Fighting the Right

At Grimes’ Fundraiser, Clinton and Kentucky Dems Call Out GOP Obstruction

Weighing into one of the most watched Senate races this election cycle, Bill Clinton spoke at a campaign event in Louisville on Tuesday putting his political weight behind Alison Lundergan Grimes, who is challenging Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Clinton took the opportunity to call out Republican obstruction in government, alluding to the “dumb way” the GOP has tried to run the country:

In the end that’s really what Alison is telling you: ‘Send me to Washington and I’ll do something that makes sense and if there’s a problem with it, I’ll fix it.’ And the other … choice is to just pout if … your party is not in the White House, and make as many problems as you can, stop anything good from happening, and if you can’t stop it at least badmouth it. And then … when there’s a problem do everything you can to make sure the problem is never fixed. … It’s a dumb way to run a country.

Speaking before Clinton, Democratic Rep. John Yarmuth held the Minority Leader accountable for his horrible record of big money in politics, putting it pithily:

[He] is the one who says money is speech. If you have money, he’ll listen.

PFAW

Religious Right Leader With GOP Ties Under Investigation For Sexual Harassment, Abuse Cover-up

Another leader of the right-wing Quiverfull movement is now in danger of losing his post over a sex scandal. Homeschooling advocate Bill Gothard has been put on administrative leave from the organization he heads, the Institute in Basic Life Principles, in response to allegations from thirty-four different women that he engaged in sexual harassment and failed to notify Child Protective Services about abuse claims.

The allegations against Gothard are chronicled on the website Recovering Grace, which aims to expose the activist’s record of “emotional, spiritual, and sexual abuse.”

The revelations about Gothard’s alleged misconduct are another blow to the patriarchal, anti-birth control Quiverfull movement, which suffered a setback last year when Vision Forum head Doug Phillips resigned because of an extramarital affair.

Gothard’s Institute in Basic Life Principles has been championed by conservative figures including Rick Perry and Sarah Palin, who attended one of the institute’s conferences and adopted its “Character Cities” program as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska. Mike Huckabee has provided an endorsement of the group for its website: “As a person who has actually been through the Basic Seminar, I am confident that these are some of the best programs available for instilling character into the lives of people.” GOP mega-donor Jim Leininger was once a member of the IBLP’s advisory board.

TLC’s Duggar family are also followers of Gothard’s teachings on homeschooling and Quiverfull families, which teaches that “the husband is the undisputed leader of the family.”

After Gothard’s close ties to Florida congressman Daniel Webster became an issue in a 2010 congressional election, Sarah Posner released an exposé on how the IBLP promotes marital submission and cult-like practices.

She quoted critics who said Gothard instilled a “culture of fear” and preached “the terrible picture of the chain of command in the family with the husband as the hammer, the wife as the chisel and the children as the gems in the rough... The ghastly picture is that he beats on her and she chips on them.” One woman who belonged to the movement said that Gothard taught that women “don’t have any rights.”

He also claimed that he had an “ability to heal ‘stress’ and cancer” and instructed men on how to guard against Satanic attacks on his family.

Gothard taught that homosexuality would lead to the End Times:

He used the graphic of a thermometer to illustrate the moral temperature of society. The lowest and healthiest temperature was the ideal characterized by a spiritually moral society guided by the Laws of God. The next level up showing a rising unhealthy temperature was the development of concupiscence where the soulical natural man with his sensual cravings had begun to dominate and suppress the spiritual. The next level up representing the highest and most dangerous threat to a vibrant society was blatant perversion or homosexuality. Gothard said “That when a society reaches the point of condoning perversion, God will destroy that society” (Israel and Rome are examples from the past).

This wouldn’t be the first scandal for the Gothard family either, as “Gothard’s own brother, who worked for IBLP, was dismissed from his organization after it was discovered that he was having sex with students.”

The Baptist website Ethics Daily reported on abuse allegations stemming from the institute’s “cult-like” and “abusive” practices back in 2007.

One woman who recounted her experience working for Gothard on Recovering Grace said that IBLP board members were well aware of complaints from girls as young as fifteen-years-old:

What I did not know was that in the Summer and Fall of 1997, after the San Jose conference and around the time I arrived at Headquarters, the father of one of the young men on the San Jose trip had approached the IBLP Board with a spectrum of concerns about Gothard’s conduct, particularly his penchant for taking young girls on road trips and conducting himself in a questionable manner with them while on those trips. I do not know what Gothard’s verbal or written response was to the Board when presented with these concerns, but I know firsthand that his conduct with me and other young women did not alter in the months after the Board asked him to change his behavior. The other girls and I were all between 15 and 24 years of age.

I stayed and worked at Headquarters because it was too late for me to start college that year, and because I wanted to make a success of my first job. I stopped explaining away Gothard’s creepy and invasive behavior with young women, although I believed myself powerless to do anything about it. I repeatedly saw him initiate long hand-holding sessions with various young women on staff wherein he would rub and massage their hands as he gazed into their eyes. I heard him praise two of my housemates effusively for their “discipline of figure” after one of them lost weight during a serious illness and the other started exhibiting all symptoms of full-on anorexia nervosa, while other girls were “reassigned” from Headquarters for becoming too heavy. I tentatively discussed Gothard’s hyper-tactile behavior with girls who were or had been in my place. I saw girls rotate on and off of Gothard’s roster of favored companions and stopped trying to convince myself that every brush of his hand against a thigh must be a unique accident. There were always between two and six girls on this rotation, and I couldn’t figure out how to get off of it.

Beck: 'Unbeknownst To Him,' Jonathan Turley Was Quoting The Bible

Earlier this week, George Washington University Law professor Jonathan Turley testified before the House Judiciary Committee at a hearing is entitled "Enforcing the President’s Constitutional Duty to Faithfully Execute the Laws." Turley has long been a critic of the expansion of executive power and it's encroachment onto the roles constitutionally designated to the other branches of government.

At the hearing, Turley testified that the encroachment of executive power has gotten worse under President Obama, which has made him a hero to Glenn Beck who explained on his radio broadcast today that something Turley said during his testimony came straight out of the Book of Isaiah, though Turley probably did not even know it.

In Turley's statement that "our system is changing in a very fundamental way, and it’s changing without a whimper of regret or opposition," Beck heard the words of Isaiah 10 in which God warns that he will pushing the nation of Assyria for the wickedness of its rulers:

And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped.

"Jonathan Turley," Beck said, "most likely unbeknownst to him was quoting Isaiah":

Klingenschmitt: Any Judge Who Rules For Marriage Equality 'Is A Domestic Enemy'

Gordon Klingenschmitt is aghast at the recent federal court rulings across the country in favor of marriage equality, telling members of his Pray In Jesus Name Project that “this is way beyond the point where it’s gotten out-of-hand.”

He calls on Congress to impeach and remove from office any judge who sides with pro-gay rights plaintiffs, since any such judge is “a domestic enemy of the Constitution.”

“These lawless judges replace Democracy with dictatorship, abrogate the U.S. Constitution, flaunt the laws of God and nature, assume jurisdiction they don’t have, and overturn the overwhelming vote of good people,” Klingenschmitt writes. “May God have mercy on these tyrants’ souls, when they are judged in eternity.

This is way beyond the point where it’s gotten out-of-hand. The lawlessness on the federal bench requires a house-cleaning. We need a new President to appoint new judges. But until that happens, we MUST pressure Congress to intervene.

Christians do not lose their right to vote simply because they are religious. These lawless judges replace Democracy with dictatorship, abrogate the U.S. Constitution, flaunt the laws of God and nature, assume jurisdiction they don’t have, and overturn the overwhelming vote of good people. May God have mercy on these tyrants’ souls, when they are judged in eternity.

There is NO mention of sexual orientation in the Constitution, and any judge who imagines one is a domestic enemy of the Constitution, and should be impeached and removed from office. We must demand Congress hold the line, and protect the traditional definition of marriage FEDERALLY, like the Oklahoma people did by state.

Paulk: God Punishes Gays With Early Death, Disease

Last year, Anne Paulk and her husband, ex-gay poster boy John Paulk, separated after he announced that he is still gay and criticized the ex-gay movement.

But she is still very much the ex-gay activist and on Wednesday appeared on Religious Right broadcaster Janet Parshall’s radio show to “offer Biblical answers for those struggling with same sex attraction,” including her belief that gay men are punished with disease and early death for having sex with other men:

Our functionality of our bodies aligns with the intended functionality of our sexuality and put within parameters that are healthy and safe for us. Men having sex with men is medically unsound, it propels a man towards an early death by a disastrous disease. Romans 1 of course talks about that sort of thing occurring with those that do such things, ‘the due penalty for their error.’ That’s not quite what we’re after; what we’re after is repentance and rest for those who are struggling with their identity and for those who are thinking ‘am I gay?’

She later spoke to a caller who said that Satan haunted him through the night telling him he was gay, but Paulk said that since he resisted and “threw off the lie that he is gay,” he became a “whole man.”

Caller: I actually stayed up one night in college and at the time I wasn’t a Christian but I was under so much depression from previous relationships with other women that the Devil actually kept me up that night trying to tell me that ‘you’re gay, you’re gay, you’re gay’ because I was just that depressed and I was almost haunted and he was trying to make me believe that. I just kind of prayed it out because I had that biblical background and I woke up and I was like, ‘oh my gosh, it’s gone, thank the Lord.’ It’s really interesting.

Paulk: Thank you Dustin. Certainly homosexual feelings or behavior can happen and then if you come to the Lord and you repent, which means to turn away from, to change your mind about, and you repent, and you surrender to him and you his forgiveness, in 1 John 1:9 it says ‘He will forgive you and cleanse you from your unrighteousness’ and that’s exactly what happened with Dustin. You have to believe what’s true and that will set the course of your life. Dustin threw off the lie that he is gay and he is a whole man walking forward but that takes some battle, takes some fight.

Keith Fournier: Marriage Equality Will Be Just As Deadly As China's Cultural Revolution

Keith Fournier, the editor of Catholic Online and head of the Common Good Alliance, issued a warning today in response to the Texas marriage equality decision, predicting that same-sex marriage will lead to as much violence as China’s Cultural Revolution, which left millions dead.

In a post on Matt Barber’s website BarbWire, Fournier writes that marriage must be “liberated” from gay people who are ushering in “nothing less than a Cultural Revolution. I know that some of my readers do not like it when I use the term Cultural Revolution. They object because the term was identified with the reassertion of Maoism in China. That movement, which turned violent, caused extraordinary social turmoil. That is PRECISELY why the analogy is apropos.”

Encouraging readers to attend a National Organization for Marriage march in June, he hailed anti-gay activists as the “true liberators” and “advocates for a society of human flourishing and freedom” who are preventing the “cultural slide into the abyss of relativism.”

Like propagandists of the past, they attempt to frame public perception by calling those who defend marriage as being against what they call ‘marriage equality’. However, homosexual and lesbian partnerships are incapable of achieving the ends of marriage. The marchers in China, in France and all over the world are the proponents, the defenders, of true liberation. They are advocates for a society of human flourishing and freedom. They defend real marriage and thereby defend the rights of children to a mother and father. They promote the common good.

The marchers are a part of a global Marriage Defense Movement. This new counter-cultural movement is about to reshape history. It crosses racial, ethnic, socio-economic, religious, philosophical and political lines. The members of this Marriage Defense movement seek to defend and to liberate marriage from the propagandists and Cultural Revolutionaries who oppose it and are working undermine it. They seek to defend marriage.

Marriage ‘is what it is’, to use a popular expression. The effort to redefine the word and then use the mechanisms of the State to entirely restructure this institution inscribed in the Natural Law – and replace it – is what is at stake here. Those who advocate giving moral and legal equivalency to homosexual and lesbian relationships are the people who oppose marriage. Their intention is to entirely reorder civil society. They use the phrase ‘marriage equality’ in an Orwellian act of verbal engineering.

This is a propaganda ploy and a tactic aimed at nothing less than a Cultural Revolution. I know that some of my readers do not like it when I use the term Cultural Revolution. They object because the term was identified with the reassertion of Maoism in China. That movement, which turned violent, caused extraordinary social turmoil. That is PRECISELY why the analogy is apropos.



To state this bluntly is not to be ‘anti-gay’; it is simply to defend marriage and the common good. This is a noble cause. Those who promote and defend marriage are not bigots, they are the true liberators! Though the Marriage Defense Marchers represent every segment of society, and reflect a wide range of ages, ethnic identities and political persuasions, they were collectively labeled as conservatives in much of the international press.



There is a growing intolerance spreading which directly threatens our rights to free expression, association and political participation. This is reflected in a brazen effort to censor any speech which questions the cultural slide into the abyss of relativism. Efforts to prevent our vocal and public defense of the objective truth about marriage and the family are multiplying. However, they are not succeeding. The streets of Washington, DC need to be filled with hundreds of thousands of supporters of Marriage on June 19, 2014.

Paranoia-Rama: Obama's Homo Demons, President Satan & Arizona Penis Cakes

RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.

Apparently, Satan is going to install the next president, use gay people to destroy the black community and take over the world to bring about the Last Days. But at least we can enjoy “penis cakes” before the world comes to an end.

5) Obamacare Race War

Just as Ted Nugent isn’t actually sorry for calling President Obama a “subhuman mongrel,” the National Rifle Association board member and Republican surrogate also isn’t backing down from his statements likening President Obama to the Nazis.

When conservative talk show host Dennis Miller told Nugent he didn’t buy his Nazi comparison, Nugent insisted that the president is using the IRS and the health care reform law to spark a race war “like the brownshirts.” Media Matters grabbed the clip:

4) Satan Will Put A Witch In The White House

The Trinity Broadcasting Network considers Kim Clement a prophet, and so should you! The TBN host recently prophesied that Satan will “put a witch in the White House” who will advance the demonic spirit of “Jezebel,” and can only be stopped by a socialism-slaying politician.

3) Penis Cakes On The Way

Tea Party Nation head Judson Phillips is aggrieved that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed her state’s ‘right-to-discriminate’ bill, a decision which he believes will lead to “tyranny,” “fascism” and “slavery.” In fact, he believes that bakers will now be forced to bake penis cakes:

Should a devote baker be required to create a cake for a homosexual wedding that has a giant phallic symbol on it or should a baker be required to create pastries for a homosexual wedding in the shape of genitallia [sic]? Or should a photographer be required to photograph a homosexual wedding where the participants decide they want to be nude or engage in sexual behavior?

We’re not sure what sort of weddings Phillips is used to attending, but we wish we had been invited.

2) The World Has Gone Gay

Scott Lively has been on a roll lately after launching a new anti-gay group, insisting that his fight against gay rights is literally a life-or-death battle against Satan. During an interview with Janet Mefferd where he explained why he believes LGBT equality is triggering the coming of the End Times, Lively said that there should be a “revolution” to defeat the socialist “conspiracy” aimed at “homosexualizing the whole world.”

1) Beware Obama’s ‘Homo Demons’

Far-far-right pastor James David Manning is at it again, this time hailing anti-gay leaders in Uganda, Gambia and Nigeria for resisting “this son of Satan Barack Hussein Obama” and his “anti-integrity, anti-life, anti-humanity, anti-universal understanding, anti-DNA” gay rights agenda.

Manning said that the decisions of Jason Collins and Michael Sam to come out of the closet are proof that “Obama has released these demons particularly upon the black males, this homosexual demon, hoping to influence as many black males to subscribe to ideas that are [as] homosexual, perverted, LGBT as possible.”

“Obama has released the homo demons on the black man; look out black woman, a white homo may take your man.” He said that under Obama’s direction, black men “are being scooped up by white homos,” thus destroying the black family.

The white homo is now moving into the black neighborhoods, looking for black men that have been converted into homosexuality. Black woman let me say something to you: You will have a very hard time competing against a white homosexual male, he’s usually got money, a white homo usually has an American Express card, he usually has an opportunity at the theatre, homos love the theatre, they love to go out to dinner parties, they love that kind of a thing. As a black woman you can’t compete not only with the financial strength of a white homo, black sister, this is devastating, black people need to rise up en masse and recognize the utter destruction that Obama is going in to destroy the black family with his homosexual statements and release of demons that he has done.

'This Is A Very Big Deal': Glenn Beck, Personhood USA, And Justina Pelletier

The other day we noted that, after months of coverage by Glenn Beck, the case of Justina Pelletier had suddenly exploded into a full-fledged Religious Right campaign this week, with Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver signing on as the family's new attorney while Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition (who was deeply involved in the Terri Schiavo case) began serving as a family's spokesman.

On top of that, Personhood USA has also gotten involved and is set to begin running television ads about the case on Fox News beginning today. The ads were put together by a right-wing media firm called Rapid Response TV on behalf of Personhood USA with funding provided by the same unnamed billionaire benefactor who has been bankrolling this entire campaign.

For technical legal reasons, the ads are being run by something called Revolution PAC, but as Rapid Response TV's president Bryan Hartong told Beck yesterday on his radio show, "the understanding is that anything that comes out of this is going to Personhood," meaning that all the names gathered or money raised will be handled by Personhood USA.

As Beck's The Blaze reported today, Personhood USA has also organized a call-in campaign to the Massachusetts court officials about the case:

A human rights group says it has organized people to make hundreds of calls to court officials asking them to “release Justina Pelletier,” the Connecticut teen at the center of an ongoing, high-profile custody battle.

Keith Mason, president of Personhood USA, said more than 500 calls have been made so far to the office of the Suffolk County Juvenile Court, which is overseeing the Pelletier case. The Massachusetts Department of Children and Families took custody of the 15-year-old last year after doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital disagreed with her parents and another doctor’s diagnosis.

If the name of Keith Mason or his Personhood organization seem familiar to readers here, it is probably because he was the "manager of the Yes on 62 Campaign" back in 2010, which was the failed effort to pass a constitutional amendment in Colorado that would have granted "personhood" from the moment of fertilization in order to completely outlaw abortion and some forms of birth control.

The campaign was most remarkable for the ad campaigns that Personhood ran in support of the amendment, including comparing supporters of legal abortion to Nazis and even running a radio ad featuring a "fomer slave" who compared abortion to slavery:

I'm George Stevens and I'm a person. I was held as property as a child. Even before my birth I was called a slave in an America you wouldn't recognize. But folks like you helped me escape North to freedom and in 1864, I joined the infantry to fight for my country. I fought so all slaves would be recognized as persons, not property. And we won.

But today in Colorado, there are still people called property - children - just like I was. And that America you thought you wouldn't recognize is all around you and these children are being killed.

This November, vote "yes" on Amendment 62. Amendment 62 declares unborn children persons, not property. And that's the America I fought for.

So visit PersonhoodColorado.com and in November, vote "yes" on 62. It's the right thing to do.

Amazingly, that was not even the most radical ad the organization ran during the campaign, producing one that literally likened President Obama to the Angel of Death:

As Beck declared on his radio broadcast yesterday, "this is a very big deal" not only because Justina's life and health at stake, but Beck thinks that this case is also the key to stopping things like Common Core and progressivism in general once and for all.

"Thank you Lord," Beck said. "Quite honestly, thank you Lord for this Justina case because maybe perhaps this is a blessing because we will all wake up and we'll be able to stop it before it's too late":

Jim Garrow & Erik Rush Call For Executions Of Elected Officials By Hanging, Firing Squad

Erik Rush hosted right-wing activist Jim Garrow on his radio show this week, where the two once again insisted that Obama administration officials and members of Congress should be killed for treason.

“They sold us out for the mess of pottage and the twenty-one pieces of silver and in the end we should be able to hang them,” Garrow said. “I say that for Right Wing Watch, because they’re going to now say that we’re asking that we now hang the people who are our representatives in the House and the Senate. Well, yeah! There should be some way for us to pay them back for treason.”

Rush concurred: “That’s what you do with people who commit treason, isn’t it.” He also suggested that leaders be executed by firing squad.

“You’re supposed to hang them,” Garrow continued, and reiterated his new conspiracy theory that Obamacare will lead to guillotine/Sharia law executions.

Garrow, ever the con man, then asked listeners to give him $3 million so he can build “Radio Free America,” since President Obama will attempt a nuclear EMP attack on the US that will knock out communications.

Farah: 'Homosexualists' Are 'Part Of A Religious Cult' Trying To 'Kill The First Amendment'

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah is fuming over the demise of the “right-to-discriminate” bill that passed the Arizona state legislature, arguing that Gov. Jan Brewer’s veto is “one more nail in the coffin of the First Amendment.”

In a column today, Farah defends anti-LGBT job discrimination and lambasts “homosexualists” as “part of a religious cult” that unfairly smeared the Arizona legislation in an effort to “kill the First Amendment.”

“Soon the land of the free will no longer be,” he concluded.

The homosexualists, who, whether they admit or not, are part of a religious cult themselves, went to work. Their friends in the media joined in the chorus, proclaiming the law would create Jim Crow-style situations in which a class of people would be denied service at lunch counters. And Jan Brewer vetoed the bill.



The kind of “discrimination” we don’t like is when people are unfairly treated on the basis of their race, ethnicity or religion. That’s what this bill sought to do. But is it wrong to discriminate against people on the basis of their behavior? Let’s say a male job applicant wearing a dress comes for an interview at your office. Should you be forced to weigh his credentials and experience on an equal basis with others who are dressed more conventionally?

I don’t think so.



On almost a daily basis now we’re seeing one more nail in the coffin of the First Amendment.

Soon the land of the free will no longer be.



For heaven’s sake, if you want a wedding cake with two men on the top layer, hire a baker who thinks it’s cute. Don’t pick the one with the fish on the window. And don’t kill the First Amendment over it.

Keyes: Obama Must Be Impeached For Spreading 'Political AIDS Virus'

Alan Keyes writes today in WorldNetDaily that Congress must focus on “impeaching and removing Obama and his cohorts from office” in order to stop “his destructive, dictatorial intentions.”

Keyes, who ran against Obama in the 2004 U.S. Senate race in Illinois, writes that Obama is imposing “shackles of the mind” that “have been the mainstay of almost every tyrannical regime in human history.” He adds that Americans must “overcome the effects of the political AIDS virus” that Obama is using to create “tyranny.”

A basis still exists for restoring the political initiative of the American people so as to disrupt this elitist collusion and restore the people to their proper position as the arbiters of political power under the U.S. Constitution. In a multitude of ways, Barack Obama has made clear his destructive, dictatorial intentions. Many Americans have been awakened to the truth I saw early on, that his idea of change involves destroying America’s liberty. Quietly a tide is rising in favor of taking the necessary constitutional steps to remove the danger by impeaching and removing Obama and his cohorts from office. But since the GOP’s leadership has been and is acting in collusion with Obama, they refuse to provide a rallying point for this sentiment.

But with today’s instruments of communication and mutual encouragement, people can organize amongst themselves with relative ease. This is the idea behind the Pledge to Impeach effort. A growing number of senators and congressional representatives are speaking out against Obama’s lawlessness; his abuse of executive power; his all too obvious dictatorial predilections. But they will not be emboldened to act without a strong, visible public demand for action.



Nothing stands in your way except the shackles of the mind that are, in the end, the most effective bonds of tyranny. As I have confirmed from hard experience, even though they are largely invisible, these shackles are of such adamantine strength that they have been the mainstay of almost every tyrannical regime in human history. The American mind was once peculiarly immune to them, on any large scale. Is there left in us some vestige of that immunity? Will it prove strong enough to overcome the effects of the political AIDS virus that has left our polity prey to opportunistic, lawless ambition and greed?

The Tea Party Is Five Years Old: Here's What It Has To Show For Itself

The fifth anniversary of the Tea Party gives us an opportunity to look back not only at the many myths surrounding the movement, but also at what it has to show for its five years of political nihilism:

1) Government Shutdown

Many Tea Party activists seemed to be under the delusion that the GOP was pummeled in the 2012 election because Republican candidates weren’t conservative enough, and that voters really want more of their brand of uncompromising, ultraconservative, ideological politics. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz gave them just that when he convinced Republican congressional leaders to go along with him in forcing a government shutdown over the health care reform law.

The GOP and the Tea Party suffered a massive backlash from the public, but Cruz fixed things by “unskewing” the polls and insisting that the GOP was actually winning the shutdown battle.

Of course, Republicans ended up getting nothing out of the shutdown, and Cruz is now desperately trying to claim that it was actually Obama and Senate Democrats who were responsible for it.

2) Debt Limit Fights

With Tea Party-aligned members of Congress acting like “lemmings with suicide vests,” Tea Party politicians and organizations have repeatedly pressured GOP leaders to engage in hostage-taking over the federal debt limit, warning that they may refuse to raise the debt ceiling unless President Obama agrees to their demands — even if that means throwing the economy into crisis. One problem is that many Tea Party leaders don’t understand how the debt limit works, or the dangerous consequences of their political strategy.

While GOP leaders have vowed not to follow the insane policy anymore, the Tea Party still has two debt limit crises to “celebrate,” and a third if they get their way.

3) Candidate Drama

Tea Party-backed candidates such as Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell and Richard Mourdock are best known for their spectacular ability to lose winnable races, not to mention their high entertainment value. But we shouldn’t be surprised that Tea Party activists are drawn to such candidates, as many take after more successful Tea Party leaders like Cruz and Michele Bachmann.

Just in case you thought Republicans had learned their lesson about fringy Tea Party candidates, Glenn Beck spent last year trying to encourage extremist figures including Rep. Louie Gohmert and pseudo-historian David Barton to take on incumbent Sen. John Cornyn of Texas in this year’s Republican primary. Ultimately, the equally far-right congressman Steve Stockman got in the race.

4) GOP Takeover

Despite much talk about “establishment” Republicans fighting back against Tea Party insurgents, very few Tea Party congressmen are facing primary challengers. After the 2013 shutdown and debt fights, business groups like the Chamber of Commerce announced that they would take on the Tea Party…but they made the same threat after the 2011 debt limit crisis, and ended up funding Tea Party-aligned Republicans anyway.

“Despite making statements and sending letters voicing their concern, the Chamber has failed to spend a single penny in advocacy against the Tea Party hostage-takers,” Lee Fang notes. “[A]fter helping the Tea Party seize the House and several governors’ mansions during the midterms, business groups pumped funds into an effort to gerrymander the Tea Party into permanent rule.”

Hardline activists have also taken over groups such as Heritage Foundation and empowered new organizations such as FreedomWorks, Senate Conservatives Fund and The Madison Project, who are now backing Tea Party challengers in GOP Senate primaries states like Kentucky, Kansas and Mississippi.

While there is a lot of fuss about fired aides and ad firms as signs of the GOP civil war, in the end Republicans have embraced most of the Tea Party’s agenda — if not their tactics — and the many Tea Party congressmen from deep red districts seem to be here to stay.

5) Obama’s Second Term

While the Tea Party is far from the only factor that helped President Obama win re-election, the Tea Party — along with their close allies in the Religious Righttalk radio and Fox News — moved the GOP and its leaders towards unpopular and extreme positions on issues ranging from immigration to Medicare.

The Tea Party “makers-and-takers” worldview was most infamously stated by Mitt Romney in his notorious remarks about the “47 percent,” a line that conservative activists actually loved.

A CNN poll [PDF] taken a month after the 2012 election found that a 53 percent of Americans believe the Republican party is “too extreme,” a seventeen-point increase from 2010.

Completely divorced from reality, few Tea Party supporters predicted that Romney would lose: Two months before the election, a whopping 84 percent of Tea Party members believed that “pollsters [were] intentionally skewing their polls to help Barack Obama.”

Lively Defends Anti-Gay Criminalization Laws: 'The Gay Movement Has Brought This On Themselves'

Yesterday, anti-gay pastor Scott Lively told Religious Right radio host Janet Mefferd that there is a Satanic, socialist “conspiracy” to “homosexualize the world” that can only be stopped by a “revolution.”

Lively didn’t discuss this supposed gay-demonic conspiracy during his appearance today on NPR, but he didn’t exactly tone down his rhetoric either.

Speaking with NPR’s Michel Martin, Lively defended Uganda’s harsh new anti-gay law, arguing that the “gay movement has really brought this on themselves” and that the law is necessary to stop pedophiles.

When confronted with remarks made by a gay Ugandan activist Frank Mugisha about how anti-gay bias affects his daily life, Lively insisted that Mugisha is the real victim.

BarbWire Changes AP Headlines To Support Its Anti-Gay Agenda

It looks like Matt Barber's new BarbWire news site has taken a page out of the American Family Association's playbook and started rewording headlines from Associated Press articles that it runs in order to better promote its right-wing, anti-gay agenda.

For instance, an AP article reporting that a federal judge has ruled that Kentucky must recognize gay marriages that were performed in other states ran on most news websites under the headline "Ky. gay marriage ruling looks to precedents."

But that was not quite the headline the article received when it was posted at BarbWire:

Religious Right Activists Promise 'Epic Battle' In Texas Marriage Case

Jonathan Saenz of Texas Values, who has called this week’s marriage equality ruling in Texas a “hollow victory,” yesterday called it “one of the most egregious forms of judicial activism of our generation.” “The federal judiciary is out of control,” Saenz told Family Research Council head Tony Perkins on yesterday’s edition of Washington Watch.

He promised that there would be an “epic battle” to defeat marriage equality in Texas.

Similarly irate, Perkins said that judges and the Obama administration believe they can “tear away at the foundation of the rule of law” when it comes to the issue of marriage equality, which he warned will lead to “anarchy” and a “breakdown of society altogether.”

Owens: 'Anti-Christian' Obama Wants To Destroy The Church

In an interview with Janet Mefferd yesterday about his call for the impeachment of Attorney General Eric Holder, pastor William Owens insisted that President Obama is “anti-Christian” and the worst president in at least the last 75 years.

“We elected the wrong black president,” Owens said. “His strategy was, ‘If I get the Catholic Church, I can get all the churches because of their size; let’s knock them off, we’ll get all of them.’ He’s anti-Christian, he stands up for no Christian values whatsoever.” 

Owens told Mefferd that he’s refraining from calling for the impeachment and removal of President Obama because he wants the president to leave a legacy of backing marriage equality and being the worst president ever: “Since he took this bold position and he wants to leave a legacy, we’re gonna see that he does leave a legacy, that he does leave the legacy that he did more to demoralize this country than anybody, any president, any administration since I’ve been here and I’m seventy-five years old.”

Barton: Right Wing Worries That Obama Will Grant Himself A Third Term Is Proof That He Is 'Lawless'

On today's "WallBuilders Live" radio program, David Barton responded to a question from a listener asking if he thought that President Obama might declare a state of emergency so that he could cancel the 2016 elections and serve a third term in office.

Barton said that he didn't think that such a scenario was very likely, but used the question to assert that nobody voiced this sort of concern about Presidents Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush. The fact that people are asking such questions now, Barton said, is a sign that Obama is "lawless."

"It's interesting that this is the question that is asked by people when they find their presidents to be lawless," Barton declared. "If you have a president who is not lawless, you don't ask the question. You know that Ronald Reagan is not going to do a third term; he followed the Constitution. You know that George Bush, you may not like all that he did but he stayed with the Constitution in a very public way ... Nobody debated that he was going to change the Constitution for himself, for his own benefit. The fact that you have this question indicates something of the nature of the presidents with whom you're dealing ... Asking the question is the character of the leader who is in office at the time":

5 Tea Party Myths Debunked As Movement Marks 5 Years Of Dysfunction

As the Tea Party celebrates its fifth anniversary, we decided to look at five of the myths that Tea Party supporters, and many pundits, continue to believe about the far-right movement.

Myth #1: Tea Party Cares About Economic Stewardship

If Tea Party activists believe they are on a crusade to save the American economy, they have an odd way of showing it. The Tea Party was responsible for an economically harmful and utterly pointless government shutdown and has several times threatened economic catastrophe by refusing to raise the debt limit — with their hostage-taking strategycontributing to a S&P credit downgrade and lower consumer confidence.

The Treasury Department warned in the midst of last year’s government shutdown [PDF]: “A default would be unprecedented and has the potential to be catastrophic: credit markets could freeze, the value of the dollar could plummet, U.S. interest rates could skyrocket, the negative spillovers could reverberate around the world, and there might be a financial crisis and recession that could echo the events of 2008 or worse…. Because the debt ceiling impasse contributed to the financial market disruptions, reduced confidence and increased uncertainty, the economic expansion was no doubt weaker than it otherwise would have been.”

One problem might be that Tea Party leaders seem to have no clue what they are talking about.

Tea Party politicians dismissed concerns about failing to raise the debt limit — with one Tea Party-aligned congressman arguing that such a move would help the economy — and didn’t seem to grasp the fact that “raising the debt ceiling simply lets Treasury borrow the money it needs to pay all U.S. bills and other legal obligations in full and on time” and isn’t a “license to spend more.”

Similarly, a Bloomberg News poll found that 93 percent of Tea Party Republicans believe the federal budget deficit is growing, even while it is rapidly shrinking.

Myth #2: Tea Party Wants Entitlement Cuts

We keep hearing about how the Tea Party will lead a push to cut entitlement programs, but Tea Party members are disproportionately entitlement program benefactors. A New York Times/CBS poll found that Tea Party members are more likely than others to claim that they or a family member receives Social Security benefits or is covered by Medicaid, and 62 percent believe “the benefits from government programs such as Social Security and Medicare [are] worth the costs of those programs.”

According to a McClatchy-Marist poll, 76 percent of Tea Party supporters oppose Social Security and Medicare cuts while 70 percent said they were against cuts to Medicaid.

Of course, many Tea Party supporters don’t seem to mind public programs when they are the ones benefiting from them, and Republicans continue to criticize reductions in future Medicare spending that they voted for.

“[W]hat many of the Tea Party candidates have found is that when push comes to shove, their backers want to protect their entitlements as much as the next guy,” writes Shikha Dalmia of the Reason Foundation. “In fact, much of the fury of the Tea Partiers against government stimulus and bailouts might have less to do with any principled belief in the limits of government and more to do with fear of what this will do to their own entitlements.”

Myth #3: Tea Party Faces Government Persecution

The Tea Party has desperately clutched onto a conspiracy theory that the IRS specifically targeted Tea Party groups to help seal President Obama’s re-election. Of course, it turns out that the IRS actually scrutinized liberal and conservative groups alike. The faux-scandal was hyped and distorted by congressional Republicans, and Tea Party leaders predicted that it would rejuvenate the movement.

As Alex Seitz-Wald reported: “We know that in fact the IRS targeted lots of different kinds of groups, not just conservative ones; that the only organizations whose tax-exempt statuses were actually denied were progressive ones; that many of the targeted conservative groups legitimately crossed the line; that the IG’s report was limited to only Tea Party groups at congressional Republicans’ request; and that the White House was in no way involved in the targeting and didn’t even know about it until shortly before the public did. In short, the entire scandal narrative was a fiction.”

Rather than face facts, leaders are out with a fresh and similarly dubious conspiracy that proposed IRS rules on political activity by certain nonprofits will target conservative organizations for discrimination.

Myth #4: Tea Party Ignores Social Issues

Many Tea Party leaders -- including Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Louie Gohmert, Michele Bachmann, Mike Lee, Jim DeMint and Glenn Beck -- are also favorites of the Religious Right. The GOP victories in the 2010 midterm election brought about what the Daily Beast called “one of the most religiously conservative [House of Representatives] in recent history” and Republican politicians in Congress and state legislatures immediately pursued a crackdown on abortion rights.

Glenn Beck’s massive 2010 Tea Party rally on the National Mall turned into a religious revival meeting. Last year, even the openly gay founder of the National Capital Tea Party Patriots addressed an anti-gay marriage rally in front of the Supreme Court. And far-right pastor Rick Scarborough decided to establish his own group, Tea Party Unity, to promote his call for a “class action lawsuit” against homosexuality.

Pew found that just as “the Tea Party is much more Republican and conservative than the public as a whole… Tea Party supporters also tend to take socially conservative positions on abortion and same-sex marriage.” Tea Party activists oppose marriage equality and abortion rights at rates nearly identical to Republicans at large, and are just as likely to cite religion as the driving force on their stances on such issues.

A 2013 American Values survey observed that the majority of Tea Party activists “identify with the Christian Right,” and a study by political scientists Robert Putnam and David Campbell found Tea Party members to be “disproportionately social conservatives” with a penchant for the “overt use of religious language and imagery.” “It thus makes sense that the Tea Party ranks alongside the Christian Right in unpopularity,” they added.

Myth #5: Tea Party Has Wide Popularity

Tea Party politicians like to fashion themselves as champions of a broadly popular movement that has supporters across partisan lines. Bachmann thinks the Tea Party represents “virtually 90 percent of America” and a poll of Tea Party supporters found that 84 percent agree that “the views of the people involved in the Tea Party movement generally reflect the views of most Americans.” Beck even believes that most Americans are in the Tea Party and to the right of the GOP.

But while the Tea Party is far from dead, a majority of Americans have an unfavorable view of the right-wing movement.

In December, Gallup found that the Tea Party has never held widespread support:

Huelskamp: Impeach Eric Holder Over Marriage Equality

Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) said this week that he will join efforts to impeach of Attorney General Eric Holder over his stance on marriage equality, citing a petition by the Coalition of African-American Pastors and accusing Holder of trying to “thwart” the Constitution by not defending the Defense of Marriage Act.

Of course, the Obama administration would be far from the first administration to decline to defend an unconstitutional law, with Republicans and Democrats alike doing the same in the past.

Several Republicans have already proposed a resolution seeking Holder’s impeachment.

“More lawlessness from a lawless administration; Attorney General Holder should not advise other attorneys general to violate their oaths of office. These elected officials have a duty and a solemn obligation to defend their states’ laws and Constitution - not allow ideology and politics to cloud their legal decisions. Whatever one’s personal opinions on the Second Amendment, the Internal Revenue Service, controlled substances, the freedom of the press, or even marriage, an Attorney General simply can’t pick and choose the laws or parts of the Constitution he or she would like to defend.

“In recent years, I have grown increasingly concerned by Holder’s actions – and those of others in the Obama Administration - to disregard the laws and the Constitution they have sworn to defend. I am not alone in these concerns. Dozens of my colleagues have called upon Holder to resign. Dozens have asked the President to remove Holder from office. Additionally, on June 28, 2012, 255 members of the U.S. House of Representatives held Mr. Holder in Contempt of Congress. It is the Attorney General’s job to uphold the Constitution and the law - not ignore it, nor rewrite it, nor encourage other attorneys general to thwart it.

“This has gone on far too long. The lawlessness at the Department of Justice - of this Administration - must end now. That is why I am announcing today my co-sponsorship of H.Res. 411, which introduces five articles of impeachment against Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr.”

Barton: The Bible Prohibits 'Gender Bender' Day In Elementary School

David Barton recently spoke at Victory Family Church‎ in Decatur, Texas where he delivered his standard presentation about how every single aspect of American life and society ought to be governed according to the Bible, and that includes putting an end to things like "gender bender" days at elementary schools because "the Bible says you absolutely cannot do that."

"The Bible explicitly condemns cross-dressing," Barton said. "That's not just a cute little thing that happened at school, that's a biblically-addressed issue":

Share this page: Facebook Twitter Digg SU Digg Delicious