The Stupidity Sweepstakes

In a week of campaigning, Rick Perry has made Michele Bachmann look positively professorial.

The previous frontrunner specializes in little gaffes–like mistaking serial killer John Wayne Gacy for the cowboy star, starting the Revolutionary War in Concord, N. H. instead of Lexington, Mass., mistaking the anniversary of Elvis’ death for his birthday and worrying about the Soviet Union, now 20 years gone.

But Perry has not troubled himself with such trivia, choosing instead to go for Texas-sized ignorance about bigger subjects such as evolution, climate change and Social Security, bringing the level of often-wrong-but-never-in-doubt to new presidential campaign highs.

Forty year ago, when President Nixon nominated a Supreme Court Justice widely considered “mediocre,” Sen. Roman Hruska defended the choice: “Even if he were mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren’t they, and a little chance?”

By that logic, the current GOP presidential field has opened new vistas for the intellectually challenged, with Perry taking it all into uncharted territory.

As Republican hopefuls pile on the President as an elitist out of touch with the American people, they are offering the alternative of uninformed certitude in many flavors.

Little wonder that the lone exception, Jon Huntsman, is tweeting his supporters: “To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.”

MORE.

Author: ROBERT STEIN