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My hope is that this is a feverish nightmare and my fellow Kossacks can convince me that this is silly and will never happen.

Still, my mind tends to race to game plan theories and futuristic scenarios that take in known facts and try to see out how the other side is thinking in order to anticipate their actions and defend against them

My sense is that what is going on in DC - which should be the wake-up call that sends the Republicans into minority position for decades - is part of a bigger picture, a radical one that starts with getting (because he is the best choice at the moment to do this) Rick Perry elected president, but on a radical platform that plays off of the turmoil in Washington.

Here it is:

This all came together in my mind hearing that Perry had suggested that it may be time for the country to accept that states have the right to permit gay marriage, with the caveat that similar state by state laws on abortion might be the same thing in his ideal world. This immediately was seized on by Rick Santorum (who favors national banning of gay marriages and abortion). But I think it is the key to what Perry's campaign for the GOP nomination will be, then his race to win the White House.

And this is where the possibly very smart play comes - it works off of the current trumped-up phony debt limit crisis and the breakdown of government by saying, see, the Federal government is too big, they spend too much, we need to return power to the states and let people at a local level decide how to govern themselves.

He's going to claim that the current trauma (likely to get worse) can be best solved by reducing the power of Congress (in massive public disfavor, thanks to GOP obstructionism in the previous sitting and now their control of the House, but he won't admit that, rather blaming both parties and thus seeming less partisan). He's going to claim that states can take over many (most?) functions the Federal government does, and point to his supposed success in Texas for the last decade as proof.

He's going to present a solution, which on the surface may fool people into seeming benign (you want high taxes and government services, fine, just live in a state that provides it) and suggest that this, whatever the risks, is better to the broken down system we have now.

Of course the agenda, bringing together all the dreams of right-wingers going back decades, is meant to return the country to, in different ways, pre-Civil War times (which supposedly settled the issue of ultimate authority), Teddy Roosevelt and the progressive movement of the early 20th century, the New Deal, the Great Society and everything since. The goal is to roll back much if not most of what we take for granted.

It encompasses the goals of eliminating the Energy and Education departments, turning Medicaid funding and choices over to the states, eliminating any chance of national health insurance, while making it seem appealing to many voters frustrated with the federal government. It wouldn't stop there - it would likely mean an attempt to dismantle much of the federal government and its regulations.

What of course it would also mean is the inability of individual states to replicate what the federal government provides. Why? Several reasons -

1) Economy of scale - one set of national rules and financing means things operate less expensively. Governments do operate like businesses in some ways, and this is one of them.

2) Competition among states for low tax rates would be intense, much more than even now as revenue raising shifts to the states. It would be a race to the bottom, and the states with the least services would prevail.

3) Drying up of campaign funds for progressives. The cold, hard truth is the reason that on a national level Democrats remain competitive is that big donors - mostly business special interest relelated - contribute to them as a hedge to keep themselves relevant and influential. Decrease the power of federal government, then Democrats lose their access to much money. And then, those with the power to finance in a new world with battles fought previously nationally spread over 50 states, and the concurrent increase in expense initially will dominate the airwaves (particularly in a time where local media increasingly is incapable of covering local politics) and we end up with a duplication of results in Florida, Wisconsin, Ohio and elsewhere this last cycle.

The road for Rick Perry to travel seems obvious - it ties together several themes and addresses the two big negatives he faces. He can distance himself from the Congressional Republicans by suggesting they are part of the problem that can only be solves by reducing Washington radically, and he can explain his recent flirtation with secessionists by saying that all he wants is for local control of government because what we have currently isn't working.

My guess is that this will be immensely appealing in the Republican primaries. Then in the general election, by seeming to offer something different, he suggests to social moderates that if they want to be in California or New York and do things their way, fine, you are welcome to it, no problem. In the face of economic stagnation and a failed Congress, the counter to this - revealing the real agenda and trying to explain what it would mean to the country - would I suspect be tough.

Oh, and for the moment, Perry will say this is the best way to save Social Security and Medicare, which he will claim will be under less threat if the federal government is otherwise curtailed.

He can say he'd encourage states to go their own ways on issues such as immigration (giving a wink to Arizona).

This is what my guess/fear will be what the 2012 Presidential and Congressional campaigns will be about. Perry is the logical leader for that campaign. And I have a real fear that it could success where a Mitt Romney or even Michelle Bachman led one can't.  

It would hit Obama where he is vulnerable, apart from the economy - that he is the defender of the status quo, the failed system, and that only Perry represents the change the country is hungry for. And he can wrap it up in pretty packaging and make it sound fair and reasonable.

And if he succeeds, it will be the end of the US as we know it, with the Koch Brothers and their allies in charge of the dismantling of what we cherish.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Yes,,, it is possible! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DorothyT

      Have you been reading the court docs from the 2004 election in Ohio?  It's too bad the the Bush cronies (Rove, Cheney and the rogue black helicopter guys) weren't jailed for their crimes against humanity because everyone (except Michael Conell, the Bush/Cheney/Rove pal and IT guy) who knows how to steal elections is still around.  Furthermore, states have initiated more voter suppression laws.  So even if it seems unlikely that Perry would become the 45th POTUS, it's really not any less likely that what happened in FL when they stole the 2000 election and what happened in 2004 when they did it again.

      I'm not saying that there will ever be a criminal indictment, but read those diaries and read Conell's deposition just before he died.  Who was responsible for the crash of his plane as he worked his way home from (coincidentally) a meeting in DC to join his employees and family in a big Christmas party?  We'll never know unless those responsible for his death (and let's assume it was not an accident) make a mistake or feel remorse for the murder of a good family man.

      Perry is the Rove candidate and you know that the big boys and the corporations now authorized by the SCOTUS to donate any any amount of money they want to give to have total control over the White House and the Congress.  They are not giving their cold, hard cash to Michelle or Sarah because they aren't smart enough to win.  

      Yep.  Perry is the guy and  I'm feeling that it's possible for Obama to be a one-termer and the guy who didn't have the courage (or whatever is missing) to save America from itself.

      Yep.  It's possible.  

      •  Excellent comment and here's a link... (0+ / 0-)

        to this week's story about the 2004 election that you reference for anyone who didn't read it. Source: truthout

        Excellent points made in the diary as well. Perry also is someone I can see losing the popular vote by a slim margin but winning in the electoral college. He's that guy that many"would like to have a beer with."

        Unfortunately this won't be a rehash of the 2008 election as Obama no longer owns our hearts, minds, and doesn't speak to our aspirations.

    •  Canada (5+ / 0-)

      I had the opportunity to spend a little time there recently, and was struck by how profoundly civilized it is by comparison.

      The river always wins. (Mark Twain)

      by Land of Enchantment on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 06:31:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I got friends in Vancouver, but I'm taking care of (0+ / 0-)

      my elderly parents here in Texas.
      Perry won't win.
      Obama will win re-election. It's not going to be close.

      •  Obama will win, but it will be very, very close. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TomFromNJ

        Too many people are too broke, too scared, too angry, and too ignorant to make informed, rational choices. Obama's winning margin will likely be one percentage point or less.

        Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

        by JTinDC on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 06:53:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  How does he win Ohio? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TomFromNJ

        How does he win Florida?

        I am waiting in my car, I am waiting in this bar, I am waiting on your essence. - Lucinda Williams

        by Bensdad on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 07:18:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Bensdad... he wins Ohio and Florida (0+ / 0-)

          just like Bush did.  He steals it and there is no doubt in my mind that they stole Ohio in 2004.  Read the recent diaries and google the case.  Oh yeah... and the friggin' Dems did nothing to even hold an investigation.

      •  David... they know how to steal (0+ / 0-)

        elections.  Read my comment above.  Find out about the case of the stolen 2004 presidential election.  

        Oh no, Perry can win.

    •  Well, I'd like to be able to say that (0+ / 0-)

      but I have no money to go anywhere except to a secluded spot in the mountains or the desert to live out the crisis.  But I can't even do that because I don't know how to live off the land!

      Perhaps sanity will arise through this crisis.  I am a spiritual person, of the heart and with belief that Americans like us have the power to awaken, but unless we get out on the streets and build tent cities like everyone else is doing/has done, they will accomplish the final act of this ongoing Shock Doctrine they have been using to steal the wealth and power of the people.

      Yep.  

    •  If Perry wins, I'm a dead woman. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kktlaw, TomFromNJ

      And with my health care needs, I do mean that literally. There is currently no country with national or quasi-national health care that will accept medical refugees, and I doubt there would be in time for it to do any good for us.

      Organ donors save multiple lives! A donor's kidney gave me my life back on 02/18/11; he lives on in me and in others. Please talk with your family about your wish to donate and sign up to give others the gift of life.

      by Kitsap River on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 10:22:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think you are very much on to something here. nt (8+ / 0-)
    •  That's my fear and point (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AnnieR, victoria2dc, Kitsap River, kktlaw

      I hope Obama's people and the national Democratic party grasps this - I until recently thought his candidacy was a joke. But at this point we are faced with evil geniuses with a lot of money and total cynicism who see an opportunity to remake America for their benefit permanently. So this needs to be anticipated.

      •  It allows him to be a social conservative (6+ / 0-)

        as well as a "live and let live" liberal. If you want gay rights in California? Go ahead. Knock yourself out. We don't want it in Mississippi. You want abortion in New York? Fine. Go ahead. We don't want it in Kansas.

        I can see how a lot of people will be sucked in by it if he frames it right. And it would sound uniquely fresh in contrast to Obama's muddled, incoherent message about process.

        •  I adore your opinions BBB, (0+ / 0-)

          but what if the President can counter this? I mean, Mr. Obama appears to be a smart man, and maybe him, and his team can come up with a counter attack, should Mr. Perry decides to go this route...

          "Good people are so sure they are right!" I believe, this could be the Republican mantra, and they would be wrong!

          by secret38b on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 06:37:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well...Obama of 2012 (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jabney, victoria2dc

            isnt going to be Obama of 2008. That ringing message of "bringing people together" and "no red states, no blue states" is just going to sound dated, played, and unconvincing.

            Second, Obama isn't a visionary or an ideologue, so he really can't articulate a particular worldview. So I don't really know if he has a vision that he can project on the country to counter a possible Perry vision.

            Finally, Obama is going to have to defend his record, which is basically mixed. He's been great on national security and foreign affairs. he's been a real loser on domestic policy.

            My suggestion, however, stands from last November. He needs to run like Harry Reid ran in Nevada. A fiercely negative, aggressive, tough, in your face bare-knuckles campaign.

            Problem is, I just don't think he has it in him.

            •  BBB... agreed (0+ / 0-)

              He doesn't and he won't or he would have already started because they have given him everything he needs to destroy them in the eyes of the American people through this mess we're in now.

              He won't play hardball.  He'll smile and continue to preach his current "reality" talk and be a one termer.  I hope I'm wrong but I'm not even sure I want him to be a two termer.  He has disappointed so much that I have no hope that he will ever just do the "right" thing even if it destroys his smile and his nice guy image.

      •  They are definitely plotting to simply break (0+ / 0-)

        up the US. However, they all need money from the fed. gov., so it's really just a bunch of pandering.

  •  It wouldn't work (5+ / 0-)

    Perry's record in Texas is abysmal... He stands a good chance of losing his own state in a national election.

  •  Nupe--you overlooked one thing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pale Jenova, AnnieR
    Voters may be receptive to something different.

    Rick Goodhair is from TEXAS.  We've had quite enough of Texans, thank you very much.  A Texan got the U.S. government into this mess.  We don't need another one.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 06:05:01 AM PDT

  •  the good news in your scenario (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AnnieR

    is that climate change will destroy human civilization as we know it and maybe end humanity before forever comes. Anti-science troglodytes will perish with the rest of us, because sometimes ignorance isn't bliss.

  •  Which is why we need to go near default (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AnnieR

    We can not continue to capitulate and hope someone like Perry can't win next year.

    The 2012 election has to be about how the Tea Party Republicans pushed America to default.  We have to have the fight about how crazy Republicans are, and going to default is the only way to wake America up.  America is still not paying attention.

    We won't actually reach default, but we have to scare the hell out of the American public.  If we can't win this fight, what fight can we win?

    •  That is the same (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AnnieR, victoria2dc

      logic the Tea Partiers are using, on their side.  And it's just as destructive.

      Obama cannot allow the nation to go into default, no matter what.  An emergency measure and an impeachment trial would be better.

      Still enjoying my stimulus package.

      by Kevvboy on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 06:16:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We are not going to default on Aug 2!! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pilkington, victoria2dc

        For days now, I've been telling people that we will not default on Aug2, but I've had similar comments to yours.

        Bernanke and Geithner have ways to delay this.  It is critically important for Democrats to let the Republicans push this past Aug2 so we can make this THE campaign issue of 2012.

        You'll shortly start seeing and hearing reports how Aug 2 is not the real deadline.

        •  There's no possibility of default period (0+ / 0-)

          Yes, there is a possibility that the federal government will not have enough money to meet all of its current expenses, but default against our debts is not a remote possibility. Current receipts are more than enough to cover all current debt service by a factor of ten, and the Treasury Department is NOT going to prioritize ANYTHING above serving our debts. It's amazing to me that so many people actually believe this b.s. that there's a "default" on the horizon. It just ain't the case.

          •  You're probably right (0+ / 0-)

            Of course there would be unbelievable cuts in everything else, and I don't want to go that far.  There's also a good possibility that Bernanke could step in and provide money directly to the treasury.

            •  Yes, operating the federal government (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pollwatcher

              on a cash basis would mean a 38% cut in the total operation. That means that everything except debt service, SS, M&M, unemployment, veteran's, and "essential" functions (mostly defense/security) would be shut down until the ceiling was raised. Not a pleasant scenario at all.

        •  But, but, but, it's (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pollwatcher

          Obama's birthday on Aug. 3! He wants the debt ceiling taken care of before his big birthday party!
          Or so Louie Gohmert says.

  •  My neighbors here in Georgia love Perry (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AnnieR, jabney, Kitsap River

    They see him as a new and improved version of George W Bush - to me that is nightmarish, but to them, it's a beautiful dream.

  •  Tipped and rec'ed for (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AnnieR, victoria2dc, Kitsap River

    a well thought out, interesting diary.  

  •  It already happened (5+ / 0-)

    Bush-Cheney changed America forever.  That Obama's let so much of that stick, and has even stood up for it, tells me most of those changes are permanent ones.  It's a monster disappointment, but there's not really any way around that conclusion.

    jest sayin'

    Other parts of it, already irreversible, like Roberts and Alito, have continued to wreak havoc.  And will continue to do so - probably past my lifetime.

    I rather doubt us humans will change it by our own volition.  Rather, there will be radical change forced upon us by crashes of various sorts.  Climate change, other ecological damage, famine and pestilence - stuff like that.

    Discouraging thoughts, but there you have it.

    The river always wins. (Mark Twain)

    by Land of Enchantment on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 06:30:39 AM PDT

  •  Joe Scarborough (0+ / 0-)

    will make sure that Rick Perry doesn't win......Ha Ha Ha Ha!

    "Good people are so sure they are right!" I believe, this could be the Republican mantra, and they would be wrong!

    by secret38b on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 06:40:08 AM PDT

  •  It's the Articles of Confederation platform. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stlsophos

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

    by zenbassoon on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 06:46:13 AM PDT

  •  Pretty good analysis (0+ / 0-)

    I think you've basically laid out the message for any of the "constitutional conservatives" that are running this year: Perry, Bachmann, Palin, as well as the Tea Party movement in general. I'm not sure that Perry is in fact that best person to deliver it. To me, he'll suffer from lingering Bush fatigue, and culturally he's pretty far out there on the shit-kicking fringe.

  •  Whomever the GOP nominates, I hope OFA (0+ / 0-)

    has been paying close enough attention to understand how crucial it will be for them to find replacements for many 2008 volunteers.

    Roughly 7% of Dems are very dissatisfied with Obama and while most of them will go ahead and vote for him, a lot of them are promising not one dime, not one minute of phone banking or canvassing.

    Some are unwilling to admit that this could negatively impact O's re-election efforts, but they do so at their own peril.

    The dissatisfied 7% piss me off, but I do understand (and share) their frustration and I do understand that we need what they have previously provided in terms of financial and boots on the ground support. If we can't get what they previously provided in terms of financial and boots on the ground support, we best be about replacing it with new blood.

    Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

    by JTinDC on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 07:07:03 AM PDT

    •  JTinDC... sorry I piss you off (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JTinDC

      but I am one of the 7%.  I don't think there is anything we can do to rationalize everything Obama has or hasn't done.  I will not make excuses for him.  Period.

      •  You only piss me off because I fear that you (0+ / 0-)

        jeopardize our chances for making progress. I'm willing to take what we can get when we can get it. An unwillingness to accept that means the distinct possibiity that we will not gain anything or lose what we have gained if the GOP wins elections due to progressives who won't fight unless they get everything they want right this minute.

        I assume I want pretty much the same things you want. My fear is that your strategy will keep us from getting anything and could lose what we've gained, and I suppose you may well feel the same about the strategy of incrementalism.

        I don't think demonizing Obama helps. If pressure is brought to bear, it should be focused primarily on the House and Senate. Obama is not a legislator. He only signs or vetos what they send him. Let's make sure they only send him what we can live with.

        I will say that come 2016 I will personally have a lot more specific questions about presidential candidates than I had in 2008.

        Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

        by JTinDC on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 10:39:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  There's an undercurrent of desperation now, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jabney, Wildthumb, victoria2dc

    and people could vote for Perry like they did for Reagan, because they had no prospects under the incumbent. I mean, Reagan's Voodoo Economics didn't hold up under scrutiny either, but it didn't have to. If things are bad enough, desperation votes for the challenger, not the incumbent.

    •  Then (0+ / 0-)

      People who bitch and moan on blogs, writing Obama Sux diaries, maybe should take a page from the Republican playbook.

      They will unite behind their candidate and never say anything that might hurt the person's candidacy.

      The Democrats need to know when to STFU and unite, rather than shooting themselves.

  •  Perry is an idiot (0+ / 0-)

    I know a lot of people in Texas and some are republicans. they all hate Perry and say he is dumb as a rock. I doubt he could hold his own in a debate.
    He is a good speaker but when he has to show some knowledge about something he will be lost especially when it comes to foreign policy. If America wants things to get a lot worse let them elect Perry.

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