Rick Perry's bad, Obama-style medicine

Cronyism. Most noxious of all, Perry wraps his big government health mandate in the “pro-life” mantle. But the do-gooder theater is a distraction from the business-as-usual back-scratching and astro-turfing that are Obama hallmarks. Perry’s former chief of staff Mike Toomey is a top Merck lobbyist. Toomey’s mother-in-law headed a Merck-funded front group pushing vaccination mandates. Merck’s political action committee pitched in $6,000 to Perry’s re-election campaign in 2007 and Merck discussed the vaccine with Perry staff on the day they donated.

The PerryCare executive fiat was not simply a one-off mistake explained away by lack of “research.” It exposed a fundamental lapse in both political and policy judgments, an appalling lack of ethics and a disturbing willingness to smear principled defenders of limited government who object to the Nanny State using their children as guinea pigs.

Trusting Rick Perry’s tea party credentials is a perilous shot in the dark.