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No Texas Messiah: A Requiem for Rick Perry

Yesterday, I offered you my retrospective of Michele Bachmann’s career in Congress. Today, I will take a look at outgoing Texas Governor Rick Perry. A requiem is a Roman Catholic service held for the dead, or a piece of music to accompany that service. Rick Perry is not dead, but I believe his political aspirations are.

Governor Rick Perry is another in a growing collection of Republican banditti, though one with less personal integrity than his more famous counterpart across the border, Pancho Villa, who at least was fighting for more than personal aggrandizement.

Pancho Villa actually cared about the future of Mexico. Rick Perry cares only about his own future. The United States does not enter into the picture. In the old days, the Texas Rangers would have been hunting Rick Perry down. In today’s Texas, he was their boss.

It must be remembered here that Perry (and this is to take nothing away from Perry’s complete lack of a moral compass) is a symptom of a greater ill: Texas. Under Republican governance, Texas has produced not only Rick Perry, but George W. Bush, and now provides refuge for Allen West, who couldn’t summon sufficient IQ points to qualify as a Floridian.

Texas is also a state in which Perry’s successor as Governor, the equally unethical Greg Abbott, can meet with a “patriot” militia leader (and shake his hand) days before his arrest on weapons charges, and still win election to governor.

And I haven’t even mentioned Rick Perry’s mythical “Texas Miracle” yet: In Two Sentences Team Obama Shatters The Myth Of Rick Perry’s Texas Miracle. That’s right, there is no Texas miracle, unless you’re a corporation, in which case you can blow Texans up with impunity.

So keeping all that in mind, consider this headline from October 2011: Rick Perry Threatens to Run U.S. Like He Runs Texas.

Yeah. We don’t need that. That should have made your blood run cold. All this is certainly discouraging, and as I argued earlier this year, if Santa Anna had been a better general in 1836, Texas and Perry would be Mexico’s problem, not ours. But if wishes were horses…

Rick Perry has said some pretty awful things in his time as governor. It seems this is part of the GOP’s job description for its governors. These headlines tell the tale:

That’s right, you can check all the boxes: Rick Perry hates immigrants, hates women, loves himself some Religious Right theocrats, and hates gays. He’s a Republican all right, bona fides confirmed. And that doesn’t even get into his gun infatuation (because everybody needs a grenade launcher):

I spoke yesterday in my retrospective about Michele Bachmann’s intellectual challenges, and Perry exhibits more of the same. As when at a big speech he forgot what state he was in, or when he said America’s ally, Turkey, is our enemy. Here we had Bachmann fearful of the Soviet Union, two decades gone, and Rick Perry who wants to attack our allies.

And then there was the time Gaffer-in-Chief Rick Perry thought Solyndra was a country. Considering he once wanted to invade Mexico (a dream he shares with fellow GOP border bandit Sheriff Joe Arpaio), Solyndra should be worried.

Yes, Rick Perry does channel Sarah Palin – pretty much all of the time. And no, that’s not a good thing.

And I’ll just let Rick Perry’s belief that he can pray away drought and other problems speak for itself. The thought of a president who thinks he can pray away problems also speaks for itself.

Perry is leaving center stage now, and thinking about a bigger venue – President of the United States – which is pretty funny because the secessionist tenther once entertained the idea of being President of Texas. Of course, if Texas Republicans get their way, he may still get that chance.

Which would negate my earlier concerns about Santa Anna’s generalship.

But Rick Perry’s ego is bigger than his prospects will ever be. A new bandit has taken his place in Austin, and Perry wants to take his crime spree to the nation’s capital. But stature-wise, Perry is nothing more than a male version of Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann.

Unlike Palin, he actually finished his terms as governor; like Bachmann, he is under investigation by the authorities, and the Big House is as likely a destination for him as the White House.

In fact, about the only chance Perry stands of getting into the White House is if the Religious Right gets its wish granted and is able to choose Republican candidates for president.

But even then, there are lot of equally crazy would-be messiahs in Republican ranks these days, so there are no guarantees even then.

In the end, Perry, like Bush, has shown that intellectual deficits are no obstacles in a party that holds not only intellect, but reality, in contempt. Better to be a good corporatist and theocrat, because you get money from one source and fanatical followers from the other.

The world, throughout its history, has seen more than its fair share of questionable leadership, but I don’t know that belief has ever carried such weight against actual ability as now.

Perry’s faith may be un-genuine, as some have suggested, but he is still the only Republican governor to organize a prayer rally for some of the worst religious extremists not only in North America, but the world.

We hope we have seen the last of Rick Perry. He has been an ongoing source of comedic material but that is only because he was elected governor not just once, but three times. Our laughter is built upon real pain and suffering, and if ever a requiem was overdue, it is this requiem for Governor Rick Perry of Texas.

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