Election 2012

Samuel Rodriguez to Join 'Xenophobic' Sheriff Joe Arpaio at the Republican National Convention

The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference’s Samuel Rodriguez has been trying to push Latino voters to join the Republican Party while also begging the GOP to soften its hardline stance on immigration reform. But acting as a self-styled champion of immigrant rights while also boosting a party that is vociferously opposed to them ultimately creations tensions. It appears that for Rodriguez, helping the GOP is more important than opposing anti-immigrant policies and activists. Rodriguez is scheduled to share the spotlight at the Republican National Convention with none other than Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Rodriguez has previously described Arpaio as a “xenophobic person” and in February tweeted that “any candidate that seeks the endorsement of Sheriff Arpaio also seeks the rejection of the Hispanic community.”

Rodriguez also blasted SB 1070, Arizona’s harsh anti-immigrant law backed by Arpaio, as “xenophobic and nativist,” calling for a fast to protest the law and the creation of “a multi-ethnic firewall against the extremists in our nation.” “The Arizona Law stands as evidence that in 21st Century America, we may no longer be in the Desert of Segregation or the Egypt of Slavery but we just discovered there are Giants to be slain in the land of Promise,” his group proclaimed in a statement. “The Arizona Law is without a doubt, anti-Latino, anti-family, anti-immigrant, anti-Christian and unconstitutional.”

He later said that the Supreme Court didn’t go far enough in striking down the law’s “draconian measures” that “polarize and segregate our communities.”

Arpaio, who is being sued by the Justice Department for violating the civil rights of Hispanics (just one of his many scandals), will address an invitation-only audience at the Republican National Convention days after Rodriguez delivers a benediction.

Of course, Arpaio’s involvement in the convention should come as no surprise, as Arpaio was the co-chair of Mitt Romney’s 2008 Arizona campaign and served as a Romney surrogate. At the time, Romney said Arpaio was one of his “strong surrogates for our optimistic message of a stronger and safer Amreica” and was “gratified” to have his support.

People For the American Way Endorses Rob Zerban for Congress

Washington, DC – People For the American Way today announced its endorsement of Rob Zerban for Congress. Zerban is a strong progressive who is running to defeat Rep. Paul Ryan in Wisconsin’s 1st District.

“Rob Zerban is a great candidate and will make a great representative of Southeast Wisconsin in Congress,” said Randy Borntrager, Political Director of People For the American Way. “Rob knows what it will take to rebuild the American middle class. He’s committed to preserving the social safety net while building a strong economy where businesses can thrive.

“At a time when the Republican party is embracing extremism at all levels, Rob will be a strong voice for all Wisconsinites. Rob’s opponent, Paul Ryan, joined with Missouri Rep. Todd Akin in an attempt to redefine rape, and is now hoping to carry his party’s War on Women to the White House as vice president.

“Ryan is also the architect of the GOP’s disastrous plan to destroy Medicare and trash the social contract. Ryan’s now peddling that plan to the nation as the Republican candidate for vice president, but he also has to face the voters of his own district. America can’t afford to have Paul Ryan in the driver’s seat for our economy, in the White House or in Congress.”

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Religious Right Groups Rally to Defend Todd Akin from 'Political Gang Rape'

American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer isn’t the only one sticking up for Todd Akin. While the embattled Missouri congressman and senate nominee, who is a favorite of Religious Right activists and celebrated his primary victory by lauding God’s role in his success and appearing on Fischer’s show, has been abandoned and denounced by many Republican figures, Religious Right groups for the most part have remained firmly in his corner.

The New York Times reports that the Family Research Council hopes to make up the lost air-support from groups like American Crossroads and the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which have dropped their planned advertisements:

Leaders of several conservative Christian and social-issues groups said they would step in with organizational, financial and news-media help. The Family Research Council said it now hoped to sponsor independent advertising and phone banks and solicit donations for Mr. Akin. And by Wednesday evening, those tiny donations requested by Mr. Akin’s campaign several times this week were starting to add up. Mr. Akin’s Twitter account reported that he had set a goal to raise $100,000 by midnight and had raised $88,000.

Akin also met with the secretive, right-wing Council for National Policy in Tampa, days before the city hosts the Republican National Convention:

Rep. Todd Akin was in Tampa Wednesday night meeting with top conservative groups and donors, several sources confirmed to POLITICO.

The embattled Missouri Senate candidate flew to Tampa to meet with members of the Council for National Policy, a secretive coalition of powerful conservative and evangelical leaders, activists, and donors.

A person attending the CNP gathering in Tampa confirmed Akin was there Wednesday evening, after several sources close to Akin in Missouri said he would be attending. It was unclear if Akin had been invited prior to his “legitimate rape” remarks Sunday.

Concerned Women for America’s Janice Shaw Crouse defended Akin as a victim of “the politics of personal destruction”:

He has been a pro-life advocate his whole career. He's been a man who has worked in crisis pregnancy centers. He's reached out to women and helped women in numerous ways in his private life. So it's very unfortunate that he's one who used words so insensitively, and he apologized for them, of course, and retracted from them.

But I think the bigger question for me is this whole business of the politics of personal destruction. We have a very, I think, appalling double-standard in this country where Republicans are held to these standards that are appropriate but somehow the Democrats get a pass. Vice President Biden, for instance, most recently and most - in the headlines talked about you're going to put those, put everybody in chains.

Gary DeMar’s American Vision even accused the GOP leadership of engaging in a “legitimate political gang rape” of Akin:

Legitimate political gang rape

We expect leftists, liberals, and other miscreants to pounce opportunistically, to lie, cheat, and twist (all the while drooling) over a phrase like “legitimate rape” when uttered by a strong conservative Christian politician. But should we expect the same from alleged conservatives?

Yet this is exactly what we’ve seen from several prominent conservatives in the wake of a media gaffe from U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin (R-MO) in regard to alleged “legitimate rape” and abortion.



There is, after all, the distinct possibility that if abortion were outlawed but with an exception for “rape,” that many of the women who buy abortions purely out of convenience today would then simply claim to have been raped in order to procure the legality.

For some reason, even to mention the possibility that a woman may lie about being raped is supposed to be politically incorrect—untouchable. It enrages leftists, and for some reason, therefore, frightens conservatives. Are a woman’s intentions never to questioned—completely off limits—when she claims to have been raped?

The answer is generally yes, but there is a least one major exception to this: When she intends to use that claim as justification to murder an innocent third party, a baby. The right to life trumps the right to privacy.

Liberals may wish us to believe that no woman would ever stoop so low as to lie about being raped. But this simply does not comport with what we Christians know about fallen human nature. We, conservatives, all agree that millions of women annually conspire to commit murder on their unborn babies. So do you expect me to feel it unacceptable to believe they would lie about why? This is political correctness run amok. Why, after all, would someone willing to kill out of convenience not also lie for various reasons out of convenience?

UPDATE: CNN reports that Tony Perkins of the FRC and Restoration Project organizer David Lane are both standing behind Akin:

“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,” wrote David Lane, an evangelical activist who’s influential in the Republican Party, in an e-mail to fellow activists Thursday morning.

“The swift knee-jerk reaction to throw Akin, a strong conservative pro-life, pro-family born again Christian under the bus by some in the Republican Party is shining the light on their actual agenda,” Lane continued.

“We haven't seen anything this vicious since some of the same operatives did this to (Sarah) Palin.”

...

In a note to supporters Wednesday night, conservative Family Research Council President Tony Perkins heaped criticism on the GOP for abandoning Akin.

"Todd Akin has a long and distinguished record of defending women, children, and families – and unlike the GOP establishment, I refuse to throw him under the bus over one inarticulate comment for which he has apologized,” wrote Perkins, who is in Tampa attending events leading up the convention.

“As for the GOP, it has no rational basis for deserting Akin when it has stood by moderate Republicans who've done worse,” Perkins continued. “Singling out Todd suggests a double standard, designed to drive out social conservatives.”

Dinesh D'Souza Says Obama is 'Weirdly Sympathetic' to Terrorists, Sees them as 'Freedom Fighters'

While promoting his new movie about President Obama on conservative radio shows, Dinesh D’Souza accused Obama of viewing the U.S. as an “evil empire” while sympathizing with anti-American terrorists.

D’Souza told Frank Gaffney on Secure Freedom Radio that Obama “subscribes to a very radical Third World ideology” and that he thinks “from Obama’s point of view we are the ‘evil empire.’”

D’Souza: We normally think we’re having a policy debate between liberals and conservatives who agree about goals but disagree about means. I think when you’re dealing with a Bill Clinton for example that is true, we all want a prosperous economy, we all want America to be a force for freedom in the world, we’d like America to stay number one as long as possible. I think Obama stands outside this consensus and he does so not because he’s a traitor but because he subscribes to a very radical Third World ideology that sees America has the rogue nation in the world. You’ll remember Reagan’s phrase ‘the evil empire’ referring to the Soviet Union, I think from Obama’s point of view we are the ‘evil empire,’ we are the one who needs to be contained.

In an interview with Janet Mefferd, D’Souza claimed that Obama “is weirdly sympathetic to Muslim jihadis who are captured in Iraq or Afghanistan” and “views those guys in favorable terms.” D’Souza says Obama thinks America is an “evil power” and sees “the Muslims who are fighting against America” as “freedom fighters.”

Mefferd: What do you think, a lot of people have talked quite a bit about to the degree to which Obama will reach out to the Muslims, give them a pass, give them special treatment, how does that fit into the whole narrative about anti-colonialism?

D’Souza: It fits in this way Janet, because I think Obama is weirdly sympathetic to Muslim jihadis who are captured in Iraq or Afghanistan, giving them constitutional rights, wanting to close down Guantanamo or when Obama keeps taking the Palestinian position against Israel, some people think that the reason he does this is because he must be a secret Muslim himself. I think that’s wrong. But what I do think Obama thinks is he thinks, ‘look, America is the evil power occupying these poor Third World countries, so the Muslims who are fighting against America are freedom fighters, they’re like Mandela, they’re like Gandhi, they’re like Obama’s own dad fighting to push the British out of Kenya.’ He views those guys in favorable terms and he sees America, not Iran or North Korea, but America as the rogue nation that has to be pulled back.

According to D’Souza, this is all because of Obama’s lefty mom who “wanted to marry a Third World anti-American guy” and “cultivated in Obama this sort of anti-capitalist and somewhat anti-American ideology.” D’Souza explains that Obama’s mom “rebelled against her family and her church and her country” and saw “America as a force for evil in the world,” and Obama learned from her and his leftist “surrogate fathers” a “Third World ideology.”

D’Souza: Actually the mom, Obama’s mom, whom Obama portrays as this Midwestern girl from Kansas, but really no, she became an atheist and a leftist and at times even almost a communist, she would say things like ‘what’s wrong with communism?’ and she wanted to marry a Third World anti-American guy and in succession she married two of them. She was the one that cultivated in Obama this sort of anti-capitalist and somewhat anti-American ideology and then of course Obama, once it took, throughout his life would go looking for other guys, mentors, surrogate fathers if you will, who are like his dad and like his mom and then he would study under them and learn chapter and verse of this Third World ideology.

Mefferd: So interesting his mom, a lot of people may say, why would she deliberately seek out a Third World anti-capitalist?

D’Souza: That seems so odd doesn’t it? But it happens in America sometimes, it certainly happened in the ‘60s. Obama’s mom was sort of a ‘60s girl before the ‘60s, she rebelled against her family and her church and her country. In a way, she began to see America as a force for evil in the world.

GOP Platform Committee Disses DC

The Republican Party’s platform committee spent the day addressing amendments to sections of the platform draft that came up through subcommittees.  It seems that the DC delegation had managed to get into the draft platform some vague language supporting improved representation. It didn’t last. 

The language said that while the Party is opposed to statehood, there could be constructive alternative means of representation that should be considered.  Even that was too much.  James Bopp, delegate from Indiana, dripping contempt for DC, called for that to be hacked out, which it was. He said the District already has representation through its delegate and through the "Democrat Party," which is “of, by, and for the federal government.”

Watch Bopp's comments and his little victory celebration:

Fischer Says Media Treating Akin Like Pharisees Treated Jesus

American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer is continuing his full-throated defense of embattled Congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin, who said this weekend that women can’t get pregnant from what he called “legitimate rape.” Speaking with AFA president Tim Wildmon on Today’s Issues, Fischer compared the media’s criticism of Akin with the Pharisees’ attacks on Jesus, saying that “the scribes and Pharisees were the first ones to play gotcha politics.”

“You know the Gospel writers say that they kept looking for some way to trap Jesus in something that he might say, just one single word they could jump on to try to discredit him and that’s what they did with Todd Akin and his comments about rape,” Fischer said.

Watch:

Todd Akin Receives Support from Phyllis Schlafly, Who Denies Existence of Marital Rape

Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly is joining her Religious Right allies at the Family Research Council and the American Family Association in defending Todd Akin over his “legitimate rape” claims:

Republican party leaders may be working to push Rep. Todd Akin out of the Missouri Senate race, but leading social conservatives continue to rally to his side. Fellow Missourian Phyllis Schlafly said late Monday that Akin should remain in the race and compared his treatment by party leaders to former Va. Sen. George Allen, who lost support in his 2006 race for reelection after calling a young aide to his opponent “macaca.”

“He’s not for rape. That’s ridiculous,” said Schlafly, founder of the Eagle Forum. “They’re making a big thing about an unfortunate remark.”

“You saw what they did to George Allen in Virginia, which I thought was a shame,” she said of party leaders urging Akin to leave his race against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. “I don’t think people like that should make the decision. The people of Missouri should make that decision.”

Schlafly backed Akin early on in the race and her endorsement is prominently displayed on Akin’s website, but he may consider finding other defenders since Schlafly herself refuses to recognize the existence of marital rape: “By getting married, the woman has consented to sex, and I don't think you can call it rape,” Schlafly said back in 2007. In fact, she doubled down on those remarks in an interview the year later:

Could you clarify some of the statements that you made in Maine last year about martial rape?

I think that when you get married you have consented to sex. That's what marriage is all about, I don't know if maybe these girls missed sex ed. That doesn't mean the husband can beat you up, we have plenty of laws against assault and battery. If there is any violence or mistreatment that can be dealt with by criminal prosecution, by divorce or in various ways. When it gets down to calling it rape though, it isn't rape, it's a he said-she said where it's just too easy to lie about it.

Was the way in which your statement was portrayed correct?

Yes. Feminists, if they get tired of a husband or if they want to fight over child custody, they can make an accusation of marital rape and they want that to be there, available to them.

So you see this as more of a tool used by people to get out of marriages than as legitimate-

Yes, I certainly do.

Like Schlafly, Akin once voiced his disapproval of marital rape laws by warning that they could be used as “a legal weapon to beat up on the husband” in a divorce proceeding.

Religious Righting the Republican Platform

Yesterday, the head of the Log Cabin Republicans said that the Republican Party platform might actually contain language saying that all Americans have the right to be treated with dignity and respect. Imagine! Although the language included no reference to LGBT people, Log Cabin argued that it would be a “positive nod” toward them. 
A nearly imperceptible, practically meaningless nod, perhaps.  Anti-gay groups typically use similar rhetoric to soften their image.  Even the most stridently anti-gay Religious Right leaders insist they don’t hate gays, they love them so much they want to save them from their evil, wicked, Satanic, hell-bound lives.
Last night, the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins provided a bit of a reality check. He sent a memo bragging that “our team has had several hands” working on the platform:
With a presence in the committee meetings, the FRC Action staff has been able to help delegates hold the line of social issues. Just this morning, our efforts made what was already a good document even better.
Before this week, the GOP’s draft platform included solid language defending the family – and FRC Action, in tandem with Eagle Forum, made it even stronger.
Perkins boasts that as a delegate on the subcommittee handling health care, education, and the family, “I was able to reinforce the language on marriage and successfully helped with amendments on conscience rights, abortion in health care, and stem cell research."
Joining Perkins on the Platform Committee is David Barton, the promoter of bogus “Christian nation” history whose recent book on Thomas Jefferson was slammed as grossly inaccurate by so many scholars that his Christian publishing house, Thomas Nelson, pulled the book from the shelves. But Barton’s abuses of the truth have never been enough to discredit him with his friends in the GOP. Barton is serving on the platform committee’s subcommittee on the Constitution, where Tony Perkins assures us Barton led efforts that “fended off liberal attacks that would have watered down the wording” on marriage and “life.”
This morning, the Tampa Bay Times reports that the draft moving forward includes a call for a federal constitutional amendment to prohibit same-sex couples from getting married anywhere in the U.S., and for a constitutional amendment applying the protections of the Fourteenth Amendment to “unborn children." There is no exception for allowing abortion in the case of rape or incest.
The full Platform Committee will take up the work of the subcommittees today.

Religious Right Groups Hosting Prayer Rally to kick off Republican National Convention

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, disgraced pseudo-historian David Barton and anti-feminist activist Phyllis Schlafly are participating in a prayer rally hosted by Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink and the Florida Family Policy Council in Tampa right before the opening of the Republican National Convention. CitizenLink head Tom Minnery, FFPC’s John Stemberger, former congressman J.C. Watts, Proposition 8 leader Jim Garlow, Vision America’s Rick Scarborough, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver are also among the speakers at the Prayer Rally for America’s Future at the River Church. The rally will touch on the familiar themes of opposing abortion rights and gay rights…and also to pray for revival in “male leadership.”

Later that day, the River Church is hosting a Tea Party Nation rally with Bachmann, Herman Cain, Neal Boortz, Judson Phillips, Pam Bondi, Niger Innis and Rebecca Kleefisch.

The River Church is pastored by Rodney Howard-Browne, the Word-Faith preacher known for performing faith healings:

And unleashing "Holy Laughter":

Todd Akin Wasn't 'Misspeaking' but Speaking for a Movement

Missouri Republican senate candidate and congressman Todd Akin is trying to run away from his claims that “legitimate rape” rarely leads to pregnancy, insisting that he “misspoke” while making “off-the-cuff remarks,” even though they were in an interview with a local reporter. Akin made a similar half-apology following his claim that “at the heart of liberalism really is the hatred for God,” with his spokesman arguing that his claim during a radio interview were “off-the-cuff.”

Akin is a beloved figure of the Religious Right, and his campaign advertises endorsements from Concerned Women for America activists and activists like Mike Huckabee, Phyllis Schlafly, Michele Bachmann and David Barton. Barton, who recorded campaign ads calling Akin a “true Christian leader,” has compared Akin to John Witherspoon and other founding fathers. American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer, who hosted Akin on his radio show the day after the congressman’s primary victory, said people need to “lighten up” about his rape comments:

Previously, Akin said he wants to ban the morning after pill, worried marital rape laws will be used as “a legal weapon to beat up on the husband” and sought to narrow the definition of “rape” in legislation. Akin also prominently advertises his endorsement from Schlafly, who has said women cannot be raped by their husbands.

Sarah Posner in Religion Dispatches notes that Akin, who has a masters in divinity, received his degree at a denomination which teaches that rape seldom leads to pregnancy and should not be relevant to laws on abortion rights, and as Kate Sheppard of Mother Jones pointed out, anti-choice luminary John Willke asserts that hormones make pregnancies resulting from rape “extremely rare” and Physicians for Life believes “the rate of pregnancy is actually very rare” because the stress from the rape “alter[s] bodily functions, the menstrual cycle included.”

Those opinions are commonplace among anti-choice activists.

Human Life International says “it is very useful to be able to show just how rare rape- and incest-caused pregnancies really are” in order to expose women who falsely state they were raped in order to have abortions: “Women who are willing to kill their own preborn children for mere convenience obviously see lying as a relatively small crime.”

40 Days for Life, the group which holds hundreds of protests outside of abortion clinics throughout the country, in “ProLife Answers to ProChoice Arguments” also says that pregnancies resulting from rape are “extremely rare” and “can be prevented”:

“What about a woman who is pregnant due to rape or incest?”

a. Pregnancy due to rape is extremely rare, and with proper treatment can be prevented.

b. Rape is never the fault of the child; the guilty party, not an innocent party, should be punished.

c. The violence of abortion parallels the violence of rate.

d. Abortion does not bring healing to a rape victim.

It remains to be seen which conservative leaders will condemn—or defend—Akin as pressure mounts on the candidate to quit the race.

Update: Fischer is now even claiming that “Todd Akin is right,” citing an article by Willke.

Court Rejects Florida's Efforts to Curtail Early Voting

In an opinion affecting 5 counties, a federal court rules that Florida's curtailed early voting would disproportionately harm African Americans.
PFAW Foundation

William Owens Likens Obama to White Supremacists over Gay Marriage Views

William Owens of the Coalition of African-American Pastors spoke to Janet Mefferd yesterday, where the anti-gay activist whose anti-Obama campaign is being bankrolled by Religious Right groups lashed out at Obama in an incoherent screed where he likened the President to white supremacists hostile the civil rights movement:

Mefferd: I wonder if he had really considered what the reaction would be because he has taken the African American community so much for granted, the support of your community so much for granted, do you think he had any inkling that he would get the reaction of a lot of the black pastors that we’ve seen?

Owens: I don’t think he did. I think he felt that he could continue to do as he’s been doing. He’ll take up the cause of the Latinos, he’ll take up the cause of the homosexuals, but it’s like the African Americans don’t exist. And he said I’m not the president of the African Americans, I’m the president of America. What if the white leaders who were in office when the civil rights bill had passed, what if they had said that, ‘We’re the politicians for the white community’? We wouldn’t have gotten a right to vote, we wouldn’t have gotten the rights we enjoy today. So we’re going to take him on even more, as a matter of fact this is one of my last interviews until we come out with a new news conference next week, we’re coming out fighting.

What President Obama said was, “I’m not the president of black America. I’m the president of the United States of America.” In fact, that is the exact opposite message employed by the white supremacist leaders that Owens compared Obama too, as Obama said he was the President of all Americans, including African Americans.

As for his other claim that Obama pretends “like the African Americans don’t exist,” that is not only patently absurd but he also spoke to a group of black pastors immediately after his announcement endorsing marriage equality and regularly seeks guidance from a number of black pastors.

Later, Owens said that supporting gay rights is “like waving your thing in God’s face” and said that same-sex marriages are “destroying the foundation of the family” and are “not honorable to the child”:

Mefferd: There seems to be a lack of fear of God in a lot of these activists, a lot of these people who are moving forward as if this is no big deal but in fact this is really an affront to God, would you say that’s the case?

Owens: I would say that’s the case. It’s like waving your thing in God’s face and saying, ‘You don’t matter.’ That’s exactly what I think. They do not honor God’s word; they don’t honor Him; not God’s people.



Mefferd: Why do you think the marriage issue is so important from a civilization stand point?

Owens: The marriage issue is so important because the marriage is a family ordained by God. If you destroy that you’re destroying the foundation of the family. We have a little boy; I’ve raised six children already. How can a man and a man be a parent to a child? By their nature, they cannot. How can a woman and a woman? My little boy takes both of us, he takes the love and tenderness of a mother and he takes the love and whatever the dad gives he needs that too. So to do different is disloyal, it’s not honorable to the child. We cannot say a marriage is right between the same sex.

African American Ministers In Action: Romney-Ryan Agenda is ‘Dangerous for America’

People For the American Way’s African American Ministers in Action, a national coalition of African American pastors, spoke out today on Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan to be his running mate.

“Mitt Romney already had a dangerous agenda for America – especially Black America – and now he’s doubled down,” said Rev. Dr. Robert P. Shine, Vice-Chair of African American Ministers In Action. “Paul Ryan’s appalling budget proposal, if enacted, would strike an enormous blow to our social contract. It would absolve the very wealthiest of their obligations to give back to the country that supports them, while increasing the burdens on working people who are struggling to get by. It would rob from health care and food assistance and education to pay for tax cuts for billionaires. It would deny the least fortunate among us the opportunity to change their circumstances, while showering the most fortunate with tax cuts. These skewed priorities do not align with the teachings of Christ or with our highest American ideals.

“Like the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, we believe that Paul Ryan’s vision for American ‘fails to meet… moral criteria.’ Now, Mitt Romney, in an effort to pander to the farthest of the far right, has adopted Ryan’s flawed vision as his own. We can’t afford to have Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan in the White House.”

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Tea Party Nation: America Won't Elect Black President 'For a Generation or Two' Because of Obama

Yesterday, Tea Party Nation sent out an article to members by activist Alan Caruba, warning that President Obama is not only bad for the black community but also that Americans are unlikely to trust a black leader again. Reacting to an interview with comedian D.L. Hughley, where he said Obama should have been more aggressive in responding to right-wing attacks and calling out the endurance of anti-black racism in America, Caruba said that “Obama has been the ‘affirmative action’ President whose life has been characterized by the special treatment he received growing up,” and has therefore been able to get away with having a “forgery” of a birth certificate.

“I believe Obama has made it nearly impossible for a black American to be elected President for a generation or two,” Caruba concluded. “I believe he will be rejected by the voters in November and I believe he will, as he has done throughout his presidency, blame others for it.”

“I’m a black man too and I didn’t grow up in that kind of world. I couldn’t grow up thinking everything would be OK because it wasn’t for a lot of people I knew,” said Hughly who apparently thinks Obama was naïve and didn’t realize the depth of racism in America, but ignores the fact that a lot of whites voted for Obama because they wanted to demonstrate to the world that a black man could be elected President.

If Obama had been raised by a black father, says Hughly, he would have learned that “you can’t let someone disrespect you but one time.” Hughly mistakes criticism of Obama’s performance in office as racism and, in fact, the half-black, half-white Obama has generally been given a pass his whole life precisely because of his racial mix. All Presidents have been subjected to often harsh criticism.

If anything, Obama has been the “affirmative action” President whose life has been characterized by the special treatment he received growing up. It has been a life whose actual facts Obama has gone out of his way to conceal by having his college and other records hidden from public review, not the least of which has been his birth certificate, deemed by many to be a forgery along with his phony Social Security number.



What struck me about the Hughly interview was his uncritical embrace of Obama and the view that it is racism that is holding blacks back. Obama has not opened any doors for black Americans that were not already in place.

To the contrary, Obama has offered them more food stamps and has tried via an illegal executive order to gut the successful welfare law that Bill Clinton signed. He has failed the millions, black, white, Asian, and Hispanic, who are unemployed as the result of his Marxist ideology.

I believe Obama has made it nearly impossible for a black American to be elected President for a generation or two. I believe he will be rejected by the voters in November and I believe he will, as he has done throughout his presidency, blame others for it.

Paul Ryan: Roe v. Wade is 'Virtually Identical' to Dred Scott

In the 2004 presidential election, President Bush used “dog whistle” politics during a debate with John Kerry by subtly linking the Dred Scott case to Roe v. Wade. This year, Republican vice presidential pick Paul Ryan is more explicit about his views. He supported a bill to outlaw all abortions and some contraceptives, and in 2010 he said that the “the Supreme Court made virtually the identical mistake” in Roe v. Wade that it made in the 1857 Dred Scott case:

Yet, identifying who “qualifies” as a human being has historically proved to be more difficult than the above examples suggest. Twice in the past the U.S. Supreme Court—charged with being the guardian of rights—has failed so drastically in making this crucial determination that it “disqualified” a whole category of human beings, with profoundly tragic results.

The first time was in the 1857 case, Dred Scott v. Sandford. The Court held, absurdly, that Africans and their American descendants, whether slave or free, could not be citizens with a right to go to court to enforce contracts or rights or for any other reason. Why? Because “among the whole human race,” the Court declared, “the enslaved African race were not intended to be included…[T]hey had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.” In other words, persons of African origin did not “qualify” as human beings for purposes of protecting their natural rights. It was held that, since the white man did not recognize them as having such rights, they didn’t have them. The implication was that Africans were property—things that white persons could choose to buy and sell. In contrast, whites did “qualify,” so government protected their natural rights.

Every person in this country was wounded the day this dreadful opinion was handed down by this nation’s highest tribunal. It made a mockery of the American idea that human equality and rights were given by God and recognized by government, not constructed by governments or ethnic groups by consensus vote. The abhorrent decision directly led to terrible bloodshed and opened up a racial gap that has never been completely overcome. The second time the Court failed in a case regarding the definition of “human” was in Roe v. Wade in 1973, when the Supreme Court made virtually the identical mistake. At what point in time does a human being exist, the state of Texas asked. The Court refused to answer: “We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer.” In other words, the Court would not “qualify” unborn children as living persons whose human rights must be guaranteed.



At the core, today’s “pro-choice” liberals are deeply pessimistic. They denigrate life and offer fear of the present and the future—fear of too many choices and too many children. Rather than seeing children and human beings as a benefit, the “pro-choice” position implies that they are a burden. Despite the “pro-choice” label, liberals’ stance on this subject actually diminishes choices, lowers goals, and leads us to live with less. That includes reducing the number of human beings who can make choices.

In contrast, pro-life conservatives are natural optimists. On balance, we see human beings as assets, not liabilities. All conservatives should find it easy to agree that government must uphold every person’s right to make choices regarding their lives and that every person’s right to live must be secured before he or she can exercise that right of choice. In the state of nature—the “law of the jungle”—the determination of who “qualifies” as a human being is left to private individuals or chosen groups. In a justly organized community, however, government exists to secure the right to life and the other human rights that follow from that primary right.

Mitt Romney Capitulates to the Right, Yet Again

Governor Mitt Romney today announced his selection of Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate. People For the American Way President Michael Keegan issued the following statement:

“Of all the things we’ve learned about Mitt Romney in this campaign, the most striking is his willingness to cave to the extreme Right at every opportunity. His selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate just underscores that.

“From his support of ‘personhood’ legislation that would criminalize some forms of birth control, to his crusade to gut Medicare, cut Pell Grants and protect subsidies for Big Oil, Paul Ryan is the ideal Vice President for the far Right. The fact that Ryan’s budget raises taxes on working families and slashes programs helping the middle class in order to give huge breaks to the rich is just par for the course.

“If there was any question that Mitt Romney’s campaign is catering to billionaires, there shouldn’t be anymore. This is the Koch brothers' dream ticket. But for ordinary Americans, the Romney-Ryan agenda would be a nightmare.”
 

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Blackwell Distorts Ohio Voter Suit

In an interview with Tony Perkins on Washington Watch Weekly, former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell slammed the Obama campaign’s effort to expand early voting procedures in Ohio, saying that the President is running “probably the most bareknuckle campaign I’ve seen”.

Blackwell also accused democrats of exploiting the “Voter ID controversy to gin up their base” and energize minority voters in their favor. The controversy surrounding early voting in Ohio centers on a new special exemption that the state extends to military voters. The Obama campaign filed suit, seeking to restore early voting procedures for all citizens, including servicemen and women.

Despite decrying the so-called “bareknuckle” tactics of the Obama campaign, Blackwell is no stranger to political combat. His 2006 gubernatorial campaign smeared his opponent as gay, and Blackwell worked tirelessly to suppress minority voting in Ohio in the 2004 presidential election.

Perkins: To me it suggests that they’re pretty desperate, that they see every vote as being, as counting, in the state of Ohio, that they cannot spare a single vote in that state.

Blackwell: Well you’re absolutely right, and just think about, there is an alarming pattern. They are actively opposed, and in the case of what I’m getting ready to say, the administration is actively opposed to Voter ID. And they are using the Voter ID controversy to gin up their base because they are running a base turnout campaign and its imperative that they get a high voter turnout from blacks and Latinos and that they get a substantial disproportionate share of their vote, so they are basically creating the conservative republican boogeyman by saying, you know, voter ID requirements suppress votes. They then, on the other hands, they’re suppressing the votes on the military because they know the numbers are against them. So you begin to see, or the Obama campaign and their friends going after chick-fil-a. You know, it is, this is, probably the most bareknuckle campaign that I’ve seen from a sitting President, it is Chicago-style politics, and there are no rules. It’s a no-man’s land.

People For Raises Awareness of the 'Romney Court' on Sotomayor Anniversary

PFAW Activists Rally Outside Romney Headquarters in Greentree, PA

Yesterday marked the 3rd anniversary of Sonia Sotomayor officially assuming her office as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. People for the American Way, in partnership with other progressive organizations including NARAL and the AFL-CIO, marked the occasion with activists on the ground in the key states of Ohio and Pennsylvania.

At a campaign event in Colorado yesterday, President Obama underscored the importance of the election for its impact on the future of the court.

Today is the three-year anniversary of Sonia Sotomayor taking her seat on the Supreme Court. Yesterday was the two-year anniversary of Elena Kagan taking her seat on the Supreme Court. So let's be very clear -- the next President could tip the balance of the Court in a way that turns back the clock for women and families for decades to come. The choice between going backward and moving forward has never been so clear.

People For president Michael Keegan also laid out the stakes in the Huffington Post.

President Obama’s decisions to nominate Justices Kagan and Sotomayor prove his commitment to selecting qualified jurists and building a more representative and inclusive court that respects the Constitution and the rights of every American. Mitt Romney’s decision to turn to ultra-conservative judge Robert Bork for judicial counsel is a clear signal that he would only appoint far-right figures to the Supreme Court, judges that are even further to the right than Samuel Alito and Antonin Scalia.

It’s difficult to imagine a more conservative court than the one we have now, but that’s exactly what a Romney presidency would bring. With critical issues such as reproductive rights, voting rights, LGBT rights, campaign finance, and worker protections almost certain to come before the court next presidential term, stakes have never been higher.

For more on Mitt Romney’s dangerous vision for the Supreme Court, visit Romneycourt.com.

Yesterday, PFAW avtivists were featured on Ohio Public Radio:

 

ONN Tv,

and Ohio Capital Blog:

PFAW

Todd Akin, Darling of the Religious Right, Wins Senate Primary

Missouri congressman Todd Akin eked out a win last night over  two rivals in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, adding to a list of Religious Right backed candidates winning competitive primaries, including Richard Mourdock of Indiana and Ted Cruz of Texas. Akin is more than just a dogmatic conservative-- he's a darling of the Religious Right, earning perfect 100% ratings from the Family Research Council, National Right to Life and Concerned Women for America . Akin has also worked Religious Right with activists Tony Perkins, Janet Porter, Rick Scarborough, Tom DeLay and David Barton, who even recorded an ad on his behalf.

Akin gained notoriety after he told Perkins on his radio show that “at the heart of liberalism really is a hatred for God,” a remark he refused to apologize for.

The congressman is also a virulent opponent of LGBT rights, pushing a ban on same-sex unions of any form in the military and as Think Progress noted, has co-sponsored nearly every piece of anti-gay legislation in the current House session. He thinks that “the liberal agenda has infiltrated our military” due to the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and tried to overturn Washington, D.C.’s marriage equality law.

He took to the House Floor in 2006 with a warning that “anybody who knows something about the history of the human race knows that there is no civilization which has condoned homosexual marriage widely and openly that has long survived.”

In a documentary for Truth in Action Ministries, he claimed that the left “will snuff out the light of freedom” by “rewriting the history of America,” and warned that the health care reform law is “an unbiblical threat” that violated the Ten Commandments. Akin even believes that Medicare is unconstitutional, wants to eliminate the Departments of Education and Energy and the Environmental Protect Agency, wants to impeach judges for “making decisions not based on the U.S. Constitution,” and likens student loan reform to “stage three cancer.”

Akin said that Thanksgiving should be remembered as a day to renounce “unbiblical” socialism and that the U.S. should use the Pilgrim society as a model because the Pilgrims used the Bible as a “blueprint” for economic, education and government policies.

He consistently pushes anti-choice legislation and even said that legal abortion is the reason for illegal immigration: “If you think about it we’ve aborted however many – 40 million – Americans through abortion. If those Americans had not been aborted, we might have more laborers here. Consequently, America is not reproducing itself in terms of our own internal repopulation of having a bunch of kids.”

Akin thanked God and Mike Huckabee for his primary success in his victory statement:

First, I want to give thanks to God our Creator who has blessed this campaign, heard your prayers, and answered them with victory. Through the months, we have seen frequent instances of His blessing and are reminded that with Him all things are possible!

I also wanted to thank Governor Mike Huckabee, who was with us from the start, stayed by our side, lifted us up in prayer, and tonight celebrates with us in victory. Governor Huckabee – I thank you, my family thanks you, and our volunteers thank you for your dedication to our campaign and devotion to saving the America we love.

From the depths of my heart I want to thank every single volunteer who served in our campaign and brought our winning message to the people of Missouri. Tonight one campaign ends…tomorrow another begins.

Right-Wing Activists Warn Obama is working with Islamists to bring down Christianity, the West and America

Frank Gaffney last week hosted George Neumayr of the American Spectator, who co-authored the new book No Higher Power: Obama’s War on Religious Freedom with Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly, to discuss what Gaffney calls the “Red-Green axis,” or the supposed alliance between progressives and radical Islamists. According to Gaffney, Obama “is the personification” of this liberal-Islamist partnership, “it comes together with him.” Neumayr came to a similar conclusion, telling Gaffney that Obama’s views on religion and abortion rights show that he has made Christianity his enemy and is consequently aiding Islam. “This unholy alliance between Obama and Islam is in part based on the common enemy they share, which is Christianity and the West,” Neumayr said, while Gaffney added that it reveals a hostility to “American civilization more broadly.”

Neumayr: He picks on Christians because I guess they won’t fight back as strongly and because he thinks that Christianity is irrational, in fact he pretty much says that in “The Audacity of Hope,” he uses the tale of Abraham and Isaac to say that religion is basically an irrational thing and shouldn’t be a basis for our laws. The irony of his use of that story of course is that he himself as a state senator couldn’t bring himself to vote against infanticide; Abraham put down the knife, Obama’s friends at Planned Parenthood don’t put down the knife, they’ve killed untold numbers of unborn children under Obama and he doesn’t have a problem with that and he wants us to pay for it. So I think this alliance, this unholy alliance between Obama and Islam is in part based on the common enemy they share, which is Christianity and the West.

Gaffney: And I would argue American civilization more broadly.

The repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, Neumayr later added, was also an attack on Christianity as Obama may begin to have “Christian chaplains and privates” be “court martialed” during his second term.

Neumayr: We have a quote in here, actually comes from the Washington Times originally, but it’s actually a very revealing quote from Lt. General Thomas Bostick, who’s the army’s deputy chief of staff in charge of personnel, he told soldiers in Germany , he said, ‘unfortunately we have a minority of service members who are still racist and bigoted and we’ll never be able to get rid of all of them but these people opposing this new policy will need to get with the program and if they can’t they need to get out.’

Gaffney: This is the homosexual agenda, specifically.

Neumayr: Yes, this is with respect to Obama’s position on gay rights. What we say in the book is that if he wins a second term we should expect resistant traditional Christian chaplains and privates to be court martialed; we will probably see that in the second term.

Gaffney: Or drawn and quartered as the case may be.
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