Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Chuck Norris-side of Rick Perry

Seth Mandel provides a link to @RickPerryFacts which gives Rick Perry the full Chuck Norris treatment. Although they don't have much to do with the real Rick Perry, some of them are quite funny. Here is a sample.
Rick Perry defeated Voldemort with the jobus creatus spell.
Texas used to be a swing state, before Rick Perry outlawed kinetic energy.
Rick Perry can give bees and peanuts anaphylactic shock.
Rick Perry can hold his breath for an entire Yanni concert.
The ministry was originally going to have Rick Perry guard Azkaban but realized it was more humane to have dementors.
Chuck Norris owns a pair of Rick Perry pajamas.
Rick Perry never uses a GPS. He's always going in the right direction.
Rick Perry once bought a Mickey Mantle rookie card, an ironing board, and 500 kg of plutonium, for $3.17 at a neighborhood yard sale.
Having fun with these sly sorts of jokes strikes me as sort of the reverse of Obama-worship from 2008. It's tongue-in-cheek and unserious compared to the messianic claims about Obama. The Rick Perry Facts are based on bad-ass qualities of strength rather than mystic claims about how we were going to see a better world with the oceans ceasing to rise. At least these are funny rather than disturbing. They're a fun counterweight to the usual sorts of claims that liberals like to make about conservatives, particularly those from Texas.

I have no idea whether Rick Perry will get in the race or if he'd fulfill conservative expectations. I discount polling results showing him beating Obama in North Carolina. Such poll results are basically meaningless at this point. If he does get in and gets the full colonoscopy that the media likes to do for certain presidential candidates, particularly conservative ones, those poll numbers will change. Right now he's mainly a place-holder name for those who don't like Obama.

And conservatives who are excited about a Rick Perry run might not be so thrilled when they hear his position on immigration - he's on the George W. Bush side of the immigration debate not the Tom Tancredo side.
In 2010, Arizona passed and signed into law a bitterly controversial immigration proposal that was described by The New York Times as the “broadest and strictest immigration measure in generations.”

It provoked strong resistance from many Hispanics and Hispanic groups and became a flashpoint in the nationwide debate, with many conservative groups supporting the Arizona plan.

Perry, though, broke with a large number of his Republican colleagues, including Arizona’s Republican governor, Jan Brewer, on the issue. In a statement to the press, he said: “I fully recognize and support a state’s right and obligation to protect its citizens, but I have concerns with portions of the law passed in Arizona and believe it would not be the right direction for Texas.”

That statement helped earn him the designation of the most Hispanic-friendly politician in the nation by Somos Republican, a conservative Hispanic group. Though it went unmentioned by the group at the time, Perry has taken similarly unorthodox positions on immigration.

In 2001, he signed the so-called DREAM Act, which provided in-state tuition rates for certain undocumented students. Its provisions are similar to the Democratic-backed DREAM Act at the federal level — one ardently opposed by many conservatives.

Of the Texas bill, Perry said in a speech: “We must say to every child learning in a Texas classroom, ‘We don’t care where you come from, but where you are going, and we are going to do everything we can to help you get there.’”

It’s worth pointing out that Texas has one of the largest Hispanic populations of any state —— 38 percent according to the latest census data. Hispanics are also the fastest-growing minority in Texas —— something the governor would be aware of.
Those positions, as well as his endorsement of Rudy Giuliani in 2008, may stick in the craw of some conservative primary voters.

I don't think it would be disqualifying in a multi-candidate primary. This will be an election mainly about economic issues and he'll have a much more convincing story to tell than Romney, especially when Romneycare is factored in, or Michele Bachmann who has no executive experience.

But meanwhile, we can enjoy some humor in our politics.