On Perry, Cain and the Recent Property Controversy

Full disclosure, I am not a Republican though I have posted diaries here in the past where I thought we shared common ground.  I just wanted to reach out on the issue of the Perry N*****head controversy because it seems unfair.  We disagree about plenty and I’m no Perry fan but he’s getting a bad rap from someone.  And for once it isn’t us.

Personally, as a progressive, I resent the assumption that this issue is going to automatically align me with Perry’s detractors on this slender evidence. I’m more convinced this is a ploy to use race for the divisive political motives of his Republican opponents than I am that this is a cogent framing of his attitude. On that basis I am calling foul on them for pushing a “hot button” issue which at this point amounts to a circumstantial slur. My outrage is not so easily enlisted. If I am prepared to automatically assume he’s a racist because he’s a white Texas Republican from Paint Creek how does that make me any more thoughtful than any of the many actual racists I actually do assume exist down there?

But you guys are going through an important process, your nomination, and it seems to me, frankly, this whole episode is an intentional take-down of Perry by someone who doesn’t give a fig for improving our national awareness of race and the usual suspects just bought into it, the whole nine yards. Sometimes we are just a bit too predictable. Fox, it seems to me, never would have run this story if they weren’t attempting to undermine Perry and laying traps for Cain as well.

The Reverend Wright business wound us up, you may remember and we howled. This seems a similarly egregious case. It is hard to have protested against the one and remain silent in the other. If we keep freighting racial issues with wholesale condemnation at every turn we’re not doing ourselves any favours. I’ll bet dollars to donuts it hasn’t done anything to raise the conciousness of anyone the way it has been dealt with in the media or by partisans on either side. It is a politically cynical attack.

But I would be remiss to not note that Perry, and off the cushions Cain, have been damaged with an inappropriate and insubstantial attack. Please consider this a vote of confidence in the process we both share.

Jason Samford, Democratic opposition researcher for Chris Bell’s 2006 campaign against Perry, who just wrote a book, Adios Mofo: Why Rick Perry will make America miss George W. Bush, puts it thus (and excuse the polemics, my point is to unburden Perry from this accusation):

Like most Texas Democrats, I would like nothing more than to see Rick Perry curled in the fetal position, weeping, and sucking his thumb, and that exactly where he’d end up if this story were true. But I don’t believe it.

Rick Perry is elitist, ruthlessly partisan and ideological to a fault, but racist? He appointed a black man chief justice of the state Supreme Court, for crying out loud, one of the many high-profile positions he’s given to minorities during his time as governor.

When it comes to politics, Austin’s a small town just like D.C. is. There are no secrets this big. If he were an n-bomb dropping cracker, we’d all know.

Jason Samford – Perry haunted by old hunting grounds story? Politico 2 Oct 11

Just sayin’ folks. I’m not buying this narrative over on the Lefty blogs and hope you take it in the spirit in which it is intended. We all have a stake in this. Especially when it is being served up raw and pitched as a two-fer to take out the only black guy the Republicans ever considered seriously to boot. We’re smarter than this, and better.

Good luck with your nomination and may the best person win but neither you nor we progressives deserve this kind of stuff. Please understand I am not here to argue the election, just letting you know we’re watching too.