Skip to comments.Rick Perry, the Democratic years: the politician before he became a conservative Republican
Posted on 07/30/2011 1:04:11 PM PDT by freespirited
Gov. Rick Perry, a no-apologies conservative known for slashing government spending and opposing all tax increases, is about as Republican as you can get.
But that wasnt always the case.
Perry spent his first six years in politics as a Democrat, in a somewhat forgotten history that is sure to be revived and scrutinized by Republican opponents if he decides to run for president.
A raging liberal he was not. Elected to represent a slice of rural West Texas in the state House of Representatives in 1984, Perry, a young rancher and cotton farmer, gained an early reputation as a fiscal conservative. He was one of a handful of freshman pit bulls, so named because they sat in the lower pit of the House Appropriations Committee, where they fought to keep spending low.
But Perry cast some votes and took a few stands that seem to be at odds with the fiscal conservatism he champions today. The most vivid example is Perrys support of the $5.7 billion tax hike in 1987, signed by Republican Gov. Bill Clements but opposed by most of the GOP members...
Almost a quarter century later, Perry, as governor, was faced with a similarly sized budget shortfall. But he took a markedly different tack in 2011: He opposed any new taxes, and signed a budget that made the first reduction in overall spending on public education since at least 1949.
(Excerpt) Read more at blog.chron.com ...
Perry spent his first six years in politics as a Democrat... A raging liberal he was not. Elected to represent a slice of rural West Texas in the state House of Representatives in 1984, Perry, a young rancher and cotton farmer, gained an early reputation as a fiscal conservative.
Bill Clinton cured me of it.
Now I'm a raging uber-conservative Tea Party political animal.
Sometimes it takes a moment, whether from outside forces or internal meditation, to make you realign your priorities and find your center. I found mine; I can trust that Perry found his.
“Another political move Perry made back then: He was a top Texas supporter and organizer in 1988 for Al Gore, who ran as a southern conservative rather than the populist reformer he eventually became as the 2000 Democratic presidential nominee.
I came to my senses, Perry likes to say when asked about his Gore days.”
I guess this is the killer for me (as if I need another one). The Democrats had just tried to (and nearly did) IMPEACH Reagan for Iran-Contra, which was based on a SICK law that prohibited the president from aiding countries that tried to fight off Communism.
How Perry could stay part of that party, and then openly campaign for them to take the White House is absolutely MIND BOGGLING. I do remember those days, and I do admit that Gore was moderate in the Senate (his last days of being that way, by the way...) but my God, his party’s HATRED of Reagan at that time even exceeds ANYTHING you hear in politics today.
Yes, I know that Gramm and Reagan were Democrats, but both got out long before this crap happened. Perry seemed to be a VERY SLOW learner of what was going on in Washington. As I mentioned before, if he had been successful with Gore we’d be 20 years further down the road to Socialism right now.
I can see Reagan being a Democrat in the 1930s and 1940s, before he started campaigning for Republicans in the 1950s, after all that was before the 60s and Vietnam and Abortion and Gay Rights, and Feminism and Jimmy Carter, The Reagan Revolution, Etc.
It does puzzle me being AGAINST The Reagan Revolution, supporting Carter in 1980, supporting Mondale in 1984, supporting Al Gore in 1988, and enlisting and becoming leadership in the left DURING the Reagan Presidency and the ending of the Cold War.
How does the 1980s and President Reagan, turn a natural born conservative, INTO a Democrat politician and Democrat opposition leader?
Typical, you are born a liberal and die a conservative...as aging makes you wiser (most of us, anyway).
I don't think Reagan turned him into anything. There was a long line of more or less conservative Southern Democrats and Perry seems to have been bringing up the rear.
Charlie Wilson (of the Tom Hanks movie fame) was another. They certainly weren't against Reagan's Cold War policies. They were just yellow dog Democrats following a 100-year tradition.
Having a father who took him to Sam Rayburn's funeral probably did something to keep Perry in that tradition. He's not my candidate for anything, but I doubt he was acting out of a strong negative reaction to Reagan.
You know nothing about Texas politics. In the 1980’s, Republicans were rare in Texas. A lot of the Democrats were pretty conservative. So it is not unusual that a conservative from west Texas would be a Dem. And can you substantiate your claim that Perry was in the “leadership of the left”? I didn’t think so.
Even during the Vietnam War, the Draft, everything that you know about the 60s, 52% of the 18 to 29 year old vote went for Richard Nixon.
In the heart of the Reagan Revolution in the same year that Rick Perry decided to run as a Democrat candidate for Congress, 1984, 59% of the 18 to 29 year old vote went Republican.
The old saying that I didn't leave the party, the party left me, still stands today. The majority of Conservatives, like me, were Democrats at one point in our young lives.
Some of us just grew up and smelled the bullsh*t. Onward, Christian soldiers! Proud to be a Conservative every damn day of my life! And you are correct about most Democrats being conservative!
I voted for Dukakis in '88. My fisrt Pres. election vote cast was for this loser.
I have since changed my ways.
I am a born and raised Texan, my stepfather held elective office in Texas.
In 1980 Reagan carried Texas by 55%, in 1984 when Perry was enlisting to become a Democrat leader, the Republicans carried Texas by 64%, in 1988 Reagan's veep carried Texas by 56%.
Were you voting Democrat in those years, working for Democrat Presidential candidates in those years? I wasn't.
Perry is NOT to be trusted.
Step carefully when heaping accolades and praise upon him.
He talks big bluster about border security and then lets the Texas special legislative session end without passing
“sanctuary city” legislation.
He could have told big Republican donors like Charles Butts of (HEB food stores)..... adios mofo!! But instead he caved.
More like - The Democratic years - Before he became a RINO.
Perry didn't, The Reagan years is when he chose to become a Captain for the Democrats, a 1984 Congressional Democrat candidate, and Al Gores's campaign manager against Reagan's veep in 1988.
To understand this, you need to freshen up history of the South prior to president Lyndon B. Johnson (D). The South had been markedly, almost religiously, Democrat since Reconstruction, that is, since the end of the US Civil War.
This was a very different Democrat party than cripples the country today. The southern Democrats were liberal in some ways, conservative is some ways, and many of them were deeply offensive in some ways such as racism. But they were *not* radical leftists, of the type that could be found in the northeast of the US.
In two successive elections, in 1968 and 1972, the northeastern liberals first crippled the southern Democrats, and then pushed them entirely out of the power structure of the Democrat party.
The northeastern liberals thought they had done so with the election of JFK, but with his death, LBJ, a Texan, became president, and being a southerner stole the radical leftist ascendancy and returned it to the South. So they spent most of his term trying to undermine him, to the point where he refused to run for reelection.
The first coup attempt was then in 1968, where the radical left put forth Hubert Humphrey, who was a northerner, if not from the northeast, and philosophically supportive of the radicals agenda. That was so offensive to southerners that they split the party, and ran George Wallace as their candidate.
This threw the election to Republican Richard Nixon. But from that point, the radicals decided to purge the South from the Democratic leadership ranks. Importantly, it should be remembered that even stripped of power, the southern Democrat leaders remained Democrats.
The Dixiecrat leaders who split from the party remained with the party, with one, and only one, prominent defection: Strom Thurmond, who became a Republican. And the Dixiecrat leaders, proud defenders of segregation, remained Democrats to their dying day.
Finally, in the 1972 presidential election, the coup was completed, the northern radicals completely controlled the Democrat party, and have since shunned southern Democrats and their ideas.
With all that as background, the fractured southern Democrat rank and file no longer had a political party, and finding conservatism much more appealing than radical leftism, they have migrated to a new home in the Republican party.
Importantly, the most vile parts of the southern Democrats could never abide conservatism, so have remained behind as Democrats, concealing their true feelings and thoughts under a veneer of radicalism.
To be fair, the Al Gore of 1988 didn't look much to his fellow Southern congressmen like the Al Gore of later years. If they were wrong, it was a common perception.
And a lot of Reaganites weren't crazy about the prospect of George H.W. Bush in the White House. I'm not sure they were entirely wrong.
I'm not exactly disagreeing with you, just saying that it's possible to overstate the case against Perry.
If you were alive, fully grown, politically oriented, and remember the 1980s, there was no way not to have a strong reaction to Reagan, you reacted either strongly positive, or strongly negative, Perry became an active Democrat leader and campaigner for Al Gore.
Sam Rayburn died in 1961, it didn't influence anyone during the Reagan Revolution.
No one can soft pedal Al Gore and remain credible, and Reagan's veep got 53% of the national vote, and 56% of the Texas vote in that election, we didn't win Perry's vote, he preferred Democrats.
For Southern Democrats in those days, it was a team phenomenon. They may not entirely have disliked Reagan’s policies. They just wanted someone from their own team in the White House. If it all sounds crazy or strange now, it’s the way things were for years. Living as we do in a much more polarized age it’s hard to understand how things were in the Carter era. And given that some people in the 1970s were still voting on things that happened in 1861, voting on the basis of what happened in 1961 doesn’t look so strange.
I don’t care if Perry was a nun. He proposed the trans Texas corridor in 02, attended Bilderberg in 07. We don’t need another stealth puppet in the White House. Didn’t we get enough CFR globalism from Texas with the Bush family?
You give Perry more power than deserved.
You are trying to lecture a Texan on Texas politics, 64% of Texas voted Republican in 1984, Sam Rayburn dying in 1961 had nothing to do with anything, Perry did not fight Reagan's party throughout the Reagan Revolution as some sort of monument to a guy that died when Perry was 11 years old.
Didn’t you support Perry in the Governor race against Kay Bailey Hutchinson? I did, and Palin did also.
Sarah also says nice things about McCain and is dead wrong.
Yet Rick Perry thought Al Gore, punk son of a rich elitist Demonrat, who frittered away his time at Harvard smoking dope, then flunked out of divinity and law school, was a better Presidential choice than Reagan's choice for VP, George H.W. Bush, WW 2 hero and former CIA Chief.
Usually the most despicable sinners make the most devout Christians. When one asks Jesus and Lord into their hearts, a incredible transformation takes place. Perry and his family have been members of Tarrytown United Methodist Church since the 1990s. This church is not the typical United Methodist church. It is largely in the non-denominational, evangelical style of mega-church with power point sermons, rock band song ministry, and large screen TVs. It is the same church that President Bush attended. It has changed the lives of the thousands that have attended. I am sure the Lord forgave Rick Perry for being a DemonRAT.
As someone who went back into military service because of Reagan, I shudder to think how our Cold War efforts and momentum might have been derailed by President Al Gore in 1988, what violence and chaos and perhaps even recovery may have come from his being at the helm during what became the closing years of the USSR and the collapsing of the Empire.
As a recovering former Methodist, I regard that denomination as pretty much a joke today. The fact that W. Bush was a member just confirms that belief.
My story is similar. Was a braindead liberal in my youth. Ronald Reagan helped me see the light.
I think with McCain it’s different, it’s her way of thanking him for elevating the nations awareness of her.
She owes Perry no such gratitude, so her support for him is far more genuine, IMO.
The elderly man took my father to hear RR in a nearby town...and the rest is history. Even then they didn't advertise they voted R because my dad was in business...and it wouldn't have been good.
Dems can be nasty mean.
The county I live in has never had a county wide elected Republican. Since Ann Richards the GOP candidates for governor and POTUS have carried our county but Dems win Co. offices..and they vote Repub for state and fed offices.
Wouldn't surprise me to learn some are Tea Party members.
Not a real bad stream-of-conciousness interpretation of history, but you really need to re-think this line “So they spent most of his term trying to undermine him (LBJ), to the point where he refused to run for reelection.”
LBJ was so unpopular because of his war, he knew he could not win his own primary - exactly as Truman was primaried out 16 years before because of his own war in Korea.
I would say that such immunizations today are just as important as immunizations against Polio were in the 1950s. They took out out of class and lined us up in the cafeteria for Polio shots. I saw people lined up in the halls of the hospital living in Iron Lungs. Even though the HPV is not necessary if everyone had sex only with the partner they married, would you trust your life to a spouse who lied about their sexual history? If I were a woman, getting three shots for a lifetime of protection is worth it given the lying men who would say anything for that “test drive” before that trip to the altar.
It is many times that religious beliefs have interfered with medial/scientific applications. In the case of abortion, Christian beliefs that end such a practice is a good thing. But not all medical practices are bad. You would not have prevented others from living in a Iron Lung because of religious beliefs against the Polio vaccine even if it was found out that Polio was transmitted by sex.
I wrote that Tarrytown United Methodist Church “is largely in the non-denominational, evangelical style of mega-church with power point sermons, rock band song ministry, and large screen TVs.” This is not the typical United Methodist Church. I imagine it is the type of church that you found after you became a “a recovering former Methodist.” It was in the 1990s that Perry too became “a recovering former Methodist” when he joined this church. I believe it transformed the lives of President George W. Bush as it transformed the Rick Perry family. Where President Bush gave up his life of alcohol addiction, Rick Perry became a conservative. God is good.
Rick Perry became “Al Gores’s campaign manager against Reagan’s veep in 1988.” Question: What transformed Rick Perry in the 1990s?
The last time I was in a United Methodist Church, the young female (which is un-Biblical to start with) minister preached that we should vote for politicians who gave govt. aid to "the poor." That's a complete perversion of the Christian doctrine of charity. The Wesleys would be appalled at what has become of Methodism, just as the Founding Fathers would be at what has become of their Republic.
W. Bush was correctly identified by Jeffrey Hart as a "Christian socialist," not a conservative. The Gardasil fiasco (along with other facts) suggests that Perry is not a conservative either. Gardasil was a totalitarian nanny-state measure.
They very actively tried to undermine LBJ. The Kennedy faction demanded from him that he keep JFKs entire cabinet, and thus agenda.
“The Great Society” were not LBJs ideas, though he was tasked with “arm twisting” them through congress, mostly against his fellow southerners, who remained in congress despite being stripped of power in the party apparatus.
Most of the war effort was handled by “Robert McNamara’s band”, who worked with direct management of the war by congressmen and senators. McNamara’s philosophy was that the war could be run like a business.
As you look at the timetable of the changeover from the old school to radical leadership, you can see almost to the day when the radicals turned, as a group, against the war. Generally solely for political reasons. Oddly enough, though Humphrey was too left wing for the southerners, he was far too right wing for the radicals, who only found their candidate in 1972 with George McGovern.
So though the southerners split right, first, the radicals were itching to drag the party left.
It all goes to who went against the war, and when.
>>Didnt we get enough CFR globalism from Texas with the Bush family?<<
You said it.
Sure the Kennedys wanted back in bad enough to undermine him, nobody would argue that but your take on LBJ and his presidency and who he was is your own fantasy. You have LBJ so wrong it’s crazy, and pretty much the rest of it is off base too.
>>Perry spent his first six years in politics as a Democrat,<<
>>Perry, a young rancher and cotton farmer, gained an early reputation as a fiscal conservative.<<
Which labels the man as an opportunist, a man who doesn’t have the courage to stand by his own principles, a man who is for sale to the highest bidder, a man I wouldn’t invite to dinner at my table.
A generation ago party identity was not formed at a national level. In the South almost everyone was democrat. Where I live now, if you want to win local office you have to run as a democrat (until this past election!). That is changing now, but back in the day Southern Democrats were generally conservative.
As I said, you betcha. What is interesting about the words spoken by Sarah is the following segment...
This was said just this year by Sarah outside of Baltimore during her recent bus tour. She wasn't saying these words in the context of the long decided Governor's race. She was referring specifically to the Republican Presidential primary.
Below is a link to the source of Sarah's words, it's a very enlightening read. Enjoy!
You are indeed correct....the county I live in Texas (Fannin) the home of Mr. Sam....Sam Rayburn, the longest serving speaker of the house in our country....was the bastion of Democrats...now known as “Dumbcrats”....because the elections of 2010...not a person at the county level running as a Democrat won....zero...none...zada.... This has happened across the south as the crazies have taken over the Democrat party....
My parents were democrats for years.. until the democratic party went to far to the left. Now they vote republican. I think obama has turn alot of democrats into republicans.
There is no rebuttal.