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The Right Enemies: A Look Back at Right-Wing Attacks on Eric Holder

Holder resignation

BY LAYNE AMERIKANER

Attorney General Eric Holder, who this week announced his plans to resign, has been a leader in addressing systems of racial discrimination and protecting the fundamental rights of every American to be treated equally under the law and participate in our democracy.

Perhaps it’s not surprising, then, that the Right loves to hate him.

Tim HuelskampIn February of this year, the American Family Association demanded Holder’s impeachment after he had the audacity to treat married same-sex couples like married opposite-sex couples with regard to a host of legal rights and recognitions. Shortly after, both Faith and Freedom Coalition head Ralph Reed and Republican Rep. Tim Huelskamp [pictured right] echoed the call for Holder’s impeachment because of his support for marriage equality. Televangelist Pat Robertson also joined the impeachment parade, alleging that under Holder, “sodomy” was being “elevated above the rights of religious believers.”

Holder’s commitment to redressing racial injustice was no more warmly received by the Right than his work in support of LGBT equality. After Holder spoke out against voter ID laws, which disproportionately harm people of color, Texas Gov. Rick Perry accused him of “purposefully” “incit[ing] racial tension.” Gun Owners of America director Larry Pratt argued that Holder’s open discussion of racial discrimination in the criminal justice system means that he is the real “racist,” asserting last year that Holder wants to “intimidate the rest of the country so that we don’t think about defending ourselves” against “attacks by black mobs on white individuals.” Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association went so far as to say that Holder would never “prosecute someone if the victim is white.” And after Holder visited Ferguson, Missouri last month, David Horowitz outrageously commented that the attorney general was leading a black “lynch mob.”

And those are just a handful of the attacks the Right has leveled against Holder for his work protecting equality under the law.

The fact that the far Right has reacted with so much vitriol to the attorney general’s leadership is a sign not only of how uninterested they are in the civil rights that the Justice Department is meant to protect, but also of how effective Holder’s work has been. The next attorney general should share Holder’s deep commitment to protecting the rights of all Americans – and, by extension, make all the “right” enemies among those hoping to turn back the clock on civil liberties.

This post originally appeared on People For the American Way's blog.

This post originally appeared on the PFAW blog.

The Virulently Anti-gay, GOP-packed Values Voter Summit Has Begun: WATCH

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Family Research Council's annual Values Voter Summit kicks off in Washington D.C. today and, as always, features a who's who of anti-gay activists, politicians, and media personalities devoting their time and effort towards denying LGBT individuals equal rights.

Confirmed speakers for the 3-day extravaganza include Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Gary Bauer, Glenn Beck, Jason & David Benahm, Gen. William Boykin, Rep. Jim Bridenstien (R-OK), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R-TX), TLC's Jim Bob & Michelle Duggar, Erick Erickson, Rep. John Fleming (R-LA), Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), Mike Huckabee, Bishop E.W. Jackson, Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA), Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), Sarah Palin, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Tony Perkins, Sandy Rios, Rick Santorum, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Todd Starnes, Mat Staver, Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN), Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), and many more. 

SummitThe hate summit is being live-streamed online. You can catch the video feed, AFTER THE JUMP...

And if you missed our exclusive report by People for the American Way's Drew Courtney about the Republican Party's cozy relationship with the hate group-backed summit, check that out HERE. The report details  how the GOP, despite signaling it would "rebrand" after the 2012 election, continues to align itself with extremist fringe groups that "actively seek to put LGBT people back in the closet, quash access to legal abortion, and restrict the free exercise rights of non-Christian religious minorities."

Continue reading "The Virulently Anti-gay, GOP-packed Values Voter Summit Has Begun: WATCH" »


Anti-Gay Groups Launch 'Unprecedented' Campaign Against Pro-LGBT Republican Candidates: READ

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Anti-gay activist groups The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), Family Research Council Action and CitizenLink are launching “an unprecedented campaign” against three Republican candidates because of their support for marriage equality and abortion, reports Buzzfeed.

Family Research Council Action is the legislative arm of rabidly homophobic listed hate group Family Research Council.

Last month, NOM cofounder Robert George said that he couldn't think of any "logical stopping place" between gay-affirming Christians and pedophile-affirming or serial killer-affirming Christians.

The three ultra-conservative groups “will mount a concerted effort to urge voters to refuse to cast ballots” for Republican House candidates Carl DeMaio [top left] in California, Richard Tisei [middle] in Massachusetts and Republican Senate candidate Monica Wehby [right] in Oregon. DeMaio and Tisei are the only out LGBT Republican federal candidates from the to appear on the ballot this fall.

A letter  - claiming to speak on behalf of all Americans and possibly suggesting a gay recruitment drive - sent to Republican congressional and campaign leaders yesterday reads in part:

“We cannot in good conscience urge our members and fellow citizens to support candidates like DeMaio, Tisei or Wehby. They are wrong on critical, foundational issues of importance to the American people.

Worse, as occupants of high office they will secure a platform in the media to advance their flawed ideology and serve as terrible role models for young people who will inevitably be encouraged to emulate them.”

The letter goes on to warn Republican leaders that it is a “grave error” for the party to support “candidates who do not hold core Republican beliefs and, in fact, are working to actively alienate the Republican base.”

In a statement, NOM President Brian S. Brown said:

Brown“The Republican Party platform is a ‘statement of who we are and what we believe.’ Thus, the platform supports the truth of marriage as the union of husband and wife, and recognizes the sanctity and dignity of human life.

“We cannot sit by when people calling themselves Republicans seek high office while espousing positions that are antithetical to the overwhelming majority of Republicans.”

Read the letter, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Anti-Gay Groups Launch 'Unprecedented' Campaign Against Pro-LGBT Republican Candidates: READ" »


Some Things Never Change: The Values Voter Summit and the Dubious 'Rebranding' of the GOP

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BY DREW COURTNEY

Following the failure of the GOP to recapture the White House in the last presidential election, rebranding was a word that got knocked around a lot within party circles and in the media. In order to shore up the hemorrhaging support of women, ethnic and racial minorities, and young voters, it was agreed that the GOP platform would have to embrace less alienating positions on a variety of policy issues.

Now on the eve of midterm elections almost two years later, it’s become clear that Republican officials aren’t sticking to the plan. This weekend, conservative lawmakers including Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Rand Paul, and Gov. Bobby Jindal are slated to participate in what has become a rite of passage for presidential hopefuls of the GOP: courting the support of the Religious Right at the Family Research Council’s (FRC) annual Values Voter Summit.

VvsLurching in the opposite direction from the rest of the country, Republican officials are aligning themselves with extremist fringe groups that actively seek to put LGBT people back in the closet, quash access to legal abortion, and restrict the free exercise rights of non-Christian religious minorities. The FRC — as well as other primary sponsors of the event including the American Family Association, Liberty Counsel and American Values — has been instrumental in encouraging the GOP’s continued rightward march and carries a great deal of influence over evangelical Tea Party voters who form the core of the far right, a group that presidential contenders in the party increasingly feel the need to cater to.

A look at a few of the speakers scheduled to share the stage with leading Republican figures shows how grievously out of step the party is with the values of the American people AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Some Things Never Change: The Values Voter Summit and the Dubious 'Rebranding' of the GOP" »


Colin Powell: The GOP Needs to Start Appealing to Minorities or Risks 'Running into a Brick Wall' - VIDEO

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On the latest episode of Real Time, General Colin Powell sat down with Bill Maher for a frank discussion on GOP politics and how the Republican Party has alienated large segments of the general public in its bid to appeal to the far right-wing. 

When asked by Maher, "What happened to your party?" Powell responded:

"The party's taken a sharp turn to the right...and I've found increasingly over the past ten or fifteen years, the party has moved further away from somebody like me. And my lecturing to the party, and I've talked to senior officials with the party that if we are really going to be a successful party, particularly in presidential elections, you have got to start appealing to more than the base. And you definitely have to start appealing to minorities. Because the minorities are going to be the majority in about twenty years. Hello? Hello!"

Watch the full clip, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Continue reading "Colin Powell: The GOP Needs to Start Appealing to Minorities or Risks 'Running into a Brick Wall' - VIDEO" »


Republican Jacob Dorsey Drops Out Of Race For Wisconsin Assembly Following More Homophobic, Racist Comments

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Jacob Dorsey, the 19-year-old Republican candidate for Wisconsin State Assembly, has dropped out of the race after racist and homophobic comments he had made on Twitter and YouTube surfaced, reports LGBTQ Nation.

On Monday we reported that Dorsey was facing a backlash following a tweet sent last December that contained a homophobic slur.

The tweet, which has since been deleted, read: Acob dorsey yourtube comment1

“10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejects #Utah’s request to stop same-sex marriages.” fags need 2 leave my favorite state alone.”

In a statement, Dorsey had apologised for the tweet and said “I regret using unacceptable and hurtful language on social media last year. I am a staunch supporter of traditional marriage, but the language I used is not in keeping with my character, family values and Christian upbringing.”

However, yesterday NOManiacs, a group that exposes hate speech, reported that Dorsey had posted further racist and homophobic comments on YouTube. The comments were posted to Dorsey’s since deleted “jdorsey1995″ YouTube channel, the same account name he used for Twitter and Instagram.

Dorsey - a former intern with Citizens for Decency who has been endorsed by Pro-Life Wisconsin and Wisconsin Right To Life - yesterday told the The Janesville Gazette that he had “decided to withdraw from the race due to insensitive remarks that have surfaced from years past. This race has been extremely hard on my family and myself.” Acob dorsey yourtube comment2

On Dorsey's resignation, NOManiacs said:

"We hope Jacob Dorsey truly regrets his posts. America needs leaders at all levels who champion diversity and are committed to represent all. Dorsey was not yet that person."


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