Phyllis Schlafly

Phyllis Schlafly: Muslim Cleric

This person is generating outrage:

A leading Muslim cleric in the United Kingdom said that it is "clearly" impossible for men to rape their wives, and it should not be considered a crime.

Sheikh Maulana Abu Sayeed, president of the Islamic Sharia Council in Britain, told the human rights Web site Samosa, "Sex is part of marriage. In Islamic Sharia, rape is adultery by force."

"So long as the woman is his wife, it cannot be termed as rape," he continued. "It is reprehensible, but we do not call it rape."

Sayeed also claimed many married women who allege rape are lying.

By contrast, Phyllis Schlafly says that "by getting married, the woman has consented to sex, and I don't think you can call it rape" and Republicans are proud to receive her endorsement while Religious Right groups give her James C. Dobson Vision and Leadership Award at the Values Voter Summit:

Could you clarify some of the statements that you made in Maine last year about martial rape?

I think that when you get married you have consented to sex. That's what marriage is all about, I don't know if maybe these girls missed sex ed. That doesn't mean the husband can beat you up, we have plenty of laws against assault and battery. If there is any violence or mistreatment that can be dealt with by criminal prosecution, by divorce or in various ways. When it gets down to calling it rape though, it isn't rape, it's a he said-she said where it's just too easy to lie about it.

Was the way in which your statement was portrayed correct?

Yes. Feminists, if they get tired of a husband or if they want to fight over child custody, they can make an accusation of marital rape and they want that to be there, available to them.

So you see this as more of a tool used by people to get out of marriages than as legitimate-

Yes, I certainly do.

The Warped Feminism of the Susan B. Anthony List

Although a number of media narratives describe 2010 election as revealing the rise of conservative woman, the "Awakening of the Conservative Woman," or the "Year of the Mama Grizzly," and what Sarah Palin calls “the emerging conservative, feminist identity,” it’s easy to forget that women have always played a prominent role in the conservative movement: Phyllis Schlafly, Clare Boothe Luce, and Beverly LaHaye, just to name a few.

But are women really running to embrace the rightwing agenda in 2010? Most polls show that the growing support for Republican candidates is a result of disproportionate backing from men, while Democrats still lead among women voters; Sarah Palin, the foremost Republican woman, is viewed favorably by an abysmally low 22% of Americans. But it is true that more and more women are running as Republicans for elected office, and the Religious Right has embraced the fiercely anti-choice Republican Senate candidates like Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell, Kelly Ayotte and Carly Fiorina. While it is difficult to say that women are turning to the GOP, at least one group is pushing the narrative that women will be at the center of the Right’s resurgence.

The Susan B. Anthony List was founded by Marjorie Dannenfelser and Jane Abraham, two women long-tied to Republican politics and anti-choice activism. Dannenfelser compared her fight against “the oligarchy of pro-choice women” to Susan B. Anthony’s campaign against second-class citizenship for women, and claims that Susan B. Anthony and the original women’s movement were all “strongly pro-life.”

Of course, real  historians and experts have thoroughly debunked Dannenfelser’s interpretation of women’s history: “Anthony spent no time on the politics of abortion. It was of no interest to her, despite living in a society (and a family) where women aborted unwanted pregnancies.” But the SBA List is now appropriating the legacy of Anthony and the women’s movement to serve their political agenda.

In 2010, SBA List has become a critical voice in the Religious Right in not only transforming the notion of “feminism” but also running extremely deceptive political ads. The group teamed up with the National Organization for Marriage to launch a $200,000 ad campaign against Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer targeted at the Latino community, claiming that Boxer opposed Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Naturally, PolitiFact rated their anti-Boxer ad to be “false” and “highly misleading,” as the Senator is one of the leading advocates of immigrant-rights in Washington.

Now, SBA List has just initiated a campaign targeting anti-choice Democrats who voted in favor of Health Care Reform by employing the immensely discredited and deceptive charge that the new law leads to “taxpayer funding of abortion.” Politico reports that the group plans to spend millions of dollars on television and radio advertisements, billboards, and a bus tour. SBA List has invested heavily in Carly Fiorina of California, New Hampshire GOP nominee Kelly Ayotte, a star of the anti-abortion rights movement, and said that the ultraconservative Nevada Republican Sharron Angle represents an “authentic, pro-life feminism that puts the ‘feminine’ back in the word” who would make “Susan B. Anthony proud.” Yes, the SBA List has such a warped view of feminism that they call the same Sharron Angle who described the situation of a girl impregnated by her father as “really [turning] a lemon situation into lemonade” an “authentic” feminist. Their other top candidate, State Rep. Jackie Walorski of Indiana who is running for the House, is a staunch Religious Right advocate who notoriously sunk hate-crimes legislation by trying to add “fetuses” as a protected class of citizens.

Sarah Palin has emerged as the symbolic head of SBA List, and the group founded the Team Sarah website to attract more women to their brand of “feminism.” “It’s only natural that women like these are responding to someone like Sarah Palin,” writes Dannenfelser, and “now millions of Americans, men and women, are going to the polls to make 2010 not only the Year of the Pro-Life Woman but the dawn of the Decade of Pro-Life Women.”

While SBA List’s view of feminism is different from the more openly anti-feminist groups like Eagle Forum and the Independent Women’s Forum, the groups essentially share the same reactionary ideas and principles. SBA List merely cloaks their anti-women’s rights agenda around a right-wing understanding of “feminism” and a misconstrued view of history.

Bishop EW Jackson: Democrats Enslave Black People

On a conference call for Rick Scarborough’s Vision America, Bishop E.W. Jackson of STAND (Staying True to America’s National Destiny) America PAC claimed that the Democratic Party “embraces this anti-Christian, anti-God” worldview. Bishop Jackson continued to say that the Democratic Party is “nothing less than a party of dependence, [and] in effect created a new form of slavery on a liberal plantation that it wants to keep black people on.”

Bishop Jackson and Rick Scarborough joined Tom DeLay and Phyllis Schlafly in releasing a voter’s guide that shows the average score of Republican and Democratic members of Congress from the American Conservative Union. Scarborough called himself “a Christocrat” but that “as a matter of principle I simply vote Republican 90 percent of the time.” Schlafly added that “you’re better off to vote the straight Republican ticket than the Democrat ticket.”

All four speakers criticized the Democrats while praising the Tea Party. Bishop Jackson maintained that the Democratic Party represents “godlessness,” and stands for “fiscal irresponsibility, moral relativism or amorality, anti-Christian bigotry, and a foreign policy of surrender and appeasement.” Addressing concerns that the Tea Party was ignoring social issues, Bishop Jackson said that Tea Parties are “very, very socially conservative as well,” and Scarborough asserted that he receives “rousing ovations at Tea Parties when I talk about the God-factor.”

Towards the end of the call, the speakers defended California Republican nominee Meg Whitman, whose campaign is reeling from the scandal surrounding her employment and firing of her family’s maid who was an undocumented immigrant. Scarborough even wondered why Jerry Brown isn’t prosecuting the maid, and DeLay said that “this is the plight of almost every employer in America: you don’t know what you’re hiring.”

Right Wing Leftovers

  • C. Peter Wager will be joining Cindy Jacobs and Lance Wallnau for Generals Internationals Q&A.
  • Randall Terry gets ready to embark upon his latest Quran-destroying escapades.
  • Judge Vaughan Walker is retiring.
  • Gary Bauer and Robert Spencer are among those joining Christiane Amanpour for a debate on “Holy War: Should Americans Fear Islam?”
  • This press release from Rick Scarborough announcing a conference call next week with Tom DeLay and Phyllis Schlafly is borderline incoherent but apparently they have something planned.
  • Finally I, for one, cannot wait to see the new Christian movie about a law student who sues Satan for $8 trillion called "Suing the Devil."

And This Helps ... How? Schlafly Pens Statement of Support for Webster

You really have to wonder at the logic behind Daniel Webster's attempts to fight back/capitalize on Rep. Alan Grayson's "Taliban Dan" ad.

First, he goes on Bryan Fischer's radio program right after Fischer pens a long explanation about how how Christian women have an obligation to God to submit to their husbands:

Marriage is not and can never be a democracy. Somebody has to have the tie-breaking vote when the poll reveals a one-to-one tie. In a Christian marriage, the husband is the tie breaker. The way it is designed to work is that a wife willingly defers to her husband on those rare occasions when they cannot agree on a course of action, and the husband makes the decision that his conscience tells him is best, not for himself, but for her, their marriage, and their home.

If a husband believes before God that the best decision in a given situation is different than the one his wife prefers, he does not order her to follow him, he asks her. The decision is then up to her. He's not forcing her to do anything. He leaves the issue squarely where it belongs, between her and her God.

If you have a problem with a Christian view of marriage, fine. Don't become a Christian then.

And then the Webster rolls out a statement from Phyllis Schlafly of all people:

The Webster campaign released a statement from Eagle Forum President Phyllis Schlafly praising Webster’s stances on marriage and abortion. Schlafly said that Grayson’s “outdated reference to ‘women’s issues’ insults women by assuming that women’s only political concerns are abortion and divorce.”

Schlafly just happens to believe that "by getting married, the woman has consented to sex, and I don't think you can call it rape":

Could you clarify some of the statements that you made in Maine last year about martial rape?

I think that when you get married you have consented to sex. That's what marriage is all about, I don't know if maybe these girls missed sex ed. That doesn't mean the husband can beat you up, we have plenty of laws against assault and battery. If there is any violence or mistreatment that can be dealt with by criminal prosecution, by divorce or in various ways. When it gets down to calling it rape though, it isn't rape, it's a he said-she said where it's just too easy to lie about it.

Was the way in which your statement was portrayed correct?

Yes. Feminists, if they get tired of a husband or if they want to fight over child custody, they can make an accusation of marital rape and they want that to be there, available to them.

So you see this as more of a tool used by people to get out of marriages than as legitimate-

Yes, I certainly do.

Schlafly: We Spend More Money Supporting Unmarried People Than On National Defense

Bryan Fischer broadcast his "Focal Point" radio program live from the Values Voter Summit today and promised that Rick Santorum would be on as a guest during the second hour ... but Santorum never showed up and Fischer never provided an explanation of what happened?  Is it possible that Fischer is even too extreme for someone like Santorum to be agree to be seen with him?

Of course, that was not a problem for Phyllis Schlafly who sat down with this Fischer to discuss the tensions between fiscal conservatives and social conservatives over the focus of the conservative agenda, with Schlafly making the case that social issues are important for economic reasons ... like the fact that the "largest sum of money, even bigger than national defense, is spent on supporting people who are not married":

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Gov. Bob McDonnell has now been confirmed as a speaker at the Values Voter Summit.
  • Tony Perkins again warns the GOP not to abandon social issues.
  • Shockingly, people on the Right are not happy about the revelation that Keh Mehlman is gay.
  • Bryan Fischer says ... well, it's Bryan Fischer, so you know what he says.
  • Mike Huckabee asks you to join him in thanking Ken Cuccinelli for fighting health care reform.
  • Newt Gingrich is listed on this new list of confirmed speakers for Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom conference.
  • You know what America needs?  A new documentary featuring Bryan Fischer, Janet Porter, Wendy Wright, Phyllis Schlafly, Cliff Kincaid and others explaining how Obama is turning this nation into a Communist state:

The Right Loses It As Kagan's Confirmation Nears

It seems that the closer Elena Kagan gets to being confirmed to the Supreme Court, the weaker the Right's case for opposing her becomes and, as such, the more desperate their campaign becomes.

While Phyllis Schlafly is warning that Kagan is part of President Obama's plan to "break free from our Constitution" and "fundamentally transform America," others, like Robert Knight, are going completely off the rails:

As we watch in disbelief, the United States Senate is about to take the Fifth on a Supreme Court nominee who has no business being near a courtroom except as a defendant.

The word from Capitol Hill is that the GOP won’t even bother with a filibuster despite evidence from Elena Kagan’s Judiciary Committee hearing that she falsified evidence used in a Supreme Court case and committed what might be perjury before that committee.

One wonders what it would take for the Senate to deny this nomination? A daytime bank robbery, guns drawn? No, that could be chalked up to youthful exuberance or perhaps research in pursuit of insight into the criminal mind. When the Gang of 14 Democrats and Republicans agreed to clear the path for some Bush Administration nominees, that arrogant group’s presumption was that a president is entitled to his pick unless there are “exceptional circumstances.”

If Elena Kagan’s malfeasance does not fit “exceptional circumstances,” the term has no meaning.

For the record, the phrase used by the Gang of 14 was "extraordinary circumstances," not "exceptional circumstances."

But Knight has nothing on the Family Research Council, which appears to be on the verge of losing its mind at the prospect of seeing Kagan on the Supreme Court:

In all of American history, only 111 justices have had the privilege of serving on the U.S. Supreme Court. By the end of this week, members of the Senate will have made their decision on the 112th. If it is Elena Kagan, the President's controversial Solicitor General, she will most likely join this elite club with the third fewest confirmation votes of any nominee in history. Outside the Beltway, she is unpopular even with everyday Americans, who are "more convinced than ever" that she is an ideological liberal one goal: to supplant the Constitution with a permanent Obama agenda. "It is all but certain," Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said, "that, if confirmed, Ms. Kagan will bring to the [Court] a progressive activist judicial philosophy which holds that unelected judges are empowered to set national policy from the bench." Her entire career--from the Clinton administration to Harvard Law School and the Solicitor General's office--is marred by a trail of unprincipled decisions.

Whether it was rewriting a medical group's opinion to promote infanticide or intentionally fixing a case to sink marriage, Kagan has proven that she will always ignore the law if it conflicts with her ultra-Left philosophy (or career goals). She may have zero experience as a judge, but the White House believes that she has plenty where it matters most: in years of pro-abortion, anti-American activism. Like the liberals in Congress, she is on the wrong side of the American people (and the Constitution) on every value we hold dear: the promise of new life, the stability of the family, the valor of our troops, the power of faith, and the significance of speech.

Conservatives Issue Declaration of Tea Party Solidarity

Given that Tea Party activists are, by and large, conservative Republicans, it doesn't come as much of a surprise that conservative Republicans support the Tea Party.

Which is now giving rise to pointlessly absurd things like this declaration of Tea Party solidarity:

Save America...STOP Obama Tyranny National Coalition Chairman Dr. Rick Scarborough announced the successful conclusion of a petition drive: "In Support of The Tea Parties And Against Defamation."

Signers include such notable conservative leaders as Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, Gary Bauer (American Values), Brent Bozell (Media Research Center), Wendy Wright (Concerned Women for America), Richard A. Viguerie (ConservativeHQ.com), Morton Blackwell (Leadership Institute), Alfred S. Regnery (The American Spectator), Gov. Mike Huckabee, Judge Roy Moore, Don Irvine (Accuracy In Media), Tom McClusky (Family Research Council), Herbert I. London (Hudson Institute), Rev. Louis Sheldon (Traditional Values Coalition) and Phyllis Schlafly (Eagle Forum). Organizations listed for identification purposes only.

Scarborough observed: "Conservative leaders lining up behind the Tea Parties -- representing every segment of the movement -- include five rabbis, the Executive Director of Faithful Catholic Citizens and a number of well-respected pastors -- as well as the Executive Director of Gun Owners of America and the Founder of the Second Amendment Foundation. Economic conservatives are represented by Seton Motley (Less Government), Grover Norquist (Americans for Tax Reform), Dick Patten (American Family Business Institute) and Jim Martin (60 Plus Association). Leaders working on defense and foreign policy include Pamela Geller (Atlas Shrugs), Elaine Donnelly (Center for Military Readiness) and Herb Zweibon (Americans for A Safe Israel). Jordan Marks (Young Americans for Freedom) is the executive director of the nation's oldest conservative youth group."

The petition calls the Tea Parties "one of the best hopes for restoring constitutional government," but notes they have been "subjected to an unprecedented campaign of lies, distortion and vitriol, most recently by the NAACP which called on them to 'expel the bigots and racists in your ranks.'"

Scarborough noted these attacks, "magnified by a compliant media," are part of an overall strategy: "The left is running scared. Its president is wildly unpopular. It is now looking at huge loses in the mid-term elections. It hopes that by stigmatizing and marginalizing the Tea Parties -- the most visible symbol of opposition to big government -- it will thereby discredit all opposition to this administration."

The Petition charges that the anti-Tea Party campaign also "represents a cynical attempt to manipulate minority voters and exploit their fear in the upcoming election."

Wow, right-wing activists support right-wing activism? Who would ever have guessed? 

But apparently this was such an important statement that Scarborough managed to get a who's who of right-wing activists to sign on [PDF]. 

Gingrich, Sharia, Marital Rape, and Phyllis Schlafly

Earlier this week I wrote about the absurd hypocrisy of Newt Gingrich decrying efforts by Muslims to impose their religious views on the world through Sharia while his very own organization is seeking to impose its religious views on the world through Dominionism.

One of the other points that Gingrich made in that same article was that Sharia tolerates marital rape, but I didn't bother to include that as it was not related to the point I was making at the time. 

But now that Gingrich made the same point in his speech yesterday at the American Enterprise Institute, let's revisit it:

In June 2009, a New Jersey state judge rejected an allegation that a Muslim man who punished his wife with pain for hours and then raped her repeatedly was guilty of criminal sexual assault, citing his religious beliefs as proof that he did not believe he was acting in a criminal matter. “This court believes that he was operating under his belief that it is, as the husband, his desire to have sex when and whether he wanted to, was something that was consistent with his practices and it was something that was not prohibited.” Thankfully, this ruling was reversed in an appellate court.

As I pointed out earlier this week, you know who else supports marital rape?  Phyllis Schlafly:

At one point, Schlafly also contended that married women cannot be sexually assaulted by their husbands.

"By getting married, the woman has consented to sex, and I don't think you can call it rape," she said.

Schlafly said that back in 2007.  In 2008, Washington University in St. Louis decided to honor Schlafly with an honorary doctorate, which set off protests on campus ... to which Schlafly responsed by reiterating this view:

Could you clarify some of the statements that you made in Maine last year about martial rape?

I think that when you get married you have consented to sex. That's what marriage is all about, I don't know if maybe these girls missed sex ed. That doesn't mean the husband can beat you up, we have plenty of laws against assault and battery. If there is any violence or mistreatment that can be dealt with by criminal prosecution, by divorce or in various ways. When it gets down to calling it rape though, it isn't rape, it's a he said-she said where it's just too easy to lie about it.

Was the way in which your statement was portrayed correct?

Yes. Feminists, if they get tired of a husband or if they want to fight over child custody, they can make an accusation of marital rape and they want that to be there, available to them.

So you see this as more of a tool used by people to get out of marriages than as legitimate-

Yes, I certainly do.

And it's not like this was some anomaly, as Schlafly has a long history of making outrageous statements. I mean, doesn't anyone remember when she blamed the Virginia Tech massacre on the university's English Department?

And how does the Religious Right respond to such views?  By awarding Schlafly the James C. Dobson Vision and Leadership Award at last year's Values Voter Summit.

So, to sum up:  conservatives are outraged that Sharia says husbands are free to rape their wives, which is proof that Muslim values are at odds with our cherished America values ... while Phyllis Schlafly believes the exact same thing and she is honored a visionary and leader of the conservative movement.

Right Wing Leftovers

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Bil Browning @ Bilerico: NOM Sign: Lynch Gay Couples to Save Marriage.
  • HRC: HRC to National Organization for Marriage: Your Summer Bus Tour is a Sham.
  • Frederick Clarkson @ Religion Dispatches: The End of the Religious Right? Not So Fast.
  • Robin Marty @ RH Reality Check: Phyllis Schlafly: Obama "Subsidizing" Illegitimate Babies to Increase Voter Base.
  • Towleroad: Florida AG Bill McCollum Doesn't Like Gay Adoption, Says He Hired Rekers Because Other 'Experts' are Afraid to Testify.
  • Steve Benen: Showing the Scouts Some Love.
  • Eric Lach @ TPM: Tom Tancredo's Top 12 Moments Of Nativism, Racism And Fear-Mongering.
  • Finally, quote of the day from Joe Klein: "Newt Gingrich is clearly running for President. How do I know? He gets dumb and angry when running for office."

Bryan Fischer, Meet Phyllis Schlafly

The American Family Association's Bryan Fischer has made no secret of his hatred for Islam and his corresponding belief that Muslims cannot be loyal US citizens and must therefore be immediately deported from the country.

So it certainly comes as no surprise that Fischer would try to highlight in order to prove his point

Christianity, the foundation of American law, teaches that husbands are to “love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25). Elsewhere, husbands are told, “[L]ive with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life” (1 Peter 3:7).

In other words, Christianity teaches a husband to treat his wife with honor, respect and restraint, and never to use his superior physical strength to impose his will on his wife, who is his full equal in worth, value and dignity.

Not so in Islam, where husbands are explicitly taught that they may beat their wives into submission.

Now comes news of a disgruntled Muslim husband in New Jersey who repeatedly raped his wife, despite her tearful resistance ... Now get this. The American judge dismissed the woman’s charges of sexual assault and criminal sexual conduct on the grounds that her husband should not be punished for spousal rape because Islam permits it.

Now Fischer sees this as evidence that "it is impossible for a devout Muslim to be a good citizen of the United States or any other nation formed and shaped by the Judeo-Christian tradition" ... maybe he should tell that to Phyllis Schlafly

One came when Schlafly asserted women should not be permitted to do jobs traditionally held by men, such as firefighter, soldier or construction worker, because of their "inherent physical inferiority."

...

At one point, Schlafly also contended that married women cannot be sexually assaulted by their husbands.

"By getting married, the woman has consented to sex, and I don't think you can call it rape," she said.

Hey, what do you know? Both Fischer and Schlafly are confirmed speakers at the upcoming Values Voter Summit - so that would be a perfect opportunity for them to discuss this issue.

Note to Lafferty: It Was Conservatives Who Took Out Harriet Miers

I have to say that this op-ed from Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition alleging that there has been some sort of double-standard in the treatment of Elena Kagan and Harriet Miers might just be the dumbest thing that anyone has written during this entire confirmation process: 

The parallels between the nominations of Kagan and Miers — their similar legal background and connection to the presidents who nominated them — makes the various reactions from the right and the left stand in stark contrast. While Miers was harassed and criticized by both sides of the aisle until she withdrew her name from consideration, Kagan has faced relatively mild opposition, and this coming almost exclusively from the right.

Why the deferential treatment for the current nominee? It seems as though Kagan’s friends in the executive and legislative branches have no problem with her aforementioned disqualifications. Harriet Miers’s close connection to President Bush was unacceptable to many, but Elena Kagan’s connection to President Obama and her political ties to many left-wing causes is permissible, according to those who would like to give her activist tendencies new life with this increased power.

What on earth is Lafferty talking about? As she freely admits, it was the opposition of conservatives that caused Miers' nomination to be withdrawn by President Bush.  It was right-wing leaders who screamed and yelled that Miers was insufficiently conservative, which made her unqualified for a seat on the Supreme Court. 

Lafferty claims that Miers was forced to withdraw due to opposition from "both sides of the aisle," which is just laughably false, as it was the concerted efforts of conservative activists who organized opposition campaigns that took out Harriet Miers:

According to “WithdrawMiers.org,” a coalition formed by the Eagle Forum’s Phyllis Schlafly, Fidelis, and others for the sole purpose of opposing the nomination: “Miers’ … few published writings offer no real insight or assurance of a judicial philosophy that reflects a commitment to the Constitution.” And on issues where Miers had something of a record, WithdrawMiers.org was not impressed: “Ms. Miers fought to remove the pro-abortion plank in the American Bar Association platform, yet fought this Bush Administration in ending the ABA’s role in vetting judges which is known to be biased against judges whose judicial philosophies reflect a clear commitment to the Constitution. She donated money to a Texas pro-life group, yet helped establish an endowed lecture series at Southern Methodist University that brought pro-abortion icons Gloria Steinem and Susan Faludi to campus.”

Like WithdrawMiers.org, Americans for Better Justice sprang up simply to oppose the Miers nomination. Founded by ultra-conservatives like David Frum, Linda Chavez, and Roger Clegg, ABJ was unconvinced that Miers shared its founders’ right-wing views and began gathering signatures on a petition demanding Miers’ withdrawal: “The next justice of the Supreme Court should be a person of clear, consistent, and unashamed conservative judicial philosophy … The next justice should be someone who has demonstrated a deep engagement in the constitutional issues that regularly come before the Supreme Court — and an appreciation of the originalist perspective on those issues … For all Harriet Miers’ many fine qualities and genuine achievements, we the undersigned believe that she is not that person.”

The right-wing magazine National Review had, in many ways, led the charge against the Miers nomination from the very beginning. Its writers called Miers “a very, very bad pick,” declared her nomination “the most catastrophic political miscalculation of the Bush presidency” and complained that the Right had been forced to endure “an embarrassingly lame campaign from the White House, the Republican National Committee, and their surrogates.”

What caused this gnashing of teeth was the fact that, according to the National Review’s editorial board, “There is very little evidence that Harriet Miers is a judicial conservative, and there are some warnings that she is not … neither being pro-life or an evangelical is a reliable guide to what kind of jurisprudence she would produce, even on Roe, let alone on other issues.”

Others on the Right were just as dismayed by the nomination. American Values’ Gary Bauer explained: “[Harriet Miers] has not written one word, said one word, given a speech, written a letter to the editor on any of the key constitutional issues that conservatives care about and are worried about and want to make sure the court does not go down the road on."

The Wall Street Journal called the nomination a “political blunder of the first order,” lamenting that “After three weeks of spin and reporting, we still don't know much more about what Ms. Miers thinks of the Constitution.”

Stephen Crampton of the American Family Association said Miers is a “stealth candidate for a seat on the Supreme Court [and] is an unknown with no paper trail,” while the Christian Defense Coalition blasted the president, saying his supporters “did not stand out in the rain for 20 hours passing out literature or putting up signs for the President to have him turn around and nominate Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. A nominee in which there is no record of their judicial philosophy or view of the Constitution.”

Back when John Roberts was preparing for his confirmation hearing, Concerned Women for America was praising him as a “highly qualified nominee with extraordinary personal integrity who has proven himself worthy to sit on our nation's highest court.” CWA said “Senators should ignore the ridiculously inappropriate litmus tests and document demands of the radical left” and that Roberts “should receive overwhelming bi-partisan support and confirmation.”

This is in stark contrast to the stand CWA took on Miers: “We believe that far better qualified candidates were overlooked and that Miss Miers’ record fails to answer our questions about her qualifications and constitutional philosophy … We do not believe that our concerns will be satisfied during her hearing." In calling for her withdrawal, CWA revealed their real objection: “Miers is not even close to being in the mold of Scalia or Thomas, as the President promised the American people.” They demanded that the president give them a “nomination that we can whole-heartedly endorse.”

It was right-wing leaders who vehemently opposed Miers over concerns that she not conservative enough ... and now Lafferty is accusing the Left of being hypocritical for supporting Kagan? 

Nice try.

The Company That Bachmann Keeps

Yesterday I wrote about the fact that Rep. Michele Bachmann had signed on to speak at Joseph Farah's "Take Back America Conferece" with a bunch of Birthers, fake prostitutes, anti-gay militants, and Christian Reconstructionists. 

Today Andy Birkey posted a link to Bachmann's financial disclosure form [PDF] and noted that she reported having accepted seven trips paid for by right-wing groups - Young America's Foundation, American Israel Education Foundation, Eagle Forum, Concerned Women for America, National Home Education Legal Defense, Council of Graduate Students at Regent University, and David Horowitz's Freedom Center:

If Bachamann is being flown around the country by YAF, Phyllis Schlafly, CWA, and David Horowitz, I guess that is shouldn't come as much of a surprise that she'd be more than willing to associate with the likes of Joseph Farah, Alan Keyes, and Matt Barber. 

Rep. Bachmann Signs on to Fringe Fest

Last year, we wrote a series of posts about the How To Take Back America Conference which was hosted by Janet Porter and Phyllis Schlafly and several other Religious Right groups and featured as speakers everyone from Mike Huckabee to Michele Bachmann to Trent Franks.

This year, the event has been taken over by Joseph Farah and WorldNetDaily and seems to have lost most of its ties to the Religious Right, which is why we had not really mentioned it until now. 

The speaker's list contained just the sort of fringe right-wing activists you'd expect from a WND-organized conference: Birthers like Alan Keyes and Jerome Corsi, fake prostitutes like Hannah Giles, rabidly anti-gay critics like Matt Barber, impeachment advocates like Floyd Brown, and all around kooks like Victoria Jackson.

But recently, Farah announced a few new big-name attendees, including Ann Coulter and now Rep. Michele Bachmann:

Rep. Michele Bachmann, the red-hot rising star of the Republican Party, has joined an all-star lineup of speakers, debaters and presenters, including Ann Coulter, Alan Keyes, Victoria Jackson, Hannah Giles, Joseph Farah and Jerome Corsi, at WND's "Taking America Back" national conference in Miami Sept. 16-18.

"Michele Bachmann is one of the leaders in calling for a repeal of Obamacare," said Farah, editor and chief executive officer of WND. "She's a rock star, a principled, liberty-loving woman of conviction. It will be a treat to see her and hear her and interact with her in Miami."

Other speakers include Gary North, son-in-law of Christian Reconstructionist guru R.J. Rushdoony and an open Reconstructionist himself:

While many Christians believe that biblical law is a guide to morality and public ethics, when interpreted in faith, Reconstructionism is unique in advocating that civil law should be derived from and limited by biblical law. For example, they support the recriminalization of acts of abortion and homosexuality, but also oppose confiscatory taxation, conscription, and most aspects of the welfare state. Protection of property and life needs grounding in biblical law, according to Reconstructionism, or the state set free from the restraint of God's law will take what it wishes at a whim. Accordingly, Reconstructionists advocate biblically derived measures of restitution, a definite limit upon the powers of taxation, and a gold standard or equivalent fixed unit for currency.

Another Reconstructionist also scheduled to speak is Gary DeMar of American Vision, whose mission is to see "an America that recognizes the sovereignty of God over all of life, where Christians apply a Biblical worldview to every facet of society. This future America will be again a 'city on a hill' drawing all nations to the Lord Jesus Christ and teaching them to subdue the earth for the advancement of His Kingdom."

So that is whom Bachmann has signed on with - a bunch of Birthers, fake prostitutes, anti-gay militants, rhetorical bomb-throwers, and Christian Reconstructionists.

PS: Interestingly, DeMar's American Vision is also hosting its own "Sovereignty and Dominion" Worldview Super Conference next month that includes Liberty University Law School among its sponsors:

The Bible tells us in Genesis 1:28 that God created us to multiply, fill the earth, and take dominion of His creation for His Glory. When Jesus came to earth, He gave his disciples the Great Commission and told them to make disciples of all nations, Baptize them, and teach them to obey all that he had commanded (Matthew 28:18-20). These two mandates form the basis for why Christ’s Church exists on this planet. Every square inch of this world belongs to King Jesus. It is our privilege to serve Him by exercising servanthood dominion in every area of life.

Mike Huckabee: Schlafly, Robison, and Jokes About Gay Marriage

I am sure that by now you have seen posts about the profile on Mike Huckabee in the New Yorker in which he admits that his opposition to gay marriage stems, at least in part, to "the ick factor" while also joking that he'd be fully in support of gay marriage if his only choices were Nancy Pelos or Helen Thomas. Typical Huckabee.

Anyway, I want to focus on some of the other interesting nuggest contained in the piece, like this:

In her kitchen is a watercolor painting of a house surrounded by trees, with the words “To Janet Huckabee, 1995 full-time homemaker of the year, presented by the Eagle Forum and Phyllis Schlafly.”

The profile also looks at how Huckabee got his start back in 1970s working for right-wing evangelist James Robison:

In 1976, after college, Huckabee was enrolled at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, in Texas, when he came into contact with the televangelist James Robison. It was Robison who famously declared that he was “sick and tired of hearing about all of the radicals and the perverts and the liberals and the leftists and the Communists coming out of the closet,” and was ready “for God’s people to come out of the closet” and take back the nation. Despite Huckabee’s inclination toward a forgiving Christianity, Robison’s passion drew him in. He dropped out of seminary after one year to take a job as Robison’s director of communications.

“The way the Moral Majority movement was actually started was there was a rally that James Robison did in 1979 that I helped coördinate,” Huckabee said. “It was all because of the local television station in Dallas throwing him off the air, because, in a sermon that he preached on television, Robison said homosexuality is a sin. Think: 1979, it wasn’t really an outrageous statement. Anyway, they got some complaints and they told him he couldn’t be on television. Well, Texas? Are you kidding me?” More than ten thousand Christians came to a “Freedom Rally” at the Reunion Arena, in Dallas, to protest Robison’s expulsion. “There was this amazing energy coming up from these evangelical Christians,” Huckabee said. “I remember almost being frightened by it. If someone had gotten to the microphone and said, ‘Let’s go four blocks from here and take Channel 8 apart,’ that audience would’ve taken the last brick off the building.”

Today, the name Robison is almost unknown, but he is still around and active - in fact, the video I posted of Jim Garlow just last week was taken from an interview he did with Robison earlier this year.

Back in the Religious Right's heyday in the 1980s, Robison was a key leader and so this seems like a good time to repost this video we put together back in 2007 to provide a sense of just who Huckabee dropped out of seminary to follow: 

Gov. Perry: Voters Need to Decide If They Worship Government or God

For years, Cathie Adams has been the President of the Texas affiliate of Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum, until she was elected Chair of the state Republican Party last year.

So I guess it should come as no surprise that Gov. Rick Perry would attend a Texas Eagle Forum event at which Don McLeroy received a "Patriot Award" for his efforts to remake the state's textbooks and curriculum ... or that Perry would use his appearance to demand to know whether voters worship government or God

Gov. Rick Perry painted the upcoming election as a religious crusade to take back the soul of the country during a Thursday night speech to the conservative Texas Eagle Forum.

While Perry has invoked God and country before, his 14-minute speech to the 500 gathered, most of them delegates to the Texas Republican state convention, was stronger and more strident than previously.

"We will raise our voices in defense of our values and in defiance of the hollow precepts and shameful self-interests that guide our opponents on the left," Perry said to the receptive audience.

He said the November election is bigger than "red states and blue states, conservatives or liberals, stimulus or budget cuts."

"We are in a struggle for the heart and soul of our nation," Perry said.

"That's the question: Who do you worship? Do you believe in the primacy of unrestrained federal government? Or do you worship the God of the universe, placing our trust in him?"

...

Featured at the event was national Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly, who said she is heartened by shifts in public attitudes. She cited the diminished influence of big media, the majority of Americans considering themselves conservatives and anti-abortion, and the overall pervasive feeling that come November, "conservatives know they can win."

The group presented its Patriot Award to State Board of Education leader Don McLeroy, who led the board for the past two years as it tackled curriculum standards for English, science and social studies.

Sarah Palin's Army

Newsweek's Lisa Miller has an interesting article on how Sarah Palin is reshaping the Religious Right in her image:

The religious right has always had female leaders, of course—Phyllis Schlafly and Beverly LaHaye, to name two—but since the Supreme Court upheld Roe v. Wade in 1973, its most visible political brokers have been men. Falwell, Pat Robertson, and James Dobson used their media megaphones to preach a “family values” agenda—and then supported candidates who upheld their pro-marriage, antigay, and pro-life views. Their great triumph, the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, was followed by decades of acrimonious public debate about abortion, and political operatives soon discovered that no issue motivated voters more. “Pro-life folks on the ground are the most loyal; they’re worth their weight in gold,” says Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List. In 2004 Karl Rove called in 4 million evangelical Christian votes to help George W. Bush narrowly win a second term. And while women have long been active, even zealous, foot soldiers in family-values causes, they have not until now been passionate about their representatives on the national stage. Christian women may have given money to Schlafly, but they didn’t want to be like her.

But the culture was changing, and by 2006 the religious right was in disarray. Falwell would die the following year, and Dobson and Robertson were widely regarded as dinosaurs. Even evangelical Christians, for whom abortion remained a priority, said they didn’t like being yelled at ... With her new faith-based message, Palin gathers up the Christian women that traditional feminism has left behind.

I don't know that I completely buy all of Miller's arguments, but her article does contains lots of interesting information, especially about the Evangelical women and mothers who are flocking to Palin and who see her as a modern-day Esther: 

When asked why she loves Sarah Palin, a conservative Christian woman will point you to Proverbs 31. There, you’ll find a wife and mother who adores her husband, works the fields, rises before dawn, “makes her arms strong,” feeds the poor, helps the needy, has a head for business, and wears beautiful clothes. No exhausted careerist is she: the Proverbs 31 woman laughs easily; her children are happy. Christian women have long puzzled in their Bible study groups over how she does it, and in Palin they finally have an example—not just for themselves, but for their daughters.

“God gives us gifts and talents and abilities, and [Palin] is kind of modeling that it’s OK to use those,” says Lynette Kittle, 52, a mother of four grown daughters, who recently traveled more than a thousand miles from her home in Colorado Springs, Colo., to hear Palin speak. “I know there’s a saying, ‘You can’t have it all,’ but in some ways you can.”

...

Like many evangelicals, [Vicki] Garza believes a great cosmic battle is underway for the soul of America and that Palin has been singled out by God for leadership: “The anointing on her is so strong,” she says. Assaults on Palin by the press only strengthen Garza’s conviction, for as any Christian knows, martyrs most deserve to gain God’s kingdom. “She’s just fearless,” Garza says. “Jesus said, ‘They persecuted me; they’ll persecute you.’ ”

To her Christian audiences, Palin talks about her own life in terms of mission and destiny. She was the keynote speaker at a Women of Joy conference in April, a convention of 16,000 Christian women who traveled from three dozen states to Louisville, Ky., and paid at least $79 per ticket for a weekend of praise, song, and prayer. Upon mounting the stage, Palin immediately thanked her “prayer warriors” for the “prayer shield” they built around her. She quoted from Proverbs 3—“Trust in the Lord with all your heart...and he will make straight your paths.” And then she connected herself with Esther. She was explaining the meaning of the Jewish queen’s heroism to her 9-year-old daughter Piper, she said. “[Esther] was out there on the stage, wondering if she’d have the opportunity to be chosen to really help change the world.”

Schlafly: Obama Must Apologize to America For His "Poor Moral Tone"

The Eagle Forum's Phyllis Schlafly sat down for an interview with Newsmax TV during which she stated that President Obama owes the nation an apology for "the poor moral tone" he has set and for not recognizing America's greatness or Christian foundation: 

Conservative activist and commentator Phyllis Schlafly says President Obama owes the American people an apology for lowering the nation's moral tenor and marginalizing Christianity.

In an exclusive interview, Schlafly told Newsmax that the president is wrong to say America isn't a Christian nation. And she strongly objected to the "political correctness that has infected the Pentagon, the Army, that was manifested in the Fort Hood massacre, and now with this dis-inviting of Franklin Graham."

...

Newsmax.TV asked Schlafly: "Considering the president of the United States is traditionally expected to be a role model, do you think President Obama owes America an apology for the poor moral tone set by his presidency?"

"Yes I do," Schlafly replied. "And he should stop going around the world apologizing to other countries for America. Most other countries are better off because the United States has protected them against aggression. The great inventions of the United States have made their lives pleasanter and easier. And America is a very exceptional country.

"It's unfortunate that Obama does not believe in American exceptionalism, or the Christianity in America. Yes, he does owe us an apology," Schlafly said.

Among some of the other highlights: Schlafly also attacked the Bush family, saying conservatives were sick of them; claimed that Christians were being treated like smokers; and asserted that feminists hate Rep. Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin because they have husbands, families, and success careers: 

She reacted strongly to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's statement that the GOP must shed its image as "the old white guy party" and move beyond nostalgia over the presidency of Ronald Reagan. "We're tired of the Bush family," Schlafly said bluntly. "They're ancient history now. We're proud to be the party of no. We say no to Obama's globalist ideas. We say no to his bad judicial appointments. We say no to his incredible spending, his spreading the wealth, and trying to turn America into something we're not. We're proud to be the party of no."

...

Anti-Christian activists are trying to marginalize any public expression of Christian faith. "What the atheists are doing is treating Christians like smokers," Schlafly said. "In other words you can do it in your own room, in your own house, but not in public. And that's not the American way. Americans have always had public demonstrations of our belief in God. The pledge of allegiance is another thing that's under attack."

...

"They are successful women," Schlafly told Newsmax. "And you need to understand that the main goal of the feminists is to make women feel they are victims of an oppressive, patriarchal society. And both Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin are successful women. They've both got a neat husband, a lot of children, they have been successful in politics -- and that is what the feminists absolutely cannot stand."

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Phyllis Schlafly Posts Archive

Miranda Blue, Friday 04/26/2013, 2:29pm
On her Eagle Forum Live radio program last weekend, Phyllis Schlafly was joined by eminent conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi. Corsi, who is promoting his new book on the American Civil Liberties Union, told Schalfly that the ACLU and progressives are using the Supreme Court marriage cases as a way to enact hate speech laws and shut down churches. Schlafly agreed, saying, “I do think that the main goal of the homosexuals is to silence any criticism. Most of them aren’t interested in getting married.” Later in the conversation, Schlafly compared a potential Supreme... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 04/23/2013, 10:55am
Eagle Forum founder and Joseph McCarthy admirer Phyllis Schlafly is using the Boston marathon bombings as an excuse to push for the reinstatement of the notorious House Committee on Un-American Activities. “It would be useful to reinstate the House Committee on Un-American Activities,” Schlafly wrote in a column yesterday, “so we can have a look at those in our midst who may be jihadists, dupes of violent Muslim indoctrination, or (in old Communist lingo) fellow travelers or useful idiots.” In her column, which she titled, “Are You American 1st or Muslim 1st?,... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Tuesday 04/16/2013, 4:01pm
Phyllis Schlafly wants America to get “back to basics.” And when it comes to preventing “marriage mayhem,” that means talking about sodomy, which is “a central feature of same-sex marriage.” Specifically, it means talking about sodomy in the “Anglo American legal tradition,” from its criminalization in English common law as early as 1533 through the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1986 decision in Bowers v Hardwick upholding state sodomy laws.  In Schlafly’s April 15 Eagle Forum missive she admiringly quotes from Chief Justice Warren... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 04/09/2013, 11:26am
Back in February, Phyllis Schlafly was the guest on Rick Scarborough's Tea Party Unity call where she fielded questions from participants on a range of topics, including whether those pushing for immigration reform are doing so in order to place millions of new immigrants on government programs so as to bankrupt the nation. Schlafly, not surprisingly, declared that that is exactly what President Obama is trying to do: Caller: My name is Jim Mason, I am the state coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots here in Nebraska. Mrs. Schlafly, concerning the illegal alien issue and the influx... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Wednesday 03/27/2013, 10:58am
The Religious Right and the Tea Party have not exactly been responding well to GOP strategist Karl Rove’s plan to spend big money bringing down unelectable Tea Party candidates in primaries or to RNC chairman Reince Priebus’ suggestion that the party make over its messaging. Add to the list of right-wing discontents Eagle Forum’s Phyllis Schlafly, who this week sent out a six-page fundraising appeal urging supporters to “join together to save America” from Rove and his fellow “Establishment bullies.” Schlafly blames Rove and the “... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 03/25/2013, 4:50pm
Rep. Steve King (R-IA) appeared Saturday on Eagle Forum Live with Phyllis Schlafly and criticized the Republican National Committee’s endorsement of comprehensive immigration reform. King said that the GOP instead should focus on pushing for a contiguous border fence along the US-Mexico border, saying that “our public policy people” have no excuse since the Chinese built the Great Wall of China. Later, while speaking to a caller named Meryl who complained that undocumented immigrants have trespassed on her property in Missouri, King said that if the US gives up on the rule... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 03/19/2013, 12:55pm
In an interview on The Janet Mefferd Show yesterday, Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly attacked Sen. Rob Portman’s newfound support for legalizing same-sex marriage, calling his announcement “dumb” and a “stupid statement.” Schlafly, who unlike Portman has maintained her opposition to marriage equality even after learning that she has a gay son, said that Ohio voters may “feel sorry for him” because “maybe he was pressured by his son to do this.” She insisted that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) “does not proscribe a national... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 03/07/2013, 3:50pm
Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly spoke earlier this week to Sandy Rios of the American Family Association about the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which Schlafly called a “terrible” law that “would have been an excellent place to cut” spending. She lamented that “Republicans are just scared by the feminists” when “they ought to stand up and show how really vicious they are.” Schlafly: It’s a terrible bill. At this time when we’re talking about the sequester and trying to cut here and there, that would have... MORE >