Texas Gov. Rick Perry has now emerged as the front runner for the Republicans party's 2012 presidential nomination. From Gallup:
To say this is worrying would be an understatement - this is positively terrifying. Perry represents the underbelly of GOP politics - he is a borderline fascist, religious fundamentalist willing to destroy the country to get his way. His ascendancy represents an unparalleled low point for conservatism in America. Perry is mining well beneath the filth George Bush and Dick Cheney passed off as Republicanism, and has taken right wing fanaticism to a completely new level.
From a strategic point of view however, this is fantastic for Obama as Perry has absolutely no chance whatsoever in the general election. Obama will make mincemeat out of him regardless of the poor state of the economy or his personal popularity. Perry will never be taken seriously by the center, and the left will be so terrified of him, they'll come out in droves come voting time.
Still, you have to wonder what is going on in a supposedly modern industrialized nation when a fire-and-brimstone creationist is regarded as a serious political figure.