Tag: Tea Party

The Astroturf Study

The Left is jumping with both feet on this study:

A new academic study confirms that front groups with longstanding ties to the tobacco industry and the billionaire Koch brothers planned the formation of the Tea Party movement more than a decade before it exploded onto the U.S. political scene.

Far from a genuine grassroots uprising, this astroturf effort was curated by wealthy industrialists years in advance. Many of the anti-science operatives who defended cigarettes are currently deploying their tobacco-inspired playbook internationally to evade accountability for the fossil fuel industry’s role in driving climate disruption.

The study, funded by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institute of Health, traces the roots of the Tea Party’s anti-tax movement back to the early 1980s when tobacco companies began to invest in third party groups to fight excise taxes on cigarettes, as well as health studies finding a link between cancer and secondhand cigarette smoke.

Taken purely as “science” — taxpayer-funded science incidentally — there are several problems with inhaling their conclusions without a hint of critical thinking. Sullum:

The main evidence for this thesis is that Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE), a think tank co-founded by libertarian billionaire David Koch and economist Richard Fink in 1984, received donations from tobacco companies (mainly Philip Morris) between 1991 and 2002. A year or two later, CSE split into two organizations, FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity, that have helped support and organize Tea Party activists. How much tobacco money did CSE get? According to Glantz et al., $5.3 million over 12 years, which amounts to roughly 11 percent of CSE’s revenue as of 2002. That’s a substantial share, but was it enough to corrupt “a think tank dedicated to free market economics” and backed by an ideologically motivated billionaire? Glantz et al. show that CSE saw eye to eye with Philip Morris on issues such as tobacco taxes and smoking bans, which presumably is why the company supported it. But they do not present any evidence that CSE took positions contrary to its avowed principles because it was eager to keep the tobacco money flowing. Nor do they claim that FreedomWorks or Americans for Prosperity, the groups that have aligned themselves with the Tea Party, receive substantial tobacco industry funding, let alone that such money is important enough to sway the entire Tea Party movement.

I didn’t realize that smoking rights was such a big deal to the Tea Party. I mean, every Tea Partier I’ve talked to has had that moment when his eyes glazed over and he mumbled, “People should be free to smoke anywhere. Tobacco taxes are bad. I like Phillip Morris better than Cats. I am going to smoke it again and again and again.” But I never thought anything of it.

Incidentally, you know who else got money from Big Tobacco? Algore. Yet, somehow, this does not discredit his opinions on global warming.

Sullum again:

If these positions are so clearly indefensible, why does the money matter? “It is important for policy-makers to be aware of the corporate funding sources for organisations that work to influence public policy,” Glantz et al. write. “It is important for policy-makers,the health community and people who support the Tea Party to be aware of these complex and often hard-to-track linkages.” But they never really explain why. Surely it is possible to judge arguments and evidence on their own merits, without reference to the alleged financial interests of the people offering them.

But rather than respond with arguments and evidence of his own, Glantz seeks to discredit his opponents by implying that they do not really believe what they are saying, that they are only in it for the money. “It is important for tobacco control advocates to anticipate and counter Tea Party opposition to tobacco control policies,” Glantz and his co-authors write, “and to ensure that policy makers, the media and the public understand the longstanding intersection between the tobacco industry and the Tea Party policy agenda.” In other words, if you don’t have logic and facts on your side, smear your opponents as Big Tobacco shills or dupes.

Exactly. Ever since the Tea Party arose, the goal of the Left has not been to engage them or debate them or defeat them. It has been to discredit them. To claim that millions of people with concerns ranging from illegal immigration to Obamacare do not come by these views honestly, but are racists, sexists, idiots or shills in some sort of Koch-funded behaviorist experiment.

Liberals, of course, come by their views honestly and with intellectual rigor. But anyone who disagrees with them must be insane, deluded or brainwashed. So … tobacco money! … or something. It is part of what I call the Grand Liberal Conceit: the belief that everyone is naturally liberal, that liberal views are intrinsically objectively correct and that the only reason anyone isn’t a liberal is because of some evil conspiracy. This view, of course, is the descendent of the “false consciousness” of Marxism, an idea that still extends its vile and vain tentacles into all branches of intellectual thought.

Bullshit. I’ll repeat what I said in a slightly different context, when Bill Maher complained that Obama’s opponents were running against an imaginary straw man:

not all of the complaints against Obama — not even a significant minority — are illegitimate. Obamacare is not a figment of the fevered Right Wing imagination; it’s an actual law that was actually passed and actually massively increases federal control over the insurance system. The crummy economy is not some specter conjured up by Rush Limbaugh. The massive deficit is not an illusion created by Fox News. We can argue over how much responsibility Obama bears for these things; but we can’t argue over whether they exist.

If you ask people why they don’t like Obama, I guarantee you that, except for a handful of pundits, the words “Saul Alinsky” will never pass their lips. They will cite bailouts, which Bush started but Obama supported and manipulated to the advantage of his political allies. They will cite the economy and the debt. They will cite Obamacare. They will cite Dodd-Frank. They will talk about a man who looks at our ridiculous tax system and proposes more complications.

These are not imaginary hobgoblins we attribute to some Barack X candidate who only exists in our diseased conservative minds (Maher, of course, thinking all conservative minds are diseased). These are things the President bears responsibility for.

Yes, some of the organizations affiliated with the Tea Party have taken tobacco money at some point and some have been funded by David Koch. So fucking what. George Soros has been doing that for years and failed to get a real movement going. Ross Perot tried that and failed to get a movement going. All the tobacco and Koch money in the world would not not have made a lick of difference were it not for genuine and legitimate concern about the direction in which this country is headed.

To be honest, this study and the reaction to it tells you a lot more about the Left than it does about the Right. All politics they disagree with is the result of shadowy conspiracies and rich oligarchs. The world is filled with fundamentally evil forces — Big Oil, Big Tobacco, the Koch Brothers — who infest and corrupt anything they touch. There are not legitimate Right Wing movements, only Left Wing ones. And if that all sounds familiar, it’s because those are views and prejudices that they constantly accuse the Right of having.

Hell’s teeth, I tire of that attitude. I wish a thousandth of the energy spent investigating and spreading BS conspiracy theories about the Tea Party or any movement were spent engaging and exploring their concerns and ideas and how those can be addressed in a sensible way. But I guess that tolerance and patience only applies to Occupy Wall Street.

The DHS Shoe On the Other Foot

Wikileaks latest has indicated that DHS was keeping tabs on the Occupy Movement as a potential danger. Naturally, of course, the Left has freaked about “oppression”, a freak-out which includes this laughable quote:

On Current TV last night, host Cenk Uygur blasted the agency for focusing exclusively on Occupy Wall Street. “The Tea Party… that happens to be pro-corporate America is not anywhere to be found here [but] when Occupy Wall Street is not pro-corporate America, all of a sudden, they need to be investigated by the Department of Homeland Security.”

As the author points out, this is all kinds of stupid. First of all, their “keeping tabs” on Occupy mostly involved trolling Twitter and other public media. The only remotely ominous thing is their concern that the protests could turn violent and threaten infrastructure (which kinda happened). Second, the DHS did keep track of the Tea Party and had a controversial report on the potential for Right Wing violence. Third, comparing the Tea Party to Occupy is a little ridiculous. Whatever else you might say about the Tea Party, they gathered, had their marches and went home, usually leaving the public spaces clean and tidy. They didn’t camp out, they didn’t have problems with women being raped, they didn’t demand free food and trash stores that wouldn’t comply and they didn’t have links to the people who created chaos in Seattle and other places. And finally, describing the Tea Party as “pro-corporate America” is a bit silly given the hatred the Tea Party has for bailouts and subsidies.

Frankly, keeping tabs on the Occupy movement and making sure there was no threat to public safety is the DHS’s job. If we find out it went deeper than that, then we can be concerned. But I find it ironic that the people who either ignored or applauded the DHS’s report on potential right wing violence now have a case of the vapors when it comes to the DHS looking out for potential left wing violence.

Civil liberties are civil liberties, guys. It doesn’t matter who they’re exercised by. We all have a stake in them.

On The Night Liberty Died, I Held Her Hand…..

This is tangentially about the SCOTUS hearing on ObamaCare that’s coming up in the first quarter of next year, but it’s not the crux of the subject I wish to comment on.

On March 20 – 22 of last year, I was in Washington D.C. for the vote to pass the health care bill. I had heard a few people suggest a gathering of some sort. Bachmann and some Tea Party notables mostly. For me it was different though. It wasn’t at anyone’s behest that I went, it was an irresistible draw. Think: Richard Dreyfuss in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” as he, along with all the others who had been affected by some extraterrestrial force, somehow knew that their presence was required at Devil’s Tower in Wyoming, and nothing was going to stop them from getting there. I woke up on Friday, March 19th, and told my wife I had to go. She got it, and gave me her blessing (and started making food that would keep in a cooler to try to save money – I was unemployed at the time).

I have no idea if the old regulars here at Right Thinking had any fellow members who went to D.C. that weekend, who could provide you with a first-hand account of the event, but I do know that I was either the only one, or one of only a couple who went, on the other sites I frequented at the time. As I hear the punditry about the upcoming SCOTUS challenge, I keep getting a familiar feeling in the pit of my stomach that many commentators just aren’t/weren’t getting what this was all about. Which Justices are going to recuse themselves, will SCOTUS uphold or overturn or some compromise in-between, will certain politicians’ careers rise or fall on the outcome of the case……blah blah.

It is my firm belief that ObamaCare goes well beyond a simple debate over the finer points of constitutional law. It’s about what force of nature will triumph, the natural yearning of humans for freedom, or the raw evil of despotism and tyranny. While it is my belief that if America falls to the latter, so too will follow the entire world, that belief doesn’t really influence my committment to dedicate what remains of my life to preserving the former. The forces of the latter are global in nature, while the mindset that created the former is still, generally-speaking, only found here in America as a collective force to be reckoned with, diminished and weaker than needed though that force may be.

On the day I got back in town from the health care vote, I posted my take on where we stood as a country at Survivalist Forums, and you could see the epiphany that occurred within me that the above articulates in its first incarnation in that post. After giving my take, I summarized it thusly, which I used a part of to title this post:

“That’s why I went. I watched the grandmother I was raised with die. I watched my favorite aunt die. I watched my mother die. I held all of their hands in their final death throes and witnessed their final breaths. Last night I did the same thing with American Liberty. And I did it with a family of about 2,000 or 3,000 Brother & Sister Patriots who stayed till the end. Last night wasn’t about politics. It was about the death of American Liberty.”

I feel stronger about it now than I did then, some 20 months hence. This SCOTUS ruling will tell us, The People, if the rule of law, wholly inspired by the aforementioned natural yearning for human freedom, still holds any sway against the forces of despotism. And even if it does and the ruling goes against ObamaCare, will this chapter in American jurisprudence be enough to wake The People up to the fact that the fight is never-ending? Or will they give a collective sigh, saying to their collective self, “Shwew! That was close!” and go on about their work-a-daddy lives taking for granted the freedoms and immunities from government intrusion that court victories over highly controversial, important issues tend to mask as even being threatened? Are we collectively peering through the eye-holes of that mask? I think not.

Win or lose at SCOTUS on ObamaCare, it, in and of itself, is not the threat to our liberties that many describe it as. Apathy, complacency, and lack of civic participation are much more deadly enemies to freedom, that allow the rich environment in which travesties to liberty such as ObamaCare, the Patriot Act, and myriad examples of constitutional usurpations that have riddled this country for decades without so much as a whimper from the masses to proliferate, than any one piece of legislation even has the potential to be, no matter how egregious against liberty its provisions are.

So that’s what I felt compelled to say. Of course I hope ObamaCare is overturned, but I implore my readers not to take it as the end-all, be-all of victories over tyranny if it is. The American Revolution started in 1776, but it is a never-ending struggle, and neither the ratification of the Constitution itself, nor the passage, or upholding, or overturning of ObamaCare, can or will portend its conclusion. The precepts of the American Revolution can only be maintained and nurtured, never concluded. But it can be defeated. One entity can prevent its defeat; We, The People. Your participation is required.


Occupy Continues To Lose Sympathy

You know, I heard a lot of criticism of the Tea Party back in the day. But I don’t recall them do anything like this:

Police have arrested an Occupy Fort Collins protester in connection with a $10 million arson fire that damaged dozens of condominiums and businesses in Fort Collins.

Benjamin David Gilmore, 29, was arrested on Thursday night on suspicion of arson, burglary and criminal mischief.

On Oct. 24, a fire started at 3:30 a.m. in a four-story apartment complex under construction. The fire spread to the occupied Penny Flats condominium and retail building next door.

I’m sure the OWS folks will say this is just a rogue element. But these elements are becoming more and more common and, fairly or unfairly, becoming the face of the movement. The “rogue elements” are becoming a rogue movement.

The problem with the Occupy movement is the occupy part. The Tea Parties had the right idea: everyone protest then go back to work. By not creating a permanent presence, they kept things under control. But with Occupy, you have tons of people just sitting around day after day, becoming a magnet from criminals, anarchists and rapists. This has not been helped by the encouragements of certain dim-bulb mayors.

Early on, I said that I was encouraged by the Tea Party but wanted to see a coherent agenda emerge. It sorta did. But for OWS, the need is even more urgent because they have a much more intrinsically volatile situation. Occasional agendas emerge but they are lost in the howl of protest for the sake of protest and increasingly anti-social destructive behavior.

It’s time to back off, drain the dangerous energy and coalesce behind an agenda, even if it’s a liberal one. If OWS doesn’t shift to protesting FOR something, rather than against everything, this is only going to get worse.

Update: Crap like this isn’t helping either. Memo to Occupy DC — both parties are to blame.

A word that needs to be added to the dictionary: Ineptocracy

Wish I can claim I articulated it this nicely:

*_Ineptocracy_****(in-ep-toc’-ra-cy) – a system of government where the least
capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the
members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded
with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number
of producers*

I think the 99 are definitely part & parcel of this ineptocracy: the group electing the morons. Considering I read attempt after attempt by the LSM to present shit like this in the best possible light, while someone burping at a Tea Party rally resulted in clearly false accusations of racism, violence, sexism, cruelty to animals, and chaos and mayhem that they portend will lead to cats & dogs sleeping together and grandma being pushed off a cliff by an evil rich fat cat that needs to keep his $100 bills to light his cigars, shows the double standard and complete lack of honest reporting by these DNC owned advocates pretending to be in the news business.

Here is the horrible truth: we have this fucked up world because the majority keeps giving power to the least qualified to lead, solely because they promise to steal from others to buy their votes, in the process hurting the very people they portend to want to help the most. Sadly, as things keeps devolving, I am now convinced the disciples of Ayers/Alinsky are going to get what they want. Hoepfully those of us better armed and less inclined to go along with this bullshit will prevail. Queue the idiots saying that all is well, make fun of anyone pointing out the problem, and forcefully advocating that all we need to do is take more from the deminishing number of producers, to make all well.

What Taxes Go For

All right, his has got to stop, liberals. You just sound so stupid every time you say it.

Here is the latest “amusement” from the Left about those dumb “teabaggers”, via Unreal Americans. It juxtaposes anti-tax signs with things supposedly funded by taxes that the protesters are enjoying.

Heh heh. Those dumb tea baggers! They’re protesting against streets and electricity!

This is the poor man’s version of Elizabeth Warren’s dumb rant. And I’ll just repeat what I said in the comments to that post:

The other thing I failed to note is that she talks about education, roads, police. Very few people have problems paying for that. But that only accounts for a fraction of government spending.

Here’s what she should have gone on to say:

“All that money that was flushed down the toilet with Solyndra and other green boondoggles? You paid for that! Our huge welfare state? You paid for that! Our bloated education system that spends the most in the world while educating the least? You paid for that! $150 million a year paid to dead federal employees? You paid for that! Corn ethanol that fouls the Earth while not providing energy? You paid for that! Farm subsidies, fuel subsidies, unnecessary second engines for fighters? You paid for all of it!”

The last graph on this page shows a breakdown of federal spending. You’ll notice that none of things labelled in that clever picture even show up. Electricity and power lines are paid for by consumers. To the extent government contributes, it’s with subsidies that Tea Partiers (and liberals) generally oppose. Traffic lights, local roads, street signs and sidewalks are mostly funded locally and to the extent they are federally funded, shouldn’t be. Even for local and state government, infrastructure is a small fraction of what they spend.

Now if you want to ding these guys for supporting defense spending, Social Security and Medicare — which accounts for the majority of government spending, feel free. But you have to acknowledge that the bulk of government is not on roads and schools or even science or green energy, but transfer payments and government programs that have big ambitions and small results.

You know what we should post in response? A picture of liberals calling for tax increases with lots of business in the background that would get hammered by them. Or a picture of the Wall Street protesters on their iphones and droids, the products of evil American business.

Preview of 2012 vote

The donkeys better get panicked. Short of one of the typical tricks where they “discover” a trunk full of votes somewhere to let their guy suddenly pull ahead, it looks like the seat formerly heald by Anthony Weiner, he of the wiener picture, will go to the upstart Turner. This is happening in what is usually considered a true blue district, NY-9 that has been a given for the donkeys. Sucks to be them.

The other election of note is happening in Nevada, and it now looks like NV-2, another one of those deep blue districts, will also go red. That’s a double sucks to be a donkey.

Of course, the LSM will still be telling us all how unpopular the Tea Party and those evil conservativs and their crazy idea of small government is with the American people, even as democrat after democrat loses their races. Keep believing their bullshit. Nothing tastes sweeter than the tears of donkey defeat, and boy is it looking like it’s going to be raining tears.

Tea Party Zombies


Via Hot Air and others, I find this video game. It’s a zombie-killing game called “Tea Party Zombies must die”. The zombies are made to look like the hicks and idiots the Left imagine them to be with bosses made like Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, etc. Oh, and some of them wear Klan robes. You can see screen-caps here.

I’d get worked up into a “can you imagine if we did this!” rant but why bother? The game is dull with light flashes that are almost epilepsy-inducing. And it has “facts” between levels and “Tea Party slogans” that would shame a dumb commenter at Daily Kos. But, hey, at least it gives us something to volley back the next time some Leftie blog starts ranting about violent imagery from the Tea Party.

Liberals. They can’t even do violent video games right.

Book Burners? Nah

I’ve previously made mention of the factually-challenged liberal blogger Amanda Marcotte. She’s the “feminist” blogger who, among other things, claims that polls showing that about half of women are pro-Life are biased because women are too stupid to know what pro-Life means (no, I’m not making that up.)

Last week, she wrote an article about the Tea Party moving to ban books which was forwarded me by about every liberal on the planet, including members of Amazon basin native tribes that have yet to make contact with western civilization. Funny thing, ha ha. Her article actually doesn’t present any evidence that the Tea Party, per se, is banning books, per se. The logic appears to be:

1) Tea Partiers tend to be socially conservative;
2) Some social conservatives want books they consider inappropriate for children removed from school libraries;
3) Therefore the Tea Party wants to ban books.

Jonah Goldberg has now looked deeper into this. And … well, do we really need to ask what he found?

So, in other words since the rise of the Tea Parties the number of “banned books” has actually gone down (not counting, of course, the incidents that the “group never learns about” which are no doubt legion). Neither USA Today story has anything whatsoever to say about the Tea Parties. And the second one titled, “Those challenging books find strength in numbers” is mostly about the apparently new controversy over risque content in advance placement testing.

Also, at least some of these challenges are coming from liberals who object to content they regard as racist and/or sexist.

For the record, my opinion on books, films and TV is that it should be age appropriate. I remember when Schindler’s List debuted, unedited, on television. Spielberg had a little video beforehand advising parents to exercise their judgement; that he wouldn’t let his young kids see it but would insist on his older children watching it.

I have no problem with fencing off controversial books into a section accessible either to older students or those whose parents have signed off. AP classes, by definition, are for mature students who can handle a little controversy but parents should be informed beforehand so they can decide whether or not to let their kids take the class. As long as everyone’s informed, we’re good.

Actually, my preference is to privatize the schools altogether, making this a parental rather than political issue. But even modest efforts in that direction are running into stiff resistance. If we’re going to have public schools, some accommodation for religious and or PC parents is not unreasonable.

In any case, the notion that the Tea Parties are gearing up for a massive book burning is ridiculous. I’ve spoken to — in person or electronically — Tea Partiers ranging from libertarian to moderate conservative to bible-thumping Religious Right. I’ve gotten an earful on every issue from the gold standard to the space program to gay rights. And I have never had anyone bring up books in school.

Nice try, Ms. Marcotte. But we’re a little too busy cleaning up the mess your political allies have left to bother with books right now.

Michelle Malkin – Plumbing Perry’s Objective Record

Couple of things before I start citing the article to which the title refers:

1) I have no problem with taking a candidate’s religious views and practices into account. In fact, I always do try to discern the veracity of the stated views that their actual practices expose. But I tend to do that privately, as my personal religious views and/or biases will always win out in reaching conclusions about a candidate over what others’ takes mean to them based on their own views/biases. So this post is not going to be about Perry’s religious or morality views, but rather his objective record of governance as Governor of Texas for the last decade or so.

2) I have one problem with Malkin’s repeated use of the words “Tea Party” in this article. As I read it, every time it was used it should have been substituted with the word “conservative” or some synonymous derivative thereof. She is describing what any conservative should expect/demand from someone running on a conservative platform, and I personally see the Tea Party as nothing more than the collective memory of what the Republican Party’s platform always was up until GHW Bush, on through to W Bush and many, if not most, of today’s Republican candidates/office-holders. Perry, as well as all the rest, should be evaluated on their adherence (or lack thereof) to traditional, constitutional conservative values, not just on what the Tea Party espouses.

So, with those caveats, here we go:

Yesterday, the Washington Post asked me to comment on conservative concerns about Texas GOP Gov. Rick Perry’s records.

Here is what I told them in full:

“The Gardasil debacle is just one of many concerns a wide range of grass-roots conservative activists have about Perry’s record as governor. He’s soft on illegal immigration despite a few recent nods to border enforcement. He’s prone to crony capitalism. And as the vaccine mandate scandal shows, he demonstrated Nanny State tendencies that are anathema to Tea Party core principles.

A clearer, more forthright apology about the Gardasil executive order would have helped. But in the end, I don’t think there’s anything he can do to ‘fix’ his political/ideological instincts. They are what they are.

The reaction to my criticism of Perry’s Gardasil mandate is mixed. Yeah, I’ve gotten heat for not falling in line with the latest GOP bandwagon. Many Perry backers will accuse detractors of being single-issue purists making mountains out of molehills. Some Texan readers will defend him to the death out of parochial loyalty. The majority of responses have been positive, though. If we demand that Obama answer for the glaring discrepancies between his rhetoric and his record, we must do the same for our candidates.

The important thing is that we’re having the debate. It’s healthy. It’s necessary. It’s why we have primary battles for the GOP nomination and not coronations.”

Michelle and I are simpatico here. I am not a registered Republican, so I guess it stands to reason that I would refuse to get on board with any GOP “bandwagon,” but Michelle Malkin is indeed a Republican, and I appreciate the standard to which she is attempting to hold all voters who will likely vote Republican in primaries and the General, regardless of party affiliation. As previously mentioned, “Tea Party” should have been substituted with “conservative,” but the message should be the same for anyone trying to scrutinize Perry’s record, even if they don’t consider themselves part of the Tea Party.

Here is the article in the Post, which concludes:

“Perry’s campaign is brushing off the criticism, saying there’s nothing in his record that a conservative wouldn’t love.

“The governor has a conservative track record on fiscal issues, on social issues and on the border,” said spokesman Mark Miner. On the HPV vaccine, Miner, said, “this is a life issue and he erred on the side of life.”

But on this issue — and others — Perry is only likely to get more scrutiny, not less.”

Once again, the Perry campaign proves my point about the non-walkback-walkback. If Perry “erred on the side of life,” what his campaign continues to suggest is that those who opposed his Gardasil mandate from the beginning chose death. Instead of renouncing the human shield demagoguery he engaged it after the repeal, the Perry campaign has doubled-down.

There is nothing — nothing — Tea Party about this.

Nothing conservative about it either, and that’s the point. If you don’t know about the Gardasil controversy, please follow the link above or Google it and read up on it. Forced vaccinations by the state, whether federal or state-level, should scare the crap out of all of us. I realize Perry isn’t the first to implement such things, nor will he likely be the last, but I can’t see any argument that supports the contention that forcing a given medical treatment on kids against what their parents believe is in their best interest is in any way an “error” that any “conservative wouldn’t love.”

It is no surprise — given the Merck ties — that Perry is a consummate practitioner of corporate welfare “public-private partnerships.” Tim Carney, who wrote the book on Obama’s crony capitalism, dissects Perry’s big government-big business collusion in the Examiner today. As with the Gardasil mandate, Perry exercised his habit of overriding the deliberative process, exercising unilateral executive authority, and benefiting donors and cronies.

She cites quotes in the article supporting the above contention, which you can check those or follow the links above to, and which I will leave out here for brevity’s sake, but which, again, Michelle and I are simpatico on.

The Wall Street Journal earlier scrutinized Perry’s crony capitalism here.

Then there’s Perry’s troubling erosion of private property rights via the Trans Texas Corridor.

Michelle goes on from there to link to articles of hers decrying “big government public-private partnerships” by Obama and GW Bush, claiming what I agree is the consistency high-ground in her cross-party government analysis over the years.

Jennifer Rubin explains to knee-jerk Perry supporters why all of this matters — and why the vetting of Perry and every other announced candidate is imperative:

“The downfall of the Republican majority in Congress in 2006 was the perception that conservatives had gone to Washington and become ensnared by lobbyists, donors and special interests who used the federal government and taxpayers’ money as a piggy bank. Republicans should examine candidates’ records and see not only if they have successfully created jobs but how they have done so, what the appropriate model is for the relationship between government and the private sector and whether that model is one we should adopt in Washington.”

Has anyone noticed that, in the journalistic realm anyway, most of the steely-spined conservatives are women these days? I mean, yeah, there are exceptions, but many of the Tea Party notables are women and many of the most committed and deeply-convicted conservative bloggers are women. I’m not sure whether it’s refreshing or embarrassing considering I’m a man, but it sure does seem rather undeniable in any case.

Anyway, back to Malkin:

How are Perry defenders responding to criticism?

This is typical:

Richard Rekieta
Richard.Rekieta@cityofhouston.net to malkinblog

10:54 AM


I am a fan of yours, but your hack job on Governor Perry was not necessary. Why are we dumping on our own? If you cannot say anything good about a Republican, shut the hell up. There are plenty of Dems around to trash our side. Overall, Governor Perry is the best we got.


Ugh. Maybe those reports on the death of the Tea Party movement aren’t so premature after all.

Someone give me hope out there, please.

And no, I will not shut the hell up.

I wish she would have couched it as the “death of the conservative movement” rather than the Tea Party, but other than that I say, you go girl.

She concludes with:

More on Perry and our favorite Latino supremacists at La Raza.

From the American Thinker, Perry’s problematic jihadi-friendly pals.

On the plus side, he’s saying the right things about global warming junk science. That’s an improvement over the climate change Republicans and GOP enviro-nitwits from the last presidential campaign season.

For my own self, I am not posting this to pick on Rick Perry. I have major problems with all of the so-called conservative candidates. I do have a particular problem with Perry filing to run one day after avoiding a major debate, and the next day being the front-runner by double-digit poll points though. That fact alone seems to expose a rather disturbing dearth of thoughtful analysis of the candidates by voters. Of course, that dearth may or may not be manipulated by the polling agency in the way they conduct or weight their polls, but even if that is so, are “our” voters so easily manipulated, and if so, does that say anything more positive about them than what an almost complete lack of investigation of Perry’s record would say if the polls are accurate?

Always question them, always scrutinize their records. Anything less makes us, as voters, the problem, not them as the entitled power-hungry overlords that they all see themselves as in the deepest, darkest recesses of their psyche.