A snip from The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdoft pushing back on the tendency of conservatives to play the victim while their candidates tend to antagonize the other side much more than liberal candidates do.
If liberals start mocking his rural Texas roots in 2012, I’ll publicly say that they’re wrong to do so. Our politics shouldn’t be about cultural cues and identity politics. But any insults will come two years after Perry, in his 2010 book, pointedly mocked residents of California and Massachusetts for their cultures and values. It is too much for Perry or his sympathizers in conservative media to now come along and cast themselves as victims, or even to suggest, as Lowry does, that it is Perry’s identity, rather than deliberately combative constructs, that makes him controversial.
He knows exactly what he is doing, every time he plays up his drawl, goes on about the superiority of Texas, mocks a blue state, holds a politically timed prayer rally, or regales reporters about the laser sighted pistol he carries while jogging. It’s all a transparently calculated show that is best ignored, and insofar as it disadvantages the right in a way that has nothing to do with substance, it is only because so many conservative voters demand, as a condition of their support, candidates who go out of their way to antagonize non-conservatives.