Alan Keyes

Keyes: "Glenn Beck is an Ignoramus"

A few weeks ago I noted that over the course of nine programs, Faith 2 Action's Janet Porter had had nine different Republican members of Congress on her radio program despite her long history of saying absolutely crazy things.

Lately, she hasn't had any Congressmembers on her program, meaning she's had to go back to her normal guests and topics - like having Alan Keyes on the program to discuss Birtherism.

As one would expect, this led to a rather entertaining discussion, as Porter cites First Lady Michelle Obama referring to Kenya as President Obama's "home country" and then citing Glenn Beck's theory that it was a deliberate attempt by the First Lady to goad the Right into taking the bait in an effort to marginalize them, at which point Keyes goes off and calls Beck an idiot:

Porter: I did not bring it up, but there is still a question about the birth certificate. I would think that if Michelle Obama was going to sensitive to that, she wouldn't have said this in a speech, maybe you didn't hear it, here it is:

[AUDIO of Michelle Obama]: Barack has led by example.  When we took our trip to Africa and visited his home country in Kenya ...

Poter: Did you catch that?  His home country in Kenya. Uh, wow.  That's a pretty strong statement, as she was speaking to the homosexual organizations.

Keyes: I think that's kind of strange . My wife is originally from India, she's a naturalized citizen. And my children have been to India and we try to make sure that they are aware of their heritage and background.  But you know something? I can't imagine, I can't imagine one of them calling India their home country.  It just wouldn't make sense.  And I think things like that are part of what we people who want some clear answers, because you add that to policies that are clearly at odd with the best interests of the country, and especially in national security, really seem to put us in danger. I believe it's beginning to raise some serious issues.

Porter: By the way, people like Glenn Beck say - and he's been pretty forthright and out there on a lot of issues - but he says "ah, she's just doing this to kind of fuel the fire that makes us look like kooks." What do you say to that?

Keyes: Well, I don't take Glenn Beck seriously at all, particularly on this question. People like that are shooting of their mouths. Glenn Beck is an ignoramus on this question, and he has sounded like one in every statement he's ever made. He knows nothing about the Constitution, doesn't understand its requirements, hasn't the faintest regard for the simple logic that is involved in this particular case.  And is basically showing much less common sense than most of the people around the country who understand what's at stake and who realize that if you're going to respect the Constitution, you must respect the words that apply to the most powerful office in the gift of the American people. So I think Glenn Beck has simply been acting foolishly on this issue.

Tea Party Activism and The Religious Right's Unrequited Love

Even though the Religious Right can get no love from the Tea Party movement when it comes to adopting even a small part of their social agenda, it seems that Religious Right leaders are just tripping over themselves to speak at Tea Party rallies whenever the chance arises.

For instance, WallBuilders' Rick Green is speaking at a rally in Texas, and the Eagle Forum's Phyllis Schlafly is addressing an event in Michigan, while Ralph Reed is joining Bob Barr and Virginia Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, for a Tea Party rally in Atlanta.

On top of that, the AFA's Bryan Fischer is speaking at an event in Mississippi and Alan Keyes was at one in Ohio, while Vision America's Rick Scarborugh is speaking at an event in Oklahoma where he will share the microphone with Oklahoma state Senator Randy Brogdon, who is trying to create Tea Party militia to defend the state's sovereignty from federal encroachment.

So I think it is safe to say that the supposed efforts by Tea Party organizers to salvage their reputation by distancing the movement from the crazies was, at best, an isolated incident.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann paired up for a campaign event today in Minnesota.  Somehow the universe did not implode.
  • The AFA's Don Wildmon will be a featured guest at the Florida Family Policy Council's 5th Annual Policy Awards Dinner where he will receive the FFPC's Lifetime Achievement Award, the Daniel Webster Award for Principled Service to Public Policy.
  • For some reason, Phyllis Schlafly is really focused on preventing a second Constitutional Convention. Is anybody calling for a second Constitutional Convention?
  • Peter LaBarber hops aboard Matt Barber's "the Left is just like Fred Phelps" bandwagon.
  • Thomas Sowell accuses President Obama of exploiting polarization, just like what happened in Rwanda.
  • Finally, it seems appropriate that Alan Keyes will be speaking at Tea Party rally that will be held at the Nutter Center.

Will Texas Place a Second-Rate Pseudo-Historian and Tea Party Activist on Its Supreme Court?

Yesterday we mentioned that Rick Green had made it into a run-off election for a spot on the Texas Supreme Court, which was rather remarkable considering that he had exactly zero judicial experience and, since being voted out of state legislative office back in 2002, had been serving as David Barton's right-hand man at WallBuilders.

Now if you know anything about Barton's work and his presentations, then this video of Green will seem very familiar as he is basically Barton's back-up; a second-stringer delivering WallBuilders' presentations about America's purely Christian heritage when Barton is unavailable:

But rest assured that Green has an identity of his own, as well ... he's also a Tea Party activist who rails against "socialists" like Barney Frank and Chris Dodd and announces that they are "firing the first shots of a second American Revolution right here in Texas":

And just in case it isn't clear just how right-wing Rick Green really is, allow me to post this video of Alan Keyes endorsing him back in 2002:

Now that might not seem particularly relevant, except for the fact that it was Green who posted this ad on his YouTube page on February 11, 2010 ... so obviously, the endorsement of a completely unhinged Birther like Keyes is something that Green thinks is the sort of thing that it helps to highlight.

In one month, it is entirely possible this man could win a Republican run-off election and be all but assured of a seat on the Texas Supreme Court.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Newt Gingrich says his endorsement of Dede Scozzafava was a mistake.
  • Not surprisingly, Joseph Farah loves J.D. Hayworth.
  • Also not surprisingly, Alan Keyes thinks that pretty much everybody who is not Alan Keyes or Senate candidate Bill Johnson is too liberal.
  • Sarah Palin's PAC spent more than $60,000 buying copies of her book?
  • Finally, doesn't it seem odd that Mat Staver, who is noticeably unavailable to comment on the disappearance of Lisa Miller, is blasting a Florida case regarding adoption by gay couples?

Don't Get Too Comfortable, Scott Brown

It seems that while the pundits and prognosticators are mulling over just what Scott Brown's victory means for President Obama, the Democratic agenda in Congress, and the future of the Republican Party, a theme is starting to emerge among the Religious Right that as exciting as Brown's win may have been, he's really just another RINO.

Randall Terry was first out of the box, saying that Brown's win was better than a Coakley win, but "we must not deceive ourselves or our supporters about Scott Brown, and his true position on child killing. We need to replace Scott Brown as soon as we can with a true defender of babies' lives, not a phony who supports their murder." 

Alan Keyes has made a similar point:

Conservatives working to restore constitution freedom can cheer for Obama's defeat, but take no cheer from Brown's victory because he is a typical RINO (Republican-in-name-only) who:

* has no differences in principle with the socialist-minded Democrats;

* embraces the substance of Obama's socialist agenda, but "opposes" Obama by criticizing his implementation of socialism, especially when it comes to fiscal matters;

* agrees in principle with the Democrats on the fundamental issues of justice and morality but employs the deceptive rhetoric of personal opinion to evade the questions of public law and policy they involve. Such issues include child-murder and other abrogations of the unalienable right to life, as well as the rejection of the God-endowed rights of the natural family.

Matt Barber is likewise of the view that Brown is little more than a "tourniquet"

Many social conservatives (of which I’m one) have complained that the senator-elect is woefully flawed on social issues – particularly abortion. This is true.

Still, to my pro-life, pro-family compatriots, I offer this: While bleeding to death, one may be left no choice but to apply a tourniquet. A tourniquet is less than ideal. It may even cost a limb; however, it’s also likely to save one’s life. Obama has sliced open America’s wrists with his cutting political agenda. Time is of the essence. By providing Senate Republicans the crucial 41st vote needed to filibuster, Scott Brown supplies the tourniquet.

...

Of course, none of this justifies Brown’s indefensible position on abortion, “civil unions” and other social issues. I and others will not rest until he, and all who have been so deceived by the euphemistic language of “choice” and “reproductive freedom,” likewise recognize that all persons – whether born or pre-born – share an “inalienable right to life” that in every instance trumps another’s phantom “right to choose” premeditated murder.

Most importantly, even the Family Research Council admits that they are not happy with many of Brown's views but withheld criticism in pursuit of short term goals: 

Social conservatives held back criticism of Brown's social views--and, in some cases, openly supported him--because they believe a Brown win fulfills a short term goal of blocking President Obama's abominable health bill. Of course, the Republican Establishment would like us to believe that Scott Brown's moderate platform on life and marriage is a recipe for conservative success in 2010.

So it remains to be seen just how long the current infatuation with Brown lasts and if, when he comes up for re-election down the road, right-wing groups who are happy with his election now will be change their tune and end up backing a "true conservative" primary challenger later.

Obviously, that is a long way away ... but given that the Right doesn't really support Brown now, it is entirely possible that he might eventually find himself the next Dede Scozzafava or Charlie Crist.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Alan Keyes goes after Glenn Beck for dismissing the Birthers are loons.
  • Legatus will present President George W. Bush with its Cardinal John J. O’Connor Pro-Life Award next month.
  • Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs says "the kinds of hate mail and the kinds of attacks I am getting from the right wing are way beyond anything I got when I was criticizing the left or even radical Islam" ever since he broke with the Right.
  • According to the Traditional Values Coalition, Interpol is a tool of the Devil.
  • Marvel at how hard it must be to be a Republican candidate for public office.
  • The Family Research Council will be hosting a panel discussion next week explaining how healthcare reform is unconstitutional.
  • Finally, Christian Newswire informs us that the next installment of American Idol will "lose middle America" because its viewers have an "anti0gay bias" and will object to the addition of Ellen DeGeneres

Alan Keyes Sounds Alarm Bells About Sarah Palin

Alan Keyes, writing on his blog Alan Keyes is LOYAL TO LIBERTY (seriously, that is its name,) explains that just as he warned back in 2004 that Barack Obama was a "hard line Marxist bent on destroying America," he must now sound the alarm bells about Sarah Palin, declaring her to be insufficiently opposed to abortion: 

Nothing Sarah Palin has said or done supports the view that she is pro-life as a matter of justice, law and public policy. So far as I can tell, she is just a pro-choice politician who turned a laudable personal choice into a seductive, but false pro-life public image. All the choices and statements she has made in her public capacity support this conclusion. If I'm wrong, show me the facts and statements that indicate something beyond the "I'm personally pro-life" position so common among the so-called "pro-choice" promoters of "abortion rights".

Unless Sarah Palin fundamentally alters the views she has enunciated and acted on up to now, I predict that she will disappoint the hope so many sincerely pro-life people are mistakenly investing in her supposed pro-life stand. I am sure I will pay a price for saying now what others will only realize when it may be too late. I was excoriated starting in 2004 for calling Obama a hard line Marxist bent on destroying America. That view is not at all so contemned today as it was when facts and reasoning first convinced me of its truth. Similarly on account of facts and reasoning I and others insist that Obama cease to withhold evidence bearing on whether or not he satisfies the Constitution's eligibility requirements for the Office of President of the United States. For this we are vilified and ridiculed, though many of our fellow Americans now join in this demand.

My view of Sarah Palin's supposed pro-life stance, and the danger involved in following her leadership, is similarly based on facts and reasoning. I will hold to it until one or the other clearly compels me to do otherwise. Experience has taught me that even among those whose pro-life hearts espouse the self-evident truths that make us free, when it comes to politics the factual standard of truth often gives way to personal feelings and expedient calculation. Given the crisis we are in, I can only pray that at some point they will realize that this neglect of the requirements of truth is the very reason America's liberty has reached the crisis point. Before a people finds leaders willing to act in truth, they must become a people willing to submit their own judgments and decisions to its demands.

In 2004, Alan Keyes Was a Republican Senate Candidate

It is becoming increasingly clear that Alan Keyes has reached the outer limits of the right-wing fringe movement, which is saying something considering that he had always pretty resided on the fringes to begin with and has only been heading further out  since the election of Barack Obama.

But his latest WorldNetDaily column defending Rev. James David Manning, pastor of Atlah World Missionary Church, really is remarkable, even for him.

Normally, I'd post some of Manning's bizarre rantings here to give you a sense of who he is, but his account has been suspended from YouTube, so I'll simply point you to Wikipedia:

Manning came to public attention in the 2008 presidential election after ATLAH posted several sermons of his that were harshly critical of Democratic candidate Barack Obama on the website YouTube. Among other accusations, he called Obama a "good House Negro" in one sermon while in another he referred to Obama as "trash" due to circumstances surrounding his mixed race heritage and accused him of being a "pimp" (pimping "white women and black women") and "long-legged mack daddy," and an "emissary of the devil", citing the viral video "I Got a Crush... on Obama". He stated that Obama "has the cadence of an Islamic person,"and he called Obama's mother "trash" for becoming pregnant by a black man out of wedlock. Manning revisited this latter issue during a press conference at the National Press Club on 8 December 2008: "Generally the most noble of white society choose not to intercourse sexually with African men. So it's usually the trashier ones who make their determinations that they're going to have sex."

Manning defended his sermons in an interview on Fox News, saying that "we also have to talk about his character."He compared TV personality Oprah Winfrey, who supported Obama's campaign, to the Whore of Babylon, the "Queen of the Universe", and an Antichrist.

According to Manning, one of his recent video postings prompted a visit from the Department of Homeland Security ... and it is not hard to see why, considering that somewhere around the five minute mark, Manning begins screaming:

You gotta clean house. You got to take Obama to trial, put him in jail for the rest of his life, or hang him.  Shoot him on the Washington ... first try him, find him guilty, and the punishment for treason is a death sentence. And then clean the rest out, go get Hillary, go get John McCain, go get George Bush, got get Dick Cheney too, get 'em all.  And then we can start over again.

So what does Keyes' have to say about Manning, who is seemingly calling for the execution of several current and former high-ranking government officials? That he's right:

I have followed Rev. Manning's broadcasts and statements for some time. He is forthright and outspoken in his religious and political views. He speaks with a boldness that is surely offensive to people who believe that civility requires silence even in the face of the stratagems of deception now being perpetrated against the American people. But I see nothing that he has said or done that warrants interference with his freedom of speech. Both YouTube's actions and those of the federal and New York City officials who visited his church appear to be in clear violation of his constitutional rights and part of an effort to intimidate him and others who are outspoken critics of the coup d'état being perpetrated by the Obama faction and its fellow travelers among the elites, who are working to accomplish the overthrow of our constitutional republic.

The repression of Rev. Manning's views is an intolerable assault on the constitutional freedom of every American. However disagreeable his voice may be to others, including the present occupant of the White House, his right to voice his criticisms is clear and undeniable. So is his right to seek redress of grievances that threaten the sovereignty of the American people and of every American as a member of the sovereign body of the people. Respect for these rights is one of the bedrock prerequisites of government of, by and for the people. Efforts to thwart and repress their exercise constitute a clear and present danger to the liberty of all Americans. Like the darkening skies and rising winds that announce the landfall of a hurricane, this move to silence Rev. Manning ominously foreshadows the next phase of the elite assault against the Constitution and people of the United States.

Alan Keyes Is Off The Deep End

Remember back in 2002 when MSNBC ran a program called "Alan Keyes Is Making Sense"?  Maybe Fox News should pick that up and put it back on the air because it seems like Keyes would fit in well with their programming at the moment: 

Former presidential candidate Alan Keyes has given perhaps his most dire warning yet, saying that the Obama administration is preparing to stage terror attacks, declare martial law and cancel the 2012 elections, which is why they are demonizing their political enemies as criminals and terrorists.

“It is so clear hat we have now put a faction in place – they are not playing by the rules and they don’t intend to play by the rules – if they were playing by the rules they wouldn’t have tried to identify their opposition as criminals,” added Keyes, making reference to the recent controversy surrounding the release of the MIAC and Homeland Security reports, which implied that Americans who exercise and are knowledgeable about their constitutional rights are a threat to law enforcement and potential domestic terrorists.

“It’s obvious that they will stop at nothing,” Keyes told attendees of a reception in Fort Wayne, adding, “We may wake up one day and there’s a series of terrorist attacks, the economy is paralysed… martial law will be declared everywhere in the United States and it won’t end until the crisis ends.”

“The minute they think they can get away with it, they will end this system of government and that is their intention,” added Keyes, noting that everyone acting as if the time we are in was just “business as usual” reminds him of the attitude of politicians in the Weimar Republic when Hitler was rising to power or eastern Europe when the Communists were taking over after the second world war.

Keyes said that because the majority of people are decent-minded, they believe others will play by the rules when this simply isn’t the case, warning that this attitude will allow evil to take over before we can do anything about it.

Keyes stated that the only solution was from the bottom up because our leaders “are so gutless that they won’t even ask that the Constitution be enforced for clear, plain, absolutely unequivocal requirements,” and respond meekly with “their lips shut and their hearts terrorized.”

Keyes also warned of Obama’s agenda to create a civilian security force (which could curtail the restrictions of Posse Comitatus Act) and said it was part of the ultimate agenda to disarm American citizens and create a police state.

Keyes has been a vocal critic of Obama, warning that he is a radical communist who is determined to destroy America, and that if his agenda is not stopped then the country as we know it will cease to exist.

The video itself was shot back in April and the sound quality is bad, but you can watch it here.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • It doesn't look like Gov. Mark Sanford's efforts to save his marriage are working out as he had planned.
  • Sen. Mel Martinez announced that he is resigning his seat and will step down as soon as a replacement is named.
  • Alan Keyes wants to know why people like Don Wildmon, Gary Bauer, and others on the Right aren't defending the Birthers.
  • OneNewsNow: Operation Rescue is formally launching a campaign called "Keep it Closed" that targets Nebraska abortionist LeRoy Carhart. Carhart has stated that he will open a late-term abortion facility in Kansas or Nebraska in the aftermath of the shooting death of Wichita abortionist George Tiller. Operation Rescue, in conjunction with Rescue the Heartland and Nebraskans United for Life, hopes to prevent Carhart from opening the clinic.
  • Finally, for those who can't wait for September's "How To Take Back America Conference," there will be a pre-conference webcast with many of the hosts on August 18th.

Birthers Gone Wild

I suppose I am obligated to post the video of Orly Taitz's appearance on MSNBC yesterday, so here it is:

I don't feel this clip provided any new information to the issue - other than providing further evidence that Taitz is insane despite her insistence that she is not, in fact, crazy. 

In fact, the insistence by the Birthers that they are not crazy seems to be a their new defense, as that was exactly the point that Wiley Drake made last week:

Obama's supporters "want to brand anyone who questions him as a nut, and they're not. Alan Keyes is not a nut. I'm not," Drake said.

Which brings me to this good piece by David Weigel reporting that Taitz's antics and recklessness is causing a rift in the Birther movement among those who see her as undermining their efforts and which contains this interesting nugget: 

The “Kenyan birth certificate” has made skeptics out of people like Leahy and Kreep. Two of Taitz’s original plaintiffs, Wiley Drake and Markham Robinson, both associates of Alan Keyes during his presidential campaign, were removed from her latest filing after seeking new representation.

Has Taitz really become too crazy for the likes of Wiley Drake, a man who admits to praying to God to kill President Obama? That is quite an accomplishment.

On a semi-related note, I think it is also worth pointing out that Chuck Norris now seems to be throwing in with the Birthers as well, doing so by claiming that while he doesn't have any reason to doubt Obama's claims to citizenship, his refusal to release the document the Birthers are demanding is raising questions:

Isn't categorically satisfying constitutional requirements for a president, or answering the First Amendment grievances of hundreds of thousands of Americans, or ending a national debate or healing a country's divisions enough "direct and tangible interest"?

Mr. President, as more and more people realize that you are refusing to release your original birth certificate, further questions will fuel the fires of debate or at least hinder the embers from ever being snuffed out. Questions like, "Does it really contain the Hawaiian physician's name?" Or "Does it disclose something other than his birth place that he wishes others not to see?"

...

So again I ask, why don't you simply request, release and give permission to make public your original birth certificate?

Let's not forget that Norris was among Mike Huckabee's biggest and most visible supporters. That, coupled with the fact that Huckabee is scheduled to headline a right-wing conference next month being hosted by three bona fide Birthers leads me to wonder just what Huckabee's views are on this issue, considering that several of the people he has chosen to associate and surround himself with are deeply enmeshed in the Birther conspiracy movement.

Obama's America: "A Cross Between Stalinist USSR and Nazi Germany"

By now, everyone realizes that Orly Taitz is the "Queen of the Birthers" and, more importantly, a verifiable nutcase.  Everyone that is except for people like Lou Dobbs, Janet Porter, and all of the others who have latched onto her conspiracy theories.

And while Taitz has been saying crazy things since she launched this crusade, the recent attention she has been receiving seems to have emboldened her to really let loose, leading to profiles like this one by Max Blumenthal in which she proclaims that President Obama is worse than Stalin, ought to be in prison, and rapidly turning America into Nazi Germany: 

Almost as soon as Orly Taitz answered her cellphone, before I could even ask a single question, the leader of the movement determined to disprove President Obama’s American citizenship breathlessly told me the president was “connected” to 39 bogus Social Security numbers, including one for a deceased person born in 1890. “If Obama is not stopped, we will be in Nazi Germany!” Taitz, who has a thick Russian accent, shrieked. “Forgery is a criminal matter and he committed it. Obama should be in the Big House, not the White House!”

Since Taitz’s “birther” campaign began, in the summer of 2008, during the late stages of the Democratic primaries, the dentist, lawyer, and mother of three has begun winning friends in high places. Taitz told me excitedly that since she opened her Facebook account, she has had to hire a staff of five to process the thousands of friend requests she receives each week.

Among those requesting her online friendship, Taitz said, are House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA), Rep. Mary Bono (R-CA), and Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele. She has even received a request, she said, from someone saying they are Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “I personally checked [the request] and determined that it came from his office,” Taitz said.

Among Taitz’s “biggest supporters,” she said, is CNN anchor Lou Dobbs. “I did Lou’s radio show for half an hour and he was very understanding,” she told me. “He became a supporter and since then he became a supporter of the whole [Obama eligibility] issue.” Indeed, during the July 15 broadcast of Dobbs’ radio show, he praised Taitz’s work, suggested Obama might be “undocumented,” and demanded the president “show the documents” to prove he was born in the United States.

When I spoke to Taitz, she had just finished taping an interview with The Colbert Report. By her own count, she has been interviewed by no fewer than 170 news outlets around the world. While she’s grateful for the exposure, the scrutiny of the media seems to have her in a persistent state of heightened exasperation.

“This is Nazi Germany! These are brownshirts in action!” Taitz exclaimed when asked about recent segments by Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann, and Jon Stewart mocking her campaign and questioning her credibility. “Anybody who does not take Obama’s word at face value will be harassed by brownshirts like Rachel Maddow.”

Taitz’s apparent view of present-day American life through the lens of World War II Europe may be due in part to her upbringing in the Soviet republic of Moldova and then in Israel, where she lived until she immigrated to the U.S. in 1987. Now a resident of Buena Park, California, Taitz said she feared Obama would transform her adopted country into a totalitarian state as soon as he stepped onto the national stage. Reading online discussions about Obama’s supposed plan to create a “civilian national security force” aroused Taitz’s early alarm.

“I realized that Obama was another Stalin—it’s a cross between Stalinist USSR and Nazi Germany,” she said.

Interestingly, while Tatiz is reportedly hiring staff, other Birthers are closing up shop because they can't get any financial support, as Alan Keyes, himself a Birther, laments today in WorldNetDaily:

I read with sadness but no surprise WND's article about the demise of The Obama File [run by Parker Shannon], "an extensive depot of information questioning Barack Obama's eligibility to hold the office of president."

...

The juxtaposition of prayerful good wishes and indolent support highlights one of the saddest realities of our time ... many of those who work today to defeat the overthrow of our God-given liberty are perishing from the material indifference of those who benefit from and approve of their work.

This partly reflects a successful strategy being implemented by the forces working to achieve the overthrow of liberty. Faced with facts and reasoning they cannot refute, they resort to ad hominem attacks. Chief among these is the accusation that greed motivates the people who try to share facts and arguments the manipulative media systematically ignore. (Ironically greed is, of course, among the chief motives of those who staff the corporate media outlets.) Meanwhile, the people being accused, people like Parker Shannon, me and others I hear from practically every day, inexorably slide toward bankruptcy.

Did you notice how Keyes managed to include himself among those defenders of liberty who find themselves sliding toward bankruptcy?

Hmmm, it looks like all the money he was bringing in through his complicated ties to the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps must have dried up.

When the Conspiracy Theory Becomes the Conspiracy Theory

It looks like the Birther conspiracy theory might be turning a corner.  No, it is not going away but rather the entire issue is now being held up by people on the Right as evidence of a plot by the media and President Obama to marginalize conservatives.

Earlier this week, Bill Pascoe, the man "whose idea it was to recruit Alan Keyes to run" against Barack Obama in Illinois, wrote in CQ that all the attention suddenly being paid to the Birthers was part of a media ploy to discredit the conservative movement:

Is this anything but a gift to the Democrats?

Am I the only one to notice that mainstream media attention to the "Birthers" has picked up in recent weeks -- and that this increased attention is coincident to the turn in Obama's approval ratings?

A search of The Washington Post web site, for instance, on the term "Birther" yields as its oldest hit this one from July 6; a search of The New York Times, though, shows one June reference in passing and then the first real mention of the term on July 22.

Far be it from me to assume one is the cause of the other -- as faithful readers know, I do my best to avoid falling into the post hoc, ergo propter hoc trap -- but, still, it is an interesting coincidence.

Coincident or not, it is eating up valuable air time and gobbling up precious inches of type that could, and should, be devoted to other, more pressing, matters -- like the self-immolation of the Democratic Party, as it struggles to find a way to reform the health care delivery system without destroying it.

Reasonable and responsible conservatives, thus, are stuck. We are being lumped in with irresponsible and unreasonable conspiracy theorists.

But to others, like Bernard Goldberg and Bill O'Reilly, the Birthers' prominence is not just the work of the media, but rather is something that is being orchestrated directly out of the White House:

Goldberg: I have a theory. And the theory is this: That the Chicago Mafia inside the White House want to keep this crazy controversy going. Because the longer it goes, the better the chance that they will conflate the crazy right-wing fringe with regular conservatives and regular Republicans.

O'Reilly: That's not a bad theory.

A word of advice to Golberg and Pascoe:  if you want to avoid being conflated with the crazy right-wing fringe and being lumped in with irresponsible and unreasonable conspiracy theorists, then it is probably best not start spewing crazy theories about how the media and the White House are engaged in a massive conspiracy to paint you as crazy right-wing conspiracy theorists.

Wiley Drake Insists That He Is Not a Nut

Wiley Drake has played a central role in keeping the Birther conspiracy alive, as he and his running mate, Alan Keyes, are among the few members of the movement who can claim "standing" in the various lawsuits filed by Orly Taitz by alleging that they were directly harmed by the fact that Barack Obama is ineligible to be President of the United States.

So despite the fact that Hawaii's health director released a statement yesterday attesting that she has personally seen President Obama's birth certificate in the Health Department's archives, it comes as no surprise that Drake remains unmoved:

Hawaiian officials have again attested to the veracity of President Barack Obama's birth certificate, but Pastor Wiley Drake of the Buena Park Southern Baptist Church is not convinced.

Nor does he believe it will affect the lawsuit he is a party to in Orange County Superior Court, challenging Obama's eligibility to hold the nation's highest office.

"We've been there, done that before," Drake said of Hawaiian authorities. "They've sworn to the validity of it before, then they've backed off, so we don't know what they're doing."

You know else is unsurprising?  That fact that Drake insists that he is not, in fact, "a nut": 

Obama's supporters "want to brand anyone who questions him as a nut, and they're not. Alan Keyes is not a nut. I'm not," Drake said.

If praying to God to kill Barack Obama does not qualify someone as a "nut" then I don't know what does.

Huckabee and Bachmann to Headline Event Co-Hosted By a Birther

If there is one Religious Right figure through which any and every fevered right-wing conspiracy theory can gain exposure, it is Janet Porter.  

Hate crimes legislation will throw Christians in jail? Check

The Department of Homeland Security report was really an attack on conservatives? Check.

Barack Obama was not born in the United States and is ineligible to hold the office of President? Check.

In fact, in most of these instances, Porter has not only been avidly spreading these falsehood but has actually played a leading role in their propagation, having been behind WorldNetDaily's effort to inundate Congress with faxes opposing the "Pedophile Protection Act," having led a coalition that called for DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano's resignation, and regularly hosting leaders of the Birther movement on her radio program.

Case in point:  yesterday she hosted Maj. Stefan Frederick Cook, the Army reservist who filed suit challenging his deployment to Afghanistan on the grounds that Obama is ineligible to serve as president of the United States and commander-in-chief, and his lawyer Orly Taitz , the "queen bee of people obsessed with Barack Obama's birth certificate."

The interview was pretty much what one would expect from a discussion among a trio of right-wing conspriacy theorists, with Cook asserting that he was concerned that obeying his deployment orders would be illegal and that, in turn, any orders he issued while on duty would likewise be illegal and that he and all his soldiers would therefore be in violation of the Geneva Conventions.

The most fascinating part of the program, in my opinion, came when Cook handed to phone over to Taitz and Porter welcomed her back to the program, saying that America is a safer place because of her efforts.  The two discussed Taitz's work in a manner that suggests extreme familiarity between the two women, as if the two have been working together closely on this effort and, at the end of the above audio clip, Taitz explains that she is representing both Alan Keyes and "somebody that you know really well, Pastor Wiley Drake" to which Porter responds affirmatively.

As it turns out, Porter does know Drake, as she hosted him on her program back on April 28th.

Drake is the man who recently declared that the murder of Dr. George Tiller was an answer to his prayers, literally, and that he is likewise that he is praying for the death of President Obama.

On a similar note, Porter also recently hosted Bill Keller on her program, the man best known for his crusade to convince America that a vote for Mitt Romney was a "vote for Satan."

It's not really a surprise that Porter would have people like Keller and Drake on her program, considering that she clearly shares their rabidly right-wing views, as demonstrated by the fact that she declared ahead of the November election that anyone who voted for Barack Obama was going to hell.

But was is surprising is that people like Mike Huckabee, who tapped Porter to co-chair his presidential campaign's Faith and Family Values Coalition, and Rep. Michele Bachmann would agree to headline the How To Take Back America Conference in September which is being co-chaired by Porter even though she had made a career of promoting the worst rhetoric that the Right has to offer.

Even by the standards of the Religious Right, Porter inhabits the fringe of the movement and has, since the election, ventured further and further out to sea, wallowing in conspiracy theories and Christian victimization, claiming that Obama's election was the result of a communist conspiracy twenty years in the making and calling on God to prevent him from taking office, while warning that "AN EARTH-SHATTERING CALAMITY IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN" to this nation because we deserve God's judgment.

And yet, when she co-hosts an event, instead of running for the hills out of fear of ever being seen with her, Huckabee and Bachmann jump at the chance to address it.  

It boggles the mind.

Alan Keyes Is (The Only One) Making Sense!

The emerging convention wisdom among the Religious Right and conservative commentators regarding Sarah Palin's abrupt decision to resign before the end of her sole term as Governor seems to be that she was hounded out of office by Democrats, bloggers, and mean people who criticized her.

Gary Bauer says "she was tired of being harassed" but that her decision is "a move that could end up serving her very well."

Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America decried the "dirty politics" that forced Palin out, saying no other politician in "public life has ever had her children and family so maligned and attacked so brutally, explicitly, and disrespectfully" but likewise believes that Palin will "find a way back into national politics, and she'll be a formidable force when she does."

Matthew Continetti of The Weekly Standard, who has a book called "The Persecution of Sarah Palin" coming out next year, just wrote an article for the next issue in which he explains that she has been "trapped" in the Governor's office and has now been set free. Continetti explains that, in her short time in office, Palin has been so successful that not only did not need to run again, but that she didn't even have to finish out her first term and that she had finally become fed-up with the incessant attacks:

As the months passed, Palin arrived at the conclusion that she didn't want a second term as Alaska's governor. She had achieved what she had set out to do, so why bother with one more lame-duck legislative session in 2010? "I know that we've accomplished more in our two years in office than most governors could hope to accomplish in two terms," Palin said. "And that's because I hired the right people." For Palin to remain shuttling between Juneau, Anchorage, and Wasilla would waste both her and her constituents' time. And "I cannot waste time," she said. "I cannot waste resources."

...

Why is Palin leaving? At this writing, there is no reason to doubt her stated position: Her enemies' concerted efforts to tear her down have caused her family financial stress and distracted her from her duties as governor. Since she returned to Alaska in November 2008, she has been hemmed in. Ethics complaints, insults, invective, undue attention, and legal bills have been all-consuming. "I can't fight for what's right when I'm shackled to the governor's seat," Palin said. For the last seven months the governor's office has been a ward. A trap. She is breaking free.

...

Unable or unwilling to grasp her true accomplishments and character, the media shoehorned Palin into a ready-made caricature of the know-nothing Christian PTA mom who enters politics because of "those damned lib'ruls." The reality is far different. Palin is a savvy and charismatic politician whose career has been filled with courageous stands against entrenched authority. Ideological or partisan attachments do not concern her. She has her flaws--who doesn't?--but they should be measured against her strengths. Instead the media ignored the positives and colluded with Palin's adversaries to reduce her to a cartoon.

Oddly, the only one who doesn't seem to be buying into the "Palin-as-vicitm" explanation is Alan Keyes, who accuses her of dereliction of duty and "bad statesmanship":

In her speech, Sarah Palin refers to a "recent trip to Kosovo and Landstuhl, to visit our wounded soldiers overseas" and "what we can all learn from our selfless troops ... they're bold, they don't give up and they take a stand …" Here words are an apt reminder of what the faithful performance of duty requires. Soldiers take a stand in the very teeth of enemy fire, even though it means certain death or grievous wounds. There is a word for soldiers who quit their posts because the enemy is shooting at them. It is not intended as a compliment, especially when it's their own bad judgment that has put them in the way of enemy fire in the first place.

Sarah Palin calls to mind our wounded soldiers in the very moment when she fails to follow their heroic example. In the process, she acknowledges that, thanks to the provision of Alaska's taxpayers, she has successfully evaded the cost-free political attacks allowed by "the ethics law I championed." She won! Had Custer won the battle at Little Big Horn, I doubt that anyone would have questioned the money expended for the guns and bullets required to do so. He had a duty to defend his command, especially after his own mistakes exposed it to danger.

Of course, resignation would have been in order once he acknowledged and took responsibility for those mistakes. But Sarah Palin has done no such thing. She claims Alaska is being damaged by the attacks against her, but that the fault lies entirely with the bad motives and actions of others. She says her tenure as governor has been successful; her judgments and actions sound; her record all for the good of the state and its people. But if this is true, it makes no sense to deprive the state of the governor duly elected by the people simply because bad folks attack her. In that case, resigning simply lets the (political) assassins finish their work. How can letting the duly elected governor be taken out in this way be consistent with her sworn duty to defend the state?

If she is without fault or blame, then Palin's explanation makes no sense except as a clear dereliction of duty. She swore faithfully to perform the duties of her office. She claims to have done so. Others have abused the law to attack her. She successfully defended against them. If, as she contends, she has simply been performing her duties, her defense of herself is in fact simply a defense of her office, in the literal sense. To preserve that office with integrity is one of her duties as governor. By resigning, she fails in the performance of that duty. She encourages the "politics of personal destruction" in much the same way that allowing terrorists to succeed encourages further acts of terrorism. This cannot be good for Alaska, and it does not keep faith with the people who elected her. They rightly expected her to defend the integrity of the office, which obviously means standing firm against those who attack its occupant without good reason.

If her stated explanation makes no sense, we are forced to look for an alternative that does. Absent that, we are forced to conclude that her decision to resign is, like championing the law used to harass her, just another example of her bad statesmanship.

You know something bizarre is underway when the only person on the Right who is making any sort of sense is Alan Keyes.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Tony Perkins says the "essential issue" of efforts to the overhaul the nation's health care system is "will health care reform force taxpayers to pay for abortions for the first time in 30 years?"
  • On a related note, FRC also produced these fliers [PDF] to be handed out at the July 4th TEA Party rallies promoting their Clear Conscience Health Care site.
  • Alan Keyes explains why, of all the TEA Parties he could have attended, he chose the one in Boiling Springs, S.C: it was the only one that would allow him to talk about God.
  • Speaking of which, at the event at which Keyes spoke, attendees were reportedly handing out fliers reading "Zelaya today, Obama tomorrow."
  • Did you know that Sen. Jim DeMint has a new book out called "Saving Freedom: We Can Stop America's Slide into Socialism"? It was released July 4th.
  • LifeNews reports that President Obama has chosen "'Pro-Life' Catholic Sellout Douglas Kmiec for Malta Ambassador." I wasn't aware that "news" outlets were allowed to call their opponents "sell-outs."
  • Finally, later this month American Vision will be hosting its "Worldview Super Conference III" in Georgia. According to WorldNetDaily, whose own Joseph Farah will be speaking at the event, ""the conference's theme, 'The Great Reversal: How Christians Will Change the Future,' reflects the mission of the organization planning the event, American Vision, which states its purpose is to 'restore America to its biblical foundation.'"

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Who would have ever guessed than an Answers in Genesis special “State of the Nation” program entitled "The Collapse of Christian America" would be so boring?  Not me, which is why I made the mistake of watching it.
  • John Hagee says God will judge America for pressuring Israel.
  • The Census Bureau tries to set Rep. Michelle Bachmann straight.
  • Rob Schenck calls on Gov. Mark Sanford to resign.
  • Alan Keyes blasts Republicans who are outraged by Sanford's actions, saying they are no better and "by their silence and inaction on Obama's eligibility for the presidency, have forsworn their oath to uphold and defend the Constitution."
  • Gary Bauer on "when gays attack."
  • Alveda King proves once again that any and every news story can serve as a hook for a press release decrying abortion.
  • Rep. Randy Forbes has been awarded the Distinguished Christian Statesman Award.
  • Basically, the Right's opposition to Sonia Sotomayor seems to stem primarily from bitterness over the defeat of Robert Bork.

Crazy By Association

When I saw a press release announcing that Alan Keyes was going to be in South Carolina campaigning for a woman named Christina Jeffrey who is running Congress, my first thought was "wow, she must be crazy."

After all, no sane candidate would ever seek the assistance of someone like Keyes and expect to win, so I did a little research to try and found out a little about her on her website:

In these difficult economic times, the citizens in the Up-state of South Carolina deserve better representation in Congress. Christina Jeffrey, with a PhD. in Political Science and a college professor, is a person who has built her life based upon Conservative Principles.

Christina has worked in Germany and Turkey, and understands the international problems we are confronted with today. Christina has been a college professor for many years. She has been a tenured Associate Professor of Political Science at Kennesaw State University in Georgia, and the Congressional Historian for the 104th Congress of the United States. She currently teaches Foundations of American Government at Wofford College.

What I also found out was that her claim to have been the "Congressional Historian for the 104th Congress of the United States" leaves out a few key pieces of information ... like the fact that she held the job for less than two weeks before she was fired by Newt Gingrich:

Fired by Speaker Newt Gingrich as House historian because she complained Nazi views weren't represented in a Holocaust course, Christina Jeffrey said Tuesday that allegations against her ``are slanderous and outrageous.''

In a statement the morning after her firing, Jeffrey, who was hired less than a week ago, also said she was ``fired in the press.''

Reporters, who received materials from Democratic sources, began making inquiries to Gingrich's office after learning of Jeffrey's review of the Holocaust course in 1986.

House Democrats quickly pounced on her eight-year-old review, one saying it bordered on Holocaust revision.

...

Jeffrey, hired at $85,000 a year, headed a panel that reviewed the Holocaust course for the Republican-run U.S. Department of Education. The panel recommended against a federal grant for the course and the department -- insisting the decision was its own -- declined funding in 1986 and again the next two years.

Concluding her remarks on ``Facing History and Ourselves'' a course designed for eighth and ninth graders, Jeffrey wrote: ``The program gives no evidence of balance or objectivity. The Nazi point of view, however unpopular, is still a point of view and is not presented, nor is that of the Ku Klux Klan.''

While Jeffrey insisted at the time and continues to insist that her remarks were taken wildly out of context, this does at least shed some light on just what sort of political candidate openly welcome the support of someone like Keyes.

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Alan Keyes Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Tuesday 12/03/2013, 12:20pm
Angry over the GOP’s “surrender in principle on issues of fundamental right like abortion and the rights of the natural family,” Alan Keyes thinks that it may be time for a third party that will represent the far-right. Keyes, who ran against Barack Obama for US Senate in 2004, said that while all of his “prognostications and predictions I have continually and repeated made about the destructive, anti-American nature and intent of Barack Obama and all those who collaborate with him” have been “confirmed,” Republican politicians “have been either... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 12/02/2013, 11:25am
In a Renew America column Saturday, Alan Keyes attacked Wyoming Senate candidate Liz Cheney for not denouncing marriage equality strongly enough, claiming that her opposition is so weak that it will only help the gay rights movement. Keyes, like Cheney, has an openly gay family member: He disowned his daughter after she came out of the closet. During his 2004 campaign for Senate against then-state senator Barack Obama, Keyes derided Liz Cheney’s openly gay sister Mary as a “selfish hedonist”; at the time, Liz said she would not “dignify [the remark] with a comment.... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Monday 11/25/2013, 1:24pm
At last week’s less-than-spectacular kickoff for the Second American Revolution, Larry Klayman announced that President Obama has until this coming Friday, November 29, to resign. If he doesn’t, Klayman and his friends will move forward with their plan to organize mass civil disobedience, force the resignation of President Obama and the Congress, and replace them with a government-in-waiting to be formed in Philadelphia in the coming weeks. The idea was even too much for Alan Keyes, who decided not to show up at Klayman’s rally in Washington DC last week.  Klayman read... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 11/12/2013, 11:25am
Update: Molly Redden of Mother Jones reports that despite Klayman’s claim, Franks’s office says the congressman will not be attending the rally. Larry Klayman, the right-wing activist who hopes to literally overthrow President Obama, claims that Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) will address his upcoming coup d’état rally. Franks and Klayman will be joined by right-wing leaders such as Larry Pratt, Bob Barr, Pamela Geller, Alan Keyes, Bradlee Dean, Joseph Farah and Zeeda Andrews, who believes President Obama might actually be Osama bin Laden : Among speakers... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 09/30/2013, 4:45pm
Alan Keyes somehow managed to include a rant against gay rights in a screed against the UN Arms Trade Treaty, which is already the subject of right-wing conspiracy theories. Keyes said that the treaty is—of course—a push to stifle the gun rights, classify “people who support the Second Amendment” as “prospective terrorists” and provide “a pretext for suppressing the constitutional rights of people.” “Can they figure out a way to reconcile their desire to give arms to Islamic extremists with their equally intense desire to disarm law-... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 09/19/2013, 1:20pm
Alan Keyes returned to "Dr. Chaps" Gordon Klingenschmitt's "Pray In Jesus Name" program today where he made the case that there can be no such thing as a "right to homosexuality" because all rights come from God, and God has said that homosexuality is an abomination. "Only those things that are demonstrated to have a relationship with what is right from the point of view of the society, of human nature, and of the things that God requires of us as part of our responsibility to him, those things can be claimed as right," Keyes asserted. Letting... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 09/17/2013, 11:22am
Alan Keyes was the guest today on "Dr. Chaps" Gordon Klingenschmitt's "Pray In Jesus Name" program where Keyes asserted that President Obama's agenda can only be properly understood if one accepts the fact that his mission is to ultimately destroy the United States of America. And the only way to stop him, Keyes explained, is to make impeachment the focus of the 2014 mid-term elections. "We have an election in 2014," Keyes said, "and the Constitution makes it very clear; if a majority of the House impeaches them and if two-thirds of the Senate vote... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 08/27/2013, 12:25pm
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) filled in for Tony Perkins on the Family Research Council's Washington Watch radio program yesterday where he interviewed ultraconservative activist Alan Keyes. He reminisced about voting for Keyes for president and different gatherings they both addressed, a conversation which naturally progressed into a discussion of how elitist forces threaten to cull the world’s population and turn everyone into slaves. Keyes, who thinks gay marriage will lead to the “murder of the masses” and believes Obama’s gun policies are part of his plan to have... MORE >