Yglesias

Conservatives Whine About Unfairness Of Quoting Rick Perry Accurately

Rick Perry holds a lot of extreme views about American public policy and constitutional law. I know that because I’ve read Rick Perry’s book, Fed Up, which about his extreme views about American public policy and constitutional law. My method for demonstrating that Rick Perry holds these extreme views about American public policy and constitutional law was to quote accurately from Rick Perry’s book. Avik Roy at National Review seems to like Rick Perry, and thus has penned a purported takedown piece of my series of accurate quotations of Rick Perry’s extreme views. The key to Roy’s method is to insinuate that it’s somehow unfair to quote Rick Perry’s views extreme views accurately. He prefers to quote other, less extreme things Perry said, and then ignore the most extreme claims.

For example, I say that Perry says that all federal banking regulation is illegal. I say that because Perry says it. Roy says this is unfair and that Perry’s “principal criticism of Dodd-Frank is not on constitutional grounds, but rather that Dodd-Frank is excessively complicated, economically harmful, and unresponsive to democratic feedback.” Which criticism is Perry’s “principle” one is an exercise in mind-reading. In the book I read, Perry launches a series of criticisms at Dodd-Frank, including the ones Roy canvasses. He then concludes his discussion of the issue with his alternative to Dodd-Frank: “if the Constitution were shown the appropriate respect, Washington regulation writers wouldn’t have to worry about underrepresented views, because they wouldn’t have control over them in the first place.”

Rick Perry doesn’t think Dodd-Franks should be replaced with some different, simpler, more growth-friendly, more responsive set of federal banking regulations. He says that federal bank regulation is unconstitutional. Which is why I say that Perry says that federal bank regulation is unconstitutional.

Roy’s entire piece is like that. Rick Perry says that the Depression didn’t end “until World War II, when FDR was finally persuaded to unleash private enterprise.” I point out that it’s absurd to say that FDR unleashed private enterprise during World War II. Roy defends Perry by ignoring what Perry said and quoting Larry Summers on the fact that the Depression didn’t end until World War II. True enough. But that’s not what Perry said.