September 26, 2011
Bipartisan, Schmipartisan

From Frank Rich’s latest, in New York magazine:

The important thing to remember about Perry is that he’s anathema to Mitt Romney, Karl Rove, and many conservative pundits no less than to liberals. His swift rise does not just reflect his enthusiasts’ detestation of Barack Obama. Perry’s constituency rejects the entire bipartisan Establishment of which Obama is merely the latest and shiniest product.

For two decades, the elites in both parties and in the Beltway media-political combine have venerated a vanilla centrism, from Bush 41’s “thousand points of light” to Clinton’s triangulation to Bush 43’s “compassionate conservatism.” They’ve endorsed every useless bipartisan commission and every hapless bipartisan congressional “Gang of Six” (or Twelve, or Twenty, not to mention the new too-big-not-to-fail budget supercommittee).

Perry, by contrast, is a proud and unabashed partisan. If he’s talking about gangs, chances are they’re chain gangs, not dithering conclaves of legislators. He doesn’t aspire to be the adult in the room, as Obama does, but the bull in the china shop of received opinion…

Should Perry get the GOP nomination, he could capsize like Goldwater on Election Day. That’s the universal prediction of today’s Restons. But maybe he won’t. Perry would have a cratered economy to exploit, unlike Goldwater, who ran in a boom time when unemployment was under 6 percent and the GDP was up 5.8 percent from the previous year. Whatever Perry’s 2012 electoral fate, his lightning ascent is final proof, if any further is needed in the day of the tea-party GOP, that a bipartisan consensus in America is as unachievable now as it was after 1964…


Posted by Jerome Doolittle at September 26, 2011 11:11 AM
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We had dinner the other night with a Texas friend who does politics. His basic message being that Perry isn't just bad like Bush, he's a crafty bastard in a way Bush never had to be.

Posted by: Martha Bridegam on September 27, 2011 8:18 PM

He seems to have had a lightning descent since this article about his lighting ascent. Florida didn't like what they saw up close. Now the would-be kingmakers are trying to lure into the race another Republican governor who doesn't wear well. Maybe they'll trash their way through all the Republican governors, a week or two each, before snow falls on Iowa.

Posted by: JoyfulA on September 30, 2011 4:56 AM

Who knew he'd find himself in trouble for making marginal sense on immigration?

Posted by: Martha Bridegam on September 30, 2011 11:41 PM
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