Phyllis Schlafly

Right-Wing Groups Gear Up To Oppose Disability Rights Treaty, Again

Last December, former Republican senator and presidential candidate Bob Dole took to the Senate floor in a wheelchair to urge his former colleagues to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities (CRPD), a United Nations treaty that would encourage countries around the world to emulate the United States’ protections for the rights of the disabled.

The treaty fell six votes short of the 2/3 majority it needed for passage, thanks to an intense lobbying effort by Religious Right groups that warned – against all evidence – that the treaty would threaten U.S. sovereignty, impede the rights of homeschoolers, expand abortion rights and allow the UN to seize children with glasses from their families.

Now, the fight is set to start over again. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has scheduled a hearing on the treaty for tomorrow, and once again the extremist right is gearing up to defeat it by spreading myths about CRPD’s true purpose and effects.

The first sign of what is to come is that Susan Yoshihara of the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) has been called as a witness for Tuesday’s hearing. C-FAM is a far-right group dedicated to defeating gay rights and reproductive health measures at the UN. Most recently, the group has made headlines for vocally defending Russia’s ban on gay-rights speech , a law that C-FAM’s president Austin Ruse said “most of the people in the United States” would agree with. C-FAM opposes UN efforts to prevent violence against LGBT people, an effort for which it has found its strongest allies in Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

C-FAM also stands against any UN public health initiatives that stray from an abstinence-only ideology. The group criticized UN HIV/AIDS guidelines that called for decriminalizing adultery, homosexuality and extramarital sex, claiming that decriminalization “would fuel the spread of HIV/AIDS.” The group also opposes efforts to combat HIV/AIDS through sex education and condom distribution, which it claims are merely ruses to “protect the sexual revolution.”

C-FAM’s opposition to the CRPD has centered on the myth that the treaty would expand abortion rights – a myth that even the anti-choice National Right to Life Committee has debunked and which Sen. John McCain called just plain “wrong.”

As the Senate considered the CRPD last year, Yoshihara warned that the treaty included protections for “sexual and reproductive health,” which she said meant the treaty would be “used to advance a right to abortion.” After the treaty fell short in the Senate, Yoshihara declared that “cooler heads prevailed,” fretting that “the text could be interpreted as including a right to abortion.”

Also gearing up to fight the CRPD is the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), which is renewing its warnings that the treaty, along with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, would imperil homeschooling families in the United States, “override existing state laws” and “surrender our nation’s sovereignty to unelected bureaucrats.” An indication of HSLDA’s mode of operation is that the group’s founder Michael Farris has written a novel set in a future in which the United States has signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child, allowing the UN to snatch children from American homeschooling parents .

It is Farris who warned last year that the treaty would allow the UN to come in and take control of children who wear glasses or have ADHD. In an interview with the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, Farris claimed that the treaty could even empower doctors to kill disabled children. He even warned that the treaty would make the United States “an official socialist nation.”

Thanks in large parts to Farris’ efforts, rumors claims that the United States’ signing of the CRPD would endanger homeschooling became so pervasive that Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware was forced to confirm with the Department of Justice that “ratification of this treaty will not do anything to change existing American law, rules or enforcement on homeschooling” and that the treaty would not “ erode one iota of American sovereignty.”

HSLDA and Farris found a powerful ally in former senator and failed presidential candidate Rick Santorum, who warned that the treaty would lead to the deaths of children with disabilities like his daughter Bella.

Under Farris and Santorum’s leadership, the Religious Right rallied to oppose the CRPD last year. The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins warned – with absolutely no basis – that under the treaty, “the global community could force America to sanction sterilization or abortion for the disabled–at taxpayer expense.” Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum included the treaty vote on its “bills to watch” list, and Schlafly warned that CRPD – and UN treaties as a whole – “override national sovereignty in pursuit of social engineering, feminist ideology, or merely busybody interference in a country’s internal affairs.”Concerned Women for America, Liberty Counsel, Eagle Forum and the American Family Association also joined the effort against ratification

While right-wing groups circulate irresponsible rumors about imaginary impacts of the CRPD, international disability rights advocates are left without an important tool for their work – the United States’ approval of international standards based on US law. The Senate now has a second chance to listen to common-sense voices of support for the treaty – including leading disability rights, civil rights and business groups – and reject the unhinged rhetoric that brought down the treaty last year.

Schlafly: 'It's The Statue Of Liberty, Not The Statue Of Immigration'

Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly is sick and tired of people invoking the Statue of Liberty to advocate for fixing our immigration laws.

In a radio commentary today Schlafly – who previously argued that the Bible’s mandate for “compassion” doesn’t apply to immigrants – commemorates the anniversary of the dedication of the Statue of Liberty by declaring that the statue “has nothing whatsoever to do with immigration.” Instead, she argued, “people who had nothing to do with this great gift from the French were allowed to paste a plague on the base of the statue with a quotation that has misrepresented the statue as an invitation to open immigration.”

“Remember, it’s the Statue of Liberty, not the Statue of Immigration,” she concludes.

While Schlafly is correct that the Statue of Liberty was not originally meant by the French to commemorate immigration, it quickly became a symbol of America’s promise for immigrants. As a National Parks Service historian told the New York Times, the statue “became really famous among immigrants. And it was really immigrants that lifted her up to a sort of a glory that was probably before America really fully embraced her.” The addition of the plaque with Emma Lazarus’ poem “The New Colossus” 20 years after the statue’s erection merely reinforced this symbolic value.

Schlafly somewhat undermines her case by quoting speeches from presidents who were very aware of the statue’s symbolic value. Schlafly selectively quotes Franklin D. Roosevelt’s speech at the fiftieth anniversary of the dedication of the statue…a speech that was all about the importance of immigrants to American life. Likewise, she quotes Ronald Reagan’s speech at the statue’s centennial, which was also focused on the statue’s symbolism of a nation of immigrants. “Which of us does not think of other grandfathers and grandmothers, from so many places around the globe, for whom this statue was the first glimpse of America?” he asked.

But no, Schlafly says, “The statue has nothing to do with immigration.”

The Statue of Liberty is probably the most identifying symbol of America. It's almost like a religious shrine for Americans. Today is the anniversary of its dedication on October 28, 1886. A gift from France, it was built by Gustav Eiffel, the builder of the Eiffel Tower, and designed by Auguste Bartholdi, who wrote this about the Statue of Liberty: "The statue was born for this place which inspired its conception. May God be pleased to bless my efforts and my work, and to crown it with success, the duration and moral influence which it ought to have."

On the Statue of Liberty's 50th anniversary in 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt stated: "The Almighty did prepare this American continent to be a place of the second chance.... Millions have ... found ... freedom of opportunity, freedom of thought, freedom to worship God." President Dwight Eisenhower stated in 1954: "It represents ... a nation whose greatness is based on a firm unshakable belief that all of us mere mortals are dependent upon the mercy of a Superior Being." When the Statue of Liberty was relighted after a restoration, President Ronald Reagan said in 1986: "I've always thought ... that God had His reasons for placing this land here between two great oceans..."

The Statue of Liberty memorializes the unique liberty we enjoy in America. It has nothing whatever to do with immigration. It's most unfortunate that people who had nothing to do with this great gift from the French were allowed to paste a plaque on the base of the Statue with a quotation that has misrepresented the Statue as an invitation to open immigration. The Statue has nothing to do with immigration.

Remember, it's the Statue of Liberty, not the Statue of Immigration.
 

Schlafly: Public Schools Trying 'To Prepare Us To Accept Death Panels From Obamacare'

Phyllis Schlafly claims that an assignment in an Illinois high school’s sociology class and a Oregon health class assignment dating back to 1984 are signs that the public education system is trying to “prepare us to accept death panels from Obamacare.”

St. Joseph-Ogden High School, a public school in St. Joseph, Ill., gave its sophomore class an assignment to choose which of 10 people were “worthy” of getting kidney dialysis when the hospital had only six machines. The assignment instructed the students, “four people are not going to live. You must decide from the information below which six will survive.”

The students were given the list of the 10 who desperately needed kidney dialysis with identification about their occupation, age and ethnicity, and told to give each a score. The instructions stated: “Put the people in order using 1-10, 1 being the person you want to save first and 10 being the person you would save last,” with the assumption that those getting scores 7 through 10 would be marked for death.

Since when are high-school students allowed to judge who may live and who must die? Is this to prepare us to accept death panels from Obamacare?

Unfortunately, such public school class assignments are not new. A Department of Education hearing in Seattle on March 13, 1984, heard a parent describe the Health class at Clackamas High School in Oregon.

Students were presented with the “lifeboat situation”: Too many people are in the sinking lifeboat, and the students were ordered to choose whose lives are not worth saving and should be thrown overboard so the lifeboat won’t sink. Variations of the lifeboat situation have been widely used in public schools for many years.

Naturally, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin and Todd Starnes are also on the case.

The principal at the high school responded to a reporter from the conservative ChampionNews.net and explained that the assignment in question was meant to educate students on “social value biases” and “how people in our society unfortunately create biases based off of professions, race, gender, etc.”

The assignment you are referring to is not a “Death Panel” assignment. The assignment is one in the sociology unit of our Introduction To Social Studies class. The purpose of the assignment is to educate students about social values and how people in our society unfortunately create biases based off of professions, race, gender, etc. The teacher’s goal is to educate students in the fact that these social value biases exist, and that hopefully students will see things from a different perspective after the activity is completed. The teacher’s purpose in the element of the assignment you are referring to is to get students emotionally involved to participate in the classroom discussion, and to open their minds to the fact that they themselves have their own social biases. The assignment has nothing to do with a “Death Panel.”

We encourage parents to contact their son/daughter’s teachers if they have any concerns about an assignment in the classroom. That line of communication typically clears up any potential misunderstanding.

Schlafly Objects To LA Schools iPad Program Because It Might Benefit Children Of Immigrants

Phyllis Schlafly is livid about the Los Angeles Unified School District's decision to launch a program last month to put iPads in the hands of every student in the school district. The Los Angeles Times explains that the effort is intended to “put a school district composed mostly of low-income, minority students on an even footing with more prosperous students, who have such devices at home, at school or both.” The program was temporarily halted this week after enterprising students at one test school promptly figured out how to hack the iPads for personal use – but that’s not what concerns Schlafly.

Instead, in her Eagle Forum radio commentary today, Schlafly frets that the “fancy electronics” might be used to educate the children of undocumented immigrants…or any student learning English as a second language:

The superintendent says his goal is to “close the technology gap” for the many low-income students in the district, but technology doesn’t seem to be the central problem. Los Angeles Unified is a very depressed school district, regardless of how much technology students do or do not have. It continually has some of California’s lowest test scores, and almost 1/3 of its students do not finish high school. (Throughout the rest of the state, only 13% of students don’t make it to graduation.) The waste of money on fancy electronics seems even more egregious when we consider what a terrible job Los Angeles Unified currently does educating its students.

To add insult to injury, many of the students who will be receiving a taxpayer-funded iPad aren’t even supposed to be in the United States. Los Angeles has one of the highest illegal alien populations in the U.S. Almost 400,000 illegal aliens live in this district. Almost a third of its students are classified as “English learners.”

You may want to keep these kinds of frivolous expenses in mind next time your own school district asks for a tax increase. In the district I live in, the school board is asking for a tax increase almost every year.

Right Still Targeting Judicial Nominee Nina Pillard's Support For Women's Equality

Georgetown law professor Cornelia “Nina” Pillard, one of President Obama’s three nominees to fill vacancies on the influential D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, is one of the country’s most renowned women’s rights attorneys. She crafted the argument that convinced a nearly unanimous Supreme Court to open the Virginia Military Institute to women. She worked alongside Bush administration attorneys to successfully defend the Family and Medical Leave Act in the courts. She has opposed government policies that treat men and women differently based on outmoded stereotypes that harm both sexes.

So, of course, conservative activists and their Republican allies in Congress are calling her a “radical feminist" and threatening to filibuster her nomination.

In an interview with the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins Friday, National Review columnist Ed Whelan called Pillard a “radical feminist law professor” and insisted that she would be “the most left-wing judge in the history of the republic.”

Phyllis Schlafly – who, of course, also opposed the opening of VMI to women and the Family and Medical Leave Act  – calls Pillard a “scary feminist.”

The Family Research Council has also gone after Pillard, skewing the meaning of her words and even citing her use of a phrase that was actually written by the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist as evidence of her “militant feminism.”

And just this weekend, right-wing activist "Dr. Chaps" Gordon Klingenschmitt sent out an email to his backers attacking Pillard's support for women's rights, specifically charging that Pillard “attacked and questioned the Virginia Military Institute” when she argued that VMI should admit women. 

Senate Republicans have picked up this line of attack. In Pillard’s hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, the committee’s Republicans (all men) latched onto the nominee’s support of reproductive rights. When fellow nominee Robert Wilkins appeared before the committee last week, Sen. Chuck Grassley tried, unsuccessfully, to trick him into dissing Pillard’s writings.

So what exactly is it that makes Pillard such a “radical”/“militant”/“scary” feminist in the eyes of the Right?

In a series of columns last month, Whelan elaborated on what he meant. He takes particular issue with a 2007 law review article in which Pillard argues that many public school abstinence-only sex-ed curricula impose a double standard on girls – hardly a radical observation. She also specifically wrote that she took no position on the abstinence message itself. Nevertheless, Whelan and others have distorted this into the idea that she would strike down all abstinence programs as unconstitutional, which is not at all what she has said.  In Pillard’s own words,

[The article] brings into focus those curricula's  persistent, official promulgation of retrogressive, anti-egalitarian sexual  ideologies-of male pleasure and female shame, male recreation and female responsibility, male agency and female passivity, and male personhood and female parenthood. I argue for a counter-stereotyping sex education that  affirms women's and men's desire, sexual agency, and responsibility.

She explained her thoughts further in her hearing before the judiciary committee:

Let me say first, I'm a mother. I have two teenage children — one boy and one girl. If my children are being taught in sex education, I want both my children to be taught to say 'no,' not just my daughter. I want my son to be taught that, too. The article was very explicit in saying I don't see any constitutional objection … to abstinence-only education that does not rely upon and promulgate sex stereotypes.

This argument – that many government-funded sex-ed curricula promote harmful and regressive stereotypes that cheat girls – is what has made right-wing activists go ballistic.

Pillard has also made it exceedingly clear that she knows the difference between testing out legal theories in law review articles and applying them as a judge. As she said in her hearing, “Academics are paid to test the boundaries and look at the implications of things. As a judge, I would apply established law of the U.S. Supreme Court and the D.C. Circuit” – a sentiment that many Republican senators echoed when they were defending Bush nominees who had in the past expressed opinions not consistent with existing law.

To put it simply, what conservatives object to about Pillard is that she believes in women’s equality and that she’s really, really good at making the legal case for it. In 2013 in the Republican Party, that’s what it takes to qualify as a “scary,” “radical” and “militant” feminist.
 

Schlafly: Strip Funding from Courts, Schools, Colleges, Child Protective Services, Social Safety Net, Feminists And Democrats

It’s not exactly news that Phyllis Schlafly thinks that things like gay rights, feminism, secular education, popular culture and progressive laws are ruining America. But it’s still remarkable to see her try to list all of her enemies in one place.

In a column this week entitled “America’s War Against Traditional Marriage Endangers Our Democracy,” Schlafly goes after child protection services, day care, divorce courts and domestic violence protections – all of which she sees as threats to the family and our democracy--  and issues a call to “shame and cut off taxpayers’ money from the groups that killed the American family,” groups that she goes on to list: “Feminists, judges, legislators, public school teachers and administrators, so-called child protection agencies, professors, psychologists, college courses, government handouts and Democratic politicians who want big-government spending in order to win votes.”

A combination of forces abolished the American family as we knew it.

The many factors include changes in the law such as unilateral divorce, court decisions and especially abuses by the family courts, the culture, curricula and customs from elementary grades through college, taxpayer financial incentives for illegitimacy, and the pronouncements of self-appointed experts who think they know how to manage children better than parents.

We must shame and cut off taxpayers' money from the groups that killed the American family, including feminists, judges, legislators, public school teachers and administrators, so-called child protection agencies, professors, psychologists, college courses, government handouts and Democratic politicians who want big-government spending in order to win votes.

The problem cannot be remedied by prohibiting same-sex marriage (even by a constitutional amendment) or by telling men to "man up."

Feminists demand that we abolish the patriarchy, and they argue that its worst offense is expecting mothers to care for their own children, and so the taxpayers should pay for day-care for all children. Feminists are still whining on television in 2013 about President Nixon's veto of the comprehensive Mondale day-care bill back in 1971.

All those who care about preserving the religious and economic freedoms that are the hallmark of America should realize that we cannot reassert constitutional rights, private enterprise, balanced budgets, reduction of government spending and freedom from government management of our lives without the intact, self-supporting traditional nuclear family functioning as the foundation of our society.

White Nationalist Group Upset It's Not Getting Credit for Inventing GOP 'Whites-Only' Strategy

As leaders of the Republican Party debate whether their party can remain viable without expanding its appeal among black and Latino voters, the white nationalist group that first outlined a GOP “whites-only” strategy for presidential victories wants credit for its idea.

In November of 2000, as George W. Bush and Al Gore were still wrangling over a handful of hanging chads in Florida,  Steve Sailer, an unabashedly racist columnist for the white nationalist site VDARE, wrote a column outlining a potential strategy for the GOP to remain strong in the face of changing demographics. In his column, titled “GOP Future Depends on Winning Larger Share of the White Vote,” Sailer crunched exit poll numbers and outlined a strategy by which the Republican Party could lose “every single nonwhite vote” and still win the presidency by working to increase its share of working class white voters. Sailer and VDARE continued to promote this strategy for over a decade, arguing that Republican attempts to reach out to people of color were not only bad politics, but also a losing strategy.

In the wake of President Obama’s reelection – which relied in a large part on the GOP’s alienation of black and Latino voters – the “Sailer Strategy” has seen a popular resurgence among the Right. While some GOP leaders, like RNC chairman Reince Priebus, have trumpeted the need for the party to expand its base in the face of changing demographics, others – including Phyllis Schlafly, Pat Buchanan, leaders in the anti-immigrant movement, and the editors of The National Review and The Weekly Standard– have argued that the GOP can instead build a lasting strategy by increasing its share of the white vote. These leaders argue that any effort to build a more inclusive Republican Party – and especially any effort to update the country’s immigration policy – would in the long term be futile because, as Schlafly indelicately put it, Latino voters don’t “have any Republican inclinations at all.”

The mostly implicit, but sometimes explicit, subtext in the push for this strategy is that it would be partly achieved by stirring up racial resentments among white voters against the country’s growing Latino population. Buchanan put it most clearly when he called for a renewal of the Southern Strategy – which fundamentally realigned the Republican Party by digging up and egging on Southern white racism against African Americans – only this time with Latinos as the target. (Not coincidentally, Buchanan and Schlafly have both cited Sailer's writings on race in their own work.)

In a fascinating National Journal cover story this week, Ronald Brownstein examines the numbers behind the increasingly popular GOP “whites-only” strategy, concluding that the combination of an expanding non-white population, growing Democratic trends among white voters and the geographical distribution of swing states, make it unlikely to succeed.

Republican strategist White Ayres put it more bluntly in an interview with Brownstein. The strategy, he said, “is not getting much penetration among people who are serious about winning presidential elections. It is getting traction among people who are trying to justify voting against immigration reform or making any of the other changes that are necessary to be nationally competitive in the 21st century."

Which, of course, was the whole point of the idea from its very first airing in Steve Sailer’s column. 

Among those unhappy with Brownstein’s rigorously reported story were, predictably, the white nationalists at VDARE, who are not only still on board with the “whites-only” strategy, but are upset that now that the theory has taken off, Sailer is no longer getting credit for it. John Derbyshire, the VDARE columnist fired by The National Review after he wrote one too many racist screed, comes to the defense of Sailer and his strategy against Brownstein’s logic:

The wonkery here is, as you can see, very deep. For VDARE.com readers it is also deeply frustrating.

The central point of discussion here, the desirability of the GOP increasing its appeal to white voters, is the Sailer Strategy, which we have been airing, with full supporting numerical analyses, since the 2000 election.

We know that a prophet is without honor in his own country. But surely an occasional linked reference wouldn’t hurt?

Derbyshire then laments that the Sailer Strategy would be easier to implement if whites were not “too intensely engaged in their Cold Civil War—too much wrapped up in the pleasures of hating other whites—to unite as a tribe.” But he echoes other commentators in suggesting that it could be done if Republicans embraced a message of economic populism:

Note that, contra Ronald Brownstein’s title, there are some conceivable circumstances in which Republicans could win with whites alone.

Whites were 72 percent of the electorate in 2012. On current demographic trends, that number will decline at roughly two percent per 4-year cycle. That gives us ten or a dozen cycles in which whites are a majority of the electorate—well past mid-century.

If whites were to vote for white GOP presidential candidates as tribally as blacks vote for a black Democrat, with no additional votes from minorities at all, the presidency would be decided by the white vote alone in all but the last of those cycles.

Even if whites nationwide just voted as tribally as white Mississippians did last November (89 percent for Romney), all but the last three of those cycles would be a lock.

Well, conceivable, perhaps, but neither thing will happen. Whites are too intensely engaged in their Cold Civil War—too much wrapped up in the pleasures of hating other whites—to unite as a tribe.

What could happen, what we should wish to happen, is a turn on the part of the GOP to economic populism, as recommended by Sean Trende, and more recently by my VDARE.com colleague James Kirkpatrick in his article on Colorado:

Rather than serving as corporate lobbyists for the ultra-rich, the GOP should wage war on big money in politics and embrace a populist strategy against bankers, cheap labor, and offshoring.

A well-pitched populist appeal from an attractive candidate could reach parts that the current corporatist, big-donor-whipped GOP is not reaching. The fundamental issues are not hard to get across.

We don't agree with John Derbyshire on a lot, but we do agree with him on one thing: Republican proponents of the Sailer Strategy should give credit where credit's due. 

Schlafly: Immigration And Health Care Reform Are Part Of Obama's Plan To Introduce Communism

Eagle Forum head Phyllis Schlafly, one of the most vocal opponents of immigration reform, took her case to the sympathetic audience at the Talk To Solomon Show last week. Schlafly told host Stan Solomon that President Obama’s drive “to put another thirty million people on our health care system ties in with Obama’s plan for amnesty, to bring them in by the millions and load them onto the taxpayer.”

Solomon explained that the result would be communism: “This is the design, communism is equal but awful, everyone has the same but no one has everything. Everyone has the same but no one has anything. That’s Obama’s plan.”

“That’s his plan,” Schlafly replied.

Earlier this year, Schlafly similarly alleged that immigration reform efforts were crafted by “socialist-minded people” who “want to destroy our system.”

Watch:

Phyllis Schlafly's Totally Coherent Defense of North Carolina's Voter Suppression Law

In a WorldNetDaily column today, Eagle Forum’s Phyllis Schlafly comes to the defense of North Carolina’s new voter suppression measure with classic Schlafly logic. The new law is not politically motivated and won’t keep Democrats from voting, Schlafly claims…before adding that the law’s main virtue is that it is politically motivated and will keep Democrats from voting.

Schlafly starts out her argument by claiming that the notion that the state’s new photo ID requirement will disproportionately disenfranchise largely Democratic voting groups is “absurd” because “the poorest members of society can obtain photo ID to get taxpayer-funded handouts”….and then immediately contradicts herself by declaring “the real reason the left wants to make sure that individuals without voter ID are allowed to vote is because they are expected to vote for Democrats”:

Liberals make the absurd claim that requiring photo ID is discriminatory because some minority groups may be unable to provide proper ID. But government-issued photo identification can be obtained by anyone at very low cost.

We already need photo ID, aka a driver’s license, to drive to work, which is rather important to most people. Welfare recipients are required to show photo ID to receive money in many states, and we haven’t heard any gripes about ID discrimination.

If the poorest members of society can obtain photo ID to get taxpayer-funded handouts, they should be able to do likewise for voting. The real reason the left wants to make sure that individuals without voter ID are allowed to vote is because they are expected to vote for Democrats.

Schlafly then takes on the North Carolina law’s reduction of early voting days, including eliminating Sunday early voting, which she happily admits is a response to the popularity of early voting among Democratic voters:

The reduction in the number of days allowed for early voting is particularly important because early voting plays a major role in Obama’s ground game. The Democrats carried most states that allow many days of early voting, and Obama’s national field director admitted, shortly before last year’s election, that “early voting is giving us a solid lead in the battleground states that will decide this election.”

She is especially upset that the Obama campaign (or the “Obama technocrats”) ran a successful early voting get-out-the-vote effort, or, as she puts it, “identifying prospective Obama voters and then nagging them (some might say harassing them) until they actually vote”:

The Obama technocrats have developed an efficient system of identifying prospective Obama voters and then nagging them (some might say harassing them) until they actually vote. It may take several days to accomplish this, so early voting is an essential component of the Democrats’ get-out-the-vote campaign.

But early voting’s sins, according to Schlafly, go beyond being successfully used by Democrats. In fact, she says, early voting “is actually contrary to the spirit of the U.S. Constitution”:

Early voting is actually contrary to the spirit of the U.S. Constitution. Article II states, “the Congress may determine the Time of choosing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes, which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.” Federal law sets the date for national elections on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

But that isn’t all! Schlafly -- who happens to be the recipient of the 2011 Citizens United Lifetime Achievement Award--  claims that early voting actually “increases the influence of big money spent on campaigns.” Not only that, she says, but it “increases opportunities for ballot fraud” because, she claims without any evidence, poll watchers aren’t present during early voting:

Early voting increases the influence of big money spent on campaigns because it requires candidates to campaign, to spend and to buy expensive television ads over additional weeks. Early voting increases opportunities for ballot fraud because the necessary poll watchers we expect to be on the job at polling places on Election Day can’t be present for so many days.

Schlafly wraps up her argument by declaring that North Carolina’s voter suppression law should “cheer up” conservatives  as they work to restrict reproductive choice, cut unemployment insurance and Medicaid and mandate the teaching of cursive so that “kids will now be able to read letters from their grandmothers”:

In 2012 the Democrats were so sure that North Carolina was a happy hunting ground for their votes that they held their National Convention in Charlotte to renominate Barack Obama. North Carolina promptly responded by voting down same-sex marriage in a referendum and then passing a bunch of good laws. So cheer up, conservatives.

In addition to the helpful new voting laws, North Carolina passed stricter regulations on abortion clinics, ended teacher tenure, cut unemployment benefits, blocked the expansion of Medicaid and (despite the scorn of propagandists for the national takeover of education by Common Core) mandated the teaching of cursive writing. Maybe that’s why the liberals are so angry: Kids will now be able to read letters from their grandmothers.

Case closed.

Phyllis Schlafly Was 'Extremely Offended' and 'Personally Insulted' By DOMA Decision

Eagle Forum founder and anti-gay activist Phyllis Schlafly was “extremely offended” by the Supreme Court’s ruling striking down a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act, because of “all the nasty names” she claims the court’s majority called DOMA’s proponents.

Speaking with Steve Deace yesterday, Schlafly said that it was “inappropriate, unprecedented and really nasty” for Justice Anthony Kennedy to find that DOMA’s passage had anything to do with “animus against gays.”

“I feel personally insulted by what Justice Kennedy said,” she added.

Deace: You wrote an interesting reaction to the US Supreme Court, I guess we would call it ‘opinion,’ but it really looked to me, Phyllis, like five justices, and Anthony Kennedy in particular, chose to write what amounts to an anti-Christian polemic disguised as a legal opinion. And it seems like you sort of got the same vibe from what they wrote.
 

Schlafly: Well, I was extremely offended at all the nasty names he called us. I just think it’s so inappropriate, unprecedented and really nasty for the justice to say that the reason DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, was passed, and those who stand up for traditional marriage is that they have animus against gays, they want to deny them equal dignity, that we want to brand them as unworthy, we want to humiliate their children, we have a hateful desire to harm a politically unpopular group. I just think, I feel personally insulted by what Justice Kennedy said. I don’t think that’s true, the idea that anybody who stood up for traditional marriage is guilty of all that hate in his heart is just outrageous.

Later in the interview, the two discussed Hobby Lobby’s suit against the health care law’s mandate that they provide their employees with insurance that includes birth control coverage. Deace claimed that the Obama administration is making “a clear attempt to eradicate the worldview that stands in opposition to statism.”

Schlafly agreed: “Well, I think you’re right, and that’s why I think Obama is definitely trying to make this a totally secular country where you’re not permitted to reference God in anything that anybody else can hear.”

It goes without saying that if the president is trying to eliminate public references to God, he’s doing a very poor job of it.

Deace: Well, and I think you look at something like religious freedom, you’ve got the Obama regime trying to tell companies like Hobby Lobby that your freedom of religion, when you walk into corporate headquarters there at Hobby Lobby, you no longer have the freedom of religion. So you have to do what we tell you to do, even if it violates the moral conscience of your religion, the Bill of Rights ends when you walk into your corporate headquarters. What we see going on in the US Military, for example. We’re seeing unprecedented threats to religious liberty. I know this is something you’ve written about as well. And I think this is a clear attempt to eradicate the worldview that stands in opposition to statism.

Schlafly: Well, I think you’re right, and that’s why I think Obama is definitely trying to make this a totally secular country where you’re not permitted to reference God in anything that anybody else can hear.

Phyllis Schlafly Upset By DC Circuit Nominee's Support for Women's Equality, Of Course

In a WorldNetDaily column today, legendary anti-feminist Phyllis Schafly joins the far-right attacks on Cornelia “Nina” Pillard, one of President Obama’s three nominees to fill vacancies on the influential Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

As Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick has ably explained, the far right’s objection to Pillard is what they see as her excessive support for women’s equality – including “radical” ideas like access to birth control and paid family leave.

So it’s no surprise that Schlafly, who has built a long career out of opposing any and all advances to women’s rights, is now joining the Family Research Council in skewing the record to attack Pillard, whom she calls “a scary feminist” with a trail of “extremist feminist writings”:

Obama not only has the help of the ACLU and similar organizations to pursue anti-religion litigation, but he is determined to appoint many like-minded judges to the federal courts. He recently nominated a scary feminist named Nina Pillard to the important D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Her extremist views include the wild allegation that abortion is necessary to help “free women from historically routine conscription into maternity.” She says that those who oppose Obamacare’s contraception-abortion mandate are really reinforcing “broader patterns of discrimination against women as a class of presumptive breeders.”

Obama would surely like to get supremacist judges to carry out his goals to rewrite the meaning of the First Amendment. We hope there are enough Republicans in the Senate to expose Pillard’s paper trail of extremist feminist writings.

It’s worth mentioning that the woman who Schlafly calls a “scary feminist” has a long history of finding common ground across ideological divides. She worked on the same side as both Bush administrations as a litigator on several major constitutional cases. She also runs Georgetown Law School’s respected Supreme Court Institute, which helps lawyers from around the country in preparing for Supreme Court arguments without regard to which side they represent (including attorneys arguing every single case before the Supreme Court this year). She even led the committee whose research was used by the American Bar Association that found ultra-conservative Justice Samuel Alito “well qualified” for his job.

But Schlafly’s definition of “scary feminist” encompasses just about anyone who supports any sort of legal rights for women. In fact, Schlafly has gone to bat against Pillard before, criticizing two of the nominee’s most widely-hailed victories on behalf of women’s equality: winning the Supreme Court case brought by the George H.W. Bush Administration that opened the Virginia Military Institute to women, and working on the same side as George W. Bush administration lawyers to successfully defend the Family and Medical Leave Act in the courts.

Schlafly, of course, railed against both victories. She charged that the Supreme Court’s decision upholding the FMLA “was based on feminist fantasies about a gender-neutral society” and when the Supreme Court unanimously struck down VMI’s discriminatory admissions procedures, she wrote to the school’s alumni:

The massive government lawsuit against VMI wasn't about "ending sex discrimination" or "allowing women to have access to the same educational benefits that men have at VMI." It was a no-holds-barred fight to feminize VMI waged by the radical feminists and their cohorts in the Federal Government.

Since feminists successfully got women admitted into the military academies, and got the Clinton Administration to assign women to military combat positions, VMI and the Citadel remained as the most visible fortresses of the concept that men and women are fundamentally different. The feminists hate you just because you exist.

Which is to say that if Republican senators decide to adopt Schlafly’s definition of “scary feminist,” they should know that it includes not only the basic defense of reproductive rights, but also support for laws that allow women to work outside the home while raising children and the belief that public institutions shouldn’t discriminate on the basis of sex.
 

Right Wing Round-Up - 8/6/13

Ginni Thomas and Phyllis Schlafly Discuss 'Cultural Marxism,' 'The Left’s Ultimate Agenda'

In an interview posted yesterday at the Daily Caller, Tea Party activist Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, sat down with Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly to discuss the issues of the day.

Discussing bipartisan immigration policy, Schlafly repeated her assertion that modernizing the country’s immigration system would be “suicide for the Republican Party” because new immigrants want “taxpayer goodies” from Democrats.

This led Thomas to ask Schlafly, “How does this immigration bill advance the Left’s ultimate agenda?” Schlafly responded that progressives are using immigration reform to achieve “global government” because “they don’t like the Constitution.”

Later in the interview, Thomas asked Schlafly about the belief of “some” that “cultural Marxists have already won in our country.” Schlafly agreed, saying that the “tremendous decline in marriage” is ruining America. “I grew up during the great Depression,” Schlafly added, “and we didn’t need government to do anything.”

Crouse: Gay Marriage Is Ruining America Because Only Straight Married Families Volunteer in Hospitals

Concerned Women for America’s Janice Shaw Crouse visited Eagle Forum Live on Saturday, where she spoke with Phyllis Schlafly about the Supreme Court’s decision striking down the key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act.

The two were not optimistic for the future of the country after the DOMA decision. In fact, Crouse implied that same-sex marriage would undermine community volunteerism because “a man and a woman committed to each other for life” are “where we get our volunteers for hospitals, our volunteers for services to the homeless, our volunteers for all sorts of community outreaches, from the local scout troop to volunteering to visit the sick in individual churches.”

Schlafly: Tell us what you think about the real importance and the role that traditional marriage has played in our society and must play in our society if we’re going to continue to be a free country.

Crouse: Well, I think we’re all used to hearing the arguments that marriage is best for individuals, it’s best for women, it’s best for men, it’s best for children. And I have a whole book on how marriage has really, the demise of marriage has really hurt our children. But I think the thing that is really relevant right now is the fact that marriage is so good for communities, for nations. You cannot have a strong nation without strong marriages, it’s just as simple as that, because marriage is a husband and a wife working together.

A man and a woman committed to each other for life and committed to their children are the backbone of communities. That’s where we get our volunteers for hospitals, our volunteers for services to the homeless, our volunteers for all sorts of community outreaches, from the local scout troop to volunteering to visit the sick in individual churches. Volunteers generally come from families, people who are invested in the community and have a long-term interest in that community’s strength. And the same thing holds for nations.

Later in the conversation, Schlafly lamented that public schools are teaching children “that there are all kinds of families and you have to be respectful of all kinds.” Crouse responded that “it’s even worse than that,” because “we cannot even look at magazines at the supermarket checkout counter without having in our face homosexual embraces and couples who are flaunting [sic] public opinion and flaunting public mores.”

“It’s, I think, very egregious that we have to live with these kinds of public demonstrations that are trying to desensitize our children,” she added.

Schlafly: Janice, I wish you’d particularly address the problem in the schools, because I’m concerned that what the children are going to be taught in schools and what they cannot be taught in the schools.

Crouse: Well, we’re already seeing so much bias against Christians in our schools. It’s appalling to me as the grandmother of seven children who are in public schools. I’m seeing the evidence in a variety of different schools, from elementary through high school, where children are not allowed to express their own personal views in the context of the school, as though they only have freedom of speech at home or in the confines of their church or local synagogue or temple, wherever they worship.

Schlafly: Well, Dr. Crouse, it’s even worse than that. In their courses, they’re teaching them that there are all kinds of families and you have to be respectful of all kinds, and don’t pay any attention to what your parents say.

Crouse: Exactly. And it’s even worse than that, when you have indoctrination as early as preschool and in elementary school, as early as first grade and kindergarten, where kids are reading books. And we cannot even look at magazines at the supermarket checkout counter without having in our face homosexual embraces and couples who are flaunting public opinion and flaunting public mores. It’s, I think, very egregious that we have to live with these kinds of public demonstrations that are trying to desensitize our children.

Crouse added that she was appalled that “too many” conservatives “are unwilling to die” for the anti-gay cause, and have instead become “complacent” and decided to “live and let live”:

Conservatives, far too many, are unwilling to die for it. They are too complacent, they are too laissez faire, they really do not understand the impact of what’s happening in this country, to the point that they are willing to take a stand and make a difference. Far too many people are saying, ‘Well, I live and let live. I’m not going to be judgmental. This is what I believe, but I’m not going to foist my beliefs off on other people,’ or, ‘I can’t go out there into the public square and say these kinds of things.’ I think we have to discover a courage, we have to be very brave, we have to be willing to say, ‘This is where I stand. These are the values that made this country great. These are the values that are important to me and to my family and to my family’s future and to the family of this country.’
 

Phyllis Schlafly on Immigration Reform: Gang of 8 'Betrays America'

Phyllis Schlafly has been an outspoken opponent of comprehensive immigration reform, has sent activists a long rant against the Senate’s comprehensive immigration reform bill, charging that the Gang of 8 “betrays” America.

Schlafly pulls out all the stops, citing the widely discredited Heritage Foundation study on the costs of the legislation and approvingly quoting Sens. Jeff Sessions, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and Charles Grassey saying “Americans expect their government to end the lawlessness, not surrender to it.”

While Schlafly’s outrage is in fine form, her timing is a little bit off. The email alert, which urges activists to contact their senators and urge a vote against the immigration bill, arrived the morning after the bill passed the Senate on a bipartisan 68-32 vote.

Schlafly: Latinos Won't Vote Republican Because They 'Don't Understand' Bill of Rights, Have Too Many 'Illegitimate' Kids

Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly has been making the media rounds recently to encourage the GOP to drop any attempts to reach out to Latino voters – especially through bipartisan immigration policy – and instead to focus exclusively on riling up and turning out white voters.

Speaking with a Bakersfield, California, talk radio host last week, Schlafly further explained this view, claiming that Latinos don’t “have any Republican inclinations at all” because “they’re running an illegitimacy rate that’s just about the same as the blacks are.”

She added that Latinos “come from a country where they have no experience with limited government. And the types of rights we have in the Bill of Rights, they don’t understand that at all, you can’t even talk to them about what the Republican principle is.”

Right Wing Leftovers - 6/25/13

  • Texas Gov. Rick Perry has launched a “national political rehabilitation tour” to prepare for a potential second presidential bid. 
  • Phyllis Schlafly claims President Obama will “institutionalize American tots” and push “the federal government to take over the care of preschool children.”

Oops: Five Conservative IRS Conspiracy Theories Fall Apart

Just as the GOP’s hyperventilation and grandstanding over Benghazi turned up empty, so are their claims that the IRS has been targeting right-wing groups. New reports show that the IRS did apply extra scrutiny to groups with phrases like “Tea Party” in their names…but the agency also applied the same scrutiny to groups with “progressive” or “occupy” in their titles. This backs up an earlier story from The Atlantic which also found that liberal groups had been targeted.

Prior to these revelations, we learned that the White House had no role in the supposed targeting and that the IRS manager accused of political bias is a conservative Republican.

But for some reason we don’t think this will stop right-wing activists from alleging that President Obama directed the IRS to go after political opponents as part of his plans to create an all-powerful, totalitarian government.

The IRS story has made its way into five right-wing conspiracy theories that we don’t expect to go away any time soon, despite being totally ungrounded in reality.

1) IRS May Deny Medical Care To Conservatives

Rep. Michele Bachmann led the way in giving credence to a claim that the IRS, through Obamacare, might attempt to “deny or delay” access to medical care for conservatives. After embracing the WorldNetDaily-inspired conspiracy theory, she told Fox News that the IRS may deny or delay health care “based upon our political beliefs.” Even Rand Paul latched onto the debunked conspiracy theory.

Right on cue, James Dobson’s son Ryan alleged that his father may be denied medical treatments under Obamacare, and Janet Porter said that the IRS may use the reform law to “target individuals on whether or not they have the ability to exist as a live human being” by denying people “lifesaving treatment” based on their “political views.”

2) Obama’s The New Hitler

Glenn Beck reacted to the IRS story by warning that the government could “shut down” and “scoop up” Tea Party members much like how Adolf Hitler persecuted Jews. “This is the way totalitarian states are created,” Beck argued. “We will be remembered as the most evil nation in the history of the world, we will dwarf what Germany did.”

World Congress of Families spokesman Don Feder agreed, maintaining that “Concentration Camp Obama” may “shove you in a cattle car” and take you “‘camping’ in a very real sense” if you are part of the conservative movement, all by “using the IRS as a presidential goon squad.” Todd Starnes of Fox News even pointed to the IRS controversy to claim that conservatives “could be facing a 1930s Germany here,” while End Times radio host Rick Wiles used the IRS as proof that Obama is leading a “modern day Nazi regime” and the “Fourth Reich.”

3) Obama Committed Impeachable Offenses

Naturally, right-wing activists brought impeachment into the debate over the IRS. Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice said Obama may face the same impeachment charges as Richard Nixon as a result of the “misuse and abuse of the IRS.” Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly said that the “IRS scandal is much worse than Watergate” and agreed that “there are many reasons why Obama should be impeached.”

Texas Gov. Rick Perry similarly drew a comparison to Nixon and said that the “scandal” may “reach the level of criminal activity” and reveal “a pattern of abuse of power.” Washington Times columnist Jeffrey Kuhner went even further and asserted that Obama is “ worse than Nixon” and added it to his long list of supposedly impeachable offenses, while Alan Keyes demanded that the GOP’s “cry should be ‘IMPEACHMENT NOW!’” Not to be outdone, Glenn Beck argued that “if there aren’t impeachment hearings” then America is “already operating under tyranny.”

4) Obama Would Have Lost If It Wasn’t For The IRS

Even though conservative outside groups greatly outspent their left-leaning counterparts in the last election, the IRS controversy has led some to allege that conservatives groups were not allowed to get off the ground and that must have been why Obama won his race for re-election.

Janet Porter reasoned that “the elections were affected” because “every Tea Party group and every conservative group…weren’t allowed to exist” or “inform their members of what’s going on and what’s at stake.” John Fund of the Wall Street Journal, a champion of suppressive voter ID laws and voter purges, told Fox News that “the real voter suppression in the 2012 election was done at the IRS” and “suppressed the vote” to the point that it “may have played a role in the outcome of that very close election.”

The American Enterprise Institute’s James Pethokoukis even made the dubious claim that 5-8.5 million voters didn’t vote last year due to IRS actions. Dean Chambers, whose “unskewed” polls predicted Obama’s defeat, claimed he was right all along, alleging that the “systematic and wide-scale suppression of Tea Party and conservative activity and votes, via the IRS targeting of those groups” had “clearly denied Mitt Romney the election that [he] clearly would have won by about the very margin I predicted on November 5 of last year.”

5) Demonic Forces Behind IRS Scandal

Larry Klayman said that “felonious liberal Jews” have used the IRS to attack conservatives to undermine “our proud Judeo-Christian roots and heritage,” but televangelist James Robison took it one step further, arguing that “Satan himself” had a role: “He and his demonic forces are fiercely focusing their fury against God’s kingdom purpose and anyone committed to it. What you are witnessing daily in news reports concerning Washington’s bad practices and policies related to the gross abuse of power by the IRS, along with unconstitutional checks on the free press, reveals satanic intent to take away freedom.” Rick Wiles also saw a demonic role in the IRS pseudo-scandal, stating that the IRS is creating the “Fourth Beat as foretold by Daniel in the Holy Bible.”

Solomon: Obama Is Gay and a Wannabe Drag Queen

Stan Solomon interviewed antifeminist icon Phyllis Schlafly last week to rail against the women’s movement. When Schlafly repeated her claim that feminists “control the Obama administration,” it gave Solomon the opportunity to go one step further: “Barack Obama is a wussy guy who throws a ball like a girl, who everyone knows was involved in homosexuality and I think he is the stereotypical—if he could get away with it he’d be in drag. I don’t think he’s a man at all and he leads a whole group of men that are that way.”

Schlafly, whose son is gay, didn’t address Solomon’s, er, colorful claims, but criticized Obama for “catering to the gay political agenda” and said that an unsuccessful marriage equality bill in Illinois was a “defeat for the gays” and their fight against “real marriage.”

Watch:

Teavangelicals Told to Be ‘Happy Warriors’ Against Liberals, Big Govt, GOP Nay-sayers

Here’s a question for Ralph Reed and the ‘Teavangelical’ wing of the conservative movement: how can you portray yourselves as serious about governing when the keynote speakers at last week’s “Road to Majority” conference were Donald Trump and Sarah Palin?

Palin’s conference-closing remarks on Saturday featured a breathtakingly offensive joke about the Syrian civil war, which has taken an estimated 100,000 lives. She said we should just “let Allah sort it out.” Palin also had choice words for the bipartisan immigration reform bill moving through the Senate, which she dismissed as “a pandering, rewarding-the-rule-breakers, still-no-border-security, special-interest-written amnesty bill.” She was one of many conference speakers rhetorically crapping on Marco Rubio and the bipartisan “Gang of 8” reform bill and burning the bridges that conservative Latinos are trying to build.

At Friday night’s “gala” Reed bestowed a lifetime achievement award on Pat Robertson, who is increasingly difficult to take seriously, and who devoted his remarks to trashing President Obama.  Trump, who also addressed the gala, spoke mostly about his own Trumpian greatness and how Mitt Romney might have been president if he had the guts to run Trump’s anti-Obama “you’re fired” ad.  Trump shared plenty of pablum and piercing political insights, such as the Republicans needing to be “really smart” in choosing a “great candidate” in 2016. Trump also criticized the immigration reform bill as a “death wish” for the Republican Party, saying “every one of those people, and the tens of millions of people they will bring in with them, will be absolutely voting Democratic.”

There’s no question Ralph Reed still has pull. His conference opened with a luncheon featuring four Tea Party senators and he got a handful of Republican House members to speak along with former and future presidential hopefuls like Mike Huckabee, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, and Ted Cruz.  Rick Perry, who was introduced as a “Renaissance man,” bragged about the law he recently signed to protect the ostensibly threatened right of public school students to wish each other “Merry Christmas” Perry said, ““I hope my state is a glowing example of men and women who believe that those traditional values are how you make a stronger society.” Stronger society? Not so much.

In addition to the divide on immigration, relentless attacks on President Obama (Dick Morris said of the president, “he doesn’t care about national security”), and the unsurprising rhetoric on abortion, marriage, and supposed threats to religious liberty, there were some other major themes:

Government Bad

The conference was infused with the Tea Party’s anti-federal-government themes. Jonah Goldberg of the National Review reminded people of a video shown at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, which he recalled saying the government is the one thing we all belong to.  “Now, as sort of a Tea Party-ish kind of guy, that makes me want to flip the safety on my rifle.”

Speakers urged activists to take advantage of the recent scandals surrounding the IRS, the Justice Department, and the National Security Agency. Santorum urged activists to “think big” and “seize the moment” provided by the IRS scandal. Sen. Ron Johnson said he would like Americans to apply their disgust about the scandals to the federal government in general. Rather than trying to restore faith in government, Johnson said, activists should be fostering distrust of the government.

Grover Norquist is known for his quip that he wants to shrink the government until it is small enough to drown in the bathtub.  At Road to Majority he spelled out his plan to complete the strategy he embarked on with the Bush tax cuts and the no-tax-increase pledge he demands Republican candidates sign. He noted that “thanks to the marvels of modern redistricting,” Republicans are likely to have a Republican House until 2022, which means they have several chances to get a Senate majority and a Republican in the White House before then. Whenever that happens, he says, Republicans can put the Ryan budget into law and dramatically curtail government spending. He calls it “completely doable.”

Meanwhile, he said, in the 25 states where Republicans control the legislative and executive branches, activists should push for the passage of more anti-union legislation, and for laws that encourage people to obtain concealed carry permits, home school their children, and participate in stock ownership, three things that he said make people more Republican. He called this changing the demographics by changing the rules.

Obamacare: Will it Destroy America or Obama?

House Republicans have made repealing the Affordable Care Act – “Obamacare” – an obsession. Rick Santorum said opposition to the law should have been the centerpiece of the 2012 campaign. And many speakers repeated the demand that the health care reform law be repealed in its entirety.  Stephen Moore, founder of the Club for Growth and a Wall Street Journal editorial board member, said repealing Obamacare is the single most important thing that has to happen in Washington over the next two years. But a number of speakers had a slightly different take, suggesting that the implementation of the complex law would be its undoing, and that public outrage at rising insurance rates would bring down the Obama administration. Dick Morris predicted Obama would be “destroyed” by the law’s implementation.

GOP: Friend or Foe?

One running theme of the conference was conservative activists’ distrust for national Republican leaders, particularly around opposition to abortion and LGBT equality. Several speakers made reference to the notorious RNC “autopsy” on the 2012 election and the perception that some party leaders want social conservatives to tone it down. Reed himself complained that while self-identified evangelicals represented 45 percent of the Republican ticket’s vote, some party leaders were saying they are the problem and should “ride in the back of the bus.” He vowed that on issue of abortion and man-woman marriage, social conservatives would not be silent, “not now, not ever.”

It’s not just Ted Cruz who mocks his fellow Republicans. Gary Bauer complained that the last two Republican nominees had a hard time talking about sanctity of life issues, and he said party officials in Washington spend too much time taking the advice of “cowardly pollsters and political consultants.”  Mike Huckabee complained that “Republicans have been, if not equal, sometimes more guilty than Democrats in thinking the brilliant thing to do would be to centralize more power in the hands of the central government.” He said he’s “sick of hearing” that people think the GOP needs to move away from a conservative message.

There was enough grumbling that when it was RNC Chairman Reince Priebus’s turn to speak on Saturday, the Wisconsin Faith & Freedom official who introduced him felt a need to vouch for Priebus’s faith and commitment to conservative causes. He said angrily that it is “an absolute lie” that Priebus is not a social conservative and insisted that there is no division in the party.

Priebus started his remarks by establishing his religious credentials: “I’m a Christian. I’m a believer. God lives in my heart, and I’m for changing minds, not changing values.” He added, “I’m so grateful that we’ve got a party that prays, that we’ve got a party that puts God first, and I’m proud to be part of that.” He said he “gets it” that conservative Christians are a “blessing” to the party. He said the GOP needs to have a permanent ground game in place all across the country. 

Priebus defended his plan to shorten the presidential primary season and move the party convention from August to June from critics who call it an insider move against grassroots conservatives. It isn’t an establishment takeover, he insisted, but a way to prevent a replay of the 2012, when Romney went into the summer months broke after a long primary season but not yet able to tap general election funding.

Still, not all the conservative are convinced that national Republicans are with them.  Palin portrayed Republicans in Washington as being overly fond of government spending: “It doesn’t matter if it’s a Republican or a Democrat sitting atop a bloated boot on your neck, out of control government, everyone gets infected, no party is immune. That’s why, I tell ya, I’m listening to those independents, to those libertarians who are saying, you know, it is both sides of the aisle, the leadership, the good old boys….”

Phyllis Schlafly talked about having waged internal battles to make the GOP a solidly anti-abortion Party and encouraged activists not to be seduced by talk of a conservative third party but to work within the Republican Party to make sure the right people on the ballot. Norquist insisted that activists had helped brand the GOP as the party that will not raise your taxes, and he said Republican elected officials who vote for tax increases damage the brand for everyone else. They are, he said, “rat heads in coca-cola.”

Message Envy

It might surprise many progressives, who have spent years bemoaning the effectiveness of Republicans’ emotion-laden rhetoric, that speaker after speaker complained that Democrats are so much better than Republicans at messaging.  Of course complaining about messaging is easier than admitting that there may be something about your policies that voters don’t like.

At a panel on messaging strategies, author Diane Medved said that when defending traditional marriage, she would love to say “what is it about ‘abomination’ that you don’t understand?” But she knows that won’t reach people who don’t already agree with her. She argued that conservatives should marshal the “science” that supports their positions.  She also tried out a new messaging strategy, saying that opposition to marriage equality is a feminist issue because it is empowering to women to affirm that they are different than men. “Women deserve to have credit for being who they are as a separate gender and they are not interchangeable with men.”

Ryan Anderson, co-author of a book on marriage with Robert George, the intellectual godfather of the anti-marriage-equality movement, took issue with the name of the panel, which was “Don’t Preach to the Choir.” Anderson said the choir needs to be preached to, because too many Christians are giving up on marriage. There is no such thing as parenting, he insisted, there is mothering and fathering. Anderson said that anti-marriage equality forces have only been fighting for five years, while proponents have been fighting for 20 to 30 years. “It’s not that our argument for marriage has been heard and been rejected,” he said. “It’s that it hasn’t been heard at all.”  Anderson promoted the widely discredited Regnerus study on family structures as evidence that science is on his side.

Eric Teetsel, executive director of the Manhattan Declaration, encouraged activists to be careful with their rhetoric. “I don’t believe that there are very many, if any, people in this movement, certainly not in public life, who have any ill will toward the same-sex community, at all. But sometimes we say things that make it sound like we do.” If Teetsel really believes that, he needs to spend some more time actually listening to conservative religious leaders, pundits and politicians who regularly charge that gay-rights advocates are Satan-inspired sexual predators who are out to destroy faith and freedom if not western civilization itself.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy or Arguing as a Lover with Stupid Liberals

Anyone who pays attention to religious right groups has been seeing the word “winsome” a lot. Conservative evangelical leaders are well aware of polling data that shows young Christians are turned off by the anti-gay bigotry they see in the church.  So there’s a push on for everyone to make conservative arguments in a “winsome” way, to be “happy warriors” like Ronald Reagan, to be cheerful when arguing with liberals. Being cheerful was a big theme at Road to Majority. Said Rick Perry, “when we fight for our county, we need to do it with joy.” 

The Manhattan Declaration's Teetsel took this theme to new heights in the messaging panel in which he called for “arguing as a lover” when “trying to woo people over to our side”: be respectful, self-effacing, funny, give people an opportunity to save face.  But he doesn’t seem to think much of his audience, saying America is no longer a society of ideas, and that in our celebrity-crazed culture it doesn’t make sense to appeal to 18th Century sources of authority like the Federalist Papers, which “are not considered authorities in my generation. People do not care what these men in wigs thought 300 years ago.”

“We serve a God who condescended to become a man in order to share his gospel. And I think that’s an example that we can learn from. Romans 12:16 advises us, do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. So we have to bite the bullet.  We have to recognize some of these facts and condescend to watching Glee from time to time so that we can talk to people about it.”

 

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Phyllis Schlafly Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Wednesday 03/05/2014, 3:20pm
Eagle Forum head Phyllis Schlafly is quite taken with right-wing pundit Stan Solomon, and last week hailed an unhinged rant Solomon delivered against Muslim-Americans and President Obama. “I don’t really give a damn if there are any Muslims here but if they are here and they don’t want to be Americans, then get the hell out, and the same for any other group,” Solomon said, before railing against the president. “Barack Obama is not an American, never has been, not in his actions, not in his speech, not in his politics and not in his birth.” “And not... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Tuesday 02/25/2014, 1:15pm
In an interview late last month with Stan Solomon of the Talk to Solomon Show, Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly agreed with Solomon’s suggestion that President Obama’s opponents “should be at least as strong as the Ukrainians” and march on Washington to depose the current government. “If we would have not 100,000 but 100 million march on Washington and say, ‘No way,’ I don’t think our military and the few pitiful police they have there wouldn’t be able to stop us,” Solomon said. “I don’t think our military would... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 02/21/2014, 6:31pm
The FCC has pulled the plug on its press study after the right-wing ginned up a completely bogus freak-out over it. Phil Burress says there is no way that Hillary Clinton will be elected president: "I just cannot see her being the next president of the United States knowing what we know about her." "Coach" Dave Daubenmire asks "Is the Bible the New Porn?" Phyllis Schlafly complains that gay rights are now trumping the First Amendment. Finally, Todd Starnes can't even make it through a two minute book promo without lying, twice... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 02/21/2014, 2:00pm
RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.  This week, we learn that NFL prospect Michael Sam helped usher in the reign of the Antichrist by coming out of the closet, although apparently the Devil already controls the United Nations. 5. Satan Behind United Nations The United Nations released a report this month that is heavily critical of the Roman Catholic Church’s handling of sex abuse cases. Church spokesmen were outraged by the scope of the study. “The range of the report appeared to infuriate the... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Thursday 02/20/2014, 11:21am
Most RWW readers probably had little intention of reading Phyllis Schlafly’s latest column, entitled “Obama’s War on the First Amendment.” But just in case you were interested, we can spare you the time. Its ridiculous nature is encapsulated in one paragraph: Obama has made it clear that he doesn’t want any expression of religious faith in any public place, including buildings or schools or events. He wants to redefine the First Amendment from “free exercise” to “freedom of worship,” which means you would only be able to go inside your... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Wednesday 02/19/2014, 3:15pm
Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly has been busy peddling her new anti-immigration report to conservative media, and yesterday took her case to Infowars, where she chatted about immigration with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Schlafly repeated her frequent claim that most of “the Hispanics coming in” don’t “even understand or want a smaller government” and therefore will ultimately end “freedom and prosperity” in America. “They’re not voting for amnesty, they’re voting for handouts by the government and they get that by going... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Tuesday 02/18/2014, 2:13pm
In an interview with WorldNetDaily today, Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly compared the Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v Windsor to the infamous Dred Scott case, arguing that the landmark marriage equality decision should not be used as legal precedent. Attacking President Obama for his “dictatorial attitude” and “judges who think they can do anything they want,” Schlafly urged Americans to simply ignore the legal precedent set by gay rights decisions. Schlafly recalled how Republicans in the 1850s argued that the Dred Scott decision shouldn’t set a... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Tuesday 02/18/2014, 11:34am
Eagle Forum’s Phyllis Schlafly released a report earlier this month that summarizes her argument that Republicans shouldn’t support immigration reform because she thinks Latino and Asian-American immigrants are inherently Democratic-leaning. Schlafly elaborated on the report in an interview Friday with Dove TV, claiming that immigrants will always vote Democratic because they “don’t even know what you’re talking about when you talk about limited government.” “These immigrants, legal and illegal, coming in don’t really understand our country and... MORE >