Thursday, November 10, 2011

Perry's brain freeze

Last night, Rick Perry, the most bloodthirsty governor in American history (he has permitted 234 legal murders and counting) had a major big time brain freeze when asked what three agencies he would try to cut from the US government (presuming of course Congress agreed).    It's not just how he stalled but what he stalled on.   He named Commerce (which would mean the end of official weather forecasts, time keeping, issuing of patents, and the constitutionally mandated census), Education (no more federal loan guarantees for students, just leave it to the morally corrupt banks), ... then stalled for 53 seconds, saying he couldn't think of the third one, before he finally named the Environmental Protection Agency (part of Interior, like national parks are, but so huge that it probably merits being a separate department all together).

This, broadcast on worldwide television.   Set aside his totally stupid policy proposals, his bloody hands or the fact he coddles the worst televangelists.   Does someone who can't answer a simple question rapidly deserve to have his fingers on The Button?   What if a nuclear missile was aimed at the US or one of its allies, would he pause long enough until it was too late; and even if he didn't what would his retaliatory option be (rare, medium or well done -- those have been the actual code names of minimum, medium and maximum strike back choices)?

Okay, so Obama referred to the 57 states back in 2008 (he meant of course, 51 races in 50 states -- Texas had both a primary and caucus -- DC, the territories and American Dem expats living abroad).   Reagan said the Russians had no word for freedom (anyone who knows any Slavic language knows the word is svoboda).    The elder Bush put his foot in it when he said he doesn't like broccoli.    And of course, we all remember Clinton saying, "It depends on what your definition of 'is', is."

But these were caught in the moment twists of phrase that could easily be forgiven and usually were.   Pausing that long in a live debate?     Way back in 1980 when the great Roger Mudd asked Ted Kennedy why he was challenging then President Carter for the Democratic nomination, "Teddy Bear" gave such a rambling answer (350+ words, with the "answer" only beginning around word 240) it became clear he didn't know why, and that was the end of his chances -- forget the Chappaquiddick affair.   I was seven at the time and even then I thought, what an idiot.   (At least he did more good in the Senate than he ever could have done in the White House.)

I'm amazed Perry was even allowed to govern Texas at all.   Then again, they did vote out a very smart woman (Ann Richards) in favour of ... um, what is the right word to describe Bush 43; simpleton is too kind.

Perry needs to throw in the towel and let the serious people run.