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Rick Perry: Bottom-of--barreler 

If anybody could lower the quality of the Republican presidential field, Rick Perry just might be the man. Republican members of the Arkansas legislature are clamoring for his candidacy; Rick Santorum isn't seedy enough for them.

It was reported last week that 20 Republicans in the Arkansas House of Representatives have sent a letter to the Texas governor asking him to run for president. It was reported the next day that Perry had vetoed a bill that would have prohibited the sending or reading of text messages while driving. He explained that government mustn't interfere with Texans' right to kill each other on the highways. To do so, he said, would amount to "micromanagement." Dumb and dangerous, as was said of a former president.

Perry closely resembles George W. Bush, except for being more egotistical. Like Bush, he recklessly mixes right-wing religion with government. In cooperation with a radical anti-gay group, he's sponsoring a Christian evangelical revival meeting, supposedly with the goal of "unifying" Americans. Like Bush, he has lots of shady contributors that he likes to steer government contracts to. Like Bush, he's extremely secretive and often misinformed. He hasn't yet had the opportunity to lie America into a war, but observers say he's capable.

So far as we know, Bush never suggested that Texas should secede from the Union again. Perry has. Only the wildest of politicians could make George Bush look moderate by comparison.

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