This season, Presidential candidates have given their highest priority to messaging rather than governing. Governing is abadoned for balancing special interests and raising funds through super PACs, and maintaining plausible deniablity about the blatant, obvious choices that blame everyone but themselves for the shadow America is becoming of itself. Inside those shadows, the government is helping to redistribute income upward.
Nobody embodies this mutant breed of politicians more authentically than the fake Rick Perry. From political appointments (40% contributors to his campaigns were appointd to powerful state boards that set market rules with the force of law), to raising workers wages and benefits, to keeping his state’s growing population employed (Texas lags last), to his budget’s spending on education, health care, and children’s health (near bottom), to the nation’s highest execution rate, Perry presides over a draconian fairyland, where dreams are diminished and dimed.
He is the reality of falsehood and it doesn’t take much to shatter his image. Imagine him negotiating with Germany or Turkey, visiting Afghanistan or China, being briefed on the issues that shape global warfare and welfare, that expand opportunities for American investment, or bring trade home to America, selling products and creating jobs. As they say in Texas: that dog don’t hunt.
Where is his foreign policy, his positions on humanitarian aid, his examples of innovation and technical assistance for industries on his watch? How would he handle the Euro crisis, build democracy in Egypt or expand green jobs, despite his beliefs on global warming? How would he move families out of poverty? How would he complete with Brasil which has the hemisphere’s largest and fastest growing middle class and is importing global investments?
His positions have more rigging than a Texas oil well and so far his campaign has consisted of hollow promises and badmouthing Barack with veiled racial slurs. He is an egregious example of metazoan backroom politics, the tough guy who is clueless about a milieu outside of oil and his own brand of pay-to-play retail politics. Do you think he’s running for the 2% that Boehner didn’t get?
But be careful: he and the collective others have adopted a single message: label the President as “failed.” Never explain or tell how or why, never discuss policies, positions, or plans, never seriously address details or what’s good or bad about the actual conditions on the ground. They engage in political fracking, hoping drip by drip. to extract the Presidency.
That single message also ignores any semblance of truth and unfortunately, the truth isn’t bullet-proof. And the new code words, “dark cloud,” “dog food,” offer a not so subtle appeal to race and ignorance. Perry’s high art of politics is the lowest form of demagoguery. He wants to be the lead soloist in the GOP chorus, appealing to popular desires and prejudices without a rational thought.