After a few short weeks, John’s prediction that Rick Perry would become the new “conservative boogeyman” in the mind of the left is coming to fruition. Perry’s soaring poll numbers apparently have liberals scrambling into full-out panic mode, and Politico’s Ben Smith and Maggie Haberman report on the chaos:
Perry panic has spread from the conference rooms of Washington, D.C., to the coffee shops of Brooklyn, with the realization that the conservative Texan could conceivably become the 45th president of the United States, a wave of alarm centering around Perry’s drawling, small-town affect and stands on core cultural issues such as women’s rights, gun control, the death penalty, and the separation of church and state.
Speaking of chaos, here’s MSNBC “news anchor” Al Sharpton telling Politico that he’s going to “load up” for some sort of Old-West-style gunfight with Perry. Metaphorically speaking, of course. After all, he’s a professional newsman:
“[Perry’s] entry in the race is a signal and a wake-up call,” the Rev. Al Sharpton told Politico.
Perry, Sharpton said, “is looking to go to the O.K. Corral and start shooting. … Rather than the left get caught sleeping, we better load up, because he is bringing it.”
According to Politico, liberals have various concerns about Perry, including his “frontal assault on women,” his views on gun control, and his campaign’s efforts to “[take] secret corporate spending to a new level.”
The left has also branded him an “ignorer of the Constitution,” based on the fact he’s organized “religious right gatherings.” Because we all know that neither religious rights nor public gatherings have any place in the Constitution:
“He doesn’t just go to religious right gatherings — he creates religious right gatherings, and that’s a big difference,” [Barry Lynn, leader of Americans United for Separation of Church and State] said, citing The Response, a 30,000-person event Perry led in Houston in early August.
Lynn said last week’s polls showing Perry in the lead among Republicans had startled his group’s supporters.
“Any time there’s a very viable candidate who has taken on the mantle of a crusader for Christ and ignorer of the Constitution, that makes very many people who care about the real Constitution very nervous,” he said.
Obama has to be thrilled Perry has managed to rile up the left so effortlessly. Liberals may not be enthusiastic about helping the president get reelected, but as long as they’re fervent about preventing Perry from winning the seat, Obama will have less to worry about.
On the other hand, the argument the Republican Party would be better off choosing a less antagonistic candidate isn’t particularly convincing. It doesn’t matter which candidate the GOP chooses, the left will eventually try to portray him as a far right-winger. Even John McCain was blasted by Democrats as a Christian “extremist” and a “mouthpiece of the far right” back in 2008 – and that was long before he tapped Sarah Palin as his running mate. Attacks against Perry have started earlier, but it would only be a matter of time before a candidate like Romney or Huntsman started getting the same treatment.