He had perfect plastic hair, glaringly-white teeth in a static smile, a bespoke sharkskin suit, and a smooth, fast patter. He was there because he had a book to sell.
Jon called him, "Rick Perry."
Rick Perry is the corrupt multi-millionaire (now) Governor of Texas (following Dubya), Tea Party favorite, new-book author ("Fed Up!"), and apparent but undeclared GOP candidate for President.
Most importantly, Rick Perry has made Texas into a kind of Hell. He wants to make America into Hell, as well; that's the subtext of his book. He described that Hell tonight to TDS' audience (his vision after the jump)
What I am calling "Hell," Rick Perry describes as a Paradise. It is a Paradise for Plutocrats.
It's a land that is completely friendly to business! So friendly that "185 businesses have moved to our state in the last year!" (Does that count every LLC and self-employed lawyer who moved just in the course of normal migration?) Why should that movement be so? Rick asked of himself. "Because we let you keep more of what you earn!" Ba-dump.
That is the reason Texas wins: because people are motivated by self-interested greed. Lucifer knows that, and tugs at it. But not to worry! Texas is still pleasant to live in, even if you're a transplanted Californian, because it's built to make your business comfortable!
Especially comfortable, apparently, if you're a pollution- or waste-producing business - because Texas has a "regulatory environment that's friendly to a business's bottom line." No silly California environmental rules here in the good ol' Lone Star State! Lucifer wants you to forget about anything other than your own greed! Who cares about the health of other people? Who cares about the world we leave future generation? They can look out for themselves!
Lucifer understands that you don't want interfering do-gooders stopping you from doing whatever you want. So Lucifer encourages you to get rid of any Federal oversight. Plutocrats love an environment where no one can tell them that they can't do a thing like fire workers for any cause, or dump hazardous wastes into the waterways, or chisel workers' wages down, or buy goods cheaply from unsavory manufacturers who might employ slaves.
That's why Lucifer's - oops! - Perry's book, "Fed Up!," is about how out-of-touch folks in Washington DC are, and how much more Governors understand the needs of the people. Governors know what people need! They know what the local economy needs. The know how to spend wisely, and live within a State's needs.
Perry says to Jon that there must some kind of wicked amoebae in the waters of the Potomac that gets into the bodies of rational beings we send to DC when they live and work in the Nation's Capitol. It's all those "special interests and lobbyists" that do it, to all of them - even your predecessor? Jon wondered to Perry aloud and unanswered - that's what make them into spendthrifts.
The only natural solution is, off course, to empower the Governors more, bring back more control to the States. "Ah, a "states' rights man," I thought, "I haven't seen one of them since the Civil Rights movement. That's the same disguise Lucifer's been wearing to American History for centuries - the old Plutocrats' song."
In summation, Perry made his final sales pitch to explain why Texas, as he governed it, was a Plutocrat's dream. It had low taxes, "fair" environmental laws, a legal system that was also attractive to business, and some other things that I have forgotten because I was so stunned by his final sales point: " a school system that puts out a skilled worker."
That's Texas. A whore for business, a land that doesn't value its land, and a factory that produces docile, biddable servants hat can read, write, do basic mathematics and follow directions. It "puts out" "skilled workers."
This, apparently, is the most tantalizing morsel to Plutocrats of all. The fantasy of being able to rule over Workers who look like the masses in German Expressionist films, or curtsying parlor maids. The employees can have the basic skillsets; they are capable of handling variety of tasks; they know their place and don't make trouble. They are the Worker Ants.
I saw Lucifer tonight on The Daily Show. He was silver-tongued charmer, a speaker who poured out words like snake oil, and he was trying to sell us something. He was trying to sell us a vision of an America built for Plutocrats. It had no environmental regulations, low worker saftey standards, no collective bargaining, favorable tax rates for businesses and Plutocrats, and docile "workers" produced at a low cost to the State.
It was a State designed to appeal to greed. It was also a State that believed that there were enough greedy people in the State that they were worth the loss of all the people that couldn't stand it.
Now he's going to try to sell America the same Hell. It's the ultimate political snake oil packaged as medicine, making all the Plutocrats feel better, but poisoning the rest of us.
The potential GOP candidates will be many, but the one that wins will be the one that the Plutocrats choose. I believe that Jon Stewart may have interviewed him tonight.
Does this mean that Obama has to run for re-election against Lucifer? Goddamn.
[updated} Whoa. Rec List. This is an honor. Perhaps it seems like a stretch to call a mere mortal Lucifer, but his creepy persona and relentless boosterism of a place that sounded like Hell brought the analogy to mind. Certainly Lucifer could ventriloquize through an apparently dull-witted salesman to make a plutocracy of environmental degradation and state-sanctioned greed sound attractive. Vade retro, Perry!