Tuesday, July 5, 2011

AWR Hawkins is right on Palin, not so much on Perry

Rick Perry is no Reagan conservative.
It's only on the rare occasion that we take issue with an AWR Hawkins opinion. After reading his latest Big Government op-ed, we see that this is one of those occasions:
When Sarah Palin’s “Going Rogue” was released in late 2009, people around the country stood in line for hours to meet her at book signings, and to shake her hand and ask her to run for president in 2012. And this was after the MSM had spent nearly a year and half dragging her and her family through the mud, accusing Palin of every misdeed imaginable, and going out of their way to remind us how unprepared Palin was for the vice presidency (according to MSM standards of course).


From the release of “Going Rogue” through the November 2010 elections, Palin traveled to Tea Party gatherings around the country and endorsed candidates (43 House candidates, 30 of which won, and 12 Senate candidates, 7 of which won). Following the elections she launched a reality show – “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” – that drew historic levels of viewers and teed liberals off something fierce because it showed Palin using a gun to kill a caribou, a club to kill a fish, and more importantly, using a weekly one-hour program to show liberals how to stand up and fight like a man.

And after the media trashed her for her Tea Party speeches, mocked the candidates she endorsed, and made fun of her reality show, she launched a bus tour that began with a DC motorcycle rally on March 29, 2011, wherein crowds of people gathered round her and begged her to run for president in 2012.

By the way, Palin also endorsed gubernatorial candidates in 2010, one of which was Republican Governor Rick Perry: a true conservative and thus a Tea Party favorite.
Hawkins goes on to praise Perry, citing a Texas economy which is in much better shape than that in the rest of the country and draws employers and job seekers to the land between the Sabine and the Rio Grande like a magnet. Hawkins is so impressed that he says he's hoping for a Palin/Perry 2012 ticket "For 16 Years of Conservative Bliss."

We hate to rain on the man's parade, but the idea of Perry as vice president or, God help us, president is not quite as blissful as it must appear in Hawkins' imagination. First of all, Texas was a low-tax, business-friendly place long before Rick Perry became governor. Also, there are many conservatives down here in the Lone Star State who are less than enamored of our governor right now. Don't get us wrong, Rick Perry is one of the good guys, but there are a few less-than-conservative flies in the Perry ointment. He has dithered on the TSA anti-groping bill, allowing it to die in the Texas legislature, and he rejected the same Arizona immigration legislation which Sarah Palin supported.

But far more troubling are Perry's proclivities for big government and the nanny state. Perry began his push in 2002 for the Trans-Texas Corridor, a super highway one mile wide and 4,000 miles long that was intended to run from Mexico to Canada to facilitate free trade and open borders. For the portion of the route that was to run through Texas, Perry planned to use eminent domain to acquire the right of way for this highway from hell, indicating a disturbing willingness on the governor's part to trample upon public property rights and uproot people from their land. The public outcry over this big government grandiosity was so loud and so prolonged that Perry had to scale it back in 2009 and abandon it entirely in 2010. Also apparently comfortable with being a nanny-stater, Perry did an end run around the Texas Legislature last month and issued a governor's executive order forcing schoolgirls to get vaccinated against the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer. It doesn't help Perry's squeaky clean image much that Merck & Co., the pharma giant that makes the Gardasil vaccine, is well-connected to the governor in multiple ways.

Finally, be aware that there's a big push on now by the GOP establishment for Perry, and this should throw up a big red warning flag for Reagan conservatives. It's all too reminiscent of the way Republicans, like sheep, lined up behind George W. Bush in 1999. Yes, Bush is another one of the good guys, but he proved by being soft on immigration and not willing to reduce either spending or the size of the federal government that he wasn't the one that real conservatives were looking for. Again, our point here isn't to slam Bush or Perry.

In short, Rick Perry is not a politician who can be relied upon to restore the federal government to the smaller, less intrusive entity the founders envisioned and Sarah Palin has been working for. Perry was certainly preferable in 2010 to Kay Baily Hutchison in the gubernatorial primary and Democrat Bill White in the general election, earning Gov. Palin's endorsement practically by default. He may be a conservative, but unlike Sarah Palin, he's no Reagan conservative. Should she become the GOP presidential nominee, the view from here on the Brazos is that she can do much better for her campaign and for the country should she decide to run for president in 2012.

- JP

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