How Dumb is Rick Perry?

Filed in National by on August 29, 2011

BuzzFeed put a list together which starts out with, “He’s like Bush only without the brains.” The list goes on, but as one Texas insider said, “The political graveyard in Texas is buried full of people who have underestimated Rick Perry.”  You can also read more about Perry’s stubbornness at Politico.

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  1. Jason330 says:

    Perry is helped out by the fact that he gets to run against Democrats. Also, Republicans regard stupidity as a virtue.

  2. Dana says:

    On the other hand, we have an absolutely brilliant, Harvard-educated President of the United States in Barack Obama . . . and he has been a failure. Whether it is fair or not, President Obama will be judged on the performance of the economy and on unemployment, and unless things change both dramatically and unexpectedly, he’s going to be judged a failure by the voters; they already gave him a failing mark on his midterms.

    I’m sure that it will be a Democratic meme that Rick Perry is dumb, but y’all tried that same theme in the elections of 1980, 1984, 2000 and 2004; how well did that work out for you?

  3. John Manifold says:

    Because that was a rip-roaring economy that Bush left behind.

    Perry’s worse than dumb:

    http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/94334/rick-perry-isn%E2%80%99t-just-pro-life-governor-he%E2%80%99s-anti-choice-zealot

  4. jason330 says:

    Dana is right about one thing, American voters regard stupidity as a virtue. I hope team Obama does not try to run that campaign, but I’m not optimistic about it.

  5. Dana says:

    Sorry, but wrong. The American voters regard common sense as a virtue. Y’all wanted to claim that a guy who was graduated from both Yale and Harvard was stupid, but it wasn’t believed because it wasn’t believable.

    Remember 1996? President Clinton’s campaign didn’t bother with trying to trash Bob Dole, because the economy was running strongly and deficits had been reduced. In addition, President Clinton successfully “triangulated” and made some signature Republican issues his issues, such as welfare reform. The result was that President Clinton ran on the economy and his record, and was easily re-elected; he didn’t have to run down Senator Dole, because he knew he could run on his record.

    Contrast that with President Obama. Y’all want to make the 2012 election about anything other than his record, because you know that if it is about his record, he loses. The voters aren’t going to look at claims from a President with a record of failure that his opponent is an idiot; they are going to judge the President based on whether his record is any good.

  6. cassandra m says:

    Did anyone see the card trick here? Dana somehow wants us to beleive that what jason330 considers stupid is considered common sense by “the American voters”. This is the kind of redefinining of language that wingnuts do try to make their disadvantages into virtues.

    Stupidity is not the same as common sense. And only someone who had some common sense would not have tried pawning that bullshit off over here.

    And the 1996 I remember was the campaign where the Clintonistas made Bob Dole into Newt Gingrich’s partner in crime. It was really quite devastating to Dole who complains about it to this day. So much for rewriting history. Which Perry is working hard at doing too.

  7. John Manifold says:

    Common sense? This nation has a well-documented strain of anti-intellectualism, but Quayle and Palin quickly became national jokes.

    “Not being up to the job” is an even more dominant theme. A challenger should face withering questions about his or her capacity – Carter, Clinton and Obama had to face those queries. Bush got a pass – “we’re at peace, prosperous, and he’ll have Powell and Cheney watch the trigger” – which the 2012 GOP challenger is unlikely to enjoy.

    Dana’s warnings should be taken seriously – but not the triumphalism. I heard it during Jeremiah Wright, Gennifer Flowers and many other GOP-driven blizzards.

  8. Geezer says:

    “Whether it is fair or not, President Obama will be judged on the performance of the economy and on unemployment…”

    You and other conservatives would very much like to make that so. How many chickens ya got, Dana? Counted them yet?

  9. Valentine says:

    Whether Obama gets reelected or not does not depend solely on his job performance. It also depends on who is running against him. Perry is not electable.

  10. V says:

    Not going to lie, I’m scared of Perry. Just like I was scared of Palin. He’s got the charisma(and looks, he just LOOKS authoritative with that damn hair) and naked ambition of Palin without any of that icky omg but she has periods sexism. He’s also way more tapped into religious stuff than her. If liberals don’t take him seriously we’re in trouble, and anything that is a legit criticism (like murdering innocent texans at his whim) will be brushed off by “oh those elite liberals aren’t one of the people like you and I, they think i’m dumb don’t pay attention to them.” Accusations of dumb didn’t help us last time. twice.

    Also, I’d like to take this moment to further advance my theory that I NEVER thought Bush was dumb. I thought he was an asshole who didn’t give a shit. Big difference.

  11. puck says:

    I’m not scared of Perry because I think he is stronger or more appealing than Obama. I’m scared of Perry because I think Obama might get beat by any Republican, and it sucks that that Republican will probably be Perry. I don’t think any of the Repubs is worse than any other. They all have the same crazy.

  12. V says:

    I agree Puck, I’m not scared because he’s actually better. I’m scared because he COULD WIN. Especially if any Ds sit this one out.and he’s downplaying how crazy he is now (which was something Bachman wasn’t able to do effectively)

  13. puck says:

    Obama could use a third party candidate on the right, the way Clinton benefited from Ross Perot. Doesn’t seem likely though. If the establishment Repubs want to stop the tea party they will put up someone like Bloomberg. That’s “if.”

    Tea Party Congress + Obama = moderate Republican policy being enacted. If that’s what the establishment wants, then they need Obama.

    Tea Party Congress + Perry might be too extreme even for Wall Street. But I wouldn’t underestimate the stupidity and evil of the greedheads.

  14. V says:

    see i think we’re looking at a Tea Party candidate no matter what.

    They win: yay! (as the rest of us weep)
    They lose: they (Republican Leadership) can officially kill the tea party, return to their corporatist roots and then in 4 years can run an establishment candidate (Jeb, Christie) who was too smart to want to run against an incumbent.

  15. jason330 says:

    “But I wouldn’t underestimate the stupidity (of wall street)”

    As you may recall, the bankers were supposed to jump in on the debt ceiling fight and discipline the teabag congress. Did they? No.

  16. puck says:

    “the bankers were supposed to jump in on the debt ceiling fight and discipline the teabag congress. Did they? No.”

    And what they got was a moderate Republican debt bill, which is what they wanted all along. My point exactly.

    With a Perry in the White House they would have been looking at the Ryan budget iwth its consequent massive unemployment, drop in consumer demand, and economic crash. Never mind the human misery from slashing social spending; that is not a factor for Republicans.

  17. cassandra m says:

    It wasn’t bankers, but business that was supposed to jump in. And they did. With both feet.

    If you look a little further, you can find that places like Bloomberg and Forbes did alot of reporting like this.

    But don’t let *me* get in the way of whatever narrative you need to create.

    Sheesh.

  18. jason330 says:

    I was looking at the outcome. I stand corrected, I guess.

  19. Von Cracker says:

    All you need to know about Perry, and will disqualify him for POTUS, for most folks, was his lack of common sense when it came to signing a death warrant for a person that was, most likely, innocent. Dana talks about common sense like he fucking actually knows what it is, but wouldnt the common sense approach be to stay the execution and investigate the new findings in the case? Or is life that cheap in Texas? So Perry’s common sense would equate to this: finding the truth is hard and costs money, so let’s murder him instead.

    Or worse, was it more important to Perry to appear tough, regardless of the truth?

    Perry’s not dumb; he’s just not that bright. And from the case above and other articles I’ve read about him, it is pretty certain he’s just another grifting charlatan, projecting mythology and bravado to hide his shortcomings. In other words, he’s nothing more than a typical far-right wing politician.

  20. Valentine says:

    Perry in the White House might be just what is needed to get the Left mobilized, not that I think he could win.

  21. puck says:

    “Perry in the White House might be just what is needed to get the Left mobilized.”

    Bush got us mobilized in 2000 and we won the popular vote.

    Bush got us mobilized again in 2004 and we came close.

    Bush got us mobilized in 2008, and we won an illusory and short-lived victory.

    So you are right. To win a real victory, we need opponents who are even crazier than Bush.

  22. Dana says:

    Von Cracker wrote:

    All you need to know about Perry, and will disqualify him for POTUS, for most folks, was his lack of common sense when it came to signing a death warrant for a person that was, most likely, innocent.

    Except, of course, that the Governor of Texas does not sign death warrants, and has little power over the execution process.

    From The Washington Post:

    It is a bipartisan tradition. The annual rate of executions was actually higher when George W. Bush was the state’s governor, and Democratic Gov. Ann Richards oversaw 50 executions during her four-year term without ever granting clemency.

    “In the big picture, it is hard to see how Perry is much different from Bush or Richards,” said Jordan Steiker, co-director of the University of Texas Law School’s Capital Punishment Center.

    That’s partly because Texans and their representatives give governors little room to slow down the process.

    Decisions to seek the death penalty are made by local prosecutors. Unlike in some states, the governor does not sign death warrants or set execution dates. The state constitution prohibits the governor from calling a moratorium on executions and allows clemency only when the Board of Pardons and Paroles recommends it, which is rarely.

    Texas’s relatively streamlined process for death penalty appeals is overseen by an elected court not known for reversals. Federal lawsuits go to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in New Orleans, which has the same reputation.

    In other words, you didn’t know what you were talking about.

    Governor Perry does support capital punishment, no doubt about that. But the limit of his authority in capital cases is to be able to grant a single thirty-day stay of execution, unless the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles recommends clemency or pardon. In the case of the (supposedly) innocent man executed, the final appeal was presented to both Governor Perry and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, and neither found sufficient merit in the presentation to delay the execution.

  23. Valentine says:

    Puck – I wouldn’t agree that progressives at large were mobilized during the Bush admin. I was shocked at the lack of response to the Bush admin’s crimes.

  24. puck says:

    At least back then we all agreed tax cuts for the rich were a bad thing. Remember how relieved we were going to feel after they expired in 2010?

  25. DEIdealist says:

    I’d be more worried if Romney became President than if Perry won, here’s why. Perry already has the conservative fringe of the Republican party. If he wins the R nomination, he will need to consolidate his base and win over independents in order to win the General, which would both require moving towards the center. Romney, on the other hand, despite his recent overtures to the tea drinkers, isn’t trusted as one of them. Therefore, if Romney wins the nomination, he will need to move right to court the conservative fringe (aka Republican Base) enough not to push Petty or Bachmann to launch a tea-party challenge, while simultaneously selling his “I’m the least crazy of the Republican contenders” bullshit to Indies. But, while the conservative fringe will come out to vote for Romney against Obama, they still won’t trust him and will be prepared to pounce at anything even resembling moderation. In a fight between a President (does anyone know what this guy really believes) Romney and the Conservative Crazies, I don’t like our country’s chances.

  26. Valentine says:

    I don’t think Romney will get the nomination because the Christian Right will not vote for a Mormon.

  27. Von Cracker says:

    He can place a stay. Simple as that. Can you deflect that one too? Or are you gonna keep carrying the water of a lazy know-nothing hacking grifter?

  28. Von Cracker says:

    Dana makes it sound like Perry’s hands were tied, a fait accompli, if you will. Well bullshit, his hands are all over this thing…

    http://edition.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/10/01/texas.execution.probe/index.html

    But Dana and other perry/GOP zombies will pick out one thing and attack that, (death warrants, my bad on that – most govs do, but not in TX and some southern states)..but…BUT, the gov in TX can place a stay, which is the central point, not procedure or protocol, but commin sense to do the right thing. No mention of that from Dana, but maybe we’ll get a pingback!

    Perry didn’t use common sense by not using his power as gov to stop a wrongful execution (which is nothing more than murder). Worse yet, he made it more difficult for the prisoner to appeal. Now Perry wants to take his style national, and people like Dana will rationalize away….

    I mean, whatthefuck?!?

  29. Geezer says:

    “But the limit of his authority in capital cases is to be able to grant a single thirty-day stay of execution,”

    Which is what was at issue in this case. DO try to keep up, Dana.

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