Mercy for Rick Perry

The governor, whose most grievous mistake was the execution of Cameron Todd Willingham, will now become infamous for another one. It would be a trivial error for a candidate of great qualities, it is a trivial one for a candidate of many dangerous ones. His ridiculous moment, I suppose, will be pointed to as an example of how the process of endless dime deep debates is working; that the banal questioning is a mystic sword on which the ignoble will finally show themselves through a false word or gesture, leaving only the strong and the wise, in this case, a christian fanatic, a misogynist, your dullest teacher in high school, another christian fanatic, your local crank pharmacist / gold standard pamphleteer, another christian fanatic – though I may have lost count by now, and Mitt Romney, who always reminds me of the fairy tale where the Tom Peters book is magically transformed into a man.

Perry, whose cv includes the killing of an innocent man and a prayer based solution to drought, might now have gone poof not for the saying and doing of many awful things, but through the non-saying of one thing, a mistake that many who have spoken in public may well have made. That this will be Perry’s heel, demonstrates the overwhelming emphasis on the ceremonial aspect of the presidency in this ongoing speaking contest, the ceremonial, and nothing else. Perry’s fatal flaw has not been one of his many terrible plans, but that he has made himself look so ridiculous that his indignity has splattered on his supporters, like any singer whose fans flee after her habits have become so debased that she’s unable to lip sync properly.

I grant a clemency for Perry, though I have no power, there are no grounds for clemency, and my clemency is of no consequence; Perry, in the matter of Cameron Todd Willingham, granted no clemency, though his power was extraordinary, the grounds substantial, and the consequences vital. His silence now will be far more chattered about than his silence then.

On a related note, Michelle Bachmann’s eyes, which are so piercing, yet so seemingly focussed a few degrees off from the subject, have always made me think of an absent minded witch. She, like Perry, I am sure have already appeared in some folk tale or another, in the guise of destructive monsters from which one might be saved because they forgot what they were supposed to destroy that day.

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