As I've said before, not only is Perry the most likely candidate to win the GOP nomination, he is the most likely Republican to win the White House in 2012.
And the biggest "political liability" he has - or that his opponents think he has - is the "neo Confederate" ties that really aren't. While opponents will portray this as much more than it is, all that does is play to the crowd that already agrees with them, and build his supporters up. He'll be able to counter that with The Dukes of Hazzard and Smokey and the Bandit imagery, and his apologists will note that such "liberal" stalwarts as the late Senator Robert Byrd were actual Klan members and were still welcome as part of the caucus. And who looks more un-American, those folks, or the Kenyan anti-colonialist?
If his opponents were very smart, they'd link him with the Tea Party (which has lower ratings than even the CSA) and remind everyone that Perry = Bush III. And keep reminding people that these are not scare tactics, they are the stated beliefs of the Republican-NeoCon-Tea Party Caucus. This is how they want to "govern" our nation:
1. We'll be at war with Iran and Syria in his first term, while gearing up for war against Venezuela in his second. If they use anything like Bush's strategy, the USA will be at war until 2036. Run charts showing how much all that will cost, especially because we won't be out of Iraq and Afghanistan first.
2. The inability to cut defense spending, and the promise not to "raise taxes" or "end subsidies" or "close loopholes" means deep Social Security and Medicare cuts. Far from being changed and made solvent, they could actually be closed down as "unaffordable" entitlement programs. And if Social Security and Medicare are doomed, so much for any social welfare or shelter the homeless or feed the hungry programs. Those will be exported to charitable organizations first thing.
3. Banks and Financial Institutions will be able to do whatever the hell they want with your money and investments, leading to the next bubble, the next bust, and the next Panic. That's the Tea Party economy!
4. A lame duck Obama might be able to end the Bush Tax Cuts for three months until President Perry, a GOP Senate Supermajority, and a Tea Party House of Representatives delivers even bigger and deeper tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans: "job creators" who aren't creating jobs, despite the lowest tax rates, biggest loopholes, and most luxurious subsidies in in the post WWII era. Hell, they may finally be able to end the income tax this time, and take us back to 1829 instead of 1929.
5. You thought unions were in trouble before? Hah.
6. So much for all the gay marriage legislation at the state level. Instead of going after corrupt police departments and civil rights violations, the Perry Justice Department will go after those states with gay marriage and any state proposing a civil union, and probably stop enforcing hate crimes laws. DADT will be back with a vengeance, and no company that allows partner benefits will receive any government subsidy at any level. Equal Rights advocates will get hammered so hard, they'll start fondly remembering Clinton and the Defense of Marriage Act.
7. Drill, baby, drill. It doesn't matter that gasoline prices won't go down relative to the economy. It doesn't matter how dangerous this policy is. It doesn't matter how many subsidies this policy already showers on fossil fuel industries. It doesn't matter.
8. The Environment? Global Warming? Have fun with that, fellas. As natural disasters continue to overwhelm our infrastructure that we won't be paying for (pork), droughts and floods continue to make economic waves of instability for those not affected by disaster even as insurance companies lobbyists make sure no one is held accountable for screwing over disaster victims regardless of coverage. Rick Perry will pray for you, though, while your house washes away in the flood, your crops whither in the drought, and the earthquakes level your city.
9. And you can forget suing the chemical or fossil fuel companies when they poison the food and water and air your children eat, drink, and breathe. Tort reform, baby! Your kid's health is frivolous.
10. And when people take to the streets to protest all this stuff, they'll just be labeled the enemy. And what do you think the Perry administration will do with all those folks who can be called:
America-hating, baby-killing, terrorist-sympathizer who, with help from my illegal immigrant friends and union thugs, will follow our illegitimately elected Kenyan anti-colonialist President to turn this nation into a communist economy with a sharia legal code that follows the homosexual agenda.
My guess is, the reaction will not be kind.
Obama better get his game in gear, and Democrats, Liberals, and Progressives need to figure out what exactly is at stake in 2012 and start telling people what politicians like Perry really stand for. The Rebel Battle Flag is the least of your worries.