“The simplest way to think about this is to agree that all of us have a right to worship, but that right ends at the tips of our noses.”
George Takei is on a roll.Â
The 78-year old actor, activist, author, and director who can boast nearly nine million Facebook fans has published two op-eds over the past 24 hours, in The Daily Beast and at MSNBC, both slamming Kim Davis and her anti-gay supporters.
“To her supporters, she is the Rosa Parks of religious liberty, someone who finally said, ‘Enough is enough, I have rights, and I will fight for them,'” Takei writes at MSNBC. “When I view her behavior, however, I am reminded of a different character from the early civil rights era: Gov. George Wallace of Alabama.”
Takei notes that for the racist Gov. Wallace, “the federal governmentâ€™s plans to integrate public education in the South amounted to a surrender of the state to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and his friends in Washington.”
“There are echoes of this in the Davis case, as once again, a ruling from the Supreme Court in D.C. trickles down to the state and local levels. The people are reminded that unelected judges are ‘making law’ just as they have before, that these laws are wrong and are contrary to Godâ€™s will, and that the good people are only doing what is right by standing up to this threat to their way of life.”
Over at The Daily Beast, Takei explains “How Kim Davis Violated the First Amendment.”
Takei, who as a 5-year old boy during World War II was imprisoned in an American internment camp for Japanese people in the U.S., suggests we “go back to high-school civics.”
“When discussing the religious freedom portion of the First Amendment, there are not one butÂ twoÂ clauses we must consider. The commonly understood and cited part, and the one Ms. Davis trumpets, is the Freedom to Worship guarantee. Under that clause, the government isnâ€™t allowed to pass any law, or take any action, â€œprohibiting the free exerciseâ€ of religion. Simply put, the government canâ€™t do anything to stop you or anyone else from worshipping God or Buddha or the Flying Spaghetti Monster, if thatâ€™s what your conscience or faith tells you.”
And he notes that Davis and her supporters’ “argument falls apart, however, once you take into account the other, less commonly understood clause.”
“The ‘Establishment Clause’ prohibits the government from aiding or assisting any religion, or religious viewpoint, over any others. This was a key point for the founders of our country, who were of diverse faiths and did not want a state religion, or even any state-endorsed religions. When people talk about ‘separation of church and state,’ this is the part of the Constitution that embodies it. The separation has worked well over the past two and a quarter centuries; today, the Baptists have no more right to have their particular beliefs elevated over the Methodists, or the Druids for that matter, by any government official.”
“Everyoneâ€™s perfectly free to worship as they please,” Takei concludes, “but this freedom also includes not havingÂ otherÂ peopleâ€™s beliefs interfere with our own participation in civil society.”
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Trump Has Left Behind a Republican Party Almost as ‘Toxic’ as He Is: GOP Adviser
According to a report from Politico, Donald Trump may no longer be president but the Republican Party he left behind has been damaged to the point where it has almost become as “toxic” as he is to voters, according to one former top aide to a Republican senator.
As the report notes, high-profile members of the Republican party are still pushing Trump’s “Big lie” that the 2020 election was stolen from him and have made that their focus going forward in lieu of proposing new policies that would allow them to win back the White House and both chambers on Congress.
Writing for Politico, David Siders explained, “Nearly four months after the election and one month into Joe Biden’s presidency, the politics of grievance has become the near-singular organizing principle of the post-Trump GOP. And whether at CPAC or in statehouses across the country, policy prescriptions for restoring so-called voter integrity have emerged as the primary focus of the party’s energy.”
That focus on stopping people from voting could blow up in their faces, but worse still, it means they have no other message for voters other than the fact that they are lingering on Trump’s loss.
Benjamin Ginsberg, a conservative election lawyer asked, “Tell me what the innovative Republican policies have been of late?” before adding it is “probably a sign that the Republican Party is mired in a bit of a policy wasteland and doesn’t know which way to turn to get out.”
According to former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who served in President George W. Bush’s administration, there is no evidence of widespread election fraud and Republicans harping on it is, “a big distraction. And I worry that it will continue to be a big distraction as long as a certain individual makes statements that it was stolen.”
Former Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) adviser Kevin Madden was a bit more blunt in his assessment.
“It is a party that has been fashioned in the mold of Trump — Trump’s message, Trump’s tactics — and it is perfectly comfortable being a party that is defined by what it’s against,” he explained before adding, “… you become almost toxic as a party brand to larger, growing parts of the electorate. … The limitation of a message and a platform that’s just about disagreeing with the opposition is that it doesn’t speak to the broader concerns or anxieties of a big part of the electorate.”
You can read more here.
Matt Schlapp Lashes Out at Critics of CPAC’s Nazi Symbol Stage Design
The head of the Conservative Political Action Committee on Saturday attacked critics noting CPAC’s stage looks like a Nazi symbol.
Matt Schlapp made his denial after “Nazi” trended nationwide on Twitter as users discussed the stage looking like an Odal rune symbol.
And by “resembles,” I mean “is identical to.”
— Ilyse Hogue (@ilyseh) February 27, 2021
Would be easy for Matt Schlapp to address this today, apologize and make some small changes to the stage.
Would make it clear it was a mistake and that CPAC doesn't want any one to believe they are giving any more aid and comfort to American extremists than they already are.
— Simon Rosenberg (@SimonWDC) February 27, 2021
Schlapp, however, did not apologize. Instead he said, “stage design conspiracies are outrageous and slanderous.”
Stage design conspiracies are outrageous and slanderous. We have a long standing commitment to the Jewish community. Cancel culture extremists must address antisemitism within their own ranks. CPAC proudly stands with our Jewish allies, including those speaking from this stage.
— Matt Schlapp (@mschlapp) February 27, 2021
Trump Is Making Noises About a 2024 Run to Get Rich Off the ‘Rubes’: Ex-White House Official
President Donald Trump will be running for president for a third time in 2024, but the effort will be largely geared towards personal enrichment, a former official explained on Saturday.
MSNBC’s Alex Witt interviewed Anthony Scaramucci, who briefly served as Trump’s communications director in 2017.
“Is he going to run in 2024 or is this just a great excuse to fundraise?” Witt asked.
“I think it’s both,” Scaramucci replied. “I think he’s going to run in 2024, this is the most money he’s ever made — just imagine making $300 million off of these rubes that he’s coning after the election with his big lie. So he’ll run again in 2024.”
“Will he go to the finish line? Maybe not,” he continued. “There are 10 or 12 Republicans that see themselves as a future president. They’re going to try to find ways to undermine him, obviously Governor Nikki Haley already started that process, so I don’t know if he gets to the finish line, but why would he not run and raise money off the rubes that he’s raising money from?”
“Right, but if he runs, do you really think he doesn’t get the nomination?” Witt asked. “Today he would, there’s no doubt today he would get it.”
“I think it could get interrupted by the potential criminal investigations that are going on and the potential indictments, so if he runs and there are no indictments and I think he has a clear path to that nomination, and that’s why Sen. McConnell said ‘Of course I’m going to support him’ — which is even more levels of hypocrisy, but yes, he runs, he wins the nomination,” Scaramucci replied. “There is risk here, though, because of his potential tax fraud case and other cases — even the D.C. case related to the insurrection is a potential speed bump to him getting that nomination.”
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