Donald Trump and Rand Paul aren’t the only Republican politicians enthralled by far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, as Rep. David Brat, R-Va., appeared on Jones’ Infowars network show yesterday to claim that liberals are allied with radical Islamists.
After Jones falsely claimed that the city of London’s new mayor is imposing Sharia law and that President Obama and liberals have “allied with Islam,” Brat wholeheartedly agreed — “You nailed it” — and said the Founding Fathers never thought that an “intolerant” religion like Islam would be able to integrate into American culture.
Brat added that just as the British need to “go back to restoring their culture” after they voted to leave the European Union, Americans need to reclaim “the Judeo-Christian tradition,” lamenting that “religious toleration is becoming a ‘safe zone’ where you’ve got to sign up before you can go to church, it looks like.”
Last Wednesday, Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, joined Iowa radio host Simon Conway at anti-immigrant hate group Federation for American Immigration Reform’s “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row, where he said that it was wrong for the Republican Party to “pander” to Latino voters “because we’re all God’s children.”
“[Republicans] like the cheap labor and Democrats like the expansion of the politics, as you say,” King told Conway while discussing his opposition to immigration reform. “It’s about their ability to document undocumented Democrats, bring more undocumented Democrats in and then document them so that they can vote.”
King continued, “From the time I arrived in this town, my own leadership on the Republican side went to great lengths to try to suppress my verbiage because they said, ‘Don’t talk about that, don’t assign them a motive of it being politically motivated, we really want it to be humanitarian and we want to be open-minded,’ and you know how that all goes.”
King pointed out that Hispanics in South Texas voted Democratic in 2000 and, as a result, the GOP “concluded that they needed to do outreach to Hispanics, and the way to do that was to pander, and it’s a mistake to do that because we’re all God’s children, we’re cut from the same image, and he gives us distinctions so we can tell each other apart, and he gives us inspirations. And so we shouldn’t do identity politics and we shouldn’t pander.”
Conway interjected that “identity politics is racist,” to which King agreed.
Back in 2014, we wrote a post titled "Barton: Not Allowing Women To Vote Was Designed 'To Keep The Family Together'" in which we posted an audio clip of David Barton defending the Founding Fathers for denying women to right to vote when writing the Constitution on the grounds that doing so was designed to protect the institution of the family.
Here is what we wrote:
On today's episode of "WallBuilders Live," David Barton explained that women were not given the right to vote when the Constitution was written because the Founding Fathers were trying to protect the institution of the family by giving every "family" a right to vote through the male head of the household.
Responding to a question from a listener who argued that the Founding Fathers denied women the right to vote not out of sexism but rather based on the biblical principle that a house divided against itself cannot stand, Barton said that this interpretation was exactly right because not allowing women to vote was designed "to keep the family together."
That introduction was followed by the audio of Barton's remarks and a transcript.
Some people took Barton's comment to mean that he doesn't think that women should have the right to vote, which is not what he said, nor is it what we claimed that he said.
But for some reason, Barton blasted us on his Facebook page last night while responding to someone on Twitter who accused him of not wanting women to vote:
This past weekend, I saw a tweet blasting me by HGM@RightWingIdiot1 (see picture):
@DavidBartonWB I hope you wife and if you have daughters leave you and your hate for women. How dare you state women shouldn't vote.
This references a May 1, 2014 WallBuildersLive radio program in which I was answering audience questions, including one about women’s suffrage, the Founding Fathers, and the Constitution. The questioner did not believe the Founders were being sexist but rather that they voted more by households than by individuals. I affirmed that this was correct, and showed occasions of women voting as far back as the 1600s if they became the heads of the household. We also pointed out that the Constitution did not prohibit women from voting prior to that, but that the 19th Amendment was added to ensure women’s suffrage.
Nevertheless, Right Wing Watch – a far left secularist progressive group whose parent organization is funded by atheist billionaire George Soros – came out with an article wrongly claiming that I defended the inability of women to vote in early America. That false claim was picked up and repeated by others, including the tweet I saw this weekend.
Interestingly, one of my strongest critics and loudest opponents, Professor John Fea of Messiah College in California, actually defended me against this false charge. (I have been told by students of Messiah College that they actually taught a course there against me – that they use me to show the wrong view of American history in the Founding Era.) Dr. Fea acknowledged that he “just listened to the entire episode,” and then pointed out several reasons why the claim from Right Wing Watch was wrong, including:
“1. Nowhere in this episode does Barton say the 19th amendment was a bad thing or that women voting is a bad thing. Listen for yourself. Some might say he is implying this. If someone wants to make this argument, it is a stretch.”
“2. The clip I posted above [from Right Wing Watch] has been edited. The part of the discussion in which Barton and Green seem to suggest that women's suffrage is a positive development in American life has been cut out.”
Right Wing Watch omitted the part of the program that would refute their own false claim. (This is something they regularly do in their frequent charges against me.) Their false accusation that I oppose women voting continues to have life even years later because folks too often repeat what others say rather than following the example of critic John Fea, who listened to the entire episode and thus recognized the claim as false.
Furthermore, I have been on record for years stating that my goal is for 100% of all Americans to be registered to vote, and to vote – I want 100% citizen participation in voting.
Given all of this, my questions for HGM@RightWingIdiot1 would begin with:
1. Did you fail your Math and English classes in school? For years I have said that my objective is 100% of Americans voting in every election. Do you think that 100% of Americans does not include women? 100% is fully inclusive and means everybody!
2. You want my wife and daughter to leave me??? I would not wish that on anyone, even those who consider themselves my enemies. It is ironic that those who accuse others of being haters are often the ones who display the most hate.
3. You really think I hate women? I have reprinted books and appeared on numerous media programs to reintroduce female heroes from history back to the modern generation. In fact, in writing history and social studies standards for state boards of education, the official public records affirm that I have been solely responsible for including numerous women in the texts.
4. Why don’t you set an example for people from your side: check the facts for yourself rather than just parrot what someone else says – learn to think for yourself rather than be part of Right Wing Watch group think.
It’s time for the falsehood that I don’t want women to vote (and so many of the other fabrications distributed by Right Wing Watch and their allies) to come to a halt. Perhaps this post will help accomplish that.
We never once claimed that Barton opposes the right of women to vote, as he repeatedly asserted. We simply noted that he had defended the Founding Fathers for not allowing women to vote in the name of protecting the family.
It is amazing that Barton is seemingly so incapable of telling the truth that he is now reduced to lying about us having supposedly lied about him.
A conservative Catholic activist who was at Donald Trump’s meeting with Religious Right leaders in New York last week said on Saturday that while he wasn’t convinced of Trump’s sincerity in opposing abortion rights he was confident that Trump will “let our side do exactly what we want to do” on the issue.
Austin Ruse, who through his group C-Fam works to oppose reproductive rights advances at the United Nations, discussed the meeting with fellow conservative Catholic leader Deal Hudson, who was also at the Trump meeting, on Hudson’s program on Ave Maria Radio on Saturday.
Hudson asked Deal what he thought of Ralph Reed and others saying that Trump is “sincerely pro-life, that it’s not something that’s been an add-on for this election.”
“I’m indifferent to his sincerity,” Ruse said, “because I think that at the end of the day, he will do the right thing because it is what we want. And that gets back to constituencies that he wants to please.”
Ruse said that just as he trusts conservative allies to guide him on issues like economic policy that aren’t his area of expertise, “with regard to the life issues,” Trump will “let our side do exactly what we want to do.”
“These are things that he doesn’t care about,” he said, “and therefore he will let our side have what we want. For instance, if a bill comes to his desk to defund Planned Parenthood, he’s not going to shut the government down to avoid it. I think he’ll sign it because he doesn’t care. That’s what I mean, is that he will step aside on things that — now you say and Ralph Reed says that it’s something that he really does care about. That’s even better news. But even if he doesn’t, as long as he lets us have our way, then that’s fine.”
The anti-abortion movement has largely lined up behind Trump thanks in part to his repeated promises to nominate “pro-life” justices to the Supreme Court. Marjorie Dannenfelser, the head of the Susan B. Anthony list and a former Trump critic, is now defending Trump’s anti-abortion bona fides . Troy Newman, the head of the radical group Operation Rescue, came out of the recent meeting with Trump saying that “the general consensus was he’s our man, and we’re going to work for him.”
Hudson also revealed on the program that Trump is planning to announce a Catholic Advisory Board, similar to his Evangelical Advisory Board, which naturally both he and Ruse hoped that they would be on.
Back in 2014, Religious Right activist Gordon Klingenschmitt won a seat in the Colorado House of Representatives despite this long history of saying truly outrageous things. Unsurprisingly, Klingenschmitt's brief term in office was repeatedly marked by controversy. At one point, he was even stripped of a committee assignment after saying that a brutal attack on a pregnant woman in Colorado was the result of "the curse of God upon America" for allowing legal abortion.
Klingenschmitt, though, never quite seemed to learn his lesson and announced last year that he would be running for a seat in the state Senate in 2016 while continuing to voice his radical views on his daily "Pray In Jesus Name" program.
Last night, voters went to the polls in the state's primary and Klingenschmitt lost badly to his Republican rival by a margin of 62 to 38 percent.
Klingenschmitt, who believes that the most godly candidate will always win "unless the people are evil," predictably blamed the voters for thwarting the will of God that he be elected.
Instead of saying that the election results reflected the will of God, as religious candidates often do when they lose, Klingenschmitt said that his loss just shows that "God's will is not always done in this world":
East of downtown at The Airplane Restaurant, Klingenschmitt's speech took on a religious tone.
"I work hard to establish God's kingdom, not my own, and, as you know, God's will is not always done in this world," Klingenschmitt told dozens of supporters beneath model airliners hanging from the ceiling.
Retta Blodgett, who volunteered for Klingenschmitt's campaign, was disheartened by the results.
"I'm disappointed because the kind of competition his opponent ran was a dirty campaign," she said. "The fact that he (Klingenschmitt) could go into the government and take a stance and not worry about what people thought - that's what conservatives need now to get our country back."
Klingenschmitt fielded handshakes and pats on the back from throngs of supporters encouraging him to keep faith.
"I thank God for the opportunity to run a clean race on my side, even if that was not reciprocated," he said in an interview. "I'm disappointed that people can lie, steal and cheat and violate their cadet honor oath and still win elections. I kept my cadet honor oath, and I ran with integrity, and I hold my head high."
The House’s Benghazi Select Committee issued a draft Tuesday of its long-awaited report on the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound and CIA facility in Benghazi, Libya.
The New York Times succinctly summarized the committee’s findings:
Ending one of the longest, costliest and most bitterly partisan congressional investigations in history, the House Select Committee on Benghazi issued its final report on Tuesday, finding no new evidence of culpability or wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton in the 2012 attacks in Libya that left four Americans dead.
In a continued embarrassment for the committee’s chairman, South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, one of the principal “new revelations” touted by the committee in an effort to justify its millions of dollars in spending was something that the public has known for years.
The committee reported that an antiterrorism team on its way to Tripoli to respond to the crisis was delayed for three hours as the team changed in and out of military uniforms. Far from a new information, this was raised by Martin Dempsey, then the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and by then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in testimony before the House Armed Services Committee in 2013. It was also discussed in the House Armed Services Committees report on Benghazi early the next year.
Other “new” discoveries of Gowdy’s — that Hillary Clinton was considering a trip to Benghazi in October 2012, that the military did not deploy to Benghazi on the night of the attack, and that an anti-Muslim YouTube video was discussed during a secure video conference the night of the attack — had all been publicly reported years ago.
Former House Speaker John Boehner did not create the Benghazi Select Committee to slightly advance our understanding of the 2012 attack. Instead, Republicans created the committee because they were under pressure from the far Right to use the investigative power of Congress to implicate the Obama administration, and Hillary Clinton in particular, in wrongdoing.
It was obvious from the start, despite Gowdy’s protestations to the contrary, that the select committee was simply a political tool of the far Right — one that would finally confirm their worst suspicions and bolster their conspiracy theories about Clinton, thus harming her chances in the upcoming presidential election.
Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy acknowledged this when he told Sean Hannity last year, “Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi Special Committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping.”
Ultimately, the Benghazi Select Committee will be remembered in history alongside other failed partisan efforts to investigate Clinton.
Whitewater, Travelgate, Vince Foster and now Benghazi. These investigations in total have cost American taxpayers well in excess of $100,000,000, yet produced none of the results that were promised at their outsets. Yet conservatives seem destined to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. Rather than being guided by facts, they allow themselves to be driven by the most extreme and conspiracy-oriented members of their party.
The Benghazi Committee report is a final testament to the fact that the supposed “stand down orders,” the charge that Susan Rice lied on Sunday morning talk shows following the attack, and the accusation that the CIA altered talking points “for political reasons” were all are myths. All were debunked by previous investigations whose facts were not contradicted by Gowdy’s committee.
Clearly the results of this investigation will not halt the conservative noise machine. Accuracy in the Media is planning to reveal the results of its own conspiracy-laden Benghazi investigation at a press conference Wednesday. But it is a signal to the press they should stop taking these conspiracy theories seriously.