Monday, August 22, 2011

Rick Perry is fed up, part 4

This is the fourth and final post on Rick Perry’s 2010 book Fed Up! (First post here, second post here, third post here).

Chapter 8 (“Standing Athwart History Not Doing a Damned Thing”) turns its attention to the Republicans, who aren’t fighting hard enough for tiny government. By merely trying to be less bad than Democrats, they are conceding. Other words Perry uses: capitulation, not standing up and fighting. He doesn’t see the job of politicians at the federal level as having anything to do with, you know, governing.

“Elected Democrats... simply no longer represent the values of the American people I know.” This is a bit awkward for Perry, because he has to explain that he was a D until 1989 (when he was nearly 40), and the historical chapters of this book have been dumping on everything the party has done since well before he was born. So he does that “I didn’t leave the party, the party left me” thing, but he says that it’s no longer the party of Andrew freaking Jackson, but has become the party of Roosevelt, Kennedy and Obama.

Bush’s “Compassionate Conservatism” sent the wrong signal that conservatism alone wasn’t sufficient or was somehow flawed. And Bush didn’t fight hard enough for fiscal conservatism.

Chapter 9 (“States Do the Work of the People”) argues that states do much better for the people than the federal government does. For example, dealing with the Katrina refugees? All Texas.

The feds stopped Gov Jindal responding to the BP oil spill with that stupid barrier idea. “Maybe Governor Jindal was right. Or maybe he was wrong... I don’t much care. Because as the guy on the ground trying to protect the people of his state, I tend to defer to Jindal’s judgment... It is his home, after all.” Perry doesn’t much care if Jindal actually knew what the hell he was doing.

Chapter 10 (“Retaking the Reins of Government: Freedom and Federalism for the Future”) is the conclusion, filled with every right-wing cliché he hasn’t already pounded into the ground: restore our founding principles, birthright as Americans, God-fearing people, last, best hope.

He wants a federal government “that focuses on the few things for which it is empowered and well suited – such as national defense, border enforcement, and foreign commerce” and wants Congress to meet a lot less often, just like the Texas Legislature.

WHAT HE SEES: “I see a people who can pray in their schools as they wish, and towns across America that can publicly celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or nothing at all.”

I’M PRETTY SURE COURTS DON’T REALLY TELL FETUSES WHAT IS RIGHT AND WHAT IS WRONG: “I see a world in which the unborn are allowed a chance at life unfettered by an activist court telling them what is right and what is wrong.”

He’s against racism, by which he means affirmative action, “flawed incarnations of the Voting Rights Act,” or a “race-based Native Hawaiian government.”

The future of America depends on reversing Obamacare. “Now, some Republicans seem to be hung up on the notion that we must be ‘for’ something and must indicate so by saying that we will ‘repeal and replace’ the legislation. That is such inside-the-Beltway nonsense and only confuses the issue for voters.”

States have to stop blindly accepting money from Washington, and aren’t bound to enforce federal law. He brings up medical marijuana in California again. He brings it up a lot, and it’s always California, although... hey Google?... 16 states have it now.

WHEN HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A REPUBLICAN TELL YOU THEY FEEL GUILTY ABOUT ANYTHING? “politicians with power seek more of it. The difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Republicans will tell you they feel guilty about it.”

He wants a Constitutional amendment limiting spending, maybe a repeal of the 16th Amendment in favor of a national sales tax, term limits for judges, allowing Congress to override Supreme Court rulings on a 2/3 vote, and a series of “clarifying” amends, for example to restrict the meaning of the 14th Amendment. For someone who talks about the Founders and the original meaning of the Constitution, he sure wants to rewrite an awful lot of it.

Perry shares with Michele Bachmann the belief that all the policies he disagrees with are unconstitutional. Sorta leaves no room for negotiation.

The line that comes back to me is the one about how if you don’t want to be ruled by someone who shoots coyotes while jogging, you should just move out of Texas. I can’t wait to hear his answer when someone asks him – assuming someone other than me ever reads this book, and dear god why would they – what he suggests those people do if he becomes president.

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