Understanding the peculiar loathesomeness of Rick Perry's "Strong"

If you watched Rick Perry's viral campaign video Strong, perhaps you were struck with by how it seemed a little off (and no, I don't mean the fact that a blowdried asshole like Perry recorded a video of himself conducting a homophobic rant while wearing the gay cowboy costume from Brokeback Mountain). No, it was something more sinister and weirder. Something about a rant that goes, "$INFERIOR_HATED_MINORITY has infiltrated our soldiery, and what's more, our educational institutions have prohibited $DOCTRINE_THAT_WE_EMBRACE from being taught to children at government expense."

If, like me, you struggled for an apt comparison, perhaps you, like me, will discover what you seek in this simple bit of netmemery. Maybe this explains how Mr Perry came to produce YouTube's most hated video.

Vote for Lord Perrymort 2012!



  1. I particularly like the code-switching, the language twisting.  “Religious heritage” is a much nicer buzz-term for him than “religious freedom” because he’s not for freedom at all; he’s just for a state religion.  & really, when has a government led by religious inquisition ever gone wrong?

    1. nitpicking: “code-switching” is when you switch between your two mother tongues, I think you mean “doublespeak”. I doubt very much Rick Perry would approve of bilingualism (a word with both bi- and -lingu has gotta be blasphemous!)

  2. The whole point of the ad was to change the discussion from national issues that he couldn’t compete against his fellow candidates, to a wedge issue he can compete on. Giving him more press on the topic exacerbates the problem, you’re not helping it. If we had gone an entire presidential election without gay marriage being a wedge issue, the whole country would have moved forward about a decade in the gay rights agenda.

    That’s the story here. Quit buying in to his strategy.

    1. Wrong. Candidates can’t “compete” on same-sex marriage or LGBTs serving in the military, any more than they can compete on the so-called War on Christmas; plenty have tried this cycle, and they’ve failed. There’s no reason not to make an example of Perry when he tries this sort of desperate dog-whistling. Silence = assent.

      1. So the ad, written by a campaign strategist and paid for by his campaign manager – none of them predicted any sort of outrage, or that this kind of notoriety would raise his profile amid flagging poll numbers? This was just a fluke mistake written on a whim and recorded in HD after a near media blackout from Perry? I feel like liberal blogs even commenting on this non-story is having a sort of reverse-Streisand effect on his polling numbers.

        I agree that you should call out bad politicians like Santorum and Bachmann at every opportunity, but really you ought to pick and choose your battles. Perry has no personal or career stake in the anti-gay agenda, this would have been a non-event and kept the national dialog on track had he not made a spectacle of himself for a brief momentary gain. A complete media blackout on Perry’s mysterious detour in to anti-gay campaigning would harm him far more than highlighting it.

        1. It’s a little early to declare that the “national dialog” has gone off track. Come back tomorrow, when Perry will have blown away once again on the foetid wind that brought him.

          As far as that goes, though, the impact I’m seeing on the national dialog is a mainstream backlash against gay-bashing, which I’m going to have to argue is a *good* thing. To me, this is what a step forward looks like.

        2. Hanlon’s razor, anyone? And whatever dead-cat bounce Perry might get from the whackaloons and homophobes rallying to him won’t be very high, at all; look at how much the backlash against Herman Cain’s accusers helped him in the long run. 

  3. I can’t hate Rick Perry, just because I have a hard time seeing him as a real person. He’s like an especially lazy depiction of “stereotypical Republican” on The West Wing.

  4. You just have to understand the human ego. Give a person a drop of that massive ego fulfillment of fame – those three weeks where he was top dog, the next prez, all over TV and in front of huge crowds…and then take it away? That’s cruel, there. It will make an ego slither like a salamander.

    The ego just likes attention – be it good or bad. Release an ad that will make him an absolute pariah to 95% of Americans, and a hero to the other zealot 5% who complain that he has been victimized by the liberal hordes..and you know what the result is? He’s back in the spotlight, people are at least paying attention to him again..for a bit.

    Thus the inevitable, where he slinks off to a life of a loser failed candidate, maybe writes some shit memoirs and goes hunting, is pushed off by another few weeks.

  5. The scarier thing is that the right-wingers who *don’t* come right out with these absurdities will soon be in the spotlight, while in the shadows the same dark forces are at play to shape their agendas.  At least with VoldeRick, he dishes his blasphemy at unintelligible face value.  It’s the unspoken that scares me most, because that is what trickles down through the ranks to oppress the populace.  /rant

  6. I think I found the problem.  

    Using variables like $INFERIOR_HATED_MINORITY and $DOCTRINE_THAT_WE_EMBRACE makes it impossible to ascertain whether Perry is writing perl or bash scripts.

    I’m withholding judgement until I know one way or the other.

    1. It has to be bash, but in the crippleware born-again variant rather than the fully-functional Bourne again version used by all right thinking people.

      If he were in Perl, no one would use his PPM module.

    1. I have no doubt that there’s an enchanted blowdryer squirreled away in a cave somewhere in the heart of Texas.

  7. I agree that Perry’s ad is bigoted nonsense, but his complaint was that children weren’t allowed to pray in school, not that they ought to be getting religious education at state expense.

    1. But children ARE allowed to pray in school….at any school in the country, public or private.

      They’re just not allowed to force everyone else in the room to stop what they’re doing and participate as well.

      1. Right. Anyone who thinks that there isn’t prayer in school hasn’t had to take a test for a very long time. 

    2. I am a substitute teacher in OK public schools. Every single day during announcements, the students are required, in middle and high school, to have a minute of silence “to reflect, meditate, or pray.” That is what the administrator announces every morning. Not only are they not disallowed prayer, they are encouraged and have a specified time to do so (or not, if they wish). They just aren’t allowed to pray in any institutional, forced way. This stupid, conservative red herring is a blatant lie.

      Also:  guess how many kids I have ever seen praying, even here in the Bible Belt. 

    3. They are allowed to pray. Individuals can pray whenever they want and frequently do. What can’t happen is government sponsored prayer. That means for example that teachers can’t lead students in prayer and schedule time for prayer (although some states have gotten around that by having mandatory moments of reflection which pretty clearly are for praying). To a large part of the right-wing Christians, not having their version mandated is apparently the same as having it outlawed. 

  8. Ah, comparing someone to Voldemort. A sneaky way to compare them to Hitler without invoking Godwin’s Law.

  9. Perry’s vid is the #3 most disliked on YouTube. Rebecca Black’s”friday” was removed when it had over 1 million dislikes (wikipedia says 3 million) and there also Justin Bieber – Baby ft. Ludacris (2,066,341)

  10. Can we send Perry a message by filing a complaint with YouTube that the video qualifies as hate speech? Cause I did and encourage others to do so as well.

    1. No. Encouraging censorship is not a good thing. In fact this is a really good example of why free speech is important- it helps make assholes like Perry easily identifiable. 

      1. This. In fact, those 450,000 dislikes (as of 1:30 central time, dec. 9th) are a good counterpoint to his campaign, and we got them for free.

  11. The key words in Perry’s ad: “As president I…” Not even J.K. Rowling could write a fantasy that big.

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