Hot Mess from Texas: Governor Goodhair Gets in the Race

"Praise the Lord and pass the hair spray."

When the economy is in the crapper, jobs are scarce and people are frightened about the future, any incumbent should be scared of joining the millions in the unemployment line.

Seems like it was light years ago the GOP was wondering if anyone worth voting for would get in the ring with President Obama.  Now they’re practically tripping over each other to take a whack at the guy.

Every month there’s a new “Republican whom Obama fears” squeezing out of the clown car. It was Mike Huckabee for a while and Mitch Daniels for a minute. Next up it was Newt Gingrich, he with all the experience and a personality so repulsive his own staff quit on him.  Fox News mastermind Roger Ailes kept bringing pizzas and pie to his BFF, Chris Christie,  but it wasn’t enough for him to wipe the crumbs off his chins and waddle into the race.

Then it was Michelle Bachmann who is far-right in her politics and hard-working on the campaign trail seen as the Woman Most Likely To. Herman Cain got some love until his anti-Muslim rants started turning off his media admirers. Even Jon Huntsman was hailed by TIME as the guy most likely to beat Obama in a general election.

Mittens thinks as long as he keeps projecting inevitability, that’s all it’s going to take for him to clinch the nomination. Now Texas governor Rick Perry has announced and he might have something to say about that.

Then there’s Sarah Palin hanging over the entire race like a vulture waiting for a sign of weakness from the front-runners that might open the door for her non-campaigning campaign. Superstars don’t dirty their hands by shaking the greasy hands of folks at the Iowa State Fair.

The sun shines on the asses of a lot of dogs.

"The next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be president of the United States, please, pay attention."

The late, great Texas progressive, Molly Ivins could see from a mile off the sleaziness and incompetence of the politician she dubbed, “Governor Goodhair.”

Jan. 12, 2006
The governor of Texas is despicable. Of all the crass pandering, of all the gross political kowtowing to ignorance, we haven’t seen anything this rank from Gov. Goodhair since … gee, last fall.

Then he was trying to draw attention away from his spectacular failure on public schools by convincing Texans that gay marriage was a horrible threat to us all. Now he’s trying to disguise the fact that the schools are in free-fall by proposing that we teach creationism in biology classes.

The funding of the whole school system is so unfair that it has been declared unconstitutional by the Texas Supreme Court. All last year, Rick Perry haplessly called special session after special session, trying to fix the problem, and couldn’t get anywhere – not an iota, not a scintilla, of leadership.

Instead of facing the grave crisis that might yet result in the schools’ being closed, Perry has blithely gone off on creationism – teach the little perishers the Earth is 6,000 or so years old, that people lived at the same time as dinosaurs, and who cares if the school building is falling apart?

June 24, 2001
First, we Texans would like to salute the only governor we’ve got, Rick “Goodhair” Perry, the Ken Doll, for vetoing the bill to outlaw executing the mentally retarded.
We are Texas Proud.

Such a brilliant decision – not only is Texas now globally recognized for barbaric cruelty, but a strong majority of Texans themselves (73 percent) would prefer not to off the retarded.

Gov. Goodhair’s decision – in the face of popular opinion, the Supreme Court and George W. Bush’s recent conversion on this subject – is a testament to his strength of character.

Or something.

His Perryness announced, anent the veto, that Texas does not execute the retarded. I beg your pardon, Governor. Johnny Paul Penry, now on Death Row for a heart-breaking murder and the subject of two Supreme Court decisions, has an IQ between 51 and 60, believes in Santa Claus and likes coloring books.

And that’s not counting the other six we know about for sure since 1990.

Perry may immediately rival Mitt Romney in the impeccably styled hair contest and the GOP presidential nomination, and that’s all fine and well. There Will Be Blood in the Republican race and I’m content to sit back and watch the splatterfest.

The media loves to anoint the Next Big Thing in politics and this week its Perry. Meanwhile, the Palin Hillibillies from Wasilla bus tour is rolling around in Iowa and the potential threat of her entering the race would suck all the air out of several rising right-wing balloons, including Slick Rick’s.

Perry, with his deep pocketed oilmen buddies and their ability to raise shitloads of money for him makes him a player in the race and will squash some of the feebler contenders (bye-bye Pawlenty, Gingrich, and Santorum), but he’s hardly invincible.

Setting aside his dubious record of achievements in his three terms, Perry has a bigger problem. No matter what his personal relationship with George Bush is, he was Dubya’s lieutenant governor. A lot of voters may have soured on Obama, but they don’t find the taste Bush left any sweeter now than when he left office.

"Go ahead and pull the trigger, Rick. You're only shooting blanks."

Far from being the man who keeps Obama up all night, Perry might be the adversary Obama has prayed for.  Perry gives Obama a second chance at taking down a Republican he’s already defeated once: George W. Bush.

Governor Goodhair is further to the Right than Bush ever was and that will appeal to the G.O.Tea Party base, but with moderates and independents? Not so much. Perry’s ultra conservative bona fides will play well in the primaries, but in a general election they’re toxic.

Democrats should respect Perry as a candidate, but fear him? Not at all. He’s got a good story to tell about job growth in Texas, but it doesn’t come off as impressive when the miserable education and health system of the Lone Star state becomes better known.

Perry has had the luxury of defining himself. That ended when he threw his cowboy hat in the ring.  He will have to spend less time boasting about himself and more time battling to defend himself from his right-wing rivals.

And even if he gets past them, that doesn’t mean Obama is going to curl up into a fetal position because Governor Goodhair is in the race. All that means is that phone book sized folder of opposition research on Perry moves from inside the drawer to the top of the stack.

America only got rid of one Republican Texas governor. I doubt they will opt for a second one soaked in Texas Tea Party as the solution to their problems.

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