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Remember all that talk about Rush Limbaugh being the leader of the Republican Party?  Not anymore.  It's clear beyond all doubt that the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer seized that mantle by strongarming Richard Grenell's resignation as Mitt Romney's national security adviser.  To my mind, this officially makes the GOP a cartoon.  How's that, you ask?  Well, by forcing Grenell's resignation, Romney has kowtowed to a guy who believes HIV doesn't cause AIDS and believes that wages are not taxable income.  Either one of those stances by themselves would exclude you from the debate in a sane world.  

For those who missed Fischer making those statements, let's review.  Back in January, Fischer's guest on Focal Point was leading AIDS denier Peter Duesberg.  Fischer strongly supported Duesberg's contention that AIDS is caused by recreational drug use, not AIDS--a contention that has been debunked several times over.  Watch part 1 here and part 2 here.  Later, he doubled down in a post on his blog, Rightly Concerned, claiming that HIV is a hoax cooked up by cancer researchers wanting to keep their grants.  While the AFA has been known to edit Fischer's work when he goes too far, it's pretty telling that it hasn't done so in this case.

Then, just a few weeks ago, Fischer argued that the 16th Amendment exempts wages and salaries from taxation.  This is a common tax-protester argument that has been demolished several times over in court, and even making this argument is an open invitation to get sanctioned.  And yet again, the AFA hasn't deleted or edited the video.

And yet, Romney was worried about picking a fight with this loon?  The mind reels.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Apparently Fischer has never seen someone die (13+ / 0-)

    of full-blown AIDS. If he had, he wouldn't care how you got it, he'd want to find a way to cure it.

    Freaking douchenozzle.

    Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. Ren and Stimpy: Dog on Cat

    by commonmass on Thu May 03, 2012 at 03:46:30 PM PDT

    •  He probably thinks AIDS is "good news" (9+ / 0-)

      because it proves the Bible is true, just like David Barton.

    •  Sadly he sounds like one of the (9+ / 0-)

      "only gay people get AIDS and it's God's punishment" types. People that believe in a God that actively punishes people have zero empathy and wouldn't care about someone dying of AIDS or anything else. I bet you he's against universal healthcare because God will heal you if you deserve it.

      All my sig lines are hand-crafted by demented elves living in my skull.

      by ontheleftcoast on Thu May 03, 2012 at 03:54:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's a good point. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ontheleftcoast, uciguy30, commonmass

      If a grim one.

      But I wonder where the motivation for the shift from blaming Teh Gay to blaming IV drug use comes from.

      Could it be that Fischer has dimly realized that Teh Gay is not icky enough for his purposes here? Seems unlikely, at least from his standpoint.

      Could he be looking for a behavior that he can say is a free choice of the sufferer? But I presume Fischer thinks that gays "chose" to be the way they are and can be "cured."

      Or are grand scientific conspiracies the flavor of the month with the lunatic right, and this is just an imitation of the "scientists cooked up global warming to get grants" charge?

      The whole thing is a bit of a puzzle.

      "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

      by sagesource on Thu May 03, 2012 at 03:59:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He still blames gays for AIDS (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sagesource, commonmass, homogenius

        It's not specifically IV drug use that he targets. It's gay drug use. I went to the loathsome post to see if he had actually backed off from Gay=AIDS. Not a bit.

        So what is the cause of what we know as AIDS? What is the cause of this condition that is killing people? Duesberg’s answer can be found in one word: drugs. ...

        Anonymous sex in public places like bathhouses, public parks and public restrooms is an all-too frequent occurrence in the gay community, and homosexuals will frequently attempt to have multiple sexual encounters in a single night, often with total strangers. The only way this is possible is through taking stimulants that heighten sexual pleasure and make multiple sexual experiences possible.

        Mr. Romney, if you move to the White House will you add on a car elevator?

        by Red Bean on Thu May 03, 2012 at 04:59:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Soooo... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          What about all those womanizing hetero men who take Viagra?




          (And of course, heteros NEVER use poppers, pot, cocaine....)

          (That sound you are hearing is a paradigm being shifted at Warp Factor Infinity using no clutch.)

          by homogenius on Thu May 03, 2012 at 06:55:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Ahh, the sirens' song of abolishing the 16th (6+ / 0-)

    Amendment. That will probably buy Romney some Ron Paul supporters. The AIDS denialism will help with the fundies but I just don't seem them getting past the M-m-m-mormon thing. (They stutter thru clenched teeth when saying it)

    All my sig lines are hand-crafted by demented elves living in my skull.

    by ontheleftcoast on Thu May 03, 2012 at 03:47:42 PM PDT

  •  AFA is a scary hate group . . . (8+ / 0-)

    well funded and in control of millions of hateful people who don't want to think for themselves.

    The GOP has surrendered to Dominionists like the AFA. If you follow every issue back - way back past the money - this will be the root problem. They want to turn this country into a theocracy and dominate the world. And they don't care about this country of the world because they know that once they've stolen everything from us, they can live anywhere until they force the end times they so look forward to. What I can't figure out, though, is why they look forward to that since, if there is a God, they'll never get close.

    "Those who dance are considered insane by those who cannot hear the music." -- George Carlin

    by sandyknauer on Thu May 03, 2012 at 03:50:32 PM PDT

  •  Fischer is yet ANOTHER blessing dropped into (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ontheleftcoast, sfbob, commonmass

    the lap of the democrats. We can "fix" him after the election, but in the mean time , let him be a clarion call to all those who live in ignorance and in the shadow of fear to come forward and state your beliefs in public. Then when the laughter has died down, we can quietly help shuttle them from the public eye. compassion, remember?

    Falling in and out of love with you.

    by pure prarie on Thu May 03, 2012 at 03:53:22 PM PDT

  •  Maybe He Wants to Go Back to Original Intent and (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sfbob, ontheleftcoast, uciguy30

    fund the government with tariffs and duties.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu May 03, 2012 at 03:56:07 PM PDT

  •  Another day, another Nemiah Scudder... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I refuse to believe that these guys are naturally occurring.  There's gotta be a factory somewhere churning em out and assigning random names to them.

    Republicorp... or something...


    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Thu May 03, 2012 at 04:03:17 PM PDT

  •  Mitt Is Going To Have Quite The Juggling Act..... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, uciguy30

    He's got to keep a lot of balls in the air...... the Tea Baggers in the House & Senate, the Republican Governors, the FOX watchers nationwide, his big donors plus duping the country.

    His wife needs to quit wearing the $990.00 carp T shirt on early morning TV.  That was a rookie mistake, & after 10 years of running for public office.....Mrs. Romney should have known better.

  •  Thanks (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FogCityJohn, wayoutinthestix, sfbob

    I think that is the real story here, that Bryan Fischer is calling the shots for Mitt Romney. Bryan Fischer is about as extremist crazy as the Christians come in America (no small feat!).

    It's very well documented. We have it on video:

    So Hitler himself was an active homosexual. And some people wonder, didn't the Germans, didn't the Nazis, persecute homosexuals? And it is true they did; they persecuted effeminate homosexuals. But Hitler recruited around him homosexuals to make up his Stormtroopers, they were his enforcers, they were his thugs. And Hitler discovered that he could not get straight soldiers to be savage and brutal and vicious enough to carry out his orders, but that homosexual soldiers basically had no limits and the savagery and brutality they were willing to inflict on whomever Hitler sent them after. So he surrounded himself, virtually all of the Stormtroopers, the Browshirts, were male homosexuals.
    And it's not just gays, he hates women, native Americans, African Americans. There's a quote out there to offend every constituency.

    I'd love for this election to become about a sharp focus on the crazy right wing extremists that run the GOP.

    But it isn't only the GOP that is too afraid to actually confront them. Let's not forget everyone in Washington, DC attends National Prayer Breakfast organized by the Family (of C-Street infamy).

    Bryan Fischer is untouchable in 2012.

    "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."—Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Scott Wooledge on Thu May 03, 2012 at 05:12:38 PM PDT

  •  Fischer, Duesberg, and HIV/AIDS (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I know it's useless to point this out to someone like Fischer, but the reason Magic Johnson looks "healthy as a horse" is because -- as Johnson himself will readily admit -- he's on effective antiretroviral therapy.  Johnson was among the first people in this country to receive combination therapy.  That's why he's alive and seemingly healthy today.  I say "seemingly" because I'd need to look at his blood work to see whether he has any of the co-morbidities commonly associated with long term HIV infection and ARV use.

    As for Fischer's claim that:

    Viruses simply do not park in the system for 10-12 years and then suddenly spring to life to infect the host with a life-threatening disease,
    he's clearly never heard of "long term nonprogressors", the small percentage of the HIV+ population who do not progress to disease either for many years or (in the case of so-called "elite controllers") at all.  He might want to familiarize himself with the Zephyr Foundation, an organization made up of just such individuals.  He might also want to meet the woman featured in this video:

    She's been infected with HIV since 1992 but has never had a detectable viral load and has an abnormally high CD4 cell count.

    Of course, if Fischer is right, then I've been wasting a lot of time flying back and forth to Bethesda, Maryland to participate in this NIH study.  I'd hate to think I've been donating all of that blood plasma in vain.  Fortunately, since Fischer's only source is the widely debunked "research" of Peter Duesberg, I doubt I have anything to worry about.

    And did I mention that Duesberg was born and raised in Nazi Germany?  But then, so was the current pope.

    Oh, wait . . .

    "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

    by FogCityJohn on Thu May 03, 2012 at 06:36:04 PM PDT

  •  Let's not forget (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that Fischer also called for the complete extermination of grizzly bears.

    Fischer is a true all-around crackpot, similar to Fred Phelps. The difference is that Phelps is properly regarded as a laughingstock and has no public influence beyond his band of 50 or so followers (mostly in-laws of his). Fischer, OTOH, is taken Seriously by Very Serious People.

    I don't make the facile accusation that Fischer is a "self-loathing closet case" (although I'm probably the only gay man  on DKos who doesn't; there's a lot of camp value to such an accusation, but very little empirical support). He's a serious crank in areas that aren't even remotely related to sexuality (oh, did I mention that he said that it's impossible to read the Bible as not endorsing the fire department that let someone's house burn down because they hadn't paid their dues). My personal hunch is that he's actually suffering from a personality disorder; this does not get him off the hook, since people with personality disorders are actually capable of controlling their behavior, even if they don't like to do so.

    If you integrate fantasy with reality, you do not instantiate reality. If you mix cow pie with apple pie, it does not make the cow pie taste better; it makes the apple pie worse. --Mark Crislip

    by ebohlman on Fri May 04, 2012 at 12:48:06 AM PDT

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