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Rick Perry’s Constitution

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The man who proved that you could be too dumb to win the Republican presidential nomination is back for another bite at the apple, brought to you once again by Ambien and Tito’s Vodka, America’s favorite pre-debate cocktail. So it’s worth remembering that he believes that virtually the entire 20th century welfare and regulatory state is unconstitutional. (In fairness, his constitutional vision would at least prevent the scariest extreme of jack-booted government tyranny, large-scale commercial farmers who want to take advantage of federal price supports to sell large quantities of wheat at far-above-market prices but are required to comply with federal regulations of the interstate market in wheat.)

What’s scarier than Perry believing this stuff, of course, is the extent to which some of these ideas are creeping closer to the Republican mainstream. If taken seriously, the federalism holding in Sebelius would effectively overrule not only Wickard but McCulloch v. Maryland. And while repealing the Sixteenth Amendment may seem like classic made-in-Texas wingnuttery, well, I bring to you the national platform of the 2012 Republican Party:

In any restructuring of federal taxation, to guard against hypertaxation of the American people, any value added tax or national sales tax must be tied to the simultaneous repeal of the Sixteenth Amendment, which established the federal income tax.

Perry believes all manner of incredibly nutty stuff — and if he were capable of speaking English sentences could well have been the Republican nominee for president in 2012. This is a serious problem.

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