Perry’s Debate Blunder: Beyond The Nomination Issue
Rick Perry Forgets His Own “Plan Of Attack”
A lot has been made of the fact that, during the last Republican debate on November 9th, presidential candidate Rick Perry could not remember the third federal agency he would close down were he to become the next President of the United States. Republican strategists and political analysts are basically in agreement that, given his poor performance in past debates, this blunder is the last nail in his presidential-hopes coffin.
Perry, on the other hand, has tried to capitalize on this gaffe with an email campaign asking supporters to identify and send in $5 for each of the agencies that they would like to see eliminated. The reply email address is email@example.com. “Perry for President” twerps can use the newly-created Twitter hashtag #forgetmenot. How cute.
Does he actually think that by making light of all of this he can actually salvage the situation? Even if you agree with Romney’s taking-the-high-road attitude and statement that “We all make mistakes…,” it is undeniable that Perry’s blunder is nothing to laugh about. Perry’s memory lapse shows a candidate who is not only woefully unprepared to present his case but also woefully unprepared to be our next president. But all those of us who are not Republican knew this already. Yes, we already knew that Perry, along with the rest of the Republican gang, will say a lot of crazy things during these debates to appeal to the Tea Party faction in their party. What we didn’t know, and continue to be open-mouthed about, were the heights that this craziness (and stupidity) would reach.
Eliminating the departments of Commerce, Education and Energy…Mmm…What would that look like?
The Department of Commerce has as its central mission to “promote job creation and improved living standards for all Americans by creating an infrastructure that promotes economic growth, technological competitiveness, and sustainable development.” At a time when our country is in dire need of boosting the job market, Mr. Perry is proposing that we scrap a department that can stimulate job creation. Regardless of what the crazies claim, government projects like highway construction and maintenance not only create jobs but also stimulate the private sector. After all, roads cannot be built without asphalt and road rollers, for example. By the way, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the Census Bureau, and the National Weather Service are also in this department. No suggestion has been forthcoming from Mr. Perry as to what to do with these offices. How surprising.
The Department of Energy handles policy regarding energy and safety of nuclear material. “Its responsibilities include the nation’s nuclear weapons program, nuclear reactor production for the U.S. Navy, energy conservation, energy-related research,radioactive waste disposal, and domestic energy production.” Yes, let’s dismantle this agency and let’s see how long it will take terrorists, domestic and/or foreign, to get a hold of some nuclear weapon they were never meant to have.
The Department of Education is the smallest cabinet-level department in the U.S. government. Its responsibility is to “establish policy for, administer and coordinate most federal assistance to education, collect data on US schools, and to enforce federal educational laws regarding privacy and civil rights.” Since the U.S. has one of the most decentralized educational systems in the world, this department is not responsible for establishing schools or colleges nor any curriculum or educational standards. Given how poorly U.S. students perform in math, science, geography, history (you name it), the obvious thing should be to build up this department, not tear it down.
So, yes, by all means let’s analyze how Perry’s lapse affects his chances to win his party’s nomination, but let’s move quickly beyond that and realize that what he’s proposing is just a bunch of demagogic political babble that is only attractive to tea-intoxicated crazies . If Rick Perry wants to have any serious chance at the U.S. presidency, he should spend less time dressing the hair on his head, and more time addressing the brain in it.