Rick Perry’s political campaign may be ending as ineptly as it began. Some of his staff is apparently in revolt over his recent antigay turn, which has included an ad attacking openly gay soldiers. According to The Huffington Post, Perry’s top pollster, Tony Fabrizio, sent the ad’s creator an email calling it “nuts.” Perry’s socially conservative turn has apparently come at the urging of the ad’s creator, longtime GOP operative Nelson Warfield.
With the collapse of Herman Cain’s campaign, Tea Party conservatives who do not want an establishment narcissist committed to the perpetuation of the status quo and his own bank account must now do their own “reassessment” of candidates previously rejected.
This new ad from Rick Perry effectively derails any hope I had that perhaps the Texas governor could rise again. (And he was the candidate I was drifting back toward supporting.)
This has nothing to do with my disagreement with Perry’s anti-gay views. None of the candidates share the pro-gay cultural sensibilities of Gen Y and Gen X conservatives and even if one did then it would not matter. How a candidate handles the disassembly of the welfare state and the defeat of the Islamist threat — not to even begin getting into questions of temperament and campaign strategy — are much more important than whether their religion teaches them that same-sex relationships are sinful.
To beat Obama in 2012 a candidate must understand he is running in 2012, not 2004 or 2006. This commercial is only more evidence that Team Perry does not grasp today’s political culture and has no way to chart a path to victory. Say what you will about the immorality of Alinskyite political strategy, at least the community organizing Marxists know how to de-emphasize divisive social issues to unify constituents around economic populism.