November 2011

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Leftovers

  • It is that time of year again when Faith and Action and The Christian Defense Coalition put on their "live nativity scene" in front of the Supreme Court.
  • I love how all of the "pundits" that Gary Glenn decries for saying America is in decline in his new commercial are conservatives.
  • Harry Jackson seems to have grand plans for his new E Pluribus Unum effort, even if it is totally unclear what the organization will actually do.
  • Finally, the quote of the day from Al Mohler on the idea that allegations that Herman Cain engaged in a decade-long extra-marital affair shouldn't matter: "That is an argument of desperation, and it will not work. It combines moral nonsense with political stupidity."

Part IV: The Right Wing Playbook On Occupy Wall Street

This is the fourth part of our five-part series on right-wing attacks against Occupy Wall Street.

After pillorying activists in Occupy Wall Street as violent Communist bums, the Radical Right resorts to calling Occupy supporters anti-Semites.

Strategy Four: Smear Occupy Wall Street As Anti-Semitic

One of the biggest smears of the Occupy Wall Street movement has been the claim that the activists are anti-Semites motivated by a hatred of Jews. Conservative groups such as the Emergency Committee for Israel have played and replayed footage of a few people who attended one rally making anti-Semitic remarks, and claimed that the despicable comments of a handful of protestors speak for the whole movement.

Michelle Goldberg writes in Tablet that these claims of anti-Semitism are “dishonest and deceptive” and are an attempt to use the words of a few fringe protestors to cast aspersions on a burgeoning and diverse movement: “There are a few Jew-baiters at Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan, though they are marginal, particularly compared to the large numbers of Jewish activists taking part. Yet the leaderless, diffuse nature of the movement, in some ways its greatest strength, also makes it hard to police bigots, bullies, and cranks.”

In fact, around 700 people participated in a Kol Nidre service across from Zuccotti Park to mark Yom Kippur, which the editor of The Jewish Daily Forward called “a sign of arrival for Jews and a return to the historic place that religion played in the public face of progressive activism.”

While the Anti-Defamation League notes that “anti-Semitism has not gained traction more broadly with the protestors, nor is it representative of the larger movement at this time,” the right-wing noise machine is trying to smear the economic justice movement as anti-Semitic.

The communications director of the Republican National Committee said Democrats who expressed their sympathies with the movement effectively endorsed people “spewing hate against Jewish Americans” and their “extreme anti-Semitic, anti-Israel comments.”

The Emergency Committee for Israel, a right-wing outfit led by conservative leaders Bill Kristol and Gary Bauer that ran ads exclusively against Democratic candidates in the last election cycle, released an ad depicting Occupy protests as drenched in anti-Semitism. The group’s focus on Occupy Wall Street may be related to the fact that two-thirds of the group’s political action committee contributions came from just one hedge fund CEO.

Brent Bozell, the head of the right-wing Media Research Center, sent a letter to major news outlets demanding that they begin “reporting documented evidence of anti-Semitism coming from the OWS crowd,” and Rush Limbaugh even argued that the “We Are The 99%” message is covertly anti-Semitic:

Now, some people think the 99%'s also the 99 weeks of unemployment compensation because that group also calls themselves the 99ers, but the 99% versus the 1% is another angle that the group is talking about here, and Wall Street and bankers, those two terms have been anti-Semitic code for Jews in this country for a long time. Occupier, Occupy Wall Street Now. I've often said, I said last week he who controls the definition of words, the meaning of words, controls the debate. He who controls the language controls the debate. There's a lot of interesting stuff here. Occupy Wall Street Now, 99%, that leaves 1%, roughly the percentage of Jews in the population, too. And Wall Street and bankers have been anti-Semitic code for Jews in this country going back quite a while.

When the chairman of the Michigan-based American Nazi Party released a statement supporting the movement, conservatives claimed that the movement welcomed and championed the Nazi cause. Fox News reported the endorsement as a major story and conservative writers began frequently pointing to the meaningless endorsement to tar the movement as a whole.

“OWS seems to have no problem with Nazis or the Communists,” wrote Tea Party Nation president Judson Phillips. “OWS supports forms of totalitarianism that directly killed about 250 million people in the last century and enslaved billions in poverty and tyranny.” Bryan Fischer, a spokesman for the American Family Association, said that there is “a lot of anti-Semitism at this Occupy Wall Street movement” and tried to link President Obama, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who is Jewish, to the Nazis: “The American Nazi Party now has joined Barack Obama, the American Nazi Party now has joined Nancy Pelosi, the American Nazi Party now has joined Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the head of the Democratic Party, to officially endorse the Occupy Wall Street movement.”

Santorum Calls For Public Schools To Undermine The Teaching Of Evolution

During a meeting with the editorial board of the Nashua Telegraph, Rick Santorum urged public schools to begin teaching claims that undermine evolution, no matter their scientific veracity. He blamed “the left and the scientific community, so to speak,” for the inability of schools to teach about the role of God or a Creator, and said that “maybe the science points to the fact that maybe science doesn’t explain all these things.”

Such attacks on the teaching of evolution are nothing new from Santorum, who attached language in the Conference Report of the No Child Left Behind Act that says a “quality science education” include topics that challenge biological evolution as part of his “teaching the controversy” campaign. He also endorsed the Dover, Pennsylvania school district’s requirement that teachers offer textbooks on “Intelligent Design,” which was developed by proponents of Creationism, and the teaching of “Intelligent Design” was declared unconstitutional in Kitzmiller v. Dover. In fact, the “teach the controversy” approach originates from the anti-evolution Discovery Institute, and the National Center for Science Education points out that evolution “is not scientifically controversial, nor are resources for each side of comparable quality – evidence for evolution comes from peer-reviewed literature whereas evidence against evolution is built on flawed assumptions and popularized misconceptions.”


Santorum: There are many on the left and in the scientific community, so to speak, who are afraid of that discussion because oh my goodness you might mention the word, God-forbid, “God” in the classroom, or “Creator,” or that there may be some things that are inexplainable by nature where there may be, where it’s better explained by a Creator, of course we can’t have that discussion. It’s very interesting that you have a situation that science will only allow things in the classroom that are consistent with a non-Creator idea of how we got here, as if somehow or another that’s scientific. Well maybe the science points to the fact that maybe science doesn’t explain all these things. And if it does point to that, why don’t you pursue that? But you can’t because it’s not science, but if science is pointing you there how can you say it’s not science? It’s worth the debate.

Land Calls On Gingrich To Apologize For His Multiple Marriages, Seek Forgiveness

Richard Land has penned an open letter to Newt Gingrich, warning him that his personal research reveals that "evangelical women are far less willing to forgive and let bygones be bygones" and won't just ignore his multiple affairs, divorces, and marriages.

As such, Land says Gingrich's only option is to find a "pro-family venue" where he can deliver a public speech where he will confess his sins, seek forgiveness, and assure these women of his respect for marriage: 

Even my own mother, a rock-solid Evangelical, was extremely uncomfortable voting for Sen. John McCain until he acknowledged to Rick Warren that the failure of his first marriage was the greatest regret of his life and it was his fault.

Mr. Speaker, if you want to get large numbers of Evangelicals, particularly women, to vote for you, you must address the issue of your marital past in a way that allays the fears of Evangelical women.

You must address this issue of your marital past directly and transparently and ask folks to forgive you and give you their trust and their vote.

Mr. Speaker, I urge you to pick a pro-family venue and give a speech (not an interview) addressing your martial history once and for all. It should be clear that this speech will be “it” and will not be repeated, only referenced.

As you prepare that speech, you should picture in your mind a 40-something Evangelical married woman whose 40-something sister just had her heart broken by an Evangelical husband who has just filed for divorce, having previously promised in church, before God, his wife and “these assembled witnesses” to “love, honor and cherish until death us do part.”

Focus on her as if she were your only audience. You understand people vote for president differently than they do any other office. It is often more of a courtship than a job interview. I know something of your faith journey over the past 20 years. Do not hesitate to weave that into your speech to the degree that you are comfortable doing so. It will always resonate with Evangelical Christians.

You need to make it as clear as you possibly can that you deeply regret your past actions and that you do understand the anguish and suffering they caused others including your former spouses. Make it as clear as you can that you have apologized for the hurt your actions caused and that you have learned from your past misdeeds. Express your love for, and loyalty to, your wife and your commitment to your marriage. Promise your fellow Americans that if they are generous enough to trust you with the presidency, you will not let them down and that there will be no moral scandals in a Gingrich White House.

Such a speech would not convince everyone to vote for you, but it might surprise you how many Evangelicals, immersed in a spiritual tradition of confession, redemption, forgiveness and second and third chances, might.

Liberty Counsel Censors Its Own Press Release, Finds the Phrase “Same-Sex Marriage” Too Hot to Print

This can’t bode well for Liberty Counsel’s lawsuit against New York’s Marriage Equality Act: the group apparently finds the phrase “same-sex marriage” too steamy to print on its own website. In the headline of a press release today about the New York lawsuit, the group made sure to censor the word “sex” in the phrase “same-sex marriage”:

A look through LC’s press release archives shows that this is not the first time the group has censored the phrase in its own press releases.

Religious Right groups, including Liberty Counsel, routinely struggle with the vocabulary of gay rights, often opting for the liberal use of scare quotes to distance themselves from the ideas of equality. LC’s Matt Barber likes to put “gay,” “rights” and “progressive” in scare quotes, such as when he rants about “the ‘gay’ deathstyle.” The Family Research Council, meanwhile, prefers to put its scare quotes around “marriage” and “wedding.”

Then again, Liberty Counsel’s self-censorship might just be an attempt to get around the tough Internet filters that groups like FRC and Focus on the Family recommend their members use.

Gingrich Tells Religious Right Audience They Must Take Power Back From The "Minority Elite"

Think Progress has posted a video of Newt Gingrich calling on President Obama to "repudiate the concept of the 99 and the 1," saying it is "un-American [and] divisive" and promising that, if he is elected, he will be "president of all the American people, not part of the American people, and I will seek to unify the American people, not to divide them against each other."

Yes, of course ... because Gingrich would never seek to divide Americans and pit the majority against the minority. 

So obviously his remarks at the recent "One Nation Under God" event where he told Religious Right activists that they are the majority in the country who must stand up and take this nation back from the anti-Christian "minority elite" who are ruining it was actually a message designed to "unify the American people":

Now the good news for all of you is you represent the vast majority. Ninety percent of the country believes the words of the Founding Fathers are relevant today. Eighty-five or ninety percent actually believes - over ninety percent of the country believes young people should be allowed to have a moment of silent prayer every morning. The country overwhelmingly believes that "one nation under God" should remain in the Pledge of Allegiance.

But we have allowed ourselves to be bullied, harassed, intimidated, and dominated by a tiny elite using the courts, using the news media, using the entertainment community, using the bureaucracy to coerce the American people against their will. It is fundamentally anti-freedom, fundamentally anti-democratic and the core meaning of the 2012 is to stand up and say "no, the eighty percent of the country that actually believes in classical America is now about to take back power from the minority elite."

Where David Barton Gets His News

It’s hard to keep up with the distortions and falsehoods spewed by pseudo-historian David Barton, but it is a bit easier to understand Barton’s historical malpractice and ultraconservative rhetoric when one finds out that he gets all of his material from right-wing “news” sources.

Today on WallBuilders Live, Barton told co-host Rick Green that the media is saturated with liberal propaganda, comparing the press to “Babylon.” He went on to say that he collects his news from the Glenn Beck’s The Blaze, the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow and Media Research Center’s CNSNews:

The Blaze has become a tool for Beck’s endless self-promotion and the openly right-wing CNSNews spends time attacking Sponge Bob Square Pants and floating the conspiracy theory that President Obama nominated Elena Kagan as a Supreme Court Justice to fan the flames of anti-Semitism.

OneNewsNow, like its parent organization, disseminates virulent anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-Muslim and anti-progressive “news” on a daily basis. A reader of OneNewsNow, for example, may believe that world champion sprinter Tyson Gay is really named Tyson Homosexual, Satan is responsible for the purported power of homosexuals, gay immigrants are being used to destroy America, African Americans can’t support Obama and be Christians, Japan’s earthquake was caused by the country’s lack of Christian influence, public schools are surreptitiously converting children to Islam and training them to be terrorists, and that the Little Mommy Cuddle 'n Coo doll is “promoting Islam.”

Seeing as that David Barton gets his news from such far-right sources, it is any surprise that his “history” is filled with misinformation?

Dobson Warns That Gay Rights "Absolutely Destroys Morality"

James Dobson and his guest Rebecca Hagelin today on Family Talk warned that the culture is devolving into disarray as homosexuality gains acceptance in society. Hagelin argued that progressives are trying to “silence” Christians in order to “have full control over what’s taught and what’s said,” and went on to blame the Penn State child abuse scandal on greater approval of homosexuality. Dobson then quoted Romans 1 outside of its cultural and historical context to argue that American society is now modeling pagan Rome:

Hagelin: The Left, and lets call them the Radical Left, are out to silence us. Because if they can silence us, then they have full control over what’s taught and what’s said.

Dobson: You know what I would like to hear a minister say from the pulpit some time, when the issue of homosexuality comes up and people say ‘how dare you deny those folks the right to be like everybody else and do what everyone else does,’ I wish somebody would say, ‘what about the single woman or single man, do they also have the right to do this?’ That absolutely destroys morality. That means everybody has the right to do things that the scriptures say is wrong, it really doesn’t make any difference whether it’s homosexual or heterosexual; it’s the same issue.

Hagelin: It’s the same issue and chaos develops once we start compromising on basic truths. It is what the scripture teaches us, which you started in Romans chapter 1, go back and read Romans chapter 1 for yourself, I encourage every listener to do that and read the whole book of Romans and see what the answer is too, because again the good news is there are answers for this.

Dobson: Romans 1:24 is one of the most frightening verses in the Bible, where it says, ‘Therefore God gave them over to sinful desires of their hearts, to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another, and they exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator, who is forever praised amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts; even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.’ Now I don’t know how you can read that and not understand what Paul was saying.

Hagelin: That’s right. When you exchange the truth of God for a lie, then chaos results and anything is possible. Pedophilia—we started off the show by talking about how all these people are rising up again in Pennsylvania to protect the coaches who let massive pedophilia go on—we as a society are so lost that many people don’t even know which was is up and down.

Fischer Outraged By Obama's Thanksgiving Message

On yesterday's episode of "Focal Point," Bryan Fischer went all Peter Griffin on President Obama's Thanksgiving message because he dared to say that he and his family, like millions of Americans, would spend the day "reflecting on how truly lucky we are."

It was the word "lucky" that really irked Fischer, because it was not luck that has made America successful, but God ... and, as such, this statement was literally "the most offensive thing" that President Obama has ever said: