Rick Perry and “Almost Treason”

Lots of chatter about Rick Perry.  At the time of posting, Intrade has him at a 40% chance of winning the Republican nomination, compared to only 28% for Romney and 7% for Bachmann.  That translates into a 19% chance of him becoming your next president.

There may be some things to like about Perry, but this post from Matt Yglesias highlights not just a gaffe, but a laying bare of the Republican’s “kill the economy to kill Obama” strategy:

If this guy [Bernanke] prints more money between now and the election, I dunno what y’all would do to him in Iowa but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas. Printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treasonous in my opinion.

So he opposes further monetary expansion, not because he thinks it will be economically destructive, but because he thinks it will be economically beneficial, and as such would help Pres. Obama’s reelection chances.  Therefore to avoid having an impact on the election (i.e. “playing politics”), he wants Bernanke to do things to damage the economy.  Short-term pain for long-term gain.  The gain here being getting a Republican in the White House.

Wow.  This reminds of the book I just finished reading.  Lots of short-term pain there, but oh, the long-term gain!

Update: Scott Sumner reacts to this soundbite by calling Rick Perry “truly evil“.

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How to Measure Modern Military Success

Tyler Cowen writes:

Already, hundreds more American troops have been killed in Afghanistan during the less than three years of the Obama administration than during the eight years of the George W. Bush administration.

Here is more.  I don’t think that “# of Americans killed” is a good final standard for right and wrong, still I believe many Americans would be shocked to see this comparison.

I am moderately shocked (if that’s possible).   The count is about 1067 to 660 according to the link.

I agree with Tyler that “# of Americans killed” is not a good final standard.  Perhaps “progress made” / “# of Americans killed” (or even better replace ‘Americans’ with ‘people’).  Is there a meaningful difference in “progress made” between Pres. Obama and Pres. Bush, other than the killing of Bin Laden?