Rick Perry's no libertarian. He's a "theocrat."

My problem with Perry’s zeal is one of my problems with the Tea Party generally: Though it claims to be libertarian, it is remixing the religious right’s greatest hits.

In a series of hoary bromides, the supposedly libertarian Perry condemns the “litigious advocates of licentious behavior” (that’s the ACLU) and informs us that “Sometimes the rules must protect society at large at the expense of individual expression when that expression is deemed harmful to others and society at large.”

Among the things Perry “deems” harmful: universities (students “have been taught that corporations are evil, religion is the opiate of the masses, and morality is relative”); human rights commissions (“often nothing more than a front for attacking institutions that teach traditional values”); and evolution (he says “the weight of evidence” supports intelligent design). Perry polishes the old “war on Christmas” chestnut and finds a way to cast Mitt Romney (now his rival for the nomination) as a defender of gay scoutmasters.