David French

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 6/6/16

  • David French will not launch a conservative third party challenge to Donald Trump. We look forward to David Barton telling French that his decision was "pure selfishness" the next time he appears on "Wallbuilders Live."
  • Joseph Farah is mad at Michelle Obama: "Isn't it time for her to get off her high horse and say something nice about America?"
  • Matt Barber says that "those who deny the existence of their Creator are delusional. This is not an insult. It’s not a personal attack. It’s not a pejorative.  It's a fact."
  • Don Boys is fed up with all the praise for Prince: "Prince squandered his talent, wasted his life, and helped lead untold numbers of people into a world of drugs, sex, and violence. He is not to be praised but pitied."
  • Finally, Larry Tomczak is not too happy about President Obama's LGBT Pride Month declaration.

The Unimpressive Result Of Bill Kristol’s Valiant, Desperate Effort To Stop Trump

Desperation can lead people to do desperate things. Bill Kristol has been pleading for major Republicans like Mitt Romney to enter the presidential race as an independent to give conservatives an alternative to the unserious, unbelievable, unpredictable huckster at the top of the ticket. Over the weekend Kristol tweeted, “There will be an independent candidate — an impressive one, with a strong team and a real chance.”

The prospect was titillating to political junkies, but the reality has been far less so. Turns out, according to some news reports, that all the political figures Kristol approached turned him down, leaving him with David French, a far-right lawyer and pundit with no experience in public office and near-zero name recognition outside the sphere of conservative media.

As MSNBC’s Steve Benen has noted, one of Kristol’s needs was to find “someone who could appeal to #NeverTrump neoconservatives and #NeverTrump evangelicals, simultaneously.” French certainly fits that bill.

Now a staff writer at National Review, French has worked for two of the Religious Right’s major legal groups, the Alliance Defending Freedom and the American Center for Law and Justice. Working for ACLJ and ADF certainly gives French the anti-LGBT cred he needs to win support from the Religious Right. He has argued that it was wrong for society to destigmatize homosexuality. He has declared that “when you’re talking about the conversion of marriage from a God-given and God-created institution into a contract between consenting adults, the victim is our culture.”

French has also argued that government anti-poverty programs have been harmful because they reduce poor people’s dependence on churches. He said that “in many circumstances, particularly in this country, poverty is the result of an awful lot of bad choices.” Here’s more:

A lot of our poverty is the result of behaviors that often require heart-level repentance to change. Medicare, Medicaid, and food stamps are not going to get you to turn away from behaviors that are destroying your life, but the Gospel will.

It’s a problem, he said, that government assistance prevents poor people from having to seek help from the church, which could also provide them with “the much more important spiritual sustenance.”

In a troubling sign for Kristol’s effort to find a candidate with a commitment to reality, French has appeared repeatedly on David Barton’s WallBuilders show. Barton is the self-styled historian whose popularity among Religious Right leaders seems impervious to evidence that he has repeatedly misrepresented American history, other issues, and apparently even his own life. His Christian publisher withdrew his book about Thomas Jefferson after Christian historians were among those who challenged its accuracy. But French praised Barton in 2012 for “bringing truth about America’s heritage into the public square.”

French also has the neo-cons covered. He’s an unrepentant supporter of the 2003 invasion of Iraq and a defender of Islamophobia-promoting hardliners like Robert Spencer and David Horowitz.

Romney has made some initial supportive comments about French, who just last week was urging Romney to run again, saying, “You’re the only man who can save us from future calamity.” French had “worked tirelessly” for Romney in 2008 and 2012; he and his wife even launched Evangelicals for Mitt. French, then at ACLJ, praised Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan, “a man completely committed to the cause of life,” for his running mate.

French has been sharply critical of conservative supporters of Trump, saying that “their much-vaunted conservatism” has been revealed to be “a mere means to an end.” Added French, “Virtually every character defect or ideological blind spot they condemned in others, they overlooked or even justified in Trump.”

Back in 2012, French had similarly strong opinions about Newt Gingrich and the conservatives who were backing him. In fact, French could repurpose those words for Trump with little if any alternation necessary:

If character counts, then so do values like fidelity, honesty, humility and charity. Sadly, Gingrich fails on all these counts ... Churchgoing evangelicals have one of the lowest divorce rates in the country. Gingrich is a thrice-married, serial admitted adulterer.

While the former House speaker tries to change the subject, biblically literate Christians understand that his conduct is a real and present issue. Simply put, a man doesn’t cleanse the moral stain of adultery by marrying his mistress….

[I]s there a more arrogant public figure in American political life than Gingrich? His self-regard is legendary…His self-congratulatory statements fill press releases, and former colleagues tell tales of his erratic and bullying behavior. Is that the right witness for evangelicals?

It’s awfully hard to imagine French gaining much traction, even if some of the Trump-resistant funders and backers of Ted Cruz were to rally around him. Still, you have to give Kristol some credit for not joining Marco Rubio and the pathetic parade of conservative leaders who are abandoning their principles to back Trump, a spectacle that former George W. Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson has called the “most depressing moment of the 2016 race.” Well, it’s early. 

Right Wing Leftovers - 1/28/13

  • It is easy to understand why David French is buddies with David Barton based on pieces like this about how God wants you to own guns.
  • Maybe the media doesn't give more coverage to the March for Life because the same thing happens every year
  • Kevin McCullough says that allowing women to serve in combat is just the latest step in the "pansi-fication and weakening of our nation."
  • And Terri Stovall, dean of women's programs and associate professor of women's ministry at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, says that letting women serve in combat distorts gender roles as established by God and "therefore distorts the picture of the Gospel."
  • Why Liberty Counsel insists on identifyng itself with violent right-wing movements is beyond us.
  • The World Congress of Families has named Janice Shaw Crouse its Natural Family Woman of the Year.
  • Finally, black anti-choice groups are going to protest the NAACP Image Awards becuase "Racist elitists no longer need the Ku Klux Klan to control blacks; they have Planned Parenthood. And Planned Parenthood has the NAACP on a leash."

Religious Right Groups Laud Paul Ryan, Highlight Anti-Choice and Anti-Gay Voting Record

Conservative leaders hailed Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan, the far-right congressman, to be his running mate, emphasizing his opposition to LGBT and reproductive rights.

Concerned Women for America’s Penny Nance said that besides his one-time vote for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, she is excited “to pull back out my t-shirt from 2008 that says ‘Our VP is hotter than your VP!’”

Paul Ryan is a great choice. He has one little blip in that he voted for ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) a long time ago but voted right on the marriage amendment and supports the unborn. Plus, I get to pull back out my t-shirt from 2008 that says ‘Our VP is hotter than your VP!’ Bonus.

Ralph Reed of the Faith and Freedom Coalition commended Ryan’s “100 percent pro-life and pro-family voting record.”

Mitt Romney choosing Paul Ryan as his vice presidential nominee is an inspired, outstanding selection. Paul Ryan is a rare and exceptional public servant who combines the courage of his convictions with a sharp intellect and a winsome personality. I have known him since he worked for Jack Kemp at Empower America in the early 1990s, worked with him in passing sound budgets in the House, and am proud to count him as a friend. He is a person of devout Christian faith who has a 100 percent pro-life and pro-family voting record in his 14 years in Congress. He will excite and energize social conservatives, who will play a critical role in the outcome of the elections.

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council is proud that Ryan “believes that social, fiscal and national security conservatism is indivisible.”

Mitt Romney's selection of Paul Ryan shows that he is serious about getting America's fiscal house in order. Paul Ryan's voting record also suggests that he believes that social, fiscal and national security conservatism is indivisible. Paul Ryan's philosophy clearly includes the understanding that America's financial greatness is tied directly to its moral and cultural wholeness.

As a member of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, he has been a defender of religious expression in the public square. Paul Ryan has spoken out strongly against President Obama's abortion drug and contraception mandates as an affront to religious liberty. He has articulately described how the President's government takeover of health care has pushed aside our First Amendment right of religious freedom.

We look forward to hearing Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan speak at the upcoming Values Voter Summit so that the conservative grassroots will have an opportunity to hear more about their agenda on the critical issues facing our country including religious liberty, marriage, the sanctity of human life as well as fiscal responsibility and national security.

The Susan B. Anthony List’s Marjore Dannenfelser hailed Ryan’s rejection of a “culture war truce.”

“By selecting Congressman Ryan as his vice presidential running mate, Governor Romney demonstrates his commitment to protecting American women and unborn children,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of SBA List. “A longtime pro-life advocate and a strong fiscal conservative, Congressman Ryan has insisted that there can be no ‘truce’ when it comes to advancing the rights of the unborn and achieving fiscal responsibility. He has a pristine pro-life voting record and will be an asset to Governor Romney’s campaign.

“Pro-life voters are a key demographic and help secure victory in critical elections,” continued Dannenfelser. “The addition of a second strong pro-life leader to the ticket energizes the pro-life base – we are thrilled with this pick.”

The Catholic Association called Ryan an “excellent choice” since “he has been thoughtful and articulate in applying Catholic principles to the other challenges facing America.”

We believe Governor Romney has made an excellent choice. As a smart, serious Catholic, Congressman Ryan has been steadfast on issues of fundamental principle – defending religious liberty, life, and traditional marriage.

In addition, he has been thoughtful and articulate in applying Catholic principles to the other challenges facing America.

The American Center for Law and Justice’s David French noted Ryan’s opposition to reproductive rights.

In the next days and weeks, there will be a lot of attention on Paul Ryan’s economic expertise and experience with fiscal reform. He became famous in political circles for the “Ryan budget” and for his fearlessness and effectiveness in challenging President Obama in the midst of the Obamacare debate. But what many may not know is that Paul Ryan is a man completely committed to the cause of life.

Gary Bauer of the Campaign for Working Families is glad this “youthful, forward-looking ticket [is] reminding us that with the right choices America's best days are still ahead of us.”

Just moments ago, Governor Mitt Romney formally announced his selection of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan to be his vice presidential running mate. He made the announcement at a naval museum in Norfolk, Virginia, with the USS Wisconsin as his backdrop. This is a bold choice, and I am very excited about this pick!

The selection of Paul Ryan shows Governor Romney is serious about confronting the fiscal challenges facing our country. It shows the kind of talented and experienced team Governor Romney will put together that will work for American exceptionalism.

Ryan is a strong conservative. He is pro-life and believes in traditional marriage. Of course, what he is most known for is entitlement reform and stopping the growth of government. He's 42 with a young family.

So this will be a youthful, forward-looking ticket, reminding us that with the right choices America's best days are still ahead of us. It will be a stark contrast to Obama's failed tax and spend policies that are taking us down the dead-end road of European-style socialism. It's clear which presidential ticket is serious about making real change!

Apparently, Criticizing David Barton is now Proof that he Speaks the Truth

Historians across the board, including evangelicals, have roundly criticized and debunked the work of Religious Right pseudo-historian and WallBuilders president David Barton, whose shoddy history has been repeatedly documented on this blog. However, Barton’s influence among social conservatives and leading Republicans, including presidential candidates, continues to grow.

As exhibited today in a WallBuilders Live interview with David French of the American Center for Law and Justice, it appears that Barton’s clout has increased not despite the overwhelming criticism he has received for his faux-history and extremist views but because of it. French told Barton’s deputy Rick Green that disapproval of Barton’s work is proof that he is speaking the truth!

Green: We’re worried about cratering because someone might say, ‘that’s mean-spirited’!

French: Exactly, or, ‘you’re a bigot,’ and then all of a sudden you are immediately backpedalling. It shows the power that we have allowed peer and cultural regard to have over our lives and heart. One of the best things that any Christian can do is to begin to just break away from that, to become indifferent to that.

You guys, you and David, get such hate all the time from folks who are just appalled that you are bringing truth about America’s heritage into the public square, a truth they have been spending generations trying to squelch. I’m sure it hurts on some occasion when you see it but it’s also a sign that you guys are making incredible progress and incredible headway and you’ve gotten a message out that I can just tell in the Christian community in the past five to ten years, there’s a difference in knowledge about America because of the work that you guys have done.

Green: Hey man, if you’re not taking flak you’re not over the target right?

French: Exactly.

Green: It could be a good thing. I think you’re dead-on, if you are speaking truth, if you are doing something that’s going to make a difference, you’re going to take some criticism. We need to challenge this generation to actually be excited about the opportunity to stand for truth.

Barton certainly has made a “difference in knowledge about America”…by consistently fabricating and disseminating false claims about American history.

David French: Evangelicals Should not Support an Arrogant, Bullying Serial Adulterer

David French is a Senior Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, home of both Jay and Jordan Sekulow, two of Mitt Romney's most high-profile Religious Right supporters.  French too is also a Romney supporter, having launched Evangelicals for Mitt with his wife Nancy.

Today, French penned an op-ed for CNN calling on his fellow evangelicals to drop their support for Newt Gingrich and, in making his case, he certainly didn't pull any punches, calling Gingrich an arrogant, bullying serial adulterer:

If character counts, then so do values like fidelity, honesty, humility and charity. Sadly, Gingrich fails on all these counts ... Churchgoing evangelicals have one of the lowest divorce rates in the country. Gingrich is a thrice-married, serial admitted adulterer.

While the former House speaker tries to change the subject, biblically literate Christians understand that his conduct is a real and present issue. Simply put, a man doesn’t cleanse the moral stain of adultery by marrying his mistress.

Matthew 19:9 is crystal clear: “I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.” Gingrich has divorced his wife and married his mistress twice.

...

[I]s there a more arrogant public figure in American political life than Gingrich? His self-regard is legendary. He’s compared himself to world historical figures from Ronald Reagan to Margaret Thatcher to Abraham Lincoln to Pericles.

He has said that people like him stand between America and Auschwitz. His self-congratulatory statements fill press releases, and former colleagues tell tales of his erratic and bullying behavior. Is that the right witness for evangelicals?

David Barton, Who Sues His Critics, Says Like The Prophet Jeremiah He Doesn't Care About Criticism

Today on WallBuilders Live, Barton reflected on the alleged persecution of same-sex marriage opponents like himself. Barton compared himself to Jeremiah, which is actually modest for Barton who previously likened himself to Jesus Christ. He claimed that like Jeremiah, he doesn’t care what people have to say about him and doesn’t listen to his critics “as long as I’m speaking the right thing that God told me to say.” Of course, this is the same David Barton who is currently suing three of his critics for libel and defamation and whose cohost Rick Green is suing several people for libel over his unsuccessful campaign to serve on the Texas Supreme Court:

Barton: Anybody who goes out and looks for me up on Google or anything else is going to be appalled at how terrible I am, I mean there’s stuff I didn’t even know I did until I read about it on these articles, but if that matters to you, you lose your voice. One of the things the Lord really dealt to me early on was Jeremiah 1:17, because Jeremiah was going to deliver a message that was extremely unpopular to people, he said, ‘listen guys we are going into bondage but God’s going to bring us out,’ nobody wants to hear that, so Jeremiah’s been commissioned to give a message that nobody is gonna like. That’s why they threw him down in the miry pit and he was gonna die down there and they finally brought him out. So Jeremiah, a doom-and-gloom kind of guy in some ways, and God told him in Jeremiah 1:17 ‘do not look at their faces when you deliver the message I told you, if you do, if you pay attention to the way they respond, I will break you to pieces in front of them,’ and that’s one of the things I learned early on.

People don’t like the fact about the Christian heritage of the nation but I gotta speak whether they like it or not because if I watch the reaction, if I watch their faces, if I gage what I do by the criticism I get, I’ll soften my approach and he’ll break me to pieces in front of them. For people who are enemies, I don’t care! I don’t care whether they like me or not, as long as I’m speaking the right thing that God told me to say!

Green: You don’t want to be a man-pleaser.

Earlier in the show, David French of the American Center for Law and Justice told Barton and Green that gay rights advocates who claim that marriage equality has no victims are wrong as “the victim is our culture.” French claimed that marriage equality would devalue the institution of marriage by taking God out of the equation, but his only evidence that the legalization of same-sex marriage undercuts the institution of marriage is the existence of no-fault divorce policies:

French: Unless there are radical developments that I can’t foresee there’s going to be that challenge of dealing with that assertion that somehow same-sex marriage is a victimless phenomenon, but you know the reality is that when you’re talking about the conversion of marriage from a God-given and God-created institution into a contract between consenting adults, the victim is our culture. Because what you’ve done is you have taken one of the most fundamental building blocks of all society and you’ve converted it into an arrangement of convenience, even loving convenience, between adults that ultimately exists for the fulfillment of adults. That was never its intention. The consequences of turning marriage into that, as we’ve seen through the explosive fault of no-fault divorce, have been catastrophic.
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