Rick Perry “Gives Some Thought” To Rape and Incest

As noted in my last post, one of the most counter-factual assertions about the Republican presidential nomination contest is that it’s “about” the economy.

Guess that’s why Rick Perry, who began his campaign boasting of his world-beating jobs record (sic!) in Texas, is now ending his go-for-broke comeback effort in Iowa by announcing he is suddenly adopting the most extreme position available on abortion:

Gov. Rick Perry said Tuesday that he had undergone a “transformation” on the issue of abortion and now believed that there should be no exceptions made for rape, incest or the life of the mother….

“I really started giving some thought about the issue of rape and incest,” Mr. Perry told a local pastor who had questioned whether he had changed his position on the issue.

While it’s good news to hear that Perry is “giving some thought” to any issue, having pretty much campaigned on the basis of what the reptilian segments of his brain dictated, the reality is that his campaign is now focused monomaniacally on outflanking Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Santorum in appealing to Iowa’s divided Christian Right activist base.

This isn’t Perry’s first lurch to the right on abortion; back in August, under interrogation from Christian Right chieftain Tony Perkins, he repudiated his previous “states’ rights” position in favor of the more radical proposition of a federal constitutional amendment to repeal the right to choose.

But the more Perry “thinks” about it, the more determined he becomes to bend the knee to the most hard-core anti-choicers. If the Iowa caucuses were somehow delayed a couple of weeks, he’d probably come out for a national compulsory pregnancy mandate.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.