It's good to know that Republicans aren't just litigious, petty naysayers when it comes to Barack Obama. They're litigious, petty naysayers to everyone! Rick Perry, who came out of left field and rocketed to the forefront of the race for the presidential nomination, is getting seriously picked on in what seems like a rare concerted effort by Republicans.
After last night's GOP debate, the second major one, a barrage of inter-party squabbling has surfaced. Michele Bachmann's camp took on Perry for his 2007 decision to fund HPV vaccinations for girls in Texas (which, by the way, might be one of the only things he's done that I wholeheartedly support. HPV causes cancer!) At the debate, Bachmann called him out for accepting a campaign donation from Merck, the pharmaceutical giant that would benefit from the deal.
Perry said: "The company was Merck, and it was a $5,000 contribution that I had received from them. I raise about $30 million, and if you're saying that I can be bought for $5,000, I'm offended."
Bachmann replied: "Well, I'm offended for all the little girls and the parents that didn't have a choice."
This morning, her camp released a statement, calling into question his conservative beliefs (conservativitiy?). And Sarah Palin, in a rare act of friendliness, jumped in to support Bachmann, calling what he did "crony capitalism."
Governor Perry also got shit for allowing the children of illegal immigrants to receive in-state tuition at Texas universities, and under his increasingly dubious "I create more jobs than anyone else" claim. Perry's "Social Security is a Ponzi Scheme" stuff is also still drawing criticism.
The debate's takeaways seem to be primarily that A. Romney's still got a fighting chance, B. Michele Bachmann, if not really in it, is still shaping the way the discourse flows, and C… well, the rest of those guys still seem to be wasting their time and their donors' money.