For months, National Review’s staff has worked to invent bogus justifications for anti-gay business discrimination, condemning non-discrimination efforts as a form of government overreach. Long before states like Kansas and Arizona sought to pass laws allowing business to refuse service to gay an d lesbian customers, National Review was championing business owners who had been sued for engaging in anti-gay discrimination.
In August, after the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled unanimously that photographer Elaine Huguenin violated the state’s Human Rights Act by refusing to photograph a same-sex couple’s commitment ceremony, National Review joined other right-wing media outlets in their howls of outrage. At National Review Online, NRO contributor and Heritage Fou ndation fellow Ryan T. Anderson blasted the ruling as a sign that social conservatives had been “driven to the margins of culture,” with “religious believers” and “the truth about marriage” under judicial assault.
NRO also took up the mantle of Colorado baker Jack Phillips, who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex couple. In a one-sided interview published under the headline “Let Him Bake Cake in Freedom,” NRO editor-at-large Kathryn Jean Lopez framed Phillips, whom a state judge ruled had violated Colorado’s anti-discrimination law, as a victim of anti-C hristian persecution. Lopez wondered what the “future of freedom” looked like in a world where businesses couldn’t turn away LGBT customers.
Yes….. Gov. Brewer vetoed Arizona’s pathetically shallow ‘religious freedom to discriminate bill’
No, that does not mean Arizona deserves some sort of deference.
On This Week With George Stephanopoulos Sunday morning, National Review’s Rich Lowry defended Arizona’s SB 1062 — the just-vetoed bill that would have allowed business to refuse service to members of the LGBT community — from charges that it created Jim Crow-style laws against gay people.
“It’s different than the situation in Jim Crow south, when you had a state-sanctioned system of discrimination that was flatly unconstitutional,” Lowry said, “and you had a governmental interesting in ensuring that you could travel in South, which you couldn’t do if no hotel or no restaurant would serve you. In this case, the wedding industry is not bristling with hostility to gay people. You’re dealing with the occasional baker or florist who has a genuine conscientious objection. And if they do, you can find another baker or florist.”
The price one pays to live in a democracy is always having to say you’re sorry. In a system of government; of, for, and by, the people, the people are to blame. This is true of love and war.
No, The wedding industry is not full of ‘bristling bigot monsters’ but if someone suggests Arizona just might be, it is because through the act of legislation, Arizona earned it.
end of civics lesson….
When I first read the breathless accounts of the latest Texas textbook controversy — this time over so-called creation science — I wanted to believe that the ridiculous remarks reported in the left press were exaggerated or taken out of context, if only because I instinctively want to be on the side that Mother Jones isn’t. But, unhappily, I know better.
Texas has a long and unproud history of Evangelical knuckleheadedness when it comes to education. I went to high school there in the early 1990s, just after the crest of the great wave of national panic over fictitious Satanist cults that were giving everybody fits. The local superintendent of schools circulated a list of “occult” symbols to be on the lookout for; one of them was the peace sign — and another was the Star of David. Much mirth was had over the characterization of the emblem of the Jewish faith as a dastardly sign of the occult, and that mirth was intensified by the fact that the boob who circulated the list was named Moses.
But the boobs got the last laugh when Governor George W. Bush made Mike Moses the state education commissioner. He went on to superintend the schools in Dallas. He now occupies an “endowed chair in educational leadership,” the existence of which is as sad a commentary on the educational establishment as is its occupant.
Similarly, there exist disputes within theological studies about the meaning of the Old Testament, and about how evolution might influence our thinking about what it means to be human. Literalism regarding the creation accounts (yes, plural) given in the Bible is a minority disposition, largely limited to a peculiar Anglo-American strain of Evangelical Protestantism. Absolutist literalism regarding the Old Testament is in fact a fairly new intellectual phenomenon within the Abrahamic tradition; you won’t find much of it in Augustine or Maimonides, for example. Would that the textbook critics in Texas applied those men’s classical rigor to their own religious enterprises.
There is a very good case — in my view, a winning one — for incorporating the study of Christian thinking and texts into every school curriculum as a matter of literacy, if not moral instruction. (It is not that I think moral instruction is unimportant — far from that, it is too important to be entrusted to the government schools.) But there is no respectable case for incorporating so-called creation science, or its slightly more sophisticated and intellectually fraudulent big brother, intelligent design, into biological studies.
Read the whole thing. Comments are welcome, but “National Review is EVIL” flames will be downdinged and ignored.
National Review has published numerous articles this week marking the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King Jr.’s seminal “I have a dream” speech. Given its ugly history, the long-running conservative magazine is ill-suited for such transparent attempts to re-appropriate the civil rights movement. National Review opposed major civil rights legislation and published appallingly racist commentary during the height of the civil rights movement.
And what of the March on Washington itself? While National Review has fond words for the event fifty years after the fact, Buckley penned a column the week before the event railing against federal civil rights laws and labeling the March a “mob-deployment” and a “dangerous resort”:
National Review’s coverage of King and the movement certainly wasn’t all rosy after the seminal March, either. ln an editorial for National Review published in September 1965, Dr. Will Herberg pinned blame for the Watts riots on Martin Luther King and his associates. According to Herberg, King and other civil rights leaders’ promotion of civil disobedience — though done with “the best intentions” — had nonetheless taught “hundreds of thousands of Negroes…that it is perfectly all right to break the law and defy constitute authority if you are a Negro-with-a-grievance.” From the 1965 editorial, as reproduced in the book, The American Spirit: U.S. History as Seen by Contemporaries, Volume II:
The progressive media watch group Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting has compiled some of Buckley and his magazine’s other lowlights during the civil rights struggle, including:
National Review editors condemned the 1963 bombing of a black Birmingham Church that killed four children, but because it “set back the cause of the white people there so dramatically,” the editors wondered “whether in fact the explosion was the act of a provocateur—of a Communist, or of a crazed Negro” (Chicago Reader, 8/26/05).
Just months before the 1965 Voting Rights Act was passed, Buckley warned in his syndicated column (2/18/65) that “chaos” and “mobocratic rule” might follow if “the entire Negro population in the South were suddenly given the vote.” In his 1969 column “On Negro Inferiority” (4/8/69), Buckley heralded as “massive” and “apparently authoritative” academic racist Arthur Jensen’s findings that blacks are less intelligent than whites and Asians.
Read More: mediamatters.org
You probably wouldn’t have expected this from National Review, but Betsy Woodruff delivers a dissection of Alex Jones worth of NR founder William F. Buckley:
Infowars is a misnomer. At its core, 9/11-truther Alex Jones’s infamous website is not about “info.” It’s about faith. Jones shows less interest in marshaling information to convince people of his various conspiracy theories than in preaching a theology. He’s not your everyday screed-monger. Rather, he’s an evangelist, and he’s looking for converts, and, judging by the size of his audience, he’s pretty good at making them.
Jones’s theories have sometimes gained currency outside Infowars. His website recently reported that the Department of Homeland Security was buying a notable amount of ammunition, suggesting that it was a federal attempt to raise the price of ammunition or create a stockpile for use against an armed uprising by citizens. A number of news outlets reported on the purchases. Representatives Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah) and Jim Jordan (R., Ohio) led a House subcommittee hearing on the matter. And Senator Jim Inhofe (R., Okla.) and Representative Frank Lucas (R., Okla.) introduced legislation pushing for more accountability on ammunition purchases by government agencies. But, as tends to be the case with Infowars’ narratives, it turns out to be a non-issue: The DHS buys large quantities of ammo to use at law-enforcement training centers, and there’s little change in the quantity purchased this year compared with previous years.
Regardless of how you feel about the DHS’s buying ammunition, this could be the year “Alex Jones” becomes a household name.
Jones stands out not for sharing disconnected theories explaining things that have happened in the world; instead, he presents a cosmology that demands full faith and adherence. If you are lukewarm, Alex Jones will spit you out.
Before we get into that, it’s important to bear in mind just how out-there unstable Jones appears to be. This is the man who, after going on a high-speed paranoiac rant on Piers Morgan Tonight about gun control, returned to his Manhattan hotel room to make a video in which he claimed to be under surveillance by hostile government agents. This is the man who proudly describes himself as the nation’s preeminent 9/11-truther. This is the man who, as Alexander Zaitchik put it in a Rolling Stone profile, makes Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck “sound like tea-sipping NPR hosts on Zoloft.”
Ultimately, Woodruff’s conclusions about Alex Jones are fundamentally the same as Rachel Maddow’s thoughts on the man, and that isn’t a surprise: Both women are sane people who find Jones’ conspiracism toxic and damaging. Still, its good to read Alex Jones getting hammered from the right as well as the left. Jones needs to be pounded by the Left, Right, and Center, till at last his influence is dissolved, save among the most hardened of the hard-core conspiracists (who he won’t lose but who are largely not a factor politically).
National Review is not the worst conservative rag out there — they’re like the Daily Caller after it aged ten years, bought a suit, stopped doing coke, and had to live through an uncomfortable coming-out conversation with its college buddy. But it sure prints some dumb BS (I’m just dying to hear what the editors say about “Marriage and the Court,” NOT). Still, this is the first time I’ve seen the magazine run a cover that literally looks like a Photoshop someone mocked up to make everyone on the masthead look like assholes.
The National Review’s Andrew Stiles is still upset with Democratic messaging on reproductive rights:
Welcome to the scorched-earth phase of the Democrats’ “war on women” campaign, and the beginning of a ruthless offensive to hold their Senate majority, and possibly to retake the House, in 2014.
Democrats have nearly perfected the following exercise in cynical electioneering: 1) introduce legislation; 2) title it something that appeals to the vast majority of Americans who have no interest in learning what is actually in the bill, e.g., the “Violence Against Women Act”; 3) make sure it is sufficiently noxious to the GOP that few Republicans will support it; 4) vote, and await headlines such as “[GOP Lawmaker] Votes No On Violence Against Women Act”; 5) clip and use headline in 30-second campaign ad; and 6) repeat.
I’m not sure if Stiles knows this, but the Violence Against Women Act predates the Democratic “war on women.” It was first passed in 1994 by a vote of 61-38 in the Senate and 235-195 in the House. It was reauthorized in 2000, and again in 2005—with little opposition from Republicans. And indeed, Senate Republicans joined Democrats last year to reauthorize the new VAWA, with the included protections for Native American women and other groups.
The problem, as it has been for the last two years, is a conservative minority of the House Republican conference. Indeed, it’s the same minority that has rejected equal pay laws, and pushed anti-abortion bills that sharply reduce the reproductive autonomy of women. If the “war on women” has had any traction as a rhetoric framework, it’s because those things are unpopular with voters.
Stiles is free to complain that a political party is being unfair by playing politics, but if he wants to solve the problem, he should push his allies to abandon their current drive to make life more difficult for women.
The more interesting tidbit in Stiles’ piece is this:
Interesting piece in the American Prospect. Exposes the wingnut rhetoric behind the whining about the phrase ‘war on women’, and the utter cynicism of Republicans complaining about being labelled extremists and obstructionists.
Democrats have been saying — or, in the case of Joe Biden, trying to say — that Mitt Romney plans to raise taxes on the middle class. This claim is flatly untrue. The word ‘lie’ probably is thrown around too casually in our politics, but this qualifies. Romney has no such plan, has forsworn taking such a course of action, and has in fact proposed to cut tax rates for the middle class — and everybody else who pays the federal income tax — by reducing all brackets by 20 percent.
Romney’s plan would be revenue-neutral, making up for forgone tax revenue by eliminating certain exemptions and deductions. How many and which of those deductions would need to be reduced or eliminated would be determined by the economic facts on the ground come January: If the economy is growing more quickly than expected, then fewer offsets will be required to keep tax revenue level. Romney has been nothing if not consistent in his guiding principles for tax reform: lower rates and fewer deductions, producing a system that is fairer and flatter.
Analysts at the Tax Policy Center estimated that Romney could not both cut rates and maintain revenue neutrality, and published an estimate that this would necessitate an $86 billion tax increase on the middle class. Many of the center’s assumptions were either tendentious or incorrect, as we argued in an earlier editorial, and as has been amply demonstrated by budget scholars at the American Enterprise Institute and elsewhere. The center later cut its $86 billion estimate by more than half. And even that doesn’t quite get the story: For example, Romney proposes to ‘pay for’ repealing the taxes associated with Obamacare by (this is a subtle point) repealing Obamacare, and no further offset is required. According to AEI’s Alex Brill, the Romney plan could produce anything from a $14 billion shortfall that would need to be made up elsewhere to a $1 billion surplus, depending upon how the plan is implemented and how fast the economy grows. An extra one-tenth of 1 percent in annual economic growth substantially changes the federal fiscal picture for the better. That fact, of course, is the animating idea behind Romney’s tax-reform agenda, the point of which is not to lower federal revenue but to increase economic growth by simplifying tax law, lowering compliance costs, and reducing economic distortions.
Years after the passage of Romneycare, during a far tougher election cycle for Republicans, and before Romney moved right in his rhetoric and policy positions for the present contest, these conservative opinion-makers insisted that he could beat Hilary Clinton or Barack Obama, that he was in fact a true conservative, and that he could be trusted to safeguard the GOP’s soul.
Don’t take my word for it - look back at their words.
Rush Limbaugh deemed him an embodiment of every important aspect of conservatism.
“I think now, based on the way the campaign has shaken out, that there probably is a candidate on our side who does embody all three legs of the conservative stool, and that’s Romney,” he said. “The three stools or the three legs of the stool are national security/foreign policy, the social conservatives, and the fiscal conservatives. The social conservatives are the cultural people. The fiscal conservatives are the economic crowd: low taxes, smaller government.”
National Review endorsed him in an unsigned editorial.
The first hint of trouble came in an e-mail message. It reached me on Friday, March 17, 2000, at 4:09 p.m. The message was from a guy named Jeff in Erie, Pa., who was otherwise unknown to me.
At first, I couldn’t figure out why Jeff was writing me. He kept referring to some college course, and he seemed to be very exercised over it. He wanted to know what it was really about. He went on sarcastically to suggest that I tell the executive committee of the English department to include in the curriculum, for balance, another course, entitled “How to Be a Heartless Conservative.”
It turned out that Jeff was not alone in his indignation. A dozen e-mail messages, most of them abusive and some of them obscene, followed in quick succession. The subsequent days and weeks brought many more.
Eventually, I realized that earlier on that Friday, the registrar’s office at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where I teach English, had activated its course-information Web site, listing the classes to be offered during the fall term. At virtually the same moment, the Web site of the National Review had run a story called “How to Be Gay 101.” Except for the heading, the story consisted entirely of one page from Michigan’s newly published course listings.
So what was this story that was too good for theNational Review, which had evidently been tipped off,to keep under wraps for a single day? It had to do with an undergraduate English course I had just invented called “How to Be Gay: Male Homosexuality and Initiation.”
The course examined how gay men acquire a conscious identity, a common culture, a particular outlook on the world, a distinctive sensibility. It was designed to explore a basic paradox: How do you become who you are? Or, as the course description put it: “Just because you happen to be a gay man doesn’t mean that you don’t have to learn how to become one.”