Do you remember when Rick Perry seemed like a formidable presidential candidate, awash in PAC money, waving a pistol? That was before he opened his mouth. Dubya is dumb, but Perry is dumber than one of Dubya’s fence posts. And he’s a nasty son of a bitch.
From Paul Begala today:
Let us not allow Rick Perry to exit stage right—far right—without a final word or two. What can be said about a man who burst onto the national scene by toying with secession, as if 600,000 dead in the Civil War weren’t enough?
Rick Perry appealed to the darkest angels of our nature. In his final debate appearance, standing in the metaphorical shadow of Fort Sumter, he said the state of South Carolina “is at war” with the federal government—and he said it with approval. Perry called Social Security a Ponzi scheme and “a monstrous lie.” He attacked the constitutionality of Medicare. He openly and dishonestly called our president a socialist. He said he would reinvade Iraq. He almost certainly executed an innocent man.
Right. Paul Krugman has a theory about Republican candidates:
I view the primary race through the lens of the FOF theory – that’s for “fools and frauds”. It goes as follows: to be a good Republican right now, you have to affirm your belief in things that any halfway intelligent politician can see are plainly false. This leaves room for only two kinds of candidates: those who just aren’t smart and/or rational enough to understand the problem, and those who are completely cynical, willing to say anything to get ahead…
… So what you have are fairly dim types like Perry, on the one side, and the utterly cynical Romney, on the other. (Gingrich manages to be both a fool and a fraud). Maybe, just maybe, the GOP could have found someone able to achieve Romney-level cynicism while coming across as sincere; but political talent on that level is quite rare. I mean, the various non-crazy-non-Romneys who were supposed to have a shot all turned out to be duds, e.g. Pawlenty.
Krugman’s piece makes sense, but it raises questions that he probably would rather dodge. Such as, what does his FOF theory say about the reasoning powers of Republican voters, and of Democrats who choose to vote for the likes of George W. Bush?