2012 Election | Rick Perry | Supreme Court | Texas

Rick Perry Proudly Ignorant Of Supreme Court


Rick Perry may be proud to be a Christian. He may, as he implied at last night's debate, be proud to be an unlettered goodoleboy from the plumbingless Bumblefarkian backwoods. He probably shouldn't be proud of his inability to remember the names of all nine justices of the Supreme Court.

But he is, somehow. On Friday, in a conversation with The Des Moines Register, Rick Perry attacked Justice Sonia Sotomayor as an "activist" judge, but couldn't remember her name. He also asserted, erroneously, that there are eight justices on the Supreme Court. Oops.

This morning, Perry showed up on Fox News and tried to explain himself. He was proud, defiant. He owned his ignorance. In response to a question from Chris Wallace, Perry said:

Obviously, I know there are nine Supreme Court judges. I don't know how eight came out my mouth. But the, uh, the fact is, I can tell you -- I don't have memorized all of those Supreme Ccourt judges. And, uh, ah -- Here's what I do know. That when I put an individual on, just like I done in Texas, ah, we got nine Supreme Court justices in Texas, ah, they will be strict constructionists. They wont be activist judges. That's what Americans care about. Uh, they're not looking for a robot that can, uh, spit out, uh, the name of every Supreme Court justice, or, ah, the the someone that's gonna be perfect in, in, in every way. They're looking for somebody that's got values, that're based, ah, with a, with a, ah, deep rudder in the water. And I am consistent, uh, in my conservative values, I have been consistent, uh and Americans are looking for someone who's gonna make the right decisions, not someone who, uh, uh, ah, can either read a teleprompter perfectly, uh, or spit out, uh, by memory a list of names. That's not what's important to Americans.

Hopefully, neither is diction. Anyway, what's incredible is that the Perry campaign had already addressed the candidate's seeming inability to remember the number of Supreme Court justices by explaining that Perry was really referring to the 1963 case of "Abington School District v. Schempp,"  in which the court, in an 8-1 decision, ruled that school-sponsored Bible reading was unconstitutional. In other words: Perry's remarkable brain can recall the precise vote breakdown of a 50-year-old decision by the Warren court, but not the names of the nine individuals currently responsible for interpreting law on behalf of the entire United States. Watch Rick Perry answer AFTER THE JUMP ...

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  1. Bend over Rick, I can't hear you.

    Posted by: oliver | Dec 11, 2011 12:28:23 PM

  2. As I explained on other thread, the only exception to privacy rights are politicians, elected or appointed public officials, and political operatives who help or encourage anti-gay policies to become part of public policy. Rick Perry's affair with his Texas Secretary of State, Geoff Connor, was broadcast to an entire office of people, and in turn to the entire state of Texas, by Anita Perry, Rick's wife, when she caught the two men in bed with each other the day before. I insist that Rick Perry reads the script from "Young Frankenstein" where Frau Blücher admits her romantic past: "Yes! Yes! Say it! He vas my boyfriend!":


    Posted by: Artie | Dec 11, 2011 12:48:38 PM

  3. Yep. Folks want a feller with a deep rudder. Someone they could drink a beer or ten with, who won't make them feel dumb for hatin' all that bs libruhl book learnin' stuff. Who will agree with their Gawd-given right to be right even when they ain't.

    Posted by: TJ | Dec 11, 2011 12:59:32 PM

  4. How on earth does a major presidential candidate not know the names of the nine justices? I'm a MUSICIAN and I know them:


    I did have to look up Breyer, since I couldn't remember if he'd retired or not, but I'M NOT RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT.

    Posted by: Jeremy | Dec 11, 2011 12:59:57 PM

  5. Whatever, ass. I do think, however, that Americans might appreciate someone with a basic grasp of grammar.

    Posted by: ugh | Dec 11, 2011 1:00:58 PM

  6. The new George Bush. Privileged but ignorant, with too many people telling him he's greater than he really is.

    Posted by: Jerry | Dec 11, 2011 1:02:23 PM

  7. And this is why we in Texas so desperately want to foist him off on someone else. Not that we want to ruin the entire nation, we just want him gone already! We know he'll never win a national election, but if we can just get rid of him, we can begin the multi-century task of rebuilding our state from the damage he's done here.

    Posted by: Bobby | Dec 11, 2011 1:10:04 PM

  8. What a dumbass!

    Posted by: NY2.0 | Dec 11, 2011 1:55:28 PM

  9. You'd think that the GOP, out of nothing more than common decency, would declare "we're sitting this one out", and not run a candidate at all. Have these people no sense of shame? I think the slogan for the convention in Tampa should be "I'm stupid and I love it!" Pass out t-shirts and buttons at the door...bumper stickers for the ride home.

    Posted by: RWG | Dec 11, 2011 2:03:56 PM

  10. @ NY2.0 Rick Perry's middle name is actually Dumas. The "s" is silent.

    Posted by: Artie | Dec 11, 2011 2:12:44 PM

  11. Oh no, ARTIE, the "s" is loud and proud.

    Posted by: TJ | Dec 11, 2011 2:46:49 PM

  12. ricky is just proudly ignorant of everything .no wonder he wants to eliminate the education department.

    Posted by: walter | Dec 11, 2011 3:05:27 PM

  13. Ted Baxter

    Posted by: David C. | Dec 11, 2011 3:46:08 PM

  14. Oh, darling, Ricky Fairy. I want you to ravish my apple breast with your big mouth, Ricky.

    Posted by: jason | Dec 11, 2011 4:08:37 PM

  15. Oh poor Ricky! You are obvously way out of your league here. Stick with something you're good at, like lighting your farts on fire.

    Posted by: b | Dec 11, 2011 4:29:52 PM

  16. Exactly, Walter, I was going to suggest that to save time, a future post about the Governnor simply state "Ricky Perry - proudly ignorant." Considering the large number of things he's ignorant of.

    I'm a Republican and one of my biggest fears is that Perry will be the nominee and then it will be revealed that he's had affairs with men. I don't begrudge the Governor his right to boy-on-boy action if that's what floats his boat, but he shouldn't embarass social conservatives like this by running for President in the Republican primaries. Apparently Perry is a graduate of the Sarah Palin School of Political Dignity.

    Between the socially liberal Romney and Huntsman, the adulterous Gingrich, Cain dropping out, Santorum and Bachman being unelectable and Perry being...well, Perry., it seems as if every Republican voter should change his first,middle, and last names. My suggestion: "Shoot Me Now"

    Posted by: Mary | Dec 11, 2011 6:39:05 PM

  17. President Ted Baxter! You got that right a pompous idiot- yeah that's the next great leader of the free world!

    Posted by: jaragon | Dec 11, 2011 6:44:34 PM

  18. I despise Rick Perry with every fiber of my being. But, this "controversy" seems a bit overblown. People occasionally forget things, particularly in high-stress situations. We have plenty of policies and prepared statements to use to discredit Perry. Using something like this merely makes the anti-Perry crowd seem petty. Case in point: if an anti-Obama person brings up the "57 states" mistake, don't you immediately dismiss them as ridiculous?

    Posted by: alex | Dec 11, 2011 7:39:23 PM

  19. the american people would be better served by a robot that can recite the names of all nine supreme court justices over a presidential candidate who cannot.

    Posted by: andnowwhat | Dec 11, 2011 10:43:18 PM

  20. Rick, Rick, Rick. Please just hang it up. You're clearly too stupid to realize how deep in the sheep dip you are, and one thing we'd really like in our next president is for his IQ to have three digits, not one.

    Posted by: justinw | Dec 11, 2011 10:44:22 PM

  21. @ALEX, there's a difference between accidentally saying incorrect that you clearly know, like the number of states, and actually making the argument that you don't need to know something basic, like the names of the Supreme Court justices.

    One is a slip of the tongue and the other is actual ignorance. And then that ignorance is defended, which is worse.

    Posted by: rafi | Dec 12, 2011 12:03:47 PM

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