Rick Perry has rolled out the bedrock Republican base catnip — gay bashing — in an attempt to get back into the presidential race. It’s the crack cocaine of the Iowa caucuses. The Family Council fundies propelled the Huckster in 2007, ousted stellar Iowa Supreme Court judges over gay marriage and otherwise demonstrate that fear and loathing is still a family value in certain circles in Iowa. Perry also has worked in a little of the war-on-Christmas message into his TV ads decrying gays in the military as part of a liberal attack on religion.
It gets worse. Much worse. Perry and other Republicans are also blasting the Obama administration for Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s impassioned speech to a UN council that the U.S. would fight discrimination against gay people around the world. She was echoing an earlier Obama speech that promised U.S. support for a broad range of people — not just gays, but religious minorities, children and more.
Calling them an “invisible minority,” she said that LGBT people “are arrested, beaten, terrorized — even executed. Many are treated with contempt and violence by their fellow citizens while authorities empowered to protect them look the other way or, too often, even join in the abuse.”
But, said Perry, promoting human rights for gay people “is not in America’s interest…”
Only in the Republican Party can a vow to oppose violence against, even execution of, a sexual minority be construed as anti-American. Perry, of course, has never backed away from his belief that homosexuality should be a crime in the U.S. I don’t know if he’s been asked about the support in Africa and some Muslim communities for execution of homosexuals. Criminalization of homosexuality and the extent of punishment seem like fair questions, too, for the Christian evangelist and Arkansas Sen. Jason Rapert, who’s focusing on social issues such as gay-bashing and further restriction of women’s constitutional right to abortion (including morning-after pills) in his campaign to defeat Rep. Linda Tyler for a Senate seat. He chimed in on Twitter last night in support of the new Republican trope that the U.S. should stand silent about brutalization of an oppressed sexual minority:
@BBCWorld: US to support gay rights abroad … I am sure this will create some new jobs….Obama’s bunch has to go.
I dunno. My Bible doesn’t include job creation in Moses’ Top 10, but I think it did say something about killing. And I don’t think Moses included a gay people’s exception for Uganda.
Talking Points Memo suggests polling indicates gay bashing isn’t hot with voters. I wouldn’t overestimate Republican primary voters, particularly in Iowa.