The President of Rich Christian White Men

I’m going to make two predictions.

First, Rick Perry is going to be the GOP presidential candidate. No question.

With that in mind, picture this:

Tall handsome Christian conservative “just folks” white guy with ultra-photogenic hair vs. skinny, nappy-headed, big-eared black guy who turned out not to be the savior of the world.


Every Republican, conservative, tea-bagger and anti-Obama voter in the U.S. is going to go to the polls and is going to vote for Perry. Between now and the 2012 election, every conservative talking head in the world is going to urge them to do so, with all the loony socialist-Muslim-birther-whatever invective we already know so well.

About that “Christian” bit on Perry’s resume, I could probably come up with 20 reasons why mingling religion and politics is a bad idea, but the simplest reason is this:

Elected officials should represent ALL of their constituents, not just some of them.

If a black president said “I’m the president of black people. The rest of you can go spit.” If a Jewish president said “I’m the president of Jewish people. Tough luck for all you gentiles, huh?” If a white president said “I’m a WHITE president, and all you non-whites can just suck it.”

… we’d know those things were bad.

They wouldn’t even have to say that “suck it” second part, would they? If they just made pointed remarks about the first part — “I’m the BLACK president”; “I’m the JEWISH president”; “I’m the WHITE president” — we’d know there was a problem.

This is what Rick Perry is doing. Speaking out on the campaign trail in a way that leaves no doubt:

Rick Perry is going to be a — perhaps, ‘the’ — CHRISTIAN president.

“Rick Perry’s a more overt, less subtle guy than George W. Bush, and he is going to be more overt in his policy statements and his statements about his faith,” said Richard Land, a longtime leader of the Southern Baptist Convention who has spoken with Perry about his faith. “He talks about his faith in terms that evangelicals will find completely identifiable.”

And in case you missed it a couple of weeks back, there was this LA Times article:

Rick Perry’s furious effort to court Christian leaders

As Rick Perry’s presidential campaign moves forward, he is devoting enormous energy to wooing religious conservatives, including participating last weekend in a two-day retreat with evangelical leaders on a remote Texas ranch.

The meeting received little public attention, though the 200 or so in attendance included luminaries of the Christian right such as Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, California pastor Jim Garlow, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, and Washington-area Bishop Harry Jackson, who presides over one of the largest African American churches on the East Coast.

According to attendees,

Perry proclaimed his fealty to Christian conservative positions on abortion, gay marriage and schooling. He also discussed the economy and related the issue to biblical teachings.

Imagine any social issue on which you have strong feelings that differ from the positions held by evangelical Christians. Rick Perry is not going to be your president.

Imagine any social issue on which A MAJORITY OF AMERICANS have strong feelings that differ from the positions held by evangelical Christians. Rick Perry is not going to be THEIR president.

I have more than a few friends who are pissed off at Obama. Saying “I’m not going to vote for the bastard; he’s a conservative in progressive clothing.”

And I won’t go into the long list of things he said he would do that he has either actually or arguably done.

Yeah, there are things that I care about that aren’t going quite right under this Obama White House.

But in this real world we live in, things can be so much worse.

You can vote or not vote, carp or keep silent, get on board or sit this one out.

But my second prediction is this:

When (if) Perry gets elected, oh man are you going to be sorry.

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  • raymoscow

    I will complain about Obama when he does bad things or, more often, fails to do good things.

    I even advocate running a progressive against him for the nomination in the hopes that he might take more notice of progressive concerns and a lot less for rightwing positions.

    But in the end, I will vote as usual for the much lesser bad: Obama.

    However, since I’m registered in Texas, my vote is usually swallowed up in the big stupid there anyway.

    • jufulu

      What you said.

      I thought I’d never say this, but there is no way I will vote for a Republican for anything these days. Usually I am all about voting for the most qualified man regardless of party. Until the Republicans get some adults in the leadership, it ain’t going to happen. Although I am very much pissed off at the Dems, I will also hold my nose and vote for them.

  • Nomen Nescio

    When (if) Perry gets elected, oh man are you going to be sorry.

    that’s like predicting the sun will rise in the east. i’m sorry now, why on earth would reelecting the guy i’m sorry i voted for last time make me any less sorry?

    in the end, what i’m really sorry for is having voted for the lesser evil even though it stank. i don’t want to do that again. i don’t care if i have to write in the name of a socialist; i would much rather vote for what i do want and not get it, than vote for what i don’t want and get it.

    one of the problems with the democratic party is they seem to have forgotten all about the guy who originally came up with that last sentence of mine and made it quotable. i want to dig him up and vote for him, i don’t even care that he’s dead.

    i don’t want a conservative as president. the democrats and the republicans are both running conservatives, that much we can already be sure of. why should i vote for either of them, knowing all the while i don’t want either of them in the oval office, when i could do something else instead?

    hell, i could stay home and play video games and it’d be a better use of my time than helping someone i do not want to run this country, someone i know will not represent my interests or enact my preferred policies, to (re)attain political power i do not want them to have. and no, it DOES. NOT. MATTER. that the other guys’ lizard is an even worse lizard when they’re both of them lizards.

    • raymoscow

      If you got to choose, wouldn’t you choose the lesser evil instead of the greater? Saying that they are both bad and that therefore there is no difference doesn’t make sense to me.

      There are (a few) good, (a lotta) bad, and (a lotta) worse politicians on offer. I hate to quote Heinlein, but I think he had this right: the difference between bad and worse is a lot more important than the difference between good and better.

      If I had the choice I’d vote for the better. If I didn’t, I’ll hold my nose and vote for the least bad on offer.

      I can see the point in voting for someone worthwhile to make a statement. I just think letting the worst of them get into power, while making a statement, is a bad move.

      • Nomen Nescio

        if my only choice is between evil and extra-evil evil, no, i don’t want to make any choice between those two.

        if there’s a candidate on the ballot who might actually represent my interests and earn my vote and my confidence, then i’ll vote for that candidate, no matter what party they may run for. even if they can’t possibly win. because voting for something i do not want to get, just so that i might stand a chance of getting what i voted for — THAT is the definition of throwing my vote away.

        if there is no such candidate on the ballot, i’ll either write in a name or not vote in that category at all.

        bottom line: a candidate who wants my vote has to earn it, by convincing me they would use the position to do things i consider good and smart. if they can’t do that, they can’t have my vote, no matter how loudly they may yell about the other candidate being worse than they are.

        i’m not satisfied with a candidate simply being “less bad”; that’s lazy of them and would be a lazy, irresponsible way for me to allocate my vote. if i don’t hold candidates to a higher standard than that, then they will never have any reason to care about what i want them to do for me — they’ll be able to get away with merely pointing fingers at some other candidate and saying “but s/he is even worse than me!”. that’s a childish tactic, and i don’t want childish people in political office — i want responsible adults who might do good things for me. getting such starts with holding my own vote up to a responsible, adult standard.

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    • david

      A cautionary word about protest voting from the UK, i know a fair few people who didnt like the way the labour party went under Blair and then Brown, myself included, i still voted for labour, the evil of two lessers. many voted for the libdems as a kind of protest or other no hope of winning (green party etc) parties. now look at the shit we’re in. but it will seem like a bed of roses if one of the nutjob repulicans gets thier finger on the button that will end the world in fire “oh lord give me a sign”
      in an ideal world we could all vote for representatives that reflected our own personal ideals. But it aint an ideal world. tactical voting, voting for the candidate with the best chance of stopping the worst candidate, the one most opposed to the way you would like things to be.

  • skinner city cyclist

    I will not vote for any candidate, Democratic alternative to right-wing theocrat or not, who enables and covers up and possibly perpetuates a torture regime like Obama has/is.

    Once I see some indictments, hell, even some investigation, I may change my tune.

  • Dom

    Nobody will ever go into office who has good intentions ever again. There’s just too much red tape. I can vote 3rd party to say I didn’t vote for Obama or Rick Perry because I don’t like either of them much at all, though I think Rick Perry is worse, for he wants me relegated to 2nd class citizen.

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