“Political correctness really is a mental disorder.”
Stumping for Mitt Romney at the NRA convention, the rock star proclaims that he "will either be dead or in jail by this time next year" if President Barack Obama is reelected.
I drove to Houston for the rally yesterday. The event was held at a huge complex called the Richard E. Berry Educational Support center on Barker-Cypress Road in northwest Houston. The surrounding area is entirely outside the Houston city limits and is unincorporated. A colleague at Texas Monthly who lives nearby told me that 800,000 people live in the area. I would say that I can't verify that, except that she is head of our fact-checking department. The Berry center is a lavish athletic complex. It was built with the proceeds of a 2001 bond issue for the Cy-Fair school district. The outside of the complex was a handsome red brick building with an impressive facade. Inside, I stepped onto a tile floor with marble squares at regular intervals. Between the building and the street was a parking lot large enough that, had it been grass, could sustain a hunting lease. This was not a monument to the fiscal conservatism that the two main attractions claim to embrace. The venue for the rally was a rectangular arena with a concrete floor. A basketball court can be placed on top. Two tiers of permanent seating -- no benches -- rose to the top of the arena on all sides. The school district says that the capacity is 8,300. The seating was around two-thirds full so I would estimate the attendance at around 5,000 to 6,000. Published estimates ranged from 6,000 to 8,000 to 15,000. No way on anything much above 6K. Still, six thousand people -- some of whom were already lining up at 9 a.m. on Super Bowl Sunday -- is a huge turnout. Hand-painted banners were taped to the walls. "TEXAS VALUES ... PROVEN LEADERSHIP ... PROUD OF TEXAS ... GOV PERRY TRUE TEXAN ... HANDS OFF MY PISTOL ... HOME SCHOOLERS 4 PERRY ... STOP BAILOUTS," they read. A band played the theme from "How the West was won." A woman in the lower seats began to clap in an effort to stir up the crowd. Giant screens on either side of the state flashed instructions on how to tweet, how to follow Perry on Twitter, and how to set up your home headquarters for Perry. Dan Patrick was the master of ceremonies for the rally. "One thing Governor Perry and I have in common is that we make use of the social media," he said. He told the audience, "When you leave today, the Perry campaign will be handing out packets with the name of a Republican who hasn't made up his mind yet. Call them and tell them you are supporting Rick Perry. Then send the results back to the campaign." Later, the screens advised the audience to "Text "Fired Up" to 95613 for instant messages."
In the state with the nation’s most celebrated concealed carry law, is it any wonder that the annual convention of pistol packers, peddlers, and promoters was number one with a bullet?