Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Story Behind Rick Perry's Desperate Gay-Bashing Ad

It doesn't take a rocket scientist (if one's been following this blog) to grasp that I hold Rick Perry in about as much contempt as Michele Bachmann and "Marcia" Bachmann who run reparative therapy clinics - a practice labeled lest we forget as unethical by the APA. And it's not just because Perry launched his campaign effort with a gathering of Christofascists or that his family hunting camp carried a racist name for decades. Rather it's because he seems willing to use every past sleazy GOP ploy and symbolizes to my thinking the worse elements in today's GOP - false piety, a race to ignorance and the embrace of bigotry. The nation should have learned to reject all of this crap after the nightmare reign of the Chimperator and Emperor Palpatine Cheney. And then there's the fact that Perry is clearly over his head and seemingly might not even be competent to be an elected dog catcher. As a Queerty column reveals, Perry and some in his campaign are only too happy to play the anti-gay card in a desperate attempt to revive his campaign which is nearly on life-support. Here are some highlights:

[T]he real scoop is the behind the scenes battle at Perry’s campaign (which given his poll numbers could be renamed the Alamo). It turns out that the man behind the [anti-gay] ad, Nelson Warfield, has a well-documented history of gay-bashing to advance his candidate’s cause. And in a twist that we ourselves couldn’t make up, gay Republicans, whose existence has indeed been proven, are apparently outing the Perry campaign pollster who called the whole idea “nuts.”

Perry is desperate to prove to Iowa evangelicals that he is one of them, and the ham-fistedness of the ad toward that aim has made it the endless target of parody that will do nothing to halt his downward trajectory. But it did open up a rift within the campaign.

Tony Fabrizio, Perry’s pollster, sent Warfield a message to say that the ad was “nuts”–as anyone who has seen it will attest. Fabrizio has done polling for Log Cabin Republicans, so everyone in the Perry campaign knew he was, shall we say, sympatico. “Tony was against it from the get-go,” Warfield declared. “It was the source of some extended conversation in the campaign. To be very clear: That spot was mine, from writing the poll question to test[ing] it, to drafting the script, to overseeing production.” (Credit duly noted and not to be forgotten.)

[O]kay, some internal squabbling in a failing campaign is good for a short news cycle, but wait!–there’s more. GOProud’s Jimmy LaSalvia blew a less-than-140-character gasket on Twitter, complaining that “I’ve just about had it with faggots who line their pockets with checks from anti-gay homophobes while throwing the rest of us under the bus.” And just in case you were wondering who LaSalvia was talking about, he subsequently tweeted “I was talking about Rick Perry’s pollster/strategist.” . . . Some might wonder why LaSalvia continues to work within a political party that has been running us over with a fleet of buses for, well, decades now.

To recap: we have a homophobic ad from a punch-line candidate that recycles a strategy from a failed campaign and is objected to by a campaign adviser who is subsequently outed by fellow gay Republicans, who calls the fellow enable a “faggot.” We can hardly wait to see what the next news cycle brings.

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