In a column today, Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly criticized the Obama administration for making sure that disaster relief services, such as the ongoing efforts to help flood victims in Louisiana, do not discriminate against survivors who have limited English proficiency.
Ensuring that relief agencies have materials in languages other than English, according to Schlafly, is part of a larger plan by President Obama “to transform America by undermining our common culture and language.”
People with limited English proficiency, she said, should simply “become proficient in English.”
With only five months left in the White House, Obama is still hard at work “fundamentally transforming” our country into something much different from the nation we all grew up in. Here are recent examples of how he is determined to transform America by undermining our common culture and language.
This month’s catastrophic flooding in Louisiana is said to be America’s worst national disaster not caused by an earthquake or a hurricane. While Obama continued playing golf on the exclusive island of Martha’s Vineyard, his federal bureaucrats are making sure that the crisis won’t go to waste.
On August 16, five federal agencies issued an incredible 16-page, single-spaced “Guidance” warning relief agencies not to discriminate in the use of disaster funds. Agencies receiving funds must “post a statement of nondiscrimination” on all public notices and “should also identify a point of contact for the public to submit complaints of discrimination.”
The Guidance refers to “unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin” which is prohibited by the 1964 Civil Rights Act, but it doesn’t stop there. It also tries to ban discrimination on account of “limited English proficiency,” which Congress has never prohibited.
The sneaky part is the way the federal Guidance includes the phrase “limited English proficiency,” as if the language you speak is part of your “national origin.” In fact, people from every country can and do learn English, and there is no good reason for our government to conduct official business in any other language.
Don’t assume that the Obama administration is merely responding to a genuine need for services by recent immigrants who have not yet learned English. In the name of multiculturalism, the administration is actively discouraging the transition to English by immigrants and their children, and promoting other languages instead.
Hillary Clinton has faced her share of sexist attacks in her presidential campaign, and plenty of Clinton supporters have been accused of voting for her “just because she’s a woman,” but attacking Clinton explicitly for being a woman has generally been considered to be beyond the pale. Except, that is, among a small segment of Religious Right activists who believe that God proscribes women from taking political leadership roles and are willing to talk about it.
Back in 2008, when John McCain picked Sarah Palin to be his vice presidential running mate, some Religious Right leaders had muddled reactions to a female nominee who also happened to share many of their policy priorities.
The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins explained that there was no contradiction in supporting a woman as vice president even though he is a member of a denomination that bars women from serving as pastors because the Bible only prohibits a woman from being a “spiritual leader.” Richard Land, then the head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s political arm, said that it was perfectly fine for Palin to serve in the role as long as her husband was okay with it. Al Mohler said that while he was thrilled with Palin’s politics, if he were her pastor he “would be concerned about how she could balance these responsibilities and what this would mean for her family and her roles as wife and mother.”
Michele Bachmann met some similar reactions when she ran for president in 2012, complicated by the fact that Bachmann herself had declared adherence to submission theology, the belief, as Sarah Posner has explained, that the “husband is the spiritual head of the household, the wife his obedient ‘helpmeet,’ the vessel for their children, devoted mother, and warrior for the faith.” Bachmann deflected those criticisms using logic similar to Perkins’, saying that the presidency “is not a spiritual position, it is a position of authority in our government, it is very different from that of a wife to her husband.”
Not everyone was convinced. While Bryan Fischer, then an official with the American Family Association, wrote early on in Bachmann’s campaign that the congresswoman was “in fact submitting to her husband by running for president ” because her husband had urged her to run, he did not seem completely convinced of his own point. Fischer said on his radio program the very same week that a woman should be allowed to become president only as a last resort “if God can't find any men with the spine and with the testicular fortitude” to lead. In that case, he said, God would “send a woman to do a man’s job.” As the election approached, Fischer went back to stating his belief that political leadership should be “reserved for the hands of males.”
It’s not surprising, then, that the question of whether a woman should be president has bubbled up again this year among some of the same people. Fischer declared this week that he doesn’t “believe that women should be entrusted with high political office,” implying that it would be reasonable to “vote for Trump because he's a man.”
Sam Roher, a former Pennsylvania state legislator who heads the American Pastors Network, which works to organize politically engaged conservative pastors, cited the book of Isaiah this month to argue that having women in political leadership is a mark of judgment upon a nation. “God does raise up women,” he explained, “there is no question about it, but the real condemnation is not the women in office, the condemnation is the disregard and the absolute inability for male leadership to perform as God intended it and I believe that that's the application for us now.”
Gary Dull, a board member of the pastors’ network who also runs its Pennsylvania chapter, used the same passage from Isaiah to argue more firmly that women should not lead nations. “In God's line of authority,” he said last month, “it seems very clear in the scripture that a woman should not be in authority over men, which would limit a woman from being the president of the United States of America or even a queen of some other particular nation.”
And this isn’t even to mention the fringe activists who have said that women shouldn’t even be allowed to vote, including Theodore Shoebat, who recently managed to feed a conspiracy theory about Khizr Khan to the Trump campaign. Jesse Lee Peterson, a frequent guest on conservative talk shows, has also argued that women should never have been given the right to vote.
Those who think a female candidate should be disqualified from the presidency are mercifully few. And submission theology, which deals with a woman’s role in the household and the world, varies greatly among those who preach it. But as the reactions to Clinton’s candidacy have shown, the question of whether a woman should be president hasn’t been entirely settled in the Christian Right. After all, as Phyllis Schlafly says, who needs a woman president when “all our greatest presidents have been men"?
Today is the 92nd birthday of Phyllis Schlafly, the godmother of the right-wing movement in America. Schlafly broke onto the national scene with “A Choice Not an Echo,” her 1964 book making the case for Barry Goldwater, and she solidified her leadership with her successful campaign against the Equal Rights Amendment. Decades later, she helped rally right-wing opposition to President Obama, hosting a “How To Take Back America” conference during his first year in office. She’s still hard at work, leading Eagle Forum and publishing her Phyllis Schlafly Report newsletter, whose June issue argued for putting Trump’s wall—“and yes, Mexico will pay”—in this year’s Republican platform. Mission accomplished.
It hasn’t been the happiest year for Schlafly, who has been embroiled in a power struggle with a group of Eagle Forum board members, including her own daughter. She also lost a trademark lawsuit against her nephew, who makes Schlafly beer.
On the other hand, Schlafly was an early and ardent backer of Donald Trump, standing up for him in the primaries against many of her Religious Right allies and Eagle Forum colleagues. At this year’s Republican National Convention, Schlafly hosted a “Life of the Party” event celebrating that the GOP has been officially anti-abortion since 1976; she told attendees that she endorsed Trump after he pledged loyalty to a pro-life platform. Party attendees were given copies of the most recent of her more than two dozen books, “How the Republican Party Became Pro-Life.” It’s a short paperback that feels as if it was thrown together after having Schlafly tell war stories about her GOP platform battles over the years.
Schlafly spends most of the book recounting stories of pro-life activists’ efforts to strengthen and protect anti-abortion language at every Republican convention since 1976. It includes the successful resistance led by Schlafly, Ralph Reed, Bay Buchanan and Gary Bauer to Bob Dole’s efforts to soften the anti-abortion language in 1996. (I was in San Diego with a People For the American Way team covering that convention; Reed was gleeful about demonstrating his power to humiliate Dole, which may well have contributed to his November defeat.)
After the quick march through convention history, Schlafly moves into a denunciation of “judicial supremacy,” calling on Republicans to repudiate the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision. She also calls for nullification of 2015’s marriage equality ruling:
When supremacist judges presume to rewrite portions of our law, most especially if it is a law that we have had for millennia such as our law defining marriage, it’s time for the American people to speak up and say “No” just as Abe Lincoln did when supremacist judges ruled that blacks could be considered another man’s “property.” … All Americans must use every tool in the political process to reject judicial supremacy and return to government by “we the people.”
The book includes a short afterword by Kristan Hawkins, presidents of Students for Life, who calls Schlafly “a great American hero” and celebrates that, thanks to Schlafly and “her army,” there is today “no national Republican candidate who dares be anything other than pro-life!” The final 70 pages of the book, more than half its total length, is devoted to an appendix of anti-abortion and anti-marriage-equality references in Republican platforms and resolutions and excerpts from the 2012 platform.
Earlier this year, Schlafly urged Republican senators to hold firm in refusing to consider a Supreme Court nominee “until we have a Republican who will appoint somebody of the nature of Scalia,” telling her interviewer that the prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidency made her “scared to death.” Republican senators have done as she asked, and Schlafly got her wish in Cleveland with a solidly right-wing platform and the nomination of Donald Trump. But given what current polls suggest that November will bring, she may want to do her celebrating now.
We have lost count of how many times the Religious Right has been declared spent as a political force. Those declarations have always been wrong, and this year’s Republican Party platform is the latest sign of the movement’s continued power.
Four years ago, we called the GOP platform “a far-right fever dream, a compilation of pouting, posturing, and policies to meet just about every demand from the overlapping Religious Right, Tea Party, corporate, and neo-conservative wings of the GOP.” Yet this year’s platform is even further to the right.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. In 2012, Religious Right leaders spent the entire week in Tampa bragging about how they had essentially written the platform. But pro-LGBT Republicans were remarkably confident that it would never happen again. At the time, the Log Cabin Republicans vowed that never again would the party platform be hostile to LGBT equality. Former member of Congress Jim Kolbe said the anti-gay sentiment in that year’s platform was “the last gasp of the conservatives.” The upbeat attitude had us wondering about “the fine, fuzzy line dividing optimism from delusion.”
Even an amendment that would have recognized the LGBT victims of ISIS terror was deemed too much. The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins is bragging that he and fellow Louisiana delegate Sandy McDade, Eagle Forum’s political chairman, watered that language down so that it refers generically to all people terrorized by ISIS.
The platform includes Religious Right-approved language opposing marriage equality and endorsing legislation to give legal protection to anti-LGBT discrimination in the name of religious liberty. And it calls for eliminating the IRS provision that prevents churches, like other nonprofits, from engaging in direct electoral advocacy — one of the promises Donald Trump has made to win Religious Right support.
A seemingly last-ditch effort by LGBT-friendly delegates to require a vote on a “minority report” to replace the long platform with a short statement of principles is now being denounced by Perkins and Religious Right activist David Barton as an attempt by gays to hijack the platform process. Its odds of success seem vanishingly small.
Log Cabin Republicans President Gregory Angelo says he’s “mad as hell” about the new platform, but in the same email he tries to distance the document from Donald Trump, who Angelo praised last December as “one of the best, if not the best, pro-gay Republican candidates to ever run for the presidency.”
Trump may be willing to let Caitlin Jenner use the bathroom of her choice at his office building, but he was unwilling to lift a finger to keep the party from supporting states that pass laws preventing transgender people from using bathrooms that match their identity — or from declaring in many ways that the party remains officially opposed to legal equality for LGBT people.
The presumptive Republican nominee is all bluster and toughness when he is denouncing political correctness, but he turns meekly obliging when dealing with the Religious Right leaders he is counting on to turn out the vote.
David and Jason Benham know the cause of last week's violence in Dallas: "You look in the 1960s, we removed prayer from school, Bible readings from school, the Ten Commandments were taken off of the wall. And then in response to that, 1973, abortion ... Because of the bloodshed in the womb, now we are starting to see it in the streets. I'm telling you, it is because we as a nation have left God."
Richard Land says that "it is well past time for some national political figure, preferably President Obama, if he has it in him, to seize a 'Sister Souljah' moment and denounce the anti-police, inflammatory, violence-inducing rhetoric of the Black Lives Matter movement."
Finally, the Eagle Forum is outraged by Ruth Bader Ginsburg's opposition to Donald Trump: "She fears him because he is the most formidable foe the Left has seen since Ronald Reagan."
The family feud over who is in charge of Eagle Forum, the conservative “pro-family” group, got even nastier yesterday when the organization’s founder, Phyllis Schlafly, sent out a robocall to members giving them the phone number of her daughter, Anne Cori, and urging them to call her and “ask her to stop all of this.”
“Would you please help me stop these people from going after me and the organization that I have devoted my life to building?” she asked.
Martin, for his part, says that the dissident board members are just upset that Schlafly endorsed Donald Trump rather than their preferred presidential candidate, Ted Cruz.
Pointing her finger at the Cruz campaign, Schlafly has alleged that the Texas senator’s aides tried to make it appear that her group endorsed had Cruz and that the campaign underhandedly gotten its hands on Eagle Forum membership lists.
Schlafly has said that her two sons — Cori’s brothers — are also in the crosshairs of the rebellious board members.
“The only thing they’ve done is divide my family,” she said last month. “My daughter is with the group that is leading the assault on my leadership and they want to get rid of my son,” John Schlafly, the treasurer named, along with Martin, in the lawsuit brought by Cori and the other board members. She said that the dissident group also wants to get rid of her son Andy Schlafly, who does legal work for Eagle Forum.
Schlafly also claimed last month that Cori “is trying to tell me that she’s just doing this for my benefit, but I don’t need somebody to do something for my benefit, I’ve gotten along quite well all these years,” alleging that her daughter “lined up with some of the people who thought they could get good jobs at Eagle Forum if they got rid of me.”
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.
Linda Harvey calls on Target employees to rise up: "Some may lose jobs if there’s a downturn in sales. So, why not band together and approach management to stop such foolishness? Or, better yet: Work hard and become management. And then end the promotion of deviance."
Glenn Beck says that Ted Cruz's decision to announce Carly Fiorina as his running mate will be a game changer because she is the "first female" with a chance to become vice president. That must come as news to Sarah Palin and Geraldine Ferraro.
Liberty Counsel brags of scoring "another victory for religious freedom in Tennessee schools" by helping impose regulations designed to block an LGBT club.
Finally, Gordon Klingenschmitt says that he's known for "being the friendliest and funniest member of the [Colorado] Legislature."
According to Andy Schlafly, the chaos at the Eagle Forum is being fomented by a bunch of "liberals" within the organization who are "fine with the feminism of Ted Cruz and his wife."
Janet Porter joins the Religious Right crusade against Target: "Remember when Cracker Barrel threatened to pull Duck Dynasty products because of Phil Robertson’s pro-marriage stand? We responded, and they backed down. Now it’s Target’s turn."
Burt Prelutsky declares that "there isn’t a doubt in my mind that leftists are certifiably insane."
David Lane continues to organize "Renewal Project" gatherings for pastors featuring the likes of Rafael Cruz, E.W. Jackson, and others.
Finally, Larry Tomczak says that Beyoncé's "new album Lemonade is scandalous ... This isn't entertainment, it's an outrage, and it's idolatry if we justify it. Our impressionable children are at stake."
Conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly offered more details about the turmoil within her organization, Eagle Forum, in an interview with far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones yesterday, claiming that the group of dissidents who she says are trying to oust her from her position in the group are also targeting her son and disclosing that she once considered former Rep. Michele Bachmann to be a potential successor before deciding against it.
The group voted to install Schlafly’s daughter, Anne Cori, as the organization’s new executive director, and insists that removing Martin, not Schlafly, is their only objective.
Schlafly, however, believes that the board vote was invalid and actually directed at ousting her, claiming that the dissidents, including her daughter, are targeting her because she didn’t join them in supporting Ted Cruz.
She gave more information to Jones yesterday, alleging that Cori was “at one time” in line to succeed her at Eagle Forum but that she decided against naming her daughter to lead the group, a move which may have helped to motivate Cori to launch the supposed coup.
Bachmann, Schlafly revealed, was also floated as a potential successor, but the former Minnesota congresswoman was taken out of the running due to concerns about her experience and the breadth of her knowledge.
“A lot of our people wanted us to pick Michele Bachmann, and she certainly has a lot of talent, a very fine speaker, and so forth,” she said, “but she knew nothing about running an organization and she knew nothing about politics outside of her own domain.”
Schlafly says her daughter “lined up with some of the people who thought they could get good jobs at Eagle Forum if they got rid of me” and that Cori “is trying to tell me that she’s just doing this for my benefit, but I don’t need somebody to do something for my benefit, I’ve gotten along quite well all these years.”
Schlafly said that the turmoil started when the Eagle Forum leaders who endorsed Cruz “did it in a way that made it look like it was Eagle Forum doing it” and leaked membership lists to the Cruz campaign. She alleged that Cori and others are now also trying to remove her sons, John and Andy, from their posts in the organization.
“The only thing they’ve done is divide my family,” she said. “My daughter is with the group that is leading the assault on my leadership and they want to get rid of my son, so extremely valuable in my organization, one of them is both a lawyer and an accountant and he’s very good with the money, he always errs on the safe side of things ... Then we’ve got another son they want to get rid of and he’s the one who has written a lot of these amicus briefs that we’ve filed with the Supreme Court in important cases.”
“I represent Eagle Forum and they tried to throw me out but, at any rate, I’m still here,” she said.
Some sober analysis from Michele Bachmann: "The Muslim Brotherhood together with its myriad fake front groups, like a demon, first charms then disarms, then contorts itself into a seemingly friendly face. Once it’s beguiled its unsuspecting victim, it mercilessly unleashes death and destruction upon its unwary victims, like a viper."
William Gheen says the outcome of the immigration case at SCOTUS will determine "whether we continue this country as a functioning republic or as a totalitarian dictatorship."
The National Organization for Marriage calls upon supporters to "Demand that Congress Get Off Its Rear and Prohibit Government Discrimination Against People of Faith."
Paul Hair tells his fellow right-wing Christians that Hollywood hates them and everything they represent.
Finally, Phyllis Schlafly has released a video informing Eagle Forum members that she remains in control of the organization.
Last night, Rachel Maddow reminded us of how Phyllis Schlafly helped transform the GOP into the far-right party that it is today, dating back to her efforts to help Barry Goldwater win the 1964 Republican nomination.
The GOP found Goldwater’s ultraconservativism much more acceptable than Nelson Rockefeller’s divorce and remarriage, even though Goldwater’s views set him up for a landslide loss in November. Now, Schlafly is getting behind Donald Trump, a reality TV star notorious for his divorces and extramarital affairs.
Schlafly called her pro-Goldwater treatise, “A Choice Not An Echo,” which Maddow described as “a clarion call-to-arms from the social conservative wing of the Republican Party.” She now hails Trump as “the candidate who will give us ‘a choice not an echo.’”
Maddow noted that Schlafly’s group, Eagle Forum, “played a central role in defining social conservatism —anti-gay, anti-feminist, anti-abortion politics — and putting them right at the heart of the Republican Party and its platform,” including at the 1992 Republican National Convention. That convention became notorious for the social conservative red meat thrown by the likes of Pat Robertson and Pat Buchanan, who used the platform to deliver his polarizing “Culture War” speech.
Ever since, Maddow explained, Schlafly has successfully push backed against “moderating influences to make sure the Republican Party never gets any less conservative on issues like homosexuality, abortion and feminism.”
But Schlafly may now be a victim of her own success.
“Phyllis Schlafly and her organization have been at the heart of the conservative movement inside the Republican Party for over 40 years and something is happening now to blow it up,” Maddow said. “Right now, finally, with Phyllis Schlafly at age 91, after everything she’s been through, it appears to be finally blowing up because of Donald Trump.”
In a radio interview yesterday, conservative leader Phyllis Schlafly insisted that she is still in charge of Eagle Forum, the group she founded and has led for decades, despite reports that several members, including her daughter, were working to remove her from the organization.
Schlafly told St. Louis radio host Mark Cox that nothing has changed in the organization because she did not recognize the meeting at which the vote to remove Martin took place and therefore the vote was invalid.
“I built the most prestigious and good conservative organization on the planet, and all of the sudden there are some people who think they can run it better than I can,” Schlafly said. “So it’s a takeover attempt. We’re not going to let them do it.”
The discussion then moved to Trump’s presidential bid, with Schlafly praising the GOP billionaire mogul for his vocal opposition to “the immigration of a lot of people who don’t share our values and seem to want to spread their way of life in our country” and his fight against “the kingmakers” who “think they are appointed by God or something to run the party and select the nominee.”
She acknowledged that “large numbers of Eagle Forum are for Cruz” and that she even suggested to Trump that he appoint Cruz to the Supreme Court, saying that he called it a “good idea.”
Schlafly said she will attend the GOP convention to make sure that the party doesn’t “change a comma” in its platform because it is already a hardcore conservative document. “When I took over this fight in the platform, the Republican Party was pro-abortion and I’m happy to claim that I am partially to be credited to changing the Republican Party to be pro-life so that you almost have to at least say you’re pro-life in order to run on the Republican ticket,” she said.
Yesterday, several members of the board of the conservative group Eagle Forum convened a meeting at which they reportedly voted to oust the group’s president, Ed Martin. Martin, a Republican activist in Missouri, was named president of Eagle Forum last year, while its founder, legendary anti-feminist activist Phyllis Schlafly, remained chairman of the board and CEO.
Schlafly is a conservative icon who has drawn plaudits from the Right for her vocal opposition to feminism, LGBT rights and immigration. But the 91-year-old activist has seen her organization thrown into chaos this week.
Over the weekend, Martin emailed Eagle Forum members warning that six state-level leaders of the group were “pushing a scheme to push Phyllis Schlafly out of Eagle Forum.” He dubbed this group, which included Schlafly’s daughter Anne Cori, the “Gang of 6” and said that the planned coup was motivated by differences of opinion about whether the U.S. should hold an Article V constitutional convention.
At yesterday’s meeting, Eagle Forum’s board reportedly removed Martin from his post as president and installed Cori as the group’s executive director. Two other women who were mentioned in Martin’s “Gang of Six” email, Eunie Smith and Shirley Curry, were named interim president and head of the search committee for a new president, respectively.
“I am honored and excited to be working with our wonderful state volunteer leaders from across the country. We are continuing the incredible legacy of our Founder Phyllis Schlafly,” Cori said in a statement posted under the Eagle Forum banner on the website of Eagle Forum of Alabama.
Schlafly, however, released a statement on her official Facebook account alleging that she was “muted from the call” on which the decision to oust Martin was made and that the “meeting was invalid under the Bylaws but the attendees purported to pass several motions to wrest control of the organization from me.”
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “Cori implied that some of the criticism of the board that has been attributed to her mother is actually coming from Martin.” The newspaper noted that “Schlafly and Martin have been releasing apparently coordinated messages on Facebook, Twitter and email.”
In an interview with a St. Louis radio station yesterday, Martin said that the turmoil was actually a result of Schlafly’s prominent endorsement of Donald Trump, arguing that the six activists were upset about “Phyllis endorsing Trump.” (He also suggested that they are “greedy for power or money.”)
“Phyllis is very discreet,” he added. “Some of the stuff that’s gone on, Phyllis didn’t want to have out there. There is a connection to the Cruz campaign and we’re figuring out how to talk about that.”
At least five of the six Eagle Forum activists who were behind the move have publicly endorsed Ted Cruz, and one of them went so far as to suggest that Schalfly was “manipulated” into backing the billionaire mogul. However, Cori and Smith denied that the vote to remove Martin had anything to do with Schlafly’s support for Trump and insisted that they do not wish to remove Schlafly from the organization.
Smith said in a post on Eagle Forum of Alabama’s website: “It is because of our love and respect for Phyllis and our years of camaraderie that we remain dedicated to protecting her legacy and Eagle Forum.”
Over the weekend, Eagle Forum president Ed Martin emailed the group's members about a recently uncovered “scheme to push Phyllis Schlafly out of Eagle Forum.”
Schlafly, the nonagenarian conservative icon who is best known for her role in defeating the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), founded and chairs Eagle Forum, which opposes not only feminism but also LGBT equality, immigration reform and vaccines.
One of the Cruz supporters, Cathie Adams of Texas Eagle Forum, delivered a low blow to Schlafly after her campaign stop with Trump, speculating that Schlafly's age had allowed her to be manipulated into the endorsement. "At 91, it is just totally unfair to impose upon someone who has such a beautiful legacy … I think this was very much a manipulation," Adams said. "When you’re 91 and you’re not out with the grass roots all the time, it is very much taking advantage of someone.”
This obviously did not sit well with the national organization. In Martin’s email this weekend, he said that Adams was part of a “Gang of 6” seeking to oust Schlafly from the group she founded.
Five of the “Gang of 6” have publiclyendorsed Cruz. The group includes Adams and even Schlafly’s own daughter, Anne Cori.
The email from Martin, however, does not mention the Cruz-Trump split, although he does mention that Adams “disparaged and insulted Phyllis.” Instead, he says that the “Gang of 6” are moving against Schlafly because of her opposition to holding a new constitutional convention.
Several conservative activists such as radio host Mark Levin and homeschooling activist Michael Farris have called for a convention of states in order to amend the U.S. Constitution with a litany of right-wing items. Schlafly, however, has repeatedly said that there would be no way to limit a constitutional convention to just advancing conservative causes like a Balanced Budget Amendment, warning that liberal activists could use it to ratify proposed amendments like the ERA.
“The rogue members have a hidden agenda, and most refused to return phone calls personally made to them by Phyllis to ask what their concerns are,” Martin wrote. “They are being guided by a big, liberal law firm that they refuse to identify (but the press has identified). They also refuse to say who is funding the high paid liberal lawyers.”
Schlafly herself wrote to members about what she called “the hostile takeover of Eagle Forum,” writing that for “reasons that are not entirely clear to me, some people have been working to attack me and Eagle Forum. My disappointment is compounded by the fact that these are people with whom I have worked closely in the past. I have asked them to resign from the Board immediately so that we may continue our important work.”
In a letter addressed to the so-called “Gang of 6,” Schlafly said that while she has “fond memories of our work together and our friendships,” she has asked them to “resign immediately” from the group’s board.
“[T]his morning Eunie said that this is about my judgment on personnel,” she said. “I don’t know what is the true plan but I believe it is an attack on me and my work.”
Martin added: “Phyllis has always stood up to bullies wherever they are found: the Soviets, the feminists, liberals of every stripe, and those who would undermine Phyllis’ successful leadership of Eagle Forum.”
UPDATE: In an interview with WorldNetDaily, Schlafly said that the attempt to remove her from Eagle Forum was, at least in part, a result of her Trump endorsement and that “the leader of the coup is my daughter Anne Cori and her husband at Eagle Forum Missouri.”
Conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly confirmed to WND that six board members of her group Eagle Forum have called a special meeting Monday that she believes is an attempt to remove her as CEO because of her support for Donald Trump’s campaign for the White House.
“This may be my Dobson moment,” Schlafly told WND, referring to the 2010 board vote that forced James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, to discontinue his popular national radio show.
“The six board members calling today’s telephone meeting won’t tell me what the meeting is about, but I think it’s an attempt to vote me out,” Schlafly said. “It’s disloyal and it’s terribly shocking, and I’m completely depressed about it.
“I may be one vote short to win today,” she conceded.
“This is a complete takeover attempt,” she said.
“I think the leader of the coup is my daughter Anne Cori and her husband at Eagle Forum of Missouri,” Schlafly said. “I think she and her husband want to take over the organization.”
Her son John Schlafly, the treasurer of Eagle Forum and a board member, explained to WND that among the six board members calling the meeting are several “who feel Donald Trump is unacceptable as the GOP presidential candidate in 2016.”
“Cathie gave this very disparaging interview to the press,” Phyllis explained to WND. “It was a very offensive interview about me. She finally called to apologize, but she didn’t retract anything she told the Dallas Morning News.”
Schlafly maintained that Cathie was one of the “ringleaders” of the six dissident board members seeking her ouster.
Adams, in an interview with WND, denied her goal was to take over the organization or remove Schlafly from heading the organization she founded.
“The six board members calling the meeting are among the most loyal to Phyllis,” Adams insisted. “Together we have over 200 years combined service to Eagle Forum among the six of us.”
Adams said the six disgruntled board members were angry at the management style of Ed Martin, a social conservative from Missouri who has served as a member of the Republican National Committee.
Brian Kilmeade, the co-host of the Fox News program “Fox & Friends,” will be the featured speaker at two Eagle Forum PAC fundraisers in Pennsylvania this summer, helping the conservative group raise money to support congressional candidates in the state.
Four years ago, FRC and Eagle Forum teamed up to make anti-equality language in the platform even stronger. Perkins bragged at the time:
With a presence in the committee meetings, the FRC Action staff has been able to help delegates hold the line of social issues.
Just this morning, our efforts made what was already a good document even better. Before this week, the GOP’s draft platform included solid language defending the family – and FRC Action, in tandem with Eagle Forum, made it even stronger.
In a press release celebrating his re-selection to the platform committee this month, Perkins again boasted about the role he had in shaping 2012’s anti-gay platform:
In 2012, my role as a delegate gave me the opportunity to play a key role in amending the marriage plank, which led to the committee approving a much stronger version than 2008's. We also tightened language on obscenity and pornography, protected conscience rights, explained how abortion hurts women, and supported the Second Amendment in D.C.
Phyllis Schlafly, the anti-feminist icon and enthusiastic Donald Trump endorser, characteristically abandoned all pretense of nonpartisanship when discussing the Supreme Court vacancy in a recent interview with “Armed America Radio,” saying that Republicans should hold firm in blocking a nominee until a Republican is in the White House.
“We need the Republicans to stand firm and say, ‘We’ve got a big election coming up and that should change the complexion of the Supreme Court and we don’t want any new nominee on the court until we have a Republican who will appoint somebody of the nature of Scalia,’” Schlafly told host Mark Walters on March 20. (She did not specify whether she was simply hoping that the next president will be a Republican or if she was suggesting that the GOP block all Democratic Supreme Court picks in the future.)
This prompted Walters to ask her about the prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidency, which Schlafly said made her “scared to death.”
The solution, she said, was for Republicans to unite around Trump because “your gun rights and all kinds of other rights” are on the line.
“We have a two-party system in this country and if you want a third party I invite you to move to Europe, where they have lots of useless third parties,” she said.
In an op-ed yesterday, Schlafly invoked the late First Lady Nancy Reagan’s anti-drug campaign in urging the GOP to obstruct Obama’s Supreme Court nominee:
The U.S. Senate should follow the famous advice of the late First Lady Nancy Reagan and “just say no” to Obama’s nominee.