In all likelihood, we won’t have Texas Gov. Rick Perry to kick around much longer. The one-time frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination is now in last place in the five-candidate field and probably won’t be a candidate much longer.

But so long as Perry’s still in the race, it’s worth pausing to appreciate just how nutty he can be.

In last night’s debate, Juan Williams asked the governor whether the federal government can have a role “scrutinizing the voting laws of states where minorities were once denied the right to vote.” Perry responded:

“I’m saying that the state of Texas is under assault by federal government. I’m saying also that South Carolina is at war with this federal government and with this administration.”

I seem to recall a time when South Carolina really was at war with the federal government, and it didn’t go especially well. For that matter, if Perry believes the Justice Department blocking voter-suppression tactics constitutes some kind of war-like aggression, he’s even more foolish than he appears.

And as it turns out, that’s not the only war Perry perceives. He added: “[T]his administration is at war against organized religion.” (It’s really not.)

When he wasn’t reflecting on imaginary domestic wars, Perry was looking broad. Later in the debate, the Texas governor said Turkey “is being ruled by, what many would perceive to be Islamic terrorists.”

For the record, Turkey is a democracy, a key U.S. ally, and a member of NATO. The country is not run by terrorists.

When this guy drops out, it’ll be bad for comedy, but almost certainly good for democracy.

Update: A leading Turkish columnist believes Perry is an “idiot.” It’s not an unreasonable observation.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.