Thursday, August 20, 2009
Kay vs. Rick
I can’t help but feel just a little sorry for Kay Bailey Hutchison right now. But only a little.
This gubernatorial election looked early on like it would be a cakewalk for her. The triumphant U.S. Senator coming home after a successful stint in Washington to take the crown in Austin as the new governor of the Lone Star State. Incumbent Gov. Rick Perry was unpopular and had outstayed his welcome having already served longer than any Texas governor in recent history.
But now, at the formal outset of her campaign, the landscape suddenly looks much different. Down in the polls and facing a surprisingly aggressive campaign from Perry, Hutchison no longer looks like the heir apparent. Her campaign kick-off event in her home town of LaMarque was poorly attended and featured a major screw-up by one of her campaign workers who repeatedly mispronounced the name of the high school hosting the event - the one where Hutchison used to be a cheerleader. It’s pronounced “LaMark”, not “LaMarkee”.
The Perry campaign has set up a website from which to launch attacks and lampoon Hutchison throughout the campaign. They are also trying to use her service in Washington against her by referring to her as “Washington Kay.” In addition, they are having a large truck follow her around with the name “Kay Bailout Express” which attempts to tie her to the federal stimulus package.
Apparently, in Republican circles these days, actually trying to DO something to fix, resolve or at least lessen the impact from the Republican-induced recession is bad, bad, bad. I suppose this is because it would somehow be seen as an acknowledgement that Republican economic ideas failed and were in part to blame for the economic crisis currently plauging the country. Better then to just ignore the problem and do nothing. Better yet, blame the people who are trying to fix the problem with having caused it.
This is precisely what Rick Perry is now doing. I do not envy Kay Bailey having to run against Perry in the Republican primary. He has been working hard recently to ingratiate himself with the far-right loons who infect the core of the Republican Party today by talking about secession, threatening to refuse badly needed stimulus funding for the state and appointing far-right lunatics to the State Board of Education and elsewhere.
Are there enough sane people left in the Texas Republican Party to turn Perry out in a GOP primary? I have my doubts.
And it doesn’t look at this point as if Kay Bailey Hutchison is going to be up to the challenge.