Rick Perry is going to be Donald Trump’s energy secretary. Ordinarily, this pick of Trump’s might not get much attention since Perry is from a big oil state, and at least on some level him running the Department of Energy would make sense from that perspective at least. But, well, this is the Trump Era now, and nothing really makes sense anymore.
Here’s Rick Perry very famously answering a question about which governmental agencies he’d shut down, if he was elected president. This was from the 2012 Republican Primary.
So the agency he fumbled around over, couldn’t remember the name of? The Department of Energy. It bears repeating, it really does. In 2012 Rick Perry had one of the most embarrassing moments in recent political history when he couldn’t remember the name of a federal agency he was making a big, conservative show out of saying he’d end…and now he gets to run that very department.
Last week I saw Trump’s picks and the satirist in me came up with this story. Obviously it’s a satirical take on the fact that Trump has hired people to fill cabinet roles that are clearly designed to help them roll back regulations on the industries they come from. For Chrissakes, the Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. executive is going to be his labor secretary. The fox and the hen house felt like an apt comparison.
BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA – President-Elect Donald Trump told those in attendance at a stop on his victory tour this morning that he had someone “very special and uniquely qualified” in mind for a top level cabinet position in his administration.
But now, with Perry getting control of a department he wanted to gut but couldn’t remember, I almost feel like a new, better analogy could be found. This is like hiring Forrest Gump as your Secretary of Higher Education, if Forrest also wanted to end higher education. How on Earth does anyone expect Rick Perry to do a good job running an agency just five years ago he said shouldn’t think exist?
So, the question becomes whether Trump is trolling, making foolish staffing decisions, or just walking yet another fox into the hen house. Remember, the side that just won the White House, and that now controls our entire federal government has historically not believed the federal government should exist. How can any of us be certain over the next few years which posts were handed to morons in a calculating way, and which were done because Trump and his staff are unprepared, anti-government morons themselves?
Given Perry’s debate gaffe, I actually tend to think his appointment as energy secretary is indeed more about him gutting and hog tying the agency. It’s embarrassing for him, sure, but he’ll have the last laugh when he fires staff and rolls back regulations on energy companies. Ultimately Perry, as dopey as he is, will at least get a fighting chance at destroying the Energy Department after all.
Maybe the most galling part of this story isn’t that the bumblefuck who couldn’t remember the department’s name is going to get a shot at killing it off. Maybe the most galling aspect of it is that during this year’s election, when Perry was ending his own campaign, he finally spoke the truth about Trump, but clearly since the alleged-billionaire’s victory over Hillary Clinton last month, Perry has clearly has had a spine-ectomy.
Like many Republicans who have warmed to Trump since his election, Perry was once a strong critic of the president-elect. In 2015, he called Trump a “cancer on conservatism” and, even after endorsing him in May, continued to cast doubt on him. (source)
To summarize — Rick Perry has been made the secretary of a government agency he doesn’t think should exist and couldn’t even name five years ago. He was handed this job by a man he called “cancer” to his ideology. He has sold so hard he’s going to start getting made fun of by crusty old guys saying he’s not punk rock enough.
The moral of this story? Well, that probably depends on if you’re a conservative or a liberal, liberal or Democrat.
If you’re a Democrat the moral of the story should be — listen to people other than the powerful people at the top of your party. I’m not saying Hillary wasn’t qualified, I’m not saying she would’ve been a bad president. But the Democratic Party was completely tone deaf. Like a lot of liberals I think the popular vote matters, and it shows she “won” the consent of more voters, but be real with yourselves, Democrats. You didn’t lose the election because Trump kicked your ass, you lost because Hillary took people for granted you shouldn’t have.
Maybe the Russian hacking story will be what truly trips the Trump folks up, but Democrats are going to have to let that play out, and they’ll have to coddle Republicans like John McCain and Lindsey Graham. They’re going need GOP allies, believe it or not. All it takes is a couple more McCain/Graham Wing Republicans to help, and they can team-up with Democrats in the Senate to block all kinds of bad appointments and bills from reaching Trump’s desk.
If you’re a Republican? The moral of the story is easy.
Be an idiot who can’t even remember the name of the agency you want to gut. Run again in four years. Call the eventual winner a cancer to your party, then suck his dick and become the secretary of the department you couldn’t name a few years ago. In other words, just wait it out, sell your principles to the highest bidder, and whore your way into a position of power.
I fully expect Herman Cain to be made ambassador to Uzbekibekistanstan and Carly Fiorina to be made Secretary of Video Clip Authenticity in the next couple weeks.
Follow James on Twitter @JamboSchlarmbo.