Ever since I met Rick Perry in Aspen a couple months ago (before he was an official candidate) I have been convinced that he had a combination of attributes that would likely win him the Republican presidential nomination. (Actually, now I'm not so sure but I digress).
That was before I knew about all his close Jewish friends and his great, unshakable support for Israel. But he truly became my BCF (Best Chaver Forever) when I learned from this article in today's Jewish Daily Forward that Perry changed Texas law to allow gonga mezuzahs of more than two feet in length (batteries optional) to be installed on condominium door frames. We all know that size matters--particularly when it comes to mezuzot--and it's nice to see that Perry believes in taking care of his friends and co-religionists who share his refutation of the theory of evolution.
That and more can be found in the article which is a treasure trove of good news for Jewish voters and which also features a picture that is suitable for framing.
Perry's obvious love for Israel and the Jewish people as well as his astute diplomatic skills have also been on display during the last month. Prior to the U.N. speeches by Netanyahu, Abbas, and Obama, Perry held a news conference with Likud Knesset leader Danny Danon who is bringing a bill to a vote next week calling for Israel to annex the entire West Bank and end all this foolish talk about a Palestinian state once and for all.
Perry honed in on President Obama's "arrogant" attitudes toward Israel and repeatedly criticized Obama's tactics of "appeasement" toward the Palestinians--a subtle yet skillful attempt to conjure up illusions of Neville Chamberlain appeasing that bad guy in Germany a few decades ago.
Of course this news conference was taking place as Obama was infuriating the Palestinians with his strong speech supporting Israeli rights, Netanyahu was praising Obama and stating that our president deserved a "medal of honor" for his strong and instantaneous efforts to save those trapped in the Israeli embassy in Cairo, and Obama was yet again using up huge amounts of political capital to bail the Israelis out in the U.N. But when have trivial facts like that made a difference?
We already know that Perry is a real man with real baytzim who can handle a 25-inch mezuzah. He's as tough as they come. He has already made it clear to the Chairman of Federal Reserve that the chairman has "almost" committed treason ("almost treason" is probably still a capital offense) and will be shown the door as soon as Perry takes over. In addition, he has warned Chairman Bernanke not to show his face in Texas unless he wants the kind of "ugly (violent) reception" normally reserved for gay men, terrorists, traitors, and almost traitors in that patriotic state.
If the Tea Party and its tactics are the wave of the American political present and future and Netanyahu, Lieberman, and Danon are the same in Israel, then the ties and similarities between our governments, level of discourse, and commitment to Jewish and democratic values have, in fact, never been more clearly aligned. And none of the other candidates can hold a candle (Havdolah, Yahrtzeit, Shabbat, Chanukah, or otherwise) to Perry when it comes to being a perfect American partner for the Right wing coalition that now governs Israel and the Jewish religious leaders there.
For some of my fellow Jews, that might a cause for celebration.
For the rest of us, not so much.