Rick Perry: Gay, Gay, Gay

The blowback from the hate-filled ad targeting Iowa’s Christian bigot voters that Rick Perry released this week has been pretty hilarious.

photos-rick-perry-teletubby-brokebackIt has spawned all sorts of parodies, including the video above, as well as a Tumblr site and a series of Photoshop jobs in which gay icons like Tinky Winky, the late Rev. Jerry Falwell’s favorite Teletubby, are superimposed behind Perry.

And speaking of gay icons, here is a Dept. of There Are No Accidents alert: In the ad, Perry is costumed in a jacket just like the one worn by Heath Ledger in “Brokeback Mountain.”

But the blowback hasn’t been all fun and games for Rick Perry. On Wednesday, Tony Fabrizio, team Perry’s pollster and strategist, was outed on Twitter — “twouted?” — by Jimmy LaSalvia and Chris Barron, prominent members of GOProud, a Stockholm-syndrome support group for gay Republicans:

JimmyLaSalvia: 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.

A little later, LaSalvia clarified which “faggot” he was referring to:

JimmyLaSalvia: I was talking about Rick Perry’s pollster/strategist.

ChrisRBarron: Rick Perry’s pollster & strategist is a gay guy. Totally disgusting.

Fabrizo, the strategist and pollster, claims he tried to stop the ad, says he warned his colleagues on the Perry campaign that releasing it was “nuts.”

Now we know why.

So why would Perry release an ad in which he’s shown wearing a Brokeback jacket strolling through a forest glen as he trashes gays who are serving in the military?

Perry is polling in single digits both nationally and in the early voting states, including Iowa, and pundits in the Beltway and elsewhere have speculated that the ad was intended as a desperate, “hail Mary” pass to get the attention of homo-bigot caucus-goers in Iowa.

That makes sense, except that Perry is not the only proud anti-gay bigot in the GOP race. Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum are also polling in single digits in Iowa and elsewhere, and both have made denigrating gay people key issues in their campaigns, but neither of them have chosen to produce ads in which they disparage gays serving in the U.S. military.

But Rick Perry did make that choice. Why? Maybe it has something to do with what I am now officially dubbing as the “Marcus Bachmann rule”: Heterosexuals who are secure about their own sexuality are not obsessed with homosexuality. Normal, well-adjusted straight people don’t feel the need to hate on gays.

This is a dicey area for Perry. Since at least 2004, he has been dogged by rumors that he is closeted. The rumors have become so pervasive that for years now when you type Rick Perry’s name into Google, Google returns “Rick Perry gay” as its top autofill.

That said, the rumors are unsubstantiated and, if memory serves, Perry and his wife Anita publicly denied them way back when.

Every reference to an unfounded rumor perpetuates the rumor, of course — and rumor-mongering is disgraceful, at best.

But then how should we describe Perry’s attack on patriotic U.S. Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force personnel who volunteered to put their lives on the line and who, as it happens, are gay?


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