Hometown: Upstate NY
Home country: USA
Current location: Houston Area TX
Member since: Mon Nov 10, 2003, 05:30 PM
Number of posts: 135,060
Hometown: Upstate NY
Home country: USA
Current location: Houston Area TX
Member since: Mon Nov 10, 2003, 05:30 PM
Number of posts: 135,060
While not actively voicing anti-Muslim sentiment on the stump , Romney is clearly pandering to Islamophobes in the U.S. And there's a very simple reason why: the Romney campaign is banking on subtly appealing to the Republican Party's base of anti-Muslim voters, as well as donors like casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. Meanwhile, the alarming spate of attacks on Muslim religious centers continues—and no politician is stepping up to combat the toxic Islamophobia.
Romney “needs to find ways to attract the far right that would have preferred a more right-wing candidate,” Deepa Kumar, author of the recently released Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire , told AlterNet via email. “Most of the GOP presidential candidates used Islamophobia during the primaries because appeals to racism have always been useful for the GOP. Anti-Muslim racism comes with an added bonus in that it helps position one as being 'tough on terror.'” Kumar calls the GOP tactic of appealing to anti-Muslim sentiment the Republican Party's " new Southern Strategy ," referring to the tactic of appealing to anti-black racism among white voters in the South.
Recent weeks have seen a number of examples that point to this anti-Muslim political strategy. In early August, Romney held a private dinner with key figures on the Christian right, like Gary Bauer and James Dobson. The meeting also included retired Lieutenant General Jerry Boykin, a notorious anti-Muslim activist and the executive vice president of the right-wing Christian group Family Research Council. As Salon's Alex Seitz-Wald reported , Boykin earned a rebuke from President George W. Bush after Boykin, in uniform, proclaimed that Islam's God was “an idol,” the Christian God “was bigger,” and cast the “war on terror” in religious terms. Since retiring from military service, Boykin's rhetoric against Muslims has only grown more extreme. He has said that Islam “ should not be protected under the First Amendment ” and that “there should be no mosques in America.”
Bauer, too, is no stranger to stoking Islamophobia. In 2010, to loud cheers at the Values Voter summit, Bauer said : “Islamic culture ... keeps hundreds of millions of people on the verge of violence and mayhem 24 hours a day.” Romney is courting these figures in a bid to motivate the Christian evangelical base, many of whom agree with Bauer and Boykin on Islam and see the U.S. and Israel as waging holy war to defend “Judeo-Christian civilization.”
Posted by maddezmom | Wed Aug 22, 2012, 12:04 PM (1 replies)
John Nichols on August 22, 2012 - 12:11 PM ET
Todd Akin announced Wednesday that he would not be attending next week's Republican National Convention. Apparently, RNC chairman Reince Priebus could not find a suitable speaking slot for the Missouri Republican U.S. Senate nominee after Mitt Romney asked Akin to quit the race.
But Akin will remain a powerful "presence" at the convention, which on Monday will endorse a platform that fully embraces the congressman's stances on abortion rights and a broad array of social issues.
The platform, which has been firmed up this week, renews the party's call for amending the U.S. Constitution with a "Human Life Amendment" that seeks to outlaw abortion. It also includes a "salute" to states that have sought, even in the absence of an amendment, to complicate access to medical procedures that the Supreme Court has determined are safe, legal and legitimate -- including requirements that women undergo invasive ultrasound procedures and accept anti-abortion "counseling."
Notably, despite the controversy over Akin's "legitimate rape" remarks, the formal position statement of the Republican Party mentions no exceptions to the bar on access to a safe and legal medical procedure, even for victims of rape and incest.
Posted by maddezmom | Wed Aug 22, 2012, 11:30 AM (0 replies)
Michael Baumgartner, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Washington State, took exception to an article written about him this week, emailing the author to tell him to "go fuck yourself."
Josh Feit, a reporter for PubliCola blog at Seattle Met Magazine, had interviewed Baumgartner earlier in the week and written a story about how the Republican state senator's views on abortion were similar to those of embattled GOP congressman and Missouri Senate hopeful Todd Akin.
Baumgartner, like Akin, reportedly believes that there should be no exception for rape in his opposition to abortion. While he was quick to condemn Akin's "“inexcusable and stupid and ignorant” remarks, Feit reported that their views on abortion were fundamentally identical.
Baumgartner later released a statement apologizing to Feit for the use of such "strong language," but Feit notes that the Republican has since taken a different tack, telling a reporter from Washington's KIRO that Feit "had it coming."
Posted by maddezmom | Wed Aug 22, 2012, 10:30 AM (4 replies)
Greg Mitchell on August 22, 2012 - 9:23 AM ET
After two full days of coverage, outrage and anguish over Rep. Todd Akin's declaraton about "legitimate rape" and the magical ways women who are assaulted prevent pregnancy, I thought I'd heard enough for now. I'd blogged and tweeted, and blogged and tweeted, about it myself—and made all of the connections to Ryan and Romney—and was even boring myself.
Then along came a link to a song and video titled "Legitimate Rape." The singer and songwriter was a young woman, and one had to give her props for speed, if nothing else. But the song, her costume changes, character acting and editing, turned out to be terrific, with apt and clever lyrics from beginning to end, and sung very well. I hailed it in a blog post and on Facebook, Huffington Post picked it up too, and suddenly some of her old high school friends were giving her a call. Here's the video now, with some of the lyrics at the close of this column.
So who is it? She's Taylor Ferrera, age 24, who hails from West Virginia and (she tells me in an email interview) now living and working in New York for the past two years. Her songwriting goes back to her teen years when she was in a band with her brother named The Bugs—in tribute to the Beatles—and she did a lot of acting in college. She's been posting videos for about six months now, with titles like "Businesses Are People" and "I Hate the Bank of America."
What inspired her to write and record this song? "I've been writing politically themed music for a few months now," she explained, "along with my other silly songs, and when I heard about the Republican representative's statements, I was absolutely blown away. So when I got home after midnight, it just came pretty naturally. So with a Red Bull in me, I wrote it, recorded it, photoboothed it (such high quality technology goes into my videos) and edited it by around 4:30 a.m."
Posted by maddezmom | Wed Aug 22, 2012, 10:21 AM (1 replies)
GOP vice presidential contender Paul Ryan declined to explain what is meant by "forcible rape" in abortion legislation he co-sponsored with embattled Rep. Todd Akin.
Ryan, a Wisconsin congressman, and Akin are among the 227 co-sponsors of the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act," which would prohibit federal funding of abortions except in instances of "an act of forcible rape or, if a minor, an act of incest."
Akin, the GOP nominee for Senate in Missouri, touched off a furor with remarks Sunday about women's bodies being able to prevent pregnancy in cases of "legitimate rape." He has since apologized repeatedly for his remarks, but top Republicans -- including the GOP presidential ticket of Mitt Romney and Ryan -- have called on Akin to quit the race.
"Rape is rape. There is no splitting hairs over rape," Ryan told KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh, when asked twice about the "forcible rape" language. The interview aired this morning.
Romney has said that if he is elected president that abortion would be allowed in cases of rape. During Ryan's first race for Congress in 1998, the Journal Sentinel newspaper reported Ryan was opposed to abortion in all instances except when the life of the woman is at stake.
Posted by maddezmom | Wed Aug 22, 2012, 09:11 AM (8 replies)
Over the years, the major parties’ election-year platforms have been regarded as Kabuki theater scripts for convention week. The presidential candidates blithely ignored them or openly dismissed the most extreme planks with a knowing wink as merely a gesture to pacify the noisiest activists in the party.
Related in Opinion
That cannot be said of the draft of the Republican platform circulating ahead of the convention in Tampa, Fla. The Republican Party has moved so far to the right that the extreme is now the mainstream. The mean-spirited and intolerant platform represents the face of Republican politics in 2012. And unless he makes changes, it is the current face of the shape-shifting Mitt Romney.
The draft document is more aggressive in its opposition to women’s reproductive rights and to gay rights than any in memory. It accuses President Obama and the federal judiciary of “an assault on the foundations of our society,” and calls for constitutional amendments banning both same-sex marriage and abortion.
In defending one of the last vestiges of officially sanctioned discrimination — restrictions on the rights of gay men and lesbians to marry — the platform relies on the idea that marriage between one man and one woman has for thousands of years “been entrusted with the rearing of children and the transmission of cultural values.”
Posted by maddezmom | Wed Aug 22, 2012, 08:36 AM (1 replies)
Log Cabin Republicans are unhappy with what Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper calls "an antigay marriage plank" proposed this week for the upcoming national Republican Party convention in Tampa.
Here's the Log Cabin news release:
Platform Debates Reveal Generational Divide Among Fellow Conservatives
(Tampa, FL) – While Log Cabin Republicans commend the delegates who proposed inclusion of pro-equality language in the 2012 Republican Party platform, the final document is marred by outdated social conservative ideology.
“Tony Perkins may be boasting today about having written an antigay marriage plank into the Republican Party platform, but it will be a hollow and short-lived victory,” said Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper. “The obsessive exclusion of gay couples, including military families, from the rights and responsibilities of marriage, combined with bizarre rhetoric about ‘hate campaigns’ and ‘the homosexual rights agenda’ are clear signs of desperation among social conservatives who know that public opinion is rapidly turning in favor of equality.
Unfortunately, what voters can’t see in this document is the significant debate within the Committee. We were pleased to see vigorous debate on amendments in support of civil unions and to delete language regarding DOMA. While these measures failed, the future direction of our party clearly trends toward inclusion. This may well be the last time a platform will cater to the likes of the Family Research Council on marriage, and the fact is, platforms rarely influence policy. Tony will never see his discrimination written into the United States Constitution.”
Cooper continued, “Together with Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry, Log Cabin Republicans are proud to have encouraged this important debate at the Republican National Convention. Only by being in the room and speaking conservative to conservative will we succeed in building a stronger and more inclusive Republican party.
Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/gaysouthflorida/2012/08/log-cabin-republicans-unhappy-with-antigay-marriage-plank-proposed-for-gop-convention.html#storylink=cpy
Seriously, what were the LCR's expecting?
Posted by maddezmom | Wed Aug 22, 2012, 08:31 AM (39 replies)
It's been a hard two days for the Grand Old Party.
Trying to deflect attention from Todd Akin, who has gone rogue, has been akin to when they tried to deflect attention away from Sarah Palin, who went rogue four years ago.
You can't put that kind of genie back in the bottle, particularly when there's more than one genie.
All those folks who either said Akin was a fluke, an anomaly and that his words - that legitimate rape doesn't end in pregnancy - were a slip of the tongue or a lapse in judgment, weren't expecting Rep. Steve King.
The Iowa Republican has been defending Akin, and he must have decided that the best way to draw attention away from Akin, was to say something as stupid.
Posted by maddezmom | Tue Aug 21, 2012, 04:24 PM (5 replies)
Our view: Missouri candidate's highly offensive remarks regarding 'legitimate' rape expose serious political vulnerability for the GOP
That's because it has once again shown that some members of the GOP are not only insensitive to women but downright hostile toward them. And party leaders clearly know it because some of the loudest condemnations have come from fellow Republicans. It seemingly took only a matter of nanoseconds for the National Republican Senatorial Committee to announce the organization was withdrawing support for Mr. Akin to the tune of at least $5 million. When Karl Rove's American Crossroads super PAC pulls its support, as happened a day later, you know something's up.
But here's the problem. Mitt Romney may have called the Akin quote insulting and inexcusable, but how far is it really straying from GOP doctrine on women's issues, particularly when it comes to their reproductive rights? Rep. Paul Ryan, Mr. Romney's choice as running mate, was co-sponsor of a bill that proudly used the term "forcible rape" in limiting the exceptions to the rule against federal funding for abortions. "Legitimate rape" and "forcible rape" sound pretty closely related, and both seem suspiciously like they must have been coined by people who believe women are prone to lying about being violated in the most humiliating way possible.
Meanwhile, Republicans have been busily approving limits on abortion rights state-by-state whenever an opening presents itself. Recently, the House approved a ban on abortion at 20 weeks in the District of Columbia that would have included victims of rape and incest. And just this week in Tampa, the party's platform committee approved a plank calling for a Constitutional amendment banning all abortions with no exception for rape and incest mentioned.
So what exactly are Mr. Romney and party leaders unhappy about — that one of their own used indelicate terminology or junk science? Sorry, but the party's positions on women's reproductive rights and the rights of rape victims are fair game even if they make Republicans look like a bunch of Neanderthals (no offense to cavemen, by the way).
Why the GOP wants to offend more than half of registered voters and prove itself soft on violent crime to boot is beyond understanding. But such is the path that a party captured by anti-abortion extremists has chosen to take.
Posted by maddezmom | Tue Aug 21, 2012, 04:01 PM (2 replies)
More rape/incest/abortion news on this Tuesday afternoon: the Republican Party platform committee has “approved platform language on Tuesday calling for a constitutional amendment outlawing abortion with no explicit exceptions for cases of rape or incest,” The New York Times reports. Such a stance is “similar to the planks Republicans have included in their recent party platforms, which also called for a constitutional ban on abortions.” Mitt Romney, the party’s nominee, does not agree with this. Paul Ryan, the lawmaker Mitt Romney selected to lead the country in the event that he himself, as president, becomes indisposed, does agree with this. Put your hand down, Todd Akin, we all know whether you agree.
The entirety of the platform, which won’t be set in stone tablets until next week, is an impossible-to-put-down thriller on the self-immolation of the party’s 2012 hopes. Alienate social moderates at the precise time when everyone is paying attention? Check! Who’s next? The elderly and the people who love them? “The Republican platform committee will take up Medicare language Tuesday afternoon that would officially commit the party to the kind of overhaul championed by Paul Ryan, including turning it into a voucher-like program and raising the retirement age,” Politico reports.
Posted by maddezmom | Tue Aug 21, 2012, 03:13 PM (0 replies)