Rick Perry Thinks America Desires Another Rigid, Anti-Science, Idealogue Governor From The Great State of Big Oil

Perry on why he split with Al Gore over climate (12/09): “I certainly got religion. I think he’s gone to hell.”

Rick Perry, Obama’s dream opponent, is a climate hawk’s nightmare.

First the dream. It is a mark of how weak the Republican field is that Perry, a candidate who is so ill-suited for beating Barack Obama, is viewed as a savior for the party.

The key point about the 2012 election are that Obama is eminently beatable because he is dreadful at messaging, has a poor economy, and is in an unpopular war with meaningful casualties. The latter two factors are key in the “Bread and Peace” model by political scientist Douglas Hibbs (via Salon)

I’m not saying this simplistic model is determinative, only that anyone who thinks Obama is a lock for reelection isn’t paying attention.

What Obama most needs is opponent who gives him an obvious storyline even his team of dreadful communicators can’t screw up. Romney the job-killing flip-flopper certainly does.

But what Obama most wants to do is run as the future versus the past (since the present ain’t hot for him) and to tie his opponent to the increasingly unpopular Tea Party extremists whom independents correctly blame for the debt ceiling debacle.

Perry is, ironically, the worst of both possible worlds for the GOP. He is easily cast as “George W. Bush The Sequel” because that is what he is: A Rigid, Anti-Science, Ideologue Governor From The Great State of Big Oil. And indeed he is a Tea Party darling for his extremist, wacky statements, such as his talk of Texas secession (for more, see TP’s Top 10 Things Texas Gov. Rick Perry Doesn’t Want You To Know About Him).

Remember, to win (lose?) in 2000, Bush himself ran originally as a faux caring, moderate “compassionate” conservative, who advocated in public spending on education and regulating greenhouse gases. Sure he was religious, but he had a classic story to tell, the reformed or saved wastrel. But Perry has no such story, he is just the hardcore zealot Bush turned into — on steroids (see, for instance, Prayer as an adaptation strategy: Texas plans to cut budget of agency battling record wildfires). Indeed even moderate Republicans like Joe Scarborough mock him (see TP’s Scarborough Mocks Perry: Jesus Said To ‘Let People Take Images Of You Praying So They’ll Think You’re A Holy Man).

If Obama wants to run a story line that his opponent represents the past, the policies that put us in this “mess from Texas,” Perry is from central casting.

Don’t get me wrong. Obama could lose to Perry, much as he could lose to Romney — but I don’t think they will unless the economy gets worse.

For climate hawks, Perry is a nightmare.

Once Gore’s presidential Texas campaign chair (in 1988), he now says global warming is “all one contrived phony mess that is falling apart under its own weight. He even “Prays for the EPA to Stop Environmental Regulations.”

As the Politico reports:

Rick Perry’s likely entry into the GOP presidential race comes without the green skeletons many of his rivals have tried to shed.

Unlike Mitt Romney, the Texas governor doesn’t believe in global warming science. And unlike Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman, there are no viral ads of Perry touting the virtues of bipartisanship as a solution to climate change….

Texas under Perry’s watch has also become a thorn in the side of the Obama EPA, with the governor often accusing the administration of unfairly targeting the Lone Star State for political purposes.

Perry’s Texas is a lead challenger to the EPA’s “endangerment” finding that declares carbon dioxide emissions a public health threat, setting the stage for regulations. And last month, Perry lashed out against the EPA for including Texas in a rule aimed at blocking power plant pollution from drifting across state lines, calling it “another example of heavy-handed and misguided action from Washington, D.C.”

… “With a Texan in the race, EPA is going to be right in the middle of the show,” said Mike McKenna, a GOP-based energy strategist.

Obama has been lackluster in his EPA. Against Perry, he’d actually have to stand up for clean air, clean water, and a livable climate. Hmm. Maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

While Perry says Gore has gone to hell because of climate change, the state with the hellish climate is, ironically, Texas. As Grist notes:

But plugging your ears and going “la la la la” doesn’t make global warming disappear. Perry’s state is getting absolutely hammered by heat and the worst one-year drought in its recorded history. The hot, dry weather in Texas is desiccatingrivers and lakes, devastating farmers and ranchers, and driving wildfires that have burned up millions of acres. In the face of these crises — which are just what you’d expect in a climate-changed world — Perry proposes neither adaptation nor mitigation but rather supplication. He’s been praying for rain and calling on other Texans to do the same. So far no luck….

As a Texas Republican, Perry is, of course, a friend of the oil and gas industry. He even stuck by BP during the Gulf of Mexico gusher, saying the well blowout was “an act of God” and insisting that he had “full confidence” in the company’s response.

Perry has cozied up to the oil-baron Koch brothers. In June, he flew off secretly to Colorado to speak at an exclusive closed-door meeting convened by the Kochs — even as his state was suffering through some of the worst wildfires in its history. In 2010, the Koch Industries’ PAC gave $50,000 to the Texans for Rick Perry PAC.

Perry is big fan of coal too. He tried to speed up approvals and smooth the way for a number of controversial coal-fired power plants proposed for Texas in the mid-00s.

Yes, Texas has pushed wind. But if you want to know the energy future of the U.S. under Rick Perry, you need only look at the eight previous years before Obama took office.


Below are old comments from the earlier Facebook commenting system:

It’s going to be 105 all this coming week in Big Spring, Texas site of the 2011 Us National Hang Gliding Championships, 10 degrees warmer than normally, which means that we should get really high (12,000′ to 14,000′ and have great flying. Thanks Rick.

3 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 13 at 1:37am

Tom Lyon

Wow! Begin your final glide right after you leave the start cylinder. :)

Like · Reply · August 13 at 1:44am

Stuart Levine · University of Maryland, College Park

Just remember: In Texas, when they speak of their last two governors, they refer to Bush as “the smart one.”

3 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 12 at 6:00pm

Wesley Rolley · Top Commenter · Northwestern University

This is what America does not need… a Republican candidate so far off course that he can scare a lot of rational people into voting for a candidate who is “dreadful at messaging, has a poor economy, and is in an unpopular war with meaningful casualties.” Democratic political schemers must be loving it because the very thought of all the horrible things that might happen precludes meaningful 3rd party participation. So, we will get a president who talks about climate change, but will not spend any political capital trying to prevent it.

2 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 12 at 1:35pm

Martin Zehr

Wes, you overlook the success of regional planning processes in Texas. They really are beneficial during this drought. Don’t le

Like · Reply · August 12 at 1:58pm

Martin Zehr

Let’s not get hung up in the obvious and inherent weaknesses of Repug candidates. It matters if governance addresses matters of impact of weather conditions as much as it does the causality of GHGs. In politics we have not made any more significant breakthroughs in reduction of GHGs or water governance in CA than has been done in Texas.

Like · Reply · August 12 at 2:02pm

Peter S. Mizla · Top Commenter · Vernon, Connecticut

The country is heading toward a crossroads- either reform a system based on consumption from fossil fuels- or pay the price and go over a cliff- Perry will hasten the second outcome.

Like · Reply · August 12 at 5:01pm

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Shaheer Cassim · Victoria, British Columbia

Requiem for a Species. Seems like an appropriate read…

In Freedomland, people have the legal right to kill their children through carbon pollution.

2 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 12 at 1:48pm

Rakesh Malik · Top Commenter · Photographer/Owner at White Crane Photography

Somehow, I doubt that the climate science deniers have enough brainpower to conceive of what their children are going to inherit. If they did, there would be no such thing as a global warming skeptic.

Like · Reply · August 15 at 5:14pm

John Poteet · Top Commenter · Chico, California

Six more months of drought and Perry won’t be able to take Texas in a national election.

2 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 12 at 4:45pm

Jeffrey Davis · Top Commenter

Why are political hacks who worship Mammon referred to as “ideologues” rather than as, say, guano?

1 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 15 at 12:57pm

John Poteet · Top Commenter · Chico, California

Guano is a useful agricultural fertilizer. How dare you debase it by comparing it to “political hacks”

Like · Reply · August 15 at 8:18pm

Jeffrey Davis · Top Commenter

His full name is Secessionist Rick Perry. Always refer to him by his full name, please.

1 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 15 at 2:03pm

John G Mason · Woodstock, New York

Pay Attention to the Bread and Peace Index in terms of Obama’s re-election.

1 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 12 at 1:33pm

John Tucker · Top Commenter · Tulane University

Perry is a Bush clone. Even worse. Another college cheerleader and fundamentalist religious simpleton. Even in the Texas job creation talking point as a argument for his candidacy, Bush created more of the same. ( ) Look where that bus took and left us.

Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 13 at 4:30pm

Colorado Bob · Top Commenter

” Gov. Good Hair ” , nobody creates burger flippers like Texas.
Ask him about water issues in Texas.

Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 13 at 1:51am

Colorado Bob · Top Commenter

Ask him if he’s leaving Texas because the lakes are turning red.

Like · Reply · August 13 at 1:53am

David Hall · University of Florida

“Ideologue” misspelled in your headline.

Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 19 at 9:41am

Mike Roddy · Top Commenter · Yucca Valley, California

I was watching TV the other day with a black friend, and Perry popped up. My friend said “He’ll beat Obama for sure”. Why? Because he’s white. Most of us live on the coasts, but Perry could get a majority from red and pink states.

Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 15 at 11:52am

Greg Evans · Shelton, Washington

RIck Perry D-Bag… Won’t get my vote, period.

Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 18 at 9:13pm

Carl Brian Potter

I’m confused as to how this link shows why you aren’t voting for Perry. Could you explain?

Like · Reply · August 18 at 10:54pm

Greg Evans · Shelton, Washington

Just the fact that Perry is a douchebag in general

Like · Reply · August 18 at 11:00pm

Carl Brian Potter

And how does this article show that?

Like · Reply · August 18 at 11:03pm

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Wesley Rolley · Top Commenter · Northwestern University

Mato, I didn’t lie. In fact, I was commenting more about the current POTUS than on a hopeful candidate. I agree with what you are saying. Take some of the power away from the politicians and give it to the people with just enough government to enforce what the people decide.

Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 13 at 12:35pm

Jeff D Walling · NICU RN at Hospital in Palo alto..

Please no…the country couldn’t survive another dimwit from Texas.

Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 13 at 10:27pm

sasparillafizz (signed in using Yahoo)

Joe, my post that was on here seems to be missing – I’m guessing it wasn’t deleted on purpose.

Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 13 at 6:33pm

Casper C. Bosveld

Your line: “Don’t get me wrong. Obama could lose to Perry, much as he could lose to Romney — but I don’t think they will unless the economy gets worse” says it all, because that’s all the GOP has to do to win, driving the economy into a new worse disaster. In other words, the GOP won the 2012 presidential election already with the 2010 mid-term election of a majority in the House. It’s much easier to deliberately damage the economy that restoring it. Obama even could lose to Bachmann.
The whole point is that facts and reality don’t matter anymore in US politics.
And it is the Big Money porky pie propaganda that counts too.

Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 15 at 11:39am

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