Mike Huckabee And Friends

I've written a lot of posts recently (and not so recently) about the sorts of right-wing figures that Mike Huckabee regularly associates with, especially in light of his upcoming appearance at the How To Take Back America Conference which is being hosted by a gaggle of radical right-wingers such as Rick Scarborough, Janet Porter, Phyllis Schlafly, Don Wildmon, and others.

One of those others is Mat Staver, who is the founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, the group that was selling the "proud to be a right-wing extremist" cards earlier this year, and who recently declared that gay marriage would lead to an entire generation of violent criminals and also blasted the state of Vermont for granting marrige equality, saying "if [elected officials] can't understand this basic human relationship between a man and a woman, then they absolutely are not competent for public office" and warning that "what we are seeing in America is literally the beginnings of another revolution" from the "silent majority" who will draw a line in the sand, leading to "another American Revolution."

Staver also served on Huckabee's Faith and Family Values Coalition during his presidential campaign. But it seems as if Huck's relationship with Staver is not limited purely to domestic political needs because, via Marc Ambinder, we see that the two of them are heading off to Israel together:

This February I am headed back again [with] my wife Janet, Mat Staver of the Liberty Counsel and Congressman Bob McEwen and anyone interested in seeing the Holy Land. This will be one of the most unique trips I have ever put together as it will not only include the biblical points of interests, but it also will provide a unique insight on the political and governmental aspects of the State of Israel, including an international town hall with government officials from Israel.

Staver has also been deeply involved in the Religious Right's efforts to scuttle any healthcare reform, both through the Freedom Federation and through his own group, Liberty Counsel.

Which brings us to this new FactCheck.org piece which took a look an email analyzing healthcare reform legislation that has been rocketing around conservative websites and inboxes for the last few weeks that FactCheck says is almost entirely false:

Our inbox has been overrun with messages asking us to weigh in on a mammoth list of claims about the House health care bill. The chain e-mail purports to give "a few highlights" from the first half of the bill, but the list of 48 assertions is filled with falsehoods, exaggerations and misinterpretations. We examined each of the e-mail’s claims, finding 26 of them to be false and 18 to be misleading, only partly true or half true. Only four are accurate.

...

We can trace the origins of this collection of claims to a conservative blogger who issued his instant and mostly mistaken analyses as brief "tweets" sent via Twitter as he was paging through the 1,017-page bill. The claims have been embraced as true and posted on hundreds of Web sites, and forwarded in the form of chain e-mails countless times. But there’s hardly any truth in them.

The conservative blogger to which FactCheck points is Peter Fleckenstein and his "Common Sense from a Common Man" blog at http://blog.flecksoflife.com.

As I was reading through the list of false claims that FactCheck examined, they seemed very familiar ... and in fact, they were.  And that is because Liberty Counsel recently released is own "analysis" of the healthcare reform legislation called "Obama Administration’s Health Care Plan." And just take a guess as to where most of the claims came from?

And, of course, once Liberty posted it's piece, that gave the false claims added "legitimacy" and so it became a "source" for others on the Religious Right looking to spread them.