Ladies and Germs, Here’s Your Possibly No Longer Already R Frontrunner – UPDATED with photo!

Rick Perry’s Serious Unforced Error « Commentary Magazine


Today in Iowa, Rick Perry was asked about the Federal Reserve and, in a halting 45-second answer, went off on chairman Ben Bernanke: “If this guy prints more money between now and the election, I dunno what y’all would do to him in Iowa but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas. Printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost teacherous…treasonous in my opinion.” The clip is here.  Liberals on Twitter exploded immediately in outrage after Think Progress posted it, with the economist Nouriel Roubini actually comparing Perry to the Norwegian mass murderer and saying he should be put in a mental institution.

I think it’s pretty clear from the clip that Perry was trying to play folksy straight-talkin’ populist guy while taking up a complicated issue, using colorful dirt-kicker language to connect to his al-fresco audience as he might in his home town of Paint Creek. And in the early going on Twitter, I suggested the harrumphers were knowingly making a mountain out of a molehill to bring him down a notch. I was wrong.

 He’s trying to be the next president, and he needs to be judged on that standard. What Perry did was make a thoughtless blunder, an unforced error; we’re now going to spend a couple of days discussing whether he was summoning violence on Ben Bernanke’s head or not, which is of absolutely no use to Perry. He is, or was, moments away from becoming the race’s frontrunner, and what is in his interest is to harness the excitement of his late entry with qualities of leadership and control that will rally the majority of Republicans unhappy with the choices facing them to his side. Rick Perry made that more difficult today; this was a serious rookie mistake on the national stage.


Rick Perry’s Texas A&M Class Photos [PIC]


Rick Perry's Texas A&M Class Photos

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4 comments on “Ladies and Germs, Here’s Your Possibly No Longer Already R Frontrunner – UPDATED with photo!

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  1. Of coarse, JPod don’t wanna have to ‘mit that Perry’s talk about

    “treasonous Jew bankers stabbing America in the backside” is gonna play jess fine and “energize the basest”

    this isn’t going to harm him with Repub primary voters at all.

  2. We may be doomed/privileged to discover just how truly broken our “political system” (our collective self) is.

    He and his rhetoric should be completely out of bounds. If it turns out not to be, then we are already further down the path of Weimarization than anyone who isn’t also out of bounds has wanted to consider.

  3. If there was possibly the worst way to present that argument, he found it, ‘it must be a gift’ but Argentina ‘it’s what’s for dinner’

  4. Perry’s way of presenting things works real good with rednecks and Christianists, miggs, other folks appreciate him a little less.

    Latino Leaders Give Perry Lukewarm Response

    Perry then played to the crowd as best he could, and mentioned the Latinos he’s appointed to office, including Secretary of State Esperanza “Hope” Andrade, Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman and Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission Director José Cuevas.

    “That is the right job for that man,” Perry said in reference to Cuevas’ name. The comment drew some light chuckles.

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Noted & Quoted

TV pundits and op-ed writers of every major newspaper epitomize how the Democratic establishment has already reached a consensus: the 2020 nominee must be a centrist, a Joe Biden, Cory Booker or Kamala Harris–type, preferably. They say that Joe Biden should "run because [his] populist image fits the Democrats’ most successful political strategy of the past generation" (David Leonhardt, New York Times), and though Biden "would be far from an ideal president," he "looks most like the person who could beat Trump" (David Ignatius, Washington Post). Likewise, the same elite pundit class is working overtime to torpedo left-Democratic candidates like Sanders.

For someone who was not acquainted with Piketty's paper, the argument for a centrist Democrat might sound compelling. If the country has tilted to the right, should we elect a candidate closer to the middle than the fringe? If the electorate resembles a left-to-right line, and each voter has a bracketed range of acceptability in which they vote, this would make perfect sense. The only problem is that it doesn't work like that, as Piketty shows.

The reason is that nominating centrist Democrats who don't speak to class issues will result in a great swathe of voters simply not voting. Conversely, right-wing candidates who speak to class issues, but who do so by harnessing a false consciousness — i.e. blaming immigrants and minorities for capitalism's ills, rather than capitalists — will win those same voters who would have voted for a more class-conscious left candidate. Piketty calls this a "bifurcated" voting situation, meaning many voters will connect either with far-right xenophobic nationalists or left-egalitarian internationalists, but perhaps nothing in-between.

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Understanding Trump’s charisma offers important clues to understanding the problems that the Democrats need to address. Most important, the Democratic candidate must convey a sense that he or she will fulfil the promise of 2008: not piecemeal reform but a genuine, full-scale change in America’s way of thinking. It’s also crucial to recognise that, like Britain, America is at a turning point and must go in one direction or another. Finally, the candidate must speak to Americans’ sense of self-respect linked to social justice and inclusion. While Weber’s analysis of charisma arose from the German situation, it has special relevance to the United States of America, the first mass democracy, whose Constitution invented the institution of the presidency as a recognition of the indispensable role that unique individuals play in history.

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[E]ven Fox didn’t tout Bartiromo’s big scoops on Trump’s legislative agenda, because 10 months into the Trump presidency, nobody is so foolish as to believe that him saying, “We’re doing a big infrastructure bill,” means that the Trump administration is, in fact, doing a big infrastructure bill. The president just mouths off at turns ignorantly and dishonestly, and nobody pays much attention to it unless he says something unusually inflammatory.On some level, it’s a little bit funny. On another level, Puerto Rico is still languishing in the dark without power (and in many cases without safe drinking water) with no end in sight. Trump is less popular at this point in his administration than any previous president despite a generally benign economic climate, and shows no sign of changing course. Perhaps it will all work out for the best, and someday we’ll look back and chuckle about the time when we had a president who didn’t know anything about anything that was happening and could never be counted on to make coherent, factual statements on any subject. But traditionally, we haven’t elected presidents like that — for what have always seemed like pretty good reasons — and the risks of compounding disaster are still very much out there.

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