Matt Drudge

Religious Right Cheers On Vladimir Putin As Anti-LGBT Violence In Russia Surges

While most of the news on Russia this week has been focused on the country’s ongoing financial collapse, it is important to highlight a report released by Human Rights Watch on Monday documenting the rise of anti-LGBT violence in Russia along with the ways the government, which recently passed new laws curbing LGBT rights, has ensured virtual impunity for the perpetrators of such attacks. Following the report’s release, Russia added a LGBT legal aid group to a list of NGOs that must register as “foreign agents.”

The uptick in violence against LGBT Russians certainly won't discourage Religious Right activists from supporting Putin, many of whom also seem more than willing to ignore his deadly incursion into Ukraine , support for laws curbing the freedoms of Russian evangelical Christians and other human rights abuses.

Nothing, it seems, can dissuade many of Putin’s American supporters, several of whom recently attended an anti-LGBT conference at the Kremlin, from believing that the U.S. should adopt anti-gay laws modeled on Russia’s, such as a ban on gay “propaganda” and adoption by same-sex parents.

In fact, many Religious Right activists in the U.S. believe that Putin is on a mission from God to save Russia, and the world, from the LGBT community.

Crush on Putin

It is no secret that many conservatives have fallen under Putin’s spell.

Matt Drudge has called Putin the “leader of the free world.” Sarah Palin has fawned over the Russian leader’s wrestling abilities. Franklin Graham has hailed Putin for “protecting children from any homosexual agenda or propaganda” and having “taken a stand to protect his nation’s children from the damaging effects of any gay and lesbian agenda.” Larry Jacobs of the World Congress of Families, the group that helped organize the Kremlin meeting, praised Putin last year for “preventing [gay people] from corrupting children.”

Religious Right leader and Iowa GOP kingmaker Bob Vander Plaats has upheld Putin as a world leader in morality. Josh Craddock, who represents Personhood USA at the United Nations, came back from the Kremlin conference cheering on Russia as a “light to the world.” Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver expressed offense last year that Obama would dare criticize Putin.One Fox News host wished that Putin could be president of the United States, even for just 48 hours.

Any violence against Russian gays, one Religious Right group explained, is probably “provoked by homosexual activists.” Massachusetts-based pastor Scott Lively, who has taken credit for inspiring Russia’s “propaganda” law, dismissed anti-LGBT violence in Russia as a “hoax” and told right-wing radio show host Linda Harvey that if violent anti-gay incidents occur, other gay people were likely the perpetrators.

God Will Favor Russia Instead Of America, Thanks Obama

Anti-gay activists think that God has decided to bless Russia, thanks to Putin’s leadership, while punishing the U.S. for passing rebellious gay rights laws. Pat Buchanan clearly articulated this mindset in a column in April titled “Is God Now On Russia’s Side?,” in which he likened the U.S. and Western Europe to Sodom and Gomorrah and cheerfully proclaimed that “Putin is planting Russia’s flag firmly on the side of traditional Christianity.”

In a February column, Don Feder of the World Congress of Families gushed that Putin had become the new Ronald Reagan: “As my friend and Russian pro-family leader Alexey Komov likes to say: 'Under Reagan, America helped to save us from communism. We'd like to return the favor.'”

Lively made the case last year that Putin is “the only world leader capable of standing up to the West” and could “inspire all the morally conservative countries of the world to adopt a similar law that he just adopted.” In the same interview, Lively called Obama the Antichrist.

“The country that’s acting like it’s part of the kingdom of the Antichrist is the United States of America, and Russia is standing against homosexual marriage, they’re standing for traditional family values,” Religious Right radio host Rick Wiles said in September. “The United States is exporting its wickedness, we’re using our power and might to force nations to change their laws to accept abortion, to accept homosexual marriage and homosexual rights, so which country is part of the Antichrist system and which is not?”

Wiles even predicted that the U.S. would soon go to war against Russia “with an atheistic, Jesus-hating, pro-homosexual, pro-lesbian, pro-transgender military and we're going to go up against another military carrying a Christian cross.”

Bring Anti-Gay Laws To The U.S.

Anti-gay activist Matt Barber said earlier this year that it was “encouraging” to see more anti-gay measures coming out of Russia, adding that he would like to see laws that “stop this homosexual activist propaganda from corrupting children in our nation and we need to see that right here in the United States.”

Peter LaBarbera called Russia’s “propaganda” law an “acceptable” and necessary way to stop companies like Disney from “promoting lesbianism to kids,” while American Family Association governmental affairs director Sandy Rios said the speech-inhibiting law was just “common sense.”

One of Putin’s most vocal cheerleaders, American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer, has called him a “lion of Christianity” and repeatedly demanded that the U.S. enact similar bans on gay “propaganda.”

Since the U.S. hasn’t embrace such an anti-gay crackdown, Religious Right activist William Murray writes, Americans are now “fleeing” to Russia in order to avoid LGBT equality at home.

WorldNetDaily Wonders If Matt Drudge Is A Prophet

WorldNetDaily today dedicated an entire story to decoding a tweet sent by conservative pundit Matt Drudge that read simply, “Have an exit plan.” The right-wing outlet spoke to survivalist Marc Slavo to analyze Drudge’s tweet.

Could Drudge be predicting an economic crash? Currency collapse? Terrorist attack? Something bad?!

WND investigates:

WND has contacted Drudge to see if he has any further explanation to what he specifically meant with his tweet.

Online blogger Mac Slavo is among those taking note of Drudge’s tweet, saying the warning, while cryptic, may be the result of direct insider information.

“Considering he once nearly brought down the Clinton administration by revealing the president’s indiscretions with a White House intern, one could make the case that if anyone has legitimate sources pouring in from across the world it’s Matt Drudge,” Slavo writes.

“Could his warning be for stock market investors regarding foreknowledge of an imminent collapse of financial markets in the United States, China and Europe?

“Or has Drudge’s access to insiders in key positions given him the ability to connect the dots for an event that may occur in the near future? Few may recall, but just three weeks ahead of the September 11th attacks, Drudge headlined warnings of possible strikes on U.S.-based targets, so there may well be a credible insider source for his most recent warning as well.”

Slavo goes on to note that while Drudge’s latest comments could be referring to anything, “given the types of stories he’s covered in recent years we could make the case that he is referring to worst-case scenarios.

“His exit plan warning may encompass any number of potential scenarios such as a coming shock to financial markets, evacuating major cities in an emergency, preparing for the destruction of our currency, or having a way to get out of the United States in the event of a Soviet-style purge.

“Whatever the case, Matt Drudge understands that his views and comments are followed by hundreds of millions of people worldwide, thus we are confident that he would not publicly issue such a warning unless he has access to credible information that supports his claims. That being said, we urge readers to remain vigilant.”

WND Wants You to Know that You're Racist for Thinking a Story on 'Black Mob Violence' is Racist

WorldNetDaily – incubator of birtherism and new professional home of Rick Santorum – published a story earlier this week titled  “Beach Week’ Draws Black Crowd – And Violence.” The content of the story is about what you’d expect, especially since it’s written by an author who seems to specialize in reporting on what he calls “black mob violence.” This led us to notice that each of the author’s stories on the subject is prefaced by this remarkable editorial note:

(Editor’s note: Colin Flaherty has done more reporting than any other journalist on what appears to be a nationwide trend of skyrocketing black-on-white crime, violence and abuse. WND features these reports to counterbalance the virtual blackout by the rest of the media due to their concerns that reporting such incidents would be inflammatory or even racist. WND considers it racist not to report racial abuse solely because of the skin color of the perpetrators or victims.)

This strategy – preemptive denial of racism in clearly racist content – was previously perfected by Matt Drudge.
 

Romney's Right Resorts to Racial Resentment

This week, on the eve of the first presidential debate, right-wing media, led by the Drudge Report, the Daily Caller, and Fox News, hyped a supposedly secret video that they dubbed “the other race speech.”  Fox News propagandist Sean Hannity tried desperately to portray the video as “explosive” footage that the liberal media had deliberately hid from voters to protect Barack Obama. Religious Right leaders played their part, with Liberty Counsel’s ludicrous Matt Barber demanding, “Romney simply must make ad upon ad out of this devastating video exposing Obama as a white-hating racist.”  Karl Rove, who with a cadre of right-wing billionaires has kept Republican hopes alive by funneling hundreds of millions of dollars into the election, piled on, saying Obama’s comments were designed to “stir up racial animosity” and called them “abhorrent.”

Of course, as it turned out, the video is neither news nor explosive.  It is a 2007 campaign speech that had been well covered by mainstream media at the time.  Ultimately what is newsworthy and offensive is not Obama’s 2007 speech, but the way that right-wing pundits, desperate to defeat him in November, have resorted to a brazen strategy of stoking racial resentment, and trying to create a distraction by accusing the president of doing the same thing.  Not only is Mitt Romney unwilling to stand up to the extremists in his own party, as President Obama pointed out in last night’s debate,  Romney and his campaign are fully engaged in destructive racial politicking. It’s worth noting the contrast with John McCain, who sometimes stood up to his party’s extremists; Romney cheers them on.
 
Some Romney backers are not even bothering to try to cloak the racial-resentment strategy.  Right-wing blogger John Hawkins flat-out declared this week, “Barack Obama is an Anti-White Racist.”  And he tweeted, “A white woman voting for Barack Obama is like a black woman voting for the KKK.” When Glenn Beck accused Obama of hating white people in 2009, the resulting uproar contributed to an exodus of advertisers from his show.  But in 2012, with the election on the line, there’s been no sign that the Romney campaign is troubled by Hawkins’ claims: his pro-Romney writing is still featured on the official campaign website.
 
Hawkins isn’t alone.  Earlier this year, American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer, told his radio listeners:  “I believe that President Obama has a fundamental dislike, a fundamental distaste, nay I would even say he’s got what borders on a hatred for white people, and he is out to punish America and the white folks that make up the majority of the American population.”
 
Salon’s Joan Walsh has dissected the outrageous distortions of Obama’s speech by Hannity and Tucker Carlson in a post about “right-wing racial panic.” Romney officials said the campaign was not responsible for the recent “release” of the 2007 speech, but as Buzzfeed’s Zeke Miller points out, they did not distance themselves from it either.  In fact a senior Romney advisor said that voters “have to look at that video and have to make up their mind on that individually.” 
 
Indeed, the Romney campaign itself has made an appeal to racial resentment a centerpiece of its outreach to working-class white voters, who outside the South have been pretty equally divided between Romney and Obama.  Exhibit A is the television ad campaign, pretty much universally acknowledged to be an outright lie, charging that Obama gutted welfare reform by getting rid of its work requirement.  One ad shows glum white workers while claiming that thanks to Obama, people no longer have to work or train for a job; “they just send you your welfare check.”  Later ads have repeated the same false charge.
 
Romney himself pushed the same point when, gloating to a Republican audience about having been booed when he told NAACP members that he would repeal “Obamacare.”  Romney characterized those who disagreed with his speech as people who “want more free stuff” from the government. Journalist Adele Stan of AlterNet has chronicled various ways the Romney campaign is using racial resentment and racially coded language, including the welfare ads, statements such as John Sununu’s claim that Obama needs to learn how to be American, and the choice of “Keep America America” – one letter away from the KKK’s “Keep America American” – as a campaign slogan.
 
Divisive racial politics have a long history in America, of course.  But there is also a more recent history: right-wing leaders have made the politics of racial resentment key to their attacks on President Obama throughout his presidency, as People For the American Way Foundation noted in its 2009 report, “Right Plays the Race Card.” And right-wing groups such as the National Organization for Marriage have made racial wedge issues a centerpiece of their anti-equality campaigns.After this week’s debate, Romney campaign co-chair Sununu described the president as “lazy” and “not that bright.”
 
Romney might get a bit of a bump out of this week’s debate, though the president’s prospects should be boosted by Friday’s good economic news.  The longer President Obama's lead in the polls holds up, the more likely it is that we will see destructive racial politicking from the rabid right-wing.

 

Health Care Hostilities Result From Right's Declaration of War on Obama

Vituperative attacks on Democratic-led efforts to reform the nation's health care system reflect right-wing leaders' strategic decision to do everything in their power to destroy the Obama presidency. The disruptions at congressional town hall meetings by angry, misinformed mobs are the result of an opportunistic coalition of convenience between deep-pocketed corporate opponents of reform, Religious Right leaders who see opposition to Obama as a religious duty, right-wing media outlets eager to use any bludgeon at their disposal to weaken the Obama administration, and Republican officials all too eager to play along in hopes of strengthening their political position.

Right Wing Follows Deceptive Script On Supreme Court

A day after news of Justice Souter's planned resignation broke in the news, "dozens" of right-wing leaders representing more than 60 groups got together for a strategy call organized in part by the Judicial Confirmation Network to get everyone fired up and on message. All you need to know about the credibility of this campaign's leaders, and the credibility of their evaluations of potential nominees, is contained in this one sentence from the Judicial Confirmation Network's Wendy Long: "The current Supreme Court is a liberal, judicial activist court."
Share this page: Facebook Twitter Digg SU Digg Delicious