THEY WERE ALL IN LOVE WITH DYING, THEY WERE DOING IT IN TEXAS
John Cole reads this fawning, jackboot-craving Rick Perry interview by Mark Halperin and concludes that Perry has a lock on the GOP nomination:
... I guarantee you that Perry will be the nominee. He's the right kind of ignorant, bigoted, religious nut that will attract the religious fanatics, he’s a gun loving cheerleader who speaks the secessionist code and the teabaggers will love him, he'll talk constantly about deregulation and lower taxes and the money will be on board, and as you can see from this syrupy sweet interview with Halperin ... the only decision for the media bobbleheads is whether they will spit or swallow....
So brace yourself for a year's worth of stenographers wistfully discussing Perry's tan, accent, or whatever it is they will choose to fall all over themselves with this time.
Hmmm ... maybe. I don't think Halperin is really the bellwether he'd like to be -- he hasn't been very influential these past few years, and he's also capable of missing the mark when he's kissing up to the right. (Back when he was asking Hugh Hewitt to meet his interns from Bob Jones University, he was apparently oblivious to the fact that the cool intern source for wingnuts, starting with those in the White House, was Patrick Henry College, not Bob Jones.)
Remember, it was only a few months ago that the Beltway groupthinkers were all asking themselves whether Haley Barbour was too Southern to run successfully against Obama. I'm absolutely not ruling out a hypocritical 180 by these clowns, but I'll see Barbour's praise for the White Citizens Councils and raise you Rick Perry's long-standing ties to neo-Confederates (and I mean real neo-Confederates, not just people who want to secede because the damn gummint's too big).
On the other hand, those neo-Confederate ties aren't getting much play, nor (as Rachel Maddow keeps reminding us) are Perry's ties to Dominionists and other extreme religious rightists. So, yeah, the Villagers may just decide to ignore everything that doesn't fit a Perry-crossover narrative. (By the way, if you want to read the article on Perry and the New Apostolic Reformation movement that was cited on last night's Maddow show, it's here.)
On the other hand, these days, all the Kewl Kidz at the groupthink table are looking for some Friedmanesque rational person who can just get everyone to see reason (and, presumably, rubber-stamp Simpson-Bowles or some other "grand bargain," and solve all our other problems magically the same way). Perry's not even going to pretend to be that guy. Romney, however, will absolutely try to be that guy -- I don't know if he can survive the primaries, but the fact that he's still at or near the top in the GOP polls tells me that he just might, and if he does, he's the kind of guy the Beltway media can crown as our new centrist savior (no matter how many far-right positions he adopts). He could thread the needle; my guess is that Perry can't, or won't.
So I'm not ready to crown Perry yet.