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Perry’s Sex-Ed Shuffle

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I think I agree with Paul’s interpretation of the clip of Perry babbling nonsense about sex ed. While I agree in general that Perry isn’t very bright, I think in this case the bobbing and weaving isn’t a sign of stupidity so much as that when it comes to winger support for abstinence-only eduction empirical evidence is beside the point. There’s no way he can answer the question given his political commitments.

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  • nolo

    I agree. When he repeats “abstinence works,” he’s not talking about abstinence education programs. He’s just repeating the abstinence talking point, which is that abstinence will keep you from acquiring stds and will prevent pregnancy. Which is true, but irrelevant to the question of whether abstinence-only education programs are effective in preventing the spread of stds and unwanted pregnancy.

    • ajay

      abstinence will keep you from acquiring stds and will prevent pregnancy. Which is true

      Except for: STDs contracted via other transmission routes, rape.

      • Hogan

        For the abstinence-only people, I’m sure it includes abstaining from being raped.

        • Malaclypse

          I heard only sluts get raped.

          • arthur

            Whether a slut or not, someone who is raped is not abstinent. Abstinence has a 100% success rate for pregnancy.

            • ema

              No, perfect use of abstinence has 100% success rate. The effectiveness for the typical use of the method is unknown.

        • Stitch

          For the abstinence-only people, I’m sure it includes abstaining from being raped.

          Or from being married to anyone who fools around on you.

  • pj

    Rope-a-dope till the SC primary should prove difficult even for this dope.

  • c u n d gulag

    I wonder how much abstinance was going on in the porn film industry that Perry invested in?

    http://lafiga.firedoglake.com/2011/08/17/rick-perry-porn-monger-for-president/

    Such epic abstinance classics like:

    “Teens with Tits Vol. 1, Teen Power Vol. 4, Teens Never Say No, Big Tit Brotha Lovers 6, Bisexual Barebacking Vol. 1…”

    Hmmm… “Bisexual Barebacking” Rick? Really?

    *Ok, it was actually a video rental company, but why spoil a good story with facts?
    Conservatives never do!

    • Bill Murray

      No Bukkake, No cry

    • Malaclypse

      the porn film industry

      That’s the masturbation-is-abstinence industry.

      • timb

        Hell, you know they are against that too, unless it’s to pictures of Maggie Thatcher

    • Ben

      This is preversion. Preverts and their preversion will have no place in Perry’s America.

  • Jack

    Abstinance does work, Rick Perry hasn’t had any kids lately has he? Unfortunately plenty of teenagers in Texas appear to be getting laid (unlike Rick); they are getting pregnant, too. (at least the women are). There’s nothing wrong with the morals there, what is wrong is that telling kids the facts – if you don’t have sex you don’t get pregnant (quite true) doesn’t keep kids from having sex.

    • pete

      Perry rather famously had a vasectomy.

      • NonyNony

        Also there are those rumors that Perry’s preferred acts of recreational sex have a zero percent chance of resulting in pregnancy anyway.

      • cer

        In fairness, it sounds like he just got the vasectomy as a two-fer with his lobotomy.

  • c u n d gulag

    God, if you watch that clip you see the very worst of Little Boots in Perry.

    The little smirk, the swagger, the sheer idiocy, the faith, the bullshit, that little Texas tough-guy cowboy lisp.

    And my favorite line was ‘that he could attest that abstinance works.’

    Really, Governor?
    Than why did your father-in-law have to give you a vasectomy?

    BTW – I wonder Freud would have called a father-in-law clipping his son-in-laws cojone’s tubes?

    OMG, can you imagine how much he’d like to have Perry, his wife, and her parents on the couch? One at a time, I mean…

    This is somewhere beyond even Oedipus and Electra…

    • efgoldman

      This is somewhere beyond even Oedipus and Electra…

      Win!

  • Charlie Sweatpants

    As Paul Waldman says at the link, the difference is between practical (a/k/a reality-based) considerations and moral (a/k/a faith-based) considerations. This is every issue – including sex-ed – from 2001-2009 in a nutshell, and it all amounts to a lot of talking past one another.

    On the bright side, Scott’s right when he says, “There’s no way he can answer the question given his political commitments.” Perry’s stammering is indicative of the fact that the reality-based community holds the actual moral high ground here. It’s not acceptable in polite society any longer to simply say that pregnancy, gonorrhea and the like are appropriate earthly punishments for the sin of premarital humping. Once you’ve conceded that point (and refusing to make it openly amounts to such a concession), you’re left with repeating “abstinence works” over and over again as a dog whistle to those who already agree with you.

    Out of curiosity, does anyone know when this interview took place? Perry was clearly governor, but the linked YouTube video only went up a couple of days ago and it looks to be at least a couple of years old. If we could get some national reports to put him in similar spots it could get him branded, Bachmann like, as “crazy” pretty fast.

  • What we have here is a problem of interpretation familiar to anthropologists. Perry is operating in a mental universe unfamiliar to us, just as we operate with a perspective that is equally alien to him and the large part of the population that thinks as he does. Although it’s hard to understand where he’s coming from in his attitude towards abstinence, it is relatively easy to see that his outlook on this one issue is congruent with the cultural conservatism outlook on many other issues. Just as it really doesn’t matter to him that abstinence education doesn’t work, it really doesn’t matter to right to lifers that outlawing abortions won’t necessarily result in fewer abortions and it doesn’t matter to drug prohibitionists that the drug war doesn’t lessen drug use. The universe of meanings and the universe of facts are distinct. Indeed, it sometimes seems that they hardly have any overlap at all.

  • greylocks

    Are any conservative positions defensible on any grounds other than moral conviction and blind belief?

    Nothing new here.

    • Hogan

      Actually some of them are grounded on “I want the bear patrol but I don’t want to pay the bear tax.”

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