MANY ELITE REPUBLICANS SEEM TO BE IN A BIZARRE STATE OF DENIAL REGARDING PERRY'S RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM AND CONFEDERACY-CODDLING
This morning I woke up to a Politico article predicting, yet again, that Rick Perry intends to get into the presidential race, and noting that he's garnering a fair amount of mainstream Republican interest:
...Perry has spent the last week calling some of his fellow GOP governors to discuss running, including Mississippi's Haley Barbour, perhaps the most influential of the 29-member group.
... Henry Barbour, the governor's nephew and a well-connected Republican player, has been recruiting many of the operatives who had signed up with his uncle.
"Perry is the most natural fit for us," said Barbour.
Some of Rudy Giuliani's top moneymen are also being wooed by Perry....
Former Ambassador Peter Terpeluk, financier Roy Bailey and veteran lobbyist Dirk Van Dongen, each of whom raised cash for Giuliani in 2008, are all attending a meeting of major GOP donors next week in Austin and will attend a dinner with the governor....
When Perry was in New York City last month he met privately with Giuliani and attended a luncheon with a group that included a well-known and longtime supporter of the ex-mayor, John Catsimatidis. Longtime New York political influentials Bill Plunkett and Charles "Trip" Dorkey were also on hand....
Are these people really going to turn to Perry as (in Politico's words) " the sort of tea party-establishment hybrid candidate missing from the current field"? They're going to treat Rick Perry as Establishment in a way that Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain aren't?
I ask because last night I watched this segment on Rachel Maddow's show:
If you don't want to watch it, or can't watch it right now, just know that it's based on a series of posts at Right Wing Watch about preachers who are going to show up at The Response, the big stadium prayer rally Perry is convening on August 6. To give you an idea of what's in the Maddow story, just check out the titles of some of the individual stories Right Wing Watch has done about these Perry-allied preachers:
Rick Perry Partner John Benefiel Claims Homosexuality Is An Illuminati Conspiracy
Rick Perry Partners With 'Apostle' Who Thinks The Statue Of Liberty Is A 'Demonic Idol'
The Company That Rick Perry Keeps: Peter Wagner On Sex With Demons
Rick Perry Partners With Pastor Who Thinks Oprah Is The Precursor To The Antichrist
Um, really? Haley Barbour didn't run because he thought his own Southernness was a bit de trop for voters in other regions of the country in 2012, but he and his macher nephew think Perry would be more palatable in swing states?
I'm sorry, but this is nuts. We still haven't come close to debunking wingnut economic nonsense in the eyes of Mr. and Mrs. Heartland America, but they got sick of the religious right years ago. How can Perry possibly win a general election with this baggage?
And then, on top of that, Salon reminds us of Rick Perry's Confederate past -- not just semi-Confederate-ism (i.e., idle talk about secession) but apparent membership at one time in a neo-Confederate group, and some consorting with neo-Confederates ever since:
A 1998 voting guide published by a leading neo-Confederate group and obtained by Salon not only endorses Perry for lieutenant governor but also describes him as "a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans."
...The organization that publishes DixieNet describes [the group's] mission in openly secessionist terms: "The League of the South is a Southern Nationalist organization whose ultimate goal is a free and independent Southern republic." Its core beliefs include the abolition of the income tax and central banking, a Southern republic that "revives the use of State Militias in place of maintaining large, standing armies," and a society that "perpetuates the chivalric ideal of manhood." The group rejects "the American Empire that now occupies the South."
... Visitors to the Sons of Confederate Veterans website are confronted by a video of a man in a gray uniform who proclaims, "One hundred and fifty years ago the men of the South left our homes and families to protect them from an illegal invasion and to fight for the rights our states held under the Constitution." He continues: "Too many in your time want to tell lies about us and the reasons we went to war. We fought for you. It is now your turn to stand up to the South."
Slavery is not mentioned.
The group also says the "citizen-soldiers who fought for the Confederacy personified the best qualities of America." ...
Go to the SCV's online store and you can order fine books like these:
Ah, but who cares what Rick Perry did in 1998? Well, there's also this:
In 2008, Perry was featured in the pages of the Confederate Veteran, the magazine of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. He is pictured presenting a state flag that had flown over the capitol to Billy Ford, a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans camp in Corsicana, Texas.
And this isn't his only association with neo-Cons (as it were). Read the Salon article for more.
This is the GOP's great, er, white hope?