If his stumbling, not ready-for-prime-time worsens, Rick "Treat 'Em Ugly" Perry will soon be cornered and dangerous. That's when flinty hardscrabble guys squint, then draw, pumping out enough audacity of rogue to win GOP primaries. No more Mr. Smiley Nice Guy conservative, clinging to compassionate shreds -- like educating immigrant kids, immunizing girls, pooh-poohing secession -- or not throwing in derringers with school lunches. Hey, don't 6th graders have drug, crime, bullying, fashion, and pocket money issues dying for resolution?
The power right anoints Perry the most "electable" fringe purist -- so step aside, little crazy lady from Minnesota. This strutting Texas Twister is the spunkiest hired gun to depose any weakling, city-slicker president. Perry ain't running for "debater-in-chief," as he says, but commander-in-chief, able to deliver a Texas-sized, "deep, deep rudder" of leadership. Is he talking pilot-in-chief? -- an unfortunate metaphor as he founders, with rudderless debates, swamped by this field of GOP giants.
Even movie-star handsome from a big state can't survive weird pot shots guaranteed to unhinge old folks -- like declaring Social Security not just unconstitutional and a "monstrous lie" but a criminal "Ponzi scheme." Understatement don't march through this cowboy's resume. Now grandma, having dodged Obama death panels, must reimburse the fed for years of illegal payments (already paid for). Doesn't knowingly being in receipts from a "criminal, Ponzi scheme" join you to the sham, an accessory after the fact, even a co-conspirator. Even that sharpie, Sarah Palin, never threatened death panels to Social Security and Medicare. Yowwee.
A Crusading Catechism
On the other hand, admire Perry's gall, dragging total non-issues to center stage -- then defending pigheadedness with vengeance. Real character. One small point, Governor. In our system, no individual -- be they president or bank CEO -- settles constitutionality. Did this Texas cracker forget courts only decide questions that legitimate parties bring to judgment? Know of one court challenge to Social Security, nor any noted legal scholars calling it a crime? Hell, Perry barely got through Ag school, so what legal creds let him fantasize some Supreme Court would take the case, let alone agree with his insupportable stance? Oh yeah, Perry's totally transparent "Ponzi scheme" is more solvent than Congress-controlled, burgeoning federal debt. To call this great idea "a monstrous lie" is to commit a monstrous lie.
If all American business enterprise were criminalized because later money replaced earlier, capitalism would crawl up and die. In fact, by this bizarre Perry standard, all of life would be a mock "Ponzi Scheme" -- every personal loan, every mortgage, every insurance plan, indeed, every promissory note or contract, calculated in what's called money, to be repaid later.
But Perry's propaganda is hardly intended to change laws. Decoy issues are smoke-screens for a far more radical agenda to shred federalism, if not the 20th C. What President Perry would deliver goes well beyond "fixing" a program or two. The core fringe mania is "taking back the country," per a Perry-Manifesto conspicuous from rightwing ravings. As a public service, I here collate ten, nearly Biblical commandments for a born-again country. Were God to move in such mysterious ways, President Perry's first inauguration speech will teem with excess. You heard it here first.
The Real Perry Manifesto
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