Playing Silly Political Games with Death and Misery

| September 6, 2011 | Reply

Something very wicked happened in the Republican presidential campaign today, and we on the right should not stand for it.

Here is the setup. Most of the candidates attended a debate of sorts today in South Carolina called the Palmetto Freedom Forum, which was headlined by Senator Jim Demint, Rep. Steve King, and the head of the American Principles Project. Governor Rick Perry cancelled at the last minute so he could return to Texas and run his state’s government, which is right now handling a deadly outbreak of wildfires on over 32,00 acres of land that have already consumed over 420 homes. You can see for yourself how widespread the fires are and how many heavily-populated areas they now threaten.

Most of us can understand why a Governor would need to return to his state to handle an ongoing natural disaster. That “most”, however, does not include a couple anonymous lowlife staffers from two different campaigns who decided to score a couple cheap points off the misery of their fellow Americans.

“It’s obvious that Rick Perry is skipping the DeMint forum because he knew he was going to be asked tough questions about his previous support for gay marriage in New York, as well as his policies in Texas in favor of illegal immigration,” says one representative of a rival camp. “He’s looking for a reason to not actually be compared to the other candidates,” says an official in another camp. “He was grasping for a reason not to show.”

This is low, disgusting gutter politics that ought to have no place in the Republican party. I, and a good number of others I’d imagine, want these staffers publicly fired and their names made public so that we can heap on them the derision they have earned. Texans have dies and more may well die before the fires are beaten down. Rick Perry’s duty, as a chief executive, is to the people of his state, not to a bunch of puling staffers who lacked the courage to put their names behind their attacks. He did the right thing. That is his job.
I’m no naif. I know “politics ain’t beanbag”, but these quotes are well out of bounds. Whichever campaign signs their checks needs to deal with the situation quickly and transparently. I’m very sure it will not go well for the campaign that does nothing when we learn the identities later, and we surely will. In a campaign dishonorable enough to launch a scurrilous attack like that and play innocent about it, someone will talk. When we do, I assure you that campaign will lose my support and I know I won’t be alone.

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