Monday, July 28, 2014

Another Word (or Several) About Michael Peroutka

Six months ago we warned you about the theocratic, reactionary views of Institute on the Constitution founder Michael Anthony Peroutka and his spokesman John Lofton.

At the time he was considering and Maryland Republican officials were talking to Peroutka about running for Attorney General.  Now Peroutka is the Republican nominee for the Anne Arundel County Council in District 5, and the Anthony Brown campaign, for lack of any real arguments, is trying to make Peroutka an issue in the gubernatorial race.  Larry Hogan did the right thing and quickly disavowed Peroutka.  The Brown campaign deceitfully used the word "disassociate," which connotes a previous association where none existed.

Unfortunately, some passive aggressive pundits, with a bowl of sour grapes from the primary still sitting on their table, are buying the bag of magic beans hawked by the IOTC and embracing Peroutka to take a swipe at Hogan. They are either ignorant of the full measure of Peroutka's views or deliberately omitting it.

Peroutka states he holds a traditional "American View" of government "that there is a God, the God of the Bible, and that our Rights come from Him, and that the purpose of civil government is to secure our rights." Fine nothing wrong with that. It's somewhat straight out of the Declaration of Independence where Jefferson laid out the natural law theory of rights where we are all "endowed by our Creator" with inalienable rights life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, and that governments are instituted among men to secure those rights.

HOWEVER, an analysis of Peroutka's "American View" cannot end there, because there is much more to the story. 

From our original warning:

Here is video of Peroutka speaking at the League of the South’s annual convention, thanking its president Michael Hill and board members for his appointment/election and pledging the resources of the IOTC and the Peroutka family to the League of the South.

On its FAQ page The League of the South says in part that its mission is “to advance the cultural, social, economic, and political well-being and independence of the Southern people by all honourable means,” through legal secession.   The League also seeks to protect the “Anglo-Celtic core population and culture of the South”

Should that not be enough to convince you of what the League of the South stands for, here is League president Michael Hill in his own words:

The survival, well being, and independence of the Southern people. And by “the Southern people,” we mean White Southerners who are not afraid to stand for the people of their race and region. In other words, we understand what it is to be an historic “nation”–a specific people with a unique culture living on a particular piece of land. And, God willing, we shall one day have a name and place among the nations of the earth.”

Here’s Peroutka speaking about his IOTC course to the League of the South:

Here's the kicker
We have a basic Constitution course, now again I don’t disagree with Dr. Hill at all, that this regime is beyond reform. I think that’s an obvious fact and I agree with him. However, I do agree that when you secede, or however the destruction and the rubble of this regime takes place and how it plays out, you’re going to need to take a biblical worldview and apply it to civil law and government. That’s what you’re still going to need to do. Whether we’re going to have to have this foundational information in the hearts and minds of the people, or else liberty won’t survive the secession either. You see what I’m saying? So this view, I saying that because I don’t want the League of the South, for one minute to think that I am about reforming the current regime, and that studying the Constitution is about reforming the regime. I like many of you, and like Patrick Henry, probably have come to the conclusion that we smelled a rat, smelled a rat from the beginning. However, we believe that it is essential to take a biblical view of law and government and then make those applications so we publish actually three courses of instruction. 

Sounds like Peroutka is four square behind secession. Smelled a rat? Like Patrick Henry? Is Peroutka interested in upholding our current constitutional order, or does he as the League of the South does, want a new order based on his biblical beliefs?
Of course, that's just Peroutka's view on civil government.

Peroutka and his spokesman John Lofton's theological mentor is the late Rousas Rushdoony, is the founder of Christian Reconstructionism.  Lofton’s Facebook profile picture is a photo of Rushdoony, and his writings and views are plastered all over the IOTC website. 

The IOTC website directs readers to this 1988 interview Rushdoony did with Bill Moyers.  


Moyers: You’ve written that the Bible calls for the death penalty, and I’m just running down a variety of things as you can see. You’ve written that the Bible calls for the death penalty of some 15 crimes: rape, sodomy, adultery.
Rushdoony: Adultery because in the Bible the basic institution is the family. There’s no law of treason against the state. The Bible doesn’t even imagine anything remotely like that. But the basic institution is the family. And so, several of the death penalties are associated with the family and its life.
Moyers: So adultery was considered a theft of the family.
Rushdoony: It was, yes, it was treason to the family.
Moyers: Homosexuality.
Rushdoony: Yes, it was treason to the family.
Moyers: Worthy of the death sentence?
Rushdoony: What?
Moyers: Worthy of the death sentence?
Rushdoony: Yes.
Moyers: Deserving of the death sentence?
Rushdoony: Yes, that’s what Paul says.

… Moyers: But you would re-instate the death penalty for some of these or all of these Biblical crimes?
Rushdoony: I wouldn’t—
Moyers: But the reconstructive society–
Rushdoony: I’m saying that this is what God requires. I’m not saying that everything in the Bible, I like. Some of it rubs me the wrong way. But I’m simply saying, this is what God requires. This is what God says is justice. Therefore, I don’t feel I have a choice.
Moyers: And the agents of God would carry out the laws.
Rushdoony: The civil government would, on these things.
Moyers: So you would have a civil government, based upon–
Rushdoony: Oh yes. I’m not an anarchist. I’m close to being a libertarian. But–
Moyers: But the civil law would be based on the biblical law. And so you’d have a civil government carrying out a religious mandate.
Rushdoony: Oh yes.

The father of Lofton and Peroutka’s core philosophy believes in a civil government who’s first duty is to carry out a religious mandate to do what God requires as written in the Old Testament, including executions for adulterers and homosexuals.   

I contend that Rushdoony's views of civil government are just as statist as any progressive. Lofton claims that his biblical or "American View" of government would mean a smaller government. Maybe, but that doesn't mean its scope would be smaller or that it would infringe upon the God-given rights of those citizens whom it agents deem have violated biblical law. Who wants to live under a government that has the authority to execute adulterers?

Simply put a biblical view of civil government does not immunize its self-appointed mandarins from the statist temptation. 

Much like the progressives who envision a technocratic utopia run by enlightened government bureaucrats, Peroutka and Lofton, as their theological mentor Rushdoony did, envision a society with a civil government executing Biblical mandates—as interpreted and determined by men like them.

More below the fold.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The O'Malley Song

Another one from Ron Tankersley.  If you loved The Hangover, you'll love this parody.

More below the fold.

Guns Guns Guns

Our friend Ron Tankersley is at it again. His take on Beretta fleeing Maryland for Tennessee.

More below the fold.

Friday, July 25, 2014

The SUN: Ethical Negative Campaigning -- The Sine Qua Non of Winning Elections

The positives of negative ads [Commentary]

When it comes to political campaigns, playing nice is a good way to lose

By Richard E. Vatz and Lee S. Weinberg
11:45 AM EDT, July 24, 2014
There may be no more enigmatic concept in politics than negative campaigning. Virtually no one publicly supports it, almost every non-shoe-in political principal uses it, and almost no two people mean the same thing when they refer to it.

Periodic hostile and ugly political campaigning goes back centuries in America. In the beginning of the 19th century, there was hatchet man James Thomson Callender's attacks on Thomas Jefferson, claiming the new president fathered children with slaves. Decades later, there were Republican taunts of "Ma, Ma, where's my pa?" toward Democrat Grover Cleveland, implying he had fathered a child out of wedlock.

And so it ebbed and flowed until the 1980s when there was a journalistic consensus that campaigning had reached a new low of irrelevance, nastiness and fraud, according to journalists ranging from conservative George F. Will to liberal Tom Wicker.

In 2012 T. W. Farnam of The Washington Post argued that negative campaign advertising had become the norm, with roughly half being not just negative but accompanied by vitriol.

In Maryland and Washington D.C. there has been an ever-increasing general abhorrence of negative campaigning by many politicians and journalists. Del. Heather Mizeur, for example, won plaudits from almost all pundits (not here) for her proclaimed aversion to negative political persuasion in her attempt to become Democratic nominee for governor:

"What I hear in living rooms and community centers across the state are people ready for politicians to remain positive," she told a Baltimore crowd.

In The Washington Post of July 13, 2014, political veteran reporter Dan Balz wrote a piece praising Colorado's John Hickenlooper as "the man who hates negative ads."

The hostility toward negative ads and negative campaigning is generally unjustified both practically and as a principle of right vs. wrong in campaigning, however. Avoiding negative campaigning eliminates criticism of your opponent, and if he/she is the frontrunner, it may guarantee victory. Ms. Mizeur finished third of three in the governor's race. Moreover, her condemnation of negativity in the gubernatorial campaigns hurt mostly Attorney General Doug Gansler, rather than frontrunner Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown. The electoral outcome was this: Together, Del. Mizeur and Mr. Gansler did not equal Mr. Brown's vote. Mr. Brown, the incumbent governor's choice, suffered no negative challenge from Ms. Mizeur, who also dismissed the challenge from Mr. Gansler to his and her detriment. Would those who oppose negative campaigning say that Sen. Brian E. Frosh should not have argued that Del. Jon Cardin's missing 75 percent of his committee votes disqualified him from being the Democratic nominee for Attorney General? That fact, first revealed by The Baltimore Sun's reporting, indisputably lost that primary race for Mr. Cardin.

Negative campaigning can be very effective, especially when your opponent is unknown or the public opinion regarding him or her is unstable. It wins and loses primary and general elections. How is a politically uneducated electorate to know of a primary candidate's weaknesses or shortcomings if there is no negative campaigning? Especially now that media is increasingly stretched thin and unable to cover many races. Opposing negativity in political campaigns is like opposing someone's criticizing your relative: it should depend on what they are criticizing and how they criticize it. All negative campaigning is not the same. Several years ago we wrote of the "FIT" test for evaluating the acceptability of negativity in political races. Unacceptable negative political persuasion is that which is 1. false; 2. irrelevant; or 3. tasteless. The rest is fair game.

Acceptable examples include President Barack Obama's alleged foreign policy inconsistencies or Ronald Reagan's age in his second presidential campaign. Unacceptable negative attacks include the 2012 claim that Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney backed a bill outlawing abortion even in the case of incest or rape (false); where specifically President Obama was during the Benghazi Attack (irrelevant) or sexist attacks on Hillary Clinton, such as Mike Barnicle's once-famous 2008 claim that as far as likability, when confronting opponents, Mrs. Clinton looks "like everyone's first wife standing outside a probate court" (tasteless).

Criticism is essential in campaigns to argue why one's election is not just a good thing, but also necessary to reverse or change the direction of the city, state or country.
Those who oppose all negativism in political campaigning either yearn for insipidity or advantage, but not the rightfully vaunted marketplace of ideas to determine the best candidates.

Richard E. Vatz is professor of political rhetoric at Towson University and is author of "The Only Authentic Book of Persuasion" (Kendall Hunt, 2013); his email is Lee S. Weinberg is an associate professor within the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh. His email is

To respond to this commentary, send an email to Please include your name and contact information.

More below the fold.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Red Maryland Radio 7-24-2014

Find Additional Politics Conservative Podcasts with redmaryland on BlogTalkRadio

It's an all new edition of Red Maryland Radio on the Red Maryland Network.

On this week's show:

This is why you can't afford to miss Red Maryland Radio on its regular night, each and every Thursday night at 8, on the Red Maryland Network.......and don't forget that you can subscribe to the Red Maryland Network on iTunes and on Stitcher.

More below the fold.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What do Governors Dream of When They Fall Asleep at Board of Public Works Meetings?

What do governors dream of, when they dream a little guvna dream? Photo via Bryan Sears, The Daily Record. 

Governor O'Malley nodded off during Wednesday's Board of Public Works Meeting.  Apparently the details of a wetlands permit for the Cove Point LNG plant in Calvert County

Bryan Sears at the Daily Record broke the story.

Anyone who has had to sit through a meeting that lasted all day knows that sometimes it can be hard to stay focused.Such was the case Wednesday, when during a long and unusual Board of Public Works meeting Gov. Martin J. O’Malley appeared to have trouble keeping his eyes open.
O’Malley, Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot and Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp were all part of six hours of public meetings that began in the State Treasury Building at 10 a.m. with the exciting world of state bond sales and ended up the street until about 4 p.m. in the Governor’s Reception Room in the State House.
The timing of O’Malley’s struggles with the sandman — those early afternoon, right-after- lunch hours — came during a more than two-hour portion of the meeting set aside for discussion of wetlands permits for the controversial Cove Point liquid natural gas export facility in Lusby, Calvert County.
The heavy eyelids didn’t escape the notice of a number of attendees and reporters in the room at the time.

O'Malley's press flack Nina Smith offered the typical non-sequitur response.

“He was fully briefed on the issue,” Smith said. “He responded to the issue. He voted on the issue and the issue here was the wetlands permits.” 
Smith did not dispute that the governor may have closed his eyes for a few seconds but said “he was listening intently.” 
She noted the length of the Wednesday schedule and the difficulty of sitting through a six-hour long meeting. 
“He’s only human,” she said.
Well presiding over a state that is hemorrhaging jobs, businesses, and taxpayers, state jails taken over by gangs, and a botched health exchange IS hard work.

 However, we can probably determine what O'Malley was dreaming about.

Indeed, O’Malley has had a difficult schedule of late that has included traveling out of state to raise money — a move that is seen as connected to a potential 2016 presidential campaign — as well as meetings to discuss how religious and other charitable organizations might assist with the housing and care of some of the more than 57,000 Central American children who have illegally crossed the border into the United States from Mexico since October.

Don't go measuring the drapes in the oval office yet chief.

More below the fold.