Governor Rick Perry, so goes the conventional wisdom, is a real conservative. How could he not be? After all, his three terms as governor of Texas has marked a period of spectacular job creation. It has been said that nearly 40 percent of all jobs in the United States at present are to be found in the Lone Star State. In addition to this consideration, there are several others to substantiate the pervasive belief that, from the conservative Republican’s perspective, Perry is the genuine article.
If we are to accept Republican Party rhetoric of “constitutionalism,” “limited government,” “individualism,” etc., then what we must determine is whether Perry is the partisan of liberty that, presumably, Republicans should want as their party’s presidential nominee and, ultimately, their President. It is to the end of making this determination that we shall now look at some highlights from Perry’s political career.
Texas Congressman Ron Paul continues to boast high numbers in public polls despite the lack of media attention that Paul has received throughout the race for the GOP primary. Just prior to the start of last night’s GOP debate, Paul’s poll numbers were at their highest since the start of the race.
According to Revolution PAC, a SUPER Pac formed to support Ron Paul, Ron Paul leads among his fellow Republicans in Iowa with 25 percent of the vote. Revolution PAC has received early data from TeleResearch, who performed the survey, indicating Paul’s lead. The poll is a significant one as it is the first to incorporate disaffected Democrats and Independents who will not vote to re-elect President Obama and instead will cross over to vote in the Iowa Republican Caucus as well as Republican voters.
In the next phase of its litigious campaign to perpetuate the constitutionally unsupportable position that the federal government has exclusive authority in all matters of immigration policy, the Obama administration has sued the state of Utah over its recently enacted anti-immigration law.
The complaint filed on behalf the Department of Justice was accompanied by a statement from Attorney General Eric Holder:
"A patchwork of immigration laws is not the answer and will only create further problems in our immigration system. While we appreciate cooperation from states, which remains important, it is clearly unconstitutional for a state to set its own immigration policy."
Co-claimant, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, was quoted as saying that laws such as the one passed in Utah will encourage discrimination and will ultimately subvert “the vital trust between local jurisdictions and the communities they serve."
In defense of his state and the recent statute lawfully enacted by the duly elected representatives of his state, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff lamented the decision of the Department of Justice to file the suit, as he insists he has made every good faith effort to work with the Obama administration.
The Lord Chief Justice of Great Britain, Igor Judge, gave a speech in March to the Judicial Studies Board in which he argued that English courts were moving away from reliance upon English common law in making decisions, and instead were resting decisions upon the European Convention on Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.
The Lord Chief Justice queried: "Are we becoming so focused on Strasbourg and the Convention that instead of incorporating Convention principles within and developing the common law according to a single coherent unit, we are allowing the Convention to assume an unspoken priority over the common law? Or is it that we are just still on honeymoon with the Convention?"
A half dozen Republican candidates capitalized on their faith in an attempt to woo conservative voters in Iowa November 19, meeting with the faithful at an event entitled the Thanksgiving Family Forum. Sponsored by a state organization called the Family Leader, with the help of Focus on the Family’s Citizen Link and the National Organization for Marriage, the event was “meant to mimic the holiday dinner, with six candidates — Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, and Rick Santorum — gathered around a table participating in a discussion moderated by [conservative pollster] Frank Luntz,” reported the Los Angeles Times. The Times identified the lead sponsor of the event as Bob Vander Plaats, “a three-time gubernatorial candidate [who] founded Family Leader to be a galvanizing force for social conservatives ahead of the state’s lead-off nominating caucuses.”
While the evening at Des Moines’ First Federated Church was devoted to conservative values, it began with Luntz offering individuals from the small army of “Occupy Des Moines” protesters two minutes to speak their mind. While no one from that group stepped forward, a man did take the main stage to make a comment about the Federal Reserve. “I think that we need to speak about this bank tonight,” he told the crowd, challenging that the Fed is “not part of the United States.”
On Monday the legality of the death penalty law of the state of Connecticut was upheld by the state’s highest court. In its ruling, the Connecticut Supreme Court affirmed the imposition of the death penalty on a defendant convicted of having murdered a 13-year-old boy by bludgeoning him with a sledgehammer.
Many people are lamenting the failure of the Congressional "Super Committee" to come up with an agreement on ways to reduce the runaway federal deficits. But you cannot judge success or failure without knowing what the goal was. If you think the goal was to solve the country's fiscal crisis, then obviously the Super Committee was a complete failure. But, if you think the goal was to improve the chances of the Obama administration being re-elected in 2012, it was a complete success.
The deck was heavily stacked against anti-establishment outlier and presidential candidate Ron Paul in the November 22 CNN debate, but the Texas Congressman and medical doctor was able to control the debate and slam his rivals on issues such as the Patriot Act, Supercommittee sequestration, and foreign aid. Paul, who has risen in the polls recently with an anti-war and personal liberty message, faced off in a crowded field of neoconservative opponents and a bevy of hostile questions from the neoconservative Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute.
The debate included questions by former Dick Cheney Chief of Staff David Addington (a Heritage Foundation vice president) as well as Bush administration-era Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz (2001-2005), who helped push the United States into the Iraq War and is now a "visiting scholar" of the American Enterprise Institute. No skeptics of America's foreign wars were asked any questions for the entire duration of the debate.
Heritage Foundation official and former Attorney General Ed Meese led off the presumptive and biased questioning in the debate with this doozy: "At least 42 terrorist attacks aimed at the United States have been thwarted since 9/11. Tools like the Patriot Act have been instrumental in finding and stopping terrorists. Shouldn't we have a long range extension of the investigative powers contained in that act so that our law enforcement officers can have the tools that they need?" The Patriot Act allows so-called "National Security Letters," which are warrantless searches in flagrant violation of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
This is the perfect time to view this video exposé of Newt Gingrich by John F. McManus.
When Johnnie and Clara Russell posted a small yard sign on their own North Texas property outside Ft. Worth several years ago, they did not expect that they would have to seek government permission first. The sign, which promoted an event called “Wake Up America” for conservative pundit Glenn Beck’s “9/12 Project,” provoked the ire of one of their neighbors, who complained to authorities.