Rick Perry’s ad in Iowa strikes me as more odd than offensive.
Perry laments that there is “something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school.” Yet it is worth pointing out that gays and lesbians have been able to serve openly in our armed forces for less than three months. However, the restriction of school prayer isn’t exactly a new development. Indeed, it has been nearly fifty years since the Supreme Court ruled that school prayer was unconstitutional.
Although Ronald Reagan favored school prayer he did not have the authority to issue an executive order to nor did he pursue a constitutional amendment to restore it. If Perry were elected President, he would be in exactly the same position as Reagan on this matter. While Perry might not be in a postion to restore school prayer, he would be in a position as Commander-in-Chief of our Armed Forces to restore “don’t ask, don’t tell.” But as Robert Stacy McCain points out he doesn’t intend to do that. The fact he isn’t planning to restore “don’t ask, don’t tell” makes his ad seem rather disingenuous.
However, if Perry exceeds expectations in the ABC News debate tomorrow night and the Fox News debate next Thursday (both of which are in Iowa) and if liberals persist with their visceral reaction against the ad then this Hail Mary could pay dividends. But as of this moment the Hail Mary pass is still very much up in the air.