Republican Party

The Ames Straw Poll Victors: From Robertson To Bachmann

Following Michele Bachmann’s triumph in the Ames Straw Poll, she was immediately crowned the frontrunner in the Iowa Caucus. While winning the Ames Straw Poll does not guarantee a victory at the Iowa Caucus (just ask Mitt Romney), it does show the strength of a candidate’s campaign operation and popular support. But most importantly, victory at Ames does not make a candidate a mainstream political figure. As Tim Murphy writes today in Mother Jones and consistently chronicled on RWW, Bachmann throughout her entire political career has seen herself and acted as an ultraconservative, Religious Right fanatic, and her victory at Ames makes her no more mainstream or less radical.

For example, Pat Robertson won the 1987 Ames Straw Poll, topping both George Bush and Bob Dole, who went on to win the Iowa Caucus. But defeating the Vice President and the Senate Republican Leader did not make Robertson a mainstream politician, in the same way Bachmann is still a right-wing extremist even after her straw poll victory. Their victories in Ames show the endurance and growth of the Religious Right base of the Republican Party.

Need a reminder of how out of the mainstream Robertson is? Just today on The 700 Club, for instance, Robertson explained how he performed an exorcism on a girl and “cast this demon out of her” before she tried to kill her mother:

So if Pat Robertson can win in Ames, is it any surprise that Michele Bachmann could too?

Rick Perry, Alice Patterson, And The Demons Who Control Our Politics

When Gov. Rick Perry took to the stage at his prayer rally last weekend, he brought with him two close friends: C.L Jackson and Alice Patterson, whom he publicly praised and thanked:

Patterson, as you may recall, is deeply involved in the New Apostloic Reformation where she focuses on "racial healing" in order to get African Americans to leave the Democratic Party, which she believes is literally controlled by demonic spirits.

As it turns out, not only is the Democratic Party controlled by such spirits, but the Republican Party is as well.  But whereas the Democrats are controled by "Jezebel" via a "network of demonic principalities that demanded allegiance, worship, and the shedding of innocent blood," the Republicans are controlled by "Ahab" which makes GOP leaders passive and yield to intimidation instead of standing up on Godly principles.

In fact, Patterson explains in her book how it was this very spirit of passivity that caused prayer to be removed in school, which resulted in the murder to President Kennedy:

Passivity caused the court cases that removed prayer from our public schools to remain, causing the protective wall around the United States, our schools and our government to crumble. The very next year President John Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. The country mourned but the protective walls were not restored.

Patterson warns that "the further you get up the ladder in Washington, D. C. or state government, the harder it is to withstand the power of the Ahab structure if you’re a Republican" ... which is why President George W. Bush did so many ungodly things, like appointing "an open homosexual to high office," meeting with Muslims, and failing to pass a federal marriage amendment:

Although the Republican Party Platform is full of virtue, many individual Republicans tolerate what the platform does not. Take former evangelical President George W. Bush. Here are just a few of his actions that align with King Ahab’s tolerance of Jezebel.

• He was the first Republican President to appoint an open homosexual to high office— Scott Evertz to the White House Office of National AIDS Policy.

• After the Islamic terrorist attack on the Twin Towers on 9/11/2001, President Bush invited 50 ambassadors from Muslim countries for a traditional meal and prayer at the White House in November 2001 to mark the start of Ramadan. A Republican President was the first to invite Muslims to pray in the White House. President Barack Obama continued the celebration of Ramadan in the White House, but it was started by a Republican President.

• President and Mrs. Bush bowed before the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo.

• President Bush “removed his shoes, entered a mosque and praised Islam for inspiring ‘countless individuals to lead lives of honesty, integrity and morality.’ For the second time since the September 11 terrorist attacks, the president yesterday visited Washington’s oldest mosque, the Islamic Center, where Muslims from 75 nations gather to worship. Bush marked the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan by praising Islam as a hopeful religion of mercy and tolerance.”

• President Bush outraged evangelicals by stating that he believes that Christians and Muslims worship the same god.

• In 2004 President Bush campaigned in favor of a Marriage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that says that marriage is between one man and one woman. However, when he was elected, he said no more about it. If he had put as much importance on it as he did in reforming Social Security, the Marriage Amendment would have passed through Congress. He even said on several occasions that he supported civil unions, which give the same rights as marriage to same-sex couples.

• President Bush proved over and over again that he was an Ahab.

Perry Prayer Rally Organizer Says Democratic Party Controlled By Demons

A few weeks ago we noted that Alice Patterson has been is in charge of "Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma Church Mobilization" for Gov. Rick Perry's "The Response" prayer rally.  Patterson has dedicated her career to "racial healing" and has been working closely with David Barton to convince African Americans to support the Republican Party.

In fact, Patterson wrote a whole book about it which I have just finished reading called "Bridging the Racial and Political Divide: How Godly Politics Can Transform a Nation" in which mentions how she went to hear Chuck Pierce speak in Louisiana where he preached on "Saul Structures" at which points she realized that the Democratic Party is "an invisible network of evil comprising an unholy structure" that is, quite literally, controlled by demonic forces: 

As Chuck described Saul Structures, my thoughts raced to politics. "Oh my God, Chuck is describing the Democratic Party!" This was the first time I'd ever considered that an evil structure could be connected to and empowered by a political party ... One strong fallen angel cannot wreak havoc on an entire nation by himself. He needs a network of wicked forces to restrain the Church and to deceive the masses. Unlike the Holy Spirit, who is everywhere at once and can speak to millions of people simultaneously, the devil can only be in one place at a time. By himself Satan would be totally ineffective, but in cooperation with other powers of darkness he erects structures to deceive and manipulate entire nations ... At the time I was listening to Chuck Pierce in Louisiana, I hadn't given any thought at all to strongholds in political parties. If I had ever thought about it, of course, it would have made sense, but it was new information. As Chuck's words began to sink in, I asked the "Lord, Father, what is the demonic structure behind the Democratic Party?"

Patterson goes on to explain that "the demonic structure behind the Democratic Party" is in fact "the Jezebel structure" which is rooted in long-ago Democratic support for slavery and which remains today because of the party's support for reproductive and gay rights.

Huckabee: GOP Primary Voters Too "Unrealistic"

OnThe 700 Club with Pat Robertson today, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee said that he decided against running for president partly because the Republican base is too “unrealistic.” Robertson, who endorsed Rudy Giuliani in 2008, asked Huckabee if he passed on a second presidential campaign in order to pursue his new career as a Fox News commentator and the head of a line of conservative history videos, which he was promoting on the show.

Huckabee responded, “I felt like the atmosphere right now is so toxic and part of it is that I think that many people in my party, the Republican Party, are unrealistic, and what they want is something that no one can deliver, and that’s a candidate who is going to solve every problem in an election cycle.”

Watch:

Is Rick Perry a moderate? Perhaps, if the price is right.

Cross-Posted on the People For blog

Here at People For the American Way, we’ve spent the last several weeks marveling as Texas Gov. Rick Perry plans a blockbuster Christian prayer rally in Houston, gathering around him a remarkable collection of Religious Right extremists – from a pastor who claims that the Statue of Liberty is a “demonic idol” to a self-described “apostle” who blamed last year’s mysterious bird deaths in Arkansas on the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Perry claims the event is apolitical, but it is conveniently timed to coincide with the possible launching of his presidential bid and bolstered by groups that are dedicated to working far-right evangelical values into American politics.

Which is why we were all surprised today to find a story in The Hill titled “At second glance, Texas Gov. Rick Perry not as conservative as some think.” Really?


The evidence presented for Perry’s maverick-moderate tilt is that the governor has taken some reasonable positions on immigration reform and that he once angered Religious Right groups by requiring that all 6th grade girls in the state receive a vaccine for HPV, a sexually transmitted disease that can lead to cervical cancer.


Perry’s 2007 executive order requiring that the vaccine be offered to Texas’s sixth graders was a wonderful, progressive public health policy…but seemed a little odd coming from a far-right Texas governor. Interestingly, while the move angered Perry’s supporters on the Religious Right, it made one constituency very happy: lobbyists for Merck & Co., the pharmaceutical giant that manufactured the vaccine and stood to gain billions from the new law. The Associated Press reported at the time on the cozy relationship Merck had developed with the newly-reelected Texas governor:


Merck is bankrolling efforts to pass laws in state legislatures across the country mandating it Gardasil vaccine for girls as young as 11 or 12. It doubled its lobbying budget in Texas and has funneled money through Women in Government, an advocacy group made up of female state legislators around the country.

Details of the order were not immediately available, but the governor's office confirmed to The Associated Press that he was signing the order and he would comment Friday afternoon.

Perry has several ties to Merck and Women in Government. One of the drug company's three lobbyists in Texas is Mike Toomey, his former chief of staff. His current chief of staff's mother-in-law, Texas Republican state Rep. Dianne White Delisi, is a state director for Women in Government.

Toomey was expected to be able to woo conservative legislators concerned about the requirement stepping on parent's rights and about signaling tacit approval of sexual activity to young girls. Delisi, as head of the House public health committee, which likely would have considered legislation filed by a Democratic member, also would have helped ease conservative opposition.

Perry also received $6,000 from Merck's political action committee during his re-election campaign.

Maybe Gov. Perry just really cared about helping prevent an epidemic and helping girls in Texas receive good medical care. On the other hand, health care for Texans doesn’t seem to have been a major priority for Perry: by last year, the tenth year of his governorship, Texas ranked last in the country in terms of the percentage of the population with health insurance and the percentage of insured children.


The “Perry bucks the Religious Right for the health of young girls” story will probably continue to reappear as he continues to be lauded as the Republican Party’s last, best hope for 2012. But the full story in no way proves that Perry’s an independent-minded moderate. Instead, it offers a case study of the sometimes conflicting priorities of the Religious and Corporate Right, and a politician who tries to appease them both.

 

Following Fischer's Logic, First Amendment Doesn't Apply To Mormons Either

Bryan Fischer has been demanding a ban on the construction of mosques in the United States for a year now and argues that such a prohibition is entirely constitutional because the First Amendment does not apply to Islam.

In fact, as Fischer is fond of saying, the First Amendment does not apply to any "non-Christian religions":

[T]he First Amendment was written neither to guarantee freedom of religion to Muslims or Buddhists or Hindus nor to prohibit their free exercise of religion. It wasn’t written about them one way or another.

It was written for one specific purpose: to protect the free exercise of the Christian religion ... We must be clear: the First Amendment does not prohibit the free exercise of alternative religions, but neither does it guarantee it. It simply does not address the issue at all.

In defense of this view, Fischer has lately started arguing that prohibitions on polygamy prove that "non-Christian religions" (i.e., Mormonism) do not have First Amendment protections:

That the free exercise clause provides no guarantee for non-Christian religions is made clear in the case of Mormonism. It was part and parcel of the “free exercise” of the Mormon faith to have as many wives as you wanted. Congress said nope. In fact, the Mormon church was required to prohibit plural marriages as a condition of Utah’s statehood.

(It’s worth noting in passing that the Mormon church has never renounced plural marriage. It has simply instructed its followers to obey federal law in the matter.)

Idaho came into the union in 1890, at virtually the same time as Utah, and the first page of Idaho’s state constitution makes it explicitly clear that the free exercise of religion shall in no sense be construed to justify plural marriages.

...

In fact, the Republican Party came into existence in 1854 to combat two evils: slavery and the pernicious Mormon practice of plural marriage, what the original GOP called "those twin relics of barbarism." (Let me point out that I’m talking about the LDS faith as it existed then, not as it exists today.)

Clearly, then, as our political experiment with the Mormon faith makes clear, there is no guarantee of the free exercise of religion for religions which are outside the stream of historic Christianity, as Mormonism is. (It denies the Trinity, the virgin birth of Christ, the unique deity of Christ, his all-sufficient atoning sacrifice on the cross, and the completeness of God’s revelation in the Old and New Testaments.)

Following Fischer's logic, it only stands to reason that local communities likewise have the power to deny Mormons permission to build temples in their communities as well.

Fischer claims that the Mormon church "never renounced plural marriage" and therefore it must be entirely acceptable for local officials who do not want Mormons or their "pernicious" teachings polluting their communities to deny them permission to build houses of worship, precisely because the First Amendment does not apply to "non-Christian religions" like Mormonism. 

The Intersection of David Barton, Dominionism, Texas Republicans And Racial Politics

Alice Patterson is in charge of "Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma Church Mobilization" for Gov. Rick Perry's "The Response" prayer rally and is, not surprisingly, deeply involved in the New Apostolic Reformation movement where she focuses on "racial healing."

Last year she released a book entitled "Bridging the Racial and Political Divide: How Godly Politics Can Transform a Nation" in which she explained how she had served as Field Director of the Texas Christian Coalition for years until she discovered the works of "apostles" and "prophets" like Cindy Jacobs, Chuck Pierce, Dutch Sheets and Ed Silvoso.  Her growing involvement with this movement led her to step down from the Texas Christian Coalition in order to focus on "reaching entire cities for Christ." 

As the granddaughter of a former Ku Klux Klan member, Patterson dedicated herself to reaching out to African Americans through "identificational repentence" whereby individuals repent for the sins of their forefathers in order to break the various curses that plague this land because of past unforgiven sins.

In this capacity, Patterson worked closely with Susan Weddington who, at the time, was Chair of the Texas Republican Party:

As intercessors began to pray many weeks before the [Republican State] convention, one of them envisioned Susan pouring oil on bricks. So we started looking for bricks. Susan wanted to meet privately in front of the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston and pray about whatever caused Black Republicans to walk away from the political party they had founded in that city. I called Doug Stringer in Houston, founder of Somebody Cares America and he sent two Black ministers from his staff. Tim and Joyce James, pastors of Total Man Christian Ministries in Houston, a mostly Black congregation and formerly on my Pray Texas board, came as well. It was a small group. We met in a little park right across the street from the convention center. Lo and behold, there were the bricks!

We worshiped. The presence of God came. When it came time for Susan to pour the oil on the bricks as the intercessor had visualized, Susan surprised me. I thought she would ask forgiveness for whatever White Republicans did to drive Blacks away from their party but instead she prayed, "Lord, I forgive our leaders for walking away. And I open the door and invite them back in."

As part of the effort to bring African Americans back to the Republican Party, Patterson reveals, Weddington eventually reached out to none other than David Barton:

Two years before, Susan had asked David Barton to do research to find out why Black Republicans had left the party they founded. He had been researching for two years and he discovered some astounding facts. David's research is now in both DVD and a book, "Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black and White."

And with the research in hand Patterson, Barton and others then embarked upon a campaign to use it to win African Americans back to the GOP: 

We had an agenda. Worship to invite the presence of God, repent for racism share Dr. Jackson's testimony, and have David Barton give the truth about American and Black history. This wasn't a Republican meeting even though Susan and David were Republican Party officials. It was a spiritual meeting. And lives were changed.

Our team consisted of Blacks Dr. Jackson and Falma Rufus, Hispanic Ruben Duarte, and Whites David Barton, Susan Weddington, and me. Ruben led us into God's presence with worship. Falma released the prophetic word in song and worshiped along with Ruben. They are powerful together. Susan or I would repent for racism. Dr. Jackson would share his story and give his favor to David. David shared hidden truths about America's spiritual heritage and eye opening facts about Black History.

As we have have been saying all along, Barton's attempt to "set the record straight" on this issue was blatantly misleading and obvious propaganda designed to convince African Americans to stop supporting the Democratic Party.

And now, thanks that Alice Patterson, we have proof that that was in fact the intention all along.

Perry and Bachmann Heading to Liberty U In September

If you are thinking that you might like to be the Republican presidential nominee in 2012 and Jerry Falwell's Liberty University invites you to come and speak, you say "of course, I would love to do so" ... which is why Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann will both be speaking there in September:

Two Republican presidential prospects, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, will speak at Liberty University this fall, LU Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. said today.

Bachmann, founder of the Tea Party Caucus in the House of Representatives, is an announced candidate for the Republican Party's presidential nomination.

Perry, in his 10th year as governor of Texas, has said publicly that he's thinking about running for the GOP nomination for president. He, too, is popular with tea party followers.

"Since Liberty is the world's largest Christian university, we think it is important to expose the students to as many candidates as possible," Falwell said.

Candidates should be able to take some cues from the students, as well, Falwell said.

"How well they are received at Liberty will be a good indicator for how they will be received in Christian circles nationwide," Falwell said.

Perry will speak at one of LU's thrice-weekly convocations on Sept 14.

Bachmann is scheduled to speak at a convocation Sept. 28.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Despite having accomplished next to nothing legislatively, Rep. Michele Bachmann is running for president.
  • But she is confident that the Republican Party will "be very happy" with her serving as the GOP presidential nominee.
  • Of course, her former Chief of Staff says Bachmann is entirely unready to be president.
  • Herman Cain is looking for people who "have been abused by the EPA" ... so he can put them in charge of the EPA when he becomes president.
  • But before he can do that, he better start looking for people to staff his campaign in New Hampshire.
  • When Glenn Beck heads to Israel for his next rally, he will also address a Knesset committee to "discuss how to fight the delegitimization of Israel around the world."

Fox News Targets Media Matters with Strange Spokesperson

Fox News is apparently getting tired of media watchdog Media Matters  pointing out the network’s inaccuracies and right-wing bias. How else to explain the recent even-less-fair-and-balanced-than-usual attack  on Media Matters and its tax status?

While flashing phrases like “Tax-Paid Propaganda” and “Gov’t Funded Group Launching Media ‘War’” on the screen, Fox News’ Steve Doocy complains about Media Matters’ nonprofit status “subsidizing their agenda and their war on Fox News” and asking why the IRS and the Federal Government lets Media Matters “get away with it.”
 
Doocy sought out Jordan Sekulow of the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ), a Religious Right legal group created when Pat Robertson wanted a legal arm for the Christian Coalition. Sekulow gave Fox what it was looking for:
You cannot be a wing of the Democrat Party and get 501 c3 status. The terminology that they’re using, their founder and their directors are using, is very dangerous if you’re trying to keep your tax exempt status, saying that Fox news has now taken over the Republican Party and that they’ve declared a guerilla war on Fox News means that they are a purely partisan organization. That doesn’t qualify under 501 c3 status.
There’s a huge basic flaw in this argument. Engaging in a public battle of ideas, like calling out Fox for its demonstrated bias, is not the kind of electoral work that is off-limits for 501 c3 groups, even if you accept, as Sekulow seems to be saying, that Fox has indeed become simply an arm of the Republican Party. 
 
Moreover, Sekulow was an extremely odd choice to be making accusations about partisanship. “I’m a pretty partisan guy, as you know,” he told attendees at the recent Faith & Freedom Coalition summit, where he represented ACLJ. “If we actually want to beat this administration, which has been the most aggressive on these issues, we still have to vote Republican, we still have to unite….Let’s get ready to unite, whoever the GOP nominates, and stop this administration.” He also bragged that the Religious Right had taken over the Republican Party and “made it ours.”

As Sekulow acknowledged, the ACLJ is itself a 501 c3 organization. So by Doocy’s logic, shouldn’t the “government-funded” ACLJ and the “tax-paid propaganda” put out by Sekulow and the ACLJ warrant a federal investigation? How about the “federal subsidies” going to support the lavish multiple-homes-and-private-jet lifestyle reportedly  enjoyed by Sekulow’s father, Jay, thanks to the tax-exempt dollars that flow into the ACLJ and connected organizations?

Fischer: Right Wing Watch Is Waging Jihad Against Me!

Last week, we released a new report on the unrelenting torrent of bigotry that is spread by the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer on a daily basis and an accompanying video chronicling some of his "highlights," while our colleague Peter Montgomery discussed Fisher and the AFA in the context of Gov. Rick Perry's prayer rally with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC.

Fischer has already made it clear that he does not particularly appreciate all of the attention we have devoted to covering him here, so it was not surprising that he spent nearly a half-hour of his program on Monday discussing the new report and the O'Donnell segment and accusing us of waging "jihad" against him and committing a "slow motion hate crime":

Ladies and gentlemen, right now out on the left wing there is a jihad that has been launched against me and against Focal Point and against the AFA. It is holy war. This is, in spiritual terms, a jihad. They are trying to destroy me, destroy Focal Point, to destroy AFA.

Now People For the American Way, and I've mentioned this before, I've played some soundbites of what they've done, they have been cyberstalking me for I don't know how long. It's just like a creepy obsession, they same kind of creepy obsession that the left has had with Sarah Palin. I mean, it's just weird, it's just bizarre. And so they have been monitoring everything I write, everything I say, everything we do here on Focal Point, keeping a list and checking it twice.

Here is a piece on Right Wing Watch referring to me as "The GOP's Favorite Hate-Monger: How the Republican Party Came to Embrace Bryan Fischer." And this puppy is seventeen pages long!

Remember, we are watching the unfolding of a hate crime against yours truly. You are watching a slow motion hate crime being engineered against yours truly.

Now, if we managed to put together a report chronicling Fischer's bigotry and that reported ended up being seventeen pages long, that probably means Fischer has a absurdly long record of engaging in insane bigotry. But to Fischer, it means we are cyberstalking him while waging jihad and committing a hate crime.

For those that are interested, here is the nearly half-hour segment Fischer dedicated to discussing our report and O'Donnell segment:

Four Minutes of Hate: The Naked Bigotry Of The AFA's Bryan Fischer

Our colleague Peter Montgomery is scheduled to appear on "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell tonight to discuss the upcoming "The Response" prayer event that Texas Governor Rick Perry is organizing with the American Family Association and stocking with anti-gay activists.

To coincide with this appearance, we are also releasing a comprehensive report we have written on the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer entitled "The GOP's Favorite Hate-Monger: How the Republican Party Came to Embrace Bryan Fischer" which chronicles Fischer's long record of unmitigated bigotry:

Responsible politicians wouldn’t fawn over an unhinged activist who opposes civil rights and religious freedom for minorities, wants to make being gay a crime and decries his personal rivals as enemies of God, right? But that is exactly what is taking place today in the Republican Party, as likely and declared GOP presidential candidates line up to win the approval of Bryan Fischer, a radio talk show host and spokesman for the American Family Association.

Fischer’s unabashed bigotry is on full display throughout his writings and on-air rants. His entire career is based on leveling venomous attacks against gays and lesbians, American Muslims, Native Americans, progressives and other individuals and groups he detests. He wants to redefine the Constitution to protect only Christians, persecute and deport all American Muslims, prohibit gays and non-Christians from holding public office and impose a system of biblical law.

While Fischer’s views are undeniably shocking, what is most disturbing is his growing influence within not only the Religious Right but also the Republican Party.

And to celebate it's release, we decided to put together this "best of" video featuring some of Fischer's greatest hits - enjoy: 

Barton: Founding Fathers Were Against Teaching Evolution; Revolution Was Fought To End Slavery

Pseudo-historian David Barton visited the Christian television program Celebration on the Daystar Television Network with host Joni Lamb on Monday to discuss his right-wing, pro-GOP view of American history.

Barton, who says that the Founding Fathers like Ben Franklin opposed Net Neutrality, claims he also knows the views of the Founding Fathers in the debate over whether schools should teach Creationism alongside evolution in public schools. Naturally, Barton says that the Founding Fathers “already had the entire debate on creation and evolution,” and sided with Creationism. Of course, Charles Darwin wrote On The Origin of Species in 1859 andThe Descent of Man in 1871 – but apparently the Founding Fathers knew about evolution science:

Barton continues to lash out at “deconstructionism” in the education system for distorting the truth about the Founding Fathers, arguing that the Founding Fathers did not support slavery or engage in the practice themselves. While Founding Fathers like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Patrick Henry were all slaveholders, Barton has created his own theory of the cause of the American Revolution: the Founding Fathers’ desire to reject the British Empire’s endorsement of slavery. “That’s why we said we want to separate from Britain, so we can end slavery,” Barton said:

He concluded his talk by saying “I want to see Christians take over the Democrat Party, I want to see Christians take over the Republican Party, I want to have a fight for who has the more Biblical candidate.” Barton, a proponent of Seven Mountains Dominionism, called on people “to move the most Godly candidate through” both parties:

David Barton's "Expertise" On African American History

Jason Cherkis of The Huffington Posts reports that, according to tax records, David Barton considers himself an expert on Black history:

David Barton, the Republican establishment’s favorite amateur historian, claims in tax records reviewed by HuffPost to be something of an expert on African-American history.

In filings with the Internal Revenue Service, Barton’s nonprofit, Wallbuilder Presentations, Inc., justified its tax-exempt status by highlighting among its "accomplishments" a video project “of the moral heritage and political history of African Americans."

As luck would have it, we actually wrote an entire report about the very video that Barton produced a few years ago called "Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black & White" ...  and I am sure you will be surprised to learn that it was utterly and intentionally misleading:

Though the program is billed as an attempt to recognize “the forgotten heroes and untold stories from our rich African American political history,” it is, in reality, a 90-minute effort to portray the Democratic Party as responsible for every problem that has ever plagued the African American community in America and imply that the Republican Party is the antidote. Barton’s website proudly claims that he “is currently breaking ground in the African-American community with his presentations” based on this DVD.

Throughout the program, Barton presents a staggeringly slanted, openly partisan, and tellingly incomplete view of American history. Barton focuses on the Democratic Party’s historical support for slavery and Jim Crow, but completely ignores the transformation of American politics brought about by the civil rights movement. Barton, of course, never mentions that the rise of the modern Republican Party was built on a “southern strategy” of embracing and exploiting the resentments of racist southern Democrats who joined the Republican Party after Democratic President Lyndon Baines Johnson pushed and signed landmark civil rights and voting rights legislation.

We even took several clips from Barton's program and included them in the report, and so I decided to edit a few of them together just to give you a sense of what sort of propaganda Barton is peddling in the DVD as he tries to link today's Democratic Party to the Ku Klux Klan and asserts that Democrats supported slavery just as they support abortion today:

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 5/17/11

Michele Bachmann

2012: More likely to run for president following Mike Huckabee's decision against running (CBS News, 5/16). 

Constitution: High school student challenges her to a debate on the Constitution as a result of her record of making incorrect statements (Minnesota Independent, 5/13). 

Herman Cain

Georgia: Wins praise for speech at Georgia GOP convention (Southern Political Report, 5/16). 

Florida: Tops field in Fort Lauderdale Tea Party straw poll (Sunshine State News, 5/16). 

Mitch Daniels

Reproductive Rights: Signs law defunding Planned Parenthood that costs thousands their health care, state millions of dollars (The Faster Times, 5/16).

2012: Members of Indiana Republican Party encourage Daniels to run during state convention (AP, 5/13).

Religious Right: Anti-choice activists upset Daniels weighed Condoleezza Rice as a running mate because she is pro-choice (Life News, 5/13). 

GOP: Reports say that Governors Haley Barbour, Chris Christie and Scott Walker would endorse Daniels (CBS News, 5/12). 

Newt Gingrich

Religious Right: Denies advisers' links to Dominionist theology (RWW, 5/16).

Medicare: Describes Paul Ryan's plan to privatize Medicare as "right wing social engineering" but previously said he would've voted for it (Think Progress, 5/16). 

Health Care: Makes inconsistent remarks over his past support for health care insurance mandates (Politico, 5/16). 

Iowa: Will make swing through Iowa this week following official announcement (Dubuque Telegraph Herald, 5/15). 

Jon Huntsman

Religious Right: Set to address Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition (RWW, 5/16).

South Carolina: Huckabee's former state campaign chair announces his support for Huntsman (Politico, 5/16). 

Florida: Meets with key donors in Florida (St. Petersburg Times, 5/11). 

Roy Moore

Religious Right: Claims President Obama is "pushing his own immoral values without regard to what the people think or believe" (WND, 5/16). 

Campaign: Launches website for exploratory committee (RoyMoore2012.com).

Sarah Palin

PAC: Embarks on new direct mail campaign with focus on 2012 election (WaPo, 5/16). 

2012: Supporters hope that Huckabee's announcement will create an opening for Palin (Commentary, 5/16). 

Tim Pawlenty

South Carolina: Hires political director for South Carolina primary (The Hill, 5/17). 

Environment: Continues to apologize for past support of ‘cap and trade’ system (Minnesota Post, 5/17).

Mitt Romney

Fundraising: Raises over $10 million on Monday call-day in Las Vegas (WaPo, 5/17). 

Health Care: Defends state health plan that is analogous to federal health care law (NYT, 5/13). 

Rick Santorum

Medicare: Criticizes Gingrich for attacking Paul Ryan’s Medicare privatization proposal (The Hill, 5/16). 

Health Care: Knocks Romney for defending his Massachusetts health care law (The State Column, 5/13).

Boykin: Obama Creating Personal Brownshirt Army To Enforce Marxism

Last year, Retired General Jerry Boykin recorded a video for Rick Joyner's Oak Initiative in which he claimed that President Obama was using healthcare reform legislation as cover to establish a private Brownshirt army loyal only to him.

At the Oak Initiative Summit last month, Boykin reiterated and expanded upon that claim ... while also explaining that American Jews don't support the Republican Party because they mistakenly believe that Hitler was on the right when he was really "an extraordinarily off-the-scale leftist":

We have incrementally moved towards Marxism and now I think it's at an accelerated pace. There are lots of indicators as to exactly how we're moving along the lines of the Marxist model - if you look back historically at how societies, what they've done as they've moved toward Marxism, we're doing all of those things.

One of which is, you look at Hitler - and one of the most disgusting things I hear is people who call Hitler "the extreme right." The absolute opposite was true - it was the National Socialist Party, he was an extraordinarily off-the-scale leftist. But many Jews in America, for example, can't identify with the Republican Party because they're called the party of the right and they equate that to Hitler when in fact nothing could be further from the truth. So, that's just a data point.

One of the things that Hitler did was he established the Brownshirts. The Brownshirts where his constabulary force to control the population because, as you're making these radical changes, there has to be some entity that stands by you with the strength and the muscle to allow you to make these over the opposition and the protest of the sovereign, the people. So Hitler had the Brownshirts.

Well, in the lead-up to the election, during the campaigns, our current president said very openly, and you can find it on YouTube, if I am elected President , I will have a national civilian security force that is as large as and as powerful as the US military.

For what? Why do you need a national civilian security force?

Now most people say, well we haven't seen any signs of the administration doing that. Until you go back and read what nobody in Washington read, and that's the health care legislation that lays out a provision for the commissioning of officers to work directly for the President in time of a national emergency.

Now what would bring about a national emergency? An economic collapse, a terrorist attack, a natural disaster - we talked about all those things here - which would then allow for martial law. The foundation has been laid.

Geller: Obama Is An Illegitimate Child And Therefore An Illegitimate President

Pamela Geller’s rabid anti-Muslim activism helped her win friends in the conservative movement and the Republican Party, and she even had her own panel at CPAC earlier this year. But Geller has now been focusing her efforts on a different issue: Birtherism. Geller accused President Obama of doctoring his birth certificate and took to the Birther website WorldNetDaily to claim that Obama is ineligible to be president because his parents had a sham marriage. Virginia School of Law professor G. Edward White plainly points out that the term “natural born citizen” is “understood to mean a person born in the United States or born abroad to parents who are both American citizen” (emphasis mine) and had nothing to do with the children of purported “sham marriages.” But for Geller, who now professes to be an expert on Obama’s parents’ romantic life, even if Obama was born in the United States he can’t be considered a “natural born citizen” because the Founders wouldn’t have wanted “an illegitimate child of a foreign bigamist” to be President:

The release of Barack Hussein Obama I's immigration file is stunning in what it reveals and the questions it poses. BHO I's visa expired Aug. 8, 1961 (Barack Junior was born Aug. 4, 1961) – is that why he married Obama's mother? Stanley Ann Dunham was a white girl in a family way with a mixed-race child, desperate for legitimacy in a culture that condemned such behavior as abject immorality, and Barack Obama Sr. was a con man from Kenya desperate to stay in the USA. Was the marriage merely a business arrangement (she was 17 when she got pregnant)? Is that why it was so important to place the ads in the Hawaiian papers announcing the birth of the future president – because his father was about to be deported?

Stanley Ann Dunham could not have been so savvy as to know that BHO I was a Muslim polygamist. Yet clearly, Barack Hussein Obama Sr., was never divorced from his first wife in Kenya. The Immigration and Naturalization Service suspected that the elder Obama's marriage to Dunham was a sham, arranged strictly to secure immigration status for him. Despite the fact that BHO I had married Dunham, the government wasn't buying it: An INS official wrote in 1961 that the agency should "make sure an investigation is conducted as to the bona-fide of the marriage."



It is interesting to note that BHO I claims in the documents to have divorced first wife, Kezia, "verbally." According to the Shariah, a man can divorce his wife by repeating it three times. Further, when BHO I returned to Kenya, he apparently lived with his first Kenyan wife and his American third wife, suggesting that the "divorce" he ostensibly secured to marry Dunham was a transitory ruse.

That would make the president illegitimate. In 1787, illegitimate children had different rights. There is no way the founders of this great nation intended for an illegitimate child of a foreign bigamist to attain the highest, most powerful position in the new land.

Similarly, WND editor Joseph Farah maintains that if Obama is eligible to serve as president, then so are “anchor babies,” or the US-born children of illegal immigrants. Unfortunately for Farah, so-called “anchor babies” are in fact American citizens:

We have a pretender to the throne sitting in the highest office of the land – the most powerful elected position in the world.

America has, without a vote, without a constitutional amendment, without even a court decision, dumbed down the eligibility requirement for the presidency. And that is unacceptable. …

Americans do not want illegal aliens to serve as presidents. That's not what the founders envisioned at all. But conceding to Obama's eligibility will open the door to American presidents who were "anchor babies" – children born of illegal aliens born on U.S. soil.

That's not what the Constitution means. That's not what the founders intended. And it's not what Americans want today.

Exposing David Barton's Bunk

Today, People For the American Way released a new report entitled "Barton’s Bunk: Religious Right ‘Historian’ Hits the Big Time in Tea Party America" written by PFAW Senior Fellow Peter Montgomery that exposes David Barton's shoddy pseudo-history and why it matters: 

Barton’s growing visibility and influence with members of Congress and other Republican Party officials is troubling for many reasons: he distorts history and the Constitution for political purposes; he encourages religious divisiveness and unequal treatment for religious minorities; and he feeds a toxic political climate in which one’s political opponents are not just wrong, but evil and anti-God.

Scholars have criticized Barton for presenting facts out of context or in misleading ways, but that hasn’t stopped him from promoting his theories through books, television, and, yes, the textbooks that will teach the next generation of Americans. He promotes conspiracy theories about elites hiding the truth from average Americans in order to undermine the nation from within. Last summer, he declared that liberal and media attacks on the Tea Party were just like attacks on Jesus. In February, Barton spoke at the Connect 2011 Pastors Conference, where he said that Christians needed to control the culture and media so that “guys that have a secular viewpoint cannot survive.” Said Barton, “If the press lacks moral discrimination, it’s because we haven’t been pushing our people to chop that kind of news off.”

Barton’s work is not just an academic exercise. It is meant to have a political impact. For Barton, “documenting” the divine origins of his interpretations of the Constitution gives him and his political allies a potent weapon. Barton promotes a false reality in which anyone who opposes any element of his political agenda stands in opposition to both the Founding Fathers and to God. He believes that everything in our society – government, the judiciary, the economy, the family – should be governed according to the Bible, and he promotes a view of the Bible and Jesus that many Christians would not recognize. Opponents, even Christians, who disagree with Barton about tax policy or the powers of Congress are not only wrong, they are un-American and anti-religious, enemies of America and of God.

President Obama is a particularly frequent target of Barton’s. In January, one of his WallBuilders Live radio shows was titled “Why is Obama Trying to Remove God from the United States?” In March, right-wing “news” service WND quoted Barton accusing Obama (falsely of course) of being “engaged in a pattern of ‘willfully, deliberately’ repudiating America's Christian heritage.”

Those are the kind of accusations long favored by the Religious Right, and they are destructive. Claims that political opponents are evil and are actively trying to destroy Americans’ freedoms poison the public arena, make constructive civic discourse nearly impossible, and have the potential to incite acts of violence.

Elected officials who endorse Barton give his claims credibility they do not deserve. He in turn gives cover and a veneer of legitimacy to right-wing politicians interested in putting their notions of a nation created by and for Christians into public policy. Both Barton and his backers are undermining understanding of, and respect for, vital American values and constitutional principles like separation of church and state and equal treatment under the law.

And last night, Peter appeared on "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell to discuss Barton and his influence:

Right Wing Round-Up

  • PFAW: Glenn Beck Leaves Fox to Spend More Time with his Chalkboard.
  • Truth Wins Out: TWO Calls On The Republican Party to Denounce The American Family Association After Racist Rant By AFA Radio Host Bryan Fischer.
  • Towleroad: Judge Vaughn Walker Says He is Gay for First Time Publicly, Says Judges Should Never Recuse Themselves Over Sexuality.
  • Lee Fang @ Think Progress: Bristol Palin Responds: Legally Required Nonprofit Disclosure Part Of An Anti-Palin Conspiracy.
  • Andy Birkey @ Minnesota Independent: Herman Cain slams Ellison, says he supports Sharia law.
  • Zack Ford @ Wonk Room: VA Del. Bob Marshall’s Argument Against Same-Sex Adoption: Gay Couples Are ‘Disordered.’

Rand Paul To Address Ralph Reed's Religious Right Conference

Newly elected Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is set to address the Faith & Freedom Conference and Strategy Briefing in June, the hallmark event of Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition. Sen. Paul and his father, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, both appear to be testing the waters for a presidential bid. The younger Paul recently address the Iowa Republican Party’s “Night of the Rising Stars” and the Iowa Campaign for Freedom; he also told The Hill that he feels ready to run for president even though he has only held elected office since January.

Paul has also helped serve as a bridge between the Tea Party and the Religious Right, and conservatives were quick to defend him after he said he publicly opposed the Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. In 2009 Paul headlined an event for the Constitution Party, which wants to establish “biblical law,” and his far-right positions have helped him win endorsements from prominent Religious Right figures like James Dobson and Beverly LaHaye.

During his Iowa speech, he said that politicians should refuse to compromise on the issue of abortion, connecting it to compromises on slavery laws prior to the Civil War. Earlier this year, he tried to connect his opposition to abortion rights to his battle against low flush toilets.

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who is forming a presidential exploratory committee, is also slated to speak at the conference. The group’s Iowa convention hosted likely candidates such as Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain, and Buddy Roemer.

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Republican Party Posts Archive

Peter Montgomery, Monday 08/11/2014, 12:02pm
Republican presidential hopefuls keep lining up to take part in events organized by David Lane, in spite of the activist’s extreme Christian-nation politics. On Friday, Bobby Jindal and Mike Huckabee were in Iowa to meet with conservative pastors organized by Lane's Iowa Renewal Project. Jindal and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, both of whom are considering seeking the GOP nomination for the presidency in 2016, were the stars of a private Iowa Renewal Project event in Cedar Rapids organized by David Lane, a political activist from California who has been quietly mobilizing... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Thursday 07/31/2014, 3:28pm
For Republicans who would like to “rebrand” the party to reach more voters, Michael Peroutka is a nightmare.  Peroutka won the Republican primary for a county council seat in Anne Arundel County, which includes Maryland’s state capital. As we have been reporting, Peroutka is a Christian Reconstructionist who believes “It is not the role of civil government to house, feed, clothe, educate or give heath care to…ANYBODY!” He is an ardent supporter of the white nationalist League of the South, which promotes the secession of southern states, and whose... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Thursday 07/24/2014, 12:52pm
For right-wing advocates, big conservative wins in the Supreme Court’s recently completed term have only confirmed the importance of electing a president in 2016 who will give them more justices in the mold of Samuel Alito and John Roberts.  The Roberts and Alito nominations, and the conservative majority created by their confirmations, represent the triumph of a decades-long push by right-wing funders, big business, conservative political strategists, and legal groups to take ideological dominion of all levels of the federal judiciary. Right-wing groups have long made attacks on... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Tuesday 07/22/2014, 2:53pm
There’s a reason so many Republican politicians seem to bring a religious fervor to their efforts to gut public institutions and social welfare spending. The modern day Religious Right draws much of its ideology from Christian Reconstructionists who teach that God gave specific duties to the government, the church, and the family. According to this theological worldview, education and taking care of the poor are the responsibility of families and churches, and it is unbiblical for the government to take on these roles. That meshes well with the view of “constitutional... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Friday 07/11/2014, 9:50am
We’ve been reporting on the candidacy of Michael Peroutka, the 2004 presidential nominee for the U.S. Constitution Party and now the apparent GOP nominee for a county council seat in Anne Arundel, Maryland.  It is frankly hard to imagine a more extremist candidate for public office.   He is a radical Christian Reconstructionist and southern secessionist who argues that the Maryland General Assembly is “no longer a valid legislative body” because it has passed laws he thinks are violations of “God’s law.” He... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Thursday 06/26/2014, 5:27pm
It’s not completely clear why Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition, which he created in the wake of Obama’s election, has decided to hold an annual conference in Washington, D.C.  After all, the conservative Christian voters his group works to identify and mobilize already have the Values Voter Summit, the much larger fall event sponsored by the Family Research Council and a gaggle of other right-wing groups. One reason may be for the once-disgraced Reed to show off his political access: last week’s Road to Majority conference was thick with Republican... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Wednesday 06/25/2014, 10:50am
Far from the spotlight of Thad Cochran’s surprise defeat of his Tea Party challenger in Mississippi, radical Christian Reconstructionist and southern secessionist Michael Peroutka has apparently won the Republican primary for a county council seat in Maryland’s Anne Arundel County. As of early this morning, with all precincts reporting, the largely self-financing Peroutka had a 36-vote lead over his closest competitor in a five-way primary. But absentee ballots are still being counted, so Anne Arundel County voters could yet be spared a Peroutka general election candidacy. We have... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Tuesday 06/24/2014, 4:52pm
North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest followed Texas Lt. Gov. candidate Dan Patrick to the microphone at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s 2014 Road to Majority conference. Forest joked about following another “Lieutenant Dan” and said he’d been backstage crossing things out because Patrick was already saying them. Indeed, Forest’s comments about the Constitution being grounded in “biblical truth” echoed Patrick’s Christian-nation address. “My friends,” Forest said, “America is at a great crossroads where it must decide for or... MORE >