A column in the New York Times looks at the sicken rush by those on America's far right to capitalize on and self-promote through the horrid attacks in Paris on Friday. As the column notes, the Paris massacres are used by the ugly "conservative" elements as springboards to attack Barack Obama on both foreign policy and climate change, advocate for even looser gun control laws, and, of course, attack Muslims across the board. Perhaps one of the biggest hypocrites of all is would be presidential nominee Ted Cruz who used the terrible events to stir up and rally a fundraising gathering for The Family Foundation ("TFF"), a hate group in all but formal designation, that wants to impose the Christian version of Sharia Law on Virginia and, after that, all of America. Sickeningly, Cruz uses the acts of one set of religious extremists to encourage acts and policies from another religious extremist group. The Richmond Times Dispatch looks at Cruz's disgusting opportunism to promote himself and the Christofacists' message of hate through fear mongering before the bodies on the dead in Paris are barely cold. Sadly, the piece fails to convey the true ugliness or extremism of TFF. Here are highlights:
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in Richmond to boost his presidential bid in the commonwealth, said Saturday that the terrorist attacks in Paris underscore the threat the Islamic State poses to the United States.
“At the same, these terror attacks underscore the menace that we face,” he continued. “President Obama may think that we’re not at war, but the radical Islamic terrorists who attacked Paris yesterday, they didn’t get the message. They’re at war with us.”
Cruz added: “This attack that we just saw in Paris, mark my words, ISIS intends for this to come here.”
He criticized the number of airstrikes being devoted to combating the Islamic State — often called ISIS or ISIL — in the Middle East, advocating for “overwhelming air power.” Cruz also said the U.S. should be arming the Kurds with sufficient firepower and modern weapons to fight ISIS, saying they are, in “a very practical sense, our boots on the ground.”
Despite conservative support, Cruz would have an uphill general election fight in Virginia if the election were held today.
A Christopher Newport University poll taken in mid-October had Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton defeating him in Virginia, 49 percent to 41 percent.
Among fellow Republicans, Cruz was in sixth place in Virginia, polling at 5 percent, behind Donald Trump (23), Carson (17), Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida (14), former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina (13) and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (9).
Cruz could not have picked a better event to corral conservatives than the annual gala of the Family Foundation — a faith-based, socially conservative nonprofit “pro-family public policy” organization that wields considerable influence in the General Assembly, advocating for religious freedom in public life and against abortion and gay marriage, among other issues.
More than 1,000 people attended the event, which attracted a constellation of current and former conservative stars, including U.S. Rep. Dave Brat, R-7th; former Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli; and former Gov. Bob McDonnell, who sported a beard.
Attendees paid $99 a ticket, with sponsorships costing $400 to $25,000 for the organization’s main fundraiser for the year.
The gala has been a popular stop for conservatives seeking to curry favor in Virginia, having hosted several members of the GOP’s 2016 presidential field, long before they became candidates.
TFF promotes license to discriminate laws, anti-gay discrimination by agencies receiving taxpayer funds, describes anti-gay non-discrimination laws as "elevat[ing] sexual behavior to a protected class," disseminates every conceivable lie about LGBT individuals, and is vitriolic in its animus towards Muslims. In addition, behind what much of TFF does are dog whistle calls to racists and white supremacists. Personally, I am dumbfounded that the Southern Poverty Law Center has not give TFF an official hate group designation.