The mood was positively funereal when Penny Nance, the president of Concerned Women for America, appeared on “Breitbart News Radio” this morning and tried to convince herself on air that conservatives should support Donald Trump.
Nance, like many Religious Right leaders, endorsed Trump’s Republican presidential rival Ted Cruz before he dropped out of the race last night. Back in January, she and several other leading women in the anti-abortion movement wrote an open letter urging Iowa caucus-goers to support “anyone but Trump,” saying that Trump “cannot be trusted” on the abortion issue and calling themselves “disgusted by Mr. Trump’s treatment of individuals, women, in particular.”
Nance told Breitbart host Stephen Bannon that she was appearing on his program despite having “promised herself a media blackout today” to “lick my wounds and try to recover.”
She told Bannon that she was “broken-hearted for the direction of our country” but that “we’ve got to come together.”
“We are at a tipping point in this nation, and Hillary is not the answer,” she said.
“There’s been a number of people in this race who I really had a heart for and really felt like would be fantastic leaders and Donald Trump was not one of them,” she said. “But I have no problem — because here’s the reality, folks, we only have two choices now. And it’s either going to be — and maybe it will be Bernie but I think it will be Hillary — but it’s Donald Trump and it’s one or the other. And you can’t write in the third party.”
A Clinton presidency, she said would be “devastating” and would create “lasting damage.”
When Justice Antonin Scalia died in February, the Senate GOP quickly vowed to keep his Supreme Court seat open until the next president takes office. They kept that vow even after President Obama nominated Merrick Garland, somebody whom Republicans had previously praised as a best-case scenario for a nominee from a Democratic president.
Now, after Ted Cruz dropped out of the Republican race last night, it’s all but certain that the next president will be Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump. We can assume that Senate Republicans aren’t hoping that Clinton or Sanders will pick the next Supreme Court justice — which means that they are holding the seat open for Trump.
Senate Republicans are refusing to even hold a hearing on Garland’s nomination so that they can hold a Supreme Court seat open for months on end with the hope that Donald Trump will fill it. They have some explaining to do.
Titus gave a Skype interview to Arizona pastor Jeff Durbin, which Durbin played at a conference he hosted in April called “#EndAbortionNow,” at which speakers — all male — urged elected officials to ignore the federal courts and enforce criminal penalties for abortion. Also speaking at the conference were Matt Trewhella, a signer of the infamous 1993 “defensive action statement” justifying violence against abortion providers; Rusty Thomas of the anti-abortion, anti-LGBT group Operation Save America; and Joel McDurmon, a Christian Reconstructionist who has advocated the death penalty for homosexuality and who shared a conference stage last year with Sen. Ted Cruz.
Durbin and Titus discussed what should be done about states that still have criminal prohibitions on abortion on their books that aren’t being enforced because of Roe v. Wade, agreeing that those prohibitions are still valid if state officials would be brave enough to enforce them.
“You’re dealing with two different courts,” Titus said. “The court of public opinion, it’s very important to disabuse people thinking that Roe v. Wade legalized abortion. That’s impossible. That’s impossible. The court can’t make straight what God has made crooked, they can’t deny to a baby the full protection of laws prohibiting homicide, it just simply isn’t true. So the rhetoric we engage in is very, very important or otherwise people would think that we’re challenging a legal rule. No, we’re not, we’re challenging a rule that is based upon illegitimate statement of facts and assumption of law.”
He added that “lower magistrates” such as governors and attorneys general must “interpose” themselves to prevent the enforcement of an unjust court decision and instead continue to enforce their state’s unconstitutional abortion bans.
“The governors of states in today’s political climate are very reluctant to interpose between the people of the state and of the Congress or of the court,” he said, “and there has to be a cultivation amongst the lower magistrates, such as governors and attorneys general, to recognize that they have a moral and legal obligation to stand on the law and not just hide behind the skirts of the court that has decided a case in the wrong way.”
“It’s extremely important for the states to step up to the plate and get back to the business of protecting innocent life and not allow the federal courts to push them around,” he added.
Anne Graham Lotz, the evangelist daughter of Billy Graham, warned in an interview with Christian broadcaster Janet Mefferd last month that the terrorist attacks in Paris, Brussels and San Bernardino and “things that are happening in our weather” are “wake-up calls” from God to Christians who have turned away from Him and failed to stop such things as advances in LGBT rights in America.
Lotz told Mefferd that conservative Christians have to “stop being judgmental and stop being self-righteous and stop pointing our finger at them” and instead take on some of the blame for what she sees as a turning away from God.
She pointed to the negative reaction to North Carolina’s anti-LGBT bill HB2, saying that it is “evidence of rebellion in the human heart against God.”
“When we look at our nation and we are just provoking God’s judgment,” she said, “and He is righteous and that’s how I know we’re coming under judgment, because His character demands that He would judge our sin. But at the same time, He’s loving and merciful and if we would just plead to him, He’s so tender-hearted, I believe that He would turn back to us and He would once again protect us and bless us and give us His favor.”
“So I don’t think it’s too late yet, Janet,” she said, “but I believe we’re reaching that tipping point. I honestly believe we’re dangerously close to reaching a point where there’ll be no return and judgment will fall.”
She went on to warn that terrorist attacks and “things that are happening in our weather or in our political situation” are God’s “wake-up calls” to the church as He prepares for the return of Christ and “the end of human history as we know it.”
“I pray for the revival of God’s people and that God would wake them up,” she said. “And that may be what San Bernardino is about, or Brussels, or Paris, you know, we can’t ignore these wake-up calls, or things that are happening in our weather or in our political situation, they’re wake-up calls. God is telling the church, I believe, to wake up and it’s time to hit your knees and pray because I believe we’re looking at the end of human history as we know it. I believe everything is ratcheting up, preparing for the return of Jesus, but before He comes back, it’s going to get very ugly.”
“I believe something is about ready to break and something’s getting ready to blow, and it’s time for God’s people to pre-prayer, it’s time for us to pray before that happens,” she said.
Fox News personality and Religious Right conference fixture Todd Starnes is not happy with recent protests of Donald Trump inCalifornia and Indiana, taking to the Fox website yesterday to pen a column smearing undocumented immigrants as “invaders” and the “enemy” who are “living off our tax dollars” and “causing mayhem in our streets.”
We “used to fight wars” against such “invaders,” he wrote:
There was a time in this nation’s history when having 13 million people breach your border would have been considered an invasion. We used to fight wars over such a hostile act.
But these days instead of repelling the invaders, the Obama administration gave them food stamps, free health care, and a voter registration card .
We’ve been invaded and our government has provided aid and comfort to the enemy.
In both Indiana and California the protesters tried to bully and intimidate law-abiding Americans into silent submission. They tried – but they failed.
You see, the illegals need to understand something – “We the People” will no longer be silent. We will not allow our sovereignty to be violated anymore.
The American taxpayers have reached a boiling point. We are tired of illegals taking American jobs. We are tired of illegals living off our tax dollars. We are tired of illegals causing mayhem in our streets.
And more than anything, we are tired of lawmakers who refuse to defend American sovereignty.
The truth is we don’t know who or what has been coming across our southern border. We don’t know what dangers lurk in our neighborhoods.
Starnes discussed his column with St. Louis radio host Jamie Allman this morning, adding, “I think the American people are just so frustrated with their tax dollars being used to take care of illegals. They see that there are illegals here doing nefarious things; there seems to be one set of laws for them and one set of laws for us. And people are saying, you know what, that’s not right. And the only person that seems to be talking about this and resonating, his message is resonating, is Donald Trump.”
Among the groups pressuring Republicans in the Senate to continue their blockade of President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee is Gun Owners of America, a gun lobby group that holds considerable sway on Capitol Hill despite its history of promoting wild conspiracy theories, frequent warnings to elected officials that they should fear assassination and deep ties to radical militia groups and white supremacists.
GOA has circulated a petition to its members claiming that Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, “would reverse your ability to own a gun” and “hates the Second Amendment,” basing its claims on exceedingly thin evidence. While these attacks on Garland’s record have been widelydiscredited, severalRepublicansenators have pointed to the judge’s supposed disrespect for the Second Amendment as a reason to oppose him.
GOA’s general counsel, Michael Hammond, brought these claims to an op-ed in USA Today on Sunday, which GOA followed up with a video claiming again that Garland “hates the Second Amendment” and that if he gets on the court “good people will go to prison for exercising their constitutional rights.” Obama’s nomination of Garland, the video warns, is “the most significant step in his sordid trail towards transforming our nation.”
This paranoid and exaggerated language is typical of a group that has ties to the violent militia fringes of the Right and stays afloat by promoting conspiracy theories about various federal plots to snatch law-abiding people’s guns.
Tim Macy, the group’s chairman and the head of a “Second Amendment Coalition” on Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign, used similar rhetoric in March when he said that the Garland nomination was Obama’s “last-ditch effort” to “ruin the Second Amendment and destroy this country.”
The group’s executive director, Larry Pratt, went even further when he implied that Garland should fear assassination if he displeases gun groups. “Happily, the Second Amendment is all about people like Judge Garland, so there is a limit to how far he can go, I think,” Pratt told radical radio host Rick Wiles.
In an interview last year, Pratt said that being afraid of assassination was “a healthy fear” for members of Congress to have, because that’s what makes them “behave.” When Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-NY, who had felt threatened by one of GOA’s members, complained about his comments, Pratt doubled down, saying that elected officials should fear “ the cartridge box” and accusing the congresswoman of being “ foolish” and having “a hissy fit .” Later, he boasted that Democratic proponents of stricter gun laws are “afraid of getting shot and they ought to be!”
On his weekly radio program last year, Pratt said that President Obama should learn from the example of Charles I, who was executed for treason in the 17th century:
Pratt’s view of the Second Amendment as a tool for a well-armed minority of insurrectionists to take on a government they disagree with comes straight from the fringe militia movement, which Pratt helped shape in the 1990s.
And that’s not all. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, “In 1996, Pratt was forced to resign as co-chairman of Patrick J. Buchanan's presidential campaign when it was publicized that he had been a speaker at the 1992 Gathering of Christian Men in Estes Park, Colo., where he rubbed shoulders with neo-Nazis, Klansmen, adherents of the anti-Semitic Christian Identity theology, and other radicals.”
More recently, Pratt was a cheerleader for the armed militias who staged a standoff with the federal government at Cliven Bundy’s ranch in Nevada, saying that the incident came “very close” to provoking “a civil war between the people and the government.”
In his role at the helm of GOA, Pratt is happy to stir up conspiracy theories and anti-government paranoia in an effort to turn his group’s membership against any attempt at reasonable gun law reform.
He has humored radical radio hosts who have suggested that the Sandy Hook school and Aurora movie theater massacres were inside jobs designed by the government.
And, as we wrote last year, Pratt has plenty of conspiracy theories of his own:
David Clarke, the sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, and a favorite of Fox News and the right-wing media, will deliver the keynote address to a meeting of the New York chapter of the radical anti-government group Oath Keepers next month, according to an invitation on the group’s website.
The Southern Poverty Law Center describes the Oath Keepers as “a fiercely antigovernment, militaristic group” summarizing the group’s philosophy like this:
The core idea of the group is that its members vow to forever support the oaths they took on joining law enforcement or the military to defend the Constitution. But just as central is the group’s list of 10 “Orders We Will Not Obey,” a compendium of much-feared but entirely imaginary threats from the government — orders, for instance, to force Americans into concentration camps, confiscate their guns, or cooperate with foreign troops in the United States. These supposed threats are, in fact, part of the central conspiracy theory advocated by the antigovernment “Patriot” movement of which the Oath Keepers is a part — the baseless claim that the federal government plans to impose martial law, seize Americans’ weapons, force those who resist into concentration camps, and, ultimately, push the country into a one-world socialistic government known as the “New World Order.” In 2013, the group took on a more aggressive stance, announcing the planned formation of “Citizen Preservation” militias meant to defend Americans against the New World Order.
Speaking at a New York Oath Keepers event last year, Rhodes warned of a government plan to “cause chaos, and in the middle of all that chaos, spark a race war, and in the middle of that, unleash these ISIS cells that are now all over the country”:
Clarke has been embraced by Fox News, and even by politicians like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, in part because of his fiery dismissal of critiques of the criminal justice system and in particular of the Black Lives Matter movement. They are seemingly willing to ignore Clarke’s association with an extremist fringe movement.
It turns out that anti-LGBT activists are right that men are taking advantage of a transgender-inclusive policy at Target to go into women’s restrooms — and those men are anti-LGBT activists.
In an interview this morning with “Breitbart News Daily,” the American Family Association's director of governmental affairs, Sandy Rios, said that activists have been “testing” Target’s policy by sending men into women’s rooms at the retail chain.
Rios' group has been leading a boycott of Target after the company said it would allow transgender people to use the restroom that matches their gender identity, which it claims will lead to open season for “sexual predators.”
The program’s host, Stephen Bannon, contended that rather than being inclusive, Target is “trying to exclude people who are decent, hard-working people who don’t want their four-year-old daughter to have to go into a bathroom with a guy with a beard in a dress.”
“I think there’s no question that when you say that there are no barriers in the bathroom,” Rios said, “and that if men or women feel like they are men or women, the opposition of however they are equipped, and you have no restrictions, the net effect will be that people will not be stopped. We’ve already had people testing this, going into Targets and men trying to go into bathrooms. There is absolutely no barrier.”
“And so the chief concern,” she continued, “even more than just, I think, trauma, certainly for little girls of having men dressed like women coming in their bathrooms, the chief concern of the American Family Association is the predators who will take advantage.”
UPDATE: AFA says that it is not in fact sending men into women’s changing areas:
“Look, you know, Russia can do a lot of good for us,” Trump told Savage. “I mean, when I heard six months ago they wanted to bomb the hell out of ISIS and maybe they had other things in mind also — because, you know, they have a different view on Syria than our so-called leaders and, you know, frankly, they start to start thinking, our people ought to start rethinking their whole policy. But ISIS, they want to bomb it and we’ve got people saying, ‘We don’t want them to bomb ISIS,’ and I’m saying what are these people thinking about?”
The Republican presidential front-runner then repeated his boast that Putin had called him a “genius.”
“Here’s the thing, Michael,” he said, “wouldn’t it be great if we got along with Russia? You know, Putin said very nice things about me but it has zero influence — he actually called me a genius, but that’s okay, has zero influence on me, Michael, zero.”
A group of anti-LGBT organizations, including leading American groups, have banded together to sign a joint platform meant to “push back against UN entities attempting to redefine the family to include same-sex relations.”
C-Fam, a U.S. group that pushes social conservative policies at the UN, says in a press release that it was joined in organizing the platform by the National Organization for Marriage, the Family Research Council and Human Life International. Also among the organizing groups is CitizenGo, an international petition platform that counts NOM president Brian Brown as a member of it board and HazteOir and Derecho a Vivir, two Spanish organizations led by CitizenGo’s president, Ignacio Arsuaga.
The platform states that any reference to the family in UN documents should be interpreted only as “a man and a woman united in marriage, and relations that are equivalent or analogous, including single parent families and multigenerational families.”
It makes clear that this specifically excludes families headed by same-sex couples: “Relations between individuals of the same sex and other social and legal arrangements that are neither equivalent nor analogous to the family are not entitled to the protections singularly reserved for the family in international law and policy.”
The platform concludes that any language that “implicitly or explicitly attempts to dilute, erode, or undermine” this definition of the family is “incompatible with international human rights law.”