Brian Tashman's blog

The Republican Autopsy Report Revisited: 5 Ways The GOP Got Worse In 2013

With the year coming to a close, we decided to see how the GOP’s “bold” and “radical” autopsy report [PDF] was fairing.

After a devastating loss in 2012, Republicans claimed that they didn’t need to change themselves or their platform, but only cosmetic attributes such as their rhetoric and presentation. Other right-wing activists simply pretended that Republicans actually won the last election.

But if the actions taken this year by Republican leaders are any clue, it looks like Republicans either ignored or outright rejected even the superficial recommendations made in the GOP’s plan to revive the party:

1. Ending Aid To Jobless Americans

The perception, revealed in polling, that the GOP does not care about people is doing great harm to the Party…. To people who are flat on their back, unemployed or disabled and in need of help, they do not care if the help comes from the private sector or the government — they just want help.

Republicans in Congress rejected an extension of unemployment benefits, which will not only hurt approximately 1.3 million Americans during a period when long-term joblessness is still high, but will also result in serious harm to economic growth. If Republicans do not waver from their position, up to 5 million people could be affected by the cuts. The party also passed enormous cuts to the food stamp program under the auspices of preventing the tremendously low rate of fraud in an effort to kick 5 million people off of food assistance.

But the GOP continues to give special benefits to millionaires, as earlier this year Republicans once again rebuffed the “Buffet Rule,” which would have ensured that millionaires don’t end up having a lower tax rate than average Americans.

2. Blocking Immigration Reform

[W]e must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform…. On issues like immigration, the RNC needs to carefully craft a tone that takes into consideration the unique perspective of the Hispanic community.

Even though a majority of Americans and House members support immigration reform which includes a pathway to citizenship, the House GOP leadership refused this year to call a vote on reform bills. Speaker John Boehner even said that Republicans “have no intention of ever going to conference on the Senate bill.” But the House did find time to pass Rep. Steve King’s amendment to defund a program that prevents undocumented children being deported.

GOP politicians continue to argue that immigration reform will literally destroy America, and one Republican congressman even used the slur “wetbacks” while describing immigrants. Rep. Louie Gohmert said that Republicans must reject immigration reform to win over Latino voters, while Rep. King dismissed young Latinos as drug smugglers with cantaloupe-sized calves.

3. Rolling Back Reproductive Choice

Republicans should develop a more aggressive response to Democrat rhetoric regarding a so-called “war on women.”

Republicans claim it is unfair that people believe they are behind a “war on women,” but they didn’t do themselves any favors by approving a sweeping anti-abortion bill. Rep. Trent Franks, the chief sponsor of the legislation, defended his bill by channeling Todd Akin when he argued that “the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low,” and then fundraised off his remarks.

Fellow Republican Rep. Michael Burgess rallied support for the bill by citing masturbating fetuses. But perhaps the biggest steps Republicans took in dismantling Roe v. Wade occurred on the state level, where GOP-controlled state legislatures passed a range of extreme anti-choice bills.

4. Preserving Anti-Gay Views

For the GOP to appeal to younger voters, we do not have to agree on every issue, but we do need to make sure young people do not see the Party as totally intolerant of alternative points of view. Already, there is a generational difference within the conservative movement about issues involving the treatment and the rights of gays — and for many younger voters, these issues are a gateway into whether the Party is a place they want to be.

Even the GOP had to couch its call to be nicer to gay people as a political maneuver to making inroads with the youth vote, which helped secure President Obama’s re-election and is strongly in favor of LGBT equality. But the ties between the GOP and the anti-gay Religious Right remain rock solid, and many GOP leaders and potential presidential candidates addressed this year’s Values Voter Summit, where the event’s anti-gay sponsors and speakers repeatedly denounced gay rights.

Republican elected officials delivered stinging attacks against the Boy Scouts of America for ending its ban on gay members and also laced into the Supreme Court for overturning part of the Defense of Marriage Act, a law defended in court by the House GOP. Republican leaders like Sen. Ted Cruz ardently criticized marriage equality at Religious Right events, and even “libertarian” Republicans like Sen. Rand Paul denounced gay marriage, linking it to non-human marriage.

5. The Shrinking Party

We have become expert in how to provide ideological reinforcement to like-minded people, but devastatingly we have lost the ability to be persuasive with, or welcoming to, those who do not agree with us on every issue.

In case you needed more evidence that Republican politicians take cues from the GOP’s ultraconservative base, look no further than the government shutdown, where the congressional GOP leadership allowed the Tea Party “suicide caucus” to lead an enormously unpopular and economically harmful government shutdown.

Republicans ended up getting nothing from the shutdown, but Rep. Marlin Stutzman did illuminate the GOP’s thinking: “We’re not going to be disrespected. We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”

While we keep hearing talk of Republicans trying to seem more inclusive and “fighting back” against the Tea Party, it isn’t clear that the party is actually presenting any real challenge to Tea Party-aligned politicians. In fact, it seems that the GOP is actively embracing Tea Party’s extremist policies, fervent rhetoric and ideological purity tests.

The 2013 Equine Posterior Award: Vote For Your Favorite Right-Wing Extremist

Conservative leaders stooped to new lows of extremism and bigotry this year, not to mention their ridiculous endeavors such as the pointless but damaging government shutdown and the delusional War on Christmas.

Every year we “honor” our radical friends on the Far Right with the Equine Posterior Achievement Award, and you the reader get to decide who will take the grand prize.

Take a minute to vote here, and check out the nominees for 2013:

Sarah Palin: The reality TV star and former one-and-a-half-year governor has been pushing the War on Christmas hoax, even citing Thomas Jefferson in her crusade against the non-existent war.

Michele Bachmann: In her last term serving in the House, the Minnesota congresswoman charged that 9/11 was God's judgment, claimed that Obama is ushering in the End Times and asked God to defeat Hillary Clinton.

Gordon Klingenschmitt: The TV exorcist has waged an unsuccessful fight to shut down RWW's YouTube channel in an attempt to hide his shocking anti-gay rants.

Ted Cruz: In addition to spearheading a disastrous government shutdown, Cruz once joked that the White House would kidnap him. Is it any wonder the junior senator from Texas has the biggest ego in Congress? (And that's saying something.)

Pat Robertson: Realizing his career as a homophobic televangelist, Robertson thinks gay people want to attack straight people with special AIDS rings and recruit their children.

Steve King: As the GOP's point person on xenophobic rhetoric, the Iowa congressman smeared immigrants as drug runners with "calves the size of cantaloupes" and called anyone who disagreed with him unpatriotic.

Glenn Beck: Leaving Fox News hasn’t stopped Beck from delivering his usual conspiracy theories, downright maniacal attacks on the Obamas, coming up with creepy stunts and dishing out bad parenting advice.

Former General Turned Conservative Activist Calls For Citizen's Arrest Of Obama

Paul Vallely, a former general who now works as a conservative activist and Fox News analyst, suggested in a recent interview that President Obama should face citizen’s arrest for his supposedly treasonous crimes.

After suggesting that the country hold a “national recall” election, which he admitted has no basis in the constitution, Vallely urged people “get off our derrieres” and protest the government in the millions: “If we’ve got to march in the state capitals, if we’ve got to march in Washington with one hundred million people, then that’s what we need to do.”

He even called for a citizens’ arrest against the President and administration officials: “I would say if we can make citizens’ arrest, I challenge our government that if we have people that are conducting treason against the United States and the best interests of our country, violating the Constitution, violating our laws, just as they are doing with these excessive executive orders that are coming out of the White House where you have a President and his team that doesn’t care about the Constitution.”

Back in November, Vallely endorsed a Tea Party rally in Washington D.C. calling for Obama’s overthrow, although it didn’t exactly draw one hundred million people. Vallely has also published several columns that accuse Obama of treason.

“They will do anything they can to win, they will do anything, they will go for the throat and that’s what we have to do because we’re in battle to save the United States, so we have options out there and we have to pursue all of those options to take the country back.”

Vallely said he that an Egyptian-style uprising against Obama is needed instead of impeachment: “I would use the Egyptian model where they had 33 million Egyptians stand up to oust Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. We need millions to stand up in our state capitals and in Washington D.C. and we need to have that done within the next twelve months because I can tell you , my forecast, things are going to get far worse than better, especially with Obamacare and the other things that are happening to degrade the effectiveness of our federal government.”

Right Wing Leftovers - 12/23/13

  • A federal judge has denied Utah’s attempt to block a judge’s decision to strike down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. 
  • Is Star Parker aware of what Phil Robertson also said about being nostalgic for the Jim Crow era?
  • Meanwhile, Religious Right groups have put together a campaign arguing that Robertson lost his “freedom of religion and…freedom of speech.” 
  • Sarah Palin laughably claims that she would “never see myself as a ‘victim.’”

Nativist Of The Year Award: Eight Of 2013's Worst Xenophobic Leaders

While the vast majority of Americans, including Republicans, back a comprehensive immigration reform plan that includes a pathway to citizenship, the Nativist movement is still trying to scare voters and elected officials into thinking that attempts to fix America’s broken system will actually destroy the country…and all of civilization.

Here’s a look at some of 2013’s worst xenophobic leaders, including our choice for “Nativist of the Year”:

8. William Gheen

Americans For Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC) leader William Gheen hasn’t changed his tune about using violence to stop immigration reform, warning that his group may soon stop using “nonviolent political means.” According to Gheen, politicians are trying “to demonize whites, Christians, and males” and turn over power to immigrants who are “gang raping, molesting kids, drinking, driving, killing, and joining gangs that try to feed our children cocaine and methamphetamine at the earliest age they can.”

This, he contends, is all part of a scheme to collapse the economy and divide America. Gheen even claims that efforts to reduce gun violence are actually part of Obama’s plan to “disarm American citizens” and arm “illegal alien insurgents.”

7. Cathie Adams

As the leader of the Texas chapter of Eagle Forum and a former chairman of the Texas GOP, Adams has been pleading with her fellow Republicans not to aid immigration reform efforts. Why? She believes that such reform measures are tools of Satan that will lead to the enactment of Sharia law and usher in the End Times.

6. Ann Coulter

Conservative columnist Ann Coulter is angry that America no longer has racist immigration quotas, worrying that America will soon “turn itself into Mexico” and undermine its delicate “ethnic composition.” “The country is over,” she said, if the immigration reform passes. Coulter also seems to be creating figures about the undocumented population out of thin air, suggesting that there are 30 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

5. Phyllis Schlafly

The immigration debate in Congress opened the door for some conservative activists to not only oppose reform efforts but also to fight any political outreach to non-white voters. Eagle Forum head Phyllis Schlafly took the lead, urging the GOP to abandon any outreach to people of color and Latinos in particular. She claims Latinos don’t understand the Bill of Rights or American values... because if they did, they would be voting Republican like real Americans do. Instead, explained Schlafly, Republicans should simply try to increase white turnout.

4. Mark Krikorian

Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies seems to think that Nativists are the real victims in the immigration debate and is attempting to use a “play the victim” mentality to attack supporters of immigrant rights. He says that Nativists are waging a heroic struggle against “ethnic chauvinist groups” and their allies in “Big Business…Big Labor, all the big donors, Big Government Big Education, Big Media, Big Philanthropy [and] Big Religion.” Krikorian hopes that the GOP stops trying to attract Latino voters, warning that “the future of the republic rests” on whether Speaker Boehner allows immigration reform to come to a vote in the House.

3. Michele Bachmann

Speaking of which, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and her friends in the Tea Party Caucus are desperately trying to defeat immigration reform by making sure that such legislation doesn’t even come up for a vote. Bachmann believes that immigration reform will literally destroy the future of the country and that Obama won re-election in part because he gave some undocumented immigrants the right to vote (he didn’t). She thinks that Republicans should give Obama a spanking until he hands over his magic wand that unilaterally gives the vote to all undocumented immigrants:

2. Jason Richwine

The Heritage Foundation’s study on the supposedly devastating impacts of immigration reform might have had more credibility if its principal author, Jason Richwine, weren’t a proponent of racist pseudo-science with links to white nationalists. His report was so erroneous and misleading that even many of Richwine’s fellow conservatives didn’t find it credible, but that hasn’t stopped GOP politicians from using the salacious report to justify their anti-immigrant rhetoric.

Nativist of the Year: Steve King

No surprise here. Rep. Steve King (R-IA) remains the face of the GOP’s anti-immigrant wing, as he believes that the survival of America and civilization itself relies on people agreeing with his “reasonable” xenophobic views. Nothing captured King’s outlook more clearly than his tirade against undocumented youth, who he believes are mostly drug mules with cantaloupe-sized calves.

Maybe such extemist rhetoric is a reason why the Nativist movement is beginning to fizzle.

Lopez: 'Extreme Measures' Needed To Stop Gay Men From Abusing Boys

According to anti-gay activist Robert Oscar Lopez’s column in American Thinker yesterday, anti-gay laws in Russia and India may be “extreme measures” but they are necessary to quash the gay community, which he claims is dominated by child predators.

Lopez points to the relationship between screenwriter Dustin Lance Black and Olympic diver Tom Daley as proof that “the chronic, timeless state of the homosexual man is to chase after pubescent boys,” lamenting that gay people in the West now want “to spread their sickness all over the globe.”

“The West’s gay community is sick, and I cannot blame countries outside the West for deciding to take extreme measures,” he writes.

I cannot blame Russia, India, or any nation for reacting to what they see in the West with measures that I would ostensibly oppose on principle. Russia's ban on promoting homosexuality to children does impinge on free speech. India's ban on sodomy is an intrusion into the sex lives of consenting adults. But we don't live in an ostensible world. We live in a real world, where there are real gay organizations in the West, who are engaging in real machinations to spread their sickness all over the globe.

It's time to admit it, my gay brothers: Our culture is sick

Gay male culture in the United States, Canada, Latin America, and much of Europe is sick. It is literally plagued with disease -- not only HIV (which is rising again), but also syphilis (which has made a comeback). And Michelangelo Signorile, the dowager prince of gay news at the Huffington Post, admitted at long last what gay watchdog groups had been denying for decades upon decades: the chronic, timeless state of the homosexual man is to chase after pubescent boys.

Signorile has been busy defending 39-year-old Dustin Lance Black, the screenwriter who seduced a 19-year-old boy -- and yes, a teenager is a boy, period, even if he is a gold medalist; for heaven's sake, he can't even legally drink alcohol in the U.S. Signorile called the sleazy predation "intergenerational sex" and explained to all the "homophobic" people who might object that in the gay world, it's normal for old men to sodomize boys.



I have stopped asking, "Where are the parents?" Half the time, the parents are encouraging it. For instance, it seems the mother of a fourteen-year-old boy encouraged her son to have sex with Caleb Laieski, the older teen activist honored by President Obama at the White House, and a 43-year old homosexual policeman. The parents of Tyler Clementi, who killed himself after a 30-year-old man went into his freshman dormitory and a roommate filmed it, didn't focus their outrage at the gay man who was having sex with a boy who happened to be their son. Instead, Clementi's mother appeared in the New York Times blaming herself and her church!

Over the last few years I have pondered the question -- what would have happened had the gay rights movement not made so many mistakes? What if they had focused on building up a functional, healthy gay culture, rather than ignoring the problems under their noses and waging pointless symbolic wars over marriage, not to mention the fool's errand of adoption, which is the wrong thing to propose to a community full of men who sodomize boys?

Back to Russia and India

Perhaps, if the West's gay community had not become so sick, there would be no "anti-gay" law in Russia, and perhaps the judges in India would have been less inclined to uphold the ban on sodomy. We will never know what might have been. We know what is. The West's gay community is sick, and I cannot blame countries outside the West for deciding to take extreme measures.

LifeSiteNews Praises Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill

The Religious Right website LifeSiteNews today published an essay from Obianuju Ekeocha of Culture of Life Africa praising Uganda’s brutal Anti-Homosexuality Bill and urging other countries to adopt similar measures.

She said that the “courageous” supporters of the draconian bill rightly resisted the “totalitarian commitment to the hegemonic homosexual agenda.”

The courageous Ugandan MP's have chosen to please God instead of men (or women!). And they have chosen to protect their citizens from the corrosive effects of moral decadence and unrestrained sexual lisence [sic]. They have voted their Christian values.



Indeed, these Ugandan MP's have decidedly hoisted high the flags of virtue and values today even though they will surely come under unspeakable pressure in the days ahead. The "modern" world that we live in today is one of totalitarian commitment to the hegemonic homosexual agenda and in this hegemony, there is zero tolerance for anyone who believes in traditional moral values. The social engineers of this world are ready and willing to cut off, knock down or completely demolish the virtues that stand against their vision for their new world where sexual morality, marriage, motherhood, faith and family life are becoming redefined to embrace a more amorphous, fluid and "free" design. And everyone is expected to blend in, those who cannot blend in must bend, and those who cannot bend will surely be broken and burnt for good measure. In this way they have already broken so many. They have shut down businesses, closed down religious adoption services, terminated work contracts, sued dissidents, sacked workers, suspended movie stars, attacked churches, harassed Christian preachers, expelled students, threatened small businesses, punished big businesses , stifled free speech, taken away conscience rights and violated religious liberty. Yes, those who will not blend will bend , those who will not bend will be broken.

I cannot help but wonder if they will bend or break Uganda for trying to uphold their biblical values and for trying to protect their minors and disabled.

Will Uganda be bent or broken or burnt? Or will their show of strength inspire leaders from other African countries to raise their own flags of virtue and value?

I hope so.

I pray so!
 

Feder: Beware Of Obama Claus!

In his column today, Don Feder of the World Congress of Families warns of Obama Claus, “the smug community-organizer elf” who distributes “welfare state goodies” such as health insurance and food stamps.

Seriously, this is an actual column:

I suppose it's a natural mistake to make, confusing Santa Claus and Uncle Sam. Both are elderly gents – Caucasian, to be sure – with white beards. (Imagine the psychic pain and trauma this causes to millions of nonwhite children.) Both wear a costume. Coincidentally, both were popularized in their current guise by 19th century illustrator Thomas Nast.

Too many of my fellow Americans believe in Obama Claus – the smug community-organizer elf who stuffs stockings with Obama-phones, food stamps, extended unemployment benefits, health insurance for "30 million uninsured" and other welfare state goodies.

But does Santa steal to pay for the presents he leaves? Does he pick the pockets of parents to buy toys for kids? Does he spy, harass, lie and intimidate? Does he monetize the debt by inflating the currency? Is his sleigh loaded with 7% unemployment, growing dependency, and fatherless families? Does he promote poverty, which increased 16.7% under Obama?

Does Santa vacation at posh Martha's Vineyard digs, spend more time on the links than in the workshop, and then lecture us on our obligation to the less-fortunate?

Where do the presents in Obama Claus's bag come from? Do elves in the North Pole make them, or are they extracted from the peasantry? Are the "rich" the reindeer harnessed to this Santa's sleigh? With the energy expended in pulling it, is there any left over for creating wealth and generating jobs?

The spirit of human kindness does not drive us to larceny, regimentation and destruction of the economy.

Staver Fears Everyone Will Go Gay Under Marriage Equality

Liberty Counsel head Mat Staver is warning that with full marriage equality, everyone may decide to marry someone of the same sex and society could “cease to exist” altogether. While speaking to Vic Eliason of VCY America last week, Staver said that if gay marriage becomes legal nationwide then the country could become a childless, disease-ridden dystopia:

If you ultimately promoted same-sex marriage and everyone started to go towards same-sex marriage, what would happen to society? It would just simply cease to exist. Moreover, you’d have rampant increase in diseases. Already, you have rampant increase in diseases among same-sex activities, specifically men having sex with men. Same-sex marriage, same-sex relationships is destructive to individuals and it’s destructive to our very social fabric.

He later claimed that the expansion of gay rights is encouraging pedophilia and that the media “promotes” bestiality by making sex with animals seem like “a funny thing.” “That’s how this whole homosexuality began to happen on TV,” Staver said.

Staver went on to praise India’s Supreme Court for recriminalizing homosexuality and Russian president Vladimir Putin for “defending traditional marriage and criticizing President Obama.” Staver continued, “Yet we see this president refusing to meet Vladimir Putin because of this issue. The President of the United States refuses to meet with the President of Russia because the president of Russia believes in marriage as one man and one woman, that is a perverted situation that we have.”

Of course, Staver is being dishonest: Obama actually canceled a September summit with Putin over the Edward Snowden asylum controversy. Further, Putin isn’t facing criticism because he “believes in marriage as one man and one woman,” but because his government is leading a crackdown on Russia’s gay community and rolling back the free speech rights.

“The president will meet with people such as the Iranian delegation and other terrorists from around the country, but not with someone who believes that marriage is the union of a man and a woman and that homosexuality should not be actively promoted in their school systems,” Staver said.

Bauer: Progressives Waging An Anti-American 'Jihad'

Joining other Religious Right leaders, Gary Bauer of the Campaign for Working Families is jumping to the defense of Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson, who was suspended by A&E after making homophobic and racist remarks. Bauer seems to think that Robertson was simply expressing Christian values in his interview where he attacked gay people and waxed nostalgia for Jim Crow. According to Bauer, Robertson is a victim of “the radical left's jihad against America's cultural norms and our Judeo-Christian values.”

Naturally, it is all President Obama’s fault: “The culture war has been going on for decades. But the election of Barack Obama has unleashed the left, making it more aggressive than ever,” said Bauer.

While Phil Robertson has been the focus of this furor, the real attention should be directed to the intolerant homosexual rights movement and its totalitarian left-wing allies in Big Media.



The same cultural forces trying to make sure that no nativity scene is displayed in a public square;

The people who tried to destroy the president of Chick-fil-A for the "crime" of supporting traditional marriage;

The bureaucrats in the Obama Administration who are trying to force Catholic and evangelical business owners to subsidize abortion and pay for other medical services and products that violate their religious values;

The radicals who demand that a small, Christian-owned bakery be forced to cater a same-sex "wedding;"

The same people who are purging our history books and replacing the text with anti-American history -- it is all part of the radical left's jihad against America's cultural norms and our Judeo-Christian values.

The culture war has been going on for decades. But the election of Barack Obama has unleashed the left, making it more aggressive than ever.

Sadly, on our side, the resistance is often too weak. Too many churches are AWOL, too many politicians are cowering in fear, too many people are afraid to speak up.

I believe America, this great experiment in ordered liberty under God, will survive or fall based on how we handle these issues, not whether billionaires pay higher taxes or if the chained consumer price index is adjusted.
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