RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.
When President Obama isn’t secretly ordering riots in Baltimore from the Oval Office, he is plotting a military coup through the Jade Helm 15 drill and a bullet ban through the EPA. Quite a week for our “apathetic,” “lazy” president.
5) Obama To Blame For Baltimore Riots
Surprising nobody, Fox News pundits including Lou Dobbs, Keith Ablow and Charles Payne believe that the president is responsible for the rioting in Baltimore. Fox favorite Ted Cruz joined the fray, accusing Obama of having deliberately “inflamed racial tensions” throughout his time in office.
Another frequent Fox guest, E.W. Jackson, said Obama and other “racial demagogues” are now seeing their “chickens coming home to roost.”
Right-wing talk show host Jesse Lee Peterson says he knows just the reason why Obama sparked that Baltimore riots, accusing the president of trying to “keep these blacks angry” in order to “bring the chaos.”
“And once the chaos comes,” he explained, “then Barack Obama, as he said in his speech, he can federalize the police departments around the country so that he can redistribute the power and wealth. That’s what this is all about. He is pulling their strings by stroking their egos and making the feel good about being wrong for his own personal gain.”
4) Anti-Police Conspiracy
Fox News pundit Todd Starnes is not pleased that Marilyn Mosby, the state’s attorney for Baltimore decided to file charges against six police officers allegedly involved in the death of Freddie Gray.
Starnes said that Mosby, “whose parents and grandfather were police officers,” as the Associated Press notes, “is declaring war on the police” and “declared war on law enforcement.” In a Twitter rant, he called her “anti-police” and said “that smirk at the end of the states’ attorney’s remarks spoke volumes.”
While some conservatives seemed to be repulsed by Starnes’s ugly rant, Breitbart commentator Ben Shapiro was not among them. Shapiro also took to Twitter to denounce the “insane overcharge” and suggested that Mosby only filed charges to help her husband’s political career.
3) Jade Helm Scare
It seems that the far-right has caught on to the military/Wal-Mart plot to usher in martial law in America through a training exercise known as Jade Helm 15.
As the story goes, recently closed Wal-Mart stores have been turned into FEMA camps which the military will use to imprison Americans as it institutes martial law, confiscates guns and throws people into cattle cars — all under the cover of a benign military exercise.
One radio host, Rick Wiles, said that the military is counting on people rising up against the exercise in order to justify impending martial law, leading to “a roundup of patriotic men who have the capacity to influence and inspire the citizenry to resist a coup against the republic.”
Sen. Rand Paul pledged to look into the matter, while Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is taking more direct action by ordering the Texas State Guard to monitor the training: “To address concerns of Texas citizens and ensure that Texas communities remain safe, secure and informed about military procedures occurring in their vicinity, I am directing the Texas State Guard to monitor Operation Jade Helm 15.”
But Abbott’s move may have only given more evidence of an impending military coup to conspiracy theorists. One “InfoWars” host alleged that Abbott may be using the order as cover while the State Guard goes “to work with the Jade Helm forces in conducting these exercises.”
2) Obama Banning Bullets
After alleging that Obama somehow traveled through time to 2008, before he became president, to change EPA rules that led to the closure of a lead smelting plant as part of secret plan to limit ammunition, gun activists are now onto a new ammo-ban conspiracy theory.
NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre took to the May issue of “America’s 1st Freedom,” the group’s magazine, to warn readers that the “president’s bureaucrats at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are partnering with private enviro-radicals to ban lead projectiles — including all hunting bullets — as hazardous.”
As Timothy Johnson of Media Matters points out, LaPierre was actually referring to a court case in which the EPA opposed a lawsuit asserting that it had “the authority to regulate lead ammunition.” In fact, the NRA and other gun groups sided with the EPA in the case, and declared victory after a judge sided in their favor.
“LaPierre’s baseless assertion that one of Obama last acts as president will be to ban all firearm ammunition is just the latest chapter of the NRA’s ‘massive Obama conspiracy’ theory, which imagines the president seeking ‘to deceive voters and hide his true intentions to destroy the Second Amendment in our country,’” Johnson adds.
Obviously, Obama plans to do that through the Jade Helm 15 operation.
1) Gays Closing Churches
As the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a set of marriage equality cases this week, Religious Right leaders continued to insist that if the court strikes down bans on same-sex marriage, pastors will be forced to officiate same-sex weddings — despite the fact that this hasn’t taken place in any of the 37 states that currently have marriage equality.
“The pastors would be forced to have to marry those of the same-sex,” Steve Hotze warned on the steps of the court, while Janet Porter falsely claimed that the state of Idaho is threatening pastors with jail time if they don’t officiate a gay couple’s wedding.
Taking a cue from Mike Huckabee, who last month said that the gay rights movement “won’t stop until there are no more churches,” Rush Limbaugh this week claimed that churches will “lose their tax exempt status if they refuse to perform same-sex weddings.”
“They will not be able to stay ‘in business,’ open without their tax exempt status and of course this is the ultimate goal, folks,” Limbaugh said. “They would love to be able via the power of a Supreme Court ruling to shut down half the churches in America.” He added that black churches whose pastors support Democrats would be allowed to stay open under this new regime.
Starnes, the Fox News pundit, even predicted that the 2009 Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Act will be used to prosecute pastors who are merely “preaching from the Bible.”