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Begala writes: "Let us not allow Rick Perry to exit stage right - far right - without a final word or two. What can be said about a man who burst onto the national scene by toying with secession, as if 600,000 dead in the Civil War weren't enough?"

Former Texas Governor and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry brandishes a colt revolver for cameras, April 15, 2010.  (photo: Rodger Mallison/MCT)
Former Texas Governor and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry brandishes a colt revolver for cameras, April 15, 2010. (photo: Rodger Mallison/MCT)



Rick Perry: Adios, Mofo

By Paul Begala, The Daily Beast

19 January 12

 

et us not allow Rick Perry to exit stage right - far right - without a final word or two. What can be said about a man who burst onto the national scene by toying with secession, as if 600,000 dead in the Civil War weren't enough?

Rick Perry appealed to the darkest angels of our nature. In his final debate appearance, standing in the metaphorical shadow of Fort Sumter, he said the state of South Carolina "is at war" with the federal government - and he said it with approval. Perry called Social Security a Ponzi scheme and "a monstrous lie." He attacked the constitutionality of Medicare. He openly and dishonestly called our president a socialist. He said he would reinvade Iraq. He almost certainly executed an innocent man.

And for a time he was in first place among Republican presidential candidates.

We will, of course, remember Perry more for his spectacular stupidity than for his open desire to roll back the clock to 1861. Perry is a dope, and now all the world knows it. If he lives to be 100 he will be remembered for his "Oops" moment - when he couldn’t recall the three government agencies he wanted to abolish. To be sure, even the smartest of people can have a brain freeze, but Perry's cerebrum has been on dry ice for decades.

The pride of Texas A&M can now slink back home, defeated and disgraced, where he can try to explain to the lobbyists and billionaires who funded his campaign how he squandered a huge fortune and blew a big lead. In the most modestly gifted field in memory, Perry stood out. His incoherent debate performances, his weird,
rambling, giddy speech in New Hampshire, his embarrassingly low vote totals, will define him for the rest of his career.

Republican presidential candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry prepares to speak with voters attending the West Des Moines Precinct 1 and 2 GOP Caucus held at the Seven Flags Event Center January 3, 2012 in West Des Moines, Iowa. , Jonathan Gibby / Getty Images

He earned the support of just 14,323 voters - a good turnout for a Texas high-school football game, but piss poor for a presidential campaign rolling in dough. The final reports aren't in - and the spending is likely to be much higher - but a quick assessment of the amount of money Perry's campaign and the pro-Perry super PAC spent comes out to $21.16 million. Again, that total will rise dramatically, but right now it looks like Team Perry spent at least $1,477 per vote. He could have given each of his voters a thousand dollars and saved money.

Right now it looks like Team Perry spent at least $1,477 per vote. He could have given each of his voters a thousand dollars and saved money.

Of course, some will blame it on Texas. And my beloved Lone Star State is the presidential Hall of Shame. John Connolly and Phil Gramm ran presidential campaigns that spent as recklessly as Perry, with similarly disastrous results. And George W. Bush ran a great campaign - and went on to be the worst president in a century. I don't know what it is, and I can't explain it. Perhaps Perry will cool the presidential dreams of the next good-looking airhead to rise in the Lone Star State. If so, he will have accomplished something lasting after all.

And so we bid Rick Perry farewell. But not with the socialist French phrase "Adieu." Instead, we use the pidgin Spanish Perry himself used to say goodbye to a group of journalists in 2005: "Adios, mofo."

 

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+124 # Barbara K 2012-01-19 13:50
Bye bye, don't let the door hit you on the way home. Too bad I can't be glad to see you go. To quote above: "Adios, moffo."
Don't hurry back, and stop executing people.

NEVER VOTE REPUBLICAN !!

our future is at stake
 
 
+82 # fredboy 2012-01-19 14:10
Goodbye to yet another Texas honeysuckle. Big, brash talk and cheerleading, but little to show for it.
 
 
+95 # k8carroll 2012-01-19 14:13
Thank you for the witty commentary here! I'll be giggling about the "dry ice" jab for a long time! Both you and Mr. Perry's departure from the race brightened my day!

Unfortunately, he may be the least offensive of the Republican contenders. Perry is only intellectually mediocre, Romney is going to struggle with the "glad I'm filfthy rich, now vote for me" campaign and Newt, who divorced two wives when they were ill and wanted his second wife to give him an "open marriage," looks like an idiot trying to connect with the family values stance of the Republican party.

FRIENDS DON'T LET FRIENDS VOTE REPUBLICAN!
 
 
+71 # trinity 2012-01-19 14:20
Yes, the rest of the country now sees Gov Goodhair for the huckster he is: A
tool for the Corporatocracy wrapped in populist buckskin. His state motto "Texas is open for business" was truthful: guting environmental regulations, welfare for the Multinats,
packing school textbook approval with the Texas Taliban in a transparant pandering to fundamentalist christians,
and being responsive only to the one tenth of one percent of his constitutency from which true power flows all marked his regime.
It reminds me of a Larry McMurtry essay
stating the writer's first hand experience: "Growing up in a small town shrinks a man's character."
 
 
+49 # Todd Williams 2012-01-19 15:21
Too bad most of the nation's textbook publishers are in Texas. These asssholes are sending out books filled with redneck, bible thumping lies!
 
 
+22 # ericlipps 2012-01-19 18:08
Quoting Todd Williams:
Too bad most of the nation's textbook publishers are in Texas. These asssholes are sending out books filled with redneck, bible thumping lies!


Actually, they're not. But Texas is a huge market without which a textbook won't be profitable--so publishers bend the knee to it. And in Texas, some of the loopiest people have influence over which textbooks state authorities will buy. Needless to say, the consequences are unfortunate.
 
 
+84 # shortonfaith 2012-01-19 14:21
"We will, of course, remember Perry more for his spectacular stupidity than for his open desire to roll back the clock to 1861. Perry is a dope, and now all the world knows it."

That pretty much says it all about the entire line-up.
 
 
+79 # cypress72 2012-01-19 14:25
I knew very little about Rick Perry until he entered the Republican race a few months ago. Frankly, I was alittle surprised by his performance in the debates and the campaign ion general. I remember hearing the pundits say, "if Perry gets into the race, it's a whole new ball game." And it was, until that first, of many, bad debates. The fact that Rick Perry has been Governor of Texas for 12 years doesn't say much for the intelligence of the average Texan. I don't think that Perry could win in Ohio where I live.
 
 
+32 # Gootarama 2012-01-19 15:09
Are you nuts? I live in Ohio too, look at what we got KaSuck...too bad we don't have recall like Wisconsin...... .at least we overturned SB 5, the anti-public union bill. Lot's of "Dumbos "in the Buckeye State too............
 
 
+28 # Cactusman 2012-01-19 16:06
I think Perry could win here in AZ. I mean, look at what else we've inflicted upon the country. Perry's act, alas, would probably play well in Peoria, the Phoenix suburb.

That said, I'm glad he's not here. we have Arpaio and Brewer. But we also managed to get rid of Russell Pearce and J.D. Hayworth, so maybe things are improving here too.
 
 
+9 # ABen 2012-01-19 22:14
Unfortunately in AZ we have Jan Brewer, one of the few governors who is dumber than Perry. Perhaps Arpaio will run for governor, now that would give Stewart and Colbert some fresh material.
 
 
0 # tedcloak 2012-01-20 15:29
Speaking of Russell Pearce: any ideas how we could get his cuz Steve out of Congress? -- Ted, in New Mexico
 
 
+29 # k8carroll 2012-01-19 14:28
Sorry to see the comic relief go!
 
 
+28 # Todd Williams 2012-01-19 15:23
Maybe he'll go back to his old hunting camp in West Texas. You know the one that he said wasn't named "niggerhead." What a jerk. Texas really should come up with a better governor soon.
 
 
+30 # LeeBlack 2012-01-19 14:52
Y'all may bidding Perry farewell but he will return to Texas and start acting like a Governor again -poor Texas.
 
 
0 # HJ7 2012-01-23 01:31
Why poor Texas? Hasn't that state been creating jobs at a far higher rate than the rest of the union.
 
 
+11 # Glen 2012-01-19 14:58
Newt probably paid him a load to support him. The only nationally notable role Perry played was Man of the House, with Tommy Lee Jones. Well, a few moments anyway.
 
 
+30 # Gootarama 2012-01-19 15:04
The big joke going around here, as it was when "W" was running and secured the White House, goes like this...."What's the difference between a cowboy and a Republican politician from Texas"....Answe r "the cowboy has the shit on the OUTSIDE of his boots"........
Nothing's changed in years, same old, same old!!
 
 
+24 # raver 2012-01-19 15:04
Unfortunately, he is still the Gov. of Texas...for 2 more years....
 
 
+6 # Rumpole7 2012-01-19 15:10
He will also be remembered as Al Gore's Texas campaign manager in the Y2K campaign. Viva la sistema de dos partidos!
 
 
+34 # dstroh 2012-01-19 15:22
Gov Goodhair got my attention when he underfunded the Texas Commission on Fire Protection, then with Texas wildfires raging told Texans to "pray for rain."
His "it takes guts to execute an innocent man" attitude spoke volumes about his moral character (none) Maybe he can take time off and go hunting in Alaska with a kindred spirit.
 
 
+23 # runner47 2012-01-19 15:22
if I recall, the pertinent expression favored in THE LONE STAR STATE is:

"ALL HAT AND NO CATTLE"
 
 
+1 # Educator 2012-01-20 22:14
Where's the hat?
 
 
+13 # grouchy 2012-01-19 15:30
However, he is pretty! Like a Texan Ronnie. Perfect to play the presidential role in some B-movie--perhap s with a monkey--If he could remember his lines. Or to be photographed modeling mens' clothing in some big catalog--maybe with with Mitt?
 
 
+26 # RMDC 2012-01-19 15:30
I don't know what "Mofo" means. Does it mean "mother fucker"? That would be about right.

But Rick Perry is just another Karl Rove product. He was Rove's boy even before GW Bush was. Rove dug him up out of the sewers of Texas to run for Ag Commissioner against Jim Hightower. The Ag Commissioner is the most corrupt government official in the State of Texas that that is saying a lot. Hightower, a real progressive, had plans to clean it up but Rove and his crew were determined to prevent that at all costs. So Perry was brought in to be sure that the corruption continued without interruption.

shortonfaith has it right -- Perry is a dope. But he was funny to watch, sort of in the same way that GW Bush was. Idiots on stage!!
 
 
+10 # elmont 2012-01-19 18:26
You are correct as to the less delicate definition of 'mofo.'
 
 
+25 # MicheleB 2012-01-19 15:32
Cypress72: Perry has only been the state governor for 10 years. Please don't make it any worse than it already is! We are already miserable enough. And, we aren't any less intelligent than the folks from Ohio who keep sending the current speaker back to the hill.

Most people don't really understand the place called Texas. In particular, they don't realize that Texas is overflowing with mid-western refugees from the rust belt. And, they vote. Same as all the people who have lived here for generations (my family).

I will be glad to welcome the man from Paint Creek back home so he can quit embarrassing us and making people (you included) accuse us of being unintelligent. My greater wish is that he decide not to run in the next election or, better yet, get defeated so that the good people of Texas can feel more certain that our land will be protected, our health care numbers will be pulled out of the tank, and our schools won't be falling further and further behind in educating the next generation of voters.
 
 
+8 # elmont 2012-01-19 18:25
Perry jumped into the Repug race with so much fanfare, money, and media hoopla that I assumed he was some kinda conservative marvel. His performance since then has been so starkly awful that I began to have a sick sort of sympathy for him. How could someone so pathetic have been Texas' executive for so long? Kidding aside--it actually makes me wonder if maybe he has some kind of health problem--you know, a brain tumor or Alzheimer's or something. Am I the only one out here with such thoughts??
 
 
+8 # SouthBrun 2012-01-19 15:39
Adios, El Rico..You are my huckleberry.
 
 
-26 # bugbuster 2012-01-19 15:42
He's not Presidential material.

Wikipedia looks at his record as the current governor of Texas. It's not all bad, particularly on Crime and Education. I would say he deserves a place at the table, but not at the head of the table.
 
 
+4 # LessSaid 2012-01-20 16:29
Quoting bugbuster:
He's not Presidential material.

Wikipedia looks at his record as the current governor of Texas. It's not all bad, particularly on Crime and Education. I would say he deserves a place at the table, but not at the head of the table.


Ricky has done to Texas what Bush did to the U.S. When Ricky leaves, he leaves a mess for the next Governor. Then it all will come out in the wash.
 
 
+19 # Pickwicky 2012-01-19 15:48
Farewell Ol' Rootin' Tootin'--you will not be missed.

BUT, BUT, BUT---as the field shrinks, my terror grows. How could the Grand Old Party wind up with the likes of Romney, Gingrich, Santorum, and Paul? And Gingrich is back on the rise. I am, of course, a Democrat, but even I feel embarrassed.
 
 
+13 # stonecutter 2012-01-19 16:16
Water seeks its own level. What goes around, comes around. To paraphrase one of his own favorite down-home Texas putdowns, he was "All Hat and No Cattle." Now we're left with the Four Stooges; the debate tonight should be entertaining, at least.
 
 
+9 # Tippitc 2012-01-19 16:27
I believe a saying in TX is "big hat, no cattle" - This yahoo is a living, breathing embodiment of that!! Good riddens - and don't forget - let's all pray for rain. Ride out of town on the horse you came in on!!!!
 
 
+6 # ozken 2012-01-19 16:54
I just googled mofo thinking it was a Spanish word I didn't know and not quite believing RMDC. Wow - what a great president he would have made - he would have lifted the worlds opinion of the U.S.A. to new levels and I don't mean upwards!
 
 
+14 # wilhelmscream 2012-01-19 17:02
Remember that LBJ (from Texas) signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights act of 1965. If these were up for renewal (Voting rights was renewed in 2006)today, Tea Party congress members would vote it down unanimously w/o debate. Tea Party members are NO different than the KKK(aren't G.W Bush, Rick Perry, Newt etc members of the KKK?)
 
 
+10 # lionsdenmother 2012-01-19 17:20
Texas should stick to beauty pagents and stay out of political races.
 
 
+8 # head out the window 2012-01-19 17:29
The best thing is that he has so disgraced himself he wont risk running for another term as gov. and not to be particular but its "all hat and no cattle." maybe in this case all hair.
 
 
+16 # James38 2012-01-19 18:25
I suspect he will show us just how deep his capacity to ignore any possible shame is, if he feels any at all. I think his whole attitude is to get it all as much and fast as he can and to hell with everything else. That he found himself over his head in the shallow waters of the Repuglicon debates probably won't faze him, he will just return to Texas with the feeling that there, at least, he can still con most of the people, and take advantage of the good-ol-boy network of connections and favoritism and shuck and jive boosterism he has shown some talent for. I just hope that enough Texans are embarrassed enough by his grotesque flameout on the national stage that they will no longer support him. His abysmal record as governor is finally more fully exposed for all in Texas to see. Watching his lies about the economy there has been quite entertaining, aside from feeling very sad for the Texans who suffer from his stinginess and neglect - and his record on education watered down with wacko religious nonsense - gag. Vote him out, Texas.
 
 
+6 # MicheleB 2012-01-19 21:33
Quoting James38:
I just hope that enough Texans are embarrassed enough by his grotesque flameout on the national stage that they will no longer support him. His abysmal record as governor is finally more fully exposed for all in Texas to see. Watching his lies about the economy there has been quite entertaining, aside from feeling very sad for the Texans who suffer from his stinginess and neglect - and his record on education watered down with wacko religious nonsense - gag. Vote him out, Texas.


Your comments are well put. Sadly, I don't think the man from Paint Creek has learned anything about embarrassment or humility. One of his handlers was quoted tonight on NPR suggesting that our favorite dumbass Aggie is considering running again in two years...or for president in four. I vote for the later -- a wider audience sees him much better than his rich cronies here at home. (Can you say $17M to burn from Iowa to South Carolina?)
 
 
+2 # Tippitc 2012-01-19 17:57
Guess I better get my 'expressions' right from now on.
 
 
0 # stonecutter 2012-01-20 08:54
If you'd read the comment just above you, you'd have gotten it right.
 
 
0 # Tippitc 2012-01-21 00:31
Thank you so much for pointing that out - when I posted my comment, the one above mine wasn't there. You can put your red pencil away - thank you.
 
 
+7 # berensmann 2012-01-19 19:02
Nice suit....was there something in it?
 
 
+1 # stonecutter 2012-01-20 08:55
Nice crack....I mean comment.
 
 
+2 # Kootenay Coyote 2012-01-19 21:12
“It is a far, far better thing I do today than I have ever done”: Rick Perry, per Chas. Dickens
 
 
+5 # lisamoskow 2012-01-20 09:13
Thanks for the great writing! I love the comment about the cerebrum being on dry ice.
Also important to mention the stupidity of the rich idiots who would invest in the empty suit.
 
 
0 # HerbR 2012-01-20 09:52
....and another Intellectual bites the dust...."
 
 
+1 # keithincali 2012-01-22 17:20
Rick Perry would wind up shooting himself with that gun and then go, Ooops.
 

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