Chris Christie

RNC Turns Into Salem Witch Hunt Complete With A Show Trial & Satanism Accusations

For eight years, Republicans have tried to delegitimize Barack Obama’s presidency, falsely claiming that Obama was born abroad and therefore ineligible to be president and that he only won two consecutive elections thanks to massive vote fraud.

This concerted disinformation campaign worked: Polls have shown that most Republican voters believe that the now defunct liberal group ACORN stole both elections for Obama and that the president was born outside of the U.S.

Donald Trump, now the GOP’s nominee for president, helped push these myths that paint the president as an illegal usurper who should have never been allowed to take office, while congressional Republicans have refused to treat Obama as a legitimate president.

Now, the GOP is determined to delegitimize a potential Hillary Clinton presidency, declaring that she would be serving time in jail if it weren't for a grand conspiracy between her campaign, the FBI and the Justice Department.

At last night’s meeting of the Republican National Convention, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie whipped the crowd into a frenzy as the audience repeatedly declared Clinton “guilty” of numerous crimes — including acting as “an apologist for an Al Qaeda affiliate” and negotiating “the worst nuclear arms deal in American history” — and shouted “Lock her up!”

Christie’s speech resembled a show trial more than a typical political address, promoting the message that has been propagated by Trump himself that Clinton should be in prison rather than running for president.

Ben Carson, who spoke later that evening, was more than happy to see that Christie transported Quicken Loans Arena to colonial Salem. The former presidential candidate once again attempted to connect Clinton to devil-worship because of her ties to the late activist and right-wing bogeyman Saul Alinsky:

One of the things that I have learned about Hillary Clinton is that one of her heroes, her mentors, was Saul Alinsky. Her senior thesis was about Saul Alinsky. This was someone that she greatly admired and that affected all of her philosophies subsequently. Now, interestingly enough, let me tell you something about Saul Alinsky. He wrote a book called “Rules For Radicals”.

On the dedication page, it acknowledges Lucifer, the original radical who gained his own kingdom. Now think about that. This is a nation where our founding document, the Declaration of Independence, talks about certain inalienable rights that come from our creator. This is a nation where our Pledge of Allegiance says we are “one nation, under God”. This is a nation where every coin in our pocket and every bill in our wallet says “In God We Trust”. So are we willing to elect someone as president who has as their role model somebody who acknowledges Lucifer? Think about that.

The secular progressive agenda is antithetical to the principles of the founding of this nation. If we continue to allow them to take God out of our lives, God will remove himself from us, we will not be blessed and our nation will go down the tubes and we will be responsible for that. We don’t want that to happen.

Clinton did in fact meet and exchange letters with Alinsky as a college student and even wrote a dissertation about his political ideas. But as the New York Times points out, while Clinton “endorsed Mr. Alinsky’s central critique of government antipoverty programs — that they tended to be too top-down and removed from the wishes of individuals,” she wanted to seek “change within the system” rather than through the outside agitation tactics championed by Alinsky.

And the relationship wasn’t exactly a secret: Clinton wrote about her time — and disagreements — with Alinsky in “Living History.”

On top of all of that, Alinsky’s ode to Lucifer was obviously not a call for Satanism but rather a figurative flourish, not that such a defense would stand up in a witch hunt.

As author Salman Rushdie noted, we shouldn’t “expect Ben Carson to recognize irony or humor.”

Frank Gaffney: Obama May Have To 'Preemptively' Pardon Hillary Clinton

One person who was convinced by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's make-believe one-man prosecution and conviction of Hillary Clinton at the Republican National Convention last night was Frank Gaffney, who declared on his "Secure Freedom Minute" broadcast today that the only way out for Clinton now is to seek a preemptive pardon from President Obama for crimes that she has not even been charged with but for which she will eventually be "tried and convicted in the court of public opinion."

Interestingly, Gaffney once accused Christie of "misprision of treason" for appointing a Muslim-American judge to the bench.

It's now just a question of time. Specifically, when when will President Obama pardon Hillary Clinton? That question was the inevitable takeaway from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's powerful indictment, literally, of the former secretary of state in his address to the GOP convention last night.

The one-time federal prosecutor methodically laid out the litany of lies, malfeasant and other criminal activities with which Mrs. Clinton could and should be charged. The crowd found her guilty again and again. Naturally, the most politicized Justice Department ever won't prosecute the incipient Democratic presidential nominee but Gov. Christie showed how, all other things being equal, Hillary Clinton will be tried and convicted in the court of public opinion.

The only possible way out is for President Obama to pardon her preemptively and soon. It may not change the ultimate verdict but it would commute Hillary's sentence.
 

The Five Most Absurd Defenses Of Melania Trump's Plagiarism Of Michelle Obama

For months, Donald Trump surrogates have come up with outlandish explanations to justify the presumptive GOP nominee’s wild statements, from defending his racist remarks about a federal judge to insisting that he never really proposed a ban on Muslims from entering the country.

So it was no surprise to see Trump backers twist themselves into knots defending Melania Trump’s speech last night at the Republican National Convention after parts were found to have been clearly plagiarized from a 2008 convention addressed delivered by Michelle Obama.

1) What About The 93% That Wasn’t Plagiarized?

While Trump didn’t select New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as his running mate, Christie is still acting as a loyal surrogate, this time denying the obvious fact that a portion of Melania Trump’s speech was plagiarized.

Christie made the absurd claim that Melania Trump didn’t plagiarize her remarks since “93% of the speech is completely different than Michelle Obama’s speech.”

Christie later told CNN that he simply knows in his gut that she didn’t plagiarize part of her speech: “If we’re talking about 7% of a speech, that was really, universally considered to be a good performance by Melania. I know her. There’s no way that Melania Trump was plagiarizing Michelle Obama’s speech.”

2) It’s Hillary Clinton’s Fault!

In an interview with CNN, Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort denied the “crazy” allegation that Melania Trump was “cribbing Michelle Obama’s speech,” arguing that it was just another “example of when a woman threatens Hillary Clinton, how she will try to demean her and take her down.”

Manafort later held a press conference at which he said that the controversy proves that “when Hillary Clinton is threatened by a female, the first thing she does is try to destroy that person.”

3) ‘Fragments Of Words’

In an interview with CBS, Manafort said that Melania Trump only used “fragments of words” that were similar to Michelle Obama's.

“We’re talking about words like compassion, love of family, respect,” he said. “These are not words that are unique words, that belong to the Obamas.”

Earlier today, campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson told The Hill: “This concept that Michelle Obama invented the English language is absurd.”

4) Who Cares — It Was A Great Speech!

Christian Broadcasting Network reporter David Brody rose to Melania Trump’s defense while speaking today with “700 Club” host Pat Robertson.

Brody applauded her “great” speech and dismissed the “quote ‘plagiarism’ charges,” saying that “the long-term story here, Pat, is that the reality is that Melania Trump gave a very good speech last night. She was poised, smart, articulate on that stage on Monday night and what that means, Pat, going forward is that Melania Trump needs to get out on the stump.”

“Cleary, she is articulate, doing a very good job — and they need help among women voters and she can be a key part of that,” he added.

Robertson noted that Melania Trump was “absolutely gorgeous” and “Mr. Trump has a good eye for beauty.”

Starts 5:30 in:

5) It Was A Good Thing!

Admitted plagiarist Ben Carson said he didn’t see any plagiarism in Melania Trump's remarks, but that even if she did plagiarize, it was a good thing:

“If Melania’s speech is similar to Michelle Obama’s speech, that should make us all very happy because we should be saying, whether we’re Democrats or Republicans, we share the same values,” he told reporters after addressing a Florida GOP delegation breakfast at a hotel here 20 minutes outside of Cleveland, where the RNC is taking place.

“If we happen to share values, we should celebrate that, not try to make it into a controversy,” he added.



“I don’t think they were plagiarized. I think there are general principles that are very valuable to Americans, and of course to express those principles you’re going to use similar language,” Carson said.

Who Could Trump Pick As His VP? There Are So Many Terrible Options!

With Ted Cruz announcing yesterday that Carly Fiorina will be his running mate in his increasingly difficult path to the GOP presidential nomination, we thought it might be time for Donald Trump to start thinking about who he wants as his vice president.

Here are just a few options:

1) Chris Christie

Following his victory in five states on Tuesday, Trump suggested that he would consider naming New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was standing by his side and trying his best not to look like a hostage, as his running mate.

Trump would have to overlook the Fort Lee highway lane closure scandal, better known as Bridgegate, that weighed down Christie’s unsuccessful presidential campaign.

As we noted before Christie jumped into the presidential race, under his leadership “New Jersey experienced multiple credit downgrades, regular budget shortfalls, a failed pension reform plan, fiscal mismanagement that benefited political donors, anemic job growth, a transit funding scandal and mishandling of Hurricane Sandy recovery money.”

Trump would also have to try to restrain himself from continuing to insult the governor, something he has had a problem doing even after Christie endorsed him.

2) Scott Brown

Trump has also floated former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown as a potential running mate.

“Vice president — hey, that sounds like it could, hey, hey, very good,” Trump said. “Hey, you know what? And he’s central casting. Look at that guy. Central casting.”

Brown, who lost his race for re-election against Elizabeth Warren and later ran unsuccessfully against Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire, was one of Trump’s most prominent endorsers and media surrogates before the New Hampshire contest.

His colleagues at Fox News — which has frequently run glowing profiles of the former senator — have also encouraged Trump to pick him as his running mate.

Brown has at least one thing in common with Trump: they have both pushed quack medical cures; Trump with his failed multilevel marketing company and Brown with his email list, which once promoted “an outlet that touts shady products like Alzheimer's disease cures and Social Security tricks.” Brown later said that he did not approve of the email although, as Media Matters reports, he also rented his list to a dubious group “promising to show readers a ‘Weird Trick’ that ‘adds $1,000 to Your Social Security Checks!’”

The two also have a tendency to create anti-immigrant conspiracy theories (Brown once warned of Ebola-infected immigrants easily walking across the U.S. border with Mexico), going to great lengths to avoid answering basic questions and creating awkward situations with women.

One problem for Brown, however, is that he is pro-choice, unlike the famously pro-life Donald Trump.

3) Scott DesJarlais

Scott DesJarlais is one of the few members of Congress to endorse Trump, and the Tennessee Republican will surely help Trump win over women voters.

Before running for Congress as a “pro-life” and “pro-family” Republican, “DesJarlais, a physician, pressured a patient who was his mistress to get an abortion. It was later revealed that the pro-life congressman had approved of his first wife having two abortions, and that he’d had sex with at least two patients.” He also had affairs with “three coworkers and a drug representative,” and was later fined for violating medical ethics.

DesJarlais’ ex-wife also accused him of “dry firing a gun outside the Plaintiff's locked bedroom door, [admitting] suicidal ideation, holding a gun in his mouth for three hours, an incident of physical intimidation at the hospital; and previous threatening behavior ... i.e. shoving, tripping, pushing down, etc.”

4) Jeff Sessions

Trump has said that he would like to pick an insider as his vice president, so why not go with his sole Senate endorser and “Washington gatekeeper” Jeff Sessions?

The Alabama Republican helped craft Trump’s plan to deport all undocumented immigrants living in the U.S., as well as his proposal to destroy the Mexican economy by blocking remittances in order to force Mexico to pay for the border wall.

Sessions has also defended Trump’s proposal to ban the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims from entering the U.S. and similarly expressed doubt climate science with his own bizarre reasoning.

5) Mike Huckabee

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has been a relentless defender of Trump throughout the campaign, frequently attacking Ted Cruz while praising the billionaire mogul. Trump even hired Huckabee’s daughter as an adviser after the former governor’s own presidential bid ended.

The two have their differences: While Trump mostly directs his bigotry towards immigrants and Muslims, Huckabee keeps LGBT people as his main target.

While the folksy Southern Baptist minister may not share many of Trump’s personality traits, he does at least share Trump’s proclivity for anti-Obama conspiracy theories and patronizing language towards women .

6) Ben Carson

After endorsing Trump’s candidacy, Ben Carson has emerged as one of his worst campaign surrogates.

Nonetheless, there are numerousreports that Carson isactively lobbying for a slot on the ticket.

Carson, like Trumphas a gift for grifting and making mystifying, bigoted statements.

Trump may be wary, however, because Carson believes that God was behind his own, failed presidential campaign.

Bonus: Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin is one of Trump’s earliest endorsers and most loyal surrogates, thanking God for his candidacy and hailing him for standing up to “all that petty, punk-ass, little thuggery stuff.” She even defended him when he attacked John McCain, who named Palin as his running mate in 2008, for being a prisoner of war, saying that Trump is a hero for criticizing the Obama administration’s handling of immigration and economic policy.

It was also at a Trump rally where Palin suggested that President Obama shares some of the blame for her son’s arrest for domestic assault.

Trump has said that he would consider appointing Palin to a position in his administration because “she really is somebody who knows what’s happening and she’s a special person, she’s really a special person and I think people know that.”

Seeing that she already ran for vice president once before, Palin is clearly ready for the campaign.

After all, what could go wrong?

Do Conservatives Even Believe In The Bill Of Rights?

The Judicial Crisis Network (JCN) has somehow managed to stoop even lower in its dishonest and deceitful campaign to block the Senate from even considering whomever President Obama nominates to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court.

Carrie Severino of JCN, which was founded as the Judicial Confirmation Network but rebranded as a group opposed to judicial confirmations coincidentally after Obama took office, took to National Review last week to attack Jane Kelly, a U.S. circuit court judge whom Obama is reportedly considering nominating to the high court, for once defending a child predator while working as a public defender.

As Zachary Pleat of Media Matters pointed out, Severino not only twisted Kelly’s actions in the case, but attacked Kelly simply for doing her job as a defense attorney.

Severino, a former clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas, must know that even people accused of heinous crimes have a right to an attorney who would vigorously defend their client. It would completely undermine the judicial process to say that the accused should have no legal representation or should have a lawyer who will simply throw the case rather than fulfill their obligation to defend them.

After all, the right to a fair trial lies at the heart of the Sixth Amendment, and JCN actively promoted the confirmation of Chief Justice John Roberts, who once worked on the defense of convicted murderer John Ferguson.

This attack, Pleat writes, “echoes past right-wing media attacks on Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton and former Department of Justice civil rights division nominee Debo Adegbile.”

Several conservative pundits accused Clinton of leading a “war on women” after she was asked by a judge, in 1975, to defend a sexual assault suspect while she was working in legal aid, while Senate Republicans successfully blocked Adegbile’s nomination to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division because they were upset he once worked on a legal team representing Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted of killed a police officer, on an appeals case regarding whether sentencing instructions given to a jury were constitutional. As Miranda said:

It was an ugly episode, in which politicians like [Ted] Cruz essentially declared that not all criminal defendants deserve the Constitution’s guarantee of legal counsel. And it’s telling that Cruz, the self-proclaimed lover of the Constitution, brought it up in his latest ugly screed.

Clinton and Adegbile aren’t the only people targeted by Republicans simply for acting as defense attorneys.

In 2014, the Republican Governors Association (RGA) ran attack ads against South Carolina state Sen. Vincent Sheheen, a Democratic candidate for governor, for his work as a criminal defense attorney, using the tagline: “Vincent Sheheen: he represents criminals, not us.”

South Carolina Bar Association President Alice Paylor said the RGA ad campaign amounted to an attack on “the whole basis for the U.S. and the U.S. Constitution. According to them, I guess everyone accused of something is automatically guilty.”

The American Bar Association sent a letter to Gov. Chris Christie, a former prosecutor who chaired the RGA at the time, noting, “Lawyers have an ethical obligation to uphold that principle and provide zealous representation to people who otherwise would stand alone against the power and resources of the government – even to those accused or convicted of terrible crimes.”

The rule of law that governs our society delivers justice specifically because everyone has a right to competent representation. This right is especially important for those who arouse our fear and anger, to ensure that the process by which they are judged is fair and just. This process is what distinguishes us from our darker history, when mobs decided guilt or innocence and punished those they deemed guilty.

And in 2010, a group formed by Bill Kristol and Liz Cheney, the daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney, launched attack ads “against the Obama Justice Department for hiring lawyers who, at one time or another, did legal work on behalf of terror suspects.” The group branded the lawyers the "Al Qaeda 7," questioned their loyalty to the country and demanded that the Justice Department release their names.

We can only imagine how Republicans would have gone after John Adams for representing soldiers charged with murder during the Boston Massacre.

Anti-Abortion Group Furious At Christie & Bush Campaigns For Mentioning Rape Exceptions

Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the anti-choice campaign group the Susan B. Anthony List, sent a letter yesterday to all of the remaining Republican presidential candidates, except for Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, warning them against criticizing Cruz and Rubio for their extreme, no-exceptions stances on abortion rights.

Although Dannenfelser didn’t name names, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who endorsed Jeb Bush after dropping out of the presidential race himself, and Gov. Chris Christie both attacked Cruz and Rubio over their opposition to rape exceptions in separate Morning Joe interviews this week.

Graham said on the program that although he’s “pro-life,” he thinks Ted Cruz’s stance on exceptions would be “a hard sell with young women.”

"I may be wrong, and I hope I'm wrong, but I think it’s going to be very hard to grow the party among women if you’re gonna tell young women, ‘If you get raped, you’re gotta carry the child of the rapist,’” he said. “Most pro-life people don't go there.”

Christie, meanwhile, said that Rubio’s no-exceptions policy is “the kind of position that New Hampshire voters would be really concerned about.”

The spat gets to the heart of the anti-choice movement’s long-running debate about whether to tolerate the inclusion of certain exceptions in legislation aimed at curtailing abortion rights in an attempt to broaden their appeal and give political cover to vulnerable lawmakers.

Dannenfelser has called rape exceptions “abominable,” “regrettable” and “intellectually dishonest,” but has made it clear that her group will back bills that include exceptions if they deem it necessary for those bills to pass. Graham takes a similarly pragmatic approach to the issue, pleading after a 20-week abortion ban he sponsored got caught up in a debate about the wording of its rape exception that the movement needed to “find a way out of this definitional problem with rape.”

But what Dannefelser seems to be most upset about is the fact that Christie and Graham talked about rape at all, which she says plays right into “Planned Parenthood’s talking points.” Indeed, after Republican Senate candidates Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock made disastrous comments about pregnancy from rape in 2012, Dannenfelser held trainings for Republicans to teach them how to avoid the subject.

In her letter to the candidates, Dannefelser notes that her organization, along with Rubio and Cruz, have supported legislation that includes exceptions, but purely as a political compromise. Attacking those candidates for their no-exceptions ideology, she says, is “incredibly damaging to the prolife movement at a point in which momentum is on our side.”

“Let me be clear: An attack on this aspect of these candidates’ pro-life positions is an attack on the pro-life movement as a whole,” she warned.

Dear Candidates:

On behalf of the Susan B. Anthony List and our 465,000 members across the country, I am writing to you today to urge a swift and decisive end to the attacks other candidates and their surrogates are making concerning the courageous pro-life positions of Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. These attacks ill-serve a party that has pledged, in one form or another, since the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 “to restore protection of the right to life for unborn children.”

While Senators Cruz and Rubio have supported SBA List-backed legislation that includes certain exceptions, they personally believe – as do we – that unborn children conceived in even the most difficult circumstances deserve the same legal protections that every other unborn child deserves. They know that you do not correct one tragedy with a second tragedy.

Let me be clear: An attack on this aspect of these candidates’ pro-life positions is an attack on the pro-life movement as a whole.

These tactical broadsides for perceived short-term advantage are incredibly damaging to the prolife movement at a point in which momentum is on our side. Our movement has worked diligently, especially in the wake of the 2012 elections, to put pro-life candidates on offense and pro-abortion candidates on defense.

As a movement, we have put forward legislative proposals that not only save lives, but also have the strong backing of the American public, such as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would protect babies after 20 weeks, or five months of pregnancy. During the 2014 election cycle this legislation dramatized the extreme position of abortion advocates, and it will have the same effect once again this cycle – largely thanks to the public support it enjoys from every single one of you.

To conclude, I urge you and your campaigns to reject Planned Parenthood’s talking points and instead keep the pro-life movement on offense by focusing on exposing the extreme position held by the other side: Abortion on-demand, up until the moment of birth, for any reason, paid for by the taxpayer. This is the winning message that will result in a pro-life president who will sign into law life-saving protections for the most vulnerable in our society.

Meet The Conspiracy Theorist Behind The Trump/Palin/Cruz Iran Rally

Today, conservative reality TV stars Donald Trump, Sarah Palin and Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson will be addressing a rally headlined by Ted Cruz and Glenn Beck in opposition to the Iran nuclear accord.

With such an all-star lineup, it may be easy to miss that one of the rally’s sponsors is none other than the Center for Security Policy, a far-right group led by anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney.

Gaffney’s role in organizing an event headlined by the likes of Cruz, Beck and Palin — who all believe that Sharia law is coming to America — may be fitting, considering that Gaffney is one of the most unintentionally hilarious right-wing conspiracy theorists out there:

1) Birther

Like Trump, Gaffney is a proud birther, citing a made-up quote falsely attributed to President Obama and pushed by Trump as proof that the president was not born in the U.S.

2) Obama Is A Secret Muslim!

Gaffney is positively convinced that Obama is not only bolstering radical Islamists but is also “talking like one and perhaps believing like one,” suggesting that “he isn’t the Christian he claims to be.” He has also alleged that Obama has “a profound affinity for” Islamism and wrote that “Barack Hussein Obama would have to be considered America's first Muslim president.”

3) President Obama Bringing Sharia Law

In the run-up to the 2012 election, Gaffney accused the Obama administration of supporting a United Nations resolution that would have legitimized blasphemy laws. In reality, the Obama administration actually forcefully opposed the resolution in question, with the president personally speaking out against blasphemy laws during a United Nations address.

But that didn’t stop Gaffney from claiming that the exact opposite had happened and warning that the president would begin to ban anti-Islamic speech in the U.S. as he pushes “the Sharia blasphemy agenda of our enemies, that is to say suppressing freedom of expression in this country which is our constitutional right.”

“President Obama, from his first months in office, has been enabling in this country an insidious effort by Islamic supremacists to keep us from engaging in speech, videos, training or other forms of expression that offend Muslims, their god, prophet and faith,” he wrote, warning that Obama has “brought U.S. diplomacy and government practice into closer and closer alignment with the demands of Islamists that such 'slanders' be prohibited and criminalized.” By giving “policymaking and advisory” roles to “persons with extensive ties to the Muslim Brotherhood,” Gaffney claimed, Obama is going to try to “restrict your freedom of expression.”

Gaffney, who has likened Obama to Osama bin Laden and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, suggested last year that Obama would cave to “stealth jihadist groups” and allow for the criminalization of anti-Islamic speech on the internet.

4) Chuck Hagel Is A Secret Agent

Back in 2013, as Sen. Ted Cruz was wondering out loud if Chuck Hagel, then the nominee to serve as U.S. secretary of defense, was secretly working for North Korea or Saudi Arabia, Gaffney was just asking if Hagel was in fact be an Iranian secret agent.

“You couldn’t find a guy who has been more active in terms of promoting the interests of Iran at the expense of the United States than Chuck Hagel other than somebody who is actually an Iranian agent,” he said. “I’m not suggesting that he is, I don’t know, but I certainly think that’s the point of comparison here because it’s almost that full-throated.”

5) Huma Abedin Is A Muslim Brotherhood Agent

Gaffney helped engineer the witch hunt taken up by several GOP congressmen including then-Rep. Michele Bachmann against Abedin, an aide to Hillary Clinton, and other Muslim-Americans serving in the Obama administration. Gaffney claimed that Abedin “has extensive ties to the Muslim Brotherhood” and was part of “ this enemy inside the wire.”

“Ms. Abedin was brilliantly placed to run Islamist influence operations for sixteen years under the recently departed Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton,” he said.

6) Restore HUAC

In order to find all of these Muslim Brotherhood agents who have infiltrated the U.S. government, Gaffney said that we need “a new House Anti-American Activities Committee” to find the “treasonous” actors inside the administration.

7) Chris Christie Committed Treason

Gaffney was very offended in 2011 when New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie derided the “crazy” rhetoric about Sharia law coming to the U.S. In fact, he was so offended that he thought Christie could be committing “misprision of treason,” or the act of concealing treasonous acts against the U.S.

8) Muslim Brotherhood Infiltrated The GOP

Gaffney believes that “folks with the Muslim Brotherhood associations” have been “active even to this day in conservative circles,” particularly within the Republican Party, the National Rifle Association and the American Conservative Union. His claim that the ACU has been taken over by the Muslim Brotherhood even got him banned from CPAC, the group’s annual conference, after the organization released a report debunking his claims that conservative leaders Grover Norquist and Suhail Kahn are Muslim Brotherhood agents. Gaffney also tried to convince Beck to leave the NRA in protest of Norquist’s membership in the group’s board, forcing the NRA to open an investigation into Norquist’s supposed Islamist ties.

But like all of Gaffney’s other conspiracy theories, this one didn’t exactly pan out as Norquist was easily re-elected to the group’s board of directors.

2016 Republican Candidates Report

As the GOP embraces the reactionary politics and anti-government zealotry of the Tea Party, it is steadily purging “moderates” and empowering extremists. Nothing shows this trend more clearly than the lineup of Republican presidential candidates.

John Kasich Kicks Off Presidential Bid By Addressing Religious Right Gathering

The Faith and Freedom Coalition, the Religious Right group led by disgraced right-wing lobbyist Ralph Reed, is holding its annual “Road to Majority” conference next week. Nearly every Republican presidential candidate has signed up for the event, and today, the FFC announced that Ohio Gov. John Kasich will be addressing the conservative summit.

Kasich recently made waves by tapping John Weaver and Fred Davis, two veterans of John McCain’s 2008 campaign, to work for his increasingly likely campaign for president.

The conference is cosponsored by radical right-wing groups such as Concerned Women for America, the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family & Property and the World Congress of Families, and will feature speeches from Religious Right favorites such as Reps. Steve King and Louie Gohmert, Fox News pundit Todd Starnes, Christian Broadcasting Network “reporter” David Brody, pastor Jim Garlow, rabbi Daniel Lapin and activists like Phyllis Schlafly, Lila Rose and Gary Bauer.

Clearly, no right-wing activist is too radical or corrupt for Republican presidential candidates to embrace, which is why Kasich, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal, Lindsey Graham and Carly Fiorina have no qualms about attending this event organized by someone like Reed.

Reed is best known for his involvement in the Jack Abramoff scandal, where he organized a Christian Coalition anti-gambling campaign in Alabama with the help of secretive funding from Mississippi tribes that owned casinos – who just so happened to be Abramoff’s clients that didn’t want business competition from the neighboring state. Reed denied knowing the source of the funding, even though investigators uncovered emails from Abramoff asking Reed to send invoices for approval from a Mississippi tribe which controlled major gaming interests. Abramoff later said that Reed “didn't want it out that he was getting gambling money,” adding that Reed was “a tap dancer and constantly just asking for money.”

Grassroots Organizing to Make Money in Politics a Key Issue in 2016

From a mailman flying a gyrocopter to the Capitol to protest big money in politics, to Hillary Clinton making the issue a centerpiece of her campaign, to Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Lindsey Graham being asked about their stances on campaign finance reform at Q&A events, it’s clear that money in politics is shaping up to be a major issue in 2016. Yesterday The Washington Post’s Matea Gold reported on the grassroots push to spotlight the topic of big money’s influence on our democracy:

[F]ive years after the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision — which held it was unconstitutional to ban independent political spending by corporations and unions, and helped set off a financial arms race — there are signs that politicians are beginning to confront a voter backlash.

….For those who feel strongly about it, the 2016 primaries and caucuses — and the up-close access they bring to the presidential contenders — offer a ripe opportunity to elevate the topic.

In New Hampshire, nearly 500 people have volunteered to attend public forums and press the White House hopefuls about money in politics, Weeks said.

In an interview aired Friday on National Public Radio, PFAW Executive Vice President Marge Baker underscored the importance of top candidates elevating this issue:

"When the leading candidate for president says she's going to make reducing the influence of money in politics one of the four pillars in her campaign, you know that that's going to be a major issue in 2016," Baker said. "So this is a very, very big deal."

While there are many issues that divide Americans, addressing the big-money takeover of our political system is not one of them. That both Lindsey Graham and Hillary Clinton expressed support for an amendment to get big money out of politics in the past two weeks underscores the fact that fighting to fix our broken democracy is not only the right thing to do, it’s also good politics – across the political spectrum.

PFAW

Chris Christie: The 'Problem-Solver' Who Left New Jersey A Mess

Chris Christie’s ties to “establishment” party figures have enabled him to become a prolific fundraiser and frequent campaign surrogate, and his heated and bombastic rhetoric has animated many conservatives.

Chris Christie Courageously Refuses To Read The New York Times

Today at CPAC, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie spoke with conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham, who asked him hard-hitting questions such as one on how media commentators, a favorite target at CPAC, have “savaged” him.

“How do you survive this onslaught day in and day out?” Ingraham asked.

Christie responded that the “elite folks from the media” don’t like the fact that he decided to “take on a lot of these special interests frontally, that they support.” “They just want to kill you,” Christie said. “That’s what they try to do to me every day.”

Later in the Q&A special, Christie revealed to applause that he is giving up the New York Times for Lent.

PFAW And Allies Call On GOP Presidential Candidates To Distance Themselves From CPAC’s White Nationalist Sponsor

Today, People For the American Way, America’s Voice and ColorOfChange.org called on GOP presidential candidates to distance themselves from Conservative Political Action Conference’s ties to ProEnglish, a group led by white nationalist Robert Vandervoort.

As we reported last week, ProEnglish is sponsoring a booth in the event’s exhibit hall, which costs $4,000. ProEnglish has been allowed to sponsor the event for the past several years, despite Vandervoort’s well documented ties with white nationalist groups. Nearly every major Republican presidential contender is scheduled to speak at the event this weekend.

Here is the full text of the open letter from PFAW, America’s Voice and ColorOfChange.org:

Dear Gov. Jeb Bush, Dr. Ben Carson, Gov. Chris Christie, Sen. Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Gov. Bobby Jindal, Sen. Rand Paul, Gov. Rick Perry, Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Rick Santorum, and Gov. Scott Walker:

We understand that you are scheduled to speak at this week’s Conservative Political Action Conference, an event which is being partially sponsored by ProEnglish, a group led by white nationalist Bob Vandervoort. We urge you to decline to speak at CPAC unless it cuts ties with ProEnglish and Vandervoort.

ProEnglish has sponsored CPAC for the past several years, despite Vandervoort’s well documented ties to the white nationalist movement. As the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights has reported, Vandervoort is the former leader of Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance, a group dedicated to supporting the ideals of the infamous white nationalist publication American Renaissance. One member of the group described its mission as encouraging “white survival and maintaining white majorities.”

Vandervoort’s own writings reflect these views. He has expressed concern about the need to “halt the cultural and racial dispossession of the West's historic people” and expounded on “racial differences” in “intelligence and temperament.” He has wondered how “race realists and pro-Western Civ nationalists” like himself can counter historical comparisons to the Holocaust and slavery.

CPAC has a troubling history of welcoming white nationalists. In 2012, the conference hosted a panel on race featuring Vandervoort and fellow white nationalist writer Peter Brimelow. And ProEnglish has continued to be allowed to sponsor the event even after civil rights groups have raised concerns.

Clearly, Robert Vandervoort and his group should have no place as a financial sponsor of the nation’s largest convention of conservatives. We urge you to distance yourself from Vandervoort’s views and refuse to speak at CPAC unless ProEnglish’s sponsorship is withdrawn.

Sincerely,

Michael Keegan, President

People For the American Way

Frank Sharry, Founder and Executive Director

America’s Voice

Rashad Robinson, Executive Director

ColorOfChange.org

Civil Rights Groups to GOP Presidential Candidates: Distance Yourself from CPAC’s White Nationalist Ties

Today, People For the American Way, America’s Voice, and ColorOfChange.org released an open letter to Republican presidential candidates urging them to make clear that they don’t support CPAC’s ongoing relationship with ProEnglish, a group led by white nationalist Bob Vandervoot. Despite CPAC’s troubling history of welcoming white nationalists as participants and sponsors, Republican leaders continue to headline the conference. CPAC has included ProEnglish as a sponsor in the past, and in 2012, CPAC hosted a panel on race featuring Vandervoot and infamous racist writer Peter Brimelow. This year, ProEnglish is again participating as a sponsor of the conference.

“Anyone who aspires to our nation’s highest office has a responsibility to be clear about what they stand for and what they stand against,” said  Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way. “These candidates need to make it perfectly clear that they won’t truck with white nationalists and that they reject intolerance and bigotry.”

Frank Sharry, Founder and Executive Director of America’s Voice, stated, “The GOP strategy of winning support from their base by cozying up to extremists on the right is sure to backfire, as it did in 2012.  Latino, Asian Pacific Islander American and immigrant voters are watching these 2016 hopefuls closely, and any candidate that aligns with anti-immigrant extremists doesn’t stand a chance.”

“As Republican leaders and activists gather at CPAC to discuss the future of their party, GOP Presidential hopefuls have to decide whether they're going to be the type of leaders that confront racism in their ranks or cravenly shrink from that responsibility in order to exploit hatred for political gain," said ColorOfChange.org Executive Director Rashad Robinson. “The clearest signal the GOP could send that they are interested in changing course and opening an honest dialogue with Black voters would be removing Representative Steve Scalise from the #3 House leadership position for his association with David Duke and extremist hate groups.”

Read the letter here:

Dear Gov. Jeb Bush, Dr. Ben Carson, Gov. Chris Christie, Sen. Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Gov. Bobby Jindal, Sen. Rand Paul, Gov. Rick Perry, Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Rick Santorum, and Gov. Scott Walker:

We understand that you are scheduled to speak at this week’s Conservative Political Action Conference, an event which is being partially sponsored by ProEnglish, a group led by white nationalist Bob Vandervoort. We urge you to decline to speak at CPAC unless it cuts ties with ProEnglish and Vandervoort.

ProEnglish has sponsored CPAC for the past several years, despite Vandervoort’s well documented ties to the white nationalist movement. As the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights has reported, Vandervoort is the former leader of Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance, a group dedicated to supporting the ideals of the infamous white nationalist publication American Renaissance.  One member of the group described its mission as encouraging “white survival and maintaining white majorities.”

Vandervoort’s own writings reflect these views. He has expressed concern about the need to “halt the cultural and racial dispossession of the West's historic people” and expounded on “racial differences” in “intelligence and temperament.” He has wondered how “race realists and pro-Western Civ nationalists” like himself can counter historical comparisons to the Holocaust and slavery.

CPAC has a troubling history of welcoming white nationalists. In 2012, the conference hosted a panel on race featuring Vandervoort and fellow white nationalist writer Peter Brimelow. And ProEnglish has continued to be allowed to sponsor the event even after civil rights groups have raised concerns.

Clearly, Robert Vandervoort and his group should have no place as a financial sponsor of the nation’s largest convention of conservatives. We urge you to distance yourself from Vandervoort’s views and refuse to speak at CPAC unless ProEnglish’s sponsorship is withdrawn.

Sincerely,

Michael Keegan, President
People For the American Way

Frank Sharry, Founder and Executive Director
America’s Voice

Rashad Robinson, Executive Director
ColorOfChange.org

###

Eagle Forum: The GOP's Favorite Anti-Vaccine Group

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s comments on “balance” in vaccine requirements raised eyebrows today, as critics noted that Christie pushed anti-vaccine claims back in 2009.

But Gov. Christie isn’t the only possible Republican presidential hopeful to have flirted with anti-vaccination conspiracy theories or happily promoted groups that do the same.

The episode is reminiscent of the 2012 GOP presidential nomination contest, when candidates piled on Rick Perry for mandating that female students in Texas receive an HPV vaccine, a stance for which he has since apologized. Rep. Michele Bachmann took the criticism of Perry even farther, baselessly charging that the vaccine causes mental retardation.

In addition, a number of top GOP presidential contenders, including Ted CruzRand Paul, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum have promoted Eagle Forum, the conservative organization founded by right-wing icon Phyllis Schlafly, which regularly pushes false claims about vaccines.

Eagle Forum is such a favorite of the Republican establishment that Schlafly received a lifetime achievement award — presented by Bachmann — at the 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference.

An entire section of Eagle Forum’s website is devoted to criticizing vaccines. The group has repeatedly promoted the myth that vaccines are linked to autism, featuring articles on its website about how efforts to vaccinate children are a form of government control that jeopardizes the freedoms of parents and families.

Along with its own misinformation, Eagle Forum refers members to anti-vaccine groups such as the National Vaccine Information Center and the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, which counted Rand Paul as a member for over two decades. Back in 2000, the group promoted a letter [PDF] to the Department of Health and Human Services from then-Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind., which suggested that vaccines are responsible for an increase in autism diagnoses.

In 2012, Schlafly praised California parents who refused to vaccine their children, attacking a member of the state assembly who wanted to pass a law requiring parents consult with a pediatrician before they make a decision on whether their child receives a vaccination.

Schlafly’s anti-vaccine activism is unlikely to cost her any support from the Republican ranks, who are even more likely to seek support from her and her organization as the GOP nomination contest moves into high gear.

It’s a Radical Right Red Meat Feast as 2016 GOP Primary Kicks Off with a Bang

Over the weekend, likely Republican 2016 presidential candidates stepped up to the microphone at two extremist events to throw red meat at their Radical Right base and prove their ultraconservative bona fides in the run up to primary season.

Here’s a taste of what went down at Iowa’s so-called Freedom Summit, hosted by Rep. Steve King – who is most famous for his radical and dehumanizing anti-immigrant rhetoric.

Union-busting Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker won the day with the most well-received speech, in which his biggest applause came when he bragged about his party’s attempts at voter suppression in his state, saying, “we required in our state, by law, a photo ID to vote.”

Former Arkansas Governor and 2008 Iowa Caucus winner Mike Huckabee said states should ignore Supreme Court rulings favorable to marriage equality.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie played up how staunchly anti-choice he is.

Senator Ted Cruz made the case for caucus voters to weed out anyone but extreme right-wing candidates. “Every candidate is going to come to you and say they are the most conservative person that ever lived,” Cruz said. “Talk is cheap.”

And at a separate Religious Right event, hosted by SPLC-designated hate group the American Family Association, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal discussed the need to enshrine discrimination against same-sex couples in the Constitution, promoted Islamophobic conspiracy theories and closed his speech with the statement “our god wins.” That event, titled The Response, perfectly embodied the dangers of mixing religion with politics in the way that the Right so loves to do.

By making political issues – even incredibly important ones, and even ones that are historically divisive – litmus tests for their followers’ religious conviction, they cast their opponents not only as wrong, but as evil and satanic, allowing for no possibility of compromise and making even civil coexistence difficult.  

It was a lot of what you’d expect – unfortunately – but that doesn’t make it any less terrifying. These are the people who are setting the agenda for one of America’s two major parties – and the one that right now controls both houses of Congress.

Read more and check out video from both events at RightWingWatch.org.

UPDATE: Jon Stewart's can't-miss segment on the Freedom Summit from the Daily Show (video courtesy of Comedy Central):

PFAW

Right Wing Round-Up - 1/6/15

  • Pink News: Irish leaflet claims gay marriage will ‘expose’ children to ‘sounds of sodomy.’

Right Wing Gets It: Elections Matter Because Courts Matter

For right-wing advocates, big conservative wins in the Supreme Court’s recently completed term have only confirmed the importance of electing a president in 2016 who will give them more justices in the mold of Samuel Alito and John Roberts.  The Roberts and Alito nominations, and the conservative majority created by their confirmations, represent the triumph of a decades-long push by right-wing funders, big business, conservative political strategists, and legal groups to take ideological dominion of all levels of the federal judiciary.

Right-wing groups have long made attacks on the federal judiciary a staple of their rhetoric. Many claim America’s decline began with Supreme Court rulings against required prayer and Bible readings in public schools in the 1960s. Roe v. Wade, and more recently, judicial rulings in favor of marriage equality, have been characterized as “judicial tyranny” and “judicial activism.” Of course right-wing legal groups have been pushing hard for their own form of judicial activism, and have pushed Republican presidents to nominate judges they can count on. 

As Jeffrey Toobin notes in a recent profile of presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz in the New Yorker,

Conservatives like Cruz never stopped denouncing liberals for their efforts to use the courts to promote their ideological agenda, even as they began to do much the same thing themselves. The heart of Cruz’s legal career was a sustained and often successful undertaking to use the courts for conservative ends, like promoting the death penalty, lowering the barriers between church and state, and undermining international institutions and agreements.

Right-wing activists are proud of what they have accomplished, as Richard Land, long-time leader of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, told National Journal’s Tiffany Stanley.  As Brian Tashman reports in RWW, Land “waxed nostalgic for the days when President Bush was in office…and especially for Bush’s commitment to nominating ultra-conservative federal judges.”

 “Alito and Roberts are the gifts that keep on giving, and we would have gotten neither one of those without our involvement,” Land said, predicting that Roe v. Wade will soon be “thrown onto the ash heap of history.”

…The Supreme Court’s ruling this year in the Hobby Lobby case shows the Religious Right’s strong focus on the judiciary is paying off.  And Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council told Stanley that conservatives will continue to use the courts as part of their strategy to keep “the barbarians at bay.”

But in spite of their wins, and their success in creating the most pro-corporate Court since the New Deal, right-wing activists are nervous that some of their big wins, like Hobby Lobby and Citizens United, were 5-4 decisions. They want to pad their majority and continue their march to remake America via the courts.

The Senate

Since federal judges have to be confirmed by the Senate, right-wing groups are also using the Supreme Court in 2014 Senate campaigns. An anti-choice PAC, Women Speak Out, followed the Hobby Lobby ruling almost immediately with attacks on Mark Pryor and other Democrats for not having supported the confirmation of Samuel Alito.

On the day of the Court’s decisions in Hobby Lobby and Harris v. Quinn, North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis, a Republican, who is challenging U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, a Democrat, tweeted “Today’s SCOTUS rulings were a win for our 1st Amendment freedoms, a loss for Hagan, Obama, & DC bureaucrats.”

Cleta Mitchell, a lawyer who represents right-wing groups, told the Washington Post, “These Supreme Court decisions, it’s a reminder to people on our side of the aisle of the importance of the court, and then the importance of recapturing the Senate.”

Religious Liberty ‘Hanging by a Thread’

Right-wing pundits and organizations are already ramping up their rhetoric on judges as a 2016 presidential campaign issue, with many touting the 5-4 decision in Hobby Lobby as evidence that religious liberty is “hanging by a thread.”

Rush Limbaugh went on a tirade against Hillary Clinton after she criticized the Hobby Lobby ruling:

Can I tell you the truth about the Hobby Lobby ruling?  We're in such dangerous territory in terms of losing our freedom that we cheer when five out of nine people uphold the Constitution.  We're not advancing anything, folks.  We are barely hanging on here.  …  And here comes Hillary Clinton thinking this decision is a step toward the kind of anti-women policy seen in extremist undemocratic nations is outrageous. 

The woman is either a blithering idiot or a total in-the-tank statist, maybe a combination of the two.  But this is not a step toward anything.  This is a temporary halt in the onslaught toward totalitarianism.

We're just barely hanging on.  We cheer! We conservatives stand up and cheer when we manage to get five people to see it the right way.  "Oh, my God! Oh, Lord! Thank you so much, Lord. You saved another day."  Five people out of nine, five said the Constitution means what it says.  The troubling thing to me is the four people that didn't!  Liberty and freedom are hanging by a thread here! 

That theme was echoed by the Archdiocese of Washington’s Msgr. Charles Pope:

“OK, We won. But the Hobby Lobby vote should have been 9-0. Wake up, America. Your liberty is on the line!”

It is simply outrageous that four Supreme Court Justices, and many Americans, cannot see the clear and offensive proposition of the Government in this regard…..We won today, but barely. It should have been 9–0. Wake up, America; your religious and other liberties are hanging by the thread of one vote.

Former presidential candidate Gary Bauer of American Values weighed in in similar fashion:

“While we celebrate this victory, the fact remains that four justices on the Supreme Court, including the two appointed by Obama, evidently share his narrow view of America's first freedom and were willing to trample the religious liberty of millions of Americans in order to advance their radical pro-abortion agenda.

This narrow decision, with four liberal justices eager to go the wrong way, is a stark reminder to every man and woman of faith that their religious liberty is hanging by a thread.

The Court as Right-Wing Campaign Issue for 2016

Right-wing pundits and presidential candidates frequently use the federal judiciary as an issue to excite base voters. Back in 2012, one of the most effective things Mitt Romney did to shore up his weak support among conservative activists was to name a judicial advisory team headed by Robert Bork. That year, Terence Jeffrey, who worked on Pat Buchanan’s presidential campaigns and has written for right-wing publications, wrote:

Three of the nine justices on a U.S. Supreme Court that has decided many significant issues by 5-4 votes over the past decade will turn 80 years of age before the 2016 presidential election.

The three justices are Antonin Scalia, an anchor of the court’s conservative wing, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an anchor of the court’s liberal wing, and Anthony Kennedy, who is often the decisive swing vote in 5-4 opinions….

Bobby Jindal is among the crop of potential 2016 presidential candidates who is making an issue of the courts.  In an interview with a conservative Christian blogger during last month’s Iowa state Republican convention, Jindal suggested if Republicans take control of the Senate this year they would block additional nominees. Asked about federal judges overturning state marriage bans for same-sex couples, Jindal said, ““This shows you the importance of the November elections.  We don’t need this President putting more liberal judges on the bench.”

It is important, whether you are a lawyer or not, to understand what it means for the courts to actually apply the Constitution as opposed for them just to create new laws or to read things and just decide they are going to contradict what the other two branches of government did.  We’ve gotten away from these three separate but equal branches of government and instead we’ve got these activist judges who are overreaching. We have to recognize the problem for what it is,” Jindal added.

He emphasized the importance of elections and their impact on judicial confirmations because sometimes Constitutional amendments will correct the problem, and other times federal judges will just overrule them.

Mike Huckabee has seemingly made attacks on the judiciary a centerpiece of his campaign. In May, he called for the impeachment of an Arkansas judge who ruled in favor of marriage equality. Last year, urging Senate Republicans to block an Obama appeals court nominee, he said, “Judges can linger on for decades after a President leaves office, and a bad one can wreak havoc that echoes down the ages.”

Meanwhile, presidential contender Rick Santorum and the right-wing Judicial Crisis Network are attacking Chris Christie for not sufficiently making right-wing ideology a litmus test for his state judicial appointments.  Santorum told Yahoo News earlier this month, “To see a record as abysmal as Gov. Christie’s record in the state of New Jersey, I guarantee you that will be a red flag for most voters in the state of Iowa, but also most voters in the Republican primary.” (Earlier this month, while in Iowa campaigning for Gov. Terry Branstad, Christie said he supports the Court’s Hobby Lobby decision; he had initially declined to say whether he supported the decision.)  

The Judicial Crisis Network has also slammed Christie, saying his failure to “deliver on judicial activism” may have doomed his 2016 presidential hopes. It has created an entire website devoted to trashing Christie’s judicial record to conservative voters:  www.christiebadonjudges.com. In June, Fox News ran an op ed by JCN’s Carrie Severino using Christie’s alleged failure to appoint right-wing ideologues to the state supreme court as a way to discredit him with conservative activists.

Christie didn’t deliver on judicial activism. Has he doomed his 2016 bid?

If a candidate’s tenure as governor is his road-test for the presidency, Governor Chris Christie just flunked.

As a candidate for governor, Christie talked the talk on judges, vowing to "remake" the New Jersey Supreme Court and to transform the most activist court in the nation into one that operates under the rule of law. 

Despite having the opportunity to appoint four of seven justices on the court since taking office, Christie has repeatedly nominated individuals with no discernible judicial philosophy….

And while elected representatives must stand for re-election every few years, federal judges sit for life. 

Today’s nominee could still be playing the same tricks in 2050 or beyond.  That is why the issue of judges matters so much during presidential primaries and caucuses….

Right-wing advocates have been talking for a while about how important it is to their judicial plans not just to elect a Republican, but to elect a Republican committed to making the kind of Supreme Court nominations they want. In February, right-wing activist Mychal Massie complained that many justices nominated by Republican presidents over the past few decades did not turn out to be ideological warriors (though that is hardly the case with more recent nominees).

But forward-thinking conservatives are keenly aware that we must be concerned about the future as well, and not just because of Obama. Based on age alone, one of the primary areas of concern is that the person elected president in 2016 will potentially have at least four Supreme Court Justices to replace. Two of the potential four are liberals, so a Democrat president would simply be replacing liberals with liberals, ergo, it would be a wash. But of the other two the one is a solid Constructionist, and the other is a swing vote who has, in recent years, ruled based on Constructionism enough times that we should be concerned if a Democrat president replaces him….

As you can see, the potential for the political complexion of the High Court to be changed for decades to come should be of critical concern if a Democrat wins the presidency in 2016. But, it is myopic betise on an epic level to even for an instant believe we need not be concerned if a Republican wins. Especially if it is an establishment Republican….

With Karl Rove and Reince Priebus pulling the strings of the GOP and RNC, the Republican Party resembles a RINO theme park more than it does the Party true conservatives have supported.

With them controlling things from behind the curtain it is not just critical that the next president be “conservative” but he/she must be a legitimate conservative whose conservative bonafides are unimpeachable. It does conservatism no good to elect a Mitt Romney, John McCain, or Jeb Bush type. The 2016 election will place in office a person with the potential to change the face of SCOTUS for many decades to come. And as John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Mitch McConnell, et al. have showed us — it’s not just Democrats who are betraying us.

Religious Right leaders will certainly be keeping the issue of judicial nominations at the forefront of the 2016 campaigns. This week, George O. Wood, who heads the Assemblies of God denomination, wrote:

Moreover, we should encourage voting because elections have consequences. One of those consequences is that the president nominates judges who serve on district and appellate courts and on the Supreme Court. The U.S. Senate must then approve those nominees. It is a sad fact that no evangelical sits on the Supreme Court—even though evangelicals constitute a very large faith community in America. I suspect that at present no evangelicals could even be nominated or confirmed to a federal bench because they hold views that are pro-life and pro-traditional marriage. People in our Fellowship need to remember that when they cast a ballot, they effectively decide who will sit as a federal judge. Indirectly, they are casting a vote for or against a robust understanding of the free exercise of religion.

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 6/19/14

  • Today was not a good day for Perry’s fellow Republican governors and likely presidential candidates Chris Christie and Scott Walker.
  • Liberty Counsel is livid that President Obama is appointing judges to the federal bench, openly gay ones in particular.
  • Lastly, Glenn Beck weighs in on the Washington Redskins name controversy: “If Congress only pays attention to football teams, then maybe we should name them the Washington Benghazis?”
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