Thursday, July 19, 2012

Mitt Gets Worse: One Negative Ad Campaign We Hope Goes Viral

‘MITT GETS WORSE’ PROJECT WARNS OF ROMNEY’S ANTI-LGBT RECORD | Modeled as satire on the anti-bullying “It Gets Better” project, American Bridge 21st Century and Courage Campaign Super PAC have launched the “Mitt Gets Worse” campaign. In testimonials, various activists explain how harmful Mitt Romney’s anti-LGBT positions are and how much worse he would make the U.S. for LGBT people if he were president.

Mitt Romney has already gone on record as an enemy of the poor and disenfranchised. He has bumbled his way through African American voters to the point that being considered a "friend" is now out of the question. Now a group of LGBT activists want you to know that Romney's reign would be one of setbacks, if not one of terror. And they've started what could be one of the most creative series of anti-Romney ads to date.

If you take a look at the wikipedia entry for Mitt Romney's stance on LGBT issues, it paints a portrait of a man whose entire career as governor and Presidential candidate is obsessed with flip-flopping as the political wind blows:

In July 2011, Romney refused to sign a pledge opposing gay marriage, a pledge that was being circulated by "The Family Leader", a conservative Christian group in Iowa.[232] On August 4, 2011, a month later, Romney publicly denounced same-sex marriage by signing the 2012 Presidential Pledge sponsored by the National Organization for Marriage.[233]
And as governor of Massachusetts, Romney also attempted to eliminate much needed services for LGBT youth - some of them homeless youth.

Flip-Flop, The Cave In

The portrait of a man who cares only about winning and mouthing the right words to the right group (albeit unsuccessfully at times) formed years ago, so it is no surprise that vultures are circling a dying "moderate". The pressure put upon Romney to curry favor with the Christian Right due to his Mormonism is almost tactile: you can feel the forces of Tony Perkins, Bryan Fischer*, Pat Robertson, James Dobson and their ilk at work, devouring any semblance of tolerance. And they will not be satisfied until Romney states (as he did with Obama's Affordable Care Act in an address to the NAACP), that he will push through a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, ban gays from the military and repeal every single advance in gay rights for the past thirty years. And for all his posturing as a moderate "friend" of gays and lesbians, ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) will become a distant memory if the Christian Right manipulates him. He may have supported gay adoption in the past, but the Christian Right will certainly have none of that.

5 Percent Is 5 Percent

Demographics and studies have shown that over 5% of the U.S. population is gay.** To Romney and his campaign, however, we have seen that even higher percentages (e.g. the number of people living below the poverty line) mean little: the bottom line is in the number of votes and if it takes disenfranchising 5% of the population to placate 16 million Southern Baptists, then so be it.

You know he will: Romney gives off the aroma of one ready to placate at all costs.

Whither Matt Rhoades?

As with the Bain Capital brouhaha, Romney's campaign manager, Matt Rhoades, has had his hands full in delivering spin, weak responses and veiled threats resulting from Romney's checkered past and flip-flops. How Rhoades will handle any response to Mitt Gets Worse is anybody's guess: ignoring it would be a big mistake, trying to present Romney as a "friend" would anger social conservatives, and going totally to the Right would only add to the long list of people he is willing to disenfranchise and sacrifice.

From The Huffington Post editorial by Rick Jacobs of the Courage Campaign (750,000 members):

Unfortunately for millions of LGBT people in this country, we know the Mitt we'll get. He's the Mitt that is moving in the wrong direction (as our Facebook Timeline shows) away from history, not towards it. For millions like us, Mitt Gets Worse. And if elected, the country will get worse.
Below is one of the first Mitt Gets Worse spots - a very, very powerful indictment of a man to whom winning is everything and consideration goes to the highest bidder. The testimonials are most disturbing and certainly provocative. Think about joining the Mitt Gets Worse campaign. It may be the one negative ad campaign in this mess of an election that needs to go viral.

*Fischer infamously delivered a bitch slap to Romney: demanding that he get rid of Richard Grenell, crowing that Romney took his advice (although Renell resigned), then saying that Romney was too weak to be President if he caved in to the demands of someone like Fischer.

** Despite what the Right contends: 1.5 to 2%

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Be Careful Who You Lionize: Bio of "Historian" David Barton's Hero Devours His "Founders Bible" With Slavery, Incest and Homosexuality

This one ranks along with the Creation Museum's "Adam" being a gay actor with a porn site.

David Barton has been pushing the "American Is A Christian Nation" meme so hard and so long that he's now at his sloppiest in establishing it: he has now created "The Founders' Bible", a copy of the New American Standard Bible (naturally) combined with:

... more than 150 articles (averaging 4 pages each) by our Signature Historian David Barton covering everything from the founding of the first American colony in Jamestown, Virginia, on May 14 of 1607, forward to the present day. It deals with virtually every political hot button including Radical Islam’s current Jihad against America.

And if the articles are at all like Barton's public rants for his organization Wallbuilders (considered a hate group), The Founders Bible is sure to find its way into the homes of every homophobic, anti-feminist, Islamophobic, and Dominionist believer in the country. He will be signing copies of the Bible at Glen Beck's Restoring Love rally in Dallas on July 26th.

Before that event, however, Barton might have to do some serious backpeddling, since this piece just came out:

William Throckmorton:
Founders’ Bible Cites Pro-Slavery Leader as Proponent of America as a Christian Nation

William Throckmorton's piece is worth reading and his subsequent articles will definitely be interesting. What caught my eye (and the eyes of many others) was a comment citing the wikipedia entry for man in question, James Henry Hammond: he was THE most ardent advocate for slavery on RELIGIOUS grounds and constantly opined in Congress and as Governor of South Carolina that even as inferior as they were, black slaves had it better than the poor industrial workers of the North. He was the politician who coined the term "Cotton is King." And if this isn't enough to make people wince about David Barton's hero, like a Popeil product commercial, we can say "Wait! There's more!!":

His Secret and Sacred Diaries reveal that his appetites did not end there. He describes, without embarrassment, his 'familiarities and dalliances' with four teenage nieces - the daughters of Wade Hampton II. Blaming the seductiveness of the “extremely affectionate” young women, his political career was crushed for a decade to come, and the girls with their tarnished social reputations never married.

As a young man, Hammond had a homosexual relationship with a college friend, Thomas Jefferson Withers, which is attested by two sexually explicit letters sent from Withers to Hammond in 1826. The letters, which are housed among the Hammond Papers at the South Carolina Library, were first published by researcher Martin Duberman in 1981, and are remarkable for being rare documentary evidence of same-sex relationships in the antebellum United States.

In The Founders Bible, Barton gushes with admiration about how Hammond so eloquently supported one of John Adams' pro-Christian statements and practically puts Hammond on a saint's pedestal. But now people like Throckmorton are gushing with disgust about Hammond's pro-slavery pronouncements. And other people (like me) are gushing laughter at the ardent "Christian Nation" politician's incest and homosexual dalliance.

Don't Think - Believe
- inscription at the entrance of the Creation Museum

Vetting is a process examination and evaluation: a process which always seems to elude those like David Barton and his followers. And the inclusion of St. Hammond into The Founders Bible is yet another piece of hilarity in the world of the Right's non-vetting process: we saw it in the VP pick of Sarah Palin, but it was evident back in 2007 when the Creation Museum discovered (6 weeks after its opening) that the beautiful "Adam" for their creation video was a gay actor with a website selling soft-core porn.

Then again, the process of vetting involves some deep thinking, and when searching for just the right quote from a distant, relatively obscure (to the American public), blind belief takes hold and the thought process is cast aside.

David Barton's work has been based upon blind belief - a belief that the United States of America was actually founded as a totally Christian nation. His "proof" has been laughed at by true historians the world over. Would that this latest gaff might get even more people laughing.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Begging For A Boycott: Google's "Legalize Love" Campaign Forces The Right To Take It's Medicine

From: The Christian Post:Google Pushes Gay Agenda Worldwide With 'Legalize Love' Campaign
Search engine titan Google announced Saturday its new "Legalize Love" campaign to pressure countries where it has offices to give gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders more rights and recognition.

Titan? More like Goliath, at least to the Christian Right. And any stones thrown will be to little avail:

The analogy of Goliath will no doubt be used by social conservatives, but a more apt analogy might be one of a mother forcing bad tasting medicine on a petulant child: Google's stance as a the"new" corporation (and one in opposition to ones like Mitt Romney's Bain Capital) has been one of a young parent nurturing the future of global corporations.* And when those corporations need to have a stern hand regarding their health in social issues, the powerful mother Google is there to see that steps are taken to remedy ills.

Google, long known for their pro-LGBT business practices, has a clear goal. The company's Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe says: ‘We want our employees who are gay or lesbian or transgender to have the same experience outside the office as they do in the office. It is obviously a very ambitious piece of work.’Google will join forces with other non-government organizations (NGO's) to lobby the governments.

Countries troubled with systemic gay rights problems and in which Google has offices: Dubai, Poland, Singapore, Russia, Ukraine, Beijing, Malaysia, Taiwan, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, and Egypt. It has started unleashing ads in Poland and Singapore.

The Legalize Love Spillover

The formal scope of Legalize Love may be enough to cause nightmares to social conservatives, but the real scope is like an Armageddon to those who have made inroads in exporting hate: countries like Latvia, Moldova, Uganda, Kenya, Ghana, Russia and the Ukraine, where rabid "evangelicals" have made inroads may find themselves out in the cold on this one. African nations eager to embrace Rightwing Christianity but who also want to enter into the 21st century with technology may find their allegiances shifting: "treat all our employees with respect and allow them their rights." The campaign may slowly undo the work of such preachers as Rick Warren, Scott Lively and Lou Engle (the last two highly involved in Uganda's "kill the gays" bill).

Boycott Blues
In the past, social conservatives have taken on the likes of JC Penney, Starbucks, and Home Depot. Those boycotts have been almost fruitless. By contrast, however, Google has more assets and equity than the three retail giants combined. And their international scope is astounding: it processes over one billion search request per day and runs over one million servers. In other words, the sun never sets on the Google empire.

Buster Wilson, the general manager of the AFA’s radio network, said on AFA Today that a Google boycott “is going to be a hard one for a lot of us” but will “test the meat of our convictions.”

After boycotts of JC Penney, Starbucks, Girl Scout Cookies, JC Penney, Lowe's, Home Depot, Nabisco's Oreo cookies, and the GAP, there surely is no meat - only gristle.

* Fortune magazine ranked Google as number one on its 100 Best Companies To Work For list for 2012.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Vets To Joe Walsh: Heroism Is Not A Crutch, Especially On The Fourth of July!

Poor Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh can't get no respect. Especially not from the nation's veterans. And certainly not on this 4th of July.

From Think Progress:
At a town hall on Sunday, Walsh blasted his Democratic opponent, Tammy Duckworth, for having the temerity to note that she’s spent two decades serving in the military. Walsh dismissed Duckworth, an Iraq War vet who lost both her legs in an RPG attack, as not a “true hero.”

Vote Vets, a non-partisan PAC that supports veterans issues, condemned Walsh’s comments in an exclusive statement to ThinkProgress. The veterans group wrote that “Telling a veteran to shut up on the 4th of July is beyond the pale.” They called on Walsh to “step aside and and stop embarrassing his district and America.”
Politics As Usual

The bottom line is that Duckworth is a staunch Democrat, pro-choice, and pro-gun control. An ardent critic of Bush's Iraq policies, Duckworth was given national attention for her speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. And while Walsh considers himself a ":moderate", his Tea Party roots belie any middle-of the road standing.

The Troubled 8th Congressional District

Chicagoland is still a union town, but with the northwestern suburbs have had identity problems of late: after it was redistricted from the 2010 census, the 8th Congressional district shows an area that voted for Bush in both elections, but flipped radically to Obama in 2008. Running primarily as a Tea Party candidate, Joe Walsh unseated Democratic incumbent Melissa Bean by a contentious 291 votes in 2010 (out of 209,000 votes cast). His ties to lobbists and super-pacs served him well: he was only able to spend less than a third of what Bean had spent on the campaign.

Since his election, Walsh has weathered being labeled a "deabeat dad" when his former wife sued him for over $100,000 in child support. The support of his former wife on the issue was ballyhooed as an end to it, but with his latest disparaging remarks against Duckworth, the sobriquet has resurfaced, indicating a very troubled campaign ahead.

The McCain Analogy

John McCain's record as a war hero and PWA may have helped propel him into politics, but he refused to capitalize on it. This is a degree: whether or not he would have gotten as far in politics without it is speculative. Hero worship in this country is very big, and voting for a hero is always popular: Dwight D. Eisenhower built upon it in the same unassuming way. However, because of his WWII experiences, Eisenhower became a bit of a dove in later years, and McCain followed suit, promoting better diplomatic relations with North Viet Nam. All the while, however his appearances on the political scene served as a reminder that American heros, and vets always deserved the utmost deference.

Walsh's analogy, however, was misplaced: Duckworth's accomplishments in the military as well as in the position of Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs were stellar enough for the term "hero" and she did not mention them as often as Walsh noted. It might be interesting to note what John McCain's take on the matter is.

The End Of Walsh?

Walsh never served in the military. Walsh has not sufficiently weathered the "deadbeat dad" controversy. Walsh has pandered to lobbyists and Tea Party interests. If he actually wins the election, he will have a hard time convincing people that he did it on his own merits and not that of corporate groups.

He will also have a hard time whitewashing his campaign against a "true hero."