Monday, December 12, 2011

Media Matters on Perry Ad as Dog Whistle to Religious Right

For those following the fallout from Rick Perry's recent ad declaring himself piusissimus inter paresMedia Matters has gathered a good collection of statements characterizing the ad as a "dog whistle."  Specifically, it's a dog whistle to the religious-right base of the Republican party, which seeks to smear Mr. Obama and the Democrats as lacking in faith.  And, in what has become time-honored GOP fashion, it uses gays as convenient footballs to kick about as it blows the whistle.

As the Media Matters page developing these themes notes, it's building on Maggie Haberman's analysis at Politico last week.  Haberman writes that the ad is "one of the most audible dog whistles so far this cycle about President Obama."  And so naturally Fox news is doing all in its power to amplify the dog whistle, since, as Allesandra Stanley noted this weekend, Fox now practically owns and operates the Republican primaries.

And this Democrats-hate-God dog whistle is also right out of the playbook of Glen Beck, who's been harping for over a year now on the theme that President Obama hates Jesus.

Will it work?  The Perry ad has been mercilessly lampooned all over the internet and on television.  But the thing is, the people whom this dog whistle is designed to summon aren't particularly influenced by the critiques of anyone outside their tightly constructed bastions of belief.  In fact, the more "liberals" mock, the more determined the true believers become to show them who's boss in the next voting sessions.

I seriously doubt that Perry will survive the skewering that's now taking place in the wake of his ad.  But he had already weakened himself considerably with one Texas-sized boot  after another in his mouth (all containing his own feet) prior to the ad.  

The person who stands to benefit most from the determination of true believers to vote the antichrist out of the White House is Mr. Gingrich.  Whom even "liberal" Democratic Catholic centrists keep aiding and abetting, by declaring his religious views off-limits while they demand that Mr. Obama prove that he and the Democrats really do believe in God.  Over and over and over again: never-ending demands for proof that are ultimately designed to permit the Republicans to continue posturing as God's chosen party, despite any proof to the contrary suggesting that the Republican party doesn't have the slightest intention of promoting values consonant with those of any faith communities beyond ones that have capitulated to the worldview of a ruthless, unbridled capitalism.  

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