A Quick Kick at Rick, While He's Still Around | Unfair Park | Dallas | Dallas Observer | The Leading Independent News Source in Dallas, Texas


A Quick Kick at Rick, While He's Still Around

I'm afraid Rick Perry will evaporate soon from the presidential coverage, and I won't get to say my little piece about him. So just in case, here it is.

Months ago I was asked by the company I work for to produce a piece about Perry's so-called economic miracle in Texas. My first response was to say that his economic miracle was irrelevant, because the moment he hit the national press scene he was going to disappear like spit on a griddle, because he's stupid.

But right when I said it, he shot way up in the polls. So I was afraid I might just look lazy, like, "Economics, oh, man, that was my worst subject." So I did this big project on his economic miracle. Surprise, surprise: It wasn't a miracle, and it wasn't even all that economic.

But all the time I was working on it, Perry was out there on the hustings doing his dumb and dumber routine, getting moved farther toward the end of the dais in the debates and plunging lower and lower in the damned polls. I kept trying to hurry up the economic miracle story, because I was afraid by the time I got it in print it would be one big "Duh!" Like, "Jesse Ventura no good at quantum physics."

Perry is the most dramatic example to date of the effect of the Texas media bubble. With the exception of the Houston Chronicle, the big dailies in Texas give people like Perry an almost free ride -- kid gloves and a respect he does not deserve. The Dallas Morning News has a headline today, "Perry hits stride, but time short."

No. IQ is short. The man cannot talk.

Look at him even now in Iowa, under extreme pressure to sound like he knows what he's saying, and every time he has to state his core beliefs he buries his nose a foot deep in his notes. He's down there with his finger on the page searching for his current position on abortion like he's trying to find Waldo.

Look, I'm not giving myself a free pass here. I wrote a story about his economic miracle. I feel like I could just as well have done a big story proving that he can't fly on his own without an airplane.

We might as well face it. The bottom line, when this thing finally hits the bottom line, will be that our governor went forth into the world and proved himself a dimwit. A glorious, towering dimwit. A dimwit for all seasons.

You know what. I really don't even want to make this a big liberal-conservative thing. It's not about that. I don't think conservatives should be blamed. Well. I mean, they do have a certain penchant for a certain type, judging by the primaries. But, no, let's not go there. We need to begin the healing. We need to recognize the real issue in our governor's sordid plight. It's the stupid, stupid.

You want a Rick Perry miracle? Get him to say, "Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan" three times real fast. Please don't vote for him for president if he gets it right, but do give the poor fellow a sticker.

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jim Schutze has been the city columnist for the Dallas Observer since 1998. He has been a recipient of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies’ national award for best commentary and Lincoln University’s national Unity Award for writing on civil rights and racial issues. In 2011 he was admitted to the Texas Institute of Letters.
Contact: Jim Schutze

Latest Stories