By J. Nazareth
There are few people who make decent Americans more ashamed of their country than Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who seems hellbent on making ignorance and bigotry seem mainstream.
The Republican presidential candidate – and what self-respecting circus clown isn’t these days – reached a new low this week with the release of a televsion ad in Iowa that basically says “it’s us versus them and them ain’t Christian.”
All that’s missing from the 30-second spot is a big red nose and gunboat shoes.
Perry has defined himself as a shameless political hooker who will do just about anything to advance his career since joining the race in August. The big Texan has stuck his foot in his mouth so many times on the campaign trail that he makes Moammar Gadhafi sound intelligent by comparison. He even generated an iconic image for unrestricted political ambition at the Iowa Straw Poll by deep-throating a monster corn dog in a successful bid for some early media face time in the crowded field (below left).
The GOP’s Marlboro Man no longer has much chance of being elected president, but that’s not the only reason to run in the Republican primary these days.
Boosting your Q-rating for future Reality TV appearances is also a real concern for those crowded into the GOP clown car, as is striking an attractive pose for deep-pocketed wingnut financiers like the Koch Brothers. Perry is clearly positioning himself to play the puzzled but well-meaning house musclehead in any future GOP version of VH1’s hit reality-show “The Surreal Life.”
In the world of Perry and Koch Brothers, “us” consists of intolerant Christians who wish to impose their religious views on their fellow Americans and any mercenary member of another belief system looking to make a quick buck by selling out their own. “Them” refers to everyone else, especially those in the “reality-based community,” which is wingnut vernacular for those of us who still believe in the concept of inherent truth.
The outrageous ad released Dec. 7 is a klaxon call for decent Americans everywhere to vote for someone else. It reads just like a satire on The Daily Show or the Onion New Network.
Here’s the text, with the actual translation for Perry’s bigoted code in parentheses immediately below each sentence.
“I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a Christian.”
(Translation: I’m not ashamed to admit I dislike non-Christians).
“But you don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there’s something wrong in this country … “
(Translation: You can be one of us even if you don’t attend church provided you hate the same people, because we need the numbers.)
“… when gays can serve openly in the military …”
(Translation: Vote for me if you think gay service members should have to pretend to be straight while in combat overseas).
“… but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school.“
(Translation: Let’s pretend Obama hates Christmas. Vote for me if you love Christmas).
“As president, I’ll end Obama’s war on religion.”
(Translation: I’ll treat religious people better than the general public).
“And I’ll fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage.”
(Translation: I’ll attack anyone in the reality-based community who confronts us with painful truths or tries to make megachurches and televangelists pay their fair share of taxes).
“Faith made America strong. It can make her strong again.”
(Translation: We’re weak because we’re too tolerant of people who don’t look or think like us – eff those guys).
“I’m Rick Perry and I approved this message.”
(Translation: My campaign strategist says that I’ve screwed up so many times that our only remaining move is to embrace Americans who don’t care about the truth and just want a candidate who makes them feel good about themselves).
Perry, a favorite of the Koch Brothers, is the best-funded candidate in the GOP field. He’s already spent $2 million on Iowa ads in the leadup to that conservative state’s Jan. 3 caucus, and plans to spend at least another $1.2 million.
The Perry campaign is spending $650,000 this week alone on this bizarre new commercial. Meaning that it would be bizarre for anyone else, but actually is pretty normal for a governor who has executed more of his fellow Americans than any other in modern times, even though the American Bar Associations say the legal process is flawed right now and capital punishment should be halted until it can be fixed.
The idea behind the ad is to remind white evangelical Christian voters who live in the middle of nowhere that Perry is one of them. It’s also to contrast him with President Barack Obama, who is biracial, and rival Mitt Romney (below left), a Mormon candidate and Republican frontrunner.
Romney, the former governor of liberal Massachusetts, is about to find out just how intolerant of other belief systems the GOP core really is.
“The evangelical Christians are waiting to, you know, find that individual that they’re really comfortable with, that they think can win, that has their values,” Perry told CNN. “I fit their mold quite well.”
For Perry, that mold includes spending lots of time at a hunting lodge long known as the “Niggerhead” in the isolated area of rural Texas where he grew up, which is more than 90% white and doesn’t like to spend a whole lot of money on public education.
Malboro Man is in fourth place in the GOP Clown Car, according to a TIME/CNN/ORC poll released Dec. 7, with 9% support among likely Iowa Caucus voters. He trailed former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Romney and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (Texas). Romney and Paul are actual candidates.
Gingrich, who married his high school math teacher and allegedly informed her of their upcoming divorce while she was hospitalized with cancer, led the field with 33%. He was the subject of more than 80 ethics complaints during his Congressional tenure.
U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachmann (below right), who claims god called on her to run for elected office, received 7% of the vote. It’s not clear if god also called on the Minnesota Congresswoman to make like Perry by going tonsils deep during the Iowa Straw Poll.
Meanwhile, former pizza-mangate Herman Cain and Reality TV star Donald Trump have both pulled out of the race.
Cain withdrew after a raft of women came forward with allegations of philandering, including a 13-year affair that almost qualifies as bigamy.
Trump (below) stepped out after being ruthlessly humiliated by the reality-based community at the White House Correspondents dinner. The Donald likes to talk like a working-class New Yorker and present himself as some kind of business tycoon. However, the reality is that this silver spoon inherited the family real estate business, and companies bearing the Trump brand have filed for bankruptcy three times.
Apparently, the truth hurts more than he realized.