Holy Crap

From Mark Warren at Esquire  (I’m providing snippets, but you really should just go over and read the whole thing. There’s a video, too):

Lord knows they’d like to water the tree of liberty here in Texas — right now, before it’s too dang late — as the Obammunists pillage and seize everything that’s not tied down, and hollow out the Constitution and enslave us and subvert our food pyramid. Trouble is, it hasn’t rained in, like, a year down here. All the trees are parched, and a bunch of them are on fire. And so as a 21st century man, the governor, Rick Perry, did the only reasonable thing recently and had a resolution passed through the legislature asking for all of his fellow Texans — Mooslims and everybody — to pray for rain […]


Now, as the Republican field of likely and announced candidates fails to excite anybody, and as former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich lurches to his knees like a tranquilized elephant, and his staff quits en masse and heads to New York City where this week Governor Perry was the featured speaker at a gathering of the city’s roomful of Republicans, speculation is high that Perry is the candidate who will force a complete recalibration of the Republican field and Republican chances next fall — that he is the change we’ve been waiting for, just the man to retake the White House for Texas. (This despite the fact that he is barely more popular than the president in his own state.)

Especially now that Perry has increasingly become the subject of Republican powerbroker fantasies, take a good look at his rain resolution.

Original movie poster

You might think that such a bit of legislative frippery is but a curio, a moment of lightness in a schedule full of grave executive consequence, but friend, you would be mistaken. For in my beloved homeland of Texas, the governor can veto bills, appoint members of state agencies and commissions, suggest resolutions asking the Almighty to do stuff, and that is all.


You see, we Texans so mistrust government that we only allow our legislature into the capitol building every other year, and we pay them such a punishingly small wage that you either have to be rich or stupid to ask for the job, and in either case you regret it afterward. Oh, and we give our governor so little to do that the position is essentially a part-time ceremonial gig, giving the occupant of the office plenty of time to hone his skills with a six-shooter and become what the rest of the country thinks of when they think of Texas […,] and we’ve got a cowboy from central casting facing the whole operation.


And he’s full of the simple answers that only someone who’s not currently in a position of consequence has the time to come up with. Shoot, don’t tell us it can’t be done, son. We’re from Texas.That sort of thing. Very cool. And total crap.

Rick Perry’s just not serious, is all I’m saying. He is neither a serious person, nor is he serious about many of the positions he assumes in order to inflame and hold the most retrograde elements of his base.

For instance, here goes Perry, praying again: Now, he is taking flack for an anti-gay Christian prayer summit he’ll be convening later this summer in Houston at Reliant Stadium — the world’s first retractable roof, air-conditioned, natural-grass football stadium. (It could be nowhere else — have you been to Houston in August?) There will no doubt be more prayers for rain, and also, prayers to “summon divine assistance to lift the United States out of its doldrums.”


Now, don’t think for a minute that Rick Perry believes that prayer circles are actually the answer to our problems. He’s cynical that way. And those who are just now paying attention to Perry for the first time might not easily spot this subtlety. Like a lot of party-switchers in Texas, Perry likes to traffic in the line that he didn’t leave the Democratic party — the Democratic party left him. This, of course, is nonsense, and no thinking person, regardless of politics, ought to be fooled by it. Because like a lot of party switchers, Rick Perry was once what he is not now. That is, he once believed in government. Not to say that he was a liberal, but not an anti-government zealot, either. His daddy was a Democratic County Commissioner from up in Haskell County, north of Abilene, and Perry himself was a Democratic member of the legislature, who in 1988 was chairman of Al Gore’s presidential effort in Texas. The very next year Karl Rove persuaded Perry to switch parties, and run for state agriculture commissioner against Democrat Jim Hightower, and Perry was on his way.


[This was not a slow and gradual transformation] like Ronald Reagan’s. Rather, [it] happened overnight. Add to that list my old friend Mark McKinnon and his confrere Matthew Dowd, who went from working for Ann Richards’s and being the political director of the Texas Democratic party, respectively, to assuming central roles in the campaign of George W. Bush in the very next election cycle. And they didn’t have the decency to be even a little ashamed at their rank opportunism.


[I]n Texas, what works is to swagger around like a tough guy, propagating a barely literate reading of the United States Constitution, and pretend to hate the federal government. And you rail about the rights that have been taken away, without being able to name one. And you publicly entertain having your state secede from the United States, and issue dire warnings about the galloping socialism in the land, and rage at the federal stimulus package and make a show of refusing to accept any of it, while quietly taking a cool $28 billion.

It is the refuge of a scoundrel to pretend to hate government, and further, to lie about the role that the American government — the richest and most powerful force for good in the long story of humanity — has played in the creation of the most profound economic engine ever, the America middle class.


There was a time, and it wasn’t that long ago, when Texas state leaders like former lieutenant governors Ben Barnes and Bill Hobby (both conservative Democrats) would go around the state explaining the tax bills that they were proposing to the people. Explaining that every dollar they proposed to take in in taxes would yield $8 on return of investment, because when you invest in people and infrastructure, you create the conditions for growth.


In Perry’s counter-narrative, the Texas Miracle of private-sector job creation over which he has presided was brought about because of the past generation of conservative leadership’s success at eviscerating government and unleashing the power of the Texas market and the initiative of the Texas entrepreneur. He has broadened his narrative to include an interpretation of the United States Constitution as primarily a state’s-rights document, a novel idea which your average high-schooler knows is the opposite of true.


Witness this year’s gruesome session of the Texas Legislature, which began in January and saw the state facing a $27 billion budget shortfall. As Perry revs the engines and gets his message together to run for president, you will likely not see much about this dire condition when the Texas Miracle is mentioned, nor will you see much about the bloodletting that just took place to place to balance the books. Because that kind of talk would also lead to the obvious fact that Perry has presided over a drastic withdrawal of support for public education in Texas – $4 billion cut, this year alone, which is projected to lead to the loss of thousands of teachers, among other bad consequences.


Meanwhile, the character Perry has honed since his spectacularly successful move to the Republican party grows larger in the national consciousness by the day. The very face of mythic Western self-reliance.

Oh, and did Perry’s pray-for-rain resolution work?

Well, no. And so what did he do? He called Washington, and asked for help.


Filed under Al Gore, Barack Obama, Chimpy, Christianity, Constitution, Democrats, Gay rights, George W. Bush, Homophobia, Homosexuality, humor, Karl Rove, movies, Newt Gingrich, parody, politics, religion, Republicans, Ronald Reagan, snark, Texas, Wordpress Political Blogs

28 responses to “Holy Crap

  1. John Erickson

    Well, his prayer request did work, kind of. The state prayed for rain, and they got a drip….

  2. He wrote all of that without mentioning Perry’s hair? I’m impressed!

  3. You know, in my Bible there’s this passage in which Jesus condemns the practice of praying publicly and for show. He says that people who do that will receive their public recognition, which is their reward, but that God isn’t interested in that kind of crap.

    Granted, not in those words, but call this the Ken L Version (KLV).

    If more people who call themselvews Christians would read their Bibles and stop thinking that everything with God’s name or the Republican label attached to it is righteous, the Church wouldn’t be nearly as mocked or ineffective as it’s become lately.

    Love the title, and love the use of that movie. “Leap of Faith” is a truly great movie, both as a comedy and as a serious commentary on the condition of Christian-looking life in the modern US. Perfect choice for Gov. Perry.

    • the louder someone screams how much they believe in something, the more i think they’re trying only to convince themselves. i used this movie once before, except it was the dvd cover, not the movie poster. ironically, it was about mittsie. i just looked at it, and i noticed that i replaced the stadium in that one, too. in this one, i have the houston reliant stadium. in the mittsie one, it was poppy bush’s presidential library, also in texas.

  4. He is praying for rain, then he will ask for Federal aid! That’s just how he rolls.

  5. OMG, I feel like I’ve just driven through Texas after reading all of that. 😯

  6. Former Senator Danforth wrote a book several years ago criticising in no uncertain terms about how playing the religion card was going bite them all in the ass eventually. Lincoln wouldn’t do it, though contantly pressured to assure union righteousness in the war. Goldwater wouldn’t do it. Then in the era of the godman Ronald, all that changed, to the detriment of the real body of belief. Now they serve two masters, just like the parable of the coin warned against. Show me a hard core goper that could deal with “give all you have to the poor and follow Me”. And like the young man, they would turn and walk away for their riches are great. Now in modern times, they would just take a new angle like: the zealots praying in public with grimmace faces and rent their clothing (in a maner to be seen by men)…..these days they would do the same, except sell the clothes out right to investors and lease them back. It’s ALL about the money!

    • it was always about the money, and it always will be. the fundies are so immersed in their own fear and insecurity in the religion they purport to believe in that they can’t think straight. let’s hope there are more people like our very own wken who can be religious yet still open-minded and logical and can see through the bs they are shoveling around.

  7. jeb

    Hmmmm, a dim political opportunist Rethug governor of Texas as the potential Prez? What a novel idea. I wonder how that will work out?

    • how was your honeymoon, jeb? i missed you while you were gone. i hope geri is well.

      • jeb

        A week on the Riviera, sun, good food and wine and with my lovely wife. The only downside was that it came to an end.

        • did the kids eat all the food you bought them before you left?

          • jeb

            No and the 16 year old claimed there was no food left in the house. I pointed to the stuff in the freezer and reminded him I’d mentioned it like five times before I left and he said he didn’t hear it. I’m sure you’re shocked and have never heard of anything like that before.

  8. Creep of Faith indeed. He seems to have a really disturbing “Prophet” Complex.

  9. Oh crap … another theocracy zealot.

  10. Lucky I don’t have your address nonnie or I’d send you the bill for the mess I made of my cloths after verping all over them while I read that.

    • i read that last night. i don’t know if gov. little ricky goodhair is gay or not, and i’m a little ashamed to say that i really don’t care, but i hope that the suspicion haunts him. if he can’t stand up and say i’m not gay, but even if i was, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being gay. instead, he has a homophobic bullshit prayer meeting, so the hell with him. the rethugs have a long history of smearing people, so it’s about time they got a taste of their own medicine. would it be stooping to their level? yes. but sometimes, that’s the only way to teach someone a lesson.