Monday, April 9, 2012

#317: Rick Perry

Since this entry’s hopeful candidate is sufficiently well known we’ll restrict ourselves to a few highlights. Perry is governor of Texas and was allegedly guided by God to be one of the contenders for the Republican nomination in the 2012 presidential election - partially because Obama has no insight into how unemployed people are suffering because he was a child of privilege, and because Perry doesn’t like the fact that the US is ruled, in part, by the Constitution rather than his own personal ideas  – until he dropped out to endorse Newt Gingrich instead. Here is Perry, God’s choice for president, ending his campaign. Before his entry into the race he was most famous for his bloodlust, presiding over some very dubious executions (even going so far as to incur accusations of cover-ups of faults in the investigation). But for those who paid attention, Perry had already established himself as a weapons-grade loon.

Perry had by that time already emphasized that his favorite way of dealing with problems (i.e. Texas’s problems) was to attempt to pray them away. For the 2011 drought, for instance, Perry’s solution was to declare a three-day “Prayer for Rain”. The fact that it was an astounding failure didn’t deter him from continuing in the same manner (also here). When asked how he would go about fixing the nation's numerous problems if becoming president, for instance, he responded: “I think it’s time for us to just hand it over to God, and say, ‘God: You’re going to have to fix this’” (which is curious, for to televangelist James Robison he claimed that the economic crisis is God’s will). Some people would still endorse him for president.

He also said that property rights are what makes America unique.

Perry has close ties to the dominionist group New Apostolic Reformation (which thinks Oprah Winfrey might be the Antichrist and wants to turn the US into a theocracy), along with other madmen, presented here. Before kicking off his campaign he attempted to set his main strategy (prayer) in motion by organizing the huge prayer event “The Response”, inviting David Barton and a couple of other rabid extremists to lend color to the event (see also here). The immediate aftermath was dominated by a massive stock market crash.

He tried to make up for it with the by now infamous video “Strong”, in which he claimed to be Christian and argued that the greatest challenge for the US today is the separation of church and state. He never discusses his faith, though. Here is Rick Perry not talking about his faith. When the polls started to go against him, he responded by cranking up the bigotry, and in an act of desperation even claimed that if became president he would re-invade Iraq immediately, presumably to reduce the national debt.

Perry has been closely associated with various Confederate groups, and has on at least two occasions claimed that Texas should secede (here, and here).

As you may have guessed he doesn’t like (or understand) science either. Perry is officially a staunch Intelligent Design Creationist, and he hand-picked the ragingly lunatic creationist Don McLeroy to serve on the Texas State Board of Education. When McLeroy was finally voted off Perry selected the hardcore fundie creationist Gail Lowe instead (who again appointed David Barton as an expert reviewer). Perry officially endorsed creationism during his presidential campaign as well: “(Evolution) is a theory that's out there and it's got some gaps in it. In Texas, we teach creationism and evolution because I feel you're smart enough to figure out which one is right.” It is telling that it is, in fact, also falsethat Texas actually teaches creationism (at least officially), which says something about Perry’s care for factual accuracy; and yes – you can spot the “just a theory” gambit in there as well. He didn’t want to say anything about the age of the Earth, however.

He is also a staunch global warming denier, and subscribes to made up “facts” and conspiracy theories to support his denialism: “I think there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects […] Yes our climate's changed, they've been changing ever since the earth was born. But I do not buy into a group of scientists who have in some cases found to be manipulating this information.” Perry’s spokesperson Ray Sullivan attempted to support his master’s claims by providing citations, but all he could do was to link to anecdotal crap, blogposts and hearsay. Under Perry’s administration the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality erased climate-related references in one of its reports (also here) but of course it only counts as censorship when scientists won’t say what Perry likes to hear, not when he (Perry) deletes the parts that it should be abundantly clear that he didn’t want to hear.

There’s a fine Rick Perry source here. You can see überloon Richard Land explain the key differences between Perry and Bush here (basically Perry is Bush without the education, compassion, intellect, or fancy East Coast-upbringing, which Land takes to be good things).

Diagnosis: Really? You can probably come up with one yourself.


  1. Perry, being disgusted by Obama’s actions on gun control, has fortunately come up with some effective techniques for combatting those measures (also here.) His suggestions qualified him for this list (there is some marvelous crazy there).

  2. There are also strong rumors concerning switch hitting on the part of Perry with his administrative assistant. As I understand it, this is a more or less open secret in Texas.