Although Texas Governor Rick Perry has only been officially running for President for less than a month, one cannot deny the impact he has made on the crowded field. He is considered the front-runner by many major news sources. According to a poll released by Rasmussen Reports yesterday, he is the leading candidate in Iowa. Some Perry supporters are declaring his victory a near certainty at this point. But is such thinking premature? And, just as important, how well do we really know Rick Perry?
First of all, do I need to remind you that not a single vote has been cast in any primary or caucus anywhere in the United States? Polls are a useful tool, yes, but they are not nor should they be the determining factor as to who will win. After all, who was the supposed GOP front-runner four years ago today? Rudi Giuliani. At that time, John McCain’s campaign was in disarray. Few thought that McCain would ever be able to wrest victory from him, but we all know what happened there.
Second, is Rick Perry the type of conservative candidate that we want and need? After all, he started his political career as a Democrat. Now given the transition in southern politics during this time, one can make the case that he switched political parties as the parties themselves realigned. But far more troubling is Perry’s support of a $5.7 billion tax increase. Adjusted for inflation, it has been called the biggest tax increase in Texas history. The news doesn’t get any better. What about Perry’s enthusiastic and active support for Al Gore during the 1988 Presidential contest? Would many of us mistake Al Gore as the best choice?
Although there are admittedly good aspects of Rick Perry, one does have to wonder if he is the best standard bearer for either the conservative movement or the Republican Party given his political past. If you truly support the Constitution and the ideals of limited government, shouldn’t you stand behind a candidate who has steadfastly done likewise? Fortunately, we have such a choice. Yes, he is a Texan, but his name is not Rick Perry. It is Ron Paul.
Recently, the Ron Paul campaign released a video comparing these two Texans. Watch and enjoy!
This past week or so, my inbox box has been abuzz with emails from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The interesting thing is that the Democrats have been consistently writing that they will maintain their majority after the November election. As Pelosi writes, “We will retain our Democratic Majority in the House because I have you in this fight”. Now obviously she doesn’t have my backing, and I would expect the Democrats to suffer a strong backlash in these midterm elections in protest of Obamacare, a continually faltering and protracted conflict far beyond our borders, and the general weakness of the economy and the job market.
The historical trend is that the party in the White House will lose seats in both houses of Congress in midterm elections. For example, when did the Democrats most recently gain control of Congress? 2006, during the middle of Bush’s second term. After a forty-year drought, Republicans took control of the House of Representatives during Clinton’s first mid term in 1994. Although there are exceptions, there have only been three times in the last one hundred years that have bucked this trend. In the current cycle, according to Rasmussen Reports, Republicans have enjoyed a small, but uninterrupted, advantage on a generic ballot since June 28 of last year. In addition, they report that the number of folks who identify themselves as Democrats have fallen to record lows.
Republicans will make gains in next months election, of that I am certain. However, I am not unwilling to make the claim that this upcoming election will be a “slam dunk” for the Republican Party, nor do I think it necessarily should be. Voters are in general fed up with politics and usual and until and unless one party (the Republicans) is consistently willing to stand for the Constitution and a limited government, the government will continually vacillate between the two parties, casting each aside in turn as they hope for something better. We must reject politicians like Pelosi who claim first priority over our income, our general welfare, and even our children. I don’t know who will be speaker after the November election, but given her very low popularity, 59% negative according to a yesterday’s Rasmussen Reports, I would expect that both Nancy’s reign and her letters are soon coming to an end.