Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz 'Honored' To Go Hunting With Steve King

Texas senator and likely 2016 presidential candidate Ted Cruz has made a notable friend in Iowa: Rep. Steve King. The Des Moines Register reports that Cruz has accepted King’s invitation to go pheasant hunting on the opening day of the hunting season next month, and was “honored to have received the invite.”

“Yes, we are confirmed for a hunt with King,” Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier said in an email Friday to the Des Moines Register. “The senator has enjoyed getting to know him and work with him on important issues before Congress. He’s honored to have received the invite.”

Prior to the 2012 Iowa Republican presidential caucuses, King hosted former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum twice for bird hunting at Iowa game preserves and Texas Gov. Rick Perry on one occasion. The Iowa congressman said in an interview on Thursday he hopes to shape the debate for the 2016 GOP presidential contest by serving as a “guardrail of constitutional conservatism.”

Cruz’s proud association with King is another sign that the Texan has no plans to moderate his positions in advance of a presidential run. King earned rebukes from his party leadership last month when he insisted that most young undocumented immigrants are drug runners with “calves the size of cantaloupes because they’ve been hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.” He has also compared immigrants to dogs.

Cruz has been one of the most outspoken opponents of the Senate’s bipartisan immigration proposal.
 

Birther Washington Times Defends Cruz By Attacking Imaginary 'Liberal Birthers'

The Washington Times editorial board baselessly claims this week that “many liberals who not so long ago derided anyone who questioned President Obama’s American birth as a ‘birther’ are asking similar questions now about Mr. Cruz’s eligibility.” The paper fails to name any prominent liberals who have actually made this argument.

In yesterday’s editorial, subtitled “Now a new version of ‘birtherism’ settles on the left,” the Times echoes Sean Hannity’s attack on imaginary liberal questioners of the Canadian-born Cruz’s eligibility.

Of course, the whole story is ironic since the birther movement centers around a conspiracy theory — backed by a majority of Republicans — that Obama was born abroad, probably in Kenya, and is therefore not eligible to be president even though his mother was an American citizen. Since Cruz was born in Canada to an American mother and Cuban father, birthers are now quickly trying to backtrack.

The Washington Times editorial defending Cruz is especially ironic since one of the conservative newspaper’s top columnists, Jeffrey Kuhner, wrote a 2011 column arguing that Obama was not born in the US and is consequently an illegitimate president:

If Mr. Obama was not born in America, then it would serve as the final damning indictment of the establishment media’s complicity with the Democratic Party. Not only would it bring the Obama presidency down, but the entire liberal power structure as well.

Moreover, it would spark a constitutional crisis. The Constitution is absolutely clear that to be president one has to be a “natural born citizen.” Therefore, every major initiative implemented during the Obama administration - the health care overhaul, the massive stimulus package, the government takeovers of the auto companies, big banks and insurance firms, the sweeping anti-carbon regulations, allowing homosexuals to openly serve in the military, the nearly unprecedented expansion of state power, the new START Treaty - would be invalid and possibly illegal. It would drive a stake through the heart of Mr. Obama’s regime, triggering impeachment and his removal from office. This is why liberals ferociously insist that the birth issue must be buried at almost any cost.



The birth issue is slowly casting a shadow over Mr. Obama’s presidency; it threatens to undermine public confidence in his legal and moral authority to govern. Several states are pushing to pass laws compelling future presidential candidates - including Mr. Obama - to fully disclose all documents proving their natural born citizenship status. This desire for greater political transparency and accountability is healthy.

It is time Mr. Obama came clean. At a minimum, if he does not reveal his birth certificate, he cannot - and should not - be allowed to run for a second term.

Steve Stockman Not a Birther on Ted Cruz; Still Thinks Obama's Birth Certificate Is Fraudulent

Birther congressman Steve Stockman says he’s not a birther after all, now that Canadian-born Sen. Ted Cruz is considering a run for president. The Texas Republican, who is crafting a birther bill with Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL), said his home state senator is indeed eligible for the presidency even though he was born outside of the US.

The debunked birther conspiracy theory centers on the idea that President Obama forged his Hawaiian birth certificate to hide his foreign birth to an American mother and Kenyan father, which would make him ineligible to be president. Cruz, who also has an American mother but unlike Obama was actually born abroad, would therefore also be deemed ineligible if birthers had any logical consistency, which apparently they don’t.

Stockman told the arch-birther website WorldNetDaily that he has no problem with Cruz’s likely presidential bid, noting that they are both friends and attend the same church.

However, he still thinks Obama might have a “fraudulent” birth certificate and thinks he was listed as a “foreign student,” a reference to another discredited conspiracy theory.

To hear Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, describe it, the difference between President Obama and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas – on the question of their eligibility for the highest office in the land – may be a case of comparing apples and oranges.

The congressman said with Cruz, it is a legal question of whether he is eligible to serve as president – whereas the issue with Obama is not really about where he was born, but whether his documentation is authentic.

Cruz released a copy of his birth certificate Sunday to the Dallas Morning News, as some have begun questioning the possible presidential contender’s eligibility, just as many have questioned Obama’s eligibility since 2008 when the argument was first raised by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

The Cruz birth certificate shows he was born in Canada in 1970 to an American mother, which gave him American citizenship.

Obama, on the other hand, is the subject of Stockman’s proposed legislation calling for a congressional investigation of both the president’s constitutional eligibility and the authenticity of the birth certificate he released to show he was born in Hawaii.

In an exclusive interview with WND, Stockman said, in the case of Obama, it is more of a question about the validity of the documentation as well as his forthrightness, whereas with Cruz, it is more of a matter for legal and constitutional scholars to decide.

Stockman was happy to talk about his fellow Texan and tea-party favorite, saying, “He’s a good friend of mine and a great guy. In fact, I believe we go to the same church in Houston.”

The congressman said he doesn’t really know if Cruz is eligible for the presidency, but Cruz has been upfront and Obama was not.

Stockman noted that it took a long time for Obama to produce a document, and even now, questions linger.

“One of the things I always questioned was the documentation of the president, whether that was fraudulent,” he explained. “But I don’t question Cruz. Ted came right out and said, ‘Here’s the documentation.



Stockman mentioned another element that separates the case of Cruz and that of the president: the persistence of reports that Obama was listed as a foreign student in school and the fact he has yet to release records that would disprove that.

Lord Monckton, a WND commentator, even insisted that he was never a birther — despite having repeatedly claimed [PDF] that Obama’s supposed foreign birth made him ineligible to be president — and is fine with a Cruz presidency.

WND columnist and former adviser to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher Lord Monckton also has said the issue with Obama is not where he was born, but whether his documentation is authentic.

Monckton has claimed the birth certificate Obama finally produced after years of prodding is “plainly a forgery” and could be dismantled with software.

Monckton, of course, just last year wrote in WorldNetDaily that people who are not born on US soil could not be president:

This is what your Constitution says:

“No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President.”

No ifs. No buts. This is the ancient and sensible ius soli: you are a citizen of the nation on whose soil you were born. Not born here? Go and play president somewhere else.

Unless, that soil is Canada and your name is Ted Cruz, apparently.

Birthers for Ted Cruz

The possible 2016 presidential candidacy of Canadian-born Texas Sen. Ted Cruz presents something of a conundrum for the birthers who have spent the past several years declaring that President Obama was born in Kenya and therefore ineligible for the presidency. While the Congressional Research Service [PDF] and many others hold that Cruz is eligible since his mother is a US citizen, birthers contend that Obama is ineligible to be president since they believe—without any real evidence—that he was born abroad to an American mother.

This weekend, arch-birther Donald Trump tried to avoid a question about Cruz’s eligibility, saying that he wasn’t sure where Cruz was born.

But Lord Christopher Monckton, columnist for the birther “news” site WorldNetDaily, seems to have no qualms about Cruz’s eligibility, writing that he wants to erect a statue of Cruz and can already envision the Texas senator as a successful two-term president:

Ted Cruz is one to watch. And let us not wait until after he has served two spectacular terms as President of the United States before we engage some rising Michelangelo to carve a noble statue of him.

For the newly minted senator from Texas, who has already gotten off to a good start by speaking out against killing little children in their mother’s womb and has proposed to defund ObamachaosTM, now proposes to sweep away the hated, corrupt Infernal Revenue “Service” and replace today’s graduated income tax with a flat-rate tax that is the same for everyone.



Poverty endures solely because the left gain votes from it. Ted Cruz is one of the few politicians in either House of Congress who understand this. And he cares enough to do something about it. That is why he deserves his statue.

Of course, Monckton is a birther. In fact, he wrote an entire report [PDF] alleging that President Obama should and might be removed from office over the issue.

But at the same time, Monckton is perfectly happy with building a Michelangelo-inspired statue of Ted Cruz even before “he has served two spectacular terms as President of the United States.”

New GOP Same As the Old GOP: Iowa Summit to Feature Republican Leaders and Religious Right Stalwarts

Year after year we keep hearing about the supposed decline of the Religious Right and the GOP’s shift away from the fringes. Despite all of that talk and speculation, this weekend will see this year’s second Religious Right gathering for potential presidential candidates, almost three years before the Iowa caucus. For anyone who anticipates that Republican presidential candidates will move towards the center in 2016, this weekend’s festivities are a very loud wakeup call.

The upcoming Family Leadership Summit comes on the heels of last month’s Iowa Pastors and Pews meeting, which hosted Sen. Rand Paul, Sen. Ted Cruz and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.

This weekend’s conference, hosted by the Religious Right group The Family Leader, will feature Cruz, former Sen. Rick Santorum and perennial presidential candidate-vacillator Donald Trump.

Bob Vander Plaats of The Family Leader, a former Republican gubernatorial candidate who spearheaded the 2010 campaign to boot pro-marriage equality justices off the Iowa Supreme Court, is hosting the event. The Family Leader continues its push to become a conservative power player: Last year, the organization hosted a debate attended by every Republican presidential candidate save Mitt Romney and tried to get candidates to pledge to fight legal pornography and to agree that African-American families were better off under slavery. In 2016, the group might take over the reins of the Iowa Straw Poll.

Along with Iowa Gov. Terry Brandstad and Sen. Chuck Grassley, several far-right figures are slated to speak at the summit:

Rep. Steve King (R-IA), who recently claimed that most young undocumented immigrants are drug mules with “calves the size of cantaloupes.”

Alaska Senate candidate Joe Miller, the far-right 2010 GOP Senate nominee who has tiestomilitia groups.

Talk show host Steve Deace, who has fantasized about assaulting openly gay NBA player Jason Collins and suggested that the public school system was responsible for the Newtown massacre.

Talk show host Kevin McCullough, who believes that gay people are out to kill him and hate God (but also don’t exist).

Talk show host Jan Mickelson, who has said that AIDS is divine punishment for homosexuality and hailed former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s opposition to gay rights.

Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage, who has likened his campaign against marriage equality to fights against slavery and Jim Crow.

David Bossie of Citizens United, the Clinton-era witch hunter who predicted that the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell would cripple the military and bring back the draft.

Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America, who argued that the Violence Against Women Act represented a “war on women” and accused Planned Parenthood of supporting domestic abuse.

Actor/Reality Show contestant Stephen Baldwin, who called President Obama a “cultural terrorist.”

Dr. Del Tackett of Truth In Action Ministries, who blamed homosexuality on lazy parenting.

Doug Napier of Alliance Defending Freedom, who pledged to represent county officials in Iowa who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Dr. David Noebel of Summit Ministries, who has warned that “Obama and his radical homosexual mafia plan to sodomize the world and make such perversion seem as wholesome as apple pie and vanilla ice cream.”

Right Wing Leftovers - 8/5/13

  • Glenn Beck's The Blaze network has opened a Washington, DC bureau and added a correspondent with White House credentials.
  • RNC chairman Reince Priebus is threatening to pull Republican primary debates from CNN and NBC "unless those companies pull their current Hillary Clinton-related film projects."
  • Sen. Ted Cruz doesn't seem to understand how BuzzFeed operates.
  • Bryan Fischer says that, even today, God is raising people from the dead.
  • Apparently, environmentalists are responsible for the deaths of the nineteen firefighters who died fighting a forest fire in Arizona earlier this summer.
  • Finally, John Boehner’s office says that nobody on staff remembers Boehner ever "agreeing" with Rep. Ted Yoho's claim that Obamacare is racist.

Cruz: A Government Shut Down Is No Big Deal Because It Happens Every Weekend

Tea Party members of Congress like Sen. Ted Cruz are threatening to shut down the federal government in an effort to defund health care reform while, simultaneously, attempting to place the blame for any such shut down on President Obama.

Obviously, pulling that off successfully will require the creation of some pretty ingenious arguments, one of which Cruz tried out last week when he was interviewed on Newsmax TV where he asserted that the term "shut down is a misnomer; what it in fact is is a partial, temporary shut down" where "nonessential government functions are temporarily suspended.

"Now that's inconvenient," Cruz admitted, before adding "but we actually see that every single week on the weekends":

At Iowa Summit, Religious Right Activists Hope to 'Change the Direction of the Wind' Against the 'Gay Agenda'

We have been posting videos and reports from the recent Religious Right gathering in Iowa as they become available – so far we’ve seen Rand Paul warning of the country’s collapse and Ted Cruz repeatedly attacking gay rights.

Today, the 700 Club finally featured a segment with additional footage from the summit. CBN’s David Brody interviewed chief organizer David Lane, who has predicted divine punishment on America in the form of car bombings, along with billionaire brothers Dan and Farris Wilks, the latter of whom told Brody that he is upset about the rise of the “gay agenda.”

Brody also showed footage of right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton praying over Cruz and conservative pastor Laurence White telling activists that they can sway politicians if they “change the direction of the wind.”

Watch highlights here:

Ted Cruz: Pray To Stop The 'Assault on Marriage'

The Christian Broadcasting Network has released more footage from the recent Religious Right summit in Iowa organized by David Lane and featuring speakers like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. Cruz, who told CBN in an interview that gay rights advocates intend to dispose of the First Amendment and pass hate speech laws, won plaudits from the audience of conservative activists for his attacks on gay rights advocates and “judicial activism.”

“On marriage there is no issue in which we need to be more on our knees because the momentum is with the opponents of traditional marriage,” Cruz said. “We’re facing an assault on marriage.”

He scolded “unelected judges” who think “we know better” on marriage, and urged pastors to “to speak to your congregations and to mobilize the people, and mobilize them more than anything to pray.”

Watch:

On marriage there is no issue in which we need to be more on our knees because the momentum is with the opponents of traditional marriage. We saw a decision from the US Supreme Court, a decision that some have herald, even some conservatives have herald, I think that decision was an abject demonstration of judicial activism. Five unelected judges saying we are going to set aside the policy preference of the state of California, the citizens not of some crazy right-wing state—California. The citizens of California went to vote and they voted and said in the state of California we want marriage to be the traditional union of one man and one woman, and the US Supreme Court, as a result of its decision said you have no right to define marriage in your state, we know better. We’re facing an assault on marriage. As pastors, each of you has a special responsibility and a special ability to speak to your congregations and to mobilize the people, and mobilize them more than anything to pray.

Ted Cruz Distorts and Ignores Nina Pillard's Actual Record

The far right is distorting what DC Circuit nominee Nina Pillard has written and said.
PFAW

Ted Cruz Warns Gay Marriage Will Lead to Hate Speech Laws, America on Brink of Collapse

In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody on Friday, Ted Cruz rehashed the false right-wing claims that gay rights advocates intend to pass hate speech laws and force pastors to perform same-sex nuptials. Leading Religious Right activists made the same arguments during their campaign against the Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act and in debates over state marriage equality bills. Of course, such laws would be unconstitutional and have never been used to silence religious leaders or limit the freedom of speech.

If you look at other nations that have gone down the road towards gay marriage, that’s the next step of where it gets enforced. It gets enforced against Christian pastors who decline to perform gay marriages, who speak out and preach biblical truths on marriage, that has been defined elsewhere as hate speech, as inconsistent with the enlightened view of government. I think there is no doubt that the advocates who are driving this effort in the United States want to see us end up in that same place.

Brody also lobbed another hardball at Cruz, asking him if he believes “spiritual revival is needed in this country.”

“Everywhere I go people are afraid for the future of our country; I think we’re at the edge of a precipice,” Cruz said. “If we keep going down this path, we’re risking losing our nation; we’re risking losing the incredible oasis of liberty.”

Watch:

Right Wing Leftovers - 7/22/13

  • Bryan Fischer, who once wrote that African Americans on welfare "rut like rabbits," says that President Obama has "set race relations back another decade."
  • Matt Barber helpfully drafts the remarks that President Obama should have delivered on the Trayvon Martin verdict.
  • Sadly, the Southern Avenger has resigned.
  • "Coach" Dave says he is not a homophobe ... and neither is God.
  • Ex-gay activist  Dr. Douglas McIntyre is launching a ten day tour to protest "homo-facism."
  • Finally, here is Sen. Ted Cruz having hands laid upon him and being prayed over by David Barton, among others:

Ted Cruz's Father Tells Him 'God Has Destined You For Greatness'

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz stumped in Iowa over the weekend, and his father Rafael Cruz was promoting his son’s possibly presidential candidacy to pastors and local Republican leaders during his trip. In fact, he said in an interview with Chrsitian Broadcasting Networks’ David Brody that he told his son: “You know Ted, you have been gifted above any man that I know and God has destined you for greatness.’ And I started making declarations about the Word of God to him every day.”

He goes on to suggest that his son is destined to save freedom in America, and even Brody called Cruz’s political career “a thing of God.”

As we’ve noted, Rafael Cruz is a Religious Right activist himself , and he also revealed to Brody that he was active in the Religious Roundtable.

The Religious Roundtable was founded by Ed McAteer and included leaders like Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Phyllis Schlafly and Paul Weyrich. The group also helped launch Ronald Reagan’s bid for president in 1980 and hosted the conference where he quipped, “I know you can’t endorse me, but I endorse you.”

Brody: Talk me about your son and his rise. This must be a thing of God. It's meteoric.

Cruz: Yes, but you know something, it is not something that started a couple of years ago. Let me just go back to when he was maybe four. When he was four I used to read Bible stories to him all the time. And I would declare and proclaim the word of God over him. And I would just say, ‘You know Ted, you have been gifted above any man that I know and God has destined you for greatness’. And I started making declarations about the Word of God to him every day. When he was eight years old I was very active in an organization called the Religious Roundtable.

...

This was a coalition of Christians and Jews who was very instrumental in helping Reagan get elected. I was on the state board of the Religious Roundtable, so when my son Ted was eight years old, all we talked about around the dinner table was politics because I was so involved with the Reagan campaign. So during that time is when I asked him so many times, ‘You know Ted, when I lost my freedom in Cuba I had a place to come to. If we lose our freedoms here where are we going to go? There is no place to go.’

...

Ted enters high school, the Free Enterprise Institute organizes a group of five kids, called them the Constitutional Corroborators, now Ted is reading the The Federalist Papers, The Anti-Federalist Papers, and each of the five kids memorized the entire US Constitution.

...

So before my son left high school he was passionate about the constitution. He was passionate about freedom and free markets and limited governments. Before he left high school he knew without a shadow of a doubt what his purpose in life was and it was to defend and protect freedom and the Constitution, to fight for free markets and limited government, and it became a passion in his life. So this is not a trajectory of three years, this is a trajectory of 30 years.

Ted Cruz, Rand Paul Rally Right-Wing Pastors in Iowa

As we noted earlier this week, Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul were the main draws at “Rediscovering God in America,” an event for conservative pastors in Iowa that was organized by Christian-nation advocate David Lane under the auspices of the Iowa Renewal Project.  According to a report in the Des Moines Register, Cruz knew his audience:

In a fiery, Bible-quoting first speech during his first time in Iowa, Republican Ted Cruz called on evangelical conservatives to demand their GOP elected officials actually stand for the conservative principles they pretend to believe in.

“Belief, saying I believe in something, is not sitting there quietly doing the golf clap,” Cruz told hundreds of Iowa Christian conservative ministers this morning at a private conclave in Des Moines….

Cruz lectured for 30 minutes, his voice at times rising to a shout. He answered questions for another 20 minutes, then stood at the center of a circle as pastors laid their hands on him and the whole audience – a predominantly white group with about 20 black pastors – bowed heads to pray for him.

As we have reported, event organizer David Lane has declared war on Republicans who are insufficiently conservative or aggressive. That’s something he has in common with Cruz, who complained during his presentation that Republicans in Congress would not have the guts to defund Obamacare in upcoming appropriations battles. And he portrayed himself as courageous warrior for right-wing causes: "The biggest applause and loudest whistles came when Cruz talked about abolishing the IRS. He said that’s “viewed as scary radical talk” in Washington, and that career politicians don’t want it to happen."

Cruz also touched on another of David Lane’s favorite themes: the responsibility of pastors to move America by being more aggressively political.

He told the pastors they have a special charge to urge their flocks to become more active in politics.

“It is so easy to hide from the public square. It is so easy to say the challenges of the country are someone else’s problem. But the pastors, and your husbands and wives who are here, ya’ll are not content to do that and I’m so grateful for that.”

The Register says that Cruz’s father, Rafael Cruz, who is making the Religious Right circuit on his own these days, was also in attendance.

The Register also reports on Rand Paul's speech:

Republican Rand Paul thinks the country needs to find its way back to Christian values and the traditions of the founders, he said in Iowa today.

“What America needs is not just another politician or more promises,” he said. “What America needs is a revival.”

According to the Register, Paul couched his less-interventionist foreign policy in terms of denying U.S. support for "haters of Christianity."

To an audience of about 650, Paul said some Republicans have the mistaken belief that the way for the nation to project strength is through war.

“Jesus reminds us what our goal should be when he proclaims: ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God,’” Paul said. “This does not mean we never go to war. But it means we should do so reluctantly, and seek an end expeditiously.”

Paul said the U.S. Senate is now attempting to arm Islamic rebels in Syria, many of whom are Al Quaeda.

“There is an irony that is impossible to escape: Our taxpayer dollars will fund Islamic rebels who may well be killing Christians,” he said. “In country after country, mobs burn the American flag and chant ‘death to America.’ Congress responds by sending more of your money to these haters of Christianity.”

And, in the line that drew a standing ovation and the most passionate applause of his speech, he said: “I say not one penny more to any nation that is burning our flag.”

 

Republican Presidential Hopefuls' Favorite 'Christian Nation' Extremist

Senators and presidential hopefuls Rand Paul and Ted Cruz will head to Iowa this week as featured speakers at a closed-door event for conservative pastors that has been organized by David Lane, an anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-Mormon, Christian-nation absolutist who has declared war, not only on secularism and separation of church and state, but also on establishment Republicans who don’t embrace his vision of an America in which the Bible serves as “the principle textbook” for public education and a “Christian culture” has been “re-established.” He decries Supreme Court rulings on prayer and Bible reading in public schools, and says, “It’s easily defended that America was founded by Christians, as a Christian nation.”

Cruz and Paul may be motivated by the fact that a similar David Lane-organized pastors briefing is credited with Mike Huckabee’s win in the 2008 Iowa caucus.  Evangelical political strategist Doug Wead has described Lane as “the mysterious, behind the scenes, evangelical kingmaker who stormed into Iowa in 2008 and tilted the whole thing from Romney to Huckabee,” even though subsequent renewal projects failed to deliver South Carolina and Florida to Huckabee.

Still, Lane, a self-described “political operative,” has plans that go well beyond Iowa.  The “Rediscovering God in America” event scheduled for July 17 and 18 is just one of an ongoing series of pastors briefings that are central to the American Renewal Project’s 12-state strategy to turn out conservative evangelical voters in the 2013-2014 election cycle.  (Those states: Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, South Carolina, Alaska, Arkansas, North Carolina, Nevada, South Dakota, Virginia, and West Virginia.) 

In December, Lane described his project’s goal this way: “to engage the church in a culture war for religious liberty, to restore America to our Judeo-Christian heritage and to re-establish a Christian culture.” And he has a clear message to representatives and senators: “Vote to restore the Bible and prayer in public schools or be sent home. Hanging political scalps on the wall is the only love language politicians can hear.”

Lane is abundantly clear about his belief that the choice facing America is a return to its founding as a Christian nation or a continued descent into what he describes as paganism. He wrote  in December:

America was a Christian nation. The Mayflower Compact declared, “In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten, having undertaken – for the glory of God, and the advancement of the Christian faith…”

Let’s decide if America is a Christian nation or a pagan nation – and get on with it; the sooner the better.

Lane told the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody that “America has left God” and that “unrighteousness” is “the greatest threat to freedom.” Brody says Lane “believes it’s time to remove politicians from office who have led America down this immoral and unsustainable broken path.” 

A Christian-Nation Warrior Within the GOP

To be fair to Paul and Cruz, they are only the latest Republican presidential hopefuls who have allied themselves with the zealous David Lane in order to tap his network of politically engaged pastors. Lane has been holding “pastors briefings” in 15 states since the mid-1990s. He wrote last year that state Restoration and Renewal projects had hosted more than 10,000 pastors and spouses in ten states since 2005 alone, in events that have been used to engage pastors in anti-gay initiative battles and introduce them to politicians favored by Lane. Pastors’ expenses are covered with money from the American Family Association and other religious right mega-donors. The American Renewal Project operates as a project of the AFA; Lane also operates the California-based Pastors and Pews. 

Texas Governor Rick Perry is also reportedly scheduled to participate in this week’s Iowa gathering, which may confirm his apparent interest in another run for the presidency.  Perry has a long-term relationship with Lane.  In 2005 and 2006, Lane and his network played a huge role in mobilizing support for Perry’s re-election as governor. Six pastors briefings were held around the state, and all six were addressed by Perry.  As Governor, Perry hasn’t disappointed Lane and his friends.

Heading into the 2012 election cycle, Mike Huckabee, Michele Bachmann, Haley Barbour, and Newt Gingrich spoke to 600 pastors, ministry leaders and spouses at a March 2011 Iowa Renewal Project Pastor’s Policy Briefing. But as the primaries approached, Lane was not satisfied with the field. He played a key role in organizing conservative religious leaders to push Perry into the presidential race.  And he masterminded and served as national finance chair for “The Response”, an August 2011 prayer rally that served as Perry’s unofficial campaign launch.

Lane enthusiastically applauded anti-Mormon attacks on Mitt Romney made by Perry backer Robert Jeffress at the Values Voter Summit in October 2011.  The Daily Beast revealed emails between Lane and religious broadcaster Dick Bott in which Lane praised Jeffress, saying the message “juxtaposing traditional Christianity to the false god of Mormonism, is very important in the larger scheme of things.”

After Perry’s candidacy imploded, Religious Right leaders split between Gingrich and Santorum, dooming last-ditch efforts to prevent Romney from becoming the GOP nominee.  Lane backed Gingrich.  He organized a conference call in Florida in late January 2012 to which he said he invited some 125,000 Florida evangelicals, including 2,400 pastors; the call reportedly had 1,000 participants and a recording was emailed to the other 124,000. But obviously he failed to prevent Romney from becoming the nominee.

During the flap over Perry backers’ attacks on Romney’s Mormonism, Lane had actually told broadcaster Bott that he would sit out the 2012 elections rather than vote for Romney. But whether or not Lane actually cast his personal vote for Romney, he continued mobilizing conservative Christians in an effort to defeat Barack Obama.  In Ohio, for example, Lane was part of a major effort by Republican evangelicals to put Romney over the top in that state.  Lane organized “several glitzy mass rallies for the state’s churchgoers featuring high-profile religious and political leaders,” the Washington Times reported last November. Lane and Ralph Reed each produced voter guides for “Ohio’s faithful.”

Although Perry’s tanking disrupted Lane’s plans to get conservative evangelicals to coalesce around a single candidate in 2012, it seems clear that he has similar intentions for 2016. He told the Houston Chronicle in June, “We’re going to try to eliminate the stuff that they [GOP leaders] do to us every four years, which is picking somebody who has no chance of being viable and they kill us off and we have the McCains and Romneys left.”

At War With the GOP

Lane’s comment about “the McCains and Romneys” is just the tip of the iceberg of contempt that he has for what he sees as a cowardly, compromising Republican establishment. He denounces moderate Republicans who are “bound and determined to deposit homosexuality – and homosexual marriage – into the Grand Old Party.” And he insists, “Those doing this to our country must be removed from office and from leadership.” (These aren’t necessarily idle threats: Lane was at the center of the successful 2010 campaign to remove from office three Iowa Supreme Court justices who had been part of a unanimous ruling in favor of marriage equality. “Lane called the judges “Judicial Gods” who believe they have the “right to rule a free people” and “impose their will” however they see fit.”)

Lane was outraged last year when many Republican Party leaders abandoned Senate candidate Todd Akin in the wake of his infamous comments about “legitimate rape”— Lane was especially indignant because at the same time the GOP was backing openly gay Senate candidate Richard Tisei in Massachusetts.  Lane mobilized support for Akin among conservative pastors and complained loudly about the GOP. “Following the pounding of Todd Akin by the GOP kings and lieutenants in the last 36 hours, I’ve come to the conclusion that the real issue is the soul of America,” he wrote in an email to activists. In October, almost 400 pastors who had gathered for a Pastors’ Policy Briefing in Missouri prayed over Akin, whose cause Lane said was “the opening battle for the soul of the Republican Party.” After all, he argues, “someone’s values must reign supreme.”

After the 2012 elections, Lane drew his battle lines:

The moderate GOP chieftains and lieutenants’ philosophy of government and set of values – in the long run – are incompatible with Christian morality and principles. As these secular “pastors” – the GOP chieftains and lieutenants – seek to bully and dictate their worldly, amoral ethics – according to their importance, omnipotence and power of the purse – there can be no amicability and meeting of minds….

Christian conservatives are coming to their moment of truth within the Republican Party. Be friendly and disarm, or annoy and aggravate the GOP kings and lieutenants by laying down the law on Christian principles and Christian values.

….

Another way to put it is: I don’t think that “restoring America” is a Christian imperative. Being a witnesses [sic] to the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus is the imperative. If that restores America, wonderful; if it means that America collapses – like Rome – the byproduct of the Permanent Republican Majority or a decadent, sinful, immoral culture and people, the church is God’s permanent “nation.” 

Lane writes that after launching a public fight for putting the Bible, Jesus, the Ten Commandments back into public schools, “then we will watch Providence call for ‘punishment executed by angels‘ to those who oppose His word.”

Lane says he believes there is “good news in the current Republican collapse and failure – brought about as a byproduct of the amoral, empty philosophy of the Permanent Republican majority” – and that is a political opening for evangelicals. In February, Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody said that Lane’s battle against Republicans who are more worried about the party than “sustaining a moral and righteous nation” is “the next confrontation to watch.”

Pastors as Cause of and Solution to America’s Descent into Hell

It is a recurring theme at Religious Right gatherings that the real reason for America’s slide from greatness into moral decay is that its preachers aren’t preaching aggressively enough. Lane is also in this camp. The relatively media-shy Lane told the New York Times in 2011, “From my perspective, our country is going to hell because pastors won’t lead from the pulpits.”

He complains that the “the Church didn’t even shudder when the Bible, prayer, Jesus, and the Ten Commandments were removed from the public schools in 1963.” And he says there was “not a peep from the Christian Church” in response to the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, when the church “should have initiated riots, revolution, and repentance.”

Lane is fond of quoting Peter Leithart’s Between Babel and Beast. Last fall he included this segment in one of his frequently repetitive online commentaries: 

American churches have too long discipled Christians in Americanism, and that makes Christian involvement in the American polity far smoother than it ought to be. Churches must repent of our Americanism and begin to cultivate martyrs—believers who are martyrs in the original sense of ‘witness’ and in the later sense of men and women ready to follow the Lamb all the way to an imperial cross.

In a different commentary, this one for WND, Lane also quotes from Between Babel and Beast:

Until American churches actually function as outposts of Jesus’ heavenly empire rather than as cheerleaders for America – until the churches produce martyrs rather than patriots – the political witness of Christians will continue to be diluted and co-opted.

Lane also quotes Leithart in a June 2013 commentary that seemed to be too much even for the virulent WND, which has removed the post. Here’s part of the Leithart he approvingly quotes:

Americanists cannot break Babelic or bestial power because they cannot distinguish heretical Americanism from Christian orthodoxy. Until we do, America will lurch along the path that leads from Babel to Beast. If America is to be put in its place – put right – Christians must risk martyrdom and force Babel to the crux where it has to decide either to acknowledge Jesus [as] imperator and the church as God’s imperium or to begin drinking holy blood.

To that bracing section Lane adds his own words:

Where are the champions of Christ to save the nation from the pagan onslaught imposing homosexual marriage, homosexual scouts, 60 million babies done to death by abortion and red ink as far as the eye can see on America? Who will wage war for the Soul of America and trust the living God to deliver the pagan gods into our hands and restore America to her Judeo-Christian heritage and re-establish a Christian culture?...

As to the future of America – and the collapse of this once-Christian nation – Christians must not only be allowed to have opinions, but politically, Christians must be retrained to war for the Soul of America and quit believing the fabricated whopper of the ‘Separation of Church and State,” the lie repeated ad nauseum by the left and liberals to keep Christian America – the moral majority – from imposing moral government on pagan public schools, pagan higher learning, and pagan media….

Christian America is in ruins…

You ask, “What is our goal?” To wage war to restore America to our Judeo-Christian heritage with all of our might and strength that God will give us. You ask, “what is our aim?” One word only: victory, in spite of all intimidation and terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory, America will ultimately collapse.

He sees the solution as the political organizing he does among pastors.  “Bible-believing pastor,” he wrote last fall, “without overstating it, the survival of America is on your shoulders.” According to the New York Times, at a 2011 briefing in Iowa Mike Huckabee “lavished praise on Mr. Lane for ‘bringing pastors together so they go back to their pulpits and light them on fire with enthusiasm, to make America once again the greatest country on earth under God.’”

Lane’s increasingly war-like rhetoric has given people pause. Lane frequently closes his commentaries – including the one recently pulled from WND -- with the question, “Will a Gideon or Rahab the Harlot please stand.” In the Old Testament, Gideon is called by God to defeat the armies of enemies of the Israelites and end the worship of false gods. Rahab the Harlot is another Old Testament character: she enabled the Israelites’ conquest of the city of Jericho by helping two spies sent into the city by Joshua. She and her family were the only ones spared when the city was destroyed and every other man, woman and child was killed. Politicians who stand with Lane might consider asking him just what he means by his frequently repeated calls for a Gideon or Rahab to stand up among American evangelicals.

This IS the Religious Right – and the GOP’s Dominant Right Wing

Sadly, Lane’s extremist views and rhetoric do not make him much of an outlier among today’s hard-right political figures. He is closely allied with major Religious Right leaders and has no problem attracting current and former members of Congress and Republican presidential aspirants to his closed-door gatherings.  Among those scheduled to take part in this week’s Iowa event are Christian-nation “historian” David Barton, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, and the American Family Association’s Don Wildmon.  In 2010, Lane joined Barton and anti-gay activist Jim Garlow, and Lane offered a 12-day, $4000, Next Great Awakening Tour of historical sites in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington.

Also part of this week’s program in Iowa is Lane’s friend Laurence White, who says “if we do not stop abortion then God will destroy and God should destroy America.” Another participant is Ken Canfield, who ran for Governor of Kansas in 2006 on a platform calling for a “no exceptions” ban on abortion; he came in second in a crowded GOP primary .

Lane, like other Religious Right leaders, sees the acceptance of homosexuality as a sign that America has turned its back on God. In one column he approvingly cites an author who describes gays and lesbians as “parasites, depending for their cultural survival on couples that birth the next generation.” Last summer he asked pastors to “exhort the flock, entrusted to you by the Living God, to refrain from shopping at Target Stores until its leadership ends pushing homosexual marriage in America.”

He’s even got the Tea Party’s anti-big-government rhetoric down. He wrote in February as sequestration approached,  “we should immediately begin the mobilization of pastors and pews to contact—read tongue-lash and rail against – local Congressman and U.S. Senators to decry the immoral debt being piled on our kids and grandkids because Congress lacks the guts to make hard, painful decisions and cut spending.”

In fact, Lane covers all the issues important to the modern day right, connecting them to court decisions upholding the separation of church and state, which he says created a religion of secularism:

This ‘religion of secularism’ has produced red ink as far as the eye can see, homosexuals praying at the Inauguration, tax-funded abortion, homosexual marriage in several States, Evangelicals held in contempt, and God expelled from the classrooms of America – and the public square.

Lane is connected to Champion the Vote, a project of United in Purpose, which had aimed to unseat President Obama with an effort “to mobilize 5 million unregistered conservative Christians to register and vote according to the Biblical worldview in 2012.” United in Purpose produced DVDs of Lane’s 2011 event in Orlando to distribute for house parties. In the wake of Rick Perry’s supposedly non-political “Response” rally, the American Family Association sent out emails to those who registered for the event  to engage them in Champion the Vote.  It said the Response “was just the beginning of a nationwide initiative to return America to the principles on which she was founded, with God at the center of our nation.”

Politicians like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul should be held to account for partnering politically with David Lane. But given the increasingly small differences between the GOP’s right wing and it’s really right wing, we probably shouldn’t expect politicians cozying up to Lane to show any discomfort with his extremism. As Ted Cruz said in another context, “If standing for liberty , if standing for free market principle and the Constitution makes you a wacko bird, then, then I am a very proud wacko bird.”

Rafael Cruz: The Declaration And Constitution Were 'Divine Revelation From God'

We were aware that Sen. Ted Cruz's father, Rafael, has become something of a right-wing speaker in the wake of his son's election to the Senate, but we did not realize that the elder Cruz is a full-blown Religious Right activist until we watched the speech he delivered at a recent “America in Distress” rally where he spoke alongside the likes of Louie Gohmert, Rick Scarborough, and other Religious Right/Tea Party activists.

Cruz delivered a nearly twenty minute speech that was chock-full of standard Religious Right attacks on everything from abortion to the IRS all while he quoted Bible verses and called upon Christians to vote "for Christian principles, for biblical principles" in order "take every position and office from dog catcher all the way to the highest position in the land."

Cruz closed by declaring that "outside of the Bible," the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were the most important documents that had ever been written.

"And the reason is," Cruz explained, "they were written on the knees of the Framers.  The Framers were seeking divine revelation from God, that's why the Declaration and the Constitution have lasted over 230 years because they were divine revelation from God":

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Black American Leadership Alliance Anti-Immigrant Rally Keeps on Adding Fringe Activists…and Senators

On Monday, a brand new group called the Black American Leadership Alliance (BALA) will be holding a march on the National Mall in opposition to a new immigration policy. Michelle Cottle at the Daily Beast today explains that BALA, far from being the grassroots group it claims to be, consists of “a dozen or so…seasoned activists who have long been conducting this same anti-immigration crusade by means of an evolving series of similar groups.” Last month, when BALA first emerged, we profiled some of its leaders and their deep connections to the anti-immigrant network stemming from white nationalist John Tanton.

As Cottle puts it: “As a result of the many links between BALA’s leaders and the Tanton network, hate-group watchdogs have expressed concern that the organization is merely the latest in a series of minority front groups providing anti-immigration extremists cover from charges of racism.” We wrote about the anti-immigrant movement’s persistent but largely unsuccessful attempts to drive a wedge between black and Latino communities in this 2011 report.

Unsurpisingly, anti-immigrant congressional leaders are jumping to associate themselves with BALA and take part in its rally. The speakers list so far includes Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Iowa Rep. Steve King, former Rep. Allen West, and, somewhat ironically, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions.

Also speaking at the event are some lesser-known African-American conservative activists, including Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, who has said he thanks God for slavery, accused the NAACP of being “no different than the KKK” and frequently claims that President Obama is “racist” against white people. Joining him on the podium will be  radio host Kevin Jackson, who claims that feminists are waging “a war against beautiful women” and that President Obama “has taken America back into the 1960’s except now whites are enslaved to blacks.”

And we just noticed the addition of another fringe speaker to the list: Florida pastor O’Neal Dozier. Dozier made national headlines last year when, while serving as state chairman of Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign, he announced that Mitt Romney’s Mormonism would “taint the Republican Party.” A profile of Dozier by Mother Jones’ Adam Weinstein highlights some of the pastor’s worst anti-gay, anti-Islam rhetoric, dominionist rhetoric, which ultimately caused him to lose favor with the state's Republican establishment:

As Republicans courted him, Dozier continued to express some of his most extreme views. At a Reclaiming America convention in 2003, Dozier declared that "We should take control of every facet of society." He added that God was "100 percent for capital punishment. Oh, yeah, God knew some were going to slip through, a few innocent ones. He knew that. But you cannot have a society without capital punishment."

He reserved his greatest fervor for that "paramount of sins," homosexuality—which he declared was "something so nasty and disgusting that it makes God want to vomit."

In 2006, he declared war on a local Islamic group trying to build a mosque in the neighborhood. "One day," he intoned, "our grandchildren will live under the grips of sharia law. It's coming our way. Islam has a plan, a 20-year plan, to take over America from within. And they're doing it." The feds charged a charity that Dozier and local Republican activists had supported with swindling $3 million from Haitian immigrants. And Dozier started asking Florida judicial nominees if they were "God-fearing" and in favor of anti-sodomy laws. The GOP establishment began to sour on Dozier. By the summer of 2006, Crist and Jeb Bush had both dumped him.

Deconstructing Ted Cruz’s DC Circuit Grandstanding

The Senate Judiciary Committee today held a hearing for the first of President Obama’s three recent nominees to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, attorney Patricia Ann Millett. Republican committee members, having no actual objections to Millett’s qualifications, used the opportunity to grandstand about what they see as the enormous injustice of a Democratic president nominating people to open seats on the federal judiciary.

Chief among the grandstanders, of course, was Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who spent most of his time telling Millett that Republican opposition to her nomination has nothing to do with her and has everything to do with President Obama’s supposed effort to “pack” the DC Circuit.

Very little of what he said had any basis in reality. He started out by claiming that the DC Circuit is currently “evenly divided” between Democratic and Republican nominees  and that President Obama and Democrats are now trying to “pack the court” with Obama’s nominees:

Right now, the DC Circuit is evenly divided among active judges, with four Republicans and four Democrats. And you find yourself one of three nominees from the president. The president and senior Democrats on this committee have made clear that they want to pick a fight on the DC Circuit. They want to pick a fight on the DC Circuit, and unfortunately I believe part of this pressure, part of the effort of stopping qualified Republican nominees and then deciding to pick a fight now, is a desire to pack the court.

While it’s true that there are currently four Democratic nominees and four Republican nominees in active service on the court, Cruz obscures the fact that the court has an active backbench of six senior judges – five of whom are Republican nominees:

This imbalance exists because Republican presidents have nominated the bulk of DC Circuit judges in the past three decades -- 15 of the last 19 confirmed to the DC Circuit were nominated by Republicans. Far from “packing” the court, President Obama has had fewer judges confirmed to the DC Circuit than any of his four most recent predecessors.

Cruz continued, insisting that President Obama is trying to “pack” the court because it is “holding this administration accountable, and in particular, holding rule-making accountable that has been contrary to federal law”:

The DC Circuit has been a court that has been holding this administration accountable, and in particular, holding rule-making accountable that has been contrary to federal law. And I believe that there is an activist base that is pressuring the president, that has been pressuring senior Senate Democrats to get judicial nominees on the DC Circuit to protect the regulations coming from this administration. And I think any effort to pack the court because the administration doesn’t like the outcomes of judges applying the law fairly should be decried.

What Cruz is referring to is the fact that the D.C. Circuit is currently dominated by right-wing Republican nominees, who have delved into far-right legal theory to strike down common-sense protections for workers, consumers and voters – you can read about some of their most appalling decisions here. President Obama is not trying to “pack” the court to get the decisions that he wants, as Cruz alleges. Instead, he is using his mandate from American voters to pick judges who will restore some ideological balance to one of the farthest-right courts in the country.

Finally, Cruz declares that his objections to Millett have nothing to do with her “very fine professional qualifications” and instead have to do with too much “partisan politics” in judicial confirmations – partisan politics which he seems to have very little interest in putting aside.

Because I think  partisan politics has driven this committee’s approach to the DC Circuit for over a decade. And I think that’s unfortunate, I would rather see a situation where able judges are confirmed irrespective of that. But it is not consistent with our responsibility to let one party prevent qualified judges from going to the court, and at the same time to enable packing the court to reach preferred outcomes. So I thank you for being here, and I think it’s regrettable, the overall context of this dispute, which as I said is irrespective of your very fine professional qualifications.

So, Cruz is refusing to support Millett, who he thinks is unquestionably qualified for the job, for purely political reasons… because he thinks the judicial nominations process has become too politicized.
 

PFAW

Right Wing Round-Up - 7/8/13

Rand Paul Wants to 'Become an Illegal Immigrant,' Glenn Beck Worries He'll Be a 'Second-Class Citizen'

The far Right’s hatred of Obamacare is so great and so senseless they can use it to make two opposing arguments at the same time.

That is what has been happening as the House and Senate try to determine at what point new immigrants will be included in the Affordable Care Act. Earlier this month, ABC News reported that Republicans were willing to hold up the whole bill in order to prevent new immigrants from having access to federal health care subsidies while they work toward citizenship. The current Senate bill plan bars formerly undocumented immigrants from accessing Affordable Care Act subsidies as they work toward permanent residency; GOP Sens. Marco Rubio and Orrin Hatch have proposed an amendment to the bill that would bar those immigrants from Obamacare until five years after they get a green card.

So now, of course, the anti-immigrant Right is using that provision – put into the bill in a futile attempt to satisfy the anti-immigrant Right – to argue against the new immigration policy as a whole.

Last week, Sen. Ted Cruz  claimed that the provision amounts to “affirmative action” for “those who are here illegally.”

Sen. Rand Paul piled on today, joking with Glenn Beck, “I’m thinking about lobbying to become an illegal immigrant so I don’t have to participate in Obamacare.” Beck asserted that under the Senate’s plan, everyone who is not an undocumented immigrant will be a “second-class citizen.”

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