Those once considering voting for Rick Perry are now tying their hopes to one of his colleagues after the erstwhile front runner has proven himself not only incapable of parrying the barrage of attacks coming at him from his competitors. Herman Cain, the reputed winner of the most recent televised job interview, told Fox News that Perry's performance was was not up to primetime.
Surprisingly, Perry himself is copping to the charges of bending under the pressure of the long presidential campaign. At a conference of GOP activists in Michigan, Perry admitted that his debate performances were consistently sub par and less impressive than those of his Republican rivals.
Despite this apparent candor, Rick Perry is far from bowing out and bowing under. After admitting his disappointing display, Perry assured the conference attendees that what he lacked in forensic prowess his more than made up for in his adherence to solid Republican principles.
"No other candidate on that stage has the record that I have," Perry said. "Yep, there may be slicker candidates and there may be smoother debaters, but I know what I believe in.
Unfortunately for the Texas governor, its precisely those two factors his record and his (lack of) core conservative principles that have alienated him from a significant bloc of right wing voters that may otherwise have been persuaded to throw their electoral weight behind him.
Several recent articles by this writer have chronicled the troubling tale of Rick Perry's record and his position on many issues important to Americans dedicated to rigidly hewing to the Constitution and its enumeration of very limited powers to the general government.
Take the following excerpt for example:
It is problematic to those on the Right in money matters that federal dollars accounted for nearly 37 percent of Texas' spending one of the highest rates in the nation according to data published by RBC Capital Markets.
Perry's personal spending habits have drawn unwanted scrutiny, as well. It is reported that he spent as much as $10,000 per month of taxpayer money to pay for a luxury rental home while the Texas Governors mansion was being renovated.
Legislatively, Perry's personal initiatives have flopped and have been financially burdensome. First there was the Trans Texas Corridor, a $150-billion boondoggle that drew the ire of ranchers who complained that the plan paved too much of their land. Then there was an executive order signed by Perry in 2007 (eventually overturned by the state legislature) that would have forced young girls enrolled in Texas public schools to be vaccinated against cervical cancer.
Additionally, there is substantial evidence that Governor Rick Perry is fond of perpetuating the capitalist welfare system by doling out taxpayer money to corporate cronies.
Perhaps most unsettling is Perry's pronouncement that as president he would perpetuate the prosecution of the illegal wars currently being carried out by the armed forces of the United States. Said Perry:
"We must renew our commitment to taking the fight to the enemy wherever they are, before they strike at home.
That hardly sounds like a commitment to abide by the constitutions definition of Congress's war-making powers.
As if the now constant pounding of mortars from his opponents isnt enough, even Perry's neo-con brethren are joining in the fray and shelling the governor.
Bill Kristol, proud prophet of the neo-con doctrine for decades, published a special editorial in the Weekly Standard elegantly entitled Yikes. In the piece, Kristol praises the debate performances of Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum before declaring, But no front-runner in a presidential field has ever, we imagine, had as weak a showing as Rick Perry. It was close to a disqualifying two hours for him, continued Kristol.
Perry didn't wither, however. He informed those gathered at the biennial Republican conference on Mackinac Island that his only fault is his sincerity and his authenticity an apparent shot at the packaged prettiness of Mitt Romney.
With a sideways glance at Romney, Perry said, "We don't need to select a nominee that blurs the lines between themselves and President Obama. And let me share something with you: I will draw a sharp contrast between President Obama and myself. Ronald Reagan, in 1984 I believe it was, he said it is time for bold, bright colors and not pastels. And that is where we are again in this country."
Its going to be a hard row to hoe for the Lone Star governor. Only six weeks have passed since Perry's announcement that he would seek the office of the president. So far Perry and his people have watched the mainstream media propel him to undeserved front-runner status only to watch the very active constitutional wing of the Republican party expose his record and neo-con tendencies with such consistency that his fall back down to earth has precipitous and perhaps fatal.
Undaunted, Perry continues to defend his popularity, crowing about unidentified supporters clamoring for the leadership he claims only he can provide. For example, there was the time in South Carolina (no town was specified) where supporters implored Perry to fight on, insisting that they claimed to, "want someone that will stand up and say, 'Here is where I am going to lead this country. This is what I believe.'
"They want change in America. I know for a fact that Americans are ready for change, and they're not talking about the rhetoric of change, they're talking about a record of change. And I'm proud of my record in Texas."
Those who favor strict adherence to the Constitution, however, believe that Governor Perry has little to proud of. As certain as he may be of the appeal of his principles to Republican voters, Perry cannot afford to avoid the mountain of press recording the laundry list of his statements, policies, and positions that send conservative voters fleeing for refuge toward the camps of other candidates more consistently constitutional.