The likelihood that I would back Rick Perry for the Republican presidential nomination has been waning since he accused the Chairman of the Federal Reserve of “treasonous” behavior for “printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history”. Even after his commentary caused a media firestorm, he stood by those comments.
Now, I agree with the Texas governor that it is “treacherous” for the Federal Reserve to print more money at the present time as that would fuel inflation and thus further retard any real economic recovery. Yet, Bernanke’s action is hardly treason; he’s not trying to betray his country, he’s trying to help it. The policy may be wrong-headed, but the policy-maker does not intend to harm the country. And isn’t intent necessary to commit treason?
A man who aspires to national leadership does not so fault the motives of public servants — or his ideological adversaries.
That said, I believe the mainstream media have blown the story of the stone with the offensive word (that Perry and his family painted over) way out of proportion. On Monday, John King devoted a segment of his eponymous CNN program to the “invented scandal”. Fortunately, he included Donna Brazile in the discussion (let’s hope we see more of her*). This sharp lady also seems to offer a smart and sensible commentary.
This Democratic strategist who happens to be African-American brought some sense to the discussion:
I’ve known Rick Perry when he was a Democrat. So I believe I can say this with credibility that he’s not a racist. So I don’t think that’s the issue.
The issue is the insensitivity of having that word written on a rock, and not doing something about it, and according to him they did something about it.
Now let’s go beyond that and stop dealing with what I call race in a very superficial way. It’s more of a distraction. It’s more annoying when you discuss it, especially when you discuss it in political company. So I think we need to move on.
Governor Perry will have to say that for himself. I can tell you that he is, at least from my knowledge of him back in the 1980s, he’s a decent person.
While some in the Democratic Party — and their allies in the mainstream media — have been grandstanding the issue, at least one Democratic partisan dismisses this story. Why must they dwell on stories like this?
Oh, yeah, because their favored candidate has polling numbers like these.
*Brazile may be a liberal and a Democratic partisan, but unlike some of the commentators on CNN, particularly those who presume to offer dispassionate commentary, she offers more than just the standard Beltway talking points.
And she doesn’t condescend to her ideological adversaries, indeed, responds respectfully to the occasional conservative CNN brings on. She may contest their points, but she does acknowledge their arguments. And she doesn’t assume the worst about Republicans nor does she demean their motives.
Perhaps, she’s succeeded as a strategist because of the respect she shows her rivals.
NB: Tweaked the footnote to improve its flow.