Huckabee Goes All In On 'Equal Protection' And 'Due Process' For Zygotes

In a field of GOP presidential candidates who spent a good part of their first presidential debate trying to out-extreme each other on the issue of abortion restrictions, Mike Huckabee is trying to stand out by going all in on the idea of fetal personhood, which would criminalize abortion under all circumstances and could even ban common forms of birth control. 

As we noted last week, Huckabee seems to have gotten behind the idea that fertilized eggs and fetuses can be granted equal protection and due process rights under the 14th and Fifth Amendments through simple legislation, rather than a constitutional amendment, a legal theory that is disputed by even some major anti-choice groups.

Although Huckabee remains vague on how he would go about granting constitutional rights to zygotes, he seems to have decided that talking about fetal personhood — an idea so unpopular that it has been repeatedly rejected by voters, even in the deep-red states of Mississippi and North Dakota — is his ticket to the GOP nomination.

In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody, Huckabee said that the personhood issue is what “separates” him from the other GOP candidates (despite the fact that Rand Paul sponsored a personhood bill in the Senate). He also explicitly rejects the anti-choice movement’s strategy of chipping away at abortion access, saying that although he does want to "eradicate Planned Parenthood," the GOP also needs “to ratchet up this discussion.”

I think it’s time for us to realize that this is not just about us creating a few little restrictions here and there, stopping funding for various organizations. That’s all good, and I’ve been a part of those efforts, signed every piece of legislation imaginable as a governor when I was in Arkansas, helped pass a human life amendment in Arkansas to our state constitution before I even got involved in politics. But I think now that we really need to focus on that this is about personhood, this is about, is that baby a human being? Because if it is, then, David, we have a constitutional responsibility under the Fifth Amendment for due process, we have a responsibility under the 14th Amendment for equal protection, to provide a protection and due process for that person.

So I think we need to ratchet up this discussion and make it not so much about whether we’re going to fund a particular Planned Parenthood organization — which certainly doesn’t need to be funded, they’re butchers, they should have not tax dollars whatsoever. But even if we eradicate Planned Parenthood, you still have 4,000 babies a day that are dying, so why don’t we take the issue where it really belongs, and that’s personhood.

And the one thing that I think separates me from the other candidates, all of whom are pro-life, or they say they are, is that I think it’s time to invoke the Fifth and 14th Amendment and make this an issue of personhood and start protecting innocent life, that’s how we should be approaching this.

Barber: Iran Deal Is 'Treason,' Akin To Giving Nukes To Nazi Germany

On Liberty Counsel's "Faith and Freedom" radio program today, Matt Barber attacked the nuclear deal worked out between Iran and United States, the United Kingdom, France, China, Russia and Germany, blasting President Obama for engaging in "treason" and stating that the deal is akin to the United States giving Adolf Hitler nuclear weapons in the middle of World War II.

"There was a time, before we entered this age of lawlessness," Barber said, "where what Obama and John Kerry are doing here and have done here would have been called what it is, would have properly been called treason. This is a president who is aiding and abetting the enemies of the western world, America, Israel, and elsewhere, aiding and abetting them, literally giving them the nuke. This is like Neville Chamberlain on steroids, the difference being that Neville Chamberlain didn't give Hitler nuclear weapons. Obama is doing that to the modern-day Hitler."

"Imagine," he continued, "the United States is negotiating with Hitler, it's 1941, we're at war with Germany and imagine the president goes to Hitler and they get together and he says, 'You know what? I know we're at war with you but here's $700 billion for you to develop more weapons and to allocate in ways that will help you win the war and destroy America and have Naziism become a global phenomenon.' That is the parallel we're seeing here."

"It makes you wonder what possibly can be motivating this president to do this," Barber said. "Does he really hate America that much?"

Right Wing Round-Up - 8/7/15

  • Joe Jervis: Ben Carson: America As We Know It Will Be Destroyed By Independent Trump Run.

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 8/7/15

Bryan Fischer: Going To A Gay Friend's Wedding Is Like Attending The 'Grand Opening' Of Their 'New Crack House'

One of the most memorable moments of last night’s GOP presidential debate was when Ohio Gov. John Kasich said that despite his “traditional” view on marriage he had recently attended the wedding of gay friends. This earned Kasich applause from the debate’s audience, just four years after a similar audience had booed a gay service member.

But some people did not appreciate Kasich’s answer, including American Family Radio’s Bryan Fischer, who explained on his radio program today that attending a gay friend’s wedding is like attending the “grand opening celebration” of a friend’s “new crack house” because you are simply “enabling” that friend’s behavior.

“Really, the issue comes down to what do you think of this kind of behavior,” Fischer said. “Is this good behavior, is this healthy behavior, is this moral behavior, is this the kind of behavior that we ought to celebrate, that we ought to promote?”

“If you have somebody you love and they were dealing crack and they were opening up a new crack house and they were having a grand opening celebration and they invited you to come and be a part of the grand opening celebration of this crack house, would you go?” he asked. “Of course not!”

Fischer made a similar comparison in a column earlier this year.

Ben Carson's Bible-Based Tax System and Other GOP Adventures In 'Biblical Economics'

In last night’s Republican presidential debate, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson said he would base a new tax system on the biblical system of tithing. “I think God is a pretty fair guy,” he said.

And he said, you know, if you give me a tithe, it doesn’t matter how much you make. If you’ve had a bumper crop, you don’t owe me triple tithes. And if you’ve had no crops at all, you don’t owe me no tithes. So there must be something inherently fair about that.

And that’s why I’ve advocated a proportional tax system. You make $10 billion, you pay a billion. You make $10, you pay one. And everybody gets treated the same way. And you get rid of the deductions, you get rid of all the loopholes, and…

Carson has plenty of company on the far right. The American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer has declared, “God believes in a flat tax.” On his radio show last year, Fischer said, “That’s what a tithe is, it’s a tax.”

Of course, that kind of flat tax would amount to a massive tax cut for the richest Americans and a tax hike on the poorest. So it’s not terribly surprising the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity has teamed up with the Religious Right to promote the idea that progressive taxation is an un-Christian idea. AFP joined Religious Right groups to create the Freedom Federation, one of the right-wing coalitions that sprung up in opposition to Barack Obama’s election as president. The coalition’s founding “Declaration of American Values” declares its allegiance to a system of taxes that is “not progressive in nature.”

David Barton, the pseudo-historian, GOP activist, and Glenn Beck ally, is a major promoter of the idea that the Bible opposes progressive taxes, capital gains taxes, and minimum wage. Barton’s views are grounded in the philosophy of Christian Reconstructionism, a movement whose thinking has infused both the Religious Right and Tea Party movements with its notion that God gave the family, not the government, responsibility for education — and the church, not the government, responsibility for taking care of the poor. 

That’s how we have Republican members of Congress supporting cuts in food stamps by appealing to the Bible. And how we get Samuel Rodriguez, the most prominent conservative Hispanic evangelical leader, saying that a desire to “punish success” — i.e. progressive taxes — “is anti-Christian and anti-American.”

This notion that laissez-faire economics, small government, and flat taxes are divine mandates, and that taxation is theft, is also how we end up with the Heritage Foundation promoting the idea that “[t]hose who esteem the Bible should also applaud St. Milton Friedman and other Church of Chicago prelates, because their insights amplify what the Bible suggests about economics.” And the idea that unions and collective bargaining are unbiblical is how we get Religious Right groups celebrating Scott Walker’s war on unions.

Gohmert: Obama Using Immigrants To 'Dilute' Votes Of People Who Know How To Keep 'Republic Going'

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, speculated in a radio interview yesterday that President Obama wants to increase the number of skilled-worker visas in order to “dilute” the American voting pool with people who haven’t “been educated about the responsibilities of keeping a republic going.”

Discussing H-1B visas with Virginia talk radio host John Fredericks, Gohmert said, “Wow, John, it’s like the president has some idea that he wants to just dilute people that have been educated about the responsibilities of keeping a republic going out there voting, Isn’t that a crazy idea.”

Gohmert and Fredericks also expressed frustration that the House GOP leadership has yet to move to defund Planned Parenthood after the release of a series of videos smearing the organization, which both said was just bringing America closer to a “day of reckoning.”

“People are starting to feel that there’s going to be a day of reckoning for all this stuff,” Fredericks said, “whether it’s $20 trillion in debt, $123 trillion of unfunded mandates, or 60 million abortions since Roe v. Wade, and now dismembering babies. I mean, there’s going to be a day of reckoning, it always happens throughout history.”

“Yes, and there will be a day of reckoning and we know it’s coming,” Gohmert said, “so it’s really outrageous for us not to be out there dealing with these critical issues.”

Sandy Rios: Obama An 'Atheist' With 'Muslim Sympathies'

The American Family Association’s Sandy Rios devoted her radio program this morning to taking calls from listeners about last night’s Republican presidential debates on Fox News. One listener, who identified himself as “Dave” called in to say that he would “love to see a Ted Cruz–Ben Carson ticket” and “then in eight years, I’d love to see Ben Carson be the first black president” in contrast to the current “Muslim president.”

Rios responded with her own theories about President Obama’s religious affiliation: “We know that he loves the Muslim community and he’s certainly sympathetic and he loves the call to prayer and we’ll say no more, we don’t know — I kind of think he’s an atheist, Dave, to be honest with you, with Muslim sympathies, I always need to clarify that.”

Rios  then got back to Dave’s Cruz-Carson dream ticket, and said she would love to form a “team” of all the GOP nominees, each of whom would take over one governmental department and form “a phalanx of cleaning house.”

Scott Walker’s False Claim That America Shares His Anti-Choice Extremism

Miranda reported this morning on Mike Huckabee’s radical and dangerous plan to give fertilized eggs full constitutional rights by declaring them to be human beings. But Huckabee wasn’t the only one at last night's GOP presidential debate making extreme statements when it comes to women’s health care.

Fox’s Megyn Kelly asked Walker about his position that all abortion should be illegal, even in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of a pregnant woman.

Walker did not answer Kelly’s direct question of whether he would really let a woman die rather than have an abortion. Instead he declared his “pro-life” credentials and said, “I’ve said many a time that the unborn child can be protected, and there are many other alternatives that can also protect the life of the mother.”

Of course, those “alternatives” don’t always exist, and the experiences of some women in Catholic hospitals make it clear that women’s lives are at stake when no-exceptions abortion bans are in place.

Walker asserted, “I’ve got a position that’s in line with everyday America.”

That statement is utterly false. Fewer than one in five Americans believes, like Walker, that abortion should be illegal in all circumstances. A recent poll for Vox found that more than two-thirds of Americans would NOT like to see the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade. Kelly noted in her question that 83 percent of Americans believe abortion should be allowed to save a woman’s life.

Gallup reported in May that more Americans describe themselves as pro-choice than pro-life (50 – 44 percent). And even that question understates the depth of Americans’ support for women having access to safe and legal abortion. Researcher Tresa Undem told ThinkProgress recently that people in focus groups are stunned when presented with data about the range of attacks and restrictions on women’s health care:

“When you get in a focus group with people and you show them the entirely of the restrictions and exactly what’s going on, there is total outrage — it’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen in fifteen years of doing public opinion research,” she said.

Of course, last night’s debate was not the first time Walker has lied about his position on women’s access to abortion. In a television ad last year he said that an anti-abortion bill he was pushing “leaves the final decision to a woman and her doctor,” which is basically the definition of being pro-choice. But in May, Walker explained to social conservative leaders that he was using purposefully deceptive language — in the words of anti-abortion activist Marjorie Dannenfelser, “using the language of the other side to support our own position” — a strategy she found impressive. “It’s the whole style of communication and content that you want to see moving into a presidential cycle that will make it different from 2012.”

I’m guessing that Dannenfelser was delighted by Walker’s “everyday America” line.

Perkins: Impeach Obama For 'Doing More To Help Our Enemies Than To Help Our Country'

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins repeated his call for the impeachment of President Obama yesterday, saying that the president’s “actions suggest he is doing more to help our enemies than to help our country.”

“The problem with the president is that he has been deceptive,” Perkins said in response to a listener who called in to his “Washington Watch” radio program. “The problem with the president is that he has been lawless. He has ignored the Constitution, he has lied to the American people and his actions suggest he is doing more to help our enemies than to help our country.”

“And so this feeling of frustration that Americans are feeling is not normal,” he said. “It’s not political, it’s not partisan, it goes beyond that. This goes to the heart of the issue that people that care about this country, their families, their future, they don’t see this president as defending and advocating for America. I’m not sure what he’s advocating for.”

“He is deconstructing this nation,” Perkins continued. “He’s done it in our military, now he’s done it in our foreign policy” with the Iran deal.

When another listener called in to ask why Obama has not yet been impeached, Perkins seconded the call.

“When you begin to operate deceptively, when you violate the boundaries by which the American people have agreed to be governed, you have crossed the line,” he said, “and I think this president has crossed the line.”

He lamented that the Republican Party doesn’t have the “backbone” to begin impeachment proceedings, which is why, he said, Donald Trump is proving so popular among GOP primary voters: “Donald Trump, he is the result of the Republican Party. He is doing so well because the Republicans refuse to do what the American people elected them to do.”

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