Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 11/5/14

  • Ben Carson has officially changed his party affiliation to Republican, because one needs to get all one's ducks in a row before launching a pointless vanity campaign for president.
  • Right-wing activists who screamed about Democrats in the Senate implementing the "nuclear option" are predictably asking Sen. Mitch McConnell to retain it now that it might benefit Republicans.
  • There is something quite amusing about Glenn Beck thinking that people being spectacularly wrong ought to be cause for embarrassment.
  • Samuel Rodriguez seems to think that placing Republicans in control of Congress will now help the passage of comprehensive immigration reform.
  • Finally, despite the best efforts of right-wing groups, Lawrence VanDyke lost his Montana Supreme Court campaign.

Anti-Gay Crusader Gary Glenn Wins Seat In Michigan State Legislature

Gordon Klingenschmitt may be the most virulently anti-gay candidate to win a state legislative seat this election cycle, but Gary Glenn of Michigan comes in a close second. Glenn, the author of his state’s constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, may not send out warnings about how gay people want to behead Christians or how Democrats are mandating child sexual abuse as Klingenschmitt does, but he has his own special brand of anti-gay politics.

Glenn, a former head of the American Family Association’s Michigan chapter, wants to recriminalize homosexuality, which he says is “a proven threat to public health and safety,” and even filed an unsuccessful lawsuit challenging the 2009 Hate Crimes Prevention Act, falsely alleging that the law would “criminalize the Bible and use the threat of federal prosecutions and long jail sentences to silence Christians.”

Glenn has denounced efforts to curb anti-LGBT bullying in schools as a “Trojan Horse” plot by “homosexual activists” who want to “segregate students” and suggested that schools ban clubs like the Gay-Straight Alliance for “promoting behavior that [is] self-destructive and harmful to young people.” Instead, Glenn thinks that if schools “truly cared about young people who are ensnared by deviant behavior, they would tell them the truth that homosexuality is harmful and to be avoided.”

In previous election cycles, Glenn has attempted to defeat gay Michigan candidates. In a robocall against one gay candidate, he used the word “homosexual” no less than ten times.

He has also urged businesses to refuse to hire “individuals who engage in homosexual behavior given all of its severe medical consequences,” telling employers that “it’s not really bright to engage in behavior that puts you at dramatically higher risk of mental illness and substance abuse and AIDS and cancer and hepatitis, and according to various sources, premature death.”

Glenn even demanded that governors ignore court rulings that strike down same-sex marriage bans.

Fischer: Our Prayer During Anti-Gay Rally Played A Role In Republican Election Victories

On Sunday evening, anti-gay Religious Right activists gathered in Houston, Texas for an "I Stand Sunday" event, designed to protest subpoenas issued by the city government to five local pastors in response to a lawsuit filed by activists attempting to overturn the city's nondiscrimination ordinance.

The American Family Association's radio broadcasting arm was among the main sponsors of the event and Bryan Fischer was there in person to cover the rally, so naturally he declared on his radio broadcast today that this prayer event played a key role in the Republican victories in last night's election.

"It occurred to me last night," Fischer said, that "a good part of Sunday night was a lot of these pastors in Houston and a lot of people all around the country kneeling in prayer on the floor of that auditorium, repenting of sins, seeking God for forgiveness for ourselves and for this land. And then, on Tuesday, we have this dramatic victory. I've got to believe there's a connection there":

Pat Buchanan: Joni Ernst A 'Gal' With The 'Same Kind Of Attractiveness' As Sarah Palin

Democratic Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin drew criticism from right and left last week when he urged voters not to choose Joni Ernst, the Republican candidate to replace him, simply because she’s “really attractive” and “sounds nice.”

Conservative commentator Pat Buchanan apparently didn’t get the memo.

The former Republican presidential candidate dedicated a good portion of an interview with Newsmax today to gushing about how now Senator-elect Ernst is “a gal with a real sense of humor and a fighting spirit” and “has the same kind of attractiveness that Sarah Palin had at the start and that Michele Bachmann gained in the Iowa caucuses, being a very attractive, outspoken person, a woman in the GOP full of passion and full of hard-core philosophy.”

Citizens United: Our Supreme Court Case Helped Secure GOP Win

A flood of outside spending, much of it undisclosed “dark money,” helped Republicans make significant gains in yesterday’s elections. The Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision helped trigger the campaign spending avalanche, and so it come as no surprise that Citizens United’s leader David Bossie took a victory lap today in a press conference of conservative activists reacting to the election results.

Citizens United, our Supreme Court case, leveled the playing field and we’re very proud of the impact that had in last night’s election,” he said. “A robust conversation, which is what a level playing field allows, really creates an opportunity for the American people to get information and make good decisions.”

Bossie also accused Senate Democrats of trying to “gut the First Amendment” by voting in favor of a constitutional amendment that would overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in the case.

Allen West Says Democrats Are Still The Party Of Voter Intimidation And The KKK 'Except With A Different Type Of Tactic'

Allen West was a guest on Newsmax's "MidPoint" radio program today where he declared, with the help of some absurdly leading questions from host Ed Berliner, that Republicans were victorious last night because black voters have finally started to realize that everything the Democrats have said for the last half-decade is nothing but a collection of lies.

After Berliner declared that the Democratic strategy in this election amounted to little more than hateful fear-mongering, West said that such tactics should not come as a surprise to anyone who knows anything about history.

"You look at the history of the Democrat Party and it's always been about fear-mongering, intimidation of the voters, coercion," West said. "They're the party of segregation. They're the party of the Ku Klux Klan. They're the party of Jim Crow. They're the party of poll taxes and literacy tests and things of this nature, it's just that they continue to do it except with a different type of tactic in the Twenty-First Century."

When Berliner asked West if black voters are now finally starting to see that "what the Democrats have been telling them for the last fifty or sixty years are just a collection of lies that are finally coming back to haunt them," West readily agreed, saying "I do believe so."

Of course, according to exit polls, nearly 90 percent of African American voters backed Democratic candidates:

Five Of The Craziest Conspiracy Theories That The Freshman Republican Class Will Bring To Congress

It turns out that by branding themselves as members of a party that has returned to its mainstream, center-right roots after successfully stamping out a Tea Party rebellion, even “establishment” Republican candidates are able to hold all sorts of extreme views without any consequences.

Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that a party that regularly endorses candidates who deny climate science and denounce evolution has moved the political center so far to the right that even candidates with radical views can still be treated as moderates. These days, Republicans win kudos simply for stating that they don’t want to ban birth control or destroy the economy by refusing to raise the debt ceiling.

This dynamic has allowed any number of conspiracy theories to flourish in the GOP. Here are five conspiracy theories that newly elected members of the United States Congress will be bringing with them to Washington next year:

1) Agenda 21 is Coming!

Agenda 21, a two-decade-old non-binding treaty on sustainable development methods, recently emerged as the latest source of right-wing anxiety.

Ted Cruz predicted that Agenda 21 will bring an end to paved roads and golf courses and Glenn Beck wrote a dystopian thriller about its dire consequences.

Senator-elect Joni Ernst, a Republican of Iowa, shares their fears. Last year, Ernst predicted that Agenda 21 agents may start “moving people off of their agricultural land and consolidating them into city centers and then telling them that you don’t have property rights anymore. These are all things that the UN is behind and it’s bad for the United States, bad for families here in the state of Iowa.”

She later warned that Agenda 21 will compel people to move into designated urban centers and take away our individual liberties, our freedoms as United States citizens.

2) Just Making Stuff Up About ISIS

Never mind the fact that there have been exactly zero official reports of ISIS members coming to the U.S. via the southern border, “closing the border” has emerged as a leading Republican talking point when describing how they plan to fight the terrorist group.

Tom Cotton, the Arkansas congressman who won his race for U.S. Senate yesterday, said during his campaign that his opponent and President Obama are “refusing to secure our border” and as a result, ISIS is now at the gates: “Groups like the Islamic State collaborate with drug cartels in Mexico who have clearly shown they’re willing to expand outside the drug trade into human trafficking and potentially even terrorism. They could infiltrate our defenseless border and attack us right here in places like Arkansas.”

The conspiracy theory about ISIS infiltrating the U.S. through the border with Mexico first emerged on the conspiracy theory outlet WorldNetDaily and, as these things typically go, was then picked up by pundits on Fox News. Eventually, the fallacious claim became a great way for Republican candidates like David Perdue and Thom Tillis to attack their opponents on both foreign policy and immigration reform in one talking point.

3) Beware Blood Moons

While conservative politicians have denounced the science behind climate change as a big lie, some are very interested in the “science” behind “blood moons,” with more Religious Right activists arguing that lunar eclipses are actually signs of God’s impending judgment against America for policies such as abortion rights and LGBT equality.

Jody Hice, a Georgia Republican who just won a seat in the U.S. House, for example, told listeners on his talk radio show that the appearance of blood moons “have preceded world-changing, shaking-type events.”

“I certainly am aware of the fact that every time there have been blood moons like this, there have been major events that have followed,” he said.

Perhaps Congress should move to study blood moons rather than climate change!

4) Gay Recruitment in the Classroom

Are sex-ed classes just a secret plot to turn kids gay? Yes, according to Wisconsin state senator and soon-to-be U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman, who once warned that some school classes are the result of an “agenda which is left unsaid is that some of those who throw it out as an option would like it if more kids became homosexuals.”

Grothman instead proposed that schools enact their own “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policies, lest growing support for gay rights in the U.S. lead to divine punishment.

Hice, as it happens, shares Grothman concerns about gay recruitment, once citing a satirical 1987 essay to claim that gay people want to “sodomize your sons” and “seduce them in your schools.”

5) Identity of the Antichrist Revealed!

At least one Republican candidate knows the true identity of the Antichrist, and it’s Hillary Clinton.

Ryan Zinke, the successful Montana GOP U.S. House candidate who helped launch the Super PAC Special Operations for America, told a Republican group that Clinton is Satan’s bride, and he knows this to be so because he speaks the truth:

“It’s time to stop the lies. Let’s talk about the truth,” Zinke said. “Who trusts the U.S. government?” he asked rhetorically. “No one in this room. I’ve served in 25 nations. I’ve seen where people don’t trust their government. We’re there. In the military, the last option is to send in the SEALs.”

...

Zinke said he wants to restore truth, grace, honor and decency, which he called “our moral compass. It’s always been Judeo-Christian,” he said. With the present administration, “It’s whatever you can get away with. I will never bow to pressure. I will do what’s right,” he said.

...

“We need to focus on the real enemy,” he said, referring to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whom he called the “anti-Christ.”

After getting called out for the remark, Zinke later said that the “anti-Christ” comment was a joke.

So there you have it, in an election where pundits raved about establishment Republicans “crushing” Tea Party insurgents, it seems that the GOP establishment has simply appropriated the Tea Party’s tarnished brand of paranoid politics and unmistakable extremism.

Laurie Roth: God Behind GOP's 2014 Victories

Conservative talk show host Laurie Roth knows who was behind last night’s election results: God. Writing today for BarbWire, Roth proclaims that the Republican triumph was an act of God...

True The Vote's Election Day App Undercuts Its Own Voter Fraud Conspiracy Theories

A week before Election Day, the “voter integrity” group True the Vote released a new smart phone app to empower its army of citizen detectives to report suspected incidents of voter fraud and intimidation across the country, in the hopes of creating, as True the Vote’s founder Catherine Engelbrecht put in an interview on Monday, “an archive that will finally pull the curtain back on the myth that there is no voter fraud.”

But it seems that the evidence of massive voter fraud that Engelbrecht hoped to expose failed to materialize. In the week that the app was available, users recorded only 18 incidents of election irregularities, the vast majority of which had nothing to do with True the Vote’s policy priorities.

Eight were incidents of voting machine malfunctions — a serious and persistent problem, but not the product of a voter fraud conspiracy. One was a report of the disorganization that left a number of Hartford, Connecticut, precincts missing their lists of voters.

Three reports were of suspected “voter intimidation” — one, a report of a camera in a polling place, another of an elderly woman who claimed a poll worker snatched her ballot out of her hands when she was done with it, and one from a Houston voter who was very concerned about an “African American woman” standing nearby while she voted:

Only one app user reported a suspected case of voter impersonation — the main bugaboo behind restrictive voter ID laws — an Iowan who reported getting a call about a rejected absentee ballot despite never having submitted one.

Ironically, one report to True the Vote’s app chronicled a voter’s struggle with an overly restrictive voting law that True the Vote supports. An Ohio voter reported casting a provisional ballot because they had moved since last voting. This voter would have been allowed to cast a ballot if Ohio permitted same-day voter registration, a practice that True the Vote opposes. The voter reported that a number of others in their precinct were experiencing the same problem:

It’s this voter’s experience that best represents the problems that thousands of Americans had casting votes that count yesterday. Texans struggled to present photo IDs acceptable under their state’s tough and deliberately discriminatory voting law. In North Carolina, a new restricting the precincts in which voters could cast ballots left people confused and unable to vote. In Georgia, a failure to process new voter registrations meant that many prospective voters were turned away from the polls.

Groups like True the Vote have raised the specter of widespread voter impersonation fraud in order to push for restrictive laws that make it harder for large segments of the population to vote. Their own app shows how wrong-headed they are.

Neo-Confederate Republican Michael Peroutka Wins Maryland Election

After an election night filled with far-right victories, it’s hard to dub any single winner the most extreme. But Michael Peroutka, newly elected to the Anne Arundel County Council in Maryland, would have to be in anyone’s top five. Peroutka is a radical Christian Reconstructionist and southern secessionist. He says “so-called civil rights laws” are not valid because “there is no such thing as a civil right.” He says promoting evolution “is an act of disloyalty to America.” He says of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, “The reason he hates God is because he thinks he is God.” He thinks gay people are out to “recruit your children” into their “deathstyle.”

Remarkably for someone who has just become an elected official in Maryland, Peroutka argues that since state legislators have passed laws like marriage equality that “violate God’s law,” the Maryland General Assembly is “no longer a valid legislative body” and none of the laws that it has passed are “legally valid and legally enforceable.”

It’s pretty easy for legislators to violate Peroutka’s view of God’s law. He has a clear view of the role of government:

Since civil government is ordained by God in order to protect God-given rights, then the function of civil government is to obey God and to enforce God’s law – PERIOD.

It is not the role of civil government to house, feed, clothe, educate or give heath care to…ANYBODY!

Peroutka was the 2004 presidential nominee of the Constitution Party, whose platform says its goal “is to restore American jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations and to limit the federal government to its Constitutional boundaries.” Just a year ago, before Peroutka became a Republican to run for the council seat, he was urging Tea Party activists “to disengage themselves from the Republican Party and their brand of worthless, Godless, unprincipled conservatism.” Peroutka’s Institute on the Constitution has given Tea Party activists training on his view of the biblical basis of the Constitution.

Peroutka argued last year that the reason the U.S. is not following God’s law on marriage and other issues is because when the Union won the Civil War – in his words “The War Between the States” – people began looking to government rather than God as the foundation of their rights. When local media began focusing on Peroutka’s connections to the racist, secessionist League of the South – he served on its board and was a featured speaker at its June 2013 conference on “Southern Independence: Antidote to Tyranny” – he resigned, feigning surprise at racist material on the group’s website, though even then he told reporters, “I don’t have any problem with the organization.”

Anne Arundel County Maryland, one of the wealthiest counties in the country, is home to the state capital of Annapolis.

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