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Blackwell Ditches Bachmann For Perry

Back when Michele Bachmann was the GOP’s flavor of the month, three Religious Right leaders formed a Super PAC to bolster Bachmann’s fledgling campaign. Kenneth Blackwell, the former Ohio Secretary of State, failed gubernatorial nominee and unsuccessful candidate to be chairman of the Republican National Committee, was to chair the pro-Bachmann Citizens for a Working America. In fact, the announcement came just days after Rick Perry entered the presidential race.

How times have changed. Today, Blackwell switched sides and is now endorsing Rick Perry:

Ken Blackwell, the former Republican Secretary of State of Ohio and one time candidate for Governor who lost against Democrat Ted Strickland in 2006, has endorsed Texas Gov. Rick Perry for President.

“I am proud to endorse Texas Gov. Rick Perry for president,” said Blackwell in a release from the Perry campaign. “Gov. Perry’s successful record of job creation shows that he has the skill, experience and ideas necessary to get our nation working again. His proven conservative values, and his proven executive experience are exactly what this country needs to reverse the failed policies of the Obama Administration.”

Blackwell’s endorsement comes just as Perry’s campaign is having a second roll-out following a major slip in the polls as a result of dreadful debate performances and other missteps. Bachmann’s poll numbers have also dropped significantly as Herman Cain, for now, has emerged as Mitt Romney’s closest rival. But with Cain flubbing and flip-flopping even straight-forward questions on abortion rights and gay rights and Bachmann’s campaign running low on support, staffers and funding, it may be time that establishment figures in the Religious Right rally behind Perry as their choice.

Robertson Tells Woman Who Can't Pay Mortgage She Must Keep Tithing In Order To Receive God's Blessing

Given Pat Robertson's record of offering questionable advice to viewers seeking his counsel, it is a wonder that people keep writing in and seeking his help with their problems and questions.

But they do ... just today, a woman wrote in telling Robertson that her family is struggling financially and can't pay their mortgage or bills and wondering why God was won't answer her prayers, to which Robertson responded that she was obviously just not managing her money properly and told her that she must continue to tithe in order to receive God's blessing:

In David Barton's Alternative Reality, Americans Love Don't Ask Don't Tell

Republican pseudo-historian David Barton says that he, like Jesus, has never been legitimately critiqued, and is even suing two Democratic politicians in Texas and a blogger who have criticized him. While Right Wing Watch, among others, reports on Barton’s incessant dishonesty on a regular basis, he continues to tell falsehoods even when he is directly confronted about it.

Today on his program WallBuilders Live, Barton and his co-host Rick Green discussed the 9th Circuit Court’s decision on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. While they originally found the policy unconstitutional, the court recently vacated the ruling following the policy’s official repeal. Barton argued that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act are “still overwhelmingly popular” among Americans:

Barton: The president’s going to follow the 9th's decision, that’s just what happens when you get a president—

Green: You’re gonna have to choose a Commander and Chief that—

Barton: You’re gonna have to choose a president who’s going to enforce laws that the rest of us think are important. Now he’s choosing to enforce the laws and not enforce the laws he thinks are important, and it’s not where the nation is. You know overwhelmingly we still want DOMA, the ban on homosexuals in the military that’s still overwhelmingly popular, he’s just not going there.

Of course, Barton is flat out wrong.

A CBS News poll released October 4 found that “68 percent of Americans said they support gay and lesbians’ rights to serve openly,” and that 48% of Republicans favored the repeal of the ban on openly gay soldiers, more than the 41% who opposed repeal.

On marriage, polls from Gallup, CNN, ABC, AP/Roper and the Public Religion Research Institute all found that a majority of Americans support marriage equality for gays and lesbians. Moreover, a Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research poll found that 51% of voters oppose DOMA and just 34% support the law, which is still being enforced.

But David Barton, naturally, would not let actual polling data stand in the way of his claim that Americans are still hostile to the rights of gays and lesbians.

Values Voter Summit 2011 & America in 2013

As RWW readers know, the Values Voter Summit, the year’s biggest political gathering for the Religious Right, took place in Washington, D.C. this past weekend.  Every Republican presidential candidate with the exception of Jon Huntsman addressed the summit, evidence of the continuing importance of Religious Right activists and political groups to the GOP. Polls suggest that the Religious Right is about twice as big as the Tea Party, with significant overlap between the two movements. Ron Paul’s campaign packed in enough voters to win the straw poll, but it would be wrong to say he was the favorite of the Values Voter crowd. It was up-and-coming candidate Herman Cain who won the loudest cheers (and took second place).

The two days of speeches from presidential candidates, congressional leaders, and Religious Right activists painted a clear picture of where they’ll try to take the country if they are successful in their 2012 electoral goals.  In their America, banks and corporations would be free from pesky consumer and worker protections; there would be no Environmental Protection Agency and no federal support for education; women would have no access to abortion; gays would be second-class citizens; and for at least some of them, religious minorities would have to know their place and be grateful that they are tolerated in this Christian nation. 
 
Here’s a recap of some major themes from the conference.
 
Religious Bigotry on Parade
 
In one of the most extreme expressions of the “Christian nation” approach to government, the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer has stated repeatedly that the religious liberty of non-Christians is not protected by the First Amendment.  More specifically, he says Mormons are not protected by the First Amendment.  For whatever reason, VVS organizers scheduled Romney and Fischer back-to-back on Saturday morning. 
 
Before the conference, People For the American Way called on Romney to take on Fischer’s bigotry, which he did, albeit in a vague and tepid manner, criticizing “poisonous” rhetoric without naming Fischer or explaining why his views are poison.  Getting greater media attention were comments by Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress, who in his introduction of Texas Gov. Rick Perry insisted on the importance of electing a “genuine” follower of Christ. Reporters who accurately saw this as a swipe at Romney’s faith asked Jeffress about it, and he labeled Mormonism a cult.  (Mormons consider themselves Christians, but many Christians, including Southern Baptists, believe Mormon theology is anything but.)  Following Romney at the microphone, Fischer doubled down, insisting that the next president has to be a Christian “in the mold of” the founding fathers.  Fischer’s inaccurate sense of history is eclipsed only by his lack of respect for church-state separation and for the Constitution itself – even though he insisted that his religious test for the presidency was really a “political test.” Romney took only four percent in the VVS straw poll, even though he has been leading in recent polls of GOP voters.
 
Beating up on Obama
 
Religious Right leaders routinely denounce President Barack Obama, so it is no surprise that a major theme of the VVS was attacking the president and his policies.  Perhaps the nicest thing anyone said about the president was Mitt Romney’s snide remark that Obama is “the conservative movement’s top recruiter.”    Among the nastiest came from virtue-monger Bill Bennett, who said, “if you voted for him last time to prove you are not a racist, you must vote against him this time to prove you are not an idiot.” Rep. Anne Buerkle, one of the Tea Party freshmen, said flat out that the president is not concerned about what is best for the country. 
 
Health care and foreign policy were top policy targets.  Many speakers denounced “Obamacare,” and most of the presidential candidates promised to make dismantling health care reform a top priority. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a Religious Right favorite who is leading a legal challenge to the health care reform law, said that if the Supreme Court did not overturn it, Americans would go from being citizens to subjects.  Just about every speaker attacked President Obama for not being strong enough in support of Israel, and repeated a favorite right-wing talking point by pledging to “never apologize” for U.S. actions abroad.
 
Gays as Enemies of Liberty
 
It is clear that a Republican takeover of the Senate and White House would put advances toward equality for LGBT Americans in peril.  Speaker after speaker denounced the recent repeal of the ban on openly gay and lesbian servicemembers in the armed forces; many also attacked marriage equality for same-sex couples.  And many portrayed liberty as a zero-sum game, insisting that advances toward equality posed a dire threat to religious liberty. Rep. Mike Pompeo said “You cannot use our military to promote social ideals that do not reflect the values of our nation,” concluding his remarks with a call for the election of more Republicans, saying “ride to the sounds of the guns and send us more troops.”
Another member of the 2010 freshman class – Rep. Vicky Hartzler – attacked the Obama administration for “trying to use the military to advance their social agenda,” saying, “It’s wrong and it must be stopped.” Predictably, the AFA’s Fischer was the most vitriolic and insisted that the country needs a president “who will treat homosexual behavior not as a political cause at all but as a threat to public health.”
 
Loving Wall Street, Hating Wall Street Protesters
 
On the same day that moving pictures of Kol Nidre services at the site of Occupy Wall Street protests made the rounds on the Internet, Values Voter Summit speakers portrayed the protests as dangerous and violent.  Others simply mocked the protesters without taking seriously the objections being raised to growing inequality and economic hardship in America.  House Majority Leader Eric Cantor denounced the “growing mobs” associated with the protests and decried “the pitting of Americans against Americans.” (Too bad he didn’t stick around to hear the rest of the speakers).  Glenn Beck denounced “Jon Stewart Marxism” and warned that the protests were the sign of an approaching “storm of biblical proportions” in which “the violent left” would smash, tear down, kill, bankrupt, and destroy.  Pundit Laura Ingraham simply made fun of the protesters and held up her own “hug the rich” sign.  Rising star Herman Cain defended Wall Street, blaming the nation’s economic crisis on policymakers, not reckless and irresponsible financiers.  Nobody wanted to regulate the financiers; speakers called for a repeal of the Dodd-Frank law. 
 
A number of speakers promoted Christian Reconstructionist notions of “Biblical economics,” with Star Parker declaring that “this whole notion of redistribution of wealth is inconsistent with scripture” and calling for the selection of a candidate with commitment to the free market according to the Bible.  Ron Paul also insisted “debt is not a political principle.”  The AFA’s Bryan Fischer said that liberalism is based on violating two of the Ten Commandments, namely thou shall not steal, and thou shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.  Liberalism, he said, is “driven by angry, bitter, acquisitive greed for the wealth of productive Americans.” 
 
No Love for Libertarians
 
A major theme at last year’s Values Voter Summit, as at other recent Religious Right political events, was an effort to make social-issue libertarians unwelcome in the conservative movement by insisting that you cannot legitimately claim to be a fiscal conservative if you are not also pushing “traditional family values.”  The same theme was sounded this year by the very first speaker, Tony Perkins.  Another, Joe Carter, took a shot at gay conservatives, saying it was not possible to be conservative and for gay marriage – it simply made you a “liberal who likes tax cuts.”  Carter said “social conservative” should be redundant. Ingraham echoed the theme, calling for an end to conservative modifiers (social, fiscal, national security) and, echoing popular Christian writer C.S. Lewis, called for a commitment to “mere conservatism.”  There were far fewer mentions of the Tea Party movement itself at this year’s VVS, perhaps owing to the movement’s unpopularity – or to the fact that the GOP itself has essentially become one big Tea Party party.
 
Crying Wolf on Religious Persecution
 
Religious Right leaders routinely energize movement activists with dire warnings about threats to religious liberty and the alleged religious persecution of Christians in America.  William Bennett said liberals are bigoted against “people who publicly love their God, who publicly love their country.”  Retired Gen. William Boykin said Christians are facing the greatest persecution ever in America.   The American Center for Law & Justice’s Jay Sekulow warned that the next president will probably select two Supreme Court justices, and that if it isn’t a conservative president, our Judeo-Christian values could be “eliminated.”  Crying wolf about persecution of Christians in America is offensive given the very real suffering of people in countries that do not enjoy religious freedom.  Several speakers addressed the case of a Christian pastor facing death in Iran.  That is persecution; having your political tactics challenged or losing a court case is not.
 
America is Exceptional; Europe Sucks
 
Republican strategists decided a couple of years ago that “American exceptionalism” would be a campaign theme in 2010 and 2012, and we heard plenty of talk about it at the Values Voter Summit.  Among the many who spoke about American exceptionalism was Rep. Steve King, who said “this country was ordained and built by His hand,” that the Declaration of Independence was written with divine guidance, and that God moved the founding fathers around the globe like chess pieces .  Liberals, said the Heritage Foundation’s Matthew Spalding, don’t share a belief in American exceptionalism or the American dream. Many speakers contrasted a freedom-loving, God-fearing America to socialist, post-Christian Europe.  Rick Perry said “those in the White House” don’t believe in American exceptionalism; they’d rather emulate the failed policies of Europe.  Gen. Boykin declared Europe “hopelessly lost.”
 
Smashing the Regulatory State
 
The anti-government, anti-regulatory fervor of billionaire right-wing funders like the Koch brothers was on vibrant display at the VVS.  Without the slightest nod to the fact that regulating the behavior of corporations’ treatment of workers, consumers, and the environment is in any way beneficial, a member of a Heritage Foundation panel said conservatives’ goal should be to “break the back” of the “regulatory state.”  Some presidential candidates vowed to halt every regulation issued during the Obama administration.  Michele Bachmann said her goal was to “dismantle” the bureaucracy.
 
Judging Judges
 
Many speakers criticized judges for upholding abortion rights, church-state separation, and gay rights. Newt Gingrich took these attacks to a whole new level, calling for right-wing politicians to provoke a  constitutional crisis in which the legislative and executive branch would ignore court rulings they didn’t like.  He called the notion of “judicial supremacy” an “affront to the American system of self-government.” Aside from Gingrich’s very dubious constitutional theory, the speech seemed out of place at a conference in which speakers had been calling for the Supreme Court to overturn the health care law passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama.
 
Deconstructing the ‘Pursuit of Happiness’
 
VVS speakers love quoting the Declaration of Independence, but some are clearly a little troubled with the notion that the “pursuit of happiness” is an inalienable right, one that might apply, for example, to happy, loving gay couples.  Rick Santorum said that the founders’ understanding of “happiness” meant “the morally right thing” and doing what God wants.  Steve King said the  pursuit of happiness was not like a tailgate party, but the pursuit of excellence in moral and spiritual development.  Michele Bachman has equated the pursuit of happiness with private property.
 
Notably weird speeches
 
Mat Staver of the Liberty Counsel gave a meandering address that moved from U.S. policy on Israel to the war on Islamic radicalism to an attack on the United Nations to denunciations of sexologist Alfred Kinsey and humanist/educator John Dewey for undermining western civilization. He warned against conservatives using rhetoric that might push the growing Latino population into the maw of the “leftist machine,” making an aside about Latinos whose names end in “z” having a special connection to Israel.
 
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who ended up taking third place in the straw poll, seemed personally hurt that conservative evangelicals weren’t rallying around him given all that he had done for them and the price he had paid for it.  He whined, “Don’t you want a president who’s comfortable in his shoes talking about these issues?”
 
Rep. Steve King of Iowa said that people who support marriage equality or legal abortion don’t do so because they have a value system supporting those things, but because they want to spite the Religious Right – “because they know it’s precious to us.”
 
Former Fox TV personality Glenn Beck gave a trademark lurching speech contrasting visceral anger with his recitation of Abraham Lincoln’s “with malice toward none.” The speech was long on mockery of Wall Street protestors and on the messianic narcissism that was on display at his Lincoln Memorial rally last year.  “We need to give America the same choice” that Moses gave Israel, he said: good or evil, light or dark, life or death, freedom or slavery.  He said America is in a religious war, a race war, a class war, and other wars.  In one breath he insisted that the nation “must return to God” and talked about the “country’s salvation” – and in the next he denounced the notion of “collective salvation,” which he has elsewhere attributed to President Obama and denounced as evil and satanic.
 

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Rick Joyner seems to be gravitating toward Herman Cain.
  • A new poll says that more Republicans support the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell than oppose it.  I am sure they are all just RINOS.
  • Looks like Janet Porter's Heartbeat Bill might be running into a little bit of trouble.
  • Harry Jackson continues his shameless shilling for energy interests.
  • Finally, Scott Lively will be awarded the coveted "American Truth Teller" award from Peter LaBarbera. What an honor.

Right Wing Leftovers

Perry Names Stemberger Co-Chair Of Leadership Team For FL GOP Event

Last week we noted that John Stemberger of the Florida Family Policy Council was hinting that he was going to be endorsing Rick Perry for President, despite the fact that Michele Bachmann had recently headlined a fundraising event for his organization.

Today, the Perry campaign issued a press release announcing that Stemberger would be serving as co-chair of his leadership team for the upcoming Florida Presidency 5 event:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry today announced his leadership team for Presidency 5 (P5), with Speaker Dean Cannon serving as chairman. Gov. Perry will participate in Florida P5 this week, including the P5 debate, CPAC and straw poll in Orlando, Fla.

...

In addition to Speaker Cannon, conservative activists John Stemberger and Pam Olsen will serve as co-chairs.

Stemberger was Chairman of the Florida4Marriage.org campaign which outlawed marriage equality in Florida in 2008 and was deeply involved in the Rifqa Bary saga in 2009.  In fact, his actions during the Bary case resulted in Stemberger eventually facing misconducted charges and a ten million dollar lawsuit, though the complaint was eventually dismissed and the lawsuit was dropped.

In addition to being a Religious Right activist, Stemberger is also a personal injury attorney who has, in this capacity, put forth some rather novel legal arguments:

An attorney suing Dollar Rent-A-Car has apologized for filing a lawsuit that characterized the Irish as hopelessly tethered to pubs and pints and unfit to drive the highways of America.

John Stemberger admitted he made a mistake and promised Wednesday to rewrite the negligence lawsuit he filed in March.

The suit was filed on behalf of the family of Carmel Elizabeth Cunningham, an Irish woman who was killed last year when her boyfriend, Sean McGrath, crashed their rental car. He is also Irish.

Prosecutors say McGrath, 33, was drunk at the time of the crash and have charged him with manslaughter. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

In the suit, Stemberger claimed Dollar "knew or should have known about the unique cultural and ethnic customs existing in Ireland which involve the regular consumption of alcohol at `Pubs' as a major component to Irish social life.''

He went on to charge that Dollar "knew or should have known that Sean McGrath would have a high propensity to drink alcohol.''

Update:  Sarah Posner reports that the other co-chair, Pam Olsen, is a Cindy Jacobs associate and the founder of the Tallahassee International House of Prayer:

Olsen founded the Tallahassee International House of Prayer after she "received a prophetic word through Cindy Jacobs that God was going to use her as a mighty weapon against the enemy through the prayer movement and that He was going to raise up a physical location that would be a place of refuge for people, pastors and missionaries to come and pray."

Perry to Address Family Research Council's Values Voter Summit

Family Research Council Action, the political arm of the Family Research Council, just announced that Texas Gov. Rick Perry will address the upcoming Values Voter Summit in Washington. As Religious Right leaders continue to coalesce behind Perry — FRC president Tony Perkins was among those attending a pro-Perry gathering of conservative leaders at James Leninger’s ranch earlier this month — addressing the Values Voter Summit should only help his standing among social conservatives. Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum are the only other presidential candidates who have so far committed to the event. Other Religious Right leaders scheduled to speak include Gary Bauer, Brent Bozell, Mathew Staver, Phyllis Schlafly and Bill Bennett, along with lesser known but radical activists like Lila Rose, Jerry Boykin and Star Parker:

Family Research Council Action (FRC Action) has confirmed that GOP presidential candidate Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) will speak at the Values Voter Summit this October 7-9 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Gov. Perry joins other Republican presidential candidates, including U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), at the largest annual gathering of pro-family activists in the nation's capital.

The annual event, which is expected to draw 2,000 grassroots activists from across the country, will have a speaker line-up that includes House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), U.S. Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Steve King (R-IA), Dr. Bill Bennett, Mark Levin, Lt. Gen. William Boykin (U.S. Army-Ret.), Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, Erick Erickson, Ed Morrissey, Heritage Foundation fellow Edwin Meese III, Lila Rose and Phyllis Schlafly. The 2011 Values Voter Summit is cosponsored by AFA Action, American Values, The Heritage Foundation, Liberty University, and Liberty Counsel. A presidential straw poll, exhibit hall, book signings, breakout sessions and much more will be packed into this three-day conference. On Saturday evening Family Research Council will award Heritage Foundation fellow Edwin Meese, III with its 2011 Vision and Leadership Award.

Emerson Claims "At Least Thirty to Forty Percent" of All Muslims Support Terrorism

Anti-Muslim extremists and dominionists have been finding a lot of common ground lately. We’ve already reported that Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy is becoming tight with Rick Joyner of the Oak Initiative. It was no surprise, then, to see anti-Muslim activist Steven Emerson of the Investigative Project on Terrorism speaking to Truth in Action Ministries’ Truth that Transforms with Jerry Newcombe yesterday. Until recently, Truth in Action was known as Coral Ridge Ministries, a far-right group led by the late D. James Kennedy, whose former executive director was dominionst George Grant. Emerson, discussing Muslims, told Newcombe:

If I had to guess, based on what I know, based on my experience and this is all anecdotal, I would say to you at least thirty to forty percent support cultural jihad. That is, at least, they support the notion that it’s ok to blow up a bus of Israelis, it’s ok to bomb the World Trade Center, it’s ok to impose the Sharia, the code of Islamic law, it’s ok to beat women or wives, as part of the Sharia.

According to the Pew Research Center, there are around 1.57 billion Muslims in the world. That means Emerson thinks there are between 471 million and 628 million Muslims who support terrorist attacks. In 2008, AFP reported on a Gallup poll of approximately 50,000 Muslims in forty countries, finding that support for terrorism was marginal, with 93% condemning the 9/11 attacks:

But the study, which Gallup says surveyed a sample equivalent to 90 percent of the world's Muslims, showed that widespread religiosity "does not translate into widespread support for terrorism," said Mogahed, director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies.

About 93 percent of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims are moderates and only seven percent are politically radical, according to the poll, based on more than 50,000 interviews.



But only seven percent of the billion Muslims surveyed -- the radicals -- condoned the attacks on the United States in 2001, the poll showed. Moderate Muslims interviewed for the poll condemned the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington because innocent lives were lost and civilians killed.

This isn’t the first time Emerson has made up statistics to demonize Muslims. Before Peter King’s congressional hearings on the radicalization of American Muslims, Emerson twisted figures from the Department of Justice to dishonestly hype the threat of homegrown Muslim terrorism, and FAIR notes that Emerson once tried, and failed, to pass off his own phony research as an FBI document to the Associated Press:

In 1997, for example, an Associated Press editor became convinced that Emerson was the "mother lode of terrorism information," according to a reporter who worked on a series that looked at American Muslim groups. As a consultant on the series, Emerson presented AP reporters with what were "supposed to be FBI documents" describing mainstream American Muslim groups with alleged terrorist sympathies, according to the project's lead writer, Richard Cole. One of the reporters uncovered an earlier, almost identical document authored by Emerson. The purported FBI dossier "was really his," Cole says. "He had edited out all phrases, taken out anything that made it look like his."

The Tennessean found that scapegoating Muslims has been a lucrative venture for Emerson: in 2008, the Investigative Project on Terrorism “paid $3,390,000 to SAE Productions for ‘management services.’ Emerson is SAE's sole officer.”

Pat Robertson Implies He Was Not Qualified To Be President

On The 700 Club today, Pat Robertson said that executive experience in government is “the only qualification for running for president,” arguing that President Obama made “mistake after mistake after mistake” because he never had the experience of a mayor or a governor, saying, “we put somebody in charge of America with no experience, not wise.” But Obama was far from the only presidential candidate who never served a mayor or a governor; others include John McCain, Barry Goldwater and…Pat Robertson.

Robertson ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 1988, winning the Ames straw poll and coming in second place in the Iowa caucus. After Robertson dropped out, he founded the Christian Coalition, which became one of the principal forces in the Religious Right until he left in 2001.

Before he ran for president, Robertson headed the Christian Broadcasting Network and was the founder and chancellor of CBN University, since renamed Regent University. Robertson never served as a mayor or a governor, in fact, he never served in elected office before or after his run for the presidency.

We at Right Wing Watch would like to know if Robertson believes that he too should’ve been disqualified for the presidency:

Klayman: "Pro-Muslim" Obama Surrounds Himself With "Self-Hating Jews"

Even though he’s busy suing Rachel Maddow for $50 million for slander against anti-gay extremist Bradlee Dean, Larry Klayman took time last week to attend Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Courage” rally in Jerusalem and is now the former Fox News host’s praises. Beck partnered with right-wing leaders including John Hagee, David Barton and Mat Staver for “Restoring Courage,” which Beck dubbed a “planet course-altering” event. Fewer than 5,000 people ended up attending the rally, and Beck didn’t exactly win over his host country – a few days before he was forced to backtrack from his criticism of an Israeli social justice protest movement that is supported by 88% of Israelis.

Klayman, the founder of Judicial Watch, writes in Renew America that Beck’s rally was needed because “our pro-Muslim President Barack Hussein Obama” backed the Arab Spring. He goes on to attack not only President Obama but also his Jewish advisers and supporters: “Barack Hussein Obama, no matter how many apologists come to his defense, is bent on Islamic rule in the Middle East, and he and the self-hating Jews he surrounds himself with are dangerous. So, too, are many other liberal Jews who have forsaken their proud heritage and will not stand up and fight for their own people”:

So it came to pass that Glenn pulled off a magnificent spectacle, bringing Christians and Jews from all parts of the globe together to show their courage in supporting Israel.

Israel, thanks to the so-called "Arab Spring" so welcomed by our pro-Muslim President Barack Hussein Obama, is now surrounded by Arab states, like Egypt, that are even more hostile to the Jewish and Christian people. The Jewish state needs courageous "citizen soldiers" to support and fight for it. For if Israel is destroyed, the United States and the West will no longer have a vital democratic ally in the Middle East to serve as a check to radical Islam — thus also protecting our supply of oil — and our own heritage will be forever lost.

Let's be blunt. God gave this land to the Jews and by extension to all Christians. The followers of Jesus Christ were largely His fellow Jews, and we are one as a people. I am a Zionist and so, too, is anyone who takes the Bible and our God seriously. Israel is our land, and we must protect it.

This was the theme of Glenn's event, and it resonated not only around Israel but the entire world — as it was broadcast and reported in over 100 countries. Israelis especially took heart — having been chastened by what they perceive to be an American president they view overwhelmingly as not only anti-Semitic, but also hostile, in an underhanded way, to their right to exist. Barack Hussein Obama, no matter how many apologists come to his defense, is bent on Islamic rule in the Middle East, and he and the self-hating Jews he surrounds himself with are dangerous. So, too, are many other liberal Jews who have forsaken their proud heritage and will not stand up and fight for their own people. Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz, in praising Glenn's event — Dershowitz himself a liberal Jew — also said as much in a recent article. But that is not the case with conservative-minded Jews and especially evangelical Christians, who are the biggest supporters of the Jewish people and Israel.

Did Michele Bachmann Destroy Feminism?

When Sarah Palin was chosen as the GOP nominee for vice president, Phyllis Schlafly hailed her as a role model of the non-feminist woman who by her very existence discredited the women’s movement. Feminists “are really spooked by Palin because she’s done everything and she is a success,” Schlafly said, “besides she is pretty and they cannot stand her.”

Now that Palin’s star has significantly subsided and she has become one of the most unpopular politicians in America, Schlafly’s niece Suzanne Venker is crowning Michele Bachmann as the new conservative woman who destroyed feminism. Venker, who co-authored The Flipside of Feminism with Schlafly, told James Dobson that women shouldn’t pursue challenging professions like brain surgery because it might prevent them from having children.

In an article for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch today, Venker lauded Bachmann for showing the bright side of biblical “submission” and proving that the women’s movement has contributed nothing beneficial to society. Venker writes that for “the first time in decades, the liberal feminist establishment is up against something new: outspoken conservative women who undermine the feminist agenda.” But haven’t conservative women, like say, Phyllis Schlafly, been involved in politics for decades?

Venker argues that now Bachmann is being unfairly depicted as “a religious nut and a doormat,” and says a man would never be asked about biblical submission (not so). And even though Bachmann may be one of the easiest GOP candidates for President Obama to defeat, Venker says that she is actually making liberals run scared:

For 40 years, this country has endured a social movement that has been relentless in its goals. Women on the left believe the feminist movement is responsible for liberating women from constricted lives; women on the right see things differently. Feminists are consumed with their place in society; conservative women are not. They are especially uninterested in fighting a gender war. That's why the Submission Question could be asked only of a conservative female candidate. It's women on the right, we're told, who want to keep women in their place. Conservative women are anti-woman.

So what to do when faced with a female candidate who's conservative and popular? Why, portray her as a religious nut and a doormat, of course! Indeed, feminists know most women won't identify with that kind of woman. And they're right: they won't. Women on the left don't appreciate that traditional values, even Biblical values, are not at odds with female empowerment. No matter what you think of Bachmann or Sarah Palin, these women have proved this in spades. No one gets to their position by being oppressed or mousy.

For the first time in decades, the liberal feminist establishment is up against something new: outspoken conservative women who undermine the feminist agenda. Conservative women are supposed to stay home! Conservative women are supposed to lead nice, traditional lives: raise a gaggle of children, be subordinate to their husbands and stay out of the public sphere. Why are they asserting their independent minds?



The implication that Michele Bachmann is a Stepford wife in disguise was a pitiful attempt to bring down a female conservative candidate who has sinned in the worst way possible: She does not carry the feminist torch. And, yet, she still won the Iowa straw poll.

Perhaps feminism really is dead.

Bachmann: The American People Are Concerned About "The Rise Of The Soviet Union"

Michele Bachmann dropped by "Jay Sekulow Live" today to talk about her win last weekend in the Iowa Straw Poll and her presidential campaign in general.  During the discussion, Bachmann asserted that while the American people are very concerned about the state of the economy, they are concerned about other issues as well like abortion, defending marriage ... and the rise of the Soviet Union:

I would say it's a unified message. It really is about jobs and the economy. That doesn't mean people haven't [sic] forgotten about protecting life and marriage and the sanctity of the family. People are very concerned about that as well. But what people recognize is that there's a fear that the United States is in an unstoppable decline. They see the rise of China, the rise of India, the rise of the Soviet Union and our loss militarily going forward. And especially with this very bad debt ceiling bill, what we have done is given a favor to President Obama and the first thing he'll whack is five hundred billion out of the military defense at a time when we're fighting three wars. People recognize that.

Umm ... who exactly are these people that are concerned about the rise of the Soviet Union?  Because last time I checked, it went out of existence two decades ago.

Fischer: Bachmann Can Run For President Because Her Husband Gave Her Permission

You have to wonder why Bryan Fischer is writing posts defending the fact that Michele Bachmann is running for president when he has already stated that God has put men in charge of everything and doesn't want women as leaders. 

But he is so that he can explain that marriage is not a democracy and God intended men always have the last say on everything.  And so if Michele Bachmann is running for president, it is only because her husband has given her permission to do so ... and, by doing so, she is really submitting to her husband's will: 

She demonstrates her reverence for Christ by not challenging her husband’s leadership in their home but by supporting him and working with him to help him succeed in shaping and directing the life of their marriage and family.

How does a husband submit himself to his wife? Husbands are told to “love your wives, as Christ love the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25). That is, he submits himself to his wife, not by giving up his headship, but by refusing to use it simply as an excuse to get his own way, or as a cloak for his own selfishness. He submits himself to his wife by making a determination to use the authority God has given him in his home to give his wife and children what they need rather than to get what he wants. He exercises his headship by laying down his life, laying down his self-centered interests, in order to do what is best for his wife.

Marriage is not and can never be a democracy. Somebody has to have the tie-breaking vote when the poll reveals a one-to-one tie. In a Christian marriage, the husband is the tie breaker. The way it is designed to work is that a wife willingly defers to her husband on those rare occasions when they cannot agree on a course of action, and the husband makes the decision that his conscience tells him is best, not for himself, but for her, their marriage, and their home.

If a husband believes before God that the best decision in a given situation is different than the one his wife prefers, he does not order her to follow him, he asks her to. He asks her to defer to him and follow his lead. The decision is then up to her. He’s not forcing her to do anything. He leaves the issue squarely where it belongs, between her and her God.

Now back to the Bachmanns. Ms. Bachmann’s husband Marcus urged her to run for the White House, and enthusiastically and without reserve supports her in her campaign. Bottom line: Horror of horrors to our leftwing friends, Michele Bachmann is in fact submitting to her husband by running for president.

A few weeks back, Fischer mentioned on his radio program that he had actually lost two preaching positions in his career for talking a Biblical stance on the role of women in the church and at home. 

I cannot imagine why. 

Santorum: Same-Sex Marriage Helped Destroy The Economy

Yesterday, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum appeared on Today’s Issues on American Family Radio, along with the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins and the American Family Association’s Tim Wildmon, to discuss the Ames Straw Poll. After celebrating his fourth place finish in the straw poll, Santorum told Perkins and Wildmon that marriage equality, or what he calls the “redefinition of marriage,” secular government and legal abortion are responsible for the country’s economic collapse and created “a society that’s broken”:

Santorum: Letting the family break down and in fact encouraging it and inciting more breakdown through this whole redefinition of marriage debate, and not supporting strong nuclear families and not supporting and standing up for the dignity of human life. Those lead to a society that’s broken.



If you think that we can be a society that kills our own, and that disregards the family and the important role it plays, and doesn’t teach moral values and the important role of faith in the public square, and then expect people to be good, decent and moral when they behave economically, if you look at the root cause of the economic problems that we’re dealing with on Wall Street and Main Street I might add, from 2008, they were huge moral failings. And you can’t say that we’re gonna take morality out of the public square, morality out of our schools, God out of our schools, and then expect people to behave decently in a country that requires, capitalism requires some strong modicum of moral consciousness if it’s gonna be successful.

The Ames Straw Poll Victors: From Robertson To Bachmann

Following Michele Bachmann’s triumph in the Ames Straw Poll, she was immediately crowned the frontrunner in the Iowa Caucus. While winning the Ames Straw Poll does not guarantee a victory at the Iowa Caucus (just ask Mitt Romney), it does show the strength of a candidate’s campaign operation and popular support. But most importantly, victory at Ames does not make a candidate a mainstream political figure. As Tim Murphy writes today in Mother Jones and consistently chronicled on RWW, Bachmann throughout her entire political career has seen herself and acted as an ultraconservative, Religious Right fanatic, and her victory at Ames makes her no more mainstream or less radical.

For example, Pat Robertson won the 1987 Ames Straw Poll, topping both George Bush and Bob Dole, who went on to win the Iowa Caucus. But defeating the Vice President and the Senate Republican Leader did not make Robertson a mainstream politician, in the same way Bachmann is still a right-wing extremist even after her straw poll victory. Their victories in Ames show the endurance and growth of the Religious Right base of the Republican Party.

Need a reminder of how out of the mainstream Robertson is? Just today on The 700 Club, for instance, Robertson explained how he performed an exorcism on a girl and “cast this demon out of her” before she tried to kill her mother:

So if Pat Robertson can win in Ames, is it any surprise that Michele Bachmann could too?

Imagine If Janet Porter Ran For President

Perhaps one of the most alarming realizations about Michele Bachmann is that even if she hand never a member of Congress and a Republican presidential contender, we would probably still be writing about her here on Right Wing Watch because she is, at heart, a hardcore Religious Right activist.

Tim Murphy of Mother Jones has a new profile of Bachmann which, I feel, perfectly demonstrates that point: 

There was one issue that seemed to consume Bachmann. The slow creep of the gay rights movement was, in her words, an "earthquake issue," with the potential to shake the foundation of society itself: the family. Taking a page from Schaeffer, who vilified the "rampant sexuality" and moral relativism of the Romans, Bachmann saw the gay rights movement as a secular ideology that posed a direct challenge to traditional marriages.

As she'd done before with the Profile of Learning, Bachmann embraced her role as a messenger. When EdWatch, as the Maple River Education Coalition was later known, invited her to deliver a speech at its 2004 convention, she unleashed a masterful presentation, mixing slides with self-deprecating humor, that hammered home the same urgent message that has since become familiar to a national audience: The forces working against you are bigger than you think.

Bachmann ripped into pop culture, telling her audience about a dangerous show she'd discovered called Sex and the City. ("It's received critical acclaim," she said, "so that tells you, 'Don't watch it.'") She warned that The Lion King soundtrack was potentially toxic to small children because it was written by Elton John, a gay man. She urged her audience to pray for Melissa Etheridge, suggesting that the lesbian songwriter's breast cancer diagnosis might be a wake-up call for her to turn away from her sinful lifestyle. To Bachmann, homosexuals had even usurped the English language. "It's part of Satan, I think, to say that this is 'gay,'" she said. "It's anything but gay."

The Bachmanns worked as a tag team. In 2005, they both participated in the Minnesota Pastors' Summit, a conference sponsored by the Minnesota Family Council that was designed to train religious leaders for the culture wars. Michele led a session on a state gay marriage amendment; Marcus, in a rare moment of public activism, moderated a talk called "The Truth of the Homosexual Lifestyle."

Imagine if Sally Kern or Janet Porter were not only running for president but winning the Iowa Straw Poll and being treated like a front-runner and you start to get an idea of just how truly amazing/terrifying this development is.

Tim Pawlenty's Short-Lived Post-Straw Poll Bravado

On Sunday, after a disappointing defeat in Iowa's Ames Straw Poll, Tim Pawlenty withdrew from the presidential race, saying that "the audience, so to speak, wanted something different." What Iowa Republicans want, at least according to the straw poll results, is Michele Bachmann, who many pundits agreed had bested Pawlenty in a harsh exchange at last week's GOP debate. Just hours before he dropped out of the race, Pawlenty's campaign emailed supporters with a claim that he was eager to continue the fight, a fundraising pitch, a new video title "The American Comeback Begins," and a bravado that seems to have lasted about 12 hours:

Hello Friends -

I want to congratulate Congresswoman Bachmann on her victory in today's straw poll. I'm also very proud of the work my campaign has done, and I appreciate their hard work. As I've said all along, we needed to show progress to do well, and we did just that. This is a long process to restore America -- we are just beginning, and I'm eager for the campaign.

I'm encouraged by our progress, and I'm so thankful for the thousands of Iowans who showed their support for my candidacy by voting for me in Ames. Don't miss my remarks at the straw poll earlier today including our latest video
 
We are now moving onto the next phase of our campaign. Over the coming weeks we will be visiting New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida while continuing to grow our already strong ground game in Iowa.
 
Mary and I will never forget your continued support, words of encouragement, and friendship. But we need YOUR help to take the message that resonated in Iowa to the rest of the country. Can I count on you for a special “Victory Contribution” of $25, $50, $100 or even $250, to commemorate our strong showing in Ames?
 
We’ve completed an important first step on the road to the Republican nomination and, ultimately, the White House.  We can’t do it alone, and I need your support to continue the journey.

 
Sincerely,


Tim Pawlenty

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Sarah Palin's "Hey, Please Pay Attention To Me" tour will suddenly resume, just in time for her to show up in Iowa this weekend.
  • FRC says Barack Obama is "a President who not only doesn't listen [but] doesn't care about what's on the minds of those in the Midwest."
  • It looks like Janet Porter has now added Dutch Sheets to her "Heartbeat Bill" rally next month.
  • Peter LaBarbera is going to be protesting Willow Creek Community Church's for ending its relationship with Exodus International." Hate Crime!
  • Finally, Christine O'Donnell reads from her forthcoming book, which makes her just about the only person who will actually read it.

MRC: Too Many Gays Are On TV!

The Media Research Center’s Culture and Media Institute (CMI) is out with a new report blasting the recent report by GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, on LGBT media representation. GLAAD reviewed television programming hours to measure “on-screen inclusion of LGBT representations.” Irate, the CMI contends that LGBT characters are actually over-represented in television programming, calling it a “distortion of reality.”

This won’t be the first time the MRC and its CMI affiliate attacked positive representations of the LGBT community in the media. MRC head Brent Bozell went on a tirade against the shows Glee and Degrassi for employing “gay propaganda,” and the CMI repeatedly targeted J.Crew for having a gay model and for promoting a nail polish line made by the designer whose young son wears nail polish on his toes.

Note to TV networks: Don't even think about downsizing the disproportionate airtime you give gay characters and issues. The bean-counters at GLAAD are watching.



But the near-ubiquity of homosexual characters on television flies in the face of demographic reality. Current studies indicate that the homosexual population in the United States is around 2 to 4 percent. The Williams Institute's (which the Huffington Post called the "Brookings Institution" of the gay rights movement) demographer-in-residence Gary Gates estimated that about 4 percent of the US population is gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender (he estimates that 1.7 percent of the U.S. population is gay or lesbian, 1.8 percent are bisexual, and .3 percent are transgender).

But GLAAD has good reason to reward TV's distortion of reality. GLAAD's own report states that "Of the 19% who reported that their feelings toward gay and lesbian people have become more favorable over the past 5 years, 34% cited 'seeing gay or lesbian characters on television' as a contributing factor." GLAAD's acting president, Mike Thompson, crowed that, "As television audiences get to know our community and the common ground that we all share on the screen and in their own lives, acceptance is growing."

And also, the mistaken notion that homosexuality is widespread in America is growing. An April Gallup poll revealed that more than half of Americans believed that the homosexual population in America is over 20 percent. The poll cited entertainment as a possible factor, declaring that "This [poll] suggests Americans have had even more exposure to gays and lesbians, be it in their personal lives or through entertainment or other means."

So if it seems that you can't flip through the channels today without running across gay characters or story lines, you're right. You can't. And GLAAD's there to make sure of it.
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