If there was any doubt that Texas Gov. Rick Perry is NOT a candidate for thoughtful Americans who are Republicans, Democrats and independents he has now erased it in an interview with CNBC. He has pretty much summed up the sorry state of American politics: he says the birther issue is “fun” and a “good issue to keep alive.”
Yes, demonization is SO much fun. Suggesting that a sitting American President is not an American or might be violating the constitution by being in the Oval Office by not being born in the United States is fun. In effect calling a President a liar for the fun of it and to keep an issue alive is SUCH a rush:
Texas Gov. Rick Perry said the birther issue was worth “keeping alive” in a CNBC interview Tuesday morning. “It’s a good issue to keep alive. It’s fun to poke at him,” said Perry, according to host John Harwood. Harwood interviewed Perry about his flat tax proposal that he is unveiling Tuesday, which sets an across-the-board twenty percent rate on individuals and corporations with some deductions.
Perry also spoke evasively about President Barack Obama’s birth certificate in an interview with Parade magazine published over the weekend. When asked if he believed the president was born in the United States, he said, “I have no reason to think otherwise.” Asked why he didn’t give a definitive answer, Perry replied, “Well, I don’t have a definitive answer, because he’s never seen my birth certificate.”
Perry said in the CNBC interview, “I’m really not worried about the president’s birth certificate. It’s fun to poke at him a little bit and say, how ’bout let’s see your grades and your birth certificate.”
There’s a word I have never used in a post about a candidate before. But those of us who decry the talk radio political culture nature of our politics where the bulk of time seems to be spent trying to whip up resentment and fear about candidates on the “other side” (Democrats or Republicans) will have a word that pops into mind that seems appropriate:
FOOTNOTE: Texas has many serious, fine, issue oriented public servants and politicians. Mr. Perry — this quote indicates — is not one of them. Texas often gets a bum rap. And Rick Perry does not help the stereotype.
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.