Republican Party

How To Feign Outrage, Fourteen Years After the Fact

For the last several days, the Right has been up in arms over this audio clip of Virginia Senate candidate Mark Warner warning that the state was on the verge of being taken over by the Religious Right

"Next weekend, you're going to see a coalition that has just about completely taken over the Republican Party in this state.

"And if they have their way, will take over state government, made up of the Christian Coalition, made up of right-to-lifers; but it's not just the right-to-lifers, it's made up of the NRA; but it's not just that, it's made up of the home schoolers; but not just that, it's made up of a whole coalition of people that have all sorts of different views that I think most of us in this room would find threatening to them and what it means to be an American.

Not surprisingly, it is being shopped around by Warner's opponent, Jim Gilmore,  who is currently getting crushed in the polls. 

So offensive were Warner's remarks, apparently, that the Family Research Council felt compelled to issue a statement:

Today, FRC Action decried comments made by Democrat Party Senate candidate Mark Warner. Warner, who served formerly as Governor of Virginia, was recently recorded speaking at a Democratic Party event. In his speech, Warner accused pro-lifers, homeschoolers, and members of the National Rifle Association, as threatening to "what it means to be an American."


"You have to wonder what Mark Warner finds so offensive about these groups," said FRC Action Executive Director David Nammo, "Is it the open practice of one's faith or the insistence on the right to bear arms that threatens Warner's America? The protection of innocent human life or the desire of parents to educate their own child? Perhaps Mark Warner should explain to the citizens of Virginia what parts of the Constitution he does agree with since it is clear he holds much of it suspect."

Oddly, nobody at the Family Research Council seems to know how to do any basic "research" - or understands the meaning of the words "recently recorded" - because, if they did, they'd realize that they probably should have issued this statement back in 1994 when Warner actually said it in relation to right-wing efforts to elect Iran-Contra criminal Oliver North ... or at least back in 2001 when the the RNC and Gilmore first tried to use the quote against him:

31 October 2001
The Richmond Times-Dispatch

Republicans launched a sharp-edged radio advertising attack on Mark R. Warner yesterday, saying the Democratic gubernatorial candidate views abortion foes, home-school advocates and "people of faith" as a threat to the nation.

Warner angrily denied the claim and demanded the GOP pull the commercial.

The 60-second ad is produced and paid for by the Republican National Committee, led by Gov. Jim Gilmore. It features a conversation between a man and a woman during which the woman suggests that Warner considers social and religious conservatives as "wanting to radically change American life, and said our views were threatening."


The commercial is based on remarks attributed to Warner seven years ago, shortly before Virginia Republicans met in Richmond to nominate Iran-contra figure Oliver L. North for the U.S. Senate.

North went on to lose to incumbent Democrat Charles S. Robb. At the time, Warner was chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia.


Referring to the expected nomination of North, a favorite of the Republican Party's conservative activists, Warner, according to a state GOP-supplied transcript, reportedly told the National Jewish Democrat Council on May 25, 1994:

"Next weekend, you're going to see a coalition that has just about completely taken over the Republican Party in this state.

"And if they have their way, will take over state government, made up of the Christian Coalition, made up of right-to-lifers; but it's not just the right-to-lifers, it's made up of the NRA; but it's not just that, it's made up of the home schoolers; but not just that, it's made up of a whole coalition of people that have all sorts of different views that I think most of us in this room would find threatening to them and what it means to be an American.

It’s Two Things in One

David Brody reports that Religious Right activists are descending on St. Louis in order to offer their prayers and support to Sarah Palin before her big debate:

Starting tonight, Palin supporters will gather at the vice-presidential debate site in St. Louis and hold prayer rallies for her.

This effort is being put together by The Christian Defense Coalition. They have a track record of holding prayer vigils and pro-life demonstrations on the big political and religious issues of the day. The Brody File has been told that big time Evangelical heavyweight Phyllis Schlafly will be there along with some members of Concerned Women for America, the Defense of Life group, homeschool groups and many more. In addition a co-chair from the Republican Party of Missouri will be there though I am told these events are not officially sanctioned by the GOP.

Organizer Reverend Patrick Mahoney tells me that if Palin wasn't on the ticket they would not be holding rallies. But he says they want to make a loud and clear statement that she has energized the faith community in a real and tangible way. So they'll be specifically praying for her and the issues that they believe she is passionate about like the life issue, traditional marriage, etc.

The inclination here by the media may be to dismiss these pro-life people of faith as a sideshow. Or to simply say that they are just craving media attention. Not so fast.

What they will be doing the next two days is simply a microcosm of what will be taking place by many Evangelicals across the country. They are praying for Palin. Why? Because first of all, her faith journey resonates with them and additionally it is important to remember that these folks understand that for the first time in national politics they have a pro-life Christian woman who they believe represents their faith and values.

That is one way of putting it.  Another, more accurate, way of putting it would be to say that anti-abortion activists are descending on St. Louis to protest Joe Biden which is, after all, how they described it last week:

Operation Rescue and the Christian Defense Coalition have announced plans for demonstrations surrounding the Vice-Presidential debate to be held in St. Louis on October 2.

The groups, which are coordinating with Defenders of the Unborn, Concerned Women for America, and other pro-life groups, have planned events that will both support pro-life Republican vice presidential nominee, Gov. Sarah Palin, and stand in opposition to the pro-abortion Democratic vice presidential nominee, Sen. Joe Biden.

It’s kind of like how, back in January, the CDC announced it was hosting a “non-partisan prayer vigil” for all the presidential candidates in New Hampshire that was, in reality, an anti-abortion protest aimed at Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

Who Is Snubbing Evangelicals?

Earlier this week, we noted that Richard Cizik of the National Association of Evangelicals wasn’t making any friends on the Right by blasting John McCain for completely selling out to them.  It looks like Cizik has no fear of rubbing salt in the wound, telling Dan Gilgoff that the Religious Right’s party-line commitment to the GOP is “unbiblical. It says you don't think. If you're simply voting on same sex marriage and abortion, you're not thinking. What I'm saying is that a lot of evangelicals don't think, sad to say.”

But more interesting, especially in light of the fact that Rob Schenck and the Family Research Council are accusing Barack Obama of snubbing evangelicals, is the fact that, according to Cizik, the McCain campaign is completely snubbing the NAE and other leaders:

The McCain campaign has beefed up its religious outreach efforts recently. How is their evangelical outreach going?

We put in a request with the McCain campaign and it was never responded to. Many figures in the Republican Party have reached out to the campaign stating their concern that the candidate has not reached out to evangelical leaders, but it went nowhere. And since we're so deep into the campaign, we can only assume that we're not going to get an answer. We had some people, including a governor and a major party official, who said to the campaign, "I think you should meet with some of these evangelicals." I have subsequently interpreted that they didn't think they needed to because they had an idea of their own and that maybe that was Sarah Palin.

Has the Obama campaign reached out to the National Association of Evangelicals?

We put in a request and an answer came back rather quickly: They wanted us to come to a meeting in Chicago with some 25 other leaders. And I went. One is left to conclude that the McCain people have concluded that they don't need such a meeting.

Economic Crisis the Result of “Breakdown in the Family”

There have been several articles recently suggesting that with John McCain’s decision to name Sarah Palin as his running mate, the focus of the election was shifting toward wedge issues like abortion and gay marriage and that the so-called “culture war” was about to be reignited, to the benefit of the Republican Party.

But that was before the economy went into a meltdown and became the primary issue in the campaign.  Of course, just because the focus has shifted away from their issues doesn’t mean that the Religious Right isn’t desperately trying to find ways of exploiting the current economic crisis to further their own agenda:

While the economy clearly is at the forefront of voter priorities, conservative Christians also draw a connection between traditional social issues like abortion and gay marriage and the economy, said Tony Perkins, president of the Washington-based Family Research Council.

"As there's a breakdown in the family and the family weakens, it's only logical it will hit Wall Street," Perkins said. "A nation cannot be strong just because of a financial structure alone. It has to have strong families and values."

Obviously, as soon as women stop having abortions and gays stop trying to get married and adopt children everything on Wall Street will turn right around.  It’s as simple as that.

What Makes a Maverick?

I know I have written about this before and that there are bigger issues facing this nation at the moment, but it is driving me nuts, so I am writing about it again.

As I marveled at last time, the conventional media wisdom that John McCain's decision to tap Sarah Palin as his running mate was a sign that he was reclaiming his reputation as a "maverick" despite the fact that the choice was a complete and utter capitulation to the Religious Right.

I'm fully aware that trotting out definitions of words is a hackneyed device, but in this case, it seems kind of relevant - Maverick: an independent individual who does not go along with a group or party.

Back in 2000, McCain established his reputation as a "maverick" by bucking his "party" and especially the "group" of Religious Right activists who constitute that party's base with his infamous declaration that they were "agents of intolerance" and a "corrupting influences on religion and politics." So at least in that context, his reputation as a maverick was not completely underserved. 

But since then, he has completely caved to the realities of Republican politics, fallen back in line, and cravenly sublimated himself to the Right's demands.  Yet, for some reason, the media fails to recognize this glaringly obvious fact. 

But even more amazing is the fact that, ever since he named Palin to his ticket, the Religious Right has begun praising McCain's "maverickness."

Shortly after McCain made the announcement, the Family Research Council hailed Palin as "McCain's Co-Maverick." Earlier this month Gary Bauer declared that his "maverick reputation" would "appeal to swing voters." And now, buried in this long US News article, we get Michael Medved saying "Both Palin and McCain are mavericks, authentic, and original."

What group or party does the Right think McCain thwarted in picking Palin, other than his own VP short list of Joe Lieberman and Tom Ridge?  The media and the pundits?  Whoever it was, it certainly wasn't the GOP or the Religious Right.  

For the media, McCain initially established his "maverick" reputation by exhibiting independence from the Republican Party and the Religious Right.  He has since negated that persona in a multitude of ways, much to the delight of the Republican Party and the Religious Right, who are now inexplicably crowing that McCain's "maverick" reputation will be advantageous in November.    

It seems that the media considering McCain a "maverick" because he once parted ways with the Republican Party and its right-wing base, and the Republican Party and its right-wing base thinks he's a "maverick" because he picked a running mate that confounded the media.

Needless to say, both cannot be true.  And, in fact, neither is.

Frankly, the fact that the Religious Right is now hailing McCain for his "maverick" reputation shows just how undeserved that reputation really is.  

What It Takes to Be President

There has been a lot of speculation about whether or not Sarah Palin has the necessary qualifications to be Vice President or, if necessary, President.  As such, McCain supporters have been desperately trying to come up evidence that she does, claiming that she has foreign policy experience because Alaska is near Russia, that she has national security credentials because she is "commander in chief" of the Alaska National Guard, and that “she knows more about energy than probably anyone else in the United States of America.”

Those efforts to prop up Palin came crashing down yesterday when top McCain’s surrogate Carly Fiorina admitted that Palin was unqualified to run a company such as Hewlett Packard - a comment for which Fiorina has now been “disappeared.”  

But as it turns out, concerns about experience and qualifications aren’t really all that important anyway, as Sen. Elizabeth Dole learned yesterday while hanging out with the good folks from the local Christian Coalition affiliate.  All that really matters is the fact that McCain is a “Christian and a hero”: 

Among those on bus were U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole; Linda Daves, North Carolina Republican Party chairman; Buddy Roemer, former Louisiana governor who is campaigning for John McCain; state Sen. Robert Pittenger, candidate for lieutenant governor; and Jack Sawyer, candidate for N.C. secretary of state.

More than 550 people came out for the 15th annual God and Country Banquet sponsored by the Craven-Pamlico Christian Coalition. The group recognized candidates attending from parties, but the dinner was highlighted by speeches from Roemer, Dole and Pittenger.

"I want to live in a godly nation," said Walter Leake, coalition chairman and emcee of the event. Speakers included testimonies about their faith with their appeals for votes.

[Roemer] was clearly stumping for his longtime friend and told the story of McCain's faith during his prisoner-of-war experience.

"Being a hero doesn't make you a good president," he said. "But being a Christian and a hero is a good start where I come from."

Like McCain, Palin is a Christian and is certainly being treated like a hero, so I guess that’s all we really need to know.

Harry Jackson: Hurricanes, Hard Times Setup for Christians to Take Control

Bishop Harry Jackson, the Religious Right’s most visible African American spokesman, who has recently been shilling for an Astroturf campaign accusing environmentalists of waging a “war against the poor” got back basics when he kicked off this year’s Values Voter summit with a breakfast touting his High Impact Leadership Coalition, pushing his books, and asking for financial support for his anti-gay road tour in Florida to push a constitutional ban on same-sex couples getting married.

But Jackson also had his eye on a bigger prize – “We’re in a time of crisis when the Christians have to determine the course of the nation.” This isn’t a new theme for Jackson. At previous events he has called for activists to bring about “the rule and reign of the Cross” to America. Jackson was introduced by one of his associate pastors, who had sounded the same theme, saying, “now is the moment in history when Black and White churches in America must come together to direct the affairs of our nation.” It’s clear that electing the McCain-Palin ticket is an important step – the warm-up speaker was the chair of African Americans for McCain in Illinois who was promoting a new magazine for Black conservatives that pitches a David Barton-esque view of the Republican Party as the champion of Black America.

Jackson has adopted McCain’s audacious claim to be an outsider seeking change even thought Republicans have controlled the White House for the past eight years. Jackson was so eager to distance himself from the people he helped put into power that he engaged in some overt Bush-bashing, chastising the president and Karl Rove for selling out Christians by not forcing passage of the anti-gay Federal Marriage Amendment.

Jackson claimed that the series of hurricanes and tropical storms, the bad economy, and the war in Iraq are all part of God’s plan to create such hard times in America that people will turn to the church. “God is setting the state for our voice to be heard once again,” he said. “If they’re not going to listen to us in good times, it may take bad times to set that platform.” While joking that he didn’t want to sound like Rev. Jeremiah Wright, he said Wright raised an interesting question – is America, or should America, be under God’s judgment? Jackson said that if Christians, who he said have been playing defense for too long, would go on the offense and count on God’s help to overcome the nation’s sins, there’s still time to avoid that wrath. (Unless, I guess, you’re in the path of one of those stage-setting hurricanes.)

Jackson also told of being confronted in a Boston Market by a gay activist who confronted him about his role on an anti-gay conference call in California, which People For the American Way Foundation documented. “We have spies that are working against us; even in this meeting there may be some spies.” Jackson urged attendees to join in the 40 days of prayer and fasting that evangelical Christians in California have planned seeking God’s help in passing Proposition 8, and suggested it could also balance the fasting and prayers that Muslims all over the world are doing during Ramadan – “there is spiritual warfare going on.”

The Perils of Courting the Right

It is no secret that Barack Obama's campaign has made a concerted effort to reach out to evangelical voters in this election, especailly younger evangelicals.  Among those it has courted is Cameron Strang and his father, Charisma Magazine founder Steven Strang - who is more of an old-guard evangelical who was an early supporter of Mike Huckabee and, just last week, endorsed John McCain.  

Cameron Strang had even been tapped to deliver the benediction at the Democratic convention, but pulled out at the last minute over concerns that his presence could be seen as an endorsement.  But that doesn't mean that he doesn't have advice for the Obama campaign on how to deal with Sarah Palin and her extreme views on abortion:

Strang, who participated in a faith caucus at the convention but decided that speaking on national television would be too political, said Obama has a chance to peel away evangelicals, particularly the younger voters who read his magazine. Obama has effectively emphasized areas of common ground, like social justice and the environment, Strang said. But he warned of a backlash if Democrats hammer Palin's hard-line stance on abortion.

''If they use it as wedge issue, it will push away Christian voters and they will undo everything positive they've accomplished in terms of faith outreach,'' said Strang, who recently changed his voter registration from Republican to independent. ``I think a lot of moderate Christians are still up for grabs.''

As we have noted repeatedly in the past, the idea that there is a "new evangelical" movement afoot that can be wooed away from the Religious Right and the Republican Party hinges on the belief that many of the movement’s leaders and followers are more moderate on social issues such as abortion and homosexuality, or at least will not make those issues the sole basis of their voting decisions.

The fact that Strang is advising the Obama campaign not to expose Palin's ulta-right-wing views on abortion less he risk alienating "moderate Christians" just highlights the danger of making those assumptions.

John McCain: A Good Listener

As Tony Perkins explained to James Dobson’s audience earlier this week, the Religious Right is thrilled with John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate not only because Palin is everything they have been praying for, but because it demonstrates, for once, that McCain “can listen.” 

And not only will McCain “listen” to the Right, he will respond accordingly to their screams and threats – at least that is how Richard Viguerie sees it:

Conservatives who refused to fall in line behind the Republican Party--who maintained their independence, at the price of being ridiculed as "cranky" or "impossible to please"--are the ones responsible for John McCain's brilliant, game-changing selection of Sarah Palin, Richard A. Viguerie said.

"Those who backed John McCain as the 'lesser of two evils' did no favors to themselves, their movement, or to Senator McCain," said Viguerie, chairman of "He needed to know what conservatives really thought, and he needed to know what had to be done to get conservatives enthusiastically on board his campaign.

"As we know now, what he had to do was pick Sarah Palin," he said.

[Credit goes to] conservatives, especially religious conservatives, who "went nuclear" in their criticism in the past couple of weeks before the announcement upon hearing that the pick might be Joe Lieberman, Tom Ridge, or someone nearly as disastrous for the McCain campaign and the Republican Party. ("Those of us who spoke up strongly were roundly criticized by some conservatives," Viguerie noted.) It was our firestorm that stopped that catastrophe from coming to pass.

"Across this country, conservatives and Republicans at every level let John McCain know what he needed to do to get them fired up and excited and ready to go door-to-door and make phone calls and do all the things that have to be done. They told him, and he listened, and his selection of Sarah Palin has completely turned his campaign around … [T]hose conservatives who held to their principles are the men and women 'in the arena' who can claim their own share of John McCain and Sarah Palin's triumph last night."

So that is why Religious Right leaders - who, until last week, were nearly unanimously unenthusiastic about McCain - are now full-throated supporters:  because they stared him down and won and now know that he can be bullied and intimidated into doing their bidding.  

Quite a maverick.

Bauer Exposes McCain Campaign's Hands-On Role in Crafting GOP Platform

On Tuesday, Focus on the Family released audio of a special James Dobson radio program, recorded last Friday after John McCain's announcement that Sarah Palin would be his running mate.  Containing analysis of the decision from Tony Perkins, Gary Bauer, Tom Minnery, and Kelly Shackelford, the group of right-wing heavyweights discussed everything from the elation at the announcement felt among those gathered for the Council for National Policy meeting to Gary Bauer’s role as the McCain campaign’s surrogate to the Republican Platform Committee in crafting the “the strongest pro-life platform in the history of the Republican Party.”

Among the most striking information was Gary Bauer’s revelation that, contrary to the McCain’s campaign’s claims that it was taking a hands-off approach to the platform, they were actively involved and supportive of the Right Wing’s efforts to craft the hardline document that emerged.   In fact, Bauer reports that he was tapped by the McCain campaign to be their surrogate and that the campaign was "very open to the kind of changes" the Religious Right was pushing.

Among the other interesting facts contained in the program was Shackelford’s declaration that CNP members felt that God was answering their prayers with Palin and Tony Perkins' assessment that McCain has shifted dramatically in their direction from a year ago and that his decision to name Palin as his running mate shows that “he can listen.” But perhaps the most entertaining thing about the program was the shame in Dobson’s voice as he explained how he has gone from a vocal critic of McCain to someone who, “if I went into the polling booth today, I would pull the lever for John McCain.”

Listen with player below or to the mp3 here


Dobson: Have you ever, in your life, seen as large a crowd of people give a standing ovation to [the Palin announcement on] CNN? Have you ever seen that happen?

Kelly Shackelford: I don’t think so and the other thing is, a number of people literally had tears in their eyes. I think that there was such pent-up worry, prayer that had been going on for so long and they really felt like the Lord was answering those prayers with somebody who is pro-life, somebody who is committed to the definition of marriage and the issues that we believe in so strongly.

Tony Perkins: This was a tremendous strategic decision by the McCain campaign.  They have seen social conservatives drifting away from them over the last year and, in part in the last year there’s been some pushing and shoving going on as the social conservatives have not signed on to the McCain campaign.  But he has shown …

Dobson: Tell me about it. I’ve been pretty explicit about it.

Perkins: And there’s a reason for that because he’s not where he is today a year ago.  But he has shown that he listens and I though two weeks ago at the Saddleback Forum he did a tremendous job at being straight-forward and he got the attention of social conservatives that he can listen, he can respond.  And then today, with this selection, I think the strongest among the names that have been out there, he has shown that he cares about these issues and has solidified a strong conservative, pro-life, pro-family ticket for the Republican Party.

Dobson: Gary, you have been advising the McCain campaign for some time and so you really signed on with him before any of the rest of us made up our minds …

Gary Bauer: I’ve been watching not only today, I’ve been watching the last couple of weeks and giving my advice to everybody I could within the McCain campaign.  I would disagree with my good friend Tony, I think this is where John McCain’s been for a long time.  He really does have a twenty-five year pro-life voting record, except for a couple of notable exceptions, but I thought this choice was just outstanding. I actually think over the last couple of weeks, from Saddleback where he was very clear on these issues to what he’s been emphasizing in his speeches and town meetings, the platform which was adopted this week – just an outstanding pro-life platform – and now this vice presidential selection, there’s just a real commitment that he’s showing here.

Dobson: I’ve been pretty vocal in my opposition to John McCain. I haven’t done it on Focus on the Family, but I’ve done it in the media and for some good reasons.  I could right now tick off fifteen or twenty things that have concerned me.  And, having made that statement, the assumption is that I must stay with it even if the circumstances change. And they have changed.  Saddleback changed me.  What I heard John McCain say at Saddleback didn’t eliminate all of the concerns but it did draw me in his direction.  And then, of course, this selection and other things.  Tony, you said McCain seems to be changing - Gary, you disagreed with that - but it sure looks that way to me.  And so, I am not endorsing John McCain.  I have only endorsed a presidential candidate once in my life and that was George Bush in the second term after I’d watched him for four years.  I just don’t endorse presidential candidates and I don’t see myself doing that this time. But I am moving closer and closer to being able to say … well, I’ll say it now, if I went into the polling booth today, I would pull the lever for John McCain.

Bauer: I got appointed by the McCain campaign to be their advisor on the platform.  It was an interesting assignment.  I arrived there, usually I’m on the outside beating on whoever the nominee is to do better, but when I got there and met with the McCain staff people I was immediately amazed, surprised and happy to hear them say “look, we think it’s a great platform already, it’s pro-life but we know people might want to strengthen it and we’re open to that.  We want to work with people, we don’t want to alienate anybody and we’d like you to go back and forth between the delegates and us and see if we can work these things out.”  I think that Kelly will affirm that, other than a few places, there really weren’t many brutal fights. Most of it was done in a very collegial way with the McCain people being very open to the kind of changes that made the platform draft even better than it was when it started.

Dobson: Would you agree that this is the strongest pro-life platform in the history of the Republican Party?

Shackelford:  There’s no doubt.  I was on that sub-committee and every pro-life leader who was there watching from Phyllis Schlafly to you name the pro-life group, they were all watching and they all said this is the strongest pro-life platform ever in the history of the party.   We not only kept the famous plank that was put in during the time of Ronald Reagan, but we added additional strong language that made it even stronger.  It was really incredible to be a part of this and I will affirm what Gary said; this is my third platform committee in a row and it was different than the last ones.  The McCain campaign not only did not fight us as severely as the last campaigns did but they actually were in favor of the platform becoming more conservative because they knew that’s where the people were.

Schlafly's Advice: Don't Marry Sarah Palin

When John McCain named Sarah Palin as his running mate, the Right could barely contain its glee and among those most ethused by the pick was Phyllis Schlafly who, even after Palin was a no-show at her convention reception, had nothing but praise for her and her priorities: 

Schlafly told WND McCain's choice of Palin was the best he could possibly have made.

"Sarah Palin has reinvigorated the entire Republican Party," she said. "And it's across the board. It's not just pro-lifers. She's a breath of fresh air. She's right on every issue."

Schlafly addressed criticism that Palin is hypocritical, because her demanding job as a political leader, while mothering five children, conflicts with the traditional values she espouses.

"We do stand up for the role of the full-time homemaker," Schlafly replied. "On the other hand, a lot of women work hard. I think people who don't have any children, or have one or two, don't understand what life is like with more children."

This reminded me of a post entitled "Don't Marry Phyllis Schlafly" that I wrote a few years back after Schlafly blasted Steve Forbes for apologizing for publishing a widely criticized piece by Michael Noer in his magazine entitled "Don't Marry Career Women."

In the original piece, Noer listed several reasons why "whatever you do, [no men should] marry a woman with a career."  When Forbes, the publisher, was forced to apologize for running the piece, Schlafly came to Noer's defense:

Eagle Forum's Phyllis Schlafly feels Forbes has no reason to apologize since the facts and statistics Noer cited were sound. In fact, she suggests, an article like this should have been written 20 years ago, and this one still hits the right note today because, contrary to the feminist myth, a woman really cannot "have it all" -- at least, not all at the same time.

To Schlafly, this is a simple question of practicality. "You can't have it all at the same time. There are not that many hours in the day," she asserts. "Now, with our lengthened lifespan, a woman can have it all; I think I've had it all," she says, "but you don't have it at the same time. A baby is extremely demanding -- even more demanding than a husband."

But the issue Noer's article raises is not really about women who have careers, the pro-family spokeswoman points out. What the author is really highlighting in the Forbes article, she contends, is the problem of wives who set the wrong priorities.

"A lot of the newspapers ... have published articles about how some of the most highly educated women -- women who graduated from the elite colleges and then got graduate degrees like MBAs or JDs -- have put their career ahead of husband and family," Schlafly notes. "In many of these cases, in the woman's scale of values, the husband is ranking third," she says.

The real issue is not women having careers, Schlafly says, but women making their careers their highest priority, above family. When that type of situation takes place, she observes, it is not likely that a husband will stick around.

Presumably, Schlfaly's enthusiastic support of Palin stems from the fact that Palin has her priorities straight and won't be putting her "career ahead of husband and family" because, after all, a "baby is extremely demanding -- even more demanding than a husband."

We Want to Believe

Yesterday, David Barton wisely suggested that people ignore John McCain's reputation as a "maverick" and ignore whatever it is he says in favor of judging him based on his actual record.  With that view we couldn't agree more, but now it looks like Barton is so giddy by McCain's decision to name Sarah Palin as his running mate that he's gone into full-on Kool-Aid-drinking mode:

Delegates including David Barton of Aledo, a former vice chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, said McCain's choice of Palin had cemented support for the GOP ticket among faith voters who had some distrust of him.

"It was an affirmation to conservatives and faith voters that McCain really is a good guy. He's not just pandering," Barton said.

Although McCain had met with faith groups before announcing his choice of Palin, Barton said, "Everybody was at arm's length and said, ‘We'll see.' Now it's a full embrace."

Barton is right about one thing: McCain's not "just pandering" to the Right with the Palin pick, he's flagrantly and unabashedly pandering to them.

Sarah Palin Is Your New Ronald Reagan

In less than a week, one-term Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has gone from a complete unknown to savior of the Republican Party.  From the moment she was announced as John McCain's vice presidential pick, the Right has been gushing nonstop, heaping praise upon her, and proclaiming her the answer to all of their prayers.

And so it doesn't really come as much of a surprise that, after days of non-stop Palin hagiography, the Right is starting to run out of ways to express its adulation and that all that was left was to pay her the greatest compliment they know by christening her "the next Ronald Reagan":

"A week ago, conservatives and most Republicans were down-in-the-dumps, listless, unengaged. That lack of enthusiasm is a thing of the past. Tonight, thanks to Senator McCain and Governor Palin, conservatives and Republicans are fired up as they have not been since Ronald Reagan was president," he said.

"Sarah Palin is the next Ronald Reagan," Viguerie, the Chairman of, said.

"In less than a week, Governor Sarah has captured the heart and soul of this convention, the Republican Party, and the conservative movement. She brings together social conservatives, and economic conservatives and libertarians, and people who are fed up with the Culture of Corruption that infests our nation's politics," he said.

"From this moment forward, there's no limit on where Sarah Palin might go," Viguerie concluded.

This is especially remarkable considering that Viguerie has, in recent years, been not only a militant critic of John McCain but the GOP in general - just a few months ago he was demanding the wholesale resignation of the Republican Party's leadership for destroying the GOP's reputation and having "failed - or outright betrayed - the conservative voters who put them in their positions."

How prevelant is this idea becoming?  Even Michael Reagan is making it:

I've been trying to convince my fellow conservatives that they have been wasting their time in a fruitless quest for a new Ronald Reagan to emerge and lead our party and our nation. I insisted that we'd never see his like again because he was one of a kind.

I was wrong!

Wednesday night I watched the Republican National Convention on television and there, before my very eyes, I saw my Dad reborn; only this time he's a she.

McCain’s Anti-Choice Choice

In the moments after John McCain revealed his choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate, a group of right-wing luminaries held a conference call to publicly swoon over her selection. “She could not be a better Vice Presidential pick,” gushed Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion group. Ken Blackwell, the controversial former Ohio Secretary of State and vice chairman of the GOP platform committee, concurred: “I just think that John McCain couldn’t have made a better choice.”

The reason for their enthusiasm was clear – abortion. Or rather, Palin’s opposition to it, even in cases of rape or incest. Blackwell called the McCain-Palin ticket the “strongest pro-life team with a pro-life platform in the history of the Republican party.” Coming from an anti-abortion zealot like Blackwell, that’s not faint praise.

Not surprisingly, the speakers thought Palin stacked up favorably against Joe Biden. In response to a question posed by Sarah Posner, Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life said that Palin is a good Catholic and Biden is no Catholic at all: “He's a Catholic who's contradicting one of the key tenants of Catholicism. And claiming that he's practicing is simply not true. You can't practice the faith when you deny it.” (Pavone failed to note that Palin was rebaptized into the Assemblies of God as a girl.)

McCain has worked for years to cultivate his maverick image, including deliberate efforts to obscure his strong anti-choice record and sentiments. But no such ambiguity is possible with Palin on the ticket. “For those who have had ambivalence or who have simply been unsure of how pro-life Senator McCain is – and of course his voting record is very strong on pro-life – now that ambivalence will certainly be counteracted by this VP selection,” said Pavone.

McCain shouldn’t take too much comfort in the heaps of praise from the far right because it cuts both ways. As he removes lingering doubts among Religious Right voters, he is creating new doubts among moderate voters who are increasingly seeing the holes in his maverick schtick. He’s riding a public opinion seesaw, and not even real straight talk will get him off it.

McCain's Capitulation to the Religious Right Now Complete

Back in 2000, John McCain solidified his "maverick" reputation by lambasting the Religious Right, labeling Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell "agents of intolerance" and decrying the Right's role within the Republican Party:

They are corrupting influences on religion and politics, and those who practice them in the name of religion or in the name of the Republican Party or in the name of America shame our faith, our party and our country.

Since then, McCain has been working hard to get back in their good graces, though the Right has been openly skeptical and their support for him has been lukewarm at best.  But all of that changed with his decision to name relative-unknown Sarah Palin as his running mate.

I can say without exaggeration that, in all my years of watching the Right, I have never seen them as excited about anything as they are about the Palin nomination.  Nor, for that matter, have I ever seen a prominent politician more blatantly capitulate to their demands:

James Dobson, Focus on the Family:  "A lot of people were praying, and I believe Sarah Palin is God's answer.”

James Dobson: “[A]n outstanding choice that should be extremely reassuring to the conservative base of his party.”

James Dobson:  I have only endorsed one presidential candidate in my life and that was George Bush in the second term after I had watched him for four years … So I’m very reluctant to do that … But I can tell you that if I had to go into the [voting booth today], I would pull that lever.

Tony Perkins, Family Research Council: “Senator McCain made an outstanding pick.”

Connie Mackey, FRCAction:  “I am elated with Senator McCain's choice.”

Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel: "Absolutely brilliant choice.”

Richard Land: “Governor Palin will delight the Republican base.”

Rick Scarborough, Vision America, “I’m elated. I think it’s a superb choice."

Ralph Reed: “They’re beyond ecstatic. This is a home run.”

Gary Bauer, American Values: "[A] grand slam home run."

Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum: “She is the best possible choice.”

Janet Folger, Faith2Action: “[T]he selection of Sarah Palin is more than ‘Brilliant!’ ‘Electrifying!’ and ‘Energizing!’ The selection of Sarah Palin will lead to words like: ‘Rejuvenating!’ ‘Victory!’ and ‘Landslide!’"

Wendy Wright, Concerned Women for America: “Governor Palin will change the dynamics of the entire presidential race.”

Janice Shaw Crouse, CWA's Beverly LaHaye Institute: “She is an outstanding woman who will be an excellent role model for the nation's young people.”

David Barton, Wallbuilders: "The talk won't be about, 'look at Sarah Palin' as much as 'look at what McCain's choice of Palin says about McCain's core beliefs.”

Jonathan Falwell: “John McCain made it very clear that his administration was going to be a pro-life administration, and he proved that’s his belief and his passion today with the choice of Sarah Palin.”

Jerry Falwell, Jr.: “I think it’s a brilliant choice.”

Charmaine Yoest, Americans United for Life: “And then when [Palin] was announced — it was like you couldn’t breathe. [We] were grabbing each other and jumping up and down.”

Gary Marx, Judicial Confirmation Network: "I can tell you that this pick tells millions in the base of the party that they can trust McCain. More specifically that they can trust him with Supreme Court picks and other key appointments’"

David Keene, American Conservative Union: “The selection of Governor Palin is great news for conservatives, for the party and for the country. I predict any conservatives who have been lukewarm thus far in their support of the McCain candidacy will work their hearts out between now and November for the McCain-Palin ticket."

In eight years, John McCain has gone from attacking the Right's "corrupting influences on religion and politics" to answering James Dobson's prayers. Absolutely remarkable.

The Return of the Restoration Project

Back in 2006, we wrote a report about the "Patriot Pastors" movement, various state level efforts by evangelical pastors to organize so-called “Restoration Projects” that would transform America by applying the significant resources of their churches to political campaigns. The most high-profile effort was in Ohio and run by Rod Parsley and Russell Johnson, with close cooperation from then Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, though efforts were underway in several other states as well, including Texas. While the forces behind the Ohio movement are lying low, with Parsley still smarting from being humiliated by John McCain and Blackwell busy with his various jobs with the Family Research Council, the Club for Growth, and Tom DeLay's Coalition for a Conservative Majority, the Texas Freedom Network reports that the efforts in Texas are still going strong, thanks to the committed backing of Gov. Rick Perry:

The governor’s disturbing mix of faith and militancy comes in an invitation to conservative evangelical pastors to attend a Texas Restoration Project event in Austin next month … The Pastors’ Policy Briefing on Oct. 9-10 in Austin will be the group’s eighth since May 2005. … According to the invitation, [Mike] Huckabee will be joining Gov. Perry at the Austin event next month. Other speakers will include David Barton, who is the former Texas Republican Party vice chairman and the founder of the Christian advocacy group WallBuilders, and Kelly Shackelford, head of Free Market Foundation, which is Focus on the Family’s Texas affiliate.

TFN has also posted the invitation sent out by Perry:

Both our nation and our Judeo Christian heritage are under attack by a force that is more dangerous than any threat our world has faced in recent memory. I am convinced that our ability to defeat the radical jihadists who threaten our nation will be significantly impacted by the prayers and leadership of America’s evangelical pastors.

"Rediscovering God in America” was created to inspire people of faith to engage the culture and bring America back to our worldwide standing as a beacon of hope, a city shining on a hill.

Because God entrusted you to care for and lead His flock, you can play a key role in restoring God to the center of American life, thus strengthening our nation to confront this looming threat.

While Congress occupies its time trying to legislate defeat in Iraq, we hope you will attend a Pastors’ Policy Briefing that will equip you to walk point in the war of values and ideas.

Rediscovering God in America-Austin is intended to remind us that excuses are not the proper strategy when facing evil and confronting enemies. Instead, we must rally godly people and seek God’s provision for the resources, the courage, and the strength necessary to win and, ultimately, glorify Him.

Schlafly Threatens Walkout if Lieberman Named VP

As we noted several times recently, the Right has been anything but unclear that a pro-choice running mate for John McCain would be utterly unacceptable. But even worse than that would be a pro-choice, former Democrat like Joe Lieberman.

As we wrote earlier this week, picking Lieberman would be an unmistakable poke in the eye by McCain to the GOP's right-wing base - one that would not go unnoticed:

But Lieberman’s long history as a Democrat could make for a bizarre debate with Biden — with the two of them sharing long records supporting labor causes and abortion rights and a host of other issues that would infuriate McCain’s activist base.

In essence, said one insider, a Lieberman pick “means McCain would run a campaign without a core constituency of the Republican Party.”

Phyllis Schlafly, of the conservative Eagle Forum, was more blunt: “I think there would be a walkout on Lieberman at the convention. He’s not a Republican.”

For their part, the Family Research Council can't imagine what McCain could possibly be thinking either:

McCain would presumably pledge not to run again and Lieberman would never be the GOP nominee in 2012, thus it would be the swan song for them both. Joe Lieberman has a reasonable and thoughtful image, but his positions on abortion and homosexual marriage would mark a major break for the GOP. It's hard to imagine a more divisive step for McCain, but it would be odd at other levels. By acknowledging from day one that his administration is lame duck, by holding simultaneously the thought that he would remake American politics without touching the nature of his own party, by making his ticket focus solely on foreign policy when economic news dominates the headlines, McCain would be letting the air out of his own balloon.

The NBRA Explains The “Southern Strategy”

One thing that has always confused me is the Right Wing’s obsession with recounting the racist history of the Democratic Party and the anti-slavery origins of the Republican Party that inevitably seems to end right around the mid-1960s.  

For example, we wrote a report about right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton a few years back that examined a video he produced called “American History in Black and White” in which he diligently recounts the atrocities committed by early members of what was then the Democratic Party and ties them into positions held by current members of the party:

Barton claims that Democrats hailed the Dred Scott decision because it affirmed “their belief that it was proper to have slavery and hold African Americans in bondage.” He then takes it a step further, making a direct comparison between this decision and modern Democrats’ support of reproductive choice for women, claiming “Democrats have largely taken that same position in unborn human life, that an unborn human is really just disposable property to do with as one wishes. African Americans were the victims of this disposable property ideology a century and a half ago, and still are today … For over a century and a half, Democrats have wrongly argued that some human life is merely disposable personal property and black Americans have suffered most under this philosophy.”

On and on he went, until he reached the for passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act, at which point his “history lesson” ended.  

This tactic continues even today – just last week the Wall Street Journal ran a piece accusing the Democratic National Committee of posting a history of the party on its website that is “so sanitized of historical reality it makes Stalin look like historian David McCullough.” Not surprisingly, the WSJ piece received prominence on the website of the National Black Republican Association, whose leader, Frances Rice, has made it her mission  to inform the world about what “Democrats have done in the past and are doing now to black people … They are keeping blacks in virtual slavery."

The obvious question raised by all of this is not why the Democrats are reluctant to discuss it, but why right-wingers who are obsessed with it never manage to explain the so-called “Southern Strategy” employed by Richard Nixon to win over traditional Southern Democrats who were angry by the party’s emerging pro-civil rights positions.  As Nixon strategist Kevin Phillips explained it:   

From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don't need any more than that... but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That's where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats.

Ronald Regan’s strategist Lee Atwater was even more blunt about the reasoning behind the strategy:

“You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘Nigger, nigger, nigger,’ ” said Atwater. “By 1968, you can’t say ‘nigger’ — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things, and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.”

Given that, beginning in the late 1960s, the GOP made a concerted and successful to court Southern voters who had traditionally been supporters of the Democratic Party which, as the Right loves to point out, was fundamentally racist, it has been confusing to understand how those who hammer this point rationalize this obvious disconnect.  Usually, they do so by not talking about it. 

But finally someone shed some light on this question when the NBRA’s Rice explained the history of the “Southern Strategy” at a sparsely attended conference earlier this month.  You see, it was not that Nixon and the GOP were courting racist Southern voters; Nixon was really just trying to get the “fair-minded people in the South to stop discriminating against blacks”:

That strategy was designed to get the fair-minded people in the South to stop discriminating against blacks and to stop supporting a party that did not share their values.  So those fair-minded ones who migrated to the Republican Party did so.  They joined us, we did not join the racists.

If Rice's history is correct, how does she explain that both President Bush and former RNC chair Ken Mehlman apologized for the Southern Strategy, with Mehlman admitting in 2005 that "Republicans gave up on winning the African American vote, looking the other way or trying to benefit politically from racial polarization. I am here today as the Republican chairman to tell you we were wrong."

God and the GOP Share The Same Agenda

As we have noted several times in the past, David Barton of Wallbuilders likes to pass himself off as a historian committed to uncovering “America's forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on the moral, religious, and constitutional foundation on which America was built.” In reality, he is a Religious Right activist committed to spreading biased “history” for the benefit for the Republican Party – that is, after all, what they regularly pay him to do.

And so it is no surprise that he is out with a new document [PDF] just before the election designed to “help [Biblical voters] evaluate the candidates”:   

According to the Bible (c.f., Deuteronomy 28; 1 Chronicles 21; 1 Kings 18), a nation’s righteousness is determined by its public policies and how well those policies conform to God’s standards …In America, the only way there will be God-honoring leaders is if God-honoring citizens elect them; so the first and foremost consideration in any election is whether the candidate will advance policies that promote Biblical standards of righteousness.

Barton asserts that while the Bible contains a “comprehensive system of 613 laws delivered through Moses in the Old Testament,” God prioritized what was most important by issuing his “Top Ten” list and that, while things like poverty, environment, health care, immigration, taxation might be important, they were not important enough to crack the top ten and are thus of lesser importance.

So what exactly does God consider the “highest ranking issues directly affecting national righteousness”?  According to Barton, He cares primarily about judges, abortion, gays, and the public posting of the Ten Commandments: 

This election will likely have a greater impact on the nation through the judiciary than any presidential election for the past three decades, for when the next President takes office in January 2009, six of the nine Supreme Court Justices will be at least 70 years old – and five of those six Justices have repeatedly struck down public policies friendly to Biblical values. Therefore, Biblical voters should make their selection for President based first and foremost on the type of judges he will appoint.

Defending the unborn must continue to remain a priority for Biblical voters. The right to life is the first of the three specifically enumerated inalienable rights set forth in our founding documents, and American government was established on the thesis that certain rights come from God and that government must protect those rights inviolable. Significantly, if a leader does not protect the inalienable right to life, then all other inalienable rights are likewise in jeopardy … where a candidate stands on the issue of abortion is of paramount importance not only for the sake of the unborn but also for the preservation of our other inalienable rights.

If a candidate is willing to accept, empower, and advance homosexuality, it is a clear indication that he does not embrace the moral absolutes of the Bible … While there are many areas specifically addressed by God’s moral law (e.g., adultery, pre-marital sex, etc.), only homosexuality is currently the focus of favorable political action. Therefore, where a candidate stands on that issue is one of the best indicators of whether he recognizes and embraces God’s moral absolutes.

Today, secularists have convinced many Americans to accept a compartmentalization of their faith, telling them that it is appropriate to acknowledge God at church, home, or in other private settings but not in public venues. If a candidate holds this position, it means that he is willing to disconnect God from what he does, and the entire nation is put at risk by leaders who compartmentalize faith.  Biblical voters should select leaders who will seek to protect and expand rather than restrict or weaken the opportunity for the public acknowledgment of God and the inclusion of His principles in public venues.

It’s amazing how frequently God’s principles perfectly line up with the Religious Right’s political agenda.

Huck’s Army Falls Back In Line

Last week, we reported that the on-line activists who constitute Huck’s Army were warning that they would not support John McCain if Mike Huckabee was not named his running mate or at least chosen to deliver the keynote address at the upcoming convention.  

While Huckabee obviously can’t control what his on-line supporters do, that doesn’t mean he can’t undercut them:

Huckabee said he assumes he will be asked to speak during the convention, but didn't know whether he'd be a major player in the GOP's quadrennial pep rally.

"My goal right now at the convention would be to be the most helpful I can be to Sen. McCain," Huckabee said. "Whether that's visible or invisible, that's something he's got to decide, not me."

His schedule will include a couple performances with his Arkansas-based rock band and a conference on obesity. Huckabee also will join the Creative Coalition for a news conference on the importance of music and art education in schools.

"What I want to do is help not just Sen. McCain, but my party and my country," he said, adding, "This isn't about me anymore. It's really about John McCain and winning."

And predictably, the activists behind Huck’s Army have now sent out a clarifying email saying that the previous message was not the official position of the group:

The message that went out to our forum members today is not the official position of HucksArmy and was a communication from a few of our members who were concerned by some dismissive treatment toward supporters of conservative cultural values.

Many of our members and leaders consider the earlier statement overly harsh and demanding. Understand that any directives that HucksArmy sends out is not a command but an option.

HucksArmy is a community and not an organization and so we rarely issue statements representing the whole of our community.

HucksArmy as a whole is not demanding that Huckabee be the VP or be given a keynote at convention or else. While we would love to see these things happen, we do not have any official demands as a collective group.

But just because Huckabee and his supporters are playing nice, that still doesn't mean they've given up their almost militant opposition to Mitt Romney:

Bauer said he personally believes that Romney "would be a great running mate" and said he has conveyed that message personally to Romney. Bauer, chairman of the Campaign for Working Families political action committee, said he was not allowed to say whether he advised McCain to pick Romney.

Bauer said that he recently conducted an unscientific poll among activists about who should be picked for vice president and said that Romney won a plurality of votes. He said that "it was notable" that among those who backed Huckabee, "many of them said negative things about Governor Romney."

In fact, a battle between Huckabee and Romey supporters continues to unfold in Michigan:

In a blistering e-mail Friday to Michigan Republicans, a former aide to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign accused Michigan social conservative activist and Mike Huckabee supporter Gary Glenn of "a vicious smear campaign" against Romney.

Katie Packer, the strategist for Romney's successful Michigan primary campaign, accused Glenn, the head of the American Family Association of Michigan, of distorting Romney's record on social issues and "declaring war on other members of the Republican party."

Glenn, in an e-mail to The Detroit News, responded with a list of criticisms of Romney's record on social issues. "If Katie wants to have another full-fledged public debate about Mitt Romney's pro-abortion, pro-homosexual record, now is an excellent time," he wrote.

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Republican Party Posts Archive

Peter Montgomery, Saturday 08/28/2010, 1:41am
Right Wing Watch has been watching the recent morphing of Glenn Beck from political hatchet man into messianic religious figure. That self-transformation continued at America’s Divine Destiny, the Friday night warm-up to Beck’s Lincoln Memorial rally. The three-hour program at the Kennedy Center for the Arts combined gospel music, patriotic songs, and speeches about the need for spiritual renewal in America. It is impossible to overstate Beck’s assessment of the importance of his events. Toward the beginning of Divine Destiny, he stated , “this is the... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 08/27/2010, 3:00pm
Gary Bauer marvels at Sarah Palin's star power: Gary Bauer, chairman of American Values, thinks it is evident that Palin still has a lot of star power. "Sarah Palin is the only figure in the Republican Party that can go into any mid-size city in America and put 10,000 people in an arena -- so she's a force to be reckoned with," he notes. While Julie Ingersoll actually attends fundariser headlined by Palin last night in Jacksonville, Florida: This was a fundraiser for Heroic Media, a faith-based non-profit that publicizes alternatives to abortion. Originally planned for an... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 08/26/2010, 5:31pm
Speaking of Religious Rigth activists being upset about the fact that Ken Mehlman has come out, you knew it was just a matter of time before Peter LaBarbera weighed in, which he is doing by blasting RNC Chair Michael Steele for saying he is happy for Mehlman and saying that this is proof of why gays must be kept out of the Republican Party: Why couldn’t Mr. Steele just have kept quiet about this tragic revelation by which another sexually confused man seeks to rationalize his misbehavior (sin) by declaring homosexuality part of his inherent being? Nope, instead, like a three-year-... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 08/26/2010, 4:38pm
Yesterday, Ken Mehlman, President Bush's campaign manager in 2004 and a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, came out as gay, which is just the latest development signling that the Right is losing its fight against gay marriage. But don't think for a second that the Right is going to give up without a fight, as Ken Blackwell and Ken Klukowski, both from the Family Research Council, have already written an op-ed telling the GOP not to even think about abandoning social conservatives on this issue:  Republican leadership is working hard to prevent a party split.... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 08/26/2010, 3:59pm
Earlier this month I wrote about Ralph Reed's upcoming Faith and Freedom Conference and Strategy Briefing to be held in Washington, D.C., September 9-11 which Reed is calling the "the political equivalent of NFL minicamp." Today, Reed sent out an email urging activists to register and provided the first look at the line-up of scheduled speakers he has landed:    Gary Bauer, President, American Values Ken Blackwell, Senior Fellow of Family Empowerment, Family Research Council Glen Bolger, Political strategist and pollster Jim Bopp, Legal Counsel... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 08/13/2010, 1:11pm
Earlier this week, Peter LaBarbera called on Ann Coulter to cancel her scheduled speech at GOProud's upcoming HomoCon 2010 because ... well, GOProud is a gay conservative group which means that, by definition, they work "directly against the Republican Party’s pro-family and pro-marriage platform." Now Rick Scarborough of Vision America is getting in on the action, sending out an email likewise demanding that Coulter withdraw from the event: She can't appear at a homosexual group's event while disavowing its agenda. Coulter says she supports the family and disdains elitism.... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 08/12/2010, 11:31am
Last month we noted that Brian Camenker of MassResistance had been invited to speak at a local Tea Party rally in Massachusetts, only to see the entire rally collapse after other speakers backed out when they learned that he was be participating. He's been complaining about it ever since and lashing out at the "RINOs" who are trying to keep social conservatives like him out of the movement instead of recognizing the real reason, which is that his organization is listed as an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.  Which makes this new email from MassResistance... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 06/30/2010, 10:09am
Given that we are in the middle of Elena Kagan's Supreme Court confirmation hearing and keep hearing all sorts of complaints from the Right about "judicial activism" and "legislating from the bench" and whatever, I just wanted to highlight this article from Focus on the Family because it  perfectly demonstrates just how bogus this entire talking point really is:  A new front just opened Monday in the political tug-of-war over "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" – a Clinton-era policy prohibiting people who are openly gay or lesbian from serving in the... MORE >