Heritage Foundation

Who's Who at Heritage Foundation's Rebuke to Pro-Immigration Reform Evangelicals

In recent years, a growing number of conservative evangelicals have joined more progressive Christians to embrace comprehensive immigration reform.  Members of the Evangelical Immigration Table have been making the case for reform at Religious Right events in recent years; one prominent conservative evangelical, Sam Rodriguez, recently announced a 40-day fast to advance reform legislation.

As RWW has reported, getting conservatives on board has been a hard sell, particularly for the “Teavangelical” wing of the Religious Right, whose members tend to stand with hard-right anti-immigration politicians. In particular, some conservatives aren’t happy about having the Bible quoted by those lobbying for passage of the bill that passed the Senate earlier this year.  In response, conservative activist Kelly Monroe Kullberg started a competing group, Evangelicals for Biblical Immigration.  

This Friday, her group is getting a boost from the Heritage Foundation, which is hosting “Doing Good to the Stranger and the Citizen: Evangelicals Discuss Immigration Reform.”

Here’s a quick look at the speaker line-up:

Kelly Monroe Kullberg

Kullberg is a founder of Evangelicals for Biblical Immigration. She accuses leaders of the Evangelical Immigration Table of being “deceptive and manipulative.” She complains that reform backers are supported by “atheist globalist and open border advocate George Soros.” She says the Senate “Gang of Eight” bill “does not reflect balanced biblical teaching” and would “make asylum easier for people like the Boston Marathon bombers.”

Kullberg decries “easy sloganeering” by reform advocates and says the U.S. cannot afford more immigrants. She says Jesus and biblical passages encourage the welcoming of some, but not all, strangers – those willing to assimilate culturally and religiously – and “also remind us to love not only the foreigner who comes to us in need, but our neighbors, such as those in Arizona, whose needs are being ignored.”

In a June letter Kullberg wrote:

The ‘Gang of Eight’ immigration bill will increase debt and danger in America for both citizens and guests, thus further precipitating the decline of the America we love and steward. In Scripture we are taught to make wise distinctions between the well-meaning sojourner (the 'ger' in Hebrew) and the foreigner who does not advance a nation’s faith, values and story (the 'goyim').

Kullberg recently spoke to American Family Association talk show host Sandy Rios where she warned of the dangers that an immigration reform bill would case people of “other faiths” and “incompatible worldviews” to flood into the United States, diminishing respect for the value of human life and leading to an increase in human trafficking.

Carol M. Swain

Swain is a professor at Vanderbilt Law School who has edited books on immigration and white nationalism.  She has created a non-profit group to help her promote her conservative views. When she showered praise on a “documentary” film called “A Conversation About Race,” the Southern Poverty Law Center called her “an apologist for white supremacists.” She and her supporters at the anti-immigration Center for Immigration Studies lambasted SPLC – she calls it a hate group that “harasses conservatives” – but even her fans at the Wall Street Journal, which came to her defense, found parts of the film “inflammatory and invidious.”  And they noted that on immigration, Swain’s views “are closer to Lou Dobbs’s than to ours.”

Swain’s most recent book, 2011’s Be the People, places her firmly in the right-wing activist camp. She says the book is “a call to action for We the People to reclaim our nation’s faith and promise.”  The blurbs at the front of Be the People let you know what you’re in for. Among the right-wing stars praising the book are Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, Tony Perkins, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Robert George, Harry Jackson, and Jesse Lee Peterson. 

No wonder they love Swain: she writes respectfully of those who question President Obama’s faith and about birthers – she calls the term itself “pejorative” and an “epithet. Part of the book is a Christian-nation screed that would make David Barton proud. “We are engaged in a battle for the soul of our nation,” she writes. She slams the Supreme Court’s rulings on separation of church and state, saying, “The expulsion of God from public schools was a blow to civil religion and a clear repudiation of what Jesus proclaimed to be the greatest commandment.”

She cites Stephen Keillor, who says the 9/11 attacks might have been God’s judgment against the United States, which we well deserve. “We are being confronted with numerous national disasters and freak weather patterns. Could some of these occurrences be related to our decision to reject biblical injunctions against abortion, greed, homosexuality, fornication, and adultery?” While Swain calls her book a “rallying cry” for people to get involved, she also says it may be too late for America to escape God’s wrath for having violated the covenant its founders made with God.  “Accept the fact that no matter what Christians and other believers do, it may be too late to save the United States of America….As it stands, we do not know if judgment has been determined for our nation.”

In the chapter on immigration reform, SWain mentions testifying on immigration before a congressional committee. She was outnumbered on the panel, she says, but was encouraged by friendly faces like those of Reps. Steve King and Lamar Smith. She writes, “In light of the high unemployment in the US, no sensible argument can be made for legalizing millions of undocumented persons currently holding jobs to which they are not entitled.”

Swain also takes on the interpretation of scripture by pro-reform evangelicals, saying that the “stranger” in Old Testament injunctions does not apply to people in the U.S. illegally. She even impugns Catholic leaders for supporting immigration reform efforts, suggesting they are motivated by a desire to boost church membership. Among the specific proposals in her definition of reform are that Congress should “flex its muscles” and legislatively close the “loophole” of birthright citizenship under the 14th amendment.

Mark Tooley

Tooley is president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, a rght-wing group dedicated to attacking progressive elements within mainstream and evangelical Christianity and resisting the advance of LGBT equality at home and abroad. IRD calls the Evangelical Immigration Table a front group for George Soros and derides the Evangelical Immigration Table's “I was a stranger” campaign as “a masterful piece of emotional blackmail.” IRD has suggested that EIT is trying to manipulate evangelicals, which would be “a sad betrayal of a flock by its shepherds.”

IRD has also  insinuated that religious backers of the Senate immigration reform bill are just eager to get their hands on a “slush fund” of taxpayer dollars the bill includes for organizations that assist immigrants.

Tooley has criticized pro-reform leaders’ “superficial ‘God-talk’” and suggested that religious leaders should not be spending their time on immigration reform, which he says is not of the same “moral order” as “marriage, human life, and religious liberty.” In speaking about immigration, Tooley says it is “very problematic when people of faith start to claim that the Bible gives them very direct guidance on a particular contemporary political issue.” Well, that will certainly be news to the folks at the Heritage Foundation and the conservative evangelicals who are presumably the target for Friday’s event.

James Hoffmeier

Hoffmeier is Professor of Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern History and Archaeology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He is author of The Immigration Crisis: Immigrants, Aliens, and the Bible, a book that seems to be the basis for other speakers’ claims about the Old Testament. Hoffmeier summarizes his book in “The Use and Abuse of the Bible in the Immigration Debate,” which is published on the website of the Center for Immigration Studies, which along with FAIR and NumbersUSA form a trio of anti-immigrant groups that the Southern Poverty Law Center calls “the core of the nativist lobby in America.” He says the Old Testament makes a distinction between strangers – equivalent to a resident alien who agreed to abide by the law – and foreigners, who did not have the same legal protections. Hoffmeier criticizes the “sanctuary” movement in America, saying, “So when American cities offer their cities as sanctuary from federal law, or when churches offer their facilities as a refuge for illegal immigrants who have been tried and order deported, they are neither following the letter or spirit of the OT law.” Or in other words, “American cities that use their communities to circumvent the law to help the illegal alien in the name of justice are doing a gross injustice to the letter and spirit of the biblical law.”

From a Publisher’s Weekly review of his book:  

“The book offers little in the way of sociological, political or economic insight into the circumstances surrounding modern-day illegal immigration, beyond advocating for a law-and-order approach. Missing from this analysis is an understanding of the Bible as a prophetic document more concerned with larger issues of justice. Still, Christians looking for a biblical justification for strict federal enforcement of immigration laws may find much to like.”

At VVS Heritage Predicts 'Massive Upheaval' and Right-Wing Takeover of GOP

Dissatisfaction with “establishment” Republicans has been a consistent theme at this year’s Values Voter Summit, and it reached new heights at a Saturday morning breakfast session hosted by the Heritage Foundation and its more overtly political arm, Heritage Action.

Sen. John McCain has been a favored punching bag, no doubt for having had the temerity to criticize the “Teavangelical” favorite son, Ted Cruz.  An audience member asked whether Heritage was planning to do something to take out South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, referred to by the questioner as “John McCain’s lapdog.” Heritage Action Chief Operating Officer Tim Chapman said that Heritage Action has “steered clear” of primaries since its bread and butter is working on Capitol Hill, but said the group’s materials are often used in primaries, and he praised the work of groups like Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund. 

Regarding Graham, Chapman told the questioner “I am with you” and said he would like to see some “good accountability" applied to Graham. He said he hoped one of the conservative members of the South Carolina House delegation might step up to take on Graham. Chapman slammed Republicans in Congress as “close to failing," saying the average Republican score on the group's congressional scorecard is only 67 percent, something that has "rankled a few feathers on Capitol Hill."

Chapman complained that Republican leaders were preparing to cave to Obama in the current standoff: “As we speak, Republican leaders are speaking to the White House and they are cutting a deal and I promise you the deal is going to be total garbage.”

“We are at the point right now where we are seeing a complete cleavage away from the Republican Party of the conservative movement,” he said. “You are going to see massive upheaval in the next election on all fronts…We have an opportunity to take over the party and it will be in the next election cycle.”

Brown: Gay Marriage Deconstructs 'The Very Nature Of What It Means To Be A Human Being'

The marriage panel at today’s Values Voter Summit—which featured Tony Perkins, Brian Brown, Ryan Anderson and Jennifer Marshall of the Heritage Foundation—spent most of the time equating support for same-sex marriage with a loss of free speech for marriage equality opponents.

They suggested that people in jurisdictions that legalized same-sex marriage are not allowed to express their opposition to marriage equality (of course, this conference where speaker after speaker has denounced gay marriage is taking place in a jurisdiction—Washington D.C.—where gay marriage is legal).

Brown even asserted that marriage equality is “an attempt to deconstruct the very nature of reality, the very nature of what it means to be a human being.”

Heritage president Jim DeMint, who while serving in Congress advocated for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex unions, argued that “no one in government has the right” to legalize same-sex marriage, unless it is “the states, the people and the church.”

Right Wing Round-Up - 9/30/13

  • Alex Ruthrauff @ Wonkette: U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Suddenly Very Worried The Tea Party Lunacy They Fostered Might Shut Down Government. 

Heritage Once Supported Senate Vote Threshold On Obamacare It Now Opposes

The Heritage Foundation, like Sen. Ted Cruz, has been strongly urging senators to vote against a bill they actually support in order to shut down the government until President Obama and Senate Democrats agree to defund Obamacare.

And, being Heritage, they don’t mind completely reversing a position they held until just last year to do it.

Essentially, Heritage and other right-wing groups like Club for Growth want Senate Republicans to join Cruz in blocking debate (or voting against cloture) on the continuing resolution (CR) until Senate Democrats agree to establish a 60-vote threshold for amendments. Without the 60-vote threshold, Democrats can easily pass an amendment with 51 votes that strikes the Obamacare-defunding measure from the CR.

Cruz alleged that by simply following Senate rules on amendment votes, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is “abusing his power” and using “brute political force.”

Heritage agreed with Cruz’s absurd claim, and urged Republicans to deny cloture in order to “stop Harry Reid’s procedural assault.” The group also framed it as a “procedural trick”; “procedural power play”; “procedural gymnastics” and “Reid’s procedural attacks.”

However, just last year, Heritage called for the same 51-vote threshold that it now opposes to be against on Obamacare. Then-president Ed Feulner in an email, “Join the Fight to Repeal Obamacare,” urged the Senate to use “the 51-vote threshold available” in order to gut the health care law:

There’s also the fact that the individual mandate has acquired the official constitutional status of a “tax”—and if it is indeed a tax, then that is even more reason for the U.S. Senate to repeal it with the 51-vote threshold available under the Budget Act’s reconciliation process. It is a revenue provision. No filibuster problems there now.

Of course, such hypocrisy is nothing new for Heritage, which developed the idea for the individual mandate before it was against it.

Heritage also backed the individual mandate, insurance exchanges and the expansion of Medicaid…under Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts reform law.

Heritage president Jim DeMint even cited Romney’s health care reform law as a reason to endorse his presidential campaign in 2008.

In an amazing attempt to rewrite history, DeMint is now maintaining that Obamacare wasn’t an issue in the 2012 election — and therefore Obama’s re-election shouldn’t be interpreted as support Obamacare — “because of Romney and Romneycare.”

Right Wing Round-Up - 9/20/13

Right Wing Leftovers - 9/13/13

  • Employees at Focus on the Family are facing yet another round of layoffs.
  • Meet the new, hard-line, action-oriented Heritage Foundation.
  • This is what happens when Glenn Beck tries his hand at topical comedy. This sorry spectacle literally went on for half an hour.
  • A poll commissioned by FreedomWorks found that "78 percent of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents self-identify as fiscally conservative and socially moderate." That cannot be good news for the Religious Right.
  • Rand Paul loves the peaceful Jesus
  • Finally, FRC prays that God will stir "His people to righteous action and move Congress to stop Obamacare, with its oppression, abortion, and socialistic, anti-liberty scheme!"

Heritage Spokeswoman Wishes 'Somebody Actually Had an Answer' On What To Do About Undocumented Immigrants

The Heritage Foundation has been trying to position itself at the center of the opposition to the Senate’s bipartisan immigration proposal, an effort that got off to a rocky start when the group issued a deeply flawed report on immigration reform’s costs that was co-written by an enthusiastic racist.

Like most opponents of meaningful immigration reform, Heritage opposes creating a roadmap to citizenship for the undocumented immigrants who are currently living and working in the United States. But, like its allies in the GOP, the group doesn’t really have an idea of how else to respond to the undocumented population. In an interview with the Latino news site Voxxi last week, Heritage policy analyst Jessica Zuckerman admitted that the group doesn’t have any suggested plan when it comes to undocumented immigrants. “That is the big question,” she said, “and I wish somebody actually had an answer on that.”

What should be done with undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States?

That is the big question, and I wish somebody actually had an answer on that, which is why I say this dialogue we are having on immigration reform is important so that we keep discussing this and trying to reach an answer that folks agree on. We haven’t gotten there yet, but it’s important that we’re having this conversation to get to that point.

Eagle Forum Rallies Anti-Immigrant Activists; Caller Suggests Shooting Senator

With immigration reform moving toward a vote in the Senate, anti-immigrant forces are ratcheting up their rhetoric.  On Wednesday night, Eagle Forum hosted an “emergency” phone briefing intended to spur grassroots lobbying by their activists.  It featured dire warnings about the Senate bill spelling doom for America, attacks on pro-reform Sen. Marco Rubio, and a joking suggestion that activists planning a visit to Sen. Susan Collins’ office “shoot her.”

Joining Eagle Forum’s Colleen Holcomb were Stephen Miller (standing in for his boss Sen. Jeff Sessions), Rosemary Jenks from anti-immigration Numbers USA, right-wing pundit Betsy McCaughey, and activist leaders from around the country. Also joining the call was the Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector, whose much-maligned “study” of the costs of immigration reform has gained attention mostly for the views of its co-author, since forced to leave Heritage, that immigration policy should reflect his belief that Hispanics have lower IQs than the “white native” population of the U.S.

One notable feature of the call was anger at Sen. Marco Rubio, who not long ago was the darling of the Tea Party movement, but who is now vilified for his support of immigration reform.  Speakers on the Eagle Forum call expressed contempt for Rubio, saying he has been lying about the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” bill. 

Rosemary Jenks from Numbers USA called the current Senate bill “devastating for America” and worse than the immigration bill that was defeated in 2007.  “If this amnesty passes,” she warned, “that’s it for America.”  Jenks insisted there is no way to fix the bill. “There is no series of amendments that can make this bill palatable to the American people,” she said. “Kill it dead, now, because it is not savable.”  Jenks said it is important to keep the bill from passing in the Senate, because if it passes, and the House passes any kind of immigration legislation, the bills would go to conference where she said it would leave our future in the hands of President Obama, Harry Reid, and John Boehner.

Betsy McCaughey, a right-wing think-tanker and former Lt. Governor of New York, urged activists to point out sections of the bill that she said people will find “repulsive,” including provisions that she said would put “left-wing community organizations” in charge of assisting people applying for legal status. She said Rubio has not read the bill he is promoting.

Rector echoed that charge, saying Rubio “has no knowledge whatsoever” of what is in the bill.  Rector defended his calculation that the immigration reform bill would cost America $6 trillion over the next 50 years and accused the bill’s supporters of deceiving the American public about its costs.

Callers were urged to rely on resources from Numbers USA, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, and the Center for Immigration Studies, a trio of organizations that are, in the words of the Southern Poverty Law Center, “fruits of the same poisonous tree.”  According to the SPLC,  

“Together, FAIR, CIS, and Numbers USA form the core of the nativist lobby in America. In 2007, they were key players in derailing bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform that had been expected by many observers to pass. Today, these organizations are frequently treated as if they were legitimate, mainstream commentators on immigration. But the truth is that they were all conceived and birthed by a man who sees America under threat by non-white immigrants. And they have never strayed from their roots.”

The remarks about Sen. Collins came in response to a question from an activist looking for suggestions for an upcoming meeting with her district office.  “Yeah, shoot her,” came the response from a participant on the call.  Awkward laughter followed, along with a speaker’s suggestion that they “shoot her with data.”

Buchanan Defends Richwine, Accuses Hispanics of 'Underclass Behavior'

Pat Buchanan is the latest right-wing figure to jump to the defense of Jason Richwine, the advocate of racist pseudo-science who was booted from the Heritage Foundation last week.

In his latest syndicated column, Buchanan argues that Hispanic Americans exhibit “underclass behavior” and warns of the dangers of “racially mixed communities.”

“With the immigration bill granting amnesty to 12 million illegals, an open door to their dependents and a million new immigrants each year, almost all from the Third World, America in 2040 is going to look like Los Angeles today,” he writes.

Buchanan also attempts to back up Richwine’s theories about racial differences in IQ, pointing to global rankings among “Hispanic nations” in math, reading and science. He is forced to undercut his own theory, however, but leaving the most prosperous Spanish-speaking nation, Spain, out of his bogus statistics.

The 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment, PISA, which measures the academic ability of 15-year-olds worldwide, found the USA falling to 17th in reading, 23rd in science, 31st in math.

Yet, Spain aside, not one Hispanic nation, from which a plurality of our immigrants come, was among the top 40 in reading, science or math.

But these folks are going to come here and make us No. 1 again?

Is there greater “underclass behavior” among Hispanics?

The crime rate among Hispanics is about three times that of white Americans, while the Asian crime rate is about a third that of whites.

Among white folks, the recent illegitimacy rate was 28 percent; among Hispanics, 53 percent. According to one study a few years back, Hispanics were 19 times as likely as whites to join gangs.

What about Richwine’s point regarding “social trust”?

Six years ago, in “E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the 21st Century,” Robert Putnam, author of “Bowling Alone,” wrote that after 30,000 interviews he found that ethnic and racial diversity can be devastating to communities and destructive of community values.

In racially mixed communities, Putnam wrote, not only do people not trust strangers, they do not even trust their own kind.

“People living in ethnically diverse settings appear to ‘hunker down,’ that is, to pull in like a turtle … (to) withdraw even from close friends, to expect the worst from their community and its leaders, to volunteer less, give less to charity and work on community projects less often, to register to vote less, to agitate for social reform more but have less faith they can actually make a difference, and to huddle unhappily in front of the television.”

With the immigration bill granting amnesty to 12 million illegals, an open door to their dependents and a million new immigrants each year, almost all from the Third World, America in 2040 is going to look like Los Angeles today. Yet, it was in L.A. that Putnam found social capital at its most depleted and exhausted.

If Richwine is right, America in 2040 will be a country with whites and Asians dominating the professions, and 100 million Hispanics concentrated in semiskilled work and manual labor.

The issues Richwine raises go to the question of whether we shall survive as one nation and one people.

Brimelow Promises Heritage: Grassroots 'Sentiments of National Identity' Will Defeat Immigration Reform

One of the most fascinating things about last week’s conservative infighting over the Heritage Foundation’s immigration reform study was how it revealed the careful balance that “mainstream” groups like Heritage must maintain with the more radical elements of the conservative base.

The Heritage study’s coauthor, Jason Richwine, resigned after his paper trail of racist pseudo-science came to light. Groups like Heritage and the Center for Immigration Studies are generally exceedingly careful to try to insulate themselves from charges of racism – instead of explicitly talking about race, they talk about “multiculturalism and diversity,” “patriotic assimilation,” “professional ethnics” and “high rates of welfare use.”

All of which drives radical anti-immigrant groups crazy. The White Nationalist group VDARE, for instance, is livid that Richwine was booted from Heritage.

In a VDARE blog post Saturday, VDARE editor Peter Brimelow writes that “Beltway immigration patriots” who are “terrified to death of any sign of Political Incorrectness” will ultimately be powerless to stop comprehensive immigration reform. Instead, he writes, they will ultimately be dependent on people like himself and on xenophobia – or, “the very Incorrect sentiments of national identity etc.” – among the grassroots. These sentiments, he writes, were responsible for defeating immigration reform in 2007.

Weigel writes:

"Anyone could have predicted it. Richwine didn’t mind taking on taboos or talking to taboo people. That’s how immigration reform foes talk amongst themselves. That’s not how they’re going to stop the bill."

Actually, my observation is that the small community of Beltway immigration patriots are terrified to death of any sign of Political Incorrectness and have substantially internalized this inhibition.

But it doesn’t matter anyway, because what will really stop “immigration reform” a.k.a. the Amnesty/ Immigration Surge is grass roots opposition—as in 2007. And that is motivated by the very Incorrect sentiments of national identity etc.

Nevertheless, the Richwine saga has to make you wonder where America is headed.

Brimelow is no stranger to the nexus of mainstream and radical on the Right. Last year, Brimelow was invited to speak on a Conservative Political Action Conference panel about “how the pursuit of diversity is weakening American identity” –at which he was joined by Rep. Steve King of Iowa.
 

 

Author of Heritage Study Says Critics 'Haven't Really Pointed to Any Flaws'

Robert Rector, the lead author of a Heritage Foundation study on the economic impact of immigration reform that has been slammed by fellow conservatives, defended his work on the Sandy Rios show on AFA Radio today.

Rector claimed that his critics  “haven’t really pointed to any flaws” in his study and that if it had been “about anything other than immigration and open borders, they would all applaud this study.”

Of course, critics of the Heritage report from both the left and the right have pointed to a number of major flaws, most notably the authors’ failure to consider how legalized immigrants would help the economy to grow. This major departure from the conservative doctrine of “dynamic scoring” did not sit well with many on the Right, including the author of a previous Heritage immigration study, who wrote:

Unless they expect readers to believe all this household income (a) generates no productive work (e.g., makes product, mows lawns, nurses the sick, and starts businesses that hire other Americans) and (b) is 100% remitted abroad, consuming nothing in the U.S. macro economy, then the report is misleading.

Rector’s defense? He points out that his report is “80 pages” long and contains “literally hundreds of equations.”

Rios, of course, did not ask Rector to comment on his coauthor, who was recently revealed to be a believer in racist pseudo-science.

Rios: I think Heritage has such a fine name, I can’t see that they’ve done much of a dent in your reputation yet.

Rector: Not at all. And as I’ve said, with Grover Norquist, who’s for example attacking me, if this study was about anything other than immigration and open borders, they would all applaud this study. But as soon as you start talking about immigrants, then this study is flawed. And also, the people who are attacking this haven’t really pointed to any flaws. They’ve said, well, maybe the number of immigrants is low.

 

Heritage Foundation VP Blamed Boston Bombings on 'Multiculturalism and Diversity' in Schools

Mike Gonzalez, the Heritage Foundation’s vice president of communications, has had a rough week. He was tasked with defending a Heritage report about the economic impact of immigration reform that was statistically faulty, co-authored by a white supremacist and bashed by other conservatives.

The controversy over the report, however, has overshadowed an op-ed that Gonzalez wrote for the Denver Post last week that pins at least some of the blame for the Boston Marathon bombings on what he sees as a new trend in American schools of teaching “multiculturalism and diversity” rather than “love of country.”

But we know one thing for sure: He wasn't taught that assimilation into American society was desirable. As I'm finding while researching a book on Hispanics — indeed, what I experienced as a young Cuban coming to this country in the early 1970s — we no longer teach patriotic assimilation. By that I mean love of country, not just its creature comforts.

We teach the opposite, in fact — that we're all groups living cheek by jowl with one another, all with different advantages and legal class protection statuses, but not really all part of the same national fabric. In other words, we teach multiculturalism and diversity, and are officially making assimilation very hard to achieve.

If Dzhokhar and his brother Tamarlan are guilty of the acts of terrorism they are accused of because they succumbed to Islamist radicalism, then they are monsters who are personally responsible for turning against the land that welcomed them. Tamarlan has paid with his life, and Dzhokhar will be dealt judgment.

But as we grapple now with the thorny question of immigration, how to handle the millions of people who started to arrive at mid-century in a massive immigration wave, we could do worse than look at the affairs in Boston for a clue on whether our current approach works.

Over the past few days, many people pondering the question of how the Tsarnaevs could have acted the way they did have discounted that lack of assimilation could be the case, emphasizing that the brothers Tsarnaev lived in Cambridge, "one of the most diverse and inclusive places in America."

The problem is indeed with an "inclusive" approach that considers it wrong to teach love of a country so generous that it takes in two foreigners from a far-away land, gives them refuge, welcomes them in and gives them a free education. To have done so might have precluded the radical brain washing that led to the bombing.

This absurd argument is basically the one put forward last week by Center for Immigration Studies executive director Mark Krikorian.

###

Right Wing Leftovers - 5/8/13

  • It is nice to know that someone like Mark Sanford can abandon his government post and his family to fly out of the country to visit his mistress and then get re-elected to Congress by conservative family values Republican voters in South Carolina.
  • Rev. Steve Kern, the husband of Oklahoma state Rep. Sally Kern, has announced that he is seeking a state Senate seat.
  • Samuel Rodriguez says that right-wing Christian activists will abandon immigration reform efforts if gay couples are included in the legislation.
  • Is anyone shocked?: "A co-author of a new Heritage Foundation study highly critical of the Senate’s bipartisan immigration proposal also wrote a doctoral dissertation in which he argued that immigrants generally had an I.Q. that was 'substantially lower than that of the white native population.'”
  • No, Tamerlan Tsarnaev will not be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
  • Finally, Gary Bauer says that political correctness "has promoted institutional intolerance of traditional ideas and views. As a result, many people of faith are being pushed into the same proverbial closet that everyone else has been invited to leave."

NOM's 'Historic' Fail

For weeks, the National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown has been touting the “historic” March for Marriage, telling supporters “this is our time” to "change history." A month ago he wrote excitedly about a “game-changer,” a $500,000 matching gift from one of the major donors that keep NOM afloat. Brown had been inspired by a massive turnout for an anti-marriage-equality protest  in France, and hoped for something similar in Washington. But even with big donors and heavy-weight Religious Right co-sponsors, Brown and his allies couldn’t pull it off. Not even close.

In reality, NOM’s rally had a few, perhaps several, thousand attendees.  (NOM’s Thomas Peters claims 15,000, which seems, um, generous.) And every time one of the speakers tried to make the crowd feel like part of a larger movement by talking about the 200,000 people they said marched recently for one-man/one-woman marriage in Puerto Rico, or the hundreds of thousands or millions in France and Spain, or even the 585,000 who have signed the Manhattan Declaration or the half million who marched against legal abortion, it only served to highlight how few bothered to show up in Washington. According to various speakers, the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia sent five busloads; anti-gay state senator Ruben Diaz claimed 32 buses from New York. Brian Brown gave a shout out to some Chinese Christians from Chicago.

The ethnically diverse speakers’ list was a mix of old and new, including some familiar faces on the anti-gay circuit, such as Harry Jackson, Gary Bauer, and Iowa’s Bob Vander Plaats. Harry Jackson led the crowd in a chant that he said was a prayer for the Supreme Court: “Let God arise and his enemies be scattered.” Bauer delivered a blustery message to the Republican Party that if they “bail” on marriage, he’ll lead as many people as he can out of the GOP (which may not be that much of a threat). Vander Plaats urged Supreme Court justices to look to the Founding Fathers, Billy Graham, and Pope Francis. Also speaking were Doug Mainwaring, now making the circuit as the anti-equality gay man the Religious Right loves to love; Frank Schubert, the mastermind of the dishonest Prop 8 campaign and every anti-equality campaign since then; and Jim Garlow, who made a name for himself among the Religious Right with his pro-Prop 8 organizing. Garlow insisted you cannot call yourself a Christian and support the Court’s “obliterating” what he called a “core aspect of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” (Garlow should have seen the packed crowd at the morning’s pro-equality interfaith service at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation.) Garlow warned Supreme Court justices that they will one day stand before “the Chief Justice of the Universe” and will be held accountable if they defy His ways.

A couple of groups sent under-30 speakers to say how wrong the media is to suggest that Millennials are a lost cause on this issue.  But facts are facts, and polls show that support for marriage equality is overwhelming among under-30 Americans: 72 percent of Millennials believe same-sex couples should be able to get legally married, including 58 percent of under-30 Republicans.

Many of the speakers were on-message to the point of being boringly redundant, repeating the message on marchers’ pre-printed signs: “Kids do best with a mom and a dad” and “Every child deserves a mom and a dad.” Sometimes this came with a strong shot of gender stereotypes: mothers provide tenderness and fathers provide protection.  Brian Brown even showed a video of the Religious Right’s newest heroine, the 11-year old who testified against marriage equality in Minnesota and asked which of her parents she did not need, her mother or father. Perhaps someone could explain that no same-sex couples seeking to get married have any desire to force her to get rid of either parent.

NOM’s backers for the marriage march included the far-far-right-wing Catholic group Tradition, Family & Property, with its scarlet banners, capes, and marching band (see Adele Stan’s reminder who TFP is), Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, a couple of Catholic dioceses, the Knights of Columbus and the Institute on Religion and Democracy.  Brown gave special thanks to the Mormon-run GFC Foundation for providing grants for buses.

 

DeMint: 'Secular Socialistic' Obama Orchestrating Crises for Political Gain

Former U.S. Senator and current Heritage Foundation president Jim DeMint appeared on Today’s Issues with American Family Association head Tim Wildmon where he reiterated his “no compromise” mantra by arguing that President Obama and his allies are so extreme that there is no point in working with them.

When Wildmon asked if Obama even “has a conscience,” DeMint pointed to a 2008 quote by Rahm Emmanuel, whom DeMint mistakenly called “Raul Emmanuel,” about the financial crisis to suggest that Obama and his allies are deliberately creating crises in order to implement sweeping policy changes.

“What they understand on the liberal side is that the failures of their policies actually have empowered them to actually advance their policies,” DeMint told Wildmon, “A financial/economic crisis allows the president to reconfigure our whole economic and cultural system to redistribute the wealth the way he wants.”

After blaming the left for the 2008 financial crisis, DeMint argued that Obama has a “secular socialistic view” and that his “policies hurt people.” Consequently, people with a “faith and freedom view” shouldn’t even bother working with him.

Listen:

Richard Land Explains How to Tell Your Gay Friends They Can't Join the Boy Scouts

Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission appeared yesterday on Istook Live, the Heritage Foundation radio show hosted by former Congressman Ernest Istook, to discuss why the Boy Scouts of America should maintain its ban on gay members.

Co-host C.J. Wheeler asked Land how to tell her gay peers and colleagues, “You’re my friend, but I don’t want you to be a Boy Scout leader. You’re my friend, but I’m tired of your agenda being forced down my throat.” She lamented that “it’s a hard world to really walk in out there” for “the average person out there who has friends in these communities,” because apparently life is really tough for straight people who support discrimination against their gay friends.

Land explained that gays and lesbians shouldn’t be treated any differently, except when it comes to their inclusion in the Boy Scouts, marriage and other social institutions. He told Wheeler to tell her gay friends that she respects them but thinks that if they are allowed to join the Boy Scouts they will jeopardize the ability of the organization to “protect children” and consequently “human tragedies will follow.”

Land also explained that “the homosexual activists have gone after [cultural] icons” such as the military, marriage and Disney in order to realize their “breathtaking” agenda.

Land: They do not believe in a live and let live philosophy. Let’s be very clear about what their agenda is, their agenda is to have the homosexual lifestyle affirmed by society as healthy and normal and as a perfectly acceptable to young people and to have those who disagree with that ostracized the level of being Ku Klux Klansmen.

Istook: I do want to expand on the Scouting part but you mentioned the overall agenda, Dr. Land, because it’s not just in Boy Scout’s, we see it in the policy toward same-sex marriage, we see it creeping into something’s such as the ‘anti-bullying agenda.’ What are the different fronts of this conflict?

Land: Well, every front, but the Boy Scouts are an icon and so the homosexual activists have gone after the icons, the cultural icons of our culture. They’ve gone after the military, the most admired institution in American society, the American military; they’ve gone after Disney, the family-friendly supposedly network and family-friendly entertainment venture; they’ve gone after marriage, what can be holier than marriage; now they’re going after the Boy Scouts, nothing is more American than Apple Pie than Boy Scouts. They are going to go after every front, they’ve gone after the cultural icons first but there is no place that they are not going to go and as I said there overall agenda is really quite breathtaking.

Randy Thomasson: Gay Rights Ushering in Civil War

Save California’s Randy Thomason on Friday appeared on Istook Live, the Heritage Foundation radio program hosted by former Republican congressman Ernest Istook, to discuss the Supreme Court case on Proposition 8.

He accused the California state officials who refused to defend Prop 8 of “dissing God” and went on to warn that “usurpers of the United States Constitution” have methodically and stealthily “infiltrated” the government and the courts in order to launch another civil war.

This not the characteristic of a Republic when there are sworn public servants, they have raised their right hand and they have pledged to defend the state constitution, to do their duty, to implement the law, they have made a public pledge before God and now they are dissing God, they are dissing the United States and the state constitutions and the people who elected them. An uninformed public that allows this to happen is just as bad when they vote foolishly or they vote wickedly. We have evidence abounding that there is a civil war occurring in the United States of America, it’s not being done with guns or knives, but it’s being done by usurpers of the United States Constitution and they have positioned themselves in power, they have infiltrated the constitutional land of the United States, they have gotten there with the help of ignorant people or wicked people and then they have implemented their own will.

Thomasson later said that President Obama is using lies and deception to bring about gay rights laws.

He has finally in an election year, last year, decided that he needed money from wealthy homosexual businesspersons and their supporters and he came out with the truth. He really is a supporter of everything homosexual, bisexual, transsexual; he has imposed it on the military, he’s imposing it on marriage, he’s imposing it on our culture.



There are professional liars and there are professional double-talkers, and I’m not sure what you have here but you do have someone that is giving multiple messages. He already gave his message, he gave his message last year, in an interview he said that he supports homosexual marriages being legal, and that means everywhere. So it doesn’t matter what he says now. I guess he is working on a legacy; well the legacy is that America is really going down, down. Not simply because of foolish voters who don’t check out the real policies or real positions of the candidates or don’t even check out what’s best for children, but they listen to the lies and the myths and statements of candidates themselves and they just vote on image or they vote on feeling. That’s really self-idolatry.

DeMint: Democrats Want Immigration Reform to Recruit 'New Voters and Union Members'

Former South Carolina senator Jim DeMint, the incoming president of the Heritage Foundation, spoke with Janet Mefferd yesterday about immigration reform and the future of the GOP.

DeMint was unhappy with President Obama’s immigration proposal and the bipartisan framework presented this week in the Senate, both of which include a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Democrats, he claimed, “are much more interested in new voters and union members than they are in fixing the system and honoring our heritage of immigration.”

Unfortunately, and I’ve worked with the folks who are advocating for this for a number of years and it appears the Democrats are much more interested in new voters and union members than they are in fixing the system and honoring our heritage of immigration. I don’t think we can help our naturalized American citizens by tearing down those things that create the opportunity in our country, and border sovereignty, rule of law, those things create the freedom and opportunity that immigrants come here for. And if we change the things that make us successful then we hurt the very people that we’re saying we want to help. So this is an irrational approach in my mind. I know there’s some people involved with this who want to do the right thing and solve the problem. But I’m afraid the people driving this, like the president, are just more interested in the citizenship track than they really are fixing our system.

DeMint, the architect of the 2010 Tea Party takeover, also denied that the GOP needs to moderate its positions to appeal to more voters after its drubbing among women, young people, African-Americans, Latinos and Asian-Americans in 2012. “We’re just not telling our story well and we’re not doing a good job of showing the victims of progressive liberal policies,” DeMint said. “And there are a lot of them around the country and minorities are the biggest victims of these policies.”

We have ideas that we want people to embrace because those ideas make our country better and lives better for Americans. So it’s easier for Obama, who just finds out what people want to hear and he tells them that. He doesn’t have to deliver any particular policy or laws. We do. But we have success stories all over. We have fantastic job creation where energy is being developed in states. We have job creation where you have freedom in the workplace not to join a union, that’s why Boeing is in South Carolina. We’re just not telling our story well and we’re not doing a good job of showing the victims of progressive liberal policies. And there are a lot of them around the country and minorities are the biggest victims of these policies. I’d say Republicans have done a miserable job of communicating. And that’s why I left the Senate. We need to take our message directly to the American people and make those ideas so winsome that candidates have to embrace them.
 

DeMint’s Bold Plan for Heritage: How to Lie More Effectively

Former Sen. Jim DeMint, hero to the overlapping Tea Party and Religious Right wings of the Republican Party, was kindly granted space by the Washington Post to tell us what he plans to do in his new job at the Heritage Foundation.

DeMint, a former ad man, promises to launch a “conservative revival” by figuring out how to do a better job selling conservative policies to the American public. That’s not exactly a big shift for the folks at Heritage, which is and always has been a giant marketing operation for right-wing “ideas.”

The most revealing thing in DeMint’s column is his use of a thoroughly debunked lie that Republicans tried to use against President Obama in last year’s campaign.  Says DeMint of President Obama, “He disabled welfare reform last year, when he took away the work requirements that were at the heart of that law’s success.”

That false claim earned politicians like Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum “Pants on Fire” ratings from Politifact and similar ratings from other fact checkers.  It’s a gross distortion of an Obama administration decision to give states more flexibility to come up with new ways to meet the law's work requirements – something sought by Republican governors.  Even some Republicans, including one architect of welfare reform, called the charge false when the Romney campaign made it.

As we know from his climate change denialism, DeMint isn’t as concerned about truth as about creating his own reality -- the way Fox News and the right-wing echo chamber have tried to do.  “One lesson I learned in marketing is that, for consumers and voters, perception is reality.”

Maybe reporters should start referring to Heritage as a “perception tank.”

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The best-known and most influential right-wing think tank, the Heritage Foundation owes much of its success to savvy marketing and PR and the generous donations of right-wing benefactors, foundations and wealthy corporations. The foundation boasts about its influence on Capitol Hill yet insists that it does not "lobby." MORE >

Heritage Foundation Posts Archive

Miranda Blue, Friday 06/20/2014, 10:38am
Earlier this week, a media firestorm erupted around a Heritage Foundation panel about the 2012 Benghazi attack, which featured a number of anti-Muslim activists including ACT! for America’s Brigitte Gabriel and Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy. Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank attended the event, and wrote about an ugly exchange in which a Muslim woman in the audience asked a question about Muslim representation at the event, and was met with a tirade from Gabriel, who told her that the “peaceful majority” of Muslims was “irrelevant,” made... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Thursday 06/12/2014, 3:35pm
Last week, I saw a screening of “Obvious Child,” the new rom-com starring Jenny Slate in which the main character gets an abortion and makes some dark jokes about it and, surprise, ends up okay. A couple of the questions at the Q&A following the screening with Slate and the film’s director Gillian Robespierre were about the anti-choice reaction to the film. A few days before the film hit wide release, there hadn’t been much, except for a few initial whimpers of dissent when the film screened at Sundance. But that’s starting to change as anti-choice... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Thursday 06/12/2014, 11:18am
Last June, presidential hopefuls Rand Paul and Ted Cruz traveled to Iowa for an event convened by David Lane, a political operative who uses pastors to mobilize conservative Christian voters.  Lane is a Christian-nation extremist who believes the Bible should be a primary textbook in America’s public schools, and that any politician who disagrees should be voted out. Lane’s events are usually closed to the media, but he has given special access to the Christian Broadcasting Network’s sympathetic David Brody.  Brody’s coverage of the Iowa event included short... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Tuesday 06/03/2014, 4:51pm
While good-government groups have been calling for a constitutional amendment to reverse the Supreme Court’s dismantling of campaign finance laws since the day the Court handed down Citizens United in 2010, the issue has been largely off the radar of conservative activists – and has actually enjoyed broad bipartisan support in an array of polls and in state and municipal ballot measures. It was largely off their radar, that is, until this week. This morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on a proposal by Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., to send a... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Monday 04/28/2014, 1:59pm
Heritage Foundation fellow Ryan T. Anderson, the anti-marriage-equality movement’s new young voice, claimed in an interview with the LDS Church-owned KSL TV in Salt Lake City, that banning marriage equality “take[s] nothing away from anyone” and “in no way infringes upon the liberty of any American to live and to love how they choose to.” Anderson claims that in a “live and let live society,” LGBT people would not have marriage rights, but would receive marriage benefits from their employers if their employers chose. In the interview, transcribed by... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 04/09/2014, 11:45am
Heritage Foundation head Jim DeMint appeared on Vocal Point with Jerry Newcombe of Truth In Action Ministries last week, where he insisted that “no liberal is going to win a debate that big government freed the slaves.” DeMint, a former US senator from South Carolina, told Newcombe that “the conscience of the American people” and not the federal government was responsible for the end of slavery. In the interview, DeMint seemed to confuse the US Constitution with the Declaration of Independence and implied that William Wilberforce, a British politician who died almost... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Wednesday 04/02/2014, 4:40pm
In a talk in Salt Lake City this weekend, Ryan T. Anderson of the Heritage Foundation claimed that same-sex marriage is “an elite luxury good bought for on the backs of the poor.” He made the comment while discussing U.S. v. Windsor, in which Edith Windsor argued successfully that she was unjustly forced to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes after her wife’s death because DOMA prevented the government from recognizing their marriage. Anderson absurdly claimed that the media suppressed the facts of the case, and insisted that the solution to Windsor’s problem... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Thursday 02/27/2014, 5:05pm
One of the actions that the Heritage Foundation has taken recently to cement its shift from conservative think tank to right-wing political bludgeon was to bring on as its chief economist Stephen Moore, a former Wall Street Journal editorial writer who is fluent in Tea Party dogma. In a speech to the Tea Party Patriots convention today, Moore did not disappoint. He advocated eliminating the departments of Education, Energy and Commerce and burning the entire tax code in a bonfire and replacing it with a regressive flat tax or national sales tax. As a starting point he suggested, “Let... MORE >