mykeystrokes.com

"Do or Do not. There is no try."

“Behind Trump, The GOP Really Is Becoming The Racist Party”: It’s Time For The GOP Leaders To Make It Clear Where They Stand

Let me offer some friendly advice to the Republican Party that I learned firsthand as a Muslim American: You don’t want to be defined by your most extreme members. And here’s a little more advice. The longer the GOP leadership remains silent as Donald Trump garners increasing support from white supremacist organizations, the more likely the GOP will become known as the party of racists.

I know, some of my progressive friends will say that’s already the case. But that’s not fair. Sure, there are racists drawn to the GOP, just like we have seen psychopaths attracted to Islam. I’m sure not all Republicans are racists and I bet some are even disgusted by bigotry.

We are, however, seeing a bone-chilling attraction to Trump by white nationalist groups. It’s almost like they view Trump’s candidacy as their last stand against the changing demographics of America. He’s become the poster child for their philosophy that “White Lives Matter More.”

For example, just last week David Duke, the former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux, publicly praised Trump as the best Republican candidate in the 2016 field because he “understands the real sentiment of America.” Duke applauded Trump’s views on immigration that call for mass deportation of families, saying that Trump is ”speaking out on this greatest immediate threat to the American people.”

Trump’s tepid response to Duke’s glowing praise was troubling to say the least: “I certainly wouldn’t want his endorsement. I don’t need anyone’s endorsement.” When pressed by a reporter to repudiate Duke, Trump responded, “Sure, I would if that would make you feel better.”

As the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Mark Potok explained Saturday on my SiriusXM radio show, this response by Trump was “incredibly weak,” noting that Trump “barely repudiated” Duke. Potok explained that as opposed to Trump saying I’ll condemn Duke if it will “make you feel better,” he should’ve made it unequivocally clear he finds Duke’s views despicable and doesn’t want Duke or his white supremacist followers’ support in any way.

In fact, in 2000, when Trump was considering running for president with a new political organization called the Reform Party, the billionaire publicly stated he wanted nothing to do with the party after he learned that Duke was a part of it. But now, with Trump actually running for president, he’s far less vocal in denouncing Duke.

Duke, however, is far from the only person tied to white supremacist or hate groups publicly endorsing Trump. Last week, white nationalist radio host James Edwards, a man who has warned against interracial marriage, called slavery “the greatest thing that ever happened to” blacks, and featured a “roster of white supremacists” on his show, publicly endorsed Trump.

Trump has also been touted by neo-Nazi websites such as The Daily Stormer with articles like, “We are all Donald Trump Now.” And as Media Matters set forth in detail a few days ago, the list of white nationalist leaders supporting Trump is alarmingly long.

The issue is not just that these hate groups see something they like in Trump. These groups have the right to endorse anyone they like. The more alarming issue is Trump’s failure to publicly to condemn them.

Since Trump is not willing to make it clear he wants nothing to do with these hate groups or their followers, it’s time for the GOP leadership to step up and do just that. Trump is currently far and away the leader in the race for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. Consequently, his actions will increasingly define the Republican Party. And the longer the GOP leaders remain silent, the more likely the Republican Party will be defined by the white supremacist groups publicly endorsing Trump.

Luckily, the GOP is in a far better position than Muslim Americans to denounce its extremists. In our case, we are a small minority group with very limited media contacts. Getting the message out that we despise terrorists like ISIS and al Qaeda has been challenging to say the least despite our best efforts to do just that.

In contrast, the GOP has extensive media connections. In fact, the No. 1 cable news network, Fox News, showcases the party’s leaders on a daily basis. It won’t take much for the Republican leaders to get the media to cover their condemnation of the white nationalist and neo-Nazis supporting Trump.

For example, look what happened last year when we learned that the third-highest ranking member of the House Republican leadership, Steve Scalise, had given a speech to a white supremacist group in 2002 when running for office. House Speaker John Boehner simply issued a press release noting that he stood with Scalise because Scalise had acknowledged his actions were “wrong and inappropriate.” That press release was covered by media outlets nationwide.

Now just imagine the media coverage if RNC chair Reince Priebus held a press conference, along with some of the GOP leadership in the House and Senate, to denounce the white nationalist groups supporting Trump. It would make headlines nationwide and send a clear message to all.

Isn’t it time for the GOP leaders to make it clear where they stand on white supremacists supporting their party’s front-runner for the presidential nomination? I, for one, very much look forward to hearing what they have to say on this issue.

 

By: Dean Obeidallah, The Daily Beast, August 31, 2015

September 8, 2015 Posted by | Donald Trump, GOP, White Supremacists | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

“Trump And White Supremacists”: They Don’t Don Sheets And Pointy Hoods Or Burn Crosses At Their Gatherings, But It’s The Same Crowd

“Trump, on a gut level, kind of senses that this is about demographics, ultimately. We’re moving into a new America.” He said, “I don’t think Trump is a white nationalist,” but he did believe that Trump reflected “an unconscious vision that white people have – that their grandchildren might be a hated minority in their own country. I think that scares us. They probably aren’t able to articulate it. I think it’s there. I think that, to a great degree, explains the Trump phenomenon.”

That comes from a fascinating article by Evan Osnos titled: The Fearful and the Frustrated. The particular quote is from someone named Richard Spencer. Here’s how Osnos introduces him:

Richard Spencer is a self-described “identitarian” who lives in Whitefish, Montana, and promotes “white racial consciousness.” At thirty-six, Spencer is trim and preppy, with degrees from the University of Virginia and the University of Chicago. He is the president and director of the National Policy Institute, a think tank, co-founded by William Regnery, a member of the conservative publishing family, that is “dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of European people in the United States and around the world.” The Southern Poverty Law Center calls Spencer “a suit-and-tie version of the white supremacists of old.

Apparently Osnos was doing some reporting on extremist white-rights groups when the whole Trump phenomenon hit. As such, he had a front-row seat to how this dark corner in our country reacted. The upshot of it all is…they love it.

Ever since the Tea Party’s peak, in 2010, and its fade, citizens on the American far right – Patriot militias, border vigilantes, white supremacists – have searched for a standard-bearer, and now they’d found him.

Spencer has gotten a higher profile lately due to the fact that he seems to be the go-to guy on understanding the recent popularity of the hashtag #cuckservative. Here’s Dave Weigel explaining:

Late last week, a neologism was born. Twitter was the incubator. “Cuckservative,” a portmanteau of “conservative” and “cuckold” (i.e. a man whose wife has cheated on him) burned up Twitter as fans of Donald Trump’s politicking warred with the movement conservatives who opposed it…

What is “cuckservatism?”

I’ll defer to Richard Spencer, president of the white nationalist National Policy Institute.

“#Cuckservative” is a full-scale revolt, by Identitarians and what I’ve called the ‘alt Right,’ against the Republican Party and conservative movement,” Spencer explained in an e-mail. “The ‘cuck’ slur is vulgar, yes, but then piercingly accurate. It is the cuckold who, whether knowingly or unknowingly, loses control of his future. This is an apt psychological portrait of white ‘conservatives,’ whose only identity is comprised of vague, abstract ‘values,’ and who are participating in the displacement of European Americans — their own children…

According to Spencer, “Trump is a major part of the ‘cuckservative’ phenomenon — but not because he himself is an Identitarian or traditionalist. His campaign is, in many ways, a backward-looking movement: ‘Let’s make America great again!’ Why Trump is attractive to Identitarians and the alt Right is: a) he is a tougher, superior man than ‘conservatives’ (which isn’t saying much), and b) he seems to grasp the demographic displacement of European-Americans on a visceral level. We see some hope there.”

Consider yourself on notice. People like Richard Spencer “see some hope” in the likes of Donald Trump. These guys can come up with new names for themselves (i.e., “Identitarians” or “alt Right”) and perhaps they don’t don sheets and pointy hoods or burn crosses at their gatherings. But make no mistake, it’s the same crowd.

P.S. Daniel Marans and Kim Bellware have a run-down on Trump’s white supremacists fan club.

 

By: Nancy LeTournea, Political Animal Blog, The Washington Monthly, August 27, 2015

August 28, 2015 Posted by | Donald Trump, Right Wing Extremisim, White Supremacists | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Cashing In On Fear”: Agenda 21, The U.N. Conspiracy That Just Won’t Die

It’s been called “the most dangerous threat to American sovereignty”; “An anti-human document, which takes aim at Western culture, and the Judeo-Christian and Islamic religions,” that will bring “new Dark Ages of pain and misery yet unknown to mankind,” and “abolish golf courses, grazing pastures and paved roads,” in the name of creating a “one-world order.”

It’s been the subject of several forewarning books and DVDs; there are organizations dedicated to stopping it and politicians have been unseated for supporting it. Glenn Beck has spent a good portion of his career making people scared of it.

Not sure what it is? You’re not alone.

The Daily Beast got a sneak peek at a new report by Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit civil rights group, which deconstructs the mythology of Agenda 21 and the organizations, individuals, and even elected officials who’ve spent years promulgating the conspiracy theory surrounding it.

Before diving into the fiction that has inflated Agenda 21 to fear mongering status, we must first understand the facts. What, exactly, is Agenda 21?

While the name might sound a bit ominous, Agenda 21 is a voluntary action plan that offers suggestions for sustainable ways local, state and national governments can combat poverty and pollution and conserve natural resources in the 21st century. (That’s where the ’21’ comes from. Get it?) 178 governments—including the U.S. led by then-President George H.W. Bush—voted to adopt the program which is, again, not legally binding in any way, at the 1992 U.N. Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro.

It wasn’t long after Agenda 21 was introduced that right wing opposition began to swirl. The SPLC points to Tom DeWeese as one of the first to pounce on the U.N. plan. In 1998 DeWeese founded the American Policy Center, a group based in Remington, Virginia that focuses on “environmental policy and its effect on private property rights” and “the United Nations and its effect on American national sovereignty.” The SPLC report quotes DeWeese as describing Agenda 21 as a “blueprint to turn your community into a little soviet,” promoted by non-governmental organizations that pressure governments to enforce it. According to DeWeese, “It all means locking away land, resources, higher prices, sacrifice and shortages and is based on the age old socialist scheme of redistribution of wealth.”

DeWeese has continued to deride the dangers of Agenda 21 well into the 21st Century, making appearances on Fox News and fitting in nicely with the Tea Party movement. The American Policy Center was just the first of many anti-Agenda 21 organizations to spring up in the past 15 or so years and the SPLC points out the 11 most pervasive.

To those who don’t closely follow the carryings on of fringe conspiracists, Glenn Beck might be the most recognizable face of the modern Anti-21 movement. Particularly during his reign at Fox News, Beck used his cable TV soapbox to scare his loyal viewers. “Those pushing…government control on a global level have mastered the art of hiding it in plain sight and then just dismissing it as a joke,” the SPLC quotes Beck saying around 2011 while waving a copy of the 294-page Agenda 21 document on his show. “Once they put their fangs into our communities and suck all the blood out of it [sic], we will not be able to survive.”

Never one to miss an opportunity to cash on in people’s fears, Beck published a dystopian science fiction novel in 2012 called Agenda 21, about a version of America where mating partners are arranged, children are raised away from their parents in group homes, and the book’s heroine spends hours walking on a sort of treadmill that generates energy in an apartment in a planned community. In the book’s afterword, Beck warns, “[I]f the United Nations in partnership with radical environmental activists and naive local governments get their way, then the themes explored in this novel may start to look very familiar, very quickly.”

But while Glenn Beck can technically be dismissed as nothing more than a fringe figure, a conspiratorial talking head—no matter how large his audience may be—the elected officials who have taken a similarly strong stance against Agenda 21 cannot. In the report, the SPLC points out Newt Gingrich, who said he would “explicitly repudiate” the plan if elected president during his 2012 White House bid; Oklahoma Sen. Sally Kern and Arizona state Sen. Judy Burges who both introduced anti-Agenda 21 legislation that ultimately failed; and former Georgia Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers who “organized a four-hour, closed-door anti-Agenda briefing in October 2012” during which “attendees were told President Obama was using ‘mind control’ techniques to push land use planning, and that the U.N. planned to force Americans from suburbs into cities and also was implementing mandatory contraception to curb population growth.” U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has claimed that Agenda 21 sought to abolish “golf courses, grazing pastures, and paved roads.”

And as recently as 2012, the SPLC writes, the Republican National Committee’s platform included the line, “We strongly reject the U.N. Agenda 21 as erosive of American sovereignty.”

Several anti-Semitic, neo-Nazi groups have also jumped on the anti-Agenda 21 bandwagon, seizing the opportunity to blame the controversial document on none other than the Jews.

“Anti-Semitism is basically a conspiracy theory,” the American Jewish Committee’s Ken Stern told the SPLC. He explains how neo-Nazis have linked Agenda 21 to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a falsified document that is alleged to reveal a secret Jewish plot to take over the world. “It’s Jews conspiring to harm non-Jews, and that conspiracy explains a lot of what goes wrong with the world,” Stern said.

To be sure, not all of Agenda 21’s opponents are on the far right of the political spectrum. The group Democrats Against U.N. Agenda 21 hosted a conference on the plan in California in 2011. Its founder, “self-described lesbian feminist Rosa Koire,” wrote the book Behind the Green Mask: U.N. Agenda 21, which claims the the plan will ultimately lead to the U.S.’s economic demise.

In fact, the anti-Semitic crowd’s interest in the Agenda 21 conspiracy theory sort of explains why it appeals to all of its followers, regardless of political leanings.

“Any time you get some sort of UN program that suggests any kind of change in the way people live, even if it seems outwardly benign and even voluntary, it’s going to be taken up by people with a conspiracist bent,” Michael Barkun, a Syracuse University political scientist and scholar of conspiracy theories, told the SPLC.

At this point in the explanation, it bears asking whether any of this matters. Is the federal government—or any state or local subsidiaries—even considering implementing any of the plan’s suggestions for sustainable development? The SPLC report states plainly: “For all the agitation, it’s not clear.” 98 percent of people who responded to a June 2012 poll by the American Planning Association said they didn’t know enough about Agenda 21 to support or oppose it. Six percent said they were against it, while nine percent stated that they were in favor.

The SPLC does note that some politicians, like Chattanooga, Tennessee Mayor Ron Littlefield, have denounced the anti-Agenda 21 conspiracists as modern-day Joseph McCarthy’s who will finally tire the public with their scare tactics. Still, they write, “an enormous number of politicians, commentators, activists, conspiracy theorists and others have swallowed the story of the anti-Agenda 21 zealots making any kind of rational discussion of the environment and related issues extremely difficult.”

“And that is the basic problem,” the report continues. “Dealing with the serious problems that confront our nation and our planet becomes incredibly difficult when the public discussion is poisoned with groundless conspiracy theories.”

 

By: Caitlin Dickson, The Daily Beast, April 13, 2014

 

April 14, 2014 Posted by | Conspiracy Theories, United Nations | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gov Rick Perry: Uniting The Really Far Right And The Really, Really Far Right

Texas Gov. Rick Perry formally launched his presidential campaign last weekend, apparently hoping to upstage those competitors who were slugging it out in the Iowa Straw Poll. The event was won by Michele Bachmann, whose core supporters come from the same Religious Right-Tea Party crowd expected to be Perry’s base. He may have just made it official, but in fact Perry has already been running hard. A week before his announcement, he solidified the devotion of Religious Right leaders and activists with a defiantly sectarian prayer rally sponsored by some of the country’s most extreme promoters of religious and anti-gay bigotry. His financial backers began hitting up donors a while ago.

Perry is hoping to take advantage of a relative lack of enthusiasm for the current Republican field and its erstwhile front-runners. His potential to upset the field is reflected in the fact that he was polling in the double-digits before even entering the race, drawing far more support than candidates like Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum who have seemingly been running for years.  Ed Kilgore at The New Republic wrote recently that Perry has become “the unity candidate of the GOP” because he “seems to perfectly embody the Republican zeitgeist of the moment, appealing equally to the GOP’s Tea Party, Christian Right, and establishment factions while exemplifying the militant anti-Obama attitude that holds it all together.” Perry does indeed draw support from both establishment and far-right Republicans: last year, prizes offered by his election campaign included lunch with GOP strategist Karl Rove and a spiritual tour of the U.S. Capitol with right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton.

The Religious Right

Perry’s love affair with even the most extreme elements of the Religious Right is a long-term relationship that started years before the recent prayer rally. Over the years, Perry has persistently backed the efforts of Religious Right activists on the Texas school board to use the textbook selection process to impose right-wing religious and political ideology on science and history textbooks. He has shown little respect for the separation of church and state and has worked to further restrict access to abortion in the state.

His re-election campaigns have relied heavily on church-based organizing and networks of far-right evangelical pastors mobilized by the likes of self-described “Christocrat” Rick Scarborough. According to the Texas Freedom Network, Between May 2005 and October 2008 the Texas Restoration Project held eight pastors’ policy briefings. Part of Perry’s invitation to the October 2008 event said:

While Congress occupies its time trying to legislate defeat in Iraq, we hope you will attend a Pastors Policy Briefing that will equip you to walk point in the war of values and ideas.

Rediscovering God in America — Austin is intended to remind us that excuses are not the proper strategy when facing evil and confronting enemies. Instead, we must rally godly people and seek God’s provision for the resources, the courage, and the strength necessary to win and, ultimately, glorify Him.

In 2009, he participated in a closed-door session with Texas pastors sponsored by the U.S. Pastor Council, and hosted a state prayer breakfast that featured Gary Bauer as the keynote speaker. And last year, he was visited by a group of pastors associated with the dominionist New Apostolic Reformation, who told him that God had chosen him for bigger things; they were among the leaders of last weekend’s “Response.”

The Response itself was called by Perry but sponsored and paid for by the American Family Association, which has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for its pattern or spreading false and denigrating information about gay people, and which promotes some of the ugliest bigotry spewed on the nation’s airwaves. Among the extremist co-sponsors and speakers at The Response were dominionist Mike Bickle, who has said that Oprah is a harbinger of the anti-Christ, and pseudo-historian David Barton, who claims that Jesus opposed progressive taxes, the minimum wage, and collective bargaining by unions.

The Tea Party Right

Perry also seamlessly blends the Tea Party’s anti-Washington fervor with the Religious Right’s Christian-nation vision. Last year, at an event sponsored by the Texas Eagle Forum, Perry said the November 2010 elections were “a struggle for the heart and soul of our nation.” Said Perry, “That’s the question: Who do you worship? Do you believe in the primacy of unrestrained federal government? Or do you worship the God of the universe, placing our trust in him?”

If it seems remarkable and contradictory that Perry would seek the presidency so soon after speculating on the benefits of seceding from the union “if Washington continues to thumb its nose at the American people,” it is no less contradictory than Perry promoting his anti-Washington book, “Fed Up: Our Fight to Save America from Washington,” while repeatedly requesting federal emergency assistance to fight wildfires that have raged in Texas this year.

The Economic Right

Perry is almost certain to make jobs — and his claims that Texas’ low-tax, low-regulation, low-wage environment would be good for what ails America — a centerpiece of his campaign. In fact he has been publicly praying about regulations that he says stifle business and jobs. That vision will almost certainly make Perry popular among the corporate funders that are increasingly funneling money into Republican campaigns in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision that corporations have the same rights as citizens to influence elections.

Perry’s economic policies may be good for corporate profits, but they aren’t much of an economic model for the rest of us. Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wroteearlier this year:

Texas is where the modern conservative theory of budgeting — the belief that you should never raise taxes under any circumstances, that you can always balance the budget by cutting wasteful spending — has been implemented most completely. If the theory can’t make it there, it can’t make it anywhere.

Debt owed by the state of Texas has doubled during Perry’s tenure as governor; the state’s per-capita debt is worse than California’s. And this year, Texas lawmakers wrestled with a budget shortfall that Associated Press called “one of the worst in the nation.” Perry’s budget relied heavily on federal stimulus funds to plug a massive 2010 budget deficit. The budget finally passed this year cut some $4 billion out of state support for public education and is expected to result in tens of thousands of teacher layoffs.

Meanwhile, Texas ranks at or near the bottom of many indicators of individual and community health. It is worst in the country in the percentage of children with health insurance and pregnant women receiving early prenatal care. It has the highest percentage of workers earning at or below the minimum wage. It has the lowest percentage of adults with a high school diploma. It is worst for known carcinogens released into the air and among the worst for toxic pollution overall.

The Right Online

Perry has sometimes adopted the Sarah Palin approach to media. According to the conservative Daily Caller, Perry declined to meet with newspaper editorial boards during his primary race against Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, but “went out of his way to make himself available to conservative bloggers.” The Caller‘s Matt Lewis predicts that “a large percentage of conservative bloggers for sites like RedState.com” will “jump on the Perry bandwagon.”

Perry the Prevaricator

Perry statements have received no fewer than seven “pants on fire” ratings from Politifact Texas; he earned those awards for repeated false statements about his policies and his political opponents. Of 67 Perry statements reviewed by Politifact, 14 were declared false in addition to the seven “pants on fire” lies — while another 10 were rated “mostly false.” Only 17 were considered true (10) or mostly true (7), with 19 called “half true.”

Perry and the Republican Party

If Rick Perry does indeed become the Republican “unity candidate,” that will be further evidence that the GOP has become the party of, by, and for the far right — a party that has abandoned any credible claim to representing the economic interests or constitutional values embraced by most Americans.

By: Michael B. Keegan; President, People For the American Way, Published in Huff Post Politics, August 17, 2011

August 19, 2011 Posted by | Bigotry, Budget, Businesses, Campaign Financing, Class Warfare, Congress, Conservatives, Corporations, Democracy, Economic Recovery, Economy, Elections, GOP, Government, Ideologues, Ideology, Jobs, Media, Politics, Press, Regulations, Republicans, Right Wing, Teaparty, Unemployed, Voters | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mitt Romney The Weathervane: What Our Most Changeable Politician Can Tell Us About The Modern GOP

As Mitt Romney enters the Republican presidential race this week, there will be plenty of attention on his shifting political views. But Romney’s changing positions are not just the tragicomic tale of a man so desperate for the presidency he’ll say anything to get there: they’re also a valuable measure of what it takes to make it in the modern GOP.

Romney’s many breathtaking U-turns — on universal health care, on gay rights, on abortion rights — have been extensively documented and parsed, and have become a reliable punchline. The former governor’s willingness to adopt the position that he thinks will get him the most votes in whatever election he happens to be running in does speak to his own character. But Romney’s ease at shifting also makes him a perfect weathervane for measuring the audiences he is trying to appeal to. And the speed with which Romney has been spinning to the right is an alarming sign of the political winds within the Republican Party.

This weekend, Romney will be making an important appearance among a group that has historically mistrusted him: the Religious Right. Speaking at the annual conference of Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition, Romney can be expected to once again disavow his previously convenient reasonable positions on abortion rights and gay equality. But he is also likely to go a step farther.

At a similar event in 2007, as he tried to shake off his image as a socially moderate Massachusetts Republican in preparation for his first presidential run, Romney spoke at the Values Voter Summit hosted by a coalition of right-wing social issues groups. In his speech, he rattled off Religious Right catchphrases, speaking of the United States’ “Judeo-Christian heritage,” the “breakdown of the family,” and making “out-of-wedlock birth out of fashion again” and passing an anti-gay marriage amendment to “protect marriage from liberal, unelected judges.” He promised a federal “marriage amendment,” funding for vouchers for religious schools and across-the-board anti-choice policies. By earlier that year, he had impressed Ann Coulter enough that she endorsed him in a speech made famous by her use of an anti-gay slur.

At last year’s Values Voter Summit, having done full penance to the Religious Right for his previous statements in favor of gay rights and choice, Romney focused his speech on right-wing economic policies, including an odd tribute comparing Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton to the Founding Fathers. But the company he kept revealed the friends he was hoping to make. The event was sponsored in part by the Family Research Council and the American Family Association, two groups who were soon to be named “hate groups” by the SPLC for their long histories of false anti-gay rhetoric. Romney’s fellow speakers included Religious Right stalwarts Phyllis Schlafly, Tony Perkins, Planned Parenthood scam artist Lila Rose, and the AFA’s Bryan Fischer, who has gained infamy with his vicious rhetoric about gays and lesbians, Muslims, African Americans and progressives. I wrote a letter to Romney warning him about associating himself with Fischer — he didn’t respond.

The Religious Right leaders that Romney is eager to curry favor with aren’t just hostile to gays, Muslims and the social safety net — many have expressed concern or even outright hostility to Romney’s own Mormon faith. Fischer recently confronted Romney’s faith, declaring that there is “a direct contradiction between Mormon theology and the teaching of Jesus Christ.” A writer for a leading Religious Right publication declared, “If Mitt Romney believes what the Mormon Church teaches about the world and how it operates, then he is unfit to serve.” As Romney angles himself into an increasingly extreme GOP, he will have to make nice to those who insult not only his past politics but his core religious beliefs.

At the Faith and Freedom Conference this weekend, Romney will have a similar opportunity to reinforce his social conservative bona fides while tying in his newly adamant anti-gay and anti-choice positions with the Tea Party’s love of pro-corporate anti-tax talk. Ralph Reed, the resurgent mastermind behind the Christian Coalition, will perhaps be the perfect ally in his effort to paint himself as a true Tea Party candidate who wants small government for corporations and big government for individuals. Reed was, after all, partly responsible for bringing the passion of American evangelicals to the Republican anti-regulation agenda and schmoozes equally comfortably with Pat Robertson and Jack Abramoff. He is the perfect power-broker for an age when GOP politicians are supposed to oppose universal health care while supporting IRS involvement in abortions – the niche that Romney is trying to carefully fit himself into.

Romney will try to take advantage of the GOP base’s newfound love of tax breaks for the rich, while continuing to pretend that he never supported choice and gay rights and reasonable environmental and health policies. If he can get away with it, he’ll be the perfect candidate for today’s ultraconservative GOP. But either way, he’s bound to become a powerful symbol of just how far to the Right you have to go to make it in today’s Republican Party.

 

By: Michael B. Keegan, President, People For The American Way: Posted June 3, 2011 in The Huffington Post.

June 5, 2011 Posted by | Conservatives, Democracy, Economy, Elections, GOP, Health Care, Ideologues, Ideology, Mitt Romney, Politics, Public Opinion, Religion, Republicans, Right Wing, Tea Party, Voters | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

%d bloggers like this: