The Perry-Hutchison race is already getting ugly. And Perry seems to thrive in an ugly campaign. That is because he is the consummate politician, and politicians (Bill Clinton comes to mind) can look you in the eye and tell you what they think you want to hear. Perry is charming the Republican primary voters with his Texas drawl, and they seem to be falling for it hook, line, and sinker. And I have to laugh at these poor, gullible folks who say, with a straight face, that Perry is a conservative. If Perry, who served as presidential candidate Al Gore’s 1988 campaign manager in Texas, thought that he needed to be pro-choice in order to win, he would change positions so fast your head would spin. One recent article accuses Perry of having a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde personality. http://lonestartimes.com/2009/07/16/dr-jekyll-and-gov-perry/
Governor Perry says one thing, then does something completely different. And it's a pattern.
Perry believes that because he is pro-life, that all of his other non-conservative tendencies, observed over his ten years in office, will be overlooked by the primary voters. While KBH has a 97% pro-life voting record, that is not good enough for some Texas voters. And the same short-sighted Republicans who gave us President Obama because of their refusal to support Senator John McCain could cause Texas to end up with a Democrat governor. Perry only got 39% of the vote in his last election. And he didn’t exactly have an impressive legislative session this time around.
So the question that will be answered in this 2010 Texas Republican primary is whether a squishy politician who hides behind a pro-life mantra (because it is the only thing that matters to some primary voters) can beat a conservative statesman who is honest about her views, whether you agree with her or not, and follows through on her promises.
And for those who continue to insist that Rick Perry is a conservative, I ask the following questions:
Would a conservative have signed the margins tax bill into law which taxes small businesses, whether or not those businesses make a profit? (When we had our “Texas Tea Party” in Austin in 2006 to protest the margins tax on business, Perry was conspicuously absent.)
Would a conservative have signed the 2001 Hate Crimes Bill into law?
Would a conservative have worked to defeat Texas Supreme Court Justice Steven Wayne Smith, a stellar conservative jurist, as Perry did in 2001?
Would a conservative have made the statement, “Gambling is already happening in Texas, so we might as well legalize it so that we can regulate it,” as he said to me in 2002?
Would a conservative call the construction of a border fence to secure the Texas border “ludicrous”?
Would a conservative have issued an Executive Order, bypassing the legislature, which required 12 year old girls to receive a vaccine for an STD? (Perry’s former chief of staff went to work for the company which manufactures the vaccine.)
Would a conservative have supported the Trans Texas Corridor, as well as its ownership by a foreign entity?
Would a conservative have supported the seizure of private property in order to build the Trans Texas Corridor?
Would a conservative have vetoed legislation passed in 2007 protecting private property owners from eminent domain?
Would a conservative have allowed the ongoing scandals in our Texas State Schools to be an embarrassment to Texas?
Would a conservative have endorsed the only pro-choice candidate for President, Rudy Giuliani, the only pro-choice candidate out of nine possible choices?
The answer to all of these questions is a resounding “No.” If Governor Rick Perry is a conservative, then the word has lost all meaning, and in Texas, with Republicans losing significant ground in the last two elections, we can’t afford to elect a “conservative” like Perry.