Skip to comments.Rick Perry panic fires up the left
Posted on 08/30/2011 3:42:19 PM PDT by smoothsailing
by Ben Smith & Maggie Haberman
August 30, 2011
In his two weeks as a presidential candidate, Rick Perry has done something that neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney could do: wake up the left.
Perry panic has spread from the conference rooms of Washington, D.C., to the coffee shops of Brooklyn, with the realization that the conservative Texan could conceivably become the 45th president of the United States, a wave of alarm centering around Perrys drawling, small-town affect and stands on core cultural issues such as womens rights, gun control, the death penalty and the separation of church and state.
The epidemic of lefty angst isnt just a matter of specific Perry policies though; it goes to the heart of the liberal worldview. His smashing debut on the presidential stage suggests that the victory of an urban liberal Democrat, Barack Obama, wasnt a step toward a more progressive nation, but just a leftward swing of an increasingly wild pendulum, now poised to rocket to the right.
His entry in the race is a signal and a wake-up call, the Rev. Al Sharpton told POLITICO.
Perry, Sharpton said, is looking to go to the O.K. Corral and start shooting . Rather than the left get caught sleeping, we better load up, because he is bringing it.
For Democrats, the pre-Perry GOP primary process was hardly for the faint of heart, as the other candidates have jockeyed to show who dislikes Obama the most. But even as the primary is fought on conservative turf, liberal leaders say they and their constituents see Perry as far worse than your average, hated Republican, and indeed as bad if not worse than his hated predecessor in Austin, George W. Bush. And progressives who might have had a hard time getting worked up about Mitt Romney find themselves struggling for superlatives with which to express their fear of a President Perry.
His work as governor is unparalleled in its frontal assault on women, said Siobhan Bennett, the president of the Womens Campaign Forum, citing statistics on women living in poverty and without health care in Texas, and Perrys active opposition to abortion. He has gone farther out on a limb legislatively in his capacity as governor and has been expressly anti-woman in the legislation he has done.
He is beyond what we expect from conservative Republicans on the gun issue, said Dennis Henigan, the acting president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, who cited Perrys support for gun rights on college campuses and said it was a sharp contrast with Romneys moderate record. Perrys rise, he said, had already become a strong mobilizing force for gun control activists, whose agenda has been largely ignored by the Obama administration.
People are perceiving a very real threat that he could be the Republican nominee, said Henigan, calling the prospect quite frightening.
Barry Lynn, whose Americans United for the Separation of Church and State is on the front lines of keeping religion out of public life, also labeled Perry an extreme figure.
He doesnt just go to religious right gatherings he creates religious right gatherings and thats a big difference, he said, citing The Response, an 30,000-person event Perry led in Houston in early August.
Lynn said last weeks polls showing Perry in the lead among Republicans had startled his groups supporters.
Any time theres a very viable candidate who has taken on the mantle of a crusader for Christ and ignorer of the Constitution, that makes very many people who care about the real Constitution very nervous, he said.
Backers of another longstanding liberal cause, campaign finance reform, see a similar threat from Perry, given his career tapping the bottomless Texas wells of oil money and his current status as beneficiary of not one but several new Super PACs.
It looks like Rick Perrys campaign and its supporters are taking secret corporate spending to a new level, said New York City Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio, who has campaigned against corporate involvement in politics. His actions personify the corporate sponsored campaigns that many of us feared Citizens United would create.
The death penalty, another longstanding liberal target, has figured prominently in Perrys career: He has presided over more executions than any other governor, commuting just one sentence in his three terms years and vetoing a bill that would have banned the execution of the mentally handicapped, something the Supreme Court later outlawed.
Richard Dieter, the executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, said Perrys conduct of the death penalty was in fact typical for a conservative Southern governor, and that the high numbers largely reflected the size of his state and the length of his tenure; the rate of executions has actually declined since the Bush years.
But for death penalty foes, a symbol of Perrys shortcomings on the issue is his rebuff in 2004 of the Innocence Projects petitions on behalf of Cameron Todd Willingham, a man convicted of murdering his family on the basis of scientific evidence arson experts described as unreliable. In 2009, Perry abruptly replaced officials who were investigating the case.
Thats a worrisome series of events about what people are most concerned about when they think about the death penalty and that is innocence, said Dieter.
Perry is certainly to Romneys right on many of these policy issues. Romney, for instance, pushed legislation in Massachusetts that would have reinstated a death penalty only in very limited, carefully vetted circumstances. But Perry isnt necessarily far outside the Republican mainstream in, for instance, his implacable opposition to taxes and abortion, or his support for religion in public life. His stated support for states rights might, in theory, make him less likely to intervene on social issues than some of his GOP rivals.
But Perrys combination of policy, Southern style and an easy, unstudied adherence to contemporary religious and political conservative doctrine has put him beyond the reach even of some Democrats who sometimes cross the aisle. Former New York Mayor Ed Koch, who endorsed George W. Bush in 2004 and has criticized Obamas foreign policy, cited Perrys recent stated skepticism about the theory of evolution.
I cant support anyone who doesnt believe in evolution that to me is too much, said Koch.
And while conservatives enjoy Perrys ability to enrage their liberal foes, some Democratic strategists have also welcomed his emergence.
Whether hes the nominee or not, he absolutely helps fire up our base, said Jennifer Palmieri, the vice president for communications at the liberal Center for American Progress. To the degree to which progressives are disaffected and unenthusiastic this is their holy sh** moment.
Clinton strategist James Carville, however, said Perry remains his second choice.
Actually wed all prefer Michele Bachmann, he said.
Emily Schultheis contributed.
© 2011 POLITICO LLC
Why would these liberals be all upset at Perry ? After all, he was once Al Gore’s Texas Campaign Manager for President and supported the liberal Rudy Giuliani.
If you fail to support, you’re a leftist!
IF you'd rather NOT be pinged FReepmail me.
IF you'd like to be added FReepmail me. Thanks.
You may be on to something, maybe Obama should start shooting coyotes.
It’s OK, Ben and Maggie. Go back to sleep.
I cant support anyone who doesnt believe in evolution that to me is too much, said Koch.”
You’ve gotta be kidding me. Wonders never cease. For the record, a candidate’s view of evolution would never solely determine my vote. Not in a million years. ;) But then again, I’m just one of those narrow-minded right-wing extremists...not an enlightened liberal.
. Well Mr. Koch, Hitler believed in evolution, in fact, he tried to push it from behind. Interesting that this is a high priority for you considering Perry's long standing affection for Israel. And, you voted for the Israel hating Obama. You are very confused man.
Wow, that was fast! ;-)
But they are just pretending all this because they actually want Perry.
Here comes Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday....
Devious little devils, aren’t they! :)
I see our Concerned Trolls are back ( Perry Haters).
They are doing there part to get Barry reelected too but its because are supposedly very worried !
Most of these trolls seem not to worry about
Sorso puppet only the Gop candidates that can beat him.
In fact, they are working every single pro Perry post with tired old astroturf from the left wing websites ! Oddly, this same poster crowd was helping Moonbeam Brown get elected by trashing Meg Whitman non stop but Jerry got a pass.
But they can’t fool a select few here in FR!
“Wow, that was fast! ;-)”
Somebody posted a pic of Helen Thomas?
LOL! Is that “Quickdraw McNasty”?
“Barry Lynn, whose Americans United for the Separation of Church and State is on the front lines of keeping religion out of public life, also labeled Perry an extreme figure. “
Hey Barry, you want to see extreme? Take your “anti-religious” meme and start using it on the Islamic radicals right here in the US. Every time a public foot bath is installed, get on that too. Take it to CAIR and all their sycophants. See how that works out for you.
Or just maybe you really are the phony BS artist we all know you are.
loosely translated the above means the Left thought they could coast to re-election despite 9% unemployment because the base couldn’t give a damn about electing Romney. A Republican candidate that can unite the base and appeal beyond to 5-10% of the swing electorate is a threat and one they haven’t had to face in a few years.
Reason I hit you so fast with the ping list...I refreshed my browser just as the article popped up.
I think Sharpton better rein in his own peeps - starting with the drive-by thugs in the hood
Ben & Maggie did a fine job on Rick’s agenda for the most part, and that agenda of his is selling. Nationally. The feminist’s complaint against Rick hits a wall right out of the chute for all the obvious reasons. Non story on that.
What I thought was interesting is that Perry’s “group” is even a little taken back by his rocket to the top. Not hardly. Perry is panic worthy for the Obama “group”.
Yes, Rudy is an outstanding man.
and a coward
I like Perry and am glad he’s scaring the Dems, but he’s soaking wet on illegal immigration. Who the heck can oppose cheap, harmless use of E-Verify by employers?, to cite just one example.
It's ironic, the people that Perry terrifies the most. All liberals, everywhere, and a thin slice on the furthest right.
Ironic in that he'll be able to capture the vast majority right and the middle, so long as he keeps those first two groups as enemies.
And all these Lefty parasites feeding at the trough of taxpayer funded grants are scared spitless that they will lose that funding. How blessed the country would be without the entire Communist Left!
If one can judge a man by the caliber of his enemies, Rick Perry is looking better every day.
The dwindling Ron Paul contingent is running on fumes.
Giuliani cut the crime rate in NYC, but that doesn’t change the fact he is a social liberal, anti-2A, pro-abortion and favors sanctuary city policies and is pro-illegal. Perry seems to have a habit of endorsing liberals for President.
That’ll never happen...not now later but not by Sharpton...Long Tall Texan and his buds are a comin’ to town...
Why would these liberals be all upset at Perry ? After all, he was once Al Gores Texas Campaign Manager for President and supported the liberal Rudy Giuliani.
Both Perry and Gore were different then. No candidate is going to be perfect on all the issues, but, judging by the enemies he has now, he could be good for us.
I think you’re right, and that’s why voter fraud is becoming my biggest concern. I think we’ve got our candidate, now the challenge is keeping the election honest.
I don’t know...there are a whole lot of FReepers now turned off by them and has pushed them to Perry.
Nice revisionist history there. Gore was VERY left-wing in 1988, I was one of his constituents and remember him well (how his campaign schtick didn’t match his nutty votes). Perry was never a Conservative, just an opportunist (and let us not forget he was a Rove recruit). His endorsement of Rudy in ‘08 was more proof positive of that.
They are some of the same ones who tried to get obami’s basketball buddy elected to the senate in Illinois. Alexi the crooked banker.
they come out trashing the republican and when questioned called everyone a RINO, just like here, and then said they supported some clown no one heard of.
Agreed, and they're coming at him from all sides. That reminds me of something USMC General Chesty Puller is reported to have said...
I bet then we could defund the Dept of Ed with majorities in both Houses.
Interesting that SHARIA (the actual application of religious law in American society) doesn’t trigger the razor-sharp instincts of these Defenders of the Constitution!
In 2008, Rudy was one of the few that could have stopped
Marxist America hater and Soros puppet from getting elected and start to dismantle this country !
He was not a whiny wimp like McNasty was !
I don't care for some of Rudy ideas but he not some awful mess like the crazy 9-11 truth-er and Jew hater named Ron Paul.
The country would have better off if Rudy was the nominee instead of McCain. But you would probably still rather have obami.
Still pimping Mark Kirk, the Socialist buddy of Zero’s ?
That’s cute, it is. Perry’s still a RINO, though.
Eliminating the Dept of Ed and the EPA would be a nice start.
Any time theres a very viable candidate who has taken on the mantle of a crusader for Christ and ignorer of the Constitution, that makes very many people who care about the real Constitution very nervous,
Liberals talking about the “real” constitution as though
they knew what that was make me nervous.
Who were these great masses of Conservative Republicans who were going to turn out for Rudy ? He couldn’t even win a primary. But would he have fought harder that Juan in a general ? Sure. But his personal issues combined with his social positions would’ve sunk him and he might’ve ended up with LESS a % of the vote than McCain. Don’t forget Dubya poisoned the well for the GOP, too.
As for Dr. Demento Paul... well, that doesn’t much require a reply. Wackjob city.
In the case of Calif , these CONCERNED trolls worked to get Brown elected and NOW the Dems controlled everything in CA.
So the Dems proceeded to eliminate the Calif GOP thru redistricting all the GOP seats so now the Dems can not be stop on passing any tax increase or legislation .
Then the Dems removed Calif from the electoral college by mandating a popular vote measure . The same posters are here trashing Perry and never state who they think can defeat the Radical America haters !