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Ted Cruz Panders To Assassination-Threatening, Race-Baiting Gun Lobbyist Larry Pratt

Gun Owners of America, the radical and influential gun group that boasts that it is far to the right of the NRA, announced in an email to its members yesterday that it will be holding a series of “tele-town hall meetings” with Republican presidential candidates in order to vet the candidates on their gun-law orthodoxy.

The “first of several” calls, to be held next week, will feature Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a clear favorite of Gun Owners of America’s executive director, Larry Pratt.

While it’s unclear which other GOP candidates have agreed to participate in GOA’s calls, it’s disturbing that any have agreed to associate themselves with the far-right group and with Pratt.

GOA promotes an extreme, “no compromise” ideology that has helped to pull the NRA to the right and to sink any attempts at bipartisan gun law reform. But what is even more troubling is Pratt’s long history of pushing dangerous paranoia to the far right, encouraging firearms ownership as a way to stave off race riots and government takeovers and making frequent references to assassinating political leaders.

Pratt has long stood at the intersection of the “mainstream” right, Christian nationalists, and fringe militia movements. In 1996, he was forced to step down from a position on Pat Buchanan’s presidential campaign when it came to light that he had spoken at a militia event featuring a number of neo-Nazi and anti-Semitic activists. Several years earlier, Pratt had coauthored what the Southern Poverty Law Center calls the book that “introduced the concept of citizen militias to the radical right.”

A few days after the Oklahoma City bombing, he spoke to a far-right “Christian Patriots” group on the “biblical mandate to arm,” telling them that whoever had taken on the government “beast” in Oklahoma knew that “they can’t rely on the Lord to take vengeance.”

Pratt continues to promote an anti-government paranoia, urging citizens to arm themselves against a repressive government and make their elected officials fear assassination.

On his radio show in March, Pratt said that he hoped President Obama would learn from the example of Charles I, who was executed for treason in 1649:

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!”

Pratt also pushes all manner of conspiracy theories regarding President Obama. He has claimed that Obama is building up a private security force within the Department of Homeland Security to use for his own purposes “if he can’t actually commandeer the military”; warned that Obama will enlist undocumented immigrants into a private “Praetorian guard” and advise police officers to go after people with conservative bumper stickers; said Obamacare will ultimately “take away your guns”; feared Obama is stockpiling “anti-personnel rounds” because he “seems to view the American people as the enemy”; claimed that Obama “had to steal” the 2012 presidential election and even buys into the fringe birther theory that holds that the president’s “real father” was labor activist Frank Marshall Davis.

Pratt repeatedly suggests that President Obama will seek to bring violence against white Christians, possibly in the form of race riots. In a 2013 conversation with far-right pundit Stan Solomon, Pratt predicted that “there is inevitably going to be some kind of social implosion, some kind of neighbor-against-neighbor” violence brought about by “these folks in power.” When Solomon predicted that that “implosion” would take the form of a race war pitting “black, Muslim and/or atheist…have-nots” on “Christian, heterosexual white haves,” Pratt replied that he wasn’t “stretching” anything.

In a separate interview, Pratt agreed with Solomon that Obama “would definitely be capable of something as evil” as raising what Solomon called “a black force” to massacre white Americans. Pratt later denied that their conversation had anything to do with race, insisting that it was really about ninjas, but said that such a racial massacre was “something that the president wouldn’t mind seeing.” Pratt holds that this race war will then allow Obama and Hillary Clinton to “build their own communist society” in the race war’s wreckage.

Pratt’s reaction to recent protests of police brutality and racial inequality have taken a similar tone. Earlier this month, he suggested that there would be no problems in Baltimore if armed citizens had simply shot dead anyone who rioted; in 2013, he blamed Trayvon Martin’s death on the teen’s “broken family.” On his radio program last year, he mused that “the African from Africa” is generally “a very happy person” and could therefore “approach some of their fellow blacks” in America to teach them to exhibit less “surliness.”

And Pratt’s reprehensible politics don’t stop there. In the 1980s, he called for a quarantine of people with AIDS, saying, “We don’t think AIDS should have civil rights.” He opposes immigration reform because he says it will bring in people who will be “sitting around drawing welfare and voting Democrat” and who will support firearms restrictions.

Despite all this, Ted Cruz and apparently other Republican presidential candidates are choosing to pander to Pratt and his group’s members.

Michael Savage: Stop Obama 'Before He Kills All Of Us'

Michael Savage warned his listeners on Tuesday about President Obama’s “grand strategy for stealing America in 2016 and giving it to the bowling pin,” which he said involves fomenting a devastating race war in which gang members “intimidate” and “frighten you not to vote.”

“You have Satan in the White House,” Savage said, or, rather, shouted. “You have an absolute fork-tongued Satan every day in every way trying to bring the country to its knees, trying to turn black against white, white against black, Americans against the police, everyday Satan does it.”

Savage said that he is simply trying to save us all from death at Obama’s hands: “I see the country on fire. I see the man with the matches and the lighter fuel and I see him playing with the lighter fuel and the matches every day and I’m standing here like a fireman screaming, ‘Fire in the theater!’ Get the child out of the White House. He is going to set the nation on fire like he set the world on fire. Stop him before he kills all of us.”

“And if you think I’m paranoid then you’re really sick or you are stoned on medical marijuana and you don’t know what the hell you’re doing yourself,” he added for good measure.

RNC Teams Up With Extremist David Lane Once Again

Earlier this year, the Republican National Committee teamed up with the American Family Association and the American Renewal Project to take dozens of RNC committeemen on a trip to Israel. The trip stoked controversy because of the radical track record of the AFA and its then-spokesman Bryan Fischer, particularly his claims that gay people are to blame for the Holocaust, that Jewish Americans shouldn’t have equal constitutional rights and that Jewish immigrants should be required to convert to Christianity.

Just as radical is the head of the American Renewal Project, David Lane, whose brand of Christian Nationalism views the separation of church and state, LGBT equality and religious pluralism as dangers, calling on conservative Christians to “wage war” against these supposed threats.

The RNC’s official faith-outreach arm is now working with Lane to hold a training session at today’s Southern Republican Leadership Conference:

As we’ve reported, Lane isn’t just your everyday conservative activist, but has extreme views about how gay rights will lead to terrorist attacks and America’s “utter destruction.” He has also lashed out at prominent Republican leaders who support gay rights and attacked Mitt Romney for worshiping the “false god of Mormonism.”

  • Feared that God might destroy the U.S. just as he punished Nazi Germany: “If we get judgment like Nazi Germany, I’m assuming we go to rebel, and God says ‘I’m done.’”
  • Favorably quoted a Christian author who said that “same-sex marriage practiced universally is suicide. To survive gays and lesbians are parasites, depending for their cultural survival on couples that birth the next generation.”
  • Explained why homosexuality is a threat to freedom: “Homosexuality is debauchery. God’s loyalty and fidelity — that guard the nation — make sustainable freedom dependent on seeking virtue.”
  • Predicted that homosexuality will lead to the destruction of America: “Homosexual desire and marriage is unnatural and — more so — is a symptom of advanced cultural decay and precursor to the collapse of the Republican Party and the nation.... The mark of a decadent society is the exaltation and normalization of sin — which leads to the death.”
  • Compared Republicans who support marriage equality to politicians who backed slavery in the run-up to the Civil War.
  • Called the separation of church and state a “lie” and a “fabricated whopper” used to stop “Christian America – the moral majority – from imposing moral government on pagan public schools, pagan higher learning and pagan media.”
  • Claimed that while “America was a Christian nation” since its founding, now it must choose between being “a Christian nation or a pagan nation.”
  • Said America needs a “thorough cleaning from pornography, abortion, homosexuality, filth from TV and Hollywood, racism, and injustice.”
  • Congratulated a pastor for exposing Mitt Romney’s belief in the “false god of Mormonism” during the 2012 GOP primaries.
  • Lamented that the “‘religion of secularism’ has produced red ink as far as the eye can see, homosexuals praying at the Inauguration, tax-funded abortion, homosexual marriage in several States, Evangelicals held in contempt, and God expelled from the classrooms of America — and the public square.”
  • Warned that while America has “grovel to the false god of Islam,” “America, a Christian nation in heritage and culture, is being dismantled brick by brick.”

CWA Goes After 'Ruth Traitor Ginsburg' For Officiating Gay Couple's Wedding

We can now count Concerned Women for America among the groups that wants Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to recuse herself from the marriage cases at the Supreme Court because she has officiated weddings for gay couples.

CWA's president, Penny Nance, sent out a fundraising email this morning with the subject line “Ruth Traitor Ginsburg,” the treason in question apparently being Ginsburg’s officiating at a gay couple’s wedding this weekend.

Arkansas Kicks Off 2016 Ballot Initiative to #GetMoneyOut

This week PFAW staff joined members of the Arkansas Democracy Coalition to kick off a 2016 ballot initiative campaign to increase disclosure in election spending and support a constitutional amendment to overturn Supreme Court cases like Citizens United. The series of events, including a performance showcasing the story of legendary campaign finance activist Doris “Granny D” Haddock and a march for democracy through downtown Little Rock, culminated with a press conference on the steps of the state capitol building.



Speakers included Paul Spencer of Regnat Populus, a convening organization of the Arkansas Democracy coalition; Rep. Clarke Tucker, a member of the Arkansas state legislature; Rhana Bazzini, an 83-year-old woman who has marched hundreds of miles in the tradition of Granny D to promote campaign finance reform; and Rio Tazewell, the Government By the People campaign coordinator at People For the American Way. 

The Arkansas Democracy Coalition, in partnership with PFAW and other national allies, has submitted ballot language awaiting approval by the Arkansas Attorney General. Upon approval, a signature gathering campaign will launch to collect the 70,000 names needed to get the resolution on the ballot. If passed, the resolution would make Arkansas the 17th state on record in support of an amendment to get big money out of politics.

PFAW

Peter Brimelow: States Like Texas Must Consider Secession To Protect 'White Rights'

Speaking at the white nationalist American Renaissance conference last month in Tennessee, conservative author and onetime CPAC speaker Peter Brimelow argued that instead of promoting unity, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day “has just turned into anti-white indoctrination.” Unless “cultural Marxists” who are behind “political correctness” and “the war on Christmas” are resisted, Brimelow contends, the U.S. will collapse.

“Whites have rights,” demanded Brimelow as he advocated for the secession of Texas from a failing U.S.

Brimelow described a modern Red Terror in which “cultural Marxists” are now in control and the victims of discrimination and condemnation are white nationalists. The mission of these “social justice warriors,” he said, is to “keep white consciousness suppressed and keep Americans generally divided.”

Richard Spencer: Whites Need Their Own MLK Or Gandhi To Save Themselves From Minority Domination

Last month, the white nationalist group American Renaissance held its annual conference in Tennessee, bringing together fringe racist figures like AmRen’s Jared Taylor, the National Policy Institute’s Richard Spencer, and former Klan attorney Sam Dickson with activists who have ties with more mainstream conservative movements, including former National Review columnist John Derbyshire and onetime CPAC speaker Peter Brimelow.

American Renaissance is tied to the leadership of ProEnglish, a regular sponsor of groups such as CPAC.  

The event included a debate about whether “the race problem” can be solved within “the U.S. political system,” with Brimelow and Derbyshire arguing that it can, and Spencer and Dickson arguing that it cannot.

Spencer argued that white Americans are becoming marginalized and victimized by an increasing non-white population, a problem that can only be confronted by finding “a white-advocate Martin Luther King or a white-advocate Gandhi” who can similarly “start from a position of weakness and capture people’s imagination.”

Huckabee: Better To Have A Gun You Don't Know How To Use Than No Gun At All

At a campaign stop at an Iowa gun range yesterday, Mike Huckabee dismissed concerns about lax state requirements for gun permits, saying he wasn’t very worried about a permit-holder “not being as trained as they could be” because “a good guy armed is still better than a good guy unarmed.”

A reporter attending the event at Crossroads Shooting Sports in Johnston, Iowa, asked Huckabee to comment on laws in Iowa that make it “relatively easy to get your permit to carry” without “actual hands-on training.”

“You know, I leave that to the states,” Huckabee said. “[I have] less worry about someone not being as trained as they could be, because I think ultimately a citizen who is going to arm themselves is going to want to avail themselves of significant training to become proficient. I mean, that just makes sense, for their own sake. But if they don’t, a good guy armed is still better than a good guy unarmed.”

He told the audience that he would hope permit holders would pursue extensive firearms training, “but that’s an individual responsibility, so I wouldn’t try to get in the way of what the state thinks is the right way to go about that.”

At the same event, Huckabee told another questioner that the government shouldn't restrict the ability of people to acquire military-grade weaponsThe comments were caught on video by the conservative blog Caffeinated Thoughts.  

 

 

Anti-Gay Pundit: Gays, Like Murderers, Live A 'Dangerous' And 'Deadly Lifestyle'

Bill Muehlenberg, author of “Strained Relations: The Challenge of Homosexuality,” took to BarbWire today to claim that “loving homosexuals means telling them they don’t have to be homosexual.”

He writes that just as it wouldn’t be considered hateful to tell a slave-owner that slavery is wrong or demand that a murderer stop killing people, people who believe that “talking about a ‘cure’ for homosexuality is harmful and hateful are also unbiblical and unhelpful.”

“The only haters here are the activists who want people to stay trapped in an unhealthy and deadly lifestyle, and the confused Christians who reject Scripture for worldly wisdom,” he writes.

When you are loving in the biblical sense, you cannot be indifferent to the lost, to the plight of those heading the wrong way, to those on a one-way trip to hell. To love such people means you will warn them, you will wave [sic] the red flag, you will do everything in your power to get them off the road to ruin.

It is only when you hate someone that you will not think of their welfare – both temporal and eternal. Thus the Christian who pleads with the homosexual to be set free from his dangerous and dead-end lifestyle is acting out of love.



Those pushing this line might as well say opposing the criminal gangs wanting to hook kids on drugs is being hateful. They might as well say Wilberforce was “hating on” the slave owners as he stood up for blacks. Sorry, but to love people means resisting what enslaves them.

By this unhelpful advice, Wilberforce should have just shut up about abolition, and not make people feel guilty about their sinful activities. Loving people always means telling them the truth. Loving homosexuals means telling them they don’t have to be homosexual.

And those who claim that talking about a “cure” for homosexuality is harmful and hateful are also unbiblical and unhelpful. They might as well tell a murderer: “Hey, Jesus loves you, but I certainly won’t try to cure you of your desire to kill. Feel free to keep on doing it. I don’t want you to feel guilty after all, or feel hated on.”



The only haters here are the activists who want people to stay trapped in an unhealthy and deadly lifestyle, and the confused Christians who reject Scripture for worldly wisdom.

Michael Savage Explodes: 'Satan' Obama Acts Like Charles Manson, Wants Race War

On Monday, Michael Savage lit into President Obama for restricting the use of military-style equipment for local police forces, which the conservative talk show host said was part of the president’s plot to cripple the police and possibly impose martial law.

Savage, replying to a caller who told him about Charles Manson’s belief in an impending race war, said that “the rhetoric of Obama and Sharpton and Holder is not too far from that of Charles Manson and Manson’s vision of stirring up the black population to conduct a race war.”

“The devil in the White House went out and attacked the police again, did you hear that today?” he said, referring to a speech Obama delivered at an event for the My Brother’s Keeper initiative. “No one will believe that he did this, he did it again, the Satan did it again. Do you realize what a lie that is? Do you realize he’s justifying the looting, he’s justifying the burglary that triggered some of this, he’s justifying the killing of the police? The very same Satan who just said that, so far as I know, has not apologized for what he did in Ferguson and what he did in Baltimore; instead the Satan is doubling down on fomenting racial hatred.”

He added: “How could a president continue to push such hatred? The rhetoric is no different, by the way, than that of Al Sharpton or that of the grand wizard of the — who is the grand wizard of race hatred in America? The Black Panthers. And who is the number two grand wizard of racial hatred in America? The Nation of Islam.”

Savage said that by “demilitarizing” the police and “militarizing the military,” Obama may be “preparing for something astronomically unbelievable.” This led him to rant about black-on-white crimes while shouting about how the “slick Satan” and “evil liar” in the White House is stirring up “an epidemic of killing police by minorities, by the way.” 

Sandy Rios: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Showed No Honor By Participating In Gay Marriage Case

Earlier this spring, the American Family Association led an unsuccessful campaign to demand that Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan recuse themselves from the marriage equality cases at the Supreme Court because they had officiated weddings for same-sex couples.

Sandy Rios, the AFA’s governmental affairs director, continued the tirade on her radio show yesterday, saying that the fact that Ginsburg officiated at another gay couple’s wedding this weekend shows just how “dishonorable” she is.

“We are living in lawless times where there really is no honor,” Rios said, “and for the left it’s the means to an end, you know the honorable thing to them is getting gay marriage legalized, it doesn’t matter how dishonorable they are in the process.” 

Gohmert: Bush Wouldn't Have Invaded Iraq Had He Known Obama Would Succeed Him And Fight For 'The Wrong Side'

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, said yesterday that President Bush would have thought twice about invading Iraq if he had known that his successor would be “such a total incompetent leader” who is on “the wrong side” in the fight against terrorism.

In an interview with Virginia talk radio host John Fredericks, Gohmert said he opposed an effort led by Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia to pass a new Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) in the fight against ISIS, saying that “the president has all the authority he could possibly need” in the broad AUMF passed in 2001 and that the proposed new AUMF would “help tie his hands in ways a good president would not need.”

He added that the new AUMF, in addition to giving the president too little authority, would give the president too much authority. “I don’t trust this administration, I don’t want to give them any additional authority that Bush didn’t have,” he said.

“So, thank you very much, Mr. Kaine, but you need to tell your buddy in the Democratic Party to actually start fighting our enemies and quit helping our enemies and help our friends instead and quit worrying about a new AUMF,” Gohmert added. “He would be able to defeat ISIS if he just starts helping our friends and stops helping the enemies.”

“That AUMF, it’s a red herring, it’s a crock,” he continued. “The problem is the president’s on the wrong side. That’s the real problem.”

As Fredericks repeatedly tried to break in with a question, Gohmert continued his train of thought.

“I mean, seriously, John, you think a new AUMF is all of a sudden going to give us a president that will fight with the right people over there and win over there, really?

“Everybody else wants to ask that question of, ‘Gee, would you have gone into Iraq if you’d known what you know now?’ And I think if President Bush had known that he would have a total incompetent follow him that would not even be able to negotiate a status of forces agreement with Iraq and start helping our enemies and just totally put the Middle East in chaos, then he would have to think twice about doing anything if he had known he would have such a total incompetent leader take over after him. That should be the question.”

Scott Walker To Anti-Choice Leaders: I Didn't Mean What I Said About Abortion Being Between 'A Woman And Her Doctor'

Last night, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker met with a few dozen social conservative leaders in Washington, including representatives of the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America and the National Organization for Marriage, attempting to win them to his side if he decides to run for president.

According to people who attended the meeting, one subject that came up was a TV ad Walker ran last year in which he promoted his efforts to chip away at abortion access in his state, which, he said, would still leave “the final decision to a woman and her doctor.”

Marjorie Dannenfelser, head of the Susan B. Anthony List, told the Weekly Standard that Walker explained to her that in the ad he was “using the language of the other side to support our own position” and that people who said he was trying to paint himself as more pro-choice than he was were quoting him “out of context”:

Walker's pro-life credentials have been questioned by one Republican rival because of a 2014 Walker TV ad in which the governor defended laws regulating abortion as “legislation to increase safety and to provide more information for a woman considering her options. The bill leaves the final decision to a woman and her doctor.”

According to Dannenfelser, Walker brought up the ad during Tuesday's meeting and "explained his perspective on that — that using the language of the other side to support our own position is a good thing, but you can only do it if people aren't trying to call you out and quoting you out of context. And I actually liked the way he formulated this in general."

In an interview with the Daily Beast, Dannenfelser said that it’s just this sort of evasiveness on abortion rights that she’d like to see from other anti-choice GOP candidates:

Dannenfelser said Walker brought up his 2014 abortion ad before being asked.

“He felt very quoted out of context, very misunderstood,” she said. “He said there was a snippet of the ad used that did not convey the full meaning, and his communication was using the other side’s language but with the idea of forging common ground on ultrasound, because he’s a true believer on that.”

Walker signed legislation in 2013 requiring both that women seeking abortions get ultrasounds first and that the doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. Dannenfelser said he defended his use of the phrase “leaves the final decision to a woman and her doctor” as a way of co-opting pro-choice rhetoric for the pro-life cause.

“To the extent that we use the other side’s rhetoric to undermine their positions, we’re better off,” Dannenfelser added.

She said she was impressed with Walker’s way of talking about abortion.

“It’s the whole style of communication and content of communication that you want to see moving into a presidential cycle that will make it different from 2012,” she said.

Here's Walker's "Decision" ad:

Cornyn and Cruz Haven't Helped Their Own Judicial Nominee

Nearly three months after unanimous committee approval, a Texas nominee still has not gotten a confirmation vote.
PFAW

Jindal: Protecting LGBT Rights Will Hurt Businesses In The Long Run

Lousiana Gov. Bobby Jindal told the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins yesterday that the corporations that oppose his recent anti-LGBT executive action “are making a big mistake” by abandoning their “traditional alliance” with social conservatives and “teaming up with the left’s radical social agenda” on LGBT rights.

After a Louisiana House committee voted down a proposed “religious liberty” bill that would have given for-profit corporations the right to discriminate against same-sex couples, Lousiana Gov. Bobby Jindal issued an executive order yesterday protecting such discrimination. As has been the case in similar fights around the country, some of the staunchest opponents of Louisiana’s “religious liberty” bill were corporations that feared it would hurt their ability to recruit employees.

In an interview with Perkins on his “Washington Watch” program, Jindal said that Republican presidential candidates need to make promoting the freedom to discriminate a priority “because the left has made their assault on religious liberty a priority” and if they succeed, America is “going to lose the freedoms that are so fundamental,” including the freedom of speech and of association.

Jindal told Perkins that Republicans should avoid being “the party of big business,” but at the same time told pro-LGBT corporations that Republicans would do their bidding on issues such as environmental regulations and labor laws.

“One of the things, Tony, we’ve got to be on guard against, sometimes big business has allied itself with the radical left — you saw it in Indiana, you saw it in Arkansas, you saw a little bit of it here in Louisiana — against religious liberty,” he said. “They’re making a big mistake. The radical left, they want to tax and regulate businesses out of existence, they’re not for profit. So these businesses need to be careful. Economic liberty is the other side of the coin of religious liberty, two sides of the same coin.”

Perkins agreed, saying, “the left is not going to help them when it comes to the environmental blockades when they try to expand, or the labor laws and issues that they deal with. In many ways, I see big business, by teaming up with the left’s radical social agenda, they’re cutting the path of expansion and prosperity out from underneath themselves.”

“Absolutely, it’s very short-sighted, these politically correct, these short-term alliances,” Jindal responded. “And then you wake up. Because you’re exactly right, the same radical left that doesn’t want Keystone, doesn’t want to lower the corporate tax rates, the same radical left that wants the EPA to strangle our economy, that also wants to pursue radical environmental agendas that will make energy more expensive, more scarce at home, this is the same left that corporate America has gotten into bed with.

“It’s an unholy, unnatural alliance, is what I’ve argued. They should remember they need to go back to fighting for liberty and freedom and understand that the two of them always go together. And that has been the traditional alliance, and I think that’s what we need to get back to.”

Earlier in the interview, Jindal claimed that LGBT rights proponents are at war with religion, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution:

One of the greatest threats to our freedom is the area of religious liberty. The left clearly wants to erode the right to religious liberty guaranteed in the First Amendment, and that’s the basis of our freedom of speech and freedom of association rights. The left wants to erase these firmly held religious beliefs they don’t agree with. Their battle’s not just with us, it’s with the Bill of Rights, it’s with the United States Constitution.

Anti-Choice Leader Admits Rape Exceptions Are 'Political,' Goal Is To Outlaw All Abortion 'From Conception'

A long-simmering debate within the anti-choice movement about whether anti-choice bills should contain exceptions for survivors of rape and incest emerged yet again in the recent debate over a House bill that would outlaw abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks, had been bogged down twice in the past two years with internal disputes over a rape exception, and finally passed last week with a limited rape exception that included a 48-hour waiting period.

The bill’s rape exception split the anti-choice movement, which has been divided between “incrementalists” who want to ban abortion by gradually chipping away at access and legal protections and “immediatists” who want to swiftly declare that fertilized eggs and fetuses have the full rights of “personhood” under the 14th Amendment.

While some personhood leaders opposed the bill because of the rape exception, the main incrementalist groups, which oppose rape exceptions in principle but not necessarily in practice, lobbied behind the scenes to limit the rape exception while publicly supporting the final bill.

One of those groups was the Susan B. Anthony List, whose president, Marjorie Dannenfelser, spoke candidly about the political calculations behind rape exceptions in an interview Saturday with the Iowa conservative radio program Caffeinated Thoughts.

“Regrettably, there is a rape and incest exception” in the bill, she said. “It is the only way it was going to be allowed onto the floor by the leadership. I mean, I say regrettable, I really mean it. Any child at any stage should be protected from conception, and certainly at 20 weeks excepting anyone is just wrong.”

Host Shane Vander Hart told her that while he’d “love to see abortion completely outlawed and see some sort of a personhood amendment or a human life amendment,” he thought the 20-week ban did “move the ball forward.”

“Well, that’s why this is big,” Dannenfelser responded, adding that the 20-week bill shifted the debate to “talking about the child and his or her rights.”

Later in the interview, the program’s cohost Brian Myers asked Dannenfelser what it would take to make the GOP leadership realize that rape exceptions are “intellectually…inconsistent with the pro-life position.”

“It’s going to take winning,” she responded, citing anti-choice victories in the 2014 elections where “we had unapologetic pro-life people who didn’t talk about rape and incest.”

“I believe that it’s going to take winning the presidency for there to be a little more injection of courage, which will be required to understand the consistency of life that you’re describing,” she said.

“Do you think that at the end of the day that’s what it’s all about for a lot of those politicians, that they realize [rape exceptions are] an inconsistent position to take but they take it because they think it’s a political reality?” Myers asked.

“Yes. I think that’s why,” Dannenfelser agreed. “I think that they think they can’t get, that they will lose if they don’t. Most of them don’t believe in it in principle. Some do, which, as you say, is completely intellectually dishonest, but most of them don’t. And I think that sometimes, especially when you’re in that insular world on Capitol Hill that’s not in touch with reality, you make sacrifices that you don’t need to make.”

“I think you’re right,” she added. “It’s a political judgement. It’s not a principled judgement. And I think they made the wrong judgement, but we would have no bill at all and no 15,000 children saved if we had not allowed it to move forward with the exception.”

Interestingly, Dannenfelser held up Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina as an example of “a joyful warrior going in there and boldly arguing” on the issue. Graham has said he’s “always had exceptions for the life of the mother, rape and incest,” even while acknowledging that opponents of exceptions are being “intellectually consistent.” She also recently wrote a glowing profile of presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, who favors such exceptions.

Rick Santorum: Obama Community College Plan Meant To Create 'Another Layer Of Government Schools'

Rick Santorum, speaking on the Iowa conservative radio show Caffeinated Thoughts in March, argued that President Obama does not want to grant free community college to all in order to raise the number of college graduates and create an educated workforce, but rather wants to “eliminate” private sector programs in order to make way for “another layer of government schools.” 

 “It’s the same old stuff from the president,” he said, “which is, ‘Our schools don’t work, our schools don’t function to educate our children enough so they can get a job, so we’re going to bring in another layer of government schools to try to do this and you’re going to pay for it.’”

During the 2012 presidential campaign, Santorum criticized Obama’s effort to improve access to college as “snobbery” and a threat to “our freedoms.”

Activists Deliver 12,089 Petitions Calling on Senator Ayotte to Support Constitutional Amendment to Get Big Money Out of Politics

Today local activists delivered 12,089 petitions to Sen. Kelly Ayotte in support of a constitutional amendment to overturn decisions like Citizens United v. FEC and get big money out of politics. The local leaders urged Sen. Ayotte to listen to the voices of her constituents and become a cosponsor of the Democracy For All Amendment, a proposed constitutional amendment that would restore lawmakers’ ability to set reasonable limits on money in elections. The petitions were collected by national organizations including People For the American Way, Daily Kos, MoveOn.org, CREDO Action, and People Demanding Action and signed by residents of New Hampshire.

“The voice of the individual voter without a million dollar megaphone is being drowned out by the super PACs. That’s not the kind of democracy that people in New Hampshire want to see,” said Madbury activist Nancy Pape, who helped lead the petition delivery.

With the money chase for the 2016 elections already in full swing, local activists believe it is more important than ever for our elected officials to take a stand to make sure that all voices are heard in our political system, not just the voices of the rich and powerful.

Nationwide, more than five million Americans have signed petitions in support of an amendment. In addition, sixteen states and over 650 cities and towns, including 69 cities and towns in New Hampshire, are on record in support of an amendment.

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Trent Franks: 20-Week Abortion Ban Will Make Americans Realize Legal Abortion Is Like Slavery

In an interview with the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins this weekend, Rep. Trent Franks acknowledged that his 20-week abortion ban, which passed in the House last week, is meant to “completely undermine” Roe v. Wade, and hoped that it would help Americans “realize that as a country, we’ve been here before,” when “African Americans were considered property.”

Franks, an Arizona Republican, lamented that the bill that passed last week included a limited exception for survivors of rape and incest. The exception was first added to the bill in 2013 after Franks implied in a hearing that rape rarely results in pregnancy; a planned vote on the bill in January was scuttled after a group of Republican women raised concerns that the rape exception required women to report assaults to the police. After months of negotiations, the reporting requirement was removed from the bill but a 48-hour waiting period and other hurdles were restored in its place.

“Now, many of your listeners, including this one, Tony, would do everything that we could to protect all unborn children, and the only thing that we would ever say should be an exception to taking the life of a child would be to save another life, which is, you know, a very, very unusual situation,” Franks told Perkins.

But, he added, including the exceptions was all in service of the larger goal of launching a legal attack to undermine Roe v. Wade and making Americans realize that legal abortion is like slavery.

“But the point is, if we protect these children, now we begin to really examine, once again, the development and the humanity and the pain-capable nature of these children to where I think it gives us a chance to completely undermine the Roe v. Wade structure and to realize that as a country, we’ve been here before,” he said.

“We were here, African Americans were considered property, and somehow we rose up as a nation and turned back that evil. And now by the grace of God we’re going to turn back the evil of killing little children before they’re born.”

Franks has previously insisted that African Americans were better off under slavery than with legal abortion.
 

GOP: President Obama's Out to Destroy Our Nation Through His Executive Actions on Immigration

This piece was written by PFAW Political Director Randy Borntrager and originally appeared in the Huffington Post. 

On May 19, part of President Obama’s executive actions to keep DREAMers and families from being deported was supposed to go into effect, but they’ve been temporarily blocked because of a lawsuit brought on by anti-immigrant Republicans. This week, immigration groups and progressive organizations across the country are rallying in support of the President’s executive actions.

After reading so many anti-Obama, anti-immigrant screeds, I began to wonder, what if all the Right’s most extreme rhetoric came together in one place? Behold! The ultimate anti-immigrant op-ed, brought to you by the Republican Party and their extremist base! Included are actual statements from GOP leaders and activists like Former Governor Jeb Bush, Representative Steve King (IA), and anti-immigrant leader William Gheen.

President Obama’s Out to Destroy Our Nation Through His Executive Actions on Immigration

President Obama’s lawless executive actions on immigration that protect DREAMers and families from deportation are an insult to the American people. Obama is acting like a Latin American dictator, King George, a tyrant, and Putin, abusing his power to promote his nefarious agenda.

This literally could be the death of the Republic. The executive actions could cause our country to descend abruptly into an abyss that we have never seen in the history of this country. Or at the least, the executive actions will turn us into a lawless third-world nation. Our Constitution will certainly be torn asunder.

If we stop families from being deported, we open the doors for our country to be invaded by immigrants, one person at a time. Our pockets are being picked and innocent people are being killed by illegal aliens and hurt and robbed and beaten and raped by criminal foreign nationals that are in our country. Most undocumented immigrants are 130-pound drug runners with calves the size of cantaloupes.

They're going to be dependent on welfare and handouts and hence will be dependent on the Democratic Party for their livelihoods. These immigrants just come here for easy acquisition of public support through welfare programs. They’re rushing over here because they’ve heard there’s a bowl of food just across the border. And once they’re here, they’ll raid the Social Security system and lie about their work history.

The impending new Latino majority in the U.S. (which will happen soon because of course immigrants are more fertile than native-born Americans) is dangerous – they could conduct an ethnic cleansing.

We can’t stand idly by as the President does this – he’s not above the law and above the Constitution. The Senate should not confirm a single nominee—executive or judicial—outside of vital national security positions, so long as the illegal amnesty persists. We could also shut down the government again!

But that’s not enough. We have a constitutional duty to stop this runaway, imperial presidency – should we impeach Obama? And at some point, we have to evaluate whether the president's conduct aids or abets, encourages, or entices foreigners to unlawfully cross into the United States. That has a five-year in-jail penalty associated with it. We must also start talking about treason. Obama’s action certainly is an act of treason because it’s aiding and abetting the enemies of America and giving them comfort and aid.

So let’s arrest the president of the United States! If not, there could be civil war.

To see even more anti-immigrant, anti-Obama rhetoric from the GOP – and who’s saying what – check out People For the American Way’s recent memos on this issue.

PFAW
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