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Jim Hightower and Rick Perry’s Army of God

Posted on Aug 18, 2011
Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-SA)

In this week’s Truthdig Radio, Jim Hightower warns us that Texas Gov. Rick Perry is not as brainy as George W. Bush.

(Page 3)

Jim Hightower: No. He’s a very gifted speaker, which Bush is not. He has become a very gifted campaigner. But not, you know … he’s not smart at all. And in fact his grades got released, and that was pretty sad. [laughs] Like a D in economics.

Robert Scheer: So let me ask you a question that we ask …

Jim Hightower: OK, one more and then I’ve got to dash.

Robert Scheer: … yeah, I understand. Let me just say, a question that I could ask of anybody in the country anywhere: Why do these guys retain popularity? I mean, you know, he’s …


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Jim Hightower: Well, he’s not that popular. The reason he’s governor is not because he’s so brilliant, although he’s running around the country now saying, look … I got 58 percent of the vote for re-election last year. What he doesn’t tell you is we … the Democratic Party has essentially collapsed here. It’s now building back at the grass-roots level, by the way, and that’s a positive thing. But for the last, certainly the 10 years he’s been running, it has been very weak because it has not run as the Democratic Party; they quit being Democrats. And the result is, people quit voting. We had the lowest voter turnout in America last year; we had 33 percent of eligible voters go to the polls. So that means he’s the choice of about 18 percent of the people. The sad thing is, the Democrats couldn’t get 19 percent. But that’s our fight, right there; it’s not even really the Perrys. And if Obama were to lose—and I can’t imagine him losing to a Perry—but if he were, it would be because he’s not been a Democrat; he’s not stood up in a way that excites and makes believers out of his own people.

Robert Scheer: You know, Jim Hightower, I want to thank you for taking this time. I think people are going to be—you’re the go-to person to try to figure out Texas and figure out this governor, and so thanks for …

Jim Hightower: I’m happy to help. [laughs]

Robert Scheer: Take care.

Jim Hightower: OK, Robert. Thanks a bunch. Bye bye.

Peter Scheer: That was writer and radio host Jim Hightower and Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer on Truthdig Radio.

* * *

Peter Scheer: We all know about Rick Perry’s giant prayer rally in Houston. But did you know that there’s a group of fringe Christians who believe the Democratic Party is controlled by demons? And they want Rick Perry to carry their banner into the White House. Here to talk about that and more is Texas Observer editor David Mann. You’re here to talk about Gov. Rick Perry, who’s been—correct me if I’m wrong—he’s the longest continuous governor of any state in the union?

David Mann: I don’t know about that; I assume he is. He’s the longest-serving governor in Texas history, I know that for sure. And if he finishes out his current term, he would have been in office for 14 years.

Peter Scheer: So—that’s amazing, considering that Texas—George W. Bush was the first governor of Texas to serve more than one consecutive four-year term, right. So Texas had a two-year term until the ’70s, and when Bush came into office he was the first governor to really have more than one term. But Rick Perry now has … he’s been elected three times to the governor’s office, right?

David Mann: Yeah, he’s been elected three times on his own, and he also served the final two years of Bush’s term back in 2001, 2002, when Bush went to the White House. And it’s important to note that Texas doesn’t have term limits, so Perry, if he doesn’t win the White House, could conceivably keep serving as governor; in fact, some people here have been referring to him as “governor for life.”

Peter Scheer: Which is kind of amazing, considering the history of how long these governors have served, right?

David Mann: It is. I mean, usually people kind of either wear out their welcome, or wear themselves out, or kind of they’ve accomplished everything they want to do, or they’ve moved up, in Bush’s case. And so it is kind of remarkable in this modern age that somebody would serve that long and not suffer some kind of voter fatigue. People have long talked about a Perry fatigue, but that is yet to materialize. And Perry is such a skillful campaigner, and the Democratic Party here is in a down period, to say the least. So he’s continued to win elections, and if he wanted to I think he could keep going as long as he wanted to.

Peter Scheer: I have a friend from Austin, which is admittedly weird, but he tells me that Perry isn’t really that liked in the state of Texas. Is that true?

David Mann: Yeah, I think he’s a very polarizing figure. Certainly Democrats and liberals really don’t like him; he kind of drives Democrats crazy here in the same way that Bush did. But there’s quite a few Republicans that don’t like him either. They don’t like his cronyism, his patronage; some of his major proposals they feel like haven’t been conservative, like proposing toll roads; like proposing that teenage girls get the HPV vaccine; he passed a business tax that a lot of conservatives didn’t like. So there’s quite a few Republicans that don’t like him in Texas. And you have to remember that when Perry ran for re-election in 2010, he had not one but two opponents in the Republican primary, and he won that primary; but there still was 50 percent of Republican primary voters that voted for somebody else besides Rick Perry. …

Peter Scheer: And he beat Kay Bailey Hutchison, who was a very popular political figure in Texas.

David Mann: Yeah, he just trounced her in that primary. And also a third candidate, a tea party candidate. And he won 50 percent in a three-way primary, which is very impressive. But again, it does show that there is some Republican opposition to him in the state.


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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, August 22, 2011 at 4:53 pm Link to this comment

I do appreciate perennial protector of the Right Ozark Michael but usually you do diligence instead of simple invective and innuendo you display here. Why not actually go after those on detail and fact about the theocratic elements that have invaded both parties, our military and gov’t. They want a theocracy here of some kind. Implicit or explicit they do. Something you should be against unless you want it. The Left isn’t without totalitarian elements but they are not a factor here. In fact the Left has been out of politics and the NAR/Dominionist/Christian Reconstructinists came in to fill it back in the 1970’s.

That Prayer Rally was an open sign of it. (It bothers me that they think things are in such a state they can be so open about it.) Not surprisingly it was poorly attended because most people don’t want a theocracy here nor a Plutocracy or fascist (corporate governance) type gov’t running things here. [Hint: it will be an admixture of all them into one toxic stew.] Democrat or Republican or Green or Liberterian or Dem-Soc are against it. I certainly am. Just a few most at the top and their adherents and wannabes want it. By hook or by crook they want it here. Why do you think the Tea Party types want to bring down our economy? It’s called “Disaster Capitalism” and Naomi Klein chronicled some of its hidden history in the book of the same name.

Obama is good at playing the passive-aggressive game. Be passive for us and aggressive to help the Reich wing which he is part of as are many top level Democrats. When we question him for giving away the farm before even ‘negotiating’ he get’s hot under the collar at us, not at the Republicans. He isn’t weak, he is a mole. Not a patsy but an agent for the side of the oligarchs who want our gov’t to fall so that they can come in and ‘help’ us to rebuild. But in their fashion of corporate freedoms of economy and Bible based laws to rule us. Forget about the ACLU and Bill of Rights, they don’t have truck with such “un-Christian” kinds of things. We may have 21st century technology of war and surveillance, but the mind set not too different from the Massachusetts Bay Colony of 1610. They aren’t Luddites, just anti-Modernists socially.

JC how do you run a radio station on a part time basis? Most of them already have just a few who are on staff the rest are volunteers. It takes $150 an hour to run such a station. Fund raisers are necessary because they don’t take on corporate funding. You aren’t buying the DVD, that is just a small token for your support. You can give them whatever you want but they need it or if they go down we lose it forever. Just remember that.

The Fraternity, as Charles Higham called them were very busy to take over our country in 1933-1934. They literally barely failed because they chose the wrong military man for their commanding general of their army to be, armed by ITT, to occupy Washington, DC. If it hadn’t been for Major-General Smedly Darlent “Gimlet Eye” Butler  we would have either been a Fascist nation joining the Axis or had a second Civil War during the backdrop of a growing world war breaking us up. Because FDR was afraid to punish with treason the richest families and dissolve important corporations like ITT, Chase Bank, the Bush‘s and Ford Motor company among others—-they were just spoken to and no more. Many in the Fraternity made money dealing with both sides of the war. At the end of the war they got off scott free. I say they still want domination. Only they will be the Axis leader of a new American Century. The corporate empire way coupled with a new zeal at missionary work for Dominion theology.

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By Marian Griffith, August 21, 2011 at 1:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

—But oh noes!...then he turns around and makes an accusation that Perry is gonna “force a Bible into everyone’s hands” What sort of accusation is that?—

In your writings here you have not shown great capacity, or willingness, to recognise a metaphor but ... that is just what that remark you quoted is.

And in case the word metaphor has too many syllables:
1. A figure of speech in which a word or phrase that ordinarily designates one thing is used to designate another.
2. One thing conceived as representing another; a symbol.

In other words, it refered to the thinly veiled intention of Perry to base his rule, policies and laws on the bible (and on his own narrow subset of interpretations of that book).

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By Morri Creech, August 20, 2011 at 9:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This morning God told me Himself that Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann should not be nominated or elected to office; and since, apparently, anyone who piously evokes His name immediately becomes vested with His unerring authority, that should resolve the matter once and for all. Amen.

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, August 20, 2011 at 6:40 am Link to this comment

RE: David Mann

If a group of radical left-wing hippies tried to exorcise masonic temples or say levitate the pentagon, how many of us would object???

If this same group made the same claim about the democratic party being run by voices from ????

I dunno.

Maybe there is a new “right-wing” hippie revolution going on.

Stop hey what’s that sound ev’rybody look what’s goin’ round.

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By bogi666, August 20, 2011 at 4:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rick Parry fits the definition of the Anti Christ and the timing coincides with the Beast of Revelations, which is the One World System, or Globalization which is the Beast, system. The Anti Christ is not opposed to Christ but pretend to be Christ which is what Parry is doing, pretending that his false doctrines are Christ’s. Rick has made god in his own image and violates,disobeys the definition that The Christ made clear. No public displays of piety, embracing usury,such are the hypocrites, to name a few.These are meant to provide forewarning of the tactics of the Anti Christ and 90% of christians will embrace the false doctrines of the Anti Christ as the teaching of Christ. The Anti Christ, Parry, arrival coincides with the establishment of the One World Globalization System

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By SteveL, August 19, 2011 at 9:42 pm Link to this comment

Ricky discussed on local NPR station today.  They say he does not care what his
political opponents think.  He only cares what his supporters think.  Obama and
Democrats take note of that!

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OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, August 19, 2011 at 9:28 pm Link to this comment

“It’s time to separate the bullshit from reality. This idiot and his compatriots are ready and willing to put bibles in the hands of all Americans—-whether they want ‘em or not.”

anaman51 wants to separate bullshit from reality, that sounds like a good idea.

But oh noes!...then he turns around and makes an accusation that Perry is gonna “force a Bible into everyone’s hands” What sort of accusation is that?

Its bullshit, completely divorced from reality.

Sheer’s articles always have the same effect, it makes his monkeys go crazy.

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OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, August 19, 2011 at 9:13 pm Link to this comment

“Then the Governor Mission had a big fire. Mr. Perry made every single document on this fire Top Secret.  Why?  It was just a fire. Their are members of a certain group that when they are betrayed they go basaltic.  Could that been the case.  Some believe that it is.”

their are members of another group that go basaltic even if it isnt.  Could that been the case. Maybe not.

And then…“Rick Perry’s Army of God” (trademark registered. its a real thing. Truthdig said so.)

That was just too cute,and several fell for it. omop, that was great, you are a true believer! keep up the good work.

Some Leftists are dumber than a bag full of hammers.  Sheer makes cute hints which entices you to elaborate on his smear as if its a fact. And others read your elaboration of Sheers hint and they believe that and expand upon it. An entire Leftist universe of opinion which becomes fact… based on a little smear. Sheer gets so much mileage out of you guys.

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By vicente carranza, August 19, 2011 at 4:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am a local radio talk show host and the first station I work for was sold to Clear Channel.  I was almost fired by Clear Channel for a comment I made on the radio Feb. 20 2004.  I got a phone call from Austin from someone which was a tip for me.  This happen February 17, 2004.  Later I got the same info from 3 other persons, one being a Texas State Representative.  Mrs. Perry caught David Perry in the Jacuzzi with someone else doing something and she was going to expose him the next day.  What save my job was that the whole national media was out side the Governor Mission the next morning.  The next morning Mrs. Perry did not come out. The whole national media left by noon. Some feel that Mrs. Perry was paid off to keep quite.  Then the Governor Mission had a big fire. Mr. Perry made every single document on this fire Top Secret.  Why?  It was just a fire. Their are members of a certain group that when they are betrayed they go basaltic.  Could that been the case.  Some believe that it is. Mr. Perry also does not want any of his travel documents made public.  It is not where he went but who he went with that we believe he is trying to hide.  Many in the National Media know all this but they would rather be politically correct with this one group of individual males and let Perry take this country deeper in to hell..  WHY IS EVERYONE SCARE TO MENTION ANY OF THIS.

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Napolean DoneHisPart's avatar

By Napolean DoneHisPart, August 18, 2011 at 2:02 pm Link to this comment

Too bad Scheer the Shill missed this one about the moral Rick Perry’s investment into pornography:


I just tried to post the link from and a ‘blacklisted’ page showed up.  Thanks TruthDig, further digging the truth into a ditch so no one will know.

CENSORSHIP on this rag of the hegemony!

Look for it yourselves. 

Or put the rest of url in the address after getting to the site, here it is:


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anaman51's avatar

By anaman51, August 18, 2011 at 1:32 pm Link to this comment

Great. Just what America needs in the White House—-another grinning fool who thinks god is giving the directions. It’s time to separate the bullshit from reality. This idiot and his compatriots are ready and willing to put bibles in the hands of all Americans—-whether they want ‘em or not. It’s time for the separation of church and state to take place, and not electing this cheesebrain would be a good start.

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By omop, August 18, 2011 at 9:13 am Link to this comment

News reports in Texas report that Douglas Feith whom Gen. Tommy
Franks once referred to Feith as the “the f***ing stupidest guy on the face
of the earth,” and who at one time was an aide to Rumsfeld is advising
Mr. Perry on foreign policy strategies.

Forecasting the return of the chickenhawk neocons if Perry becomes Pres.

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prisnersdilema's avatar

By prisnersdilema, August 18, 2011 at 7:26 am Link to this comment

It’s Jim Jones time again in America…

Only this rime it’s not just Jonestown who will be drinking the cool aide but the whole
God Dam country…

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prisnersdilema's avatar

By prisnersdilema, August 18, 2011 at 7:21 am Link to this comment

Convert or die…...

Warren Jeff’‘s light…...With faith you don’t need anything but to believe…

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CJ's avatar

By CJ, August 18, 2011 at 6:52 am Link to this comment

What I heard Hightower say re the “Texas miracle” is in accord with what Bob
Moser was saying to Amy Goodman yesterday—creation of a lot of low-paying
jobs (which reminds of the ones Clinton created). And yes, more uninsured in
Texas than anywhere else, etc. etc. Moser said Perry is governor for the rich,
which alone doesn’t make him unusual, since aren’t most governors?

Hightower called Perry a plutocrat (but dumber than Bush) while Perry is also a
Dominionist, which was mentioned by Mann. Moser noted that both Perry and
Bachmann are at the fringe of the fringe. And otherwise that Perry’s given to
shooting his mouth off—obviously.

Sounds to me like a recipe for a winner of the presidency, particularly taking
into account the “goodhair,” which is what Ivins’ dubbed Perry. (We could sure
use Molly now!)

Here in the political culture of the lightweight and the pretty, and supposedly
straight-talking, Perry might be a shoe-in. Big media is in a tizzy over the
“treasonous” remark but has said nothing of the phoniness of the Texas
miracle. Nor will it ever, but instead and far more likely will take that to be true,
as though it were one of Perry’s great achievements.

Perry is on the surface so much more appealing than Bachmann, and better-
looking too, certainly, as Hightower noted, with better hair than Bachmann. And
Perry’s prettier than Romney too. (Sadly, all this chauvinist stuff still matters.)

Hightower also said something interesting about the Democratic Party in
Texas—in connection with the fact Perry’s not really all that popular in Texas.
But according to Hightower, the Dems had about disappeared, though he said
they’re making something of a comeback. He later noted, however and rightly,
that Obama’s not acted like a Democrat, indicating that Hightower well knows
of whom the Dems are supposed to be and to represent. Alas, something the
Dems haven’t been and haven’t done in decades. A fact that hasn’t been bringing
out Democratic voters over the years. At least not until Obama looked like the
real deal.

Why has Obama turned out so damn stupid? For such a smart guy and a smart
politician? Partly, I think he gives the public more credit than it deserves. He
thinks we get all the difficulties of trying to work with an opposition party,
though Obama’s still much to blame for not showing much backbone. Causing
even his base to wonder if ever meant what he said prior to his election.

If Obama doesn’t start paying attention, we could well be looking at a President
Perry come next November, mostly due to low turn-out. This thing of
constantly having to choose between two evils seems to get worse and worse
with every passing term.

And since, as Nader proved when he couldn’t get into debates or even on
ballots, there’ll never be a third alternative able to get the necessary money and
media attention… Which is one reason so much that’s gone wrong can rightly
be laid at the feet of big, enormously irresponsible media, which in another
decade or so will anyway all be owned by Murdock, either the old man or the
wife and the kid.

After talks with Hightower and Mann, KPFK entered into it’s “Summer Fund
Drive.” Seems to me they have about three for every season. How much money
is required? And who can afford $100 in exchange for one DVD? I’m starting to
think commercials might be more tolerable, so long as selective. Hearing one-
third of a talk only to have the rest held hostage gets to be seriously irritating.
I’ve taken to giving up and switching stations. (I’ve given my share in the past,
but can’t do it anymore, and I think Pacifica is spending too much money. I
won’t say exactly on and for whom in particular, but those in the know already
know, and that needs to end, among other excessive expenses. Some people
could get other jobs and do their KPFK thing voluntarily, like a lot of the rest of
us do.)

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By SarcastiCanuck, August 18, 2011 at 6:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If Rick becomes Prez and a neo-religous cult figure,then how much different will America be from Iran’s theocracy….Army of God or Army of Bullshit.Doesn’t anyone in America read Thomas Jefferson any more.Remember him,the guy who penned the constitution that all these bible thumpers love to quote out of context.Tom keeps warning you from the grave,but is anyone listening…

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By omop, August 18, 2011 at 5:43 am Link to this comment

Given the “miltary” emphasis ....“perry’s army of god” could not one
conclude that its one decibel lower than the Nazis taking over Germany
and proclaiming its “Uber Alles”?

A diquiting prospect to say the least.

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By Big B, August 18, 2011 at 5:01 am Link to this comment

Ranger Rick is just what the GOP has been hoping for, a CHRSTIAN WACKO MAN to run for president. Lets face it, the rpugs are never going to go balls to the wall to support a (gasp)Mormon! And a lesser woman? not gonna happen. Nope, guvner Rick is their godsend, a friend of big business, and a bible humping, flag sucker. Praise Jebus and pass the ammo.

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By ardee, August 18, 2011 at 4:38 am Link to this comment

Both Jefferson and Madison were greatly influenced by the Anabaptists, a sect which devolved into the modern day Mennonites and Amish. The key to this influence was the belief that separation of church and state were essential to the well being of BOTH church and state.

The greatest peril in this extremist religious attempt to force the views of the few upon the many seems obvious enough to me. I am of the conviction that these people, while represented all out of proportion to their numbers in our media, are but a passing phase in the perilous journey of our democracy.

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