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Gov. Rick Perry Reminds Us Why We Flirted with Him in 2012

And why we long to have a president with a chest.

by
Paula Bolyard

Bio

July 11, 2014 - 7:00 am

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“We make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”― C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

There is perhaps no greater contrast between the quintessential (and nearly bygone) American masculinity and the feminized Pajama Boy we’ve come to know in recent years than the competing media narratives of Texas Governor Rick Perry and President Obama this week.

While President Obama has projected the image of a flaccid leader who is aloof, distant, and out of touch with the the humanitarian crisis at the Southern border — even appearing to laugh his way through a meeting with Perry and other Texas leaders — Governor Perry has exuded strength, seriousness of purpose, and muscular leadership. Perry has demanded accountability from the Obama administration and has proposed meaningful solutions to the border crisis — he wants the National Guard on the border immediately, strategic fencing, and drones in the air.

Obama, on the other hand, has attended fundraisers with Democrat high rollers, was photographed trolling bars in Denver with Colorado Governor Hickenlooper, and used a press conference to whine about Republican intransigence on immigration reform.

While Perry was storming the Rio Grande on a heavily armed Texas Highway Patrol boat (wearing a flak jacket and a LaRue Tactical ball cap … and likely packing something powerful on his hip), President Pajama Boy sipped hot tea at the Magnolia Cafe before tying up traffic across Central Texas as the presidential motorcade made its way to the Paramount Theatre, where President Obama complained about Republicans threatening to sue him.

It’s quite a stark contrast in both substance and style.

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In Perry’s interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Wednesday, the country’s longest serving governor demonstrated that his flubbed debate performance in 2012 (perhaps as a result of post-back surgery pain medication) was not an accurate reflection of his intellect or ability to lead — it was more of a one-off. Perry expertly explained the border crisis and his proposed solutions. The professorial Perry strongly criticized President Obama but did so without vitriol. His “here’s how we fix it … let’s get this done” attitude projected confidence and decisive leadership.

An accomplished governor who is thoughtful, serious, and articulate — the former Texas A & M yell leader is an unapologetic cheerleader for his state and his country. A man who kills his own meat and makes you believe he would kill any terrorist who dares to cross into Texas on his watch — with his bare hands … or maybe with just a stern look. A man who easily transitions from a meeting with a the president of the United States — in a perfectly tailored suit and hipster glasses — to a border patrol boat on the dangerous Rio Grande. And who hasn’t imagined Rick Perry shirtless on horseback, knowing that if push came to shove he would face down Vladimir Putin — shirtless on horseback — in order to save the free world? And he’d win. (Don’t lie, you know you’ve imagined this.)

Perry reminds us that we’ve had a leadership void in this country. The United States has failed to project much more than a token of strength at least since “back in the day” when President Bush dared to call Islamic terrorists the “Axis of Evil” in the wake of the 9-11 attacks. And moral leadership? Morality has become a dirty word in Obama’s America.

Perry, the gun-slinging, tough-talking, God-fearing Texas governor, reminds us of what we’ve been missing:  for too long we’ve had a president without a chest. In The Abolition of Man, C.S. Lewis imagines a dystopian future without objective truth and divorced from natural law, where “men without chests” rule by their own unreflected whims and according to their own selfish motives. It seems we’ve arrived at that future, or dangerously close to it.

While Perry certainly has political acumen (he didn’t get to where he is today by being a political dolt) and he’s not unwilling to wield that power when necessary, one doesn’t get the sense that he’s a man for whom politics trumps principle. He’ll make compromises — to a certain extent — but there are lines he will not cross because there are objective truths in which he believes. He’s certainly proven that he’s a governor with a chest and he tantalizes us with visions of him as a president with a chest – a leader who would restore America to its rightful place on the world stage and govern with integrity.

It certainly looks as if Perry is setting the stage to run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. If so, he’s off to a strong start by glaringly contrasting his style to that of the current president. The raw Americanisms and passionate defense of the Constitution in this 2010 speech by Perry remind us exactly why we had that brief dalliance with him in 2012:

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In addition to writing for PJ Tatler and PJ Lifestyle, Paula also writes for Ohio Conservative Review, and RedState. She is co-author of a new Ebook called, Homeschooling: Fighting for My Children’s Future. She is a member of the Wayne County Executive Committee. Paula describes herself as a Christian first, conservative second, and Republican third.
Top Rated Comments   
American voters, especially Republicans, have a long history of granting second chances, especially for aspirants to the White House. Perry is getting his second chance, and it appears he is much better prepared this time than for his 2012 run. I think he will be a top three competitor.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Perry is a reminder of why Governors beat Legislators when it comes to the Presidency. After eight years of a first-tem Senator, do we really want to replace him with another first-term Senator?

So if you are a Cruz or Paul booster, think about their executive experience, or lack thereof. Obama's boosters also didn't think that was a problem.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
I fail to why so many people held his brief debate brain freeze against him. It happens to all of us, you cop to and drive on. We've got president "blank slate" leading us now, with his hidden records and voting present.
I sincerely doubt a president Perry would need a teleprompter to address a rodeo or an elementary school class.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (98)
All Comments   (98)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Close-out time, but a bad smell lingers...
Questions, we have questions:

What's with the grade-D editing on this thread?
Can't help but note that yokel comments from Perry fans have been killed, while needy-women comments still stand.

What do Bolyard and Moran know about this?

Probably best if you say nothing, since a surprised/puzzled/bemused/butter-won't-melt response will stink even worse than an old grandmother.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Gov. Rick Perry really loves Texas. He definitely has his flaws, but even his opponents would agree that Perry wants what's best for Texas. Part of the problem with President Barack Obama is that he doesn't seem to like the United States that much. Obama will throw anyone and anything including his home country under the bus to advance Obama.

Texas has a plural executive constitutional short leash system of government that tends to make Texas governors look relatively good. Texas governors have little power to do stupid things. The legislature only meets in the spring of odd numbered years and the Lieutenant Governor, not the Governor, controls what bills get a vote. The Comptroller has the power to sent bills that don't fit the budget back to the legislature until they get cut down to size. Since most important government officials including judges are directly elected, the Texas Governor has fewer opportunities to make bad appointments.

I for one am very glad Gov. Rick Perry sees no need to share his shirtless chest with the world. Vladimir Putin may appear with bare chest riding a horse, but Gov. Perry would more likely wear protective clothing while driving an ATV.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Perry has been a very successful governor for Texas, but he shouldn't have run for President in 2012. It wasn't his year. He was coming off major back surgery and was on powerful pain killers; he simply tried to do too much too soon. Also, his staff was hastily put together and not well prepared for the rigors of a national campaign. Abbot will win the governor's race this year, so Perry will have two years to prepare if he decides to run for President in 2016. He'll be able to put together a more competent staff, as well as travel around the country and familiarize himself with the issues confronting the various states. I think 2012 was a learning experience for him and that he will be a much more formidable candidate the next time around, if he decides to run.

As to illegal immigration, there is very little that any governor can do about it, because it's really a federal issue. The problem is the failure of the federal government to enforce immigration laws, so if the people want to stop illegal immigration, they simply have to vote out the establishment politicians and vote in qualified legislators committed to securing the borders and enforcing the laws.

Building a fence would be an expensive waste of resources. It might make sense in some areas along the border, not just in Texas but in New Mexcio, Arizona and California, however it's really not necessary. Eisenhower dealt with illegal immigration in the 1950s, and he didn't need a fence to do it. He simply enforced the laws. He punished businesses who hired illegals, closed schools and hospitals to illegals, and many illegals left voluntarily. Those who were deported were not merely dropped off at the border; no, they were taken hundreds of miles into Mexico before they were released, making it more difficult for them to return. Project Wetback was enormously successful and extremely effective, and there is not reason why a similar project would not work just as well today. All that's missing is the political will to enforce the laws.

I have to laugh at all these commentators and their sudden concern with the Rio Grande Valley. Hannity came down here a few days ago to broadcast his show on Fox. Beck is coming soon. These people have no understanding of this area.

The problem that we have down here with illegals or dayworkers is that Mexican nationals cross the border to work the fields or in some part-time job, and to send their children to school or take them to a hospital. They also commit crimes. This does put a strain on the local economies, but this area is not a conduit for illegal immigration. After Edinburg, the northmost town in the RGV, there's nothing but mesquite brush and scrub desert until Falfurias, 80 miles away. The major cities, Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Austin, Houston, Dallas, are all hundreds of miles away, and the land inbetween is untransversable. It's far too difficult for illegals to cross the border in McAllen or Brownsville and migrate north.

No, the major conduits for illegals seeking to migrate deeper into the US is to the northwest, in areas like Laredo, which has the largest truck stop in the world (a prime smuggling hub), and El Paso. From those areas, smugglers and human traffickers have easy access to routes across Texas and into other states. From the RGV, not so much; this area is far too isolated.

Again, the real problem is the failure of the federal government to secure the border and enforce the laws. I'm with Levin. The state legislatures should convene a Constitutional Convention, bypass the Presidency, the Congress and the Judiciary, amend the Constitution, and force the federal government to not only abide by but enforce the laws. His book, the Freedom Amendments, is a must read.

The country is at a cross-roads, and the American people need to make a choice as to which direction they want this nation to take. Will we remain a constitutional republic of sovereign states comprised of free people under the rule of law? Or will we become a banana republic of insignificant states comprised of enslaved people under the whim of arbitrary politicians? I don't know. These next years will be telling.

It is within our power to return America to greatness. But listening to ignorant, uniformed commentators, who have their own agendas, fueling the fires of emotion with their idiocy, is not the way to go about it.

10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Rick Perry is an empty suit. He couldn't even remember the cabinet departments he supposedly wanted to eliminate. I don't care if he was on Oxy, how the hell do you forget that unless you are basically a sock puppet.

Now I do agree with much of what his administration has done, I just don't credit him with doing it.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
That's a strange evaluation - I'll take a wild assed guess here and say you don't use the same approach when it comes to Obama .. you don't blame him for the bad that he's done because he's just an empty suit?

Rick Perry is the real deal. If you want to hold a single debate against him for the rest of your life, it's your choice. Most voters don't expect politicians to be perfect men or women.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
I live here and my family is deep into Texas Republican politics. This isn't meant as an argument from authority, just an assurance that I'm not just making my evaluation from television debates. Obama is also probably an empty suit but I wouldn't claim any special knowledge.

Perry is a decent state level politician, but he will never be able to sustain himself in a national race. He will always crash in a debate because his ideas come from outside himself. He has been a good caretaker for a highly conservative/libertarian skewing state. I credit him for that, but he isn't a "thought leader". Another way to think of it is that he is an excellent NCO, but isn't General material.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
"He will always crash in a debate because his ideas come from outside himself."

Here it is. Perry is not a thinker. He doesn't have a deep core of conservative principles. He doesn't have ANY core of conservative principles. He's just a Republican. Were he in a "moderate" state, we'd see a "moderate" Perry.



8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Paula - You seem to have struck a nerve, the Leftist trolls are out in force tonight.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have to say this about Paula Bolyard's droolfest.

She doesn't seem to be conforming to ethnic stereotypes.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Aside from the fact that some of this "droolfest" was tongue-in-cheek, whaddaya mean by "conforming to ethnic stereotypes"?
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm more than willing to give Perry another hearing. He's gonna have to do a whole lot better this time around, though.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
"proposed meaningful solutions"

Is that what real leaders do?
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Maybe Perry is all hat and no cattle. How many invaders has he driven back across the border? Where are the results rather than the "intentions"? Maybe he is a dog that doesn't hunt, just barks a lot. Color me unimpressed until I see some results, then if I do, I will give him a "Hurrah! Hurrah!" and a "Three times three!", but not before then.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
How many clichés can you fit in one comment?
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Gee, when was Governor Perry made Commander in Chief, to drive those invaders back across the border? Pretty sure he never had that in his job description.

Being the Chief Executive of the most economically successful state in the Union over the last decade, when most other states went into the toilet, and when his policies were clearly conservative (low taxes, less regulation) and he proved in his great big experiment called Texas that conservative policies actually work and produce great results ... and you're "not impressed"?

I guess you must base your standards of performance for politicians at somewhere around the Second Coming of Christ, then, I take it?
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Liking Perry is one thing, believing he belongs in the White House is something else.

Last time round he sounded like a tongue-tied twit with a bad back, in touch with his inner yokel. There are many reasons why he didn't travel well outside TX. High on the list: he simply lacks the verbal skills to be a national candidate and will be crucified by his opponents. Somewhere today Democrat operatives are praying hard.

Remember all the waffle and flippety-floppety about Niggerland and Perry's frail attempts at damage control -- you want more of that? Well, you're gonna get it.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
If you want a president with vierbal skills, you must be thrilled with President HopeyChange.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Just because a failed politician from a corrupt state is a good speaker, doesn't make being a good speaker emblematic of a lack of ability.

Reagan was an excellent speaker, far better than Obama, but he was a great leader because of his ideas.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
OK. I like Perry, too.
When is he gouing to stop this invasion. He is Governor of a sovereign State which is being invaded. He KNOWS Ostupid ain't doin' nuthin.
Act like the Governor of a Sovereign State: Stop it yourself, and tell Ostupid to go to...
Otherwise, it's just blah blah blah, blah blah, blah blah.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Maybe Perry is all hat and no cattle. How many invaders has he driven back across the border?
Where are the results rather than the "intentions"? Maybe he is a dog that doesn't hunt, just barks a lot.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wash, rinse repeat. Right JoeNobody?
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
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