Sunday, August 28, 2011


With the morning news that Rick Perry denies nothing in his book and stands behind every comment therein, I thought it valuable to revisit this curious 214 page tome, written less than 9 months ago to see if what I read was accurate and , perhaps glean some more illuminating nuggets from the Sagebrush Sage. I have tried to look at specific issues and to use direct quotes from Perry's book as source material. I have also been assisted by reference to a column by Matt Yglesias on the same topic. Here goes:

1. Social Security : " Social Security is something we have been forced to accept for more than 70 years." It is, he writes," a crumbling monument to the failure of the New Deal." It continues " Ponzi the one that sent Bernie Maddoff to prison....are illegal in this country for a reason. They are fraudulent systems designed to take a lot of money at the front and pay out none at the end." " This unsustainable fiscal insanity is the true legacy of Social Security and the New Deal. Deceptive accounting has hoodwinked the American people into thinking that Social Security is a retirement system and financially sound, when clearly it is not." Social security is, ( on page 48 ) " by far the best example" of a program " violently tossing aside any respect for our founding principles."

My comments. Perry does not just say SS is an unfounded entitlement program in need of fixing. He does not just say it is unconstitutional. He says it is criminally ILLEGAL , a scheme to hoodwink voters using deceptive accounting. Held to the same standards as Madoff, administrators should be exposed to criminal liability and , perhaps prison. Hmmmmm.

2. Federal Voting Rights Act
The Voting Rights Act " has now become, in effect, federally mandated and judicially enforced gerrymandering on the basis of race."
My comment : This will play great in a general election

3. The Supreme Court
The Supreme Court "..... long ago wrested away from the people the power to decide what is right and what is wrong and, at the most fundamental level, how we should live our lives. Nothing could be more offensive to the concept of liberty......"
My comment. I'm not sure what he means by " wrested " . I am convinced he is clueless about the checks and balances in the Constitution and the positive protection afforded by the Supreme Court. This and his Voting Rights Act comment will assure perhaps a ZERO minority vote.

4. The 16th and 17 th Amendments
" The American people mistakenly empowered the federal government during a fit of populist rage in the early twentieth century by giving it an unlimited source of income ( the 16 th amendment ) and by changing the way senators are elected ( the 17th amendment ).

My comment: As a nation we should be moving to give more power to the majority, not political elites. Who are the majority ? We the voters. The people who live here, not politically appointed state legislators often beholden to state governors. This was not a " populist rage " . It was in the spirit of giving more power to the people, that the 17th amendment was passed.
The income tax amendment gave a defined source of income to a young nation taking center stage in the world. Does it need change ? Absolutely. Should it be simpler? Absolutely . Is it " Unconstitutional ? Ridiculous.

5. Intelligent Design in Public Schools
" I am a firm believer in intelligent design as a matter of faith and intellect and I believe it should be presented in schools alongside the theories of evolution."

My opinion ? ' Nuff said.

6. The Civil War and Government intrusion on states rights
Rather than simply citing chattel slavery as an exemption to his " states rights are good" principle, Perry argues that slaveholder activism in the 1850's was an example of big government federal overreach " In many ways it was the northern states whose sovereignty was violated in the run up to the Civil War.......citing the Fugitive Slave Act and ignoring the human rights of enslaved African Americans in the south. Perry says " we can never know what would have happened in the absence of the federal government " ignoring again the fact that federalism would probably have bought peace at the price of continued slavery ."

My opinion and note. These were two separate comments stylistically twined together to present a cohesive statement. Perry believes the government intruded on the rights of the northern states as well by passing intrusive legislation such as The Fugitive Slave Act. He also goes on to say that the Civil War was caused by slave owners trampling on the rights of Northern States. As I said at the outset, it goes on and on.

7. All Bank Regulation is Unconstitutional
Perry asserts that " if the Constitution were shown the appropriate respect, Washington regulation writers wouldn't have to worry about underrepresented views, because they wouldn't have any control over them in the first place ? ( Page 94 )

My comments: Regulation of the banking industry has been a subject of bipartisan agreement since the Madison administration. Perry is at real risk in seeming to ally himself with the banking industry in this time of financial crisis.

8. Consumer Financial Protection is Unconstitutional
Perry believes all federal financial regulation is illegitimate, listing the SEC on page 44, as part of a " federal alphabet soup" in which " undemocratic unelected Washington bureaucrats " are " now empowered to dictate their own preferences to the American people"

9 Almost Everything is Unconstitutional
Perry seems to regret the existence of jurisprudence construing the Commerce Clause to permit " federal laws regulating the environment, regulating guns, protecting civil rights, establishing Medicare and Medicaid, creating national minimum wage laws and national labor laws." ( Page 51 )

10. Federal Education Policy is Unconstitutional
Perry cites the willingness of Republicans to vote for re- authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act as a " perfect example " of " losing sight of the fact that perfectly laudable policy choices at the local level are not appropriate ( much less constitutional ) at the federal level " ( Page 87 )

11. Global Warming
Perry argues that moderates oppose curbing greenhouse gas emissions because " they know that we have been experiencing a cooling trend ." ( page 92 ).

My comment : Tell that to residents in Dallas and Houston and get out of your air conditioned free rental.

The bottom line is this book and the writer reflect vies that are far, far to the right of where Republican have traditionally positioned themselves. When the media and the voters begin to sift through this cornucopia of illogical posturing, let's hope we are a long , long way away from an election


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Right Wingnut said...

That's funny. You keep painting Perry as a right wing extremist, while I argue that he's a RINO in conservative clothes.

By the way, the mainstream republican electorate does not believe in man made global warming any more.

BOSMAN said...


Don't argue boys...there's enough of Perry's bizarre views out there for people from all aspects of the political spectrum to hate.

Anonymous said...

Rick Perry's downfall is going to be his book, let's see how many things he is going to be against to what he actually said 1 year ago in his book.....

craigs said...

Try putting your mouth over your cars exhaust for couple of hours. Then, multiply the effect by about 6 billion.
Next, drop the temperature in your living room to about 20 degrees.......and then pump your exhaust into the room. Surprise. It will get warmer.
The Kyoto Treaty was flawed because the biggest contributors to global warming, like India and China, refused to sign. But, nobody with any knowledge of science would argue that man doesn't have some part of the climates warming. Anybody that thinks the world is cooling
Is a classic example of nucase denial


Right Wingnut said...

Next, drop the temperature in your living room to about 20 degrees.......and then pump your exhaust into the room. Surprise. It will get warmer. Craig

The heat produced in the combustion process would heat the room...not the carbon.

Right Wingnut said...

But, nobody with any knowledge of science would argue that man doesn't have some part of the climates warming. Anybody that thinks the world is cooling
Is a classic example of nucase denial

Actually, there are many...

craigs said...

Dear RW
I teach physics. My undergraduate degree is in Physics. I try and keep things simple for a non technical audience. But, you seem pretty ,ever hear of solar infiladization, the impact of incipient solar energy on a high carbon atmosphere? Kind of the same result as transferring internal combustion energy from your car to your room using carbon.
Check it out and think a little


craigs said...

Actually, 97 percent agree with global warming. But, three per cent do not.Still, that the definition of many


Anonymous said...

Rick Perry will soon be "toast".


Right Wingnut said...

ever hear of solar infiladization

No I haven't. Neither has results.

Massachusetts Conservative said...

It's called solar irradiation. The theory goes like this...

Carbon dioxide acts like a "one-way mirror" in the atmosphere, allowing solar irradiation into the atmosphere at one frequency.

But the sunlight that bounces back off the earth is a different frequency, and that frequency does not pass through the carbon dioxide. So the sunlight bounces off the atmosphere and heats the earth more than it should.

That's it in a nutshell. I'm not so sure I believe it. But MORE IMPORTANTLY, it's not worth capping emissions if China and India don't do it. Because if we did, we'd be harming our economy without SOLVING the problem.

Anonymous said...

So, Perry wishes that blacks had never been freed or given the right to vote. And the nutcases in talk radio and Faux News want to run this racist against our first black president? Insane.

craigs said...

Mass Conservative and DanL
I agree with you. I wouldn't have signed the Kyoto Protocol either....for your very points.....but I do believe in global warming. Just that we can't make much of a difference if the developing world doesn't really give a damn.
Still, this book of Perry's is a treatise on lunacy and an election defeat manual.

I really don't think Perry thinks that about blacks. I do think it illustrates how far some of his whacked out rhetoric can be taken . Against the Voting Rights Act ? Got to be kidding in the 21st century.


Closer To Home said...

Having Perry's own words in hand, by way of his book, we should proceed to expose him as a completely unfit wack job with all due haste. He doesn't hold a candle to either Palin or Bachmann, which I personally hold as a pretty low bar.

Anonymous said...

So, Perry wishes that blacks had never been freed or given the right to vote.


That's not what I gathered from CraigS's short quotes, for which I don't know the context or anything. But Perry's objections to the Federal Voting Rights Act, as far as I'm aware, were about gerrymandering resulting from it (purposely creatig majority black districts), not about its other provisions such as outlawing voting qualifications or prerequisites to vote (like literacy tests). The Fifteenth Amendment gave blacks the right to vote; Craig didn't mention that Perry objected to that, either.

Nor did Perry wish that blacks had never been freed; that's ridiculous. Perry seems to assume that blacks would have been freed by the states on their own (Craig quotes, "We can never know what would have happened in the absence of the federal government"). You can see that he argues that slaveholders were bad guys: "Perry argues that slaveholder activism in the 1850's was an example of big government federal overreach".

I'm not saying Perry is right; far from it. He twists history to fit his "states' rights are always good" paradigm, and ends up with pretty ridiculous stuff. But let's not compound the ridiculousness by throwing around accusations of racism like liberals; let's read his statements with comprehension and respond coherently to his arguments.

Here's my response: Perry probably exaggerates the race-based gerrymandering resulting from the Voting Rights Act of 1965, especially since the Supreme Court in the '90's specifically banned gerrymandering based solely on race. Furthermore, his statements won't play well at all in a general election, as CraigS says. As for the Civil War, it's true that the Fugitive Slave Act and the Dred Scott decision were examples of federal overreach, which helped cause the Civil War; but it must also be said that the South was simply wrong in the Civil War; secession is unconstitutional; abiding strictly by states' rights would not have been best in that case. The southern states were becoming ever more defensive and hard-line in their defense of slavery; it was not dying out, and would probably have continued for a long time. Like some other southerners, Perry twists and ignores parts of history when it comes to the Civil War. It's not necessarily due to racism (a too-easy charge, without real evidence, that kills dialogue), but it's due to either regional pride, states' rights ideology, or both. That will be a liability in the general election.

Matt Y.

Right Wingnut said...


Let me put it a different way. If you're trying to turn Republican voters away from Perry, I don't think pointing to his climate change stance is the best way to do it.

Joe said...

Perry back to 'Ponzi scheme,' 'monstrous lie' on Social Security -

Massachusetts Conservative said...

Right Wingnut, you are right.

I have been trying to drive the conversation for a while now away from calling Perry radical, toward proving that he's a corrupt sellout.

For one, it's true. Secondly, it will resonate with GOP voters. Thirdly, it's not an issue that could backfire on Mitt if he chooses to go that route.

Anonymous said...

He doesn't hold a candle to either Palin or Bachmann

Closer to Home,

I agree. (But I like Palin and Bachmann).

Perry strikes me as part whacky, part big goverment "conservative" like George W. Bush (because of Texas's debt and spending under his watch), and part phony panderer. He'd be better than Obama; he's pro-life, and opposed to excessive regulations and Keynesian stimulus, so he could be fine. But I just want someone better. I'll take Palin, Bachmann, Santorum, or even Romney, if it comes to that, before Perry.

Matt Y.

craigs said...


I think you are pretty right on climate change. I'm really not trying to turn GOP voters away from Perry on any one issue. Some statements in his book are ridiculous.....but not without support. I disagree with him on climate change and evolution, for example, but it is the overwhelming aggregate of published comments in his book that I am concerned about. Some of these statements, in the hands of the media are far more volatile than anything Sarah Palin ever said, for example and the media did a number on her. Perry is a nuclear bomb ready to explode in all our faces and the 2012 election could well go straight down the tubes

GetReal said...

I don't really think global warming activists are a type likely to be voting in a Republican primary, and if they were, the governor of Texas would hardly be their first choice with a guy like Hunstman in the race. I'm with RW on this one, you should probably leave that issue alone. It will only help Obama in the general, while doing nothing to stop Perry in the primary.

GetReal said...

Sorry Craig, I didn't see your last comment when I posted mine.

Ohio JOE said...

"That's funny. You keep painting Perry as a right wing extremist, while I argue that he's a RINO in conservative clothes." Haha in deed. Yes, it is funny that he is painted as both a Rightist and a Center-Leftist all at once. The fact is he is between the two. True, he is not as goo as the two women candidates and even Mr. Pawlenty, but at least he is to the right of Mr. Gingrich, Mr. Romney and Mr. Cain.

Anonymous said...

I am going to argue that Perry is not necessarily to the right of Romney. Texas is a conservative leaning state, with a legislature that is basically part time. Massachusetts is basically the "People's Republic of Massachusetts," with about 85 percent of the legislature being Democrat and meeting full time, I believe.

Perry is actually pretty left-leaning for a state like Texas. Like it or not, Romney is considered very conservative in MA. As I have heard pointed out, when you have a Governor of a blue state such as MA with an all democratic legislature, you find out pretty much how far to the left they are willing to go. When you have a Governor of a red state who leans left, you haven't really found what their boundaries are. See Huntsman and Perry for case studies.