Background Briefing: May 23, 2024

Right Wing Leaders Gathered in Madrid to Declare War on Socialism 

We begin with the recent gathering of the far right in Madrid ahead of the European elections at which one of the attendees, Marine Le Pen, who is ahead in the polls in France, spoke, along with Italy’s Meloni, Hungary’s Orban and Argentina’s Milei. We discuss the attacks on Spain’s socialist leader Pedro Sanchez and socialism itself which Milei described as “the cancer of humanity…let’s not let the dark, black, satanic, disgusting, atrocious, carcinogenic side – which is socialism – defeat us.” Joining us from Madrid is Toby Miller, a Professor of Journalism at the Universidad Complutense De Madrid in Spain as well as a Research Professor of the Graduate Division at the University of California. His most recent books are A COVID Charter, A Better World, Violence, The Persistence of Violence: Colombian Popular Culture, and How Green is Your Smartphone?


Republicans Are Dusting Off the 1873 Comstock Act to Ban Abortion Pills and Even Birth Control Pills

Then with Louisiana’s State House passing a bill that classifies abortion pills as controlled substances like fentanyl, we look into how a 1873 law on the books, the Comstock Act, is being dusted off by Republicans to ban abortion pills and even birth control pills and speak with Eleanor Cooney, the author of the internationally bestselling T’ang Trilogy as well as the critically acclaimed memoir Death in Slow Motion. She ghost wrote (for Frank. G. Ford) the explosive memoir of the Iraq War Midnight in Samarra and has an article at Mother Jones we discuss, “A Nationwide Abortion Ban Could Really Happen. You Can Thank Anthony Comstock’s Suitcase Full of Dildos.”


Justice Alito’s Display of Christo-Fascist Allegiance

Then finally we discuss the display of Christo-fascist allegiance at the vacation home of Supreme Court Justice Alito where the “Appeal to Heaven” flag was flown, the same symbol of “Christian” nationalism that flies outside of House Speaker Johnson’s office. Joining us is Frederick Clarkson, a Senior Research Analyst at Political Research Associates and an analyst of the Religious Right for over 30 years. His books include Dispatches from the Religious Left: The Future of Faith and Politics in America and Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy. He has a series of essays on the New Apostolic Reformation, the cutting edge of the Christian Right, at the online magazine Religion Dispatches, the latest of which is, “Where’s Wallnau? The National Apostolic Movement Apostle Takes Aim at Swing Counties in ‘The Battle for the Mountain of Government'”.