Wow guys, I never thought I would have to use this series again so soon after writing an article under it just a few days ago – I would hope you understand by now that it takes a lot to get me to throw in the towel where politics is concerned – but I’m beginning to suspect that as the highly contentious and utterly nonsensical 2012 election draws ever closer you’re going to be seeing this banner a lot, so be prepared. I foresee a lot of wholly inexplicable stupidity in our collective futures.
So what kind of complete horseshit could induce me to give up on politics for a second time this week? Only something so wool-headed, so completely anathema to good governance that I actually had to read several different articles on the incident before I could fully believe that it was real and not some sort of Kafkaesque nightmare. And of course, it came out of the mouth of Texas Governor Rick Perry, just a scant few days after declaring his bid for the presidency.
Perry is running as a far-right, omega-Christian nutjob candidate, hoping to give Michele Bachmann a run for her stimulus money (see what I did there?). One of the foundations of his campaign, like most of the Republican candidates so far, is that the Obama administration has failed America by not waving the presidential magic wand and fixing the economy that was wrecked under the Bush administration overnight. As proof of his fitness for the job, Perry has even been waving around some highly dubious statistics about Texas’s economic growth, which he is claiming full credit for even though he largely had nothing to do with it, and the widely-touted balanced Texas budget comes courtesy of much-maligned stimulus money. So given all of this talk about fixing the economy being the first priority (which is a bald-faced lie: everyone knows the first priority is getting elected no matter what), it came as a bit of a shock to see this:
At a campaign stop in the heartland state of Iowa on Monday, Perry said he would consider any attempt to boost the US economy before the November 2012 elections as "almost treasonous" and invoked the specter of mob justice.
"If this guy prints more money between now and the election, I don’t know what y’all would do to him in Iowa — but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas," Perry told supporters.
"I mean, printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treacherous — or treasonous, in my opinion."
Wait, did…did he just say that the Fed doing something that is legally under their purview to try to help the economy before the 2012 election was fucking treason?! That making an attempt to pull the country out of what’s beginning to look like a double-dip recession deserves “pretty ugly” treatment? Jesus Tiberius Christ on a fucking pogo stick, did he just threaten to beat up Ben Bernanke?
Now, defenders of Perry (which, in this particular instance, is just about nobody) would argue that what he was saying, in his own charming cowboy (or Mafia enforcer, it’s a tough call on this one) way is that Bernanke shouldn’t do anything to help the economy before next November because that would be tantamount to election-rigging. That any move the Fed makes at this point to fix the economy is a de facto move to get his boss Barack Obama re-elected. Even though Bernanke was a Bush appointee and would have no conceivable reason to push for Obama. Ok, that’s…that’s a unique point of view, Governor, and it bears absolutely no resemblance to sense, but I sorta see where you’re going with that.
Unfortunately for Perry, what he is essentially advocating is that any positive move on the economy be held off for more than a fucking year so that the Republican party can reap the benefits of Obama’s current low approval rating. And of course another year of a shitty economy wouldn’t do Perry and his big financial backers any real harm, they’ve all got plenty of money stashed away, and they’re willing to do the hard thing and dip into their enormous rainy day funds to ensure that their boy gets into office by driving the vast majority of this country’s citizens who can’t possibly live for a year without some kind of improvement in the economy into the poorhouse. If things get better before the election, Obama’s chances will improve because people will like him more, so obviously we must keep Americans suffering long enough to get a Republican put into the White House. That’s fucking civil responsibility right there.
This is…I mean, it’s so completely…it’s the stupidest fucking thing I have heard in a really, really long time. It’s also indisputable proof that politics come before anything else in this country, that making Obama a one-term president is more important than actually helping this nation up off of its knees, a sentiment stated outright by numerous Republicans since the day the man took office. This kind of thinking is precisely what got our credit rating downgraded, what ensures that nothing effective ever happens in Washington, and what is actively ruining this country. And to advocate this nonsense with such thuggish swagger and sister-fucking Texas redneckery is insulting not only to the political process, but to every single American citizen. Even the prince of darkness himself thought it was a bone-headed thing to say:
Bush political guru Karl Rove warned on Fox News Business television that Perry’s Bernanke comments sounded like he was going to "take him out behind the barn and whup him" and warned the candidate "did not help his cause."
When you’ve said something so stupid that even the man whose PAC is responsible for endless cloying ads filled with lies thinks it was a dumb move, it’s probably time to re-examine the way you’re running your campaign. So of course Perry backpaddled immediately when it became clear that absolutely nobody was supporting him, right?
Asked for further comment, Perry campaign spokesman Mark Miner told AFP "the governor was expressing his frustration with the current economic situation and the out-of-control spending that persists in Washington."
"Most Americans would agree that spending more money is not the answer to the economic issues facing the country," he said in an email that betrayed no misgivings.
Well, here’s to you, Governor Rick Perry: you have managed to make a statement so insipid, so thuggish and ignorant that you’ve actually made Michele Bachmann’s wishing Elvis a happy birthday on the anniversary of his death look downright presidential. Keep up the good work, Governor. The country needs more politicians like you, men and women who are willing to lay their agenda out on the table so nakedly that the world can’t help but see what really matters most to you.