Virginia

Pat Robertson's Greatest Hits

It was just last week that we posted a collection of old Pat Robertson videos, but since he's making news once again by saying the tragic earthquake in Haiti stems from the fact that the nation once "swore a pact to the Devil," now seems like a good time to go back at take a look at some of Robertson's most outrageous statements from recent years:

  • Robertson and Falwell lay the blame for 9/11.
  • Robertson says Muslims should be treated like "some fascist group."
  • Robertson says gays are on their way to hell.
  • Robertson says hate crimes legislation would protect someone "who likes to have sex with ducks."
  • Robertson says all other religions worship “demonic powers.”
  • Robertson's advice to the GOP on handling the Rep. Mark Foley scandal: just say that it is "what gay people do so don’t worry about it."
  • Robertson says marriage equality is "so gross" it will lead to the end of our nation.
  • Robertson reports that God told him to expect massive terrorist attacks on the United States in 2007, and lists the specific cities at risk.
  • Robertson declares that the separation of church and state is "insane."
  • Robertson states that Ariel Sharon suffered a stroke because he was "dividing God's land."
  • Robertson warned that President Bush was "asking for the wrath of God" for not adequately supporting Israel.
  • Robertson explains that various natural disasters and weather events are God's way of sending a message.

Explain to me again why incoming Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell invited Robertson to attend his inauguration. Or why Rep. Michele Bachmann, whom Robertson lauds as a "marvelous public servant," is appearing on his program.

Lisa Miller Gets More Support From The Anti-Gay Right

It has now been more than a week since Lisa Miller disappeared with her daughter Isabella rather than abide by a court order transferring custody to her former partner, Janet Jenkins, due to Miller's consistent refusal to abide by custody arrangements, and still her attorneys at Liberty Counsel remain "unavailable for comment."

But others on the Right are weighing in and they seem utterly unwilling to condemn Miller's actions.  Take, for instance, this blog post by Victoria Cobb of the Virginia Family Foundation:

The circumstances of this case are as heart wrenching as they are frustrating. It is our belief that the courts have failed to apply the law correctly, relying on Vermont’s civil union statute over Virginia’s constitution and the federal Defense of Marriage Act that is supposed to protect Virginia’s marriage laws. Instead, judges at nearly every turn have ignored our law in favor of Vermont’s.

..

One thing is for certain, the homosexual lobby’s attempts to portray civil unions as something less than marriage have been destroyed by their own words.

It’s interesting to note that I was asked over and over again by CNN about Lisa’s decision to “violate the court order,” but I was never once asked about the judges in this case who over and over again violated Virginia law. Instead of asking about Lisa’s actions, we should ask how judges simply can ignore the parts of the law and constitution they don’t like in favor of other parts.

Finally, we need to continue to pray for Lisa, Janet — and perhaps most importantly Isabella — in this entire mess. It’s difficult to predict the effect this situation will have on Isabella’s future, but it’s hard to believe that it will be positive.

Instead of condemning Miller for violating court orders and disappearing with her daughter, Cobb lays the blame entirely on the judges.

But that is nothing compared to this truly remarkable screed by Deacon Keith Fournier in Catholic Online in which he blames everyone and everything but Miller for the current situation:

This tragic case sets up what is called a conflict of laws issue, pitting the law of one State against another. This specter hangs over many such homosexual relationships as the patchwork of court enforced schemes of calling them a “marriage” unfolds. It is a deliberate result of the strategy of cultural revolutionaries in the Homosexual Equivalency movement who are setting up what they hope will be their vehicle for enforcing their cultural revolution Nationally through the Courts ... These activists are advancing their Cultural Revolution not by vote of the people but by judicial and legislative fiat in a kind of new alchemy ... These new Caesars call a relationship which is constitutively incapable of accomplishing the ends of marriage to be a marriage ... They have developed a verbal strategy and a legal strategy. Their goal is to use the Police Power of the State in order to force a new social and legal order whether we all want it or not.

...

Lisa Miller is a mother who could no longer stand to see her child force fed what she contended was poison. She felt that after each visit the harm that was being inflicted on her daughter was increasing. The record indicates that even though Lisa asked the Vermont Judge to listen to evidence of the violent reactions of Isabella after each of these few visitations, the Judge refused. He treated this case like an ordinary domestic breakup between a husband and a wife. After all, that is what happens when a State treats such living relationships in a manner equivalent to marriage.

...

The Lisa Miller Case brings together the misuse of fertility technology, the new Cultural Revolution, the threat of Judicial Tyranny and the assault on the authority of the Family in a case of monumental societal implications. It sounds a clear warning which must be heard before it is too late.

It seems that the unrelenting opposition to all things gay is rendering those on the Right fundamentally incapable of so much as acknowledging that disappearing with your child might be a rather improper reaction to a court ruling that you do not like. 

Amazingly, anti-gay groups are simultaneously trumpeting a story about an Illinois woman who wants to take her children to live with her partner in Oregon, calling it "radical, subversive, insidious, pernicious, and stupefying."

Unbelieveable.

Liberty Counsel Remains Silent on Lisa Miller's Disappearance

It has now been nearly a week since Lisa Miller disappeared with her daughter Isabella rather than abide by a court-order transferring custody to her former partner and still her lawyers at the Liberty Counsel remain silent.

You'd think that if your star client went AWOL with her child in violation of the law, you might have some comment to make about it.  But apparently that is not the case with Liberty Counsel, though they do have plenty to say about health care reform, judging by two press releases they have issued so far this week.  

Since Mat Staver and everyone else at Liberty Counsel are obviously back from vacation and presumably available for comment, maybe some reporter ought to call them up and find out what they have to say about Lisa Miller's disappearance ... especially since the longer she is missing, the more trouble she will find herself in:

A court order filed Monday in Bedford County requires that a 7-year-old girl at the center of a custody battle involving a Forest woman be surrendered to the woman’s former lesbian partner in Vermont.

Rebecca Glenburg, the Virginia American Civil Liberties Union attorney for Janet Jenkins, confirmed that the Bedford Juvenile and Domestic Relations court filed the order. She said it ensures that the Vermont court order requiring Lisa Miller to surrender the couple’s daughter, Isabella Miller-Jenkins, is enforceable in Virginia.

“We expect Virginia law enforcement to take whatever actions they can to locate the child and make sure the custody order is complied with,” Glenberg said Wednesday.

Miller’s whereabouts are unknown and her lawyer, Mathew Staver, of Lynchburg-based Liberty Counsel, has been unavailable for comment on the case.

I'm pretty sure that if the roles were reversed and it was Jenkins who had disappeared with Isabella, Staver and everyone else at Liberty Counsel would have something to say about it.

Robertson's ACLJ Files Anti-DC Marriage Brief On Behalf of 39 GOP Members of Congress

Today, the American Center for Law and Justice announced that it had filed a brief on behalf of 39 Republican members of Congress against marriage equality in Washington DC, arguing that the "Board of Elections and Ethics wrongfully denied [the] proposed initiative and its decision should be reversed":

We have just filed an important amicus brief in defense of marriage. This time the venue is the District of Columbia, where the city council has authorized same-sex marriages. In our brief, we're representing members of Congress in a very significant legal challenge.

A group of citizens has applied for the right for D.C. residents to vote on an initiative to halt same-sex marriages in D.C. However, the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics has wrongly rejected that application.

The D.C. residents have filed suit to challenge the Board’s ruling, and the ACLJ – with the support of 39 members of Congress – has filed an amicus brief with the Superior Court of the District of Columbia in support of the citizens asking the court to reverse the decision of the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics.

The brief [PDF] lists the following Republican members of Congress as having signed on:

Amici United States Senators James Inhofe and Roger Wicker and Representatives Robert Aderholt, Todd Akin, Michele Bachmann, Gresham Barrett, Roscoe Bartlett, Marsha Blackburn, John Boehner, John Boozman, Eric Cantor, Jason Chaffetz, John Fleming, Randy Forbes, Virginia Foxx, Scott Garrett, Phil Gingrey, Louie Gohmert, Jeb Hensarling, Wally Herger, Walter Jones, Jim Jordan, Steve King, Jack Kingston, John Kline, Doug Lamborn, Robert Latta, Don Manzullo, Michael McCaul, Thaddeus McCotter, Patrick McHenry, Cathy McMorris Rogers, Jeff Miller, Jerry Moran, Randy Neugebauer, Mike Pence, Joe Pitts, Mark Souder, and Todd Tiahrt are currently serving in the One Hundred and Eleventh Congress. Under the United States Constitution, they serve as members of the ultimate legislative authority for the District of Columbia and the very body which delegated to the District its limited legislative power under home rule. As members of the District’s ultimate legislative body, amici are concerned about the extent of the District’s delegated legislative authority, the preservation of Congress’s constitutional authority, and the interpretation of home rule. Amici also support the right of the District electors to directly participate in the legislative process pursuant to the initiative and referendum rights, under the Initiative Referendum and Recall Charter Amendments Act of 1977. It is precisely these concerns which lead amici to support Petitioners in seeking a reversal of the denial of the proposed initiative.

McDonnell Invites Robertson to Inauguration

When Bob McDonnell was running for Governor of Virginia last year, he tried to down play his ties to Pat Robertson, especially after the master's thesis he wrote was attending Robertson's Regent University back in the last 1980s surfaced and when Robertson recently declared that Islam is "a violent political system bent on the overthrow of the governments of the world and world domination" whose adherents should be treated as "members of some fascist group."

But now that McDonnell is preparing to be sworn in in his new job, he's invited Robertson to the inauguration:

McDonnell said his inauguration Jan. 16 will emphasize community service. Activities, to be announced today, include inaugural balls in Abingdon, Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads this week, plus Richmond-centered activities next week.

There also will be visits to food banks, homeless shelters and prison re-entry facilities to emphasize community service in a time of need, he said.

“It’s a chance to highlight people in need that are struggling in this economy and asking the people of Virginia to pay attention to people in need,“ he said.

Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson of Virginia Beach, a longtime McDonnell ally, has been invited to the inauguration, and McDonnell said he thinks he will attend.

Two Years Later, Klingenschmitt Might See Victory in VA

Back in 2008, we wrote a few posts based on claims by Gordon Klingenschmitt and other right-wing activists that Virginia Governor Tim Kaine had supposedly "fired" several State Police Chaplains because they prayed publicly "in Jesus' name" and had banned chaplains for praying in such a manner.

It wasn't true, but that didn't stop Klingenschmitt, Rick Scarborough, Mat Staver and others from holding a rally in Richmond in an effort to get the decision reversed.  That never happened and the issue faded away ... at least until recently, as now it looks like the issue will be brought up again now that a Pat Roberston-approved governor is taking control in Virginia:

[Del. Charles W. Carrico, a retired state trooper] already has refiled the measure for the 2010 session, which begins Jan. 13. He said he is hoping for a better result now that senators have had more time to think about the issue.

He also could get a boost from the change in the governor's office. Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine, who had threatened to veto Carrico's bill, will be succeeded by Bob McDonnell, a conservative Republican with close ties to the Rev. Pat Robertson.

"The governor-elect is a strong supporter of religious liberty and the right of religious officials to freely practice their faiths, unimpeded by government," McDonnell spokesman J. Tucker Martin said. "He is reviewing the directive from that perspective."

He said McDonnell would withhold further comment until after he takes office.

Flaherty issued the order after a federal appeals court upheld a Fredericksburg City Council policy that banned opening council meetings with sectarian prayers. The order applies only to department-sponsored public events, not to private events such as funerals or counseling sessions with troopers or victims.

State police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said the directive applied to only one event in 2009 — the department's annual law enforcement memorial service. She said the department stands by Flaherty's 2008 statement that the state police must "be inclusive and respectful of the varied ethnicities, cultures, and beliefs of our employees, their families, and citizens at-large."

Where Is Lisa Miller?

We've written a few posts in the past about the custody battle being waged between Lisa Miller and Janet Jenkins, a Vermont couple who had a daughter together in 2002 but eventually separated and soon became locked in a custody fight after Miller moved to Virginia, became a Christian active in Jerry Falwell's church, and sought sole custody of their daughter, Isabella, with the representation of the Falwell-founded Liberty Counsel.

The fight has dragged on for years and earlier this month, a Vermont judge ordered Miller to transfer custody to Jenkins due to the fact that Miller had repeatedly refused to abide by court-ordered custody arrangements.

Miller was ordered to do so by Jan. 1, 2010, but it looks like that might not happen because nobody seems to know where Miller and Isabella are

A Rutland Family Court judge has refused to delay an order that transfers custody of a child from a Virginia mother to her former lesbian partner in Fair Haven.

But with the whereabouts of Lisa Miller and 7-year-old Isabella Miller presently "unknown," it remains to be seen whether the first of its kind parent custody switch takes place when the court order takes effect on New Year's Day.

Miller, who renounced homosexuality, and her former partner Janet Jenkins have been battling over visitation rights since they ended their civil union in Vermont in 2003. After the pair split, Miller returned to her home state of Virginia while Jenkins remained in Fair Haven.

After finding Miller in contempt of court earlier this year for denying Jenkins access to Isabella, Judge William Cohen said he decided the only way to ensure the child equal access to both parents was to switch custody and he issued an order requiring the transfer be made by Jan. 1, 2010.

Miller's attorneys filed a motion earlier this month asking Cohen to delay his order until an appeal in the Virginia court system — regarding whether that state needed to enforce the Vermont order — was decided.

But in a two-page decision issued by Cohen, the judge said Miller failed to meet the legal burden required to delay the order in part because she has not appeared in court nor spoken with her attorneys about the case for more than a month.

"Ms. Miller has not demonstrated that she is entitled to a stay….Instead, it appears that Ms. Miller has ceased contact with her attorneys and disappeared with (Isabella)….Such conduct does not show that a stay is warranted," Cohen wrote.

The whereabouts of Miller couldn't be determined on Monday.

Jenkins' attorney, Middlebury lawyer Sarah Star, said she didn't know where Miller was, but hoped she was still at her home in Virginia and was simply not communicating with her attorneys.

Looking Back and Looking Ahead

As we head into the last days of 2009, we are doing some end-of-the-year fundraising so we can keep going strong as we prepare to keep tracking, exposing, and fighting the Right in 2010. 

So, in honor of that effort, here is a look back at the ten most popular Right Wing Watch posts of 2009:

1. God Commands You To Kill Gays

2. Sally Kern's Proclamation for Morality

3. Terry Declares That Tiller "Reaped What He Sowed," Then Asks If Someone Will Buy Him Lunch

4. Rep. Trent Franks Declares President Obama an "Enemy of Humanity"

5. Putting "Christ" In Your Christmas Tree. Literally.

6. Virginia GOP Chair goes all Cro-Magnon on Darwin, on his birthday

7. Robertson: Will Hate Crimes Protect Someone Who "Likes to Have Sex With Ducks"?

8. Wiley Drake Prays For Obama's Death

9. The Religious Right's New Demand: Stop Calling Us the Religious Right

10. Halloween is Satan's Holy Day and Candy Is How Demons Steal Your Soul!

It is your support that makes it possible for us to do this work and help turn stories such as these into national news. Please considering making a donation today, so that we can go into 2010 prepared for the battles that lay ahead.

Dobsons and Daly Join The FRC "Prayercast"

Earlier this week, we noted that tonight The Family Research Council would be holding a special anti-healthcare reform "prayercast" this evening featuring several Republican members of Congress, including Rep. Michele Bachmann and Sen. Jim DeMint, as well as Religious Right activists like Lou Engle and Harry Jackson.

Today, FRC announced that the event had picked up several new Focus on the Family participants, including James and Shirley Dobson, as well as FOF President Jim Daly:

Tonight, Wednesday, December 16, 2009 at 8:30 pm ET, Family Research Council Action, The Call to Conscience and Focus on the Family Action will host a special one hour webcast that will mobilize thousands of Christians and churches to join in corporate prayer over the health care overhaul bill. Family Research Council Action President Tony Perkins will be joined by Congressional leaders, prominent pastors, and policy experts to discuss and pray over significant concerns within the bill that will have far reaching consequences for the Christian community and our society.

FRC Action President Tony Perkins made the following comments:

"Life and death hinges on the Senate health care bill. We face significant threats to the God-given right to human life through government funding of abortions, our health from rationing, our family finances from higher taxes, and our general freedoms posed by the government plan to take over health care.

"There have been a number of critical hours in American history. Our nation has struggled mightily and, under God, always risen to the challenges before us. Tonight, we will face this moral crisis by taking action and obeying the Biblical mandate to pray for our nation and its leaders."

Who:
Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council Action
Lou Engle, Founder and President, The Call to Conscience
Jim Daly, President, Focus on the Family Action
Dr. James Dobson, Founder, Focus on the Family Action
Shirley Dobson, National Day of Prayer Task Force Chairman
Hon. Sam Brownback, United States Senator, Kansas
Hon. Jim DeMint, United States Senator, South Carolina
Hon. Randy Forbes, United States House of Representatives, Virginia
Hon. Michele Bachmann, United States House of Representatives, Minnesota
Bishop Harry Jackson, President, High Impact Leadership Coalition
Pastor Jim Garlow, Skyline Church, San Diego, Calif.
Reverend Samuel Rodriguez, President, National Hispanic Leadership Conference

Bachmann and DeMint Joining Engle and Perkins For Health Care "Prayercast"

On Wednesday December 16, Reps. Michele Bachmann and Randy Forbes and Sens. Jim DeMint and Sam Brownback will be joining forces with the likes of Lou Engle, Tony Perkins, Jim Garlow, and Harry Jackson for a "prayercast" organized by the Family Research Council during which they will seek God's intervention to prevent the passage of healthcare reform: 

Did you know that deep within the Senate health care bill is a tax penalty for couples that are married? Or that in Nancy Pelosi's version of health care "reform" that not only is tort reform not included - but trial lawyers are rewarded even more? To learn more facts about this attempted government takeover of health care, tune your browsers this Wednesday night to FRCAction.org.

On December 16, FRC Action and The Call to Conscience will host a live video webcast entitled "An FRC Action PrayerCast: Government Takeover of Healthcare". Beginning at 8:30 p.m. (EST), this PrayerCast will feature a powerful line-up of speakers, including:

  • Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council Action
  • Lou Engle, Founder and President, The Call to Conscience
  • Hon. Sam Brownback, United States Senator, Kansas
  • Hon. Randy Forbes, United States Congressman, Virginia
  • Hon. Jim DeMint, United States Senator, South Carolina
  • Hon. Michele Bachmann, United States Congresswoman, Minnesota
  • Bishop Harry Jackson, President, High Impact Leadership Coalition
  • Pastor Jim Garlow, Skyline Church, San Diego, Calif.

During the webcast, you will hear the latest on the threats to the God-given right to human life through government funding of abortions, our health from rationing, our family finances from higher taxes, and our general freedom posed by the government plan to take over healthcare.

We will enter into a time of prayer for the nation, and our leaders. Your engagement and urgent prayer is more critical than ever as Congress will very soon vote on a final health care bill. Register today!

Following Defeat, Religious Right Mobilizes For A Filibuster

Earlier today I had a post pulling together right-wing reaction to the defeat of Sen. Ben Nelson's anti-choice amendment to the healthcare reform legislation and it seems as if they are not about to take the defeat lying down, and so they are mobilizing to get Senators to filibuster the bill

"[T]his is a long way from over," the National Right to Life Committee said in a statement, noting that the bill again must pass the House, where there are a bloc of pro-life Democrats.

Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, said he found Tuesday's Senate vote both "discouraging and encouraging."

"It's discouraging that the Senate as a whole could not comprehend the need to respect the will of 70 percent of the American people that public funds should not pay for or subsidize the killing of our nation's unborn citizens," Land told Baptist Press. "It was encouraging in that the motion to table got 54 votes, well short of the 60 needed to stop a filibuster. As long as there are sufficient pro-life senators such as Sen. Nelson who are willing to filibuster any health legislation that does not contain these restrictions on abortion, it will be difficult to break the filibuster and pass the entire bill.

"In that case," Land added, "then pro-choice supporters will have to decide between their pro-choice convictions and their desire for a vastly increased government role in health care."

Other groups, including the Family Research Council, Democrats for Life, Concerned Women for America and Americans United for Life, also said they would support a filibuster.

"We now have no choice but to work vigorously to defeat this bill," Americans United for Life said.

...

Pro-life groups are trying to pressure those and other Democratic senators to support a filibuster if pro-life language isn't added. The Family Research Council says it is calling every household in Arkansas, South Dakota and Louisiana -- all conservative states with Democratic senators -- to conduct a survey on such topics as abortion funding, rationing, higher taxes and the public option. It is also calling pro-life households in Pennsylvania and Virginia. Participants who answer a particular way will be given information on contacting their senators, an FRC release stated. Democratic Sens. Blanche Lincoln (Ark.), Tim Johnson (S.D.), Mary Landrieu (La.), Jim Webb (Va.) and Mark Warner (Va.) all sided with pro-choicers in voting to table the Nelson amendment.

"We're doing everything in our power to make sure that the constituents of those senators know that those senators are voting to expand abortion in this country," Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said.

Eagle Forum Blasts "Personhood" Initiatives

Despite the fact that the effort to pass a "personhood amendment" last year in Colorado was an absolute failure, proponents have continued to press ahead with similar efforts all over the country. 

According to Personhood.net, there are there are efforts underway to "outlaw all abortions and certain types of birth control, including oral contraceptives and the morning-after pill" in various states, including Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, South Carolina, and Virginia.

One of the problems plaguing the effort has been the opposition of most Religious Right and anti-choice groups ... a problem that obviously continues to this day, as earlier this week the Eagle Forum announced its opposition, calling the efforts misleading, hurtful to the anti-choice effort, and basically a scam:

The "personhood" initiative lost by a landslide of 73% to 27% in Colorado in 2008, and its unpopular coattails hurt good pro-life candidates there. This poorly designed initiative would not prevent a single abortion even it if became law, and its vague language would enable more mischief by judges.

Now its organizers, who provide little information about themselves or their funding, spread their disaster to key swing states like Florida, Missouri, Nevada and Montana. This hurtful effort misleads pro-lifers with the false hope that a referendum can overturn Roe v. Wade, when only the U.S. Supreme Court can do that. This enriches pro-abortion groups with a fundraising issue as they claim to preserve abortion by suing to stop this initiative, and they have already filed several lawsuits.

Florida's Catholic Bishops recently banned the collection of any signatures for this ill-advised initiative at churches there, and most pro-life groups also oppose this initiative. We encourage support of pro-life candidates, and oppose hurtful gimmicks like the personhood initiative.

Virginia Foxx's "Revisionist History"

For the last several years, we've been chronicling efforts by far-right activists like David Barton and the National Black Republican Association to claim that throughout American history it has been Republicans who have been the champions of civil rights while Democrats were the party of racists and it seems that this idea has now worked its way into the House of Representatives thanks to Rep. Virginia Foxx:

During a debate on the House floor today over designating 21 miles of the Molalla River as “wild and scenic,” Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), who opposes the legislation, tried to claim a progressive environmental record for her party. “Actually, the GOP has been the leader in starting good environmental programs in this country,” said Foxx.

Foxx then extended her claims of the GOP’s progressive history to the issue of civil rights. “Just as we were the people who passed the civil rights bills back in the ’60s without very much help from our colleagues across the aisle,” said Fox. “They love to engage in revisionist history.”

A few years back, Barton produced an entire video pushing this idea.  Entitled "Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black and White," Barton's presentation chronicled the decades of oppression and discrimination against Blacks for which Barton claimed the Democrats were entirely responsible, only to suddenly stop with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, completely ignoring the political transformation that overtook the country in its wake and the rise of the Republican Party’s "Southern Strategy" as we explained in our report:

Having been so eager to recount every historical Democratic disgrace, Barton falls silent when it comes to mentioning the split that emerged within the Democratic Party in the 1960s between the growing number who embraced the civil rights movement and those who continued to oppose it. Barton does not mention that President Johnson risked his career and his party’s future to do the right thing, nor does he mention that racist and segregationist southern Democrats left the party and were welcomed by the national Republican Party as part of its “Southern Strategy” to building power. Nor, of course, does he mention a particularly shameful modern-era example of that strategy – presidential candidate Ronald Reagan launching his 1980 bid for the presidency with a visit to Philadelphia, Mississippi to declare his support for states’ rights – with no mention of the town’s notoriety as the place where civil rights workers were murdered and townspeople jeered federal investigators.

Even an amateur historian like Barton shouldn’t be able to ignore that sordid history. In fact it’s so well documented that even RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman once openly acknowledged it in the context of his efforts to recruit African Americans into the Party. Mehlman gave an apology of sorts, saying "By the '70s and into the '80s and '90s, the Democratic Party solidified its gains in the African American community, and we Republicans did not effectively reach out. Some Republicans gave up on winning the African American vote, looking the other way or trying to benefit politically from racial polarization. I am here today as the Republican chairman to tell you we were wrong."

Even President Bush acknowledged that whatever prestige the Republican Party once had with African Americans has been squandered, telling the NAACP on July 20, 2006 that he understands why “many African Americans distrust my political party” and that he considers it “a tragedy that the party of Abraham Lincoln let go of its historic ties with the African American community. For too long my party wrote off the African American vote, and many African Americans wrote off the Republican Party” – admissions which were met with rousing applause from the audience.

But that is nothing compared to the efforts of Frances Rice of the National Black Republican Association, who prefers flat out lying about it:

The 30-year odyssey of the South switching to the Republican Party began in the 1970s with President Richard Nixon's "Southern Strategy," which was an effort on the part of Nixon to get Christians in the South to stop voting for Democrats who did not share their values and were still discriminating against their fellow Christians who happened to be black.

As we asked once before:

The obvious question raised by all of this is not why the Democrats are reluctant to discuss it, but why right-wingers who are obsessed with it never manage to explain the so-called “Southern Strategy” employed by Richard Nixon to win over traditional Southern Democrats who were angry by the party’s emerging pro-civil rights positions. As Nixon strategist Kevin Phillips explained it:

From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don't need any more than that... but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That's where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats.

Ronald Regan’s strategist Lee Atwater was even more blunt about the reasoning behind the strategy:

“You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘Nigger, nigger, nigger,’ ” said Atwater. “By 1968, you can’t say ‘nigger’ — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things, and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.”

It's amazing to see this sort of right-wing propaganda being spread on the floor of the House of Representatives. 

Amazing, but sadly not surprising.

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Law Prof Challenged on Deceptive Anti-Marriage Testimony

Among those who testified against marriage equality legislation before the Council of the District of Columbia was Washington & Lee University Law Professor Robin Fretwell Wilson.  Wilson is also a member of the Virginia Marriage Commission, which is affiliated with the Family Foundation of Virginia, a Religious Right group.

Councilmember David Catania has written Prof. Wilson a hard-hitting letter challenging her "blatant mischaracterization" and misapplication of previous court cases.  Wilson said that court cases had required that police officers be allowed to claim religious exemption to avoid having to defend a casino or an abortion clinic, but according to Catania's letter, she got the cases absolutely wrong.
 
Catania pulled no punches:
 
I am further concerned that your misrepresentations may not have been accidental or inadvertent. Rather, your purported legal analysis and ethical judgment appear to be clouded by your political agenda. You are a member of the Virginia Marriage Commission, an organ of the Family Foundation of Virginia. The Family Foundation's stated goal is to promote the ideal that marriage "is the union between one man and one woman, [and] is an institution of God and a foundation of civil society." One of your colleagues at the Foundation is Maggie Gallagher, one of this country's most virulent opponents of marriage equality. The Foundation's partners include other well known right-wing organizations including the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, and the Alliance Defense Fund. In addition to opposing marriage equality, the Foundation opposes embryonic stem cell research, opposes the use of emergency contraceptives, and promotes the defunding of Planned Parenthood. Your failure to disclose your involvement with this organization, combined with your blatant misrepresentations before the Council, leads me to question the independence of your analysis.
 
Ouch!
 
Wilson’s uber-lame response, as reported by the Washington Post’s DC Wire was to call Catania’s letter “kind of nasty” and to say “it’s possible I misstated something.”
 
You think? She may have some other opportunities to defend her flawed testimony. Here’s how Catania’s letter ends.
 
 In closing, I am concerned about the ethical implications of your behavior and strongly caution you to consider your professional obligations of competency and candor. The democratic process depends upon an honest dialogue and open disclosure. As a professor of law, you should know better.
 
And, as DC Wire notes, Catania did not restrict his letter to Wilson herself:
 
To make his point, Catania sent a copy of his letter to Robert A. Smolla, the president of Washington & Lee, and Rodney A. Smolla, the dean of the law school. He also copied the letter to the Chief Disciplinary Council for the State Bar of Texas, where Wilson is licensed to practice law.

Liberty University Take Credit for VA House Win

Last year, Jerry Falwell Jr. declared that he wanted to see Liberty University "go down in history as the college that elected a president" and set about registering students to vote, canceling classes on election day, and busing them to the polls. 

It didn't matter, as John McCain lost the state of Virginia, but Falwell was undetered and decided to do the same thing this year, canceling classes and busing students to the polls:

Liberty senior Caleb Mast, chairman of the College Republican club at Liberty University, worked past 4 a.m. Tuesday putting up campaign signs on campus and at Heritage Elementary School.

He returned to Heritage — the voting site for on-campus Liberty students — by 6:45 a.m. to greet student voters arriving by the busload.

As many as 3,200 LU students were eligible to vote. Mast said he kept an unofficial tally at Heritage and counted upwards of 800 student voters when he left at 5 p.m. More than 2,300 votes were cast at the precinct altogether.

To encourage a high turnout, Liberty cancelled classes and ran buses between the campus and the voting precinct every few minutes. The school did not keep track of how many students went to the polls, said Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr.

And while there was no presidential election at stake this time around, Mat Staver, Dean of Liberty University School of Law, declares that their efforts were responsible for delivering the local House of Delegates race for the Republican candidate:

In dramatic fashion, Virginia ushered in three pro-life, pro-family, conservative Republican candidates -- Governor-elect Bob McDonnell, Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Conservative Republican candidates picked up five state House of Delegates seats, including a dramatic come-from-behind victory for Scott Garrett in Lynchburg, who unseated the Democratic incumbent, Shannon Valentine. Valentine was ahead by about 1,400 votes after 19 of the 20 precincts were counted. After the final precinct votes were counted at Heritage Elementary School, Garrett jumped ahead by 210 votes. The stunning victory is attributed solely to the voting block of the students, faculty and staff at Liberty University. Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. encouraged the students at Liberty to register and vote locally, resulting in more than 3,000 new voters. The majority of the students vote in Precinct 20 at Heritage Elementary School. The students voted for pro-life and pro-family values and for limited government.

Maine Has Made Matt Barber Proud

The results from yesterday's various elections are rather a mixed bag: Republican gubernatorial candidates won in New Jersey and Virginia, while right-wing darling Doug Hoffman lost in New York. The anti-discrimination ordinance passed in Kalamazoo and the domestic partnership law in Washington appears to be winning as well, while the right-wing effort to repeal marriage equality in Maine was victorious.

And to make that loss even more bitter, we are now going to be subject to a bevy of hateful press releases like this typically classless one from Liberty Counsel's Matt Barber:

Matt Barber, Director of Cultural Affairs with both Liberty Counsel and Liberty Alliance Action, issued the following statement on news that the voters of Maine have rejected counterfeit “same-sex marriage” by 53% - 47%:

“There’s good news and bad news here,” said Barber. “The good news is that even in one of the most liberal States in the Union, Maine, the people have once again rejected the ridiculous and oxymoronic notion of ‘same sex marriage.’ The momentum has again shifted – hopefully for good this time – in favor of protecting legitimate marriage.

"A counterfeit is a counterfeit. An orange is an orange no matter how much you want it to be a turnip. This isn’t about ‘marriage.’ It’s about hurting and broken people desperately seeking affirmation of an objectively deviant lifestyle. One that, even in their heart of hearts, they know to be a dead end. As for the militant ‘No on 1’ homosexual activists? I’m reminded of spoiled children dressing up and playing house, refusing to come in when mom calls for dinner".

“Here’s the bad news. The margin of victory could have been greater. Many behind the ‘Yes on 1’ campaign, rather than simply telling the truth, chose the Neville Chamberlain approach. They merely circled the wagons around the word ‘marriage,’ even suggesting that ‘domestic partnerships’ (‘gay marriages’ by another name) are acceptable. This makes no sense. If that’s a viable compromise, then why not simply allow 'gay' duos the word ‘marriage’? It’s an incongruity that demands an explanation.

"This is an historic battle for the minds and souls of our children – for our very culture. The mealy-mouthed approach must end. This is not just about ‘marriage.’ It has everything to do with forced affirmation of homosexuality – under penalty of law.

"Indeed everyone who fought hard to defend marriage in Maine is to be congratulated, but if it weren’t for a brave group of truth tellers – Paul Madore, Peter LaBarbera and Brian Camenker – who came to Maine in the final hour to hold a press conference and address the pink elephant in the room – homosexual deviancy and the radical ‘gay’ agenda – counterfeit marriage might have prevailed."

Even in victory, Barber is simply incapable of demonstrating even an iota of class or respect.

Reed and Robertson Take Care Of One Of Their Own

A few months back I wrote a post about how when Bob McDonnell won a seat to the Virginia House of Delegates back back in 1991, Ralph Reed and the Christian Coalition cited that victory as proof of the effectiveness of their "guerrilla warfare" election strategy.

So that explains why Reed has been so active in Virginia now that McDonnell is seeking to become Virginia's Governor ... and also why Pat Robertson and his family have dumped tens of thousands of dollars into his campaign:

Republican gubernatorial nominee Bob McDonnell received a trio of last-minute donations totaling $40,000 from religious broadcaster Pat Robertson, his son and daughter-in-law.

Robertson contributed $25,000 on Oct. 20, according to the Virginia Public Access Project, a nonpartisan tracker of money in politics. His son, Tim, donated $5,000 Friday for in-kind services (listed as catering) and his wife, Lisa, donated $10,000 to McDonnell today.

Ralph Reed Is Back In Business

Yesterday we noted that Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition has been extremely active in mobilizing conservative voters ahead of Virginia's election and had even gotten Sarah Palin to record a robocall on its behalf.

Today, via the Brody File, we find out that Reed has also gotten Mike Huckabee to do the same:

We told you yesterday that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin recorded a phone message encouraging Virginians to get out and vote on Tuesday.

Now, we have learned that a conservative group affiliated with former Christian Coalition founder Ralph Reed asked both Palin and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee to make calls to nearly 700,000 voters in Virginia.

The Huckabee calls were made Saturday and the Palin calls were made Sunday and today.

You can hear the Huckabee calls here:

Hello, this is Mike Huckabee and I'm calling to urge you to go to the polls Tuesday and vote for the candidates who reflect your values. Virginia, and America, are at a crossroads. The future of our nation is at stake, and on the issue of taxes and spending, the sanctity of life, and marriage, there are very clear choices.  Be an informed and educated voter and be sure and vote your values this Tuesday.  Thank You. Paid for by the Virginia Faith and Freedom Coalition.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Think Progress: Doug Hoffman Praises Glenn Beck As His ‘Mentor.’
  • Speaking of Hoffman, it was just a month ago when the GOP was saying lots of not-so-nice things about him.
  • Rep. Virginia Foxx declares that "we have more to fear from the potential of that [healthcare] bill passing than we do from any terrorist right now in any country."
  • Sarah Posner: Religious Right Very Much Alive in Tomorrow's Elections.
  • Nate Silver puts Yes on 1 in Maine at about a 5-to-2 underdog.
  • Suzy Khimm: Is Bart Stupak Really Willing to Make an Abortion Compromise?
  • Finally, take a look at TPM's slideshow of the items tried to auction on eBay to raise money for Scott Roeder.
Syndicate content