Nobody is better at dogwhistling than Republicans. When Newt Gingrich calls Barack Obama "The Food Stamp King", it's clear what word he wants to use. When Sarah Palin puts targets on a map to denote elected Democrats, it's clear what she's saying. Republicans know how to send signals to their followers that give them what they want.
So it makes us wonder exactly what Rick Perry is saying in his recent anti-gay ad:
I mean, there's Rick Perry...with his great hair intact, walking up a mountain...wearing Heath Ledger's jacket....
OK, it's not EXACTLY the same:
Perry's jacket has seaming across the upper chest and Ledger's doesn't. Ledger's jacket has flap pockets, Perry's has just patch pockets. Ledger's is probably vintage from the time period portrayed in the movie, and Perry's is your standard garden-variety Carhartt Sandstone Thermal Jac. And Carhartt uses similar "cowboy" imagery to sell its products:
And maybe the people Rick Perry is trying to reach won't make the connection, because they too wear Carhartt jackets. Maybe it's just that weird Republican cowboy drag thing that Texan men do to try to demonstrate that they are manly-men. But when you're Rick Perry, and gay rumors have been swirling around you for years, and this particular jacket also comes in Moss, Midnight, and a lovely chocolate brown, you'd think someone on Perry's staff would have made the connection.
Unless it isn't evangelicals to whom Perry is really dogwhistling.
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