Christine O’Donnell may not be a witch, but she knows how to use scare tactics to raise money, top Republican strategists and officials here tell me.
They say the Delaware Republican is loudly complaining about how they won’t support her — and they are not — as a way to generate angry, send-them-a-message donations from her Tea Party base.
Specifically, according to two top GOP insiders, she said at a strategy meeting with DC types last week: “I’ve got Sean Hannity in my back pocket, and I can go on his show and raise money by attacking you guys.”
And that was precisely what she was doing on the radio today. On Hannity’s popular afternoon drive-time show, the Tea Party-inspired Senate contender acidly criticized the party, specifically the National Republican Senatorial Committee, for not funneling any serious cash (beyond a pro forma $43,000) into her race against Democrat Chris Coons.
(The O’Donnell campaign did not respond to a request for comment.)
Hannity, who earlier in the show warned GOP officials not to criticize Tea Party leader Sen. Jim DeMint, expressed sympathy with O’Donnell’s fiscal plight and gave a glowing review of her performance in last night’s televised debate with Coons. Hannity criticized party insiders for not backing her with cash or endorsements.
It’s not just the official party that is staying away. O’Donnell — who trails by 19 points in the latest polls — isn’t getting support from independent-spending groups such as Karl Rove’s American Crossroads. Hannity’s rave review notwithstanding, Rove has not changed his mind about her or her chances. Continue reading…
The wife of Justice Clarence Thomas is a Tea Party activist. Together, they’re the right’s new power couple.
Justice Clarence Thomas probably had a ho-hum day on June 7, 2010. From time to time, the Supreme Court of the United States makes historic decisions, but on that day, it didn’t. It handed down three noncontroversial rulings, and in all of them, Justice Thomas voted, non controversially, with the majority.
His wife, on the other hand, started the day in a blaze of publicity. Virginia Lamp Thomas, known to all as Ginni, appeared that morning on Sean Hannity’s Fox show. Wearing a TV-red jacket, Thomas bantered with Hannity about the “tyranny” President Barack Obama and his party are inflicting on the country. Then Thomas, who had recently launched a nonprofit called Liberty Central, sounded a dire warning. “We are in a fight for our country’s life,” she said. “We’ve all got to do whatever we can.” Channeling Tea Party rhetoric, she called on conservative voters to give money, sign petitions, and, in November, overthrow those who are turning “citizens” into “subjects.”
It’s like a Hollywood movie. One spouse goes off to work at the Supreme Court, that most august of institutions, where formality and discretion reign. The other puts on her power suit—and occasionally, a foam Lady Liberty crown—and enters the raucous, chaotic world of Tea Party politics and Fox News pontificating. Ever since Ginni Thomas launched Liberty Central with $550,000 in November 2009, she has become a rising star in the constellation of conservative pundits. According to its Web site, Liberty Central is a nonpartisan educational group devoted to reviving America’s “Founding Principles—limited government, personal responsibility, individual liberty, free enterprise, and national security.” It offers scorecards on politicians, a petition against tax increases, and testimonials about the benefits of grassroots activism. (Both Thomases declined to comment for this story.) Continue reading…
- Clarence Thomas’s Tea Partier Wife Gets Financing For “Liberty Central”: Is There A Conflict Of Interest? (alan.com)
- You: Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and His Wife’s Controversial Tea Party Activism (newsweek.com)
- Three reasons Clarence Thomas’ wife is bad for Clarence Thomas (shortformblog.com)
- Actions of Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife could raise judicial issues (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- New York Times Shocked That Clarence Thomas’s Wife Has A Job (outsidethebeltway.com)
- You: Activism of Thomas’s Wife Could Raise Judicial Issues (nytimes.com)
- New York Times Finally Takes Notice of Ginni Thomas’ Tea Party Activism (crooksandliars.com)
The following article is provocative and informative. It’s a very long article but I’ve only inserted the relevant parts as it applies to the title of this post. I recommend that everyone read this article over at truthdig from beginning to end:
A debate has raged over the last 18 months as to whether the tea party movement is racist. Never mind that the inauguration of the first black president in January 2009 was followed in February by the first of the tea party “moments”—when CNBC’s Rick Santelli called for a Chicago tea party on national television from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Never mind that April 15 of 2009 saw the first nationally organized protest of the tea partyers in cities across the country. When the summer of 2009 arrived, all tea party guns (some real firearms were openly carried at Obama events) turned on President Barack Obama and his health insurance reform proposals. Obama was demonized with invective that included being called Hitler, Stalin and the Antichrist.
[…] The tea party is racist. Its followers have deployed a brilliant strategy to deflect charges of racism by using a form of the legislative provision known as severability. Whenever a tea party group or person is “caught” with a racist sign, or saying explicitly racist comments, they simply “sever” that person from the movement by saying, “That person does not represent the tea party.” They get away with it because they claim the status of a “movement” with no structure, leadership or cohesive identity except allegiance to the three magic phrases: “Constitutional Republic,” “Founding Fathers” and “I want my country back!”
I submit that their defense, while clever, is inadequate. Racism virtually drips from their lips when they spew out their ridicule of President Obama. It lies just underneath the surface of all the signs imaging him as a native African, a Muslim or an animal. But, one might note, they never called Obama by a racial slur. They have never said they don’t like him because he is black. Well, they don’t have to say it—he is black. And to say, “I don’t like [black] Obama because he is black” would be redundant.
However, I will make my argument for their fundamentally racist opposition to Obama and their racist opposition to any and every government program that they perceive to be taking their hard-earned tax dollars and redistributing them to people of color. This racism is at the core of their opposition to health care reform that would subsidize premiums for people who cannot afford them or educational or tax credits to low-income persons and families or any of the myriad social programs meant to strengthen the general welfare of the nation. In their opinion, these monies are going to noncitizens who do not deserve the benefits and blessings of their dear USA, USA, USA.
I stumbled across my evidence through an e-mail alert I received for tea party “meet-ups” near where I live. When I noticed a tea party meet-up in south Orange County [Calif.] being held at a church, I couldn’t resist taking a closer look. Five clicks later I was enthralled by a document that I found both horrifying and revealing. The document was titled “The Non-Ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment” and written by A.H. Ellett, a retired Utah Supreme Court justice. Ironically, the tea party movement generally “supports with worshipful intensity the constitution of the United States,” according to historian Mark Lilla, but when its followers say “Constitution” they don’t mean the same U.S. Constitution that you and I mean. The recent issue for the tea party has been the repeal of the 14th Amendment. But repeal is just one small step compared to the giant leap that Justice Ellett makes in claiming that the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments (the so-called Reconstruction Amendments) were never legally (i.e. constitutionally) ratified in the first place. When the tea party folk say that they want their country back, I’m starting to understand just how far back they want it—back before the Civil War!
The goal of this retrogression is revealed in Ellett’s opening paragraph of his arguments specifically against the fact of the ratification of the 14th Amendment. He writes:
The validity, or should we say invalidity, of the Civil War Amendments is very important to reinstating the inalienable rights of free white Citizens in the United States of America. At every juncture where the government of the United States of America and/or the governments of the several States attempt to usurp inalienable rights, the Civil War Amendments are ultimately claimed to be the authority for such deprivations of rights.
His 200-page treatise is filled with sophist (not sophisticated) argument that hinges on whether the authors of the 14th Amendment used uppercase or lowercase when conferring C/citizenship and P/personhood on the newly freed slaves. He also warns the contemporary reader that his citations may make some uncomfortable but they are necessary to the truth of his argument. He warns and then continues:
Please remember that the following Authorities reflects the understanding of the Founding Fathers at the time the Constitution for the United States was adopted, and although they may not be “politically” correct today, the Authorities represents the law at the time the Fourteenth Amendment was (purportedly) adopted.
This is further clarified in Amy v. Smith: /60
“Free negroes and mulattoes are, almost everywhere, considered and treated as a degraded race of people; insomuch so, that, under the constitution and laws of the United States, they can not become citizens of the United States.”
Amy v. Smith, 1 Litt. Ky. R. 334.
In light of this, no person would be considered as a United States Citizen or a citizen of the United States; as the Constitution was framed to incorporate the common law, in opposition to international law.
· common law—one race governs;
· international law—all races govern.
The capitalization of the words “Person” and “Citizen” could mean only one thing, the denoting of only those of one race in compliance with the common law.
“According to the common law principle (upon which our Constitution was founded), only the race (family) of people forming the sovereignty to adopt the Constitution (We the People) are considered “Citizens.” All others born inside the Country and owing allegiance to “We the People” are natural born “Subjects.” Under principles of International Law, that is, inter-racial law (See definition in Webster’s Dictionary, ), these “Subjects” (who, by special privilege, are licensed to become something or do something normally illegal under the common-law), are said to be “citizens” and “persons.”
… [B]ut only those of the white race could be recognized as national citizens under the Preamble to the Constitution for the United States of America and be treated as “Citizens” in any State they entered.
And finally he reaches the ultimate point of it all for the tea party. While party followers might like to disenfranchise all persons of color, they are really after one in particular, President Barack Obama. To wit, Justice Ellett continues:
Thus, only white State citizens held the privileges and immunities known to Article IV, Section 2, among the several States, and no State could confer that Constitutional protection on any other race. In consequence thereof, the “also” could not authorize a “non-white” to be an “Officer” of the United States government.
Thus, according to Justice Ellett, Obama cannot constitutionally be president of the United States.
The only answer I can think of is that our media is run by a few corporations and the tea party is run by lobbyists for corporations. The most prominent tea party corporate backers are Freedom Works and Americans for Prosperity. Since most corporations and their lobbyists respect the “Corporate culture” I imagine that there is a will full ignorance on the part of the media to be honest about the motives of the current crop of “tea party” candidates.
As PR Watch.org reports:
The Guardian notes the cashroots behind right-wing Astroturf: “When Obama beat Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries, FreedomWorks studied how he did it and then copied him. … A plethora of groups have jumped on board, with exotic names such as Tea Party Patriots, Grassfire, Conservatives for Patients’ Rights, 60 Plus, all loosely working together, with FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity probably the leading partners. … FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity are sister groups who came from the same parent body — a campaign called Citizens for a Sound Economy, which split in two in 2004. It was set up by one of America’s richest men, David Koch, an oil tycoon who has funded rightwing causes for decades.
Why doesn’t the media understand that the Tea Parties are not just about “fiscal responsibility?”
The answer quite obviously is no. Over the past several months, as Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell, Rand Paul, Joe Miller, Pat Toomey and other mad-hatters have stumped for office, I have listened and read in disbelief as one after another otherwise respected media representative or outlet continues to suggest that the Tea Party is not interested in “social conservative issues.”
The corporate media–I don’t know whether to describe it as mainstream, midstream or up a creek without a paddle–still persists in mis-reading and misrepresenting the broader context of what is happening in the 2010 elections. (I am not talking about Fox News and other known sources of persistent misinformation). Yes, reporting is done on the extremist positions of individual candidates, but virtually every broader analysis describing the Tea Party “movement,” such as it is, continues to ignore or outright deny the extremist positions take by those candidates as representative of said movement.
Two weeks ago, for example, David Greene, a host on NPR’s All Things Considered interviewed New York Times reporter Kate Zernike, whose new book about the Tea Party, Boiling Mad: Inside Tea Party America had just been published.
- The Tea Party Candidates Are Religious Extremists Obsessed With Sex, Abortion, Religion — Why Doesn’t the Media Get That? (alternet.org)
- Poll: Tea Partiers aren’t libertarian but Religious Right (secularnewsdaily.com)
- Dick Armey: ‘The idea is bigger than the man, bigger than the party’ (guardian.co.uk)
- Tea Party Closely Linked to Religious Right, Poll Finds (blogs.abcnews.com)
- Jim: Tea Party Senate Candidate Mike Lee Tried to Dump 1,600 Tons of European Nuclear Waste on Utah | News & Politics | AlterNet (alternet.org)
With the horrific rhetoric and fear mongering coming from the right, one can’t help but notice that our country is engaged in some sort of “political culture war”. Maureen Dowd and Mario Piperni have their say on this issue:
At the Values Voter Summit here on Friday, the 41-year-old O’Donnell cited another fantasy world to conjure up a Christlike image for the Tea Party.
“We’re rowdy, we’re passionate,” she told the enraptured crowd. “It reminds me of the C. S. Lewis Narnia books, where the little girl asks someone about Aslan the lion, who represents God, and she says with a little concern over such a fearsome lion, ‘Is he safe?’ And her friend says, ‘Safe? Who said anything about safe? Of course he isn’t safe. But he’s good.’ ”
She’s right that there’s an untamed beast rampaging through American politics. But this beast does not seem blessed; rather it has loosed a kind of ugliness and wildness in the land.
In this age of teabaggers, birthers, Islamophobes, homophobes, calls for near theocratic rule, Beck, Palin, O’Donnell, Angle and like-mined conservatives and Republicans, it does seem as if an untamed beast has been set loose, doesn’t it?
- Op-Ed Columnist: Myth and Madness (nytimes.com)
- Maureen Dowd: Obama Should Take A Page From Christine O’Donnell (mediaite.com)
- Maureen Dowd, her new tagline should be…. (losthighwaytimes.com)
General Colin Powell has, in my opinion, always spoken about political issues with honesty and integrity. This instance is no different. When you compare Powell to Gingrich, the fear mongering 2012 hopeful, Powell wins, hands down.
In a largely even-tempered appearance on “Meet the Press” Sunday, former Secretary of State Colin Powell did save a few harsh words for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich for propagating rumors about the president that he labeled “nonsense.”
Asked to address Gingrich’s latest controversial comments — in which he insisted that President Obama suffered from a Kenyan anti-colonial worldview — Powell insisted that the former speaker was simply pining for the spotlight. He also urged Republican voters not to fall for the gambit or mistake it for serious or winning politics.
“I would just tell my fellow Americans: think carefully about what was just said, think carefully about some of the stuff that is coming across the blogs and the airwaves. Let’s make a couple points: One, the president was born in the United States of America. Let’s get rid of that one, let’s get rid of the birther thing. Let’s attack him on policy and not nonsense. Next, he is a Christian. He is not a Muslim. Twenty percent of the people see he is a Muslim, 80 percent apparently do not believe he is a Muslim.”
At this point, moderator David Gregory interrupted to note that even more Republicans (30 percent, roughly) bought the Obama-is-a-Muslim myth.
“Well surprise, surprise. But I bet you a dollar if the unemployment rate was not 9.5 percent but it was down to four percent then you would find only five percent think he is a Muslim. So they are attacking the president on this line. But he is not a Muslim. He is a Christian, and I think we have to be careful when we take things like Dinesh D’souza’s book, which is the source for all this, and suggest that somehow the president of the United States is channeling his dead father through some Kenyan spirits. This doesn’t make any sense. Mr. Gingrich does these things from time to time, with a big bold statement. He did it with [Sonia] Sotomayor, she’s a reverse racist; he did it with Elana Kagan, she ought to be taken off the nomination for Supreme Court justice; and he does it occasionally to make news and also to stir up dust.”
Powell, it should be noted, has made appeals to sober-minded Republicanism before, also on “Meet the Press.” And his pleas were met with calls from some of the GOP’s more senior members to, essentially, leave the party. So while his rebuke of Gingrich may be newsworthy, the reaction to it could produce some telling remarks as well.
- Colin Powell Knocks Down Gingrich and Birthers (themoderatevoice.com)
- Colin Powell decries ‘nonsense’ attacks on Obama (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Colin Powell On Obama: “He Has Lost Some Of The Ability To Connect” (mediaite.com)
- Colin Powell decries ‘nonsense’ attacks on Obama (sfgate.com)
[Ring of Fire] has been discussing the dangers of Glenn Beck’s incendiary rhetoric for years on Ring of Fire, but in the last year, his actions have been taken to a whole new level. And with his recent Tea Party rally in Washington, it became clear that Beck isn’t the only problem out there. We now have tens of thousands of Beck followers in this country who believe that they are intellectually superior to the rest of us, and after seeing how truly brainwashed these people are, this is a very dangerous thing. Mike Papantonio talks about how this brainwashing took place with blogger and author Chauncey DeVega.
We reported on Mrs. Thomas’ political activities months ago. Reports of her activities seemed to occur under the radar of mainstream news outlets, then and now…
So there are no racists in the tea party movement, huh? By the way, where were these people when George W. Bush was stepping all over the Constitution and running up the debt? Not to mention the unprecedented expansion of government agencies.