The Perry Problem in a nutshell

Americans want a President that personifies a certain lifestyle, but they don’t want a President that actually lives that lifestyle.

You want to see Bush clearing brush so it feels like he’s a good hardworking rancher. But you want him to clear brush like for 20 minutes once a year and actually do the hard work of governing the rest of the time.

You want to see Clinton stop by a McDonalds and kiss a baby so it feels like he’s a simple man just working as hard as possible to do good for his family. But you don’t want him to literally eat at McDonalds every day (while kissing babies).

Even those crazy (staged) pictures of Putin help give his nation a sense of identity; a rugged, manly, no fear identity. But you don’t want him to run around doing everything shirtless.

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So here’s the Perry problem: he isn’t a personification. He is the real thing. He is a good ol’ Texas boy who went to the school that Texans joke about being the school for people that can’t get into any other school, who got horrible grades at that easy school, who was on the cheer squad instead of any academic clubs, whose idea of a fun weekend is shooting guns, who actually once killed a coyote with a laser sighted pistol while out on a jog, who wins (state) elections by holding as few debates as possible and by using character assaults on his opponents at the few he actually goes to instead of talking in depth about policy ideas and issues, who likes to talk about succession and treason and legitimately seems to think that the federal government is the root of all problems that anyone in the country faces about anything on any given day, and who, as we are beginning to see, has made it as far as he has made it mostly by relying on his looks and vocal tone (and political party/advisors) rather than smarts or intellectual curiosity.

The Perry Problem is that the nation (and moreover Republicans) want a Ronald Reagan in the sense that we want someone that knows how to play a cowboy and awaken that instinct we all have inside to be wild and free and live exciting lives. But the nation doesn’t actually want a cowboy President. They want a fake cowboy that can take the job of being President 200% seriously at the end of the day.

We want a President that we would enjoy having a beer with. But we don’t want to literally drink beer with the President every night. The President should, you know, be on the phone with other heads of state or his/her generals and have the desire and energy to spend 16+ hour long days doing that for every day for four years straight (with a little vacation mixed in, of course).

In Rick Perry, we may have seen the first candidate to truly not understand the distinction between these two sides of the coin.

Saturday Glee

via Balloon Juice » Lies Lies Lies, Yeah!

How do you have a sensible policy debate with people who reject basic facts? It’s like trying to debate members of a cargo cult- the modern GOP carry the crosses but have no idea what it means to be christian. They talk about free markets, but have no understanding of economics. Just say deregulate and tax cuts a lot, and MAGIC WILL HAPPEN. Evolution? LIES! Climate change? LIES! Modern Medicine and vaccines? LIES!

 

 

Here comes the flood

So Perry really tripped up this debate, as I sort of expected him to do (wrote a post about a week ago about how his momentum is, perhaps irreversibly, stalled after a weak performance in the last debate, inre: HPV shots).

What comes next is Palin’s decision.

If she’s been withholding a decision just to fuck around with everyone and not run, then what happened tonight doesn’t matter.

If, as I’ve posited, she’s been waiting as long as possible in order to allow the current candidates time to self-immolate, then she just saw Perry light up Palin’s path to front-runner status.

There has been speculation about Palin running as an independent candidate. As amusing as that would be, I really can’t see it happening unless she is intent on starting a new political party. With Perry’s serious stumble in tonight’s debate, there is no reason to go full rogue. If Palin enters, it automatically becomes a Palin/Perry/Romney race, with Palin stealing a lot of Perry’s thunder (and supporters) and portraying him as a corrupt lifetime politician while (easily) showing that she is ten buckets more charismatic than Romney.

I don’t know if the votes are there for Palin if she enters. But the stage is set, and this play still needs a clear leading actor/actress.

With a bit of trepidation, I’m still leaning towards thinking she’ll get in the race. Like $50 bet sure. Gonna be a hell of a race if she enters.

An anecdote about the job market

Talked to a friend a week ago about his experience looking for jobs as a recent college grad. The reality bites.

Back in 2006, he says, when it came time to look for an internship as part of his high school’s “SIS” (Seniors take the last month or two of the school year to work on a project of some sort. It can be research, and internship, the creation of art of some kind, and other types of things) he had no trouble finding a place in New York City willing to take on an intern at a reasonable, but not horrible, wage. He ended up working on and off, during summers home from college, at the company for three years.

Now, college is complete, but there are just about no jobs to be found. No one is hiring, not even intern/entry pay level jobs. His best opportunity so far has been a job interview at a company that make products for pregnant women. The interview went well, but he has no desire to work in the field.

He thinks the universe has conspired against the class of ’10. I find it hard to disagree, seeing as I’m in the same “looking for employment” boat. I have barely any job experience and there really just aren’t any (college grad) entry level jobs around. He has 3 years and experience at another company as well, and he can barely find anything. The Huffington Post is blasting a headline right this moment saying that youth unemployment is higher than it has ever been since WW2.

This is all a long way of saying that I’m applying to both law and graduate school programs for next fall to hopefully boost my future chances at gainful (or any) employment while hoping that things get a bit better during the two or three years I’m hitting the books.

Your next Senator from Massachusetts

With stuff like this, it is no surprise that Warren is jumping up in the polls after only a week or so of announcing her intent to run against Scott Brown. Down about 10 points a few weeks ago, she is now up by a point or two.

The best part about this is that the Senate could have appointed her to run the Consumer Protection Agency, but Senate Republicans blocked her nomination from coming to a vote (well, they’ve blocked any and all nominations by Obama of people to run the agency). So instead, she’ll most likely cause those same Republicans to lose a seat next November, a seat that will be crucial if the GOP hopes to re-gain a majority in the Senate.

Unintended consequences can be fun