Digby is skeptical about Karl Rove all of a sudden singing "Kumbaya", going on Fox News and denouncing the Christian right, saying we're not a "Christian nation", because we're a nation that has Jews, Muslims, and non-believers (and others, I'll add). Digby's take is that Rove is being a pure anti-Perry political operative:
I'm not saying that, by the way, because Mormonism is "weird" or that it's not Christian. I'm saying it because Rove is indirectly appealing to Republicans who are not members of the Christian Right Tea Party to come out and vote for the one guy who isn't speaking in tongues on the campaign trail. Rove would not say this out of turn.
I'm also guessing that there's quite a bit of bad Texas blood at play here between the Bushes and Rick Perry. (He went after Perry for his remark about Bernanke and he could have easily swept it under the rug.)
I think that's an accurate guess. Perry takes constant potshots at Bush, often in terms that aren't necessarily that obvious to people who don't speak "resentful conservative" or Texan. If you're from Texas, it really adds a layer to this sniping of Perry's:
Rick Perry on how he is different from former President Bush, a fellow Texan: "You know, they’re not all carbon copies in Texas. I tell people – I say one of the quick you can tell the difference is that he’s a Yale graduate; I’m a Texas A&M graduate.
On the Slate political podcast, Perry was described as going to a "land grant university", which really undersells how extremely redneck A&M is. Let me put it this way: in Austin, it's occasional said that you spot Aggies visiting from out of town because they have jaw problems that lead them to catch flies. Perry might as well have said that Bush isn't a real Texan, since that's the implication here.
Anyway, Karl Rove is an atheist, so maybe he's actually speaking for himself for once. But he's the one who really pumped up the religious right in order to get votes for Bush, and so this is the bed he's made, and he should sleep in it.