Archive for the ‘political extremism’ Category

Right-wingers Head to Austin This Weekend

January 30, 2012

Right-wing activists will get their rage on at the Conservative Texans Political Action Conference (CTxPAC) this weekend in Austin. No surprise: it looks like anti-government, religious-right radicalism will dominate the confab.

Sponsored by the Austin-based organization New Revolution Now, the event will feature speakers from Liberty Institute (the Focus on the Family affiliate in Texas), the anti-government (and Koch brothers-funded) Americans for Prosperity, and True the Vote, a spin-off of the vote-suppression/Tea Party organization King Street Patriots in Houston. You might recall that last fall King Street Patriots hosted a speech by a right-wing writer who has argued that registering poor people to vote is un-American and like “like handing out burglary tools to criminals.”

New Revolution Now has also waded into the textbook wars in Texas. In 2010 the group helped pressure (successfully) the Texas State Board of Education to politicize social studies curriculum standards for public schools. The conservative Fordham Institute subsequently criticized the “ideological manipulation,” historical revisionism and contempt for expertise apparent throughout the standards.

We figure this weekend’s event will draw plenty of folks who lie awake at night worried about the global warming conspiracy undermining America, the United Nations taking over America and radical Muslims destroying America. It’s even hard to tell if comments like this one from a reader of CTxPAC’s blog are meant to be taken seriously:

“We are in grave danger, as the Muslims are the chosen to allow the killing of their enemies, which are the same enemies of those who propagate this plan. The enemy is us, the Christians, and the Jews. The Muslims will be just one of their population reduction machines. They now have the ability to manipulate our weather, which strongly suggests that they can reap environmental havoc on anyone they so choose, to cause starvation, floods, and other deadly weather phenomina [sic].”



Berman’s Portable Goal Posts

April 28, 2011

Say what you will about Texas state Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, you have to give the man credit for becoming a master at moving the goal posts.

Unless you were nowhere near a TV or computer on Wednesday, you missed the big dose of widely verified reality the White House dropped on the world when it released President Obama’s long-form birth certificate proving what most rational people already knew: President Obama was, in fact, born in the United States.

Maybe not surprisingly, that still doesn’t satisfy Rep. Berman, who filed a bill (HB 295) this year requiring that presidential and vice presidential candidates present an original birth certificate to qualify for the Texas ballot. But after President Obama presented his birth certificate to the nation yesterday, Birther Berman flipped the switch and got those goal posts a-movin’ out of the stadium and all the way out into the parking lot.

The Texas Tribune wrote the following about Berman:

He said he’s now seen two birth certificates: the Hawaiian one released by Obama this morning, and one he said indicates Obama was born in Mombasa, Kenya. And he claims the hospital Obama lists on his birth certificate — in fact, all hospitals in Honolulu — have denied the president was born there.

And here’s video from the Tribune of Berman’s lingering doubts:

See? He’s just asking questions — not giving any credible answers, but at least he has the courage to ask questions.

You know who else asks a lot of questions? PolitiFact Texas. The award-winning website has vetted Berman’s latest claims and guess how they rated them? C’mon, guess.

Yep, Pants on Fire.

‘Black Storm’: FDR, Obama = Hitler, Stalin

October 12, 2010

It’s getting harder and harder to feel shocked at the extremism emanating from right-wing groups in American politics. But a bizarre, ham-handed and paranoid press release today from a Houston-based group called Patriot PAC should be shocking.

The press release touts “Operation Black Storm,” which supports the candidacy of 15 African-American Republicans for Congress. (Seriously? That’s the name they chose for such a project?) It quotes a leader from one of a coalition of far-right groups supporting the project:

“Today marks the beginning of the end of playing the race card to silence conservative voices and keep blacks voting opposite their core values.”

“Voting opposite their core values”? We aren’t told what “core values” African Americans have been voting against. The spokesman goes on:

“It’s finally time for our nation to get past racial barriers in politics, and with Operation Black Storm we intend to send a message to Washington that–above all–Americans of all backgrounds, colors, and decent faiths want their God-given right for SELF-RULE.”

“Decent faiths”? Are there other kinds? We’re not told which “faiths” qualify here — but you probably know. [Hint, hint. Wink, wink.]

But the most corrosive bile comes when you click on the press release’s link to the Operation Black Storm website. Viewers find a video identifying the worst of the murderous dictators of the 20th century, including Hitler, Stalin and Mao. (They throw in Saddam Hussein and Hugo Chavez for good measure.) We’re told of freedom extinguished and millions slaughtered under those regimes. True enough. But then the video descends into lunacy, comparing the policies of those dictators to those of certain American presidents: Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter and — surprise! — Barack Obama. Accompanied by martial background music and the red label “Progressive” stamped on the screen, the video darkly notes:

“Theodore Roosevelt supported eugenics.”

“Woodrow Wilson brought us the Federal Reserve System.”

“FDR’s ‘New Deal’ saw income taxes rise as high as 94%.”

“[Lyndon] Johnson’s ‘War on Poverty was a war on success.”


Feel the Hate

November 11, 2008

Texas State Board of Education member Cynthia Dunbar, R-Richmond, isn’t the only elected official who believes President-elect Barack Obama is a Marxist. A Republican congressman from Georgia, Paul Broun, apparently agrees that, by golly, he just might be a commie. He says a general proposal Sen. Obama made during the campaign to create a civilian force for protecting national security is just what the Soviet Union did.

“It may sound a bit crazy and off base, but the thing is, he’s the one who proposed this national security force. I’m just trying to bring attention to the fact that we may — may not, I hope not — but we may have a problem with that type of philosophy of radical socialism or Marxism.”

He’s right, of course. He does sound crazy. But it gets worse. Congressman Broun apparently also worries that Sen. Obama is a Nazi. Really. He says Sen. Obama will ban gun ownership if he does create a civilian national security force during his administration.

“We can’t be lulled into complacency. You have to remember that Adolf Hitler was elected in a democratic Germany. I’m not comparing him to Adolf Hitler. What I’m saying is there is the potential of going down that road.”

Of course, he is comparing Sen. Obama to Hitler. And Cynthia Dunbar is essentially calling Sen. Obama a traitor, a terrorist sympathizer and a Marxist.

Congressman Broun and Ms. Dunbar are making something very clear for the rest of us. Political extremists aren’t just orbiting in the fringes of American society. Some of them sit in elective office, including in the U.S. Congress and the Texas State Board of Education.