Posted by | August 15, 2011 21:07 | Filed under: Top Stories

By Yashwanth Manjunath

Following the results of the Ames straw poll, the Republican primary has become a three-person race between Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, and Rick Perry. The fact that Perry may actually win the Republican primary and run against an incredibly vulnerable Democratic incumbent is a nightmarish scenario for several reasons that I hope to effectively articulate.

First off, Rick Perry believes that Social Security and Medicare are unconstitutional. Those are positions not only outside of mainstream America, but they are not even mainstream for a Republican voter. In this present climate of manufactured deficit hysteria, how quickly would Perry privatize Social Security and Medicare with a Republican Congress behind him? At the very least he would push for massive cuts, and probably get them. But that’s not all he believes is unconstitutional.

Rick Perry argues in his recent book Fed Up!: Our Fight to Save America from Washington, that just about any type of federal government regulation over the economy is unconstitutional, including organizations like the SEC and EPA. He calls them part of a “federal alphabet soup” in which “undemocratic unelected Washington bureaucrats” are “now (dubiously) empowered to dictate their own preferences to the American people.” How one can say that in light of the 2008 financial meltdown, and the 2010 BP oil spill, is mind-numbing; but Rick Perry’s mind sounds pretty numb. Needless to say, funding federal regulatory agencies and hiring tough regulators to those positions would not be a top priority under the Perry administration. Why not just give all our money to Wall Street and Big Oil?

Speaking of shilling for Big Oil, Perry not only believes man-made climate change is a conspiracy, he thinks the world has actually been on a “cooling trend.” That’s not an ideological disagreement; it is just factually inaccurate. According to NASA, this past decade was the warmest in recorded history. It might be unfair to expect Perry to have a firm grasp of science and the Constitution given his college grades, but these are things a serious Presidential candidate should know.

Finally, Rick Perry proved to be a man of disgustingly dubious integrity with his actions in the Cameron Todd Willingham case. Willingham was executed in 2004 for the murder of his three young children in an arson, but in August 2009 national arson expert Craig Beyler released a report which found that the fire was accidental and that Willingham was undoubtedly innocent. When asked about the report, Perry stood by the decision to execute Willingham by arguing that:

Even without proof that the fire was arson, [Perry] added, the court records he reviewed before the execution of Cameron Todd Willingham in 2004 showed ‘clear and compelling, overwhelming evidence that he was in fact the murderer of his children.’

He actually attempted to cover up the exculpatory evidence in order to protect his reelection interests.

Simply put, we already tried electing a morally bankrupt former Republican governor from Texas to the presidency and it was an unquestionable disaster. Even if running against Rick Perry means an easier reelection fight for President Obama, I do not even want to take my chances with someone this dangerous winning the Republican primary.

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