by John Grooms
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the GOP’s latest Great White Hope, is headed to South Carolina this weekend to announce that he’s running for president. The initial buzz from Republican circles is that Perry is the perfect candidate. He has support from the business community, Tea Partiers, and social conservatives — just like that last Texas governor who made it to the White House — plus, the Texas economy is smokin’ hot, due, of course, to “tough, conservative decisions.”
1. When Rick Perry was George W. Bush’s lieutenant governor, Texans reportedly referred to Bush as “the smart one.” Indeed, a look at Perry’s college transcript from his days at Texas A&M reveals a lackluster student who made mostly Cs and Ds, including — we didn’t know this was possible — a C in Phys. Ed. Read the details here.
2. That great record of economic accomplishment in Texas? Not so much, unless you consider a $27 billion deficit “conservative.” Or you think that ranking 24th in unemployment figures is “excellent.” Or you feel that having the highest number and percentage of minimum wage jobs of any state in the union is “good news for America’s future.” Or that Perry depended on more money from the 2009 Recovery Act than any other governor, after complaining about the program, is “consistent judgment.”
3. Perry is closely allied with some of the “fringiest” of fringe preachers in the fundamentalist right wing; you know, lunatics. In fact, several of Rick’s Looney Tunes buddies endorsed and showed up for Perry’s giant Christian prayer meeting in Texas last weekend. Some of the beliefs spread by these fine Christian leaders include: Oprah is a sign of the Apocalypse, hurricanes are God’s way of punishing “sinful cities,” the Roman Catholic Church is “the Great Whore of Babylon,” gay marriage is “rooted in the depths of Hell,” blackbirds are dying because of gay soldiers, Jesus opposed the minimum wage, and — my favorite — the Statue of Liberty is a “demonic idol.” This stuff is funny, yes, but considering that the GOP’s new hero, Perry, is closely allied with these people — and considering the increasingly nihilistic Tea Partiers whose debt ceiling antics triggered the U.S.’s credit rating downgrade, it’s not too damned funny anymore.
Here is a video from Rachel Maddow about Perry’s preacher friends.