Posts tagged "Far Right"

thepoliticalfreakshow:

Like a lot of people, Ed Kilgore is distressed at the outpouring of support on the right forNevada rancher Cliven Bundy:

Call it “individualism” or “libertarianism” or whatever you want, but those who declare themselves a Republic of One and raise their own flags are in a very literal sense being unpatriotic.

That’s why I’m alarmed by the support in many conservative precincts for the Nevada scofflaws who have been exploiting public lands for private purposes and refuse to pay for the privilege because they choose not to “recognize” the authority of the United States. Totally aside from the double standards involved in expecting kid-glove treatment of one set of lawbreakers as opposed to poorer and perhaps darker criminal suspects, fans of the Bundys are encouraging those who claim a right to wage armed revolutionary war towards their obligations as Americans. It makes me really crazy when such people are described as “superpatriots.” Nothing could be more contrary to the truth.

The details of the Bundy case have gotten a lot of attention at conservative sites, but the details really don’t matter. Bundy has a baroque claim that the United States has no legal right to grazing land in Nevada; for over a decade, every court has summarily disagreed. It’s federal land whether Bundy likes it or not, and Bundy has refused for years to pay standard grazing fees—so a couple of weeks ago the feds finally decided to enforce the latest court order allowing them to confiscate Bundy’s cattle if he didn’t leave. The rest is just fluff, a bunch of paranoid conspiracy theorizing that led to last week’s armed standoff between federal agents and the vigilante army created by movement conservatives.

The fact that so many on the right are valorizing Bundy—or, at minimum, tiptoeing around his obvious nutbaggery—is a testament to the enduring power of Waco and Ruby Ridge among conservatives. The rest of us may barely remember them, but they’re totemic events on the right, fueling Glenn-Beckian fantasies of black helicopters and jackbooted federal thugs for more than two decades now. Mainstream conservatives have pandered to this stuff for years because it was convenient, and that’s brought them to where they are today: too scared to stand up to the vigilantes they created and speak the simple truth. They complain endlessly about President Obama’s “lawlessness,” but this is lawlessness. It’s appalling that so many of them aren’t merely afraid to plainly say so, but actively seem to be egging it on.

Source: Kevin Drum for Mother Jones

Fox News correspondent Todd Starnes defended rancher Cliven Bundy in his lawless stand against the federal government. Referencing federal employees’ actions in legally confiscating Bundy’s cattle because of unpaid fees and fines, Starnes said: “Don’t they still have laws on the books about cattle rustling out in Nevada? … Back in the day, they used to string folks up for stealing cattle.”

Bundy is a Nevada rancher who has for decades refused to pay the federal government the fees required to allow his cattle to graze on public lands. Last year a federal court ruled that Bundy had to remove his cattle or they would be confiscated to pay the roughly $1.2 million in fees and fines he’s accumulated. The confiscation began earlier this month, but was halted because the Bureau of Land Management had “serious concerns about the safety of employees and members of the public.”

Bundy does not recognize federal authority over the land in question, and he and his armed supporters have repeatedly threatened violence against the federal government. Despite his lawlessness, Bundy has become acause célèbre for many in the right-wing media.

During an appearance today on the radio program of Republican strategist Alice Stewart, Fox’s Todd Starnes championed Bundy as an example of Americans “saying enough is enough” with the federal government.

"We do know that the feds returned some of the cattle that they had taken from the Bundy Ranch. What I find interesting, though, Alice, is don’t they still have laws on the books about cattle rustling out in Nevada?" Starnes said. "Back in the day, they used to string folks up for stealing cattle."

Starnes later claimed that the Bundy incident shows that “Americans have really reached a boiling point here” and Americans have finally said, ‘You know what? We’re not going to stand by and let the Constitution be tramped.’”

He also took the opportunity to link the situation to the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, stating: “Look at all the government firepower that was out there at that ranch. They had more guns there than they did at the consulate in Benghazi … if only Ambassador [Christopher] Stevens had been a protected tortoise.”

Despite his own inflammatory rhetoric, Starnes did caution against the behavior of some Bundy-supporting militia members, saying it’s “very disturbing” they were “[s]eeming to taunt the federal agents. And I think that they need to be very careful about that.” 

STARNES: We do know that the feds returned some of the cattle that they had taken from the Bundy Ranch. What I find interesting, though, Alice, is don’t they still have laws on the books about cattle rustling out in Nevada?

STEWART: Well, they should. They should.

STARNES: Back in the day, they used to string folks up for stealing cattle.

STEWART: Oh, yeah, unless you’re with the federal government.

[…]

STEWART: As Charlie Daniels has said, you mentioned this on Fox the other day, this is a situation, it’s the first case of citizen versus big government, and at least in this battle over the weekend, the citizens won. But the war is not over.

STARNES: You know, Alice, it’s not over. And I think that Americans have really reached a boiling point here. One of the things that worked to the Bundy family’s advantage was social media. That images and video was being put out there almost in real time as this was going down.

Very disturbing, though, the behavior of some of those militia folks that were out there. Seeming to taunt the federal agents. And I think that they need to be very careful about that. But I will say this. That Americans have finally said, “You know what? We’re not going to stand by and let the Constitution be tramped.” We’ve put up with this through Obamacare, through the NSA spying on our telephone calls, through the TSA, and their, you know, their endeavors in the airport, to even the IRS. You know, and I think that Americans are finally saying enough is enough. And now, Alice, just think about this for a moment. Look at all the government firepower that was out there at that ranch. They had more guns there than they did at the consulate in Benghazi.

STEWART: I know it.

STARNES: I mean if only Ambassador Stevens had been a protected tortoise.

From the 04.15.2014 edition of KTHE’s The Alice Stewart Show:

h/t: Eric Hanaoki at MMFA

See also: DKos: Cliven Bundy: right-wing extremist domestic terrorist lawbreaker

h/t: Ian Millhiser at Think Progress Justice

More reasons why Cliven Bundy IS NOT A HERO!! 

h/t: Keith Brekhus at PoliticusUSA

h/t: SPLC’s Hatewatch Blog

Fox News’ Sean Hannity is increasingly — and dangerously — taking on the role of PR agent for a Nevada rancher defying the federal government with violent threats.

Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy has quickly become a darling of right-wing media over his decades-long refusal to pay federal government fees required to allow his cattle to exploit public lands. In July 2013, a federal court ordered the rancher to remove his cattle from the public property or they would be confiscated and sold to pay off the $1 million in fees and trespassing fines Bundy owes. When that confiscation began this month, the rancher took his battle to conservative media, who held him up as a folk hero battling big government invasion into private property rights and states’ rights.

Bundy’s defiance has been marked by violent and revolutionary rhetoric toward the federal government, hints of a bloody confrontation cheered on by the right-wing fringes who have repeatedly compared the situation to notorious and deadly standoffs like Ruby Ridge and Waco. For example, when Bundy appeared on his radio program, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones posited that if Bundy’s supporters confronted federal agents at the auction for Bundy’s confiscated cattle, which the rancher encouraged, it “could be how the shot heard round the world happens in this case.” Jones warned that “this could turn into 1776 very quickly.”

But such dangerous hyperbole isn’t confined to the fringes. Increasingly, Sean Hannity’s promotion and defense of the rancher’s actions and threats is starting to resemble that of far-right extremists.  

Hannity interviewed Bundy on his Fox program on April 9, sympathizing with the rancher’s claims and arguing that allowing Bundy’s cattle to graze on public lands “keeps the price of meat down for every American consumer.”

His rhetoric had noticeably escalated two days later when he invited Bundy onto his radio program The Sean Hannity Show. Hannity argued that federal agents have “drawn the wrong line in the sand here,” praising Bundy because he “like[s] anybody that’s willing to fight.” 

He went on, “I’m just afraid of what this government is capable of doing. I mean we saw what happened in Waco,” to which Bundy responded, “We have to have faith that America will stand. You know we would never won any of these wars from the Revolutionary War on up if we didn’t have faith and courage and fighting for something.”

Throughout the program, Hannity repeatedly pushed violent predictions, saying, “This can spiral out of control. You get one wrong person out there, this can spiral out of control really fast,” and “If it keeps going, this is going to end very, very badly.” He even demanded, “The government needs to stand down” because “this is only a symptom of how one person, standing up to the government, I’m telling you, [it is] my opinion that this crisis could come to a head, and lives could be lost.”

Hannity promised to bring Bundy back onto his Fox program that night, and discussed the possibility of traveling to Nevada to visit the ranch.

At this point, Hannity is perhaps Bundy’s most prominent supporter, and his role as PR agent for a man openly defying federal law and hinting at violent retaliation against federal agents appears to only be increasing. Words are one thing, but Hannity’s public hyperbole is particularly worrisome given the fact that armed militia group members are reportedly heading into Nevada to take on the government with Bundy, who’s placed armed guards at his gates. 

h/t: Emily Arrowood at MMFA

attribution: ABCNews

The far right-wing extremists and their enablers are defending a far-right domestic terrorist  lawbreaker by the name of Cliven Bundywho is threatening a “range war”against the federal Government.

SPLC’s Hatewatch Blog:

The core of the dispute is Cliven Bundy’s ongoing claim to the right to graze his cattle on a sensitive piece of southern Nevada’s Mojave Desert known as Gold Butte. Bundy’s family had grazed cattle in the area for generations, but in 1993 Cliven Bundy stopped paying his fees on the land, claiming that the United States government was not the legitimate landlord.

In 2013, a federal judge enjoined him from continuing to graze his cattle on the federal lands, an order he has studiously ignored. So this week, federal authorities moved into the area and began sweeping up Bundy’s trespassing cattle.

Bundy threatened a “range war” if Bureau of Land Management agents took custody of his stock, calling them “cattle thieves.” But, initially at least, the threats appeared to fizzle as the roundup of Bundy’s cattle proceeded apace, accompanied by a heavy law enforcement presence at the scene, while Bundy sputtered helplessly on the sideline. On Sunday, another adult son, 37-year-old David Bundy, was arrested after getting into a confrontation with the federal officers; afterwards, Bundy and his compatriots described for reporters their alleged ordeal the hands of federal officers.

BLM officials, meanwhile, defend the crackdown on Bundy’s activities by noting that he is the only rancher in the region who refuses to acknowledge or heed the federal permit system for grazing rights. “Cattle have been in trespass on public lands in southern Nevada for more than two decades. This is unfair to the thousands of other ranchers who graze livestock in compliance with federal laws and regulations throughout the West,” the BLM website noted.

Nevada Progressive:

It’s unfair to all the rest of us to allow one rancher to let his cattle trample upon the habitat of an endangered species (the desert tortoise). It’s especially unfair to let that rancher let his cattle run rampant and ruin land that belongs to all of us. And it’s particularly unfair to let this one rancher let his cattle run rampant when he’s refused to pay the fee that all area ranchers must pay to use that public land. (After all, the BLM has to maintain this land for everyone.)

[…]

Hey, someone had to do it. And since hardly anyone else is discussing the real reasons for outrage regarding this Cliven Bundy “scandal”, we figured we might as well wade into this hot mess. So to recap, some G-O-TEA politicians are screaming at the BLM because the BLM is enforcing existing law. A rancher is willfully violating the law and encouraging armed rebellion against the federal government because he doesn’t like the law. And meanwhile, the land itself and the original inhabitants of this land are reeling because we’ve allowed the land to be mistreated by the likes of Bundy… While we threaten the climate that’s supposed to sustain this land.

USAToday.com:

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and Sen. Dean Heller disagree with the Bureau of Land Management’s recent actions.

"No cow justifies the atmosphere of intimidation which currently exists nor the limitation of constitutional rights that are sacred to all Nevadans," Sandoval told FoxNews.com.

Bureau of Land Management Kirsten Cannon told FoxNews.com that contracted agents on Saturday and Sunday rounded up 134 cattle along the 1,200-square-mile stretch of rangeland as a last resort. They used helicopters, vehicles and temporary pens.

All of this is a reminder that the only good Bundy out there is Married… With Children's Al Bundy and that Cliven Bundy is NOT a “hero,” but a traitor who's actively harming America who should be in jail!!

(cross-posted from Daily Kos

Right-wing media are fanning the flames of a conflict between a federal agency and their new hero — a scofflaw Nevada rancher who’s threatening a violent range war against the federal government.

Cliven Bundy, a cattle rancher in Nevada, has been fighting the government over grazing rights on public land for nearly a quarter century. In 1993, Bundy began refusing to pay government fees required to allow his cattle to exploit public lands. In 1998, the government issued a court order telling Bundy to remove his cows from the land, as part of an effort to protect the endangered desert tortoise located there. And in July 2013, a federal court ordered Bundy to get his cattle off public land within 45 days or they would be confiscated. The confiscation began this month, and the cattle will be sold to pay off the $1 million in fees and trespassing fines Bundy owes.

Conservative media have held the confiscation out as a big government invasion of private property rights and have repeatedly hyped the rancher and his family as victims being intimidated by a heavily armed force of federal agents who are escalating the situation into the realm of notorious and deadly standoffs like Ruby Ridge and Waco.

Fox News hosted the rancher on the April 9 edition of Hannity, where Sean Hannity sympathized with Bundy’s claims against the government and argued that allowing Bundy’s cattle to graze on public lands “keeps the price of meat down for every American consumer.” 

Fox & Friends highlighted the situation and complained about the protections for the desert tortoise. Co-host Brian Kilmeade said, ”We’re not anti-turtle, but we are pro-logic and tradition.” 

Meanwhile, Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze.com played up the fact that the federal agents confiscating Bundy’s cattle were armed. Alex Jones’ Infowars.com posited that the government was attempting to “enslave us in an [United Nations] Agenda 21 future where we have no property and no rights.” During an April 9 edition of Jones’ conspiracy theory radio show, Jones said of Bundy, “So your bottom line, like Paul Revere, you’re making your stand, you’re telling folks we’re being overrun by an out of control tyranny.”

National Review Online’s Kevin Williamson called the presence of armed agents “inflammatory” and described the government’s actions as a “siege.” The conservative American Thinker accused Attorney Gen. Eric Holder of enforcing the law against Bundy for racial reasons. 

But if anyone is waging a campaign of intimidation, it’s Bundy and his family, who have repeatedly threatened violence, invoked revolutionary rhetoric, and issued public statements making known that they own firearms and appear willing to use them.

The rancher told the Las Vegas Sun in 2013 that “he keeps firearms at his ranch” and promised to “do whatever it takes” to defend his cattle from being seized.

"I’ve got to protect my property," Bundy said as [his son] Arden steered several cattle inside an elongated pen. "If people come to monkey with what’s mine, I’ll call the county sheriff. If that don’t work, I’ll gather my friends and kids and we’ll try to stop it. I abide by all state laws. But I abide by almost zero federal laws."

Bundy’s wife Carol told the Sun that she owns a shotgun and is prepared to use it.

Carol Bundy said her husband is not a violent man, just a person who will protect what he owns. For that matter, so is she.

"I’ve got a shotgun," she said. "It’s loaded and I know how to use it. We’re ready to do what we have to do, but we’d rather win this in the court of public opinion."

Grabbing another fistful of bacon, Arden said he wants to be part of any coming battle. His mother smiled.

When conservative radio host Laura Ingraham asked if he would resort to violence to settle the dispute, Bundy said, “I didn’t say I wouldn’t carry a gun.”

On Fox News’ Hannity, Bundy implied that the federal government’s seizure of his cattle amounted to an infringement on the rights of Nevada and said he’ll “do whatever it takes to gain our liberty and freedom back.”

BUNDY: Well, you know, my cattle is only one issue that the United States courts has ordered that the government can seize my cattle. But what they have done is seized Nevada statehood, Nevada law, Clark County public land, access to the land, and have seized access to all of the other rights of Clark County people that like to go hunting and fishing. They’ve closed all those things down, and we’re here to protest that action. And we are after freedom. We’re after liberty.

HANNITY: How far are you willing to go? How far are you willing to take this?

BUNDY: My statement to the American people, I’ll do whatever it takes to gain our liberty and freedom back.

Appearing on the radio show of conspiracy theorist Pete Santilli, a 9-11 Truther who previously threatened to shoot Hillary Clinton, Bundy repeatedly said the time has come to “make our stand.” Discussing his situation’s relationship to the deadly Waco and Ruby Ridge standoffs, Bundy said, “I haven’t called no militia or anything like that, but hey it looks like that’s where we’re at”:

BUNDY: I told you that I did the legal thing and the political thing and the media thing and it seems like it’s down to we the people if we’re going to get it done. You know the things like militias. You know, I haven’t called no militia or anything like that, but hey it looks like that’s where we’re at.

We got a strong army here, we have to fight, their [unintelligible] to back off. We don’t have our state officials not stepping up and saying no. So until the state people steps up and says no, the county sheriff says no, this thing is going to keep escalating until the point that we are going to have to take our land back and take our rights back and maybe that’s the time we are at in life, I don’t know, it just seemed like we worked our way all the way to this point, now are we going to back off? Or are we going to take it — somebody is going to have to back off. If they’re not, we the people are going to put our boots down and we are going to walk over these people.

During his appearance on The Alex Jones Show, Bundy said that he tells the government he will “do whatever it takes” to oppose the government and because he “make[s] that statement, they seem to say well this man, he can’t stand. We’re gonna have to take him down.”

Jones and Bundy also discussed a since-delayed plan for the Bureau of Land Management to auction off Bundy’s confiscated cattle in Utah to repay his debts to the government. Bundy urged his supporters to “go in there with force” and to stop the auction. Jones said a confrontation at the auction “could be how the shot heard round the world happens in this case” and warned that “this could turn into 1776 very quickly,” garnering Bundy’s agreement: 

JONES: This could be how the shot heard round the world happens in this case or others that are happening. If they ever fire on innocent peaceful people trying to take stolen cattle and act like the mercenaries they are, this could turn into 1776 very quickly.

BUNDY: Yeah, and we’re totally disgusted with this type of government and I don’t think we the people are going to stand it, and I’m not going to stand it, I’m going to stand as long as it takes and do whatever it takes to get this —

JONES: Incredible, well we will get updates in the next few days, sir, to find out what unfolds.

Bundy may not have “called” any militia, but militias around the country are mobilizing to support him. And while the potential for violence continues to escalate, right-wing media keep egging him on.

h/t: Timohy Johnson and Brian Powell at MMFA

crooksandliars:

[Cross-posted at Hatewatch.]

Richard Mack, the former sheriff of Graham County, Ariz., and an antigovernment “Patriot” movement figure who leads the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, has a long history of promoting the theory that county sheriffs, not federal law enforcement, represent the supreme law of the land. This radically decentralized vision of government was first promoted by the old far-right Posse Comitatus movement.

Mack shot from obscurity to right-wing stardom in the mid-1990s when he challenged the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act and won a victory in the U.S. Supreme Court that weakened the law. For the past two years, he has zigzagged across the country spreading conspiracy theories about the federal government and promoting his organization as a “line in the sand” against government agents.

Fox Business channel’s Lou Dobbs Tonight gave Mack a platform to promote his views Tuesday night. Lou Dobbs, of course, is no stranger to controversy.

read more

h/t: Cécile Alduy at The Nation

attractivedecoy:

Cunning, Ruse.

RWW’s Brian Tashman: 

While filling in today for American Family Radio host Sandy Rios, Austin Ruse commented on the media frenzy surrounding a Duke University freshman who announced that she is a porn actress.

Ruse, who leads the ultraconservative Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-Fam), promptly blamed the college’s women’s studies department and said that “the hard left, human-hating people that run modern universities” should “all be taken out and shot.”

Gordon Klingenschmitt is aghast at the recent federal court rulings across the country in favor of marriage equality, telling members of his Pray In Jesus Name Project that “this is way beyond the point where it’s gotten out-of-hand.”

He calls on Congress to impeach and remove from office any judge who sides with pro-gay rights plaintiffs, since any such judge is “a domestic enemy of the Constitution.”

“These lawless judges replace Democracy with dictatorship, abrogate the U.S. Constitution, flaunt the laws of God and nature, assume jurisdiction they don’t have, and overturn the overwhelming vote of good people,” Klingenschmitt writes. “May God have mercy on these tyrants’ souls, when they are judged in eternity.

This is way beyond the point where it’s gotten out-of-hand. The lawlessness on the federal bench requires a house-cleaning. We need a new President to appoint new judges. But until that happens, we MUST pressure Congress to intervene.

Christians do not lose their right to vote simply because they are religious. These lawless judges replace Democracy with dictatorship, abrogate the U.S. Constitution, flaunt the laws of God and nature, assume jurisdiction they don’t have, and overturn the overwhelming vote of good people. May God have mercy on these tyrants’ souls, when they are judged in eternity.

There is NO mention of sexual orientation in the Constitution, and any judge who imagines one is a domestic enemy of the Constitution, and should be impeached and removed from office. We must demand Congress hold the line, and protect the traditional definition of marriage FEDERALLY, like the Oklahoma people did by state.

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW

As the Tea Party celebrates its fifth anniversary, we decided to look at five of the myths that Tea Party supporters, and many pundits, continue to believe about the far-right movement.

Myth #1: Tea Party Cares About Economic Stewardship

If Tea Party activists believe they are on a crusade to save the American economy, they have an odd way of showing it. The Tea Party was responsible for an economically harmful and utterly pointless government shutdown and has several times threatened economic catastrophe byrefusing to raise the debt limit — with their hostage-taking strategycontributing to a S&P credit downgrade and lower consumer confidence.

The Treasury Department warned in the midst of last year’s government shutdown [PDF]: “A default would be unprecedented and has the potential to be catastrophic: credit markets could freeze, the value of the dollar could plummet, U.S. interest rates could skyrocket, the negative spillovers could reverberate around the world, and there might be a financial crisis and recession that could echo the events of 2008 or worse…. Because the debt ceiling impasse contributed to the financial market disruptions, reduced confidence and increased uncertainty, the economic expansion was no doubt weaker than it otherwise would have been.”

One problem might be that Tea Party leaders seem to have no clue what they are talking about.

Tea Party politicians dismissed concerns about failing to raise the debt limit — with one Tea Party-aligned congressman arguing that such a move would help the economy — and didn’t seem to grasp the fact that “raising the debt ceiling simply lets Treasury borrow the money it needs to pay all U.S. bills and other legal obligations in full and on time” and isn’t a “license to spend more.”

Similarly, a Bloomberg News poll found that 93 percent of Tea Party Republicans believe the federal budget deficit is growing, even while it israpidly shrinking.

Myth #2: Tea Party Wants Entitlement Cuts

We keep hearing about how the Tea Party will lead a push to cut entitlement programs, but Tea Party members are disproportionately entitlement program benefactors. A New York Times/CBS poll found that Tea Party members are more likely than others to claim that they or a family member receives Social Security benefits or is covered by Medicaid, and 62 percent believe “the benefits from government programs such as Social Security and Medicare [are] worth the costs of those programs.”

According to a McClatchy-Marist poll, 76 percent of Tea Party supporters oppose Social Security and Medicare cuts while 70 percent said they were against cuts to Medicaid.

Of course, many Tea Party supporters don’t seem to mind public programs when they are the ones benefiting from them, and Republicans continue to criticize reductions in future Medicare spending that they voted for.

“[W]hat many of the Tea Party candidates have found is that when push comes to shove, their backers want to protect their entitlements as much as the next guy,” writes Shikha Dalmia of the Reason Foundation. “In fact, much of the fury of the Tea Partiers against government stimulus and bailouts might have less to do with any principled belief in the limits of government and more to do with fear of what this will do to their own entitlements.”

Myth #3: Tea Party Faces Government Persecution

The Tea Party has desperately clutched onto a conspiracy theory that the IRS specifically targeted Tea Party groups to help seal President Obama’s re-election. Of course, it turns out that the IRS actually scrutinized liberal and conservative groups alike. The faux-scandal was hyped and distorted by congressional Republicans, and Tea Party leaders predicted that it would rejuvenate the movement.

As Alex Seitz-Wald reported: “We know that in fact the IRS targeted lots of different kinds of groups, not just conservative ones; that the only organizations whose tax-exempt statuses were actually denied were progressive ones; that many of the targeted conservative groups legitimatelycrossed the line; that the IG’s report was limited to only Tea Party groups at congressional Republicans’ request; and that the White House was in no way involved in the targeting and didn’t even know about it until shortly before the public did. In short, the entire scandal narrative was a fiction.”

Rather than face facts, leaders are out with a fresh and similarly dubious conspiracy that proposed IRS rules on political activity by certain nonprofits will target conservative organizations for discrimination.

Myth #4: Tea Party Ignores Social Issues

Many Tea Party leaders — including Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Louie Gohmert, Michele Bachmann, Mike Lee, Jim DeMint and Glenn Beck — are also favorites of the Religious Right. The GOP victories in the 2010 midterm electionbrought about what the Daily Beast called “one of the most religiously conservative [House of Representatives] in recent history” and Republican politicians in Congress and state legislatures immediately pursued a crackdown on abortion rights.

Glenn Beck’s massive 2010 Tea Party rally on the National Mall turned into a religious revival meeting. Last year, even the openly gay founder of the National Capital Tea Party Patriots addressed an anti-gay marriage rally in front of the Supreme Court. And far-right pastor Rick Scarborough decided to establish his own group, Tea Party Unity, to promote his call for a “class action lawsuit” against homosexuality.

Pew found that just as “the Tea Party is much more Republican and conservative than the public as a whole… Tea Party supporters also tend to take socially conservative positions on abortion and same-sex marriage.” Tea Party activists oppose marriage equality and abortion rights at rates nearly identical to Republicans at large, and are just as likely to cite religion as the driving force on their stances on such issues.

A 2013 American Values survey observed that the majority of Tea Party activists “identify with the Christian Right,” and a study by political scientists Robert Putnam and David Campbell found Tea Party members to be “disproportionately social conservatives” with a penchant for the “overt use of religious language and imagery.” “It thus makes sense that the Tea Party ranks alongside the Christian Right in unpopularity,” they added.

Myth #5: Tea Party Has Wide Popularity

Tea Party politicians like to fashion themselves as champions of a broadly popular movement that has supporters across partisan lines. Bachmann thinks the Tea Party represents “virtually 90 percent of America ” and a poll of Tea Party supporters found that 84 percent agree that “the views of the people involved in the Tea Party movement generally reflect the views of most Americans.” Beck even believes that most Americans are in the Tea Party and to the right of the GOP.

But while the Tea Party is far from dead, a majority of Americans have an unfavorable view of the right-wing movement.

In December, Gallup found that the Tea Party has never held widespread support.

The Tea Party has been deceiving America for 5+ years now. 

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW

motherjones

H/T: Dana Lieblson at Mother Jones

Tea Partiers, Tenthers, and the corporate sponsors who support them have come up with a variety of ways to circumvent the federal government and bypass the federal regulatory system, including efforts to hold an Article V Convention, commonly called a “Con Con,” to amend the Constitution and the Sen. Ted Cruz (R, TX)-developed plan for use of “interstate compacts” to block federal law.

In a report for the Center for American Progress, Ian Millhiser described these state’s rights efforts as a project for “seceding from the union one law at a time.”  These initiatives could result in a Balkanized confederation of states that would be no match against the power of international corporations and would allow for eliminating the regulatory system and the social safety net.

The most recent issue of The Public Eye magazine includes two extensive articles on the efforts of conservatives to shift power to the states, including Frederick Clarkson’s article on the State Policy Network’s growing influence, and my article on the growing nullification movement (co-authored by Frank Cocozzelli).

Nullification is based on a legal theory that states can block enforcement of federal laws individual states deem unconstitutional. But another route to “nullification” was popularized by Senator Cruz before he even became a senator, and promoted through Tea Party organizations and the highly-controversial American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).


The Constitution, in Article I, Section 10, allows for states to form interstate compacts with the consent of Congress.  This is most commonly done to oversee shared resources, such as waterways.  One of the earliest formed and better known of these compacts is the New York – New Jersey Port Authority. But Cruz
 is claiming that interstate compacts can be expanded as a way to circumvent presidential veto power.Cruz’s idea is to use “interstate compacts” to shield states from federal laws. He developed the concept in 2010 as an alternative option for “nullifying Obamacare.” Just prior to his election as senator, Cruz worked as senior fellow with the Center for Tenth Amendment Studies at the Texas Public Policy Center, the state’s “free market” think tank and a State Policy Network member. While the concept of interstate compacts is not new, Cruz’s idea to use them as a strategy for shielding states from federal laws is uniquely original, which he freely admitted to Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard  in January 2011.

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The concept was also promoted through the State Policy Network’s “Federalism in Action” program, and Cruz himself presented the idea at the 2010 American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) conference, where it promptly became the foundation for ALEC’s “Health Care Compact ACT” model legislation for state legislators.

To date, this Healthcare Compact Act has been passed in eight states: Texas, Oklahoma, Utah, Missouri, Indiana, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina. The healthcare compact is promoted and tracked through an organization called the Healthcare Compact Alliance, a project of Competitive Governance Action, a 501(c)(4) co-founded by Texas businessman Leo Linbeck III and Eric O’Keefe and sharing the address of the Linbeck Group, LLC, in Houston.

The vision of shielding entire areas of state regulation from the federal government has been further enshrined by ALEC in the form of a model bill developed by their International Task Force, and approved by the ALEC board of directors.  Under the title “State Legislature United Compact,” the model bill provides validation for those who half-jokingly warn about the “United States of ALEC,” apparently giving ALEC a role in forming and running the commission that would organize the interstate compact, and ensuring that like-minded conservatives would control the topics and outcomes of a convention.

ALEC’s December 2013 States and Nation Summit in D.C. was sponsored, in part, by another Linbeck and O’Keefe nonprofit, called the Citizens for Self Governance.  Its legal name is the John Hancock Committee of the States and it’s the parent organization of the Convention of the States (one of several organizations promoting an Article V convention to amend the Constitution).  The organization was incubated prior to gaining its own nonprofit status by American Majority, an organization founded by Drew and Ned Ryun to “infuse new Tea Party blood into the political system.”

Until now, the only method used to amend the Constitution has been through a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress, followed by ratification by three-fourths of the states. However, there is another process in Article V that allows for a convention to be called by two thirds of state legislatures.  Mark Meckler, cofounder of the Tea Party Patriots, is now president of the Citizens for Self Governance and is overseeing the group’s Article V convention efforts.

Meckler promoted the Convention of the States project in a session at ALEC’s December summit. On the Saturday following the summit, roughly 100 state legislators from 32 states met at Mt. Vernon to advance convention plans.  Ferris’ reflections on the event acknowledged that there are divisions in conservative ranks between those who want the “con-con,” and those who fear a “runaway con-con” infiltrated and overrun by liberals. Historical revisionist David Barton has just recently endorsed a Constitutional Convention, while both Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum and the John Birch Society (JBS) fall into the second category.

As noted in The Public Eye article Nullification, Neo-Confederates, and the Revenge of the Right, the JBS has become a major force behind state nullification efforts across the country.

Despite misgivings about a “runaway con-con,” there are several right-wing groups around the country working to organize a convention, but with some disagreements about how it would work.  PRA senior fellow Frederick Clarkson, Salon’s Paul Rosenberg, and I have all listened in on conference calls by one such organization that has differences of opinion with the Convention of the States on how to proceed (you can read Rosenberg’s story about it in Salon). The leader of that organization has a plan for the first amendment to be a “Sovereignty and State’s Rights Amendment,” allowing any federal law to be “countermanded” by the agreement of 30 states.

This state’s rights movement is gaining traction across the country, including among some on the political Left, but the money and organizing behind the effort is solidly conservative­—or perhaps better described as paleo-libertarian, or a combination of radical anti-government philosophies wedded to social conservatism.

h/t: Rachel Tabachnick at Political Research Associates