Bryan Fischer Calls Mitt Romney "Tasteless and Tawdry": VIDEO

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Earlier today, at the Values Voter Summit, Mitt Romney delivered an oblique rebuke to Bryan Fischer, the Muslim-, Mormon-, Native-American-, gay-hating Christian theocrat whose Coughlinesque radio show has become a popular stop for Republican head-honchos. Without even naming the guy, Romney limply declared that Fischer uses "poisonous language" and "crosses the line, I think."

But that really nettled Fischer: after his speech, he called Romney "tasteless and tawdry," adding, "Have you seen his drapes?" (OK, I made up the last bit.)

Meantime, People for the American Way, which first pointed out the oddity of Romney's speaking at the summit with the crazed Fischer and pressured the candidate to condemn him, has cautiously - very cautiously - welcomed Romney's "tepid" rebuke. Said the group's president, Michael Keegan:

Mitt Romney clearly realized that his presidential campaign couldn’t ignore the bigotry of Bryan Fischer and the American Family Association. I’m glad that he saw fit to put at least a small distance between himself and the hate speech regularly pushed by Fischer, even if he couldn’t bring himself to call Fischer out by name. Since he began running for President, Mitt Romney has bent over backwards in a desperate attempt to make himself palatable to the extreme right. At least we’ve seen that there are some things he’s willing to speak out against, no matter how tepid his condemnation may be. It’s disappointing that none of the other candidates have been willing to go even that far.

As I said earlier, I think Romney deserves less than zero credit for his admonishment. Imagine a politician in early 1930s Germany "tepidly" rebuking Hitler - and Fischer is not far from Hitler in his rhetoric, Godwin's Law notwithstanding. Would we congratulate that politician, or see him as a symptom of a body politic weakening under the assault of totalitarianism?

There were several specific problems with Romney's tack. One, he "thinks" Fischer has crossed the line of civil discourse - as if that's a perception and not a fact. Two, he only took issue with Fischer's "poisonous language," implying - intentionally or not - that there is a reasonable way to call for deporting Muslims, barring gays from public office and depriving non-Christians of their First Amendment rights. Poisonous ideas are the problem. Three, Romney objected to the way Fischer splinters the conservative movement: "let no agenda narrow our vision or drive us apart," which sounds like a veiled reference to Fischer's Mormon-baiting. But isn't the really objectionable thing about Fischer that he divides all Americans between citizens (Christians) and a rights-less subclass (everyone else) according to a new, totalitarian logic? No mention of that from Romney.

His condemnation lacked specfics: he didn't name Fischer or any of his repugnant views. It was almost simpering, and welcoming it as barely adequate sets the bar unacceptably low. A "small distance" between Romney and Fischer won't do.

As for the other candidates: Romney's rival, Rick Perry, threw his giant pray-for-rain rally in Texas with co-sponsorship from Fischer's American Family Association. The extreme elements are well-positioned within the Republican Party now. Under the guise of a campaign to paint liberals as Nazis, Islamists and communists, the conservative movement itself is becoming totalitarian - and gays are now its most openly reviled scapegoat. If Romney's little rebuke is the best the conservative moderates can muster, there is cause for alarm.

You can watch Fischer's entire speech here.

Watch Fischer get upset, AFTER THE JUMP...


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  1. Unfortunately there plenty of tepid rebukes of Hitler by politicians in pre-war America. Conservatives didn't see a need to defend the Jews or the communists being obliterated by the Nazis for a while.

    Posted by: Jerry | Oct 8, 2011 5:23:19 PM

  2. LOL.........c'mon Jerry. The Nazis were terrible...but so want the communists/Marxist/Maoist. And the Nazis gained power substantially as a result of the weak, decadent liberal Weimar Republic. And at least 2 politicians in the west, Churchill and Roosevelt, were not tepid in their criticisms of the Nazis. Churchill of course was a Tory conservative, many would say reactionary. He also publicly and repeatedly criticized Nazi treatment of Jews and others. Unfortunately, most on the left NEVER correspondingly criticized Stalin or communist excesses which killed just as many as the Nazis....more, actually.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Oct 8, 2011 6:03:39 PM

  3. And of course intelligent people know how the Zionist who created modern Israel behaved and behave: just like the Nazis, even to the point of practicing eugenics. Human beings can be a sorry a** bunch.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Oct 8, 2011 6:07:09 PM

  4. @ Jerry

    it went farther than that with many americans doing buisness with the nazis like Prescott bush....called Hitler's banker...Shrub's grandfather

    @ratbastard... eugenics in Israel? please elaborate. if your referring to mandatory Tay sachs screening for marriage licenses and counseling that if both people carry it to maybe not get married as eugenics then you are being hyperbolic. Tay Sachs screening and counseling in Israel is sane and logical with results already showing a huge decrease in children born with it in Israel

    On the current Israeli regieme's actions towards palestinians you might be surprised to find many Israelis also disliking the current conservative right regieme's policies and actions

    Posted by: say what | Oct 8, 2011 6:13:08 PM

  5. And Jerry:

    How many on the left criticized Mao and his 'Cultural Revolution'? How many millions of human beings suffered, died because of Mao's revolution?

    Posted by: ratbastard | Oct 8, 2011 6:14:51 PM

  6. @say what,

    google Israel, Yemeni, children, experiments. And this is only one example that is a matter of public knowledge.

    As far as your comment 'I might be surprised', well no Say What, I'm not surprised. I'm aware, am not antisemitic [anti Jewish of Arab], or even anti-Israel.


    Forgot about Israels very active support of South Africa's racist Apartheid government, and their active support of the equally VERY repressive regime that governed Northern Ireland [N.I. was self-governing, not ruled by London] when it denied Catholics basic civil rights.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Oct 8, 2011 6:25:02 PM

  7. While we're on the subject, that great 'progressive' sacred cow Martin Luther King even had very unkind things to say about JFK and his Catholic faith [Southern Baptist of his era were notoriously anti-Catholic, especially Irish Catholic]. Yes, apparently, MLK was a bigot. Human beings, especially those placed on pedestals, often under-whelm when you take a closer look.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Oct 8, 2011 6:31:10 PM

  8. Even countries like Sweden have xenophobic right-wing neo-nazi-like pressure groups. It's not a function of any type of politics, but a mindset of people who can't control certain emotions, like fear and loathing. BF isn't going to support Romney no matter what he says, so why is he even trying?

    Posted by: anon | Oct 8, 2011 6:49:32 PM

  9. Someone needs to wad this guy Fischer up and throw him into a big green dumpster with the rest of the trash.

    Posted by: Marty | Oct 8, 2011 7:21:14 PM

  10. Wow, this conversation has gotten far afield. Let's not waste time bashing each other how far left or right people were regarding the second world war -- how about jumping on the matters at hand?!

    At best, Romney is an empty suit. At worst, he's another corporate puppet who is happy to serve any master that will keep him and his comfortable and happy. Even if one is in the Republican party, he needs to be called out on his lame, spineless, worthless 'rebuke' of this nutball. Romney will NOT respond any further if he's not pushed to do so. This should be his 'Jeremiah Wright' moment to be forced to come out and give (another) speech on religion in America. EVERYONE needs to push this turd to act like a leader as long as he's running to be one.

    Posted by: princely54 | Oct 8, 2011 7:24:20 PM

  11. Penn Bullock, your editorialising on this site is absolutely atrociously terrible. Bryan Fisher is awful, yes, but Nazi comparisons? Seriously? And just following a ridiculous, inapropriately placed joke about drapes, too. I'm seriously considering forgoing my daily visits to Towleroad if your kind of unprofessional and absurd reporting and editorialising continues. You are ruining this blog. I want Andy back ...

    Posted by: DayvyG | Oct 8, 2011 7:31:16 PM

  12. "I'm seriously considering forgoing my daily visits to Towleroad..."

    ...don't let the door hit ya'!

    One less bitter, jealous, and envious malcontent - that crawls out of his hole for purposes of doing little more than bashing a man who devotes his time, efforts, and notable talents to keeping this blog alive during the weekends. And does it with quality and insight.

    Your "contributions" will not, at all, be missed. Adios!

    Posted by: dave02657 | Oct 8, 2011 8:13:59 PM

  13. DAYVYG - I don't see what's wrong with comparing Bryan Fischer to the Nazis, or his rhetoric to Hitler's. The Nazis believed that the only Germans were Aryan. Fischer believes that the only Americans are Christian. He has also said that Muslims should be deported. Hitler said that about the Jews - before he started killing them. Nazi comparisons are overused, but that doesn't mean they're never apt.

    Posted by: Penn | Oct 8, 2011 8:26:11 PM

  14. Weren't we being told just last year by practically EVERYONE (especially Log Cabin Republicans) that the Republican Party had turned away from the religious right and gay bashing? I know GOProud never made any such assertion since they actually support and promote the gay bashing wing of the GOP. But other than them I seem to recall all kinds of buzz about how the GOP was moderating and becoming less beholden to rabidly anti-gay fundamentalist Christianists.

    I don't think they've ever been MORE in bed with the holy hating wing of their party.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Oct 8, 2011 8:36:21 PM

  15. see ya dayvyg

    PENN keep up the good work

    Posted by: say what | Oct 8, 2011 9:40:25 PM

  16. All religions are myths. Mormanism just happens to be a more recent myth than Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The newer myths get called cults. Once they are around for a while they graduate to religion status.

    Posted by: John Leddy | Oct 8, 2011 10:04:15 PM

  17. Godwin's Law, being proved every day.

    Plenty of European, as well as American, politicians placated Hitler with "tepid" rebukes, unkept ultimatums, and light condemnation, right up to 1939.

    Further, as some commenters seem to be confused, Communists aren't evil. The people who ran communist regimes were. "Evil" Communists are part of a larger national scheme and are referred to as such. Stalinists. Maoists. You name it. But true Communists tend to live in communes outside of Berkley or somesuch place.

    Either way, Brian Fischer is not akin to Hitler. Brian Fischer is a lunatic without power or means. If anything, he is more like "Hitler-the-failed-artist" and less "Hitler-the-Fuhrer."

    Or maybe he's just a nutjob who gets too much attention. Yeah, I'm gonna go with that.

    Posted by: TommyOC | Oct 8, 2011 10:47:38 PM

  18. @John Leddy, Buddhism isn't technically a religion. Buddhism has no god and it doesn't have the creation myths or any of the other religious myths that the religions you lumped it in with do. Buddhism is much better identified as a life philosophy. It's actually quite scientific. Even Einstein said so and that was before the Abhidhamma Pitaka (which clearly describes advanced philosophy, psychology and metaphysics that are just now being discovered by scientists) was translated into German or English. Only a small portion of it has been translated into English even today. This is how I can be both an atheist and a Buddhist with no conflict.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Oct 8, 2011 11:15:03 PM

  19. @Ratbastard, I'm trying to figure out if you are intentionally trying to confuse the facts to make a point that you couldn't make otherwise or if you are honestly confused about the facts. Do you really not know that the "sacred cow of 'progressives'" is not Martin Luther King but his son Martin Luther King Jr.? You seem to be claiming that MLK Jr. did something that was actually done by his father. Then you cleverly insinuate that Martin Luther King (and/or his son?) was a Southern Baptist minister when he would have been very unwelcome and even ineligible to be a pastor in the Southern Baptist Convention in the 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's and 60's (the span of time that MLK and MLK Jr. were pastors. They were actually ministers in the Progressive National Baptist Convention; an entirely different denomination.

    I can't tell if you are honestly mistaken, factually challenged, willfully ignorant, cunningly confusing or just lazy and sloppy with the facts when firing your comments from the hip.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Oct 8, 2011 11:47:40 PM

  20. Romney fails.

    He panders to everyone, that is why he will never be elected.

    Ron Paul panders to no one and stands on principle. Therefore Ron Paul wins.

    A public tar and feathering of a few MSM 'journalists' would bring these facts into stark reality.

    Posted by: anonoped | Oct 9, 2011 3:31:25 AM

  21. The winner will be the person that spreads his manure the fastest. (regardless of the party)

    Posted by: M. Scott Hernandez | Oct 9, 2011 10:52:12 AM

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