Yesterday I posted about the attack Jack Kelly mounted against unionized public school teachers in specific and government unionized employees in general. Today Kelly essentially tells us that the media is out to get Rick Perry, but his real message to his readers is to trust only "true" conservatives (as opposed to "East Coast Republicans" like journalists David Brooks and Peggy Noonan) or perhaps really only Kelly himself. Actually, between that claim of general media opposition and the title of today's column "Kicking Rick", Kelly raises the memory of another Republican, "Dick" Nixon. Kelly's assertions that Perry (and also Sarah Palin) are targets of the media, as well as being mis-charecterized and underestimated evoke nothing so much as Nixon's paranoid line about the east coast intellectual elite.
It might be fair to say that the thing most Americans associate with Rick Perry is his statement (threat) that if Ben Bernanke "printed more money before the election", and that if Bernanke happened to visit Texas "we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas". CNN Money suggests that Perry was talking about quantitative easing, and I suppose I have to agree or Kelly would say I have some sort of anti-Perry agenda. Kelly himself quotes a former Republican Texas communications director Bryan Preston "While what Perry said struck some as over the top, it focused all the GOP primary attention on him and pulled the media into covering him, immediately". Again, in Kelly's new media regime I suppose we are supposed to appreciate all the media attention (because we love Perry so much) but we are also supposed to understand the actually sophisticated economic message in Perry's suggestion that the Fed prints money (what does the Treasury department do again?). This was the same sort of thing conservatives tried to say about Sarah Palin in 2008. Actually, what mattered in the 2008 election was the debates between Obama and McCain, where Obama looked better because McCain looked pretty nuts. Palin was no more than a sideshow that made the Republican party look bad.
Perry obviously does have some popularity with at least a part of the Republican base. But I wonder how independents would look at Perry's some extreme rhetoric if Perry did get the nomination. If Perry uses such extreme language in a debate with Obama, it is possible that we will see a repeat of 2008.
I thought that Kelly's closing shot that Perry has a decisive leadership style compared to Obama "the Last Responder" was particularly in bad taste. First of all Kelly ducks responsibility for the "Last Responder" comment by attributing it to a newspaper. And second, considering the assault Kelly is mounting on unionized government employees, which would include real first responders, maybe Kelly should stay away from lines about any kind of responder.