Helping Rick Perry Help Himself

Rick Perry’s recent 30,000 strong prayer meeting was dwarfed by a similar event the same day—seven miles away in Texas, 100,000 people showed up for a free back-to-school event where children got free school supplies, haircuts, uniforms, immunizations, and “three-pound bags of food.”

As a genetic Republican, this gives me odd pain. It’s the same kind of pain I experience every time I realize that people really believe in Jesus and are planning on eternal life with the Lamb of God, who still loves me even though I wander, alone, clad only in my little coat of black wool. Baaa, I bleat sadly. Baaaaaaaa. It’s the pain of someone who was born onto the winning team but couldn’t stick around for a variety of reasons (see my upcoming memoir for more info). I’m like Fox Mulder, religiously and politically: I Want to Believe. But I just can’t. And I know my new team just isn’t cutting it. Anyway. Gaffes such as these also remind me that my brainpower is not working for the winners, either. Well, guess what? I’m giving away some tips to you, Governor Perry, because 30,000 is peanuts when you’re looking at 100K in humans, with more chomping at the bit.

Rick, here’s a tip for bigger future rallies, so you don’t get shown up by the so-called “Houston Independent School District” and their taxpayer-funded handouts. It’s called bait and switch, amigo. It’s like when you show up at a soup kitchen and have to sit through an AA meeting just to get your grub on. You need to get corporate sponsors, natch. Then you announce it: Governor Perry’s Free McDonald’s Lunch and Prayer Meeting, perhaps. “Come for a McDLT but stay for the prayers.” Once they get in the stadium, no one leaves until all the prayin’ is done. “It’s OK to pray with your mouth full.” Are you seeing it?

Furthermore, Gipperites, the bait-and-switch rally could be used for a variety of causes. Free Playtex Tampons/Pro-Conception Rally. Free Complementary Replacement of Gold Fillings/No-Swearing Rally. Free Charmin Toilet Paper/Pro Forest Management Rally. Free Aladdin Kerosene Lamps/Pro ANWR Drilling and/or Whaling Rally. And so forth. I got a million where those came from. Republicans: I hate to say it, but if you all need me, just call. I don’t know why, but I’m here for you.

Mary Valle lives in Baltimore and is the author of Cancer Doesn't Give a Shit About Your Stupid Attitude: Reflections on Cancer and Catholicism. She blogs on KtB as The Communicant. For more Mary, check out her blog or follow her on Twitter.