There are some politicians who are so out of touch with reality that any sane person with more than a pea-sized brain would dismiss them as irrational dolts and never give them a second thought. The current crop of Republicans seeking their party’s nomination for the presidency all appear to be striving to outdo each other to determine who is the most extreme, but there is one area that all Republicans seem to agree on; government is wicked and the only solution to save America is destroying the current system and replacing it with a plutocracy loosely affiliated with theocratic principles. Republicans have made their agenda of limiting the size of government into a religious philosophy that only benefits the wealthy and corporations, and now that Republican presidential hopefuls are maneuvering to win support from the GOP base, one candidate has set out an agenda that should please teabags and wealthy corporatists all at once.
On Tuesday, Rick Perry outlined a plan to change the nature of government that is the first step in transforming America into the conservative’s ideal so it can eventually be disbanded and sold to the highest bidder. Perry gave a speech in Iowa where he outlined his plan to “Uproot and Overhaul Washington” and replace it by throwing out the Constitution. The Texas governor’s speech targeted all three branches of government and his three-part plan would require either Constitutional amendments or absolute power in the hands of a dictator (presumably Rick Perry). His proposals were curious because if implemented, they would seemingly minimize corporate involvement in government even though his record of governance informs that lobbyists and big business plays a significant role in every decision Perry has ever made. As governor of Texas, Perry answers and gives favors to corporate leaders and advocates for corporate influence on everything from environmental protections to taxation.
Perry’s plan is typical of an imbecile who has no grasp on the Constitution’s rules regarding the process of legislation or the makeup of the three branches of government. The first indication Perry is devoid of Constitutional knowledge is his plan to limit federal judges, including Supreme Court Justices, to specific terms to avoid, as Perry said, “judges who rule with impunity from the bench, and those who legislate from the bench should not be entitled to lifetime abuse of their judicial authority.” Conservatives have long complained of activist judges who fail to hand down rulings in line with neo-conservative ideals, and yet they are grateful the current conservative court handed them the Citizens United ruling that benefits corporations and, by extension, Republicans. Does Rick Perry understand it takes a constitutional amendment to change the Supreme Court Justices’ terms or does he intend on appointing himself dictator and issuing an edict that supersedes the Constitution?
Part two of Perry’s plan restructures Congress by “deconstructing the permanent political class in the legislative branch.” Perry continued that “Congress is out of touch because Congressmen are away from home too much. It’s time to create a part-time Congress where their office budgets are cut in half, and their time in Washington is cut in half.” Republicans already complain they do not have enough time to read pending legislation so it is insane to imagine they will do any better with their time cut in half.
The third part of the plan to uproot and overhaul the government is a Libertarian’s dream and gives corporate America everything it could hope for; although it may be the most damaging proposal to the population and the environment, it certainly is not surprising. According to Perry the third part “involves the dismantling and rebuilding of the permanent bureaucracy” (read deregulate everything). If elected president, Perry promised to eliminate the Departments of Commerce, Education, and Energy because he claims they are redundant. He also plans to “downsize and re-task the EPA, so it no longer torments job creators or gives an official stamp to phony science.” Mr. Perry was careful to pander to the Oath Keepers crowd that supports unlimited military spending and unquestioned law enforcement power when he promised to tell “every bureaucrat except our military and law enforcement: no salary increases until the federal budget is balanced.”
There is no Republican plan that is complete without provisions to give Christians dominion over the rest of the country and Perry’s is no different. In a nod to Dominionists and teabaggers, Perry said, “we will put a permanent stop to federal funding of Planned Parenthood because our tax dollars should never be used in taking an innocent, unborn life.” His rhetoric may give Catholics, Christian fundamentalists, and the personhood movement reason to rejoice, but it ignores the simple fact that tax dollars are already prohibited from being used for abortion services. However, if he is moronic enough to think a president can subvert the Constitution with impunity, then he may be unaware of the prohibition on taxpayer dollars to fund abortions.
Although these are just highlights of an unreasonable plan, they are enough to give teabaggers and neo-conservatives wet knickers just thinking about them. It is noteworthy that Perry’s proposals are closely aligned with the Grover Norquist school-of-thought that government must be small enough drown in a bathtub so the wealthy and their corporations can replace it with a twisted, Libertarian form without rules or regulations and absolutely no government-funded agencies to serve and protect citizens.
Perry mentioned helping the American people several times during his speech, but even a cursory examination reveals there is nothing but doom and gloom for the American people. What his plan does reveal is that he, like all Republicans, intends on serving corporate America and the wealthy at all costs and if it means eliminating the Constitution and destroying the government in the process, then so be it.
Perhaps Perry is making a last-ditch effort to garner support for his campaign for the Republican nomination, because he hit all the hot-button issues conservatives are looking for in a challenger to President Obama. Republicans, and every incarnation of neo-conservative, have made more or less similar propositions since President Obama took office, but it is the first time one Republican made a pitch with every conservative dream in one speech; unless one counts the mission statement of Koch Industries secret policy meetings. It would not be the least bit surprising if Perry’s plan was devised by the Koch brothers or the Heritage Foundation, and he most certainly will see a boost in campaign contributions from both. However, for any plan to gain support from the voters, there has to be something for the people, and Rick Perry has, like all Republicans, neglected to include anything whatsoever to help the American people. The most disturbing aspect of Rick Perry’s speech was that it was wildly popular with malcontent audience members who, like Perry, have contempt for America and its people.