U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) on Thursday stood up for the Family Research Council, a hate group that has spent nearly 40 years spreading dangerous lies about LGBTQ people under the cloak of “religious freedom.” He also attacked the Southern Poverty Law Center, a decades-old institution that tracks and reports on the more than 800 current hate groups of all kinds across the U.S.
It did not turn out well for the Florida Congressman, as some rushed to remind Gaetz, a top Trump MAGA sympathizer, of his own associations with the far right.
Gaetz tweeted out an article from the conspiracy theory website Gateway Pundit, whose owner was regularly labeled the stupidest man on the Internet. The article, by Cassandra Fairbanks, paints Gaetz in a very favorable light to his far right supporters. Fairbanks previously worked for Sputnik, the Russian government state media site.
The Southern Poverty Law Center is a hate group.
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) March 25, 2021
The SPLC is not a hate group.
Fairbanks, according to domestic extremism expert Jared Holt, is a “self-professed fascist sympathizer.”
— Jared Holt (@jaredlholt) March 25, 2021
Journalist Christopher Mathias offered up a similar characterization:
Hardly a week goes by without a GOP congressman promoting/citing the propaganda of fascists.
— Christopher Mathias (@letsgomathias) March 25, 2021
Gaetz also suggested MAGA is not a dangerous extremist group:
How long until MAGA hats are considered an “extremist symbol?”
How long until Christian or pro-life groups are “too extreme” for the ruling woketopians?
Dems love using the term “extremism” to describe Republicans, conservatives, and the group they hate most…Trump supporters.
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) March 25, 2021
Here’s how some are responding to Congressman Gaetz’s attack.
Journalist Daniel Moritz-Rabson posted a graphic of Fairbanks appearing on VDARE with its founder. VDARE is a white nationalist hate group, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
— Daniel Moritz-Rabson (@DMoritzRabson) March 25, 2021
Journalist Sam Youngman notes Rep. Gaetz took Holocaust denier Chuck/Charles Johnson to the State of the Union Address and appears to continue to support Trump’s attempt to overturn the election:
This person took a Holocaust denier to the State of the Union and voted against honoring the police who fought off the Jan. 6 terrorists. https://t.co/tlr3duMUBE
— Sam Youngman (@samyoungman) March 25, 2021
This Twitter user offered up the details:
— Bizarrobrain (@bizarrobrain) March 25, 2021
White supremacist tracker:
A guy targeted the FRC because they’re bigots. https://t.co/kB85u6wrfP
— Eyes on the Right (@EyesOnTheRight) March 25, 2021
Family Research Council:
-“homosexual conduct is objectively harmful”
-“people can stop being LGBTQ through conversion therapy” (Illegal in Nevada)
-Gay marriage is “counterfeit” marriage.
That’s what the FRC believes. SPLC simply quotes them. Because FRC is a hate group. https://t.co/BFzrht4Uiz
— jonhumbert (@jonhumbert) March 25, 2021
Bullshit, Matt. There is an active on-going racist insurrection underway and you are part of it. It’s un-American as hell. https://t.co/uE1VA0aOgn
— Curley (@CurveyArt) March 25, 2021
This is the classic Goebbels technique of accusing your enemies of what you, in fact, are guilty of. https://t.co/SPiJhsPdTO
— Matthew Spira (@MatthewSpira) March 25, 2021
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Federal Judge Hands Down First Sentence of 1/6 Insurrectionists: Florida Man Gets 8 Months in Prison
The first person to be convicted in a January 6 insurrection case has just be sentenced to eight months in prison, far less than the 18 months federal prosecutors had requested. The judge told him he inflicted “a damage that will persist in this country for several decades.”
Paul Allard Hodgkins, 38, of Tampa, Florida pleaded guilty in June to one felony count of obstructing an official proceeding. He could have been sentenced to a maximum of 20 years.
Hodgkins “was seen carrying a large red ‘Trump 2020′ flag on the floor of the U.S. Senate during the Capitol riot,” NBC News’ Pete Williams reports.
“Although you were only one member of a larger mob, you actively participated in a larger event that threatened the Capitol and democracy itself,” U.S. District Court Judge Randolph Moss of Washington, D.C. told Hodgkins.
“The damage that was caused that way was way beyond a several-hour delay of the vote certification,” Judge Moss said. “It is a damage that will persist in this country for several decades.”
Mona Sedky, an assistant U.S. attorney, told the judge Hodgkins’ goal in entering the Capitol “was to disturb the election process and disrupt the peaceful transfer of power.”
While in the U.S. Senate on January 6, in addition to carrying around a Trump 2020 flag Hodgkins took a selfie with the “QAnon shaman.”
The criminal complaint against Hodgkins includes this “selfie.”
‘Let Me Finish’: Psaki Smacks Down Doocy for ‘Loaded and Inaccurate’ False Claim of Admin ‘Spying’ on Facebook Pages
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was forced to take a far more assertive tone after Fox News propagandist and conspiracy theorist Peter Doocy accused the Biden administration of “spying” on millions of American’s Facebook pages.
The White House this week announced that just 12 people are responsible for 65% of all the false and misleading coronavirus disinformation. The number came from a report by the Center for Countering Digital Hate, not from any efforts by the administration to “spy” on Americans.
“For how long has the administration been spying on people’s Facebook profiles looking for vaccine misinformation?” Doocy asked.
“Well, that was quite a loaded and inaccurate question, which I would refute,” Psaki responded. “Well Peter first of all, as you know, we’re, we’re in a regular touch with, with a range of media outlets, as well as – let me finish,” she was forced to add after he repeatedly tried to talk over her.
“As we are, as we are in regular touch with social media platforms,” Psaki continued. “This is publicly open information people sharing information online, just as you are all reporting information on your news stations.”
Doocy: For how long has the administration been spying on people’s Facebook profiles looking for vaccine misinformation?
Psaki: That was quite a loaded and inaccurate question pic.twitter.com/RB2ySmebU1
— Acyn (@Acyn) July 16, 2021
Pence and Pompeo Speaking at Far Christian Right Conference to Promote Possible Presidential Candidacies
Mike Pence and Mike Pompeo, two of the most far right Christian conservatives in the former Trump administration are pursuing possible 2024 GOP presidential runs by appearing at some of the most anti-LGBTQ events on the Republican political circuit.
On Friday both the former vice president and former secretary of state will speak at The Family Leader’s Summit in Iowa. The event includes an anti-LGBTQ hate group as a sponsor. The Family Leader, while not a Southern Poverty Law Center designated hate group, has for years worked to attack LGBTQ Americans.
The Family Leader has been linked to both Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council, the latter being an anti-LGBTQ hate group. Family Leader founder Bob Vander Plaats is among the more homophobic Christian activists in the nation.
“He has publicly compared homosexuality to pedophilia, compared the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of same-sex marriage to past rulings on slavery, and supported conversion therapy to ‘cure’ LGBTQ youth,” a 2015 op-ed in the Des Moines Register recorded. “His organization, the Family Leader, has long been affiliated with the Family Research Council, an anti-gay hate group (as designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center). He has consistently orchestrated attacks against those providing resources and education to prevent the bullying of LGBTQ students. And earlier this month, Vander Plaats delivered a keynote address at an event with pastor Kevin Swanson, who says the Bible calls for the punishment of homosexuality by death.”
Like Vander Plaats and The Family Leader, Pence and Pompeo are Christian dominionists, eager to sever the wall between church and state and trying to create a theocratic nation with laws based on the Bible.
Both Pence and Pompeo attended an End-Times Bible study group at the White House, and talk very openly about their faith and how it informs everything they do.
25 GOP legislators on #FLS21 stage, being thanked by @theFAMiLYLEADER lobbyists for work on bills. Biggest applause when bill RE critical race theory mentioned. #ialegis #iapolitics pic.twitter.com/xdd9Kq1Pgd
— O. Kay Henderson (@okayhenderson) July 16, 2021
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