Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Megyn Kelly and More of This Week’s Annoying News

How can there be so many screw-ups in just seven short days?

Those rapscallion Republicans provided an abundance of screw-ups over the past week, each worthy of critical demolition. In the spirit of the holidays, I am happy to give rather than to receive.

Tops on the list has to be Rick Perry’s homophobic campaign spot, which  began airing in Iowa on Dec. 7. (Pearl Harbor Day–nice touch for an ad that trashes gay soldiers.)

Says Perry in the spot: “You don’t need to be in the pews every Sunday to know there’s 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.”

Perry’s own top pollster, Tony Fabrizio, called it “nuts.” I call it loathsome, hateful and supremely ignorant. Despite Perry’s frequent references to his Christianity, Jesus Christ most certainly would not have approved this message.

The Texas governor’s epic fail triggered backlash from some unlikely sources, including a group of gay conservatives and the New Yorker’s music critic.

Several members of GOProud outed Fabrizio. The New Yorker’s Alex Ross noted the similarity between the ad’s background music and “Appalachian Spring,” by legendary (gay) composer Aaron Copland. Jay Leno claimed that Perry’s jacket was identical to that worn by Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain. (Not true, but similar.)

To me, most distasteful was Perry’s attempt to create a moral equivalency between gay soldiers, some of whom have and will die in combat; and kids celebrating Christmas in school. It was scabrously offensive, not to mention a logical fallacy.

In Perry’s world, gay-and-lesbian soldiers would be barred from burial in Arlington Cemetery. He would have them interred in the secret nation of Solynda.

Close runnerup on my list: Mitt Romney’s $10,000 bet to Perry (who else?) during Saturday’s presidential debate in Iowa.

Fed up with Perry’s claims that Romney, in his book, No Apology, supported individual mandates for health care, Romney challenged his opponent to a $10,000 bet. Perry said he wasn’t “in the betting business.” (Maybe he couldn’t count that high.)

Betting is bad juju for Mormons. It is “spiritually destructive,” according to the Latter Day Saints website, and “undermines the virtues of work and thrift and the desire to give honest effort in all we do.”

Though Romney yesterday said the bet was simply an “outrageous” figure he came up with to counter Perry’s “outrageous” accusations, the image remains. Only a very rich person makes a $10,000 bet. I’m sure that played well with the 13.3 million unemployed Americans.

Finally, there was Sunday’s New York Times spread in the Style section on Fox’s Megyn Kelly, whom was labeled emblematic of a new generation of TV anchors successfully balancing career and motherhood.

Yes, I know this isn’t about the GOP candidates, but it annoyed me so much I had to comment.

Motherhood and career–isn’t that amazing! This “gee whiz” approach may have been appropriate decades ago, but it’s long past its expiration date.

Of course, Kelley and the others mentioned—MSNBC’s Mike Brzezinski, CBS’s Erica Hill and CNN’s Soledad O’Brien–can afford plenty of help. That makes a slight difference.

What is shocking, however, is that in 2011 Kelly would have to defend her maternity leave, especially to an idiot male radio host. The more things change …