Sharron Angle

Christian Reconstructionism And The GOP: 'Biblical Justice' vs Social Justice

There’s a reason so many Republican politicians seem to bring a religious fervor to their efforts to gut public institutions and social welfare spending. The modern day Religious Right draws much of its ideology from Christian Reconstructionists who teach that God gave specific duties to the government, the church, and the family.

According to this theological worldview, education and taking care of the poor are the responsibility of families and churches, and it is unbiblical for the government to take on these roles. That meshes well with the view of “constitutional conservatives” who believe, for example, the Constitution does not authorize any federal government role in education.

A stark example of the increasingly indistinct line between conservative Republicans and hard-core Christian Reconstructionists and dominionists (who believe the right kind of Christians are meant to have dominion over every aspect of society) can be found in the recent Republican primary victory of Michael Petrouka in a race for a county council seat in an Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Peroutka believes that any law that runs counter to God’s law is invalid, and that the Maryland General Assembly is itself no longer a valid legislative body. Here’s a concise summation of his approach to government:

Since civil government is ordained by God in order to protect God-given rights, then the function of civil government is to obey God and to enforce God’s law – PERIOD.

It is not the role of civil government to house, feed, clothe, educate or give heath care to…ANYBODY!

This religion-inflected ideological view of government is not relegated to inhabitants of the far-right fringe like Peroutka. David Barton, an influential Republican activist and “historian” who helped write the GOP’s national platform in 2012, claims that the Constitution was drawn directly from the Bible and the sermons of colonial preachers, and that its focus on individual freedom reflects the founders’ theology of individual salvation. In this view, the Tea Party’s belief in a radically limited federal government is not only a question of constitutional interpretation, it is a mandate of Holy Scripture.

Just this month, Barton promoted these views on “Praise the Lord,” the flagship program of the Trinity Broadcasting Network, which bills itself as the world’s largest religious network and America’s most-watched faith channel. “In the Bible, Jesus has a teaching about minimum wage,” Barton said. “In the Bible, Jesus has two teachings on capital gains tax.” The Bible, according to Barton, opposes those taxes as well as estate taxes and progressive income taxes. A flat tax is “what the Bible supports.”

On the same show Barton denounced government spending on welfare. “It’s not the government’s responsibility to take care of the poor and needy,” he said, “it’s the church’s responsibility.”

According to Barton, there are 205 verses in the Bible that instruct the family or church to take care of the poor, but not the government. “The government is told to do only one thing with taking care of the poor and that one thing is to make sure that when the poor come into court they get justice. That’s the only thing government is told….What we’re doing right now is for the first time in America we have ignored what the Bible says, the Bible says you don’t work, you don’t eat.” He went on to say that people “not having to work and getting free money…violates everything the Bible tells us” about dealing with the poor.

These themes are repeated in Social Justice: How Good Intentions Undermine Justice and Gospel, a booklet published last year by the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, and the anti-environmentalist Cornwall Alliance. The booklet, written by Cornwall’s Calvin Beisner (according to him, at the request of the Family Research Council), was distributed at last month’s “Road to Majority” conference, which was organized by Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition.

The premise of the booklet is that “social justice” is contrary to “Biblical justice.” If that sounds familiar, you may be recalling Glenn Beck’s diatribes against “social justice” a few years ago, when he urged people to leave their church if its website included the phrases “social justice” or “economic justice.”

It is wrong, Beisner writes, to try to mitigate inequality “through force of government.” Why? “Because God ordained the state to dispense justice, and the church to dispense grace.” According to Beisner, giving someone “unearned” benefits is grace, not justice. People should graciously serve the poor, he writes. “But if care for the needy is made a matter of justice to the needy rather than to God, then grace becomes law. Then, the needy—and those who merely profess to be needy—may claim the benefits of grace as their due by justice.”

In other words, government has no right to tax someone in order to help feed someone else.

That is a widely shared belief on the Religious Right. Speakers at Religious Right conferences like Reed’s June event, and Republican Members of Congress, can be heard justifying cuts in food stamps with an appeal to the Bible passage that David Barton quoted on TBN. That verse, depending on your translation, says something like “he who will not work shall not eat.”

Reps. Kevin Cramer and Rep. Stephen Fincher of Tennessee cited that verse last year. Fincher said, “The role of citizens, of Christianity, of humanity, is to take care of each other, not for Washington to steal from those in the country and give to others in the country.” In equating taxation for social services with theft, Fincher echoes Barton, Beisner, and others. (In context, by the way, the work-to-eat verse referred to early Christians who were so confident of the imminent return of Christ that they quit doing anything.)

Poor people turning to the government, Beisner writes in his anti-social-justice booklet, results in “the stultifying effects of wealth redistribution by the coercive power of the state.” Even worse, he says, “it blinds [poor people] to their deepest need: the grace of God offered in the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

This is another theme of the Republican Party’s right wing. Sharron Angle, the GOP’s 2010 Senate nominee in Nevada, said during her campaign that entitlement programs are “idolatry” because they “make government our God.” Farris Wilks, the Texas fracking billionaire who gives huge amounts to the Heritage Foundaiton and other right-wing groups, declares that “the Torah is set up on the free enterprise system” and that “Yahweh never intended for us as a people to be afraid and reliant on government.” Former Sen. Jim DeMint, who now heads the Heritage Foundation, says “the bigger government gets, the smaller God gets.

Heritage is just one of the institutions working to make right-wing economics an article of faith just like opposition to gay rights and abortion. The Freedom Federation, one of the many right-wing entities created in the wake of Barack Obama’s 2008 election, brings both "mainstream" and fringe Religious Right groups together with the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity. The Freedom Federation’s “Declaration of American Values” includes not only the expected rhetoric about traditional values, but also opposition to progressive taxation.

John Lofton, a right-wing pundit, is the spokesperson for Republican county council candidate Peroutka, and for Peroutka’s Christian Reconstructionist Institute on the Constitution, which has trained Tea Party activists on the biblical basis of the Constitution. Lofton has spoken on “God and Government” at Liberty University’s Helms School of Government. In 2012, in reference to an article about evangelicals disagreeing on budget priorities, Lofton wrote that “there should be no disagreement among those who believe the Bible is true. Because it is crystal clear that in God’s Word He gives NO AUTHORITY to civil government (Caesar) to give health, education or welfare to ANYBODY. If people need help, it is the role of the Church – God’s people – to provide this help and NOT government.”

Tea Party? Religious Right? GOP? Or all of the above?

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Bill Donohue isn’t a fan of the just-released music video of Lady Gaga’s “Judas.”

Joe Miller Gets New Job Running Conservative PAC

Failed Alaska Senate candidate Joe Miller, who lost to incumbent Lisa Murkowsi even though she wasn’t even on the ballot, has been named the chair of a right-wing political action committee. Western Representation PAC announced today that Miller is coming on as the group’s new chairman, and Miller is also set to appear at a fundraiser for the Committee to Defeat Barack Obama. The Western Representation PAC backed far-right candidates like Miller and Sharron Angle, along with other unsuccessful candidates for Congress.

Currently, Miller’s group is leading a campaign called “Break the Unions” and is running radio advertisements in Wisconsin slamming a “vicious minority…organized by corrupt labor unions and by President Obama’s Organizing for America.” According to Miller’s PAC, the unions are “nothing more than a political arm of a dangerous liberal agenda.”

Miller’s PAC says that its endorsed “candidates must support civil liberty and uphold the Constitution,” which in Miller’s case does not apply to the First Amendment’s protection for the freedom of the press or the or the Fourth Amendment’s ban on arrests without warrants.

Our Country Deserves Better PAC Launches “The Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama”

The right-wing California political action committee which runs the Tea Party Express and is closely tied to Move America Forward is launching yet another group: the Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama. Both the Tea Party Express and Move America Forward are managed by Sal Russo of Our Country Deserves Better PAC, and the New York Times found that the majority of the Tea Party Express’s funds were “paid to Mr. Russo’s political consulting firm or to one controlled by his wife.”

Seeing that running a political front group is a profitable enterprise, Our Country Deserves Better PAC is kicking off The Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama with the “Political Event of the Year,” a fundraiser featuring failed Alaska senate candidate Joe Miller, notorious Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, and Joe Wurzelbacher, better known as Joe the Plumber. Another unsuccessful tea party senate candidate, Sharron Angle, who recently announced her campaign for an open House seat, is also scheduled to attend. Apparently, the fundraiser is celebrating two of 2010’s most radical candidates who went down to embarrassing defeats.

The Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama is now on the air in Wisconsin with an ad bashing “union thugs” and “Obama’s union goons,” sending a “thank you” to Governor Scott Walker and Republican state legislators for passing union-busting legislation.

Will Republican Presidential Prospects Address The Iowa Renewal Project?

A little-reported Iowa event may bring together Religious Right leaders and potential Republican presidential candidates for a summit with pastors. Iowa Renewal Project is hosting a “Pastors’ Policy Briefing,” according to The Iowa Independent, that plans to include Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, and Haley Barbour. The Iowa Renewal Project is one of many state-level “restoration projects” that attempt to organize pastors to support conservative causes and Republican candidates. Most recently, Gingrich and David Barton participated in an event by the Nevada Renewal Project and the American Family Association to mobilize pastors to help Sharron Angle’s unsuccessful Senate bid.

Today, The Iowa Independent uncovered details of a group in Iowa that hopes to connect Republican presidential candidates with not only Iowa pastors but also extreme Religious Right figures such as Don Wildmon, John Stemberger, George Barna, Ken Graves, Jack Hibbs, and Laurence White. Despite the prominence of the attendees, the Iowa Renewal Project like other restoration projects offers little openness or transparency to the public (which might explain why we found out about this event from a letter to pastors, not a press release to the media):

But several rumored Republican candidates will gather in Des Moines later this month for conversations with clergy and congregants, and unlike most events featuring presidential hopefuls, very little is known about exactly who is behind the two-day, all-expenses-paid “Pastors’ Policy Briefing.”

An invitation, stamped with the return address of a West Des Moines UPS Store mailbox, went out this week to Iowa’s faithful. Those who received the call will have an opportunity to hear from former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Minnesota U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann during a two-day conference at the Sheraton West Des Moines Hotel on March 24 and 25.

“Meals and lodging are complimentary,” states the invitation, “and will be provided by the Iowa Renewal Project.”

An insert “from the desk of Mike Huckabee,” who addressed the group in 2007, reads:

America and our Judeo Christian heritage is under attack by a force that is more destructive than any threat America has faced in decades. Over the past year, we have been declared to be “not a Christian nation”; a response is necessary from those who believe that while government itself should not establish a faith, our principles are rooted in the notion that we are the result of providence and a dynamic Creator. Defeating the radicals who wish to ignore or revise our history will require renewed resolve and spiritual rearmament by the evangelical pastors in America.

Rediscovering God in America’s goal is to ignite people of faith to again engage the culture and bring America back to our standing around the world as a Beacon of Hope and a Shining City on a Hill.

Because God has entrusted you to care for His flock, you are a critical component to reclaiming the centrality of God in American life and confronting the evil that faces us now. At a time when Congress is busy trying to legislate defeat, we are inviting you to a Pastors’ Policy Briefing that will help you engage the battle, to walk point. Today, with our troops facing danger abroad and our nation looking for guidance here at home, America’s need is to rearm spiritually through the leadership of her Pastors. The silence of the church and her pastors have helped to create this mess: Russell Kirk offers insight into the political climate of America if bible believing pastors pick up the mantle, “politicians are actors performing a script that is written by the audience”. Rediscovering God in America-Des Moines is to remind and encourage us that the proper position for America when facing evil and confronting enemies is not to find excuses for defeat but to find the resources, the courage and the strength from God necessary to win.

As Waddington notes, Huckabee’s letter is extremely similar to one Texas Governor Rick Perry sent to the Texas Renewal Project in 2008:

Both our nation and our Judeo Christian heritage are under attack by a force that is more dangerous than any threat our world has faced in recent memory. I am convinced that our ability to defeat the radical jihadists who threaten our nation will be significantly impacted by the prayers and leadership of America’s evangelical pastors.

"Rediscovering God in America” was created to inspire people of faith to engage the culture and bring America back to our worldwide standing as a beacon of hope, a city shining on a hill.

Because God entrusted you to care for and lead His flock, you can play a key role in restoring God to the center of American life, thus strengthening our nation to confront this looming threat.

While Congress occupies its time trying to legislate defeat in Iraq, we hope you will attend a Pastors’ Policy Briefing that will equip you to walk point in the war of values and ideas.

Rediscovering God in America-Austin is intended to remind us that excuses are not the proper strategy when facing evil and confronting enemies. Instead, we must rally godly people and seek God’s provision for the resources, the courage, and the strength necessary to win and, ultimately, glorify Him.

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Rep. Mike Pence will not run for President, disappointing literally dozens of voters.
  • Sharron Angle, on the other hand, just might make a run.
  • Nobody cares, but apparently Mark Salter is the "anonymous" author of the novel "O."
  • John Stemberger's legal defense fund was set up by Citizens for Community Values.
  • You know what stopped the flooding in Australia?  Prayer.
  • Bryan Fischer says Newt Gingrich is "too green" to be the GOP nominee - and he doesn't mean inexperienced.
  • Finally, Al Mohler says the theory of evolution is incompatible with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the reason the universe appears to be billions of years old is "because it bears testimony to the effects of sin."

Tea Party-Backed Senate Candidate Once Tried to End Scholarships for Minority Students

After Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison announced her retirement after she was declared a top target of Tea Party activists, the race for the Republican nomination became even more crowded and contentious. Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams immediately became a Tea Party sensation and last week resigned from the Railroad Commission in order to be a full-time candidate.

The American Spectator today features a glowing profile of Williams, saying that “something about him says ‘Don’t mess with Texas.’”

Williams even won the endorsement of Tea Party leader Sen. Jim DeMint, who’s Senate Conservatives Fund lifted a number of far-right candidates like Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell to victory in GOP primary contests.

But Williams first garnered the support of the Party’s far-right when he unsuccessfully tried to block scholarships for minority students when he worked at the Department of Education under President George H. W. Bush. The New York Times reported in 1990 that Williams caused uproar when he tried to prohibit “colleges and universities that receive Federal funds from offering scholarships designated for minority students.”

Michael L. Williams, the Education Department's Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, said yesterday that "race-exclusive" scholarships, or those based on ethnic origin, were discriminatory and therefore illegal.

College administrators and scholarship fund directors reacted with alarm, saying the decision could reverse decades of efforts to increase the enrollment of members of racial and ethnic minorities who have been historically underrepresented in colleges.

"We were shocked by this decision," said Richard F. Rosser, president of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, which represents 815 institutions. "We have been making enormous efforts to increase the numbers of minority students in our colleges and universities, and this has necessarily required a great deal of financial aid."

Neither Rosser nor anyone else contacted yesterday could say how many institutions, or what percentage of total financial aid to minority students, might be affected by the new enforcement policy. But the practice of setting aside money to attract qualified minority students and make college more affordable for them has been widespread for at least 20 years.

Ultimately, then-Secretary Lamar Alexander (now a Republican Senator from Tennessee) stopped Williams from implementing his policy, including his attempt to block the Fiesta Bowl from setting “aside $100,000 for a fund for minority scholarships.” As Williams happily notes in his campaign’s biography, he succeeded Clarence Thomas in his position at the Education Department.

In a Republican primary in Texas where each candidate has to demonstrate their right-wing credentials, Williams may try to use this case to his advantage.

Tea Party-Backed Senate Candidate Once Tried to End Scholarships for Minority Students

After Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison announced her retirement after she was declared a top target of Tea Party activists, the race for the Republican nomination became even more crowded and contentious. Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams immediately became a Tea Party sensation and last week resigned from the Railroad Commission in order to be a full-time candidate.

The American Spectator today features a glowing profile of Williams, saying that “something about him says ‘Don’t mess with Texas.’”

Williams even won the endorsement of Tea Party leader Sen. Jim DeMint, who’s Senate Conservatives Fund lifted a number of far-right candidates like Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell to victory in GOP primary contests.

But Williams first garnered the support of the Party’s far-right when he unsuccessfully tried to block scholarships for minority students when he worked at the Department of Education under President George H. W. Bush. The New York Times reported in 1990 that Williams caused uproar when he tried to prohibit “colleges and universities that receive Federal funds from offering scholarships designated for minority students.”

Michael L. Williams, the Education Department's Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, said yesterday that "race-exclusive" scholarships, or those based on ethnic origin, were discriminatory and therefore illegal.

College administrators and scholarship fund directors reacted with alarm, saying the decision could reverse decades of efforts to increase the enrollment of members of racial and ethnic minorities who have been historically underrepresented in colleges.

"We were shocked by this decision," said Richard F. Rosser, president of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, which represents 815 institutions. "We have been making enormous efforts to increase the numbers of minority students in our colleges and universities, and this has necessarily required a great deal of financial aid."

Neither Rosser nor anyone else contacted yesterday could say how many institutions, or what percentage of total financial aid to minority students, might be affected by the new enforcement policy. But the practice of setting aside money to attract qualified minority students and make college more affordable for them has been widespread for at least 20 years.

Ultimately, then-Secretary Lamar Alexander (now a Republican Senator from Tennessee) stopped Williams from implementing his policy, including his attempt to block the Fiesta Bowl from setting “aside $100,000 for a fund for minority scholarships.” As Williams happily notes in his campaign’s biography, he succeeded Clarence Thomas in his position at the Education Department.

In a Republican primary in Texas where each candidate has to demonstrate their right-wing credentials, Williams may try to use this case to his advantage.

Tea Party Leaders Preparing for Primary Fights to Bolster GOP's Ideological Purity

Back in January the Christian Science Monitor declared “Scott Brown: the tea party’s first electoral victory,” following his surprise win in the special election to fill the Senate seat of the late Ted Kennedy. But now the Boston Globe reports that conservatives and Tea Party activists are mulling over a primary challenge to the Massachusetts Republican. According to the Globe, Brown’s votes in favor of repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, ratifying the START Treaty, and reforming Wall Street (but only after it was watered down to win his support) made him toxic to many Tea Party members and other movement conservatives. The Family Research Council has pledged to back a primary challenger to any Senator who voted to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and the National Republican Trust PAC promised to do the same to any Republican who supported START.

More surprisingly, movement conservatives in Virginia are hoping to block George Allen from running again for the seat he lost to Jim Webb in 2006. Allen, a former Senator and Governor best known for using a racial slur against his opponent’s campaign worker, is already finding himself in trouble with Tea Party groups even though he hasn’t even announced his candidacy yet. The Washington Post reports that Allen’s voting record in the Senate may sink his chances among Virginia Tea Partiers:

For months, it appeared that former U.S. senator George Allen would have a clear path to the Republican nomination if he chose to try to reclaim his old job.

But in the summer, grumbling about his past began, culminating in a Web site outlining the reasons some fellow Republicans oppose him: He's too moderate. He's part of the establishment. He's partly to blame for the record spending and ballooning deficit in Washington.

By this month, no fewer than four Republicans billing themselves as more conservative than Allen were considering challenging him for the right to run against Sen. James Webb, if the Virginia Democrat seeks reelection.

"There are some concerns based on his record and his rhetoric," said Mark Kevin Lloyd, chairman of the Lynchburg Tea Party and vice chairman of the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation, a statewide umbrella group. "People are looking at things in a new light," he said.

Allen, who received a 92.3% lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union, was hardly considered a moderate in the Senate. But apparently 92% isn’t enough:

But during his one term in the U.S. Senate, some Republicans complain, he backed President George W. Bush's proposals to increase spending; supported No Child Left Behind, a costly program to create a national education report card; favored a federal program to subsidize the costs of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries; and voted to expand the Hate Crimes Prevention Act to include crimes based on sexual orientation.

Jamie Ratdke, who recently stepped down as chairwoman of the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation in order to explore a Senate bid, said she began to consider a run for the Senate after attending a Tea Party convention that featured Rick Santorum, Lou Dobbs, and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinnelli as speakers:

Radtke said that she had considered running for the state Senate next year but that she began thinking about the U.S. Senate instead after Virginia's first tea party convention, which drew an estimated 2,800 people to Richmond in October.

Radtke, who worked for Allen for a year when he was governor and she was right out of college, said it's time for a new candidate. She said that Allen was part of "George Bush's expansion of government" when he was senator and that she was concerned about some of his stances on abortion.

Allen has said that abortions should be legal in cases of rape, incest and when the life of the mother is endangered, and he owned stock in the manufacturer of the morning-after pill.

If George Allen is deemed not conservative enough for the Republican Party, then expect many more extremist candidates like Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell to win contested GOP primaries. Allen hurt his chances by supporting healthcare and education initiatives that were backed by President Bush and the Republican leadership, and is also deemed too moderate because he voted to include sexual orientation under hate crimes protections and believes in exceptions under a ban on abortion.

While running for reelection in 2006, Allen received wide praise at FRC’s Values Voter Summit for his staunch conservative beliefs, but now he is under attack from the Right for being “too moderate” even though he hasn’t served in public office since he lost the 2006 race. As Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William County board of supervisors and a likely primary opponent, says, Allen’s “base has moved on.”

Sharron Angle Pondering Second Statewide Run

After being lifted from fringe figure in the Nevada State Assembly to become an all-star for Religious Right and Tea Party groups across the country, Sharron Angle is now plotting her next move after losing to Harry Reid in November. Even though voters in Nevada rejected Angle in three separate elections, including races for the State Senate, House, and US Senate, Angle is floating another bid for higher office.

According to Guy Benson, the political editor of the conservative Townhall.com, Angle may be a candidate for “statewide office” in 2012 despite her humbling loss to Reid:

Amidst the blame game, Angle is plotting her next move. A well-informed source says Angle is seriously considering another run for statewide office. “Running for office gets in your blood,” the source said. “Sharron’s developed a huge donor list, she has lots of national connections, so there are several options she’s weighing.” This confidant wouldn’t say whether Angle has her eyes on John Ensign’s seat in 2012, but said she would likely make a decision about her future by “late spring.” Others dispute that any such explicit timetable exists, referencing post-election interviews in which Angle more vaguely mentions contemplating “lots of options.”

In fact, Angle’s recent moves suggest that her political career is far from over. Angle bragged during her concession speech about her fundraising capabilities and help from donors outside of the state, and many of her Tea Party supporters and campaign workers didn’t even want her to concede to Reid at all and instead “charge voter fraud.” And just last week she announced the creation of the Patriot Caucus, which will help her preserve her fundraising capabilities and political standing. Already, the group is building ties to key players in the Nevada Tea Party, including Eric Odom of Liberty.com.

If Angle wants to run statewide, US Senate may be her only option since the races for Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, State Controller and Treasurer were all decided this November. The incumbent Republican John Ensign has been dogged by ethics scandals and many Republicans expect him to be challenged in a primary. Angle has experience running against leading Republican figures, running unsuccessfully against State Senate Republican Leader Bill Raggio in 2006 and defeating the former Nevada Republican Party Chairwoman Sue Lowden in the 2010 primary.

Following his vote in favor of repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, Ensign made himself a top target of groups such as the Family Research Council which vowed to back and finance a primary challenger to anyone who voted to repeal DADT. Now, they may look to Angle to rally Religious Right activists and her Tea Party brethren to make another run for the Senate.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Rep. Michele Bachmann has hired Christine O'Donnell's campaign spokesman as her new communications director.
  • Sharron Angle has launched a new Patriot Caucus PAC to support Tea Party candidates around the country.
  • Finally, the quote of the day from Chuck Colson comparing reaction to the Prop 8 vote to Nazism: "When I watched the violence on television, memories came back of earlier generations of thugs: Bull Conner, who, with the help of brutal cops, used violence and intimidation to chase African Americans out of the public square. Or roving gangs of Nazi brownshirts who ruled the streets of Germany during Hitler’s rise to power. Do opponents of Proposition 8 who attacked Mormons and their churches think they’re any better than Bull Conner, or nicer than Nazi thugs? I don’t."

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America calls on RNC Chair Michael Steele to step down.
  • Judge Napolitano of Fox News says 9/11 “couldn't possibly have been done the way the government told us” on Alex Jones's show.
  • Speaking of Alex Jones, Rand Paul went on his show in 2009 to compare Obama to Hitler.
  • Down 10,328 votes and still not giving up, Alaska’s Joe Miller intensifies legal battle with new “baseless” claims.
  • Unsurprisingly, Sharron Angle blames “disconnected” people in “urban areas” for her loss to Harry Reid.
  • Happy Thanksgiving everyone! RWW will be back on Monday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Right Wing Round-Up

New Ralph Reed Ad Campaign Literally Declares "It's Us Vs Them"

Ever since he was anointed as "The Right Hand of God" fifteen years ago, Ralph Reed has enjoyed a reputation as the Religious Right's leading political operative. 

So influential is Reed, in fact, that even his work exploiting his Religious Right allies on behalf of disgraced criminal lobbyist Jack Abramoff's gambling clients could not sink his career, as he returned last year with a new group called the Faith and Freedom Coalition, which he touted as a more hip, more strident "21st Century version of the Christian Coalition on steroids, married with MoveOn.org, with a sprinkling of the NRA." And the rest of the right-wing movement eagerly embraced him once again.

But at heart, Reed is just another right-wing political hack, and a pretty blatant and unoriginal one at that.  And nothing better demonstrates that the FFC is spending half a million dollars to run a more absurdly over-the-top radio ad than you could even imagine: 

The Faith and Freedom Coalition will announce Tuesday evening that it is launching a $500,000 radio ad campaign to increase evangelical and conservative turnout next week.

The socially conservative group, led by Ralph Reed, will target 18 House and Senate races with the independent expenditure effort.

At the top of its list is the Nevada Senate contest, where Republican Sharron Angle is trying to unseat Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid. The group will also debut ads bolstering the Republican nominees in the tight Colorado and Washington Senate races.

Incumbent House Democrats being targeted by the group are Ciro Rodriguez (Texas), Paul Kanjorski (Pennsylvania), Jerry McNerney and Loretta Sanchez (California), Tom Perriello (Virginia), Sanford Bishop and Jim Marshall (Georgia), John Spratt (South Carolina), John Boccieri (Ohio), Allen Boyd and Ron Klein (Florida), John Salazar (Colorado), Leonard Boswell (Iowa) and Lincoln Davis (Tennessee).

Here is ad Reed is running against Harry Reid and its theme is literally "us vs. them" - you really need to listen to it in order to fully understand just how truly awful it is:

It's Us versus Them. Big government versus a big belief in faith and freedom. Sharron Angle versus Harry Reid.

Reid is a "them," like Obama, like Pelosi. He voted for their stimulus plan that only wasted our money, civilian trials for foreign terrorists, and government-run health care.

Angle is one of us. She says it is faith in God and the freedom to become all we want that made America great.

We must choose an "us." Someone who gets it, will protect our freedom, and defend our faith.

Please, vote faith, vote freedom, vote Angle.

It's Us versus Them.

The various other versions of the ad can be found here.

The Right truly has become a parody of itself.

2010 Right Wing Candidates Weekly Update 10/27

Sharron Angle

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

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

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

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

Ken Buck

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

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

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

Joe Miller

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

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

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

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

Christine O’Donnell

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

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

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

Rand Paul

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

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

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

Pat Toomey

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

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

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

Victim of Rand Paul’s Goon Squad Attack Speaks Out

Lauren Valle, the 23-year old activist who was assaulted by supporters of Rand Paul, who threw her to the ground and stomped on her head, is now speaking out about her experience:

"They tried to grab me and chased me around Rand Paul's car," she said of the politician's supporters." And once I'm in front of the car, they take me down…I remembered someone stomping my head in the ground."

Video of the incident shows Valle tripping after someone ripped a blond wig off her head. She is then wrestled to a curb by one man. After she is placed face down, another man stomps on her shoulder and head. Valle said she instinctively got into the fetal position and covered her head with her hands.

"I think I saved myself from further injury," she said.



Before the melee, Alex Giblin, a 24-year-old volunteer with MoveOn, told the Daily News he heard one of Paul's supporters say"We might have to take someone down."

Valle was later taken to a hospital, where doctors told her she suffered from a concussion.

It is the latest sign of the Tea Party getting out of control: Joe Miller’s security force arrested a reporter for asking questions, a Sharron Angle supporter punched a female Democrat during a forum, and Allen West’s campaign used the “Outlaw” motorcycle biker gang to intimidate his rival’s campaign workers.

People For the American Way today released an online compilation of Rand Paul “in his own words,” detailing his far-right ideas and agenda. While Paul presents a callous and reactionary future for the country, his Tea Party thugs violently try to silence protesters.

 

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Sharron Angle Posts Archive

Peter Montgomery, Tuesday 07/22/2014, 2:53pm
There’s a reason so many Republican politicians seem to bring a religious fervor to their efforts to gut public institutions and social welfare spending. The modern day Religious Right draws much of its ideology from Christian Reconstructionists who teach that God gave specific duties to the government, the church, and the family. According to this theological worldview, education and taking care of the poor are the responsibility of families and churches, and it is unbiblical for the government to take on these roles. That meshes well with the view of “constitutional... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 05/25/2011, 5:43pm
Good As You: The documents the Minnesota Family Council doesn't want you to see. Andy Birkey @ Minnesota Independent: Wal-Mart, Salem radio dump Bradlee Dean. Lee Fang @ Think Progress: GOP Congressman Tells Televangelists U.S. Must Give Aid To Israel Or ‘Lose God’s Hand.’ Eric Kleefeld @ TPM: Sharron Angle Drops Out Of NV-02 Special Election, Calls Process ‘A Mockery.’ Oliver Willis @ County Fair: Beck's "Restoring Courage" Travel Agency Run By Falwell's Right-Hand Man. Timothy Kincaid @ Box Turtle Bulletin... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 05/05/2011, 6:41pm
Fox News is hosting a debate tonight with the GOP’s B-team. Fox News is also officially breaking ties with Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. The Nevada GOP is pulling out all the stops to block Sharron Angle’s candidacy for Congress, I wonder why? American Family Association President Tim Wildmon is hosting a trip to Israel, I hope he brings Bryan Fischer along. Bill Donohue isn’t a fan of the just-released music video of Lady Gaga’s “Judas.” MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 03/23/2011, 11:35am
Failed Alaska Senate candidate Joe Miller, who lost to incumbent Lisa Murkowsi even though she wasn’t even on the ballot, has been named the chair of a right-wing political action committee. Western Representation PAC announced today that Miller is coming on as the group’s new chairman, and Miller is also set to appear at a fundraiser for the Committee to Defeat Barack Obama. The Western Representation PAC backed far-right candidates like Miller and Sharron Angle, along with other unsuccessful candidates for Congress. Currently, Miller’s group is leading a campaign called... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 03/17/2011, 11:31am
The right-wing California political action committee which runs the Tea Party Express and is closely tied to Move America Forward is launching yet another group: the Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama. Both the Tea Party Express and Move America Forward are managed by Sal Russo of Our Country Deserves Better PAC, and the New York Times found that the majority of the Tea Party Express’s funds were “paid to Mr. Russo’s political consulting firm or to one controlled by his wife.” Seeing that running a political front group is a profitable enterprise, Our Country Deserves... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 03/01/2011, 2:40pm
A little-reported Iowa event may bring together Religious Right leaders and potential Republican presidential candidates for a summit with pastors. Iowa Renewal Project is hosting a “Pastors’ Policy Briefing,” according to The Iowa Independent, that plans to include Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, and Haley Barbour. The Iowa Renewal Project is one of many state-level “restoration projects” that attempt to organize pastors to support conservative causes and Republican candidates. Most recently, Gingrich and David Barton participated in an event by... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 01/31/2011, 6:48pm
PFAW: Federal Judge Strikes Down Health Care Reform Legislation.   Brian Beutler @ TPM: Heavy Hitters Rip Florida Federal Judge's Opinion Striking Health Care Law.   Sarah Posner @ Relgion Dispatches: The Roots of the American Right’s Muslim Brotherhood Panic.   Good As You: CWA To Put Anti-Gay Ad In NH Newspaper.   Steve Benen: Coming to Terms With a Misguided Base.   Alan Colmes: Sharron Angle Now Sharing “Beauty And Makeup Challenges.”   Joe.My.God: Florida House... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 01/31/2011, 6:48pm
PFAW: Federal Judge Strikes Down Health Care Reform Legislation.   Brian Beutler @ TPM: Heavy Hitters Rip Florida Federal Judge's Opinion Striking Health Care Law.   Sarah Posner @ Relgion Dispatches: The Roots of the American Right’s Muslim Brotherhood Panic.   Good As You: CWA To Put Anti-Gay Ad In NH Newspaper.   Steve Benen: Coming to Terms With a Misguided Base.   Alan Colmes: Sharron Angle Now Sharing “Beauty And Makeup Challenges.”   Joe.My.God: Florida House... MORE >