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.

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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).


  1. Perry has never lost an election for a reason, and that isnt just money. hes calculating, he stays on message, and he makes very few mistakes. want some perspective? have a gander at paul burkas blog over at texas monthly. perry is many things, but stupid isnt one of them. Youre making the same mistake as everyone else you talk about, youre underestimating him.

    now the people who are actually willing to vote for perry, now thats another story.

  2. Isn’t the assumption that all republicans are dumb pretty much a given on the left? Hardly worth mentioning.

    How’s the really smart guy doing, BTW?

  3. Most voters like dumb candidates. Always have. They like the ones who spit, chew, shoot, scratch, and brawl. They like short, snappy answers, black and white morality, take or leave it solutions, and you’re with us or against us ultimata. They also like codpieces.
    Perry, like his possibly smarter older brother W, is a natural for President. Knuckle draggers love him, big business loves him, the saints and televangelists love him, scared white people love him, people who aren’t rich but are sure they will be in five years love him.
    Let the Republicans have the White House back. They think they own it anyway, and have always looked upon any Democratic President as a usurper who somehow slipped past the guard. They can also have the Congress. That way, they can fix everything that, um, they messed up last time.

  4. Dumb is a very relative question such as is the glass half full or half empty when by volumn it contained 50 water and 50 space. Since such a word to the biased people, the SOB (Sold On Obama) crowd, it means many things, all unflattering and is used as a means of demeaning your opponent based on character assassination, not on his ideas, philosophy and plans–the one way to try to win when you can not defend your own ideas nor defeat your opponents on ideas, philosophy and plans. You are to be congratulated on announcing to the world your bias against Rick Perry and support of Obama in the forthcoming election cycle. Since you are not a general newspaper (all of the news with out bias, but an publication–much like those published in support of the freedom from England some nearly 200 years ago) you should state that your policy is not to report the news, but to influence and try to change public opinion to your bias point of view. There is nothing wrong with this as long as you admit this is the aim of your publication in plain sight (like on the cover page) ,

  5. This month’s Texas Monthly also has this interesting quote from Jim Hightower, the guy who lost an election to Rick Perry in 1990 for the agriculture commissioner post.

    Hightower said this about Perry: “I think he’s a good campaigner. I think that’s the one thing he actually does well, as opposed to actually governing or having actual ideas or principles.”

  6. I remember a stupid republican early and often warned about the problems at with Fanny and Freddie and the subprime market. What a goofball.

    Good thing a smart guy (Democrat, natch), smartly said there was no problem and that the dumb guy was dumb (and likely racist) for making such dumb statements.

    Smart people agreed with the smart guy who assured us that the dumb guy was dumb, and they’ll forever blame the dumb guy for the dump policies that caused the collapse of the subprime market, even if they can’t actually cite any dumb policies the dumb guy came up with.

    They don’t have to, they’re smart, and that’s enough.

  7. Ya wanna see smart stuff, read the Smart One’s letter to the HLR in defense of affirmative action. Other than 3rd-grade errors and undecipherable sentences, it’s, like really smart stuff.

    How did that letter get published with the errors? Could it be that the editors were sending a subtle message?

  8. Rick Perry has worked as a so called public servent all his life and got rich by using his influence to get sweet insider deals. Its called quid pro quo or just dirty politics. That’s a nice hero you got Laughing At You.

  9. If he’s going to ride the cowboy myth into the White House, he needs to buy a scenic ranch, quick. With the governor’s mansion down, and his handlers reluctant to showcase his $10,000 a month rental, he needs a set. Pronto. Maybe there’s one in Crawford available.