For at least six years in the 1990s before she held state-level elective office, Angle was a member of the little-known Independent American Party, a right-wing party that combines elements of Ron Paul's doctrinaire libertarianism -- pro-gun, anti-tax, anti-bureaucracy, pro-states' rights -- with Christian social conservatism and fear of the "North American Union" and other forms of "global government." The small party attracted considerable controversy in 1994 when it took out a newspaper ad titled "Consequences of Sodomy: Ruin of a Nation," which suggested HIV could spread through the water.
Three members of the Independent American Party tell TPM that Angle, a Nye County, Nevada, school board member at the time, was an active member of the party in the 1990s. They say she only left the Independent American Party and became a Republican out of political expediency when she decided to seek a seat in the state assembly, to which she was elected in 1998.
Also, the Constitution Party is closely linked to Christian Reconstructionism.
What’s Christian Reconstructionism? Well it’s a theocratic intellectual and political movement founded by the late Armenian theologian R.J. Rushdoony, and it burst onto the American political scene in 1992 with the founding of the US Taxpayers Party, later renamed the Constitution Party. Founder of the two parties Howard Phillips was a member of Rushdoony’s inner circle and called the theologian “my wise counseler” according to journalist Frederick Clarkson, a noted authority on Christian Reconstructionism.
Rushdoony wanted to base American law and government on Old Testament scripture. He advocated stoning to death adulterers, women who have intercourse before marriage, active homosexuals, and people who strike or curse at their parents (the full list of miscreants who according to Rushdoony should be bashed to death with rocks is much longer than this.) Why rocks ? As Rushdoony’s son-in-law Gary North, another leading Christian Reconstructionist, put it, “There are many reasons. First, the implements of execution are available to everyone at virtually no cost.” North has described executions-by-stoning as “community projects.”
R.J. Rushdoony had a number of other notable views – he was a Holocaust revisionist who claimed in his master work The Institutes of Biblical Law that less than one million Jews were killed by the Nazis during World War Two and that most of those died from cold rather than execution.
The most interesting aspect of these events is that Senator Jim DeMint is now raising money for Angle using the mailing list of the Christian Reconstructionist organization American Vision. Their website states that "American Vision’s mission is to Restore America to its Biblical Foundation—from Genesis to Revelation."
Not everyone is supporting Angle's Republican bid. Some Independent American Party members are quite bitter about her switching party allegiance.
Christopher Hansen, brother of party founder Daniel Hansen and himself a former chair of the party, tells TPM that "I think Sharron in her heart is a very good person." But he remains upset that "she decided to go over and join with the fascist Republicans."
"The national Republicans are going to come in here and teach her how to be a good Republican stooge," he predicts. "She'll just be another dyed-in-the-wool stooge Republican."
DeMint is appealing to the far-right in an effort to defeat Harry Reid in November. He is willing to support a candidate who comes from a party that thinks he's a fascist. The citizens of Nevada will have to decide in November if money will buy their vote.