Of Arms and the Guv

Former Catoite Chris Moody has a fun piece up on the Yahoo News site: “If elected president, Rick Perry could still jog with his gun.”

If you haven’t heard the famous anecdote about Perry shooting a coyote during a gubenatorial jog in Austin last year, you can read about it Chapter Two of his book Fed Up!

He praises federalism for giving the people of the several states the ability to elect leaders befitting the states’ respective characters: “in Massachusetts, they elect people like “Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, and Barney Frank repeatedly–even after actually knowing about them and what they believe!” He continues:

“Texans, on the other hand, elect folks like me. You know the type, the kind of guy who goes jogging in the morning packing a Ruger .380 with laser sights and loaded with hollow-point bullets, and shoots a coyote that is threatening his daughter’s dog.”

All right, it’s a cool story. But come on Governor: tough guys don’t preen.

I don’t have a serious legal opinion about the question explored in Moody’s piece–whether the next “decider” could decide to carry a gun, local laws notwithstanding.

But in the spirit of the goofy hypothetical, it strikes me that, despite their differing styles, Bush and Obama were both pretty good at avoiding laws they didn’t want to follow. Bush did it by telling people, openly, that the CINC could do virtually whatever he wanted in the name of national security. Obama prefers legalistic wordgames: Libya’s not a ‘war,’ it’s a ‘kinetic military action,’ and we’re not engaged in ‘hostilities’ because they can’t shoot back.

So, could Rick Perry gin up some legal cover for jogging strapped? Sure, why not? The president can pretty much always find at least one executive branch lawyer willing to ratify whatever he wants.

If Gov. Perry wanted to use the direct approach of his fellow ex-cheerleader and Texan, George W. Bush, Perry might insist he’s the commander-in-chief, and he has adequate national security reasons for being armed. If he went the Obama route, maybe he’d just insist he was following the law, and, despite all appearances, that the object he was carrying wasn’t actually a gun.