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When you ask what Perry's true nature is – the first and principal thing that defines him – there's just one answer: favors.
October 26, 2011 4:11 PM   Subscribe

The Best Little Whore in Texas Matt Taibbi on Rick Perry.
posted by box (88 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
You know, I like Matt Taibbi and what he represents and his previous reporting on things which really laid bare big trends which hadn't really been laid out quite so plainly before...

...but doesn't he even have an editor anymore? "He could be the Adolf Hitler of shallow." is the kind of sentence which should never have made it into the public eye. It's a stupid lazy swipe which doesn't actually make any sense and should have been drawn to his attention and rewritten without the instant Godwin.
posted by hippybear at 4:21 PM on October 26, 2011 [49 favorites]


"His hand was so cold, like ice. And he was sweating. He didn't seem well, like he was in pain or he was sick or something."

Come to think of it, I've never seen his reflection in a mirror either.
posted by perhapses at 4:24 PM on October 26, 2011 [4 favorites]


Perry, its like everything about Bush, but dialed up to 11 on a scale of 10.
posted by Chekhovian at 4:25 PM on October 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


As a life-long resident of Texas I can assure you this article is a paradigm of understatement and restraint...
posted by jim in austin at 4:29 PM on October 26, 2011 [30 favorites]


And yes, he hangs out with some of the weirdest religious nuts in America, keeping as allies a Texas evangelical who believes the Democrats are literally controlled by a Satanic demon called Jezebel, and another who believes that a recent Perry-led religious rally helped break an ancient curse laid down on Texas soil by Native American cannibals.

Wait, what?
posted by drezdn at 4:31 PM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


his entire career is a profound testament to our nagging collective inability, or perhaps unwillingness, to distinguish between what a politician says and what he actually does

Texas Republicans aren't the only ones with that problem.
posted by Trurl at 4:33 PM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


hippybear: ...but doesn't he even have an editor anymore?


I stopped there, too. I paused at "I feel like a high school cheerleader who just had her leg jizzed on in the back of a convertible. That's it? It's over?" but thought it would go somewhere. And then he cites "longtime political opponents" with single-line comments. How many opponents does he have? Are they from the same party, Democratic, or some other party?

The Taibbi Bachmann counter-article soured me on the guy, and this even more so.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:35 PM on October 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


If Perry doesn't get the nomination, it'll actually be one of the few things we can thank Karl Rove for.
posted by drezdn at 4:35 PM on October 26, 2011


Bachmann? CHECK.

Perry? CHECK.

Now do Romney!
posted by leotrotsky at 4:36 PM on October 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


When he does manage to get off a zinger, he cracks a smug grin, looking like he's just sewn up the blue ribbon in a frat-house dong-measuring contest.

Dubya used to do this with his little heh-heh-I-made-a-funny smirk that Jon Stewart parlayed into 1000 late night jabs...but Rick Perry makes it the defining feature of his campaign.

Dubya was a Confederate Party hero because he pissed off the liberals, which is all the majority of the base cares about. Rick Perry is stupider, less principled, more corrupt, more faux-Jesusy and far far more shameless in his willingness to say anything required to draw another fleck of spittle out of Micheal Moore and Kieth Olbermann. He's perfect. He's Dubya on HGH when all the Confederates want is another Cowboy that liberals hate. Best of all, he's not a unAmerican hippy cultist like Romney.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:36 PM on October 26, 2011 [4 favorites]


Perry, its like everything about Bush, but dialed up to 11 on a scale of 10.

Bush, much as I dislike him, had a sort of feeble, low-wattage charm. Every time I see Perry, I get the uncomfortable feeling that his eyes are flat black buttons sewn onto the front of his head.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:37 PM on October 26, 2011 [40 favorites]


Now do Romney!

Romney today or Romney two weeks ago?

FACE!
posted by 2bucksplus at 4:38 PM on October 26, 2011 [12 favorites]


The GOP: Like "Being There meets Left Behind."
posted by basicchannel at 4:39 PM on October 26, 2011 [24 favorites]


And yes, he hangs out with some of the weirdest religious nuts in America, keeping as allies a Texas evangelical who believes the Democrats are literally controlled by a Satanic demon called Jezebel, and another who believes that a recent Perry-led religious rally helped break an ancient curse laid down on Texas soil by Native American cannibals.

But.. but.. Jeremiah Wright!!! {/}
posted by edgeways at 4:39 PM on October 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


Am I the only one who likes the faux-religious politicians for successfully corralling the uber-religious and tricking them into voting for officials who will keep my taxes down?
posted by Renoroc at 4:41 PM on October 26, 2011


Now do Romney!

The Cain one would be fun.
posted by drezdn at 4:41 PM on October 26, 2011


Perry's first campaign video...
posted by drezdn at 4:43 PM on October 26, 2011


I've know him since he was a Democrat State Rep. - there is no lead in his pencil.
posted by Senator at 4:43 PM on October 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


The GOP: Like "Being There meets Left Behind."

I believe the title of that would be "Being Left Behind There."
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:44 PM on October 26, 2011 [8 favorites]


Back then, the future global-warming denier was a Democrat, and even supported Al Gore for the presidency in 1988. But with Texas moving to the right, Perry switched parties the following year – not for ideological reasons, it appears, but because he could sense the wind shifting. "Perry is a really, really good politician," one Republican strategist later explained.

Bachmann might be nuts. Cain might be stupidly greedy and obviously self-serving. Romney rich as shit. Ron Paul the beginner of the Tea Party.

But at least all of them are at least somewhat honest behind their motives. Perry simply does whatever he can to line his pockets without the tiniest sense of remorse. He's the worst.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 4:44 PM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Damn, hippybear, you captured my sentiments exactly. I was ready to enjoy a little Perry bashing, and just pulled up at the "Hitler of shallow" line. Everything else I hear indicates that Perry is a horrible opportunist, but now that sentence has me wondering whether or not people are too harsh on him. Way to go Taibbi.
posted by benito.strauss at 4:45 PM on October 26, 2011


People who stopped reading because of a bad line or two are missing out on some good dirt.
posted by hermitosis at 4:46 PM on October 26, 2011 [21 favorites]


another who believes that a recent Perry-led religious rally helped break an ancient curse laid down on Texas soil by Native American cannibals.

drezdn: Wait, what?

It's about Cindy Jacobs and friends:
You study the area and you find out what happened? What did the indigenous people worship? If they did blood sacrifice, like we found some areas that were very, very violent because the former culture was a murderous, violent area, like in Texas here and all of the coast around Houston and Galveston and some of that area, the Native American people were cannibals and they ate people. And so you can see a manifestation of that in the churches where people turned against people and kind of "cannibalized" other people’s ministries.
This is a rabbit hole you do not want to explore. It is filled with madness and gnashing of teeth.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:47 PM on October 26, 2011 [17 favorites]


Am I the only one who likes the faux-religious politicians for successfully corralling the uber-religious

It seems, the second generation Reagan Republicans seem to no longer be committed to keeping taxes down (at least on the poor), but are really committed to the religious part.
posted by drezdn at 4:50 PM on October 26, 2011


People who stopped reading because of a bad line or two are missing out on some good dirt.

I never said I stopped reading at that line. I just cannot see how there was any editorial control exerted over this piece at all. It reads like someone who feels they are far too clever by half got complete permission to write whatever the fuck they wanted.

That said, there's plenty of good dirt and muck being raked about in this article, and its worth reading despite the fact that Taibbi is a much better writer when he has someone actually looking at his words and perhaps saying "you need to redo this bit, it stinks".
posted by hippybear at 4:53 PM on October 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm pleased to see other people also recognize that Perry out-Bushes Bush in some outstanding ways. Karl Rove and conservative think tanks have recently freaked out over how dumb Perry is, publicly -- and not because he's secretly liberal! I thought there wasn't a bar for how nonsensical a Republican campaign or policy could be, but it turns out there is one, and it's set higher than Rick Perry!

I was talking to my husband last night, and what really strikes us about Perry is that Bush at least always seemed to realize when he was fumbling something; he'd get that scared look in his eyes, even if he still sounded and acted confident otherwise. But Perry will string together something that sounds like a game of telephone and you don't see his brain ring any alarm bells. I felt Bush was lacking in self-awareness in the usual sense, but Perry is really just... wow.

I was born and raised in Texas and only moved a few years ago. I have been a member of the Facebook group "Not having Rick Perry as Governor" for years, but I would never wish him upon the whole country to realize that goal. Thankfully I don't think Perry will be the nominee, so, uh, enjoy the absurdist show.
posted by Nattie at 4:55 PM on October 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


In fact, this is a great paragraph:
To recap: Rick Perry sold the right to tax Texas highway drivers to Spanish billionaires, let a British firm write a law authorizing the sale of virtually all Texas state property to foreign corporations, and tried to literally sell the lives of retired Texas schoolteachers to a Swiss bank. Yet he's somehow built a reputation in the national media as a fist-shaking America-first nativist, with a Tea Partier's passion for small government. How Perry has managed to sell this fictional version of himself is a testament to the extraordinary power of marketing over reality in our modern political system. In fact, his entire career is a profound testament to our nagging collective inability, or perhaps unwillingness, to distinguish between what a politician says and what he actually does.
posted by hippybear at 4:57 PM on October 26, 2011 [20 favorites]


That Hitler line makes no sense. If he would have said something like Rick Perry is the Paris Hilton of politics, that would make the point he is trying to make. By saying that Perry is the Hitler of shallow, I have no idea what he means because Hitler is usually brought out when people are trying to portray someone else as the worst at something or someone who is trying to eliminate a particular view.
posted by perhapses at 5:00 PM on October 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


I love my country. But...
posted by Postroad at 5:02 PM on October 26, 2011


To illustrate - I was going to say understand, but I don't think that can be done - so, to illustrate the Perry syndrome, take a look at my own father. He's a dyed-in-the-wool Republican. Redneck, but not unintelligent. Fiscal conservative, social conservative, a Goldwater Republican who hates the Fundamentalists as much as they hate the Devil.

He despises Rick Perry. He hates everything about him - his past, his present, his future - his policies, his mealy mouthedness - everything.

I get the feeling that if he were left alone with Rick Perry in a room, they'd find Perry both bludgeoned to death and strangled, and my dad with "no idea" what happened to him. Maybe he fell down.

However, I can 100% absolutely guarantee you he would vote for Perry if he ran on the Republican ticket. This from the man who taught me what a "yellow dog Democrat" was.
posted by Xoebe at 5:05 PM on October 26, 2011 [12 favorites]


And if you're saying that I can be bought for $5,000, I'm offended.

For those not versed in Texas political scandals, this is an allusion to John Connally, who was accused of taking money from milk producers in 1975. Connally is reputed to have made the same joke about the $10,000 bribe he was alleged to have taken. Ha ha.

The article needs a heavy pass with the editing pencil (Mr. Taibbi, I have read a lot of Molly Ivins, and you, sir, are no Molly Ivins) but as a native Texan and long-time Perry-hater, since he ran Jim Hightower out as Ag Commissioner, the substance of it rings very true.
posted by immlass at 5:12 PM on October 26, 2011


Matt Taibbi may be an asshole, but he's the right kind of asshole. I mean the correct kind of asshole. His hyperbole sort of discredits him as a Serious Journalist, but he is fighting the good fight, against the real assholes of this country.

He's my kind of asshole.
posted by zardoz at 5:14 PM on October 26, 2011 [20 favorites]


I heart Matt Taibbi. I anus Rick Perry.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:17 PM on October 26, 2011 [4 favorites]


I anus Rick Perry.

I resent your slur against anuses. The anus is a proud and necessary part of every healthy body! Rick Perry is a disturbing and diseased part of the body politic.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:20 PM on October 26, 2011 [6 favorites]


I've know him since he was a Democrat State Rep. - there is no lead in his pencil.
posted by Senator at 7:43 PM on October 26 [+] [!]


All this and impotence too?
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 5:28 PM on October 26, 2011


FTFA: He could be the Adolf Hitler of shallow.

And that right there is where I lost interest in this talentless diatribe. Even though I loathe the candidate himself.
posted by IAmBroom at 5:33 PM on October 26, 2011


Yipes:
Bush and Perry reportedly had a chilly relationship, thanks in part to Bush's refusal to let Perry test the limits of political nepotism. In 1995, Perry wanted to nominate his brother-in-law, Joseph Thigpen, to the 11th Court of Appeals. Bush blocked the move, and legend has it that Perry blamed Karl Rove for the incident and never forgave either of them. This might help explain in part why Perry was so eager to start packing the state offices with cronies the moment Bush left for Washington.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:38 PM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


And that right there is where I lost interest in this talentless diatribe.

You could have given the thread itself a shot though!
posted by hermitosis at 5:42 PM on October 26, 2011


Yipes x 2:
Perry, who consistently criticizes Obama for borrowing to pay for his stimulus, even paid for the Texas Enterprise Fund in part by borrowing $161 million from the state's unemployment insurance fund – meaning he took money from the paychecks of blue-collar workers and turned it into millions in welfare grants for companies like Lockheed Martin, Texas Instruments and Hewlett-Packard. Ironically, Texas is now running out of money to pay for unemployment claims – including those laid off by companies receiving grants from the Texas Enterprise Fund.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:42 PM on October 26, 2011 [11 favorites]


Perry could be the Adolf Hitler of The United States of America.
posted by Brian B. at 5:45 PM on October 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


"HE GOING TO KILL US" said the Hitler.
"I will shoot at him" said the cyberdemon and he fired the rocket missiles. Perry plasmaed at him and tried to blew him up. But then the ceiling fell and they were trapped and not able to kill.
"No! I must kill the Hitler" he shouted
The radio said "No, Rick Perry. You are the Hitler"
And then Perry was a zombie.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 5:53 PM on October 26, 2011 [20 favorites]


When he does manage to get off a zinger, he cracks a smug grin, looking like he's just sewn up the blue ribbon in a frat-house dong-measuring contest.

I have the feeling that Taibbi appropriated this line from someone talking about Matt Taibbi. Good dirt in this story, but I have rarely read someone who was so enraptured with his own ability to metaphor the fuck out of a point.
posted by Etrigan at 5:55 PM on October 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


@Brian B. - yes, at least that would make sense!!
posted by AnnSatterfield at 6:00 PM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Perhaps we might all agree that, in this grim hour, truth is needed more than tact.

Matt Taibbi has reported more truth on more things that matter than The New York Times has in the last 10 years.

He has earned the right to irritate you.
posted by Trurl at 6:02 PM on October 26, 2011 [21 favorites]


I quit reading at the Hitler comment. Seriously, I'm all in favor of attack pieces on assholes, but at least put some effort into it. This is less than a week after I told my girlfriend that Rolling Stone was a decent source of good journalism.

From the title on this piece sucked. I guess it could have gotten better at some point, but meh who cares?
posted by cjorgensen at 6:06 PM on October 26, 2011


I think it's more important to be able consider the facts that Taibbi's presenting than it is to stand one's ground on bad editorial decisions or stylistic quibbles. Agreed, it would be helpful if those (minor) elements did not exist, but surely some judicious skimming would not compromise your standards too much? Posts like this seriously makes me wonder how many mefites ever get to the end of anything.
posted by hermitosis at 6:25 PM on October 26, 2011 [5 favorites]


Maybe the Adolf Hitler line was intentionally self-ironic? A broad and shallow metaphor to describe Perry's shallowness? Maybe I just don't want to believe Taibbi could write such a bad sentence.
posted by blargerz at 6:27 PM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


It reads like someone who feels they are far too clever by half got complete permission to write whatever the fuck they wanted.


Yep, meet Matt Taibbi. All y'all dissing the Hitler line miss the deep irony of it. Taibbi is a great writer, but he's a polemicist, not a reporter. Outrage is his stock in trade, and thank heavens he is on the left with that tongue. His point is to say things that get people talking and pissed off and reaching for their smelling salts, as some in this thread are doing.

The article is well sourced, and anyone familiar with Texas politics (as I am, having lived there for 6 years once and formed a morbid interest in just how Truly Fucked Up a place it is) knows he's actually pulling a few punches here.

Rick Perry is as dumb as he sounds. And as dangerous. All this pussy footing mainstream media talk about him is mostly about his image. There has been almost no substantive criticism of his record from his opponents (other than the HPV and tuition-for-aliens stuff, the former being garden variety corruption and the latter an actual pander to Latinos, and good policy). Taibbi is trying to start something here. The Hitler line is intended to get you talking.

It worked.
posted by spitbull at 6:38 PM on October 26, 2011 [8 favorites]


People are getting worked up over a Hitler reference? Man, Taibbi has seriously mellowed out over the years. My personal favorite is The Pie Full of Horse Sperm in the Face bit. And as someone who has lived half his life in Texas, Taibbi came up with a couple of choice bits about Perry that I've never heard before. Always worth reading.
posted by jake1 at 6:39 PM on October 26, 2011 [4 favorites]


or what blargerz said. Of course it's ironic. Marilyn Monroe didn't fart on set either.
posted by spitbull at 6:39 PM on October 26, 2011


Marilyn Monroe didn't fart on set either.

That must be a line from the weirdest Conan the Barbarian story ever.
posted by JHarris at 6:55 PM on October 26, 2011


People are getting worked up over a Hitler reference? Man, Taibbi has seriously mellowed out over the years. My personal favorite is The Pie Full of Horse Sperm in the Face bit.

Oh my god. That... what isn't he still doing this?
posted by JHarris at 6:59 PM on October 26, 2011


Does Taibbi actually do any reporting? It seems like he just summarizes reporting that other people did, mostly.
posted by empath at 6:59 PM on October 26, 2011


Does Taibbi actually do any reporting?

Well, he does do interviews and visit locations he's talking about in the article for research... if that isn't reporting, I'm not sure what is.
posted by hippybear at 7:11 PM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's a lot that's both under-reported and important in that article. It's a pity that the stupid Hitler reference early on will keep a lot of people from reading further. Perry is truly scary - I hope he continues his precipitous drop in the polls because he truly makes Bush look principled, something I didn't think was possible.
posted by leslies at 7:11 PM on October 26, 2011


I resent your slur against anuses. The anus is a proud and necessary part of every healthy body! Rick Perry is a disturbing and diseased part of the body politic.

It's and orifice for elimination
It's an orifice for stimulation
Ring of joy, ring of joy
A tight muscle to employ
Any girl or any boy
Can break through on that ring of joy

(Pansy Division)
posted by FatherDagon at 7:19 PM on October 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Taibbi is trying to start something here. The Hitler line is intended to get you talking.

It worked.


I have mostly been wondering if the Hitler line made it into the final copy because there's not an editor at Rolling Stone with enough rank to tell Taibbi "yes, we get your point, but we're not publishing that because it's all anyone will talk about with regards to your piece," because if anyone outside of the choir receiving its sermon covers this it all, they'll cover the Hitler comparison and nothing else, and those of us in the choir reflexively see Godwin everywhere now.
posted by ndfine at 7:25 PM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't trust any article on Perry that didn't compare him to Hitler.
posted by 445supermag at 7:39 PM on October 26, 2011 [5 favorites]


You know how around these parts lots of folks tend to make these (admittedly sort of tedious), ironic, self-aware jokes about Hitler, like, "you know who else [fill in the blank]..."? And it's sort of a metacommentary on Godwinning, the lazy use of Hitler-as-the-worst-thing-EVARRR in arguments, etc.? And it's really dumb humor but a lot of us do it anyway? I feel like this is sort of along a similar vein.

Personally, Matt Taibbi will forever have a very special place in my heart because of his two articles on Thomas Friedman, and therefore he can do whatever the fuck he wants now.
posted by naoko at 8:18 PM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I love Matt Taibbi. I love the Friedman pieces. I freaking love Griftopia. But sometimes I wonder if the man isn't starting to "play" Matt Taibbi. I'd let the stylistic bombast go, though, if he wouldn't play fast and loose. There's an example in his Michele Bachmann piece. In it, he said Bachmann had gotten her law degree from
"the O.W. Coburn School of Law; Michele was a member of its inaugural class in 1979. Originally a division of Oral Roberts University, this august academy, dedicated to the teaching of 'the law from a biblical worldview,' has gone through no fewer than three names — including the Christian Broadcasting Network School of Law,"
and she did. But she got her advanced degree from William and Mary, and that was not mentioned. You've got to be careful with stuff like that, or you'll go the way of Michael Moore. And I really don't want that because Matt Taibbi is one of the most important voices in media.
posted by Trochanter at 8:30 PM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


To all you "earned his stripes" and "keeping it real" advocates. I love Matt Taibbi. Have done so ever since I read his Wimblehack articles.

I love the way he uses crude direct language to tell the plain truth, which is sorely missing in reporting these days. The line "Adolf Hitler of shallow" is meaningless; it says nothing and gives people an un-earned chance to dismiss what he says. We're on the same side and he goes and does that? Don't be an idiot Taibbi.

On a smaller scale it reflects my reaction to Bill Clinton getting a blow-job from Monica Lewinsky — I personally don't care, but you know you are in the public eye and do something so juvenile that hurts your effectiveness?
posted by benito.strauss at 8:37 PM on October 26, 2011


I strangely found this insightful:
"There are a couple of things you need to do if you want to raise obscene amounts of money [...] One, you need to send the message that you're carefully counting who's giving how much, to create a competitive atmosphere. And two, you want to send not-so-subtle signals that there's going to be a return on the investment. And this governor has been a master of sending those signals."
Explains to me why them Republican moneybag-types stick with seemingly vacuous candidates, rather than get themselves who's a believer _and_ can think for him/herself.
posted by the cydonian at 8:41 PM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


The line "Adolf Hitler of shallow" is meaningless; it says nothing and gives people an un-earned chance to dismiss what he says. We're on the same side and he goes and does that? Don't be an idiot Taibbi.

That was my point, exactly. Taibbi's style isn't something I object to. He says things bluntly and in language I'd use with friends while out drinking or whatnot. But that line... No matter how you parse it, it's impossible to find real meaning in it. He just wanted to compare Perry to Hitler without actually making any insinuation about any of Perry's policies being in any way equal to Hitler's. The outcome is a statement which is intrinsically false and it sticks out of the essay like a sore thumb. That it happens so early on in the article makes it even worse, because there's a lot of real gems worth digging down to, and that single sentence works against people continuing down to them.

It truly feels like he had no editor for this piece, or at least (as was pointed out above) not one which felt they had the balls to stand up to Taibbi.

I guess if you take a publication which had been largely ignored for about a decade and help to turn it into something which people are regarding as actual journalism, then nobody will cross you. Unfortunately, if you do things like that "Hitler of shallow" sentence too often, you'll completely undo any good you've done for your publication and you will fall out of their favor.
posted by hippybear at 8:55 PM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I took the Hitler bit as a joke. It's a Hank Williams joke. He maybe didn't try hard enough with it.
posted by Trochanter at 9:39 PM on October 26, 2011


Y'all complaining about Taibbi's fits of hyperbole must think The Nation and Harper's and suchlike have got way higher circulations than they actually do. It's like: I like this attention-grabbing truth-to-power polemicist, but I wish he wouldn't use so many cuss words. MacNeil and Lehrer never needed to resort to such filth . . .

I mean, you think we'd be discussing a long, detailed piece on Perry's policy track record and history of corruption even here on the blue if it'd been written in policy-wonk blank verse for Washington Monthly?

Me, I have no business starting a post with the word y'all - I'm Canadian, for crissake - but maybe it made some of you take your fingers off the touchscreen for a sec and read . . .
posted by gompa at 9:51 PM on October 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


Okay, let's agree that Taibbi is a smug bastard and "the Stalin of shallow" would've been better and his editor should be writhing in shame. All fixed!

Now let's talk about the real facts of the article, e.g., a nuclear waste dump above the Ogallala Aquifer. This was news to me! As was the origin of those toll roads sprouting out from Austin.
posted by dogrose at 9:53 PM on October 26, 2011 [4 favorites]


Reading through this profile vividly reminded me of a fascinating profile of George W. Bush in Harper's Magazine in early 2000, before he won the nomination. summary: President Bush will be all about Crony Capitalism.
posted by planetkyoto at 10:00 PM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Me, I have no business starting a post with the word y'all - I'm Canadian, for crissake - but maybe it made some of you take your fingers off the touchscreen for a sec and read . . .

English needs a second-person plural, even in Canada.
posted by dogrose at 10:01 PM on October 26, 2011


Ah, well, now we know where Perry was conceived.
posted by troll at 10:03 PM on October 26, 2011


English needs a second-person plural, even in Canada.

Sure. But in the Canuck vernacular, it's youse.

posted by gompa at 10:04 PM on October 26, 2011


But she got her advanced degree from William and Mary, and that was not mentioned.

And the fewer people know about this, the better!

Sigh. Go Tribe.
posted by naoko at 10:07 PM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


taibbi: thoroughly discredited
levine, ames: discredited, defunded

who's next
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 1:38 AM on October 27, 2011


Say what you want about Taibbi, but from what I've seen there's essentially no one with his profile in the media speaking truth the way he does

e.g., take the NYT account of the same topic - the facts are damning but the tone is aloof and disinterested. Then an article the next day or just the next page over will talk about Perry's "bold new plan for job creation" and the echo chamber's squawking soundbites about it, and the band plays on

For the media it's a story the first time the facts are uncovered, and then it's a story again if someone has a notable reaction to those facts, and then someone else reacts to that reaction and so on. But if it just remains a fact that Rick Perry is a dead-eyed sociopath whose unifying goal in life is obtaining wealth and power by helping those who already have it loot the public, and no one is reacting because, forget it, it's Chinatown - well, put it in a fucking history book because the media's got ads to sell and they're not paying for reruns

And then you've got Taibbi just going back again and again to crying wolf, because we're all getting fucking eaten alive by the fucking wolves. And maybe there's some rhetorical flourish, which maybe helps convince Rolling Stone to just let him publish "getting eaten by wolves" again and again in a major publication. So to me you people getting the vapors over a couple arguable sentences rather than saying "holy fuck, why is this happening in my country and how can I stop it?" - you are the Adolf Hitlers of shallow
posted by crayz at 2:23 AM on October 27, 2011 [10 favorites]


I am the Pol Pot of shallow

to be deep is no benefit, to be glib is no loss
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 2:57 AM on October 27, 2011


Critics, gotta love them (when they do write something interesting on their own); sadly, they often just add to the noise earning the word "critic" a bad rep.

What about this long piece, The Great American Bubble Machine by Taibbi?

Of course he's a polemist, of course he uses colorful and politically inappropraite (and yes sometimes distracting) rethoric, but isn't that article the best piece (or among the top 10 if such a thing exists) so far on Goldman Sachs? .That writing style floats immediately over a bunch of PR moderated language and gets tagged as "inappropriate" or "vulgar"; hell, it may as well be, but research and link me "better" articles on the subject will you please.
posted by elpapacito at 3:40 AM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


we'll stop hitting you as soon as you stop whining about it
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 5:10 AM on October 27, 2011


Meanwhile, they're removing climate change from environmental reports down in Texas.
posted by backseatpilot at 5:45 AM on October 27, 2011


The Romney Economy
posted by kliuless at 6:00 AM on October 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


Thanks kliuless for that Romney link.
posted by valkane at 7:16 AM on October 27, 2011


I am the Lao Tzu of Doritos.
posted by grubi at 9:00 AM on October 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


perhapses: That Hitler line makes no sense. If he would have said something like Rick Perry is the Paris Hilton of politics, that would make the point he is trying to make.

Matt Taibbi is the Picasso of casually dropping Hitler references.

spitbull: Outrage is his stock in trade, and thank heavens he is on the left with that tongue. His point is to say things that get people talking and pissed off and reaching for their smelling salts, as some in this thread are doing.

elpapacito: Of course he's a polemist, of course he uses colorful and politically inappropraite (and yes sometimes distracting) rethoric, but isn't that article the best piece (or among the top 10 if such a thing exists) so far on Goldman Sachs? .That writing style floats immediately over a bunch of PR moderated language and gets tagged as "inappropriate" or "vulgar"; hell, it may as well be, but research and link me "better" articles on the subject will you please.

That's great, he's a firebrand. But do firebrands do anything more than get the choir all fired up, and turn away the supporters of the focus of his wrath? Especially by dropping the "Hitler of shallow" line on the first page. Sure, The Rolling Stone is known to be a (generally) liberal outlet, in terms of political pieces, but when it's online, anyone can link to it, and as such, pieces lose a bit of the context (unless it's from somewhere notorious for being biased or incorrect; see: Daily Mail, Fox News).

By throwing out ridiculous comments before dishing out the dirt and outrage, he's lost people who might otherwise find a reason to distrust Perry (or even speak against him to their neighbors and friends). This isn't a topic that would otherwise go unnoticed. "Rick Perry is Selling Texas to his Crooked Financial Supporters and Foreign Interests, and Loaning Them Money from Texas Tax-Payers" is enough of a attention grabbing title, pulling from the meat of the article.

He's not trying to get a self-published zine read by people who would otherwise skim past it on the newsstands -- he has his own section of Rolling Stone. While this topic isn't currently on the front page of RollingStone.com, here is how a portion of the page reads:
* Atlanta Police Crack Down on Occupy Wall Street Protesters
Yesterday, 9:55 AM EDT | By Julian Brookes
* Video: Jon Stewart on Pat Robertson and GOP Craziness
Yesterday, 10:28 AM EDT | By Lauren Lipsay

* Taibbi: Wall Street Isn't Winning – It's Cheating
October 25, 9:26 AM ET | By Matt Taibbi
Yes, Taibbi is a section title, like Video, under the header of Politics.

cjorgensen: From the title on this piece sucked.

If you didn't know, it's a play on the title of a a 1978 Broadway musical that was made into a musical movie starring Dolly Parton in 1982.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:14 AM on October 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Maybe the Godwinism was a way to filter out "undesirables". Maybe he doesn't need you and your Hitler loving ways.
posted by Trochanter at 9:29 AM on October 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


But if you love Hitler, wouldn't you also love Perry? He's like Hitler, but instead of goals of world domination and massive genocide, he is content to be shallow. Really, really shallow.

So he's not really like Hitler at all.

That is still a dumb line, and Taibbi was silly for using it.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:33 AM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dear god, finally getting around to reading this....

Those of you who clicked off because of the Hitler line are missing out on learning about some ludicrous corruption.
posted by JHarris at 3:37 PM on October 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Those of you who clicked off because of the Hitler line are missing out on learning about some ludicrous corruption.

I don't think they should be allowed to read it until they've finished their ice cream.
posted by Brian B. at 4:28 PM on October 27, 2011


2nd'ing JHarris: This is a great & scary article. Will read again
posted by growabrain at 11:11 PM on October 28, 2011


Rick Perry overly animated, rambling, incoherent speech - wasted?
posted by caddis at 1:03 PM on October 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


[X-post from the D&D candidates post]

Speaking of presidential candidates, I think Perry's pretty much done. In the debate tonight he was carrying on about all the federal agencies he'd cut, including three main cabinet departments. Here's the video, and transcript from rewatching the DVR in case it goes down:
Perry: "I think we're getting all tangled up around an issue here about 'Can you work with Democrats or can you work with Republicans...' yeah, we can all do that, but the fact of the matter is we'd better have a plan in place that Americans can get their hands around, and that's the reason my flat tax is the only one of all the folks, these good folks on the stage, it balances the budget in 2020, it does the things to the regulatory climate that has to happen, and I will tell ya, it's three agencies of government when I get there that are gone: Commerce, Education, and the uh... uh, what's the third one there, let's see... [laughter] Come on..."

Paul: "You mean five? Make it five!"

Perry: "Oh, five? Okay. So, Commerce, Education, and uh, the uh... um... uh..."

Romney: "EPA?"

Perry: "EPA! There you go. No..."

Moderator: "Seriously? Is the EPA the one you were talking about, or...?"

Perry: "No sir, no sir... We were talking about the, um... agencies of government -- the EPA needs to be rebuilt, no doubt about that --"

Moderator: "But you can't name the third one?"

Perry: "The third agency of government, I would, I would do away with the Education, uh, the uh..."

Romney: "Commerce..."

Perry: "Comm-Commerce [drops pen] and let's see... I can't. The third one, I can't, sorry. Oops."
Alas, poor Rick. Remembering key policy platforms is what jotting crib notes on your hand is for!

Stick a fork in him, he's Texas Toast
posted by Rhaomi at 6:53 PM on November 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


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