The GOP’s Sanctimonious Defense Of The Sanctity Of DOMA
President Obama yesterday declared “unconstitutional” the Defense of Marriage Act, also known as DOMA, and said he and the DOJ would no longer defend the fifteen-year old law. It was a stunning day, as Senator Dianne Feinstein subsequently announced her intention to introduce a bill in the senate to repeal DOMA,Â and sanctimonious Republicans, GOP presidential hopefuls, and right wing hate groups wasted no time weighing in on the news.
Though strangely absent from the national conversation on DOMA — so far — were Republican presidential hopefuls and possibles, Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, Mitch Daniels,Â and Chris Christie, you can imagine the reactions from the rest. Here’s a sampling.
Speaker of the House John Boehner — who not three months ago was fixated on getting a videoÂ that contained an image of a crucifix with ants crawling on it kicked out ofÂ the Smithsonian, and closing the museum to boot — has been fast and furiously working (when he actually is working, that is,) on denying America the constitutional right to abortion, while claiming to be working on “creating jobs and cutting spending.”
Yesterday, on the news Obama and Holder would not defend DOMA, Speaker Boehner (R-OH) said, “While Americans want Washington to focus on creating jobs and cutting spending, the President will have to explain why he thinks now is the appropriate time to stir up a controversial issue that sharply divides the nation.” Evidently, denying the constitutional right to abortion, (or censoring a national, public, tax-payer funded museum,) does not qualify as a “controversial issue that sharply divides the nation.”
Former Republican presidential candidate Pat Buchanan, who, in 2008, infamously said, â€œAmerica has been the best country on earth for black folks. It was here that 600,000 black people, brought from Africa in slave ships, grew into a community of 40 million, were introduced to Christian salvation, and reached the greatest levels of freedom and prosperity blacks have ever known,” couldn’t wait to weigh in yesterday.
Saying, “Moral truth exists and it does not change and all things are not equal,” Buchanan claimed Obama is “not a strong leader,” and capitulated to members of the “militant gay rights community.”
And for the record, this from then-Senatorial candidate Obama in 2004:
“For the record, I opposedÂ DOMA [the Defense of Marriage Act] in 1996.Â It should be repealed and I will vote for its repeal on the Senate floor. I will also oppose any proposal to amend the U.S. Constitution to ban gays and lesbians from marrying. This is an effort to demonize people for political advantage, and should be resisted â€¦ .
“When Members of Congress passed DOMA,Â they were not interested in strengthening family values or protecting civil liberties. They were only interested in perpetuating division and affirming a wedge issue. â€¦”
Moving on, but hold onto that for a while.
Another former Republican presidential candidate and 2012 GOP hopeful, Mike Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist minister and former governor, who evidently believes strongly in the power of forgiveness, having pardoned “twice as many sentences as his three predecessors combined,” said Obama’s DOMA decision “may destroy him, may destroy his credibility, may destroy his campaign and candidacy and ultimately his term in office.”
Huckabee, himself weighing another run at the presidency, and rather adept at killing several birds with one stone, falsely claimed Obama “didn’t take this position when he ran for president. I think if he had, he wouldn’t be president,” and added,Â “I think he owes the people of America an explanation – was he being disingenuous and dishonest then, is he being dishonest now, or did he change his view and if he did, when and why?”
The President is not being dishonest. Huckabee is. See above.
Speaking of being dishonest, we have yet another possible Republican presidential candidate, Rick Santorum. You of course remember Santorum’s rather nasty comments about the Catholic Church’s pedophile priests rape and molestation scandal? Like saying, “We’re not talking about priests with 3-year-olds, or 5-year-olds. We’re talking about a basic homosexual relationship.” In other words, Santorum blames thousands of victims for being raped and molested by priests all over the world.
But wait, there’s more from Santorum, the former GOP Senator from Pennsylvania who set the record for “the largest margin of defeat ever for an incumbent Republican Senator in Pennsylvania.”
Back in 2003, Santorum set off fireworks by saying, “Every society in the history of man has upheld the institution of marriage as a bond between a man and a woman. Why? Because society is based on one thing: that society is based on the future of the society. And that’s what? Children. Monogamous relationships. In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That’s not to pick on homosexuality. It’s not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing. And when you destroy that you have a dramatic impact on the quality.”
Santorum was roundly excoriated.
But it should come as no surprise that the former Senator and 2012 presidential hopeful yesterday had this to say:
“President Obama’s refusal to defend a law that was overwhelmingly supported on both sides of the aisle and signed into law by a president of his own party is an affront to the will of the people. This is yet another example of our president’s effort to erode the very traditions that have made our country the greatest nation on earth, and it begs the question what language changed in the constitution since 2008 to reverse his position?”
Again, see above.
Still another GOP 2012 presidential hopeful, Tea Party and Republican Party supported Michele Bachmann, who came to fame on “The Chris Matthews Show” for saying, “What I would say is that the news media should do a penetrating expose and take a look…I wish they would…I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out are they pro-America, or anti-America. I think people would love to see an expose like that.”
Former Bush Secretary of State Colin Powell said Bachmann (whose integrity is often called into question,) was the reason he voted for Obama.
In 2009, Bachmann, who has received well-over $250,000 in federal farm price supports, got even more bad press, saying she wanted Minnesotans “armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back.”
Politico reports, “Just hours after the president’s reversal on a Defense of Marriage Act provision, Bachmann, who is considering a White House run next year, blasted an e-mail to supporters. “I’m sending you this urgent message because if we don’t join together and take action today, it could be a crushing blow to the traditional marriage movement,” she writes.
“Bachmann urges them to sign her “Support Traditional Marriage” petition, setting a goal of collecting 50,000 names in 48 hours. And then she asks supporters to “consider making a generous donation of $25, $50, $100, $250 or more” so she can circulate the petition to other activists around the country.”
Another conservative making money off Obama and Holder’s decision to no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court is, of course, Maggie Gallagher’s National Organization for Marriage (NOM.)
NOM President Brian Brown sent a hilarious email out yesterday, less than seven hours after the President made his announcement, saying dramatically, (and summoning the ghost of American patriot John Paul Jones,) â€œWe have not yet begun to fight for marriage.” (No, seriously, he actually said this.)
Writing, “This may be the most important email Iâ€™ve ever sent to you,”Â Brown blathered on, saying something about â€œone man and one woman,â€ then Maggie, NOMâ€™s Chair (andÂ reader ofÂ The New Civil Rights Movement, who likes to leave comments,) adds something about, â€œtruly shocking,â€ â€œextra-constitutional power grab,â€ â€œdefection of duty,â€ and ended with, â€œpowerful political special interests,â€ which, I assume, she knows could include NOM, right?
Of course, there was a big ol’ “CONTRIBUTE NOW” button in the email. (Don’t worry. I didn’t.)
Tony Perkins, head of the certified hate group, the Family Research Council wants Congress to override the President. Yesterday Perkins said, “the President has thrown down the gauntlet, challenging Congress. It is incumbent upon the Republican leadership to respond by intervening to defend DOMA, or they will become complicit in the President’s neglect of duty.”
Perkins then said Obama was “pandering to his liberal political base.”
As a proud member of Obama’s “liberal base,” I can only say I wish he would.
The American Family Association (AFA,) a certified hate group, weighed in yesterday. Calling Obama “a clear and present danger to his own country,” and classifying Obama’s actions yesterday as “impeachable,” Bryan Fischer, AFA’s Director of Issues Analysis, falsely claims “Obama is violating his oath of office by refusing to defend DOMA,” and adds,
“The entire argument based on marriage “equality” is just gas. Homosexuals already have full marriage equality: they can get married, same as everybody else, to an adult, non-relative member of the opposite sex. Don’t let them fool you with all this “equality” bloviation. They already have full equality under the law; they have exactly the same rights as everybody else. What they want are special rights based solely on sexually deviant behavior. No sane society should ever commit such folly.”
Be prepared for the people of Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Sweden, Mexico City, at the very least, to be filing protests for being called “insane.”
The Alliance Defense Fund, a modern Christian non-profit whose roots run deep with hate group founders, are the folks who represented the “Yes On Prop 8” organization, ProtectMarriage.com. Today the front of their website says, “Obama administration says it will no longer defend key component of DOMA,” and has a big “DONATE NOW” button right below it.
ADF attorney Austin R. Nimocks falsely states, Â “The Department of Justice has a constitutional duty to defend the laws duly enacted by Congress … and the refusal of the attorney general to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act just because they don’t like it politically is really inexcusable.”
What “is really inexcusable” is how the GOP, Republican presidential hopefuls and has-beens, and hate groupsÂ gin up controversy over DOMA, DADT, ENDA, and the LGBT community, just to get some attention, and to pay their bills.
Note: An earlier version of this post inaccurately stated NOM, the National Organization for Marriage, was a certified hate group.
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Florida GOP Lawmaker Who Wrote ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Facing Up to 35 Years After Pleading Guilty in COVID Fraud Case
Joe Harding, the now-former Florida Republican lawmaker who authored the extremist “Don’t Say Gay” bill could face up to 35 years in prison after pleading guilty Tuesday afternoon to federal felony fraud charges in a scheme to obtain $150,000 in COVID-19 relief funds, according to Florida Politics‘ publisher Peter Scorsch.
Harding, 35, was a construction project manager who started his own lawn care company. He quickly became a right-wing darling after his anti-LGBTQ legislation, officially the Parental Rights in Education Act, was embraced by Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis, who signed it into law.
Harding was charged in a December federal indictment with six counts of wire fraud, money laundering, and making false statements in his plot to obtain $150,000 in COVID funds.He resigned from the legislature the following day. He originally pled not guilty.
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After Harding was charged and resigned, Nadine Smith, the executive director of Equality Florida, responded via social media, saying: “So much harm to students, parents and teachers because of his raw political ambitions. He slandered entire communities and trafficked in lie after lie that has emboldened violent bigotry. He will have his day in court but his legacy is already a despicable one.”
Harding is not the only family member accused of criminal acts.
“Harding’s indictment follows a September guilty plea from his brother-in-law, Patrick Walsh,” Florida Politics reported in December. “As reported by Fresh Take Florida, Walsh pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering charges connected to his receipt of nearly $8 million in disaster relief loans.”
Unrepentant to the harm many feel he has done to children and the LGBTQ community, in a statement Tuesday Harding said: “During the past legislative session I have felt the support of millions of Americans while fighting for our shared concerns and for the rights of parents. I will never forget the support I received from every corner of this great country.”
READ MORE: 18 Attorneys General Blast Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” Law as Unconstitutional
Harding will be sentenced in July.
Florida’s Voice also reported Harding’s guilty plea Tuesday.
RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
‘Chilling’: Law Enforcement ‘Seriously’ Investigating Threats Ahead of Possible Trump Indictment Says Top WaPo Reporter
Ahead of a possible indictment of Donald Trump, law enforcement agencies are investigating “chilling” threats, including against Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, according to top Washington Post investigative reporter Carol Leonnig.
Leonnig was careful to say she is not aware of any of the threats being deemed credible, but also noted that “all sorts of law enforcement agencies” seem to be taking much more interest than some agencies did in the weeks before the January 6, 2021 insurrection.
“I have received copies and screenshots and internal documents and emails flagging concerns about specific protests, investigations into specific online threats that have been made that are not yet determined to be ‘credible and likely to occur’ but have been chilling nonetheless in terms of the threats that have been made about killing certain people,” Leonning, a Pulitzer-Prize winning author, said Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Deadline” White House.”
“Claims of, you know, ‘Alvin Bragg needs to needs to die,’ and claims online that could just be, you know, bravado, but are being seriously investigated and checked into this time around, ones that were not checked into as clearly at all in the weeks before January 6, despite significant warnings to the FBI about what these threats meant.”
Mirroring Leonnig’s reporting, Rolling Stone, citing law enforcement reports, on Tuesday noted: “Violent extremists are advocating lethal attacks and proclaiming their willingness to die for the cause.”
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“U.S. Capitol Police, the D.C. Fusion Center, and the Federal Highway Administration have all circulated warnings about the uptick in online threats over the past 48 hours. The bulletins and threat assessments detail some of the online threats and discussions about the use of specific tactics and methods for carrying out attacks — including online discussions about lethal attacks if Trump is arrested.”
On Saturday in an explosive series of social media posts Donald Trump urged his supporters to “protest” and “take our nation back.”
That “announcement was met with an immediate increase in violent online rhetoric and expressed threats toward government and law enforcement targets perceived as participating in a political persecution of the former president, as well as calls for ‘Civil War’ more generally.”
The DC Fusion Center, which analyzes threats, in a report stated it “assesses that potential criminal justice actions taken toward a former US president — or actions perceived to be taken toward the former president — remain a ‘line in the sand’ for [Domestic Violent Extremist] communities and thus have the potential to manifest in violence toward government targets or political officials,” Rolling Stone added.
Missouri Supreme Court Refuses to Disbar Lawyer Who Sexually Assaulted Six Women: Report
An 86-year old defense attorney will be allowed to keep his law license after the Missouri Supreme Court in a 4-3 ruling refused to disbar him despite having sexually assaulted six of his clients, all women.
Attorney Dan K. Purdy will be “indefinitely suspended from practicing law but allowed to apply for reinstatement after a year,” The Kansas City Star reports.
“In September 2020, Purdy made sexual advances toward four clients in a Vernon County jail interview room, including touching and kissing, that were confirmed by video provided by the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office,” The Star reports. “Each woman was later interviewed by officers and told them Purdy’s advances were unwanted.”
In addition to jail interview roos, Purdy’s sexual advances took place in court and in his car. All were locations where his clients might have felt uncomfortable to complain.
READ MORE: Trump Calls for Congress to Investigate NY AG After Judge Refuses to Delay $250 Million Fraud Trial Against Ex-President
“Purdy’s clients either did not know or did not realize they could repudiate his sexual advances,” Justice George W. Draper III wrote in the majority opinion.
There are seven justices on the Missouri Supreme Court, four appointed by Republican governors, three by Democratic governors. Four are men, three are women.
The ruling was not along party lines.
“In my view, neither the race, gender, ethnicity, nor age of an attorney should be taken into consideration to determine appropriate discipline,” wrote Justice Zel M. Fischer in his dissent. “In my view, Mr. Purdy’s conduct, which was clearly and explicitly depicted in the video evidence, warrants disbarment.”
“As recognized by the principal opinion, not only did Mr. Purdy sexually assault six female clients, he ‘exhibited a continued pattern or practice of improper and disturbing conduct, which continued, even after the present case was filed against him,'” Fischer noted. [Bolding in original text.]
Image of Missouri Supreme Court via Wikimedia
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