My Rick Perry problem: I'm tired of identity politics

My weariness is hardly a major consideration for anybody, but I think it reflects a larger problem. Conservatism is starting to have an identity-politics problem all its own. 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.

Bush’s inability to articulate arguments had nothing to do with his Texan-ness or his Christianity, but a lot of folks on the right defended him as if that were the case. “He speaks American, don’t you get it?”

To which I’d reply: “No, he speaks badly.”

Perry’s not a bad speaker, and I’m trying to keep an open mind. I suspect I agree with him more than I did with Bush, whose compassionate conservatism I loathed.