A story in the New York Times chronicles the eleventh-hour, desperate, last-ditch effort on the part of Republican elites to stop front-runner Donald Trump from securing the nomination.
The story says the Republican holdouts are ready to "wage" an "aggressive battle," summoning "war councils" and preparing themselves for "the political equivalent of guerrilla fighting." These brave warriors will don armor crafted by the legendary blacksmith Brooks Brothers, and raise their American flag lapels -- er, shields -- with a war cry before following their brave general, an independent candidate, as he wades into the ultimate apocalyptic battle against the forces of Trump.
The Republicans are calling their effort a "100 Day Campaign," which sounds like something Mao Zedong would've dreamt up to boost rice production.
And just who is this warrior, this brave soul who risks life, limb and political career to take on Trump/Sauron?
It's okay, it's okay. We'll wait a minute for you to stop laughing.
Most people have probably forgotten, but the former Texas governor was part of the original circus act of 17 Republican candidates in 2015. He bowed out after the first debate in September, which was eons ago on the timescale of modern presidential campaigns, when every bowel movement is covered by reporters and political junkies mainline minutiae through portals like RealClearPolitics.com.
People are less likely to forget Perry's first rodeo in 2011, when he was taken seriously. Contrasted with candidates like Michele Bachmann and Herman "999" Cain, Perry was supposed to look like a sane, promising candidate. He was a swaggering Texan with more than 10 years in the governor's seat, heading one of the few states that enjoyed job growth during the economic recession.
Then came the disastrous debate performances, capped by a moment of early Alzheimer's in which Perry looked like a child who hadn't finished his book report and was being called out on it in front of the entire class.
"I will tell you, there's three agencies of government, when I get there, that are gone," Perry said during a November 2011 debate. "Commerce, education, and the, uh, what's the third one there? Uh, let's see. Education, commerce, and let's see...I can't. The third one. I can't."
He followed that up with two more hits -- a risible campaign video dubbed "Strong," and the revelation that the Perry family's hunting lodge was called "Niggerhead." The Strong video racked up 750,000 dislikes on YouTube, quite an accomplishment in itself.
"You don't have to be in the pew every Sunday to know that there's something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military, but our kids can't openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school," Perry said in the video over soft, Jesus-evoking music. "As president, I'll end Obama's war on religion, and I'll fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage."
So this is the guy the Republican elites are likely to turn to when the going gets tough, the candidate they'll pin their hopes on to stop Donald Trump and the millions of disaffected voters who pulled the lever for him.
You'd think a moment like this would inspire some soul searching, maybe some group therapy with Reince Priebus, Karl Rove, the Koch Brothers, and the entire staff of The National Review sitting in a circle, trying to figure out where it all went wrong with their party.
Instead, they're talking about fighting Trump tooth and nail for the nomination, and propping up Perry as an independent candidate if they fail. And they will fail.
Trump should wish Republican power brokers good luck. He should encourage them to go ahead with their plans, maybe even cut them a nice check, for reminding the base why they abandoned the party's establishment candidates in the first place. For reminding them why they'd rather vote for a real estate mogul with no political experience over any of the choices the Republicans offered them.
Like everything the Republicans have been doing lately, their effort will get them nowhere.