Renowned xenophobes Reps. Steve King and Michele Bachmann have announced a trip to the U.S.-Mexico border today as part of their offensive offensive against President Obama’s action on immigration. Ever the moderate, Bachmann warned of “millions of unskilled, illiterate, foreign nationals coming into the United States who can’t speak the English language.” While King, who’s proposed a legal change to prevent the issuing of new visas, defended his obstructionist stance with a mature “we can do anything we want to.” After Speaker John Boehner’s five minute press conference on the matter this morning, Bachmann and King are effectively left as the de facto spokespeople for the Republican Party, driving their narrative and policy direction on the matter.Read more after the jump.
Politicians & Pundits: Michele Bachmann
Earlier this month, the Senate affirmed that all Americans deserve basic civil rights in the workplace regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity by passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
Backed by a large majority of voters who believe it should be illegal to fire somebody because they are gay, 64 senators – including 10 Republicans – came together in support of the bill, which social conservatives have bitterly opposed since it was first introduced in the 1990s. Now, the only thing standing in the way of long-overdue protections for LGBT workers is House Speaker John Boehner, who has declared his opposition and signaled that he may not even allow a vote on it.
Boehner has justified his stance by falsely suggesting that any workplace discrimination is already illegal, but past statements by many members of his party reveal another factor at play: the homophobia and bigotry of extreme House Republicans. Among other ugly views, conservative House members have described homosexuality as “personal enslavement,” compared being gay to “somebody who has love for an animal,” and warned that LGBT rights are “a threat to the nation’s survival.”
The choice for Boehner is clear. He can listen to the American people and recognize that everybody deserves equal rights in the workplace, or he can acquiesce to the far right and turn the people’s House into a House of Hate.Read more after the jump.
If the Citizens United “documentary” on Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe looks like a right-wing hack job, don’t be surprised. The group, known primarily for the Supreme Court decision that helped pave the way for the proliferation of outside spending in elections, has churned out viciously dishonest propaganda for years.
The very film that spawned the landmark campaign finance case was a transparent attempt to trash Hillary Clinton during the 2008 primary by calling her a “congenital liar” and “the closest thing we have in America to a European socialist” – and it isn’t even the most inflammatory Citizens United production in recent years. “Celsius 41.11,” a response to Fahrenheit 9/11, juxtaposed images of Hitler, 9/11, and dead children with Michael Moore, John Kerry, and anti-war protesters. The group’s 2008 Obama hit job claimed that Obama “thinks infanticide is acceptable.” And “America At Risk,” Newt Gingrich’s Islamophobic film warning that a “war will go on until the entire world either embraces Islam or submits to Islamic rule,” was also a Citizens United Production.
That kind of incendiary rhetoric is the norm for Citizens United and its leaders, co-founder Floyd Brown and president David Bossie, whose resumes are full of panned ad campaigns and electoral strategies. Brown was behind the behind the infamous 1988 “Willie Horton” ad, which exploited racial fears by linking crimes committed by Horton, who is African-American, to a program authorized by Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis when he was governor of Massachusetts. Two decades later, Brown was still putting together controversial ads, including a 2008 spot drawing a connection between then-candidate Obama and Chicago gang murders. He also authored a “vicious” book on Bill Clinton, accusing the Democrat of “promoting witchcraft and fostering blasphemy,” in which Brown gave special thanks to segregationist and White Citizens Council leader Jim Johnson.
Bossie has been president of the organization since 2001, a position he assumed after nearly a decade as the group’s director of political affairs, during which time he relentlessly sought to undermine President Clinton. A former investigator for the House Oversight Committee, Bossie was dismissed in 1998 after releasing transcripts of phone calls that had been edited to implicate Hillary Clinton in a scandal at her former law firm. Together, Brown and Bossie co-authored Prince Albert, a 192-page hit job on Al Gore.
In addition to its films and ad campaigns, Citizens United consistently lends financial support to extreme right-wing candidates through its political action committee. Among the recipients of Citizen United contributions in recent years are Reps. Michele Bachmann, Allen West, Steve King, and Todd Akin. Furthermore, one of Citizens United’s affiliates has endorsed McAuliffe’s opponent, Ken Cuccinelli, and given him over $100,000 since 2008 – not including the cost to produce Citizens United’s anti-McAuliffe movie.Read more after the jump.
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has announced that she will not seek another term in the House of Representatives. However, the former presidential candidate’s legacy of extreme statements, paranoid conspiracy theories, and ideological witch hunts will live on through the right-wing members of Congress who will continue to champion her views.
Bachmann Called For A Media Investigation Into Whether Members Of Congress Are “Pro-America Or Anti-America.” During an interview on MSNBC’s Hardball, Michele Bachmann said, “What I would say — what I would say is that the news media should do a penetrating expose and take a look. I wish they would. I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out, are they pro-America or anti-America? I think people would love to see an expose like that.” [MSNBC, Hardball, 10/17/08]
- Steve King Called Joe McCarthy “A Hero” And Said He Would Support Something “Along the Lines Of the House Un-American Activities Committee.” In an interview with Right Side News, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) was asked, whether he would support “resurrection of the Congressional internal security committees along the lines of the House Un-American Activities Committee.” King replied, “I would. Something similar. If we called it the House Un-American Activities Committee, that would be lighting up the history of McCarthy in a way that wouldn’t be necessary, although I am often quoted as saying McCarthy was a hero for America. He was. He was right far more times than he was wrong. It is a historical fact. But I would submit a different committee name so that we don’t have to deal with the history, and move forward. I think that is a good process and I would support it.” [Right Side News, 10/5/10]
Susan B. Anthony List has committed to spending at least $1.5 million on behalf of arch-conservative Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, continuing its pattern of support for extreme politicians. Although it is named for the nineteenth-century feminist pioneer, SBA List has little to do with championing the rights of women and everything to do with ending women’s access to abortion, mostly by supporting candidates who are fiercely opposed to reproductive health choices.
Using the 2013 Virginia election as a “proving ground” in advance of 2014’s midterm elections, SBA List is testing out electoral strategies that will further President Marjorie Dannenfelser’s vision of an anti-choice “political machine” as impossible to ignore as the National Rifle Association. An ad in April from the SBA List targeting Cuccinelli’s Democratic opponent, Terry McAuliffe, was the first paid advertising of the race. Beyond its efforts in Virginia, SBA List has pledged to focus its upcoming efforts on 12 key states, eight of which will host field offices pursuing electoral and legislative goals.
In addition to backing extreme candidates like Todd Akin, who infamously claimed that women are unlikely get pregnant from “legitimate rape” because their bodies have mysterious ways to “shut that whole thing down,” SBA List supports policies in line with its leaders’ radical perspectives on birth control and sex. Instead of endorsing preventive measures that could reduce the need for abortions, Dannenfelser has illogically argued that “contraception and family planning” are responsible for increasing the number of abortions. “The bottom line,” she has said, “is that to lose the connection between sex and having children leads to problems.”Read more after the jump.
Ask someone what conservatives have in common and you’re likely to hear something about cutting taxes. As it turns out, the modern conservative movement would like to see taxes increased on one very specific group of people: struggling Americans who owed no federal income taxes in the aftermath of the Wall Street collapse. At the same time, conservatives insist that the jobless prefer government handouts to honest work. Though they decry any attempt to raise marginal tax rates on the wealthiest as some sort of attack on success, it appears conservatives are the ones waging class warfare.
“The New Republican Orthodoxy”: Raising Taxes On The Poor
Heritage Foundation Portrays Those Who Pay No Income Taxes As “The Non-Taxpaying Public” Who “Paid Nothing.” From the Heritage Foundation: “One of the most worrying trends in the Index [of Dependence on Government] is the coinciding growth in the non-taxpaying public. The percentage of people who do not pay federal income taxes, and who are not claimed as dependents by someone who does pay them, jumped from 14.8 percent in 1984 to 49.5 percent in 2009. This means that in 1984, 34.8 million tax filers paid no taxes; in 2009, 151.7 million paid nothing.” [Heritage.org, 2/8/12]Read more after the jump.