An entertaining aspect of Perry’s entry has been commentary explaining Aggies (even in Texas, one says, Aggies are considered hicks;yuh think). As the t-sips describe the yell leaders and Aggies boast of National Merit scholars, true outsiders may not realize the Corps was compulsory for much of its first century. Today Perry was ably (or at least energetically) commended by a t-sipper (Plan 2) and poliltical rival. Perry’s a mensch Kinky Friedman concludes. Friedman’s style is discursive; he never edits a good one-liner. And he acknowledges that at this point he’d choose Charlie Sheen over Obama. Still the piece is affectionate and, in the end, forceful: “A still, small voice within keeps telling me that Rick Perry’s best day may yet be ahead of him, and so too, hopefully, will be America’s.” (With Kinky irony & sentiment are often paired.)
Mark Steyn, too, is a nail that hasn’t been hammered down – he, too, argues “that there are already too damn many laws, taxes, regulations, panels, committees, and bureaucrats.” (It’s about an hour.) He, too, sometimes sacrifices coherence for humor. But, in the end, his arguments for human rights and self-reliance, the core of After America, have a steady aim. His historical context is not the southwest but northeast; he chose the granite state and citizenship. And Steyn reminds us why someone – someone who thinks and someone who is a nail too stubborn to be hammered down – would choose what we too long took for granted.