Grover Norquist

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.

Right Wing Round-Up - 6/9/15

  • Elliot Mincberg @ Salon: The right’s slimy new scheme: The made-up “religious freedom” protection designed to gut same-sex marriage.
  • Josh Feldman @ Mediaite: Pastor Responds to Maher over Christian Persecution: Nazis Didn’t Burn the Jews Right Away.
  • Warren Throckmorton: Missouri Baptist Convention Grateful to Help Host David Barton; Christian Historians Disagree.
  • Tierney Sneed @ TPM: Louisiana GOPers In Fiscal Mess Beg Grover Norquist To Relax No Tax Pledge.
  • Todd Heywood @ PrideSource: Anti-Gay West Michigan 'Mechanic' To Host Townhall In Jenison Public School.
  • Mark Joseph Stern @ Slate: Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback Threatens to Defund Judiciary if It Rules Against Him.

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 4/29/15

  • Cliff Kincaid does not believe that Bruce Jenner is a conservative Republican: "By that same standard, I am a transgendered [sic] communist."
  • If gay marriage becomes legal, Jerry Newcombe says America will no longer be "the land of the free."
  • Apparently, President Obama is to blame for the fact that some college students desecrated an American flag and assaulted a veteran.
  • Larry Tomczak warns that "disregarding divinely established standards have brought epidemic STDs on America. Millions believe we shouldn’t redefine marriage, opening the floodgates for polygamy, polyamory and pederasty."
  • Alex Newman says that "American children are being dumbed down and indoctrinated with outrageous values – everything from the notion that America and liberty are evil to the idea that there is no right and wrong, no objective morality, no God, and no value to human life. It is precisely these values that we are seeing on display in Baltimore and other in cities across America."
  • Finally, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul have all signed Grover Norquist's anti-tax pledge. We wonder how Glenn Beck will react, since he thinks that Norquist is "a very bad man" with whom nobody should associate.

Right Wing Round-Up - 4/13/15

Glenn Beck's Crusade Against Grover Norquist Has Now Expanded To Include Karl Rove

Last night, Glenn Beck dedicated his entire television program to laying out his case that anti-tax activist Grover Norquist is a secret agent of the Muslim Brotherhood which, in typical Beck fashion, involved a good bit of grandstanding, lots of conjecture and insinuation, and several chalkboard's worth of guilt-by-association.

On his radio program today, Beck continued to hammer away at Norquist, whom he wants to see removed from the board of the NRA, declaring that "we're at the beginning of a Van Jones thing"when it comes to exposing Norquist's nefarious network, calling him "the Muslim Brotherhood's Tides Foundation."

Not surprisingly, Beck's crusade against Norquist has now expanded to include Karl Rove, with whom he has been publicly feuding for the last week.

As Beck sees it, the only reason that Rove criticized him last week for supposedly leaving the GOP is because Beck was working to expose Norquist, with whom Rove has close ties.

"Isn't it interesting that Karl Rove decides to open up another front while I have Grover Norquist going as well?" Beck asked. "We're now fighting a battle on two fronts and I believe they are connected. I believe that Karl Rove and Grover Norquist are joined at the hip and there's something very bad here":

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 3/18/15

  • Grover Norquist says that he welcomes the NRA investigation into him that has been fomented by Glenn Beck's attacks, saying that he hopes it will "put an end once and for all" to the campaign against him.
  • Donald Trump will not be renewing his TV show because he is launching a presidential exploratory committee. This is going to be so awesome!
  • Dick Cheney says that President Obama is "the worst president of my lifetime, without question." Try not to choke on the irony.
  • Bryan Fischer asserts that "43% of homosexuals admit that they've had more than 500 sexual partners in one lifetime."
  • Finally, while Glenn Beck is busy saying that boycotting companies is basically fascism, his website is reporting that anti-gay activists are calling for the president of American Baptist College to be fired for allowing a lesbian pastor to speak on campus. Will Beck spend a single minute decrying this? We won't hold our breath.

After Beck Threatens To Cancel His Membership, NRA Launches Ethics Investigation Into Grover Norquist

Earlier this week, Glenn Beck announced on his radio program that if anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist was re-elected to the board of the National Rifle Association, Beck would cancel his lifetime membership with the organization.

Beck's threat was rooted in a right-wing conspiracy theory that Norquist is some sort of nefarious front man for the Muslim Brotherhood and consequently is, in Beck's words, "a very bad man."

On his radio program today, Beck announced that he had an hour-long conversation yesterday with the NRA's Wayne LaPierre, who told him that the organization had been receiving hundreds of calls from Beck followers threatening to cancel their memberships if Beck does so, prompting LaPierre to promise Beck that the organization will launch an ethics investigation into Norquist that would "get to the bottom of this once and for all."

"Many of the reasons why we are off on the wrong track now in the Middle East," Beck said, "is because of the influence of Grover Norquist ... This guy is on the wrong side. Whether he knows it or not, I don't believe he's out trying to destroy America, but his efforts and his work will lead to the destruction of America."

Beck said that LaPierre vowed to him that the NRA would conduct a totally "transparent" investigation into Norquist and his work, the results of which will be published on the NRA website for all to see.

The fact that Norquist hasn't voluntarily resigned from the NRA or dropped his bid for re-election amid the allegations, Beck said, "speaks volumes."

"I think that says a lot about his personal character, myself," Beck said:

Glenn Beck Threatens To Cancel His NRA Membership If Grover Norquist Is Re-Elected To Group's Board

For years, Glenn Beck has been a vocal critic of right-wing anti-tax zealot Grover Norquist because he buys into the conspiracy theory that Norquist is a front-man for the Muslim Brotherhood.

Anti-Muslim activist Frank Gaffney has been the leading proponent of the theory that Norquist is a secret Islamist sympathizer and Beck brought him on his radio program today to make his case against allowing Norquist to be re-elected to the board of directors of the National Rifle Association.

Beck is so alarmed by the danger posed by Norquist that he declared that if this "very bad man" is re-elected to the NRA board, he is going to cancel his membership. 

"I will tell you that I am so concerned about this," Beck said, "and I hope that the leadership of the NRA hears this and every member of the NRA hears this, that if this man is elected, or re-elected, and confirmed on the board of the NRA, I may drop my membership in the NRA. I am that concerned that he is a very bad influence and a very bad man that if this is who the NRA decides to put on their board of directors, I don't think I can be associated with them":

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 2/20/15

  • Stuart Shepard explains that Christianity is the guardrail that keeps society from driving into the ditch and that "if everybody drove according to Christian principles, we wouldn't need guardrails."
  • James Robison's new website is desperately needed today because "the prince of the power of the air and, in too many instances, also the power of the air waves, has drowned out wisdom’s voice, ignored it, or misrepresented it."
  • Scott Walker was granted a meeting with Donald Trump yesterday.
  • Laurie Roth says that "Obama has made it most clear whose side he is on and it isn’t America, God or freedom."
  • Grover Norquist calls Frank Gaffney's allegations that he is a secret Islamist "lies, crap, and garbage."
  • Finally, Paul Hair warns that President Obama is meeting with Muslim leaders in order to coordinate attacks on Christians.

Awkward: Jerry Boykin To Speak Alongside Grover Norquist, Who He Thinks Is A 'Muslim Brotherhood Facilitator'

According to the schedule [PDF] for tomorrow’s Road to Majority summit, the annual event organized by Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition, Family Research Council vice president Jerry Boykin’s address will be followed by a speech by Grover Norquist, the Americans for Tax Reform leader.

This might be a bit awkward since Boykin has frequently smeared Norquist as a secret Islamist, claiming that the conservative lobbyist is a “is a Muslim Brotherhood facilitator” who “has been involved with some very questionable insurgent elements from the Muslim Brotherhood here in America.”

A similar episode occurred at least year’s Road to Majority conference, when outspoken immigration reform advocate Rev. Samuel Rodriguez was immediately followed by Eagle Forum head Phyllis Schlafly, who used her speech to call for primary challenges against any Republican who votes for a reform bill.

Right Wing Round-Up - 6/18/14

Paranoia-Rama: CPAC Edition

RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.

This week, here at Right Wing Watch we have been monitoring the Conservative Political Action Conference, the American Conservative Union’s annual summit that has been packed with typical right-wing blustering over taxesBenghazi, Ronald Reagan, not to mention plenty of good old fashioned anti-government conspiracy theories:

5) Wayne LaPierre’s American Nightmare

NRA head Wayne LaPierre told CPAC attendees yesterday that “political and media elites” have conspired against gun owners and conservatives in general, working to “punish anyone who disagrees.”

“The media's intentional corruption of the truth is an abomination and NRA members will never, and I mean never, submit or surrender to the national media,” he said.

Even though crime rates have been falling steadily since the 1990s, LaPierre described his dark vision of an America in which happy and peaceful neighborhoods have been transformed into places of violence and death filled with “knockout-gamers.”

4) IRS Just As Bad As Deposed Leader Of Ukraine

Plenty of CPAC speakers have mentioned the crisis in Ukraine as a supposed failure of President Obama, but Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch went as far as comparing the Obama administration to the government of overthrown Ukrainian president and Putin ally Viktor Yanukovych.

Andy Kroll of Mother Jones reports that Fitton told attendees of CPAC’s “IRS Targeting Scandal: Protecting the Voice of the People” panel that Obama’s IRS, which has been falsely accused of targeting conservative groups, is operating much like how the Yanukovych government violently suppressed anti-government protesters: “People are dying in the streets in Ukraine. People being oppressed by the political regime. That's what the IRS was doing.”

3) Trump’s Immigration Solutions

Donald Trump seems to think Jimmy Carter is dead, and that the US may die too if Congress passes immigration reform. The real estate mogul told CPAC yesterday that immigration reform would mean that America would no longer exist, as immigrants flood into the country, destroy the GOP and “take your job.”

2) Muslim Brotherhood Infiltration of CPAC

Anti-Muslim activist Frank Gaffney hosted an alternative CPAC event yesterday, prompted in part by worries that the right-wing gathering has been infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood through Republican activists such as Grover Norquist and Suhail Khan. Gaffney joined other conservatives in denouncing Norquist and Khan as Muslim Brotherhood agents who are advancing “civilization jihad” and undermining America.

Diana West yesterday took to WorldNetDaily to warn CPAC that Norquist and Khan are “a pair of influential men with track records of working with America’s enemies – Islamic organizations the U.S. government has linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and larger world of jihad.” She claimed that they are allied with those who hope “to destroy the United States and transform what is left into an Islamic-ruled land,” and pushed the Muslim Brotherhood “straight into the inner sanctum of the Bush White House.”

1) President Obama Is George Wallace

When the Justice Department challenged Louisiana’s voucher scheme over evidence that the program would resegregate the state’s schools, conservatives were unsurprisingly outraged. At CPAC today, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Religious Right leader Ralph Reed likened President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder to segregationist Alabama governor George Wallace.

The 'Grover Norquist Is A Secret Muslim Brotherhood Agent' Conspiracy Returns Just In Time For CPAC

Anti-Muslim activist Frank Gaffney has unveiled a new petition, with support from Allen West and Andy McCarthy, demanding that the American Conservative Union kick Grover Norquist and Suhail Khan out of the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). CPAC had actually kicked Gaffney out in 2011 after an internal report found his accusations about the supposed ties between Norquist and Khan and the Muslim Brotherhood to be baseless and rooted in bigotry, but today the Huffington Post reports that Gaffney is embarking on yet another anti-Norquist campaign.

The conservative movement’s sowing of anti-Muslim paranoia and discord to help win elections is now coming back to bite it as even top conservative leaders like Norquist, who is married to a Muslim-American, are facing attacks.

At a 2011 right-wing summit, The Awakening, Gaffney was part of an event that immediately followed a panel featuring Norquist, where he delivered a presentation alleging that Norquist is “both enabling and empowering Muslim Brotherhood influence operations against our movement and our country.”

On his radio show last month, Gaffney said that Norquist is advancing the “civilization jihad of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

But Gaffney is not alone.

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) denounced Norquist from the floor of the House for associating with “unsavory people and groups out of the mainstream.”

Glenn Beck and Jerry Boykin, the executive vice president of the Family Research Council, also dedicated an entire program to discussing Norquist’s supposed role as “a Muslim Brotherhood facilitator.”

Not holding back, anti-Muslim activist David Horowitz attacked Norquist as a “ practicing Muslim” who has “infiltrated” the GOP, and Robert Spencer said last year that Norquist’s presence at CPAC turned the gathering into a “Sharia-compliant conference.”

“They are enforcing the Sharia,” Pamela Geller said of CPAC after the summit rejected her panel last year, which she blamed on “the influence of what can only be described as Muslim Brotherhood facilitators or operatives like Suhail Khan and Grover Norquist.” She was still able to host a nonofficial event where one speaker said he was “proud” of attacks against mosques.

But perhaps our favorite rant against Norquist came from Cathie Adams of Eagle Forum, who said that she knows Norquist is a secret Muslim because “he has a beard.”

Remembering The Religious Right's Attacks On Nelson Mandela

The news today of Nelson Mandela’s passing is also time to reflect on the complicated relationship between Mandela and his anti-apartheid African National Congress (ANC) with the US, which did not always support the anti-apartheid struggle. In fact, American conservatives lobbied the federal government in the 1980s to withhold support from the anti-apartheid movement.

President Reagan added the ANC to the US terrorism watch list, a designation not removed until 2008, and unsuccessfully vetoed sanctions against the apartheid regime. Many Republican lawmakers did break with the Reagan administration’s stance, but “all 21 [Senate] votes to sustain the veto were cast by Republicans.”

Mandela faced criticism from Republican leaders including Dick Cheney, who described Mandela’s ANC as a “terrorist organization,” and Jesse Helms, who “turned his back during Mandela’s visit to the U.S. Capitol.” Even in 1998, Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly lumped Mandela together with notorious dictators.

The late Jerry Falwell urged [PDF] his supporters to write their congressmen and senators to tell them to oppose sanctions against the apartheid regime. “The liberal media has for too long suppressed the other side of the story in South Africa,” he said. “It is very important that we stay close enough to South Africa so that it does not fall prey to the clutches of Communism.”

“South Africa is torn by civil unrest, instigated primarily by Communist-sponsored people who are capitalizing on the many legitimate grievances created by apartheid, unemployment and policy confrontations,” Falwell continued.

Finally, we should, if possible, invest in South Africa, because this inevitably improves the standard of living for nonwhites there.

Now is not the time to turn our backs on South Africa. The world has witnessed the Soviets capture nation after nation. They have been particularly aggressive in Africa. South Africa must not be the next victim!

David John Marley notes in Pat Robertson: An American Life that Robertson criticized the ANC because it was “led by communists and was hostile to Israel” and “far too radical an element to ever work with,” while “his campaign literature made similar claims for the need to support the white government.”

The televangelist regularly spoke ill of Mandela’s group and his Christian Broadcasting Network ran segments critical of sanctions against the apartheid government as Congress debated sanctions.

In 1986 The 700 Club did a series of reports on South Africa and the white government’s struggle against the African National Congress. While many socially liberal religious leaders decried the apartheid regime, Robertson openly supported it because he felt that it was a bastion against communism. For Robertson, everything else was secondary to defeating what he saw as the enemies of God. Robertson sent a copy of The 700 Club program to Freedom Council’s Dick Thompson to have it forwarded to Pat Buchanan, who in turn promised to show it to the president. Reagan’s attitude toward South Africa was one of his most controversial foreign policy stands, and Robertson was one of Reagan’s few allies on the policy.

Sam Kleiner mentions that now-Sen. Jeff Flake, anti-tax activist Grover Norquist and disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff were also active in lobbying against the anti-apartheid movement:

Jack Abramoff, now a disgraced former lobbyist convicted of fraud, conspiracy and tax evasion, got much of his start from his work with South Africa. Abramoff visited the country following his term as National Chair of the College Republicans in 1983 and met with pro-apartheid student groups linked to the South Africa’s Bureau of Security Services. In 1986, he opened the International Freedom Foundation. Ostensibly a think tank, it was later revealed as a front group for the South African Army as part of “Operation Babushka” meant to undermine Nelson Mandela’s international approval. The group had over “30 young ideologues in offices on G Street in Washington, Johannesburg, London and Brussels” working on propaganda in support of the South African government.

Like Abramoff, GOP tax guru Grover Norquist became enamored with the conflict in South Africa and went there to extend his support. Norquist ran College Republicans from 1981 to 1983 and went to South Africa in 1985 for a “Youth for Freedom Conference” sponsored by South African businesses. While other college students, such as Barack Obama, had been active in anti-apartheid work, this conference was seeking to bring American and South African conservatives together to end that movement. In his speech there, Norquist said, “The left has no other issue [but apartheid] on campus. Economic issues are losers for them. There are no sexy Soviet colonies anymore.” A few months after the conference, Norquist went to Angola to work with Jonas Savimbi, the rebel leader that Abramoff valorized in his film. Norquist became a ghost-writer for Savimbi’s essay in Policy Review. When he returned to Washington, he was greeted in conservative circles as a “freedom fighter,” and he proudly placed an “I’d rather be killing commies” bumper sticker on his brief case.

A few years later and much further along in the anti-apartheid movement, a young Jeff Flake (now a senator from Arizona) became active in lobbying for South African mining interests in the late 1980s and early ’90s, after returning from his Mormon mission to South Africa. As a graduate student at Brigham Young University, he testified against an anti-apartheid resolution in the Utah State Senate and then became a lobbyist in Washington for Smoak, Shipley and Henry, a lobbying firm specializing in representing the South African mining industry. Flake went on to personally represent the Rossing Uranium plant in Namibia, which had been a major target of anti-apartheid activists for its discriminatory and unsafe practices.

Decades later, these Republican leaders would prefer not to have their adventures in South Africa mentioned. While Abramoff went down in a corruption scandal, Norquist went on to remake himself into a libertarian anti-tax activist, and Flake moved back to Arizona. The anti-communism that motivated the Republican allegiance to South Africa fizzled with the end of the Cold War, but the history of the Republican entanglement with South Africa remains one of the party’s darker episodes.

President Obama can proudly talk about how his first political act was in response to apartheid. While a few Republicans stood against apartheid, much of the Republican Party has nothing to offer about its position at the time but silence. I wouldn’t expect any reflections on apartheid from Abramoff, Flake or Norquist anytime soon.

Paranoia-Rama: This Week In Right-Wing Lunacy - 10/25/13

We here at Right Wing Watch regularly observe how strange conspiracy theories and absurd right-wing nightmares percolate through conservative message boards and fringe websites all the way up to Fox News and the Republican Party, until they eventually become “mainstream.”

In a new feature, we’ll look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories and maniacal claims.

5. Satan Behind Sexual Misconduct Allegations Against Herman Cain

Herman Cain has finally put all those allegations of extramarital affairs and sexual harassment from different women to rest, saying that all of them were lying and are working the Devil. Cain told Real Clear Religion that Satan was behind the charges of sexual misconduct, several of which were made long before he even ran for president, as part of a plot to bring down his campaign, which he suspended before the Iowa caucus. After explaining how he was the real victim, Cain said that he now preaches about his experience in fighting the demonic spirits which supposedly manufactured the scandal.

4. Grover Norquist Is Palling Around With Terrorists

In an interview with Glenn Beck, Center for Security Policy head Frank Gaffney said that he saw terrorists meeting with Grover Noquist back when they shared an office in Washington, D.C. Rather than alert the authorities, apparently, Gaffney instead decided to wait over a decade to reveal Norquist’s terrorists allies. Norquist notes that on the date of his supposed meeting with terrorists, he wasn’t even in Washington.

Gaffney’s claims that Norquist is a terrorist fellow traveler are so farfetched that leaders of the American Conservative Union decided to kick Gaffney out of the annual right-wing summit CPAC, but that hasn’t stopped him from winning over Beck and other anti-Muslim zealots such as Jerry BoykinDavid Horowitz and Pamela Geller. Cathie Adams of Eagle Forum has found even more definitive evidence that Norquist is a secret Islamic agent: “he has a beard.”

3. Obama Will Nuke Charleston

After the right-wing conspiracy that President Obama was planning to set off a nuclear bomb in Washington, D.C. and blame it on Syria, we now have gotten word that Obama has shifted his menacing plan to Charleston, South Carolina. Survivalists have been fretting about a secret plan to nuke Charleston that went awry after generals refused and, as a result, were swiftly fired by Obama.

This conspiracy theory follows claims made by Alex Jones of InfoWars, who cited comments made by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) about how Iran could give nuclear weapons to terrorists targeting US cities like Charleston, of an imminent false flag attack: “Graham is quite literally saying that if we do not launch a war with Syria, South Carolina may be nuked. And this ultimately reeks of yet another false flag being orchestrated by the United States government in order to send us into war, or at the very least a threat.”

2. Military, NFL Facing Feminization

Did you know that President Obama is personally selecting new hats for the Marines to make them look “feminine” and “French”? The New York Post story about Obama’s wretched plan to make male Marines seem “girly” was quickly picked up by Fox Newsthe Washington Times, Newsmax, all the news sources you’d expect not to do basic research to see if Obama was actually involved in uniform cover design process.

Shockingly, he wasn’t.

But maybe that was all a plot to take away attention from the “chickification” of the NFL, which Rush Limbaugh bravely exposed. “You don’t put the NFL in pink for a month!” Limbaugh said, referring to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, “I don't think there’s any question, folks, that there is an attack on masculinity. And it’s not new. Basically the modern era of feminism, that's what it is, is a critique against masculinity.”

1. Fainting Lady An Obama Plant

When a pregnant, diabetic woman nearly fainted during President Obama’s press conference in the Rose Garden, “Lady-Patriots” was on the case to expose her as an Obama plant! Naturally, Sarah PalinMatt Drudge, and Fox News were happy to join the usual suspects like WorldNetDaily and InfoWars. “Lady Patriot” Sharon Scheutz foiled Obama’s false flag fainting to “take the focus off the disastrous website” and make people “feel warm and fuzzy for our hero President.”

“There are a lot of idiots out there,” she writes.

Indeed there are.

Right Wing Leftovers - 10/22/13

  • Grover Norquist dared to criticize Ted Cruz, so now Glenn Beck is out to destroy him.
  • Norquist, for his part, doesn't seem too fazed by the band of clowns Beck rounded up to lead the charge.
  • If there were claims that a Christian was being discriminated against in a case like this, you know that Liberty Counsel would come running to their defense.
  • Speaking of which, the Religious Right continues to claim that Phillip Monk was the victim of anti-Christian bigotry even though it is untrue.
  • Finally, Steve Lonegan says that he lost his Senate race against Cory Booker because of the government shutdown.

Right Wing Leftovers - 10/3/13

  • Rep. Tim Griffin (R-AR) reacted to the Capitol shooting like so: “Stop the violent rhetoric President Obama, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. #Disgusting” 
  • Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) sums up the GOP shutdown: “We’re not going to be disrespected. We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.” 
  • To show how macho he is, Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) scolded a Park Ranger and blamed her for the GOP-instigated shutdown.
  • If you thought that was bad, listen to how Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) struggled to come up with a reason for the shutdown.

Teavangelicals Told to Be ‘Happy Warriors’ Against Liberals, Big Govt, GOP Nay-sayers

Here’s a question for Ralph Reed and the ‘Teavangelical’ wing of the conservative movement: how can you portray yourselves as serious about governing when the keynote speakers at last week’s “Road to Majority” conference were Donald Trump and Sarah Palin?

Palin’s conference-closing remarks on Saturday featured a breathtakingly offensive joke about the Syrian civil war, which has taken an estimated 100,000 lives. She said we should just “let Allah sort it out.” Palin also had choice words for the bipartisan immigration reform bill moving through the Senate, which she dismissed as “a pandering, rewarding-the-rule-breakers, still-no-border-security, special-interest-written amnesty bill.” She was one of many conference speakers rhetorically crapping on Marco Rubio and the bipartisan “Gang of 8” reform bill and burning the bridges that conservative Latinos are trying to build.

At Friday night’s “gala” Reed bestowed a lifetime achievement award on Pat Robertson, who is increasingly difficult to take seriously, and who devoted his remarks to trashing President Obama.  Trump, who also addressed the gala, spoke mostly about his own Trumpian greatness and how Mitt Romney might have been president if he had the guts to run Trump’s anti-Obama “you’re fired” ad.  Trump shared plenty of pablum and piercing political insights, such as the Republicans needing to be “really smart” in choosing a “great candidate” in 2016. Trump also criticized the immigration reform bill as a “death wish” for the Republican Party, saying “every one of those people, and the tens of millions of people they will bring in with them, will be absolutely voting Democratic.”

There’s no question Ralph Reed still has pull. His conference opened with a luncheon featuring four Tea Party senators and he got a handful of Republican House members to speak along with former and future presidential hopefuls like Mike Huckabee, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, and Ted Cruz.  Rick Perry, who was introduced as a “Renaissance man,” bragged about the law he recently signed to protect the ostensibly threatened right of public school students to wish each other “Merry Christmas” Perry said, ““I hope my state is a glowing example of men and women who believe that those traditional values are how you make a stronger society.” Stronger society? Not so much.

In addition to the divide on immigration, relentless attacks on President Obama (Dick Morris said of the president, “he doesn’t care about national security”), and the unsurprising rhetoric on abortion, marriage, and supposed threats to religious liberty, there were some other major themes:

Government Bad

The conference was infused with the Tea Party’s anti-federal-government themes. Jonah Goldberg of the National Review reminded people of a video shown at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, which he recalled saying the government is the one thing we all belong to.  “Now, as sort of a Tea Party-ish kind of guy, that makes me want to flip the safety on my rifle.”

Speakers urged activists to take advantage of the recent scandals surrounding the IRS, the Justice Department, and the National Security Agency. Santorum urged activists to “think big” and “seize the moment” provided by the IRS scandal. Sen. Ron Johnson said he would like Americans to apply their disgust about the scandals to the federal government in general. Rather than trying to restore faith in government, Johnson said, activists should be fostering distrust of the government.

Grover Norquist is known for his quip that he wants to shrink the government until it is small enough to drown in the bathtub.  At Road to Majority he spelled out his plan to complete the strategy he embarked on with the Bush tax cuts and the no-tax-increase pledge he demands Republican candidates sign. He noted that “thanks to the marvels of modern redistricting,” Republicans are likely to have a Republican House until 2022, which means they have several chances to get a Senate majority and a Republican in the White House before then. Whenever that happens, he says, Republicans can put the Ryan budget into law and dramatically curtail government spending. He calls it “completely doable.”

Meanwhile, he said, in the 25 states where Republicans control the legislative and executive branches, activists should push for the passage of more anti-union legislation, and for laws that encourage people to obtain concealed carry permits, home school their children, and participate in stock ownership, three things that he said make people more Republican. He called this changing the demographics by changing the rules.

Obamacare: Will it Destroy America or Obama?

House Republicans have made repealing the Affordable Care Act – “Obamacare” – an obsession. Rick Santorum said opposition to the law should have been the centerpiece of the 2012 campaign. And many speakers repeated the demand that the health care reform law be repealed in its entirety.  Stephen Moore, founder of the Club for Growth and a Wall Street Journal editorial board member, said repealing Obamacare is the single most important thing that has to happen in Washington over the next two years. But a number of speakers had a slightly different take, suggesting that the implementation of the complex law would be its undoing, and that public outrage at rising insurance rates would bring down the Obama administration. Dick Morris predicted Obama would be “destroyed” by the law’s implementation.

GOP: Friend or Foe?

One running theme of the conference was conservative activists’ distrust for national Republican leaders, particularly around opposition to abortion and LGBT equality. Several speakers made reference to the notorious RNC “autopsy” on the 2012 election and the perception that some party leaders want social conservatives to tone it down. Reed himself complained that while self-identified evangelicals represented 45 percent of the Republican ticket’s vote, some party leaders were saying they are the problem and should “ride in the back of the bus.” He vowed that on issue of abortion and man-woman marriage, social conservatives would not be silent, “not now, not ever.”

It’s not just Ted Cruz who mocks his fellow Republicans. Gary Bauer complained that the last two Republican nominees had a hard time talking about sanctity of life issues, and he said party officials in Washington spend too much time taking the advice of “cowardly pollsters and political consultants.”  Mike Huckabee complained that “Republicans have been, if not equal, sometimes more guilty than Democrats in thinking the brilliant thing to do would be to centralize more power in the hands of the central government.” He said he’s “sick of hearing” that people think the GOP needs to move away from a conservative message.

There was enough grumbling that when it was RNC Chairman Reince Priebus’s turn to speak on Saturday, the Wisconsin Faith & Freedom official who introduced him felt a need to vouch for Priebus’s faith and commitment to conservative causes. He said angrily that it is “an absolute lie” that Priebus is not a social conservative and insisted that there is no division in the party.

Priebus started his remarks by establishing his religious credentials: “I’m a Christian. I’m a believer. God lives in my heart, and I’m for changing minds, not changing values.” He added, “I’m so grateful that we’ve got a party that prays, that we’ve got a party that puts God first, and I’m proud to be part of that.” He said he “gets it” that conservative Christians are a “blessing” to the party. He said the GOP needs to have a permanent ground game in place all across the country. 

Priebus defended his plan to shorten the presidential primary season and move the party convention from August to June from critics who call it an insider move against grassroots conservatives. It isn’t an establishment takeover, he insisted, but a way to prevent a replay of the 2012, when Romney went into the summer months broke after a long primary season but not yet able to tap general election funding.

Still, not all the conservative are convinced that national Republicans are with them.  Palin portrayed Republicans in Washington as being overly fond of government spending: “It doesn’t matter if it’s a Republican or a Democrat sitting atop a bloated boot on your neck, out of control government, everyone gets infected, no party is immune. That’s why, I tell ya, I’m listening to those independents, to those libertarians who are saying, you know, it is both sides of the aisle, the leadership, the good old boys….”

Phyllis Schlafly talked about having waged internal battles to make the GOP a solidly anti-abortion Party and encouraged activists not to be seduced by talk of a conservative third party but to work within the Republican Party to make sure the right people on the ballot. Norquist insisted that activists had helped brand the GOP as the party that will not raise your taxes, and he said Republican elected officials who vote for tax increases damage the brand for everyone else. They are, he said, “rat heads in coca-cola.”

Message Envy

It might surprise many progressives, who have spent years bemoaning the effectiveness of Republicans’ emotion-laden rhetoric, that speaker after speaker complained that Democrats are so much better than Republicans at messaging.  Of course complaining about messaging is easier than admitting that there may be something about your policies that voters don’t like.

At a panel on messaging strategies, author Diane Medved said that when defending traditional marriage, she would love to say “what is it about ‘abomination’ that you don’t understand?” But she knows that won’t reach people who don’t already agree with her. She argued that conservatives should marshal the “science” that supports their positions.  She also tried out a new messaging strategy, saying that opposition to marriage equality is a feminist issue because it is empowering to women to affirm that they are different than men. “Women deserve to have credit for being who they are as a separate gender and they are not interchangeable with men.”

Ryan Anderson, co-author of a book on marriage with Robert George, the intellectual godfather of the anti-marriage-equality movement, took issue with the name of the panel, which was “Don’t Preach to the Choir.” Anderson said the choir needs to be preached to, because too many Christians are giving up on marriage. There is no such thing as parenting, he insisted, there is mothering and fathering. Anderson said that anti-marriage equality forces have only been fighting for five years, while proponents have been fighting for 20 to 30 years. “It’s not that our argument for marriage has been heard and been rejected,” he said. “It’s that it hasn’t been heard at all.”  Anderson promoted the widely discredited Regnerus study on family structures as evidence that science is on his side.

Eric Teetsel, executive director of the Manhattan Declaration, encouraged activists to be careful with their rhetoric. “I don’t believe that there are very many, if any, people in this movement, certainly not in public life, who have any ill will toward the same-sex community, at all. But sometimes we say things that make it sound like we do.” If Teetsel really believes that, he needs to spend some more time actually listening to conservative religious leaders, pundits and politicians who regularly charge that gay-rights advocates are Satan-inspired sexual predators who are out to destroy faith and freedom if not western civilization itself.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy or Arguing as a Lover with Stupid Liberals

Anyone who pays attention to religious right groups has been seeing the word “winsome” a lot. Conservative evangelical leaders are well aware of polling data that shows young Christians are turned off by the anti-gay bigotry they see in the church.  So there’s a push on for everyone to make conservative arguments in a “winsome” way, to be “happy warriors” like Ronald Reagan, to be cheerful when arguing with liberals. Being cheerful was a big theme at Road to Majority. Said Rick Perry, “when we fight for our county, we need to do it with joy.” 

The Manhattan Declaration's Teetsel took this theme to new heights in the messaging panel in which he called for “arguing as a lover” when “trying to woo people over to our side”: be respectful, self-effacing, funny, give people an opportunity to save face.  But he doesn’t seem to think much of his audience, saying America is no longer a society of ideas, and that in our celebrity-crazed culture it doesn’t make sense to appeal to 18th Century sources of authority like the Federalist Papers, which “are not considered authorities in my generation. People do not care what these men in wigs thought 300 years ago.”

“We serve a God who condescended to become a man in order to share his gospel. And I think that’s an example that we can learn from. Romans 12:16 advises us, do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. So we have to bite the bullet.  We have to recognize some of these facts and condescend to watching Glee from time to time so that we can talk to people about it.”


Right Wing Leftovers - 6/14/13

  • Grover Norquist is sad that Cathie Adams embarrassed herself by claiming that he had secretly converted to Islam.
  • "Coach" Dave Daubenmire wants to know "Whatever Happened to Courage?"
  • Jeb Bush says that "immigrants are more fertile."
  • Rep. Steve King says that the anti-immigration event next week will technically just be a "press conference," because if they called it a protest or rally, they'd have to get a permit.
  • Finally, FRC prays for the Boy Scouts, Supreme Court, and against Plan B.
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