Who’s afraid of Eliot Spitzer? Perry berated

In newly reelected Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s first TV interview, he was given the same rough treatment Rand Paul was when he was berated by Rachel Maddow and the same Sarah Palin was when she was attacked and mocked by Tina Fey, David Letterman, Katie Couric and many others.

Welcome to the realm of the winged monkeys. It was a telling moment: The thing they instinctively feared in Sarah Palin and Rand Paul they find again in Rick Perry. But it is much worse. This time it is real. Rick Perry is a master. Everything the Tea Party said and did these last two years takes shape and form in Perry’s reelection.

The new commentary show that teams up former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer with The Washington Post’s Kathleen Parker has been called mediocrity incarnate. They had to teach Spitzer to smile, and it doesn’t work. Smiling brings out his dark side. He looks like someone just told him a dirty joke. It is also said he is only there, propped up by the obsequious Parker, as rehabilitation.

Spitzer got his “Eek! A mouse!” moment when Perry said he would like to see the states compete, which was intended by the Founding Fathers. He said with combined entitlements of $106 trillion,  his children — now in their 20s — no longer expect Social Security to be there when they retire. Perry said he would like to have a national conversation on Social Security and state competition, but Spitzer badgered him on pointless details.

Spitzer’s antagonism was visceral. When he started at Perry, it was clear this discussion could go no further. Maybe Spitzer didn’t like Perry’s cowboy boots that say, “Come and take it.”

There is potentially a cage fight growing here with Palin and Perry vs. Parker and Spitzer. A converged Democrat/Republican (Spitzer/Parker) team joined forces to fight new thinking and new people. Parker legitimized attacks on Palin when she wrote in the high-brow National Review on Sept. 26, 2008, that Palin was “ ... an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who Is Clearly Out Of Her League.” Spitzer left the governor’s chair in New York, a state that knows no shame, in personal disgrace and with an economic situation that led one WSJ reporter to call it “the worse government in the world.”

The contention's key moment was Perry’s Republican primary last spring when the Republican traditionalists — including George H.W. Bush, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, Karen Hughes as proxy for George W. Bush and others — lined up in opposition to Perry. Perry had only Palin for support, but he won in a landslide. But why would such a distinguished line of Republicans risk reputation by lining up in support of Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-Texas) who was sure to lose? To establish a beachhead.

Now Democrats and Republicans tag team Perry. But who’s afraid of Eliot Spitzer?

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