On Sunday morning, ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” gave right-wing shock pundit Ann Coulter a national platform to opine on national politics and promote herself and her books. “This Week” is generally a serious and reasonable look back on the week’s political events. Coulter, however, is neither serious nor reasonable – not even close.
Coulter, a self-described “mean-spirited, bigoted conservative,” goes out of her way to provoke and offend and even promote violence. Based on her own words, she’s a strident racist and bigot who openly despises much of humanity. Many of her defenders, however, claim that she’s really just an entertainer who says ridiculous things for comedic effect. But it doesn’t matter whether she’s really a fanatic or just plays one on TV. What matters are the vile things she says, often to huge audiences thanks to mainstream media outlets that mistake bigotry for edginess.
A few of her most outrageous comments are captured here:
Recently, talking about the Occupy Wall St. protests in November, Coulter suggested that violence against protesters could shut down the movement: “Remember the lesson from my book: It just took a few shootings at Kent State to shut that down for good.”
In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Coulter attacked a group of widows that had joined together to lobby for a government investigation into the attacks, culminating with the 9/11 Commission:
These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by grief-arazzies. I have never seen people enjoying their husbands’ death so much.
There is really nothing that Coulter won’t say. Coulter – among many many other things – has said that:
Women shouldn’t be allowed to vote: "If we took away women's right to vote, we'd never have to worry about another Democrat president. It's kind of a pipe dream, it's a personal fantasy of mine, but I don't think it's going to happen."
Killing an abortion doctor isn't murder: "Well, apparently, this one random nut who shot Tiller -- I don't really like to think of it as a murder. It was terminating Tiller in the 203rd trimester."
John Edwards is a “faggot”: "I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word 'faggot,' so I -- so kind of an impasse, can't really talk about Edwards."
I could go on, but the point is that Coulter has firmly established herself as a hate-filled provocateur and radical – not a conservative. We fully expect ABC and “This Week” to have conservative guests with whom we disagree, and vice versa, but that’s not the issue here. Coulter has been playing the same game for years, making millions off bigotry and hate. The mainstream media shouldn’t play along.
Tomorrow morning in Waukesha, WI, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, among others (Gov. Scott Walker is listed as an invited speaker), will rally with corrupt former lobbyist Ralph Reed and the state chapter of his Faith & Freedom Coalition, which Reed created to rehabilitate his image in the wake of his deep involvement in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. Here are the event details:
It is our distinct pleasure to invite you to the Wisconsin Faith & Freedom Presidential Kick-Off, sponsored by the Wisconsin Faith & Freedom Coalition, to be held at the Country Springs Hotel on Saturday, March 31st in Waukesha, WI. Come hear from CONFIRMED speakers Governor Mitt Romney, Senator Rick Santorum, and Speaker Newt Gingrich.
When Romney and Santorum – the standard–bearers of the GOP – appear on stage tomorrow with Reed, they’ll be embracing a corrupt hustler who has survived scandal after scandal by delivering cash and foot soldiers to Republican leaders (and not for the first time).
It wasn’t long ago that Ralph Reed was damaged goods in Republican circles, and for good reason. Reed came to national prominence as the first executive director of Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition, beginning in 1989. However, by 1997 the groups finances were collapsing, the FEC had found that the group violated federal campaign finance laws in 1990, 1992, and 1994, and federal prosecutors were investigating allegations of financial misconduct made by the organization’s CFO. So Reed resigned and moved to Georgia to become a lobbyist.
In 1999, Abramoff hired Reed and ultimately paid him $1.3 million to generate opposition to legalizing video poker and a state-sponsored lottery in Alabama. The money came from the Choctaw Tribe, which runs a casino in nearby Mississippi. Reed used his extensive Religious Right contacts and engaged James Dobson and the Alabama Christian Coalition, which had a policy against being the “recipient of any funds direct or in-direct or any in-kind direct or indirect from gambling interests.” He funneled $850,000 to the group, but made sure to launder it through his longtime friend Grover Norquist’s organization, Americans for Tax Reform.
Before the wheels came off Jack Abramoff’s criminal lobbying enterprise, he described Reed to his business partner as “a bad version of us.” Abramoff, explaining the comment after being released from prison, said that Reed was “a tap dancer and constantly just asking for money.” And Abramoff knows more than a thing or two about Reed. He gave Reed his first job after college and, along with Norquist, formed what some called the “triumvirate” at the College Republican National Committee.
After the Abramoff scandal broke, Reed claimed that he had “no direct knowledge of [Abramoff’s lobbying firm’s] clients or their interests,” but the Senate Indian Affairs Committee determined that Abramoff told Reed as early as 1999 that he was taking casino money. In an interview last year with Alan Colmes, Abramoff called Reed’s denial ridiculous:
Abramoff: It's ridiculous. I mean, even the tribes that had other business, 99% of their revenue came from gaming. But a lot of those tribes had nothing but gaming.
Colmes: So, in other words, Ralph Reed was saying "hey, I'll work with you but I don't want to be paid with gambling money, I'm too clean for that." But are you saying that conversation never happened?
Abramoff: No. Never happened. Ralph didn't want it out that he was getting gambling money and, frankly, that was his choice and I think it was a big mistake.
Reed went on to become the chair of the Georgia Republican Party in 2001 and ran for lieutenant governor in 2006. However, the Abramoff scandal had broken by then, and Reed “suffered an embarrassing defeat” in the primary. The New York Timesdescribed Reed as a “close associate of Jack Abramoff” whose “candidacy was viewed as a test of the effects of the Washington lobbying scandal on core Republican voters.”
In 2009, Reed founded the Faith & Freedom Coalition to help resurrect his image and stature in the movement. Faith & Freedom, which Reed described as a “21st Century version of the Christian Coalition on steroids,” is really just a Tea Party-stained version of the original, and much smaller despite the steroids.
However, Reed is an operator in the truest sense, and knows how to “tap dance” and “constantly ask for money” with the best of them. He has apparently earned, and I do mean earned, his way back into the good graces of Republican leaders. It’s unclear, however, how long Reed can go without another scandal.
Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch appeared Monday on the American Family Association (AFA) radio network with host Sandy Rios. AFA, which has been classified a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, recently added Rios to its lineup.
Rios gained notoriety early last month when an incredulous Bill O’Reilly suggested she was engaging in McCarthyism for calling on J.C. Penney to fire Ellen DeGeneres because she’s gay. Earlier she wrote that accepting Ellen would lead to “the complete eradication of the traditional family and the acceptance of any sexual choice anyone wants to make.” This month she lamented that “the Jewish vote in this country is so confused” and said that secular Jews have been some of “the worst enemies of the country.”
This kind of thing is nothing new for Rios, as Kleefisch had to know. Last year, debating the Obama administration contraceptives mandate, Rios equated birth control and abuse counseling with pedicures and manicures. She also compared unions and the Obama campaign to a terrorist group, writing that “Organizing for America, the SEIU, the NEA and many of America’s labor unions have … more in common with the violence and intimidation of Hamas than with protecting ‘workers.’”
Rios, introducing Kleefisch, spoke of her Chicago roots and fondness for Wisconsin. Then, wasting no time, she began attacking Wisconsin workers and students:
You probably saw it every night on your television. You saw union members holding out in the state capitol. You actually saw them trash the state capitol. It was just an amazing thing. Playing music, there’s nothing wrong with music. It was just strange behavior. They even got out from school to do this. […]
They were furious. As a matter of fact, they took some steps. They threatened State Senator Dan Kapanke with recall, they did recall him. They staged protests outside of his home. They issued death threats. They sent his wife disgusting letters in the mail. They spread nails and glass all over his driveway, and they managed to get him out of office.
Following that introduction, Kleefisch gave an update on the recall effort and echoed Rios on how mean and nasty the union supporters were. Both used the despicable actions of a few to tarnish a broad-based citizen movement:
Folks spent their entire winters collecting these signatures in hopes of recalling us, essentially trying to remake a decision that the majority of voters in Wisconsin just made in fall of 2010. And voters overwhelmingly elected the governor and me because we said we’d do a budget without raising taxes. And in 2008, the Great Recession hit Wisconsin hard. People are still being pinched by it, and that’s why there was this desperate need to do a budget without raising taxes.
Well, the result of that is what you’ve spent the last couple minutes describing. We all got death threats, and our capitol was trashed. People were intimidated right and left. It was scary times. Even my little kids were scared to go to the capitol. People would shout at them, and you know, it’s kinda creepy when you work in a situation like that.
Kleefisch mostly let Rios do the dirty work for her, like in this exchange:
Rios: I’ll try to be clearer now about what this means. Basically unions in all of the states have been able to, through their union leadership, have been able to raise their salaries, their pensions just on and on, and their benefits without any kind of restraint.
Kleefisch: Well, that’s what’s called collective bargaining. And so we’ve put some restrictions on collective bargaining.
Rios sounded the alarm that “union folk from Chicago are flooding” into Wisconsin, with the backing of the Obama administration, to throw the election. Kleefisch, however, expressed confidence in her prospects, saying “I think we’re gonna win. I think we’re gonna win because if you go to the ballot box, and you vote on the facts, then you vote for us every time. Because the facts are, it worked.”
As Kleefisch noted repeatedly during the interview, Wisconsin is very purple state. It’s unclear, then, why she thinks appearing on a right-wing show with a notorious host will help her prospects.
A lawsuit filed in California Superior Court against televangelism powerhouse TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) threatens to blow the lid off alleged misconduct and criminal activity at the very highest levels of the organization. TBN, which advertises itself as the “World’s Largest Christian Network,” is home to such luminaries as Rod Parsley, TD Jakes, Creflo Dollar, John Hagee, Benny Hinn, James Robison and the larger-than-life founders of the network – Paul and Jan Crouch, and their son Matt – who are a constant presence in front of the camera.
The Crouches have invited criticism and scorn in the past with their lavish lifestyle and flamboyant appearance, but the new lawsuit paints a portrait of a thoroughly corrupt organization. The suit centers on Paul Crouch’s granddaughter Brittany Koper, a former executive at TBN who was fired after she blew the whistle on alleged fraudulent and criminal activities. She claims that she subsequently faced massive retaliation, including threats of “physical and lethal violence.”
The lawsuit alleges that Paul Crouch Sr. obtained a $50-million Global Express luxury jet for his personal use through a "sham loan," and that TBN funds paid for a $100,000 motor home for dogs owned by his wife, Janice Crouch, a network director.
The suit also alleges that TBN bought residences across the country for its directors under the pretext that they were "guest homes" or "church parsonages." The properties include mansions used by the Crouch family in Newport Beach; side-by-side mansions in Windermere, Fla.; and homes in Nashville; Miami; and Irving, Texas, according to the suit.
While the $100k dog motor home is a pretty irresistible story (Seamus Romney must be so jealous!), the Times glossed over other portions of the suit that sound more like The Sopranos than Elmer Gantry. For instance, a section entitled “Multiple cover-ups of sexual and criminal scandals” accuses TBN, among other things, of covering up a “bloody sexual assault,” infidelities by Paul and Jan Crouch, and repeated incidents in which Matt Crouch exposed his genitals to cleaning staff.
I've included that section below, which mentions a legal settlement with Enoch Lonnie Ford. As previously reported, Ford, a TBN employee, was paid $425,000 to not discuss his alleged sexual encounters with Paul Crouch.
When Koper refused to play along, she wasn’t just sidelined within TBN. She allegedly faced threats of “physical and lethal violence” by Matt Crouch, and was told by Paul Crouch that Jan and Matt “want your heads” – referring to Koper and her husband, also a former TBN executive:
TBN issued a press release this morning in response to recent media coverage. Rather than address the substance of the suit, TBN’s lawyer and attorney Colby May portrayed the Kopers as disgruntled former employees who stole from the network to enrich themselves:
"The soundness and veracity of these stories are completely undermined when you realize that they depend almost exclusively upon accusations from individuals who admitted they had embezzled and misappropriated over $1 million from the network, and its companion ministry, International Christian Broadcasting," May explained. […]
"What the bulk of media stories don't explain is that these individuals used lawsuits to contrive absurd allegations that trusted TBN officials had illegally funneled millions of dollars for their own use," said May. "Add to that the fabrications that Dr. and Mrs. Crouch were using ministry funds to buy jewelry, jets, mansions, and mobile homes for dogs, and you have all the ammunition for a stereotypical attack against an esteemed media ministry."
We’ll be eagerly watching this case as it plays out. Koper has made explosive accusations against TBN and the Crouches, and the Kopers, as longtime insiders at TBN, are uniquely positioned to marshal evidence to back up their claims.
Click here to read the entire complaint against TBN.
Rev. Tony Byrd of Zebulon Baptist Church in Toccoa, GA raised eyebrows last month when he ranted against gays, liberals and the media on the floor of the Georgia House of Representatives. Byrd had been invited by Rep. Michael Harden to give the morning invocation and be the “Pastor of the Day.” The morning prayer is intended to be inclusive, and not a soap box for the pastor’s political views. Byrd’s sponsor, Harden, even said in his introduction that the morning invocation is “the part where can all come together and be quiet before all the ruckus starts.”
Byrd couldn’t help himself and got the ruckus started early. With a captive audience of legislators, he turned the morning prayer into a political rant:
The following Sunday, Byrd spoke to his congregation about his experience at the state capitol:
When I went there, I was not gonna back off the issue. I was gonna stand upon the authority of the word of almighty God. I think I said it the way the Lord wanted me to say it. […]
It was weird being there. They hemmed me in with a bunch of chairs and [House Speaker David Ralston], he’s a big old joker. Sitting right here.
When I left there I knew I did the right thing. Because, you know what, this nation needs to turn back to God.
Byrd didn’t mention to his congregation, or legislators, that most of his rant/sermon came straight from SermonCentral.com. (Compare this to this, starting at 2:15.)
However, the part where he ranted against gays, liberals and the media was wholly his own. That type of talk would not come as a surprise to his congregation, which has heard him say much worse.
In fact, Byrd’s appearance at the capitol was downright tame compared his sermon last October on the evils of compromise and the moral bankruptcy of America. Byrd said that compromise leads to catastrophe, citing homosexuality and abortion. He went on to rail against TV sitcoms, which “have some kind of homosexual agenda involved in them” and equate gays with drug addicts. The bottom line, he argued, is that “we’re going down the tubes.”
Long before Kony 2012 became an Internet sensation, the film’s director, Jason Russell, was a hit with the Religious Right and the broader evangelical community. Russell, the founder of Invisible Children, has been lavished with praise on Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network and on stage at Jerry Falwell’s university. Additionally, as Bruce Wilson has explored, Invisible Children has received substantial funding from extremely conservative Christian groups and foundations. Why?
The reason is not that Invisible Children is part of the Religious Right – it’s not. And while it’s true that the organization and the Religious Right share some interests and enemies in Uganda and Sudan, that’s not the reason either.
Instead it’s the religious basis of the organization. Russell first went to Africa as a child missionary and formed the organization as an alternative to traditional missionary organizations, whose model he found problematic. While Russell and his staff are careful to project a strictly secular brand, Russell has projected quite a different image when speaking to evangelical and Religious Right audiences.
In a 2010 podcast interview with Relevant magazine (listen below), Russell discussed his reason for keeping religion out of their brand and marketing:
We just always felt really, not offended, but felt it was too delicate of a choice to put the cross on our website, or to put a fish on the website because you're honestly dealing with the truth, and the creator, and so to make a brand around that and to have money flow in and out around that idea, at least in our paradigm, felt cheap or inauthentic. … That's just me candidly speaking. […]
He said that spirituality is an inescapable part of their work, but that it’s difficult to explain to a western audience that has been “raised on science, logic, and reasoning.”
Host: What conversations have you guys had about the holistic rehabilitation of some of the children you guys have worked with, and what role their spiritual development might play in some of the rehabilitation you believe should take place in their lives.
Russell: For us, the mentors that are rehabilitating the children who've been affected by this for, it is not a question whether spirituality plays into it or doesn't. It is not something like a line item on an annual report or anything. It's like, of course. I've never met a Ugandan who is an atheist. […]
Their spiritual life is so much more engaged and involved in their day to day, that having a spiritual holistic healing element to these children who have been affected by the war is a no-brainer. It's totally a part of the healing and the message. And at the same time it's difficult to communicate that or translate to the West who has been raised on science, logic, and reasoning and not so much the spiritual realm.
He also addressed criticism from other Christians that Invisible Children isn’t doing enough to evangelize:
Host: How have you guys wrestled with the issues of faith, not only in your personal lives but in the stories of your organization, as you guys have become more and more a topic of mainstream conversation?
Russell: For myself, I accepted Christ into my heart when I was 5, and my first experience with Africa was on a mission trip spreading the gospel through drama. There was a disillusionment, or a distaste, for that approach to the Christendom message being spread. I felt that there was a bridge that needed to be built. […]
We're not afraid to say "I'm a lover of Christ and what he brought to Earth and what he's doing in the world." But there's such a delicate balance to bringing that into the work arena when it comes to the culture right now.
I think that, there's been a lot of criticism that we've had over the years, but when it comes down to it, we are not afraid to say "I as an individual am this." But Invisible Children, it's not its mission to bring Christ's message to the invisible children. And when people say, "well why don't you bring Christ to those children in Uganda?" And my answer has always been, because they know Christ far more than I or anyone in Western world or in the Christian church knows Christ, because it's truly all that they've ever had. […]
Listen to the highlights of the podcast interview here:
Russell touched on similar topics at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University last November:
[UPDATED: I've added a response from Invisible Children at the end of this post. The group says it "has never and will never have a relationship with Martin Ssempa."]
A video posted five years ago by a student group at Grove City College – a small evangelical school in Pennsylvania – raises questions about whether Invisible Children, the organization behind the viral juggernaut Kony 2012, has worked with notorious Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa.
Ssempa, a longtime anti-gay activist, is the chairman of the National Taskforce against Homosexuality in Uganda and a major proponent of legislation that calls for the execution of gays and lesbians who are found “guilty” of having homosexual sex. He regularly shows graphic gay porn during his presentations and seems obsessed with outrageous fetishes, typically of the scatological variety, that he claims are common practice among gay men. In addition to bashing gays, Ssempa is a major proponent of restricting access to condoms and fighting the AIDS epidemic with abstinence education – which has had disastrous consequences.
According to the video posted by Grove City students, a “team of people” from Invisible Children came to their campus in February of 2005 and showed them a video about child soldiers in Uganda. The students were energized by the film and wanted to help, but they weren’t sure how.
Then “The Vision” for their project arrived, according to the students:
Student 1: A guy named Martin Ssempa came our way, who is a Ugandan-born world leader in the AIDS activism and abstinence education. He came to Grove City College and spoke to us and gave us the plan to send this shipment of “love” over to Uganda.
Student 2: Martin Ssempa is an amazing man. He just shared a lot about his vision for healing in Africa, particularly in his country.
The students created a group called Project Okello to work on behalf of Invisible Children at Grove City. They went on to collect an impressive amount of clothing, blankets, medical supplies, and more and sent it off to Uganda through Invisible Children.
The students’ fundraising efforts were heartfelt and generous and undoubtedly helped individuals in Uganda. I applaud them for that.
But it’s extremely troubling that Ssempa and Invisible Children appeared to be coordinating their efforts. The best case scenario is that Ssempa and Invisible Children happened to cross paths at a single college and unwittingly reinforced one anothers’ efforts. A much more disturbing scenario would be if Invisible Children actually works, or has worked, directly with Ssempa.
No matter how well-intentioned one’s efforts are, there’s no place for American charities to work with someone who seeks the death penalty for gays and lesbians and would block the use of condoms to prevent AIDS. Invisible Children should clarify what relationship, if any, they have or have had with Ssempa.
On March 20, 2012, Invisible Children sent us the following response:
Invisible Children has never and will never have a relationship with Martin Ssempa. This specific video, from 2005, highlights a self-organized group of students that appears to have wanted to support Invisible Children. Invisible Children visited Grove City College, but not until 2006 – the year IC began its road tour program - and certainly not due to any connection with Martin Ssempa. Invisible Children fully supports gay rights in the United States and around the world, and has spoken out for years against acts of violence on members of the LGBT community in Uganda. Hate in any form is counterproductive to our mission.
There used to be a time when the Washington Times was a real newspaper, and conservatives derided the Washington Post as Pravda on the Potomac. We no longer live in that time.
Yesterday’s newsletter from Times247.com – “a Washington TimesInternet edition that spotlights carefully selected news and commentary on a real-time basis” – featured a breathless report from none other than Pravda about President Obama’s forged birth certificate:
Pravda, you’ll recall, was the official mouthpiece of the Central Committee of the Communist Party in the former Soviet Union. The paper was officially closed by Boris Yeltsin in 1991, but former staffers created a spinoff website called Pravda Online.
On April 27, 2011, President Barack walked into the White House Press room with a Cheshire cat like grin and a "Long Form Birth Certificate" from the State of Hawaii in hand. From the podium in the press room, Mr. Obama said, "We're not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers,". Quite the barb from a man holding a forged document.
That's right, forged.
The president himself created the scene; one filled laughter from an adoring press corp., a scene of unprecedented fanfare while holding a forged document which was later posted on the White House website. This was the news Sheriff Arpaio revealed on March 1, 2012 in Arizona.
I had to check the byline to make sure that Orly Taitz hadn’t authored the piece. In fact, it was written by one Dianna Cotter, whose homespun bio is included at the end of her article:
Dianna Cotter is a Senior at American Military University, a 4.0 Student, the recipient of the Outstanding Student Essay of 2009, a member of Delta Epsilon Tau and Epsilon Pi Phi Academic Fraternities and on the Dean's and President's Lists for academic achievement.
The house of cards is about to come tumbling down around Barack Obama's ears as the momentum of evidence builds. Law enforcement has found his birth documents to be "highly suspect" as a forgery. His draft card has similarly been found by law enforcement as being "highly suspect" as a forgery. The smoke screen cover created by his birth certificate, hiding Minor v. Happersett in a shadow of false mockery, has been blown away. Leaving the Supreme Court case alone on the stage, glaringly exposing Barack Obama as an usurper, an unconstitutional President of the United States.
The American Press is deliberately hiding the evidence published on the internet about this defrauding of the American public and the deliberate evisceration of the Constitution of the United States. It is hiding Barack Obama's Fraud as it has been revealed by a Sheriff in Arizona. The silence of the American press would be unbelievable if it weren't so blatantly obvious.
It is nearly as egregious as the audacity of Obama's fraud itself.
Catholic League president Bill Donohue is sick and tired of coddling rape victims. That’s why he supports efforts by lawyers for two Missouri priests accused of sexual abuse to cripple an organization that advocates on behalf of the victims of pedophile priests – Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).
SNAP is not involved in the Missouri litigation, but the priests’ lawyers are seeking “more than two decades of e-mails that could include correspondence with victims, lawyers, whistle-blowers, witnesses, the police, prosecutors and journalists.” Donohue thinks this effort, which seeks to bankrupt and embarrass the organization, is justified because “SNAP is a menace to the Catholic Church.”
Donohue went further, telling the New York Times’ Laurie Goodstein that the Catholic Church “has been too quick to write a check” and could save money “in the long run if we fought them one by one” – them being rape victims. He also claimed that the bishops are reaching the conclusion that “they had better toughen up and go out and buy some good lawyers to get tough.” “We don’t need altar boys,” he continued, as only Bill Donohue could.
Donohue may just be projecting though, or at least speaking out of turn. Sister Mary Ann Walsh, a spokesperson for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told Goodstein that Donohue was wrong: “‘There is no national strategy,’ she said, and there was no meeting where legal counsel for the bishops decided to get more aggressive.”
Meanwhile SNAP is resisting subpoenas in the Missouri cases, but national director David Clohessy has already been deposed. He told Goodstein that the deposition was “not a fishing expedition,” instead it was “a fishing, crabbing, shrimping, trash-collecting, draining the pond expedition.” He said the real motive is to “harass and discredit and bankrupt SNAP, while discouraging victims, witnesses, whistle-blowers, police, prosecutors and journalists from seeking our help.”
As for Donohue, he really can’t seem to help himself. He may have been an asset for right-wing bishops at some point in the past, but now he’s a liability. He attacked rape victims without denouncing pedophile priests, and then dropped in an altar boy quip. It’s almost as if he’s in the fight to amuse himself, not to win any arguments or friends.
But we probably shouldn’t be surprised. After all, Donohue has a history of this sort of thing.
Rick Santorum has demonstrated, yet again, his willingness to associate with people whose views are repugnant to most Americans. This afternoon he appeared on one of the most extreme Religious Right programs in the country – American Family Radio’s Focal Point with Bryan Fischer.
Fischer, the Director of Issues Analysis for the American Family Association, has been accused of crossing the line against “decency and civility” and of using “poisonous language” – by none other than Mitt Romney at the Values Voters Summit, who was trying to cautiously distance himself from Fischer’s repeatedattacks on his Mormon faith while still courting the Religious Right. Later in January, Fischer claimed that a electing a Mormon president would threaten the “spiritual health” of the country.
That brings us to Rick Santorum, who is hoping today’s appearance on American Family Radio will help him reach right-wing voters in Alabama, Mississippi and Kansas – the next states to vote in the GOP primary. He even gave a shout-out to the Deep South at the top of the interview: “We spent yesterday in Mississippi and Kansas and today we’re in Alabama. I’ll tell ya, there’s just nothing friendlier than the Deep South. We’re just enjoying the heck out of it here.”
Santorum knew he would be warmly received, and the interview was nothing short of a lovefest. Fischer gushed that his wife was a Santorum supporter from back when “being a Rick Santorum fan wasn’t cool,” and Santorum responded in kind: “We appreciate all the help and support. We were in your home town there, Tupelo, yesterday, and had a great reception from folks.”
Listening to Fischer and Santorum talk, it was clear that both men have very similar world views. For instance, Santorum told Fischer that President Obama ignores the Constitution and “believes he is more of an emperor than a president.”
Their conversation reminded me of a compliment Fischer gave Santorum just two weeks ago on his show:
This ought to be a tremendous encouragement to all of us that the leading candidate for the GOP nomination sounds like he’s hosting a conservative talk radio program.
Ladies and gentlemen, where do you hear anybody on the campaign trail talk like Rick Santorum talks? He sounds much more like he’s hosting a program on AFR Talk.
On that point, I’m in full agreement with Fischer. Santorum does sound like a Religious Right talk show host, and while that may help him in the GOP Primary, it’s also why he’ll never be president of the United States.
You can watch the full Santorum interview on Focal Point here: