February 2008

'Gay Agenda'--Revealed!

Concerned Women for America’s Matt Barber has, at long last, found “proof” of the “gay agenda”: gays and lesbians looking for government jobs. From the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow:

The conservative policy group Concerned Women for America is speaking out against a new project launched by a coalition of homosexual activist groups designed to recruit and vet openly homosexual professionals to serve in influential political positions in the next presidential administration. …

Matt Barber, policy director for cultural issues at Washington, DC-based Concerned Women for America, says the project puts to rest the notion that there is no "gay agenda." He says the homosexual lobby is committed to infiltrating the executive branch with people who define their identity based on changeable, sexually deviant behavior.

"The ultimate goal, of course, being to have people who engage in these aberrant sexual behaviors in a position of power to influence public policy in such a way that they gain more power," he explains.

Huckabee Hears a Who

Mike Huckabee endorsed the Colorado egg-as-person amendment, as that effort seeks to capitalize on upcoming Dr. Seuss film. More on that amendment here.

McCain's Immigration Dilemma

Some GOP strategists are hoping that a John McCain nomination will bolster the party’s appeal to Hispanics after many Republicans jumped on the anti-immigrant bandwagon over the last few years. From the Washington Times:

Two years ago, Republicans fought over immigration and hemorrhaged Hispanic voters. Now they are poised to nominate the one man who can rebuild the Hispanic voter coalition that pushed President Bush twice to victory, the architects of that coalition say.

"I think the only candidate that Republicans have running for president who could retain those votes is in fact Senator McCain," said the Rev. Luis Cortes Jr., president of Esperanza USA, founder of the National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast and a key player in helping Mr. Bush connect with Hispanic voters during his two runs for office.

While McCain did push for comprehensive immigration reform, in his quest to win over the right-wing base he largely abandoned his principled position, as even Cortes admitted. His new “image,” as the AP reports, is enforcement-only:

"He's focusing on enforcement, and in this community, enforcement means deportation, and that means separating more families, and more racial profiling and more of the incredible hardship that is affecting not just immigrants, but native-born Latinos," said Cecilia Munoz of the National Council of La Raza.

It appears McCain plans on walking a tightrope through November, with immigrants and the Hispanic community on one side and the Minuteman wing on the other. His own party may not be too helpful: while the GOP primary-caucus election in Texas on Tuesday may be pro forma, McCain will share the ballot with two anti-immigrant resolutions:

The first measure asks if local, state and federal officials should be required to enforce U.S. immigration laws "to secure our borders." Given the ongoing uproar over illegal immigration, the outcome seems pretty clear.

"I would be shocked if it didn't pass," said Kathy Ward, chairwoman of the Collin County Republican Party.

The second referendum, also related to illegal immigration, calls for legislation to require voters to show photo identification.

The measures won’t become law just yet; rather, they’re a way for the Republican Party to drum up support for anti-immigrant legislation later on:

"We generally look at things we believe the base of the party holds pretty dear," [Mary] Tschoepe [of the State Republican Executive Committee] said. "It gives us a big stick to take to the Legislature. We can say, 'Ninety-two percent of Republican primary voters think a voter ID in order to vote is an important issue. Let's get it done.' " …

Texas legislators are now studying an Oklahoma illegal immigration law that's considered the nation's toughest. People who shelter or conceal undocumented immigrants can be charged with a felony under the law passed last year.

Heavenly Voter Suppression

Fervent Huckabee supporter Janet Folger’s prayer at an event in Chillicothe, Ohio with Huckabee’s wife:

If it's a blizzard that would keep the people home who would not vote the right way, Father, I pray for a blizzard. Out of this prayer meeting in this little town in this great state we pray that you would move mountains.

McCain Be Not Proud

John McCain says he is "very proud to have Pastor John Hagee’s support" - just not proud enough to issue any sort of press release touting it, apparently. What's the deal? After all, he issued a press release when Gary Bauer endorsed him.

Huckabee Hopes To Lure McCain With Debate

For the last few days, Mike Huckabee has been trying to pressure John McCain into one last debate as he tries to make one last stand in the Republican primary, going so far as to officially challenge McCain to a “Lincoln Douglas-style debate":

“Now that the race for the Republican nomination is down to just the two of us, I believe this is the time for a real discussion about our vision for the future of this great country,” Huckabee wrote in the letter to Sen. McCain.  “I encourage you to join me in a Lincoln Douglas-style debate so that voters can better understand our views on critical issues such as health care, education, energy independence, terrorism and national security.”

When McCain said that wasn’t going to happen, Huckabee upped the pressure, announcing that he had agreed to participate in a “Values Voter Presidential Debate” next week, provided that McCain joined him:

Former Arkansas Governor and Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee accepted an invitation to participate in a Values Voter Presidential Debate to be held on Monday, March 3, 2008.  Huckabee received the invitation on Wednesday, February 27, for the debate which would also include Senator John McCain, Congressman Ron Paul. [sic]

"I look forward to discussing the issues that are important to the people of America such as health care, education, energy independence, terrorism and national security," Huckabee wrote in his letter of acceptance.  "I will clear my schedule to make time for this important debate, provided Sen. McCain participates, otherwise we will keep our current campaign schedule."

On Tuesday, Huckabee challenged Sen. McCain to a Lincoln- Douglas Style debate, but has yet to receive an acceptance from Sen. McCain.

The Values Voter debate is scheduled to be held at the Marriott Riverwalk, 711 E. Riverwalk St. in San Antonio, Tex.

Will McCain take the bait?  Not if he is smart. 

So far, the only mention of this “Values Voter Presidential Debate” is contained in Huckabee’s press release, but it is presumably being organized by the same people who put on the last Values Voter Presidential Debate, which in many ways catapulted Huckabee from a second-tier no-name into a serious candidate, thanks mainly to the fact that all the actual front-runners refused to appear.

Of course, that didn’t stop the bevy of right-wing activists from criticizing the no-shows, McCain included, via pointed questions addressed to empty podiums:

The entire debate was the brainchild of Janet Folger, who personally invited the choir that performed their infamous rendition of “Why Should God Bless America?” and has since gone on to serve as co-chair of Huckabee’s Faith and Family Values Coalition.  Recently, she’s been traveling with his campaign in Ohio, introducing him at events and praying that a blizzard strikes the state in order to depress turnout of McCain supporters.  In between these official campaign duties, Folger has also been busy working with her front-group, RoeGone.org, producing ads blasting McCain.  

It is no wonder that Huckabee would eagerly jump at the chance to participate in one last debate, especially one organized by one of his most vocal supporters and his rival’s most vocal critics.  But why Huckabee thinks McCain would be willing to walk into such an ambush completely defies explanation.  

When Girl Scouts Attack

"[B]uying that box of cookies now presents a moral dilemma, as the Girl Scouts have become a training ground for the left-wing feminist agenda," warns Jane Chastain. See also: Boy Scouts.

Catholic League Blasts McCain Over Hagee

It is really quite remarkable when someone like Bill Donohue is blasting John McCain for cozying up to a "bigot" like John Hagee: "There are plenty of staunch evangelical leaders who are pro-Israel, but are not anti-Catholic. John Hagee is not one of them. Indeed, for the past few decades, he has waged an unrelenting war against the Catholic Church. For example, he likes calling it ‘The Great Whore,’ an ‘apostate church,’ the ‘anti-Christ,’ and a ‘false cult system.’"

More Than Personal

The Virginian-Pilot reminds us that the John McCain-Pat Robertson feud is more than personal: "Pique might be one reason Christian conservative Pat Robertson isn’t backing Sen. John McCain’s bid for the presidency: McCain labeled him an 'agent of intolerance' during a 2000 speech in Virginia Beach. But as a Christian broadcaster, Robertson may also balk at McCain’s championship of pay-per-channel cable television, a format that could slash the market for faith-based programming. Robertson, who could not be reached for comment, heads the Christian Broadcasting Network, based in Virginia Beach."

The Maverick and the Armageddon Advocate

Last year, when John McCain's presidential campaign was floundering, we noted that he was making in-roads with fringe right-wing figures like Armageddon advocate John Hagee, who harbors a not-so-secret desire for the US to start a war with Iran in order to bring about the subsequent return of Jesus Christ.

At the time, there didn't seem much to worry about because McCain's campaign appeared dead-in-the-water and though, over the coming months, McCain continued to court Hagee, the pastor appeared content to stick to his rabid theologizing and warnings to the United States:

If America does not stop pressuring Israel to give up land, I believe that God will bring this nation into judgment, because I believe what this book says. And if God brings this nation into judgment, He will very likely release the terrorists that you've already let get here through the ridiculous immigration policy you refuse to stop, and this nation is going to go through a bloodbath that you have permitted because of what you have done. You have disobeyed the law of God, and now, we as a nation are going to pay a price for that.

And then, just before Christmas, Hagee seemed to be leaning toward Mike Huckabee, whom he hosted at his church in San Antonio, which angered people like Bill Donohue, who blasted Hagee's anti-Catholic record and accused him of "slandering the Catholic Church."

But now that McCain appears set to wrap-up the Republican nomination in the near future, all his hobnobbing with Hagee is about to pay off:

John McCain's efforts to bring wary members of the Religious Right to his side gets a big boost later today when San Antonio televangelist John Hagee is expected to endorse him. Rev. Hagee has a big following among religious conservatives and is a leading figure in Christian Zionist movement. ... The announcement is expected later this afternoon during a McCain campaign visit to San Antonio.

Yesterday, McCain made news by repudiating statements attacking Barack Obama made by right-wing radio talk show host Bill Cunningham at an event in Ohio. What are the chances that McCain will take the opportunity of Hagee's endorsement to repudiate Hagee's reprehensible statements such as saying that "New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God, and they were recipients of the judgment of God for that ... Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans."