Rick Perry seems to have forgotten his own arguments again.
Just days before the Iowa Caucus vote, Perry spoke at the Blue Strawberry Coffee Company in Cedar Rapids. A video of his attempt to woo voters was recorded by CSPAN. In his speech, he repeated a desire to use Federal tax money to inject religion into public services, and he also forgot about his recent writings regarding Texas' unconstitutional ban on gay sex.
After Perry concluded his speech with rehearsed Bible quotes, he took a few questions from the audience. One man asked how Perry's "criticism of [the] U.S. Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas" reconciled with his stated belief in "limited government." Perry fumbled around for an answer which never came. Instead, he spoke about the national debt, and he indicated that he did not know about the Court's 2003 ruling in favor of gay sex and privacy:
"I wish I could tell you I knew every Supreme Court case. I don't. I'm not even going to try to go through every Supreme Court case. I would be -- I'm not a lawyer. But here's what I do know. I know they're spending too much money in Washington, D.C. And 15 trillion dollars of debt is, um, on the back of that young man right there. And if we don't go in and cut the size of government, court cases aren't going to make a -- [sigh] one tinker's heck. That's the issue.
''And we can set here and, you know, play 'I gotcha' questions on, uh, 'What about this Supreme Court case?' or whatever. But you know and I know that the problem in this country is spending in Washington, D.C. It's not some Supreme Court case.
''And the issue needs to be: Are we gonna have a President of the United States that is going to put strict constructionists on the Supreme Court that look at the Constitution and say, 'You know what? I can't find anything in there at all about prayer in school...."
He next responded to a woman that President Barack Obama had a "war on religion." Perry claimed that the Justice Department was going after churches' "ministerial alliance" regarding hiring and firing.
In another stunning statement, Perry said Catholic Charities was currently using dollars to comfort and aid individuals who were "sexually traffickted [sic];" then he claimed the President's Administration had not been allowing dollars to be given to Catholic Charities "because they refused to do abortions." He called it an attack on the Catholic Church's values.
Earlier this month, Perry indicated that he had been speaking with Catholic bishops about garnering more taxpayer funds for their Charities. As has been noted here before, Catholic Charities' organizations are primarily funded by governments already, and their highly-paid leaders have opposed legalization of same-sex marriage in several states, including Maryland and D.C.
Perry's ignorance about the Supreme Court ruling which overturned "sodomy laws" that criminalized gay sex is rather odd. He seemed to have plenty to say about the Court's decision last year. His 2010 book "Fed Up!" contains this rant:
"Since I have been a governor, a significant number of cases involving Texas or Texans have gone to the U.S. Supreme Court. From posting the Ten Commandments in the public square to our right to execute a murdering rapist who happens to be a foreign national, we have had to kiss the ring of the Court and have done so, sometimes successfully, sometimes not. Texans have long been involved in significant decisions before the Court, and often we have been told we can't do something. To name a few: Roe v. Wade (legalizing abortion), Plyler v. Doe (requiring the education of children who are illegal immigrants), Lawrence v. Texas (outlawing anti-sodomy laws), .... It seems Texans have a different view of the world than do the nine oligarchs in robes.''
In another section of his book, under the subtitle "Our Ability to Define Marriage," Perry further explained his anti-gay beliefs by referencing another earlier Supreme Court ruling on gay sex -- Bowers v. Hardwick:
"I believe that in the next five years, the United States Supreme Court will rule that it is unconstitutional to recognize marriage as only between one man and one woman..... [T]he Court has already set the stage for its policy choice. And, not surprisingly, we Texans were at the center of the issue at hand. In 2003, the Supreme Court heard the case of two homosexual men who had been arrested and convicted under a Texas law that prohibited the act of sodomy. Reversing its decision from seventeen years earlier (upholding a Georgia ban), the court found a right to homosexual sodomy."
Perry had been the leading Republican candidate for President just a few months ago, but he has fallen behind quickly, and is considered unlikely to recover. Many observers and critics credit his downfall to a series of laughable lapses in political comprehension. Many in the gay community became alarmed, though, when he released an outrageous TV commercial pitting America's gay soliders against children and Christmas.