As dizzy as I am at the thought that anyone — anywhere — sees yet another not particularly bright, ultra-right wing Texas governor as the solution to all the problems rung up by the last not particularly bright or hard-working Texas governor, you know the $5 trillion in debt from a combination of a tax revenue giveaway to the richest of the rich, two unfunded wars, a huge unfunded prescription drug benefit (to major pharmaceutical corporations) and a grinding recession largely inspired by crony-capitalism and the systematic gutting of federal financial regulatory agencies, “The Solution” has arrived. He is here folks, and his name is Rick Perry, the guy most likely to face-off against Barack Obama next year.
In a normal world I try to restrain myself from hysterical, apocalyptic prophesying. But in this case … what the hell? Everyone else is doing it, and Perry is about to launch a national campaign on it. And it works.
As we saw when all eight of the previous GOP candidates raised their hands in Ames last week and vowed to reject a deficit-reducing plan that included as little as a 10-to-1 ratio of spending cuts to revenue increases, the prevailing stratagem in GOP politics today is the refusal by all involved to be out-hyperbolized by any of the others. Put another way, however radical the statements of any of the others may be — and we’re talking Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum for chrissakes — there is always room even further out for a candidate willing to go there … and they all are, except maybe Jon Huntsman.
But in Rick Perry … oh lord, (and I do mean “Lord”) … the Republicans now have a nearly ideal caricature for the modern conservative movement. Here is a guy who is truly post-rational, post-accountable and post-shameful in his rhetoric and tactics, and someone so shamelessly sold off to the biggest money interests in Texas he won’t worry for a second where his next barrage of God-inspired attack ads will come from. In any other time, Perry would be a non-starter based any of a dozen absurdly flagrant abuses of logic and influence. But this is not that kind of time. Much the contrary. As long as the talk radio/Tea Party ethos maintains control over the Republican party there is no penalty and only benefit for breathtaking fabrication, hysteria and demagoguery. (Have you seen his first TV ad?) This stuff is selling, and Rick Perry, much more than “weird” Mormon Mitt Romney (for whom 25% of base Republicans say they “could” never vote) is the strutting apotheosis of everything the New Republican desires most.
Ladies and gentlemen, Rick Perry not only will be the Republican nominee, his candidacy will ignite the afterburners on the culture wars in the good old USA. And he could easily win. All his gaffes and sell-outs to major business interests are irrelevant to those who want nothing more than the defeat of Barack Obama and a restoration of a corporate-fueled theocracy of George W. Bush. The crowd that wants Obama destroyed simply don’t care if anything … anything … their standard-bearer says is true, much less whether he has any concerns whatsoever for their day-to-day well-being. The defeat/destruction of Barack Obama is a matter of apocalyptic necessity to the new GOP base and of the current crop, only Rick Perry brings enough of the ammo to get the job done.
We are about to behold a media spectacle of unprecedented irrationality and rabble-rousing … and it will unfold under the banner of God himself.
Other than that, have a great day.