In an interview with the American Family Association’s Tim Wildmon at the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) convention yesterday, NRB president Jerry Johnson said that the FCC or the IRS will try to shut down religious television broadcasts as a result of “de facto Sharia law” and the issue of same-sex marriage.
“I think there is a de facto Sharia law effect, where we’re not under Sharia law but broadcasters feel like they can’t talk about Jesus and the Quran, Jesus and Mohammad,” Johnson warned. “The government has a new view of marriage, they are pushing it down and increasingly broadcasters and folks in industry—we’re seeing industry censorship.”
Later in the interview, Johnson said that he recently told Speaker John Boehner, Republican senators and congressman. and an FCC commissioner that “it won’t be long” until the FCC threatens broadcasters’ licenses or the IRS scrutinizes their tax status over their stance on same-sex marriage. “This threat is coming and I want to say all of these men agreed with me, all of them.”
We can assure Johnson that every day we observe broadcasters—both secular and religious—criticize same-sex marriage and Islam without limits on their speech.
Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) is continuing his crusade against Speaker John Boehner, this time focusing on yesterday’s debt ceiling vote. Speaking with WorldNetDaily yesterday, Huelskamp and fellow Tea Party-aligned congressmen Steve Stockman (R-TX) and Steve King (R-IA) criticized Boehner for approving a clean debt ceiling extension.
The Kansas Republican complained, “Why don’t we just re-elect Nancy Pelosi as speaker?”
Boehner said his strategy is to let Democrats take the blame for removing the debt ceiling until 2015.
Responded Huelskamp, “We’re giving the Democrats exactly what they want, and somehow that’s a good thing?”
“Why don’t we just re-elect Nancy Pelosi as speaker?” he wondered, adding, “She’s getting what she wants.”
Echoing that was Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, who said, “We are handing the President and Democrats exactly what they want – essentially a borrowed, blank check for the rest of the year – ‘no strings attached.’”
“Our current level of debt is suicidal. Our Republican leaders need to hear from Republican voters,” Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas told WND.
Huelskamp also told conservative talk show host Steve Malzberg that “Nancy Pelosi today is running the floor of the House,” calling the debt ceiling extension “totally unacceptable.” Huelskamp insisted that only bills backed by a majority of Republicans, rather than a majority of all House members, should reach the floor for votes.
After a devastating loss in 2012, Republicans claimed that they didn’t need to change themselves or their platform, but only cosmetic attributes such as their rhetoric and presentation. Other right-wing activists simply pretended that Republicans actually won the last election.
But if the actions taken this year by Republican leaders are any clue, it looks like Republicans either ignored or outright rejected even the superficial recommendations made in the GOP’s plan to revive the party:
1. Ending Aid To Jobless Americans
The perception, revealed in polling, that the GOP does not care about people is doing great harm to the Party…. To people who are flat on their back, unemployed or disabled and in need of help, they do not care if the help comes from the private sector or the government — they just want help.
Republicans in Congress rejected an extension of unemployment benefits, which will not only hurt approximately 1.3 million Americans during a period when long-term joblessness is still high, but will also result in serious harm to economic growth. If Republicans do not waver from their position, up to 5 million people could be affected by the cuts. The party also passed enormous cuts to the food stamp program under the auspices of preventing the tremendously low rate of fraud in an effort to kick 5 million people off of food assistance.
But the GOP continues to give special benefits to millionaires, as earlier this year Republicans once again rebuffed the “Buffet Rule,” which would have ensured that millionaires don’t end up having a lower tax rate than average Americans.
2. Blocking Immigration Reform
[W]e must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform…. On issues like immigration, the RNC needs to carefully craft a tone that takes into consideration the unique perspective of the Hispanic community.
Even though a majority of Americans and House members support immigration reform which includes a pathway to citizenship, the House GOP leadership refused this year to call a vote on reform bills. Speaker John Boehner even said that Republicans “have no intention of ever going to conference on the Senate bill.” But the House did find time to pass Rep. Steve King’s amendment to defund a program that prevents undocumented children being deported.
GOP politicians continue to argue that immigration reform will literally destroy America, and one Republican congressman even used the slur “wetbacks” while describing immigrants. Rep. Louie Gohmert said that Republicans must reject immigration reform to win over Latino voters, while Rep. King dismissed young Latinos as drug smugglers with cantaloupe-sized calves.
3. Rolling Back Reproductive Choice
Republicans should develop a more aggressive response to Democrat rhetoric regarding a so-called “war on women.”
Republicans claim it is unfair that people believe they are behind a “war on women,” but they didn’t do themselves any favors by approving a sweeping anti-abortion bill. Rep. Trent Franks, the chief sponsor of the legislation, defended his bill by channeling Todd Akin when he argued that “the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low,” and then fundraised off his remarks.
Fellow Republican Rep. Michael Burgess rallied support for the bill by citing masturbating fetuses. But perhaps the biggest steps Republicans took in dismantling Roe v. Wade occurred on the state level, where GOP-controlled state legislatures passed a range of extreme anti-choice bills.
4. Preserving Anti-Gay Views
For the GOP to appeal to younger voters, we do not have to agree on every issue, but we do need to make sure young people do not see the Party as totally intolerant of alternative points of view. Already, there is a generational difference within the conservative movement about issues involving the treatment and the rights of gays — and for many younger voters, these issues are a gateway into whether the Party is a place they want to be.
Even the GOP had to couch its call to be nicer to gay people as a political maneuver to making inroads with the youth vote, which helped secure President Obama’s re-election and is strongly in favor of LGBT equality. But the ties between the GOP and the anti-gay Religious Right remain rock solid, and many GOP leaders and potential presidential candidates addressed this year’s Values Voter Summit, where the event’s anti-gay sponsors and speakers repeatedly denounced gay rights.
Republican elected officials delivered stinging attacks against the Boy Scouts of America for ending its ban on gay members and also laced into the Supreme Court for overturning part of the Defense of Marriage Act, a law defended in court by the House GOP. Republican leaders like Sen. Ted Cruz ardently criticized marriage equality at Religious Right events, and even “libertarian” Republicans like Sen. Rand Paul denounced gay marriage, linking it to non-human marriage.
5. The Shrinking Party
We have become expert in how to provide ideological reinforcement to like-minded people, but devastatingly we have lost the ability to be persuasive with, or welcoming to, those who do not agree with us on every issue.
In case you needed more evidence that Republican politicians take cues from the GOP’s ultraconservative base, look no further than the government shutdown, where the congressional GOP leadership allowed the Tea Party “suicide caucus” to lead an enormously unpopular and economically harmful government shutdown.
Republicans ended up getting nothing from the shutdown, but Rep. Marlin Stutzman did illuminate the GOP’s thinking: “We’re not going to be disrespected. We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”
While we keep hearing talk of Republicans trying to seem more inclusive and “fighting back” against the Tea Party, it isn’t clear that the party is actually presenting any real challenge to Tea Party-aligned politicians. In fact, it seems that the GOP is actively embracing Tea Party’s extremist policies, fervent rhetoric and ideological purity tests.
Anti-gay leaders are cheering on Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) in his effort to block funding and support for two openly gay Republican congressional candidates. Americans For Truth About Homosexuality’s Peter LaBarbera praised Forbes for trying to preserve the GOP’s hard line against gay equality:
"The Republican party platform is opposed for the most part to homosexual activism, especially gay so-called marriage," says LaBarbera. "So Forbes understands that the Republican Party should not be in the business of promoting candidates that are going to promote sexual immorality."
LaBarbera says he is disappointed that many other prominent Republicans don't have a problem with "gay" GOP candidates.
"It's disappointing to see House Speaker Boehner and other prominent Republicans backing openly homosexual candidates because these candidates are not going to serve the interest of the Republican Party if the party still claims to be pro-family," the family advocate tells OneNewsNow.
In fact, Burress thinks “it is time for Boehner to be replaced as speaker” for caving to “self-proclaimed homosexuals” and “the homosexual agenda.”
"Sometimes I think he's been in Washington too long," Phil Burress, chairman of the Ohio-based Citizens for Community Values Action Political Action Committee, says of House Speaker John Boehner.
"If you're going to elect people who are self-proclaimed homosexuals, then you're totally ignoring what the Republican Party stands for in its national platform, marriage between one man and one woman," Burress tells OneNewsNow.
Burress observes he has never seen a homosexual in the Republican Party "who does not promote the homosexual agenda," which he says includes same-sex marriage and abortion.
One problem plaguing the GOP is the so-called big tent approach.
"The Democrats have two non-negotiable issues, same-sex marriage and abortion rights," Burress claims. "The Republican Party never talks about their non-negotiable issues because I don't think they have any."
Burress also says it is time for Boehner to be replaced as speaker.
UPDATE: Family Research Council president Tony Perkins also favors Forbes’ push against gay candidates:
While Forbes has been blasted for his comments, he knows -- as well as we do -- that this debate is about a lot more than someone's sexual preference. While we reject the false dichotomy of private and public morality, I -- like most Americans -- would rather not know about a person's bedroom habits. That's not the issue for Rep. Forbes. What he cares about --and what the GOP should too -- is whether these candidates will abide by the party's platform. When Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was asked if his party could support an openly homosexual candidate, he replied, "I do." But the real question isn't whether the GOP would support an openly homosexual candidate, but whether it would support an openly homosexual activist who has sought to redefine marriage and undermine religious freedom. At the end of the day, conservatives and homosexual activists cannot coexist in a movement predicated on virtues that pre-date positive law. If there is a litmus test, it should be on ideology.
Instead, the NRCC and Republican Establishment are so desperate to beat the opposition that they'll sacrifice core principles to try. And here's the irony: that weak-kneed approach is what turns voters off. "Our decisions on the Republican nominees we support will not be based on race, gender, or sexual orientation," said Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), chair of the NRCC, "but will be based on the strength of their candidacy and their ability to defeat Democrats." Translation: the GOP will throw its support behind any candidate they believe can win, even it means throwing the party's stated principles overboard.
As Miranda reported earlier, House Speaker John Boehner’s office stepped in to provide space to the anti-gay Howard Center for Family, Religion & Society for its symposium on what Americans should learn from other countries when it comes to “family policy.” Sen. Mark Kirk, who had originally sponsored the group for a room, withdrew his support last night saying he doesn’t affiliate with groups that discriminate.
The Howard Center’s Allan Carlson, who described himself as a historian by training, saw fascism at work: “The parallel I see here is what happened in Italy, Germany, other lands in the 1920s and 1930s as fascism began to impose its fear-driven grip on debate, on conversation, and on policy-making.”
[UPDATE: Concerned Women of America has posted videos of the event]
Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America boasted about having been a speaker at all but one of the World Congress of Families summits – annual events organized by the Howard Center and attended by conservative religious activists from around the world. Crouse acknowledged that “things don’t look so good” to activists watching the advance of same-sex marriage in Europe and the U.S., and public opinion in many countries shifting to “quote LGBT rights.” But, she said that’s not the whole story, and praised countries that have outlawed gay marriage and other groups of citizens who are “with the help of God” changing the world.
Crouse is particularly excited about what is happening among opponents of marriage equality in France, which she portrays as a “David v. Goliath” battle of plucky pro-family activists fighting the French government and media. She mentioned activists in Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, and Nigeria. She encouraged the small number of attendees to “take heart” and count on the power of truth and faithfulness.
Austin Ruse, the enthusiastically anti-gay head of the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute, devoted much of his remarks to supporting Russia’s new anti-free-speech and anti-gay propaganda law. He read from a statement of support from “pro-family groups” defending Russia’s new law. The letter claims that “the Russian law protects the innocence of children and the basic rights of their parents recognized in the international legislation and treaties.” More from the letter:
With its new law Russia is protecting genuine and universally recognized human rights against artificial and fabricated “values” aggressively imposed in many modern societies….We thus call for respect of the sovereignty of the Russian people and we invite all organizations and people who feel responsible for the protection of the innocence of children and their rights, the natural family and parental rights to stand up for Russia, as well as for Ukraine and Moldova suffering the same pressure due to similar laws.
Ruse, who has been spending time in Russia to prepare for the World Congress of Families 2014 summit, being held in Moscow, said western LGBT rights advocates were guilty of overheated rhetoric and “propaganda” about the status of gays in Russia. He saw gays everywhere in Moscow! They can enjoy themselves “hassle-free” at clubs. Russians, he said, accept that homosexuality exists, but they believe the political movement to celebrate and regularize it is harmful to children.
Speakers actually seemed envious of Russia in some ways. Ruse said that with the resurgence of the Russian Orthodox Church, “Christians over there are truly dominant.” In the U.S., though, there is “an increasingly hostile atmosphere toward people with traditional values” and a “vicious totalitarianism that is loose in the land.” And “there’s more trouble coming” with the Employment Non Discrimination Act. Crouse said American gay-rights activists are “turning into thugs who are destroying freedom of speech, destroying religious liberty.” It’s very “refreshing,” she said, to see that’s not the case in other countries.
Ruse acknowledged that anti-gay violence and thuggery is a problem in Russia. He denounced such violence and said he has urged Russian officials to do more to stop it. But when he was asked whether the conversation about the anti-gay propaganda law and protecting children from gay people might encourage such violence, he said anti-gay violence in Russia has been going on for a long time and didn’t think the new law was to blame. And he said blaming religious conservatives for creating a climate of hate is a tactic of gay-rights groups, a “maneuver to silence people.”
Carlson said he cuts Russia a lot of slack because the country is “trying to put decent moral society back together” after both Communism and some of the “bad things” – like a “libertine approach to sexuality” – that poured into Russia from the west after the fall of Communism.
A Capitol Hill event featuring groups that push anti-gay laws abroad, which was scheduled to take place in a Senate office building today, developed a layer of unexpected intrigue last night when the event’s organizers sent out an email announcing that the meeting would be moved to a House building after the unnamed “senator who was sponsoring our room” canceled the room “due to media pressure.”
It turned out that the senator in question was Illinois’ Mark Kirk (home-state senator of the event’s organizer the World Congress of Families), and that the “media pressure” was Buzzfeed’s Lester Feder simply calling up his office to ask about it. Kirk’s office immediately dropped the event and announce that “Sen. Kirk doesn’t affiliate with groups that discriminate.”
WCF responded by announcing that “obviously Senator Kirk doesn’t care about families and children and freedom and has chosen to side with the policies of decline, death and disease promoted by the Sexual Radicals.”
To the rescue came none other than Speaker Boehner, whom World Congress of Families president Allan Carlson thanked for providing the group with its new Capitol Hill digs. Boehner’s spokesman nevertheless distanced his boss from the group in a statement to Feder: “This administrative task obviously does not imply endorsement of any particular point of view.”
All of this drama then became a central focus of the event, which was billed as a discussion on what the U.S. can learn from “family policy lessons from other lands.”
Carlson kicked off the event by announcing, “A great fear seems to be descending on what was once called the world’s greatest deliberative body” and saying that Kirk’s pulling the plug on the event’s room reminded him of the early days of fascism in Europe.
[UPDATE: Concerned Women of America has posted videos of the event]
Another speaker, Concerned Women for America’s Janice Shaw Crouse, who is also on WCF’s board of directors, blamed the change of plans on “a group of radicals” – an odd accusation since there had been no organized effort to prevent the event from taking place.
Finally, Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute’s Austin Ruse declared that Sen. Kirk’s action made him less friendly to free speech than Russia – whose law criminalizing pro-gay-rights speech has the vocal support of C-FAM and WCF .
UPDATE: Peter has a post on the summit speakers' defense of Russia's anti-gay laws.
WASHINGTON – House Speaker John Boehner announced yesterday that he has “no intention of ever going to conference” with the Senate on its bipartisan immigration legislation, and implied that he would take an ineffective, piecemeal approach to the issue.
Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way, responded to Boehner’s remarks:
“Once again, Speaker Boehner is choosing to stand with the extremist minority of his party over the wishes of the majority of Americans and the long-term health of our country.
“It is stunning that Boehner sees no hurry to fix the moral crisis of a broken immigration system that tears families apart and leaves millions of futures in limbo. Not only is improving our immigration laws a moral imperative, it has the support of business, civic and faith groups from across the political spectrum.
“Yet Boehner has chosen to stand with Rep. Steve King and his Hate Caucus over the common-sense interests of Americans. Is this what the GOP’s ‘rebranding’ looks like?”
Now that the House GOP leadership has listened to its far-right Tea Party wing and shut down the government in a failed attempt to block the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, Republicans in Congress are trying to present themselves as American heroes.
They are patting themselves on the back for attempting to stop a law that they claim most voters oppose…despite the fact that voters re-elected President Obama just last November and overwhelmingly oppose the Tea Party shutdown.
We attempted to wade into the Tea Party’s alternate universe to condense Right’s six favorite talking points about the shutdown.
Obama’s Re-Election Had Nothing To Do With Obamacare
Only in the delusional reality of conservative activists was Obamacare not an issue in the last election. Mitt Romney campaigned for a full repeal of the health care law with the message, “Day one. Job one. Repeal Obamacare.” But not according to Heritage Foundation head and Romney backer Jim DeMint, who said that Romney and other Republicans lost because they weren’t conservative enough and “because of Romney and Romneycare, we did not litigate the Obamacare issue.” Sen. Rand Paul maintained that there hasn’t been a “big debate on Obamacare” since 2010, while Fox News anchor Steve Doocy defended repeal efforts by making the dumbfounding claim that “the November election last time was not about Obamacare.”
Obamacare Isn’t A Law!
Congressional Republicans have tried to avoid admitting that Obamacare is even a law, with several GOP lawmakers in the Senate and theHouse — including Speaker Boehner — referring to the Affordable Care Act — signed into law in 2010 — as only a “bill.” The right-wing group FreedomWorks said that it is encouraging Republicans to label the law as a “bill” in order to undermine it by “emphasiz[ing] that the law remains quasi illegitimate, because it has never accepted by one of the two major parties.” It should go without saying that just because one party doesn’t like a law, doesn’t mean that it is not a law.
Obamacare Wrong Because People Will Like It
The GOP is insistent that Congress must repeal Obamacare before people begin enjoying its benefits. Sen. Ted Cruz warned that “it is likely Obamacare will become a permanent feature of our economy” once people become “addicted to the subsidies, addicted to the sugar.” Rep. Michele Bachmann similarly asserted that “it will be virtually impossible for us to pull these benefits back from the people” after “they enroll millions of more” people into health insurance plans and get them “addicted to the crack cocaine of dependency.”
Democrats Need To Compromise On Derailing Obamacare
Republicans and several media outlets have tried to create a false equivalency between GOP hostage-taking and Democratic officials who simply want to keep the government running. Cruz said his anti-Obamacare strategy represents “the essence of a compromise” and asked, “what have the Democrats compromised on? Nothing. Zero.” Rep. Dana Rohrabacher also slammed Democrats for having “refused to even consider the compromise that [Republicans] have offered.” Of course, these notions of “compromise” are based on the absurd premise that simply funding the government is itself a concession on the part of Republicans, and Democrats now should return the favor by agreeing to their objective of undermining the health care reform law.
Obamacare Opponents Emulating Civil Rights Legends
Florida freshman Ted Yoho said that Republicans who shut down the government over the health care law are just like Civil Rights Movement activists Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr., and Polish Solidarity founder Lech Walesa: “It only takes one with passion — look at Rosa Parks, Lech Walesa, Martin Luther King,” Yoho said. “People with passion that speak up, they’ll have people follow them because they believe the same way, and smart leadership listens to that.”
House Republicans Like 9/11 Heroes
Texas Republican John Culberson tried to rally the House GOP by comparing their struggle to the passengers on United Airlines Flight 93, who fought the terrorists who hijacked their plane: “I said, you know like 9/11, ‘Let’s roll!’”
An Open Letter to Speaker John Boehner
Dear Speaker Boehner:
In the wake of a year teeming with incidents of heartbreaking gun violence, it came as quite a shock to see Congressman Steve Stockman (R-TX) announce yesterday that he is “excited to have a patriot like Ted Nugent joining me in the House Chamber” for President Obama’s State of the Union address.
This so-called “patriot” has repeatedly threatened the life of the president.
With a gun in each hand, Ted Nugent once publicly called Obama a “piece of shit,” saying he “told him [Obama] to suck on my machine gun” and suggested that Hillary Clinton “might want to ride one of these into the sunset, you worthless bitch.” In the same incident, he also threatened Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein with gun violence.
At an NRA event last year, Nugent infamously warned that he would “either be dead or in jail by this time next year” if President Obama were re-elected. After People For the American Way’s Right Wing Watch publicized the video of his comments, the Secret Service began an investigation of Nugent.
The First Amendment protects Ted Nugent’s rights to say offensive things, but that right does not extend to making threats of violence against public officials. And it certainly does not give Nugent a “right” to be granted a privileged position of honor as a guest of the House of Representatives at the President’s State of the Union address.
So today we are calling on you, as Speaker of the House, to disinvite Nugent from attending the State of the Union address. This is not a question of civility; it is a question of whether or not to tolerate violent threats. We cannot invite those who openly threaten the life of the president to be part of this celebrated tradition. Allowing Nugent into the House chamber for the address will send a clear message of condoning such threats.
In a country still reeling from recent shooting sprees and striving to find ways to reduce gun violence, it is unconscionable to invite to the State of the Union address a man who has repeatedly threatened to kill our nation’s president.
President, People For the American Way
Washington, DC – People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker released the following statement in reaction to President Obama’s remarks today on the fiscal showdown:
“President Obama has offered a strong vision for solving our fiscal problems and moving our economy in a way that is true to our values and right for our future.
“Republicans in Congress have offered a plan that will hurt the economy and create even more hardship for those who are already struggling to get by. We know that austerity won’t put anyone back to work. Instead, it will cripple job creation and reverse the recovery. Republicans plan to raise new revenue by stealing from working families by ending important tax breaks while letting the wealthy off the hook. This vision, based on the faulty principles of Romney-Ryan economics, was rejected roundly at the ballot box and must be rejected on Capitol Hill.
“In this week’s election, Americans spoke loudly and clearly for a fiscal policy that creates jobs from the ground up, gives everyone a fair chance, and expects everyone to pay their fair share. President Obama has a mandate from the American people, and Congress must respect it.”
Cliff Kincaid of America’s Survival, who recently led the “Lenin and Sharia” conference on the supposed links between Communism and radical Islamists, today joined Frank Gaffney on Secure Freedom Radio to once again defend Michele Bachmann’s anti-Muslim witch hunt. But before they could get to that, the two attacked conservative activist Grover Norquist, whom Gaffney has consistently demonized as a Muslim Brotherhood agent. Gaffney said that his ten part “Muslim Brotherhood in America” course proves that Norquist and his Brotherhood allies are copying the “kind of subversive, clandestine operations that the Communists ran in their heyday in this country”:
Gaffney: Cliff Kincaid, one of the things that jumps out at you as you look at this material in the course and Grover’s friends in the Islamist Brotherhood infrastructure in the United States is how closely it seems to track, almost maps perfectly really, to the kind of subversive, clandestine operations that the Communists ran in their heyday in this country. You’ve developed a tremendous expertise on that subject and I wonder what particularly in your own program about Lenin and Sharia, did you find much evidence of the connection being more than coincidental there?
Kincaid: We did, Frank. This is where Grover’s conduct leaves me almost speechless. I mean here’s a guy who did recognize during the Reagan years the Communist threat and who now seemingly can’t see that we’re up against a global Islamic terrorist threat operating through front groups. That’s exactly what the Communists did.
Later, Gaffney claimed that John McCain and John Boehner, who along with many other Republicans denounced Bachmann’s witch hunt, were “sort of parroting the Muslim Brotherhood line” by defending Huma Abedin from Bachmann’s attacks. Kincaid recommended the House restore the Internal Security Committee, which was originally called the House Un-American Activities Committee, and said that neither Abedin nor President Obama could pass a background check:
Gaffney: They’re not simply imitating what the Communists did, the Communists trained them in how to run what the Brotherhood calls civilization jihad. As you know this is not necessarily terrorism, at least at the moment it’s a pre-violent form of creating the conditions of the battlefield that will enable the violent kind of jihad ultimately to be very successful. Cliff, one other thing that I’m struck by that seems to be an important parallel and it brings us back to the Grover Norquist element here; we’ve also been hearing of course from John McCain and Speaker of the House John Boehner lately, among others, sort of parroting the Muslim Brotherhood line on a number of issues, notably the revelations that the deputy chief of staff to the Secretary of State, Huma Abedin, has extensive personal as well as family ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Give us a sense of how this is a throwback to the earlier revelations, among others, by J. Edgar Hoover of what the Communists have done on the other side.
Kincaid: You would think that somebody like a McCain who is of course a war hero who came out of the Hanoi Hilton would understand the similarities between what the Communists have tried to do to us and now what the global Islamists are effectively doing to us. Yet we noticed, Frank, a couple years ago that he seemed to go haywire on this whole thing, after warning about the Muslim Brotherhood he suddenly shows in Washington at an event honoring Al Jazeera and then he shows up making these comments on the Senate Floor in criticism of the conservative members of the House who have raised concerns about security problems at the State Department and other agencies.
This is something that requires frankly the Congress to take a harder look; I wish we could go beyond just asking the inspectors general to look at this problem. We have long at America’s Survival advocated the return of the House and the Senate, but they can do it in the House, of the House Internal Security Committee to issue subpoenas, to bring in and require testimony from these people, to get to the bottom of it in public hearings as to the security problems in the State Department. Who gave Huma Abedin a security clearance? Does she in fact have one? We don’t even know that. I do know that I’ve taken a look at the standard form 86, 127 pages long that she was supposed to fill out and if she had filled it out, and let’s face it even the President couldn’t pass a basic background check, but if she had filled it out truthfully she wouldn’t be in that position today.
Gaffney: Amen, Cliff Kincaid, you are as always a great, great authority on these issues.
Washington, DC – As Mitt Romney leaves on a six-day international trip meant to bolster his foreign policy credentials, People For the American Way is calling on him to reject recent comments by his own foreign policy adviser, John Bolton.
Yesterday during an interview with anti-Muslim activist Frank Gaffney, Bolton defended Rep. Michele Bachmann’s ongoing McCarthy-esque attacks on Muslim-Americans serving in the U.S. government. Bolton’s comments, first reported by PFAW’s Right Wing Watch, place him at odds with prominent Republicans including Sen. John McCain and House Speaker John Boehner, who have both repudiated Bachmann’s unfounded allegations about “deep penetration” of the U.S. government by the Muslim Brotherhood and her targeting of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s aide Huma Abedin.
“Mitt Romney is traveling to Europe to prove that he has the foreign policy chops to be President,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way. “But first he needs to deal with a foreign policy problem of his own right here at home. Five members of Congress, led by Rep. Michele Bachmann, are targeting Muslim-American public servants in an old-fashioned witch hunt. Their dangerous and unfounded accusations are resonating halfway across around the world and undermining American diplomacy in the Middle East at a critical moment.
“Top Republicans like Speaker Boehner and Senator McCain have denounced Bachmann’s ‘dangerous’ efforts, and even her former campaign manager ripped her ‘outrageous and false charges,’” said Keegan. “Now one of Romney’s top foreign policy advisers is backing Bachmann’s witch hunt, but Romney hasn’t said a word.
“If Romney can't stand up to Michele Bachmann at home, how could he ever be a world leader?” asked Keegan. “Bachmann’s witch hunt is endangering the lives and livelihoods of hard-working Americans while undermining diplomacy abroad. Romney needs to take a stand on this basic issue at home or his foreign policy trip will be a failure before it ever gets going.”
# # #
Earlier this week, People For the American Way called on Boehner to remove Bachmann from the House Intelligence Committee, where she is privy to sensitive national security information.
The National Journal today reports on the rocky progress of the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which for the first time this year has become an object of partisan dispute. Why? The Democratic-backed reauthorization includes new protections for LGBT people, Native Americans and undocumented immigrants who are victims of domestic violence. That bill passed in the Senate despite 31 no votes – all from Republican men.
In response, the House GOP put together an alternate bill that not only axes the new protections recommended by Democrats but eliminates some protections that are already in the bill. Yesterday, the White House threatened to veto the House bill.
Now, the House GOP is playing the victim, accusing Democrats of trying to make them look bad by including things like help for gays and lesbians and undocumented immigrants in the bill:
The Senate version would expand current protections to gay, bisexual, or transgender victims of domestic abuse, subject non-Native American suspects of domestic abuse occurring on reservations to the jurisdiction of tribal courts, and increase temporary visas for victims who are undocumented immigrants. The House bill was amended on Tuesday to allow illegal immigrant “U visa” recipients to receive permanent residence if the perpetrators of the crimes against them are aliens, are convicted of the crimes, and are deported to the visa holders’ home countries.
But Republican leaders have accused Democrats of adding those hot-button issues to intentionally create a fight for political advantage—and lash out at House Republicans for waging a “war against women.” House GOP leaders—including Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia—say they want to stay away from “issues that divide us.”
That’s right. House Republican leaders – who threatened to shut down the government to stop Planned Parenthood funding, who won’t even consider cutting tax loopholes for giant corporations, who continually go out of their way to express their opposition to equal rights for gays and lesbians – are now worried about “issues that divide us.” Like, apparently, protecting gay people, Native Americans and immigrants from domestic abuse.
One “issue that divides us” apparently didn’t turn off some House Republicans. Rep. Morgan Griffith of Virginia offered an amendment to the bill that, according to the National Journal, would provide “help for convicted domestic abusers who want their gun-ownership rights back.” That one, at least, didn’t make it past the Rules Committee.
Last week, PFAW’s Right Wing Watch reported that a who’s who of Religious Right activists had recently gathered in the Capitol, with the endorsement of Speaker John Boehner, for a George Washington-themed prayer event.
Last night, Rachel Maddow did a segment on the event, drawing heavily from Right Wing Watch research to expose the extremism of its participants:
Right Wing Watch uncovered video of Lou Engle claiming that marriage equality would “unleash” a “sexual insanity”; Engle praying against health care reform with Sen. DeMint and then-Sen. Brownback; Jim Garlow saying that Satan is attacking the U.S. with marriage equality; David Barton claiming that AIDS can’t be cured because it’s God’s punishment for being gay; and the head of Alveda King’s group saying that supporting abortion rights is akin to supporting terrorism.
Here at People For the American Way, we spend a lot of time monitoring right-wing figures who seem far out of the mainstream. And then the Speaker of the House invites them to the Capitol.