Molly Redden has a great story at Mother Jones about a leading candidate for the Republican Senate nomination in North Carolina, a state where the GOP thinks it can beat the incumbent Democrat, Kay Hagan, in 2014:
Of all the tea partiers running for Senate in 2014, Greg Brannon, a GOP primary candidate hoping to topple vulnerable North Carolina Democrat Kay Hagan, is one of the most extreme. He opposes public education, claiming it "does nothing but dehumanize" students. He doesn't believe that states have to follow Supreme Court decisions. He contends bipartisan compromises in Washington "enslave" Americans. He hails the the late Sen. Jesse Helms -- who died in 2008 without ever renouncing his support for racial segregation -- as a "modern hero." He claims that "all ten of [Karl] Marx's planks of Communism" -- including the abolition of private property -- "are law in our land today." In October, Brannon cosponsored and spoke at a rally supporting nullification -- the notion that states can invalidate federal laws at will -- that was cosponsored by the League of the South, a secessionist group seeking "a free and independent Southern republic." And Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has endorsed him.As Redden notes, he's best known as an unswervingly anti-abortion OB-GYN who advised state representative Paul Stam on extreme abortion legislation, which became law in 2011. He also serves as the medical director for a so-called crisis pregnancy center.
... In addition to Rand Paul, RedState editor Erick Erickson, who featured Brannon as a speaker at his annual RedState confab in November, and Ann Coulter have award Brannon their blessings. In a recent survey conducted by Public Policy Polling, Brannon was the only Republican who beat Hagan in a head-to-head matchup....
It's an important story, and there's more at the link. I'd just like to add a couple of things.
We're told on the biography page of Brannon's campaign site that he "was a Charter Family and Board member of Cary Christian School." This page at the FreedomWorks website says that Brannon was still a board member as of 2011.
If he was a charter member of the board of the school (which was founded in 1996) and he was still a board member in 2011, then I'd like to know if he was a board member in 2004, at the time of this controversy:
Leaders at Cary Christian School say they are not condoning slavery by using "Southern Slavery, As It Was," a booklet that attempts to provide a biblical justification for slavery and asserts that slaves weren't treated as badly as people think.A passage from that booklet:
Principal Larry Stephenson said the school is only exposing students to different ideas, such as how the South justified slavery. He said the booklet is used because it is hard to find writings that are both sympathetic to the South and explore what the Bible says about slavery.
"You can have two different sides, a Northern perspective and a Southern perspective," he said.
The booklet isn't the only connection its two co-authors have with the school.
One of the authors, Douglas Wilson, a pastor in Moscow, Idaho, wrote a book on classical education upon which the school bases its philosophy. Wilson's Association of Classical and Christian Schools accredited Cary Christian, and he is scheduled to speak at the school's graduation in May.
And the book's other author?
The booklet's other author, Steve Wilkins, is a member of the board of directors of the Alabama-based League of the South. That is classified as a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights group....
Slavery as it existed in the South was not an adversarial relationship with pervasive racial animosity. Because of its dominantly patriarchal character, it was a relationship based upon mutual affection and confidence...Did Brannon had anything to do with that? I'd like to know.
...Slave life was to them a life of plenty, of simple pleasures, of food, clothes, and good medical care.
But here's a lighter item, and it's straight from Brannon's own lips. He appeared on Bill LuMaye's radio show back in May 2012, and this discussion actually took place (at 24:22 in the audio file here):
LUMAYE: Let me just -- to give an example just what the government can't do -- and I didn't know this, I just found this out. And I'm not even going to pretend that I came up with this. I got it from Dr. Brannon. Stevie Wonder was given an award the other day. Right? By the president of the United --He says it's no big deal, but he's serious about this.
BRANNON: Well, he was there, yeah, for the Burt Bacharach award. Burt Bacharach got a medal for the "king of music."
LUMAYE: Oh, it was Burt Bacharach. For the "king of music" or whatever it is.
BRANNON: And I just -- and this is a small token. I'm not saying nothing wrong with that. I love Stevie's music and all that stuff. But in Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution it says there shall be no titles of nobility given.
In fact, Bacharach and his longtime lyricist, Hal David, were awarded the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. In his remarks, President Obama called them "two kings of songwriting."
Dr. Brannon, that is not the conferral of a title of nobility. You are nuts.
The clip that could sink Brannon's campaign is at approximately 21:30 of the first part of this interview with Bill LuMaye. To understand this, you need to remember that Brannon has a Ron Paul outlook on a lot of issues, even when it conflicts with GOP orthodoxy. He opposes various provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act having to do with targeted killings and the like (which will probably get him a lot of love from the Greenwalds and Friedersdorfs if he gets to the general election, his other insane policy positions notwithstanding), all of which has led him to a take on patriotism that, um, might not play well with the larger electorate:
BRANNON ... I was talking before, I was at a USC-Notre Dame game a few years ago, and the jets flew over, the flag going -- that's Americana. I was telling you, man, when "Johnny B. Goode" comes, I literally cry, and -- because I wonder, what happened to that? Or "Back in the USA" is the other one. What happened to that? We get so foc-- and I think those that would manipulate us, they play on our love of our country. The Pledge of Allegiance, we talked before -- that was written by a communist, OK? And they used to giove it with your hand up high --It would be nice if Brannon's racist ties or anti-abortion extremism or Paulite views on money sunk him. But if it's this, which is partly correct and partly crazy, I won't shed any tears.
LUMAYE: Just like the Hitler --
BRANNON: -- because they wanted national government. No, we are a union of states and a federal government. So they play on our patriotic -- We love this country. It's the greatest country the world's ever seen, based upon individual liberty.Now we're becoming Western Europe. Now we're becoming a national socialist government....