Ever since the 2012 Republican presidential primary debate and his unforgettable “Ooops” moment, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been hard at work on a “make-over”. The boots and gold-buttoned blazer are gone; replaced by more traditional outer- and foot-wear. And, most noticeably, he is sporting a pair of dark-rimmed glasses. The hoped-for impact of this ensemble is to give Perry the look of someone intelligent…even presidential. Unfortunately, judging by the governor’s most recent actions, the truth about him continues to emerge. Reference here is to his decision to position 1,000 National Guardsmen along the Texas/Mexico border as a deterrent to the ongoing flow of illegal Central American children into our country.
This deployment is a trek deep into the land of impractical, expensive stupidity: The border we are talking about is almost 1,000 miles long. So, that puts a Guardsman at one-mile intervals. In between these sentinels, the flow of illegals will be constrained by gila monsters, rattlers and jack rabbits. By Perry’s own admission, the Guardsmen will be no more than a “visible” impediment since, as is now becoming widely know, they cannot shoot, arrest or otherwise detain anyone. The cost of this gambit has been estimated at about $12 million dollars, give or take a million depending on how long the Guard remains in place. Be assured that someone is going to pay for this absurdity. The only question is who? Rick, who despises the federal government but wants to lead it, and who has hinted that Texas might just secede from it, still wants DC to pony up. What’s more galling, his chutzpah or hypocrisy?
Let’s consider some alternatives that, at the least, would substantially lower the cost of putting the National Guard in place. Perry could seek out among his Tea Party constituents, unpaid volunteers with their three-cornered leather hats, britches, big buckled shoes and muskets to replace the Guardsmen. Standing defiantly at the border with their arms akimbo would be just their thing. An even less labor-intensive move would have Perry standing at the Rio Grande saying “Shoo…Shoo!!!”
As nonsensical and sarcastic as the foregoing certainly is, the reality is that these options would have about the same practical value as putting the Guard at post which is to say, none!!!Of course, all this will be lost on hyperpartisan conservatives who yearn for a hero to arise from their midst and stand tall as a sharp contrast to the “cowardly” do-nothing Obama. And that is exactly the crowd that the governor is playing to in his sartorial and behavioral attempts to resurrect his chances of attaining the GOP presidential nomination for the 2016 election. Hell, it may just work. Whatever the case, on the evidence just in, the glasses definitely do not make Rick Perry smarter!!