Tuesday, July 17 , 2018, 12:52 am | Mostly Cloudy 65º

 
 
 
 

Jim Hightower: GOP Presidential Contenders’ Goofy Greed

In or out of the race, Perry and Gingrich still playing high-stakes politics

Even though some are out and some are in, the politicians that are/were in the GOP presidential race still are spreading their goofiness around for all the country to see.

Let’s start with my state’s gallivanting goober of a governor, Rick Perry. He’s back in the news, with yet another “oops” moment!

This one is even stupider than Perry’s failure to remember his own lines in a presidential debate. It has to do with his fierce opposition to spending taxpayers’ money and his firm stand for rootie-toot-toot rugged individualism. But — oops — Perry keeps failing to remember these principles when it comes to spending taxpayers’ money on his own individual desires.

For example, in his grandiose desire to be president, this tightfisted champion of taxpayers dipped liberally into the public till to have Texans subsidize his failed run. Perry essentially abandoned the state and his gubernatorial duties for about six months — but the no-show governor kept billing us for his $150,000-a-year paycheck. It turns out that he was also double-dipping, by taking another $90,000 a year in pension payments — even though he’s not retired. Two state checks a month for doing nothing — good work if you can get it!

Wait, there’s more. Gov. Tightwad also socked us for at least $3.6 million to pay a covey of state troopers who traveled all over the country with him for his campaign and fundraising events. They helped arrange his trips, escorted him everywhere, did logistical errands and gave him an aura of importance — all on the taxpayers’ dime, while he gave speeches ridiculing wasteful government spending.

Perry’s excuse for such gross hypocrisy is that it’s the law’s fault. State troopers are required to “protect” him wherever he travels, a spokeswoman explained. But — oops — how stupid is that? Anyone running for president who can’t make an easy executive decision to say no to such an unethical waste of taxpayers’ money is simply not up to the job — which, obviously, Perry-the-Pretender is not.

And while Perry is out of the race, Newt Gingrich is still in. The disgraced former House speaker and ludicrously pompous presidential pretender is completely befuddled that he just hasn’t caught on with voters in this year’s GOP primaries.

The Newt was essentially done in January — yet, there he is, still preening around, still posing as America’s most visionary thinker, still blurting perverse right-wing poppycock, still hogging the political limelight he loves. If the people would just listen, damn them!

But who needs actual voters to be a presidential player these days? Gingrich’s entire campaign consists of six men: Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court, and Sheldon Adelson of the Sands Casino empire in Las Vegas. The five Supremes are the ones who unleashed the plague of democracy-destroying corporate cash on our elections, and Adelson is the multibillionaire Republican extremist who has taken rich advantage of the court’s 2010 ruling and foisted Gingrich upon us.

The casino baron put down a stunning $5 million on Gingrich in South Carolina, then upped the stakes with an eye-popping $5 million more on him in Florida, and since then has wagered yet another $6 million on his boy. One man, three months, $16 million. Never mind that Gingrich is way too daffy and detestable to win — Adelson has used him and an unprecedented pile of self-interested money to help shove the GOP and the national debate from the right-wing edge of politics over into the plutocratic/autocratic abyss.

Now through with Gingrich, though, Sheldon is moving his bottomless stash of cash over to Mitt Romney. Trying to stay afloat, poor Gingrich is asking supporters to go online and buy such campaign ticky-tacky as $7.50 bandanas for their dogs.

Ah, Rick and Newt, thanks for the entertainment.

Jim Hightower is a national radio commentator, writer, public speaker and author of Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow. Click here for more information, or click here to contact him.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >