Concerned Women for America

Remember Back When the Right Hated The Filibuster?

Once upon a time, activists on the Right were vehemently opposed to the use of the filibuster against judicial nominees, declaring on principle that its use was flagrantly unconstitutional and calling on Senate Republicans to do away with the Democratic minority's ability to use them against President Bush's nominees.

But then President Obama took office and made a Supreme Court nomination and those "principles" went right out the window and suddenly those who had been, just a few years earlier, decrying the filibuster as downright evil were championing it.

Which brings us to this new Conservative Action Project "Memo to the Movement" demanding a filibuster of Seventh Circuit nominee David Hamilton:

We agree with Senator Sessions that indeed this is one of those extraordinary circumstances where the President should be informed that his nominee is not qualified. "Extraordinary circumstances" is the standard agreed to by the bipartisan Gang of 14 for when it is permissible to block a confirmation vote against judicial nominees. The Senate should apply it now to stop the Hamilton nomination ... Judge Hamilton is precisely the kind of liberal judicial activist who would use our federal courts as his own super-legislature. The Senate should vote no on the cloture vote to stop this nomination.

The memo is signed by the following group and I have taken the liberty of highlighting those individuals or organizations who, during the Bush presidency, signed on to letters [PDF] demanding an end to the use of the filibuster

Marion Edwyn Harrison, President, Free Congress Foundation
Edwin Meese, former Attorney General
Mathew D. Staver, Founder & Chairman, Liberty Counsel
Wendy Wright, President, Concerned Women for America
Cleta Mitchell, American Conservative Union Board of Directors
J. Kenneth Blackwell, Visiting Professor, Liberty University School of Law
Marjorie Dannenfelser, President, Susan B. Anthony List
Curt Levey, Executive Director, Committee for Justice
Colin A. Hanna, President, Let Freedom Ring
Susan Carleson, Chairman & CEO, American Civil Rights Union
William Wilson, President, Americans for Limited Government
Kay Daly, President, Coalition for a Fair Judiciary
T. Kenneth Cribb, former Counselor to the U.S. Attorney General
Andrea Lafferty, Executive Director, Traditional Values Coalition
David Keene, Chairman, American Conservative Union
Gary Bauer, President, American Values
Phil Burress, President, Citizens for Community Values

Jim Martin, President, 60 Plus Association
David McIntosh, former Member of Congress, Indiana
Tom Winter, Editor in Chief, Human Events
Richard Viguerie, Chairman,
Alfred Regnery, Publisher, American Spectator
Becky Norton Dunlop, President, Council for National Policy
Rev. Lou Sheldon, Chairman, Traditional Values Coalition

By my count, 15 of 24 individuals listed of this memo demanding a filibuster of Hamilton either signed, or represent an organization which signed, a letter just a few years back demanding an end to the use of the filibuster.

Religious Right Claims Victory With Stupak Amendment

To say that the Religious Right is overjoyed by the passage of the Stupak Amendment, which makes it "virtually impossible for private insurance companies that participate in the new system to offer abortion coverage to women," would be a massive understatement.

The Right hasn't had much to cheer about lately, but a quick look at the statements released shows that while they are still militantly opposed to healthcare reform, anti-choice activists are downright giddy with this victory, with the Christian Defense Coalition proclaiming that it "pounds a nail in the eventual coffin of 'Roe v. Wade'":

"This historic vote in the United States House of Representatives signals the beginning of the end for 'Roe v. Wade.' President Obama made taxpayer funded abortions a key part of his presidential campaign and it was strongly supported by Speaker Pelosi and House leadership.

"Pro-choice groups spent millions of dollars to have taxpayer funded abortions included in healthcare legislation to no avail.

"It is important to note that taxpayer funded abortions were excluded from the healthcare bill because of the votes of Democrats in the House, not conservative Republicans. This vote shows what recent national polls have demonstrated, and that is -- America is turning away from abortion and embracing human rights and a culture of life.

Randall Terry:

Mr. Terry states: "This is a great first step to victory - a touchdown in the first quarter - but we have a lot of fighting ahead of us. Our rejoicing must be tempered by reality. The Senate Bill must also prohibit any money from going to child-killing; and then we must insure that the conference committee does not include child-killing in the final bill, should it pass both houses. We have many hurdles left.

"Those of us who despise Socialism must now broaden our battle to kill the bill entirely. Our biggest battle is to stop the slaughter of children. The next battle is to keep our children from being saddled with trillions of dollars of debt.

"Many of us would rather die half-starved free men than be well fed slaves on Uncle Sam's plantation."

Susan B. Anthony List:

“Tonight the House of Representatives made a principled and politically sound decision to continue our nation’s longstanding policy of protecting taxpayers’ conscience in the area of abortion funding. We urge the Senate to follow suit. We will remain vigilant, and shift our efforts to the Senate to ensure that these same pro-life protections are added to the Senate bill.

“On behalf of the 280,000 members and activists of the Susan B. Anthony List who contacted Congress on this issue, I applaud all those who voted to honor the American legacy of protecting citizens’ conscience from conscription into activity to which most are morally opposed. Congress has sided with the resounding majority of citizens opposed to government funding of abortion. Supporters of government-funded abortion will now have some explaining to do back home, before voters head to the ballot box in 2010.

“If there’s one thing many members of Congress learned from Tuesday’s elections, it’s the danger of being out of step with your constituents. Votes do have consequences, and the recent tensions over health care reform should drive that message home. We will use every tool in our arsenal to ensure the folks back home know the truth about their legislator’s record."

Family Research Council:

"This is a huge pro-life victory for women, their unborn children, and families. We applaud this House vote which prohibits the abortion industry from further profiting from taxpayers by using government funds to pay for the gruesome act of abortion. I congratulate the bipartisan coalition that for months has worked to ensure that abortion is not covered in the bill.

"Since prior to last year's election Family Research Council has been working towards true health care reform that protects life, freedom and families. We supported efforts to ensure the legislation will not be paid for by the lives of future generations. We thank Representatives Bart Stupak (D-MI), Brad Ellsworth (D-IN), Joe Pitts (R-PA), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Kathy Dahlkemper (D-PA), Dan Lipinski (D-IL), and Chris Smith (R-NJ) for standing with more than 70% of Americans who morally object to funding abortion with their hard earned dollars.

Operation Rescue:

"Today, the voices of 71% of the American people who oppose taxpayer funded abortions were heard loud and clear. We thank each one who took the time to raise their voices in opposition to the Obama-Pelosi-Carhart effort to force taxpayers to fund the shedding of innocent blood through abortion.

"There is still a long way to go to prevent government subsidized health care from paying for abortions. Now the ball is in the Senate's court, and we pray that the common sense displayed in the House on the matter of abortion funding will also prevail in the Senate.

"We will continue to stand on behalf of the voiceless and oppose any efforts to restore abortion funding in any future version of health care legislation. But for tonight, we celebrate this day's pro-life victory defunding abortion, which will save lives and prevent the immoral and fiscally irresponsible bailout of the abortion cartel."

Concerned Women for America:

"Democrats and Republicans came together to ensure federal funds would not pay for elective abortions. They corrected a terrible provision in the bill that would force Americans to subsidize abortion, an act that kills unborn children and harms women. Pro-life congressmen - Democrat and Republican - worked tirelessly to strip an incentive from the bill that would increase abortions by paying for them with government money," stated Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee.

National Right to Life Committee:

NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson said: "The Obama White House and top congressional Democratic leaders spent months concealing and misrepresenting provisions that would directly fund abortions through a government plan, and subsidize premiums for private abortion plans. Today's bipartisan House vote is a sharp blow to the White House's pro-abortion smuggling operation. But we know that the White House and pro-abortion congressional Democratic leaders will keep trying to enact government funding of abortion, and will keep trying to conceal their true intentions, so there is a long battle ahead."

Americans United for Life:

Americans United for Life Action President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest said, "The passage of this amendment is a victory for the pro-life Americans across this country who have flooded Congress this week with the message that abortion does not belong in health care. The bipartisan effort that led to its passage, under the leadership of Congressmen Bart Stupak and Joe Pitts, is a step toward a future where both political parties defend Life."

American Center for Law and Justice:

The passage of this pro-life Amendment represents the only bright spot in an otherwise troubling government-run health care package put forth by House Speaker Pelosi. The American people understand that health care should not include federal funding for abortion and we’re grateful to Democrat Congressmen Bart Stupak (D-Mich) and Joseph Pitts (R-Penn) for their unrelenting efforts in protecting the unborn.

The 176 Republicans and 64 Democrats who stood together in a bipartisan defense of life deserve our sincere gratitude. For many of these Members, this vote was cast in the face of serious pressure to oppose the amendment. While there is work yet to do on this issue, this vote represents an extremely significant victory for life.

Concerned Women Outraged By Breast Cancer Report

You'd think that with a name like Concerned Women for America, the group would be concerned about women and their health and support efforts to inform women on the proper way to conduct regular breast exams.

But you'd be wrong, because that is what the Washington, DC ABC affiliate tried to do yesterday with this report entitled "Touch of Life: The Guide to Self-Breast Examination" in which they showed a woman giving herself such an exam.  As ABC explained: 

We are about to teach you how to potentially save your life by showing a full breast examination.  Our very brave volunteer is unclothed so that a doctor can show both her and you the proper way to catch breast cancer. In all of our reporting, we were amazed to find the vast majority of women had no idea how to do a breast exam, when to do it, and how often they should do it." 

CWA's Wendy Wright was outraged,accusing ABC of exploiting women and using nudity to bolster its ratings during "sweeps":

"It could be done on a model or mannequin. It can be done through diagrams. & This is exploiting women in order to exploit the audience," said Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America, a conservative group that promotes biblical values. "It's pretty clear that there's one point in doing this, and that is to try and increase their ratings."

NY-23: A Test of Huckabee's Conservatism?

Yesterday we noted that Doug Hoffman's campaign for the House seat in NY-23 had been endorsed by a veritable who's who of right-wing leaders and organizations.  In fact, endorsing Hoffman has become something of a test of one's conservative bona fides and so it was interesting that one name that was conspicuously absent from Hoffman's list of supporters was Mike Huckabee, and is appears as if Huckabee's refusal to endorse Hoffman is not going unnoticed by those on the right

“It’s very disappointing,” said Tom McClusky, vice president for government affairs at the Family Research Council. “You have names out there like Sarah Palin, Fred Thompson and Tim Pawlenty who are willing to take a stand. You’d think that would have pushed him to make a decision.”

“It concerns me. I think he should endorse. I think Doug Hoffman is his kind of candidate,” said Mike Mears, executive director of Concerned Women for America’s political action committee.

“I keep hoping that he is going to do it,” he said. “Conservatives are lining up behind Doug Hoffman.”


“When you’re a leader of the conservative movement, as Mike Huckabee is, you should make a bold statement,” said Mike Long, president of the New York State Conservative Party. “If you’re a leader, how do you not get involved?”

“If you want to show leadership, you’ve got to break away from the club,” Long added.

Politico speculates that Huckabee's reluctance to endorse Hoffman might be rooted in some sort of animosity he still holds toward Fred Thompson or the Club for Growth, both of whom have endorsed Hoffman, though that seems like a ridiculously unlikely reason for Huckabee to sit out this race to me.  But it does provide an opportunity for the Thompson, Club for Growth, and Huckabee teams to renew their rivalry and take pot-shots at one another: 

Both the Thompson camp and the Club for Growth gave evidence of those tensions by taking shots at Huckabee for his nonendorsement. 

“We’re very disappointed that Gov. Huckabee saw fit to come into the district for a Conservative Party event and then didn’t support or contribute to Hoffman,” said a source close to Thompson.

“He’s only hurting himself with his silence,” said Club for Growth Executive Director David Keating, who noted archly that “some people might conclude he supports Scozzafava.”

Sarah Huckabee dismissed the idea that Mike Huckabee had decided to stay out of the race because of any lingering tensions with Thompson or the Club for Growth, noting that he had thrown his early backing to Club for Growth favorite Marco Rubio in the hotly contested Florida GOP Senate primary.

“It’s absurd to say he doesn’t take sides,” Sarah Huckabee wrote in an e-mail. “He has taken a stand time after time for conservative issues. Where were all the conservatives when he was saying TARP was a bad idea?”

Beverly LaHaye Demands More God, Less Devil In Politics

Despite the fact that Beverly LaHaye founded Concerned Women for America back in 1979 and is therefore an influential and powerful leader of the Religious Right, she doesn't seem to generate very much press, which is too bad since she is fond of saying things like "Christian values should dominate our government. The test of those values is the Bible. Politicians who do not use the Bible to guide their public and private lives do not belong in office."

But just because she doesn't generate much press doesn't mean she isn't a sought after speaker.  Yesterday she addressed "a crowd of at least 100 people Monday during a dinner at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center" (at the Southern Baptist of Texas 2009 Annual Convention) where she shared her insights and urged those in attendance to "stand up against the wiles of the devil" and save America:

She called for the reintroduction of God into the day-to-day functions of American politics, where she said the framers originally intended him to be as they created the country more than 200 years ago.

The United States began tilting into moral decline in the 1970s, and faced further "crumbling" of families and social structures in the future without conservative Christian outcry, she said.

She repeatedly encouraged the audience to "stand up against the wiles of the devil" and join their Christian faith and with activism.

"It's time for Christian men and women to stand up for righteousness," LaHaye said.

Everybody's a Comedian

It seems that the Religious Right is taking time out from holding press conferences warning that healthcare reform will force women to abort their children in favor of a new tactic: humor.

First up, the Family Research Council:

Concerned Women for America likewise recently unveiled three of its own "humorous" videos on what healthcare reform will mean for Americans. Behold:

Normally, this is where we'd tell those responsible for these ads not to quit their day jobs ... but unfortunately, in this case, producing things like this is their day job.

Health Care Reform Will Lead To Forced Abortions

Is anyone surprised that right-wing groups are holding a press conference to claim that including coverage for reproductive health services in healthcare reform legislation are would lead to forced abortions ... or that several Republican members of Congress would join them in making that claim

If so, you obviously haven't been paying attention to what has become of today's GOP:

Today Concerned Women for America will join in a press conference on health care with numerous groups including Focus on the Family Action, National Right to Life, and Family Research Council as well as Representatives Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina,) Tom Price (R-Georgia) and Eric Cantor (R-Virginia.) The press conference will be held in the House Triangle.

"Women are generally the primary decision-makers in the family when it comes to health care. However, our ability to make health care decisions will be snatched away and given to bureaucrats empowered to ration care and pay for abortion," stated Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America.

"The current bill sets up a system whereby bureaucrats decide what health care we can receive, with cost as a major factor. It also will fund abortion. Since abortion costs less than prenatal care, delivery and post-natal care, especially if the mother or child has special needs, it is not unlikely that bureaucrats will put on their green-eye shades and decide that abortion will be covered but expensive maternal and child care is not.

Anti-Gay Hate Crime Proves Gays Don't Need Hate Crimes Protection

I had just finished watching the news report on the vicious anti-gay beating of Jack Price (complete with an defense of the beating from a man sporting a Leviticus tattoo) when I came across this piece by Concerned Women for America's Ken Ervin claiming that the beating proves that gays don't need hate crimes protection:

The New York Post is abuzz with the story of Jack Price, a 49-year-old man who was viciously beaten by two twenty-somethings last week. While in the College Point store, two boys (why call them “men”?) hurled insults at Price, waited for him to leave the store and then jumped him. According to the Post, “Price suffered a fractured jaw and ribs, and a lacerated spleen.” He remains in a medically-induced coma in serious but stable condition.

So, to recap, two adolescently-minded wanna-be-men ganged up on a man more than twice their age, beating him so severely that his jaw and ribs were broken, his spleen was damaged, and he required hospitalization. Pretty bad, yes? Horrific and absolutely unconscionable, right? Are you outraged? Do you want to see justice done? Do you want these two jerks to spend a lot of time in some dark, dank hole in the New York prison system? Good. That’s how it should be.

And yet, for some, the mere fact of broken bones and a lacerated spleen wasn’t worthy of outrage. Oh no. What was truly outrageous about this unthinkable crime, and what seems to some to be more horrific than broken bones and life-threatening injuries is that — horror upon horror!! — the assailants hurled “anti-gay slurs” at the object of their torment.

C’mon people. Can you seriously look me in the face and tell me that these hoodlums should get a harsher sentence for calling Jack Price nasty names while they beat him? If so, you’re also saying that it’s okay with you if they had kept their mouths shut while beating him and got away with a lighter sentence. Preposterous.

Homosexual or not, who really cares? These hooligans deserve prosecution to the fullest extent of the law — the regular law, not the “special” ones. We don’t need “hate crimes” laws. We need law enforcement. We need these guys to be afraid of more than a slap on the wrists. And if that isn’t happening with the regular law, then making “special” laws isn’t going to do it either.

Let me ask, for seemingly the millionth time, if the Religious Right would be making this argument that hate crimes laws are unnecessary if the victim had been attacked because of his race or religion? 

If "special" laws are so unnecessary, then why aren't they calling for the repeal of the existing hate crimes protections for race and religion, instead of merely trying to prevent gays from getting those same protections? 

Obama's Noble Prize Proves That Everyone Is a Stupid Communist!

For the most part, right-wing and Religious Right groups have been silent on the news that President Obama has been awarded the Noble Peace Prize, but a few have issued predictably inanely incoherent statements.

Such as the Catholic League proclaiming that "Abortion Haunts Peace Prize Winner":

Unlike another Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Mother Teresa, who said abortion was “the greatest destroyer of peace,” Obama has never indicated that abortion undermines the cause of peace. Indeed, he champions abortion as if it were a sacred right. If he wants to pivot at this juncture, Catholics will welcome it. If he doesn’t, he will have to live with the consequences.

And then there is Concerned Women for America's "Dumbing Down The Nobel Peace Prize":

According to the Associated Press, there were rumors consideration was being given to “…Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, a Colombian senator and a Chinese dissident, along with an Afghan woman’s rights activist.” Wow – that’s tough competition. It’s amazing that the president of the United States would be considered amidst such an august group of candidates.

When Alfred Nobel wrote his will in 1895 he insisted that the peace prize should go “…to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations and the abolition or reduction of standing armies and the formation and spreading of peace congresses.” One wonders if Nobel ever considered there could have been a year where the crop of candidates was so bad that the award would be given to someone who had accomplished none of the things stipulated in his will. Apparently when there is a year where the prospects are so bleak, the lowest common denominator wins. That doesn’t say much for the world’s prospects for peace.

Not to be outdone is Richard Viguerie, whose press release claims that the award just goes to prove that Obama and everyone else is a Communist:

"The announcement from the Nobel Peace Prize Committee says as much about the Norwegian voters and their parliament as it does President Obama. All involved should be embarrassed and ashamed for using this Prize to advance a radical, leftist agenda.

"It's clear that the Marxist leaders in Europe know what most Americans don't know--that the American president is a kindred spirit who they recognize as one of their own.

"Freedom-loving people should no longer respect or take seriously the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, as they have become an arm of the worldwide Marxist cause, evidenced by their previous selections of Yassar Arafat and Le Duc Tho and now Barack Obama.

"The award has been cheapened beyond repair and the Nobel Committee has insulted all who labor and sacrifice for true peace and freedom under God's laws."

CWA To "Weclome" Spain's Prime Minister to White House

Concerned Women for America announces that they will be protesting outside the White House next week during a visit from Spain's Prime Minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero:

Spain's Socialist Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero will meet with President Obama at the White House on Tuesday, October 13. Zapatero will be met by Americans in solidarity with Spain's citizens against his attempt to increase abortions.

Zapatero recently proposed a bill to liberalize Spain's abortion law. The bill would allow 16-year-olds to get abortions without parental consent, increase abortion without restrictions to 14 weeks, and change abortion from a crime to a social "right."

Spanish pro-life groups will hold a march in Madrid on October 17 to protest Zapatero's efforts to radicalize Spain's abortion laws. Doctors in Spain who face being forced to perform abortions or thrown in jail will join the march.

Concerned Women for America (CWA) and other pro-life activists will gather at the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue at 10:00 a.m. on October 13 during Zapatero's visit.

"Spain's pro-lifers and doctors can be encouraged that Americans stand with them against Zapatero's attempt to increase abortions. Pictures of Americans supporting life and opposing Zapatero during his White House visit will be sent to Spain to build momentum for Spain's march for life," said CWA President Wendy Wright.

Respecting the Troops By Voting Against the Defense Appropriation

Back when George W. Bush was president, any Democrat in Congress who voted against any defense appropriation bill was immediately accused of hating our troops and endangering their lives.

But times have changed apparently:

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House GOP Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-Ind.) are voting against the House/Senate fiscal year 2010 defense authorization bill — because it contains hate crimes provisions designed to protect gays and lesbians.

Boehner, speaking at his weekly press conference Thursday, said the inclusion of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act in the defense bill was "an abuse of power" by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that sought to punish offenders for what they thought — and not what they did.

He accused the speaker of pursuing her social agenda "on the backs" of the troops.

GOP Whip Eric Cantor is also a no, saying that the legislation constitutes classifying a new group of "thought crimes."

Not surprisingly, the Right has seized upon the idea that voting against this appropriations bill is a way to show support for the troops:

As FRC has said countless times, this provision would be devastating to free speech and religious freedom. Other laws that have passed under the guise of "hate crimes" have been the first step toward silencing pastors and Christians who speak out against homosexuality. Please join with us in asking Congress to respect our servicemen and women and vote no on "hate crimes" as part of the defense authorization bill!

Concerned Women for America makes a similar claim:

"The Defense Authorization bill should fund our national defense. Period. This 'hate crimes' provision grants special rights to certain political groups and could give cover to criminal behavior. This exploitation of a bill to fund our national defense shamelessly places homosexual groups' demands equal to or more important than our military," stated Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America.

"'Hate crime' laws unduly expand the federal government. These crimes are already fully prosecuted by the states. 'Hate crime' laws allow prosecution for the same act twice, violating the Constitutional protection against Double Jeopardy. It creates a class of 'special' preferred victims, denying equal protection to other victims. It could cover every kind of sexual behavior, granting protected status even for pedophiles. And homosexual activists admit the whole effort is a scam to raise money and political power," Wright noted.

Freedom Federation Welcomes Huckabee

We've written several posts about the new right-wing supergroup known as the Freedom Federation over the last few months.  Consisting of various right wing groups including the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, Eagle Forum, the American Family Association, Traditional Values Coalition, Wallbuilders, Vision America, and many others, the group's mission is to create a unified political front for the Religious Right.

Today, Deacon Keith Fournier writes in Catholic Online that he was recently invited to attend a meeting of the Freedom Federation's steering committee but was reluctant to go ... until he found out that they were going to have a special guest speaker - Mike Huckabee:

I have made some inspiring new friendships with champions such as Rev. Sam Rodriquez and Bishop Harry Jackson. And, it is a joy after several years to renew old ones with my friends Ken Blackwell and Matt Staver. However, the drive to Washington D.C., even with good “beltway traffic” is at least four hours for me since I moved back to Chesapeake, Virginia. I am “swamped” these days, on every front of my life. So, let me be honest. I accepted the invitation because a special guest had promised to drop by and share his thoughts. That special guest is one of my favorite public servants, the former Governor of Arkansas and former Presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee.

I have long admired this genuinely good man. I had the privilege of interviewing him for Catholic Online during the last Presidential campaign. We have published those interviews as related stories under this article. When he entered the meeting, filled with dedicated people (mostly evangelical protestant leaders, though this time I was not the only Catholic) who themselves possess leadership gifts, he filled the room with his presence. Real leaders have a presence about them which just fills the room. His warm smile and attention to every person he greeted was impressive. His warmth toward me made the long drive worthwhile. However, it was his insights, shared over the course of a long and dynamic meeting which convinced me that this is a man who has not even begun to give his gifts to the service of his Nation.

I sat next to the Governor and, I must admit, I invited some of his responses through my own questions and observations. I could say he “had me” when he called my champion, the late Servant of God John Paul II, “one of the great spiritual and Christian leaders of our lifetime” and shared anecdotal stories from the late Pope’s life. However, there was much more to come in the rich content of his intelligent public policy positions. It was the substance of those deeply held positions on the issues which matter most which won the day and only deepened my admiration for the man. He breaks the molds of the empty political labels of “left/right”, “liberal/conservative.” He espouses truly human, just and concerned positions. I will be returning to them, I am sure, in future articles. However, permit me to share just one of his comments.

In the context of discussing the fundamental human rights issue of our age, the right to life from conception, to birth, throughout life and up to and including a natural death - what I call the “whole life/pro-life” position, which the Governor clearly embraces - he said these words: “To say that one person has value, but another does not, that one has human dignity but another does not, or somehow has less… that is the kind of thinking that slavery was built upon, and worse… . The dignity of every human person and the value of every human life must be the pole star of all public policy.” These words are not a slogan, they are a creed to the Governor, a deeply help vision of life and worldview. They flowed from the heart of a man who cares deeply about this nation and about our future together.

Many of the leaders of the Freedom Federation's member organizations backed Huckabee's presidential bid back in 2008, but many others did not, for which Huckabee regularly and roundly blasted them as sell-outs.  Since then, he has been hard at work positioning himself as the Religious Right's most ardent defender and the effort has recently begun paying dividends.

Huckabee continues to insist that he has not decided on whether he will make another run for president in 2012 ... but he certainly seems to be working hard to win over and unify the Religious Right behind him in case he decides to do so. 

How Many Coalitions Does The Religious Right Need?

Over the last several months, we've been chronicling the seemingly endless emergence of new Religious Right groups and coalitions. 

In recent months we've witnessed the arrival of the American Principles Project and the Faith and Freedom Institute, which was followed by Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition, while Newt Gingrich was unveiling his Renewing American Leadership effort, and Lou Engle was announcing his Call to Action.  And then a bunch of Religious Right leaders came together under the banner of the Freedom Federation, but apparently the Freedom Federation wasn't enough because now there is something Conservative Action Project which has been sending out "memos for the [conservative] movement" on a regular basis [PDF]:

The Conservative Action Project, chaired by former Attorney General Edwin Meese, is designed to facilitate conservative leaders working together on behalf of common goals. Participation is extended to leaders of groups representing all major elements of the conservative movement—economic, social and national security.

The Conservative Action Project doesn't seem to have a fixed membership, though the memos usually carry the names of people like Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and Gary Bauer of American Values, among others.

To date, the coalition has issued memos demanding that heathcare legislation contain lawsuit reform and doesn't include coverage for abortion, one blasting President Obama for supposedly carrying out an "apology and appeasement tour," one decrying the "culture of corruption," and a new memo "requiring that legislation be available on the Internet for 72 hours before consideration by the House."

This new group seems to have some sort of link to the Center for National Policy, considering that the contact info listed on this memo uses the email address: The Council for National Policy's URL is, and it has an affiliated c4 known as CNP Action.

Concerned Women Concerned About Women on Submarines

Apparently, Concerned Women for America is now concerned about women serving on submarines ... or, more accurately, the babies those women may or may not be carrying while serving on said submarines:

Concerned Women for America (CWA), the nation's largest public policy women's organization, is disappointed in recent statements by Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus indicating their wish to lift the ban on women serving aboard submarines. Admiral Mullen advocated the policy change in written congressional testimony on Friday. Navy Secretary Mabus said he was "moving out aggressively on this."

"Unlike any other assignment in the U.S. Navy, the submarine service is a hazardous environment for women of child-bearing age," noted CWA President Wendy Wright. "No other assignment exposes women to a constantly recycled atmosphere of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and more than 200 potentially toxic chemicals. Those contaminants remain even with filtering. While normal adults can adjust to this environment, a developing child in the first trimester cannot, and the levels of carbon dioxide that crewmembers are exposed to can be linked to birth defects. Also, no study has been done to determine the impact of this environment on a woman's fertility."

"Another serious consideration is the threat to the life and health of the women assigned to submarine crews should an ectopic pregnancy occur. These cases, about four out of every 1,000 women per year, can be life-threatening situations that demand evacuation," Wright said. "For a great many women, the acute symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy are their first indication that they are even pregnant. Pre-deployment pregnancy testing is not a silver bullet either, since tests may not give a positive reading in the earliest stages of pregnancy."

"Along with the medical issues, there are very real social and psychological difficulties posed by mixing the sexes in the 'Silent Service,'" Wright added. "Military readiness and cohesiveness will be affected, and commanders will have the added difficulties of harassment and fraternization to deal with, which are inevitable in this situation of confined quarters with extremely little privacy. National security is the Navy's primary mission, not advancing women's careers."

Religious Right Demands Sanctions on Iran

Every once in a while, Religious Right leaders take a break from railing against abortion and gays and czars and death panels and whatever to weigh in on foreign policy issues, like back in 2007 when a group of them released a statement demanding that the US remain in Iraq, or last year when another group demanded a meeting with Barack Obama to discuss their ideas on how to defeat terrorism.

Now a similar group is back with a new letter demanding sanctions on Iran:

In a remarkable ecumenical and bipartisan display of unity, Christian leaders representing over 28 million evangelicals, Roman Catholics, and other Christians have sent a letter to Congress today and other key world leaders calling for urgent action to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. The letter urges a total arms embargo and a cut off of exports of refined petroleum products, including gasoline, as a firm yet peaceful measure against the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.


The leaders include Pat Robertson of Christian Broadcasting Network, Southern Baptist Convention chairman and pastor Johnny Hunt of First Baptist Church of Woodstock, Charles Colson of the Prison Fellowship Ministries, Richard Land of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family, Bill Donohue of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, , Dr. Michael Youssef of Leading the Way, Dr. James Merritt of Cross Pointe Church, Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America, Gary Bauer of American Values, and Dr. John Hagee of the Conerstone Church in San Antonio.

I'm not sure what is so "bipartisan" about this, since just about every person who signed their name to this appears to be a right-wing activist.  

But there was one interesting revelation among the signatories: 

Manuel Miranda, President, The Iraq Society

Presumably, that is this Manuel Miranda.

So Miranda is not only an expert on judges and immigration, but also on Iraq now?  Who knew?

Dobson, Malkin, and the Merging of the Right Wing Movement

At lunch yesterday, I was having a conversation with a colleague about the apparent merging of various factions of the right-wing movement under President Obama, noting how right-wing supergroups like the Freedom Federation were bringing together organizations like Concerned Women for American and the Family Research Council with outlets that they had never really aligned themselves with before, like Americans for Prosperity and Morning Star Ministries.

We also commented on the fact that the Heritage Foundation is sponsoring this year's Values Voter Summit, which is a first, as far as we can recall, and that James Dobson has started having people like Rick Scarborough on his radio show, which was also a rather new development.

But I didn't realize how fully integrated the right-wing movement was becoming until I saw this:

This is actually just the first part of a scheduled two part interview. You can listen to part one here or here.

Right Wing Paranoia Knows No Bounds

On September 9th, President Obama delivered his healthcare address to a joint session of Congress. Not surprisingly, security around the Capitol was pretty tight ... but to Janice Shaw Crouse of Concerned Women for America, this sizable security presence wasn't there to protect the President or members of Congress; it was really an effort by "the Left" to intimidate conservatives:

Everything was on hand in preparation for an assault. But by whom?

Were they mobilizing for an attack by jihadists bent on acts of terrorism? No, the State Department has decreed that the bad old days of the Bush Administration’s preoccupation with the Axis of Evil and the War on Terror are over.

Then it came to me.

They are there to ensure that those evil right-wing terrorists who have been running amuck at TEA Parties and town halls all over the country don’t get the idea that they can weaken the grip of Pelosi and company by mounting a disruptive demonstration prior to, during, or after Obama’s health care reform address to Congress. Can’t allow those wicked conservatives to take a page out of Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals! Can’t allow those wicked conservatives to behave like ACORN or the Black Panthers! It just wouldn’t do.


If the left — with its majorities in both the House and the Senate — has everything nailed down as solidly as “I’ve-got-the-votes” Pelosi claims, why all the frustration, anger, fear, and hysteria that we’re seeing? That much is not merely theatre. Those emotions are real and very hard to hide. You can see them in the eyes and body language and hear them in the tone of voice.

No. What we are seeing is something very real. And it certainly isn’t pretty.

CWA: Repealing DOMA "Will Result in Reverse Discrimination"

Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler introduced legislation to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in the House of Representatives and, predictably, Concerned Women for America is not happy about it, going so far as to claim that repealing DOMA would amount to discrimination against people who don't think gays should be treated equally: 

Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America (CWA), said, "The citizens of 39 states have worked hard to pass legislation and constitutional amendments to protect marriage as the union between one man and one woman. DOMA ensures the integrity of our constitutional system and the will of Americans. DOMA reflects the reality that marriage provides unique benefits to individuals, children, and society which cannot be replicated by any other living arrangement.

"The Defense of Marriage Act anticipated the assault that homosexual activists would inflict upon marriage. Through DOMA, the will of the people is honored, as evidenced in the 39 states that have passed laws protecting marriage."

Shari Rendall, CWA's Director of Legislation and Public Policy, said, "Homosexual activists and their congressional supporters are making the outrageous claim that protecting marriage is a form of discrimination. But the reverse is true -- failing to protect marriage and overturning marriage laws will result in reverse discrimination against people who believe that marriage is between one man and one woman."

The Right Piles On

I have been diligently following the developments in the shooting death of anti-abortion activist James Pouillon in Michigan since the news broke this morning and based on the little information and few details that are available, it is impossible to know why Pouilon was killed.

Reports indicated that Pouilon was gunned down from a moving car early this morning.  A witness got the car's license plate and police arrested someone an hour later.  At that point, the suspect reportedly informed the police that he had committed another murder earlier in the morning and police were soon informed that the body of Mike Fouss, the owner of a local gravel pit, had been discovered, shot multiple times in his office:

Fuoss knew the suspected shooter, according to Shiawassee County Sheriff George Braidwood. Braidwood said it appeared he was shot at close range.

Subsequent reports indicate that the suspect in custody had some sort of personal connection to Fuoss:

Fuoss’ brother-in-law, Glen Merkel, told the Free Press that Fuoss was found shot dead in his office around 7:30 a.m. by an employee. He said Fuoss was seen alive perhaps 20 minutes earlier when another truck driver for his company came to pick up a load of gravel.

Merkel said the suspect in the shootings is the son of a former Fuoss Gravel employee, but said he did not know any reason for Fuoss’ slaying.

In short, at this point, it’s far, far too soon to say what the motive in either of these crimes actually was.

But none of that seems to matter to right-wing groups and individuals like Randall Terry, all of whom are releasing statements and holding press conferences demanding political action.

From Concerned Women for America:

Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America (CWA), stated, "We are shocked at this senseless violence against a peaceful man. Jim Pouillon sincerely lived out his belief that babies have the right to be born. He dedicated his life to convincing others to reject the violence of abortion. It is a tragedy upon tragedy that a peaceful man who tried to end violence was himself violently killed.

"We hope Attorney General Holder will as vigorously denounce the murder of Jim Pouillon, who tried to save babies from violence, as he did the murder of George Tiller, the late-term abortionist."

CWA President Wendy Wright will speak at a press conference today, September 11, along with pro-life leaders Troy Newman, Patrick Mahoney and Rob Schenck. The press conference will be held at 2:30 outside the Department of Justice (950 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, D.C.).

From the Pro-Life Action League:

"We are shocked to learn of the killing of pro-life activist Jim Pouillon, a man who day after day stood as a witness to the violence of abortion. Now he himself is a victim of violence," said Joseph M. Scheidler, national director of the Chicago-based Pro-Life Action League, "Just last month at a clinic on the north side of Chicago a man shouted to one of our counselors, 'I'll get my gun and shoot you through the head.' On a number of occasions, our 'Face the Truth Tour' was threatened with deadly weapons."

"When the late term abortionist, Dr. George Tiller, was murdered, the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney's Office launched a federal investigation into federal crimes in connection with the murder, and the Civil Rights Division convened a meeting of the National Task Force on Violence Against Reproductive Health Care Providers," commented Scheidler. "Now the Pro-Life Action League is calling on those government agencies to investigate this murder and established a task force to protect pro-life advocates."

Let me say this again: at this point, nobody knows why Pouillon was killed.  He may have been targeted for his activism, or it may have just been random, but nobody knows.  Perhaps it would behoove these right wing groups to hold off until some facts are actually known about this case before they start issuing statements and making all sorts of demands.

And maybe media outlets like the New York Times ought to hold off on running articles carrying headlines like "Man Killed Over Anti-Abortion Stance" until that has actually been established:

If You Thought PFOX Was A Group For "Ex-Gays," Think Again

Via AMERICAblog we get this excellent article in the Washington City Paper about Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX):

PFOX has always had a hard time getting ex-gays to join the club. PFOX’s board of directors includes a surplus of everstraights but few former homosexuals. Parents of openly ex-gay children are also in short supply. The closest the group comes to fulfilling its name is Griggs, who speaks publicly about her loving—and disapproving—relationship with her openly gay son.

Beyond the one hopeful parent of a future ex-gay, PFOX’s directors are more fit to provide political influence than ex-gay support. Paul Rondeau, the group’s president, is not ex-gay. Estella Salvatierra, vice president, is a civil rights attorney and is not ex-gay. If Scott Strachan, the group’s secretary, is ex-gay, he’s not talking about it. Michelle Hoffman, the treasurer, once told the Montgomery County School Board that “I know many former homosexuals and am proud to call them my friends.” Peter Sprigg, a director, is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and has publicly identified as everstraight. Retta Brown, a director, is not ex-gay. Robert Knight, a former director of Concerned Women for America, is not a woman and is not ex-gay. Barber, a director, works at Liberty University Law School and is not ex-gay. Quinlan, a director, is ex-gay.

Thanks to Quinlan, the closest ex-gay connection that most PFOX members claim is that they are the “friends” of an ex-gay. They better be. The organization’s ex-gays are stuck with the dirty work: fighting off homosexual urges, inserting themselves into possibly discriminatory scenarios, and never, ever accomplishing the full heterosexuality of the everstraights. Ex-gays aren’t even welcome in PFOX meetings. In an e-mail posted on one ex-gay message board, a PFOX rep made the group’s target audience clear: “PFOX meetings are for families and friends of strugglers only, and not for ex-gays.”

How has PFOX managed to build the local ex-gay movement with the participation of so few actual ex-gays? Through the clever use of a smokescreen. The group claims to represent relatives and friends of ex-gays, which is code for the true constituency—Christian conservatives. Accordingly, PFOX does not deal in ex-gay counseling, therapy, or support groups; PFOX sues people.

Syndicate content

Concerned Women for America Top Posts

Founded by Beverly LaHaye, wife of Religious Right activist Tim LaHaye, as a counter to the progressive National Organization of Women, Concerned Women for America (CWA) describes itself as "the nation's largest public policy women's organization." CWA opposes gay rights, comprehensive sex education, drug and alcohol education, and feminism, while advocating what it calls "pro-life" and "pro-family" values. MORE >

Concerned Women for America Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Thursday 11/17/2011, 4:20pm
Kenda Bartlett, National Field Director for Concerned Women for America, asked members to read about the work of CWA Home Team Captain Jeanne Sparks, who every year attends the PrideWorks Annual LGBTQ Youth Conference in Tarrytown, New York. Bartlett said that Sparks will distribute literature from the ‘ex-gay’ group Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX) on the purported dangers of being gay. Sparks was particularly worried about the emphasis on questioning youth at this year’s conference, warning, “The student who falls into the "Questioning"... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 11/14/2011, 11:25am
Last week Mario Diaz, Concerned Women for America’s Policy Director for Legal Issues, appeared on Crosstalk with Jim Schneider on Voice of Christian Youth America radio to warn about the supposed devastation that would result of Congress repealing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Diaz, who wrote a Washington Times op-ed lashing out at Senate Democrats who support the law’s repeal for working “against the will of the people” in order to “force their own values on the rest of the nation,” told Schneider that legalizing marriage for same-sex couples is like... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 11/10/2011, 4:08pm
Anti-choice activists have for years equated legal abortion in America to the Holocaust, along with slavery, Jim Crow laws and terrorism. The Holocaust comparison is front and center in the new movie 180, a “documentary” that attempts to change the minds of pro-choice viewers by showing graphic footage from the Holocaust and comparing it to abortion. 180 has been publicized by groups such as Concerned Women for America and Personhood USA, which claimed to have sent the film to 600,000 Mississippi residents just days before the unsuccessful “personhood” referendum. The... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 11/08/2011, 3:46pm
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) became a chief target of Religious Right activists after she introduced the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and end federal discrimination against married same-sex couples. In an email titled, “Getting Gay With Marriage,” Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition warns that President Obama, the Supreme Court and “left-wing radicals have declared open warfare against America’s families” by “trying to cram gay marriage through Congress”: URGENT: Please forward this e-mail to... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 11/02/2011, 9:15am
Janice Shaw Crouse of Concerned Women for America’s Beverly LaHaye Institute is speaking out against a bill proposed by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) that would eliminate discrimination against same-sex couples in the adoption and foster care process. Crouse told the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow that “the data overwhelmingly says” that homes headed by same-sex couples “are not as good for children.” She went on to say that the “homosexual agenda” is “being advanced at the expense of our children and at the expense of the... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 10/27/2011, 4:38pm
Rick Santorum goes after Herman Cain on the issue of abortion and using quotes from various Religious Right leaders to drive home the point.   The Rick Perry campaign has hit upon a novel possible solution to addressing the candidate's poor debate performances: skipping future debates.   Quran-burning pastor Terry Jones is running for president.   FRC's latest prayer target: "Pray that DOMA will be preserved! May the people elect a President and Congress next November who will pass, and may the states ratify a Federal Marriage... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 10/24/2011, 4:01pm
Several weeks ago, the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins hosted a press briefing at the National Press Club to discuss just what it is that the Religious Right is seeking in a Republican presidential nominee. During the Q&A, Perkins was asked to discuss the idea that the very positions that make a candidate appealing to the Religious Right are the same positions that make such candidates unappealing to the general voting population. Not surprisingly, Perkins took issue with that assessment and asserted instead that without the support of the Religious Right, no Republican candidate... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 10/21/2011, 3:40pm
Herman Cain has said this week that he is pro-life and that abortion should be made illegal, but also that the government shouldn’t have any role in it and the decision should be left up to the woman and her family. As Kyle notes, it seems that Cain’s position is that abortion should be outlawed but “in situations where a family was deciding whether or not to break the law, it is none of the government’s business to tell them what to do.” Cain seems to be the only person who understands this view, and the Religious Right is not happy, to say the least. Rick Perry... MORE >