Perry Condemns Law That Doesn’t Exist

Perry Condemns Law That Doesn’t Exist August 21, 2011

Rick Perry’s presidential campaign is off to a perfect start:

“If you’re a tractor driver, if you drive your tractor across a public road, you’re gonna have to have a commercial driver’s license. Now how idiotic is that?” perry told a Des Moines crowd. “What were they thinking?”

Since “they” don’t exist, they probably weren’t thinking at all:

As it turns out, Perry’s claim is based off a false rumor that was circulating among farmers that the Department of Transportation recently put to rest. The Wall Street Journal reports that the confusion was over a federal review of a proposal by Illinois to require commercial licenses for farmers, but the DOT ultimately concluded — as Perry did — that “the common sense exemptions that allow farmers, their employers, and their families to accomplish their day-to-day work and transport their products to market” should not be tampered with by states.

“We have no intention of instituting onerous regulations on the hardworking farmers who feed our country and fuel our economy,” DOT Secretary Ray LaHood’s said in a statement responding to Perry’s claim.

But Perry isn’t backing down:

Perry told the Des Moines Register that he had discussed the issue with Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) in Waterloo this week.

“Your own United States senator, sitting there at the table, said, ‘That’s right.’ And I said, ‘What were they thinking, senator?’ And he said, ‘They weren’t.’ So that is the issue at hand here,” Perry said.

No, the issue at hand is that you were completely wrong and you can’t admit it. I’ll rate this at about 600 milli-Palins.

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  • Randomfactor

    So…what…Perry’s SUPPORTING requiring farmers to have commercial licenses, right? State’s rights trump the DOT, right? Or is this another exception, like when two gay people want to get married?

  • JoeBuddha

    I’d never heard of the millipalin before, but I totally support its use as a measure of stupidity.

  • Ace of Sevens

    Grassley definitely didn’t tell him this. There’s no way he wouldn’t know this. He’s too gracious/too much of a party stooge to say anything, though.

  • Aquaria

    I think all that Aqua Net has finally shellacked Rick’s brain but good.

    Well, if you can call that pimple on his brain stem a brain.

  • It’s ridiculous that he gets upset over regulations that don’t exist, but I want to add that even if they did exist, I’d still wouldn’t agree with Perry. I just don’t see how requiring a license to operate heavy machinery counts as “onerous regulations” to begin with.

  • Phillip IV

    Oh, there you go again with your pedantic “facts and reality” shtick.

    Listen, there can’t be the slightest doubt that that stupid law exist. As you confirmed yourself, its existence was vouched for by not only one, but two right-thinking, Christian conservatives.

    Furthermore, that law matches up exactly with the kind of law anybody would expect coming from a Kenyan-born Muslim socialist.

    Thirdly, even if the law doesn’t really exist, there’s bound to be a different, equally objectionable one.

    GOP:1 Reality:0


  • Larry

    This remark was not intended to be a factual statement but, instead, was intended to illustrate the idiocy of laws on Perry’s home world.

  • John Hinkle

    Perry told the Des Moines Register that he had discussed the issue with Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) in Waterloo this week.

    Yeah, just lay the blame on one of your fellows. Grassley said it first!

  • Chuck C

    Yeah, this makes him look like an idiot. But the Willingham execution puts everything else about this jagoff to shame, and no one seems to have asked him about it yet. Regrettable.

  • Owen

    A GOP candidate stiring up outrage over imaginary problems? Really?

  • Chris from Europe

    @John Hinkle

    That could be true. Grassley is the one who claimed his own idea would create death panels.

  • Fifth Dentist

    He’s starting to remind me of this guy:

    “Too many OB-GYNs aren’t able to practice their love with women all across this country.”

  • unbound

    Reminds me of my moronic representative who seriously thought that the Chinese were actually eating babies per an internet rumor from the 90s ( He couldn’t admit fault either.

    And he hasn’t gotten any smarter either.

    And the voters still keep voting him into office…sigh…

  • Foster Disbelief

    And the voters still keep voting him into office…sigh…

    Admitting fault is a sign of weakness. A

  • Foster Disbelief

    (I have no idea what key I mistakenly pressed to automatically post that, but….)

    And the last thing we meed when staring into the eyes of the soviet menace is weak elected officials.

  • Nepenthe


    Considering that in the semi-rural area where I grew up driver’s ed students are treated with horror stories about what happens when tractors take left turns on rural highways, I would seriously look into this kind of legislation as well. It seems to make more sense to have the tractor drivers be well-trained in car avoidance rather than to rely on the good sense of out-of-town drivers to not plow into them.

  • James Hanley

    Re: What Nepenthe wrote.

    I don’t know where I’d end up after a close analysis of the proposal to require tractor drivers to have a commercial license, but on the surface the idea isn’t necessarily idiotic. Anyone who’s spent time living in farm country is familiar with coming upon a slow moving tractor or combine on the road, sometimes just after coming over a hill or around a curve so that you don’t have much warning. And it’s not just, as Perry suggests, that tractors cross the road to get from one field to another–many farmers use their tractors to tow trailers full of grain to the local grain elevators, or have to drive several miles to get to one of their fields.

    Perhaps the training/rules for a commercial license wouldn’t make sense (a tractor is not like a tractor-trailer, in speed, weight or stopping distance), and my experience is that most farmers are quite aware that they are a road hazard and are very conscientious in their driving, so the whole idea may be a solution for a relatively non-existent problem. But it’s not an intuitively stupid idea, and a commercial license (or the appropriate equivalent) would hardly be an onerous regulation (requiring CDLs hasn’t slowed down the trucking industry much).

    Perry, as usual, is playing to the moronic masses, which he does supremely well because he is just as moronic as they are.

  • lordshipmayhem

    There is some warped sense in all of this: Perry believes in invisible friends that don’t really exist, he believes in laws that don’t really exist, he believes in a “theory” (creationism) that doesn’t really exist.

    I have to wonder if the planet he thinks he lives on is the one that really exists.

    Perhaps, once he is counted and compelled… he can quickly be dispelled.


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  • Art

    Anyone want to place bets that this all spins around a flawed interpretation of the term ‘over-the-road-trucking’?

  • Barefoot Bree

    As a former over-the-road truck driver, I can attest to the stupidity of the idea. Trucking, and the special license required to do it, has as much to do with driving a farm tractor as [insert any given Republican stupidity] has to do with reality.