As widely predicted, Texan Governor Rick Perry entered the race for Republican presidential candidate on Saturday, and leaped into first place in the opinion polls. Perry is a slick, young-looking 61 year-old Christian right-winger who attracted headlines by holding – in place of a political rally – a huge prayer rally in Houston a week before formally announcing his candidature.
Perry had built up strong lunatic credentials (something that every GOP candidate must establish before having a chance of election these days); in April, while wildfires burned across Texas amidst a drought, Perry (while denying that this year’s extreme weather could demonstrate any truth in man-made climate change) instead prayed for rain.
Naturally, Perry is anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage – standard check-boxes on the Republican membership form these days.
Likewise, on economic issues, Perry says the moronic and downright dangerous things that every Tea Party-supporting moron will love, such as claiming last month that a failure to raise the federal debt ceiling would be fine. (You have to feel sorry for Republicans running for office these days – say anything moronic and mainstream society will mock you; say anything sensible and you lose your electoral base).
Perry is front runner for a reason: he’s been Governor of Texas since he replaced Dubya in 2000, and he has a strong economic record. Perry fans, and Republicans in general, proudly point to Texas’s economic performance (relative to other states, at least) as proof that conservative economic policies work. After all, he balanced the budget in the tricky 2010/11 fiscal years – no mean feat. And Texas has had a strong record of job creation on his watch.
But dig deeper, and a hidden threat emerges. For while Rick Perry claims to be a poster-boy for right-wing virtues, he is hiding a sinister truth: his approach to Texan fiscal matters has been (I hardly dare type it)… SOCIALIST!
Perry consistently claims to be an enemy of big government, and was strongly opposed to Obama’s stimulus; yet he was simultaneously taking $6.4 billion in Obama stimulus money! In fact, this money nearly perfectly plugged the $6.6 hole that would otherwise have appeared in Texas’s 2010/11 budget.
Even worse, Perry’s apparent job creation record hides another terrible Socialist secret: Much of the gain in Texan employment during the Perry and Bush era comes from (brace yourself) government jobs!
So there we have it: the free market works perfectly (so long as you have access to government money when it doesn’t). Republicans beware: Perry may pretend to be a raving right-wing lunatic, but scratch the surface and he’s dangerously pragmatic. If you want to elect a real, honest moron who will stick to her guns (and destroy America’s economy and global standing in the process) I suggest you vote for Michele Bachmann.