The point is, Rick Perry is not like other politicians. He doesn’t think about politics in terms of problems and solutions. He thinks about politics in terms of ideology and power. Perry is saying things in this campaign that no presidential candidate has said in decades, not the least of which is an unrelenting attack on social security. Far from avoiding the third rail of American politics, he is jumping onto it. He wants to do away with Medicaid. He wants to repeal the income tax. He opposes the direct election of U.S. senators and wants to return their election to state legislatures. When was the last time you heard a politician advocate taking away the right of the people to vote?
This seems to me like an enormous–and unnecessary–gamble. Perry already has the best talking point of any candidate, which is his record of job creation in Texas, certified by the Dallas Fed. I would say that he is running a risk of becoming a caricature of himself, except that it’s not much of a risk when he has a double-digit lead over his rivals.