Steve King

Right Wing Leftovers - 2/27/13

  • More Religious Right groups have signed up [PDF] for NOM’s “Marriage March.”
  • It appears that Steve King is getting closer to locking up the GOP nomination for Iowa’s open U.S. Senate seat.
  • Rick Perry will attend Concerned Women for America’s “Texas Faith and Family Rally.”
  • Sarah Palin writes that “the feds are stockpiling bullets in case of civil unrest” after we go into default…and then calls on politicians to “stop the hysterics.”
  • An Ohio public school teacher who was fired for preaching Creationism in the classroom has taken his case to the state Supreme Court.
  • Anti-choice activists claim Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards is a racist for commending Richard Nixon for signing the law which created the Title X Family Planning Program. 
  • Quote of the day comes from ex-gay therapist Christopher Doyle: “We have found that 99 percent of our clients who experience homosexual feelings have very sensitive temperaments... This is what I believe to be the foundation for the development of [same-sex attraction] – a sensitive nature.”

Steve King: Democrats will Never Lose the Hispanic Vote because they Promise Immigrants a 'Great Big Check'

Steve King stopped by The Janet Mefferd Show yesterday where he dismissed claims that a major reason Mitt Romney lost is due to his lopsided defeat among Latinos. According to King, it wasn’t that Romney did a poor job in winning over Latino voters; it’s that he wasn’t able to turn out enough conservatives to the polls.

King: John McCain got 31 percent of the Hispanic vote and Mitt Romney got 27 percent, so it dropped off four points between McCain and Romney. Romney didn’t reach the low water point; the low water point was 1996 with Bob Dole who got only 21 percent of the Hispanic vote. So when you look at the balance of this and you think, why didn’t Mitt Romney win the election? There are a whole number of other things. A lot of Republicans and conservatives didn’t turn out. Just plain constitutional conservative were not motivated in numbers as one would’ve expected, even compared to the McCain race.

So King thinks that Romney lost because dedicated conservatives didn’t bother to show up in a presidential election in which right-wing leaders put anti-Obama hysteria into overdrive and warned that Obama’s re-election will literally destroy America?

Let’s see.

According to exit polls from this election, 35 percent of voters identified themselves as conservatives. That number was 34 percent in 2008 and in 2004. While the percentage of self-described conservatives who turn out for presidential elections is rather stable, Latinos have steadily increased their share of the electorate as their population continues to grow.

King and Mefferd later agreed that working on immigration reform with Democrats is pointless as it won’t help the GOP win any votes because, in King’s words, “Democrats will find a way to hand deliver citizenship papers along with a great big check.”

Mefferd: How in the world do you out-left the left anyway? If we go to the left on amnesty, do you think the Democrats are going to sit still and just go ‘oh I guess that they’re more caring than we are’? It’s a zero-sum game. I don’t know how in the world the Republicans expect to get votes when the Democrats are already farther along than we are.

King: There’s no possible way. Whatever we might say we are going to do, reduce the enforcement of the rule of law, waive the rule of law, Democrats will find a way to hand deliver citizenship papers along with a great big check from money borrowed from the Chinese.

If King really thinks it is best for the GOP to maintain their hard line stance against immigration, he may want to ask his fellow Republicans in California how that worked out for them.

Right Wing Round-Up - 10/31/12

Extremist Steve King is Congress's King of Nepotism

A new report today reveals that approximately one of every ten dollars spent by Iowa congressman Steve King’s re-election campaign goes to him and his family members, who have together collected close to half a million dollars out of his $5.5 million campaign war chest. The review of his campaign expenditures, conducted by CREDO Action, found that King, along with his wife, son and daughter-in-law, have been paid handsomely by his campaign. This lucrative nepotism is nothing new: Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington points out that King's family members have received tens of thousands of dollars during the last two campaign cycles. And when King isn’t using campaign money to boost himself and family members, he is using taxpayer dollars to help his own business.

Such nepotism isn’t exactly surprising coming from King, who often appears to be more concerned with making headlines with shocking statements than actually proposing meaningful legislation.

Just this year, King has accused President Obama of breaking his oath of office and destroying the Constitution while claiming that a Romney election would be a victory for God; lamented that states cannot ban contraceptives and doubted that rape can lead to pregnancy; defended dogfighting, compared same-sex marriage to desecrating the Eucharist; and sat on a panel with White Nationalists Peter Brimelow and John Derbyshire, who was subsequently fired by the National Review for his racist writings.

As noted in People For the American Way’s report Meet The Leadership , King has made stunning assertions about immigrants, progressives and gays and lesbians.

King claims that his first priority in the 112th Congress will be to abolish birthright citizenship, a right plainly established in the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. He said that his legislation will attempt to end what he calls the “anchor baby industry” and that if his bill is ruled unconstitutional he will move to amend the Constitution to repeal birthright citizenship.

King, who has appeared with violent vigilante groups, defended his proposal to have electrified wire on border fences by saying on the House floor, “We do this with livestock all the time.” He erroneously claimed that illegal immigrants kill 25 Americans each day , and referred to all immigrants as criminals and disease-carriers. King compared illegal immigration to a “slow motion Holocaust” and a “slow-motion terrorist attack on the United States.” Opposed to a pathway for citizenship for illegal immigrants working and residing in the country, hesaid that he would only support comprehensive reform if “every time we give amnesty for an illegal alien, we deport a liberal.” He defended profiling by asserting that police officers should be able to distinguish illegal immigrants from citizens “from what kind of clothes people wear – my suit in my case – what kind of shoes people wear, what kind of accident [sic] they have, um, the, the type of grooming they might have.”

After the deadly earthquake in Haiti, King resisted plans to give Haitian refugees temporary protection status, instead suggesting that deporting refugees already in the U.S. would help Haiti since the country is in “great need of relief workers.” King also fought legislation that would give protective status to translators from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and provide legal status to service members who don’t have citizenship and their families.

In 2005, King successfully marshaled opposition to naming an Oakland post office after former Oakland city councilwoman and activist Maudelle Shirek because he believed that Shirek was “un-American.” After Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Lee accused him of McCarthyism, he said, “If Barbara Lee would read the history of Joe McCarthy she would realize that he was a hero for America.”

On the House floor, King blasted the Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Hispanic Caucus as “separatist groups,” and suggested that a “very, very urban senator, Barack Obama” provided “slavery reparations” through the USDA Pigford II settlement with black farmers.

During the presidential election, King maintained if Obama won that Al-Qaeda “would be dancing in the streets in greater numbers than they did on Sept. 11 because they would declare victory in this war on terror.”

King said that it was “bizarre” for Obama to say his middle name “Hussein” during the inauguration, and asserted that the President “has a default mechanism in him that breaks down the side of race - on the side that favors the black person.” He also dubbed the President a “Marxist” who “doesn’t have an American experience” and is in “violation of his oath of office.” When asked at a rally in support of Arizona’s draconian SB 1070 immigration law if Obama was “bringing small quantities of Muslims into this country,” King replied that he “wouldn’t be surprised that that is the real factual basis.”

Just days before Obama’s victory at the polls, he warned Americans, “When you take a lurch to the left you end up in a totalitarian dictatorship. There is no freedom to the left. It’s always to our side of the aisle.” Earlier this year, he said that Democrats were similar to “Pontius Pilate” and would have supported the Pharaohs of Egypt over the enslaved Israelites in the Bible. On Glenn Beck’s show, King declared that Democrats were trying to “take away the liberty that we have right from God” by having members vote on the health care reform bill on a Sunday.

A fierce opponent of LGBT equality, King strongly opposes the Uniting American Families Act, which allows U.S. citizens and legal residents to petition for their permanent partners (including same-sex partners) to obtain U.S. residency or citizenship. He told the Family Research Council that gay Americans should stay in the closet if they wanted to avoid discrimination, and equated gay rights with rights for “unicorns and leprechauns.” After the Iowa Supreme Court said that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, he claimed that Iowa could soon become a “gay marriage Mecca due to the Supreme Court’s latest experiment in social engineering.” King has compared homosexuality to incest and described marriage equality as “a purely socialist concept.” While addressing a rally of supporters of the successful effort to remove three Iowa Supreme Court judges from the bench, King said that gay marriage will lead to the breakdown of the family, religion, and the Constitution:

I think that if we can’t defend marriage, that it becomes very hard to defend life. So, if we lose marriage — for instance, if our children are raised in warehouses, so to speak. There have been civilizations that have tried to do that. The Spartans did that. They took the children away and taught them to be warriors. It’s a good way to defend a country, but not much of a way to run a civilization.

So, I’m afraid if that happened — if we lose the marriage, we lose the home, we lose the nuclear family then we can’t teach our values. We won’t be able to teach our faith. We won’t be able to teach life. We won’t be able to teach our Constitutional values either. That’s why I’m afraid it’s going to be very, very difficult to defend life.

King was also the only member of the House to vote against a plaque commemorating the slaves who helped build the Capitol, which he said was part of a plot “by liberals in Congress to scrub references to America’s Christian heritage from our nation’s Capitol.”

Sex, Lies, and Bloodlust: What the Values Voter Summit Tells us About the Religious Right and the Republican Party

During this past weekend’s Values Voter Summit, the annual family reunion of the far right, RWW posted many memorable video highlights. What does it all tell us about the Religious Right and today’s Republican Party? First are foremost, Republican leaders are unwilling to distance themselves from the far-right fringes of their base, especially in an election year in which conservative evangelical voters are not tremendously excited about Mitt Romney. Romney took a pass this year, and it’s not hard to understand why. Last year, organizers maliciously put him on stage right before the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, who had ridiculed Romney’s Mormonism. A supporter of Texas Gov. Rick Perry denounced Mormonism as a cult, and the flap over Romney’s faith was the dominant story coming out of the gathering. It was much safer to let Paul Ryan represent the ticket this year, and to have other speakers like Rick Santorum and Rick Scarborough ensure evangelicals that voting for Romney was in fact a good thing. Romney did send a tepidly-received video, which seemed almost an afterthought. What is motivating these activists is not enthusiasm for Romney but their hostility toward the Obama administration.

King: Romney's Libya Statement is a Deterrent to Terrorists

For the last three years, Bryan Fischer had received a prime speaking slot at the annual Values Voter Summit, but after being called out for his bigotry by Mitt Romney last year,  Fischer found himself sidelined this time around.

But Fischer was still in attendance as he broadcast his radio program from the conference, affording him the opportunity to sit down with Rep. Steve King to discuss the recent attack in Libya and voice his support for Romney's widely-panned response.

Fischer was concerned that it was not only Democrats who were criticizing Romney's statement but lots of conservatives as well, to which King responded that it was a good thing that Romney made his statement because "if it hadn't been for that, what kind of message would have been sent over in that part of the world?"

If Romney has been silent, King went on to say, "then the terrorists are free to believe what they would believe, so the deterrent factor wouldn't be in place until Romney would become president": 

King: Obama and 'His Leftist Minions' are Working Every Day to Undermine America

Speaking today at the Values Voter Summit, Rep. Steve King declared that President Obama and "his leftist minions" are working every day "undermining the pillar of American exceptionalism, attempting to bring down the shining city on the hill [and] turn it into rubble."

But, he declared, "we are not going to let them do that" because "we're going to serve God and country, in that order" and defeat Obama in November, which will be a victory for God:

Steve King Accuses Obama of Destroying the Constitution, Breaking his Oath of Office

Back in June, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) talked to Janet Mefferd about President Obama’s decision against deporting undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children, which naturally angered the notoriously anti-immigrant congressman. King agreed with Mefferd that the announcement was made for political purposes, arguing that Obama wants to “get a political benefit from the destruction that he is doing to the Constitution of the United States.”

He went on to claim that Obama has “really damaged” the reputation of the University of Chicago Law School, where he served as a professor, and also insisted that Obama is breaking his presidential oath of office. “This oath means nothing to him; the Constitution is an impediment to him,” King said, “I have hit the limit of my patience with trying to work my way towards an election and hopefully we will elect ourselves a new president.”

Days after the interview, the Supreme Court appeared to approve of the government’s ability to use “discretion in the enforcement of immigration law” in their ruling that overturned parts of Arizona’s SB 1070.

Mefferd: Now he’s doing it as a re-election strategy, do you think that that is the motivation for this?

King: I think it is and the timing of it would suggest that. The president is scheduled to give a speech today before the Hispanic leaders that are gathered together at the national level, the same group that Mitt Romney spoke to here a couple days ago. It seems to me that the timing of this is to be ahead of that speech so that he can get a political benefit from the destruction that he is doing to the Constitution of the United States. You know, this president taught constitutional law as an adjunct professor at the University of Chicago, one of the top five most respected law schools in the country year after year after year, and he has really damaged their reputation.



King: It’s almost as if there is a team there in the White House that keeps track of everything the president says and whatever he gives his word on they have to set about breaking his word. The president has broken his own word so many times that it is hardly even a subject anymore. But it isn’t just the president’s word, this is his oath of office, ‘I do solemnly swear to the best of my ability to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States so help me God.’ That’s what he said. And in the Constitution, just shortly behind that oath, is the requirement that he, meaning the president, ‘take care that the laws be faithfully executed’ and he is doing the exact opposite. This oath means nothing to him; the Constitution is an impediment to him. I have hit the limit of my patience with trying to work my way towards an election and hopefully we will elect ourselves a new president and get a new executive branch of government, this is a place where we have to draw a bright line.

Steve King Rails Against Right to Privacy, Laments that States Cannot Outlaw Contraceptives

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) today appeared on WallBuilders Live with David Barton and Rick Green. King rather incredibly described Green as a “constitutional scholar” and lamented the “manufactured, judicial activist right to privacy” protected in Griswold v. Connecticut. King also bemoaned that inability of states to outlaw contraceptives and even said that King George would not have had the “audacity” of President Obama to mandate that insurance companies cover contraceptives as part of his compromise policy with religiously-affiliated organizations. Green even dubbed the policy “totalitarianism.”

King: I watched another thing happen that is very troubling to me, and we’ve watched that, I’ll just dial this back and as a constitutional scholar you will be very familiar with Griswold v. Connecticut in 1965. There, the Supreme Court created a right to privacy that didn’t exist in the Constitution and by essentially ruling that contraceptives that were unlawful in Connecticut and Massachusetts, by the way, and a good number of other states, could not be made unlawful by the states.

We’ve come so far from that standpoint that states can’t outlaw contraceptives because of a manufactured, judicial activist right to privacy, and today we see some weeks ago the President of the United States step up to the podium with the great Seal of the United States on it and in a press conference he legislated by press conference. When he did the press conference and said, ‘ok, I’m going to make this accommodation to the Catholic Church and other religious institutions and no longer require you to provide contraceptives, sterilizations and abortion-causing drugs, I’m going to require the health insurance companies to do that for free.’ King George would have not had the audacity to do that, Rick.

Green: If that’s not totalitarianism I don’t know what is.

 

Steve King Warns that Health Care Reform will 'Nationalize our Soul'

Appearing on the Family Research Council’s webcast On Trial: Freedom vs. Government Healthcare, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) called on the Supreme Court to overturn the 2010 health care reform law, which he referred to as an attempt by the government to “nationalize our soul.” King told FRC president Tony Perkins that the government intends to “take over our skin and everything inside it.” He also knocked the tax on tanning beds in the health care overhaul.

Watch:

King: You know when I look at this and this whole picture of you seeing the expansion of the nanny state here in America and the administration reaching into every aspect of our lives, the Obamacare piece addresses about 1/6 of our economy and a great big chunk of our American freedom and liberty. I define it this way, the sovereign thing that we have is our own soul, and the federal government hasn’t yet figured out how to nationalize our soul. They did figure out how to nationalize some investment banks, some insurance companies, some car companies and our skin and everything inside it. That’s Obamacare—it’s a nationalization—it’s a government takeover of our sovereign responsibility to manage our own health. Not only do they take over our skin and everything inside it, but they put a ten percent tax on the outside if you go to a tanning salon, Tony.

CPAC: White Nationalism Shunned in 2011, Welcomed in 2012

How times have changed. Last year, white nationalist Jamie Kelso attended CPAC looking for European-American allies in his quest to keep America genetically pure and lily-white. However, his potential young recruits weren’t having any of it:

As Ed Morrissey reported on Hot Air:
A group of young attendees, and a few older conservatives as well, at first politely rebuff Kelso’s racist arguments, and then begin aggressively arguing with him in the hallway. Ron Paul supporters told him four times to take off his Campaign for Liberty button and paraphernalia.
The Daily Caller reported that Kelso “got an earful from some conservative activists who sent him packing” and “let him know that racism is not welcome in the conservative movement.” It was heartening to see young conservatives take a stand against the kind of bigotry that has no place in modern conservatism.
 
That was 2011. CPAC 2012 has revealed that the paleoconservatives are still firmly in control.
 
The conservative gay rights group, GOProud, was banned this year, but two prominent white nationalists were allowed to appear on a panel opposing multiculturalism.
 
And they were hardly sent packing. Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa fawned over Peter Brimelow, founder of the white nationalist site VDARE, saying, “I read your books!” Tomorrow, white nationalist Bob Vandervoort is scheduled to appear alongside two other Republican members of Congress.

 

Steve King and White Nationalist CPAC Panel Warn that America's Greatest Threat is its Diversity

Today at the Conservative Political Action Conference, the group ProEnglish organized the panel, “The Failure of Multiculturalism: How the pursuit of diversity is weakening the American identity,” and host Robert Vandervoort thanked CPAC for hosting the panel despite the work of “leftist thugs” who are trying to “shut down freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.” Vandervoort is a former leader of the White Nationalist group Chicagoland Friends of the American Renaissance, a racist magazine published by fellow White Nationalist Jared Taylor. Presumably, Vandervoort was referring to the efforts of the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights, which issued an alert on his background, and People For the American Way, which called on Republican leaders attending CPAC to denounce another panelist, Peter Brimelow, founder and head of the White Nationalist hate website VDARE.

In 2009, Brimelow reflected on CPAC after “Obama’s racial-socialist coup” and expressed his fear that the U.S. is doomed to face a “minority occupation government.” He called on the Republican Party to start focusing on becoming the party of white voters by attacking “ethnic lobbies,” affirmative action, bilingual education and “taxpayer subsidies to illegal aliens.”

Prior to Brimelow’s talk, Vandervoort delivered a rambling speech from Serge Trifkovic (who wasn’t able to attend) that focused on how the “cult of non-white, non-male, non-heterosexual victimhood” and “multiculturalist indoctrination” is ruining the West. “The native Western majorities will melt away,” Trifkovic’s speech concluded, “Europeans and our trans-Atlantic cousins are literally endangered species. The facilitators of our destruction must be neutralized if we are to survive.” Afterwards, Rosalie Porter bemoaned the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act for giving too much political influence to minorities.

Brimelow stayed on message and warned that multiculturalism and bilingualism were “diseases” that could wreck American society as they empower minorities and suppress traditional American (read: white) groups. He claimed that Canada, which is officially bilingual, was a good example of how bilingualism becomes a tool of elites to help minorities (Quebecers) at the expense of the majority, and went on to call multiculturalism and bilingualism a “ferocious attack on the working class.”

But the surprise guest of the panel was the fiercely anti-immigrant Rep. Steve King (R-IA) who came to discuss his bill to make English the official language of the U.S.

During a panel discussion, Brimelow said that the Democratic Party has “given up on the white working class” and is using immigration to “elect a new polity,” i.e. increase the number of ethnic minorities. Before he could turn to King, the congressman giddily told Brimelow, “I read your books!” King went on to say that Brimelow “eloquently wrote about the balkanization of America.”

Following the panel, King dismissed the Southern Poverty Law Center’s classification of VDARE as a hate group in an interview with BuzzFeed, saying, “I wouldn’t take them seriously.”

With the blessing of a leading Republican congressman, it looks like Brimelow’s dream of having a conservative movement which focuses on challenging cultural diversity may finally be coming to fruition.

Rep. King Asks 'What Would Barack Obama Do' and Answers With 'Ban Bibles'

Back in September, administrators at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center updated the hospital's visitation policy and, in an effort to "respect patients' religious practices and preserve their privacy," included a provision that stipulated that "no religious items, (i.e. Bibles, reading materials and/or artifacts) are allowed to be given away or used during a visit."

The new language went unnoticed for several several weeks until the document was forwarded to the Family Research Council, which immediately alerted members of Congress like Rep. Steve King, who then denounced the policy on the House floor, claiming that it prevented priests from offering communion to wounded soldiers and family members from bringing a Bible to a loved one.

Officials at Walter Reed quickly rescinded the policy, saying it had been incorrectly worded and should have been more thoroughly reviewed before it was released.

Rep. King was on AFA's "Today's Issues" program today with Tim Wildmon and Bryan Fischer to discuss the issue and explained that, in the end, this policy change was really all President Obama's fault:

How does this happen? How does the President of the United States have the time to have all of these things changed all the way down to these levels and levels well below this level? And I've watched it happen in the transition of the Chief Executive officer a couple of times in the past and it happens this way: when you put somebody in place as Commander in Chief, Barack Obama, then he fires everybody that he can and puts in political appointments. Those political appointments then lord it over everybody beneath them and that philosophy of the Commander in Chief just flows down across the entire Executive Branch of government and it cascades through there in a matter of a couple of months. And then the people who like their jobs and will slide into their desk in the morning and they'll be thinking "what would Barack Obama do if he were sitting at my desk, doing my job today?" I want to please him so I'm likely to , I'm going to write something that is compatible with our Commander in Chief's attitude."

That kind of thing does change the culture; that's why we need a new president so badly. You cannot fix these one at a time - you can fight them off and you can sometimes take a little back, but there's another hundred or two or three hundred of those out there going on simultaneously that we didn't catch, that we weren't able to reverse. You just simply can't play Whack-a-Mole endlessly and save our American religious liberty, you've got to replace the Commander in Chief who will then appoint new people and have the right principles cascade down from the White House throughout the entire Executive Branch and that affects the culture of the whole United States of America.

Rep. Trent Franks Calls Marriage Equality A "Threat To The Nation's Survival"

Today on Washington Watch Weekly with Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) claimed that marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples is “a threat to the nation’s survival.” Franks appeared on Perkins’ radio show to discuss his recent House hearing on “The State of Religious Liberty in the United States,” in which his fellow Republican congressman Steve King of Iowa attacked marriage equality as “an active effort to desecrate a sacrament of the church” that is like the desecration of the Eucharist.

Franks, a zealously anti-gay congressman who even threatened to impeach President Obama over his refusal to defend the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, told Perkins that marriage should remain a “special right” reserved for opposite-sex couples and that marriage equality “not only is a complete undermining of the principles of family and marriage and the hope of future generations but it completely begins to see our society break down.”

Listen:

Franks: We understand that when we’re granting the rights of marriage, that that’s a special right Tony, that’s something we have suggested is clearly the best possible way to see children raised through the best possible environment to launch the next generation, we believe that with all of our hearts as a society, I think most people understand that. So we’ve set aside this special area of the law that says we’re going to respect traditional marriage of a man and a woman because that is the launching pad of the next generation. Let’s face it; we have made a special exception in the law that gives special consideration and recognition to that.

And when people would come along and blur that distinction and say ‘well that should apply in every way’ it not only is a complete undermining of the principles of family and marriage and the hope of future generations but it completely begins to see our society break down to the extent that that foundational unit of the family that is the hope of survival of this country is diminished to the extent that it literally is a threat to the nation’s survival in the long run.

King: Marriage Equality Is "An Active Effort To Desecrate A Sacrament Of The Church"

Less than a month after his speech to the Values Voter Summit, in which he claimed that marriage equality was an “assault” by the left to destroy America’s foundations, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) equated legalizing marriage for same-sex couples to desecrating the Eucharist. Speaking with Bishop William Lori at a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on “The State of Religious Liberty in the United States,” King said that marriage equality, like the desecration of the Eucharist, was a “direct affront to the Church” and “an active effort to desecrate a sacrament of the church.”

Watch:

Values Voter Summit 2011 & America in 2013

As RWW readers know, the Values Voter Summit, the year’s biggest political gathering for the Religious Right, took place in Washington, D.C. this past weekend.  Every Republican presidential candidate with the exception of Jon Huntsman addressed the summit, evidence of the continuing importance of Religious Right activists and political groups to the GOP. Polls suggest that the Religious Right is about twice as big as the Tea Party, with significant overlap between the two movements. Ron Paul’s campaign packed in enough voters to win the straw poll, but it would be wrong to say he was the favorite of the Values Voter crowd. It was up-and-coming candidate Herman Cain who won the loudest cheers (and took second place).

The two days of speeches from presidential candidates, congressional leaders, and Religious Right activists painted a clear picture of where they’ll try to take the country if they are successful in their 2012 electoral goals.  In their America, banks and corporations would be free from pesky consumer and worker protections; there would be no Environmental Protection Agency and no federal support for education; women would have no access to abortion; gays would be second-class citizens; and for at least some of them, religious minorities would have to know their place and be grateful that they are tolerated in this Christian nation. 
 
Here’s a recap of some major themes from the conference.
 
Religious Bigotry on Parade
 
In one of the most extreme expressions of the “Christian nation” approach to government, the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer has stated repeatedly that the religious liberty of non-Christians is not protected by the First Amendment.  More specifically, he says Mormons are not protected by the First Amendment.  For whatever reason, VVS organizers scheduled Romney and Fischer back-to-back on Saturday morning. 
 
Before the conference, People For the American Way called on Romney to take on Fischer’s bigotry, which he did, albeit in a vague and tepid manner, criticizing “poisonous” rhetoric without naming Fischer or explaining why his views are poison.  Getting greater media attention were comments by Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress, who in his introduction of Texas Gov. Rick Perry insisted on the importance of electing a “genuine” follower of Christ. Reporters who accurately saw this as a swipe at Romney’s faith asked Jeffress about it, and he labeled Mormonism a cult.  (Mormons consider themselves Christians, but many Christians, including Southern Baptists, believe Mormon theology is anything but.)  Following Romney at the microphone, Fischer doubled down, insisting that the next president has to be a Christian “in the mold of” the founding fathers.  Fischer’s inaccurate sense of history is eclipsed only by his lack of respect for church-state separation and for the Constitution itself – even though he insisted that his religious test for the presidency was really a “political test.” Romney took only four percent in the VVS straw poll, even though he has been leading in recent polls of GOP voters.
 
Beating up on Obama
 
Religious Right leaders routinely denounce President Barack Obama, so it is no surprise that a major theme of the VVS was attacking the president and his policies.  Perhaps the nicest thing anyone said about the president was Mitt Romney’s snide remark that Obama is “the conservative movement’s top recruiter.”    Among the nastiest came from virtue-monger Bill Bennett, who said, “if you voted for him last time to prove you are not a racist, you must vote against him this time to prove you are not an idiot.” Rep. Anne Buerkle, one of the Tea Party freshmen, said flat out that the president is not concerned about what is best for the country. 
 
Health care and foreign policy were top policy targets.  Many speakers denounced “Obamacare,” and most of the presidential candidates promised to make dismantling health care reform a top priority. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a Religious Right favorite who is leading a legal challenge to the health care reform law, said that if the Supreme Court did not overturn it, Americans would go from being citizens to subjects.  Just about every speaker attacked President Obama for not being strong enough in support of Israel, and repeated a favorite right-wing talking point by pledging to “never apologize” for U.S. actions abroad.
 
Gays as Enemies of Liberty
 
It is clear that a Republican takeover of the Senate and White House would put advances toward equality for LGBT Americans in peril.  Speaker after speaker denounced the recent repeal of the ban on openly gay and lesbian servicemembers in the armed forces; many also attacked marriage equality for same-sex couples.  And many portrayed liberty as a zero-sum game, insisting that advances toward equality posed a dire threat to religious liberty. Rep. Mike Pompeo said “You cannot use our military to promote social ideals that do not reflect the values of our nation,” concluding his remarks with a call for the election of more Republicans, saying “ride to the sounds of the guns and send us more troops.”
Another member of the 2010 freshman class – Rep. Vicky Hartzler – attacked the Obama administration for “trying to use the military to advance their social agenda,” saying, “It’s wrong and it must be stopped.” Predictably, the AFA’s Fischer was the most vitriolic and insisted that the country needs a president “who will treat homosexual behavior not as a political cause at all but as a threat to public health.”
 
Loving Wall Street, Hating Wall Street Protesters
 
On the same day that moving pictures of Kol Nidre services at the site of Occupy Wall Street protests made the rounds on the Internet, Values Voter Summit speakers portrayed the protests as dangerous and violent.  Others simply mocked the protesters without taking seriously the objections being raised to growing inequality and economic hardship in America.  House Majority Leader Eric Cantor denounced the “growing mobs” associated with the protests and decried “the pitting of Americans against Americans.” (Too bad he didn’t stick around to hear the rest of the speakers).  Glenn Beck denounced “Jon Stewart Marxism” and warned that the protests were the sign of an approaching “storm of biblical proportions” in which “the violent left” would smash, tear down, kill, bankrupt, and destroy.  Pundit Laura Ingraham simply made fun of the protesters and held up her own “hug the rich” sign.  Rising star Herman Cain defended Wall Street, blaming the nation’s economic crisis on policymakers, not reckless and irresponsible financiers.  Nobody wanted to regulate the financiers; speakers called for a repeal of the Dodd-Frank law. 
 
A number of speakers promoted Christian Reconstructionist notions of “Biblical economics,” with Star Parker declaring that “this whole notion of redistribution of wealth is inconsistent with scripture” and calling for the selection of a candidate with commitment to the free market according to the Bible.  Ron Paul also insisted “debt is not a political principle.”  The AFA’s Bryan Fischer said that liberalism is based on violating two of the Ten Commandments, namely thou shall not steal, and thou shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.  Liberalism, he said, is “driven by angry, bitter, acquisitive greed for the wealth of productive Americans.” 
 
No Love for Libertarians
 
A major theme at last year’s Values Voter Summit, as at other recent Religious Right political events, was an effort to make social-issue libertarians unwelcome in the conservative movement by insisting that you cannot legitimately claim to be a fiscal conservative if you are not also pushing “traditional family values.”  The same theme was sounded this year by the very first speaker, Tony Perkins.  Another, Joe Carter, took a shot at gay conservatives, saying it was not possible to be conservative and for gay marriage – it simply made you a “liberal who likes tax cuts.”  Carter said “social conservative” should be redundant. Ingraham echoed the theme, calling for an end to conservative modifiers (social, fiscal, national security) and, echoing popular Christian writer C.S. Lewis, called for a commitment to “mere conservatism.”  There were far fewer mentions of the Tea Party movement itself at this year’s VVS, perhaps owing to the movement’s unpopularity – or to the fact that the GOP itself has essentially become one big Tea Party party.
 
Crying Wolf on Religious Persecution
 
Religious Right leaders routinely energize movement activists with dire warnings about threats to religious liberty and the alleged religious persecution of Christians in America.  William Bennett said liberals are bigoted against “people who publicly love their God, who publicly love their country.”  Retired Gen. William Boykin said Christians are facing the greatest persecution ever in America.   The American Center for Law & Justice’s Jay Sekulow warned that the next president will probably select two Supreme Court justices, and that if it isn’t a conservative president, our Judeo-Christian values could be “eliminated.”  Crying wolf about persecution of Christians in America is offensive given the very real suffering of people in countries that do not enjoy religious freedom.  Several speakers addressed the case of a Christian pastor facing death in Iran.  That is persecution; having your political tactics challenged or losing a court case is not.
 
America is Exceptional; Europe Sucks
 
Republican strategists decided a couple of years ago that “American exceptionalism” would be a campaign theme in 2010 and 2012, and we heard plenty of talk about it at the Values Voter Summit.  Among the many who spoke about American exceptionalism was Rep. Steve King, who said “this country was ordained and built by His hand,” that the Declaration of Independence was written with divine guidance, and that God moved the founding fathers around the globe like chess pieces .  Liberals, said the Heritage Foundation’s Matthew Spalding, don’t share a belief in American exceptionalism or the American dream. Many speakers contrasted a freedom-loving, God-fearing America to socialist, post-Christian Europe.  Rick Perry said “those in the White House” don’t believe in American exceptionalism; they’d rather emulate the failed policies of Europe.  Gen. Boykin declared Europe “hopelessly lost.”
 
Smashing the Regulatory State
 
The anti-government, anti-regulatory fervor of billionaire right-wing funders like the Koch brothers was on vibrant display at the VVS.  Without the slightest nod to the fact that regulating the behavior of corporations’ treatment of workers, consumers, and the environment is in any way beneficial, a member of a Heritage Foundation panel said conservatives’ goal should be to “break the back” of the “regulatory state.”  Some presidential candidates vowed to halt every regulation issued during the Obama administration.  Michele Bachmann said her goal was to “dismantle” the bureaucracy.
 
Judging Judges
 
Many speakers criticized judges for upholding abortion rights, church-state separation, and gay rights. Newt Gingrich took these attacks to a whole new level, calling for right-wing politicians to provoke a  constitutional crisis in which the legislative and executive branch would ignore court rulings they didn’t like.  He called the notion of “judicial supremacy” an “affront to the American system of self-government.” Aside from Gingrich’s very dubious constitutional theory, the speech seemed out of place at a conference in which speakers had been calling for the Supreme Court to overturn the health care law passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama.
 
Deconstructing the ‘Pursuit of Happiness’
 
VVS speakers love quoting the Declaration of Independence, but some are clearly a little troubled with the notion that the “pursuit of happiness” is an inalienable right, one that might apply, for example, to happy, loving gay couples.  Rick Santorum said that the founders’ understanding of “happiness” meant “the morally right thing” and doing what God wants.  Steve King said the  pursuit of happiness was not like a tailgate party, but the pursuit of excellence in moral and spiritual development.  Michele Bachman has equated the pursuit of happiness with private property.
 
Notably weird speeches
 
Mat Staver of the Liberty Counsel gave a meandering address that moved from U.S. policy on Israel to the war on Islamic radicalism to an attack on the United Nations to denunciations of sexologist Alfred Kinsey and humanist/educator John Dewey for undermining western civilization. He warned against conservatives using rhetoric that might push the growing Latino population into the maw of the “leftist machine,” making an aside about Latinos whose names end in “z” having a special connection to Israel.
 
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who ended up taking third place in the straw poll, seemed personally hurt that conservative evangelicals weren’t rallying around him given all that he had done for them and the price he had paid for it.  He whined, “Don’t you want a president who’s comfortable in his shoes talking about these issues?”
 
Rep. Steve King of Iowa said that people who support marriage equality or legal abortion don’t do so because they have a value system supporting those things, but because they want to spite the Religious Right – “because they know it’s precious to us.”
 
Former Fox TV personality Glenn Beck gave a trademark lurching speech contrasting visceral anger with his recitation of Abraham Lincoln’s “with malice toward none.” The speech was long on mockery of Wall Street protestors and on the messianic narcissism that was on display at his Lincoln Memorial rally last year.  “We need to give America the same choice” that Moses gave Israel, he said: good or evil, light or dark, life or death, freedom or slavery.  He said America is in a religious war, a race war, a class war, and other wars.  In one breath he insisted that the nation “must return to God” and talked about the “country’s salvation” – and in the next he denounced the notion of “collective salvation,” which he has elsewhere attributed to President Obama and denounced as evil and satanic.
 

Perry to Address Family Research Council's Values Voter Summit

Family Research Council Action, the political arm of the Family Research Council, just announced that Texas Gov. Rick Perry will address the upcoming Values Voter Summit in Washington. As Religious Right leaders continue to coalesce behind Perry — FRC president Tony Perkins was among those attending a pro-Perry gathering of conservative leaders at James Leninger’s ranch earlier this month — addressing the Values Voter Summit should only help his standing among social conservatives. Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum are the only other presidential candidates who have so far committed to the event. Other Religious Right leaders scheduled to speak include Gary Bauer, Brent Bozell, Mathew Staver, Phyllis Schlafly and Bill Bennett, along with lesser known but radical activists like Lila Rose, Jerry Boykin and Star Parker:

Family Research Council Action (FRC Action) has confirmed that GOP presidential candidate Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) will speak at the Values Voter Summit this October 7-9 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Gov. Perry joins other Republican presidential candidates, including U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), at the largest annual gathering of pro-family activists in the nation's capital.

The annual event, which is expected to draw 2,000 grassroots activists from across the country, will have a speaker line-up that includes House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), U.S. Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Steve King (R-IA), Dr. Bill Bennett, Mark Levin, Lt. Gen. William Boykin (U.S. Army-Ret.), Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, Erick Erickson, Ed Morrissey, Heritage Foundation fellow Edwin Meese III, Lila Rose and Phyllis Schlafly. The 2011 Values Voter Summit is cosponsored by AFA Action, American Values, The Heritage Foundation, Liberty University, and Liberty Counsel. A presidential straw poll, exhibit hall, book signings, breakout sessions and much more will be packed into this three-day conference. On Saturday evening Family Research Council will award Heritage Foundation fellow Edwin Meese, III with its 2011 Vision and Leadership Award.

GOP Leaders Joining Religious Right Groups For "Values Voter Bus Tour" Through Iowa

The Family Research Council has just announced that Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, Steve King, and Louie Gohmert will be joining FRC, the National Organization for Marriage and the Susan B. Anthony List for a ""Values Voter Bus Tour" through Iowa next week:

FRC Action's Faith Family Freedom Fund, the National Organization for Marriage and the Susan B. Anthony List today announced the "Values Voter Bus Tour" that next week will cover 1,305 miles in four days with events in 22 cities. The tour will pass through 47 of Iowa's 99 counties.

Presidential candidates Tim Pawlenty and Rick Santorum will participate in the tour, and candidate Michele Bachmann and other GOP presidential candidates are expected to join the tour as well. U.S. Reps. Steve King (R-IA) and Louie Gohmert (R-TX) will also join Family Research Council Action President Tony Perkins, National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown, Susan B. Anthony List's Marilyn Musgrave, and other state and national leaders. The tour will be kicked off by Faith Family Freedom Fund Chairman Connie Mackey on Tuesday, August 9, 2011 at the state capitol and conclude at the Ames Straw Poll on August 13.

Family Research Council Action President Tony Perkins made the following comments:

"Last November, the people of Iowa reclaimed their right to govern themselves by removing three activist judges from power. We were honored to play a part in that victory with our successful Judge Bus tour that traveled the state highlighting the issue.

"The Values Bus Tour will speak to the views held by millions of American voters who want to make sure that issues impacting the family and the broader culture are understood and addressed by each of the candidates. The race is clearly wide open. Values voters will be closely watching next week's events as they determine which of the candidates are willing to do what it takes once elected to restore fiscal sanity, protect marriage, safeguard religious liberty and protect the rights of the unborn," concluded Perkins.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, made the following comments:

"President Obama is the most pro-abortion President in United States history. He has shown a willingness to shut down the federal government in order to keep Planned Parenthood funded with tax payer subsidies and even threatened individual states for exercising their Tenth Amendment right to de-fund the organization at a state level. It is time to replace Obama with a true pro-life leader in the White House. That effort begins in Iowa. The Values Voter Bus Tour is designed to get the word out to straw poll and caucus goers regarding which Presidential candidates can be counted on as strong and vocal leaders for women and unborn children."

Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), made the following comments:

"President Obama has done virtually everything in his power to undermine the institution of marriage, including refusing to defend the bi-partisan Defense of Marriage Act signed into law by President Clinton. NOM is committed to ensuring that the next president is a strong and committed supporter of traditional marriage and will commit his or her administration to vigorously defending marriage in the courts, Congress and in the court of public opinion. We were the largest contributor to the effort to unseat the state judges who imposed same-sex marriage on Iowa by judicial fiat. We look forward to playing an extremely active role in encouraging the people of Iowa, including our tens of thousands of supporters, to make a difference in selecting an unambiguously pro-marriage candidate in Iowa."

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Personhood USA loves Rick Santorum.

House Republicans Plan Strategy To Overturn DC Marriage Equality Law

A leading House Republican is pledging to follow-through on his promise to force a referendum on the District of Columbia’s 2010 marriage equality law. In January, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Religious Right activists demanded that the rights of gays and lesbians to marry in D.C. be put to a popular vote after the Supreme Court rebuffed an attempt by Harry Jackson to compel a referendum. Jordan is head of the Republican Study Committee, the principal caucus for House conservatives, and wants to take advantage of Congress’s disproportionate power over District affairs in order to push his opposition to marriage equality. CQ reports (subscription only):

Jim Jordan, chairman of the 176-member Republican Study Committee, is leading an effort by conservatives to press House leaders for floor votes in opposition to gay marriage.

Jordan’s first project is a draft proposal that would set up a referendum to overturn a year-old District of Columbia law recognizing marriages of gay and lesbian couples. The move comes as conservatives express a desire to move beyond a focus on spending cuts and expand the House majority’s legislative agenda to include social issues.

The Supreme Court declined in January to take up a case aimed at clearing the way for a referendum to ban gay marriage in the nation’s capital. City officials have blocked the referendum on the grounds that it would violate a city human rights law.

Jordan said he expects the draft measure to draw strong support from House Republicans. He and other conservatives say they are weighing how best to promote the vote as an example of Republicans fulfilling a campaign promise. The GOP’s 2010 Pledge to America vowed that a Republican majority would “honor families, traditional marriage, life and the private and faith-based organizations that form the core of our American values.”



Jordan says he will press for a floor vote to allow fellow conservatives to make clear their opposition to gay marriage. “We want to advance marriage. That’s the pledge. Our party should be all about defending marriage as it has always been defined,” he said.

Reps. Steve King of Iowa and Vicky Hartzler of Missouri have also been calling for floor action to demonstrate opposition to gay marriage. Hartzler has gathered 98 cosponsors for a resolution condemning the Obama administration’s decision to stop defending restrictions on gay marriage.
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Steve King Posts Archive

Miranda Blue, Friday 09/13/2013, 1:14pm
Iowa congressman Steve King, who joined fellow Republicans Rep. Michelle Bachman and Rep. Louis Gohmert in Egypt last week, where they delivered a televised message praising the Egyptian military’s crackdown on dissenters, claims that the group’s insistence that the Muslim Brotherhood was linked to the 9/11 terrorist attacks comes from a “very reliable” source “within the Middle East.” But he won’t say who his source is because “then it would be a political incident.” The Bush administration’s 9/11 commission found no such link,... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Tuesday 09/03/2013, 11:01am
Texas senator and likely 2016 presidential candidate Ted Cruz has made a notable friend in Iowa: Rep. Steve King. The Des Moines Register reports that Cruz has accepted King’s invitation to go pheasant hunting on the opening day of the hunting season next month, and was “honored to have received the invite.” “Yes, we are confirmed for a hunt with King,” Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier said in an email Friday to the Des Moines Register. “The senator has enjoyed getting to know him and work with him on important issues before Congress. He’s honored... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Wednesday 08/28/2013, 11:13am
UPDATED Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King appeared at an event in North Carolina Monday where, according to a Red Alert Politics blogger who attended, he chastised unemployed Americans, saying “I want to see more Americans step up.” King reportedly compared the unemployed to children who refuse to do chores, implying that those who are out of work should not receive a helping hand:  “Now what kind of a family — if you had six kids and a third of those kids would say ‘I’m not doing the chores, Mom,’… pretty soon those kids would be on the... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 08/20/2013, 3:05pm
Rep. Steve King (R-IA) continued to defend his assertion that the vast majority of young undocumented immigrants are drug smugglers “with calves the size of cantaloupes,” telling Mike Huckabee today that his remarks were no different than complimenting the body of an Olympian. The Iowa congressman said there was nothing inaccurate or wrong about his claim that “for every one who’s a valedictorian, there’s another hundred out there who they weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’ve been hauling 75 pounds of... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 08/13/2013, 5:35pm
Esther Yu-Hsi Lee @ Think Progress: Rep. Steve King Says Latino Immigrants Are From A ‘Violent Civilization,’ Will Bring ‘More Violence’ To America. Rachel Tabachnick @ Talk To Action: Pastor at Cory Booker's Church Calls for Return to Time When Only Christians Could Vote in Newark. David Ferguson @ Raw Story: Steve King’s ‘grassroots’ anti-immigration rally draws pitifully small crowd. Sarah Jones @ Wall of Separation: Zip Line Evangelism: Creation Museum Opens ‘Non-Religious’ Exhibits To Expand Audience. Jeremy... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 08/07/2013, 5:34pm
Jeremy Hooper: Audio: FRC's Sprigg (again) claims homosexuality is 'harmful to the people who engage in it and to society at large.' Dave Weigel: Rand Paul: "There Is No Greater Defender, Truly, of Minority Rights... Than Myself." Dahlia Lithwick @ Slate: Ken Cuccinelli’s Sodomy Obsession. Steve Benen @ The Maddow Blog: Liz Cheney's trouble fishing for votes. Greg Sargent @ The Plum Line: Congressman who co-sponsored a dozen Obamacare-repeal bills gets targeted by Tea Party group. Annie-Rose Strasser @ Think Progress: Steve King: Belief... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 07/30/2013, 5:35pm
Steve Benen @ The Maddow Blog: The video Steve King thinks he wants you to see. Jeremy Hooper: Pastor who vowed to punch out pro-gay clergy: I am 'truly sorry.' Media Matters: Meet The Fringe Right-Wing Commentators Who Met With Top Republicans To Push For A Benghazi Special Committee. Joan McCarter @ Daily Kos: New anti-Obamacare campaign: Health insurance is bad. TFN Insider: Alarm Bells Are Ringing: Creationists Get Influential Positions in Texas Science Textbook Review. MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 07/29/2013, 5:36pm
Joe.My.God: Pat Robertson On Transgender People. Adam Peck @ Think Progress: Fox News Anchor Dumbfounded That A Scholar, Who Is Muslim, Had The Audacity To Write A Book About Jesus. Towleroad: Louisiana Police Target, Arrest Gay Men. Evan McMurry @ Mediaite: Steve King Claims GOP ‘Privately’ Agrees With ‘Cantaloupes’ Comment, But Afraid Of ‘Repercussions.’ David Corn @ Mother Jones: Mitt Romney's Incredible 47-Percent Denial: "Actually, I Didn't Say That." Warren Throckmorton: Answering Matt Barber on Jefferson and... MORE >