Rick Perry Will Have to Grow a Backbone

Now, let’s make this clear: When a true Texan says something, he stands by his words even if its costs him his money, his political career, or his life. This is the spirit of Texas, and in this spirit Texas was born. The 300 original families wouldn’t have moved here in those early days if they were afraid of how the crowds would accept them. They knew settling the vast plains didn’t please the Comanches; and later they knew that staying here didn’t please the Mexican government. But they stood, unmoved. “Come and take it” was not an empty slogan. They meant it. And they died for it. Remember the Alamo!

Rick Perry will have to learn this truth. Everything in Texas is big, and words are big too, and Rick Perry has learned to use big words, especially in the book he published only nine moths ago, Fed Up! In it he says some big words, all of which are true. And all of them match the ideology of the Tea Party as well. (One wonders what kept Perry from writing that book long before the Tea Party appeared. Was he waiting for the market to develop?) Social Security, child labor laws, federal control of education, and everything else that is not enumerated in the Constitution as being in the power of Congress to decide, is unconstitutional, declared Perry in that book. Very true.

Then, at the start of his campaign, Perry announced that “We will never be able to please the liberals, so let’s quit trying, just say things the way they are.” Splendid. That’s a true Texan.

Then he said that Bernanke’s handling of the money supply is “traitorous.” We all knew that. We are only waiting for a leader to start acting on it and take Bernanke and his puppet-masters to court.

Then, a week into his campaign, faced by questions from crowds outside of Texas, Perry is now backing off from his original statements. He had to qualify his statement about Bernanke. Then his communications director, Ray Sullivan, declared publicly that Perry’s book, published only nine months ago, “is not meant to reflect the governor’s current views.” Seems like even before his campaign has picked up speed, Perry is now less and less willing to use the big words Texans are so used to. It turns out the crowds outside of Texas need other words to be pleased.

There is a Texan saying, “all hat no cattle.” Perry is “all words no Texas.” If the first hostile crowd out there is able to make him run for cover and deny his own big talk, he better drop out of the race before he turns himself into a laughing-stock. Crowd-pleasers are not a Texan patent, and we’ve never been too good at crowd-pleasing. Leave that to the slicky snails of the East Coast and the Left Coast. If Perry is so sensitive to the demands of the crowds, he is really unqualified to be a President in Washington DC, where the crowds are much different from the crowds in Texas. We better keep him here where he can’t do much damage.

Rick Perry must grow a backbone and stand by his words. If he can’t, there is another Texan in the race who has a backbone of steel, who has never spoken anything else but his beliefs, even when they were unpopular; and has never voted against his beliefs, for 30+ years. If Perry can’t be like him, he better drop out of the race. If you represent Texas, act like a Texan. If you can’t, don’t make us feel embarrassed.