Un-freakin’-believable. It looks like Gov. Goodhair has indeed weaseled his way out of a debate with Democratic rival Bill White because of Perry’s specious demand that White release tax returns from 1993-95 when he was deputy Energy Secretary under Clinton.

White told an interviewer today it was wrong for one candidate to impose left-field conditions on a legitimate campaign event that would help the voters compare and contrast the candidates. By the way — Perry’s personal financial investments during his time as governor are held in a blind trust and unavailable for public scrutiny.

So let’s call it a draw – maybe both candidates have something to hide, maybe they don’t. They’re “even steven.” But the whole financial disclosure thing is a distraction. Perry is desperate to stay out of a one-on-one public exchange of ideas with White. To paraphrase an old saying:  He’s the unarmed man in that would-be battle of wits. And he knows it. He knows that in a debate, his coyote-shootin’ good ol’ boy façade would be stripped away to reveal an empty pair of boots. The question now is – how stupid are Texas’ moderate/independent voters, the ones theoretically in play for both candidates? Guess we’ll find out in November.