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Like the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Family Research Council may have some strange views, but neither is a “hate group”

Disagreeing with the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins’ contention that “the SPLC [Southern Poverty Law Center] had given [the FRC shooter] ‘a license to shoot’“, saying the comment “goes too far”, the National Review’s Rich Lowry reminds conservatives that

Nothing the SPLC does sanctions violence, and [the shooter]’s alleged crime is his responsibility and his alone. But the SPLC’s designation of the Family Research Council is intolerant all the same, a bullying attempt to short-circuit free debate.

It’s not as if the SPLC considers the Family Research Council mildly offensive, or barely hateful. Asked if someone addressing a Family Research Council meeting was as guilty as someone addressing an Aryan Nation rally, the SPLC’s research director said “yes.”

I agree with Lowry that the SPLC goes too far in labeling the Family Research Council a “hate group.”  They may put out some pretty strange and generally inaccurate statements/opinions on gay people, but, like many groups with strange opinions, including the SPLC, they don’t advocate violence against the individuals or groups they criticize.  Rich laments that it’s fortunate the outfit . . .

. . . can’t tell the difference between people who hate blacks and people who support the traditional definition of marriage. . . .

The SPLC calls the Family Research Council a “hate group.” This puts it in the same league as the True Invisible Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, the Aryan Nation, the Supreme White Alliance, the Old Glory Skinheads and, of course, the American Nazi Party.

As they ask in kindergarten, which of these things isn’t like all the others?

Via Instapundit.  Read the whole thing  Lowry goes on to call the SPLC’s categorizing “profoundly illiberal” and suggest is purpose is to shut down discourse on gay marriage.

They’re not the only group who wants to shut down debate on this topic.  If gay marriage advocates believe they have a strong case to make for state recognition of same-sex marriage, they should welcome criticism as it will afford them a better opportunity to make their case, which (they believe) is the stronger argument (than the case for traditional marriage).

No, Ma’am, wrong again; I love my Mom (and so do most Republicans)

If she were a Republican and even suggested that Democrats don’t love their mothers, it would make national news and she would be butt of jokes on late-night TV, but Mrs. Boxer is a Democrats and so you won’t hear much of this in the media.  Erika Johnson reports that while “speaking at a Planned Parenthood event in California yesterday”, the failed junior Senator from California accused Republicans of waging a war on women:

“There is a war against women, and Romney and Ryan — if they are elected — would become its top generals,” Boxer said calling Akin’s comments a “direct outgrowth” of the extreme positions on abortion held by Republicans.

“Where’s the outrage by Mitt Romney?” Boxer asked, “There is a sickness out there in the Republican Party, and I’m not kidding. Maybe they don’t like their moms or their first wives; I don’t know what it is.”

Outrage, ma’am?  Do you read the news?  Mitt Romney has condemned Akin’s comments and expressed his desire that the Missouri Republican exit the Senate contest.  Sure sounds like outrage to me.

How mean-spirited to suggest that the crazy commentary of one candidate (since repudiated by said candidate–and criticized by all prominent Republicans who have weighed in on the matter) is an outgrowth of the party’s pro-life policies.  Democrats do want to milk this for all its worth.

Ma’am, I know it’s not customary for Democrats to do such things, but an apology is in order.

NB:  Tweaked the title (thrice).

UPDATE:  Twichy has a great roundup of Twitter reaction to Ma’am’s mean mutterings.

Republicans slurred as racists for “crime of being conservative”?

Democrats and liberal journalists“, observes the Washington Examiner’s Timothy P. Carney, comparing Vice President Biden’s recent “chains” comment to other leading Democratic allegations of Republican racism, “into are constantly calling us racists for the crime of being conservative.”

Huffington Post: Basically, only Republicans hit below the belt

Take a gander of this screen capture I made on AOL’s home page in the wee hours of the morning:
It leads to a post about a bad joke a “long-time Pennsylvania GOP official” made about Obama supporters.  This is a leading national news story?

At the bottom of the article, the folks at the Huffington Post created a slideshow of ”Below-The-Belt Political Attacks”, all but one of which were leveled by Republicans.  No mention made of the recent the ad released (and immediately discredited) Obama Super PAC ad accusing Mitt Romney of killing a steelworker’s wife or of nasty attacks made by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, respectively, the Democratic leaders of the U.S. Senate and House.

The folks at the Huffington post are just trying make Republicans look like they’re playing nasty when, in this electoral cycle, it is the Democrats, from the party’s leadership on down, have made hitting below the belt its stock-in-trade.

Oh, and the local Republican official apologized.  Mr. Reid hasn’t apologized for calling Republicans evil-mongers.  Nor has Mrs. Pelosi apologized for comparing conservative critics to a bacterium causing food poisoning.

Why do some on the left insist on calling Republicans “extremists”?

One thing John Hinderaker has “never figured out is why, if the Republicans represent only an ‘extremist fringe,’” as claims a certain Mr. A. Arnold Gore, Jr., in a fundraising letter for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), “there is such a grave danger that they will win a majority of the votes in this year’s presidential election.

Does seem some folks on the left are beholden to the notion of the Republican Party as run by a cabal of extremists.  And wonder if their prejudiced read on the GOP compromises its ability to reach out to people dissatisfied with the Democrats.

And compromising that ability is certainly part of the reason folks like Mr. Gore call the GOP extreme.

So, Nancy, GOP’s Israel policy is about “tax cuts for the wealthy”?

In their campaign focused on attacking Mitt Romney’s personal life that he’s a rich guy who, in high school, was a bully who cut some guy’s hair, then, as a young father, put the dog on the car roof as the family motored away on its summer vacation, Democrats do occasionally hit on some policy issues, and often in the oddest contexts.

Even (especially?) in those contexts, they do seem to dwell on one issue in particular, that Republican economic policy is little more than cutting the taxes of wealthy Americans  (while ignoring the “middle class”).

As I was quickly scanning the blogs this afternoon, I caught Scott Johnson’s report on House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s interview with Bloomberg’s Albert Hunt and found the top House Democrat doing just that.  When Hunt asked Mrs. Pelosi whether she thought Barack Obama “do as well with the Jewish vote this time as he did last time”, she suggested that Republican support for Israel really wasn’t about Israel:

But I – I think that he will. I think that he will, because the fact is when the facts get out. You know, as many of the Republicans are using Israel as an excuse, what they really want are tax cuts for the wealthy. So Israel, that can be one reason they put forth.

. . . .

Well, that’s how they’re being exploited . . . .

Huh?  A real, “accountable”, reported would have asked her how she made that leap.   Or would have pressed her on this claim of “exploitation.”  What a narrow world view she has.

Why do top Democrats refuse to address Republican policies on the merits and always bring it back to “tax cuts for the wealthy”?

FROM THE COMMENTS:  AndyN posits that “if you trace this ‘reasoning’ back to its source, isn’t she saying that advocating for tax increases on the rich means you don’t support Israel?” Indeed!

Desperation in Obama’s dishonest attacks on Romney’s record at Bain?

Had sketched out a post wondering if the intensity of Obama’s dishonest attacks on Mitt Romney’s record at Bain were a sign of insecurity in the Democrat’s campaign, that perhaps they have polls showing Romney doing better among undecided voters or that their own support is weaker than it appears in more publicized surveys.

But, in his own inimical way, Glenn Reynolds,linking two posts detailing the Democrat’s dishonesty, offered an insight which nicely (and succinctly) paralleled my own: “It doesn’t seem to me that Obama’s doing especially well, but judging by the flailing and desperation we’re seeing from his campaign, it must seem to them that he’s doing worse than I think.

More on this anon.  Perhaps.

What specific Obama policies did Republicans filibuster in the 111th Congress?

Because I will be attending a conference all day today entirely unrelated to politics, I won’t have much (if any) time to blog.  In order to get something up that might stimulate some discussion, in lieu of a traditional post (is there such a thing as a “traditional” blog post?), I’ll share part of an exchange from the thread following a left-of-center Facebook friend’s post..

Answering one of his friend’s contention that there were many reasons to vote against Mitt Romney, “most of which would seriously damage the country and the world”, I replied that the incumbent’s policies have already done enough damage:

It’s time for a change and some real reform. And given today’s [this exchange was on Friday] anemic employment numbers, we know the current policies aren’t working. Romney is far from perfect, but at least his policies will start to repair the damage of the last 3 1/2 years.

An Obama supporter retorted, “The reason why the recovery has been anemic is that every single attempt the democrats have attempted to try to fix the economy have been filibustered by the republicans. ”

Reminding him how much of his agenda the president pushed through from 2009-2010, I asked this interlocutor to specify which particular bills Republicans had successfully filibustered in the 111th Congress. (And what attempts Obama had made to lobby moderate Senate Republicans to switch their votes on cloture.)  Not just that, I asked Obmaa’s defenders to specify further which particular Bush policies helped drive us into the ditch.

None did.  Maybe some of our critics can.

Does this mean the Obama campaign is lying?

Just caught his via Yahoo!:

Undeterred by independent fact-checkers that have debunked the thrust of their claims, the Obama campaign is redoubling attacks on Mitt Romney as an “outsourcer” in a new TV ad airing in eight battleground states.

The 30-second spot — titled “The Problem” — claims Romney condoned the Chinese “taking our jobs and taking a lot of our future.”

“He made a fortune letting it happen,” the narrator says, focusing on Bain Capital outsourcing to China, a country Romney has vowed to challenge as president.

It’s the latest in a steady drumbeat of negative attacks on Romney’s record as a corporate buyout specialist, alleging he profited off of deliberately bankrupting companies and sending jobs overseas.

What ever happened to hope and change?

Do hope the Romney campaign — or the presumptive Republican nominee’s SuperPAC defenders — fire back with ads wondering why the incumbent is running a relentlessly negative campaign, actively misrepresenting the Republican’s record.

Seems the only way Obama can win is by repeating repudiated attacks on his Republican rival.

What Specific Bush Policies Created the Mess Obama “Inherited”

After the market meltdown in September 2008, most Democrats (as well as their allies in the legacy media) pointed, in the most general terms, to Bush-era “deregulation” as the cause of the crisis. They did, to be sure, often have trouble identifying specific regulations the then-president lifted–or laws and regulations that Republican Congresses had repealed while W served as the nation’s chief executive.

Indeed, three years ago, I reminded our readers that

Even Obama-supporting columnist Sebastian Mallaby wrote, during last fall’s campaign, that the “claim that the financial crisis reflects Bush-McCain deregulation is not only nonsense. It is the sort of nonsense that could matter.

Last night, as I was reading Karl’s post how how extremism is “not just a GOP P.O.V“, a similar thought about Obama’s rhetoric came to mind.  Just as he and his allies blamed deregulation in the abstract in 2008, now, they’re blaming Bush policies in the abstract for the crisis which Republicans believe to be the collapse of the welfare state model.  ”In the Obama version”, David Brooks writes, “the welfare-state model was serving America well until it was distorted a decade ago by a Republican Party intent on serving the rich and shortchanging the middle class.”  (H/t: Karl who excerpted it.)

And just how, Mr. President, did George W. Bush and his Republican minions distort that model?  What specific policies did they implement which shortchanged the middle class?

Am wondering if Mr. Obama ever cites specific Bush policies when he laments all the problems he inherited from his predecessor.  And, no, whining about tax cuts for the wealthy doesn’t count (particularly since Mr. Obama chose to extend the Bush-era tax rates–and the Bush cuts didn’t just go to the wealthy).

Tax cuts don’t cause market meltdowns.

FROM THE COMMENTS:  Our critic Levi helps make my point:

Bush is responsible in that there was no atmosphere of regulation from the federal government, so all these financial entities went berserk. Additionally, the tax cuts that Bush passed freed up a lot of rich people’s money, which directly lead to more severe inflation of the housing bubble and made the impact when things burst that much more dramatic. It definitely has to do with some policies that Bush enacted, but it’s his responsibility mostly on the basis of his inaction.

No atmosphere of regulation?  What does that mean.  And note that the only specific Bush policy he cites is one that Obama chose to continue.

Joy Behar’s Narrow View of Gay Republicans

It’s not just Dan Savage.  Another left-of-center Obama supporter has offered a prejudiced view of gay conservatives.

In response to GOProud’s endorsement of Mitt Romney, Joe Behar wondered if “the GOProud guys are just attracted to Mitt Romney’s sons Matt, Mutt, Tag, Tip, Tack, and Bashful“. “Does Joy“, asks our reader Greg who alerted me to this story. . .

. . . really believe that gay men only think with their penises? And the stereotyping of gay men as mincing enthusiasts of Broadway musicals is pretty “out there” as well. Such claims from a conservative would be equally offensive — and would be the basis for the same sort of outrage that a Dan Savage type comment from a conservative would be.

Will gay groups take Mrs. Behar to task for her prejudiced assumption about the attitudes of this subset of the gay community?  So far I can’t find anything on the web-pages of HRC or NGLTF.  Nor do they have anything about Mr. Savage’s “hateful remarks” (borrowing the term HRC used when Sarah Palin’s daughter called some a “f***ot”.)

Does it even occur to Behar that gay people, like most Americans consider a great variety of factors when choosing a political candidate to support?

Producer of documentary on gay Republicans doesn’t get gay Republicans

Seems I’m getting a lot of my blogging tips today from Facebook.  One friend linked an article about Bravo host Andy Cohen who, even though he executive produced the documentary, Gay Republicans, doesn’t get gay Republicans:

I’m interested in why someone would support a party that doesn’t necessarily support equality for that person. And I can only assume it’s about the wallet. It’s about ‘I’m a fiscal Republican’.

. . . .

So, I can’t — I can’t understand, Chris, the idea of saying, ‘Oh well, they’re going to put more money in my bank account. Who cares if they don’t believe I can get married?’ I don’t get it.

Hey, Andy, it’s not about equality.  It’s about freedom.  And we support the GOP because we believe the best government is that which governs least.  You’d think that someone who would take the time to make a documentary about gay Republicans would take the time to understand their ideas.

FROM THE COMMENTS:  Tim in MT offers:

Only in liberal la-la land can 2 adult men go on TV and tell each other “I don’t get it!” about other people’s ideas and think they come across as thoughtful commentators… *eyeroll*

Indeed.

Projecting their “shadow” onto Republicans and gay conservatives

As I worked on my essay answering the question “What does it mean to be gay”, I reviewed a paper on individuation I had written for a class in Jungian psychology and highlight this passage on the “shadow”(that part of one’s self of which we remain unconscious) as it is particularly relevant to an issue about which I have blogged in recent days:

In recent debates on gay marriage, we see how many gay people have projected their shadow onto Republicans and social conservatives.[1] Promoting a benefit concert for the gay group, “Freedom to Marry,” John Cameron Mitchell, an openly gay actor and writer, not merely faulted [then-]California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for vetoing a same-sex marriage bill, but accused him of enshrining “fear and loathing in the Constitution”.  Mitchell is not the only gay activist to accuse the Governor – and other opponents of gay marriage – of hatred.  Even as they vilified the Governor for vetoing the gay marriage bill, that Republican signed four gay-friendly pieces of legislation.  That is, the anti-gay image that many projected onto him did not correspond with the reality of his record on gay issues.

Instead of understanding why this politician has a different opinion on gay marriage than they do, they define him as evil.  To be sure, gay activists are not unique in ascribing such aspects to their ideological adversaries:

It is in the nature of political bodies always to see the evil in the opposite group, just as the individual has an ineradicable tendency to get rid of everything he does not know and does not want to know about himself by foisting it off on somebody else.  (C.G. Jung, The Essential Jung, 398)

Thus, in projecting something about themselves onto Governor Schwarzenegger, gay activists are only doing what activists have done frequently throughout history.   As a gay conservative blogger, I have frequently found some of our critics projecting their shadow onto me.  Almost since the moment my blogging partner launched the blog, it has attracted regular critics who often post nasty remarks in our comments section, misrepresenting our ideas and attacking us personally.[2]

While I don’t know precisely what these individuals are projecting onto us, I note that their angry expressions are similar to those of other gay leaders – and activists.  Like John Cameron Mitchell, they vilify Republicans and those on the political right in harsh and derogatory language.  To some degree, it seems that Republicans have become a kind of collective shadow for a large number of gay people, particularly gay activists.
(more…)

BuzzFeed Spins Jeb’s Remarks to fit Media Narrative

Yesterday, BuzzFeed offered this headline, Jeb Bush: No Place For Father, Reagan In Today’s GOP. for a story about remarks Jeb Bush had made earlier the day. Problem is the former Florida governor said no such thing.  Here’s the paragraph in question:

“Ronald Reagan would have, based on his record of finding accommodation, finding some degree of common ground, as would my dad — they would have a hard time if you define the Republican party — and I don’t — as having an orthodoxy that doesn’t allow for disagreement, doesn’t allow for finding some common ground,” Bush said, adding that he views the hyper-partisan moment as “temporary.”

Emphasis added.  BuzzFeed staff did not provide the comment where Bush said, as they paraphrased, “that both Ronald Reagan and his father George H. W. Bush would have had a difficult time getting nominated by today’s ultra-conservative Republican Party.”  Jeb never called his party “ultra-conservative” (at least not in any text they provided).

But, golly gee whiz, the headline fits the narrative as does the line quoted above.  Guess they missed that little word, “if.”  Jeb  never said the Republican Party had an orthodoxy, merely offered a hypothetical view of the party — which he singled by that word.

In the very article, the BuzzFeed staff did report that, “Bush also had praise for Rep. Paul Ryan for proposing a budget and disdain for Democrats for refusing to engage it.”  Doesn’t seem that a man who praises a man like Ryan, widely admired in Republican circles, would also call the party “ultra-conservative.”

Bush, they do note, “also blamed President Obama for much of the conflict.”  Wonder what that notion didn’t get more prominence. (more…)

No identification requested when voting in California primary

I just returned from voting in the California primary election. Turnout at my eastern West Hollywood precinct was light.

When I went to vote, I gave my name and showed my “Official Sample Ballot and Voting Instructions” booklet. I asked if they wanted to see my ID. California law doesn’t require it, one official said. This is an invitation for vote fraud, I responded.  Well, we don’t require it.  Finally, one poll worker did asked to see it–after I had made clear this was a necessary safeguard, expressing the fear that someone could use lax standards at precincts to steal an election

Oh, and if you don’t think vote fraud is problem, look how easy it is for someone to vote under another person’s name–in the case the Attorney General of the United States, a man who uses his authority to challenge state requirements that voters to furnish identification — as did Massachusetts Democrats at their recent convention:

As he dubs notion of liberal media bias a “sham”, is Dan Rather offering further proof of his own bias against conservatives?

In his Daily Caller piece on Dan Rather’s Wednesday appearance on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”, Jeff Poor reports that “one-time CBS “Evening News” anchor Dan Rather said that allegations that the mainstream media reports news from a liberal perspective have been greatly overstated.”

Poor includes this excerpt from Rather’s remarks on the Comedy Central program:

“It hasn’t been my experience,” [Rather] replied. “Most journalists I grew up with, most journalists I worked with and practiced with were trying to be honest brokers of information. Now, what sometimes got you a reputation of liberal, journalists generally form an apprenticeship covering the police beat at midnight, after midnight, on Saturday night, the charity hospital. Journalists, the best of then, do see a Dickensian side of society that most people don’t see. So when they try to call attention to that, people who don’t like it say, ‘Oh, you’re a liberal.’”

Via Hot Air Headlines.

Dan Rather seems to be assuming that a concern for the less fortunate makes one appear to be liberal?  What then does he make of repeated reports showing conservatives more generous in supporting charities with their own money than are liberals with theirs?

And please note that I title this post with a question and include it in the Random Thoughts category.

NB:  Tweaked the post a tad.

Grenell says social conservatives didn’t force him out;
he received hateful, mean-spirited comments from the left

Shortly after we learned that Richard Grenell decided to step down at Mitt Romney’s foreign policy/national security spokesman, I tried to reach the former aide to John Bolton to ask him a simple question:  whether or not, he, like most gay conservatives, received more grief from the gay left than from social conservatives.

Well, my blogger friends may or may not have passed my messages on to Mr. Grenell.  But, I may finally be getting an answer — or a close approximation of one.  Our reader Leah alerted me to blogger William A. Jacobson’s post where that law professor excerpted an article from Palm Springs’s Desert Sun reporting the gay Republican “took heat from both the political left and the right“:

In an interview with The Desert Sun, Grenell said: “The far left doesn’t want a gay person to be conservative and the far right doesn’t want a conservative to be gay. Some of the most hateful, mean-spirited intolerant comments about me being the foreign policy and national security spokesman for Governor Romney … were coming from the left.

But it was the far right that gloated louder than the far left after Grenell’s resignation. Leading the charge was the conservative American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, who called Grenell’s resignation a “huge win for us.”

Grenell denies he was forced out by social conservatives, noting that he’s been an openly-gay Republican spokesman for decades.

Emphasis added.  He insisted that he resigned because he didn’t believe that he should be the story:  ”When the messenger becomes part of the message — if you really care about these issues — you should step aside.”

So, folks on the left offered some of the most hateful, mean-spirited intolerant comments about him being the foreign policy and national security spokesman for Governor Romney . . . . Hmmm. . . . Does parallel the experience of us here at GayPatriot — and the reports we have received from our readers.

Wonder when the legacy media will get around to cover that particular aspect of the Grenell matter — or the general story about left-wing intolerance toward “uppity” conservative minorities — and if they’re going to ask the “first gay president”, to borrow and paraphrase an expression, to differentiate himself from such hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric.

Was anyone arrested for criticizing W?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:40 am - May 25, 2012.
Filed under: Bush-hatred,Misrepresenting Conservatives,Obamania

Recall that North Carolina teacher, now suspended without pay, who upbraided a student for daring to, as she put it, “disrespect” the President of the United States in her classroom.  She had told her class that it was “criminal to slander a president”:

“Do you realize that people were arrested for saying things bad about Bush?” she says of former President Bush. “Do you realize you are not supposed to slander the president?”

Oh, really, where does it say that in the Constitution?

Nobody, points out blogger Rhymes with Right, himself a teacher,

. . . was arrested for saying bad things about George W. Bush. In fact those who did so became cultural heroes — don’t you remember that “dissent is the highest form of patriotism” and that Cindy Sheehan was treated as some sort of demigod by those opposed to Bush and his policies?

Yes, even in the dark days when that supposed fascist reigned in Washington, people remained free to criticize the president and were often celebrated for doing so.

I wonder how many of those same people will criticize the North Carolina teacher for criticizing a student who engaged, to borrow an expression they might like, in “the highest form of patriotism.”

There he goes again

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:56 am - May 1, 2012.
Filed under: Misrepresenting Conservatives,Ronald Reagan

Obama gets Reagan wrong on infrastructure

RELATED: No, Mr. President, Ronald Reagan didn’t campaign on raising taxes

No, Time Magazine, Obama does not “Heart” Reagan*

Barack Obama just can’t seem to get Ronald Reagan right.

Why do Democrats dishonestly demagogue Republican policies?

In the past year, we’ve heard Democrats, including the president himself, fault Republicans in the 112th Congress for, attempting with their budgets to starve the poor and deprive others of needed social services, as if they insist the less fortunate alone and isolated in a cruel world and oppose all notions of charity and compassion in general and government assistance in particular.

But, as conservative bloggers and pundits (including yours truly) have noted, even the Ryan budget maintains federal domestic spending at or above (mostly above) levels experienced in the Clinton era.

John Hinderaker reminds us of the dishonest Democratic demagoguery in other arena, that of environmental protection, where some Democrats contend Republicans have become far more radical, departing from the traditions of past Republican presidents.  John reminds us that it’s not Republicans who have changed, but the Democrats who have become more radical than they once were:

But is it Republicans who have changed on the environment, or Democrats? What Republicans are advocating repeal of the Clean Air Act or the Clean Water Act? None. What Republicans do object to is the extremism embodied in Barack Obama’s EPA, a senior official of which says that the agency’s “general philosophy” is to “crucify” oil and gas companies.

It’s important to bear in mind that even as Republican candidates and elected officials today talk about scaling back federal regulations and cutting government spending, they’re only talking about repealing legislation passed in the Obama and George W. Bush eras and keeping in place (often to the chagrin of the libertarian-minded among us) legislation enacted before the end of the last century or reducing spending to levels seen under Clinton, Nixon or Reagan.