Matthew Yglesias at Think Progress went through Rick Perry's book "Fed Up" and published a piece on the 10 "weirdest" ideas in it. When I finished reading it I immediately though, "if that is the best he can do, Perry is a shoe-in". The 10 are:
10. Perry hates Social Security. Oh, what a shocker. I'm sure everyone would be shocked that a supporter of free markets hates social security. We've only been referring to it as a ponzi scheme for years.
9. World War II, not the New Deal, ended the Great Depression. Isn't that the consensus nowadays? The only error Perry seems to have here is that he claimed World War II unleashed private enterprise. I can sort of see the point as it was re-purposed private factories, not government factories, that were behind the increase in industrial production (though they were paid through government dollars), but that is a bit too nuanced for anyone to really care about.
8. Cut Medicare without "Death Panels". Somehow Yglesias thinks it's weird to attack medicare and attack medicare cuts based on government councils deciding what treatments people get. Well just like everything else, there is a right way and a wrong way to do things. Paul Ryan's medicare vouchers would cut the cost of medicare but wouldn't create "death panels", so what's so weird about what Perry said?
7. Dodd Frank is unconstitutional. One would think that forcing banks to lay off all of their prop traders wouldn't be something that the founding fathers would consider a legitimate government role.
6. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is unconstitutional. I would guess that any small government advocate would think any government agency called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is unconstitutional (right up there with "Unification Board" and "Bureau of Economic Planning and National Resources".
5. Perry doesn't like the usage of the commerce clause to allow federal laws regulating the environment, regulating guns, protecting civil rights, establishing the massive programs and Medicare and Medicaid, creating national minimum wage laws, [and] establishing national labor laws. Again, this is a shock because...? Anyway, isn't the EPA regulating carbon dioxide now? Isn't that a bit of overreach as we tend to exhale that naturally?
4. He is against the Department of Education. So what? Aren't our schools run mainly at the local and state level? So why would we need a giant federal bureaucracy? To write glossy reports which just summarize other reports?
3. Perry is not a fan of the global warming crowd. Big shocker there. Considering we don't know for sure if temperatures are actually rising or if any temperature rise is due to man made reasons or because of variations in solar activity, who can blame him?
2. He doesn't like activist judges. If someone likes the Constitution how can someone like a judge who legislates from the bench?
1. Perry blamed the Federal government for sparking the Civil War through it's historic trampling of Northern rights. This is a bit unique but his argument that items like the Fugitive Slave Act fomented tensions isn't exactly crazy.
So basically, I was very disappointed in this list as I was sure he was going to dig up at least something truly surprising. Like a belief that when the world was created 6,000 years ago, God created dinosaur bones to test people's faith in the Almighty or something of that ilk. The list, while using some creative hyperbole, in it's essence simply paints Perry as a free market and small government conservative. I'm sure that is weird for Yglesias and his buddies but not for the majority of Americans.