Ever since the website Politico published a story last month asking Is Rick Perry Dumb?, a flurry of media opinionators have declared the question unfair. There are different ways of being intelligent, they said. Not everyone has to be booksmart. Whatever you do, you better not underestimate Perry, they said. That only strengthens his (alleged) political superpowers. Heh heh, he’s dumb, alright — dumb like a fox. (One national pundit actually used that phrase in her column).
So, I’d like to clear up any confusion and settle this right now: Yes, Rick Perry is dumb. Dumber than a box of lug nuts. Dumber than an Aggie at an astrophysics lecture. Dumber than the cast of CMT’s Texas Women trying to split a check at Reata.
Offer any measure of intelligence, and Perry will fail spectacularly. Book learnin’? He’s functionally literate at best, I’d wager. A good judge of character? Perry’s apparent lack of self-reflection suggests he doesn’t reflect much on other people, either. Street smart? Perry hasn’t had enough political defeats to learn much of value about the political life.
No, Perry isn’t any kind of smart – he’s mean, cocky, and he has many deep right-wing pockets funding him because his loyalty to business interests is legendary. BTW, I don’t underestimate the man’s chances of becoming the next U.S. president. That’s very possible. But it won’t be because he has some well-disguised store of super-craftiness that the rest of us are missing. It’ll be because he’s mean, cocky, and well-funded. And because American voters are still so scared about the economy, they’re desperate. (And dumb).