I’m not sure what it is about Republican candidates from Texas running for president and why they think they have to prove that they’re somehow more manly than everyone else. George W. Bush — of the Connecticut/Andover/Yale/Harvard Bushs — picked up a swagger that would have made John Wayne dizzy, an accent that made Slim Pickens sound erudite, and of course we all remember the stride across the aircraft carrier deck in the flight suit that smelled of homoeroticism right out of Top Gun. Now it’s Rick Perry’s turn, calling Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke out for being practically un-Amurikun.
Asked about the Federal Reserve, Perry told a questioner at a campaign stop in Iowa that if Bernanke “prints more money between now and the election I don’t know what you’all would do to him in Iowa but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas.”
Perry went on to suggest that a continuation of Bernanke’s policies — a so-called third round of quantitative easing — would be “almost treasonous.”
At another stop, Mr. Perry took a thinly-veiled swipe at President Obama’s patriotism:
In response to a question from Danny Yadron of the Wall Street Journal, who asked Perry if he was suggesting that Obama didn’t love this country, Perry replied: ” I dunno, you need to ask him.”
And then to put the cherry on top — or the sock in the crotch — he ventured as how Mr. Obama was a wimp for not being a veteran:
I think people who have had the same experiences connect with people who have had the same experiences. That’s human nature. If you polled the military, the active duty and veterans, and said ‘would you rather have a president of the United States that never served a day in the military or someone who is a veteran?’ They’ve going to say, I would venture, that they would like to have a veteran.”
The president had the opportunity to serve his country. I’m sure at some time he made the decision that isn’t what he wanted to do.
For the record, that decision was also made by Dick Cheney — five times — and just about every other Republican presidential candidate out there.
Aside from the fact that if this was 2003 and a Democratic candidate had called the Fed chairman a traitor — by the way, Mr. Bernanke was appointed by George W. Bush — and then questioned the patriotism of the president, that candidate would have been hounded to death by Fox News and tut-tutted by every editorial board, we’re once again into the adolescent level of campaigning where trying to prove yourself to be the macho badass somehow makes you presidential.
It doesn’t. All it makes you look is like a bully and a braggart, and the last time we fell for that routine, it was an unmitigated disaster.