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Comment: Harold Ford’s Treatment No Better Than Tea Party Protests

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Harold Ford’s reception tonight at New York City’s LGBT Center, which hosted the Stonewall Democrats’ event at which Ford was invited to speak about his stance on issues affecting the LGBTQ community, was little short of a mob scene. Protesters, organized by “The Power,” an LGBTQ advocacy group that has worked tirelessly — albeit with tactics at times well-intentioned yet ill-advised –  to further the civil rights cause for all LGBTQ Americans, turned this event into Tea Party style politics.

Protesters brandished bold signs labeling Ford, “Liar,” “Anti-gay Liar,” and “Snakeoil Harold.” But it wasn’t their brandishing of signs, it was their bellicose voices, shouting, interrupting — all of which were criticized by the Stonewall Democrats leadership, to no avail. At every opportunity, protesters shouted down Ford, who clearly wasn’t capable of withstanding the half-hour verbal abuse in a hot, stuffy, small meeting room.

It was demeaning and disrespectful to Mr. Ford, it was demeaning and disrespectful to the Stonewall Democrats, it was demeaning and disrespectful to the LGBTQ community, and worse of all, it was demeaning and disrespectful to our national political debate.

One could argue that Ford’s stance and “flip-flopping” on gay rights are just as demeaning, and to that I would agree.

Make no mistake. I am fully on record as being adamantly opposed to Harold Ford, period, whether he chooses to run for New York’s U.S. Senate seat, or for any other office. I’ve written close to a dozen pieces against him. And his poor performance and clear lack of understanding of basic issues tonight merely proves my point.

Ford is bad for New York. Not because of his poor understanding of LGBTQ issues, but because of his poor understanding of all the issues, including his poor understanding of his own record — which is, needless to say, also poor.

However, the man was a guest in our home, and he was treated as a despot, a tyrant to be overthrown and burned at the stake. There was no way Ford was intellectually capable of changing any heart or mind in that room — even before he arrived. His poor commentary made that clear from the outset. His lack of preparation merely reinforced the obvious fact that he’s not capable of serving the people of the state of New York. The protesters should have merely given him the opportunity to speak, knowing he would do himself more damage than they ever could.

Ford, if anything, may have gained slight political advantage tonight, if only by garnering the sympathy of the less-informed and the anti-gay voting bloc. They, too, won’t believe he’s changed. They’ll see he’s no “fierce advocate,” and they already know Gillibrand is. And they’ll see how he was treated and actually feel sorry for him.

Michael Crawford, who was instrumental in helping Washington, D.C. gain marriage equality, tonight wrote,

“The shouting down of Harold Ford is another example of gays acting out rather than acting smart.”

I agree.

Even Queerty, itself famous for poor manners, had this to say,

“The event wasn’t just unfriendly to Ford; it was rude.

So, allow us to take a moment to address that: Shouting over the invited guest? Demanding he “go home,” when you’re the ones who bothered showing up to an event you knew he’d appear at? If you want to protest him, fine, but at least let him speak. We’d expect the same for our own. This was uncalled for and makes New York’s gay community look intolerant and juvenile — the same things we accuse others of being.”

The only ones who looked worse than Ford tonight were the members of the unruly, angry, rude, nasty mob that interrupted Ford’s speech with cries reminiscent of Joe Wilson’s “You lie!,” followed by, “You’re a liar,” “Go back home to Tennessee!” and “Anti-choice! Anti-gay! Snake Oil Harry, go away!”

Seriously. Joe Wilson, Dick Armey, Newt Gingrich, and Sarah Palin would have been proud tonight. Michelle Malkin, especially, I’m sure is thrilled. Another “Gay marriage mob” story for her pen to twist.

But I, for one, am not proud.

This “protest” wasn’t “civil disobedience.” There was nothing civil about it at all.

I’ve spent the past year and a half working twelve to eighteen hour days, sometimes seven days a week, trying to educate, communicate, and illustrate why equality for the LGBTQ community is the right thing for America. I’ve immersed myself and invested my life in this movement. No one can say I’m anything if not a dedicated activist to this movement and a tireless supporter of LGBTQ rights and of our community.

But I do not support the ranting and raving tactics and tantrums of an angry mob who put their anger and, yes, their hatred, above the larger picture of public perception and optics, and civil discourse and debate.

Wrestle Ford on the facts, in a civil debate, and we gain the upper hand. Wrestle him to the ground, and we look like schoolyard bullies.

Ironically, today in a piece I wrote for Bilerico, I said,

“There are many roads to reach our success. I will not fight anyone for trying. I will for not.”

While I won’t fight these protesters, I will voice my opinion.

Tonight, these protesters made us look bad and Harold Ford look, well, better than he deserved to. Tonight, these protesters hurt our efforts. Tonight, I, for one, was embarrassed.

When we’ve sunk to the level of those we despise, like the Tea Partiers who disrupted the health care debates all summer, or like Congressman Wilson’s “You lie!” outburst during President Obama’s joint session of Congress, when we’ve sunk so low that we emulate their tactics, we’ve lost the upper hand, our integrity, the support of the public, and we’ve given the opposition a win.

Next time, folks, let’s be the bigger party. Not the Tea Party.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

GOP Congresswoman Saying She Would ‘Do Anything’ to Protect Her Grandchildren, Even ‘Shooting Them’ Sets Internet on Fire

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U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) in a speech denouncing a House bill on gun safety, appears to inadvertently have declared that to protect her five grandchildren, she would “do anything,” even shoot them.

“I rise in opposition to H.R. 2377,” Congresswoman Lesko says in the video. “I have five grandchildren. I would do anything, anything to protect my five grandchildren, including as a last resort shooting them if I had to, to protect the lives of my grandchildren.”

NCRM has verified the video is accurate. Congresswoman Lesko made the remarks on June 9, according to C-SPAN, while she was opposing a red flag law.

The Congresswoman presumably meant she would as a last resort shoot someone threatening her grandchildren.

One Twitter user, Ryan Shead, posted the previously ignored video to Twitter, where it has gone viral and is trending.

Lesko, who some social media users note is running for re-election unopposed, went on to say: “Democrat bills that we have heard this week want to take away my right, my right to protect my grandchildren. they want to take away the rights of law-abiding citizens to protect their own children and grandchildren. and wives and brothers and sisters,” which is false.

“This bill takes away due process from law-abiding citizens. Can you imagine if you had a disgruntled ex or somebody who hates you because of your political views and they go to a judge and say, ‘oh, this person is dangerous,’ and that judge would take away your guns?”

Lesko’s hypothetical claims are false. Red flag laws are designed to protect both gun owners and those around them.

Some social media users noted that Congresswoman Lesko reportedly “attended meetings about overturning the election,” while others are having fun with the Arizona Republican’s remarks:

Watch Congresswoman Lesko’s remarks above or at this link.

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Separation of Church and State Is a ‘Fabrication’ Says Far Right Activist Charlie Kirk: They Should Be ‘Mixed Together’

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Far-right religious activist, conspiracy theorist, and founder of the right-wing organization Turning Point USA Charlie Kirk has falsely declared that separation of church and state, a bedrock principle on which American society is based, is a “fabrication” not in the Constitution.

Kirk is a member of the secretive theocratic Council for National Policy., a close friend of Donald Trump, Jr., and spent years promoting President Trump – even interviewing him at one point. Turning Point USA has had repeated challenges. The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer in 2017 write a piece about TPUSA titled, “A Conservative Nonprofit That Seeks to Transform College Campuses Faces Allegations of Racial Bias and Illegal Campaign Activity.”

Former TPUSA communications director Candace Owens has praised Hitler, saying “the problem” with him was that he wanted to “globalize.”

RELATED: Watch: Charlie Kirk Calls for Texans to Be ‘Deputized’ to Protect ‘White Demographics in America’

On Wednesday Kirk declared, “There is no separation of church and state. It’s a fabrication. It’s a fiction. It’s not in the Constitution. It’s made up by secular humanists.”

That’s false.

The claim separation of church and state is not in the Constitution is a religious right belief that has been debunked by countless legal experts.

“Of course we should have church and state mixed together,” Kirk continued. “Our Founding Fathers believed in that. We can go through the detail of that. They established – literally – a church in Congress.”

That too is false.

RELATED: ‘When Do We Get to Use the Guns?’: TP USA Audience Member Asks Charlie Kirk When Can ‘We Kill’ Democrats? (Video)

“It’s a good thing Charlie Kirk doesn’t go to Wheaton because he would fail my Constitutional Law class,” writes Dr. Miranda Yaver, PhD, a Wheaton College professor.

As most public school students know, Kirk’s claims are belied by the First Amendment to the U.S., Constitution, which states:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

It’s the Establishment Clause, legal experts say, that debunks Kirk’s falsehood.

In reviewing the Supreme Court’s recent rulings, Reuters last month noted: “It was President Thomas Jefferson who famously said in an 1802 letter that the establishment clause should represent a ‘wall of separation’ between church and state. The provision prevents the government from establishing a state religion and prohibits it from favoring one faith over another.”

Jefferson is also considered the principal author of the Declaration of Independence.

Watch Charlie Kirk below or at this link.

 

 

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News

Pat Cipollone Is ‘A Greatest Hits Package of Crazy Statements’ by Donald Trump: Legal Expert

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Former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone has agreed to speak to the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on Congress on Friday.

Former Assistant Deputy Attorney General Harry Litman told CNN that Cipollone has carefully negotiated the testimony and he will likely “steer around down the middle” of the attorney/client privilege. However, former President Donald Trump is not the client of a White House counsel, the White House is. President Joe Biden has waived executive privilege for anything involving Jan. 6 or the 2020 election.

“He is a greatest hits package of crazy statements by Donald Trump,” Litman said of Cipollone. “He is the one who says to Mark Meadows, ‘You know, if you do this, you’ll have blood on your effing hands.’ He’s the one who says to Mark Meadows about [Mike] Pence, ‘You’ve got to stop it’ and Meadows says, ‘You’ve heard him. He thinks the rioters are right.’ He’s the one who has to go to Cassidy Hutchinson, a 25-year-old, and plead with her because Meadows won’t speak to him. ‘Please try to keep him from going to the Capitol.’ He’s the one who says, ‘if I go to the Capitol, it will be every effing crime imaginable.'”

READ MORE: Longtime friend of GOP’s Eric Greitens calls him a ‘broken man’ and accuses him of lying about his beliefs

“Now, they’ve negotiated it up, and probably what he wants is to say he’s not piercing attorney/client privilege. But all these statements I’ve said to you, Trump’s nowhere around. So, attorney/client has to be with the client for the purpose of getting legal advice, so he’s got tons to say without that.”

As Litman explained, Cipollone is in “everything.”

See the discussion below.

Image: Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks  via Flickr:
President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump talk with Supreme Court Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett, her husband Jesse Barrett, Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, his wife Virginia Thomas, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, and Deputy White House Counsel Kate Comerford Todd in the Blue Room of the White House Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, after attending Barrett’s swearing-in ceremony as Supreme Court Associate Justice.

 

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