Mike Kueber's Blog

October 29, 2011

Rick Perry doesn’t like flip-floppers, especially old ones

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mike Kueber @ 1:46 pm
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Earlier this week, Rick Perry was interviewed on Bill O’Reilly’s The Factor.  A major part of the interviewed consisted of Perry attacking Romney for flip-flopping.  Although Perry might have a plethora of undesirable character traits, “beating around the bush” is not one of them.  If he’s of a mind to challenge you, his first inclination is to grab a 2×4 and then smack you across your forehead.

On the O’Reilly show, Perry was certainly of a mind to challenge Romney over flip-flopping:

  • You can’t be for banning guns and then all of a sudden you’re, you know, for the Second Amendment.  You can’t be for the issue of abortion, then you’re pro-life… I mean you can’t be on both sides of these issues.”

While Perry will never be guilty of eloquence, at least we know what he means.

Because Perry is so limited in his ability to communicate ideas, he seems drawn to rhetorical excess.  For example, because Perry can’t effectively communicate his opprobrium flip-flopping – “I mean you can’t be on both sides of these issues.” – he resorts to outlandish, over-the-top falsehoods.  In the O’Reilly interview, Perry asserted that Romney said the following about his history of flip-flopping:

  • In his own words, he says, listen, you know, I need to say whatever I need to say for whatever office I’m running for.”

This is obviously false, not mere hyperbole, and the fact that O’Reilly and the media have treated it like hyperbole is revealing.  It seems that every Republican presidential candidate except Romney is being encouraged to say outrageous things without being immediately challenged.  (Which reminds me to a lawyer’s strategy with depositions – i.e., encourage the deponent to say all sorts of stupid things during the deposition and then watch him squirm later when he has to defend those statements to a judge or jury.)

The O’Reilly interview contained at least one other example of an outrageous Perryism (i.e., Perry being Perry), and that was his expressed belief that old people like Romney shouldn’t have evolving political positions.  When O’Reilly asked whether a person’s opinions might change over time, Perry responded:

  • How do you change at the age of 50 or 60 positions on life, positions on guns, positions on traditional marriage?  I mean those aren’t minor issues, Bill. So to change those at the age of 50 or 60 tells you all you need to know about that.

I hate scripted responses, but unscripted doesn’t have to mean “shoot from the hip.”  Surely, Perry must understand that the thinking of people older the 30-35 continues to evolve.  As Mitt Romney has said, “In the private sector, if you don’t change your view when the facts change, well you’ll get fired for being stubborn and stupid.”

Which are you, Rick?

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