David Barton weighs in on Friday's Supreme Court gay marriage decision

In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling in favor of gay marriage, Glenn spent the majority of Friday's radio show speaking with experts about the impact of the decision on people who believe in traditional marriage. David Barton doesn't have a lot of confidence that religious liberty and freedom of conscience will be safe given the political atmosphere and the activist courts.He also thinks there is zero chance conservatives will be able to pass a constitutional amendment to preserve traditional marriage. So what happens next?

GLENN: David Barton is with us now. Hello, David.

DAVID: Hey, guys.

GLENN: We just talked to the Liberty Institute. And we felt pretty good about what they were saying about the -- the Supreme Court, all nine justices stood up for religious liberty. Do you have comfort on that?

DAVID: No. I don't.

GLENN: Okay.

DAVID: Anymore than I have comfort on the fact that the Hobby Lobby decision where the Court came out emphatically and said you have a right to conscience, that court after court after court said, well, that's for abortifacient. You don't have the right for conscience for marriage.

So I've watched as we've had very emphatic rulings from the Court, and lower courts just refuse to do anything with it. And below that, lower officials do the same thing.

I mean, we still have -- we have 8-0 ruling by the US Supreme Court you can have all sorts of religious activities in schools, and yet we have principals across the nation saying, wait a minute, kid. You can't say "God" at graduation, et cetera.

So I don't have much confidence in that. But there's really a fundamental question that I think has to be asked at some point. And it deals with the nature of the judiciary itself.

And that is: At what point are we going to go back to saying, you know, we have to allow elected officials to make policy, rather than the courts? Because for the last five sessions, we've watched the Court increasingly make grander and more bold statements on what they should do.

And reading Kennedy's decision this morning, I felt like I was listening to a televangelist at 2 o'clock in the morning somewhere. I mean, that kind of rhetorical language, that kind of apologetic language is pretty unbelievable coming out of a court.

And so at some point, we'll have to get back to fundamental decisions of, okay, the Constitution doesn't allow judges to do this. So what will we do as a result? And that's a whole different discussion. But I'm not that secure on religious liberties. And I think you'll see that through the NDOs and through the things that will happen at the city level, that there won't be much protection for religious liberty.

GLENN: Okay. So I'm back to completely depressed. David, what do we do now? What do you recommend that the average person does this weekend?

DAVID: Well, at some point, and it's what you've already been talking about. At some point, you have to have standalone courage and stand up and say, you know what, the rest of the world may be going off the cliff, but I'm not.

And let me tell you, this is a wrong decision. And this is why. And at this point, if we just get in the boat and decide to float with the current, we'll be done with this. This to me is very much like what happened with the fugitive slave law in the 1850s, where that you had one side that said, hey, the Court's ruled. You know, this is a done deal. Congress has spoken on this. And other people said, no, they may have spoken, but they said the wrong thing.

And it really started turning things back in a right direction. But you had the Dred Scott decision and everything else that goes with it. Yeah, the Court ruled, but they ruled in a bad direction for the country and a bad direction for the Constitution.

I really did appreciate what Roberts said. He said, if you want to celebrate gay marriage, do it. But don't celebrate the Constitution because the Constitution had nothing to do with this ruling today.

And at some point, I think we're -- where we were with Dred Scott where we said, you know, the Constitution had nothing to do with this ruling. This was judicial activism, and we'll have to get back at some point to living by a document that we swore to uphold. So I think that's what we do right now, as we start raising our voice and saying, you know, that may be the Court, but I'm not going over the cliff with everybody else. I won't get in this rowboat and go over the Niagara Falls. I'm not going to float that direction. I'm going to swim upstream. I think we'll find quickly that we're not as upstream as we think we are.

GLENN: Governor Walker just announced that he is adding to his platform now that one of his main things is that he will pass a marriage is between a man and a woman amendment in the Constitution. That's what he'll push for as president of the United States. Do you think that's wise? What do you think of that politically speaking?

DAVID: Politically, it's not going to happen. You need two-thirds of the Senate go with it. There's no way you'll get 25 percent of Democrats join 100 percent of Republicans. Politically, that's a dead issue. It will not go anywhere. A constitutional amendment. The only thing that will make a constitutional amendment go -- I have congressman in Congress years ago who told me something 25 years ago. They said, Congress only sees the light when it feels the heat. And unless Democrats still feel the heat from black pastors and Hispanics and others that are so much more pro marriage than even whites are, unless they feel that kind of heat, there's no chance of a constitutional amendment going, nor is there a chance that you would get three-fourths of the states to ratify it. I think we can pretty quickly name 13 states that would refuse to ratify, and that would keep it from becoming policy. So, you know, that's a great piece of rhetoric. But policy-wise, we're back to, how long do we want nine elected people to have the majority vote to tell 330 million people what their policies will be?

PAT: If you can't get it done and the case you laid out pretty convincingly, David, suggests he can't, I don't think it is a great piece of rhetoric. Because that will hurt him with the electorate.

STU: But maybe not in the primary.

DAVID: Yeah, I don't think it will hurt him as much as we think. Because what will happen -- I mean, we're seeing polling right now. You would never recognize right now that 81 percent of the nation says that the issue of gay marriage should not be allowed to infringe on the rights of conscience. Now, that's what 81 percent believe. But we have dozens, if not hundreds of accounts across the nation, whereby public policy we're doing that. And what happens is, people aren't being told about rights of conscience. They're being told about equality and everybody should have the right to love who they want to and marriage is something -- that's great.

GLENN: That's where France went wrong.

DAVID: That's right. And it depends on how you frame the rhetoric. And so I think that people have a sense of, yeah, I prefer traditional marriage, but I think everybody should have the right to do what they want to do. So in that sense, I don't think what Walker does is going to hurt him, particularly with a primary vote where he's struggling with a dozen other guys to come out with a position -- I don't think it will hurt him much. I think if someone turns his rhetoric into an anti-equality position, then it hurts him. But just to say it the way you said, I don't think it will hurt him politically.

GLENN: David, thank you very much. Could you just give me a little quick hit on how you think this is affected by 8/28 and what we're planning to doing there.

DAVID: Well, 8/28 essentially it's coming back to the individual. And where we are today is one of the frustrations that Americans have. We look at the Court and say, I wish they would have done it different. There's nothing I can do. Great. That's fine. But the American Revolution was not won because we watched George Washington. It was won because people in their local communities said, you know, I'll defend my town. I'll defend -- I'll stand up against the British when they come here. I'll be Naphtali Daggett out on the hillside, one man taking on 200 -- excuse me -- one man taking on 2500 British in the battle of New Haven. I'll be that guy on the hillside that will take on 2500.

And that's what 8/28 will be. It's time for us to have the force of convictions to stand up in our local areas, talk in our own families, talk in our own churches, talk in our own communities, talk to our own school boards and start letting our voice be heard at a level where it will be heard. And I think that's one of the great things that has to happen. And that's always been the movement in America that's turned America in the right direction. Is when the grassroots starts bubbling up from the bottom, not coming down from the top at the Supreme Court.

GLENN: David, thank you very much. Appreciate it.

DAVID: Bless you guys.

GLENN: Bless you too. David Barton. President of Wall Builders. You know, we should call him Dr. Barton. You know, he has his PhD I think in history and education. Too many people just dismiss him as -- as -- you know, oh, just some guy who thinks he knows history. No, he has his doctorate in education and he's a brilliant, brilliant man.

Ryan: Bernie at the disco

Photo by Sean Ryan

Saturday at El Malecón, we waited for the Democratic socialist. He had the wild white hair like a monk and the thick glasses and the booming voice full of hacks and no niceties.

Photo by Sean Ryan

The venue had been redecorated since we visited a few nights before when we chatted with Castro. It didn't even feel like the same place. No bouncy castle this time.

Photo by Sean Ryan

A black curtain blocked the stage, giving the room a much-needed depth.

Behind the podium, two rows of mostly young people, all holding Bernie signs, all so diverse and picturesque and strategic.

Photo by Sean Ryan

Lots of empty seats. Poor showing of Bernie fans for a Saturday afternoon. At one point, someone from Bernie's staff offered us seats in the audience, as if eager to fill up those seats however possible.

There were about 75 people in the dancehall, a place built for reunions and weddings and all those other festivities. But for a few hours on Saturday, August 10, 2019, it turned serious and wild for "Unidos Con Bernie."

Photo by Sean Ryan

People had been murmuring about Sanders' speech from the night before at Wing Ding. By all appearances, he had developed a raving lust to overthrow Trump. He had even promised, with his wife just out of view, that, were he elected, he'd end white nationalism in America. For good.

El Malecón lacked its previous air of celebration. It had undertaken a brooding yet defiant spirit. Media were sparse. Four cameras faced the podium. Three photographers, one of whom had been at nearly all the same events as us. A few of the staffers frowned at an empty row of chairs, because there weren't that many chairs to begin with.

At the entrance, Bernie staff handed out headsets that translated English to Spanish or Spanish to English, depending on who the speaker was. The translators stood behind the bar, 20 feet from the podium, and spoke into a lip-ribbon microphone.

Bernie's staff was probably the coolest, by far. As in, they looked cool and acted stylishly. Jeans. Sandals. Careworn blazers. Tattoos. One lad had a black Levi's shirt with lush crimson roses even though he wasn't a cowboy or a ranch-hand. Mustaches. Quirky hats. A plain green sundress. Some of them wore glasses, big clunking frames.

Photo by Sean Ryan

The outfits were distinctly Bernie. As Bernie as the tie-dyed "BERNIE" shirts for sale outside the club. Or later, at the Hilton, like a Grateful Dead cassette stand.

Immigration was the theme, and everyone in the audience bore some proof of a journey. Because America offers life, freedom, and hope.

Sanders' own father emigrated from Poland to America at 17, a high school dropout who could barely speak English. As a Jew, he'd faced religious persecution.

Within one generation, Bernie Sanders' father contributed to the highest stratum of American society. In one generation, near hopelessness had transformed into Democracy, his son a congressman with a serious chance at the presidency.

Photo by Sean Ryan

That's the beauty of America. Come here broken and empty and gutted and voiceless. And, within your lifetime, you can mend yourself then become a pillar of society. Then, your son can become the President of the United States of America!

Four people gave speeches before Sanders. They took their time, excited and nervous. They putzed. Because how often do you get to introduce a presidential frontrunner?

All the native English speakers jammed their earpieces when the woman with the kind and dark energy took the stage.

Photo by Sean Ryan

She mumbled in Spanish and did not look up and said that, when her parents died, she couldn't go home for the funeral. She fought back tears. She swallowed hard to shock herself calm. And the room engulfed each silence between every word.

It felt more like a therapy session than a political rally. A grueling therapy session at that. Was that what drew people to Bernie Sanders, that deep anguish? That brisk hope? Or, rather, the cessation of it, through Sanders? And, of course, the resultant freedom? Was it what gave Sanders a saintlike ability to lead people into the realm of the confessional? Did he have enough strength to lead a revolution?

Photo by Sean Ryan

While other frontrunners hocked out money for appearances, like the studio lights, Sanders spent money on translators and ear-pieces. The impression I got was that he would gladly speak anywhere. To anyone. He had the transitory energy you can capture in the writings of Gandhi.

Photo by Sean Ryan

I'm not saying he's right or wrong — I will never make that claim, about any of the candidates, because that's not the point of this, not the point of journalism, amen — what I'm saying is he has the brutal energy of someone who can take the subway after a soiree or rant about life by a tractor or chuck it up with Sarah Silverman, surrounded wherever he goes.

Without the slightest fanfare, Sanders emerged from behind the black curtain. The woman at the podium gasped a little. The room suctioned forward when he entered. In part because he was so nonchalant. And, again. That magnetism to a room when a famous or powerful or charming person enters. Not many people have it. Not many can keep it. Even fewer know how to brace it, to cull it on demand. But several of the candidates did. One or two even had something greater.

Photo by Sean Ryan

I'll only say that Bernie had it with a bohemian fervor, like he was a monk stranded in a big city that he slowly brings to God.

"We have a President who, for the first time in my lifetime, who is a President who is a racist," he shouted. "Who is a xenophobe and anti-immigrant. Who is a sexist. Who is a religious bigot. And who, is a homophobe. And, what is very disappointing is that, when we have a President, we do not necessarily expect to agree with him, or her, on every issue. But we do believe that one of the obligations is to bring people to-geth-ah. As Americans."

Photo by Sean Ryan

After listening silently for several minutes, the audience clapped. Their sweet response felt cultish. But, then again, what doesn't feel cultish these days? So this was cultish like memes are cultish, in a striving-to-understand kind of way.

"The essence of our campaign is in fact to bring people together," he said. "Whether they're black, or white, or latino, or Native American, or Asian-American. We understand that we are Americans."

At times, this meant sharing a common humanity. Others, it had a slightly more disruptive feel. Which worked. Sometimes all we want is revolution. To be wild without recourse. To overthrow. To pass through the constraints of each day. To survive. The kind of rowdy stuff that makes for good poetry but destroys credit lines. Sanders radiated with this intensity, like a reclusive philosopher returning to society, from his cave to homes and beds and fences and maybe electricity.

Photo by Sean Ryan

But, as he says, his revolution would involve healthcare and wages and tuition, not beheadings and purges and starvation.

Seeing the Presidential candidates improvise was amazing. They did it constantly. They would turn any of their beliefs into a universal statement. And Sanders did this without trying. So he avoided doing the unbearably arrogant thing of pretending to speak like a native Guatemalan, and he looked at the group of people, and he mumbled in his cloudy accent:

"My Spanish — is not so good."

Photo by Sean Ryan

This is the same and the opposite of President Trump's Everyman way of speaking English like an American. Of speaking American.

Often, you know what Sanders will say next. You can feel it. And, anytime this happened, it brought comfort to the room.

Like, it surprised no one when he said that he would reinstate DACA on his first day in office. It still drew applause.

But other times, he expressed wild ideas with poetic clarity. And his conclusions arrived at unusual junctures. Not just in comparison to Republicans. To all of them. Bernie was the Tupac of the 2020 election. And, to him, President Trump was Suge Knight, the evil force behind it all.

"Donald Trump is an idiot," he shouted.

Photo by Sean Ryan

Everybody loved that. Everybody clapped and whooped and some even whistled like they were outside and not in a linoleum-floor dancehall.

"Go get 'em, Bernie," someone in the back shouted.

This was the only Sanders appearance with no protestors.

"Let me say this about the border," he shouted. And everybody listened to every thunking syllable. He probably could have spoken without a mic. Booming voice. Loud and clear. Huddling into that heavy Vermont slug accent.

They'll say many many things about Bernie. One being, you never had to lean forward to hear him. In person, even more so. He's less frail. More dynamic.

Photo by Sean Ryan

Despite the shoddiness of the venue, there was a sign language interpreter. Most of the rallies had a designated interpreter.

"If you work 40 hours a week you shouldn't be living in poverty," he shouted, provoking chants and applause from the audience, as if he were talking about them. Maybe he was.

An anecdote about the people at an emergency food shelf blended into the livable wage of $15 an hour. He shifted into his spiel about tuition-free college and pointed at the audience, "You're not doing well," then at the kids behind him, "they are." He craned his head sideways and back. "Do your homework," he told said.

Laughter.

Half of the kids looked like they hadn't eaten in days. Maybe it was their unusual situation, a few feet from Bernie Sanders at a stucco community center.

Before the room could settle, Sanders wove through a plan for how to cancel debt.

Did he have a solution?

Tax Wall Street, he shouted.

Photo by Sean Ryan

And he made it sound easy. "Uno dos trey," he said. "That's my Spanish for today."

A serious man, he shoved through his speech like a tank hurtling into dense jungle. He avoided many of the typical politician gimmicks. Proof that he did not practice every expression in front of a mirror. That he did not hide his accent. That he did not preen his hair. That he did not smile for a precise amount of time, depending on the audience. That he did not pretend to laugh.

Photo by Sean Ryan

He laughed when humor overtook him. But it was genuine. With none of the throaty recoil you hear in forced laughter.

"I want everyone to take a deep breath," he said. And a palpable lightness spread through the room, because a deep breath can solve a lot of problems.

Photo by Sean Ryan

Then he roused some more. "Healthcare is a human right," he shouted. "A human privilege," he shouted. He told them that he lives 50 miles from the Canadian border in Burlington, Vermont, and healthcare works better up north.

Each candidate had a bad word, and Sanders' was "corporate."

Photo by Sean Ryan

At every speech, he mentioned "corporate media" with the same distrust and unpleasantness that conservatives derive from the term "mainstream media." Another would be "fake news," as popularized by Sanders' sworn enemy. Either way it's the same media. Just different motivations that irk different people.

But the discrepancies varied. Meaning two opposing political movements disliked the same thing, but for opposite reasons.
It sounded odd, Sanders' accusation that the media were against him. The media love Bernie. I can confirm this both anecdotally and judiciously. Yes, okay, in 2016, the media appeared to have sided with Hillary Clinton. As a result, Sanders was publicly humiliated. Because Clinton took a mafioso approach to dealing with opponents, and Sanders was her only roadblock.

Imagine if a major political organization devoted part of each day to agitating your downfall. And then you fail. And who's fault is it?

Sanders wanted to know: those negative ads targeting him, who paid for them?

Photo by Sean Ryan

Corporations, of course. Corporations that hated radicals like him. And really was he so radical? He listed off the possibilities: Big pharma, insurance companies, oil companies.

Because he had become a revolutionary, to them. To many.

He said it with certainty, although he often didn't have to say it at all. This spirit of rebellion had become his brand. He would lead the wild Americans into a utopia.

But just as quickly, he would attack. Trump, as always, was the target.

He called Trump the worst president in American history.

"The fates are Yuge," he shouted.

The speech ended as informally as it had begun. And Sanders' trance over the audience evaporated, replaced by that suction energy. Everyone rushed closer and closer to the man as Neil Young's "Keep on Rockin in the Free World" blared. Sanders leaned into the podium and said, "If anyone wants to form a line, we can do some selfies."

Photo by Sean Ryan

It was like meeting Jesus for some of the people.

There he was, at El Malecón. No stage lights, no makeup, no stylist behind the curtain. Just him and his ideas and his erratic hand commotion.

Then a man holding a baby leaned in for a photo. He and Sanders chatted. And, I kid you not, the whole time the baby is staring at Bernie Sanders like he's the image of God, looking right up at him, with this glow, this understanding.

Bernie, if you're reading this, I'd like to suggest that — if this election doesn't work for you — you could be the next Pope.

New installments come Mondays and Thursdays. Check out my Twitter. Email me at kryan@blazemedia.com

On the "Glenn Beck Radio Program" Monday, Harvard Law professor and lawyer on President Donald Trump's impeachment defense team Alan Dershowitz explains the history of impeachment and its process, why the framers did not include abuse of power as criteria for a Constitutional impeachment, why the Democrats are framing their case the way they are, and what to look for in the upcoming Senate trial.

Dershowitz argued that "abuse of power" -- one of two articles of impeachment against Trump approved by House Democrats last month -- is not an impeachable act.

"There are two articles of impeachment. The second is 'obstruction of Congress.' That's just a false accusation," said Dershowitz. "But they also charge him, in the Ukraine matter, with abuse of power. But abuse of power was discussed by the framers (of the U.S. Constitution) ... the framers refused to include abuse of power because it was too broad, too open-ended.

"In the words of James Madison, the father of our Constitution, it would lead presidents to serve at the will of Congress. And that's exactly what the framers didn't want, which is why they were very specific and said a president can be impeached only for treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors," he added.

"What's alleged against President Trump is not criminal," added Dershowitz. "If they had criminal issues to allege, you can be sure they would have done it. If they could establish bribery or treason, they would have done it already. But they didn't do it. They instead used this concept of abuse of power, which is so broad and general ... any president could be charged with it."

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On Friday's radio program, Bill O'Reilly joins Glenn Beck discuss the possible outcomes for the Democrats in 2020.

Why are former President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama working overtime to convince Americans they're more moderate than most of the far-left Democratic presidential candidates? Is there a chance of a Michelle Obama vs. Donald Trump race this fall?

O'Reilly surmised that a post-primary nomination would probably be more of a "Bloomberg play." He said Michael Bloomberg might actually stand a chance at the Democratic nomination if there is a brokered convention, as many Democratic leaders are fearfully anticipating.

"Bloomberg knows he doesn't really have a chance to get enough delegates to win," O'Reilly said. "He's doing two things: If there's a brokered convention, there he is. And even if there is a nominee, it will probably be Biden, and Biden will give [him] Secretary of State or Secretary of Treasury. That's what Bloomberg wants."

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On the "Glenn Beck Radio Program" Friday, award-winning investigative reporter John Solomon, a central figure in the impeachment proceedings, explained his newly filed lawsuit, which seeks the records of contact between Ukraine prosecutors and the U.S. Embassy officials in Kiev during the 2016 election.

The records would provide valuable information on what really happened in Ukraine, including what then-Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter were doing with Ukrainian energy company, Burisma Holdings, Solomon explained.

The documents, which the State Department has withheld thus far despite repeated requests for release by Solomon, would likely shed light on the alleged corruption that President Donald Trump requested to be investigated during his phone call with the president of Ukraine last year.

With the help of Southeastern Legal Foundation, Solomon's lawsuit seeks to compel the State Department to release the critical records. Once released, the records are expected to reveal, once and for all, exactly why President Trump wanted to investigate the dealings in Ukraine, and finally expose the side of the story that Democrats are trying to hide in their push for impeachment.

"It's been a one-sided story so far, just like the beginning of the Russia collusion story, right? Everybody was certain on Jan. 9 of 2017 that the Christopher Steele dossier was gospel. And our president was an agent of Russia. Three years later, we learned that all of that turned out to be bunk, " Solomon said.

"The most important thing about politics, and about investigations, is that there are two sides to a story. There are two pieces of evidence. And right now, we've only seen one side of it," he continued. "I think we'll learn a lot about what the intelligence community, what the economic and Treasury Department community was telling the president. And I bet the story was way more complicated than the narrative that [House Intelligence Committee Chairman] Adam Schiff [D-Calif.] has woven so far."

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