As Nature calms down, Americans face a weekend of man- and woman-made devastation as Rick Perry and Sarah Palin cloud up on the political landscape.
The “Going Rogue” short-term governor will be pouring “a full-throated defense of the Tea Party” over Iowa tomorrow while critics start to take a closer look at the Texas cyclone’s proposal to dismantle government before his first GOP debate appearance next week.
In a book last year titled “Fed Up,” Perry sounded his manifesto: “It is not enough to be fed up. We must act.”
Among the American institutions he finds hard to swallow is Social Security, “something we have been forced to accept for more than 70 years now,” one of the New Deal social programs that “never died, and like a bad disease, they have spread.”
In the GOP alternate universe, will other contenders even politely question the Governor’s Nutsy Fagan version of history or ignore those rants and spend their time piling on Barack Obama?
Will Mitt Romney, whose lead has evaporated in the Perry sandstorm, take him on or leave it to Jon Huntsman, who has nothing to lose, to sound the only voice of sanity?
In 1988, Perry supported Al Gore for president and chaired his campaign in Texas before switching parties. Now he accuses Gore of being “a false prophet of a secular carbon cult” and says of climate change, “It’s all one contrived phony mess that is falling apart under its own weight.”
In normal times, all this blowhard extremism and irrationality would be fodder for lively debate in a major party primary. But with Palin looming over the landscape, will any of the Tea Party captives speak up in an effort to derail him?
Update: Palin arrives in Iowa to continue her 2012 striptease. To crowds shouting “Run, Sarah, Run,” she drops a gloved hint, “I’m happy with the field of candidates. I think that there’s room for more, though.”
Is she thinking about Jeb Bush?