Why, this Rick Perry character makes George Bush look reasonable

Bush—and it leaves me speechless that he’s starting to look reasonable by comparison with the current crop of GOP presidential hopefuls—was hardly apologetic about his political views. But he and Karl Rove did have the sense to know when they were throwing gasoline on the domestic fire, and they did it in smallish doses. You might be able to Google up the odd careless quote from Bush about something like global warming, but in general, and especially on the occasions when he knew his words were being very closely watched, he steered well clear of extremism…

Perry may lose the nomination for other reasons, but I think we can be reasonably certain that GOP primary voters will not punish him for expressing extreme views in the language of prideful ignorance, nor for speaking disparagingly of the president. So if he does become the nominee, Obama is going to have to mix it up. He’ll need to do so with any GOP candidate, but this is especially so with Perry, because he will say anything, and he will make it personal. Every few weeks, or days even, something happens that makes me ask myself how much more right-wing this party can get. As long as Perry is in the race, we’re going to keep finding out.

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