of those people who will never forgive Jim Hightower for screwing up so badly that Perry could get elected Ag. Commissioner. We could have killed off the lizard back then before he became a small dragon.

        In fact, about the only thing I supported him on was the cancer vaccine deal—even if it smelled bad to some it was good public policy to try to protect the lives of those young girls. It was handled in a pathetic manner. There should have been an “opt in” rather than an “opt out”, etc. but it was worth trying.

        I try to be objective when analyzing his chances, etc. but I definitely do not favor his election….However, I might take him before Santorum and Huckabee and definitely before Trump and the Canadian.

        P.S. You forget the Michael Dell land deal, too.

        • John Johnson

          My apologies, Professor. I was referring to the process of becoming comfortable and close to politicians in general by those of you in the political spectrum.

          • WUSRPH

            There are a few who may be susceptible to the charms of some of the politicians they work with or around or that they cover….but I think that is a small group. You should be around folks who work in politics when they are talking shop and listen to what they actually say about the various officeholders. They see them close up and personal and probably have a better appreciation of their strengths and weaknesses than virtually anyone else but the spouse.

      • Beerman

        Amen….

    • Rick N. Backer

      You mean like Bill Clinton?

      • Beerman

        And, Ronald Reagan?

        • WUSRPH

          You forget that Reagan presided over a bad recession in 1981 and 82–that helped produce a Democratic sweep in the 82 elections—and, of course, there was the financial mess resulting from the collapse of the savings and loan industry later….The economy was much better under Clinton than it was under Regan and the first Bush, despite all the tax cut talk.

          • Beerman

            A lot of TPer’s do not remember those facts on Reagan, there is much amnesia about American history in the cult.

          • WUSRPH

            They, like far too many Americans today, suffer from what I have termed Historical Attention Span Deficit Disorder (HASDD).

          • Beerman

            Lots of HASDD on Faux News tonight……..

          • Indiana Pearl

            St. Ronnie . . .

          • Blue Dogs

            Bad recession from the Ford & Carter administrations!

          • Indiana Pearl

            And Nixon . . . wage and price controls on his watch and Arab oil embargo.

          • John Johnson

            Repeal of Glass-Stegall under Clinton is the reason we are in this mess. Phil G. led the charge. He went along with it. He can be bought. He is still selling out.

          • Beerman

            Bingo

  • Blue Dogs

    Erica, the ONLY way I see Perry getting the GOP nomination for President & winning the November general election is the following:
    1.) He better pray the Top 3 (Jeb, Walker, Trump-UGH) implode & implode fast in the upcoming debates.
    2.) The scandals surrounding Hillary’s emails stay alive for everyone to be disgusted with her.
    3.) The economy on outgoing President Obama’s watch continues to TANK BADLY.
    4.) People are just tired of the Dems after 8 years & history says, the party out-of-power usually wins the White House!
    5.) Perry should keep aggressively playing his military experience (that America needs a military veteran as President)!
    6.) Highlight his 14 years as TX Governor on the economic & business fronts including his record of cutting taxes, etc.,

    • WUSRPH

      Four years as a transport pilot 40 years ago does not constitute the kind of “military experience” people mean when that use that phrase. Kasich’s many years of experience on the US House Armed Services Committee gives him a much better understanding of the needs and abilities of the armed forces than Rick could get from the cockpit of a C-130.

      • Blue Dogs

        Perry served 5 years in the USAF from 1972-1977 & left with the rank of Captain!

  • Stephen Gross

    You are an idiot. I do not dislike Perry, he is just not capable of winning the nomination…

    • Unwound

      Proceed…

  • VanzCantDanz

    I was also an immediate Perry supporter in 2012, and was surprised & disappointed by the outcome. This year, my idea of an ideal ticket would probably be Walker/Perry, though Perry/Walker wouldn’t upset me.

    • dave in texas

      I disagree completely about Perry and Walker, but kudos for the John Fogerty-influenced handle.

  • Yawl are gonna look pretty dumb when Perry is selected Prez….wait most of the dems posting here are pretty dumb. How else can you explain why dems haven’t won a statewide race in over 20 years.

    • WUSRPH

      He would have to be “selected” (as you put it), But so sad for him and you, presidents are not “selected” by the few in this country. They still have to get “elected”….and that is not going to happen.

      As to why haven’t the Democrats done better—perhaps it is because they will not pander to the likes of you.

      • dave in texas

        …presidents are not “selected” by the few in this country.

        Well, except for that unfortunate Bush v. Gore deal.

        • Indiana Pearl

          5-4 . . .

        • damn I didn’t think you were smart enough to pick up on that……hahaha

  • John Johnson

    Did those opening remarks by Perry sound familiar? Geeez.

  • John Johnson

    Santorum and Graham strong “this is what I’ll do” statements…energy independence, job creation, Iran. All others the same general sound bites.

  • Indiana Pearl

    The five stages of a project:

    Stage One: wild enthusiasm
    Stage Two: reality sets in
    Stage Three: search for the guilty
    Stage Four: punishment of the innocent
    Stage Five: rewards for the non-participants

    Bad news for GOP:

    http://www.newsmax.com/Politics/Wisconsin-financial-woes-Scott-Walker/2015/05/12/id/644203/

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/07/us/governors-tactics-at-center-of-louisiana-budget-vortex.html?_r=1

    http://www.govexec.com/state-local/2015/04/kansass-failed-experiment/109696/

  • Indiana Pearl

    “20% flat rate tax,” says Santorum. Herman Cain 9-9-9 comes to mind.

  • Indiana Pearl

    Europe is doing quite well.

  • Indiana Pearl
  • ClawhammerJake

    Twaddle. In terms of desirable candidates, Perry is way down the list. Of course, as a state level politician, he is OK for Texas. Texans are easily pleased and ask few questions.

  • Indiana Pearl

    Graham comparing women in Afghanistan to American women . . . if a conservative is elected as U.S. president, what will be the difference?

  • Indiana Pearl

    “Obama,” “Hillary,” squawk . . .

  • Indiana Pearl

    “1.5 million jobs . . .” How many of those jobs were undocumented???

  • John Johnson

    1. Fiorina- came across as very knowledgable and competent with firm grasp. Impressed me.
    2. Santorum – he has a solid track record
    3. Graham – if becoming truly energy independent and allowing the military to untie the one arm Obama has cinched up behind their back is tops on your list.
    4. Perry – if you believe his border plan and Iran position.

    • Beerman

      Fiorina certainly got my attention. Very interesting and serious candidate in the middle of a bunch of phony politicians espousing ideological talking points.

      • José

        You certainly have to credit her for being very well prepared, both on content and presentation. I thought the same after Monday’s drive-by interview show.

      • John Johnson

        Business people like Carly and Trump sound wonderful in many respects (forget Trump’s style), but the truth is, they don’t know the ends and outs of actually getting something implemented once they get there. Career politicians pile up underneath them and we get the same old, same old, and they immediately start pandering to money to get reelected. Trump would probably bring in business people like Reagan did and thumb his nose at special interests. That is appealing to me. Maybe even make Fiorina sec of state as Perry prompted. Just wish he wasn’t such a d*ck. Long way to go. Big Boy’s round tonight will offer more.

        • WUSRPH

          Ronald Reagan was a creature of the Special Interests, created by them, fed by them and totally dedicated to their interests….but he sounded good….

          • John Johnson

            Read it again. Trump would bring in business people like Reagan, and Trump would thumb his nose at special interests. Reagan didn’t have the personal wealth to do that.

          • WUSRPH

            And within six months you would be calling him a “do nothing” who promised everything and delivered nothing and even probably the WPE.

          • John Johnson

            Moot point.

      • Unwound

        Have a look at Fiorinas biz record. Its an absolute disaster. I was working for IBM at the same time she was running HP so I was following the industry pretty closely. She had a good opportunity to improve their standing and instead elected to run them into the ground and worked to absolutely destroy morale.

        But then again, being a biz failure didnt stop W Bush either.

        • Beerman

          Did not stop Dan Patrick either…….

        • “Have a look at Fiorinas biz record. Its an absolute disaster.”…as compared to Hillary’s.
          This is why everyone views dems as stupid.

    • Carly 1st, Perry 2nd

    • Indiana Pearl

      Santorum has a solid track record of what exactly???

      • John Johnson

        Getting things done while a Senator. His spiel about ignoring SCOTUS wasn’t b.s. The guy is smart; he is tenacious; he has a conservative track record. He gets things done even in a hostile environment. Look where he started his political career… in PA…surrounded by people like you. He obviously won some of them over.

        • WUSRPH

          Read up on some of the stuff this guy has advocated…especially the remarks that come very close to a theocracy….He can sound good…but that is it.
          Remember, he was literally trounced for re-election quite a number of years ago now.

        • Unwound

          what did he get done while he was a senator? most senators on both sides of the aisle thought he was an asshole and wouldnt work with him.

          • John Johnson

            And that’s a bad thing? Not in my mind. What does it say if a bunch of do nothing, pandering sheep like you? You one of the 8% or so who like those people up there in Congress?

          • Unwound

            if you cant get anything done, you arent advancing your agenda, and by proxy, the agenda of the people who elected you into office. so youre pretty much there getting a paycheck on the taxpayers dime for, yknow, being an asshole.

          • John Johnson

            That answer sucks. Let’s elect another bird of a feather who will fit right in with the rest of the do nothing’s and fall right in line? I would prefer to have a black sheep calling everyone out for their sorry performances even if no one wanted to work with them. If they aren’t doing squat, what difference does it make?

          • Unwound

            Gee I’m sorry it failed to persuade you but you were the one originally talking about what he had done in the Senate

          • John Johnson

            Look it up. As a freshman senator he made things happen. Maybe the professor can look it up for you.

          • Unwound

            Like?

          • John Johnson

            Watch the earlier debate rerun. He’ll tell you.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Defensive . . .

        • Indiana Pearl

          Lost by 17 points – guess the folks in PA weren’t as impressed as you are with his smarts . . .

          • John Johnson

            The heavily union state lost thousands of jobs to overseas industrialists. He paid with his job.

          • jammerjim

            Senators rarely get turfed out over economics. That happens to executives. But to be fair, 2006 was a Democratic year.

          • Indiana Pearl

            That’s your interpretation.

          • Indiana Pearl

            This article refutes your analysis of why Santorum lost in 2006:

            http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0112/71131_Page3.html

  • Immir

    Lol, maybe if the entire debate group gets offed all at once. Perry is an idiot and will never be President, just like the rest of the GOP cast of “The Biggest Loser”

  • Beerman

    The minor-league “early debate” turned into an one hour TV ad for the military-industrial complex?

    • John Johnson

      One thing Graham said made perfect sense…energy independence. We don’t need another bbl of crude from the Middle East or Africa, yet we spend how many billions…probably trillions keeping 7 or so of our 11 nuke carriers, and all the support ships over in the Persian Gulf region. Why? Why are we protecting oil for Europe, Japan and China? Big Oil is not our friend, even though most are based here. They are global and want us to continue to, not only import, but also export a finite resource…both crude and natural gas. If we have cheap fuel and natural gas at home, and don’t let what the rest of the world wants to pay set our prices here, our manufacturing costs go down, our heating and cooling costs go down, and our transportation costs go down. We bring back jobs to the U.S. Big Oil has the money to buy economists and politicians to poo-poo all this, but what does common sense tell us? If one person would stand up and pound on this issue until even the lowliest wedge head had somewhat of an understanding, he, or she, would have latched on to something that could get them elected. The problem? Big Money with all their global profit centers at stake will beat this person and their message to a bloody pulp. If the Tea Party wants a cause, this is the one they need to promote. I’m onboard.

      • Indiana Pearl

        We are protecting the Saudis, dontcha know? Sunnis, Bush BFF, open and close the oil tap at a whim.

        • John Johnson

          Really….how long are you going to keep yelling “Bush”? Who has the tightest relationship with the Middle Eastern’ers now? Maybe the Clinton’s? How long has the WPE been in office? You are the proverbial broken record.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Yet you want to send someone else’s children to fight your wars?

          • John Johnson

            No, I want to send bombs. Not one troop invaded the shores of Japan. It saved the lives of many sons and fathers and brothers, and it delivered a message that saved millions of lives. Tough decisions aren’t meant for pandering pantywaists.

          • Unwound

            theres a reason nuclear weapons havent been used since then.

          • John Johnson

            Yeah, I know. How many loved ones died in stupid wars promoted by assholes sitting up in Washington who told kids to take hills one week only to pull back the next, with only half of them making the trip? Use all you have available to end it as soon as possible. Once you show this mettle, you aren’t challenged very often. No more of the rat boldly spitting in the cat’s face because he shows up declawed with all his teeth pulled.

          • Unwound

            If you think dropping a nuke on a country is going to declaw extremists you should get a clue. It would only serve to create more of them and completely isolate the US from the rest of the world.

            But we’re speaking from a complete hypothetical here. None of the candidates for all their bluster are dumb or crazy enough to do such a thing (except maybe Graham)

          • John Johnson

            That’s your opinion. When people get tired of their kids dying on foreign lands or another umpteen thousand die here at home to terrorist action, we’ll see.

          • WUSRPH

            A few quotes you will probably agree with and one you will want to ignore:

            “Struggle is the father of all things. It is not by the
            principles of humanity that man lives or is able to preserve himself above the animal world, but solely by means of the most brutal struggle.”

            “He who would live must fight. He who doesn’t wish to fight in this world, where permanent struggle is the law of life, has not the right to exist.”

            “Life doesn’t forgive weakness.”

            “He who does not possess the force to secure his place in this world, and, if necessary, to enlarge it, does not deserve to possess the necessities of life. He must step aside and allow stronger peoples to pass him by.”

            And the one you should think about:

            The application of force alone,.. can never bring about the destruction of an idea or arrest the propagation of it, unless one is ready and able to ruthlessly exterminate the last upholders of that idea even to a man, and also wipe out any tradition which it may tend to leave behind.”

          • John Johnson

            Great quote from The Man. Wish he had been standing next to Harry. That would have been an interesting discussion. Teddy would have been for lining up the landing craft and wading ashore. It would have been the wrong choice. Harry did the world a favor.

          • WUSRPH

            Those quotes, by the way, are all by ADOLPH HITLER…not Teddy Roosevelt.

            A nasty trap I admit…but a necessary one.

          • John Johnson

            Sounded just like Teddy. Fooled me. You must have thought so, too, to throw it out there like you did.

          • Unwound

            The US will never drop a nuclear weapon on the middle east. Period. If there was the willpower to do so, it would have been done somewhere, sometime in the past 70 years following WW2

          • John Johnson

            Disagree with your “we would have done it” statement. We needed their oil. We don’t now…others do but we don’t….and it wouldn’t have to be nuclear…just devastating…and it wouldn’t have to destroy an entire country or region. Until we show them we aren’t going to take it anymore and pull off the padded gloves, we are destined for more of the same. We are idiots.

          • Unwound

            yeah, going into a country unilaterally, wrecking its infrastructure and leaving that immediate region in a state of perpetual civil war is really leaving the padded gloves on.

          • John Johnson

            Here we go again….let’s hear it…”It’s all Bush’s fault.” Yep, he did have a lot to do with it. You will not find me being his apologist.

            I’m for pulling totally out and letting them do whatever they want over there. Tell them to just leave us and Israel alone…with the explicit promise of what will happen if they don’t. That’s where extreme measures come in. No more money, ships, planes or infrastructure building going on over there. No more of our young people dying. I’m fed up with everything about Washington. Can you tell?

          • Unwound

            i never assigned any blame to bush (though yeah). i just said we didnt exactly hold back before.

          • Indiana Pearl

            I’ll assign plenty of blame to Bush.

          • WUSRPH

            You talk of moving to the country and getting away from all of this….now you are advocating the same as the foreign policy for our nation…..DREAM ON.

          • Indiana Pearl

            And you ignore climate change caused by dirty fracked oil. Whatcha gonna do when Houston, Galveston, and Corpus are submerged?

            “This ain’t no party.
            This ain’t no disco.
            This ain’t no foolin’ around.”

            — Talking Heads

          • WUSRPH

            As usual your figures and examples are incorrect and based on preconceptions that have no basis in fact. Many young Americans died in Vietnam…too many….in fact, one was too many…but your “with only half of them making the trip” is, as usual, total Bullshit.

            The facts are that more than 2.16 MILLIION American troops served in Vietnam from 1960 thru 1973. (You, of course, were not one of them.)

            TOTAL FATALITIES, including accidental, disease and wounds, were 58,200….That represents 2.69% of the total employed. Another 153,303 were wounded…That represents 7.09% of those engaged. In terms of those engaged, it had the lowest casualty rate of any of our significant combats with the exception of the short First Gulf War. Again, you make up things as you go along and expect us to be impressed.

            But, I must ask myself, why waste my time responding to you. The only justification would be to correct the false information you keep spreading…Perhaps I should adopt a “JJ CORRECTION” notice to go with the occasional “TROLL CORRECTION”

            There were, at a minimum, a need for at least three today:
            —false figures on carrier deployment to try to make a point;
            —false figures on war casualties; and
            —totally false charge that the we are protecting the nations in the Middle East who will not do anything for themselves.

            But, if I had to spend all that time correcting your probably deliberate misstatements I would have time for nothing else. So, I guess I will have to let them go with the hope that most readers recognize that you make these things up as you go along.

          • John Johnson

            Geeez…half were sent up the hill and only half made it back down. Half died on the hill, or in a valley, that was declared important when it really wasn’t. I will write slower for you.

          • WUSRPH

            Understanding the strategies upon which our combat operations were based—which changed as the war went on and were totally different by the end—is beyond your knowledge….but then you don’t care about the facts…never have…never will…when you can make them up

          • John Johnson

            Oh, you are one pompous blowhard and know-it-all…who really doesn’t. You only know what it says in a book when it comes to things outside the Austin political nest you lived in all your life. I’ve watched some like you on reality TV trying to survive in the wilderness after reading about how to do it before they got there. They don’t seem to last long.
            I wish you could at least see a bit of that in yourself. I would respect you more.

          • WUSRPH

            I never claimed…nor will I claim…to be able to do what many others have done…Of course, you didn’t do it either, did you? I know my limitations now and 45 years ago when thousands of my contemporaries AND YOURS went to war.

            What I have done is to try to understand what they did, and how and why they did it…..

            For:

            “In history, a great volume is unrolled for our instruction, drawing the materials of future wisdom from the past errors and infirmities of mankind.”
            Edmund Burke

            “Human nature will not change. In any future great national trial, compared with the men of this, we shall have as weak and as strong, as silly and as wise, as bad and as good. Let us therefore study the incidents in this as philosophy to learn wisdom from and none of them as wrongs to be avenged.”
            Abraham Lincoln (in the context of The American Civil War of 1861 to 1865)

            “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it. Yet those who do study history are doomed to stand by helplessly while everyone else repeats it.”

          • John Johnson

            And pass your interpretations on to others as absolutes.

          • WUSRPH

            If you have not learned anything by now, it is that I do not believe in ABSOLUTES. I do give examples and historical analogies, but at least I back them with statistics, facts and real examples…not those I just picked up out of the air to make a point. That is the basic difference between us.

          • John Johnson

            You are a nitpicker. You remind me of the ones here who point out misspelled words or poor grammar. General premises with you are ignored if exact figures are not part of it. You then go off on a tangent about it being 4 aircraft carriers instead of 7, or some such. Those exact numbers made no real difference to the point being made….that we are spending way too much to protect oil for others that we don’t need at a time when we go deeper in debt every day and have 20% of people not working. You go off with a 500 word retort about aircraft carriers. I laughed when I read it. It’s kinda nerdy.

          • WUSRPH

            As I said, why bother. So I won’t.

          • John Johnson

            Oh, no. Guess I’ll just have to settle for the WAPO with my coffee.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Don’t forget the Viet Namese. They were human too.

          • jammerjim

            Um, I really don’t think we should just start lobbing nukes around.

          • Unwound

            eh why not. just turn the middle east into a parking lot and murder millions. its every republicans dream.

          • WUSRPH

            It is certainly JJ’s….He wants to be Zeus in his heaven heaving thunder bolts at anyone who dares to threaten or cross us……Of course, the fact that there are Thors in the world who, although not as strong as Zeus, also have thunderbolts never crosses his mind…Of, if it does, he discounts it….after all we have BALLS.

          • Indiana Pearl

            JJ does. Shows ’em we have big cojones.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Bombs have consequences. It’s not like playing a video game. You think this is like WWII?

          • John Johnson

            On one hand I get “you going to send your grandson” or “want to start a war and fight it with others kids” type questions from you, and then “bombs have consequences” type statements. If someone wants to do us harm because we don’t believe in Allah, abusing women or using cruel and barbaric punishments just what do you suggest? I’m for letting them have the Middle East. See ya, Bye…but they won’t stop there, so what are you going to do? You are either going to send bodies or bombs. There are really only those two choices. I prefer bombs, because I could not ask mothers to send their children out in harms way knowing that we had other means of destroying and getting the enemy’s attention. Could you? There is no such thing as a fair war. Innocents will die unless they separate themselves from the combatants, and prior warning should be given regarding what to expect. That’s my take. I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I can sure tell you what doesn’t work. A look back over the last two decades lays it out for us. How many killed; how many maimed; how much money spent?

          • Indiana Pearl

            “Prior warning”? How many could be evacuated before annihilation? Mass chaos would ensue. Do you remember when Houston evacuated when Hurricane Rita was threatening? A complete fiasco . . . and that’s in a highly developed country like ours.

          • John Johnson

            Well, yeah…but I wasn’t talking about hours…more like weeks…but without announcing exactly when. After all, it’s war. People will be vaporized. It would not be pretty. It, or they, would be horrendous, but would have a lasting affect. Conflict is always going to be with us. It is truly “them or us” from now on, in my opinion. I am looking at one of my 3yr old grandsons as I write this. I will pull the lever to launch if it means keeping him from going to fight for a Pres who doesn’t use every weapon available to insure he comes back home alive and well. We have had the most sophisticated and powerful weapons in every conflict since WWII but we held back using them. You know what is immoral? Asking parents or a wife to sacrifice their loved one while not using everthing at your disposal to protect their lives. That’s immoral. IMHO

          • Indiana Pearl

            I respect ALL HUMAN LIFE, not just American’s lives.

            You need to study war gaming. The U. S. has spent billions since WWII doing just that to determine the outcomes of different scenarios. The cost is too great just so you can wave your dick around . . .

          • John Johnson

            Are you day drinking? I don’t need to keep explaining things to you, or justifying my position. With me, it’s them or us. Leave us alone; we’ll leave you alone. We can do that because they have absolutely nothing we need…but here’s the rub…we keep acting like we do. Others might need their oil; we don’t. We send our troops to die for what reason? Name one. The Professor’s global economy, “we’re all in this together” spiel? Bull feathers! Pull your head out.

          • WUSRPH

            How little you understand the ties of trade, goods, services and needs that tie the world together today. Please go ahead and retreat to your rural paradise with your couple of chickens and leave the real world to the rest of us. You can live in your dream world that never existed….but the rest of us cannot.

          • John Johnson

            Oh, here we go…”we’ve been doing it…he’s been doing it…they’ve been doing it for a long, long time. Therefore, it must be OK.”

            We don’t need their oil any longer. What is it that we do need from them? Name something, oh Most Learned One.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Oh yes we do!!!!! That’s the biggest flaw in your logic.

          • John Johnson

            “Oh, yes we do” what? What exactly do we need? The 10% of crude we are still purchasing from them? Why, then, is there a monumental push to get the laws changed to allow the exporting of crude from the U.S.? We don’t need anything they have over there…nada…zilch.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Others around the world buy their oil which in turn helps stabilize their economies. If the middle east becomes radioactive, we will have a recession/economic collapse of catastrophic proportions. No winners in that scenario.

          • John Johnson

            If we pull out of there lock, stock and barrel, and they leave us alone and leave Israel alone, there would never be so much as another small arms round fired from one of our weapons. The warning and subsequent hurt would only be put on them if they ignored the warning.

          • Indiana Pearl

            They’re not going to “leave Israel alone.” Doofus!

          • John Johnson

            Damn you are dense. Who said they would? Certainly not me. I just said we needed to tell them to and outline what we would do if they don’t. Let them know we are leaving the region but not abandoning our friends. Now let that sink in before you type a rapid, terse reply.

          • Indiana Pearl

            You JUST SAID THAT ABOVE!!!

            “If we pull out of there lock, stock and barrel, and they leave us alone and leave Israel alone, there would never be so much as another small arms round fired from one of our weapons.”

            I have greater success communicating with the at-risk second graders I coach than I do with you.

          • John Johnson

            IF…IF…IF they do leave Isreal alone… I never said that they would or would not.

          • WUSRPH

            Trade…natural resources…(start with aluminum when you put that can of beer down and go down and down and down the list)…..

            30% of all our jobs, and one and one…but you don’t care for the facts, so why bother.

            http://tradebenefitsamerica.org/

          • John Johnson

            Well, you get a failing grade on this post, Professor Pedant. Aluminum? Not one Middle Eastern country is listed as major bauxite sources.
            http://www.mapsofworld.com/minerals/world-bauxite-producers.html

            And your “exports mean jobs for America” is as weak a retort as I have seen out of you. Turning our backs on the Middle East means our defense spending goes down, and kids quit coming home mangled or in a box. What kind of value you going to put on that? We don’t need their oil and we don’t need to be selling to them regardless of how you want to twist and contort it.

          • WUSRPH

            Let me spell the word slowly so you can perhaps understand it better….I N T E R D E P E N D E N C E. Abandoning the Middle East means that we do not care what happens to the economies of most of the world….that we do not care if they are thrust into economic recessions unmatched in history….that we somehow think we can survive in a world where the rest of the world is in chaos and disaster. The days when that was even conceivable in theory ended centuries ago….What happens there…affects us here. You can pull the blanket up over your head but that will not make the wolf leave your yard.

            if you bother to think about it, you will suggest that, if it is so important to the rest of the world, why aren’t they doing more about it themselves. To which I will respond:

            First, they are…There are French aircraft bombing ISIS in Iraq and Syria an European and Chinese warships patrolling off the Somalia coast and the Japanese are amending their :”Basic Law” to allow them to do more; BUT

            Second, they are not doing enough…..Their individual economies are many, many times smaller than ours and they cannot make the effort we can make without server economic strain…..BUT they should be doing more and we should be pushing them to do just that.

            However, if they do or do not makes no difference to the fact that our national security, survival and stability is intertwined with that of the rest of the world and we will have to make a substantial contribution to the efforts to maintain world stability no matter how much others do. Maybe less than now, but still substantial.

          • John Johnson

            You have an interesting opinion, except it’s all wrong. You seem to think those that need ME oil are lightweights and can’t fend for themselves. They work around us and without us everyday on deals all over the world. Many are set to go it alone making deals with Iran if our Congress rejects the nuke deal. We walk away and Iran basically ends up with Iraq and Syria down the road. Egypt starts getting scared, as do the Jordanians, the Turks, Kuwait, the Saudis, and the UAE. They have all of Europe, the Chinese, Japan and others to fall back on. They can do it without us. On all other matters, it’s business as usual. We don’t need their oil; we need to be gone. It is much simpler than you want to make it, but with you and the other career pol guys, the “we’ve always done it this way” cycle is tough to break.

          • WUSRPH

            I certainly predicted your answer…See my entire entry, above.

            To make it as simplistic as your logic (sic), the situation is like this:

            The woods behind your next-door neighbor’s house are on fire….you sit there waiting for him to do something about it…after all is closer to him than to you…he does or does not…but either way it spreads to your house…But you were right..it was not your business.

            P.S. You are probably right about what happens to Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, etc. if “we walk away” but that is just what you say you want us to do.

          • John Johnson

            We would just be prolonging the inevitable, Bozo. Go look up the history of the region and then move on over to Afghanistan and do the same there. If you need help dechipering what you find, let me know. We don’t need the oil, and I’m not sacrificing any of my grandsons so they can try and make the various factions over there love each other, much less us. You are the one who calls me names for suggesting we use a nuke if they keep attacking us here, yet you want to toss our young people in the middle of a horrible situation that makes not one iota of difference in the big scheme of things. I’ll think of you whenever I hear of another one of our service people getting maimed or killed for this worthless reason when you can’t find a German or Japanese or Frenchman or Italian around anywhere. p.s. Please don’t give me a lecture on the Japs & Germans and WWII and their having no standing army. I’m really tired of your wordy lectures.

          • Indiana Pearl

            He prefers vodka to beer . . .

          • Indiana Pearl

            Sober as a judge, but you are letting testosterone do your thinking for you.

          • John Johnson

            Yeah, well, what we’ve been doing for the last couple of decades isn’t working. Not one more young person should be asked to go over there and face coming back in pieces.

          • Indiana Pearl

            I agree. Mad Cowboy Disease . . .

          • WUSRPH

            One little fact—the world is more at peace today than it has been for centuries….Yes, there are struggles…but, in comparison to the past history–and particularly to the 20th Century–this is a peacful age…..Some called it “Pax Americana” when it first appeared…but that is probably giving ourselves just a little too much credit.

            http://www.scaruffi.com/politics/massacre.html

          • Indiana Pearl

            Have you read Stephen Pinker’s “The Better Angels of Our Nature”?

          • WUSRPH

            Pulling the blanket over your head does not mean that the world is not still out there.

          • John Johnson

            Huh?

          • “I respect ALL HUMAN LIFE” said the planned parenthood advocate…..no wonder the world views democrats as stupid.

          • Indiana Pearl

            How many poor black children have you adopted?

            Every child a wanted child . . .

          • less than you aborted…..I win.

          • Indiana Pearl

            I’ve never aborted any black children. You lose again.

            Once more – how many black babies have you adopted?

          • WUSRPH

            “Grab our belt”…

        • WUSRPH

          They are also protecting themselves. See item above.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Not nearly as much as we are protecting the Saudis.

          • WUSRPH

            They spent a higher proportion of their GNP on defense then we do…and they are a nation with a population only a tiny fraction of ours…..They can not field a much larger force than they do now in peace time….They make the effort…..The problem is that some of those whose interests we are really protecting—the western European nations—do not…..

          • Indiana Pearl

            The Saudis have an aggressively anti-American educational system. Show some gratitude.

          • WUSRPH

            Our policy in the world cannot not be based on who loves us and who does not….It has to be based on two major factors—our own national security and the security and stability of the world as a whole. If we deal only with those who love us, we would be very lonely in this world.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Most of the 9/11 attackers were Saudis. If I were queen of the universe, I’d ask for a little reciprocity.

          • WUSRPH

            How many Saudis were killed in a bomb attack yesterday? How many have been killed in previous attacks? How many people have they arrested for terrorism? They are on the front line of this fight….(This does not mean that I approve of their policies or their approach to human rights…but it means that are engaged and that they are making efforts…and suffering for it.)

          • Indiana Pearl

            They fund Sunni extremist groups who act on their behalf.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Like Salafis and Wahabists . . .

          • WUSRPH

            Ibn Saud rode out of the desert to drive the impure Hashemites out of Mecca and Medina and establish his kingdom. That desire for a purer form of Islam has not changed…..It is part of the basic split in the Moslem world. We knew that when we opened relations with him during WWII when it was in our national interest and the world’s national interest to do so. It still is.

            We in the West may have grown (at least on the surface) to preach (and sometimes practice) tolerance, but that has not happened in Islam. We have tried to deal with both sides, and we can try to encourage both to be more tolerant, but we would be fools to think that the two basic sides are like Baptists and Methodists—as George W. Bush apparently did.

          • Indiana Pearl

            You are conflating Sunnis vs. Shia with various ultra-right wing Sunnis.

          • WUSRPH

            I recognize the Wahabi are a sect, not the whole Sunni branch…but their geographical location and resulting wealth makes them more important than their number.

            I also recognize that they use their wealth for many purposes, including the funding of mosques and schools across the world. Of course, when Christians do that we call it spreading God’s word. When they do it, we call it undermining our way of life. They also fund some not so nice groups…but when you are few in number yourself, you tend to buy influence and you hire people to fight for you (as they are in effect doing in Syria where we approve of it). They are not my idea of a perfect ally….far from it…but, as I noted above, their geographic location and wealth makes them more important than their number.

          • José

            I realize that you’ve said that before but it’s an important point. The wellbeing of the world is very much in our interest, both in terms of our national security and because we have a moral responsibility to our fellow members of the human race. If we batten down the hatches and tell the rest of the world to go to Hell, that’s not going to save us forever. Furthermore, while we are able to survive the tempest outside the walls we would be a morally bankrupt people on the inside.

          • John Johnson

            I have never been a proponent of isolationism. I have simply stated that we don’t need the Middle East in our lives any longer, anymore than we need the North Koreans. We should treat them about the same.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Woefully uniformed . . .

          • John Johnson

            Yeah, well you are the one who rails about sending soldiers into harms way. I say we shouldn’t. Your old friend says we need their aluminum, which is a crock, and “many other things” which is a bigger crock. We don’t need their oil or anything else they’ve got…so why push one more dollar in that direction? You two can keep poo-poo’ing what I’m saying, but it makes no difference to me. I know I’m right.

          • Indiana Pearl

            “Don’t know nuthin’ ’bout them aluminum tubes.”

            — Condolezza Rice

            Read about Krakatoa, the volcano that erupted in the late 1800s. Caused a major worldwide famine and crisis.

            Don’t bother yourself with little details like that. “I know I’m right.” Let ’em die die die!!!!

          • John Johnson

            Whaaat? That’s all from me tonight. Can’t keep up with you.

          • WUSRPH

            Your entire argument screams ISOLATIONIST. You cannot with draw from the most vital region in the world, pull up the mat…and say “too bad” to the rest of the world. You can…but no American president since Calvin Coolidge would or could…or can in the future.

      • WUSRPH

        Presidential candidates have been running on “energy independence” since Richard Nixon….We are closer to it than ever before—-thanks to fracking (a technique developed with federal research dollars when industry would not spend the bucks) and “alternate energy”—another industry made possible by federal subsidies and tax treatment. But independent or not, we can not withdraw into the world as you would advocate occasionally striking from the heavens with a nuclear missile those we find in disfavor, as you have also advocated. We can not do that for too simple reasons. First, the world is interdependent….what happens “over there” affects us here; and, Second, because our beliefs make us concerned with the well-being and freedom of other peoples.

        • John Johnson

          Sometimes you make me throw up in my mouth a bit. You are an idealistic bookworm. Strength means nothing to you. It did your old boss. You are nothing like him…and while he had plenty of warts, he understood using all available to get what he wanted. The strong survive; the weak perish. Your global b.s. is exactly what the Big’s preach, but I have laid out all the reasons for taking care of ourselves first and yet you want to play let’s share the wealth and make it harder on all of us at home ….across the board…domestic manufacturing, the small business guy, and the unemployed who would have many more job opportunities now going overseas to flourish. Enough with idealistic rhetoric. Address what an energy independent country would afford us.

          • WUSRPH

            I won’t bother to respond to your insults and Darwinian Survival of the Fittest diatribe…which sounds a lot like stuff out of a book written by a German guy in the 1920s…..

            I support energy independence….probably long before you even knew it was a issue…I also support tax and other polices to encourage growth at home…also probably for longer than you have been aware of the issue…..but I also understand a little bit about the world, about interdependence and about the realities of our power—economic, military and ideological.

            Strength in all three areas is vital to our survival. We have plenty of military strength….more than the rest of the world combined and no one is close to a serious threat. We are also—although you seem not to be aware of it—the strongest economy in the world and the leading manufacturer. Others are moving up….but, with the proper policies, including energy independence, we can and, I expect, will stay No. 1 for many years still to come. However, we have never been and cannot be totally self-sufficient hiding behind our oceans and our might.

            But what makes us different than anyone else in the world is our ideological strength—our commitment to expanding freedom and opportunity throughout the world. It is—using an image Ronald Reagan stole from the New England Puritans that they took from St. Augustine—what makes us THE SHINING CITY ON THE HILL.

            Of course we have problems…major problems…but, unlike you who seem to believe we are some sick, weak, decadent nation hanging onto our place in the world by our fingernails…I still believe that our best days can still be ahead of us…If believing that makes me weak and some sort of idealist….Too bad….because trying–often failing—but still trying to live up to that role is what has made America what it is.

            When it comes to strength and might, I also, for example, have a slightly better idea of our defense capabilities. Your idea that we have 7 to 8 carriers allocated to the Persian Gulf, Red Sea and Indian Oceans clearly shows what little you know about the military might you would throw around to back your compulsion with STRENGTH…The reality is that, except when at war, we have no more than four carriers on deployment at any time—one in the Atlantic, on in the Pacific, one in the Mediterranean and, for the past 15 years or so, one in the Red Sea-Persian Gulf–Indian Ocean region. If we really stretch out the deployments, we might have five on deployment, but there are limits to how long you can do that. The rule for thumb for the Navy is that you have one third on deployment, one third working up for deployment and one third in the shipyards. Before you go around screaming STRENGTH , STRENGTH, STRENGTH, BALLS, BALLS, BALLS…learn something about it… Now try to grow up and engage in a serious conversation without stooping to the level of the Troll….

          • John Johnson

            Save your fingers, Professor. The Naval armada at any given time was a stretch, but the point was well made. We spend our money being Big Brother to others…many of whom show us no respect, instead of them stepping up and doing it themselves. Your ideology is that of a bookworm, and a liberal, and I don’t put much store in it. You are great at reliving history; but it is very selective and flawed when it comes to applying it to a current game plan.

          • WUSRPH

            A man who thinks that throwing nuclear warheads at terrorists and/or people not doing what we want is a solution to the world’s problems should be very careful before he criticizes someone else’s ideas. A policy of murdering millions of innocents to prove we are the toughest guy on the block is far from an ideal foreign policy.

            No, the point was not well made. It was an total exaggeration by someone who shoots off his mouth about subjects upon which he knows virtually nothing. Others–myself included—have spent years studying to know the truth while you spew out false information in trying to make some point….which, as noted, below is not even close to accurate.

            For example, I think you will find that the Saudis, the UAE, etc. are “doing it themselves” as far as their capacities allow. They are, after all, fairly small nations with small populations…who have invested and continue to invest large amounts in their defenses. Of course, you would not be aware of that…since it does not fit your preconceived ideas. In fact, Saudi Arabia is the FOURTH LARGEST defense spender in the world and spends a substantially larger percentage of its GDP on defense than we do…as does the UAE.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures

          • John Johnson

            GDP? I don’t care about what % the UAE or Saudis are spending compared to us. I don’t care if you think I don’t know what I’m taking about when I say that we are spending way too much money playing Big Brother protecting friends and pseudo friends alike just because I can’t quote exact figures. That is typical bookworm crap. The real points, like flushing this global economy stuff to the detriment of the Big’s and benefit of all the rest of us you just gloss over. Keep finite resources at home, keep prices down, bring jobs back home and create thousands of new ones. You just don’t get it. As far as using what ever it takes to save Anerican lives against a group set on killing us, I am all for it. To use the term murderer for the person willing to use whatever means necessary to insure this, I will repeat myself. Do not ever call Harry Truman a murderer in front of my 96 year old father who retired after 20+ years in the U.S. Navy, was in Nagasaki shortly after the bomb was dropped, and also at the Bikini Atoll for post war nuke testing. He might go for your throat, as many of the remaining Finest Generation Ever might if they heard you say that. You think I am a dumbass redneck; I think you are an idealistic nerd who couldn’t make it on your own in the real world. You have had to always have someone hand you a paycheck so I have a really tough time listening to you tell me what you think is best for the American businessman. After all, you predicted Texas and the U.S. would be tanking by now when the price of oil plunged. You don’t know it all professor, but you think you do.

          • WUSRPH

            You do not care what SA and the UAE are spending even though it makes your basic premise that they won’t do it for themselves a TOTAL LIE. Instead, you blow it off…because you cannot let the truth affect your diatribes.

            To accuse me of not supporting Truman’s policy…when you know that is a lie…is a new low even for you. You become more like the Troll everyday….but, as I explain below, it is just not worth my time responding…..So I won’t any more.

            As to Truman’s necessary decision in 1945….by 1948 he understood that reality of any further use of nuclear weapons and what it meant:

            “I don’t think we should use this thing (the atomic bomb) unless we absolutely have to. It is a terrible thing to order the use of something that is terribly destructive, destructive beyond anything we have ever had. You have got to understand that this isn’t a military weapon. It is used to wipe out women and children and unarmed people, and not for military use.”

            Harry S. Truman in a conversation with David P. Lilienthal on July 21, 1948.

          • John Johnson

            The point is they are not spending as much as we are which you choose to ignore and want to change over to % of GDP. Heck, how much of their GDP is going to support terrorism?

            If you want to call a President a murderer who would use a nuke now to end conflict, save thousands of lives and insure 2nd thoughts before poking us in the eye, how do you get away with calling Truman something different? Both quack, both waddle, both have webbed feet; one is a duck and the other is a chicken? This explanation ought to be good. Please try and keep the answer under 1000 words. I’ll read it with coffee in the morning.

          • WUSRPH

            Because the situations are totally different. And I doubt I will ever call any American president, past, present or future…a murder….Mistaken yes.. Truman faced the possible death of an unknown number of Americans (total casualty–dead and wounded–estimates range from McArthur’s very low ball totals in the low five figures to a half-a-million.) Japanese casualties would have been several times that…(By the way, we killed more in a Fire Bomb Raid on Tokyo then we killed at Hiroshima).There is no comparison between that and any likely figures today, unless the bad guys get the same nuke you so gleefully would toss around. What has to be considered in making a decision about the morality of an action is the TOTALITY OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES. The totality of the circumstances said that Truman’s act could be morally justified. Killing hundreds of thousands of Pakistani because some hundreds of terrorists are hiding in their midst, does not meet that test.

          • John Johnson

            Quit preaching. There would be no difference. There would be no willy nilly, half thought out decision to launch. It is an option and how, when and what precluded it would certainly be weighed and discussed with plenty of warning given…and not sure why you dropped Pakistan’s name in the mix. If a decision was made to do so today, it would be no different than Truman doing it then. So who was the term “murderer” meant for?

          • WUSRPH

            It would be quite different simply because the situations are not the same…….Stretch them all you can and you cannot make the threat presented by a few thousands of terrorists anything near to the threat to American lives Truman had to take into consideration. Truman felt he had no choice…In fact, there were options that could have been tried…but that is for another discussion.(Both the Navy and the USAAF OPPOSED using the bomb, and offered plans that had a possibility of ending the war without its use. That would, of course, taken more time.)….There are many choices to meet the current threat that are far less extreme and far more justifiable than using a nuclear weapon. That means their use fails any moral test….even one based on the Totality of the Circumstances which allows some relativity in a moral choice. You, however, ignore morals for BALLS.

            Pakistan was mentioned because many of the groups you want nuked have bases or are based there. One tactic used by the NVM against us in Vietnam was to “grab our belts”—i.e.—move in so close that we could not use our superior air and artillery for fear of hitting our own troops. Adopt a nuke-em-policy and terrorists will be grabbing the belts of thousands and thousands of innocent civilians in numerous countries across the world.

            Of course, this is all hypothetical as NO AMERICAN PRESIDENT…absent a nuclear attack on the United States….is going to adopt your policy.

          • John Johnson

            There is no such thing as a fair war. We should whatever is at our disposal to end it as rapidly as possible and save as many lives as possible. War is hell and should not be entered into lightly, but when provoked and after ample warning of the consequences, we should be ready to follow through with might and not hold back. We need have no further discussion on this. I am tired of repeating myself.

          • WUSRPH

            You sound more and more like the German guy all the time….THINK ABOUT THAT…..As a self-proclaimed Christian you cannot ignore the moral and/or ethical choices that we all have to make in life and, particularly in war. You are bound by your faith to oppose any but a morally “just war”. That includes both the decision on whether to fight a war and the tactics used in that war. You hold us to be better than terrorists…but to be such you must prove it by your actions.

          • John Johnson

            Blah, blah, blah. I’ve had enough of you tonight.

          • WUSRPH

            It does not bother you that much of your concept of the nature of the world is the same as Hitler’s?

          • Indiana Pearl

            The Pakis have the bomb. The Indians have the bomb. The Israelis have the bomb. The N. Koreans have the bomb. The Chinese have the bomb. It’s an entirely different world from Truman’s day.

          • John Johnson

            Your point being?

          • Indiana Pearl

            We bomb your middle eastern boogey men. The Pakis bomb the Indians. The Indians bomb the Pakis and perhaps the Burmese. The Pakis bomb the Israelis. The Israelis bomb the Saudis.

            Now what? You have all the answers.

          • John Johnson

            Not for ignorant questions like this one. You’ll have to find a way to tie all this together, because I can’t.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Because you don’t think past the first step.

          • Indiana Pearl

            “Mutually assured destruction.” Heard about that?

          • Indiana Pearl

            Cop out . . .

          • Indiana Pearl
          • John Johnson

            Horrible, isn’t it.

          • Unwound

            apparently not for you

          • “You are an idealistic bookworm”
            a pedant

          • John Johnson

            Thank you, JBB. That is a new one for me, but is exactly the word that best describes the Professor.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Is pedantry legal in Texas? Let’s ask Denny Hastert!!!

          • Don’t feed the troll he lives to talk down to people like you….

        • vietvet3

          W, you win this debate hands down. Seems like jj would like to build a wall around the whole country and start lobbing nukes in all directions.
          And, his so-called independence is due to fracking, which takes billions of gallons of fresh water and turns it into toxic, salt-laden waste, forever lost.

      • Beerman

        TP/Evangelicals are too busy trading moral authority for political power to promote your suggested cause. And, which ever Candidate goes after Big Oil had better have good personal security because Big Money plays hardball.

        You make very valid points for such a movement and many people would consider getting onboard, myself included.

  • Zornorph

    You can write Perry off at this point. He needs to drop out and save himself any further embarrassment. He had his chance and blew it.

  • dalelama

    When are Texans going to realize Perry is a dimwit who policy wise has had nothing to do with Texas’s excellent economy? His metrosexual glasses conversion has to fooled no one.

  • “I didn’t get a phone call from Bill Clinton urging me to run.”…..BAM!!!!!!

  • Slick

    You’re high if you think Perry has a chance. The narrative is set on him. It’s over.

  • Rules of Blazon

    Ronald Raven is turning in his grave…

  • Indiana Pearl

    Jowly old men in dark suits . . .

    • especially Carly….you have to absolute hate her. She makes Hillary look like the fake she is….

      • Indiana Pearl

        “Demon sheep . . .”

  • Indiana Pearl

    So Marco is talking about a fence . . . how to keep tunnels from being constructed under the fence???

    • WUSRPH

      You were not around when I had to explain how to do that to JJ. I worked up a whole plan for a totally secure border. I will see if I can dig it out from wherever it may be….since he is sure to bring up his plan to turn our border into something that even outdoes the Democratic Republic of Germany as soon as the subject of immigration comes up again.

      I found it….Here it is:

      Yes. You can “secure” the border if you want to. But let’s not play at it. If you really, really want a SECURE BORDER all it would take is to:

      —clear at least a half-mile stretch inward from the border of all vegetation and flatten out all terrain features that block the view along the entire 1,900-mile border; (The Israeli wall in comparison is a couple of hundred miles at the best)

      —lay a mine field of at least 300 yards wide along the entire border;

      —-stretch razor wire fencing along the entire length with a fence 500 yards inward from the border and other fences at 500 yard intervals going inland till the half-mile line;

      —-set attack dogs loose between the fence lines;

      —light the whole thing at night;

      —lay all kinds of electronic vision, motion and smell, etc. devices;

      —dig shafts every quarter mile or so to install underground listening and motion devices to catch the diggers;

      —install a massive computer network to monitor and operate the whole thing;

      –construct a new DEW line of radars to catch any unauthorized aircraft or drones backed up with a missile system to shoot them down;

      —run constant manned patrols (at odd intervals) inside one of the fenced in areas;

      —build a final 25-foot high wall at the half-mile line with observation towers every quarter mile;

      —permanently station at least 100,000 troops at posts along the border to man the thing;

      –adopt a shoot on sight policy; and

      —spend a TRILLION or two to build and operate the thing.

      And, to be really “SECURE” we’d have to do the same thing along the Canadian border or the really bad guys will sneak in up there and, while we are at it, find some way to protect our Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf coast lines from swimmers and boaters.

      Yes, you can do it…IF YOU WANT TO BE THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC of EAST GERMANY. Of course doing all this would (1) be economically and any other way totally irrational and (2) make this country into something totally different than it ever has been.

      Sensible, affordable, just and fair immigration reform–with increased border security–coupled with aid to the sending countries to help lessen the need for their citizens to leave is the answer. Not dreams of some sort of a “secure border”.

      • Indiana Pearl

        Nail employers to the wall who hire illegals . . .

        • WUSRPH

          What was that you said about the $10 tomato?

          • Indiana Pearl

            A likely possibility . . .

            Lots of little brown men harvesting grapes in Napa so we can have a $10 bottle of wine instead of one that costs $100 . . .

          • WUSRPH

            Our cost of living is fairly low in this country because of one main reason—we pay less for our food than the residents of any other major country. We do that because of the use of low wage labor and because of the government support for agriculture. There is a trade off here…..Changing either of those two support factors will substantially increase the cost of living for of us….rich and poor…but the biggest impact will be on the poor….

      • Indiana Pearl

        Saw this along the Chinese border in Macau . . .

  • Indiana Pearl

    Walker is as cross-eyed as a snake . . .

  • Indiana Pearl

    Vouchers?

  • Indiana Pearl

    Rubio: eliminate Dodd-Frank?

    • WUSRPH

      Of course, it has hindered Wall Street, added two many restrictions on investments, etc., etc., etc;, etweaslecetra. It must go! Free Capitalism!

      • well said Mr Socialist

        • WUSRPH

          If I thought you actually knew what a socialist is I would be insulted….but since your mind is full of meaningless slogans, most of which you clearly do not understand….I will let it pass.

  • Indiana Pearl

    GWB said if N. Korea launched an ICBM, it would “be a line in the sand.” Where did that go?

  • Indiana Pearl

    Kasich: common sense midwesterner

    • WUSRPH

      Are you trying to kill his candidacy this early?
      Got a e-mail calling on True Conservatives to stand up for The Donald……wonder how they got my address….some of the stuff about all those people in Washington who knife all conservatives in the back every time….was pure radical right populist……..Of course, I had a professor in college—who despite being a strong Republican–used to predict that was from where America’s first dictator would arise.

      • Indiana Pearl

        I want Trump to run as an independent and blow apart the GOP. Rebirth, then maybe a functional two-party system again.

        Kasich seemed the only rational player last night.

        • WUSRPH

          Based on what happened last time and as long ago as 1964–if he does and the Democrats win as a result ala Perot, the GOP is more likely to come out of the election farther to the right than it is now and even more committed to stopping whichever “socialist” it is in the White House from accomplishing anything. Of course, there will be talk by some about “broadening the base” but the hard core will say “we only lost because we were not pure enough” and draw the folds of the once big tent even tighter around themselves.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Don’t agree. . . .

          • WUSRPH

            Hopefully (if only for the outcome of the presidential race) we shall see.

  • WUSRPH

    Erica: What is to be this weekend’s Weekend Reading?

  • José

    Did you notice that everyone’s talking today about how well Perry did yesterday? And how, you know, presidential he looked, and how he’s sure to pop up in the polls now because of his eloquent, passionate, and intelligent remarks?
    Yeah, me neither.
    Like I said yesterday, Perry has two problems. It’s not just that he needs to get noticed and make a good enough impression to get more support, but he also needs to break through that logjam above. He didn’t do very well on the first count and he failed with the second. Kasich did well enough to stay ahead of Perry and the others will probably hold their spots too. Heck, Perry might even drop a spot courtesy of Fiorina.

    • Indiana Pearl

      Did Perry do well last night? Or just better than 2012?

      • José

        Better than 2012 in that he didn’t make any major errors. But he did not accomplish what he must do, which is to establish himself in the public eye as a viable and distinctive contender who is a better choice than the others. I cannot think of a single reason of why any Republican voter, after watching the debates yesterday, would switch their support from another candidate to Perry.

        • Indiana Pearl

          I agree. The best that can be said is that he didn’t have a major gaffe.

  • JudithDear

    Substance over style is what Perry offers in good ole LBJ, Texas tradition. He’s a proven leader.

    • José

      In politics you need both. You can’t govern if you can’t get into office.
      Although my recollection of Johnson is as a dour old man he was quite an enthusiastic campaigner in his day. Caro’s book on his first race for the Senate, against Coke Stevenson, covers that quite well. It took a tremendous amount of energy and drive.

      • Absolutely republicans has substance, values character and dems have style, coolness flash.

        • Indiana Pearl

          “Absolutely republicans has substance, values character and dems have style, coolness flash.”

          Incoherent . . .

  • donuthin2

    Wonder who in the top 10 will fall out and make room for Carly who overwhelmingly won the second tier debate? Early polls showed Ricky came in a distant second, but he obviously belongs in the 2nd tier when compared to all those in the big debate. He does relatively well when he can give his canned remarks, but when he has to answer an unanticipated question, he will fall apart. Did anyone notice his posture at the podium. He looked awfully uncomfortable, like his back is still an issue.

    • José

      Has the next debate announced how many candidates would be invited and what criteria they would use? [Update. CNN announced that its debate on September 16 will follow similar rules. One group for the Top Ten and second group of others, though they must poll above 1%. Graham, Pataki, and Gilmore were below 1% for the Fox debate and would not have qualified according to the CNN rules.]
      I don’t know that the composition of the Top Ten will change. Three of the bottom four did rather well (Rubio, Christie, Kasich). Paul is the other one, and there’s a dedicated bloc of libertarians who will stay with him to the end. Don’t see his numbers changing much in either direction. That’s a difficult barrier for the JV team to break through.
      Maybe it will be Cruz who gets demoted! He was #6 on the Fox ranking, essentially tied with #7 Rubio. There are other crazy candidates for the voters to choose besides Cruz. One interesting note for TM readers, Ms. Fiorina was actually born in Texas, unlike the junior senator from Canada.

  • And there we have it in a nutshell, the republican party is loaded with talent and the dems are scrambling to find a candidate after the FBI opens a criminal investigation into Hillary.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3187171/FBI-said-running-criminal-probe-classified-material-Hillary-Clinton-s-secret-email-server.html

  • redware

    You are delusional! Governor Brain Fart pooted again last night!

  • Who will be the dem candidate, the shady lady being investigated by the FBI(criminal investigation btw) or the socialist?
    Wait they still have the goofballs Biden and Pocahontas…….ahhhhh this is fun.

  • Kozmo

    Texas Miracle? What is miraculous about leading the race to the bottom? What is miraculous about cannibalizing jobs from other states? Is this what a president is going to be able to do, play off some states against the others? Is this writer proud of the millions of Texans in poverty, without health care, without adequate education, among the other gross ills of this state? No personal income tax is balanced by outrageously high property taxes and insurance rates. Low wages for many working people (state and university and service sector employment in Austin don’t get any glamor or media attention but they are the bread and butter of the local economy, and they no longer pay living wages for Austin residency at most levels). Transportation needs have gone unmet for decades while Texas politicians grandstanded against raising taxes. So we have toll roads all across Travis Co., like a money-grasping octopus. We’re not getting any free lunches here.

  • poppyw

    How much money did the Bilderbergers pay you to write this article? This guy, Perry,is a globalist on the road to weath for being a useful idiot. He fooled Texas conservatives into believing he was a conservative.

  • Kozmo

    “Rick Perry, who probably came to the debate fully prepped to recite the
    three cabinet departments he’d abolish, said that thousands of Americans
    have died in Lebanon and Iran—among several other incoherent
    statements. He also said that he’d send Fiorina to renegotiate an Iran
    deal—thus sending a signal that she would probably make a better
    president than he would.” (Fred Kaplan, from The Slate)

  • John Johnson

    I noticed there has been no follow-up here by Ms. Grieder after the debate. Sometimes horses we bet on lose; some never made it out of the starting gate. That would seem to be the case here. It is foolish to bet on the best looking horse; it is foolish to bet on a horse who’s previous times were recorded at a track running downhill in the most optimum of conditions; it’s strange for a trainer to keep changing his horse’s running strategies; it’s sad when a washed up wannabe doesn’t know when to quit and those continuing to bet on him are found to be wearing the same blinders the horse is.

  • Buckybeaver

    Erica, I love Texas Monthly and I’ve been reading it almost continuously since 1973, but to allege that Rick Perry is competitive is quite a stretch. I mean, come on…..Rick is a “not ready for Prime Time player”. During the Republican debate Trump squelched all other opponents including anything Perry had to say in the morning debate.

  • Rules of Blazon

    Adios, Mofo!

  • wessexmom

    It wasn’t Kool Aid you drank, Ms. Grieder, it was crude oil mixed with fracking water. Rick Perry had nothing to do with it.