Doesn’t anyone in California politics know how to hit a hanging curve ball?
The indictment of Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has lectured to Californians to years about job creation and the superiority of Texas, should have been an easy pitch to hit for the California pols he tormented.
But no one has. Perhaps people were wary of exploiting an indictment that seemed so nakedly political. Or of getting on the wrong side of Texas Democrats who are defending the indictment, even as it’s dismissed around the country as a misguided attempt to criminalize politics.
But c’mon, Californians. The way to draw blood against our tormentor Perry and Texas was easy. Just say: “We Californians would be happy to offer Gov Perry asylum here.”
That offer would have touched on the indictment, without defending the politicized nature of it. And it would have reminded people of Perry’s latest folly—sending National Guard troops to the border to block Central Americans, many of them children and families, who are coming here to seek asylum. Perry may think the politics of that are good in a Republican presidential primary, but the politics of the move are toxic in almost any other election, and they raise questions of judgment. You send soldiers after children?
Perry of course wouldn’t take us up on the offer to harbor him here. But maybe he should. And not just because our prosecutors don’t go after politicians unless they live out of district or hang with San Francisco mobsters.
Perry sometimes seems to have a higher profile in California than in Texas.
He’s constantly making high-profile visits to the state, either to campaign or recruit companies or both. Perry even mused about moving to California in a New York Times interview earlier this year.
And Gov. Brown, who rarely says much at all about his political opponents in California, often makes reference to Perry. Bill Whalen even suggested that Gov. Brown debate Perry. It makes sense; Brown even took a lame swipe at Texas during the recent visit of the Mexican president here.
Moving to California also might be a good political move for Perry. The Texas governor has presidential ambitions, but it’s hard to see that happening; he may not be the strongest candidate from even his home state, given the presence of Ted Cruz. He could start a new political career out here.
Of course, he’d have to become a Democrat if he wanted to win statewide office. But that shouldn’t be a problem—Perry started his Texas political career as a Democrat. Perry was a supporter of Al Gore in the 1988 presidential primaries.
In office, he’d fit well. Perry has made a virtue of giving money to corporations in the name of economic development. The California legislature and governor are also playing that game with new relish, with giveaway to Hollywood, pro sports teams, and a defense firm. If California is going to play that game, it might be good to have a Texas pro doing such work.