Voting

Right Wing Leftovers

  • A father and son have been arrested with threatening to kill Rep. Bart Stupack for voting for health care reform, saying they would "paint the Mackinaw [sic] Bridge with the blood of you and your family members."
  • The Duggars will receive the first ever "Pro-Family Entertainment Award" at the Family Research Council's fifth annual Values Voter Summit.
  • Speaking of FRC, they are launching a new website that "tracks state legislation related to issues of importance to families, including religious liberty, abortion, homosexuality, domestic violence, the sanctity of marriage, embryonic research, pornography and education."
  • Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition seems to think that he ought to have the right to protest on private property ... and is threatening to sue.
  • Behold what sort of nonsense passes for political analysis from Gary Bauer.
  • Do you know what the AFA's Tim Wildmon doesn't like?  Political Correctness.
  • Finally, I would just like to tell Rod Parsley and his Center for Moral Clarity that "Bill Gates" is not our Secretary of Defense.  That job belongs to Robert Gates.

Backwell: Paul a Victim of a "High Tech Lynching"

Ken Blackwell has come running to Rand Paul's defense, desperately trying to explain away Paul's post-primary claims that he didn't support the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the idea of the government combating discrimination in private enterprises in general.

Or at least that seems to be Blackwell's goal, though it is hard to say as his "defense" is utterly incoherent:

[Rand Paul] a grilling from one end of the chattering class to the other about his supposed opposition to the great Civil Rights Act of 1964. It is a fact that he stumbled in some of his answers to questions about individual titles of that act. Dr. Paul was not alive when the act was debated in front of the whole country in 1964. He needs to bone up on his history.

But the high tech lynching that is taking place now is of a piece with what the liberal media put Clarence Thomas through in 1991. Because Judge Thomas is an original construction jurist, he was seen as a threat by liberal activists. Because Justice Thomas is black, he is vilified by leftists who believe that all minorities must support their left wing causes.

I have literally no idea what that is supposed to mean ... and it only gets worse, as this is the best "defense" of Paul that Blackwell was able to come up with:

Dr. Paul is an opthalmologist. He is expert on astigmatism. What we can clearly see is the moral astigmatism of the left. For example: As a state senator in Illinois, Barack Obama voted not once but repeatedly against giving civil rights protection to newborns who survived abortion attempts. Many of these newborns were black. We know that the abortion license has produced a shockingly disparate impact in the black community. The rate of abortion is 3:1, black-to-white.

The Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is one of the three post-Civil War amendments (along with the Thirteenth and Fifteenth) that deserve to be regarded as a Magna Carta for black Americans. The Fourteenth Amendment says that all persons “born in the United States” are citizens of the United States and of the states in which they reside.

This clear intent of the framers did not matter to state senator Obama. He voted against his state’s version of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act. Was Obama hauled before media tribunals to explain his radical position? Not in the least. The liberal media--which views Obama as “a sort of God” (in the words of Newsweek’s Evan Thomas)--not only did not grill him on this shockingly radical position, they actively covered up his voting record.

You can see the moral astigmatism in the premises of all these liberal interrogators of Rand Paul.

Again, what relevance this is supposed to have to the statements made by Paul is utterly beyond me. As is Blackwell's conclusion that "Paul needs to learn history" simply so he can "avoid 'gotcha' journalists like Rachel Maddow" but that he doesn't need to do that by "reading most U.S. history textbooks" which take a "grim and oppressive view" of America's past.

Blackwell then claims that is was "conservative Republicans [who] joined with liberal Democrats to pass the great Civil Rights Act of 1964" (huh?) and that "the liberal media is trying to sandblast Ev Dirksen’s name from the Senate Office Building named for him" (double huh?):

We can’t let them do it. And helping Rand Paul is one way to stop the left from re-writing history.

Normally, when faced with a column full of falsehoods like this, I'd attempt to set the record straight ... but in this case, Blackwell has written a piece so fundamentally incoherent as to make any such effort absolutely impossible.

Liberty University Fails To Gain Control of Lynchburg City Council

Despite having spent months registering students and alumni to vote and urging them to participate in the election for three open city council seats in an effort to gain majority control, even going so far as to hold a special convocation and cancel classes yesterday, it looks like Liberty University's efforts to use its voting power to take over the Lynchburg City Council failed badly: 

Liberty University junior Caroline Biggs posted herself in front of a fleet of poll-bound buses on campus, waving a homemade sign that read “Vote Republican: Cary, Hannon, Good.”

Behind her, hundreds of LU students boarded the buses bound for Heritage Elementary School, the polling pace for LU’s on-campus students.

The students had just emerged from LU’s special Election Day convocation where Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. joined forces with Del. Scott Garrett, R-Lynchburg, in urging the students to vote. To boost participation in the election, LU canceled classes until 2 p.m. and sent out e-mails and texts through its emergency alert system reminding students to vote.

Of more than two dozen students interviewed for this article, the majority voted the Republican ticket — Hunsdon “H.” Cary, Ted Hannon and Don Good — who were popularly coined the “pro-Liberty candidates.” Students cited property restrictions on LU, taxes and moral values as their top issues.

While the Republican slate dominated the Heritage precinct, Hannon and Good failed to garner enough votes citywide for one of three at-large council seats. Nor did LU student Brent Robertson, who netted 588 votes at the Heritage precinct and finished last in the eight-way race.

The election winners were Mayor Joan Foster, Interim Councilman Randy Nelson, and Cary. 

Cary finished third and his two pro-Liberty running mates finished fourth and fifth.

NOM, FRC, Harry Jackson Continue to Fight Against Marriage In DC

The Family Research Council has sent out an action alert announcing an anti-marriage equality rally tomorrow ahead of oral arguments at the D.C. Court of Appeals:

The battle for marriage in D.C. and America rages, and God's people have a voice in the outcome. As participating members of the Stand4MarriageDC executive committee I would like to ask you to join the citizens of the District of Columbia and our nation's capital to rally and show your support for marriage between one man and one woman.

Here are the details:

WHAT: "Let the People Vote" Marriage Hearing/Rally and Press Event

WHEN: Tuesday, May 4, 2010, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

WHERE: District of Columbia Court of Appeals (430 E St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001)

WHO: Stand4MarriageDC Coalition

Did you know that the citizens of D.C. have the same authority as the D.C. City Council to create a law? Well that's what the court hearing on the "Marriage Initiative of 2009" and rally is about!

Once again, thank you for your continued concern and engagement on the D.C. Marriage issue. We need your help in showing support and shining the spotlight on same-sex "marriage" in the District of Columbia. Please join me, members of The Stand4MarriageDC Coalition (Bishop Harry Jackson), and local pastors for a rally and press event on this important issue. While some will fill the seats of the courtroom, others will fill the sidewalks to show support of marriage!

Your participation in this rally is important as we join to defend marriage. You can help reverse the course of marriage re-definition in our nation's capital and America by coming out and supporting the effort. A little bit of effort will go a long way in defending marriage.

We need you there! Wear white to show unity! Join us tomorrow -- Tuesday May 4th, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. for the D.C. Court's hearing on the "Marriage Initiative of 2009" to determine if the people have a right to vote on Marriage in D.C. The en banc oral arguments will be heard in the ceremonial courtroom of the D.C. Court of Appeals. So all nine judges will be present to hear the case and plea to "Let the People Vote"!

If you believe the citizens of D.C. should be allowed to vote on the redefinition of marriage, then we need you there!

The National Organization for Marriage will be joining them:

Join us Tuesday at 9am in front of the DC Court of Appeals as we rally for marriage!

On Tuesday morning, the Court of Appeals will be hearing the appeal in the DC Marriage Initiative case. As the media covers the arguments inside, NOM is joining Bishop Harry Jackson (also lead plaintiff in the case) and the Stand4Marriage DC team in calling on all marriage supporters to come together in a public display of support for marriage and for the rights of DC voters.

Join us for this historic event, as our coalition comes together across all racial, religious, and party lines to affirm the importance of marriage. Help support the African-American pastors and voters who have taken the lead in this important civil rights struggle to protect marriage and the voting rights of DC citizens. Over the past months, NOM has been contributing to Democratic city council candidates willing to stand for marriage, and on Tuesday Democrats and Republicans alike will come together in common cause to protect marriage.

Please join us!

We will gather at 9am outside the DC Court of Appeals (430 E St. NW), just four blocks west of Union Station and around the corner from the Judiciary Square Metro station. I will be joining Bishop Jackson and others in speaking at the event, as we fight to protect marriage in our nation's capital.

Glenn Beck Has the Right Message for Liberty U's Graduation

I've been noting recently how Liberty University seems to be transforming itself into something of a political organization as it is taking credit for delivering local elections, using its voting power to target the local city council, and even actively working to turn its student body into the "future leaders" of the Religious Right movement.

Along the same lines, Glenn Beck has been tapped to deliver the commencement address at LU's graduation in a few weeks and some right-wing activists are upset that a Mormon like Beck would be asked to speak at a Christian university ... and LU's defense of the decision seems rather telling

Liberty University spokesman Johnnie Moore responds by saying that Beck was chosen because he is right for the event.

"In this time period, where it seems like so many in the United States are embracing a larger government and socialist tendencies, Glenn Beck is one of the people out there who is sort of championing traditional American values and [the] perception of the United States of limited government and of freedom," Moore explains.

LU apparently thinks that what its graduates need to hear on graduation day are the rabid ravings of a McCarthyite propagandist convinced that Barack Obama and the Democrats are intent on turning America into a Nazified socialist state.

Bishop E.W. Jackson Vows To Rescue Black Americans From the "Coalition of the Godless"

Bishop E.W. Jackson is, even by right-wing standards, something of a fringe figure. He seems to have some ties to Rick Scarborough and appeared on Janet Porter's radio program not too long ago.

He is also Founder of Exodus Faith Ministries and last year founded something called Staying True to America's National Destiny [S.T.A.N.D] and was among the participants at the right-wing anti-hate crimes rally last year, where he railed against the legislation as the result of a "virulent strain of anti-Christian bigotry and hatred."

But today, Jackson announced his most grandiose plan yet with the formation of the STAND AMERICA PAC though which he is "declaring political war on the Democrat Party and the liberal Congressional Black Caucus" as part of an effort to end the deception that is causing the black community to support the "Coalition of the godless": 

Bishop E.W. Jackson Sr., retired attorney and Harvard Law graduate, is declaring political war on the Democrat Party and the liberal Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). Bishop Jackson, having fought for pro-life and pro-family causes for 25 years, has entered fully into the political arena by forming a political action committee. The top priority of STAND AMERICA PAC, formed on April 1, 2010, is to recruit and support conservative black candidates to run against liberals in Congressional Black Caucus districts.

Says Bishop Jackson, "The black community has been deceived into voting for liberal black leadership which does not reflect their values." Jackson's strategy is to have black voters register as independents and vote their Christian values. He argues that the black voter is a conservative church going person. "This was shown by the large black vote for Proposition 8 to ban homosexual marriage in California. The black legislative leaders supported it, but the black voters did not. What does that tell us? These leaders are out of touch with the people. It is time to vote them out."

According to Bishop Jackson, CBC members insult the black community by "conflating the black struggle for civil rights with the demands of radical homosexuals for marriage and other special rights." He calls it "one of the most preposterous frauds ever perpetrated on a people." In a recent speech before a black Christian men's group in Williamsburg, Virginia, Bishop Jackson said, "Homosexuals have no history of slavery, Jim Crow, lynching or being legally defined as 2/3 of a person. I have known people who have been delivered from homosexuality. I have never known anyone to be delivered from being black. The Democrat Party's commitment to abortion, homosexuality and moral relativism is an affront to the values of the black Christian community. It is a 'Coalition of the godless.' Black Christians do not belong in a 'coalition of the godless,' and should not vote for those who are."

Bishop Jackson says the time has ended when getting elected to Congress in the black community requires no more than being a Democrat and play the race card. He says, "We must demand that representatives of the black community start respecting the values of the people who elect them. STAND AMERICA PAC has been formed to make sure that happens."

Liberty University Focused On Lynchburg City Council Election

Over the last few weeks, we been tracking Liberty University's attempts to pressure the Lynchburg City Council to do its bidding by demanding that it move the polling place right onto campus for the benefit of LU students and by urging council members to quickly change LU's zoning status, which it asserts is stifling the school's growth, before the election early next month, going so far as to secretly record a conversation LU leaders had with city officials.

Through it all, LU has been engaged in a massive voter registration drive of students and been making it quite clear that they are expected to vote in the upcoming city council election (undoubtedly for candidates who will do LU 's bidding on the board):

Thanks to Liberty University’s aggressive get-out-the-vote efforts, this spring marks the first City Council election in Lynchburg history where college students could emerge as a major voting bloc ... The biggest concern among those students: how restrictions on LU’s growth will affect student tuition. LU officials argue that the city’s conditional use permit process, which applies to all Lynchburg-area colleges, will place an undue financial burden on Liberty as the school grows, and may result in higher tuition for students.

It’s a deciding factor of Andrew Neber, a sophomore from Wilmington, Del., who plans to vote for Mayor Joan Foster and LU student Brent Robertson in the City Council race for three at-large seats. (He is undecided about the third).

“We should be allowed to grow past 12,000 students rather than spend $8 million on improvements that are not really necessary,” Neber said.

“I love this school, and I love the city of Lynchburg … I think that it’d be pretty awesome if we (LU) could achieve that goal of reaching 25,000 students. It’s one that I think would benefit the entire city and can only bring good things.”

On campus, the City Council race has dominated the news pages of the student newspaper and has been a recurring topic at LU’s thrice-a-week morning convocation.

In late March, Liberty launched a two-day voter registration drive that resulted in several hundred new on-campus voters, pushing the total number of registered voters with a campus address to more than 4,250.

The city will have to wait for Election Day to see if Liberty University students will play a deciding factor in the outcome. Either way, candidates are treating them as a voting constituency that must be taken seriously.

Citywide, Lynchburg has 48,522 registered voters, which means that nearly 10% of all registered voters in Lynchburg are Liberty U students ... and that is not even LU students with an off-campus address. 

As LU representatives have already made clear, the school is fully prepared to use their voting power to replace city council members who will not do their bidding: 

McRorie says resolving LU's rezoning before the election could relieve some of the pressure on a divisive issue.

When asked if the representatives on council don't vote in favor of this rezoning, the voters in the Liberty community will effectively vote them out of council, McRorie responded, "I think that's a distinct possibility, I think one could draw that conclusion."

McDonnell Goes Home, Complains That His Critics Are "Uncivil and Partisan"

Yesterday, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell went running home to Pat Robertson and his Regent University to complain that his critics are "unnecessarily uncivil and partisan":

Gov. Bob McDonnell said Tuesday that harsh critics of his plan to overhaul how Virginia reinstates voting rights for felons are being "unnecessarily uncivil and partisan."

McDonnell swung through Hampton Roads Tuesday for a leadership luncheon at Regent University, the mid-Atlantic DUI conference in Virginia Beach and an engineering gathering at Old Dominion University.

The daylong tour was a welcome respite for McDonnell, who has endured national scrutiny and criticism for recent Richmond controversies. Last week, McDonnell was forced to apologize for issuing a Confederate History Month proclamation that did not mention slavery.

"It's been a busy few weeks," McDonnell told a crowd of 500 at Regent.

And of course Robertson was there to personally welcome McDonnell back:

Gov. Bob McDonnell, R-Va., made a trip this week to the place that helped start his political career. He was the featured speaker for Regent University's Executive Leadership Series in Virginia Beach, Va.

"It's the most votes for any candidate for governor in the history of Virginia," said Regent University and CBN founder Dr. Pat Robertson. "I am very proud that this gentleman is also a distinguished alumnus of Regent University."

...

The governor also said successful leaders have certain traits, including a good attitude and a focus on results, not rhetoric. He added that leaders also need to put people first and engage in what he called "servant leadership." He cited the Bible as his point of reference.

"It reflects those words of Jesus, who said that the greatest among you is the servant of all, and the fact that He came not to be served, but to serve," McDonnell said. "I think that is the model for servant leadership."

Ultra Right-Wing Texas Activist Promises Green Will Fight "Obama on the Path to Socialism"

A few weeks ago, we noted how Texas Supreme Court hopeful Rick Green was touting the support of local ultra-right-wing activist Steve Hotze, the man who was behind the anti-gay mailings targeting Houston mayoral candidate Annise Parker last year and believes, among other things, that "medical problems are frequently caused by personal sin."

Now, as the date of the run-off election approaches, Hotze has sent out an email touting his support of Green:

Now Steven Hotze, a Houston Christian arch-conservative, is sending out endorsements for Green. Hotze made news late last year for sponsoring mailers urging Houston voters to reject now-Mayor Anise Parker because she was endorsed by a gay and lesbian caucus.

As President of the Conservative Republicans of Texas, Hotze said he likes Green's clear-cut conservative stands. "Unlike most judicial candidates, we do not have to guess about Rick's philosophy or convictions," Hotze wrote.

The email that Hotze is sending calls Green "the true conservative choice" in the election and promises that he'll be a "vote against a liberal judiciary who will march lock step with Obama on the path to socialism":

Early Voting is already underway in the Republican Primary Runoff across Texas, and our outstanding conservative candidate for the Texas Supreme Court, Place 3, Rick Green needs your support and VOTE during this crucial week. Please make time to go out and vote as soon as possible, as the early voting will only last through this Friday, April 9th.

Rick Green emerged from the March primary as the top vote getter, because he represents the true conservative choice in this election. He has the right experience, at the right time for the Texas Supreme Court. Rick is a proven, conservative leader with a constitutional understanding of our founding principles. We need that type of leader in every branch of government, especially the judiciary, as we fight to put an end to the march of socialism across our country.

As a State Representative, Rick Green had a clear, consistent, conservative record. He earned pro-life and pro-family awards, Second Amendment and property rights awards, and the Fighter for Free Enterprise award. Unlike most judicial candidates, we do not have to guess about Rick's philosophy or convictions.

Like many other justices who started on the Supreme Court with no prior judicial experience (including our current Chief Justice), Rick Green brings a wide variety of experiences that will be valuable to the court and serve us well. Rick has been a businessman, attorney, mediator, arbitrator, state representative, speaker, teacher, and author. Recently-retired Supreme Court Justice Scott Brister says, "We need judges who will not wilt under pressure, or change their opinions to please the newspapers. Rick Green will be that kind of judge. His service in the Texas Legislature gives him a perspective on Texas law that no other member of the Supreme Court has. I urge Texas Republicans to support him in the April 13th runoff."

His strength of character, is among the many reasons why Rick is endorsed by most of the grassroots conservative leaders in Texas, including Richard Ford, David Barton, Tim Lambert, Kelly Shackelford, Carol Everett, Chuck Norris, Judge Paul Pressler, Peggy Venable, Michael Quinn Sullivan, and many more (see www.RickGreen2010.com for a full list).

And it is my pleasure to endorse him as well, as President of Conservative Republicans of Texas.

Early voting continues this week only, from today through Friday, April 9th. Runoff Election Day is Tuesday, April 13th. I urge you to stand with me in support of Rick Green , to ensure that our Texas Supreme Court will be served by a man with the RIGHT kind of experience that we need in our judiciary.

Every single vote counts, and every vote for Rick Green brings is a vote against a liberal judiciary who will march lock step with Obama on the path to socialism. Rick needs your vote and your support. Please visit his website at www.RickGreen2010.com and sign up to participate in his campaign and learn more information.

With much appreciation, I remain, as always,

Sincerely yours,

Steven F. Hotze, M.D.
President, Conservative Republicans of Texas
http://www.conservativerepublicansoftexas.com

Panicked At the Prospect of Green, Texas Legal Professionals Bankroll His Opponent

It seems as if legal professionals in Texas have become quite alarmed by the prospect that Rick Green could end up on the state's Supreme Court and have been dumping money into his opponent's campaign, at least judging by the latest campaign finance reports:

In a race focused on who is better equipped to sit on the Texas Supreme Court, the state's legal profession has picked its candidate for the GOP runoff election: Debra Lehrmann, a Fort Worth state District Court judge.

In addition to getting solid backing by lawyers and law firms, Lehrmann raced to a huge fundraising advantage with support from an array of business and professional groups, collecting $278,000 in the five weeks since the March 2 primary, campaign finance reports show.

Opponent Rick Green, a former legislator and conservative activist from Dripping Springs, raised $74,774 in the same period, largely from smaller donations — many in the $5 to $50 range — solicited over the Internet.

Early voting runs through Friday. The runoff election is Tuesday.

54% of Lehrmann's donations have come from lawyers versus less than one percent of Green's, while nearly a quarter of Green's donations have come from out of state, which he attributes to his time traveling the country for Wallbuilders.

And since Green has been badly out-raised by his opponent, he's been spending his limited resources in places that provide the best chance of reaching his target audience:

Since the primary, Green has spent $5,000 on phone bank and computer services through the Heritage Alliance, a Texas organization that supports limited taxation and a Judeo-Christian heritage in government. Another $2,500 went for advertising on the "What's Up" show on KKHT , a Houston Christian radio station.

Behold David Barton's Constitutional "Expertise"

David Barton of Wallbuilders likes to fancy himself an expert on the Founding Fathers, especially as it pertains to questions regarding their Christian faith and the fundamentally Christian nature of the nation they created.

But Barton also considers himself an expert on the Constitution, which occasionally leads him make absurd claims based on ridiculous analysis, such as his recent argument that any member of Congress who supports working on the Sabbath is violating the Constitution and needs to be tossed out of office.

But that is nothing compared to the argument he put forward yesterday on his radio program, discussing with Rick Green his objection to the use of "deem and pass" in getting health care reform legislation passed on the grounds that the Constitution requires that all votes in the House and Senate require a recorded Yea or Nay vote:

Constitutionally you can't do this. And it's real simple because the Constitution specifies how Congress is to vote. And if you look at Article 1, Section 7, Paragraph 2, which is repeated in Article 1, Section 5, Paragraph 3 - and I don't mean to be throwing out numbers, but I do that just to say, hey, there are specific locations in the Constitution for this - those Constitutions [sic] say that the votes of both houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays.  In other words, you've got to go through and say "yes" or "no" individually ... The Constitution requires that those who have a voice have to sound their voice either as a Yea or a Nay ... and it also says that regardless of what House rules are, the Constitution says that if twenty percent of members of the House want a recorded vote, they get a recorded vote.

Now "deem and pass" is not a recorded vote ... that's not a vote on the bill, that's not Yeas and Nays, that is not a recorded vote on the issue ... You can't do it constitutionally.  The Constitution requires the yes and no votes on the particular issue. So we never should have even been at the place where we talked about "deem and pass," and what struck me was that nobody was citing the Constitution on it. 

Now, maybe the reason nobody was citing this "constitutional" argument is because Barton's analysis is laughably shoddy.

Let's take a look at Article 1, Section 7, Paragraph 2 (emphasis added): 

Every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a law, be presented to the President of the United States; if he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large on their journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a law. But in all such cases the votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the journal of each House respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the President within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law, in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their adjournment prevent its return, in which case it shall not be a law.

Clearly, the section lays out the rules for a Presidential veto and Congressional options for overriding such a veto and the requirement for a recorded vote of yeas and nays is in reference to veto override votes only.  It does not say that every vote requires a recorded vote of yea and nays; it merely say that in situations where Congress is attempting to override a presidential veto, those votes require require yeas and nays and must be recorded.

Yet, in Barton's analysis, this means that every vote Congress requires yeas and nays and must be recorded.

Barton also claims that his analysis is supported by Article 1, Section 5, Paragraph 3::

Each House shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such parts as may in their judgment require secrecy; and the yeas and nays of the members of either House on any question shall, at the desire of one fifth of those present, be entered on the journal.

Somehow, Barton gleans from this provision mandating the occasional publication of the House journal a requirement that every single vote requires a recorded yea or nay vote. 

Keep in mind that this is the sort of expertise that Barton brought to the Texas State Board of Education when he was named to serve on its panel of "experts" to redesign the state's social studies curriculum ... and that sort of constitutional expertise that Green wants to take onto the Texas Supreme Court.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Think Progress: Rep. Steve King and Glenn Beck agree: Voting for health reform on Sunday is ‘an affront to God.’
  • Samantha Thompson: Christian Coalition backs Sen. Graham on climate legislation.
  • Sarah Posner: Actor Stephen Baldwin Takes Christian Indoctrination to the Xtreme.
  • Joe.My.God: NOM Goes After DC Marriage Architect.
  • Finally, two posts from Good As You: the first on a resolution in the Kentucky legislature commending those who have signed The Manhattan Declaration; the second on the utterly bizarre development involving Concerned Women for America hawking nutritional supplements.

Preparing For the Inevitable Fight Over Immigration Reform

Yesterday, People For the American Way released our latest Right Wing Watch In Focus entitled "(P)reviewing the Right-Wing Playbook on Immigration Reform" which lays out the attacks the Right used to fight efforts at immigration reform in the past and will undoubtedly deploy again the issue is taken up by Congress in the near future: 

The public debate over comprehensive immigration reform in 2006 and 2007 was marked by appalling anti-immigrant rhetoric and was accompanied by a rise in anti-Latino hate crimes tracked by the FBI. In a report last year, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights called "the legitimization and mainstreaming of virulently anti-immigrant rhetoric" one of the "most disturbing developments of the past few years." Among the pundits promoting "fear and loathing" on cable television was Glenn Beck, who said "our country is on fire, and the fuel is illegal immigration." Since then, the swine flu scare and the deep economic recession in the United States have given right-wing opponents of comprehensive immigration reform new fuel for inflaming anti-immigrant and anti-Latino sentiment. In September 2008, for instance, right-wing pundit Michelle Malkin even blamed "illegal immigrants" for the mortgage crisis.

The 2006-2007 push for comprehensive immigration reform was supported by the Bush administration, much of America's business and labor establishments, and congressional leaders from both parties. But in spite of that broad support, the passage of reform was derailed by right-wing pundits who inflamed anti-immigrant sentiment, some members of Congress who gleefully participated in the fearmongering, and others who were simply afraid to resist it.

In October 2008, the Anti-Defamation League criticized anti-immigrant groups for utilizing the strategies of hate groups and "resorting to hateful and dehumanizing stereotypes and outright bigotry to demonize immigrants." To the categories identified by the ADL we can now add demagoguery over the swine flu virus and exploitation of the nation's economic woes.

Here is a review of the rhetorical strategies used to inflame anti-immigrant sentiment and build political opposition to comprehensive immigration reform.

The report lays out nine specifc attacks the Right has used in the past to kill immigration reform legislation:

1: Appeal to Racial Fear and The 'Brown' Threat to 'White' America - "What is happening to us? An immigrant invasion of the United States from the Third World, as America's white majority is no longer even reproducing itself." - Pat Buchanan

2: Appeal to Racial Resentment by Portraying Immigrant Rights Advocates as Racists -- "[NCLR is] the Ku Klux Klan of the Hispanic people" - Michael Savage

3: Portray Immigrants and Their Supporters as Invaders, Conquerors, Enemies of the U.S. - "The homegrown multiculti-mau-mau-ers know exactly what they believe, and they know exactly what they are doing. They aim to mainstream the 'Stolen Land' mantra and pervert history. They aim to obliterate America's borders by sheer demographic and political force." - Michelle Malkin

4: Portray Immigrants as Criminals and Terrorists - "Illegal immigration" is a "slow-motion Holocaust," and a "slow-motion terrorist attack on the United States." - Congressman Steve King

5: Portray Immigrants as Carriers of Disease and Weapons of Bio-Terrorism - "The next time you eat in a restaurant or sleep in a hotel or motel....just remember to bring your own food, dishes, untensils [sic], glasses, towels, and maybe your own water. The person who cooked your meal or made your bed may very well be the one who picked your fruit and vegetables, yesterday....and we've heard the stories about what they do in the fields....haven't we?" - Mothers Against Illegal Aliens

6: Stop Reform by Shouting 'Amnesty' - "'Comprehensive' is the code word for amnesty." - Pat Buchanan

7: Denigrate Reform Efforts as Vote-Buying -- "The Democrats know it's to their advantage to bring in Third World hordes who will one day become Democratic voters." - Rick Scarborough

8: Portray Anti-Immigrant Stance as 'Pro-Worker' (While Voting Against Worker Interests) -- "If they were not in the country, we wouldn't have to worry about emergency room or health insurance costs at all. And Americans would have these jobs." - Congressman Virgil Goode

9: Push Divisive Black-Brown Wedge - "[Illegal immigration is] the greatest threat to black people since slavery." - Ted Hayes

For those who are committed to passing much-needed immigration reform, it is vital to know the various strategies used by anti-immigrant, right-wing activists in the past ... and that is exactly what our latest report seeks to chronicle and analyze.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Pat Robertson wants it known that he did not blame the earthquake in Chile on the persecution of Augusto Pinochet.
  • It's amazing how quickly people go from "I don't care who you are, this is funny" to "I deeply apologize" when they get caught for sending out racist emails.
  • Today, California State Sen. Roy Ashburn admitted he was gay, but also defended his anti-gay voting record.
  • Hannah Giles will be a featured speaker at the Franklin County [PA] Republican Party's Lincoln Day Dinner.
  • Conservatives hit back at Liz Cheney and company over their attacks on Justice Department lawyers.
  • Finally, Joseph Farah declares the death of CPAC.

This Is What It Looks Like When Right-Wing Activists Run For Public Office

As I noted yesterday, Rick Green is poised for a run-off election next month for a seat on the Texas Supreme Court ... he is also a Chuck Norris approved, Tea Party Religious Right activist.

So what does it look like when someone like that decides to run for a seat on the state Supreme Court?  It looks a lot like this presentation where, unable to tout his judicial experience since he has none, Green instead assured the audience that his hard-core right-wing views would always drive his decision-making process on the bench and all they have to do is look at his long record of right-wing activism to know that there is no need to fear that he'll ever "become a David Souter": 

Something that makes me different from all the candidates in this race, and that is unlike most judicial candidates, you don't have to wonder about my philosophy. You don't have to guess what my convictions are or where I stand. You don't have to worry about voting for me and regretting it because I become a David Souter, the ultra-liberal on the United States Supreme Court, appointed by George Bush because everybody though he would be conservative.

It's not enough to say "I'm a conservative," you gotta look at the record. And with me, you can do that. You can look at my voting record when I was a state legislator; when I was a state rep I was considered the fourth most conservative in the legislature. I received the Eagle Forum's "Faith and Family Award." The Chamber of Commerce gave me the "Fighter for Free Enterprise Award." I was co-author of the Parental Notification Bill, I was always a 100% pro-lifer, I had property rights awards, Second Amendment awards.

... [Green talks about this endorsement he received from Charlton Heston] ...

I've also been with David Barton and WallBuilders for about ten years now, teaching on the Constitution, the original intent of the Founding Fathers, going back to the formula that made us successful and teaching that to folks, and author of books on the subject as well.

I'm also the founder of Patriot Academy, for ten years we've been training 16-25 year-olds in the Founding Father's philosophy so they have not only the right knowledge, but the skills to be effective at the process.

I want you to know that, as a former legislator, I respect the proper roles of the different branches. I will be the one sitting around the conference room table reminding my fellow Justices that it's the folks we elected to serve under that big pink dome, they're the ones supposed to make the law, our job is only to apply it

...

The bottom line is, you elect me to the Texas Supreme Court, you can count on me to fight for justice, to uphold the rule of law, but never to legislate from the bench.

No Surprise Here: Texas Republicans Want To See Public Acknowledgements of God

In addition to voting for candidates, those who participated in the Texas Republican primary earlier this week were also asked to vote on five questions that had been approved by the State Republican Executive Committee. As the Republican Party of Texas explained it, these were "critical issues" and the resolutions, though non-binding, were "the party's way of guaging [sic] support for issues, and for informing voters and elected officials where the party's grassroots stand on the issues."

In addition to questions about taxes and government growth was this one: 

Ballot Proposition #4: Public Acknowledgement of God 

The use of the word “God”, prayers, and the Ten Commandments should be allowed at public gatherings and public educational institutions, as well as be permitted on government buildings and property.

Guess what the result was?

Ballot Prop #4: Public Acknowledgement of God

YES - 95.14% (1,375,899)
NO -  4.85% (70,144)

Move Along, Nothing To See Here

I guess it should come as no surprise that the establishment conservatives are dismissing Ron Paul's victory in the CPAC straw poll as meaningless. 

While Paul sees his victory as "significant," others do not: 

Jason Mattera, spokesman for the Young America's Foundation (YAF), was a speaker at the event where more than half of the attendees who voted were between the ages of 18-25.

"Ron Paul, his supporters almost have a cult-like allegiance to him," Mattera comments. "They are a vocal minority. It was, I believe, less than 3,000 people who voted in the straw poll, even though there [were] 10,000 people at CPAC. It means nothing in terms of a favored candidate."

According to the YAF spokesman, the big draw at CPAC is not the politicians and their "canned speeches," but rather the "culture warriors" like Andrew Breitbart, Ann Coulter, and Glenn Beck, who "really inspire the crowd to take action." Mattera says he wishes Ron Paul would retire because he "has some very wacky, wacky ideas."

Keep in mind that Mattera is the one who spent his speech at CPAC accusing President Obama of using cocaine and called him "scrawny street agitator" and "jack-ass."

But it's not just Mattera dismissing Paul's win ... Gary Bauer is as well, arguing that Paul's supporters are Truthers and that Paul's views encourage that sort of "dangerous and deranged mindset":

[T]hen came surprising news that Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) won CPAC’s 2012 straw poll, which according to one report elicited “a cascade of boos” from the audience.

Let me add some perspective to this. First, not every attendee voted. The number of total votes cast was around 2,500, and Paul won 31% or roughly 775 votes out of the eight to ten thousand people there.

Second, it’s difficult to consider Ron Paul within the mainstream of American conservatism. While his views on limited government have some appeal, his voting record on values issues is abysmal. Paul opposed the marriage protection amendment, has voted against key pro-life legislation and critical national security issues, such as military tribunals for terrorists.

The producer of the Bauer and Rose radio show was at the CPAC convention all weekend, and he gave me this disturbing report: The Paul supporters were overwhelmingly young. That’s great. But Paul supporters of all ages were often “9/11 truthers.” That’s very bad. Many were openly spouting conspiracy theories that were favorites among leftists during the Bush years, accusing our own government of attacking us on 9/11.

Paul’s rhetoric and his many appearances on alternative radio shows often encourages this dangerous and deranged mindset. It is way beyond time for Ron Paul to publicly denounce the 9/11 truther movement and reject the support of those who adhere to such nonsense.

Paul was interviewed on CNBC this morning and said, “Why should we be looking for a war with the Iranians? What have they done to us? What are they capable of doing to us?” Let me remind Rep. Paul that Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. We know Iran is responsible for the deaths of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Its leaders routinely refer to the United States as “the great Satan.”

When the CNBC hosts said that the regime was pursuing nuclear weapons, Paul denied it three times, adding “Nobody’s proven that.” Somehow convinced that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s apocalyptic views will lend themselves to rational dialogue, Paul repeatedly insisted that we should follow Obama’s policy of reaching out diplomatically to our enemies, including the Iranians. This degree of delusional thinking is on par with that of European leaders who thought they could negotiate in good faith with Adolf Hitler.

I cannot fathom how any Ronald Reagan conservative could share these views, but I’d be happy to hear from those who think Paul is right.

If it's "difficult to consider Ron Paul within the mainstream of American conservatism," then how did Paul just win CPAC's straw poll, which Bauer himself describes as the quintessential gathering of mainstream American conservatism? 

"It's a free country and a free conservative movement," Mr. Bauer, a Christian conservative leader and former White House domestic policy adviser, told The Washington Times. "The people at CPAC represent the three legs of the conservative coalition - traditional values, economic- libertarian and strong national defense."

It seems that even Gary Bauer doesn't seem to know what to make of the fact that the conservative movement appears as if it is being taken over by right-wing fringe activists. 

While AU Asks IRS to Investigate LU, LU Presses For Its Own Polling Place

Back in 2008, we noted several times how Jerry Falwell Jr. sought to do what he could to deliver the state of Virginia to John McCain, from refusing to accommodate local Obama rallies while hosting McCain rallies to registering thousands of Liberty students so that Liberty University "could go down in history as the college that elected a president."

Despite Falwell's efforts, he couldn't deliver the state for McCain but a year later Liberty was able to take credit for delivering a Republican to the House of Representatives.

And now Americans United for Separation of Church and State is asking the IRS to look into Liberty's partisan activities:  

“We have documented a clear pattern of partisan intervention orchestrated by top Liberty officials,” said Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn. “I believe the evidence is clear that Liberty officials have violated the law.”

AU’s letter – the result of more than three months of investigating – makes the following allegations:

• Falwell and other university officials used Liberty Champion, ostensibly a student publication but one that is actually subject to university control, to run a series of articles attacking Valentine and endorsing Garrett.

• University officials twice arranged for a “voter guide” published by the Virginia Family Foundation to appear in the Champion. The guide distorted Valentine’s views and was stacked to endorse Garrett. Copies of the Oct. 27 issue of the newspaper were mailed to all Lynchburg residents.

• On Election Day, Ergun Caner, a top university official, drove around campus with the College Republicans, rounding up voters.

• Falwell and other Liberty officials later boasted that their actions had swayed the election to Garrett. They have vowed to intervene in future elections.

“This is one of the most blatant and dishonest attempts to influence an election by a non-profit religious organization I have ever seen,” Lynn said. “We hope the IRS acts swiftly to stop Liberty’s overt partisan politicking.”

In semi-related news, due to the massive increase in voters in the district due to Liberty's annual registration drives, LU has been pressing the Lynchburg City Council to move the polling place to somewhere that can better accommodate the crowds - i.e., somewhere that Liberty owns, like Thomas Road Church or a local LU-owned shopping center.

But the city council does not appear particularly keen to place the polling place in Liberty U's hands and so, of course, Falwell and LU students are outraged:

Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. is denouncing City Council’s recent rejection of two LU-backed polling place sites as a “travesty” designed to suppress the LU student vote.

“It’s obvious to me the goal was to discourage as many Ward III citizens from voting as possible,” Falwell said, renewing LU’s concerns that Lynchburg First Church of the Nazarene, the current leading contender for the new voting location, is inaccessible and unsafe.

“You have to ask yourself what is the motive of the five Democrats on council in choosing a difficult-to-find church on a residential road that is not equipped to handle this kind of traffic,” Falwell said. “Something smells bad.”

...

Falwell, who said his students were angry and offended over the way this has been handled, said Nelson’s motion was nothing more than a “little game.”

“It was all designed to kill it (LU’s recommendations) without coming out and saying it,” he said. “It was transparent, and our students see through it.”

“I think you’re going to see much more turnout among the students in May than you would have if they had just chosen a safe, convenient polling place … The site they did choose does just the opposite. It makes it more difficult and more unsafe for people to vote.”

LU’s Student Government Association sent out a notice and set up a Facebook group urging students to attend the hearing Tuesday.

In those messages, the association described the upcoming City Council elections as the most important in LU history and said the “anti-Liberty folks” on council appear to be trying to dilute their influence by choosing a bad polling place to discourage them from voting.

“It is important you attend this meeting. This outrage must be stopped,” read the e-mail, which noted that buses will be provided to take students to the hearing.

Anyone want to place any bets on whether Liberty decides to use its local voting power in future city council elections to try and take out council-members who won't do its bidding? 

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Politico has an excellent piece on the right-wing groups who have been funding and training activists like James O'Keefe.
  • The Washington Times reports that Janet Parshall is leaving Salem Radio Network to start up a new show with the Moody Broadcasting Network: "Some cited budget reasons on the part of Salem; others said it involved personality clashes and that Mrs. Parshall had gone through a string of producers during her 15 years with the network."
  • The ACLJ has opened yet another foreign office, this one in Kenya.
  • Focus on the Family is intent on wooing "millennials" at the upcoming CPAC conference.
  • Now that Liberty University students seemingly dominate their voting district, it only stands to reason that university officials are trying to get the place their polling place right on campus.
  • Finally, it must be nice to be a conservative activist who can rely on clueless talking points instead of having to worry about facts or having any idea what you are talking about.

The More Moderate, Less Heated Religious Right?

There are certain articles that seem to pop up on a semi-regular basis that I just can never understand. The first are the obligatory "The Religious Right is Dead" articles that get written every time the GOP loses an election ... and they are inevitable followed a few years later by articles marveling at the Right's miraculous resurrection.

The other articles I don't understand are more recent, beginning back when Mike Huckabee was running for president, in which it is asserted that the Religious Right is getting toning down its rhetoric and somehow broadening its agenda.

Articles like this:

Fire and brimstone evangelicalism has simmered down into a broader movement of cooler approaches.

Yet much of what has been said about the expanded political agenda and softer tone of evangelical Christians has missed the point, say observers of the Christian right.

"Every time a Democrat gets elected they say: 'That's the end of the Christian conservatives. They're gone,' " said D.C.-based Ethics and Public Policy Center vice president Michael Cromartie. "But they're not. Broadening their agenda doesn't mean they are suddenly liberal Democrats."

And evangelicals, Cromartie said, are not abandoning their core issues: traditional marriage and sanctity of life. "Climate change does not trump pro-life issues."

Although the rhetoric is gentler, the politics are the same. The money is going to lobby for the same things. The basic voting structure was largely unchanged in 2008, pollsters say.

"We want to be relevant to a new generation, but we plan to stay strong on the pillars Dr. James Dobson built at Focus on the Family," said Tom Minnery, the ministry's senior vice president of government and public policy.

...

Jim Daly, the 48-year-old head of Focus on the Family media ministry, is seen inside the conservative Christian organization as less authoritarian and more approachable than his predecessor, the 73-year- old Dobson.

Outside the organization, Cromartie said, Daly is seen as more affable and willing to seek common ground.

"As (Focus on the Family) tries to reach the next generation of young families, we're trying to use words that work," Minnery said.

What evidence is there that "fire and brimstone evangelicalism has simmered down"?  The article provides none.  

Have they even been paying attention to anything the Religious Right has been saying lately

As for the idea that Focus on the Family is moderating its tone, that remains to be seen.  James Dobson is still, for all intents and purposes, the voice of the organization and will remain so until he finally leaves next month.  If the organization does become more willing to seek common ground and less confrontational under Daly, that will certainly be newsworthy, but for now it is impossible to say.

If journalists want to declare that the Religious Right is moderating its tone and broadening its agenda, they ought to at least provide some evidence, because I haven't seen any.  If anything, the Right is getting more radical and its language more strident under Obama than it has ever been in recent years.

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Voting Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Monday 02/07/2011, 12:51pm
After Michael Steele’s failed attempt to give the GOP a “hip hop” makeover, many Republicans hoped newly-elected Congressman Allen West could boost the Party’s outreach to African American voters. Today, West expressed his concerns about DC residents’ lack of representation, as Washingtonians don’t have a voting member of Congress. In one of the first votes of the session, the Republican majority stripped the DC delegate’s ability to vote in House Committees, a move West supported. While West floated the idea of “an exclusionary zone”... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 02/07/2011, 12:51pm
After Michael Steele’s failed attempt to give the GOP a “hip hop” makeover, many Republicans hoped newly-elected Congressman Allen West could boost the Party’s outreach to African American voters. Today, West expressed his concerns about DC residents’ lack of representation, as Washingtonians don’t have a voting member of Congress. In one of the first votes of the session, the Republican majority stripped the DC delegate’s ability to vote in House Committees, a move West supported. While West floated the idea of “an exclusionary zone”... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 02/02/2011, 11:58am
Cindy Jacobs and Generals International have released a lengthy prayer guide for dealing with the crisis in Egypt, stating that "it is a HUGE error to think that these protests are about the Egyptians demanding democracy" and warning that Egyptians need to take a lesson from America about the "danger of blindly voting for un-delineated change, simply because of discontent with the present leadership":  With the Brotherhood coming across as the source of comforting benefits to the nation, the people are blindly agreeing to their order of doing business. The people are... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 02/02/2011, 11:58am
Cindy Jacobs and Generals International have released a lengthy prayer guide for dealing with the crisis in Egypt, stating that "it is a HUGE error to think that these protests are about the Egyptians demanding democracy" and warning that Egyptians need to take a lesson from America about the "danger of blindly voting for un-delineated change, simply because of discontent with the present leadership":  With the Brotherhood coming across as the source of comforting benefits to the nation, the people are blindly agreeing to their order of doing business. The people are... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 01/25/2011, 11:16am
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) said that his Republican Study Committee, the ultraconservative group that counts a majority of the GOP caucus as its members, told The Hill that he supports congressional action to reverse Washington DC’s marriage equality law. “I think RSC will push for it, and I’m certainly strongly for it,” the Ohio Republican said, “I don’t know if we’ve made a decision if I’ll do it or let another member do it, but I’m 100 percent for it.” Jordan voted against every major piece of gay-rights legislation and recently... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 01/25/2011, 11:16am
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) said that his Republican Study Committee, the ultraconservative group that counts a majority of the GOP caucus as its members, told The Hill that he supports congressional action to reverse Washington DC’s marriage equality law. “I think RSC will push for it, and I’m certainly strongly for it,” the Ohio Republican said, “I don’t know if we’ve made a decision if I’ll do it or let another member do it, but I’m 100 percent for it.” Jordan voted against every major piece of gay-rights legislation and recently... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 01/19/2011, 1:28pm
Yesterday, the Supreme Court rejected the challenge to Washington, DC's marriage equality law, much to the dismay of the Religious Right. But if you thought that was going to be the end of the challenge, think again, as the National Organization for Marriage today announced that it will continue to fight it and expects the new GOP majority in the House to help them: Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States denied an appeal by marriage defenders to the DC City Council’s implementation of same-sex marriage. Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage (... MORE