Perry: We’re On a Crusade

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You can always tell a politician’s desperate to win reelection when he or she describes an election as good vs. evil, us vs. them, the fight of our lifetime. Or, as Gov. Rick Perry put it last night, “a struggle for the heart and soul of our nation.”

Perry unleashed that beauty in a speech to the Texas Eagle Forum, as The Dallas Morning News reports.

It amazes me how candidates must over-hype elections these days to ensure their loyalists turn out. Sure, elections are important, but it’s a damn midterm, people. Let’s not go mistaking it for Antietam.

By my count, I’ve lived through the “most important election of all time” at least three times in this decade alone: the 2000 election was supposed to be the great struggle for the soul of America. So was 2006.Then, 2008 was billed as the most important election of our lifetime…or the next two years, whichever comes first, I guess.

Meanwhile, the governor was in rare form last night, casting this fall’s election in stark religious terms:

“We will raise our voices in defense of our values and in defiance of the hollow precepts and shameful self-interests that guide our opponents on the left….

“Who do you worship? Do you believe in the primacy of unrestrained federal government? Or do you worship the God of the universe, placing our trust in him?”

I’m hoping Perry was just over-doing it for a very friendly (and socially conservative) audience.

(Later in the evening, according to the Morning News, they gave a “Patriot” award to Don McLeroy, which says it all about the tenor of that crowd)

Because if the governor’s race is going to sound this divisive for the next five months, I don’t know if I can make it till November.

Dave Mann has been with the Observer since 2003. Before that, he worked as a reporter in Fort Worth and Washington, D.C. He was born and raised in Philadelphia. He thinks border collies are the world’s greatest dogs, and believes in the nourishing powers of pickup basketball.