Saturday, October 15, 2011

Rick Perry, philosopher king

A Perry spokesman, reacting to questions about the billions in state contracts awarded to clients of Perry's chief factotum, characterizes the governor's decision-making process like this:
Aides to the governor took issue with any suggestion that Mr. Perry did anyone’s bidding other than his own. “The governor bases his policy decisions on what his philosophical beliefs and policies are,” said a spokesman, Mark Miner.
Philosophy first! Not what's likely to work in a given context or what serves his state's or country's interest. And Perry's favorite philosopher is, of course, Jesus Christ. Hence his unconditional support for anything Netanyahu wishes to do -- from expanding settlements in the West Bank to, perhaps, bombing Iran's nuclear installations -- has a "philosophical" basis:  "As a Christian, I have a clear directive to support Israel. So from my perspective, it's pretty easy." Hence his determination in the face of a $27 billion budget hole to cut $5 billion from the state school budget, notwithstanding a yearly increase of 85,000 in the student population, rather than tap the state's $6 billion rainy-day fund, and to provide Medicaid with only 18 months' worth of funding for the next 24 months. Never raising taxes is a "philosophical belief."

When your "philosophical beliefs" direct all decision-making, there are no decisions to be made. Thus Perry can "base his policy decisions...on what his policies are."  Really, "it's pretty easy."

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