The GOP’s anxiety over Rick Perry

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Earlier this month Chait blamed (via The Daily Dish) Rick Perry’s campaign for bringing back conservative identity politics, defined by a “postmodern approach to objectivity” and the notion that “there is no such thing as truth, only truths from the perspective of a social group.” (Friedersdorf had similar concerns.) Now Jonah Goldberg is expressing weariness:

I think conservatism needs to spend less time defending candidates for who they are, and more time supporting candidates for what they intend to do…folksiness isn’t a substitute for seriousness, and I have very little patience for those who pretend otherwise.

Jennifer Rubin nods, and goes further:

Perry hasn’t said very much as yet about what he actually wants to do should he make it to the Oval Office. What does he want to do on taxes, the debt, spending, entitlement reform, immigration reform and the rest? I dunno. I hope we find out and learn that behind that bravado there is a forceful intellect, a yen for reform and a steady temperament…If nothing else, Perry should take a look at Sarah Palin’s disapproval rating with Republicans; the lesson there: Republicans can love your act and abhor the idea of your being president.

Curt Anderson accuses Perry’s critics of “arrogance.” Seth Mandel maintains that Perry can win the nomination on both policy and personality. Meanwhile, Philip Klein remembersCarter’s strategy against Reagan in 1980, and refuses to believe that Perry will self-destruct (he adds: “None of this is to say that Perry is the next Reagan”). And Perryreminds Robert Mann of Goldwater (he too made “ill-considered” comments).

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.