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“GOP Outreach To Gays: At Least We Won’t Kill You”: We Only Want To Deny You Your Rights

Conventional wisdom suggests that Republicans decided to trash the RNC’s autopsy that was completed after their loss in the 2012 presidential election. It contained suggestions that the party should do more to reach out to women and people of color – especially Hispanic Americans. But perhaps we got it all wrong. Maybe in some fevered minds, trashing illegal immigrants was actually their idea of how to reach out to the Hispanic community.

I say that after reading an article by Tierney Sneed titled: GOP Makes “Appalling” Pitch to LGBT’s: Dems Are Choosing Muslims Over You. Perhaps this is what Republicans mean by “outreach.” The message basically comes down to this: We may be trying to deny you your rights, but at least we won’t kill you.

Their reasoning? That somehow, in the wake of the Orlando shooting at a gay night club that left 49 people dead, there’s now a mutually exclusive choice between supporting Muslims and protecting gay people, and Democrats have chosen the former.

The unlovely premise of that rationale is that all Muslims are terrorists, as one Republican congressman has baldly stated.

“Democrats are in a perplexing position. On the one hand, they’re trying to appeal to the gay community, but, on the other hand, they’re trying to also appeal to the Muslim community, which, if it had its way, would kill every homosexual in the United States of America,” Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) said on a radio show Thursday.

Sneed goes on to provide similar quotes from Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. But for anyone who still had a functioning irony meter, the one from conservative evangelist Pat Robertson is sure to break it for good.

Pat Robertson – the conservative preacher and Christian media executive who has said gay people are “demonic” and will eventually die out — said the “left” had “a dilemma of major proportions.”

“We’re looking at a favored group by the left, the homosexuals, and that in Islam is punishable by death or imprisonment or some sanction, so what are the left going to do?” he said on his TV show “700 Club” Tuesday.

What makes that kind of talk so outrageous is that Robertson is a leader among right wing Christians who have supported murderous African dictators in singling out homosexuals for both imprisonment and death.

For the record, I know of no liberals – let alone LGBT people – who have any love lost for groups like ISIS that have practiced horrific executions of homosexuals. Nor is there any lack of protest against regimes in the Middle East (or countries like Russia) that imprison them. But just as in the Christian community, there are Muslims who support equal rights for homosexuals and those who deny them. Republicans who would do the latter should revisit the words of Jesus when he suggested that people check out the log in their own eye before judging the splinter is someone else’s.

 

By: Nancy LeTourneau, Political Animal Blog, The Washington Monthly, June 17, 2016

June 18, 2016 Posted by | Christian Conservatives, Donald Trump, Muslim Americans, Pat Robertson | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Trump Proves GOP Proclamations Of Mortal Affront Untrue”: He’s Only Repeating What His Party’s Has Been Saying All Along

In 2006, then-Arizona State Sen. Russell Pearce advocated the return of a 1954 program for the mass deportation of undocumented immigrants. It was called “Operation Wetback.”

In 2010, Sen. David Vitter, Republican from Louisiana, released a campaign ad that depicted a bunch of seedy-looking Mexicans, some with gang bandannas, slipping through a hole in a border fence to invade America.

In 2011, Rep. Mo Brooks, Republican from Alabama, said of undocumented immigrants: “I will do anything short of shooting them” to make them stop “taking jobs from American citizens.”

That same year, Republican presidential contender Herman Cain vowed to build an electrified border fence that would shock Mexicans who sought to slip into the country.

In 2013, Rep. Steve King, Republican from Iowa, said that for every illegal immigrant who becomes a valedictorian, there are another hundred with “calves the size of cantaloupes” because they are drug mules.

Yet the party is shocked and offended by what Donald Trump said? Jeb Bush calls his recent comments on undocumented Mexican immigrants “extraordinarily ugly”? Sen. Marco Rubio finds them “not just offensive and inaccurate, but also divisive”? A major donor tells the Associated Press Trump should be excluded from the debates?

Beg pardon, but there is something rather precious in all this ostentatious umbrage. If you didn’t know better, you might forget that the GOP has sought votes for years by stoking fear and anger toward Mexicans who enter this country illegally. If you weren’t paying attention, you might not know that various Republican officials and pundits routinely characterize those people — most of them just dirt poor and trying to put bread on the table — as a disease-ridden invasion force of drug smugglers and gang members, not to mention pregnant women splashing across the Rio Grande in order to drop so-called “anchor babies” on U.S. soil.

This is not to say Trump’s words were not ugly. They were. “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” he said. “…They’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems [to] us. They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people.”

But ugly as it was, Trump’s xenophobia broke no new ground. So you have to wonder at the pious denunciations it is generating. You’re tempted to say people are reacting like this because Trump was blunter than we are used to. On the other hand, there is nothing particularly subtle or ambiguous about threatening to shock Mexicans. Maybe folks weren’t paying attention before.

It’s worth noting that Trump’s comments came as he announced his intention to run for President of the United States, a nation whose last census found about 32 million of us identifying as Mexican-American (some, presumably, good people). Indeed, Mexican-Americans are far and away the largest group under the umbrella rubric “Hispanic.” All the Cuban-, Puerto Rican-, Argentinean-, and Spanish-Americans combined don’t equal the number of Mexican-Americans in this country. So when the GOP talks about “Hispanic” outreach, it is, in a very real sense, talking Mexican-American outreach. Yet this “outreach” seems always to be overshadowed by insult.

The party seems not to realize that you can’t have it both ways, can’t insult people, then ask them to vote for you. How telling is it that, even as party elders assure us his remarks don’t represent the GOP, Trump vaults to second place in the polling of Republican contenders? It’s a truth that gives the lie to these proclamations of mortal affront.

It’s hypocritical and unfair to put all this on Trump. He only repeated what his party’s been saying all along.

 

By: Leonard Pitts, Jr., Columnist for The Miami Herald; The National Memo, July 8, 2015

July 9, 2015 Posted by | Donald Trump, GOP, Hispanics | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Mollifying The Extremists”: GOP Back To ‘Impeachment,’ ‘Jail Time’ For Obama

As the 2014 cycle progressed, the number of congressional Republicans talking about impeaching President Obama faded, and there’s no real mystery as to what happened. GOP leaders, fearing a public backlash, told Republican incumbents and candidates to dial it down a notch. Why rile up Democrats, who too often stay home in midterm cycles, when they’re tuning out?

And as a consequence, for months, the “i” word more or less faded. That is, until very recently.

Last week, Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas), less than a month into his first term in Congress, announced his belief that President Obama, without a doubt, “deserves impeachment.” He’s not the only one talking like this.

Republican Rep. Tom Marino of Pennsylvania says President Obama is “getting close” to impeachment. “People say, ‘should the president be impeached?’ I say, we’re getting close to that,” Marino said in a video posted on YouTube Wednesday by the local newspaper, the Wellsboro Gazette.

Marino said he was talking about impeachment because “it comes up consistently at town hall meetings.”

Well, that’s a good reason. Marino was a little fuzzy on what, exactly, would be the grounds for presidential impeachment, but for many GOP lawmakers, that’s a minor and inconvenient detail that shouldn’t interfere with reckless rhetoric.

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), meanwhile, has no use for subtlety and is already talking publicly about “jail time” for the president:

In an appearance on “The Steve Malzberg Show” [Tuesday], Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., continued his crusade against President Obama’s executive actions on immigration reform, calling on the federal courts to find that the president’s actions violated the law.

If Obama defies such a ruling, Brooks said, then Congress should pass a contempt citation against the president for his “reckless conduct” and demand that he comply with the court’s decision.

He said that Obama would then drop his executive actions since he, like Richard Nixon, doesn’t want to “incur the wrath that comes with a contempt citation with potential fines and jail time.”

At this point, I still consider it unlikely that GOP leaders will go along with the far-right’s impeachment crusade, but conservative media appears to be on board, and the number of congressional Republican talking up the idea since the elections keeps growing.

Even if party leaders balk, this only means they’ll have to think of something else to mollify the extremists in their midst, and pointless anti-Obama lawsuits probably won’t cut it.

 

By: Steve Benen, The Maddow Blog, February 4, 2015

February 6, 2015 Posted by | Conservative Media, GOP, Impeachment | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Facing A Demographic Reality”: The So-Called ‘War On Whites’ Is A Fight The GOP Can’t Win

At this point, you really have to wonder: Is it still news when a Republican says something asinine?

On the off chance it is, let us spend a few moments pondering the strange case of Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks, who said last week that the Democratic Party is waging a “War on Whites.”

Yeah, he actually said that. You can look it up if you want.

Brooks was responding to radio talk show host Laura Ingraham, who had asked him to comment on a remark from National Journal columnist Ron Fournier to the effect that the GOP cannot continue to be competitive in national elections if it continues to alienate voters of color. This is a truth so self-evident as to have been adopted by the GOP itself in its “autopsy” report after the 2012 election.

Yet here is what Brooks said in response: “This is a part of the war on whites that is being launched by the Democratic Party. And the way in which they’re launching this war is by claiming that whites hate everybody else. It’s a part of the strategy that Barack Obama implemented in 2008, continued in 2012, where he divides us all on race, on sex, greed, envy, class warfare, all those kinds of things.”

“A War on Whites.” Yet it’s President Obama who is guilty of racially inflammatory rhetoric?

Brooks’ words so alarmed Ingraham that she suggested his rhetoric was “a little out there.” This woman belches fire on all things conservative; for her to suggest you’ve gone too far is like Charlie Sheen telling you to cut back on hookers and cigarettes.

But Brooks doubled down, repeating the claim in an interview with a website, AL.com: “What the Democrats are doing with their dividing America by race is they are waging a war on whites and I find that repugnant.”

OK, so let’s say the obvious first. There’s something surreal and absurd about this lecture, coming as it does from a member of the party that invented the Southern strategy and birtherism and whose voters were last seen standing at the border screaming at terrified Guatemalan kids.

But it’s not the ridiculousness of Brooks’ words that should be of greatest concern. You see, Fournier is right. If something does not arrest its present trajectory, the GOP seems destined to shrink into a regional party with appeal only to older white voters. It will be irrelevant in a nation where white voters will soon cease to be a majority — no group will be a majority — and appeals to racial and cultural resentments have less power to sway elections.

That should concern the GOP brain trust. It should concern us all. As a practical matter, this country has only two political parties; if one ceases to be competitive, we become a de facto single party system. That is not democracy. No ideology has a monopoly on good ideas. So America needs a healthy Republican Party.

Yet for every Rand Paul trying — albeit in a fumbling and deeply flawed manner — to reach constituencies the party has written off and driven off, or to engage on issues it has disregarded, there seem to be five Mo Brookses doubling down on the politics of resentment and fear.

His party needs to realize once and for all that that day is done. It is critical for the GOP to wean itself from the cowardly belief that simply to discuss race and culture, to acknowledge disparity in treatment and outcomes, to put forward ways of addressing those things, constitutes “playing the race card” or “race baiting” or fighting a “war on whites.”

That idea was always wrongheaded and dumb. Very soon it will become electorally untenable as well. So the GOP must learn to speak a language it has shunned to people it has ignored.

Because its biggest threat is not the Democratic Party but demographic reality. And right now, that reality is winning, hands down.

 

By: Leonard Pitts. Jr., Columnist, The Miami Herald; The National Memo, August 11, 2014

 

August 12, 2014 Posted by | GOP, Republicans, War on Whites | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“What ‘War On Whites’?”: The Myth Of White Victimhood Is Not Just Ahistorical, But Obscene In Its Willful Ignorance

If there really were a “war on whites,” as a Republican congressman from Alabama ludicrously claims, it wouldn’t be going very well for the anti-white side.

In 2012, the last year for which comprehensive Census Bureau data are available, white households had a median income of $57,009, compared with $33,321 for African American households and $39,005 for Hispanic households. The white-black income gap was almost exactly the same as in 1972; the gap between whites and Hispanics actually worsened.

According to an analysis by the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, the average white family has six times as much accumulated wealth as the average black or Hispanic family. Other authoritative data show that African Americans and Hispanics are far more likely than whites to be unemployed, impoverished or incarcerated.

Yet Rep. Mo Brooks feverishly imagines that whites are somehow under attack and that the principal assailant is — why am I not surprised? — President Obama.

Asked whether Republicans were alienating Latino voters with their position on immigration, Brooks said this to conservative radio host Laura Ingraham:

“This is a part of the war on whites that’s being launched by the Democratic Party. And the way in which they’re launching this war is by claiming that whites hate everybody else. It’s a part of the strategy that Barack Obama implemented in 2008, continued in 2012, where he divides us all on race, on sex, greed, envy, class warfare, all those kinds of things.”

Ingraham, who makes her living as a rhetorical flamethrower, actually told the congressman that his “phraseology might not be the best choice.” But Brooks stuck to his appalling thesis in a subsequent interview with AL.com, saying that “in effect, what the Democrats are doing with their dividing America by race is they are waging a war on whites and I find that repugnant.”

Brooks is from Alabama, where public officials used fire hoses and attack dogs against black children who were peacefully trying to integrate the whites-only lunch counters of Birmingham. Where terrorists acting in the name of white supremacy bombed a historic African American church, killing four little girls. Where demonstrators marching for voting rights were savagely beaten by police and vigilantes as they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

Brooks is 60, which means he lived through these events. Surely he knows that it was white-imposed Jim Crow segregation — not anything that black or brown people did — that divided America by race. At some level, he must realize that his overheated blather about a “war on whites” is not just ahistorical but obscene in its willful ignorance.

But maybe not. Maybe Brooks has fully bought in to the paranoid myth of white victimhood that gives the opposition to Obama and his policies such an edge of nastiness and desperation.

I do not believe it can be a coincidence that this notion of whites somehow being under attack is finding new expression — not just in Brooks’s explicit words but in the euphemistic language of many others as well — when the first black president lives in the White House.

The myth of victimhood is not new. Long after it was understood that slavery was morally wrong, Southern whites justified its perpetuation by citing the fear that blacks, once liberated, would surely take bloody revenge against those who had held them in bondage. Jim Crow laws and lynchings had a similar purpose. In the minds of his assassins, 14-year-old Emmett Till was tortured and killed to protect the flower of Southern womanhood.

The myth surfaces whenever Obama comments on race. When he spoke about the killing of Trayvon Martin, nothing he said was inherently controversial. But the mere fact that Obama expressed sympathy for Martin was taken by some as an attack on the forces of law and order, or an apology for hip-hop “thug life” culture, or an indication that his real agenda is to ban all handguns, or something along those ridiculous lines. When Obama was running for president, I wrote that to win he would have to be perceived as “the least-aggrieved black man in America.” He has tried his best, but for some people it’s not enough.

There are other reasons why the myth of white victimhood is gaining strength — economic dislocation, rapid immigration from Latin America, changing demographics that will make this a majority-minority country before mid-century. But I can’t help feeling that Obama’s race heightens the sense of being under siege.

Congressman Brooks, you’re talking pure gibberish. But thanks for being honest.

 

By: Eugene Robinson, Opinion Writer, The Washington Post, August 7, 2014

August 11, 2014 Posted by | Racism, War on Whites, Whites | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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