Herman Cain was a guest on Rick Wiles' End Times radio broadcast yesterday where he warned that President Obama will soon issue an executive order providing a path to citizenship to millions of undocumented immigrants in order to mobilize Hispanic voters to turn out in the upcoming midterm elections. As a bonus, such a move will force Republicans in Congress to impeach Obama, which is exactly what Democrats want because it'll distract the media from Obama's incompetence and corruption.
Cain told Wiles that Obama will issue such an order because he knows that by the time Congress or the courts take steps to stop his decision, he will have already mobilized millions of Hispanic voters, including those who are here illegally, to vote for the Democrats in the November elections.
When Wiles said that such a move would be an "act of dictatorship" that would most certainly result in impeachment, Cain explained that that is exactly what Obama and the Democrats want to see happen.
"The Democrats would love for the media to be obsessed with impeachment proceedings leading up to November," Cain stated "because the Democrats do not want the media to be focusing on failed economic policy, no foreign policy, [and] corruption that's going on it all of the various departments":
RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.
On top of all the dizzying anti-government rhetoric emanating from the Bundy Ranch fiasco, the right-wing still had time this week for extremist and bizarre claims about gays, Muslim-Americans and Hillary Clinton.
5. Bundy Ranch Rallying Cry
Fox News, Tea Party groups and the Koch brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity have become major cheerleaders for Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his allied militias in their lawless stance against Bureau of Land Management, consistently citing debunked claims that the BLM is working on behalf of a solar energy project led by Harry Reid and a Chinese firm.
Fox News host Sean Hannity hinted that the government was trying to murder Bundy, and his network colleague Todd Starnes suggested that violence would have been an appropriate response to the authorities who confronted Bundy after his defiance of several court rulings.
4. The ‘Gay Jihad’
Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber, whose over-the-top columns are so unbelievable that he may in fact be deliberately trying to embarrass the conservative movement and undermine it from within, this week warns that “‘gay’ jihadists,” along with the “power class of cultural Marxists and left-wing statists,” are pushing an “anti-Christian, sexually anarchist sociopolitical agenda.”
“Most people are naturally repulsed by the mechanics of homosexual conduct,” Barber writes, warning that their “filthy practice” is “the squalid, unnatural and feculent abuse of both the reproductive and digestive systems. Yuck.”
Therefore, he warns that gays need to take over public schools and the media in order to “indoctrinate” the public against their better instincts to oppose gay rights.
But Barber goes on to lament that most people aren’t as smart or brave as he is, leaving them easy prey of the gay “jihad.”
3. America’s Star Of David Badge?
Eagle Forum’s national political chairwoman Sandy McDade says that while she wants the governor to require people show a photo ID in order to vote, she opposes the REAL ID Act because it will turn America into Nazi Germany.
McDade, who also heads Eagle Forum’s Louisiana chapter, testified at a Louisiana legislative hearing on Tuesday against a REAL ID compliant driver’s license bill, warning that a gold star on the license is reminiscent of the Star of David badge that the Nazis forced Jewish people to wear.
2. Birth of the Shoe Truthers
It was only a matter of time before conservative activists conjured up a conspiracy theory about the incident in which a woman threw a shoe at Hillary Clinton while she was delivering a speech in Las Vegas. Writing for Fox News commentator Bernard Goldberg’s blog, Arthur Louis speculated that “Hillary arranged to have the shoe thrown at her” in order to “make her seem presidential.”
Herman Cain, who at one point was the frontrunner for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, suggested that Clinton engaged in “fakery,” and tweeted an article from his website’s editor-in-chief, Dan Calabrese, about how “only a completely naive fool” would believe that Clinton didn’t stage the incident.
In the article, Calabrese carefully analyzed Clinton’s movements when the shoe was thrown in her direction, concluding that she had a “snarky grin on her face” and did not have “a natural reflex action.” “Listen carefully to the inflection,” he wrote. “I'm just asking: Did that sound sincere?”
Rush Limbaugh also weighed in, saying that he wouldn’t reject the “shoe truther” conspiracy theory because it all could have been a ploy to discredit conservatives who criticize the former secretary of state’s handling of the Benghazi attack.
So, it should come as no surprise that less than 24 hours after Chelsea Clinton announced that she is pregnant with her first child, we already have Clinton baby truthers.
1. Muslims Can Vote? What A Scandal!
Of course, Fox News hosts Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Steve Doocy believe that a new group working to increase the civic involvement of the Muslim-American community is a dangerous threat to the US, so they invited former congressman Allen West to spread insane fears about the Muslim Brotherhood taking over the country.
Because only to Fox News is an effort to increase voting and participation in public life an attempt “to wage jihad from within.”
Dan Calabrese, the editor-in-chief of Herman Cain’s website, has grabbed plenty of attention with his rants about gay people, attacks on pro-choice women and promotion of the Hillary Clinton “shoe truther” conspiracy.
“Knowing what we now know (although some of us have understood it for a long time) about the brains of pot smokers, it's not surprise they spew such foolishness,” Calabrese writes.
At the end of the column, he adds that he has “more about the spiritual implications of this issue over at my site.”
There, Calabrese claims that smoking marijuana “invites demonic infestation” and “puts a person at serious risk of demonic attack,” warning that “strident marijuana activists” have turned marijuana into their “god” and have given themselves “over to the spiritual enemies of God”:
But let me show you why smoking pot presents an even bigger problem for you, which is: It invites demonic infestation into your spirit.
The use of mind-altering substance for “recreational” purposes puts a person at serious risk of demonic attack because what you’re doing is rejecting the natural chemicals God already put in your body as insufficient to satisfy you physically and emotionally.
The chemicals God put into your body are designed to operate in exactly the way God intends. As long as you are satisfied with the workings of those chemicals, you will be able to operate in a clear-headed manner and exercise good judgment. Once you decide God’s chemicals are not enough for you, and you seek an artificial alternative to alter the state of your mind, you give yourself over to the spiritual enemies of God – because they’re the ones who convinced you that God’s proposition was insufficient for you.
You can clearly see this in the behavior of the most strident marijuana activists, who constantly talk about their favored weed and in many cases make it the primary cause of their lives to make it legal so they can smoke it without sanction of any kind.
When something is the most important thing in your life, there’s a term we use for that. It’s your god.
When you’re operating in faith, you’re operating under the presumption that God has already given you everything you need and that you can trust His provisions. You want to be happy? To be relaxed? To be mellow? To be comfortable socially? To just plain old feel better? Trust God’s provisions.
When you decide God’s provisions are insufficient for you such that you need to risk the brain alteration caused by marijuana in order to experience these things, you’ve engaged in fellowship with demons. And once you do that, you’ve given them dominion over your life.
I have long believed that Christians should avoid all use of mind-altering substances, including alcohol, not so much because “it’s a sin” but because it puts you at a disadvantage in the spiritual battle. I don’t even really know what to do with dopey questions like, “Are you saying I can’t have a beer once in awhile?” I’m not saying you can’t do anything. I’m saying that if you want to be spiritually clean and strong, this is the best strategy. Reject it at your peril.
Understand this, too: What happens in the spiritual becomes manifest in the natural. It’s not for no reason your brain doesn’t function as well once you’ve smoked pot. You’ve given yourself over to spiritual darkness. Your physical body – which is supposed to be a temple to the Lord – will absolutely pay a price as a result. You’ve invited demonic spirits to alter your physiology. You don’t think they’re going to do that in accordance with their agenda?
Dan Calabrese, the editor-in-chief of Herman Cain’s Best of Cain website, is appalled that Michigan Democratic gubernatorial frontrunner Mark Schauer has picked “Vagina Woman” Lisa Brown to be his running mate.
In 2012, Republicans in the Michigan House barred Brown, then a state representative, from speaking on the House floor after she used the word “vagina” in a speech against an anti-choice bill.
In a column titled “Democrats pick The Vagina Woman for Michigan's Lt. Governor” (url: “democrats-nominate-the-vagina”), Calabrese writes that Brown and Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis are “highly un-accomplished” and that their “main claim to fame is having talked publicly about their own sexual organs.”
“[I]t's worth taking a look when a candidate chooses a running mate with nothing much to recommend her except the fact that she once angrily mentioned one of her own body parts during a legislative session,” Calabrese adds, also objecting to the fact that Brown, who is now a county clerk, issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples this month in the days before a marriage equality ruling was stayed.
It is not normally worth much news coverage when a candidate picks a running mate, although it usually gets a fair amount because political junkies tend to be obsessed with such minutia. But it's worth taking a look when a candidate chooses a running mate with nothing much to recommend her except the fact that she once angrily mentioned one of her own body parts during a legislative session, and that brings us to Mark Schauer, Michigan's presumptive Democrat nominee for governor, and his new running mate, Lisa Brown[.]
But it's the same thing they did in Texas, where the highly un-accomplished Wendy Davis is being touted for governor because she got a lot of media attention for staging a talk-a-thon in protest of restrictions on abortion. That's not working out too well, as Davis is way behind in the polls and her campaign has been beset by revelations about her supposedly inspirational life story. But that's what you get when you choose a candidate based on personal media narrative - especially one as flimsly as this - rather than actual qualifications.
Mark Schauer is no great prize either. He served one term in Congress before being turned out in the 2010 Red Wave election, but he was there long enough to vote for Obama's massive "stimulus" boondoggle and, of course, ObamaCare. He now spends his time engaging in every conventional Democrat pander of the moment, including demands that the minimum wage be raised and lots of blather about the "middle class" and so forth. And now he's proving that he knows the current Democrat playbooks very well, which is why he has selected the latest so-called victim of the "war on women" on the apparent belief that voters want to put the fortunes of their states in the hands of people whose main claim to fame is having talked publicly about their own sexual organs.
Herman Cain yesterday became the latest politician to whitewash Martin Luther King, Jr.’s record, attacking Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) for citing King while promoting his proposed financial transaction tax. Cain said that King wouldn’t support such a measure because “class warfare wasn’t his thing.”
Class warfare wasn't his thing.
The demonstrations and the proposed tax were initiated by U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota). He has introduced an actual bill to tax all Wall Street transactions to provide a pool of money to help those, mostly minorities, who have not achieved financial success. The bill is HR 1579, the “Inclusive Prosperity Act of 2013”.
When Stuart Varney asked me what I thought of this tax, I said the bill is simply a class warfare attack on those who represent financial success – and it dishonors the memory of Dr. King, because he did not preach class warfare.
Dr. King did not fight or die for a new tax. Please! His memory deserves more respect than that. Some of us understand that.
In fact, Ellison’s bill is much more moderate than King’s economic views.
King’s March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom strongly focused on issues of economic justice and called for an increase in the minimum wage along with “a massive federal program to train and place all unemployed workers — Negro and white — on meaningful and dignified jobs at decent wages.” He later said that he hoped “a program will emerge to abolish unemployment, and that there will be another program to supplement the income of those whose earnings are below the poverty level.”
King also said an “economic and social bill of rights” was needed to aid “the majority of Negroes locked up in an economic underworld of poverty, joblessness and unemployment” and correct the “monstrous contradiction between the American idea and reality” of “two centuries of oppression and terror.”
Cain certainly wouldn’t be the first one to offer this sanitized version of King, who believed that government should play a key role ending poverty:
I am now convinced that the simplest approach will prove to be the most effective -- the solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income.
Earlier in this century this proposal would have been greeted with ridicule and denunciation as destructive of initiative and responsibility. At that time economic status was considered the measure of the individual's abilities and talents. In the simplistic thinking of that day the absence of worldly goods indicated a want of industrious habits and moral fiber.
We have come a long way in our understanding of human motivation and of the blind operation of our economic system. Now we realize that dislocations in the market operation of our economy and the prevalence of discrimination thrust people into idleness and bind them in constant or frequent unemployment against their will. The poor are less often dismissed from our conscience today by being branded as inferior and incompetent. We also know that no matter how dynamically the economy develops and expands it does not eliminate all poverty.
Our nation's adjustment to a new mode of thinking will be facilitated if we realize that for nearly forty years two groups in our society have already been enjoying a guaranteed income. Indeed, it is a symptom of our confused social values that these two groups turn out to be the richest and the poorest. The wealthy who own securities have always had an assured income; and their polar opposite, the relief client, has been guaranteed an income, however miniscule, through welfare benefits.
John Kenneth Galbraith has estimated that $20 billion a year would effect a guaranteed income, which he describes as "not much more than we will spend the next fiscal year to rescue freedom and democracy and religious liberty as these are defined by 'experts' in Vietnam."
The contemporary tendency in our society is to base our distribution on scarcity, which has vanished, and to compress our abundance into the overfed mouths of the middle and upper classes until they gag with superfluity. If democracy is to have breadth of meaning, it is necessary to adjust this inequity. It is not only moral, but it is also intelligent. We are wasting and degrading human life by clinging to archaic thinking.
The curse of poverty has no justification in our age. It is socially as cruel and blind as the practice of cannibalism at the dawn of civilization, when men ate each other because they had not yet learned to take food from the soil or to consume the abundant animal life around them. The time has come for us to civilize ourselves by the total, direct and immediate abolition of poverty.
The editor-in-chief of Herman Cain’s Best of Cain website, formerly CainTV, is the latest right-wing activist to pounce on the controversy surrounding Mozilla’s CEO, who stepped down due to an outcry over his donation to the campaign to repeal marriage equality in California.
Dan Calabrese writes on Cain’s site today that gay rights advocates and websites like OKCupid -- which advised its members not to use Firefox (but despite some reports did not block the browser) -- are promoting fascism and Bolshevism while acting just like The Borg of Star Trek.
“This movement is evil,” Calabrese writes. “The gay movement understands something. They understand that in order for their movement to ultimately succeed, they need to turn the entire culture into a mindless army of obedient adherents like the Borg on Star Trek.”
You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.
People who are advocating a righteous cause do not seek to silence all dissent and destroy those who dare to disagree. They let the truth of their position speak for itself, and they don't fear those who mistakenly fail to see the virtue of their position.
Bolshevik. OkCupid is creating fascism, not love.
The essence of fascism is the stifling of dissent. You might argue that the term doesn't apply here because the power of government isn't the driving force behind it. I would tell you that's irrelvant [sic]. The tactics of fascism are the same regardless of who is weilding [sic] the power. What matters is that they have the power and are willing to use it, and right now gay marriage activists have the power because they are able to scare the bejeezus out of just about everyone.
And just to make sure you get the message, they won't just try to silence you today. They'll go back through your history and find out if you've spoken up in the past, and punish you for that - maybe by putting pressure on your employer to take away your job. Or maybe they will conscript the power of government, forcing you to provide them services that your faith would suggest you should not provide.
This movement is evil, not because homosexuality is a "worse sin" than other sins, but because its champions are trying to not only silence but in many cases destroy those who disagree with them. The gay movement understands something. They understand that in order for their movement to ultimately succeed, they need to turn the entire culture into a mindless army of obedient adherents like the Borg on Star Trek. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.
And no one acts this way when their cause is righteous. They know they don't need to. They act this way when their cause is evil, and freedom of speech is their enemy because, ultimately, truth is their enemy.
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 Boykin, David 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 News, the 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.
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 Palin, Matt 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.
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:
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.”
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.”
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, disgraced pseudo-historian David Barton and anti-feminist activist Phyllis Schlafly are participating in a prayer rally hosted by Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink and the Florida Family Policy Council in Tampa right before the opening of the Republican National Convention. CitizenLink head Tom Minnery, FFPC’s John Stemberger, former congressman J.C. Watts, Proposition 8 leader Jim Garlow, Vision America’s Rick Scarborough, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver are also among the speakers at the Prayer Rally for America’s Future at the River Church. The rally will touch on the familiar themes of opposing abortion rights and gay rights…and also to pray for revival in “male leadership.”
Later that day, the River Church is hosting a Tea Party Nation rally with Bachmann, Herman Cain, Neal Boortz, Judson Phillips, Pam Bondi, Niger Innis and Rebecca Kleefisch.
The River Church is pastored by Rodney Howard-Browne, the Word-Faith preacher known for performing faith healings:
And unleashing "Holy Laughter":