Michael Hamar

NOM Lies & Distorts the Truth Again in New Attack Ad

Filed By Michael Hamar | March 22, 2011 3:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Barack Obama, Brian Brown, DOMA, lies and liars, Maggie Gallagher, National Organization for Marriage, political whore, U.S. Constitution

As regular readers of my personal blog know, I view Christianists and pathological liars to be pretty much synonymous. Never is this more the case than when looks at the propaganda put out by the National Organization for Marriage ("NOM") and its anti-gay allies. Unfortunately, their lies and disinformation campaign are aided and abetted by the ignorance of far too many Americans about historic facts and this nation's underlying founding documents.

Newsweek has an article that looks at the abysmally low level of knowledge of the much of the U.S. populace. The article is appropriately titled "How Dumb Are We?" Newsweek found, among other things, that 38% of Americans surveyed failed the basic citizen test given to immigrants. They also found that 29% could not name the Vice President, 73% could not correctly say why we fought the Cold War, 44% were unable to define the Bill of Rights, and 6% could not even circle Independence Day on a calendar.

It's frightening and allows liars like NOM to dupe the public.

Enter NOM and its new DefendDOMA campaign. Here's a video clip which would have NOM's ignorant viewers believe that Obama has breached his oath of office. Why? Because he has declined to defend DOMA - a law based in the final analysis purely on religious based discrimination. Here's a clip of NOM's latest lie:

NOM all too typically leaves out a crucial fact. Namely, the fact that the United States Constitution dictates that the President take an oath of office before they begin the execution of the office. The wording is specified in Article Two, Section One, Clause Eight of the Constitution. It reads as follows:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

No reference to DOMA or even laws enacted by Congress appears anywhere in the oath. Instead, the obligation is to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution." In the case of Obama's decision not to defend Section 3 of DOMA, it is because DOMA violates the Constitution. More precisely, the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution itself and arguably the equal protection clause of the amendments to the Constitution. Thus, it is DOMA, not Obama that seeks to subverts the Constitution.

NOM clearly assumes that the religious extremists and intellectual cretins to whom its propaganda is pitched are too stupid and ignorant to realize that they are being played for fools. As I have stated before, in my opinion Maggie Gallagher and Brian Brown make the nastiest whore look downright forthright and virtuous.

Were it not for the damage they and their anti-constitutional government allies do, they'd be most pathetic figures.

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wow, it looks like she has a thumb with a face sticking out of her body...

Please dont denigrate sex-workers.
All employees rent our their bodies by the hour to their bosses. Dont single out sex-workers for hate.

I must say, the ad is very good, which I think is why these messages resonate with so many on the conservative right. Just focusing attention on this ad, I think it does really well in convincing people to defend DOMA.

Don't get me wrong, I don't agree with the ad at all but from a messaging perspective, it is spot on in garnering support for people to believe that marriage is only between a man and a woman. Nowhere in the ad does it reference 'gay' or 'homosexuals' which is what would cause redflags for many who are battling with where they stand on the issue. Had they uttered 'gay' or 'homosexual' in the ad, they would have turned many away from the ads message. The NOM campaign is getting smart - it's up to us on the right side of history to get even smarter.

This is why I love Freedom to Marry's 'Why Marriage Matters' campaign. It's a simple camapign that re-educates people on what 'love' and 'commitment' are what they mean and then ties it into why same-sex marriage is important.

Not only should we make fun of this ad but we should also use it as a means to explore our own messaging and strategies and see how we can make ours even stronger to move the middle. (those who haven't taken a side yet.)

Michael - do you know where in New York this ad is running?

Leigh Anne | March 22, 2011 5:15 PM

That would be "How Ignorant Are We?" Very!

Regan DuCasse | March 22, 2011 6:55 PM

And it's people this ignorant that are encouraged to demand to vote or control what gay people do with their lives?

Just. Wow.

In other news, the sky is blue.

Wait, how does DOMA's section 3 violate the Full Faith and Credit Clause? I've heard the federalism and equal protection arguments against it, which Tauro based his decision on, but wouldn't full faith and credit affect section 2 of DOMA, which the DOJ is still defending?

Also, I hope we're not so naive as to believe that Obama decided to stop defending Section 3 simply because it violates the constitution. It was just as unconstitutional when Obama was defending it two years ago as it is now.

That said, that Newsweek report was full of conservative lies, including the idea that the only way to save the economy is to cut social programs (don't raise taxes! Increased revenue can't balance the budget because taxes spread pestilence and death!). Of course Americans are ignorant - they have pop/news mags like Newsweek to thank.

Aubrey Haltom | March 23, 2011 1:54 PM

I agree with the first 2 pp of your comment, Alex. Especially re: Obama's decision.
But the 3rd pp is a little off-mark, in my mind. Newsweek didn't say "the only way to save the economy is to cut social programs...". It did mention cuts to entitlement programs, but also cuts to the defense budget, and "tax reforms" to bring in further revenue (granted, only if necessary...)
It's not quite filled with 'conservative lies', but as usual, a more middle-of-the-road approach.
And to give credit where credit is due, the article does point out some cherished misinformation spouted by the conservative/right-wing pundits that is too often generally accepted as fact.
Finally, I doubt that Newsweek is the cause of American ignorance. I tend to think that pubs like Newsweek reflect, rather than direct, said ignorance...

Here's what Newsweek said:

The current conflict over government spending illustrates the new dangers of ignorance. Every economist knows how to deal with the debt: cost-saving reforms to big-ticket entitlement programs; cuts to our bloated defense budget; and (if growth remains slow) tax reforms designed to refill our depleted revenue coffers.

I think we agree on what that paragraph says, but I think that that is a big-time conservative lie.

First, no tax "increase"? Reforms don't raise nearly as much revenue as increases.

Second, only if cutting social security doesn't work? Why are we cutting social security at all? It's fully funded and it's done more to fight poverty and stimulate the economy than any tax break has.

Third, "every economist knows...." Except, no, most economists worth their salt would disagree with that statement. Free market fundamentalists would agree, but Keynesian, marxist, and even middle-of-the-road economists know that taking money out of the hands of the poor and putting it into the hands of the rich (as Social Security cuts would do) is the exact opposite of economic stimulus. Real economists also know that it's not possible to end a budget deficit with spending cuts (as spending cuts cause devestment, which worsens the economy, which decreases tax revenue, etc.).

Fourth, most honest economists know that having a deficit isn't a bad thing - even Alexander Hamilton argued that. (And what's up with "Every economist" instead of naming someone?) The entire assumption of that paragraph is that the deficit is the worst economic problem America faces, bigger than income inequality and unemployment and aging infrastructure, which is a big conservative lie.

Newsweek isn't the only problem, of course. But when they can't even get the facts right themselves they definitely aren't part of the solution.

Ok, I reread the article and you're right, there was an attempt to reach balance, albeit a weird patchwork of policy proposals from democrats and republicans (not from actual liberals, that'd be too much) was formed instead of a cohesive vision. There's this:

Needless to say, it’s impossible to balance the budget by listening to these people. But politicians pander to them anyway, and even encourage their misapprehensions. As a result, we’re now arguing over short-term spending cuts that would cost up to 700,000 government jobs, imperiling the shaky recovery and impairing our ability to compete globally, while doing nothing to tackle the long-term fiscal challenges that threaten … our ability to compete globally.

First, do they not know why politicians listen to Americans? Is it because they need votes?

Second, the choice isn't between short-term discretionary spending cuts and long-term collapse. There are many other options, including tax increases, more deficit spending (with debt cancellation if that gets out of hand), cuts in spending to private contractors specifically if they're worried about those 700K government jobs, etc.

The point isn't that they took a particular ideological hard-line in this piece. The point is that it was supposed to be about how Americans are stupid, and since it took such a line it proves how knowledge isn't non-ideological in the first place.

Kooper Knebel | March 23, 2011 12:49 PM

The "nastiest whore" can still be forthright and virtuous. There is nothing inherent in sex work that would preclude it.