Perry Event 2/1/2010

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I found it fascinating to watch the rollout of Rick Perry’s campaign this week, and the reactions of his opponents, of his party, and of the opposing party. It’s going to be an exciting race. I hope you have enough going on in life to not be paying attention yet, but if you are:

—Perry wasn’t always so openly evangelical; in fact, his “conversion” from mainline Protestantism to conservative evangelicalism looks rather suspiciously timed.

—The GOP is very worried about him. They know he is very extreme, and that his “antigovernment cowboy” persona has a huge risk of backfiring in the general election, and that that’s exactly what the voters want. So they establishment is frantically pushing Paul Ryan as an alternative, an idea that seems equally insane.

It’s relatively clear that Perry’s tenure in Texas has been marked by an extraordinary level of crony capitalism. That should probably surprise no one, but it has elicited fervent complaints from both left and right.

—The Bush machine is also worried about him, because they have never been able to control him, and a Perry ascendancy to GOP leadership would sever their already tenuous ties with the party, cut off Karl Rove’s lucrative consulting contracts, etc.

—Also if you’re interested, I’ve written about Perry’s political theology—which I took at face value but may in fact be elaborate pandering—and his concept of federalism in his latest book. Tangentially related, I wrote yesterday on the Tea Party’s evangelical-ness, which explains why Perry blended social conservatism with his radical anti-government platform in Fed Up.

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About The Author

David Sessions

David Sessions is the founding editor of Patrol, and is currently a doctoral student in modern European history at Boston College. His writing has appeared in The Daily Beast, Newsweek, Jacobin, Slate and elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter here.

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