Friday, October 21, 2011


The Sands Convention Center at the Venetian in Las Vegas hosted a Republican presidential primary debate on October 18, 2011. This turned out to be perhaps the last gasp for Texas Governor and presidential hopeful Rick Perry. It was billed by many as his, “moment of truth” where Perry would either, “do or die.” It turned out to be his swan song and his poll numbers continue to fall following the debate. This writer had previously opined that he had done so poorly in the last two debates that by the law of averages he couldn’t help but do better this time around. Well, he didn’t and all the king’s men and all the king’s horses won’t be able to put Rick Perry back together again.

Instead of engaging in substantive policy debate Perry decided to go into attack mode and in a personal harangue assailed fellow Republican Mitt Romney on the issue that he had previously knowingly hired illegal aliens to work on his lawn. Perry kept interrupting a responsive and frustrated Romney who though coming out the better couldn’t look very presidential in that environment. Perry looked terrible with the camera catching him staring opaquely at Romney hence our “deer in the headlights” title. We note that this issue was first reported by the Boston Globe in 2006 and, needless to say, has been hashed and rehashed for almost five years. The facts are well known and it’s an old story.

So, did Romney retain the services of a landscaping company knowing that they hired illegal immigrants? I don’t know but as an old Human Resources guy I think it's the responsibility of contractors whether a lawn company, pest control, pool service or another business to comply with current immigration law. To insinuate that the customer (in this case the homeowner) should check the credentials of every person hired to work on their property is ludicrous. It appears to be nothing more than a smear job and old, regurgitated news - at best.

We wonder if Rick Perry has speculated if any illegal and/or undocumented aliens helped process the piece of chicken or vegetables he consumes or helped manufacture the carpets that cover the floors of his house. We think he never gave that a thought though those industries have been habitually guilty of hiring undocumented workers. It’s the same song though different verse.

It appeared that Perry (described as feisty by some supporters) was viscerally combative and confrontational. Because of Perry we won’t remember the positives of that debate rather just the highlights of his harangue and failure to let Romney respond to his allegations. And to what end? Perry’s strategy to counter his ever falling polling numbers was to get indignant and righteous like an angry Moses at Mount Sinai. No, there is no “burning bush” here.

Many see Rick Perry now hand in hand with Michele Bachmann striding towards the sunset… One by one they fade away in almost comical though pathetic political musical chairs to the last person standing or sitting. And then it all starts over.


Ned Buxton

PS: Today is October 21, 2011 and the focus of Harold Camping’s latest doomsday prediction. I guess that we have until 11:59:59 PM Central Time here in Dallas, Texas, USA when the rapture (lower case) occurs but then we have that old time zone thing so actually the date has already passed in the Pacific in such locales as Guam where it is a peaceful Saturday morning, October 22, 2011. Confusingly, Catholics around the world are celebrating and memorializing Pope John Paul's 1978 inauguration as Pope on this October 22. They must be unbelievers, “out of the mainstream” but probably not… I overheard one person opining today, “It is a rapture of morons.” Gees, I meant to ask Rick how he stands on the rapture…

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