Alan Keyes

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.

The Birth of the Birthers

Spencer Kornhaber of the OC Weekly has done us all a great service by taking on the unenviable task of trying to understand the motivations and history of the "Birther" movement by producing this lengthy and excellent profile of Orly Taitz, the dentist who has become one of the key figures in starting conspiracy theories about Barack Obama's eligibility to be President of the United States.

The piece is excellent as it covers her ties to people like Wiley Drake and Alan Keyes and explains how she ended up getting sued by others in the Birther movement who accuse her of being an Obama plant out to discredit their efforts.  The piece is rather long, so I'm just going to excerpt a few sections and urge you to read the whole thing:

There’s a term some use for people like Taitz, and she doesn’t like it. It’s “birther”—or, if you want to be really mean, “birfer.” (The controversy was born on the Internet, so naturally the Internet gave it a goofy name.) While rumors about Obama’s background and citizenship simmered throughout the 2008 presidential campaign, after Election Day, those rumors coalesced into a near-religion for a group of true believers. To Taitz and the unknown number of people who agree with her, Barack Obama isn’t president and probably wasn’t even born in the U.S. Taitz, a Laguna Niguel dentist with a law degree from an online academy, has been awarded a few creative variations on the birther term: “The Queen Bee of Birferstan” is probably the best.

“That’s demeaning,” Taitz says. “I don’t call anybody names.”

This isn’t quite true. She calls Obama a “usurper” and an “arrogant jerk from Africa and Indonesia.” She called a judge an “idiot.” And she calls anyone who stands in her way an “Obama thug.” Taitz has built a sizable following on her blog; in the comments for each post at orlytaitzesq.com, you can read a few more names for people whom Taitz doesn’t like: “traitors,” “Muslims,” “terrorists.”

In the past eight months, Taitz’s face has become one of the most recognizable of what its adherents prefer to call the “eligibility” movement, and her actions have been some of the most controversial. Her end goal is simple—to remove Obama from office—but her methods have sometimes put her at odds with other anti-Obama activists. And that’s not to mention the legion of Obama supporters who have assembled evidence claiming that Taitz is, at best, a liar and, at worst, treasonous.

Ask about Taitz’s motivations, and she’ll tell you about her background. She immigrated to the United States from Israel in 1987; before Israel, she lived in what was then the Soviet Socialist Republic of Moldavia. She says it’s her upbringing that initially caused her to be suspicious of Obama. “I was just like any other mom; I didn’t do anything different from any other mother,” she says, her accent turning mother into muddah. “And it’s just during this last election, I became really concerned because I came from a communist country. I saw the things that Obama is saying that really did not make sense and that concerned me. One, of course, that had to do with the all-civilian army. And I saw footage of children dressed in uniforms, saluting Obama and doing drills. That reminded me of young communists.”

(Unsure what she’s referring to? Google “Obama civilian army” and “Obama children drills.” That’ll bring up the appropriate World Net Daily articles and FOX News clips.)

The mistrust turned into something stronger when Taitz received an e-mail claiming there was evidence that Obama wasn’t born in America. “At first, I thought it was a hoax,” she says. “I didn’t believe it.” But then, in October, she filled out the “contact” form on the California Secretary of State website, asking if the secretary verifies the eligibility of presidential candidates. The response was no. “I was shocked,” Taitz says.

She fired off a round of letters to the editors of local newspapers, arguing that Obama didn’t meet the constitutional requirements to be president. The only one to publish her words was the Westminster Herald. But that was enough. Someone read the letter in the newspaper and called Taitz at her dental office to invite her to speak at an upcoming meeting of the California Coalition for Immigration Reform in Garden Grove, the far-right anti-immigrant group whose projects include a boycott of Mexico. There, she told the story of her own legal immigration to the United States, and afterward, she was approached by Buena Park radio pastor Wiley Drake (recently in the news because he publicly admitted to praying for Obama’s death). After chatting a little about immigration, the conversation turned to Obama’s birth certificate. Drake invited Taitz onto his radio show. On the air, the two discussed what they thought of the Usurper, and then Drake asked, “Well, what can we do?”

Taitz’s answer: “We can sue.”

 

Huckabee: A Right-Wing True Believer

When Mike Huckabee was seeking the Republican Party's nomination during the last election, the Religious Right's DC powerhouse insiders wanted nothing to do with him, forcing him to seek support from a variety of second and third-tier activists and leaders who inhabit the fringes of the movement. 

When John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, and Fred Thompson all wisely chose to skip the Values Voter Debate organized by Janet Porter and other such activists (though they were grilled by the organizers nonetheless) on stage stood Mike Huckabee, smiling as a choir sang "Why Should God Bless America?" and assuring the organizers that though "many [other candidates] come to you. I come from you."

Huckabee's appearance led Porter to declare him the "David among Jesse's sons" and not long thereafter she became co-chair of the Huckabee campaign's Faith and Family Values Coalition where she was joined by the likes of Rick Scarborough, David Barton, Mat Staver, Don Wildmon, and Star Parker.

When Huckabee wrote a book following the end of his campaign, he singled out these supporters as a "new wave of leaders…[with] prophetic voices…[who are] determined to follow their convictions instead of the conventional wisdom."

In the months since President Obama's election, many of these people have gone completely off of the deep-end and, whenever I have written about them, I have included a mention of the fact that they once served as part of Huckabee's campaign coalition.  I did so because I was operating under the assumption that, given how radical his one-time supporters have become in recent months, his first order of business were he to make another run for the GOP nomination would be to distance himself from these people. 

But obviously I didn't need to keep reminding people of his ties to these fringe figures because, as it turns out, he apparently intends to keep right on courting them, which is why he'll be a featured speaker in September at their How To Take Back America Conference:

Just look at this list of organizers and hosts:

Michael Farris is the founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association and Patrick Henry College, as well as the author of the Parental Rights Amendment.

Don Wildmon is Chairman of the American Family Association, the boycott-happy right-wing group that recently went after Miley Cyrus for Twittering her views that Jesus loves everyone, whether they are gay or straight.

Joseph Farah is the founder of WorldNetDaily, one of the main forces behind the "birther" movement and just about every other right-wing conspiracy.

Phyllis Schlafly of the Eagle Forum believes that married women can't be raped by their husbands.

Mat Staver is the founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, the group that is still selling the "proud to be a right-wing extremist" cards, who, earlier this year at CPAC, declared that gay marriage would lead to an entire generation of violent criminals.

Rick Scarborough of Vision America recently traveled to Notre Dame to protest along with Alan Keyes and Randall Terry and, just last week, issued a statement decrying the administration's recognition of LBGT pride month, saying that gays have nothing to be proud of and that those "who engage in unnatural acts should hang their heads in shame."

But none of Huckabee's former supporters has become more deranged than Janet Porter of Faith2Action, who declared that anyone who votes for Obama will go to hell, has used her column at WorldNetDaily to advance the birther conspiracy against Obama and lead the fight against hate crimes legislation, dubbed the "Pedophile Protection Act", by inundating Congress with faxes, all while simultaneously leading the right-wing effort against the Department of Homeland Security report on right-wing extremism by launching an ad campaign demanding Janet Napolitano's resignation.

Just about every insane right-wing conspiracy theory currently in circulation has been embraced by one or more of the organizers of this event, all of whom have actively worked to spread the fear that Obama and the Democrats are out to destroy Christianity and turn America into a socialist hellhole. 

And Mike Huckabee, instead of trying to distance himself from the lunacy of his former supporters, openly and willingly continues to associate with them. 

Absolutely amazing.

Terry Recruits A New Army of Anti-Choice Warriors

The Randall Terry press conference we covered last week was actually the lead-in to an anti-abortion leadership training seminar that he conducted over the weekend featuring Alan Keyes and Norma McCorvey for some fifty people from around the country at which Terry announced the formation of a new organization to be known as Operation Rescue Insurrecta Nex, as the Washington Times reports:

Randall Terry, one of the best-known abortion opponents in the U.S., launched a new version of Operation Rescue this weekend, calling on activists from across the country to press on despite bad publicity over the May 31 slaying of abortion doctor George Tiller.

Forty-five people from 16 cities met at the Crystal City Doubletree hotel Saturday for a hastily arranged "emergency pro-life training conference" to recruit more foot soldiers in the battle against abortion.

"The freeing moment will come when you decide to take a bullet for this movement," Mr. Terry said in a small ballroom watched over by one security guard. "Then you can't be bullied and intimidated into silence anymore."

Mr. Terry has renamed his movement Operation Rescue Insurrecta Nex - the latter two words meaning 'insurrection against death' in Latin - and is trolling for new affiliates.

"My mission is to raise up a new generation," he said, "to recruit them, train them and unleash them."

He brushes off criticism that activists like him created a climate that goaded the suspect in Dr. Tiller's slaying into action.

"You can't work with me if you can't say abortion is murder and child-killers are murderers," he said. "You've got to be prepared to take the heat over those words. The true terrorists are those who reach into a woman's womb and kill her child."

His opponents "refuse to admit that abortion is the cauldron from which evil flows," he added. "George Tiller reaped what he sowed. He was a murderer."

...

"We're looking for heroes," he said. "Somebody who'll do the right thing in the face of hostility from enemies and misunderstanding by friends.

"Most pro-life people don't want to end abortion. They just want it to go away. They are being delusional. This battle will require enormous sacrifice, bad press and hostility.

"Do we really think we can waltz into hell and take away this crown jewel of Satan without the brawl to end all brawls?"

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Any bets on how long it'll be before Sen. John Cornyn apologizes to Rush Limbaugh?
  • The Thomas More Society is calling on Notre Dame to drop trespassing charges against two protesters arrested during events surrounding President Obama's speech while Alan Keyes court appearance stemming from his own arrests has been pushed back to June 3.
  • Focus on the Family actually has some praise for the White House after participating in a meeting on how to better serve the needs of kids in foster care.
  • Liberty University is going to be filing its own complaint against Americans United in response to AU's request that the IRS review Liberty's tax-exempt status.
  • If there is ever an opportunity for the Alliance Defense Fund to push its way into legal fights over marriage equality, you can rest assured that that is what it will do.
  • Are La Raza and The Federalist Society even remotely similar?
  • Bill Donohue says he's quietly rooting for Sotomayor, while William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, is not, judging by the fact that he is calling her a "Hispanic supremacist."

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Is it true that some Republicans are getting tired of the militants at the Club for Growth?
  • Mike Huckabee: Poet.
  • Governor Rick Perry finally declares "I'm not in favor of Texas seceding."
  • Michael Steele seemingly doesn't know how to deal with efforts by some RNC members to label the Democrats as "socialists" ... and apparently has even less of an idea of how to sell opposition to marriage equality to the younger generation.
  • Sean Hannity told Alan Keyes he would have gladly bailed him out of jail had Keyes needed to money.
  • Seriously, what on earth is Rep. Michelle Bachmann doing on a Worldview Radio program, along with Gary Cass, no less?
  • Tony Perkins, Richard Land, and Bishop Harry Jackson are unveiling something called The Call2Fall, which is "is a public commitment for Christians to set aside some time on July 5, 2009 to pray for the healing of our nation. The day after Americans celebrate their 'independence,' they will pray for 'dependence' upon God."
  • Speaking of Perkins, for $2 the Family Research Council will mail you a copy of their document "Comparing the Lifestyles of Homosexual Couples to Married Couples":
  • The evidence is overwhelming that homosexual and lesbian "committed" relationships are not the equivalent of marriage. In addition, there is little evidence that homosexuals and lesbians truly desire to commit themselves to the kind of monogamous relationships as signified by marriage. What remains, then, is the disturbing possibility that behind the demands for "gay marriage" lurks an agenda of undermining the very nature of the institution of marriage.

The Hannity-Terry-Giuliani-Robertson Connection

Over the weekend President Obama spoke, as scheduled, at the University of Notre Dame and, as expected, the protests being led by Alan Keyes and Randall Terry continued.

The protesting has been good for the activist’s profiles, as they have received a lot of media coverage and Keyes was even scheduled to appear on Friday’s episode of “Hannity” but couldn’t make it because he had been arrested and was sitting in jail.  As such, Terry took his place and spewed the sort of nonsense everyone expects from the founder of Operation Rescue while Hannity nodded along in agreement.

The interesting thing about Hannity and Terry coming together to decry this sort of apostasy against the “pro-life” movement was that the last time Terry was throwing around these sorts of accusations was back in 2007 when the pro-choice Rudy Giuliani was seeking the Republican presidential nomination and Terry was targeting those who dared to support him:

So-called 'pro-life Republicans' that are endorsing Rudy - like TX Governor Rick Perry, or NY Representative Pete Sessions, are typical treacherous politicians. They have betrayed innocent blood to support a child-killer; we can only wonder what '30 pieces of silver' they are seeking. Pro-life Republicans are on trial, to see what we value more: life or power; principle or party."

Eventually, Terry focused his ire on Pat Robertson for endorsing Giuliani and even began protesting outside of the CBN office in Washington DC.

And who immediately came to Robertson’s defense?  None other than Sean Hannity, who brought Robertson on the show to explain his endorsement.  And the reason he did that is because Hannity was also an early supporter of Giuliani’s presidential campaign:

It's no secret that Sean Hannity, the conservative Fox News commentator, has helped to raise Rudy Giuliani's profile - but now he's helped the former mayor raise money, too.

In a little noticed event this month, Hannity - co-host of Fox News' "Hannity & Colmes" and host of a popular WABC radio show - introduced the Republican front-runner at a closed-door, $250-per-head fund-raiser Aug. 9 in Cincinnati, campaign officials acknowledge.

In so doing, some believe that Hannity - while clearly a commentator paid to express his opinions - crossed the line from punditry into financial rainmaking for a presidential candidate whose bottom line is now better for it.

When a group of Religious Right leaders declared that they would sooner leave the GOP than support Giuliani if he got the party’s nomination, Hannity brought James Dobson on the program and practically begged him to reconsider, but Dobson would not budge. Eventually, all of Hannity’s championing of Giuliani started getting under the skin of the Religious Right, with leaders like Tony Perkins calling him out for pushing their concerns aside and trying to sell this pro-choice candidate to the right-wing anti-choice base.  

So, just over a year ago, when Hannity was supporting a pro-choice candidate in Rudy Giuliani, he had no use for the hardliners on the Right and their incessant focus on abortion.  

But today, when the pro-choice President of the United States delivers a commencement address, Hannity brings those same hardliners onto his program to join him in lamenting Notre Dame’s betrayal of the sacred principles of the anti-abortion movement.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • As predicted, Alan Keyes went ahead and got himself arrested at Notre Dame once again, while Rick Scarborough did not.  And for those with too much time on their hands, you can watch the whole thing live via webcast.
  • Sen. John Cornyn says that Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison will probably resign her seat sometime this fall in order to focus on her gubernatorial campaign, allowing Gov. Rick Perry to name a Republican replacement.
  • Robert Knight's latest column reads like a greatest hits of current right-wing obsessions: Carrie Prejean, hate crimes legislation, the DHS report, and the Fairness Doctrine are all mentioned.
  • The Family Research Council "needs your help now to expose and defeat a deceptive new effort by the Left to impose the entire homosexual agenda on America in a single legislative stroke!"
  • Finally, did you know that John Lennon sold his soul to the Devil?  It's true - WorldNetDaily says so!

The Notre Dame Protests In a Nutshell

I've already written a few posts about the right-wing lunacy that is taking place at Notre Dame ahead of President Obama's scheduled commencement address, but I have to say that nothing sums it up better than this photo:

Because nothing says "reasoned, respectful debate" quite like Alan Keyes pushing a blood-covered doll around in a Spongebob stroller.

The Notre Dame Protests Get Even Fringier

Just when it seemed like the fringe right-wing protesting at Notre Dame couldn't get any more ridiculous, we come to find out that some anonymous donor has now handed Rick Scarborough a thousand dollars so that he could join the fray as well:

Today a gentleman entered my office and donated the $1,000 needed to pay for my trip to South Bend, IN to join Alan Keyes and Randall Terry in protest of Obama's commencement speech on Sunday at Notre Dame. This came after much prayer seeking God's direction and financial provision concerning whether or not I was to say yes to their request to join them and many others facing potential arrest tomorrow for standing for life on the Notre Dame campus.

...

I will be arriving in South Bend Thursday to join them. It is my privilege to stand for truth and with courageous men and women, going to jail if called upon, to bring awareness to our nation that this madness must stop. Please be in prayer as we choose to take our stand for the sanctity of life.

Now, it was at least understandable that Keyes and Terry would target Notre Dame with protests claiming that the Catholic University is violating Catholic teachings by inviting President Obama to speak, because both men are Catholic.

But Scarborough is a Baptist, so what exactly warrants his participation in these protests? 

The whole "controversy" here is that a Catholic University had invited a pro-choice president to address its graduating class ... and it is predominantly right-wing Catholics who are upset about it (while most other Catholics hadn't even heard about it and those that had largely support it.)

Scarborough seems to be going to just protest Obama's pro-choice views ... but why he needed a $1000 to fly from Texas to Indiana to do that is beyond me because he probably could have saved himself considerable time and money if he had just gone and protested at Arizona State University where Obama spoke last night.

Notre Dame Brings Out the Crazies

Despite the fact that most Catholics haven't even heard about the University of Notre Dame's decision to invite President Barack Obama to speak at its commencement (and, of those who have heard about it, a majority support it)  Alan Keyes and Randall Terry have spent the last few weeks camped out there, protesting, and loving every ego-stroking minute of it.

Both have already been arrested and have generally being making spectacles of themselves, with Keyes declaring yesterday that Obama's speech "is as great a crisis for the Catholic church as the crisis that occurred some years back with the abuse."

Never one to be outdone, Terry piped in today with his own hyperbole:

In South Bend, former Operation Rescue leader Terry has set up shop, scheduling rounds of protests. Followers stand at the university gates, holding up signs with photos of aborted fetuses. Last week, Republican gadfly Keyes was among 22 protesters arrested on trespassing charges.

"We want this to be a political mud pit for Obama," Terry said. "Our mission is to tar him with the blood of the babies so he can never shake it between now and 2012."

And now Keyes, Terry, and others are portraying themselves as martyrs as they seek to go over Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins' head and demanding a meeting with his superiors in the Holy Cross order demanding a meeting regarding Jenkins' "abuse of authority" for having them arrested in violation of God's law:

"We are writing to seek redress of grievances we have suffered at the hands of a member of your order by abuse of his authority as President of the University of Notre Dame."

...

1) He has scandalized us and other members of the community of the faithful by his role in the decision taken by the University of Notre Dame, in defiance of the explicit direction of Church leaders, to extend a scandalous commencement speaking invitation and honorary degree to Barack Obama, who has become the focus of abortion evil in the world today;

2) To cover this scandalous decision, he ordered the University Police to prevent us from fulfilling our obligation, under God's law and the Church's teaching, to witness to truth so that young souls affected by his scandalous action would not be lost through obstinate commitment to the sins it encourages;

To address these grievances, we respectfully request that you:

1) Immediately grant us a hearing so that we may formally detail the moral and material harm we have suffered at the hands of a member of your order;

2) Request and require that Father Jenkins, and any others of your order who may be involved with him in this matter, appear at the said hearing to respond to our charges against him;

3) Render judgment and immediate relief from the harm done to us, and others of the community of the faithful acting as we do, including but not limited to the immediate, public and complete withdrawal of all charges brought against us by the University before the civil authorities and the immediate cessation of all acts that persecute individuals witnessing to truth in accordance with divine law and the teachings and direction of the Church.

 

Keyes: Obama At Notre Dame As Bad As Catholic Molestation Scandal

Last week Alan Keyes got himself arrested for trespassing at the University of Notre Dame during a protest regarding President Obama’s upcoming commencement speech. After he was released from jail, he vowed to return to the campus and reportedly plans to get himself arrested once again.

Why all the grandstanding and hullabaloo, you ask?  Because, says Keyes, this planned speech by Obama is as grave a threat to the Catholic Church as any it has ever faced, including the sexual abuse scandals that rocked it a few years back:

Former Republican presidential candidate Alan Keyes, who ran against Obama for the U.S. Senate seat in Illinois in 2004, also criticized the university's decision to honor Obama.

"The invitation was in and of itself a scandalous action," Keyes told FOXNews.com. Keyes announced that he is planning to go to Notre Dame this weekend and be arrested if necessary for protesting Obama's appearance.

"Scandal, as you know, induces others to sin," he said. "This is as great a crisis for the Catholic church as the crisis that occurred some years back with the abuse."

On a related note, now all of those Notre Dame students who don't want to be in the audience when Obama speaks will have an alternative event to attend - a prayer rally with militant anti-choice activist Frank Pavone:

Notre Dame students who don't want to attend a graduation ceremony involving pro-abortion President Barack Obama put together alternate plans. Today, they announced that Father Frank Pavone, the director of Priests for Life, will lead prayer at a pro-life prayer vigil.

The Class of 2009 Vigil for Life will be celebrated at Sunday's commencement ceremony at the same time as the graduation event.

“In standing with these students, I am standing with the true spirit of Notre Dame: a pro-life spirit, in harmony with human reason and Catholic Faith," Father Pavone told LifeNews.com on Monday.

"The scandal that has been generated does not represent what Notre Dame is all about," Pavone added. "It represents a radical betrayal of what Notre Dame is all about."

...

Pavone told LifeNews.com he thinks pro-life students should exercise their right not to attend the graduation ceremony, where President Obama will give the commencement address and receive an honorary degree.

"One final response to this scandal is fully in the control of each graduating senior: don't show up. Don't participate in an event which will only serve to obscure rather than highlight the Church’s pro-life teaching and the true spirit of Notre Dame," Pavone continued.

"The seniors who do this are manifesting the real meaning of commencement: they are carrying out the witness to truth and service that their hard-earned degrees have prepared them to give in the world," he added.

Right Wing Leftovers

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Alan Keyes Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Thursday 05/30/2013, 2:05pm
Alan Keyes, who previously warned that openly gay Boy Scouts will peer pressure their fellow scouts into being gay, today argues that the Boy Scouts of America’s decision to lift the ban on gay youth now means that scouts will be able to engage in “sex, drugs, lying, stealing, and beating people up for the heck of it” and join “street gangs” so long as it is not during scouting activities. This is why scouting has had such an enormous and lasting impact on the lives of so many men. It was not just a way of passing the time. It was training for life, intended to... MORE >
Layne, Wednesday 05/22/2013, 1:12pm
As the Boy Scouts of America consider lifting a ban on openly gay scouts, here’s a look at Right Wing Watch’s collection of recent claims from the Religious Right on what might happen if that shift were to occur.  Relying on outlandish predictions and harmful lies, right-wing personalities are linking gays in the Boy Scouts to everything from sexual abuse to North Korean nuclear threats. Here are highlights of Right Wing Watch’s recent reporting on right-wing opposition to lifting the ban on gay members in the Boy Scouts: 5. Swanson: Allowing Gays in Boy Scouts Like... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 05/17/2013, 12:00pm
Alan Keyes, who recently warned that gay marriage is leading to the creation of a totalitarian government, is now arguing that President Obama is using the IRS scandal as a distraction from his plan to allow terrorist attacks to take place and impose martial law. Speaking with Stan Solomon on Wednesday, Keyes maintained that Obama “could very well be working a strategy that collaborates with and comports with the strategy of the very people who are trying to kill us,” with the goal of bringing America down and “destroying our way of life.” By collaborating with... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 05/14/2013, 10:40am
After insisting that President Obama’s gun policies are “intended to make sure that people will be slaughtered by the thousands and the hundreds of thousands,” Alan Keyes is now warning that Obama is encouraging the “targeted slaughter” of African Americans by supporting legal abortion. Keyes, who was Obama’s opponent in the 2004 US Senate race, told conservative commentator Stan Solomon last week that “a lot of black folks are waking up and realizing that there is a terrible tragedy that is playing out in the person of Barack Obama,” whom he... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 05/13/2013, 11:50am
During yet another appearance on the Talk to Solomon Show, Alan Keyes maintained that allowing young people to obtain condoms is like a parent who “handed their child a six-shot revolver with one bullet in it and said, ‘go ahead and play spin the barrel and put the barrel to your head and fire,’ that’s what you’re doing when you tell them that they’re safe using a condom.” Keyes added that a condom “is not real protection” as it “is not going to protect you over 80 percent of the time,” which is laughably untrue. “It... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 05/03/2013, 9:45am
Alan Keyes is out with a new column opposing efforts to end the ban on openly gay members of the Boy Scouts and it is about as dumb as you’d expect. He argues that if the Boy Scouts change the policy, then straight Boy Scouts will be forced to acquiesce to the “sexual advances” of their gay peers in order to avoid being “viciously accused of unrighteous bigotry.” Once they deny their faith and turn gay, Keyes warns, they will “slip into a whirlpool of compulsive sensual indulgence, moral guilt and spiritual confusion.” “What is most disturbing... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 04/25/2013, 1:30pm
Alan Keyes is out with a new column today arguing that Christians should not shy away from violence in the face of the “gruesome violence [that] is being done to Christians.” He also argues that the U.S. government may soon join in on the anti-Christian “genocidal threats," perhaps as a result of the gay rights movement. “[I]t's not at all unreasonable to see, in certain recurring reports, signs that the U.S. government is preparing our military forces to do violence against Christian denominations that refuse to abandon God's Word on matters like... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Monday 04/22/2013, 1:05pm
Former ambassador and perennial presidential candidate Alan Keyes has recently taken a liking to the “Talk to Solomon Show,” a fringe radio program hosted by Stan Solomon and his sidekick “Chief” Steve Davis. Keyes, who frequently appears on the show to warn about the various ways in which progressives are destroying America, was back on Tuesday to discuss the Boston Marathon bombing.  Keyes told Solomon and Davis that he found it “hard to believe” that President Obama, because he supports abortion rights, “was crying anything but crocodile tears... MORE >