Michele Bachmann

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Sadly, Rep. Michele Bachmann has dropped her leadership bid.
  • But Richard Viguerie is not giving up.
  • Speaking of Bachmann, why am I not surprised to see that she thinks David Barton would be a great teacher for his classes on the Constitution?
  • Minnesota Family Council intends to push for a vote in 2012 to ban gay marriage.
  • The Religious Right expects big things from the new GOP Congress when it comes to abortion.
  • Shockingly, when Peter LaBarbera offered half-price admission to married couples, he didn't intend it to apply to married gay couples.
  • Finally, the quote of the day from the Family Research Council's latest prayer update: "Lord, thank You for Your grace, so evident in these elections. We dedicate our newly elected leaders to You. Help them to draw near and draw strength from You as never before. Grant them spiritual discernment in an environment of intense daily spiritual warfare. Protect them and their families. Enable them to withstand every evil. May God's people, in pulpit and pew, intercede for them often, pulling down spiritual strongholds that will enable them to enact public policy that is righteous and just. Guide them by the light of Your Word and grant them success!"

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Rick Santorum says none of the possible 2012 candidates can call themselves Tea Party candidates ... except himself, of course.
  • I'm curious: is Jaime Herrera going to be the first homeschooled member of Congress?
  • Looks like Rep. Michele Bachmann's leadership bid is failing.
  • Since when is Rick Scarborough considered a "California pastor"? Last time I checked, he was located in Texas.
  • The Utah chapter of the Eagle Forum sure is powerful.
  • Finally, the quote of the day from Cape Coral , FL mayor John Sullivan on his effort to place the Ten Commandments inside a government building: “I don’t want to do this in a hap hazard way or open up a can of worms, but I think it is a good idea. I don’t see this as separation of church and state. Our laws were built on the Ten Commandments."

Religious Right Lining Up Behind Bachmann

When Rep. Mike Pence announced that he was stepping down from his position as head of the House Republican Conference, the Family Research Council immediately issued a statement saying that choosing his replacement would be the "first major test for the new Republican majority."

The two leading candidates for the position are Rep. Jeb Hensarling and Rep. Michele Bachmann, and while Hensarling appears to be emerging as the front-runner and racking up the support of GOP leaders, it looks like the Religious Right is backing Bachmann:

Concerned Women for America thinks ... [t]here are plenty of competent and fearless leaders at the ready who deserve a seat at the table. Rep. Michele Bachmann from Minnesota comes to mind. She has been an outspoken conservative leader of the Tea Party movement from the beginning, and we think she deserves serious consideration for a leadership position.

Conservative women won big this election cycle, and the Tea Party helped to propel them to victory. In fact, women in general swung 14 points for Republicans. It seems time to add a stiletto to the clubby, well-heeled leadership team.

And Richard Viguerie has even unveiled a petition asking Reps. Boehner and Cantor to "withdraw your endorsement of Rep. Hensarling for the House Republican Conference and allow Rep. Bachmann (or anyone else who wishes to join the race) a fair and open election process that equally respects the voice of each Republican House member." 

Ostensibly, Viguerie's petition is just asking for a fair election, but he is making no secret of his support for Bachmann:

Viguerie told Newsmax in an e-mail: "Yes, I think it's important that Michele Bachmann be elected as the House Republican Conference Chair. All other leadership positions, including committee chairs, are controlled by [presumptive House Speaker] John Boehner and Eric Cantor — men associated with the big-government Republicans that so angered the GOP's base and most of America.

"The Republican congressional leaders need to send a message that they are open under new management," he wrote. "Unfortunately, while Congressman Jeb Hensarling is a good conservative, his close association with the old guard Republican failed leadership sends the wrong message to tea partiers."

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Round-Up

Meet Congresswoman-Elect Sandy Adams: Conspiracy-Theorist, Religious Extremist

Following Tuesday's election, RWW will bring you our list of the "The Ten Scariest Republicans Heading to Congress."  Our first candidate is Florida's version of Sharron Angle, Sandra "Sandy" Adams:

After serving four terms in the Florida State House, Sandy Adams ran for US Congress and handily defeated freshman Congresswoman Suzanne Kosmas. She built-up a far-right voting record as a state representative, and she campaigned as the most conservative candidate in the competitive Republican primary.

As a legislator and candidate Sandy Adams has embraced the agenda of the Religious Right. Adams voted to enact burdensome waiting periods and tougher parental notice laws for young women seeking abortions, and voted in favor of forcing women to have ultrasound tests before terminating their pregnancy, which the Governor ultimately vetoed for placing “an inappropriate burden on women seeking to terminate a pregnancy.” During the GOP primary she was endorsed by militantly anti-choice groups such as the Republican National Coalition for Life and the American Conservative Union. Moreover, she is on-record opposing stem-cell research and boasts that she “fought against this type of research funding in the Florida House of Representatives.”

She is also an avowed opponent of teaching evolution, and voted in favor of a bill that calls on teachers to “teach theories that contradict the theory of evolution.” Adams herself does not believe evolution and says that Christians should reject evolution in favor of “the biblical terms of how we came about.” When asked “by a caller in a telephone town hall meeting whether she believed in evolution…Adams replied, ‘I’m Christian. What else do you want to know?’” Adams also supports Florida’s unsuccessful private school vouchers program and wants the Ten Commandments to be displayed in public schools.

Like Sharron Angle, Sandy Adams floats the baseless conspiracy theory that Islamic, or Sharia, law is thriving in Muslim communities in Michigan and in danger of spreading throughout Michigan and the United States:

The Muslim extremist project is to create pockets and to grow their Muslim extreme philosophies, and if you look at some of our towns within our own borders, like Michigan, Michigan has cities that have a lot of Muslim influence and even so much as I would say some extremist Muslim influence because they are trying to operate under Sharia law, not American law. And I believe that we need to continue to operate under our Constitutional laws and the laws of our country and our state and we should not be under any other form of the law.

Sarah Palin endorsed Sandy Adams, and Adams claims that she “can’t wait to join the Tea Party Caucus” and said that “I believe what Michele Bachmann is doing is the right thing to do and I will be part of that Caucus, I can assure you of that.”

She has embraced anti-government extremism, and wants to radically alter the Constitution by repealing the 16th and 17th Amendments, which would eliminate the progressive income tax and the right of voters to elect their US Senators, respectively. Adams believes that instead of voters, state legislators like herself should pick the state’s Senators. Adams also wants to abolish the Department of Education, said that the Departments of Energy and Interior Departments should be “completely dismantled” because they are “not allowed by our Constitution,” and strongly opposes Wall Street Reform. She wouldn’t “vouch for the constitutionality of the federal Clean Water and Clean Air acts without reading them,” writes the Orlando Sentinel, “yet she’s all for big government when it comes to NASA.,” which is based in her district.

Furthermore, she backs Republican Rep. Paul Ryan’s “Roadmap for America,” which calls for the privatization of Social Security and Medicare. According to Florida Today, Adams “wants to cut government spending, but couldn’t cite one area to cut; wants to repeal health care reform, but offered no alternative; and is willing to look at privatizing Medicare, something that should alarm seniors.” Adams was also the chief sponsor of a state constitutional amendment that would stop Florida from cooperating with the recently passed health care reform law by barring mandatory insurance coverage.

Adams is also ardently opposed to immigrant rights and touts the endorsement of Americans for Legal Immigration, which has been classified as a “nativist extremist organization” by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The group is “allied with various Minuteman factions” and according to the SPLC, the group says that its “‘rallying cry is: Illegals Go Home!’” While serving in the State House, Adams was one of just fourteen members to vote against allowing undocumented children to receive healthcare through Florida KidCare.

On the environment, Adams supports offshore oil drilling off Florida’s coast and tried to censure the Governor for attempting to pass a constitutional amendment to prohibit such drilling.

A steadfast and longtime advocate of the Religious Right and anti-government extremism, Sandy Adams plans to be a bridge between Christian conservatives and Tea Party reactionaries in addition to a stalwart ally of Michele Bachmann in the House.

 

 

 

 

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Rep. Michele Bachmann appears serious about organizing classes on the Constitution for incoming lawmakers.
  • On a related note, Bachmann's Birther allies over at WorldNetDaily appear quite serious about trying to impeach President Obama.
  • It seems that Matt Barber is a little worried that Republicans will not be sufficiently committed to the Religious Right's social issues agenda.
  • Focus on the Family will be hosting a three-hour webcast on election night.
  • Remember this the next the time the Right starts screaming about the ACLU stealing your tax dollars by suing public schools.
  • Finally, just let me say that I pretty much completely disagree with this analysis.

2010 Right Wing Candidates Weekly Update 10/27

Sharron Angle

Ad: Controversy over latest anti-immigration ad, Latino groups call it “one of the ugliest anti-illegal immigrants ad campaigns in history” (AP, 10/26).

Voting: Accuses Reid camp of trying to “steal” the election (Politico, 10/26).

Campaign: Stopped paying her staff in latest FEC filing (HuffPo, 10/25).

Outside groups: Pro-GOP groups outspend Democrats 2:1 in Nevada (AP, 10/23).

Ken Buck

Religious Right: Denies existence of separation of church and state (Think Progress, 10/26).

Women: Mother Jones investigates Buck’s handling of the rape case (Mother Jones, 10/26).

Ad: PFAW releases new ad on Buck’s corporate backers (PFAW, 10/25).
 

Joe Miller

Background: Records show Miller’s unethical, dishonest behavior at job (WSJ, 10/26).

Gay rights: Miller gives confusing, contradictory interview to Rachel Maddow about gay rights and federalism (HuffPo, 10/26).

Palin: Rally keynoted by Palin will feature Mike Huckabee, Jim DeMint and Michele Bachmann (Politico, 10/26).

Media: Avoids press other than Fox News (CBS News, 10/21).

Christine O’Donnell

Poll: Trails Coons, especially among self-described moderates (Miami Herald, 10/27).

Constitution: Hammered for not knowing what’s in the 14th Amendment (Politico, 10/27).

Tea Party: Tea Party Express bus tour coming to Delaware (The News Journal, 10/27).

Rand Paul

Campaign: Paul campaign coordinator charged with assault, demands apology from woman he attacked (Lexington Herald-Leader, 10/27; TPM, 10/27).

Health Care: Wants to repeal the “Patient’s Bill of Rights” (The Hill, 10/26).

GOP: Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell embraces Paul after opposing him in the primary (Politico, 10/26).

Pat Toomey

Government: Can’t name any programs beside “study abroad” he would cut (Think Progress, 10/26).

Poll: Tied with Sestak in Reuters/Ipsos poll (TPM, 10/26).

Outside groups: Club for Growth pledges to spend an additional $1 million to boost Toomey (WSJ, 10/21).

Together Again: Ralph Reed and Pat Robertson Reminisce

Ralph Reed joined Pat Robertson today on "The 700 Club," ostensibly to discuss his new novel "The Confirmation" but spent most of the fifteen minute segment talking politics.

At first, Reed explained how the plot of his novel is loosely based on the Clarence Thomas confirmation fight, saying that it was that issue that made him realize that he was really engaged in a spiritual battle:

Robertson: The whole concept though was based, I guess, on Clarence Thomas' confirmation hearing.

Reed: Yeah, and you know Pat I was then at the Christian Coalition and you I worked very closely together on that confirmation. And I'll never forget while we were in the midst of that fight, I got a call one night from Bill Bright who was then still with us and was at Campus Crusade and he said "you know, I never do this but I was on my knees at five o'clock this morning praying for this man." And he goes "I generally don't get involved in legislative battles, but I want to write a personal letter to every member of the Senate and ask them to vote for Clarence Thomas."

And what that showed me Pat, and of course he was ultimately confirmed, it showed me that this is not just a temporal or a political or a legislative battle, that there's a spiritual realm.

So what I try to show in "The Confirmation" is yes they are negative attack ads and yes there are hit pieces in the newspaper, but God is on the throne ... that there is a genuine struggle between good and evil and that Godl'y men and women can get involved in the political process and they can advance and build his kingdom.

Next the discussion turned to the Tea Party movement, which Robertson said was a descendant of the Christian Coalition before turning to the issue of politicians who use the Religious Right for political benefit, which Robertson singling out President Bush:

Reed: I will predict this, on November 2 you are going to see the biggest turnout of evangelical Christians in a midterm election in modern American history, even bigger than in 1994. You know there is a survey Pat that showed that half of the Tea Party Movement were evangelicals.

Robertson: Sure, I think some of the carry over from the Christian Coalition, they morphed into this. What about this Tea Party? I'm a little bit ambivalent, they need some structure.

Reed: Well, I have to tell you I'm a big fan. I know a lot of the organizers personally. I work closely with the Tea Party Patriots and in fact two of those three national leaders I worked with in Georgia for many years. And I want to tell you Pat, they're believers by and large. They are people who are not looking for power, they're looking to give back, not to get anything from the system.

I predict that with them, as with the pro-family movement of which you were such a key pioneer, that there will come sophistication, maturation and structure over time. But it's kind of like at the beginning of the so-called Religious Right it was a few guys flying around in airplanes doing rallies. But now look how sophisticated it is. But that took thirty years.

Robertson: Well, I hope that they'll be included. In your book, it's very well presented, the evangelicals are sort of on the outside and viewed with disdain by some of the insiders. You wrote it very well.

Reed: You know a little about that.

Robertson: Yeah, I know where that disdain is. Out in the front they hug you and kiss you and behind the scenes they make fun of you.

Reed: Right. Or the other way around, they want to meet with you in private before the election but then don't want to be seen with you at the cameras.

Robertson: I had that with the late, great President Bush. I know exactly how it is. Let's not let anybody know you are coming in. Guard the room, so we don't have any cameras.

Finally, Reed marvelled at the impact Robertson has had, noting that it has taken generations, but now Regent University graduates like Gov. Bob McDonnell and Rep. Michele Bachmann are Republican leaders:

Reed: We're celebrating this year fifty years of your ministry and I was thinking about it as I was coming to do the show and you've got Scott Rigell who's a Regent University grad who's running for Congress right here in the Second District, one of the most high-profile races in the country.

Bob McDonnell, a Regent grad, is governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. You've got people serving in positions of influence and effectiveness all over the country at very high levels.

Robertson: Michele Bachmann is one of ours too.

Reed: Is Michele Bachmann?

Robertson: Yeah, she's a Law School grad ...

Reed: Well, there you go. I rest my case.

And through the Faith and Freedom Coalition, which I really learned how to do that here at the Christian Coalition, the reality is that sometimes you don't see the full impact you are going to have on a country until a generation or two later.

Bachmann Wants to Reduce Fed Gov't To Its "Original Size"

Despite the fact that she generally has no idea what she is talking about, Rep. Michele Bachmann is planning on holding weekly classes on the Constitution for new members in the next Congress.

I wonder if she'll teach these freshmen members of Congress what she told WorldNetDaily's Burt Prelutsky, which is that they should be trying to get the federal government back to its "original size":

Q. If, with a snap of your fingers, you could change anything about America, what would it be?

A. Reduce the federal government to its original size and constitutional limitations and to restore the 9th and 10th amendments.

Of course, the population of the United States back when the government was at its "original size" was just under 4 million - it is now over 310 million.  For that matter, Congress only had 26 seats in the Senate and 69 seats in the House and met in New York City.

But, according to Bachmann, it would be a dream come true to see our government reduced to the size it was back when the country had only thirteen states.

Bachmann: Obama Using Discrimination Compensation to Buy Votes

Michele Bachmann is no stranger to pushing conspiracy theories: treasonous members of Congress, death panels in Health Care Reform, the looming elimination of the US Dollar, the establishment of re-education camps through AmeriCorps, and the nefarious use of Census information. Now, Andy Bikney of the Minnesota Independent reports that the Minnesota congresswoman is pushing the claim that the well-documented discrimination of minority farmers is actually an Obama vote-buying scheme:

There’s calls to give out more, quote, discrimination money to Native Americans who claim they were discriminated against by the USDA, but it doesn’t end there. They want to also have a class of, quote, women farmers who were discriminated against and another class of, quote, Hispanic farmers who were discriminated against.

There a real question, a sincere question that: Was this really about vote buying? Because before election cycles, that’s when the demand comes to pay out these claims in order to get support.

...

I would really like the President to explain what he said on September 10 at his White House Press Conference that Pigford is “a fair and just settlement.” How? No way?

She also claimed that Obama’s push to fund the Pigford settlement to compensate the victims of discrimination by the US Department of Agriculture, which was approved in 1999, was responsible for the movement of Black voters to Obama’s column in the 2008 primary campaign. She alleged that since the number of claimants surpassed the number of Black farmers, the Pigford settlement represents “massive fraud.” However, claimants all must be verified by the court and can include people who unsuccessfully tried to become farmers. Bachmann also dismissed the claims of Native Americans who are attempting to win Senate approval to settle the Cobell case which “accuses the federal government of mismanaging billions of dollars held in trust for Indian landowners.”

Bachmann was speaking to notorious right-wing activist Andrew Breitbart, who accused lawyers of “fish[ing] for claimants” to get “a $50,000 check” from the government. Breitbart was last seen deceptively editing the Shirley Sherrod video. Sherrod and her husband were unrightfully refused loans from the USDA because they were black, and later as an employee of the USDA she was tackled cases where the USDA discriminated against minority farmers:

There have been problems with discrimination at the department for decades. In 1965, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights found civil rights abuses in how farmers and employees were treated. Reports in the 1980s and '90s found that such abuses were forcing minority farmers out of business.

In 1999, the department agreed to pay black farmers for past discrimination. The suit was led by the Federation of Southern Cooperatives and settled for more than $1 billion. Sherrod and her husband, who ran a 6,000-acre farming cooperative called New Communities in the 1970s, were awarded $13 million to be shared among their cooperative in a settlement with the USDA last year, including $330,000 for their pain and suffering, according to Sherrod's lawyer Rose Sanders

The case was later reopened to allow additional black farmers to apply for compensation, and Vilsack announced in February that the USDA had settled with them for $1.25 billion -- which must be appropriated by Congress. The USDA and the Department of Justice are also working with Hispanic and women farmers to close their case for $1.33 billion, a USDA official said.

Despite all of the facts surrounding the Pigford and Cobell cases, Bachmann and Breitbart use justice for Black and Native American farmers as fodder for their illusory attacks against the Obama Administration, claiming that Pigford is simply a scheme to expand government, show bias towards people of color, and buy minority votes.

 

Right Wing Leftovers

Value Voter Recap: We're All Tea Partiers Now (Including God)

The so-called Values Voter Summit, organized by the Family Research Council and sponsored by a number of right-wing groups, brought more than 2,000 activists (their count) to Washington D.C. for two solid days of speeches, workshops, networking, and a chance to spend time with others who passionately hate President Obama and the Democratic congressional leadership. Addressing the crowd were a number of GOP presidential hopefuls, including Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, and Rep. Mike Pence (who eked out a narrow victory over Huckabee in the straw poll). Not surprisingly, conference speakers echoed the themes heard at the smaller Faith and Freedom conference convened by Ralph Reed just one week earlier.

Here were the top themes emerging from these Religious Right political conferences.
 
1) We’re All Tea Partiers Now (Including God)
 
The Faith and Freedom conference and Values Voter Summit signaled the Religious Right’s full embrace of (or effort to co-opt) the Tea Party movement and its activists’ anti-Washington energies. Rep. Michele Bachmann, a superstar in both the Religious Right and Tea Party movements, railed at Tea Party critics: “If you are scared of the Tea Party movement, you are afraid of Thomas Jefferson, who penned our mission statement [the Declaration of Independence].”
 
The events were also designed to attack the notion that the Tea Party movement is, or should be, focused only on economic issues and not on moral ones. This is more than the ongoing effort to solidify a working electoral partnership among fiscal, social, and national security conservatives. This is an ideological campaign against the very idea that one can legitimately be a fiscal conservative without embracing the Religious Right’s “family values” agenda on issues such as legal abortion and marriage equality. At the Values Voter Summit, there was little patience for libertarians who consider themselves economically conservative but socially liberal. Sen. Jim DeMint, greeted as a folk-hero for his success at backing Tea Party challengers to establishment GOP candidates, took on the idea directly, saying “you can’t be a true fiscal conservative if you do not understand the value of a culture that is based on values.” 
 
Others echoed the theme. A Heritage Foundation video declared that faith is necessary for liberty. Rep Mike Pence, the dark-horse winner of the summit’s straw poll, said America’s darkest moments have come when economic arguments trumped moral principles. Newt Gingrich declared that activists have to go back to making the moral case for free enterprise, not the economic case. David Limbaugh decried “economic justice,” which he called a leftist euphemism for “confiscation.” 
 
At a Values Voter Summit panel on the Tea Party movement, two activists described their work as being inspired in part by instructions they received from God in the early morning hours, like Glenn Beck; one insisted that her activism was not just about taxes but about getting America to turn back to God.
 
2) Nothing is more important than the 2010 and 2012 elections.
 
Nearly every speaker said that the 2010 election is the most important in our lifetime. Speakers insisted that President Obama, his administration, and Democratic congressional leaders are not only wrong, they are evil and are out to destroy the American experiment in limited government and individual liberty.  It is simply not possible to overstate the level of anger and hostility directed toward Obama (described as an America-hating narcissistic Marxist), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. 
 
Activists were told they must fast, pray, and work hard to defeat Democrats this November. The Family Research Council urged people to visit the website of Pray and A.C.T, a campaign led by Jim Garlow, who has been a rising star on the Religious Right since leading religious organizing on behalf of California’s anti-gay Prop 8. Ralph Reed is promising to share with local activists a massive new database of faith-based and fiscally conservative voters that he is building. 
 
Activists were also told that they must plan to keep sacrificing their time, energy and money for the next two years to make sure that Obama is defeated in 2012. Former Sen. Rick Santorum told activists not to expect dramatic improvements even if they win big in November: things won’t really change for the better as long as the White House is in Obama’s hands. Activists were warned that these two elections may be the last chance to stop the nation’s slide toward socialism and the end of America as we know it.
 
Right-wing speakers are optimistic about the possibility of delivering both the House and Senate into Republican hands and electing a conservative Republican president in 2012. FRC’s PAC held a fundraiser Friday night for Christine O’Donnell, the new Tea Party-backed GOP Senate candidate from Delaware, and other like-minded candidates.   Ralph Reed said that voter registration and focused turnout campaigns being waged by his and other right-wing groups would turn this from a good election cycle for Republicans into a historically sweeping one. And there’s particular excitement that Florida GOP Senate candidate Marco Rubio could be the face of the GOP’s future: right-wing strategists see him as Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama rolled into one appealing, Latino-vote-getting package.
 
3) Repealing Health Care Reform the Top Legislative Priority
 
According to several Values Voter Summit speakers, health care reform legislation signed into law by President Obama wasn’t really about health care at all. It was about extending the power of the federal government into tyrannical realms. Repealing “Obamacare” before it fully goes into effect is the top legislative priority of movement leaders. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell was one of several speakers who called the legislation unconstitutional, saying that if the legislation was allowed to stand, it would effectively spell the end of any limits on federal power. 
 
4) Muslims Replace Immigrants as a Top Target
 
While previous conferences have portrayed unchecked illegal immigration as the most dire threat to America, this year’s speakers picked up on the right-wing generated furor over a proposed Islamic center in lower Manhattan – the inaccurately dubbed “Ground Zero Mosque” – to make repeated bitter denunciations of Islam. Immigration was not completely ignored: Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, in a list of complaints, denounced the White House for being an administration “whose idea of a rogue state is Arizona,” and the Heritage Foundation sponsored a workshop on “The Real Cost of Illegal Immigration.” But the real energy was in attacking Islam, which was a primary focus of remarks by Bill Bennett and Gary Bauer.
 
5) Pursuit of Happiness With an Asterisk: Gays Need Not Apply
 
Not surprisingly, all the talk about individual liberty being at the core of our national identity did not extend to the freedom of gay and lesbian Americans to pursue happiness by marrying the person they love. Several speakers exhorted attendees to help mobilize conservative voters in Iowa to turn out for upcoming retention elections and vote against Iowa Supreme Court justices who ruled that denying gay couples the freedom to marriage violated the state’s constitution. The American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, who insisted that there is no confusion about what is right in the sight of God and what is evil in the sight of God, said that politicians who support, defend, and promote “counterfeits” to marriage (which include not only marriage equality but also civil unions and domestic partnerships) are doing something evil and deserve condemnation. Fischer repeated Religious Right claims that LGBT equality and religious liberty are incompatible: “we are going to have to choose between the homosexual agenda and religious liberty because we simply cannot have both.”
 
The federal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law which forbids gay members of the Armed Forces for serving openly and honestly, was also high on speakers’ minds. Sen. James Inhofe urged people to call their senators in advance of a scheduled vote on a defense authorization bill that would include language to overturn Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell as well as language that would, in his words, turn military hospitals into abortion clinics. 

Strong Morning Tea for Values Voters

 

We, the morning people, started the day with a breakfast hosted by Liberty University and Liberty Counsel, which promised to help us oldsters understand the Millennial Generation (defined here as born since 1980). Schooling us were two Millennials, Rev. Johnnie Moore, a VP and campus pastor at Liberty, and Dr. Johsua Straub, from the American Association of Christian Counselors.
 
Millennials, it turns out, are distrusting and disillusioned and have a “mangled” foundation of truth, based on their parents’ divorces and the cultural sewer they have grown up in, yet they’re still optimistic and passionate about trying to make a difference in the world.
 
The good news, say Moore and Straub, is that Millennials believe in God, are anti-abortion, and have moved away from the Democratic Party since 2008. The bad news is that many of them have fled organized religion, have little taste for partisan politics, tend to cohabit with partners before marriage, and support gay couples’ freedom to marry. The key to engaging Millennials, they say, is not with a hard political message, but with a “relational” approach. Everyone in attendance was urged to find their own “Timothy” and devote time to being a mentor.
 
So clearly the audience for the Friday morning session was not the turned-off-by-politics Millennials described at breakfast. Friday’s session was a parade of harsh partisan attacks on Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barack Obama,and anyone who supports their America-destroying values. The session featured Religious Right and Tea Party folk heroes like Sens. James Inhofe and Jim DeMint and Rep. Michele Bachmann, as well as potential presidential contenders Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, and Rep. Mike Pence. Huckabee backers handed Huck PAC stickers and signs to people on the way in, hoping to boost his showing in the presidential straw poll.
 
The overriding theme of the morning – other than speakers trying to out-do each other in their hatred of “Washington” and the Democratic leadership – was the impossibility of separating the anti-government message of the Tea Party from the “traditional values” message of the Religious Right.   One speaker after another hammered home the message: the breakdown in family values creates dysfunctional people that have to rely on government services we can no longer afford. Sen. DeMint declared that you can’t be a true fiscal conservative if you don’t accept that our culture is founded in Judeo-Christian values.
 
Get used to hearing about American exceptionalism, because that’s the rhetorical glue that right-wing leaders are using to bind economic and social conservatives. America is unique because we don’t want government to take care of us, and we can only survive that way if Americans turn back to God, oppose abortion, and keep gay couples from getting married. An interminable Heritage Foundation video declared that “faith is necessary for liberty.”
 
And don’t even get started on gays in the military. Sen Inhofe used his time to urge people to contact their senators and oppose an upcoming defense authorization vote because it will include language repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and permitting abortion in military hospitals.
 
Also on display were typical cheap shots at “Washington elites,” like those who Michele Bachmann said believed that Values Voter participants should be feared because they’re people of faith, and boringly predictable jingoism like Mitt Romney’s concluding applause line that America is a force for good and we’re just not going to apologize for it. Now that’s bold. Just imagine what we’ll hear from Rick Santorum and Gary Bauer this afternoon. Not to mention Christine O’Donnell.
 
 

PFAW’s Letter to NPR

Yesterday, Kyle pointed out Bryan Fischer’s appearance on Morning Edition, where he was billed simply as a representative of the American Family Association. If a respected media outlet like NPR is going to give a platform to someone like Fischer, it needs to make clear the long record of hate speech he brings with him. PFAW President Michael B. Keegan reached out to Alicia Shepard, the NPR Ombudsman with this note:

Dear Ms. Shepard:

I was surprised yesterday to hear the voice of Bryan Fischer, Director of Issue Analysis at the American Family Association, on Morning Edition. I wonder if the show's producers knew of Mr. Fischer's record of extremism and hate speech against Muslim Americans and gays and lesbians.

People For the American Way's RightWingWatch.org blog tracks Fischer in his roll as a blogger and radio host for the AFA, where he makes no attempt to disguise his extremism. Just in the past year, Fischer has:

Yesterday, in response to People For's call that GOP leaders distance themselves from Mr. Fischer, he repeated his comparison of gay men to domestic terrorists. On Tuesday, Mr. Fischer defended his call for deporting Muslim Americans, saying "we are doing them a favor by repatriating them to their homeland where an entire nation shares their values."

Of course, Mr. Fischer has the right to air his opinions, no matter how hurtful. However, he should not be given air time by a nonpartisan news organization without some disclosure of his record of hate speech.

I also hope that Mr. Fischer is not, as Morning Edition implied, representative of the Tea Party movement as a whole.

This weekend, he will be appearing this weekend alongside leaders of the Republican Party, including Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, and 2012 presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, and Mike Pence. We have alerted these public figures to Mr. Fischer's record and urged them to denounce Fischer's remarks lest they lend credibility to his extremism.

Similarly, I urge NPR to resist lending credibility to an extremist like Fischer by providing him with a national platform without alerting audiences to his record of vocal bigotry.

Thank you for your time,

Michael B. Keegan

President, People For the American Way

 We’ll keep you posted on the response.

Political Science 101 With Professor Michele Bachmann

I think that it is pretty safe to assume that Rep. Michele Bachmann has absolutely no understanding of what the term "negative rights" actually means because, if she did, she probably would not be making ridiculous statements like this:

VVS: Rep. Bachmann Explains How Government Works

Rep. Michele Bachmann speaks at the Values Voter Summit, where she says that "the government doesn't create money, we do" and explains how all our powers are derived from God, some of which we give to government while reserving the remainder of that power for themselves ... or something like that ... but that is what is going to toss the Democrats out in November:

PFAW Sends Letters to GOP Leaders Urging them to Denounce Fischer, Skip Values Voter Summit

People For's President, Michael Keegan, sent the following letter today to Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Indiana Rep. Mike Pence, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, and Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell, all of whom are scheduled to appear this weekend at the Values Voter Summit, alongside the virulantly anti-Muslim and anti-gay Bryan Fischer.

Dear ________:

I am writing to express my concern about your appearance this weekend at the upcoming Values Voter Summit. Among the participants this weekend will be Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association. We urge you to publically denounce Fischer’s record of hate speech and extremism, and reconsider appearing beside him this weekend.

People For’s RightWingWatch.org blog has tracked Fischer’s career over the past several years. His long and prolific record of hate speech and extremism includes the following recent statements. Just in the past year, Fischer has:

I am attaching the names of over 6,500 concerned citizens who have signed the following letter regarding your participation in the summit:

Values Voter Summit Participants:

Reasonable people can, and do, have reasonable differences of opinion. Bryan Fischer, of the American Family Association, is not a reasonable person.

By sharing a stage with Fischer at this year's Values Voter Summit, public figures acknowledge the credibility of his shameless anti-Muslim and anti-gay propaganda. Any candidate thinking seriously of running for president in 2012 should think twice about standing alongside a man who has called for the deportation of all Muslims in America; insulted Muslim servicemembers; claimed that brave Americans died in vain because Iraq was not converted to Christianity; and called gay people deviants, felons, pedophiles and terrorists. Bryan Fischer is no mainstream conservative. And neither is any person who shares a platform with him while refusing to denounce his hate-filled propaganda.

We urge you to denounce Fischer's extremism and separate yourself from his comments.

For more background on Fischer’s extreme rhetoric, please click here.

Fischer’s appearance with conservative leaders such as yourself lends his extreme hate speech credibility. We urge you to publicly denounce Fischer’s record and to think twice about sharing the stage with him.

Sincerely,

Michael B. Keegan
President, People For the American Way

Bryan Fischer: Two Minutes of Hate

As I noted yesterday, nobody can nobody can better make the case that the AFA's Bryan Fischer is an hate-filled bigot better than he can, which is why I put together this video featuring the "best" of Fischer's rants against gays, Muslims, and everyone who does not share his extremist views - enjoy:

So let us ask again: will anyone who will be sharing a stage with Fischer at the Values Voter Summit - Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Mike Pence, Bob McDonnell, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Christine O'Donnell - denounce his bigotry?

O'Donnell To Speak At Values Voter Summit, Will She Denounce Fischer's Bigotry?

Prepare the hero's welcome, because Christine O'Donnell is coming to the Values Voter Summit:

FRC Action PAC-endorsed candidate Christine O'Donnell is confirmed to speak Friday afternoon, September 17 at FRC Action's fifth annual Values Voter Summit. This will be the Delaware Republican Senate nominee's first address to a national gathering of conservative activists since defeating Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE) on Tuesday.

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA), Gov. Mike Huckabee, Gov. Mitt Romney, Reps. Mike Pence (R-IN) and Michele Bachmann (R-MN), David Limbaugh, Dr. Bill Bennett, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and Phyllis Schalfly are among the confirmed speakers attending the Summit from September 17-18 at the Omni Shoreham in Washington, D.C.

Family Research Council Action PAC Chairman Tony Perkins made the following comments:

"We are pleased to announce that Christine O'Donnell will join us to speak at the Values Voter Summit. We applaud her for valiantly defending faith, family and freedom throughout this campaign.

"Christine O'Donnell has spoken out on behalf of the average person in her state who has been burdened by excessive tax and regulatory policies. She has tapped into the deep-seated mistrust that voters have toward big government. As in so many other states, the citizens are angered at the slow and steady loss of individual freedoms due to the massive overreach of government," concluded Perkins.

As such, we can now add O'Donnell to our list of conservative leaders - along with like Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Mike Pence, Bob McDonnell, Newt Gingrich, and Michele Bachmann - who are willing to share a stage with an anti-gay, anti-Muslim bigot like Byran Fischer and have no qualms about attending an event being co-sponsored by the American Family Association, the group that has given Fischer a national platform:

I've never called gay people terrorists although I've said that what they have done is like domestic terrorism. You've got these Mujaheddin on the battlefield setting out these syringes with the HIV virus in it as a way to carry out terrorism.

This is exactly what happens when two males have sex with one another. If one of them is HIV Positive, then it's just like injecting his partner with a needle with HIV.

That's domestic terrorism. I don't know what else you'd call it.

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Michele Bachmann Posts Archive

Josh Glasstetter, Friday 07/20/2012, 4:17pm
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is in a league of her own. While she has some kooky and extreme colleagues in the House, no one can see what’s not there with quite the same clarity. After all, this is Michele Bachmann’s world, we just don’t live in it.  This week, Bachmann is making waves with a far-fetched, McCarthyesque conspiracy theory about “deep penetration” of the US government by the Muslim Brotherhood. She’s so far over in right field that John Boehner, John McCain, and her former campaign manager Ed Rollins – among many others –... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 07/20/2012, 12:15pm
Rep. Michele Bachmann’s much-maligned witch hunt against Muslim-Americans working in the Obama administration, including top State Department official Huma Abedin, is the outgrowth of a festering conspiracy theory that has been gaining traction in right-wing circles, where Obama is viewed as an ally of the Muslim Brotherhood if not a secret Muslim himself. One of the main perpetrators is Frank Gaffney, whose Center for Security Policy is cited by Bachmann in her letter to the inspector general [pdf]. Gaffney is a birther have resulted in him being driven out of even conservative... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 07/19/2012, 12:45pm
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s witch hunt against Muslim-Americans working in government, specifically Hillary Clinton’s deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin, has been denounced by not only Democrats like Keith Ellison but also top Republicans such as John McCain, John Boehner, Marco Rubio, Scott Brown and even her former campaign manager. But at least Bachmann still has support from Tea Party Nation head Judson Phillips, who said in an email to members today that “John McCain needs to sit down and shut up.” Phillips also claimed while “Islam is our enemy”... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 06/22/2012, 12:15pm
Michele Bachmann took her propensity for promoting conspiracy theories to another level this week while speaking with the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios, after warning of not just a media plot to use “flattery” to sway the Supreme Court decision on health care reform but also new claims about the Obama administration and the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood. She told Rios that Obama undercut the Magna Carta and “spit at the Constitution and at the will of the American people” with his move to block the deportation of some younger undocumented... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 06/22/2012, 10:30am
While most readers found the recent Time Magazine profile of Justice Anthony Kennedy to be an innocuous piece about the justice who has emerged as a deciding vote on some of the more divisive Supreme Court decisions, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) sees a surreptitious effort by the media to convince Kennedy to uphold the health care reform law. While speaking to Sandy Rios of the American Family Association earlier this week, Bachmann warned that if Kennedy is “succumbing to flattery in the media” then “he could potentially be persuaded to go the way of the left,” as... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 05/04/2012, 1:05pm
Michele Bachmann yesterday sat down with David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network, two days before delivering the commencement address at Regent University (formerly CBN University), where she reiterated her claim that God called her to run for president. Bachmann, who ended her campaign following a sixth place finish in the Iowa Caucus with just 5% of the vote, told Brody that her purpose in the race was to drive the push to repeal the health care reform law, and also agreed with Brody’s analysis that she ran an “impeccable” and “mistake-free campaign.... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 04/16/2012, 2:30pm
Erick Stackelbeck, the sports reported turned terrorism analyst for the Christian Broadcasting Netowrk, hosted a segment on the 700 Club today looking into how “political correctness takes over in mainstream reporting on Islamic terrorism.” Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) told Stackelbeck that “our media is refusing to tell the story” about Islamic extremists because the media “come from a decidedly leftist worldview and a secular—almost an anti-secular in a way—because they’ve embraced such a radical worldview and they impose that filter through... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 02/09/2012, 1:01pm
Michele Bachmann kicked off her speech to CPAC by relating the three things she learned while running for president: where John Wayne was born; the day Elvis Presley was born, and the importance of remembering the third thing in your list MORE >