New GOP Same As the Old GOP: Iowa Summit to Feature Republican Leaders and Religious Right Stalwarts

Year after year we keep hearing about the supposed decline of the Religious Right and the GOP’s shift away from the fringes. Despite all of that talk and speculation, this weekend will see this year’s second Religious Right gathering for potential presidential candidates, almost three years before the Iowa caucus. For anyone who anticipates that Republican presidential candidates will move towards the center in 2016, this weekend’s festivities are a very loud wakeup call.

The upcoming Family Leadership Summit comes on the heels of last month’s Iowa Pastors and Pews meeting, which hosted Sen. Rand Paul, Sen. Ted Cruz and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.

This weekend’s conference, hosted by the Religious Right group The Family Leader, will feature Cruz, former Sen. Rick Santorum and perennial presidential candidate-vacillator Donald Trump.

Bob Vander Plaats of The Family Leader, a former Republican gubernatorial candidate who spearheaded the 2010 campaign to boot pro-marriage equality justices off the Iowa Supreme Court, is hosting the event. The Family Leader continues its push to become a conservative power player: Last year, the organization hosted a debate attended by every Republican presidential candidate save Mitt Romney and tried to get candidates to pledge to fight legal pornography and to agree that African-American families were better off under slavery. In 2016, the group might take over the reins of the Iowa Straw Poll.

Along with Iowa Gov. Terry Brandstad and Sen. Chuck Grassley, several far-right figures are slated to speak at the summit:

Rep. Steve King (R-IA), who recently claimed that most young undocumented immigrants are drug mules with “calves the size of cantaloupes.”

Alaska Senate candidate Joe Miller, the far-right 2010 GOP Senate nominee who has tiestomilitia groups.

Talk show host Steve Deace, who has fantasized about assaulting openly gay NBA player Jason Collins and suggested that the public school system was responsible for the Newtown massacre.

Talk show host Kevin McCullough, who believes that gay people are out to kill him and hate God (but also don’t exist).

Talk show host Jan Mickelson, who has said that AIDS is divine punishment for homosexuality and hailed former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s opposition to gay rights.

Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage, who has likened his campaign against marriage equality to fights against slavery and Jim Crow.

David Bossie of Citizens United, the Clinton-era witch hunter who predicted that the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell would cripple the military and bring back the draft.

Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America, who argued that the Violence Against Women Act represented a “war on women” and accused Planned Parenthood of supporting domestic abuse.

Actor/Reality Show contestant Stephen Baldwin, who called President Obama a “cultural terrorist.”

Dr. Del Tackett of Truth In Action Ministries, who blamed homosexuality on lazy parenting.

Doug Napier of Alliance Defending Freedom, who pledged to represent county officials in Iowa who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Dr. David Noebel of Summit Ministries, who has warned that “Obama and his radical homosexual mafia plan to sodomize the world and make such perversion seem as wholesome as apple pie and vanilla ice cream.”

Klingenschmitt: If You Are Gay, 'Then You Should Be Discriminated Against'

On his most recent "Pray In Jesus Name" program, "Dr. Chaps" Gordon Klingenschmitt added his voice to the never-ending Religious Right outrage over a proposed San Antonio anti-discrimination ordinance that would supposedly ban Christians for serving in public office or in any way working for the city.

It is all nonsense, of course, but that didn't stop Chaps from attacking the proposal by saying that gays should be discriminated against ... and citing Martin Luther King to prove it.

Klingenschmitt's line of reasoning was so convoluted that even he couldn't understand it, as he cited MLK's famous "judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character" line to assert that "if your heart is full of corruption or sin or immorality - in this case, homosexuality - then you should be discriminated against."

But then, seeming to realize that the argument he was making that discrimination based on character is justified could just as easily be used against people who are anti-gay, Klingenschmitt ended up tying himself in knots:

"When these confusing statutes now try to redefine discrimination and say that you can no longer discriminate against character ... that anyone who discriminates against character is guilty of discrimination and therefore ought to be discriminated against, they're actually saying Martin Luther King himself ought to be punished for his views, and that's not right."

Cuccinelli: McAuliffe is Waging 'The Real War on Women'…Because He Hasn't Commented on Mayor Three Time Zones Away

Last week, the Republican National Committee and the four national GOP campaign committees sent out a memo claiming that there is in fact a Democratic “war on women” being waged on two fronts: New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner’s sexting and San Diego mayor Bob Filner’s sexual harassment.

Claiming that “most Democrats said nothing” about the San Diego mayor’s serial sexual harassment and the former congressman’s serial sexting of strangers, the memo charges, “With their silence, they are sanctioning the actions of Bob Filner and Anthony Weiner and numerous others who have assaulted, harassed, and preyed on women.”

Now, Virginia attorney general and Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli has picked up on the theme, sending out a fund raising email with a graphic connecting Cuccinelli’s Democratic opponent Terry McAuliffe and President Obama with Weiner and Filner.

“By not condemning Weiner and Filner’s unacceptable behavior towards women, leaders like Obama and McAuliffe are signaling to our young people that it’s okay for powerful American leaders to harass, humiliate and assault women,” the email reads.

As many commentators have noted, the GOP’s new attempt to turn the tables on the War on Women isn’t exactly convincing, especially coming from the party of trans-vaginal ultrasounds and “legitimate rape.”

But the argument is almost comical coming from Cuccinelli, who has one of the most extreme records in the country when it comes to women’s health and women’s rights. This is a candidate who:

Yet, Terry McAuliffe is waging “the real war on women” because of the actions of a man he’s never met who lives on the opposite side of the country.

Beck: 'All Of Western Society Comes From The Torah'

Glenn Beck once again hosted John Hagee on his television program last night, where he introduced him as "one of the great men alive today" based on their mutual love and concern for the nation of Israel, which they both explained was rooted in the Bible.

After Beck declared that he "gets his pro-Israel stance from the Bible" and that "between the Bible and the history of America, I know whose side we're supposed to be on," Hagee proclaimed that "the Jewish people do not occupy the land of Israel, they own the land of Israel" because it had been given to them by God. 

As such, Hagee said, Christians are obligated to protect and defend them and Beck eagerly agreed, adding that "we're so indebted because, if it wasn't for them, we wouldn't have the Torah, which most of our laws come from; all of Western society comes from the Torah":

Boykin and Starnes Doubt Terror Alerts are Genuine & Suggest Warnings are Ploy to Downplay 'Scandals'

While speaking with American Family Association talk show host Sandy Rios, Fox News commentator Todd Starnes and Family Research Council vice president Jerry Boykin floated the conspiracy theory that new security warnings might be a political ploy to distract from the “scandals” under President Obama.

Neither Boykin nor Starnes had any evidence to back up their claim. In fact, the last time such a move occurred was under Republican leadership: during the Bush administration, former Department of Homeland Security secretary Tom Ridge revealed that he faced pressure from top officials to raise the terror alert during the 2004 campaign for political purposes.

Rios asked Boykin if the threats were genuine or “a way of covering for the scandals that are going on?” Boyin said that “both” of her claims are true.

He claimed Obama dismissed warnings about Al Qaeda’s work with other terrorist organizations, “the network is growing and the threat is very serious so that’s not what the administration has been telling us.” However, Obama actually made the point in May that Al Qaeda has become “more diffuse” and working in “regionalized networks”.

After distorting Obama’s views, Boykin went on to claim the alerts are an attempt to “deflect” attention from the administration’s “scandals”: “I think you’re absolutely right, I think there are so many things that are occurring today that are embarrassing for the administration, that are causing people to start to wake up and take a look at what the administration is doing and I think this is a way of deflecting attention away from all these other scandals.”

Not to be outdone, Starnes said that the warnings could be a “false flag” and asked, “I mean, is the entire planet endanger? Because they’re putting the entire world on this alert. Unfortunately in this administration it’s like the principle of the little boy who cried wolf, we just don’t know when to believe this administration.”

Right Wing Round-Up - 8/5/13

Right Wing Leftovers - 8/5/13

  • Glenn Beck's The Blaze network has opened a Washington, DC bureau and added a correspondent with White House credentials.
  • RNC chairman Reince Priebus is threatening to pull Republican primary debates from CNN and NBC "unless those companies pull their current Hillary Clinton-related film projects."
  • Sen. Ted Cruz doesn't seem to understand how BuzzFeed operates.
  • Bryan Fischer says that, even today, God is raising people from the dead.
  • Apparently, environmentalists are responsible for the deaths of the nineteen firefighters who died fighting a forest fire in Arizona earlier this summer.
  • Finally, John Boehner’s office says that nobody on staff remembers Boehner ever "agreeing" with Rep. Ted Yoho's claim that Obamacare is racist.

NRLC Punishes Chapter Over Gay Marriage Stance

The National Right to Life Committee has cut ties with its Cleveland chapter after the local group announced that it would oppose Ohio Sen. Rob Portman’s re-election because of his support for marriage equality.

NRLC president Carol Tobias told [PDF] the Cleveland Right to Life that its “public criticisms of and implicit political threats against a U.S. Senator who has supported the right-to-life position” over “a non-right-to-life issue” has “violated National Right to Life policy, causing the chapter to disaffiliate itself from the NRLC.”

“We respectfully insist that you remove from your website the claim that you are affiliated with NRLC,” Tobias writes.

The Cleveland group blamed the disaffiliation on “coordination” between the national group and Sen. Portman’s office and reiterated that “any politician, including Portman, who supports the break-up of the American family and supports the denial of a mother and father for children has forfeited the right of support and endorsement of the prolife movement.”

Seeing that Portman became persona non grata among Religious Right organizations after he endorsed marriage equality, NRLC’s decision to stick by him is likely to provoke the ire of other anti-choice groups that are more vocal opponents of same-sex marriage.

Rep. Jim Bridenstine: 'We Would Be Heroes' for Shutting Down Government to Defund Obamacare

Even though only thirty-four percent of Americans want to repeal health care reform (and even fewer support shutting down the government in order to do so), Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) confidently predicted that Americans — Republican and Democrat alike — will treat GOP members of Congress as “heroes” is they shut down the government over Obamacare funding.

“We would be heroes,” Bridenstine said while speaking with Family Research Council head Tony Perkins, “you know somebody was showing me polling about government shutdown this and government shutdown that, we don’t want to shut down the government, we want to fund the government, we just want to have a limitation amendment that defunds Obamacare.”

The congressman’s remarks echoed those of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who believes that President Obama is actually the one threatening a government shut down because he won’t bend to his demands to defund the health care law.

Bridenstine added that Obama should be grateful that Republicans would support any resolution funding the government at all: “Look, we’re willing to reluctantly fund all of the rest of the government; all we’re asking for is this one item.”

Gay-Inclusive Curriculum Leads to Witchcraft, Child Molestation

Last week, Sandy Rios spoke to a South Carolina teacher named Ira Thomas who denounced the National Education Association’s gay-inclusive curriculum during the union’s Atlanta convention and even compared the curriculum to instructing children on how to use crack.

Thomas also spoke about his anti-gay activism to Linda Harvey, a harsh critic of the NEA, over the weekend and this time said that gay-inclusive curriculum will let people force “things on us in school that we don’t believe in from witchcraft to even the molestation from children.”

Later in the interview, Thomas likened the issue to the Penn State abuse scandal where “so many people knew what was going wrong but no one spoke out for whatever reason.”

Thomas: There was another item about showing a video and I can’t remember what video but it was something dealing with the gay and lesbian [sic], but after sitting through several of those I decided it was time to let the voice be heard instead of sitting by and saying nothing.

Harvey: So what did you eventually say?

Thomas: In short I told them as a person I do not have a right to discriminate, but by the same token they do not have a right to disseminate what I consider to be harmful material to children. I do not have a right to tell them what to choose but they also do not have a right to choose a curriculum for me that I feel is biblically wrong. It’s like with prayer, it’s not right for me to put my Christian beliefs on anybody, it is right for me to share the Gospel, but even Christ gave us the choice. If we’re going to go there then the next thing we know we’re going to have everybody forcing things on us in school that we don’t believe in from witchcraft to even the molestation from children.



Thomas: I don’t want to take this analogy too far but the best one I can think of is the incident that happened at Penn State. So many people knew what was going wrong but no one spoke out for whatever reason. Even with this, we can believe it in our heart but if we don’t ever speak out we are allowing things to go and to keep going on and on.
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