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Reading the Far Right: How Much Longer Can It Defend Trump?

Reading the Far Right: How Much Longer Can It Defend Trump?

Some are starting to admit his conduct is questionable. Also: Alex Jones makes an apology, and Scott Lively seeks an anti-LGBT alliance with Muslims.

trudestress

This past week has raised several important questions concerning Donald Trump -- one being "How much longer can his presidency last?" and another being "How much longer can the extreme right continue to support him?"

We won't hazard a guess on the first question, but his presidency does seem to be hanging by a thread, what with his reported admission that he fired "nut job" FBI director James Comey because of the investigation into Russian interference in the election and his campaign's possible collusion. Most of us wouldn't shed a tear if he was driven from office, but we would have to remember not to let our guard down, as Mike Pence would undoubtedly be planning to establish the Republic of Gilead.

As for the second question, a survey of far-right websites shows the support getting a little shaky, but there are some true believers left -- and they're blaming the media and the political "establishment" for Trump's troubles. Here's what we've found reading those sites so you don't have to.

Townhall political editor Guy Benson, who is on occasion a rather reasonable conservative (he also happens to be gay), is expressing a few doubts about the Donald. In an article posted Friday, he noted that the Trump administration didn't dispute the report about his remarks on the Comey firing, then added, "Hot damn, it sometimes feels like Trump has a political death wish. The 'nut job' smear of Comey is also a nice touch. The former FBI chief is many things -- including some less-than-flattering things, perhaps -- but he's not crazy. And his demeanor and professionalism commend him as a paragon of sanity when juxtaposed with ... another powerful man in Washington, DC." Another Townhall contributor, Donald Lambro, pointed out the many "dubious White House denials" coming out of the Trump administration.

And no less than Alan Keyes, who might fit the description of "nut job" himself, took Trump to task regarding an earlier revelation, that the president had shared classified information with Russian officials during a meeting in the Oval Office, then said he had an "absolute right" to do so. Trump "erred in using the term 'absolute right,' which conveys the sense of being answerable to none but oneself alone," wrote Keyes, who held an ambassadorship in the Reagan administration, in a World Net Daily column. "The president is no absolute monarch. Like the dictators of ancient Rome, he may, on occasion, be called upon to take the law into his own hands. But if and when he does, he is still answerable to the people of the United States, in and through the bodies the Constitution establishes to represent their sovereign responsibility for its existence." Well, Trump may think he's an absolute monarch -- but we have to admit, for once, Alan Keyes makes a degree of sense.

But Trump still has his partisans. The folks at Breitbart continue to be loyal -- they're just blaming the messenger. "The common element in nearly all the major New York Times and Washington Post stories about President Donald Trump this week is that they are based on source documents the outlets cannot authenticate, do not possess, admit are partial, and refuse to share," senior editor at large Joel B. Pollak wrote in a Friday piece. He continued, "In their effort to impugn Trump, the Times and the Post violate the most basic journalistic standards. Publishing parts of a document that you do not possess and cannot verify, and timing the release to cause maximum political damage (right after the president leaves the country), is not investigative journalism. It is political propaganda." Well, no. Sometimes journalists have to use anonymous sources that they deem reliable -- Deep Throat, anyone? -- and protect those sources and publish the news as soon as they can. And remember, the Trump administration hasn't disputed these accounts.

Larry Klayman, in a WND column headlined "Soldier on, Sir -- We've Got Your Back!" blamed the president's troubles on "the vile, ultra-leftist, political hacks in the Democratic Party" plus "their leftist hacks in the media, the prime time 'boys' of CNN, the prime time 'girls' and communists of MSNBC and the slimy reporters (with the exception of a few) of the Washington Post, New York Times and Los Angeles Times." But he reserved his greatest ire for certain Republicans: "the jealous, hateful and at this point senile John McCain, the childlike, two-faced House Speaker Paul Ryan and the moronic media whore House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, all of whom, along with other hacks like intellectually challenged Senate Intel Committee Chairman Richard Burr, have literally stabbed their own president in the back." Don't mince words, OK, Larry?

And some are accusing Trump's opponents of plotting a "coup" against him. One of them is radio talker Rush Limbaugh. "We are watching a silent coup here to oust a duly elected president, and this coup is being mounted by career government people who can traffic anonymously and who are protected by people in the media and within the Democrat Party," he said on Friday's broadcast. "Stop and think of it, folks. A year. How many...? Hasn't The Washington Post at one time admitted that they have over 30 anonymous sources for all of this? That's just one newspaper, 30 anonymous sources there." Some of the sources may be "deep state career government people, ex-Obama people that are civilians now," he hinted.

And Infowars' Alex Jones, who makes Limbaugh appear reasonable, took this a step further, predicting that the coup will target others along with Trump. If Trump is forced from office due to Russian interference, the victory of any Republican in the last election will be declared invalid, he said in a video last week, and the Democrats and intelligence agencies will suspend the government. He also admitted he knows Trump isn't perfect -- gasp! -- but said he supported Trump as someone who would stand up to multinational corporations and big banks. He ignored the presence of big bankers Wilbur Ross and Steve Mnuchin in the president's cabinet.

...

In other Alex Jones news: He had to give a rare apology last week in order to get yogurt-maker Chobani to call off a lawsuit. In April he had said Chobani had been bringing in "migrant rapists" to work at its plant in Twin Falls, Idaho, and had contributed to a rise in tuberculosis rates in the area. Jones issued a retraction and apology for what Chobani officials called "false" and "defamatory" statements. He made another retraction a few months ago, for promoting the "Pizzagate" conspiracy theory, alleging that a child sex-trafficking ring was being run out of pizza parlors -- and that it had connections to Hillary Clinton. He finally backtracked on the allegations, but not before a man shot up a pizza restaurant in Washington, D.C.

But speaking of Washington and conspiracy theorists, Infowars now has White House press credentials, watchdog group Media Matters reports. Its Washington bureau chief, Jerome Corsi, made the announcement on Twitter Monday. Corsi is known for spreading the "birther" theory that Barack Obama was not born in the U.S. and was therefore not eligible to be president. Also, when John Kerry ran for president in 2004, Corsi wrote a book seeking to undermine Kerry's reputation as a military hero -- and it may have contributed to the candidate's defeat.

Lastly, in the same video where he discussed the planned coup, Jones made a telling comment about his remark that National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster looked like a "leather daddy." Jones said it was a joke and he "just said it to be stupid." You're telling us, Alex! By the way, although the national security advisor is a member of the Trump administration, Jones claims McMaster is an enemy of the president.

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And the latest in anti-LGBT rhetoric on far-right sites: Last week WND featured an exclusive column by Scott Lively, the virulently homophobic Massachusetts minister who has been taken to court for spreading his hatred overseas. Most of his ilk are intolerant of Islam, but he has proposed that "Bible-believing Christians (and Torah-faithful Jews)" forge a coalition with conservative Muslims against -- guess who! -- LGBT people.

"This is not to discount the serious threat of radical Islam, but merely to highlight the relatively greater threat to Judeo-Christian civilization," Lively wrote. "It is the Secular Humanists who use sexual deviance to dissolve the foundations of the family-centered social order designed by God."

His call for "limited and carefully defined Christian and Muslim cooperation" concluded with this statement: "Notwithstanding deep theological and other differences, the people of the Abrahamic faiths strongly agree that homosexuality and related forms of sexual and gender deviance must be not be legitimized in public policy, but opposed through non-violent means that respect the inherent value of persons who struggle with these reversible disorders."

Another leading anti-LGBT voice featured on WND is Linda Harvey of Mission America, whose latest column urged progressives to give up advocating for LGBT equality. "There are no different human types called 'lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered' or 'queer,'" she contended. "There is no 'gay' gene. There are no 'people born in the wrong sex body.' These are learned preferences, and as such, they are up for debate. In a fair debate, they lose, because the outcomes are so personally destructive, socially negative and spiritually compromising. Same-sex desires are changeable, and the numerous former homosexual/transgendered identifiers deserve to be heard. Children should not be taught these are valid behaviors. This conduct is not a 'civil right,' and it's child abuse to enable children to go down these roads." Sorry, we think so-called conversion therapy constitutes child abuse.

She also claimed progressives stereotype conservatives as racist, sexist haters. (No, we don't think that of all conservatives, but the shoe does fit some.) "I encourage any progressive to spend a month listening to Rush Limbaugh, reading WND.com and other online news sources, and see if you don't come away with a new perspective, one that is not racist, sexist, or anti-Semitic," she wrote.

Not likely -- we haven't shifted our view of the extreme right over months of monitoring these sites. But we'll keep on doing so, so you don't have to. Come back next week for more.

trudestress
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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.