Tuesday, August 16, 2011


At National Review Online, Rich Lowry explains that you'd better like Rick Perry, dammit, because if you don't, you're guilty of a hate crime:

Let the Perry Hatred Begin

Texas governor Rick Perry is about to stride purposefully through every cultural tripwire in the country.

He may not become as despised as Sarah Palin, but that's because he'll never be a pro-life woman -- the accelerant for the conflagration of Palin-hatred. The disdain for Perry won't burn as hot, but it'll burn just as true. He’ll become a byword for Red State simplemindedness in the
New York Times and an object of derision for self-appointed cultural sophisticates everywhere.

You could be mistaken for thinking that Perry set out from his infancy to trample on certain eastern sensibilities. Born in nowheresville Texas to a family of cotton farmers. An Eagle Scout. Attendance at Texas A&M, where he was a "yell leader" -- basically a male cheerleader -- and in ROTC. After earning a degree in animal science and serving in the Air Force, he entered politics and eventually ascended to the governorship in the wake of another hated Texan -- George W. Bush.

... Perry is a great partisan of Texas and has mused about its leaving the union. He's an evangelical Christian who unembarrassedly prays in public and for his state. He's a tea partier who extols the Constitution and seeks a drastically limited federal government. He's a law-and-order conservative in a state that still executes people.

It'd be almost impossible to come up with a background and cluster of affiliations so provocative. Texas has all the negative charge for liberals that Massachusetts does for conservatives....

So, um, does that mean right-wing hatred of the Bay State -- where I was born and raised -- is also a hate crime?

Oh, that can't possibly be true. Only liberals are hatemongers, after all. Proof of our narrow-mindedness: we'd never vote for someone from "a state that still executes people," would we? And we're such haters that we hate people who hate America enough to want to secede from it! Clearly, we hate those America-haters because we hate America!

But our hateful hate isn't just hate-filled; it's politically dangerous:

The cultural static around Perry could well distract from his core economic message. He'd do well, as he began to do in his announcement speech, to cast his personal story and his state in terms of aspiration. Rural life, the Scouts, the military, and his faith inculcated in him the virtues necessary for success, and he lived in a state wide open and free enough for him to rise.

Yes, because, if you're poor and not connected, you can't possibly rise unless you live in a state that's culturally conservative and right-wing and free. Why, look at Barack Obama -- he grew up a nobody, too, but he did it in liberal Hawaii, and as a result his ambitions were thwarted. He'll never amount to anything!

Perry will be branded as a backward, dimwitted, heartless neo-Confederate. A walking, talking threat to the separation of church and state who doesn't realize people like him were supposed to slink away after the Scopes trial nearly 90 years ago.

Oh, those liberal pro-Bill of Rights, pro-objective-science bigots. They're the worst kind.

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