Bill Murchison

The way liberals reacted to Gov. Rick Perry's announcement of his presidential candidacy suggests many think Santa Anna didn't do half enough damage as he should of at the Alamo. Why he didn't burn down the whole &$!&$!& country, is the question seemingly on many minds.

For instance, check out The New York Times website for reader comments on Perry: "Texas yahoo," "alpha male Texas quarterback type," "more whackos from Texas," "the Texas twang and the Texas swagger," "tiresome and stupid in a big Texas way."

Mah felluh Texicans, them there fellas don't like us. And, because of us, certainly don't like our elected governor. Is that a problem for him as he seeks the White House? The answer comes in two parts.

Part 1: The liberal venom and virulence hurled at Perry -- who hasn't even copped the GOP nomination yet, far less the victory in November 2012 -- suggests something far short of rational analysis. It suggests stark terror, a freezing of the blood. The Republicans, as liberals see it, might win this one. Out would go ObamaCare. The rich would grind the faces of the poor. There would be prayer in public places and American soldiers all over the world.

Perry's cheerful in-your-face-ness when he confronts the liberal power structure rattles their teeth. The principles he seems to take for granted -- American exceptionalism, the virtues of capitalism, the vices of regulation, the centrality of religion in human affairs -- are the reverse of modern liberal ideals. A man in the White House who was dedicated to those principles might...well, there wouldn't be much telling, would there?

And so fear, I take it, then seizes liberal hearts, and the liberal rhetoric grows in violence and intensity. Conservatives, it is true, commit rhetorical excesses of their own, as in calling Obama alien or anti-American. But the attacks on Perry -- wow! You'd think he meant to blow-up the White House within minutes of taking the oath of allegiance. Which brings me to...

Part 2: The slipperiness of Perry's mission: whipping up enthusiasm among Republicans without giving the Democrats ammunition to be stored for use in 2012. He gets a little broad sometimes when committing a funny -- "secession" for disaffected states or, this week, an "ugly" treatment for federal officials who print money and debase the currency.

Bill Murchison

Bill Murchison is the former senior columns writer for The Dallas Morning News and author of There's More to Life Than Politics.
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