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David Brooks can be counted on to reflect what is happening within the GOP and to explain why it is good for America. In this article he describes the GOP race for the presidential nomination as a two horse race between Governor Perry and Mitt Romney. He seems to prefer Romney as the better candidate, but he is impressed by the success that Perry is having on the campaign trail. He is now dead even in the polls with President Obama. One would think that 8 years of George Bush would have made most Americans wary of another governor from Texas as their president. One would also expect that the media would have done a better job of informing the public about his actual accomplishments as the Texas governor. Brooks provides no information about the claims that Perry has made which are known by him and others to be untrue. Popular appeal is an end in itself.
Romney has a problem in running against a governor who can boast about the performance of the state under his governorship. Romney's biggest achievement was to pass the healthcare reform bill in Massachusetts. He believed that this would help him to win the presidency some day. Unfortunately, his healthcare reform plan is much like the bill that Obama passed and the GOP has convinced its base that only the devil could have created such a plan.
There was a time in America when the fictional character Elmer Gantry was portrayed as a sad salesman of Christian salvation who made his living selling snake oil to an ignorant public. Today we have a modern Elmer Gantry, in the form of Perry, who is able to sell snake oil to a gullible American public. We also have a media system which can only look upon anyone able to sell snake oil as a strong candidate to lead America to third world status.