It is commonly alleged that today’s Republican Party employs ruthless strategies to scare middle class voters into voting Republican, though doing so works mainly against those voters’ economic interests.
How might that allegation be tested against the manifest political strategies of the so-called National Organization for Marriage, which — despite its occasional affiliations with freak Democratic anti-gay bigots like New York State Senator and Reverend RubÃ©n DÃaz, Sr.Â — is a resolutely Republican organization?
Consider NOM’s abuses of the word “elite.”
Elite acquires specific meanings in context. When people speak, for example, of “an elite athlete,” the word has an almost entirely positive connotation.
NOM’s anti-gay propaganda, however, uses “elite” as a pejorative. Consider these examples:
Yesterday, when the First Circuit Court ruled DOMA unconstitutional, NOM’s Brian Brown said,Â “It’s obvious that the federal courts on both coasts are intent on imposing their liberal, elitist views of marriage on the American people.”
Never mind that two of the First Circuit judges were Republican appointees. Brown’s propaganda clearly is targeted at a Bible-belt, gays-hating demographic, and encouraging that demographic to feel that something is being “imposed” on it by figures on “both coasts” with “elitist views of marriage.”
Notice that Brown makes no actual legal argument; anybody who even remotely appears to want to undo sexual orientation apartheid in marriage is smeared as “elitist.” NOM’s sheer, hateful gall in using this tactic is all the more deplorable that they are using “elite” — with implications that those so described have unmerited advantages over others — in the service of a political movement that benefits the 1% at the expense of workers, as well as of those who do not suffer marriage discrimination.
If you are not legally barred from marriage, you are hardly being imposed on by a supposed “elite” that is legally barred from marriage; you have the unmerited legal advantage over them, in fact.
Leave aside whatever you may think of the MIT-educated David Koch’s politics; clearly Koch himself does not think of the Reagan-appointed First Circuit Court Chief Judge Juan Torruella, who ruled that DOMA is unconstitutional, as an “elitist” in any pejorative sense. Brown is, I repeat, with his anti-gay propaganda targeting a demographic distinct in its fortunes from those of the Koch brothers.
Here is another example of NOM’s propagandistic abuses of the word “elite.”
Recently in the U.K., The Law Society, a group steadfastly committed to LGBT equality, canceled a planned anti-gay conference, which NOM’s Brian Brown was scheduled to attend, after learning that the organizers were gay-bashing bigots.
Brown’s press release about the cancellation is exceedingly “elite” heavy. In a foaming rage, Brown 1) calls The Law Society “an elitist organization;” 2) says that “in many ways the effort to redefine marriage represents a conflict between the elites and the people;” 3) says thatÂ Â “the elites in The Law Society look down their nose at” those who oppose marriage equality; and 4) says that “The elites scoff at such things, and prefer to substitute their views for those of the vast majority of citizens.”
Brown very obviously laid it on thick with a trowel, to be sure that his target demographic of “non-elites” would have the idea that they were under a most hideous attack from the “elite” Law Society, whose crime according to Brown is that it furthers the cause of LGBT equality, at the alleged expense of “the Â people.” Obviously in the context of Great Britain, references to “the people” do not generally include Lady Trudeliese Poppysmith and the Right Honorable Baron of Higgensbottom.
Additional examples of NOM’s propagandizing against “elites” are easy to find, but we must not overlook that Brown’s selfsame press release pointing angry fingers at the “elitist” equality supporters in The Law Society happens to mention that NOM’s Brian Brown studied at Oxford University. For persons unaware, the University of Oxford is an elite British institution of higher learning.
NOM’s other leading anti-gay bigots also are products of “elite” schools. Maggie GallagherÂ earned a B.A. in Religious Studies at Yale University. NOM’s current Board Chairman John Eastman holds a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School (academic settings do Â not come any more “elite” than that of U. of Chicago) and a Ph.D. in Government from the Claremont Graduate School. Earlier in his career, Eastman clerked for federal appellate court judge J. Michael Luttig and for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
You might think it would take a particular level of nerve for NOM’s Eastman, as a former Supreme Court clerk to participate in attempted smearings of federal judges on “both coasts” with “elitist” views of marriage, and you would be right, and yet, Eastman is surpassed in his Republican gay-bashing bigot’s shamelessness by NOM’s actual mastermind, its founder and “chairman emeritus”Â Robert George.
George earned a B.A. at Swarthmore College, a J.D. at Harvard Law School, an MTS at the Harvard Divinity School, and a D.Phil. at Oxford. He is on the faculty of Princeton University, and recently, Speaker John Boehner appointed him to the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom.
Clearly, George as a multi-degree-holding Princeton University professor, and United States government official, can not credibly disparage anybody else as an “elitist,” for any reason, really, but still less merely because they disagree with his gay-bashing bigotry. Just as clearly, George, who is listed on NOM’s website among its current personnel, was involved in writing and refining the notoriously anti-gay NOM pledge, signed very willingly by the likes of Michele Bachman and Rick Santorum, leaving Mitt Romney — (who once ran against Ted Kennedy by saying he would be the stronger supporter of gay rights) — no choice but to sign it in order not to be overcome by the likes of Santorum in the early and middle stages of the Republican presidential primaries.
The NOM pledge (non-bindingly) commits the signer, Romney, to appointing federal and Supreme Court judges, and attorneys general, who always will rule against same-sex marriage rights. NOM’s intent is hardly that such judges and attorneys general should not be culled from elite backgrounds. Robert George cultivates political and personal connections with the right-wing members of the Supreme Court, including Antonin Scalia, whose praise for George often is cited on George’s bio blurbs. George has introduced Scalia when Scalia has spoken at Princeton.
Ask yourself, if Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and Princeton University Professor Robert George are talking to each other, are they going to say “We are not the elite. Only elitists want same-sex marriage.”? Then ask yourself when NOM will publish on its blog, “We get most of our money from a very small cadre of elite political investors.”
NOM’s despicable tactics of branding equality supporters negatively as “elitists” come right out of the Karl Rove playbook of whipping up anti-gay hatred to get bigots to vote Republican, even if doing so is against those voters’ own economic interests. Where NOM’s donor rosters have come to light,Â (and we have seen that NOM gets the lion’s share of its funds from a very small sampling of large donors,) it becomes clear that the meme of “only elitists support same-sex marriage, which is against God” is directed at a downscale Bible-thumping demographic, in order to get that downscale Bible-thumping demographic voting for the Republicans that NOM’s big donors want in office.
That NOM is a Republican proxy organization is further evidenced in its relentless attempts to get African-American voters to vote Republican, mainly if not only because of their opposition to same-sex marriage. There are not many means to stop an overwhelming majority of African-Americans from voting for President Obama, but NOM and its large, wealthy white Republican donors are working hard to attempt to get enough African-Americans in one or two swing states to vote for Romney, as part of a larger Republican strategy of throwing tight swing states to the Republican.
A May 31, 2012 NOM Blog post concerning attempts to repeal equality in Maryland showed only African-Americans as gay-rights opponentsÂ and contains a puke bucket full of NOM ploys for angering black anti-gay bigots over same-sex marriage being called a civil right, even though the NAACP has declared that it is one. Also on May 31, NOM Blog carried a post titled “Black Church & Civil Rights Leaders Convene Press Conference Opposing President on Gay Marriage.” The white NOM Republican leaders know that most African-Americans have not wavered in support for Obama because of same-sex marriage, but are counting on a cold-blooded, unending barrage of malevolent anti-gay propaganda directed at African-Americans throughout the election to yield fruit with some black voters, by hate-mongering them into voting for Romney. NOM’s handful of big donors are gay-bashing bigots, to be sure, but banning same-sex marriage is not their chief political objective in giving money to NOM.
There has been one instance of NOM using the word “elite” in what it thought was a non-pejorative sense. NOM’s notorious gay-bashing strategy documents — the ones that revealed evil plots to drive wedges between minorities and to fan hostilities against gay people — also called for the deployment of “non-cognitive elites” to gay bash “across national boundaries.” NOM used “non-cognitive” as a euphemism for “dingbat.” NOM’s elite leaders wanted dingbats to spread the message of anti-gay hate, to get other dingbats to vote Republican. Carrie Prejean — whom NOM dumped after discovering her porno past — was one such “non-cognitive elite” willing to gay bash across national boundaries. Â Do not miss reading Fred Karger’s letter, dripping like an over-ripe mango with sarcasm to Maggie Gallagher about her fallen dingbat-savior Carrie Prejean.
Here is the bottom line on this.
NOM’s leaders all have elite educational backgrounds, making it all the more repugnant that they engage in Rove-style political gay bashing. Â With malice aforethought, the NOM elite demonize all equality supporters as “elitists” — to downscale Bible-thumpers who do not understand how the financial-trickery-wool is getting pulled over their gay hating eyes — in order to get those downscale Bible thumping gay haters to vote for Mitt Romney, who wants to lower his own taxes while raising theirs.
New York Cityâ€“ based novelist and freelance writerÂ Scott Roseâ€™sÂ LGBTâ€“ interest byâ€“ line has appeared on Advocate .com, PoliticusUSA .com, The New York Blade, Queerty .com, Girlfriends and in numerous additional venues. Among his other interests are the arts, boating and yachting, wine and food, travel, poker and dogs. His â€œMr. David Cooperâ€™s Happy Suicideâ€ is about aÂ New York City advertising executive assigned to aÂ condom account.
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Raphael Warnock Beats Trump-Backed Herschel Walker – Democrats Increase Senate Majority
Millions of Americans in Georgia voted to re-elect Democratic U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock and send him back to Washington D.C., NBC News projects. It is a clear mandate for the policies enacted by the Biden administration and a strong rebuke for the flailing former president, Donald Trump.
Senator Warnock faced a challenge from a Texas Republican who claimed to live in the Peach State, Trump-backed former NFL star Herschel Walker.
The New York Times, confirming Warnock is the projected winner, reports a huge number of Georgians, more than 3.3 million, voted in the runoff election.
An admitted Texas resident, Walker’s long list of hypocritical claims and actions, falsehoods, lies, and troubling business and tax dealings were only outweighed by the women who accused him of violent behavior, pressuring them and paying for them to get abortions, and revelations he had not one child but four, including a son he almost never sees.
Warnock, who is also the Senior Pastor at the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s church, Ebenezer Baptist, out-raised and out-campaigned Walker, especially in the last week.
Herschel Walker appeared at only two events this weekend, Politico reported, “a tailgate in Atlanta before a University of Georgia football game on Saturday, where he did not speak, and a Sunday rally in Loganville, where his stump speech touched on everything from complaints about pronouns and critical race theory to funding law enforcement.”
With 51 votes in the Senate, Democrats will not be forced into a power-sharing agreement with Republicans as they were two years ago. President Biden will be able to nominate and have confirmed even more judges, an area he has excelled. And Democrats will have full committee majorities, giving them power to issue subpoenas in investigations.
The Washington Post on Tuesday noted that Democrats having 51 votes is “an insurance policy against the unthinkable — the possibility that vacancies or party switches could flip the majority. That has happened before, most recently in 2001. The reason that it hasn’t happened more often is mostly because the Senate isn’t usually this closely divided. But vacancies and seat flips do happen — a lot. In fact, since World War II, about 70 percent of Congresses have featured some kind of shift in partisan balance of the Senate between elections.”
The unthinkable includes the possibility that a Democratic Senator in a state headed by a Republican governor could resign or die, allowing a Republican to be installed in their place. As The Post notes, there are 11 cases currently where that could happen.
Warnock unseated a GOP Senator in a 2020 special election, making this his first full elected six-year term.
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain notes President Biden “becomes the first President since FDR 1934 to see every Senator in his party re-elected (who was seeking re-election.)”
Guilty on All Counts: Trump Organization Loses Big in Criminal Fraud Case
A jury has found thew crown jewel of Donald Trump’s real estate empire, The Trump Organization, guilty on all counts in a state criminal tax fraud case.
Calling it “a remarkable rebuke of the former president’s company and what prosecutors described as its ‘culture of fraud and deception,'” The New York Times reports the details include “conviction on all 17 counts.”
Charges include tax fraud, a scheme to defraud, and conspiracy and falsifying business records, but The Times says it is “hardly a death sentence for the Trump Organization.”
The Times adds the conviction comes “after more than a day of jury deliberations in State Supreme Court in Manhattan,” which “resulted from a long-running scheme in which the Trump Organization doled out off-the-books luxury perks to some executives: They received fancy apartments, leased Mercedes-Benzes, even private school tuition for relatives, none of which they paid taxes on.”
Donald Trump was not a defendant in the case, but the case will be front and center during his presidential run.
According to a press release from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, The Trump Organization and the Trump Payroll Corp. were convicted of the following charges:
- Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count
- Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
- Criminal Tax Fraud in Third Degree, a class D felony, two counts
- Criminal Tax Fraud in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
- Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a class E felony, three counts
The Trump Corporation was also convicted of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a class E felony.
MSNBC reported the verdict on-air:
BREAKING: Trump Org. found guilty on all counts in a 15-year tax fraud scheme that prosecutors said was orchestrated by top executives at the company. https://t.co/MPjgQRmzjX pic.twitter.com/356LrhuK6u
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) December 6, 2022
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change.
Image via Shutterstock
Watch: McConnell Refuses to Say He Will Not Support Trump for President Even After ‘Terminate the Constitution’ Demand
Even after Donald Trump called for the “termination” of the U.S. Constitution this weekend and demanded he be put back into office or be given a do-over national presidential election, Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is refusing to say he will not support the ex-president’s current run for the White House.
McConnell kicked off his weekly press conference Tuesday by mildly criticizing Trump, although not mentioning him by name.
“First, let me just say that anyone seeking the presidency who thinks that the Constitution could somehow be suspended or not followed, it seems to me would have a very hard time being sworn in as president of United States,” McConnell told reporters.
But when asked if he “categorically” would refuse to support Trump – personally or in his role as Senate Republican Minority Leader – McConnell refused to go that far.
“This is the second week in a row you’ve come out to begin your press conference criticizing Donald Trump,” a reporter off-camera said. “Can you say categorically that you do not support him if he were the Republican nominee?”
McConnell could not.
“What I’m saying is it would be pretty hard to be sworn in, to the presidency, if you’re not willing to uphold the Constitution. That’s what I said, and I just said it again,” McConnell stated.
“How about your personal support?” the reporter shot back.
McConnell ignored the question.
During the 2016 campaign Trump also made clear he did not feel beholden to upholding the Constitution, so it’s unclear why McConnell would suggest he could not be sworn in again should he be elected in 2024.
In fact, Trump’s concerning remarks surrounding the Constitution in 2016 led Brown University political science professor Corey Brettschneider to pen a piece for Politico: “Trump vs. the Constitution: A Guide.”
“It may be true that Donald Trump has read the Constitution. But it’s unclear if he understands it,” it begins.
McConnell is not only the second longest serving leader of a party’s caucus in the Senate, nor his he just the Senate Republican Minority Leader.
He wields massive power and influence via his ties to a Super PAC.
According to CNN, the Senate Leadership Fund is “a super PAC affiliated with Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.”
This year alone, the Senate Leadership Fund has spent nearly $300 million to elect Republicans to the U.S. Senate. In 2020 it spent over $475 million.
Many have seen their ads, which are almost entirely, according to Open Secrets, against Democrats, not for Republicans.
Watch McConnell below or at this link.
Question: Can you say categorically that you will not support Trump if he were the Republican nominee?
McConnell: What I’m saying is it would be pretty hard to be sworn in to the presidency if you’re not willing to uphold the constitution pic.twitter.com/KOcHOUtpnc
— Acyn (@Acyn) December 6, 2022
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