And who will do better to stop godlessness and champion the cause of conservative Christianity than Donald Trump, the man whobrags about never seeking God’s forgiveness?
The Washington Post reports that Lane sent an email today to pastors involved in his American Renewal Project, telling them that “Donald Trump can be one of the top four presidents in American history.”
Lane also urged the thrice-married GOP nominee to pick the thrice-married Newt Gingrich as his running mate in order to “mobilize evangelical and Catholic pro-life conservatives who stayed home in the last election cycle.”
“Mr. Trump is going to have to return to the Ronald Reagan model: running and governing on ‘principle’ and ‘moral absolutes’,” Lane said of the candidate who hasreversedhimself on nearly every single issue and isaserialfabricator.
Trump will at least be far better than Hillary Clinton, Lane said, because she would nominate Supreme Court justices bent on “imposing a godless agenda, tearing America apart brick-by-brick.”
"The choice facing America is not the lesser of two evils, but who will inflict the least damage to freedom and liberty," Lane said in the message:
Between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, this is an easy choice. What and how will Mr. Trump do? I don't have a clue. But with Hillary we do know, the progressives that she will stack on the Supreme Court alone will set-back America for a century. ... Codifying transgender bathrooms rights will only be the beginning of nine unelected and unaccountable justices imposing a godless agenda, tearing America apart brick-by-brick.
Lane's letter takes a decidedly pro-Trump position. "I'm going to choose to believe that Donald Trump can be one of the top four presidents in American history," he wrote. "But the proof is in the eating of the pudding, and Mr. Trump is going to have to return to the Ronald Reagan model: running and governing on 'principle' and 'moral absolutes.' "
Lane's appeal to the pastors, part of an occasional communication from the American Renewal headquarters, cited Trump's backing of gun rights, the needs of U.S. workers and his willingness to "confront totalitarian political correctness."
"I think it would be tremendous, and others do too," he said. "It would be tremendous because Newt is respected and mature and has experience." More important, Lane said, Gingrich would "mobilize evangelical and Catholic pro-life conservatives who stayed home in the last election cycle."
Religious Right leaders typically claim that the Bible speaks to most political issues of the day. Once voters agree with their conservative take on what the Bible says about such matters, they argue, then Republican candidates will win elections in a landslide.
Rarely do we hear a movement leader urge pastors to quit talking about a political issue in biblical terms, but that is exactly what Eagle Forum founder and Donald Trump endorser Phyllis Schlafly did in her syndicated column today, telling Christian leaders to stop pursuing the cause of immigration reform.
Noting that the “immigration issue may be preventing some church leaders from siding with Donald Trump,” she wrote that it “is the time for church leaders to listen to their own flock on the important issue of immigration.”
Faith leaders, she said, need to recognize that the “amount of immigration allowed by a nation is a political matter, not a religious one” and that they cannot hold out for an ideal candidate because “Jesus will not be on the ballot.”
Touting the rise of a far-right party in Austria, Schlafly said conservatives who have religious reasons for supporting immigration reform should instead get with Trump’s anti-immigrant message because it has proven to be more politically popular.
“No church would urge people to unlock their doors at night in order to allow anyone in, and we should not persist with open borders to welcome hordes of illegal aliens who include many hardened criminals,” she wrote. “When an unwelcome ‘neighbor’ comes into our home, we ‘deport’ him out of our house, and Trump’s leadership on the immigration issue has earned him the support of millions of Democrats and Republicans alike. Loving our neighbor does not mean unlocking our doors to any and all comers.”
The immigration issue may be preventing some church leaders from siding with Donald Trump now. While opposition to Trump is expressed in moral terms – even though they had no trouble supporting the divorced Ronald Reagan in 1980 – a real motivation is that church leaders do not want Trump’s criticism of immigration.
Rev. Luis Cortes, as president of an Hispanic Christian network and nonprofit legal organization that helps immigrants, declared after the White House meeting that “the entire religious community” supports an Obama-style immigration reform package. “For the first time … all the major denominations and churches and religious bodies of this country believe that it is a moral imperative that we get immigration reform done,” he asserted.
But churchgoing voters indicated otherwise during the Republican primaries, by nominating Donald Trump. Now is the time for church leaders to listen to their own flock on the important issue of immigration.
The amount of immigration allowed by a nation is a political matter, not a religious one, and this issue has become the elephant in the room impossible to overlook. The stunning election results in Austria two weeks ago demonstrate that those who try to duck or downplay the immigration issue are headed for defeat.
As in the United States, the leaders of both major political parties in Austria ignored the problems caused by immigration. A candidate emerged there named Norbert Hofer, who campaigned on “putting Austria first” despite the media giving him little chance of winning.
On April 24 Austrians voted with a large turnout, and the candidate opposed to permissive immigration won the first round in a stunning double-digit landslide. The two major parties that had echoed failed immigration policies, as Democrats and Republicans here have done, fared so poorly that they failed even to qualify for the upcoming runoff, which the Trump-like Austrian candidate is also expected to win.
Church leaders should recognize that responsibility is just as important as charity. No church would urge people to unlock their doors at night in order to allow anyone in, and we should not persist with open borders to welcome hordes of illegal aliens who include many hardened criminals.
When an unwelcome “neighbor” comes into our home, we “deport” him out of our house, and Trump’s leadership on the immigration issue has earned him the support of millions of Democrats and Republicans alike. Loving our neighbor does not mean unlocking our doors to any and all comers.
There will not be a third-party candidate who is as good as Trump on immigration. There will be only two viable candidates to choose from this fall, only one of whom will safeguard our country against immigration – and Jesus will not be on the ballot.
Today, one week after lambasting the transgender rights movement as fraudulent and inspired by Satan, Pat Robertson said that trans equality “has got nothing to do with civil rights.”
“It’s just absurd,” he said. “It’s merely part of the socialist, humanist agenda to destroy the Judeo-Christian fabric of this nation.”
The televangelist was responding to the Justice Department’s challenge of North Carolina’s recently enacted anti-LGBT law, hoping that a future Donald Trump administration would oust Attorney General Loretta Lynch for siding with the “so-called transgenders.”
Robertson then lamented that President Obama was re-elected in the first place: “This is America and this is who you put in office. You elected him. I didn’t elect him. You did.”
Conspiracy theories aren’t incidental to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, they’re one of its driving forces.
The presumptive GOP nominee attacked his former rival Ted Cruz by baselessly connecting his father to the assassination of John F. Kennedy, citing the supermarket tabloid National Enquirer. He brought up debunked claims about the 9/11 attacks to justify his call for the U.S. to commit war crimes by intentionally killing innocent civilians. He has stoked anti-Muslim sentiment by repeating bogus, chain-email-inspired stories about Muslim-Americans celebrating 9/11 and a U.S. general using bullets drenched in pigs’ blood to — in Trump’s telling, rightly — massacre Muslim detainees.
And let’s not forget that Trump has for years been attacking President Obama bysuggestingthat he is a Muslim usurper who was born outside of the U.S. and had a Hawaii state employee killed as part of an effort to cover up his real birthplace. On top of that, he kicked off his presidential campaign by tarring Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and later tweeted a fabricated, racist meme about black crime rates from a neo-Nazi website.
Polling shows that Trump supporters are disproportionately likely to believe in conspiracy theories, including ones about vaccines and climate science that have been championed by the candidate himself.
It comes as no surprise, then, to learn that Trump has courted the support of some of the country’s most extreme and, frankly, bizarre conspiracy theorists.
This group of supporters includes pastors like Carl Gallups, who has promoted the disgusting claim that the Sandy Hook massacre was staged by government agents and that the parents whose children died were actually actors, and Robert Jeffress, who believes that gay people use “brainwashing techniques“ to advance their “miserable lifestyle“ and will “pave the way“ for the Antichrist.
He has also boasted about receiving the support of pundits Ann Coulter and Michael Savage, two far-right extremists who have taken credit for the candidate’s draconian anti-immigrant stance and harsh rhetoric that demonizes immigrants as “killers” and “rapists.”
And, probably most disturbingly, Trump has embraced Alex Jones, a conspiracy theorist broadcaster known for regularly screaming about false flag attacks, chemtrails, alien overlords and homosexuality-inducing juice boxes. Trump, nonetheless, cited Jones’ conspiracy theory outlet to defend his debunked claim that Muslim-Americans in New Jersey partied during the 9/11 attacks.
Not only has Trump appeared on Jones’ show to praise the unhinged radio host’s “amazing“ reputation and spread his own conspiracy theories, but his close confidant Roger Stone has also become a frequent guest on Jones’ program and is collaborating with Jones on an effort to intimidate Republican convention delegates who won’t vote for Trump. In the project that they are calling “Days of Rage,” Jones and Stone plan to hold rallies at the hotels where delegates are staying to stop them from “stealing” the nomination from the business mogul.
Jones and his ilk not only now have a presidential candidate from a major party who reflects and reinforces their paranoid and bigoted worldview. They also now benefit from a direct line to the leader of the GOP, who is happy to elevate their profiles and ideas.
Today on “The 700 Club,” Pat Robertson responded to a story on conservative activists in the republic of Georgia who accuse the U.S. and the European Union of trying “to force Georgia into accepting homosexual practices and same-sex marriage as societal norms.” (Not coincidentally, some of the same activists will be hosting a number of American anti-LGBT groups at the World Congress of Families this month.)
Robertson, of course, said that America’s support for LGBT rights is putting the nation’s survival at risk and may be paving the way for the End Times and divine judgment.
The truth is, from what we understand in history, there hasn’t been one nation in the history of the world that has openly embraced homosexual lifestyle and begun to practice the homosexual lifestyle that has endured. Every one of them has gone down. Every single one of them. Once rampant homosexuality takes place, then people don’t take care of their children, they aren’t concerned about the next generation, they’re concerned about physical pleasure and the activities surrounding this lifestyle, they aren’t planning for the future and the country goes to pot.
Right now it it’s kind of in the balance, it’s kind of interesting, but the fact that the European Union and the U.S. is trying to impose this lifestyle on a little country like Georgia that wants to stay orthodox is incredible.
You look at the Book of Revelation and it says, ‘Mystery Mother of Harlots, you have made the world drunk with the wine of your fornication.’ And you say, who is that ‘mystery woman?’ Well, more and more, this great nation of ours, the U.S. of A, is becoming — to take on that role. I don’t know if we intend to but that’s what’s happening. We’re making the nations drunk with the wine of our fornication and God brings judgment on a country that does that.
Ever since Ted Cruz dropped out of the Republican presidential race last week, Glenn Beck and his co-hosts have been holding on to a sliver of hope that if Cruz could still somehow manage to win today's Republican primary in Nebraska, that would convince the Texas senator to unsuspend his campaign and re-enter the race.
Today, Cruz called into Beck's radio program and Beck's co-host Pat Gray directly asked Cruz about this possibility.
"If Nebraska were to somehow miraculously choose you tonight," Gray asked, "if that happened, would you consider getting back in the race?"
Cruz responded that he would certainly be open to that admittedly slight possibility.
"I am not holding my breath," Cruz said. "My assumption is that that will not happen. But listen, let's be very clear, if there is a path to victory, we launched this campaign intending to win; the reason we suspended the race last week is with Indiana's loss, I didn't see a viable path to victory. If that changes, we will certainly respond accordingly."
Beck and crew were, of course, elated and urged Republicans in Nebraska to turn out en masse today to vote for Cruz.
One claim promoted by Trump, that Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy, didn’t appear to entirely convince his followers. But it did raise misgivings: while 7 percent of Trump’s fans thought Rafael Cruz was implicated in the assassination, 38 percent couldn’t say for sure one way or the other.
That’s not so bad for Trump, since simply muddying the waters was his main objective all along.
Among voters with a favorable opinion of Trump:
-65% think President Obama is a Muslim, only 13% think he's a Christian.
-59% think President Obama was not born in the United States, only 23% think that he was.
-27% think vaccines cause autism, 45% don't think they do, another 29% are not sure.
-24% think Antonin Scalia was murdered, just 42% think he died naturally, another 34% are unsure.
-7% think Ted Cruz's father was involved in the assassination of JFK, 55% think he was not involved, another 38% are unsure.
“For the most part we’ve found that Donald Trump’s supporters lap up every conspiracy theory he pushes out there,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “But the Ted Cruz’s dad was involved in killing JFK one appears to be a bridge too far even for them.”
Correction: We originally reported, based on a Politico article, that conservative activist David Horowitz had been tapped as a delegate for Donald Trump in California. A spokeswoman for the David Horowitz Freedom Center, however, tells us that contrary to the Politico report, if the David Horowitz listed as a Trump delegate is the same as the one who runs the Center it’s “news to him.” Horowitz has, however, urged conservatives to unify behind Trump now that he is the nominee. We’ve updated the post to reflect this.
Conservative activist and author David Horowitz is urging conservatives to unite behind Donald Trump now that he is the GOP nominee, writing in Breitbart on Sunday that “conservatives who have declared war on the primary victor are displaying a myopia that could be deadly in November when Donald Trump will lead Republicans against a party that has divided the country, destroyed its borders, empowered its enemies, and put 93 million Americans into dependency on the state.”
Horowitz, although he states a couple of qualms about Trump’s candidacy, makes a natural ally for the GOP frontrunner. After all, Horowitz based much of his recent activism on the idea that white people in America are the victims of discrimination by blacks and other racial minorities, while Trump has benefited fromthe idea of “reverse racism” among his base.
Just last month, Horowitz, the publisher of FrontPage magazine, told a radio interviewer that President Obama is “racist” for failing to recognize that it was “white Christian males” who ended slavery.
“There’s no community that’s more racist in America than the black community,” he has said.
Horowitz has urged the Republican Party to embrace this message, a dream that seems to have come true with the rise of Trump. He said in February that Trump has “hit a note that is absolutely necessary” on race. “Republicans and conservatives lose the battle,” he said, “because they won’t take the bull by the horns, they won’t call the Democrats liars, they won’t say that they’re treasonous, which they are, they won’t say that they’re racist, which they are.”
“I mean, it’s just unbelievable to me when you see how racist the Democratic Party is,” he said. “Everything is about race and everything is an attack on white people and anybody who’s not black or Latino.”
Horowitz frequently claims that Obama “hates America” and discriminates against white people by showing a preference for people with “a darker shade of skin” and supporting anti-white “lynch mobs.” He has said that Obama “would never be president if he weren’t black” because “part of the racism of our society is if you’re black you can get away with murder.”
He enthusiastically contributed to the smear campaign against Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, who some anti-Muslim activists claim infiltrated the government on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood, claiming at one point that she was “given a special dispensation to marry a Jew so she can infiltrate our government.” Horowitz has even hinted that Abedin was responsible for the attack on American diplomats in Benghazi, Libya.
Horowitz is also on board with the conspiracy theory that anti-tax activist Grover Norquist is a Muslim Brotherhood agent in the Republican Party, claiming that Norquist is secretly a “practicing Muslim.”
In Trump, it seems that Horowitz may have finally found the trash-talking, insult-heaving, white-racial-grievance-promoting, anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist candidate of his dreams.
He as accused people protesting at Trump campaign events of using “fascist tactics” reminiscent of the rise of Nazism.
Back in July, Horowitz praised Trump for his anti-immigrant rhetoric, claiming that Obama's immigration policies “import disease and kill Americans.”
“Wake up America,” he said. “There’s only one conservative who is even near to talking like this and that’s Trump and that’s why he’s way ahead.”
Senate Republicans continue to hemorrhage support for their unprecedented decision to not hold any hearings on President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, with a new poll from Public Policy Polling finding that Americans continue to oppose the GOP’s obstructionism.
The poll, conducted for Americans United for Change between May 4 and 5, finds that 58 percent of voters believe that the “vacant seat on the Supreme Court should be filled this year,” and that 65 percent think the “Senate should hold confirmation hearings for the nominee.”
Fifty percent of voters are less likely to vote for a senator who “opposed having confirmation hearings,” and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, one of the architects of the obstruction plan, has a mere 11-percent national approval rate.
One reason the GOP’s messaging on the court vacancy has continued to struggle has been the rise of Donald Trump. A majority of voters, 53 percent, according to the poll, “do not trust Donald Trump to nominate a new Supreme Court justice.”
Last week, Donald Trump put forward yet another alarming economic idea when, as Business Insider reported, he suggested in an interview with CNBC “that as president he would find ways to renegotiate the public debt and pay less than 100 cents on the dollar if the economy went bad.”
But Trump is utterly unconcerned about needlessly creating an economic crisis, since, after all, he is “the king of debt.”
This reminds us of an interview that Trump gave to televangelist Paula White when he was promoting his 2006 book “Why We Want You To Be Rich,” which he co-wrote with Robert Kiyosaki. White later became a vocal endorser of Trump, including addressing one of his campaign rallies and praying over him when he met with a group of televangelists.
In the interview, Trump said, “In a certain way, I love debt,” but added that he understood that the liabilities of debt can outweigh the benefits. “Nobody knows more about debt than I do,” he said.
Debt never weighed him down, Trump explained, because God “blessed” him with a brilliant mind, unlike the majority of people who attended his speeches. “God has to have blessed you with a good mind or, at least, a business mind,” he said.
On today's "Pray In Jesus Name" program, Religious Right activist and Colorado state legislator Gordon Klingenschmitt shared his thoughts on a lawsuit filed against a California school district for refusing to inform students about scholarships that were being offered by atheist groups.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation and a local freethinker organization were offering college scholarships but district officials refused to include them on a list of scholarships that was distributed to students even though the list featured several overtly religious scholarships.
In Klingenschmitt's view, this is perfectly okay because trying to "bribe" public school students with an atheist scholarship is unconstitutional.
"To advertise atheist scholarships to all of the Christian students or the Jewish students or even the homosexual students," he said, "to say that everyone should be able to get this money if you just renounce your faith, that, to me, is itself unconstitutional. There is no place for atheist recruiters to come into your schools and recruit children to violate their parent's religion."
Offering Christian scholarships, on the other hand, is totally acceptable because the majority of students in public school are Christians, Klingenschmitt said, and so "for an opportunity to be offered to a Christian child that, if they write an essay about God that they should get Christian scholarship money, that's not bribery. They're keeping their own religion ... You're reinforcing what the parents want their kid's faith to be. This is a parental rights issue."
Sure, some atheist parents might object to students being offered a scholarship for writing Christian essays, Klingenschmitt admitted, but that is totally different than saying "to Christian children that we're going to bribe you with [a scholarship] if you convert and renounce your parent's faith about how great it is to be an atheist."
"That would be upsetting and offensive to parents who want their children raised in a Christian faith," he stated, before praying that school officials will fight this lawsuit and "stand up for the freedom of religion for Christian students in public schools to not be coerced and bribed to convert to atheism against their parent's faith."
It’s not really surprising that preachers who tout wealth as a sign of God’s favor would line up with a blustery billionaire like Trump, who says his riches are proof that he’s qualified to fix what’s wrong with the country. What is a bit more surprising is the support Trump is getting from a leading advocate of Seven Mountains dominionism, which teaches that government and other spheres of influence — “mountains” like media, entertainment, business — are meant to be run by the right kind of Christians.
Wallnau has been pushing Trump for a while now. In November he declared that God has given Trump “an anointing for the mantle of government.” But why would someone who thinks Christians with a “biblical worldview” are supposed to be running the world throw his support to Trump rather than Ted Cruz or one of the other candidates who put their faith at the center of their campaigns?
“When God wants to move in history, he doesn’t always pick the favorite evangelical,” said Wallnau. He said that God brought Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill to power at crucial moments in history, the way He is now raising up Trump for our time. And he knows this, Wallnau said, because God told him so.
In a video on his website, Wallnau praised Cruz as someone who “totally gets Seven Mountains” but said he doesn’t believe Cruz could win a general election. Anyway, he said, it’s better for Christians to have someone like Trump in power, because every failure of a President Cruz would be blamed on conservative Christians, something that won’t happen with Trump. And after all, having believers like Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush in office didn’t turn out so well.
Wallnau said God told him specifically that Trump is “a wrecking ball to the spirit of political correctness.” Wallnau has dedicated a section of his website to explaining why “Trump is the guy that God is going to use.”
I ran across a picture of Trump that said “Donald Trump 45th President of the United States.” Immediately the thought hit me “read Isaiah 45!” I was shocked by what I discovered. It’s about a king named Cyrus and he would not appear on the scene for another 100 years. Cyrus was a secular ruler. He was not a believer. He was “anointed” to do certain things “for Jacob my servants sake.”
Like King Cyrus, says Wallnau, Trump is a secular figure who God will use to get things done. And, he told Strang, he told Trump all about the Cyrus prophecy when he met with a group of African American ministers last year.
Wallnau calls Trump a “chaos candidate,” someone who is unconventional enough to push back hard against a radical left that is transforming America into “an increasingly hostile anti-Christian culture.” And Hillary Clinton, he told Strang, is helping take America down the road that Messianic rabbi Jonathan Cahn, author of the end-times bestseller “The Harbinger,” is predicting. Wallnau told Strang:
Hillary Clinton is part of a machine that is taking America socially, spiritually, and economically into everything the Harbinger talks about…the Harbinger has Hillary on it. That’s why I was thinking, I want to do an article called, ‘Lead us not into Trumptation but deliver us from Hillary.’ Because Hillary Clinton is not an individual, she is a machine with an entire ideologic [sic] agenda that goes all the way to the most ghastly interests you can imagine in terms of the survival of Christian civilization.
Trump, warned Wallnau, will not make it without evangelical support, adding, “may we not be the saboteurs of our own deliverance.” Cruz supporters, he said, will have to look at the bigger picture. Cruz, he said, still has an important role to play in history, maybe as a running mate or Supreme Court justice.
As Kyle reported in April, Wallnau is part of the Trump campaign’s “National Diversity Coalition.” He is also a board member of the Oak Initiative, whose bio of him starts, “Dr. Lance Wallnau has been described by People For the American Way as the hidden architect behind the increasingly viral and politically potent seven mountain template for cultural impact.” Wallnau has said that Right Wing Watch is part of a coalition controlled by a secret cabal of funders who are behind the climate change movement and Black Lives Matter.
Wallnau has a history of saying rather unusual things. Three years ago he said God was giving a diabetes cure to Christians, but that they wouldn’t share it with the general public, only with Kingdom-minded believers who would give it to Chinese Communist Party leaders in order to help spread the Gospel in that country. China? Better not tell Trump.
The leaders of the movement against abortion rights have, in recent years, been making a concerted effort to portray their movement as “pro-woman,” from devising a legal strategy that disguises anti-choice restrictions as protections for “women’s health,” to counseling Republican candidates on how not to talk about rape, to giving this year’s March for Life the theme “Pro-life and Pro-woman Go Hand in Hand.”
One of the leaders of this strategy is Marjorie Dannenfelser, the head of the Susan B. Anthony List, a group that takes its name from the historically dubious claim that the women’s suffrage crusader was a “pro-life feminist.”
Dannenfelser and her fellow anti-choice leaders were not thrilled, then, with the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump, who has a long record of making disparaging and demeaning statements about women, not to mention the fact that he has blown up the anti-choice movement's carefully constructed talking points and publicly discussed changing the Republican Party’s platform position on abortion.
In an open letter to Iowa voters in January, Dannenfelser and handful of other anti-choice movement leaders urged Republicans to pick “anyone but Donald Trump,” writing that they did not trust the candidate to pick Supreme Court justices to their liking, and also saying that they were “disgusted” by his record of making “disparaging public comments to and about many women:
Moreover, as women, we are disgusted by Mr. Trump’s treatment of individuals, women, in particular. He has impugned the dignity of women, most notably Megyn Kelly, he mocked and bullied Carly Fiorina, and has through the years made disparaging public comments to and about many women. Further, Mr. Trump has profited from the exploitation of women in his Atlantic City casino hotel which boasted of the first strip club casino in the country.
America will only be a great nation when we have leaders of strong character who will defend both unborn children and the dignity of women. We cannot trust Donald Trump to do either. Therefore we urge our fellow citizens to support an alternative candidate.
When, in March, Trump said that there should be “some form of punishment” for women who have abortions if the procedure is outlawed, Dannenfelser scrambled to do damage control. When Trump said just days later that he didn’t actually want to change any abortion laws, Dannenfelser declared, “He has completely contradicted himself. If this is his position, he has just disqualified himself as the GOP nominee.”
But all of Trump’s egregious statements about women and his flip-flopping on abortion rights aren’t stopping Dannenfelser from lining up behind him now that he is the presumptive GOP nominee.
Dannenfelser praised Trump last week for hiring a top adviser who has the trust of anti-choice activists. And today in Townhall she writes a column called “The Pro-life Case for Trump,” in which she says it’s time to “reexamine what we know about Mr. Trump” and praises the “very specific pro-life commitments” that he has made on the campaign trail,” including backing a 20-week abortion ban, saying he would defund Planned Parenthood and promising to nominate Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade. (Never mind that Trump has backtracked and equivocated on many of these positions, as Dannenfelser herself has noted in the past.)
“As we move into the general election,” Dannenfelser writes, “Susan B. Anthony List is already diligently working to engage with voters and expose Hillary Clinton’s extremism, confident that the American people will reject her radical abortion agenda at the ballot box. We believe Mr. Trump, who has already taken strong positions on the life issue throughout the primary campaign, will join us on offense.”
It’s not an endorsement, but it’s a pretty warm statement from someone who has previously said she was “disgusted” by Trump’s treatment of women and said he had “disqualified himself” with his flip-flops. Dannenfelser’s group has clearly decided that it’s worth teaming up with the notoriously misogynistic Trump in the hope that he will hand them the Supreme Court that they want. But that may make it a little harder to sell the idea that their anti-choice activism is all in pursuit of a pro-woman, feminist vision.
Sunday marked the second anniversary of the creation of the House committee and South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy’s reign as its chairman.
After two years and $6.7 million dollars spent by the committee, along with more than $20 million spent by other federal agencies, all Gowdy has to show for his work is a string of embarrassing flubs. Even Donald Trump has referred to the South Carolina Republican as “Benghazi loser Gowdy.”
Yet the very premises behind Trump’s presidential candidacy and the Benghazi Select Committee are the same — tossing red meat to an angry conservative base inflamed by partisan media. In the case of the Benghazi Select Committee, conservatives believed that although there was no evidence to support their claims they would finally find the silver bullet to take down the Obama administration and, more importantly, Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
The politicization of the attack in Benghazi began while the terrible events of that 2012 evening were still ongoing. Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign issued a statement claiming that President Obama “sympathize[d] with those who waged the attacks.” From that moment forward, the conservative media believed the attack on our diplomatic facility and CIA annex was evidence of all the evils of which they had previously accused the president.
The conservative media has invented a series of myths about the Benghazi attack, from the notion that the president and then-Secretary of State Clinton issued a stand-down order demanding the military not respond that night to the offensive belief that the administration intentionally left people to die in Benghazi. None of this was true.
In the spin room following the presidential debate at Hofstra University in 2012, a leading Republican told me he believed the exchange about whether Obama had called the attack terrorism had won them the election.
It did not.
Subsequently, seven congressional investigations conducted by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, the House Committee on the Judiciary, the House Committee on Armed Services, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence all failed to provide the fodder the far right was looking for.
In order to mollify conservatives, then-House Speaker John Boehner created Gowdy’s select committee. At the time, many congressional Republicans, in particular those who had investigated the attacks, were concerned about the committee’s formation.
“There is deep unease within the Republican leadership that the select committee, which has yet to announce a schedule of hearings, could backfire, and badly,” wrote Eli Lake, then of The Daily Beast, on the reaction of congressional Republicans. “Investigate and find nothing new, and the committee looks like a bunch of tin-hatted obsessives. Investigate and uncover previously-hidden secrets, and it makes all of the other Republican led panels that dug into Benghazi seem like Keystone Kops.”
It is now two years later and the select committee has yet to uncover any new details about the attack in Benghazi. Nor have any of the facts I presented in “The Benghazi Hoax,” published 31 months ago, changed.
Every investigation into Benghazi has found the same thing. While there were a number of failures at every level of government that led to the attack, there was no wrongdoing and no cover-up. Republican chairmen led the majority of these investigations.
Now conservatives, still seeking confirmation of their conspiracy theories, have come full circle. A recent letter from Assistant Secretary of Defense Stephen Hedger pointed to a request from Gowdy demanding the Pentagon track down a caller to Sean Hannity’s radio show so he could testify before the committee.
As ranking member of the Benghazi Select Committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., noted on the anniversary of its creation, “Republicans have now spent more than two years and nearly $7 million of taxpayer funds for the illegitimate purpose of bringing down Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers, as Kevin McCarthy admitted.” He concluded, “The Select Committee has discovered no new evidence that contradicts the core findings of the previous bipartisan and independent investigations.”
The fact that no new evidence contradicting previous investigations has been unearthed will not hinder the effort in the least as mollifying the right has been Gowdy’s ultimate goal all along.
It was House Majority Lead Kevin McCarthy who plainly explained the aim of the committee in the fall. “Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right?” he said. “But we put together a Benghazi special committee. A select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping.”
Gowdy’s own investigator accused him of waging “a partisan investigation” with a “hyper focus on Hillary Clinton.”
In the coming months, with the general election in full swing, the Benghazi Select Committee will finally issue a partisan report.
Cummings issued a warning about Gowdy’s plans: “Republicans are desperate to hide the truth, so they are selectively leaking misleading information to fit a partisan political narrative, withholding interview transcripts from Democrats to prevent us from publicly releasing the facts to the American people, and completely cutting out Democrats from drafting the Select Committee’s final report,” he stated.
A partisan effort like this will do nothing but feed the right-wing media and prove Gowdy’s most fervent critics right about his motives. For an investigation that was born out of the swamp of right-wing media, it is wholly appropriate that it will end there as well.
Before the GOP presidential frontrunner started winning the backing of Republican leaders, he assembled a team of ardent right-wing conspiracy theorists whose bigoted and bizarre beliefs once put them decidedly on the fringe of American politics.
Trump himself has spread a wide range of bizarre and bogus claims, winning state after state by questioning the facts about President Obama’s birthplace and religion, bashing immigrants as “killers and rapists,” parading discredited stories to demonize Muslim-Americans and, at one point, linking an opponent’s father to the Kennedy assassination.
As more “establishment” and “mainstream” Republicans declare their support for Trump, it is critical to remember the people whom Trump initially invited into his campaign: a range of pundits and preachers who have pushed racist, xenophobic and truly insane beliefs throughout their careers.
No endorser was out of bounds for Trump, whether it was a pastor who believes Starbucks injects semen from gay men into its lattes in order to spread Ebola or a radio host who thinks that alien creatures secretly run the government.
These activists have now also become some of Trump’s most outspoken defenders. And, in return, Trump has elevated their profiles by appearing on their radio programs, inviting them to share the stage with him and even praising them to national audiences.
Trump’s apparent victory in the Republican presidential primary gives these figures an unprecedented platform from which to spew their paranoia and bigotry. And it presents a strange turning point at which conspiracy theories that previously only lurked around the edges of political discourse are suddenly thrust to center stage.
The fact that the Republican Party is about to nominate a candidate who has embraced conspiracy theorist broadcaster Alex Jones is downright terrifying.
Trump’s top confidant, Roger Stone, a conservative operative who has called for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders to be killed, has been on Jones’ show nearly every week during the campaign. The two are even working together on an effort to track down Republican delegates who don’t support Trump and hound them at their hotel rooms at the party convention in Cleveland.
Jones’ “news” program is a natural outlet for Trump, as pollafterpoll shows that Trump supporters disproportionately subscribe to shocking conspiracy theories, including ones championed by Jones and by the candidate himself.
It’s hard to describe how utterly bizarre Jones’ worldview is and how unbelievable it is that a major presidential candidate is promoting it.
Trump has become a regular guest on “The Savage Nation,” a right-wing radio program hosted by Michael Savage that has the fifth-largest radio audience in the country, often appearing on the show immediately before primary election days in order to drum up support from Savage’s listeners.
Oh, you're one of the sodomites. You should only get AIDS and die, you pig. How's that? Why don't you see if you can sue me, you pig. You got nothing better than to put me down, you piece of garbage. You have got nothing to do today — go eat a sausage and choke on it. Get trichinosis.
“Ann’s been amazing,” Trump said earlier this year. “I’m a big fan and you know that.”
Indeed, Trump’s extremist plan of mass deportation, constructing a massive border wall, impounding remittances, expelling refugees and curtailing legal immigration seems to resemble the proposals laid out in Coulter’s book, “Adios, America: The Left’s Plan to Turn Our Country into a Third World Hellhole,” in which she called on the government to adopt draconian policies to curb both lawful and unlawful immigration and refugee resettlement programs because, in her view, America has too many Latinos.
Coulter has urged GOP candidates to win elections by stoking anti-immigrant sentiment and “unapologetically opposing the transformation of America into a Third World country.”
Coulter claims that unless immigration is drastically curbed, parents will have to “get used to your little girls being raped” because “gang rape, child rape, elder rape, and murder rape are highly correlated with specific ethnic groups — ethnic groups we are bringing to America by the busload.”
Gallups and Trump share a passion for promotingbirther conspiracy theories and denouncing the Common Core academic standards, which Gallups warns will ensure that “our smallest children in pre-school” will learn about “the mechanics of homosexual sex.”
“[T]his dude is a Hollywood actor, his so-called wife is a Hollywood actor,” he said of two parents who lost children in the shooting.
A Trump spokeswoman said that the campaign “was not aware” of Gallups’ views, but the campaign still boasts of his endorsement on its website.
Unsurprisingly, Gallups has also speculated about whether Obama is the Antichrist, ultimately concluding that while the president is “an anti-Christ,” it is more likely that “he is a depiction of some of the characteristics of the anti-Christ who is to come.”
Trump was very proud to land the endorsement of Robert Jeffress, a prominent Southern Baptist preacher and Fox News contributor who has hitthetrail with the candidate at a number of events.
At one rally, Trump invited Jeffress to join him on stage as he decried the supposed persecution of Christians in America through the “War on Christmas” and lamented that he wouldn’t have been criticized if he had proposed a ban on Christians from entering the U.S., as he did with Muslims.
Jeffress made waves in the last presidential election when, after endorsing Rick Perry, he told Christians that they shouldn’t vote for Mitt Romney because of his Mormon faith, which wasn’t too surprising since he once blasted Mormonism as “a cult” from “the pit of hell.”
Accused Obama of murdering his “love child” outside the U.S. Capitol.
And that list barely scratches the surface of the many absurd and offensive things that Manning has actually said.
While Trump of course cannot be held responsible for all of the statements these individuals have made, he can and should be held responsible for embracing them and, at times, promoting their baseless conspiracy theories.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus attempted to reassure Republicans wary of supporting Donald Trump today, telling conservative radio host Mike Gallagher that Trump is “not wanting to rewrite” the party’s platform and that the election comes down to “a conservative Supreme Court for generations.”
“Number one, Donald Trump is not wanting to rewrite the platform, okay?” he said. “He’s just not. So all that anxiety, just take it off the table. Not willing to do that. But, you know, get into that, tell people that, that you don’t want to rewrite, you like, you appreciate and agree with the platform the way it is.” (Trump has explicitly said that he would want to change the Republican platform on abortion.)
“Second thing is,” he said, “I think that they ought to release however many names — five, 10 names — people that would make great Supreme Court justices, from which you’re willing to choose a justice from. You know, something that the Federalist Society and the Heritage folks — you know, solid names that we can say, okay, this is what this is about. This is what this is about. It’s about a conservative Supreme Court for generations.”
Trump has promised to release a list created with the help of the conservative Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society from which he will pick Supreme Court justices, but has yet to do so. Both organizations have been working to skew the courts far to the right. As Ed Kilgore wrote in New York magazine yesterday, “conservative fears about Trump's lack of fidelity to their supreme value of limited government could lead to demands for truly radical Court nominees who embrace the idea that right-wing judicial activism is needed to restrain the executive and legislative branches alike.”
When Gallagher asked if he thought that Trump’s campaign would actually release this promised list, Priebus replied that he didn’t know “where that’s at,” but “I think they’re open to it.”
Despite a ruling by a federal judge in Mobile making same-sex marriage legal in Alabama last year, and in the face of a United States Supreme Court ruling last year making its legality the law of the land, Moore instructed probate judges throughout Alabama to ignore those higher courts and to refuse to issue licenses to same-sex couples.
Moore's actions led the Southern Poverty Law Center to file complaints with the commission, which acts much in the same way as a grand jury. When it receives a complaint, the commission investigates and decides whether to forward charges to the Alabama Court of the Judiciary.
This isn’t the first time Moore has been in this situation.
Back in 2003, he was removed from the office of chief justice for flouting a federal court ruling ordering the removal of a Ten Commandments monument he had installed in the courthouse rotunda.
The episode turned Moore into a martyr in the eyes of right-wing activists, although his newfound celebrity wasn’t enough to help his two unsuccessful campaigns for governor.
But in 2012 Moore returned to the Alabama Supreme Court, where he was once again lauded by the Religious Right when he tried to block same-sex marriages from taking place in the state in defiance of the federal courts.
Moore himself has likened the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling to Nazi oppression and has tapped Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver, the Religious Right activist who used bizarre legal arguments to defend Kentucky clerk Kim Davis in her unsuccessful attempt to flout the Supreme Court on marriage equality, to represent him in the case.
Just as Staver likenedDavis to victims of the Holocaust, expect him to turn Moore, once again, into a symbol of the supposed persecution of Christians in America.
Indeed, far-right pastor Dave Daubenmire is already planning to hold a rally in Montgomery, Alabama, to support Moore and challenge the “uncircumcised philistine of the federal court system.”
Moore’s wife, Kayla Moore, who succeeded him in leading the Religious Right legal group Foundation for Moral Law, posted a song on her Facebook page yesterday comparing her husband to actual Christian martyrs.
On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver asserted that North Carolina's anti-LGBT law and the Religious Right's boycott of Target are necessary because efforts to allow transgender people to use facilities that match their gender identity are being pushed by pedophilia advocates.
"The fact is we know sexual assaults occur," he said, "they are going to occur with or without these laws, there's no question about that. People commit sexual assaults, they commit them in buildings, they commit them in restrooms; but what you have now done, knowing that sexual assaults occur, knowing that they occur in these places where women are trapped and they can't get out, now what we've done, through these laws, is we've opened the door for every rapist and pedophile."
"Frankly," he continued, "when you look at some of the people behind the North Carolina law and some of these other laws, who are they? They have been identified, some of them that have been advocating this, as pedophiles. Some of this is being financed by those who are actively promoting pedophilia."
Of course, Staver did not disclose which groups were identified as organizations that promote child abuse.
Iowa talk radio host Steve Deace, who has become a vocal player in the state’s Republican politics, renounced his Republican Party membership following Donald Trump’s apparent victory in the party’s presidential nominating contest, and is determined that none of his former Religious Right allies will get away with backing the thrice-married mogul.
“Donald Trump has done us a favor, it appears, in pruning off all of the rotten fruit off of the tree,” Deace’s cohost Aaron McIntire said.
“I am going to troll like a mother the next few months, though, I’m going to do that,” Deace promised. “I am. Huckabee and all these guys, I’m going to scorched-earth them all and I’m going to enjoy doing it, actually. Maybe more than I should.”
True to his word, Deace spent several minutes on his program today trolling Huckabee for backing Trump.
In 2008, Deace said, he helped pick the former governor “up off the dirt floor at negative nine percent, when nobody knew how to pronounce your name or that funny-sounding Baptist college you came from” and “risked my job, put my family on the road, became a six-month infomercial on your candidacy.” He claimed he also did the opposition research that “you didn’t have the balls nor the money to do” on Mitt Romney, who came in second to Huckabee in that year’s caucuses.
“So I think it is only fitting, gentlemen, it is only poetic that Mike Huckabee brought me into this world and is now ushering me out,” he said. “We have come full circle.”
Huckabee, Deace said, is pandering to Trump in a futile hope “to get a sell-out, which makes it all the more pathetic”
On his radio show today, Bryan Fischer criticized the Washington Post for mistakenly reporting that the American Family Association was sending men into women's restrooms in order to test Target's policy of allowing transgender customers and employees to use the restroom and fitting rooms that match their gender identity. (Though the Post article did not cite us, the initial report on this issue originated from a post right here on Right Wing Watch about comments made by the AFA's Sandy Rios that "we’ve already had people testing" Target's policy; we interpreted her comments to mean that other LGBT activists were testing the policy.)
In complaining that the Washington Post failed to check with the AFA before publishing its report, Fischer said that something similar happened to him several years ago when people falsely claimed that he asserted that black people on welfare "rut like rabbits" in order to receive more benefits from the government.
"I never said that blacks and minorities 'rut like rabbits,'" Fischer insisted, "but that's what they accused me of saying. I didn't say it. I said people do this. You get more of whatever you subsidize."
Fischer is unequivocally lying.
Coincidentally, Right Wing Watch was also the source of the initial report that Fischer had asserted that African Americans on welfare "rut like rabbits" in a column that he wrote in April 2011:
Welfare has destroyed the African-American family by telling young black women that husbands and fathers are unnecessary and obsolete. Welfare has subsidized illegitimacy by offering financial rewards to women who have more children out of wedlock. We have incentivized fornication rather than marriage, and it’s no wonder we are now awash in the disastrous social consequences of people who rut like rabbits.
Welfare has destroyed the African-American family by telling young black women that husbands and fathers are unnecessary and obsolete. Welfare has subsidized illegitimacy by offering financial rewards to women who have more children out of wedlock. We have incentivized fornication rather than marriage, and it’s no wonder we are now awash in the disastrous social consequences of those who engage in random and reckless promiscuity, whether they are Caucasian, Hispanic, or African-American.
Fischer absolutely declared that blacks "rut like rabbits" and we have to original column to prove that he is lying when he now claims that he never wrote anything of the sort.