Non-answers are a sort of Republican staple these days. These guys – and gals – don’t like questions and they sure don’t like having to answer them, so they don’t. If they don’t beat you up, they just change the subject or act as confused as they really seem to be. Rick Perry, after a fast start, has come under close scrutiny after his debate appearances. And people are starting to take notice – even Republicans – and the mainstream media.
Look at Salon’s analysis of the Republican response:
After last night’s debate, Bill Kristol’s Weekly Standard opined that “no front-runner in a presidential field has ever, we imagine, had as weak a showing as Rick Perry” and called it “close to a disqualifying two hours for him.” Michelle Malkin ridiculed him for his inability to formulate intelligible responses. David Limbaugh pronounced himself “concerned” that Perry is in “deep trouble.” Erick Erickson called his performance “a train wreck.” And on and on.
Former Bush White House press secretary Dana Perino’s assessment was a ball-buster. She tweeted, “This was like a 3rd date with Perry – where you decide if you’ll go on a 4th…would you?” Ann Coulter turned her turned her acerbic wit on a fellow conservative for a change by tweeting, “Governor Perry losing debate with his own tongue.”
Even the conservative media elite has taken notice.
Watch the video from TPM:
For example, Time Magazine’s Battleland blog, “Where military intelligence is not a contradiction in terms .” In a post entitled, “Of Stupid Answers and Arms Sales” on September 23, Mark Thompson took on Rick Perry’s gibberish at the most recent Republican debate. The topic was Pakistan.
Thompson wrote that “We don’t dip our toes into domestic politics too much here on Battleland — that’s why TIME has Swampland. But sometimes we just can’t resist. In Thursday night’s debate, a questioner asked Texas Governor Rick Perry what he would do if he got a 3 a.m. phone call saying Pakistan’s nukes had fallen into the hands of the Taliban. His answer, in toto:”
Well, obviously before you ever get to that point, you have to build a relationship in that region. That’s one of the things that this administration has not done. Just yesterday, we found out through Admiral Mullen that Haqqani has been involved with, and that’s a terrorist group, directly associated with the Pakistani country. To have a relationship with India, to make sure that India knows that they are an ally of the United States. For instance, when we had the opportunity to sell India the upgraded F-16s, we chose not to do that. We did the same thing with Taiwan. The point is, our allies need to understand clearly that we are their friends, we will be standing by there with them. Today, we don’t have those allies in that region that can assist us if that situation that you talked about were to become a reality.
Parse this response if you can. It’s rather amusing to hear Perry call Romney “slick” at a Florida Republican gathering when you consider that Romney is actually very well spoken, in contrast to Perry. Romney has yet to spit out a mess like this. And Perry’s own sincerity is open to question along with his command of the English language.
To understand Perry, first you’d need to have a clue what the hell Perry was saying – (and don’t assume a good stiff drink will help) let alone trying to say. One gets the immediate idea that he did not expect to be asked about Pakistan. So lack of preparedness is one problem. Not having an answer would be another. Look at what Time’s Mark Thompson had to say to this nonsense:
This guy flew planes for the Air Force? He wants to be President? His baffling, incomprehensible non-answer is akin to what Winston Churchill said of Russia: it’s a riddle in a mystery inside an enigma. Apparently, the only way to keep Pakistan’s nukes out of Taliban hands is to sell them upgraded Texas-built F-16 jet fighters. Alas — Pakistan already has Texas-built F-16 fighters, and they’ve been upgraded — see here, here, here, and here.
It’s been noticed by many that Rick Perry is a George W. Bush clone – earnest but not too bright, the kind of guy who flies by the seat of his pants rather than putting much thought into anything. With regards to foreign affairs, Perry seems even more clueless than his Texas predecessor – he reminds one more of Sarah Palin’s vague awareness that foreign countries exist. And this is the Republican front-runner for president.
Even the people seem to have noticed, to judge by Rick Perry’s upset in Florida’s straw poll at the hands of Hermann Cain, 37 percent to 15.4 percent of the vote.
Scary. And America deserves better. We have literally “been there, done that” and we shouldn’t have to do it again.