Those are some interesting reactions from liberals, who should be given credit for intellectual honesty, and fighting back their natural urge to see Rick Perry go down. It’s not just that they worry about him as a presidential contender in 2016. Personally, I think he’s much improved this time at bat, partially because he’s not dealing with the health problems that distracted him last time, and partly because he seems to have learned much from 2012… but I haven’t forgotten how 2012 went, either. I’ll be happy to have my socks knocked off, if the Governor reaches that level.
The other reason liberals want to take Perry down a notch is because it bugs the hell out of them that Texas has been the major bright spot in Obama’s dismal economy. At a number of points over the last six years, Texas was the only thing staving off an Obama recession. They also think immigration gives them a real shot at “turning Texas blue,” at which point Democrat presidential power is a lock for generations to come. A big Perry scandal could speed along the blue Armageddon.
So it’s significant that so many observers on the Left have the honesty to point out that this much-ballyhooed indictment is legally sketchy, and might be politically disastrous for Democrats. Perry used his veto power to save the people of Texas from a drunken, abusive fool… and the Democrats want to punish him for that? Normal Americans hear this story and daydream about what Rick Perry could do to clean up Obama’s cesspool of corruption in Washington. Let’s turn Perry loose on Obama’s Department of Veterans Affairs and see what happens! Do we really have to wait until 2017 to do that?
And if threatening to use veto powers to achieve a desired end has become an indictable crime… well, Google “Obama threatens veto” and just imagine how many indictments that adds up to.
Even as liberals are walking gingerly around the Perry indictment, conservative leaders are speaking up for him. First and foremost there’s Governor Perry himself. He made a strong statement on Saturday in which he called the indictment against him a “farce of a prosecution” and an abuse of power… and promised to hold those responsible to account. He doesn’t sound very intimidated, does he?
Note how well he handles questions from the audience. He learned from 2012, all right.
Senator Ted Cruz of Texas wasted no time speaking up for Perry with a Facebook post:
Unfortunately, there has been a sad history of the Travis County District Attorney’s Office engaging in politically-motivated prosecutions, and this latest indictment of the governor is extremely questionable. Rick Perry is a friend, he’s a man of integrity – I am proud to stand with Rick Perry. The Texas Constitution gives the governor the power to veto legislation, and a criminal indictment predicated on the exercise of his constitutional authority is, on its face, highly suspect.
Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana was fast out of the gate, too. “I stand behind Governor Perry in his fight for honest government and I am certain he will prevail in this partisan suit,” Governor Jindal said on Twitter Saturday morning. He added that Perry “exercised his constitutional authority and this circus is simply a political witch-hunt.”
That’s two of Perry’s potential 2016 rivals standing up for him within hours of the news breaking. No, wait, make it three:
The indictment of @GovernorPerry seems politically motivated and ridiculous. Major overreach and an encroachment on his veto authority.
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) August 16, 2014
I don’t believe Senator Rand Paul has weighed in yet, which is a tad disappointing, but there’s still plenty of time for him to make a statement when the weekly news cycle chugs to life on Monday morning.