As Rick Perry Stumbles, Rightbloggers Run To (Non-Candidate) Chris Christie

tomt200.jpgThe economy sucks, and so do President Obama's poll numbers. Yet many smart people think Obama's got a chance at reelection next year.

Why? Because he gets to run against the nominee of the Republican Party, which seems hellbent on throwing the election.

In the GOP's latest slapstick routine, putative front-runner Rick Perry has so embarrassed himself that nervous rightbloggers have suddenly revived their dormant romance with New Jersey Governor (and non-candidate) Chris Christie.

For weeks now the kids have been smitten with Rick Perry -- so butch! So willing to kill! -- but his GOP debate performances, in which he resembled a malfunctioning George W. Bush robot, made a bunch of them nervous.

Not that they didn't have doubts to begin with. For one thing, as Governor of Texas Perry tried to vaccinate girls against HPV, which made Michele Bachmann mad at the Tea Party debate a few weeks back, along with a lot of rightbloggers. "Rick Perry's Bad Medicine," cried Michelle Malkin. "Would A Real Conservative Attempt To Forcibly Vaccinate 12 Year Old Girls For A Sexually Transmitted Disease?" asked Conservative Central.

Never mind that HPV is a precursor to cervical cancer -- in the Jesus People's imaginations, vaccination against HPV encourages children to have sex (or, as they call it in the Bible Belt, pre-abortion). This may be why Bruce McQuain told his readers that HPV is a "non-communicable disease." If you have intercourse, it's like you're asking for it!

Perry tied the vaccinations to his "pro-life" beliefs, but National Review's Jonah Goldberg still smelled statism. "It takes some pretty circuitous reasoning to get there," said Goldberg, "and in the process you've conceded the case for pretty much every other kind of health-care intervention by the state up to and including Obamacare." My God, Obamacare -- that's worse than sex!

This is the only Rick Perry picture we intend to use, ever.
Also, as Governor of an actual border state, Perry has been obliged to go easy on the Mexican illegals who comprise a large part of his alleged Texas economic miracle; this disturbs anti-illegal-immigrant, and anti-Mexican, Republicans.

Still, Perry fans tried to keep the Lone Star standard aloft. "The short answer is Rick Perry won [the Tea Party debate], but only by default," said Erick Erickson of RedState and CNN. "He had a stellar one hour and fifteen minutes until the full on conservative assault against his HPV decision and immigration decision began.... He locked in his lead, I think."

More to the point, said Erickson, "this is the first debate this election cycle where Mitt Romney did not win." Eyes on the prize!

But there was another GOP debate last week, and there Perry looked so out of it that even many of his rightwing fans couldn't defend him ("Critics used the words 'only occasionally coherent' and 'failure' to describe his speaking"). Even Erickson admitted, "Rick Perry stands on the precipice. He is about to fall off... another performance like last night could push him off the edge..."

Weasel Zippers tried to put as good a face on it as they could: "After getting crushed in a debate by a duplicitous two-faced double-speaking Obama-like RINO," they lengthily headlined, "Rick Perry deftly changes the subject: 'It's not who is the slickest candidate or the smoothest debater that we need to elect.'" But they felt compelled to add, "How do you rehab the proverbial deer stuck in the headlights who is subsequently flattened by the 18 wheeler?"

Things got so bad Herman Cain won a straw poll in Florida. "Excellent news for Cain, who generally shone in Thursday's debate," said RedState's Moe Lane. Once again Herman Cain is the next President of the United States! Well, not really -- but it's not looking so great for Perry either.

Then Christie's name reentered the conversation, and they began to perk up.

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