I want to give a half-hearted shout-out to Rick “Oops” Perry for something he said today at his confirmation hearing to become the next secretary of energy.
The former Texas governor said he regrets insisting that the Department of Energy be one of three such agencies he would eliminate if he were elected president.
He tried to say so during a 2012 Republican presidential debate, but suffered a brain freeze at a critical moment. Hey, it’s happened to all of us, right?
He said he’d toss out the departments of Education, Commerce and … then he forgot the third one. He fumbled around before muttering his infamous “oops.”
Why the change of heart? He said he’s learned about the Energy Department and what it does to promote energy policy. I want to presume he also knows about the myriad forms of energy involved in that policy that go far beyond fossil fuel production that, of course, is a big deal here in Texas.
My shout-out would be full-throated if I actually believed he meant the “I regret” statement. I’m not sure I believe much of what Gov. Perry says about anything these days — not that I fully believed him back when he was governor.
I mean, after all, he did call Donald J. Trump a “cancer on conservatism.” He did accuse the president-elect of lacking any ideology. He did say that his party needed to excise that “cancer.” This all came during his second failed effort, in 2016, to become the GOP presidential nominee.
Now, after all that heated rhetoric, he wants to become energy secretary. He wants to run a department he once said he intended to throw into the Dumpster.
I don’t know which Rick Perry to believe.
Or whether to believe a single thing this guy has ever said.