Oh, Lord. The Parson Meacham's tenure at Newsweek continues to veer woozily between What Would Jesus Print? and barely disguised appeals for the lunatic Right not to show up on his lawn. This week, he sends Evan Thomas, the only living collector of John McCloy memorabilia, in search of the transcendent political power that is Governor Rick Perry of Texas. Read the piece closely and you will see in it everything that makes elite political journalism in this country unworthy of the implicit trust placed in it by First Amendment. It has become plain in recent months that Perry is a politician beloved of people who should not be trusted to cut their own meat, count their own money, or go out in public without keepers. There should be no serious dispute about this, not with Thomas writing this:"President Obama, (Perry) says, "is hellbent on taking America towards a socialist country." That kind of catchy talk plays well with a certain--and growing--segment of the American population. According to a new Rasmussen Reports poll, 24 percent of U.S. voters now say they consider themselves to be part of the tea-party movement (up from 16 percent a month ago). According to a Harris Interactive poll, two thirds of Republicans believe Obama is a socialist, while 57 percent believe he is a Muslim, and almost one in four suspect he's the Antichrist."That is a clinical description of politics that has utterly lost its mind. It is precisely the same as a political movement that states as its goal the elimination of the role played in American politics by arachnid aliens from the planet Zontar. This is the case whether or not the insanity is popular or not. This is the case whether or not it is politically successful. And a politician like Perry who chooses to align himself with it is worthy of nothing but scorn and ridicule. He certainly doesn't need some Beltway bigfoot massaging his ego with talk about how "crafty" he is, or how he has such "good timing." (John Kerry was a flip-flopper, remember? Rick Perry has "good timing." OK, whatever.) The whole piece is one of those phony anthropological studies of the Real America. ( I mean, honestly, "Shuck Donnell, general manager of Coyote Lake Feedyard in Muleshoe, Texas"? How'd they decide to quote him? On the basis of his first name? His company's name? Or the name of his hometown? It sure as hell wasn't on the merits of what he said.) If Rick Perry's ideas triumph in this country, it is because this country's politics have gone moronic, perhaps beyond all recall. Of course, if you say that, people will get mad and show up on the Parson's lawn, and we can't have that.
Seriously, PBS subscribers: Is a free tote bag worth this?
[Note: The original link within Pierce's post appears broken; here's the article he's quoting from.]