Rick Perry and the GOP man crush phenomenon

I hate the CIA. Seventy years after Harry Truman signed its charter, the spook club and its un-public budget have trespassed and sinned beyond any accountability. Which makes it strange that Donald J. Trump hasn’t nominated me to head it. Betty De Vos despises public education. Scott Pruitt scoffs at climate science. Jeff Sessions sneers at the Voting Rights Act.

But nominating Rick Perry to lead the Department of Energy is first-class trolling. For the first time since Bush II-era Arabian horse expert Michael Brown, a president has appointed a moron to a Cabinet post. Perry is so stupid he couldn’t even name the department he said in 2011 he wanted to eliminate that Trump has chosen him to head.

Immolating himself in the fires of his stupidity in 2012 and 2016, he nevertheless makes many Republicans hard. In 2014 National Review Online, contemptuous of homosexuals looking for equal protection under the law, published a writer named Tim Cavanaugh whose idea of policy analysis was to ghost write an OK Cupid profile for the former Texas governor:

Perry’s roof-raising speech Friday, which was festooned with ten-dollar words and an emphasis on state governance as a mechanism for crowd-sourcing solutions, broke through in part because it came in a new package: Perry the collected-but-not-cool thinking man, wearing a muted tie, a bespectacled elder statesman whose long tenure as chief executive of the Lone Star state bestowed wisdom on him while showering prosperity on Texans.

Hold on, the best sentence is next:

Here’s the visual package in a blowup of the above picture, from Perry’s appearance with National Review’s Jim Geraghty.

Oh.

You can’t see Perry’s sensible shoes, but he’s working a subdued, knees-together posture, modestly leaning in to his interlocutor, fully committed to the pursuit of better solutions.

Bias confession: This reporter’s heart is with Cruz and/or Paul, but the Republicans have a very deep bench of governors. America’s most recent experiment with electing a senator to the White House has now been exposed as a folly the nation was smart to suppress during the preceding four decades. The 2016 candidate will be a governor. Perry brought a new self to CPAC, and his idea-guy act proved a better vehicle to move the crowd than his previous instantiation as a big Texan in cowboy boots.

Before my three conservative readers quote Chris Matthews on Barack Obama’s effect on his leg, I want to point out that while we liberals can go gaga over personalities too we don’t lavish our crushes with so many ill-chosen adverbs, nor do we use “instantiation” — not even in TED Talks! If Perry never had Tim Cavanaugh’s heart, he certainly had the rest of him. But I’ll let readers decide whether Young Thinking Man was worth the slobber or whether Jason Schwartzman commanded by Rudolf Hess isn’t preferable. Spoiler: no glasses, no modest leaning knees, a visual package if you squint.

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