Bye, Bye Rick Perry: How Ted Cruz Became Texas's Most-Important Republican -- and He's Not Even Elected!

Rick Perry, it's so over. Sure, you've been fun. Hell, you've been great to us here at Hair Balls. Like that time you thought Solyndra, a solar company, was a country? Or when you applauded George W. Bush for all his work defending us from freedom? Oh, man. That was a good one. And just recently when you announced you'll reject a federally funded expansion of Medicaid because, God darn it, we here in Texas hate socialism? What. A. Hoot.

Well, party's over, Rick. National-level Republicans got a new man-crush. Ted Cruz just accepted an invitation to deliver one of the keynote addresses at the Republican national convention in Tampa later this month. While you, Perry, have been cast among the denizens of political washouts like Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck. Granted, Perry still has power, but still, dude's a bag of bruised goods.

American politics is consumed by what's fresh and new. That's why we elected Barack Obama as president, even though he had extremely little elected experience. We as a nation are fascinated by what's youthful and different.

In politics, unlike in any other profession, there's great power in having absolutely no idea what you're doing. You just have to be exciting and fun to listen to. And right now, the Republicans have found that in the Tea Party rookie, Ted Cruz, forgetting their embittered veteran, Rick Perry, who will remain in the Republican pit with Newt Gingrich.

Perry had this to say: "That's not my call to make," he told The New York Times. "The convention is for Mitt Romney, not for me." Meanwhile, Cruz and Wisconsin darling Scott Walker have been tapped. This is a pivotal moment, obviously, for Cruz. These speeches can do a lot for a new politician. Just look at what happened to Obama. Or Sarah Palin. Nobody knew who either of these people were, then: wam! All Palin all the time.

Cruz is already lapping up all the adoration. He's getting it in the Times, which called him an "intellectual force." And he's taking it from Texas Monthly Editor Paul Burka, who popped a Burka-boner in his Burkablog for Cruz:

Cruz, it is clear, is a great political talent. He's the Mike Trout of Texas politics, a rookie of the year candidate who is better than the veterans. He captured the imagination not just of the Texas electorate, but of the nation. He has the potential to be a great United States senator. My first reaction was that he is an ideologue, but I don't think he'll remain one for long. He's going to figure out the Senate and his role in it. His campaign was basically flawless. He is by far the most talented person in Texas politics (not the highest of bars to clear).

Sheesh. Talk about a wet sloppy one. All this, really, means one thing. Cruz is in. Perry -- for now, at least -- is out. There's only one thing that may derail Cruz among Tea Partiers. How many of them know Cruz was actually born in Canada, our Western European neighbor to the North? Someone alert the Texas Militia. There are foreigners masquerading as conservatives.

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