Rick Perry Chickens Out By Ducking Iowa Straw Poll? Where's True Grit When You Need It?

Maybe I just had the wrong impression of Rick Perry. I guess I was remembering that time he shot a coyote with his .380 laser-sighted Ruger loaded with hollow-points. He said, "Don't attack my dog or you might get shot."

Now that's some macho cowboy stuff right there. I don't approve of it politically, but if it were a movie, I'd watch it.

So now he's chickening out of the Iowa Straw Poll because he's afraid of Michele Bachmann? There's a story today in The Dallas Morning News that you can't see because it's behind their pay wall, by Washington reporter Todd J. Gillman, saying Perry may duck this famous Iowa warm-up event for the presidential race because he's afraid of getting whupped up on by Minnesota Congresswoman Bachmann, a Tea Party leader.

Please understand, I'm a liberal and never a Perry fan. If anything, knowing now that Perry has these kinds of inner fears -- or just inner thoughts of any kind -- could even wind up making me like him a little better. It makes him seem so much more vulnerable, which guys like me are supposed to like. I'll have to think about that.

But there's also a big story in The New York Times today about Bachmann that you may be able to read.

It's a mainly positive portrait of her, depicting her private life as a generous and caring mother who brought a succession of troubled foster kids into her home before going into politics full-time.

So I put the two stories together and what? Perry's afraid to go up against a foster mom? Even I, a liberal, have to say this is sort of an iffy day for Texas. I would have expected Perry to ride on up to Iowa on his horse like Rooster Cogburn with his Colt Walker on his hip and say stuff like, "Maybe that purdy little lady needs to git on back home and do some home cookin' fer all them children she's got, leave this presidential bid'ness to us men folk."

And, let me say, I would have been deeply offended by that. Offended but having fun.

But hiding from her? Afraid to go up there because she might beat him? I'm really on the fence about that. I think we men need to be liberated and all that good stuff, but you can also take it too far. I don't want my governor wetting the bed about it.

If I had a chance to talk to him, I think I'd say, "Governor Perry, it's one thing to be a sensitive and enlightened man who respects the dignity of women. But damn, sir. You've got the name and history of Texas men everywhere on your shoulders. You can't just go around being afraid of a girl."

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