Skip to comments.FIRST-PERSON: Rick Perry is no George W. Bush
Posted on 09/20/2011 11:11:46 AM PDT by smoothsailing
FIRST-PERSON: Rick Perry is no George W. Bush
As a sixth-generation Texan of similar age and life experiences, perhaps I can explain some differences between the two. Of course, it will be up to voters to decide whether these differences make a difference.
THE SAME, ONLY DIFFERENT
Bush moved to Texas as a toddler and eagerly embraced the Texas ethos. Texans love people who move to the state and embrace its "Don't Mess With Texas" creed. They smile when they see bumper stickers proclaiming, "I wasn't born here, but I got here as fast as I could."
Perry, however, is the son of tenant farmers from the West Texas hamlet of Paint Creek, outside Abilene. Texas is his DNA. Perry has often said that while they did not have much financially, his family was rich in the things that mattered. He attended Texas A&M when it was permeated by an all-male, all-military culture, which Perry embraced, becoming a "yell leader" (A&M's version of a cheerleader on steroids).
Bush, by contrast, was raised by wealthy New Englanders, summered in Maine and attended Yale and Harvard. In this case, parentage made more than just a stark economic difference.
In many ways, I have lived between George W.'s and Rick Perry's worlds. Like Perry, I was raised in modest circumstances. Like Bush, I went to an Ivy League school (Princeton). Like Perry, I had a Texan father, and like Bush, a New England mother. My father imparted to me the sheer sense of "anything is possible" that is the Texas heritage, but my Bostonian mother reminded me that biggest is not always best and loudest is not always wisest -- Texas with perspective, a rare gift. All three of us had fathers who were World War II combat veterans. Their dads were pilots, my dad a Navy chief. We are all proud of our fathers' patriotic service.
In 2010, Newsweek featured Perry with a revelatory cover photo. Perry's boots were adorned with what Texans call "the first Texas flag." What that flag says about Texans of the Bush-Perry era is instructive. In 1835, Mexico demanded that rebellious Texas settlers return a cannon it had lent them to ward off hostile Indians. The Texans responded by drawing a replica of the cannon on a bed sheet and writing under it, "COME AND TAKE IT." Mexico did not get the cannon back. That Texas folklore was a significant part of every young Texan's upbringing. That Perry would put that flag on his boots tells us more about him than anything in Newsweek. This "Don't Mess with Texas" mindset is embraced by both men, but Perry, the Aggie, had neither Bush's parents nor Yale or Harvard to tone it down.
It is clear to those who know former President George W. Bush that he has great respect and affection for the average man and tremendous appreciation for those who have risen through the meritocracy from humble beginnings. However, as one of those "up from the ranks" individuals, I don't believe George W. Bush or any such son of privilege can as fully identify with the average family that lives from paycheck to paycheck as Perry can. Bush loves and appreciates them, Perry is them.
Their different backgrounds make them different men. Perry is less subtle. While both are men of genuine faith, Perry (life-long evangelical) is going to be more overtly Christian in his faith statements than the former president, who became a Methodist but was raised by New England Episcopalians. Perry is more conservative than Bush. He would be the most conservative president since Calvin Coolidge both fiscally and in foreign policy. He would be less interventionist in the latter and far more frugal than "compassionate" in the former. Perry also has a well-deserved reputation in Texas as being a less-forgiving political opponent than Bush. If you cross Perry, he will get even.
It would be a mistake to underestimate the appeal of this candidate's conservative populism. Perry has never lost an election and while he would be offended if you called him an intellectual, Perry is far more shrewd than people assume. His brain trust in his past election, where he defeated the George H.W. Bush-backed establishment candidate, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, included a group of Ivy League brainiacs on the cutting edge of campaign and election research.
The USA is not Texas, but large chunks are similar. Perry's appeal increases the farther you go from either the east or left coast. Large numbers of Americans are moving to Texas. Enough people moved in the past decade to give the state four new congressional seats. The question for Rick Perry and GOP primary voters: Does America want to be more like his pro-business, pro-growth Texas? If the answer is "yes," Perry is the "down to his bone marrow" Texan who is eager to lead them in that direction. However, George W. Bush he isn't.
If Perry is the Republican nominee, what presidential debates those will be. The contrast could not be more stark. In one corner the whippet-thin, fastidious, ultra-urbane, somehow detached Siamese cat that is President Obama. Across from him the muscular, Marlboro man, Rottweiler that is Gov. Perry. Wow! The debate moderators will need striped shirts, whistles and yellow flags to throw during those debates.
Richard Land is president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Commission. A version of this column first appeared in USA Today.
ping-this should be fun!
Although I think Perry is about as good a candidate as we have, Land is an uber-weasel and part of the problem at the SBC.
I hope it’s true.
We don’t need any more Bushes, thank you very much.
I suppose by now it's a lost cause.
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If true, on all counts, sign me up.
wow... seriously it’s like reading an article I wrote about Perry vs Bush a few weeks ago here......
I’m not all that familiar with Land, although I thought he was considered a leader of the evangelicals.
This is all fine and good about the personal life and personal characteristics of Mr. Perry.
It provides no informed view of Perry’s own operating principles of government, our governments, no informed view of Perry policies or decisions as governor, and no informed view of potential Perry policies as POTUS.
It’s a nice puff piece but not much else.
Wow indeed! This was written or at least posted to the Baptist Press website on Sept. 14th. Maybe he got some ideas from you! :-)
Absolutely great article. He tells it like it is about Perry...helps non Texans to better understand Perry.
I’m not for or against Perry at this time. However, the climate has changed since George Bush, compliments of the Tea Party, and Perry will have real conservatives in his corner, whereas Bush was bogged down with RINOS.
“Perry also has a well-deserved reputation in Texas as being a less-forgiving political opponent than Bush. If you cross Perry, he will get even.”
The more I learn about Perry, the MORE I like him!
He’s great. He’s AMERICA!!!!!!
Perry in 2012!!!!!
I am not a George Bush fan, but one thing I will give him is that he is not corrupt, Perry, on the other hand ....
Great! Now. What was it he said? Oh yeah...”We must say to every Texas child learning in a Texas classroom, ‘we don’t care where you come from, but where you are going, and we are going to do everything we can to help you get there.’” he said. “And that vision must include the children of undocumented workers.
My only problem with Perry is, he is Mr. Dream Act.
Elect Rick Perry as your President because he’s not a fake Texan like George W. Bush??
The Perry cheerleaders are slipping into their Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders’ outfits now, even the 50 year old guys with beer guts.
Cheer #1: Open Borders, Open Borders Rah! Rah! Rah!
Cheer #2: Pay to Play, Pay to Play, Pay to Play ....
Where is that article? I missed it.
You know what they said about W? Time and again they intoned, “W is NOTHING like his father..!! He’s a REAL conservative..!”
They said it a million times.
Here? They say, “Perry would be NOTHING like Dubya..!”
Sorry, I just can’t risk it. It all sounds like a repeat.
The Texas one is diffrent than the federal one.
With that said, he is a squish on that issue.
But why am I defending him; I prefer Thad McCotter or Sarah Palin.
Pure Class Warfare BS....this kind of tripe makes you happy?
I know this because I'm married to one of those ignorant voters (although I keep working on her).
You’ll get neither...the race is Mittens OR Perry...
This is an interesting article...
I don’t know who the writer is, but he touches on some good points, including the genuine concern vs. the knee-jerk reaction that those of us on the right are familiar with.
Prove that statement.
Well the Perrydactyls will probably make me give Mittens another look....
Excellent, excellent article.
Yes, Perry will get even if crossed, as the column says.
Another character trait: if he’s wrong (and he often is), he will not back down.
Sounds like you are for Obamacare...Mitten’s will NEVER repeal it...in fact, Mittens think it’s just fine for the government to tell us we have to buy health insurance. He also did an EO legalizing Gay Marriage in Mass...
” Perry is more conservative than Bush. He would be the most conservative president since Calvin Coolidge both fiscally and in foreign policy.”
That’s a load of crap. The author is fooling nobody.
oh oh, another one hit the dust! :o)
The first Bush did extreme damage to our country by getting us into Agenda 21 and giving more power to federal (international) corruption of US education. W’s No Child Left Behind was an extremely unconstitutional and dangerous funding of more federal control over the minds and worldview of our children.
We need to get government out of education and burn all the text books and get rid of the BF Skinner behaviorism inserted into all curricula (BK Eakman). Seriously—I am not kidding.
The generations we are raising are not ACORN thugs by accident...it is by design. Education and immigration are the most serious threats to our freedoms—besides the intentional destruction of morality in our military which reduces our military to the Russian/atheist one or the homosexual/Brownshirt occult worshipping one. We have to teach that our Natural Rights come from God, not Barney Frank.
We need to get back to the fundamental meaning and philosophy of America and quit adopting absurd Marxists and Frank ideologies that destroy every thing that is good and healthy in civil societies.
History proves their ideologies are not only lies which deny Natural Law Theory (foundation of our government), it proves that civil society and morality ends with their adoption.
Guys, guys. You don’t get to that level unless you follow the agenda.
You forget or change you mind, you pushing up daisies.
You follow the script, you can survive any scandal.
It ain’t hard to see.
Is Perry more conservative than Romney?
I think so.
Is he more salable as a candidate?
I think so.
Is he far ahead of the other cosnervatives like Bachmann and Cain?
I think so.
So what’s the problem??
The crony capitalism thing - yeah, that makes me uncomfortable and I want more information.
Let’s cut to the chase. The nominee will either be Perry, Romney or Palin (if she gets in).
On straight conservative policy issues, I rate Palin first, Perry a close second, Romney well back in third.
Please answer this question:
IF Palin gets in the race, will she split the conservatives and give the nomination to Romney? (I think so.)
I’m going with Perry despite my large disagreement with him over illegal immigration. In my sane moments I understand that the illegal immigration argument was lost years ago. Sarah can only play spoiler at this point.
Romney is not what we need. Perry is much closer to what we need. Sarah is slighter preferable to Perry on policy, but lacks his executive experience and has problematic unfavorable ratings, even within the Republican party.
Logic says Perry for the win.
Educate yourself. The Texas Dream Act was passed in Perry's first year as governor. It was not legislation that he introduced, and it passed by overwhelming majorities the the Texas Legislature TWICE. Now, Perry agrees with the Texas Dream Act, but he was not the author of it. You seem to be trying to imply that Perry supports the Dream Act in Congress, which is very different from the Texas Dream Act. He doesn't - he has voiced his opposition to amnesty and to the national Dream Act that has been proposed. So calling him "Mr. Dream Act" in that context is misleading at best, dishonest at worst.
Oh yes.....that script has been written for over a hundred years. The agenda since the French Revolution (reading Leftism: from de Sade and Marx, to Hitler to Pol Pot.)
There has always been an agenda with this perverted, powerful leftist movement with various names but same agenda.
Can I “hope” for someone like a Bonhoeffer to lead and to take a 180 turn before we hit rock bottom and lose all our freedom????
...or will they just end up dead, too?
Being a Christian...I do not put my hope in man completely, but every hundred years or so some brilliant mind/saint appears. I don’t suppose Perry is that guy though.
—whippet-thin, fastidious, ultra-urbane, somehow detached Siamese cat that is President Obama. —
OK, THAT was fun to read. 8-D
Read “Family of Secrets, by Russ Baker” regarding the Bush family Dynasty. Very interesting! The only reason I voted for Bush was because of the alternatives, not because I liked him. He wore his religion on his sleeve, but did not honor his oath of office to protect America from enemies both foreign and domestic by ignoring the illegals rushing over our borders! This has been very damaging, and in part is responsible for where we find ourselves today. I doubt whether Perry would honor his oath of office either.
Sorry, that statement has already been disproven.
—This is all fine and good about the personal life and personal characteristics of Mr. Perry.—
Is that not the topic of the article?
—It provides no informed view of Perrys own operating principles of government, —
That is the subject for another article.
I don't think she'd be much of a factor since her negatives are so high, but I could be wrong. At best she'd be another Bachmann, a shooting star. Perry is our best bet.
Class warfare? Hardly.
The problem is that it is far too early to be sold on any one candidate, though I have been leaning toward Bachmann, Santorum and Cain. I need to know much the bad part as well as the good part of any candidate before I make a decision. So Perry has star quality. I am not looking for star quality in a president. I am looking for who truly loves America, cherishes it’s sovereignty, and will do everything possible to turn this ship of state back into safe waters again.