When I was a kid we were all Democrats. Later, when it became apparent that Democrats were commies, I became a Republican.
I have to say I was never really at home as a Republican, though. True, they weren’t commies. At least, not so much. But Democrats were always more likeable on balance.
I liked some Republicans, but as a group they were profoundly detestable.
I remember years ago, at the height of my Republican involvement, having an after work cocktail with a couple of local Democrat women operatives named Fran Weisberg and Betsy Toole (Relin). We were very much on opposite sides politically, but I couldn’t help noticing that they were much more likeable and pleasant than most of my Republican comrades. If I had to pick who to have cocktails with it would be them. It still would.
Which brings us to Rick Perry. I don’t know how anyone likes this guy or has any basic feeling of affection for him whatsoever. Or even the image of him. He just seems thoroughly repugnant to me on every level. It has little to do with his political positions. It’s a personal thing.
This doesn’t help, to a large extent because the conduct he exhibits in this episode is exactly what I would expect based on my visceral impressions of him: dishonest, self-serving and power hungry.
But Republicans are actually drawn to people who are overtly like that. Democrats, for all their flaws, are so much more normal in this regard. They are repelled by such personalities. A basic likeability is a sine qua non for them; not so for Republicans, for whom apparently power and force are all that matter.
Look at Obama. Politically I just think he’s a mess. But I like him, or at least the image and personality he projects. What does it say about Perry and Republicans generally that they can’t even be bothered to appear likeable?