Why I'll Miss Rick Perry


He even looked like a president!

It's not the cowboy boots

It's not because now I can't sell my almost-new copy of Fed Up

And it certainly isn't his ideological contributions to the Republican primaries, where – beyond being challenged to name a cabinet-level department, protecting the nation from gays flaunting their special rights, calling Solyndra a country, and claiming that a key American ally is run by Islamic radicals – Texas Gov. Rick Perry's signal achievement was to join the bizarro consensus that the president who killed Osama bin Laden and pursued Somali pirates while pursuing an unconstitutional war in Libya and ordering a record number of drone assassinations is soft on terrorism. 

Did somebody mess with Texas?

What I'll miss is being able to believe Rick Perry is an effective governor

For a good ten years now, the Lone Star state has been the Gallant to California's Goofus – the state that is closest in size, demographics, economic mix, and to some degree climate. Yet Texas has been on the grow all that time. Its public finances are in better shape than California's. It is attracting businesses and population; California has been losing business and its population growth over the last ten years has been flat and possibly negative. Texas was spared both the highs of the real estate bubble and the lows of the crash, while California was rivaled only by Florida for land stupidity. 

For a while (and in the face of several relatives in Texas who assured me all along that Perry was a buffoon), I could actually believe these better conditions were the result of wise public policy. And some may be. There's a compelling case that the state's relative lack of zoning laws helped rein in the real estate price extremes (though I still like the novelty of the argument that Emperor Augustin I saved Texas homeowners). And it's not a mystery that a state with a part-time legislature, a constitutionally weak governor and a pattern of arm's-length local government would be in better fiscal shape than the People's Republic of California. 

But the real casualty of Perry's presidential run is the idea that governors in California or any other state should be looking to him for an example. His failure to launch went beyond the usual range of campaign screwups to a level of nincompoopery that wise people should avoid. 


NEXT: "Stand With Governor Walker"

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  1. Yes,

    Texas is a success because of LACK of government leaders being good at their jobs.

    True story.

    1. Also because other states, like California, have already gone through the looking glass into a world of crazy. Productive people are running out of places to run to. Nowadays you don’t have to be a sane state. You just have to be saner than the coastal states.

  2. And here I was hoping he would succeed, so we could fob him off on D.C. and get him the hell out of here. Oh well.

    The dude is so popular for some reason that he doesn’t even really campaign for re-election, and wins by huge margins. My fellow Texans, unfortunately, would declare him God-King if that were an option.

    1. Don’t let him near the sandtrout.

      1. “All I see is another politician that I want to kill.”

  3. You know how government creates jobs? By staying out of the way of business people (the real jobs creators).

  4. Texas is a good state. I live in North Carolina. We should found the Confederacy of Independent States and wage war upon the federal government of the United States.

    1. Too much work. I think I’ll sit on this chair and let it collect farts. In the end, who winds up being the more free?

    2. With your constant talk of revolution, you really make me think you’re some federal LEO trying to sniff out “terrorists”.

      1. Shhhh . . . I was only pretending to be apathetic ’cause I suspected the very same.

      2. Fuck. How the hell do you libertarians do it? Who’s feeding you info on infiltrator agents, Jim? Spit it our, or your upcoming trip to Langley will make you yearn for Lubyanka.

        1. You can take the man out of Russia, but…

          1. Kapitalisticheskaya tvar’!

  5. Erm, you do know that Turkey is being run by Islamists? Perry was right – the party is pretty much the same as the Islamic Brotherhood in Egypt – not as radical as the Taliban or its ilk, but not very moderate…

    What, have you missed the last 10 years? They almost started a fight with Israel, even (and is the country Israel should be worried about, not Iran, since Turks can fight)

    1. Pretty mild Islamists. Yeah they’re belligerent but that belligerency is largely based on nostalgia for the Ottoman Empire, which is pretty stupid. Turkey has come right back around to working with the good guys in the face of Syrian-Iranian nogooding.

      1. They’re not “Islamic terrorists” (which is what Perry hinted), but they’re “Islamic radicals” (Reason’s summary). So while the original quote is quite exaggerated, the paraphrase is basically correct.

      2. I’m going to start a movement to restore the Byzantine Empire.

        1. I refuse to refer to Constantinople as Istanbul.

          1. Look, that’s nobody’s business but the Turks.

          2. “Constantinople” sounds much cooler than “Instanbul”.

            1. Maybe, but folks just liked it better this way.

              1. Even old New York was once New Amsterdam.

                1. Why they changed it, I can’t say.

                  1. I desperately hoped everyone wouldn’t be gay enough to bring up that song, but sure enough, Epi immediately disappointed me.

                    1. I live to disappoint you, Jimbo. It’s so satisfying.

                      Meatwad: Hey Shake, what you doin’?

                      Master Shake: I want my son to feel guilty for what he’s doing to me. Bring him outside so he can watch me slit my own throat.

                    2. Shut your mouth or I’ll sic Mr. Mister on you.

                      “When I get pissed, you get mist!”

                    3. You can expect a forecast of vengeance in the near future, Jimbo.

                    4. The dream of the 80’s is alive in Hit & Run.

                  2. This TMBG section FTW!

                    1. Man, I hate when I miss TMBG sub threads.

            2. Hell, yeah. Istanbul is derived from the Greek, meaning, roughly, “in the city.” Stupid name.

              Constantinople, of course, means “Constantine’s city.” That’s cool. Roman emperor, historical, etc.

              1. That’s right, Pro L. Don’t mess with the Discovery Channel — that’s where some professor said ‘Instanbul’ is a crappy name for the metropolis.

              2. ::in best Cartman voice:: Are you sure it doesnt mean, “in the ghetto”?

        2. Russia’s the third Rome, mother-fucker. Don’t fuck with Russia.

          1. Germany disagrees.

            1. And how’d that turn out for them?

          2. That’s crap. We’re the real heir to the Roman Empire. The British gave us their interest. Look at DC! The Senate! The empire!

            1. Plus Obama officially crossed the Rubicon.

              1. We’re so Roman that we could start speaking Latin anytime now.

            2. Holy shit, dude, you’re right! Now all we need to do is declare Obama our sovereign — His Supreme Majesty, Emperor and Grand Autocrat of All the Peoples of the Americas, Barack I Obama.

              Seriously, though, now I’m reminded that the great monuments and buildings of the Founders’ republic and the early times are now located in what happens to be a totalitarian shithole. Look what the statists have done to DC.

              1. A lot of historians cite the end of the Roman republic as inevitable given the apparent breakdown of the system.

                I wonder if the end of the American republic will be seen in the same way 1000 years from now.

                1. A stupid name for a metropolis is Metropolis. Guess that explains why no one realizes Clark Kent is Superman.

        3. OMG, have fun negotiating THAT maze…

    2. Even if not “terrorists”, please tell me how Turkey–a country that allows many western style freedoms and social liberties, including alcohol, women in bikinis and working freely, nightclubs, and legal prostitution–is actually run by Islamic radicals?

      Now, influenced by Muslims leaders and creating some policies to appease them, yes. But the government is still secular.

  6. I can see this scenario playing out:

    Romney, Gingrich, and Santorum in turns taking states that are looking for either electability, conservativity, or theocracity while Ron Paul keeps rolling along, winning some states, consistently coming in second in others, aggregating his delegate tally. Is there a way that constant jockeying by the Three Stooges could gift RP a path to the nomination?

    1. Nope, best case scenario is brokered convention and Palin being declared the hero.

      1. And by “best”, I mean “most amusing”.

      2. Yeah, the only way Paul “wins” a brokered convention is if he has a significant plurality. The Republican machine would still not nominate him, but it might piss off a large portion of the non-Paulites that a 3rd party run becomes viable.

    2. From now on, I’m referring to the race as Ron Paul and the Three Stooges.

      1. nyuk, nyuk, nyuk

  7. while California was rivaled only be Florida for land stupidity.

    There is good news on this front in that Florida has dropped its smart growth policies…

    Of course California dropped its redevelopment agency crap so looking forward it may be a wash.

    We shall see.

  8. I can’t wait until the day comes when I, as a Texan, can write an article titled “Why I’ll Miss Rick Perry.”

    It’ll probably have to do with the fact that my accuracy with a handgun really falls off after 25 yards.

    1. That’s some pretty funny eliminationist rhetoric right there.

      I’m with you, too – 75 foot’s about it for Almanian’s old eyes.

    2. And with no term limits, he could run again *groan*

      We need a break!

      1. Can you even call it “running”? He films a couple of commercials and sits back, then takes in 60% of the vote. It’s mind-boggling the amount of worship the guy gets.

        1. I see what you did there. O_o

      2. From Arizona: tell you what, we’ll send you Joe Arpaio and you send us Rick Perry. We haven’t had a genuinely male governor in years, it might be fun.

        1. You can keep Joe “I’m a total asshole” Arpaio, thank you very much.

  9. OT – I’d really, really like to hit Gingrich and Santorum upside the head with a baseball bat, Bear Jew style.

    Is that wrong?

    1. If that is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

      1. Equality 7-2521 agrees.

    2. Also OT: What the hell’s going on with the Liz Warren $bomb ads? Why all this on a libertarian website?

    3. One could argue that, as individuals wishing to use violence to enforce their opinions of what constitutes proper behavior, even when consensual, that it would be morally acceptable.

      Try telling that to a court, though.

  10. We’ve moved up two places this week.


      1. When you see it, you’ll s**t bricks.

  11. What I miss most is that Perry had a chance to take some votes away from The Romniac or Newt. I suppose that if most of his supporters go for Newt and not Santorum or Romney, that’s the best option. It would keep votes from Romney, and Santorum would be an abject catastrophe. It’s probably too much to hope they’d go to Paul.

    However, the Three Stooges are a lackluster group, so really, shifting their delegates around doesn’t satisfy me. Is it too late for Roemer’s and Karger’s hypothetical inclusion in the debates give them a chance?

  12. There’s an Elizabeth Warren “Money Bomb” ad on this page. I LOLed.

    1. They’ve been all over the place ALL DAY!!! It’s driving me nuts. Fortunately, I’ve got plans that will keep me from a computer this evening.

    2. I got Kenmore Appliances, Peter Schiff Show, and Virtual Assistant. I was hoping for Filipina Lovematch, MILF Machine, and Cabin Still. Oh, well…

  13. Wanna bet that Tim Pawlenty wishes he hadn’t dropped out?

  14. This makes a whole lot of snse man. Wow.

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