Here is a tweet from today’s Republican convention:
When Perry mentioned Dewhurst at #rptcon, the whole convention booed. We want proven conservative Ted Cruz fighting for us!
Well, I guess that settles the issue of whether an endorsement by Rick Perry is good or bad. I said “good” a few months ago, when Dewhurst was running strong. Then, after Perry went around the state making endorsements of far-right pols, I thought he was making a mistake. He yearned to be a big shot again, but in reality he was squandering his political capital on the likes of J.M. Lozano and James White–and hurting Dewhurst in the process.
Perry thinks he still matters, but he doesn’t. He tries to remain relevant (he told the GOP convention that he wasn’t “riding off into the sunset,” but the sun is getting mighty low on the horizon). This is what happens when you stay too long. Everyone has always said that it is impossible to get to Rick Perry’s right, but it turns out the entire Republican convention is already there.
This should be a message to Perry that he has no long-term political future. It should also be a message to wannbes that Perry is vulnerable under the right circumstances. Are his contributors willing to go to the well again, or will they decide it is time for a change in this state?
And where does Dewhurst go from here? Another term as light gov? Another negative campaign against Cruz, which — due to previous negative attacks — is likely to fall on deaf ears. I can’t really close this post without wondering how Dewhurst came to be “not a proven conservative.” His record is solid. He just cut state agency spending by 10%, but he gets no credit for it. It must be his personality. He’s not extreme enough. Even when he says something extreme, it comes off as moderate. He is what he is. That’s where the Republican party is today. This desire to race to the right will, in due course, cause the party to fracture, but for now, the lemmings can’t wait to get to the edge of the cliff.