King, an Iowa Republican, said that aside from the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling, his main concern was that America is following in Europe’s footsteps in committing “cultural suicide,” with President Obama administering the suicide pills in the form of refugees and other immigrants.
“I see Europe,” he said, “it’s almost past tense, you can almost say they have committed cultural suicide. And Barack Obama has been feeding us the medication that will bring about cultural suicide in the United States. And we need a president who sees that whole picture and knows that it has to be restored and has an understanding of how to restore the American exceptionalism, constitutional underpinnings and the core of our faith.”
King added that he saw such a “transformation of Western Christendom” in recent visits to immigrant communities in Minneapolis and Dearborn, Michigan, which, he said, highlighted the “demographics” that he hoped a President Ted Cruz could reverse in America.
“By the way, I went up to Minnesota, to Little Mogadishu, to see what that’s like up there,” he said, “and I spent a weekend in Dearborn to see what, again, went to a couple of mosques in there to see the transformation of the United States. And I’ve gone into a number of the major cities in Europe and walked into those no-go zones and walked down through the Muslim neighborhoods and I see the transformation of Western Christendom, and it’s very troubling. And when you look at the demographics, we must do something to reverse this, and [Cruz] is the candidate that I believe [can do it].”
Republicans have tried for years to use the terrorist attack — which led to the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens — to go after former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is testifying before the committee today. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy recently admitted that the special committee was formed to bring down Clinton’s popularity in advance of the 2016 presidential election.
Of course, uncovering facts has never been the GOP’s primary motivation when it comes to Benghazi (or much else). As these five instances show, Republicans and their allies in the conservative media have been much more concerned with creating bizarre scenarios to claim that the administration, and fellow Republicans, are suppressing the truth of the attack.
1) ‘No Evidence’ But What The Hell…
Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch unveiled an elaborate conspiracy theory earlier this year, alleging that the Obama administration wanted Libyan militants to kidnap Stevens in order to then do a prisoner swap for terrorist Omar Abdel-Rahman, who was convicted in the U.S. for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. However, the compound attackers botched the job after Stevens died, Fitton said, and therefore we can never know if the administration was actually ready to release Abdel-Rahman.
Fitton conceded in an interview with WorldNetDaily’s Jerome Corsi, a fellow Benghazi truther, that there is “no evidence” to support his theory.
“Given what we know now, it is not out of the realm of possibility that the terrorist attack on Benghazi could have been a kidnapping attempt aimed at releasing the Blind Sheik,” Fitton said.
He noted, however, there is “no evidence” that the Obama administration may have been complicit in any kidnapping plot related to the Benghazi attack.
And since he can’t find any evidence to substantiate this claim, Fitton is pretty sure that there must have been a cover-up, insinuating that the State Department was trying to stop his group from receiving corroborating information.
2) Cover-Up Of The Cover-Up!
When President Obama first proposed bombing the Syrian regime after it used chemical weapons on civilians in Ghouta, Glenn Beck knew that Obama didn’t want to stop such war crimes — but instead wanted to cover up what really happened in Benghazi.
According to one conspiracy theory, Stevens was actually organizing an operation to transfer weapons from Libya to Syria to aid Islamic extremists (which of course raises the question of why these extremists would then want to attack the American post in the first place).
Seizing on that conspiracy theory, Beck speculated that it wasn’t the Assad regime that used the chemical weapons in Ghouta, but rebels using weapons delivered from the U.S. via Benghazi. Now, Beck reasoned, Obama wanted to bomb Syria because he was “covering the trail of the lost weapons from Benghazi.”
Beck later claimed that David Petraeus stepped down as CIA director not because he leaked classified information to his mistress but because he was about to blow the Benghazi scandal wide open. Beck’s theory ran into a slight hitch when Petraeus publicly praised Clinton’s response to the attack.
Beck has also alleged that the administration “let them die” in Benghazi after issuing a stand-down order, an accusation refuted on his very own news website.
While we weren’t surprised that Beck would pick up a conspiracy theory from such a website, it was a bit more shocking when a U.S. senator brought up WND’s conspiracy theory in a hearing with Clinton. At a 2013 hearing, Sen. Rand Paul demanded that a dumbfounded Clinton tell him if the U.S. was transferring weapons from Libya into Syria via Turkey.
Paul admitted that he didn’t “have any proof” before suggesting that the gun-running scheme was what was really happening “and the cover-up was an attempt to massage and get over this issue without getting into the gun trade.”
Investigations, including one led by Republicans, have found that Stevens was trying to find weapons, but in order to keep them out of the hands of extremists, with no evidence at all that he then sent those weapons to Syrian groups.
4) Marijuana A Benghazi Distraction!
Ben Carson is very upset about the Obama administration’s push to reform American drug laws. The GOP presidential candidate told Joseph Farah, the editor of WorldNetDaily (notice a theme?), that the administration’s push to liberalize laws on marijuana, along with its stance on the trademark of the Washington Redskins, is all part of a plot to “distract people” from the Benghazi attack.
Carson told Farah last year that most people now just think Benghazi “is a singer.”
“And these people vote and they have no idea,” he lamented.
Carson isn’t the only one to latch onto the “distraction” theme. Conservative activist Robert Knight of the American Civil Rights Union dedicated a column in the Washington Times about New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s since-lifted suspension by insisting that the “Deflategate” scandal was part of an effort to distract people from Benghazi. Iowa radio broadcaster Steve Deace similarly wonder if NFL prospect Michael Sam’s decision to come out of the closet was also just a Benghazi distraction.
5) Benghazi Special Committee Is Part Of The Benghazi Cover-Up!
Since every single official committee, including ones led by Republicans, that has investigated the Benghazi attack has ended up debunking the conspiracy theories percolating through the right-wing media, a group of conservative activists has launched the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi to find the real truth.
This unofficial committee has embraced so many conspiracy theories surrounding the attack that its members even believe that the GOP-led Benghazi Special Committee is aiding the cover-up!
One member, Ret. Navy Adm. James “Ace” Lyons, told, guess who, WorldNetDaily, that committee chairman Trey Gowdy needs to go, lamenting that “this is a continued cover-up.”
Iowa talk radio host Steve Deace, whose show has become a required stop for GOP presidential candidates, took to the Washington Times today to claim that America hasn’t learned the right lessons from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Deace wrote that if the U.S. had responded to 9/11 appropriately, then Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers would be out of business and the Supreme Court would never have been allowed to “usurp our God-given claim on true liberty” in its marriage equality ruling. He also brought up the case of Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, claiming that her detention by U.S. Marshals was proof that the U.S. has abandoned the beliefs of the nation’s founders.
“Are we meant to remember that the heroism displayed by the citizen soldiers aboard the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania is something everyone should aspire to?” he asked. “So when cake bakers and florists are being called bigots and having their businesses shut down in the name of pagan justice, do we speak up in their defense and draw others to the vanguard that dutifully protects the First Amendment?”
Last week on the 14th anniversary of 9/11 the hash tag "never forget" was trending. However, if the current direction of the country is any indication, forgetting is actually quite trendy these days.
Sadly, this is pretty much where we are as we remember the bloody stain Islamo-fascism inflicted on our nation 14 years ago. With each passing year, our 'never forgets' become more and more insulting to the ear as President Obama's Marxist reign takes us deeper into cultural and Constitutional oblivion.
1) Are we meant to remember that our nation was fashioned by a people who believed they were endowed by their creator with unalienable rights? If so, how does throwing an elected official named Kim Davis in jail square with that? She was representing the will of 75 percent of Kentucky voters by standing for marriage – an institution that precedes the collective wisdom of our Founding Fathers and every form of government created by man -- yet we are to believe that a 5-4 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court supersedes all of that?
Despite the clear dictates of the 10th Amendment and the U.S. Constitution's enumerated powers clause? Despite the obvious implication that such a belief not only makes unelected judges the superior voice of the federal government, but also the high priests governing the direction of our society's entire moral compass? Despite the fact such thinking automatically makes you a fan of the Dred Scott, Plessey v. Ferguson and Roe v. Wade travesties?
Shouldn't the lesson we take away from less than two dozen terrorists inflicting pain and suffering on an entire nation be this: That we won't let an even smaller band of oligarchs known as the Supreme Court usurp our God-given claim on true liberty?
2) Are we meant to remember that the lives lost on 9-11 and during the wars that followed are precious because they were created in the image and likeness of God? If so, how is the death by the thousands that plays out daily at Planned Parenthood allowed to continue? The dark heart of man was projected into our living rooms when we watched planes-turned-bombs hurl themselves into the Twin Towers. When we watched people plummet from windows rather than burn alive. When both towers fell and turned a disaster into an apocalypse.
The reality of the murderous mayhem was unavoidable for anyone with the technology to see it, and nothing less than that is true regarding the child-killing industry. We have the ultrasounds that show not only fingers and toes, but beating hearts and emotional reactions. That's the bright side. But we also have the play-by-play accounts of how abortion's loaded weapons – the scientific and technological knowledge that is being perverted for evil's sake much like the 9-11 airplanes were – are being used to pull babies limb from limb. And then, of course, we have the laughing hyenas of Planned Parenthood, who talk about selling baby parts for profit like terrorists talk about being awarded heavenly virgins for their so-called martyrdom.
Shouldn't the lesson we take away from the insane version of justice levied on us by jihadists be that no such wickedness and barbarism will be allowed to enter the sanctity of a mother's womb?
3) Are we meant to remember that the heroism displayed by the citizen soldiers aboard the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania is something everyone should aspire to? So when cake bakers and florists are being called bigots and having their businesses shut down in the name of pagan justice, do we speak up in their defense and draw others to the vanguard that dutifully protects the First Amendment? How about when other businesses like Office Depot and Planet Fitness are given a free pass to harass their clients because the only standard they care about is 'you will be made to care'?
Iowa talk radio host Steve Deace invited influential state conservative activist Bob Vander Plaats on his program last week to discuss Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who had just been released from jail after refusing to allow her office to follow the law and issue marriage licenses to gay couples.
Vander Plaats was very proud of himself that all of his warnings about gay marriage destroying religious liberty had come true, telling Deace, “Our team said to me today, they said, ‘Bob, you ought to feel like you’re prophetic in some of this stuff.’”
Deace, meanwhile, had nothing but contempt for Republican politicians and conservative activists who failed to defend Davis’ lawbreaking.
“Beware of those in a culture war who write, you know, really principled and highly intellectual thought pieces for conservative or Christian outlets, and then in a time of crisis and confrontation like this, they say, oh this is not the right hill to die on,” he fumed. “What they really mean, Bob, is there’s never a right time to stand for anything nor is there ever any hill to die on. And these are the people, they’re going to hold the jail cell open for us when the Marxists throw us inside too.”
He added that his only comfort was that those conservatives are on their way to Hell: “It reminds me of the famous quote from Dante, that the hottest places in Hell are reserved for these kind of cowardly quislings. And I’ll just flat-out say it on the radio, the mere thought of that comforts me. The mere thought of that statement being true comforts me, because it confirms that God is just and they have received their award in full.”
“And judgment is mine, declares the Lord,” Vander Plaats added. “And so therefore we’re glad we serve a just God.”
Apparently, "this whole ISIS ordeal was orchestrated to garner pity from the western world hoping that we would offer shelter to the refugees" in order to "plant scads of ISIS agents in the refugee hopefuls, therefore making a mass deposit of terrorists in Western Nations."
After rather suddenly ending her radio program last year, Religious Right radio host Janet Mefferd returned with a new radio program today.
Jesse Lee Peterson climbs aboard the "Kim Davis is a modern-day Rosa Parks" bandwagon.
Finally, some deep thoughts from Steve Deace: "The Rainbow Jihad is much more than an attempt to promote a behavior Western Civilization cast aside as barbaric centuries ago. It is the lethal scimitar malevolently wielded by progressives in the cultural battlefield for one existential purpose."
“Apparently, if you mishandled classified information in America, you can run for president, but if you don’t believe in gay marriage you go to jail,” the Louisiana governor and GOP presidential candidate said, repeating his new talking point.
The Louisiana governor then claimed that practicing Christianity is now a crime in America and that the Supreme Court had no authority to rule on marriage.
“This is ridiculous,” he told Deace. “The fact that they are now trying to criminalize Christians, whether it is clerks or business owners, in America we should not have to choose between keeping our jobs, we should not have to choose between keeping our businesses and being able to follow our conscience. I agree with you, I don’t think any earthly court can change the institution of marriage as instituted by God as being between a man and a woman. I think this is nonsensical.”
Jindal said that as president, he would issue an executive order on his first day in office to protect people practicing anti-gay discrimination, insisting that the Davis case may inspire the IRS to “go after Christian schools, Christian pastors and Christian churches.”
Christian-nation activist David Lane has been fuming for years that conservative evangelicals divided their Republican primary votes in 2008 and 2012, allowing John McCain and Mitt Romney to capture the GOP presidential nominations even though neither was a favorite of the party’s Religious Right activists. Lane, who believes America was founded by and for Christians, has vowed to prevent that from happening again, and has been hosting events in early primary states giving conservative pastors a chance to hear from and evaluate GOP presidential candidates.
Lane has also been working to recruit and train an “army“ of pastors to run as candidates and bring thousands of conservative evangelical volunteers into the 2016 race. Those events have been attended by several GOP hopefuls, including Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal. But while Lane has not publicly thrown his support to a candidate, evidence suggests that Ted Cruz is being anointed to carry the hopes of Lane and his supporters.
A couple weeks later, Cruz stopped by the headquarters of the American Family Association. Lane’s American Renewal Project operates under the AFA’s umbrella, and Cruz sounded like he was reading Lane’s talking points. Cruz told AFA President Tim Wildmon that mobilizing evangelical Christian voters is the key to saving America, saying, “Nothing is more important in the next 18 months than that the body of Christ rise up and that Christians stand up, that pastors stand up and lead.”
Cruz has been positioning himself as the champion of religious liberty and defender of the conservative Christians he says are the targets of a “jihad” by gay-rights activists and an “atheist Taliban.” On Friday night he held a “Rally for Religious Liberty” in Iowa highlighting victims of “religious persecution” — in other words, business owners who have refused to provide wedding-related services to same-sex couples and gotten into trouble for violating anti-discrimination laws.
Iowa-based Religious Right radio host Steve Deace was rapturous, declaring the Cruz rally “the best candidate event I’ve ever attended” and saying Ted Cruz is the first candidate he has seen actually put on an event designed to ignite a “revival.” The rally, said Deace, was a reminder “that God’s not dead” and confirmed Deace’s decision “to support Cruz and do so early.”
And yesterday, the Washington Post’s Katie Zezima and Tom Hamburger reported that Cruz “will take a lead role in the launch this week of an ambitious 50-state campaign to end taxpayer support for Planned Parenthood” – a campaign announced via an email from Cruz that was distributed by Lane’s American Renewal Project.
David Carney, a Republican strategist who worked on that recall effort with David Lane, who leads the American Renewal Project, a group sponsoring this week’s pastor outreach effort. The two are joined by Wayne Hamilton, a Texas-based organizer who has worked in the past with Perry and was campaign manager in 2014 for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R). The effort appears to be funded through American Renewal, which officials said spent about $10 million supporting candidates in 2014 and is considered likely to spend $15 million or more this year organizing opposition to abortion and gay marriage.
In addition, religious broadcast organizations have pledged to air public service spots urging Christian viewers to contact their members of Congress. Carney said the effort has received commitments of support from the Bott Radio Network, which has 100 Christian radio stations in the Midwest, and from American Family Radio, which owns 190 Christian radio stations in 20 states as well as national religious-television broadcasters.
Cruz said at his rally on Friday that the reason Americans have a federal government that “comes after” free speech, religious liberty, life, and marriage is that 54 million evangelicals did not vote in the 2012 presidential election. “I’m here to tell you,” Cruz said, “we will stay home no longer.”
Troy Newman, one of the anti-choice activists behind a new set of videos smearing Planned Parenthood, claimed in a radio interview yesterday that the women’s health organization was “founded on a eugenicist philosophy” and that its founder was “embedded with the Nazis,” claims that he backed up with a fake quote from Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg about the need to “exterminate” populations she doesn’t like.
Iowa-based talk radio host Steve Deace was telling Newman about a column he recently wrote in the Washington Times arguing that if state governments are taking down the Confederate flag, the U.S. should also “purge” the “viciously racist” Planned Parenthood.
“Look, Planned Parenthood was founded on a eugenicist philosophy,” Newman responded, “in other words, ‘exterminate the people that we don’t want to have too many of,’ which is a quote from Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a sitting Supreme Court justice. That’s what abortion is all about.”
He added that Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger was “embedded with the Nazis,” adding, “That’s not rhetoric, folks, look it up, it’s absolutely true.”
We followed Newman’s advice and looked it up, finding (unsurprisingly) that Justice Ginsburg has never expressed the desire to “exterminate the people that we don’t want to have too many of.”
There is also plenty of information available debunking Newman’s claims about Sanger. While Sanger did back some repugnant but then-fashionable eugenics principles such as the sterilization of people with hereditary diseases (which Planned Parenthood now publicly rejects), she was not “embedded with the Nazis,” nor did she support racial eugenics. In fact, Martin Luther King, Jr., praised Sanger in accepting an award named after her from Planned Parenthood.
Jindal, who reacted to the phony scandal by launching an investigation into Planned Parenthood in his state, repeated his call to defund the organization, saying that it’s not a health care organization because when a woman receives an abortion she is not a “patient.”
“They try to defend themselves by saying this is health care and patient-centered,” he said. “This is not health care. Abortions are not health care, and this is not about the patient. The patient in this case is that unborn baby. They’ve got no concern for the unborn baby, and you can see that in the video.”
Jindal also dismissed the famous Bill Clinton phrase calling for abortion to be "safe, legal and rare," saying, "Well, it's never safe for the baby, first of all."
Iowa talk radio host Steve Deace invited Florida Religious Right activist John Stemberger onto his program yesterday to push back against conservatives who are arguing that the government should just get out of marriage altogether after the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision, which Stemberger argues would actually expand government by destroying families and expanding the welfare state.
This is all what liberals want, he told Deace: “The left feeds on broken marriages and broken families. When families are strong, when there’s an economic system there, they start to understand the implications of taxes and all the economic implications of actually work and reward.”
This prompted Deace to share his theory that the sexual revolution was an outgrowth of the welfare state because before the expansion of the social safety net, most people were too poor to “act out immorally” by having “multiple wives” and “gay lovers” since “no one was subsidizing [their] depravity.”
“We have that today, which is why the sexual revolution came after the welfare state, because once it was obvious that people were not going to be held directly accountable for their actions, we removed the inhibitions against human nature that we already had,” he explained.
Stemberger agreed with Deace’s assessment, adding, “People who are hard-working and have to be self-sufficient and are not going to be propped up by the government don’t have the luxury of doing stupid, immoral things.”
Steve Deace, a conservative Iowa radio host who frequently interviews GOP presidential candidates and is scheduled to speak at Swanson’s conference, spoke with Swanson about the conference last week and announced just that Ben Carson has already agreed to attend the event and that “Bobby Jindal is planning on being there.”
We contacted the Carson campaign for comment but have yet to hear back.
As we’ve mentioned, Swanson’s record of extremism is truly unmatched.
Swanson, who hosts a daily “Generations Radio” broadcast from his basement in Colorado, not only believes gay people and their allies should be put to death, but also thinks that women are causing floods by wearing pants.
Defended a Ugandan measure to make homosexuality a criminal offense punishable by life imprisonment or the death penalty, saying he was glad the country was “standing strong” by adopting extreme anti-gay laws.
Steve Deace invited fellow Religious Right radio host Kevin Swanson on to his program last week, and both were furious that the U.S. opposed a United Nations resolution which LGBT rights advocates worried “could be used as precedent to oppose rights for same-sex couples, single parents, and other forms of families in future UN negotiations.”
Deace pointed to the resolution as a sign that the U.S. has “now out-crazied the United Nations,” while Swanson managed to pull off an even more ominous warning to listeners: prepare to go to jail.
“Get ready to go to jail,” Swanson. “I’m talking about millions of people in jail within the next five years or so unless we take a stand right now.”
Martin compared marriage equality opponents to David fighting Goliath, who “taunted Israel like the Supreme Court taunted us with this ruling.”
Saying that merely electing a new president or pressuring Congress won’t be enough to respond to the marriage equality ruling, he said, “David didn’t fight Goliath in the way that Goliath wanted. He fought in a different set of terms. And I will tell you, one thing that has not been invoked in a meaningful way is the doctrine of, is how to limit the judiciary with impeachment.”
“I think we’re to that point” of impeachment, he said, explaining that while the four more liberal justices are “corrupt in terms of their worldview,” Kennedy “has really put himself up as the king of America in a way that the founders would have recognized as a discussion point for an impeachable offense.”
Martin responded that he couldn’t speak for churches, but that if the GOP tries to “water down marriage,” that will be “the end of the Republican Party.”
Martin then, bizarrely, compared the emergence of the Republican Party in the 1860s to fight back efforts to extend slavery to the current Republican Party’s “retreat” on the issue of the Confederate flag.
“People have been trying to do that, what they did for years, and our people retreated and surrendered within like two days,” he said of the flag issue. “I’ve never seen the speed with which the culture put our people into rapid retreat. They didn’t even make meaningful arguments about the loss of life and the brother against brother and what the Confederacy meant. They just retreated to the space they were pointed to.”
“It’s an extraordinary moment, but the tide can shift, as you say, if we get back to first principles,” he added.
Steve Deace warns his fellow anti-gay activists that "those so-called 'libertarians' aren’t your allies. Instead, they’ll be the ones holding the jail cell open for the Rainbow Jihad when they shove us inside."
FRC's Tony Perkins says that "at some point, we have to step back and ask the question, 'What is the purpose of school?' When did it stop being about the education of children and start becoming about political indoctrination?"
OneMillionMoms is now going after Tylenol for featuring same-sex couples in a recent ad: "Tylenol is just contributing to the collapse of the family. Tylenol is attempting to redefine marriage and recreate the total makeup of family by definition."
Glenn Beck and Van Jones actually agreed on something which, for Beck, is just further proof that Jones is dishonest and a "very, very dangerous guy."
Finally, Stephen Black says that "'Gay marriage' is simply a tragic, defiling covenant that is detestable in the sight of God. This union is a manifestation of narcissistic, emotional idolatry. This union is a promotion of human desires and lust and, therefore, idolatry."
Yesterday, Mike Huckabee chatted with Iowa radio host Steve Deace and Religious Right organizer Bob Vander Plaats, who led Huckabee’s 2008 campaign in the first-in-the-nation caucus state, about the Supreme Court’s upcoming ruling on gay marriage.
He said that if elected president, he would simply ignore any Supreme Court decision in favor of marriage equality until Congress passed legislation legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide…which he would then veto.
“Until the Congress of the United States puts on my desk a bill that basically defies the laws of Nature and Nature’s God and defies the longstanding tradition of marriage, the federal government will not recognize same-sex marriage because there is no law that requires it and that would be true for the military and it would be true for all federal institutions,” Huckabee said. “If the Congress decides that they want to pass enabling legislation, they could put it on my desk and I would veto it, and they can attempt to override it. That’s the process.”
Huckabee said that even his detractors should sympathize with his anti-gay-marriage stance: “If liberals were subjected to a conservative court that forced them to tithe their income to scripture or forced them to go to church or forced them to believe something that they don’t want to believe, they would say, ‘We can’t do that, that would go against our conscience.’ And I would say, ‘You are exactly right and we can’t have such a ruling. This is why I find this very unsettling is because liberals will rue the day when the sword they use to enact their agenda is the sword of the court rather than to do it by way of the people’s elected representatives.”
Of course, legalizing gay marriage won’t force opponents like Huckabee to marry someone of the same sex or officiate a same-sex couple’s wedding.
“There can be no surrender on the point of the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage,” Huckabee said, claiming that the ruling “goes to the heart of who we are as Americans and whether or not religious liberty lives or dies.”
He vowed not to “surrender to a tyranny that frankly would defy everything we are as a country,” lamenting that even people who went to law school have decided to “acquiesce to this judicial supremacy.”
Last week, after Caitlyn Jenner introduced herself on the cover of Vanity Fair, prominent Iowa talk radio host Steve Deace told Republican candidates that if they wouldn’t speak out against Jenner’s transition, “you might as well just forfeit the 2016 election now.” When CNN’s Dana Bash asked Sen. Lindsey Graham about Deace’s comments in an interview over the weekend, he responded that while he’s “a pro-life, traditional marriage kind of guy,” Jenner is “welcome in my party.”
He then addressed Deace directly: “Here's what I would say to the talk show host: In the eyes of radical Islam, they hate you as much as they hate Caitlyn Jenner. They hate us all because we won’t agree to their view of religion. So, America, we’re all in this together.”
All of this, unsurprisingly, did not go over very well with Deace, who addressed Graham’s comments yesterday during his weekly discussion of presidential candidates with Iowa social conservative activist Bob Vander Plaats, saying, “If you’re not going to defend the idea of male and female, you’re not going to defend any of those other things that you just claimed to be for, Sen. Graham.”
Vander Plaats, an influential force in Iowa Republican politics, agreed, saying that if Graham wouldn’t speak out against people like Caitlyn Jenner, he could never fight radical Islam.
“The thing of it is, you can go out and you can have empathy and compassion for Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner,” he said. “However, you have to be able to stand up and say, but God still created us male and female. That’s the basic point here.”
“That’s our issue with Lindsey Graham,” he added, “is that you can say you’re pro-life, you can say you’re for God’s design for the family in marriage, you can say that he created them male and female, but when you never take a stand on those issues, it’s awfully hard for us to trust, then, that you’re going to take a stand against radical Islam or any other domestic matter or foreign matter that may come up during a presidency. That’s why I think in Iowa not many people take Lindsay Graham seriously.”
Former Arkansas governor and GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee stood by a joke he made at the expense of transgender people, telling Iowa talk radio host Steve Deace on Friday that his off-color joke was a “commonsense answer to the insanity that’s going on out there.”
In a speech to the National Religious Broadcasters convention in February, Huckabee joked that when he was in high school he would have liked to have pretended to be transgender in order to shower with the girls in gym class. The comment gained national attention after the conservative website WorldNetDaily posted it on YouTube last month, shortly before Caitlyn Jenner’s introduction in Vanity Fair put transgender rights in the media spotlight.
When Deace asked Huckabee if the criticism of his locker room joke was an example of the media’s “misplaced priorities,” Huckabee responded, “It’s absolutely an example.”
“And by the way, Steve, I take nothing back from that speech,” he added. “I’m kind of glad it’s posted because people, if they watch the whole clip, what they’re going to see is that I’m giving a commonsense answer to the insanity that’s going on out there. Because I hear people, everybody wants to be politically correct, everybody wants to be loved by the media and loved by the left and loved by the elitists. But, you know, I know I’m not going to be, so let’s just get it over with. I’d rather be a commonsense candidate for people who did take their brains to work today.”
Jindal’s latest came at the end of the day on Tuesday. Unwilling to accept the legislature’s failure to pass a so-called “religious liberty” bill (it was voted down 10-2 in a House committee), Jindal issued an executive order designed to protect any person who “acts in accordance with a religious belief that marriage is between one man and one woman.” The order explicitly defines “person” to include for-profit corporations and well as nonprofit organizations.
Jindal has adopted the rhetorical strategy promoted by the National Organization for Marriage and other opponents of LGTB equality: try to turn conversation about anti-gay discrimination “on its head” by declaring that laws protecting gay people are actually a form of discrimination against Christians. His statement about the executive order said it was designed to “prevent the state from discriminating against persons or entities with deeply held religious beliefs that marriage is between one man and one woman.”
Jindal’s order invokes the Supreme Court’s decision in Hobby Lobby, making it the latest sign that the decision – which granted corporations a right to claim legal exemptions based on the religious beliefs of company owners -- poses a threat to nondiscrimination measures and potentially a wide range of laws protecting the interests of workers. Jindal declared that his order is “not about discrimination,” even though its clear intent is to give legal cover to companies, government officials, and others who discriminate against same-sex couples.
Louisiana does not currently give legal recognition to same-sex couples, but Jindal is concerned that the state’s ban on marriage equality may soon be struck down by the Supreme Court, a potential ruling which his order seems to be a legally questionable effort to pre-empt. Jindal should be asked to clarify exactly what actions his legislation is designed to “protect”: a courthouse clerk who refuses to process marriage license paperwork? Religious schools getting tax dollars under Jindal’s education policy refusing to accept children of gay parents? Catholic hospitals refusing to recognize the spousal or parental rights of gay couples during medical emergencies?
Jindal’s “religious liberty” bill had been opposed by business and tourism leaders as well as civil rights groups. The New Orleans Times Picayune reports that the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO Stephen Perry had called the bill “a radioactive, poisonous message.”
But Jindal’s primary audience is no longer his Louisiana constituents; it's right-wing activists nationwide. Jindal boasted about the executive order by stopping by the radio program hosted by Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, an anti-gay activist who once suggested that LGBT non-discrimination measures would lead to the Holocaust perpetrated against Christians.
Jindal immediately stepped in and ordered that while he’s governor the state government is not going to be a tool of the Cultural Marxists’ Rainbow Jihad against religion — particularly Christianity….
This action by Jindal is an example of what will be required of the next president if he’s going to truly honor his oath of office to defend our Constitution against all enemies — “both foreign and domestic.”
Let’s face it, the vast majority of alleged conservatives won’t stand up to the Democrats. And almost none of them will stand up to the Republicrats. On perhaps the most important issue of them all — the First Amendment that allows us the freedom to peacefully and publicly stand on principle for everything else — Jindal has done both.
But he didn’t just stand up to them rhetorically, he actually did something about it. There are several potentially exciting presidential candidates this cycle. There’s even a couple that like Jindal have shown they will tell the Republicrats bleeding us dry to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine.