Get Your Texas Metaphors Right

Erick Erickson has some advice for Rick Perry:

If I were Perry, I’d wake up tomorrow, say I refuse to surrender the Republican Party into the hands of big government conservatives after all the gains the tea party has made, and then announce I’m firing all my political staffers and communications staffers and ask South Carolina to help me reboot to victory. Make it an Alamo stand and, if like at the Alamo Perry goes down, perhaps there’ll at least be a rallying cry for small government conservatism left over.

I am more than a little unclear on this advice:  how is Perry going down in flames in SC (as happened to the pro-Texas independence side at the Alamo) going to serve as a rallying cry for small government conservatives?  Losses in elections tend to cause parties and factions of parties to recede.  Losses don’t tend to lead to rallying to win later.  This would seem especially problematic for a scenario that has Perry in SC, as allegedly Perry’s big strength is being a southern conservative.  If he can’t win as a southern conservative in a southern conservative state, that’s just failure, yes?

Regardless, I know it doesn’t have the same poetry, but what Perry needs is a Battle of San Jacinto stand, not an Alamo (nor a Goliad) stand.

However, Perry is not Sam Houston nor is Romney Santa Ana.

At any rate, the only metaphor I would deploy concerning Perry at the moment is that he is toast.

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, US Politics, , , , , , ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. mantis says:

    There’s no basement at the Alamo!

  2. John Burgess says:

    Well, Santa Ana did help (indirectly) create chewing gum. What’s Perry got?

  3. Franklin says:

    Well, all this and the fact that Paul, not Perry, is the only small-government conservative candidate.

  4. PD Shaw says:

    I’d also avoid Pickett’s Charge:

    For every Southern boy fourteen years old, not once but whenever he wants it, there is the instant when it’s still not yet two o’clock on that July afternoon in 1863 . . . with his long oiled ringlets and his hat in one hand probably and his sword in the other looking up the hill waiting for Longstreet to give the word and it’s all in the balance, it hasn’t happened yet, it hasn’t even begun yet, it not only hasn’t begun yet but there is still time for it not to begin against that position and those circumstances . . .. Maybe this time with all this much to lose than all this much to gain: Pennsylvania, Maryland, the world, the golden dome of Washington itself to crown with desperate and unbelievable victory the desperate gamble, the cast made two years months ago.

  5. Not to mention the Alamo is really a memorial to shooting yourself in the foot due to sheer bullheadedness. The forces there would have done far more for Texan independence if they’d obeyed their orders to join up with the rest of the forces rather than fighting to the death over a strategically useless landmark.

  6. Nikki says:

    Not to mention the Alamo is really a memorial to shooting yourself in the foot due to sheer bullheadedness.

    …and the metaphor becomes appropriate for Perry once again!

  7. sam says:

    “However, Perry is not Sam Houston”

    I’ll say. Ol’ Sam was dead against secession….

  8. rodney dill says:

    Is it “Don’t mess with Taxes” or “Don’t mess with Texas?” I never can keep that one straight.

  9. Buffalo Rude says:

    @Steven: Your analysis leaves out one important detail: Rational logic and historical reality mean very little to Erick Son of Some Other Guy Named Erick.


    …and the metaphor becomes appropriate for Perry once again!

    If there was a “Comment of the Day” award on this site, I would gladly commit massive amounts of voter fraud to ensure your victory.

    I’m not completely convinced that Perry and his campaign isn’t some kind of performance art piece (perhaps partly funded by the NEA). Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of not-very-smart-kinda-dumb-actually liberal/progressive/left-wingers out there; but we don’t run them for national office. Most of them probably don’t make it past a city council seat or ward heeler, frankly.

  10. ponce says:

    Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

    Hell no!

  11. anjin-san says:

    A guy who is already receiving a pension check for a government job he still holds (but has not really been doing because he is too busy trying to get yet another government job) is for small government? Really?

  12. Nikki says:

    @Buffalo Rude: *takes a bow* Why, thank you! I must say, I couldn’t have done it without Stormy Dragon. 😉