Brian Tashman's blog

Republicans Solve Problem Of The Personhood Amendment's Unpopularity By Lying About The Personhood Amendment

For an example of the dilemma that today’s Republican Party finds itself in when it comes to abortion rights and radical “personhood” laws, look no further than Mitt Romney.

After running as a pro-choice Republican in Massachusetts, Romney transformed into a “severely conservative,” anti-choice presidential candidate, then ultimately came full circle when he closed out his 2012 campaign with TV ads trumpeting his support for abortion rights in certain cases.

Perhaps Romney’s advisers figured out that the candidate’s opposition to abortion rights would prove unpopular among the general electorate. Exit polls in 2012 showed that 59 percent of voters supported legal abortion.

It turned out that Romney’s professed commitment to “get rid” of Planned Parenthood and pledges to support state and national “personhood amendments” — which would ban abortion in all cases and also outlaw common forms of birth control by giving personhood rights to zygotes — weren’t exactly winning positions.

Several Republican politicians in this election cycle have followed Romney’s lead by painstakingly trying to paint themselves as the real pro-choice candidates, despite having a long history of opposing abortion rights. Still others are flat-out denying that they support extreme anti-choice legislation like ‘personhood’ bills…even when they are on the record supporting them.

Take Cory Gardner, the congressman running for U.S. Senate in Colorado, for instance.

With the personhood amendment on the Colorado ballot for the fourth time this year, it must have been just a coincidence that Gardner renounced his support for the unpopular measure just three weeks after he announced his U.S. Senate bid. In his previous races for the U.S. House, Gardner boasted of circulating petitions in favor of the personhood amendment, and as a congressman he cosponsored a federal personhood bill.

Despite claiming that he is now a personhood opponent, Gardner remains to this day a cosponsor of the federal personhood legislation.

Instead of explaining the discrepancy, Gardner just claims that the personhood bill he is cosponsoring, the “Life at Conception Act,” simply doesn’t exist. As one journalist interviewing Gardner pointed out, he seems to be alone in that view: supporters and opponents of the personhood movement alike, including the authors of the bill in question, disagree with his unique reading of the bill.

“We don’t see how the Colorado initiative and the federal bill, which supporters in Congress describe as a ‘personhood’ measure, are different on this point,” FactCheck.org reports, noting that even a spokesman for Personhood USA said “there’s no reason for [Gardner] to pull local support while he’s still 100 percent behind the federal amendment.”

Another personhood group, the National Pro-Life Alliance, similarly promotes [PDF] the “Life at Conception Act” because it “is legislation that, quite simply, would declare the unborn to be ‘persons’ under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution” and would ensure that “Roe v. Wade would be effectively reversed.”

When pressed on the issue in a debate, Gardner simply avoided the question.

As Gardner’s candidacy’s proves, sometimes it is easier to just make blatantly false statements about your position than to actually change it.

Taking a page from Gardner, Iowa state Sen. Joni Ernst has also resorted to rewriting history about her record on personhood.

Ernst supported a personhood amendment in the Iowa legislature and recently committed to cosponsoring a federal personhood bill if elected. When called out by her Democratic opponent for backing a state personhood amendment, Ernst falsely claimed that it was merely a symbolic measure.

As Ed Kilgore writes, politicians like Gardner and Ernst are just trying “to weasel out of such positions the moment they become inconvenient.”

Other Republican Life at Conception Act cosponsors in the House, including Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Steve Daines of Montana, are also running for seats in the U.S. Senate. North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis also pledged to support a personhood amendment.

Tillis and Gardner, like other Republicans who are trying to come across as reproductive rights supporters, are now highlighting their support for the over-the-counter sale of birth control, which actual reproductive health activists note will actually make birth control more expensive.

Meanwhile, as personhood supporters these Republicans are backing laws that would ban several forms of contraception that they claim to want to make more accessible.

As Republicans face pressure from their anti-choice base to endorse radical “personhood” measures, they are faced with a choice: alienate staunch anti-choice conservatives or turn off moderates. Many, like Gardner and Ernst, are apparently finding that it’s easier to just lie to voters than to defend their views.

Pat Robertson: This Halloween, Give Satan A Black Eye For Legalizing Abortion

Pat Robertson, who is no fan of Halloween, today urged viewers to mark the occasion by punching the Devil in the face.

“Just say, ‘I am free. On this Halloween I gave a black eye to Satan,’” he told viewers while promoting a booklet he wrote called “Angels, Demons and the End Times.” (Robertson had also just responded to a CBN story about an abusive Satanist household.)

Robertson told viewers that Satan is behind not only Halloween, but also abortion rights: “The Devil has tried to destroy people, he wants to kill babies. Why do you think we’ve got such an incredible culture of death in our country? Why do you think that we’ve killed over 50 million unborn babies? Who do you think is behind all that? This isn’t just human, it is demonic. Satan wants to destroy our babies. He wants to destroy our babies just like Pharaoh sent the word to destroy the Hebrew babies, and it’s the same thing all the way through.”

Pat Robertson: 'Dangerous' Ouija Boards 'Communicate With Demonic Spirits'

Today on “The 700 Club,” Pat Robertson denounced the use of Ouija boards after a viewer asked him about the new horror movie, “Ouija.”

“The spirit is causing that little needle — it goes around to letters and spells out words and so you feel like [it’s] some dead person, but actually it is communicating with demonic spirits,” he said. “It is a dangerous thing and I strongly urge people not to get involved in it.”

Previously, Robertson said that “Ouija boards aren’t harmless. Ouija boards are often time-directed by demonic spirits. There are various types of chants. The so-called TM Mantras are actually prayers in Sanskrit to various Hindu Gods who are in turn demons, and you are saying something you don’t understand when in essence you are praying to a devil to come to you.”

Bradlee Dean: America Needs An Anti-Obama William Wallace

Right-wing activist Bradlee Dean is hoping for America’s own “Braveheart” moment, writing today in WorldNetDaily that an American version of William Wallace must emerge to fight President Obama’s “tyranny.”

Dean writes that just as the English monarchs abused their power over Scotland, Obama and his administration are becoming despots who must be “tried, convicted and brought to justice.”

What if you woke up this morning, opened up the newspaper or turned on the TV to your local news channel and saw this:

“The Obama administration has been found criminal and corrupt. Impeachment will take place this week, and all administrative officials who have continuously broken the laws of our constitutional republic will be tried, convicted and brought to justice.”

Would you not be shocked? But why is that? It’s because American citizens have fallen so far from the Bible, the U.S. Constitution and, of course, what our forefathers established that we think justice is impossible.

Yet, justice is what preserves our republic.

I am reminded of the true story of William Wallace – most of you know him as “Braveheart.” William was told by the “Nobles” of Scotland that it was impossible to defeat the tyrannical king of England and his minions (which held Scotland in captivity to their tyrannical ways). They were too many (which is completely opposite of America’s state), too strong in every way for Scotland … or so they thought.

This one man, William Wallace, knew more than the “Nobles” of Scotland. He knew that freedom was not a gift granted to them by mere men or a tyrant king, but freedom was a right guaranteed to every man by God, which has been summed up in our Declaration of Independence. Freedom was not a thing to be stripped away from the common people by a tyrant; Wallace knew that rights were granted by God.

The people of Scotland, outnumbered, outmatched, starving and without even the proper weapons to fight with, followed William Wallace, and eventually Robert the Bruce, into battle. Although it was a high cost to pay (namely, the life of William Wallace himself), they won their freedom and were delivered from the tyrannical king of England.



Now take that to America. The “Nobles,” or shall we say most congressmen and women, will not stand up against the crimes that have befallen “we the people” at the hands of this administration. They have titles and positions they don’t want to lose, much like the “Nobles” of Scotland in the day.

But the tyrannical king of England was not defeated by the “Nobles.” He was defeated by the people.

Justice doesn’t need to be something we only dream about. Justice is brought forth to establish righteousness because you are grateful for your blood-bought freedoms (Isaiah 51:4). America, it can be the reality we leave to our children, the way our forefathers left it unto us.



In our pledge we state, “With Liberty and Justice for All.” It doesn’t say justice for all unless you are the president of United States or an attorney general, or the Congress, does it? The word “Justice” applies to all and means all! If America fails to bring forth justice, rest assured tyranny will reign.

Tony Perkins: Gay Rights Part Of Population Control Agenda

On yesterday’s edition of “Washington Watch,” Tony Perkins returned to one of his favorite talking points about how gay rights are part of a population control conspiracy to extinguish the human race.

A listener called in to tell the Family Research Council president that he thinks the reason homosexuality is “promoted is because it doesn’t lead to reproduction and that’s why it’s promoted. There’s this anti-life agenda, there’s a total anti-human, anti-life, human beings are a virus, type of mentality.”

Perkins responded that the caller was “absolutely correct,” saying that he once wrote about how “climate change alarmists and those who are pushing population control” actually “promote homosexuality” because “there’s no procreation there.”

“They go crazy, they deny it but the evidence is there, it’s footnoted in my book.”

Tony Perkins: 'If Republicans Capture The Senate, There's No More Excuses About Impeachment'

Yesterday, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins once again demanded that Congress impeach and remove President Obama from office, telling a caller on his “Washington Watch” radio show that the GOP must go through with impeachment after the midterm elections.

When a caller asked why Republicans haven’t made impeachment into an election issue, Perkins responded that they should pursue it if the elections go there way: “If the Republicans do capture the Senate, there’s no more excuses about impeachment. See, what we’ve heard so far is how we can’t do that because we’d never get it through the Senate, the House could impeach him but the Senate would never convict, it would just be a waste of time. Well, if they have control of the Senate it won’t be.”

Of course, it takes a two-thirds vote in the Senate to remove a president.

Erik Rush: Obama Using Kaci Hickox To 'Facilitate An Ebola Epidemic In The United States'

Following up on his last column suggesting that Obama administration officials “want Ebola to spread in the United States” in order to declare martial law, WorldNetDaily’s Erik Rush writes today in his column, Does White House Want An Ebola Epidemic In U.S.?,” that the quarantine fight surrounding nurse Kaci Hickox is part of President Obama’s plan to “facilitate an Ebola epidemic in the United States.”

Rush writes that Hickox, whom he calls a “diva” with “a history of left-wing activism,” defied a quarantine upon returning to the U.S. in order to do her part in an Obama administration conspiracy to undermine quarantine policies in hopes of spreading the virus: “It is no great intellectual leap in considering the timing of Hickox’s quarantine (and subsequent public meltdown), the ‘omission’ of her ties to the CDC and her penchant for left-wing causes to arrive at the conclusion that this stunt just might have been an elaborate White House PR contrivance to foment opposition to Ebola quarantine efforts.”

As a precautionary measure, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ordered health-care workers coming in from West Africa to undergo a 21-day quarantine upon their arrival in those states. Several other states followed suit.

In an almost uncanny twist, and right on the heels of the quarantine orders, along comes Kaci Hickox, a nurse who had just finished treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone. Last Friday, she flew into Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey and was promptly quarantined.

Just as promptly, Hickox lawyered up and began screaming to the press and anyone else who would listen that the government was putting her through “emotional and physical stress” and that her “basic human rights” were being violated. In the ensuing firestorm – and after direct pressure from the White House – governors Cuomo and Christie folded like a crappy hand of cards; Hickox was released, and both states agreed to re-evaluate their quarantine policy.

One would think that Kaci Hickox, a health-care professional who had seen the devastation wrought by Ebola, and who understood the risks, would have considered it her civic duty to take one for Team America and sit out the quarantine. I mean, it isn’t like they were sending her to Gitmo. Instead, she chooses to re-define the term “diva” and raise as much hell as possible.

Well, there was a method to Ms. Hickox’s madness – and it lay in the fact that she just happened to be in the employ of the CDC.

Yes, you can pick your jaw up off the floor now, and as humorist Dave Barry was known to say: I am absolutely not making this up. Though efforts were made to scrub the evidence of Kaci Hickox’s affiliation with the CDC from online sources, enough remained to definitively determine that she was not only an employee of the CDC, but a registered Democrat and Obama supporter with a history of left-wing activism.

Earlier this year, Hickox featured prominently in the 63rd Annual Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Conference, a CDC symposium on infectious diseases. Thus, it is no great intellectual leap in considering the timing of Hickox’s quarantine (and subsequent public meltdown), the “omission” of her ties to the CDC and her penchant for left-wing causes to arrive at the conclusion that this stunt just might have been an elaborate White House PR contrivance to foment opposition to Ebola quarantine efforts.

If the administration’s imperative for maintaining unfettered access on the part of potential Ebola carriers to this country isn’t perplexing enough: A State Department memo leaked to Fox News this week suggests that the Obama administration has been considering allowing non-American Ebola patients into the U.S. for treatment. This was confirmed by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., who told Fox News that his office had received “information from within the administration” that such plans were being developed.

Are they insane? the reader may ask.

Under other circumstances, I might answer in the affirmative – or at least entertain the possibility that administration officials had taken leave of their senses. Considering the character of this administration, I feel quite comfortable maintaining that this administration – the same one whose principals’ beliefs are rooted in the philosophy of Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Castro, the same one whose actions have led to the deaths of tens of thousands in the Middle East and Africa, the same one that has targeted and persecuted political opponents, spied on private citizens, funded and trained terrorists and left America open to attack via their immigration, visa and border policies – might well intend to facilitate an Ebola epidemic in the United States.

How large they might wish it to get and how it plays into their sick endgame specifically is difficult to say, but with this bunch, history dictates that it’s better to err on the side of the diabolical.

Matt Barber: Satan Deceiving People Into Denouncing Ex-Gay Therapy

Upset with Southern Baptist official Russell Moore’s recent rebuke of ex-gay therapy, Matt Barber appeared on “The Janet Mefferd Show” yesterday to criticize Moore for failing to hold the anti-gay line when “the heat is on.”

Barber told Mefferd — who took to Facebook yesterday to attack Moore for “playing right into the hands of Big Gay” — that Satan is behind the foundering anti-gay cause: “It’s this homosexual issue that is the head of the spear. This is the issue that the Enemy is using to both divide the church and separate souls from God.”

Barber also claimed that the higher rate of sexual abuse reported in the gay community is proof that abuse makes people gay.

“We know conclusively that sexual abuse is one of the main catalysts for same-sex attraction,” he said. “And now we have Christian kids and other kids, Christian or not, who want to find freedom from a demonstrably self-destructive lifestyle.”

Actually, experts have not found a connection between sexual abuse and gay sexual orientation, but have found that gay people are targeted for abuse because of their sexual orientation.

“They want freedom from this identity, the same-sex attractions, that stem from a sexual assault at the hands of a person like a Jerry Sandusky for instance,” Barber said. “It is reckless, it is irresponsible of Russell Moore to give fodder to these sexual anarchists.”

Paul Broun: Obama And 'Incompetent Boob' At CDC Are Exposing Americans To Ebola

After suggesting that President Obama may want Americans to contract the Ebola virus, Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., told Rick Wiles of “Trunews” yesterday that the decision to send U.S. military service members to West Africa on a relief mission may end up bringing the Ebola epidemic back to the U.S.

“Barack Obama’s using the military to actually expose them which could expose further people across this country,” he said.

Broun added that the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other military officials should have defied orders to organize a military operation in West Africa. “The military should have told Obama, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and all the military leaders should have said, ‘Mr. President, this is not a military function, do not do this, we’re not going to send our troops into harm’s way,’ because they have a responsibility to the troops and they could have told the president, ‘no, we’re not going to do this,’ and they should have.”

Broun maintained: “I don’t know if Obama thinks that they are going to shoot the virus with their M16s. What in the world is he thinking? I have absolutely no clue, he is just exposing American citizens to this very deadly virus.”

The congressman also called CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden an “incompetent boob” who “needs to be removed ASAP” and said the appointment of Ron Klain to coordinate the administration’s Ebola response “makes absolutely no sense, it’s just totally craziness on the part of Obama and this administration.”

“Give me a break. What in the name of peace would somebody do this?”

When Wiles asked if Obama should resign for “endangering our lives” with Ebola, Broun just reiterated that Attorney General Eric Holder should be “prosecuted for lying to Congress.” 

Paul Broun: Obama May Have 'Purposeful' Plan To Spread Ebola

The last time a Republican congressman appeared on the conspiracy theory radio program “Trunews,” he ended up arguing that President Obama wants to spread Ebola in order to impose martial law.

Naturally, when Rep. Paul Broun appeared on Trunews” yesterday, the Georgia Republican wondered if Obama wants Americans to contract Ebola.

Broun spoke with host Rick Wiles — who once hoped that “Ebola could solve America’s problem” with homosexuality while also predicting that Obama will deliberately spread Ebola in order to “round up patriots” — about the baseless claim that “Obama’s wanting to bring [foreign] Ebola patients here to this country” and “take care of every Ebola patient all across the globe.”

After Wiles wondered whether Obama's response to Ebola has been driven by malicious intent, Broun demurred, responding: “I don’t know, I didn’t want to go there. Some people might think that it is malicious intent and certainly if you look at it from a logical perspective, there is no logic whatsoever about why they are acting the way they are.”

Wiles then called for Obama to be “removed from office” because of his Ebola policies.

Broun also appeared to accept Wiles’ conspiracy theory that Obama will put people with Ebola in VA hospitals in order to “contaminate the VA hospitals with the Ebola virus.”

“That may very well be, it’s almost apocalyptic what potential [sic] is coming if that happens, if we bring these Ebola patients here and put them in hospitals, VA hospitals or any hospital,” he said. “We should not be exposing American citizens to this virus and this administration already is exposing people to this virus and is going to continue to expand that exposure.”

The Georgia congressman said that it was “beyond belief” and “unconscionable” that the Obama administration decided to follow the recommendations of health experts by not enforcing a travel ban on people leaving West Africa, and once again suggested that something sinister is at work: “I just cannot fathom why anybody would be doing what this administration’s been doing, whether it’s purposeful or whether it’s due to ignorance or whether it’s due to ineptness, I don’t know but it certainly has got to stop.”

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