Paul Waldmann excerpts the following from Rick Perry’s book Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America From Washington:
“We are fed up with being overtaxed and overregulated. We are tired of being told how much salt we can put on our food, what windows we can buy for our house, what kind of cars we can drive, what kinds of guns we can own, what kind of prayers we are allowed to say and where we can say them, what political speech we are allowed to use to elect candidates, what kind of energy we can use, what kind of food we can grow, what doctor we can see and countless other restrictions on our right to live as we see fit.”
This is a great example of the plague of rhetoric excess that has taken over the American right ever since the inauguration of Barack Obama. I don’t believe for a minute that Rick Perry is fed up with motor vehicle safety inspections, bans on private ownership of shoulder-launched missiles, regulation of nuclear power plants, or any of this other stuff. In addition to being Governor, Perry served for two terms as Agriculture Commissioner in Texas and there are still tons of regulations on on growing food. Nor has he done anything to eliminate the Texas Medical Board whose sole mission in life is to tell you which health care professionals you’re allowed to see.
Some of these regulations are unwise, some are wise, and absolutely none of them are the subject of controversy between Perry and big government liberals in Austin or Washington or anywhere else. But political entrepreneurs on the right have had enormous fun over the past two years creating this entirely made-up story in which there’s some gaping chasm of opinion between the two parties.