Republican Party

Definitive Proof of the Communist Conspiracy

I honestly don't even know how to go about describing Janet Porter's latest column in which she exposes the current economic recovery efforts as part of a Communist conspiracy to take over the United States ... a conspiracy that has apparently been in the works for nearly twenty years and directly involves Barack Obama.

You see, Sam Webb, chairman of the Communist Party USA is apparently pleased with President Obama's handling of the economic crisis and, Porter reports, he might not be the only Communist rejoicing.  Because, as it turns out, a few months ago Porter received an email from her friend, Wiley Drake (you know, the guy who ran as Alan Keyes' vice president and once called for imprecatory prayers against Americans United) but she didn't write about it at the time because "it just seemed too extreme." But now, in light of recent developments, it seems downright prophetic.

As it turns out, the email from Drake was actually written by a guy named Tom Fife who claims to have regularly traveled to Russia in the early 1990's, where he reportedly met a woman who was active in the Communist movement ... and it was from her that he first heard the name "Barack."

As Porter admits, she "can't prove whether it's true or not, but in light of all that is happening, it just doesn't seem that far-fetched anymore" and then proceeds to re-print Fife's email in which he describes how he came to be informed by this unnamed Russian woman that America "will have a black president very soon and he will be a Communist."

We'll let Fife take it from here:

"Yes, it is true. This is not some idle talk. He is already born, and he is educated and being groomed to be president right now. You will be impressed to know that he has gone to the best schools of presidents. He is what you call 'Ivy League.' You don't believe me, but he is real and I even know his name. His name is Barack. His mother is white and American and his father is black from Africa. That's right, a chocolate baby! And he's going to be your president."

She became more and more smug as she presented her stream of detailed knowledge and predictions so matter-of-factly – as though all were foregone conclusions. "It's all been thought out. His father is not an American black, so he won't have that social slave stigma. He is intelligent and he is half white and has been raised from the cradle to be an atheist and a Communist. He's gone to the finest schools. He is being guided every step of the way and he will be irresistible to America."

...

She was full of little details about him that she was eager to relate. I thought that maybe she was trying to show off that this truly was a real person and not just hot air.

She rattled off a complete litany. He was from Hawaii. He went to school in California. He lived in Chicago. He was soon to be elected to the Legislature. "Have no doubt: he is one of us, a Soviet."

...

She continued with something to the effect that America was at the same time the great hope and the great obstacle for Communism. America would have to be converted to Communism, and Barack was going to pave the way.

So there you go, all the way back in 1992 some unnamed woman in Moscow knew all about Barack Obama and the intricate Communist plot to take over America ... and all it took was fifteen years and a group of borderline lunatics like Folger, Drake, and Fife to unravel it in the pages of WorldNetDaily.

I know that I should probably just start ignoring Porter, as I do all the other insanity that appears on WND, but I can't because I am still terrified by the fact that this woman was a close adviser to Mike Huckabee's presidential campaign and Huckabee himself praises her in his book, citing her as among the "new wave of leaders" who will remake the Republican Party.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Former McCain adviser Meg Whitman plans to run for Governor in California, while Joe Scarborough suggests he might be interested in running for the Senate from Florida.
  • Elaine Donnelly says that if "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is repealed, President Obama "will bear full responsibility for consequences that would devastate the volunteer force."
  • Norm Coleman says God wants him to be in the US Senate.
  • Phyllis Schlafly and Kay Bailey Hutchison are both scheduled to speak at the Denton County [Texas] Republican Party's annual Lincoln-Reagan dinner.
  • You know what America needs now? A conservative answer to Doonesbury published by Richard Viguerie.
  • Grover Norquist is angry that some Governors did not declare last Friday "Ronald Reagan Day" and is accusing them of putting "pusillanimous petty partisanship above patriotism."
  • Finally, Richard Land responds to reports that President Obama will issue an executive order reversing President Bush's ban on federal funds for stem cell research, likening it to cannibalism:
  • Reduced to its basics, killing the tiniest human beings in their embryonic stage of development for the possible medical benefits of older and more developed human beings is quite simply high-tech cannibalism in which we devour our own young for the sole purpose of treating other human beings who are merely fortunate enough to be older and able to defend themselves in a way the tiniest human beings are not.

The Right That Cries Wolf

I can't tell you how many times over the years I have been watching the Religious Right that they have threatened to bolt the Republican Party if the GOP doesn't fully embrace its cultural and political agenda.  And then, every election season, the Right backs down and goes all-out to help elect Republican candidates to office.

Most people think that the GOP is already inexorably linked and fundamentally beholden to the movement, but apparently Religious Right leaders see it differently ... and from their perspective, if the GOP does't get its act together and start doing their bidding, then they are going to see their decade's long symbiosis soon come unraveled all together.  That, at least, seems to be what Tony Perkins is telling Dan Gilgoff.

Apparently, the latest "last straw" stems from the fact that the RNC elected Michael Steele as its next chairman, with Perkins complaining that some of Steele's statements and positions are "less than encouraging" and proclaiming that "social conservatives are not going to be banging the door down to establish a relationship with the GOP. The party leadership is going to have to show a good-faith effort" to keep them in the fold:

[S]ocial conservatives are still committed to the issues and still involved in the political process, but don't see the GOP as the only means to affect things in this culture. And to the degree that the party is not moving with them, they are not going to move with it. There is not the strong connection to the Republican Party that there once was. I'm more representative of the younger generation and I don't have as strong allegiance to the Republican Party. And to the degree that they try to avoid the values issues and put them at the back of the bus, I don't have a lot of desire to mess around with that.

...

It's quite clear that the Republicans in the last few years have tried to move away from those issues and deemphasize those issues. You saw it in the presidential election, with more emphasis on religion and its role in the public square more from the Democratic Party than from the Republicans. I'm not saying it's genuine from the Democrats. It's yet to be seen. Obama has overturned the Mexico City Policy, a clearly pro-abortion move. But the Republicans can't just assume that because social conservatives are not supportive of Democrats means they'll support Republicans.

Gilgoff then asked Perkins just when the relationship went sour:

It is something that happened after 2004, when there was a great emphasis by the Republicans and the president on the need to protect marriage. It was used to secure a second term for President Bush and to expand Republican control of Congress. And after the election, the issue was basically dropped.

That, combined with corruption that distracted the Republican Party, Mark Foley—it all added up to where people began to scratch their heads and say, "This is not the party that is really reflecting our values."

Of course, we've had two national elections since then and, both times, the Religious Right has fully supported the GOP's candidates and pressed its grassroots activists into getting out the vote on their behalf.

So one has to ask just how much longer will the Right go on supporting a Republican Party that isn't "really reflecting our values"? Of course, the answer to that question is "forever" because they have nowhere else to go.  They know it, the GOP knows it, and so does everyone else who pays attention to these sorts of things. 

The Right Tests Its Strength in Targeting DOJ Nominees

Earlier this week, we noted how, after eight years of claiming that the Senate's role was to rubber stamp the President's nominees, a gaggle of Religious Right activists had suddenly discovered the importance of checks and balances and the chance to provide an opportunity for "serious deliberation" on potential appointees ... mainly because they didn't like some of President Obama's choices to serve in the Justice Department.

A lot of this initial opposition was driven by the right-wing Catholic group Fidelis, which has been targeting David Ogden with press releases and reports and the Family Research Council, which has been targeting him as a man who "has built a career on representing views and companies that most Americans find repulsive."

And now it looks like the fight against Ogden, Dawn Johnsen, whom the Right hates because she worked at NARAL, and Thomas Perrelli, whom they hate for representing Terry Schiavo's husband, has become the first full-fledged test of the Religious Right's influence under the new president:

Christian conservatives are challenging President Barack Obama's picks for top Justice Department positions, charging that past clients like Playboy taint their resumes.

The criticism comes ahead of a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing Thursday for David Ogden, Obama's pick for deputy attorney general, the No. 2 position at the Justice Department.

...

The challenge to Obama's Justice picks come as conservative evangelicals seek to limit the power of the new Democratic administration and maintain their own within the Republican Party.

Some Republicans believe a tight embrace of social conservative values turns off independents and moderates, but many Christian right leaders resist compromise and contend that, if anything, the GOP has strayed too far from its principles.

For it's part, the Right is throwing all of its standard accusations at the nominees: 

"Ogden has been an activist in the support of a right to pornography, a right of abortion and the rights of homosexuals," said Patrick Trueman, a former Justice Department official during the first Bush presidency who is now in private practice.

"It isn't so much that he's represented pornographers or that he's been a porn attorney, but it's his world view, and his world view reflects President Obama's world view," said Trueman, echoing criticism from conservative activist groups like the American Family Association and Focus on the Family.

...

Tom Minnery, a vice president at Focus on the Family, charges that through the nominations, the new Democratic administration is not depoliticizing, but re-politicizing the Justice Department.

"They take our breath away the more we learn about these people," said Minnery. "This is left-wing politicization of the Justice Department. This is not a Justice Department that looks like America."

As a side note, Focus on the Family has an article up opposing these nominees on its CitizenLink website that carries this title: "Obama's Judicial Nominees Stand on Anti-Family Principles"

Memo to Focus: people nominated to work in the Justice Department are not "judicial nominees" - people nominated to be judges are. 

Scarborough Strikes Back

Earlier this week, Doug Bandow penned a piece for The American Spectator that took as its starting off point a recent edition of the Rick Scarborough Report in which Scarborough declared that “the persecution of Christianity in America has begun.” Bandow took issue with Scarborough’s hyperbole, writing a piece about how Christians are being persecuted all over the world, but not in America:

There may even be "growing hostility against religion in America and particularly against Christians," as Scarborough asserts, at least in the cultural realm. But this hostility does not amount to persecution. After all, America's outgoing president is an avowed evangelical, the Republican Party's 2008 vice presidential nominee was an outspoken evangelical, and the new president is a self-identified Christian. The last chose a high-profile evangelical minister to pray at the inaugural. Some Christians may be treated badly, but Christians are not being persecuted … not in America. Cultural and social hostility doesn't count. Christians still enjoy a privileged existence in America. We should use our advantages here to help believers in other countries who face persecution and sometimes death for their faith. Even if all we can do is pray, we must seek to be our brother's keeper.

Now, Scarborough has struck back, saying that just because the persecution of Christians in America isn’t as bad as it is elsewhere around the world, doesn’t mean that they aren’t still under attack:

Nowhere have I ever asserted that the persecution of Christians or Christianity in America is equivalent to that in many parts of the world, and I pray that I will never be compelled to say as much, but to summarily dismiss my contention that it has “begun” is to be less than fair with the facts.

Scarborough goes on to recount several of the standard right-wing horror stories they trot out whenever they are playing the victim, before finally rehashing the usual lies about ENDA and hate crimes and threats of worse to come: 

Barack Obama has made it clear that a top priority for his new administration is the passage of ENDA and Hate Crimes Legislation including sexual orientation as a special protected class.  In fact, while he was holding his hand on the Bible swearing to uphold the Constitution of the United States which guarantees freedom of religious expression, our new “Christian” President’s staff was changing the official White House website to reflect his commitment to pass new laws which if enacted, will limit my free speech as a Pastor and will “ENDA” the rights of Christian business owners from prohibiting “transgendered” people from using the restroom of their choice or choices depending on which sex comes to work in the transgendered’s body that day.

I agree that we are not now experiencing the kind of persecution that many in many parts of the world are experiencing, but ask million of Americans who work for companies who have forced them to attend sensitivity training seminars, if they feel comfortable reading their Bibles during lunch hours or sharing their deeply held Biblical convictions regarding politically incorrect issues, if they think their experiencing persecution.  Ask a Christian public school teacher if they feel persecuted during staff meeting when sex education or gay pride events are discussed.  Ask the Christian students who are being told every day that what their pastor taught them and their parents believe about creation is a lie, how they feel about persecution in America.

Shame on anyone who would dare to say that the persecution of Christians has not begun in America!  And if we refuse to speak out about it now, while we still have the right to speak, we will see the day when we cannot speak out, without experiencing REAL persecution.  Mark my word.

While The Right Stays Mum on Steele, Duke Loses It

When he was running for chairman of the Republican National Committee, Michael Steele frequently came under attack from those who felt he was insufficiently committed to the right-wing agenda, with Don Wildmon of the American Family Association even sending out an email attacking Steele.  

But now that he has been elected to take over the RNC, Steele got right to work trying to win his critics over:  

Michael S. Steele, whose sixth-ballot victory Friday made him the first black leader of the Republican Party, immediately began mending fences within the Republican National Committee and showing conservative leadership muscle after the long and nasty five-way contest for chairman.

Mr. Steele began his first day as national chairman with several members saying that he has a number of formidable tasks ahead, chief among them to unite the ideological and regional factions in the party that have become increasingly obvious.

In particular, party officials said, Mr. Steele will have to use his considerable charm and rhetorical skills to allay the fear among conservatives in the South that he is too moderate.

For his part, Gary Bauer, who was one of the few right-wing leaders who didn’t publicly endorse Steel’s opponent, Ken Blackwell, says the Religious Right has nothing to worry about from Steele:

[Bauer] does not share the concerns of some conservatives who worry that Steele is too moderate on social issues and may move the party in a more centrist direction.
 
"I know him personally. He's a smart guy, and I think he understands that the only chance that the Republican Party has in the future is to be consistent about its core message -- and that core message is smaller government, lower taxes, a strong national defense, pro-family, and pro-life," he contends. "So, I do not see Michael Steele in any way undermining any of those key, central ideas that are held so strongly by most conservatives and most Republicans."

Presumably, this is not going to assure Bauer’s allies on the right:

Michael Steele, the new chairman of the Republican National Committee wants the GOP to reach out to candidates who support gay marriage and are pro-choice. Steele told Fox's Chris Wallace that it was "important" to reach out to those voters.

WALLACE: You are one of the co-founders of something called the Republican Leadership Council which supports candidates who favor abortion and gay rights.

STEELE: Yes.

WALLACE: Does the GOP needs to do a better job of reaching out to people who hold those views?

STEELE: I think -- I think that's an important opportunity for us, absolutely. Within our party we do have those who have that view as well as outside and my partnership with Christy Todd Whittman was an effort to build a bridge between moderates and conservatives.

So far, we haven’t seen any press releases or commentary from other Religious Right groups and leaders, which makes us suspect that they are none-too-pleased with the RNC’s choice … but at least they are not losing their minds, like David Duke:

I am glad these traitorous leaders of the Republican Party appointed this Black racist, affirmative action advocate to the head of the Republican party because this will lead to a huge revolt among the Republican base. As a former Republican official, I can tell you that millions of rank-and-file Republicans are mad as hell and aren't going to take it anymore! We will either take the Republican Party back over the next four years or we will say, "To Hell With the Republican Party!" And we will take 90 percent of Republicans with us into a New Party that will take its current place!

Dirtiest RNC Race Ever and Nothing Will Change

Ralph Z. Hallow reports that, according to insiders involved in the race to become the next chairman of the Republican National Committee, the current campaign, which is to be decided tomorrow, has become the "dirtiest ever":

From anonymous charges of racism, old-fashioned graft and outright incompetence, the six-man race for the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee has devolved into the dirtiest - and most closely watched - in recent history.

The 168 members who Friday will elect the next chairman have been inundated with anonymous e-mails attacking the characters and capabilities of the various candidates and, in at least one case, accusing a candidate of conspiring with political consultants to cash in on the millions of dollars in future advertising by the party.

"This is dirtiest ever - and remember, I was the longest-serving state party chairman in the history of this committee," said RNC member and former Ohio Republican Party Chairman Bob Bennett, a supporter of Mike Duncan, the incumbent national chairman who is seeking a second two-year term.

One candidate, South Carolina Republican Chairman Katon Dawson, is the subject this week of an unsigned e-mail to RNC members that bore a hypothetical USA Today front page with the banner headline, "RNC members choose 'whites only' chairman," as a warning of how a Dawson win would be spun.

...

On Monday, Indiana RNC member James Bopp Jr., who formed a self-described conservative rump group of RNC members to fight the [Michael] Steele candidacy, sent members a signed e-mail basically accusing Mr. Steele of lying about his casual relationship with the RLC.

It quoted Mrs. Whitman as saying that she was proud to join with "Michael Steele in creating a powerful and influential group that can bring our party back to its roots while promoting the common-sense centrist values we all hold so dear." The word "centrist" among members of the dominant strain of the Republican Party is an epithet.

...

Another anonymous e-mail to members noted that Saul Anuzis does not have a formal education beyond high school - he attended college for four years but did not finish his degree - and called the salaried Michigan Republican chairman "a paid political hack whose greed and misconduct lost him his job in government. After fifteen years of trying to make it in business, he came back to what he knew best: politics for pay."

A particularly vicious whack at Ken Blackwell, the former Ohio secretary of state and the other black man chasing the chairman's post, appeared in a Jan. 6 anonymous e-mail claiming he was "dangerously incompetent" as secretary of state and accusing him of using taxpayer money to finance TV ads to "boost his own name recognition" in preparation for his failed run for governor.

As entertaining as it has been to watch them tear each other apart, Hallow reports that the viciousness stems from the fact that, in terms of actual substance, there doesn't appear to be any actual differences among the candidate's stances on the hot-button issues of the day:

However, when The Times submitted three questions on the biggest hot-button issues - gay marriage, immigration and federal bailouts - little substantive difference emerged among the six men.

Mr. Duncan was the lone candidate who did not respond initially to the questions, instead sending a single response attacking President Obama and not even doing so on the issues in question. All six men support a constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage, oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants and doubt the government's competence to bail out industries failing in the marketplace.

So no matter who wins, it looks like we'll have yet another anti-gay, anti-immigrant, obstructionist chairman at the RNC. 

How has that been working out for them lately?  

Right Wing Leftovers

I'm thinking of starting a new semi-regular feature consisting of some of the things I see during the day that don't necessarily warrant a post of their own but are still worth noting. 

For instance, here is Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin offering up his take on the best and worst things of 2008 - among his "worst" is something that'll get no argument from us:

In addition to the mainstream media, and worthless talk show hosts such as Sean Hannity, I must include the majority of so-called leaders within the Religious Right as making my "worst" list for 2008. I include James Dobson, Pat Robertson, and Tony Perkins on this list.

For all intents and purposes, the Religious Right has become nothing more than a gaggle of glorified hacks for the Republican Party. They have sacrificed virtually every principle worth defending. For the sake of sitting at the king's table, or not losing financial support from brain-dead contributors, these men have sold the cause of freedom and constitutional government down the river. Their mindless support for John McCain was inexcusable and embarrassing! In so doing, they have lost all credibility.

Elsewhere, Phyllis Schlafly laments that America is losing its "common national identity" and has a rather odd solution to remedy it:

We should celebrate and honor our nation's heroes, starting with George Washington. Federal law clearly specifies that the name of the "legal public holiday" on the third Monday in February is "Washington's Birthday."

Americans should refuse to buy the calendars that wrongly label this February holiday as "Presidents Day." This calendar mischief is very offensive because there are quite a few presidents who are not worthy of a special "day."

As for Mike Huckabee, he's still traveling the country and delivering speeches at his favorite venue - church:

An ordained Baptist minister, Mike Huckabee was right at home Tuesday night at the pulpit of Community Bible Church.

The former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential candidate was the guest of honor at the church's annual Men's Wildlife Supper, an event that drew an all-male audience of more than 3,500 to the church on Parris Island Gateway.

After dining on a free buffet of alligator tail, wild boar and venison, the crowd packed the church's auditorium as Huckabee delivered an impassioned 45-minute speech with the feel of a Sunday sermon.

"There's a lot of anxiety in the world right now with the economy, and no one is really sure what's going to happen," he said. "I don't know what's going to happen in 2009, but no matter what happens with the economy, God is still God."

Finally, I don't really have anything to say about this graphic from a recent Family Research Council Washington Update other than to say that I think they might be getting a little paranoid:

The Right Places All Its Hopes in Blackwell

For the last several days we've been chronicling how various right-wing leaders have been rallying behind Ken Blackwell in his campaign to become the next head of the Republican National Committee - perhaps nobody more so than Tony Perkins, who has dedicated the lead article in his daily "Washington Update" to proclaiming Blackwell the "right man at the right time"

What the future holds for the Republican Party will be largely decided by the selection of the next Republican National Committee chairman. As you may have noticed, the list of potential suitors includes a familiar face to the FRC family, our own Ken Blackwell. After weighing the decision of whether or not to throw his hat in the ring, Ken ultimately decided that the opportunity to advance a pro-family agenda in the GOP was compelling. Although I have historically declined to endorse candidates in party elections, this is a tremendous opportunity for a proven public servant to re-interject traditional values into a party that has lost its way. For that reason, I support and encourage others to support Ken Blackwell for chairman of the RNC. His record of service to our nation and his commitment to core conservative issues make him the clear choice in this race.

At a debate yesterday hosted by Americans for Tax Reform, Ken called for a renewal of the Republican Party. He understands that any successful movement must embody a strong grassroots effort that empowers state and local communities. The RNC will make a very critical decision when it meets at the end of January to select the party's new chairman. If they choose a moderate, it could mean a continued drift from core conservative principles. On the other hand, the selection of Ken Blackwell would assure conservatives that they finally have a true advocate in a party that has increasingly attempted to marginalize them.

It is clear that Blackwell's supporters see him as their best hope for making their right-wing agenda the centerpiece of the GOP's politics moving forward and are doing everything in their power to ensure his election ... even going so far as to shut down an RNC straw poll that Blackwell appeared poised to lose:

A straw poll that could have influenced the outcome of an upcoming election for Republican National Committee chairman slammed into a wall of unexpected opposition Monday, largely with the help of supporters of former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell and former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele, several participants in a meeting of a rump group of RNC members said.

The planned poll was supposed to rank how conservative Mr. Blackwell, Mr. Steele and four other Republican national chairman hopefuls are -- at least in the estimation of the rump group.

But some members told The Washington Times that Robert M. "Mike" Duncan, the incumbent chairman seeking re-election, probably would have won a plurality in such a poll, weakening both Mr. Blackwell, who has strong outside backing from prominent conservatives, and Mr. Steele, who some on the national committee regard with suspicion for consorting with the handful of prominent liberals in the Republican Party.

The 28-17 vote to cancel the poll came during an extraordinary meeting -- 37 who showed up in person and others who participated by phone -- of an ad hoc group calling itself the Conservative Steering Committee, an exclusive assemblage of self-identified conservatives who are part of the 168-member RNC and who formed to try to ensure a conservative is elected as the next national party chairman at the end of this month.

Remembering Ken Blackwell

Yesterday we noted that a gaggle of right-wing powerbrokers had lined up behind Ken Blackwell's candidacy for RNC chair and his performance at yesterday's debate seems to have placed him among the front-runners for the position.

And Tony Perkins, who runs the Family Research Council where Blackwell serves as a senior fellow, is doing his part to help him get elected, issuing press releases endorsing him and touting his qualifications to right-wing news outlets:

"The party is at a turning point right now where its first really open election of a party chairman is taking place," notes Perkins. "And Ken Blackwell is probably the most qualified in terms of his background of being elected to statewide office three times in Ohio, having worked with the U.N. [on] the Human Rights Commission."

And while Blackwell has "done a whole lot in his political career," Perkins emphasizes that the former university administrator and educator is also a solid conservative -- "one who understands the importance of faith and family and freedom, [and] lower taxes," he adds.

Since losing his own bid for Governor of Ohio in 2006, Blackwell has kept a rather low profile and more or less refrained from making bold public proclamations decrying gays like he did during his campaign when he was travelling the state with Rod Parsley - so maybe now would be a good time to remind ourselves of some of the remarks Blackwell made before he decided he wanted to be RNC chair:

In a newspaper interview Sunday, the Republican candidate for Ohio's governorship, J. Kenneth Blackwell, compared gay people to arsonists and kleptomaniacs who can be "changed." The religious conservative and current secretary of state made the controversial remarks in a question-and-answer session with The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio's largest paper.

"I think homosexuality is a lifestyle, it's a choice, and that lifestyle can be changed," Blackwell said in response to the question "Is homosexuality a sin, and can gays be cured?" according to published transcripts. "I think it is a transgression against God's law, God's will."

He continued: "The reality is, again...that I think we make choices all the time. And I think you make good choices and bad choices in terms of lifestyle. Our expectation is that one's genetic makeup might make one more inclined to be an arsonist or might make one more inclined to be a kleptomaniac. Do I think that they can be changed? Yes."

And who could ever forget this gem from 2004:

Ohio's Secretary of State is coming out strong in support of Issue One, the measure that would ban same-sex marriage. Kenneth Blackwell spoke to an energized crowd at the Cathedral of Praise Tuesday night.

Blackwell said it's time for people of God to take a stand. He even drew a comparison between same-sex couples and farm animals. "I don't know how many of you have a farming background but I can tell you right now that notion even defies barnyard logic ... the barnyard knows better," said Blackwell referring to the idea of same-sex marriage.

Blackwell was joined by Pastor Rod Parsley, president of The Center for Moral Clarity. The two men are traveling across the state trying to rally support for Issue One. News 11 contacted Secretary Blackwell's office today for further explanation. His press secretary issued the following statement on Blackwell's behalf: "Part of the function of marriage is to reproduce the human race and same-sex marriage cannot carry out that function."

This man now wants to lead the Republican Party and so it comes as no surprise that the professional anti-gay activists like Perkins, Dobson, and their ilk are lining up to ensure that he does.

Handing the RNC Over to Rod Parsley and Friends

As we noted a few weeks ago, former Ohio Secretary of State and current Family Research Council fellow Ken Blackwell is seeking the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee.  In recent days, he's secured several "high-profile endorsements from the Club for Growth, Gun Owners of America and prominent conservatives like Steve Forbes" and now it looks like he is taking the next step in his attempt to consolidate his standing as a front-runner by announcing that he's found a like-minded running mate:

Texas Republican Party Chairman Tina Benkiser has teamed up with Ohio´s Ken Blackwell in the contest to lead the Republican National Committee over the next two years.

The Washington Times has learned Mrs. Benkiser has decided to forgo a run for RNC national chairman and instead to run for co-chairman, a traditionally less powerful position that historically, with one exception, has been held by a woman.

“If I ran for chairman, I decided after looking over the field, it might contribute to dividing the conservative vote and allowing a moderate to win,” she told The Times in a phone interview Tuesday.

In the draft of a letter to be sent to other voting members of the national committee, she writes that she “decided to run for the co-chair position because a chairman candidate has emerged who has everything it takes to help us restore our party and return to our winning ways. Ken Blackwell has the courage and experience to both lead and inspire us to achieve great things as a party.”

Mrs. Benkiser, a practicing attorney in Houston, is an evangelical Christian who, like Mr. Blackwell, opposes same-sex marriage and legalized abortion but, also like him, emphasizes “pro-growth” economic polices of low-taxes, small government and reduced regulations on business where possible.

Like Mr. Blackwell, she maintains the GOP doesn't need to be less conservative to win future elections but needs to have its elected officials at all levels of government adhere to the principles of spending restraint, low taxes and respect for family values and personal honesty for which the GOP claims to stand.

“Our national party grew and was entrusted with leadership when it stayed true to its conservative principles,” she says in her letter to other members. “Focusing on fiscal responsibility, a strong national defense and traditional family values brought unprecedented growth to the party not that long ago. America was and still is a center-right country.”

As we noted before, Blackwell came to national prominence back in 2006 when he hooked up [PDF] with Rod Parsley and his Reformation Ohio movement:

With Blackwell’s gubernatorial campaign in full swing, the “Patriot Pastor” events have featured Johnson and Parsley highlighting Blackwell and extolling the candidate’s virtues. At a rally on the state Capitol steps, Parsley boomed over a Jumbotron screen, “Let the Reformation begin! Shout it like you’re going to carry the blood-stained banner of the cross of Christ the length and breadth of the Buckeye State!” Parsley then introduced Blackwell as “a man of great conviction, consistently standing for family, life, marriage, and faith throughout his public service.” At other events, Johnson followed Blackwell’s speech to pastors by presenting the man he called a “leader of leaders” with a “courageous leadership award” in the form of a large, gilded-eagle trophy—a ritual he repeated a number of times before different audiences of pastors.

Considering that it was just a few months ago that John McCain was forced to publicly repudiate the endorsements he had received from Parlsey and John Hagee, it seems rather odd that the next head of the RNC could be someone like Blackwell, who has had a long and very public alliance with Parsley:

Whereas McCain barely knew the men and courted them purely for political purposes, Blackwell was deeply involved in Parsley's Patriot Pastors movement and regularly participated in their events during his run for Governor in 2006, so much so that the IRS was asked to investigate those churches involved for potential violations

Parsley and Johnson hosted Blackwell as the featured guest speaker at numerous events, in which the candidate was honored with some award or endorsed explicitly from the stage. Parsley even flew Blackwell to one “Patriot Pastor” function on a church-owned plane. This campaign was only part of a broader agenda to promote Blackwell at bigger and bigger rallies featuring famous religious-right leaders, leading up to the primary election and beyond, and indeed including radio spots featuring Blackwell. The radio spots and the rallies with James Dobson never materialized, but far from being a “baseless allegation,” this plan was posted publicly on Johnson’s “Ohio Restoration Project” web site in 2005.

We understand that many in the Republican Party feel that their recent electoral losses stem from a failure to adequately adhere to the Religious Right's agenda.  If turning the RNC into a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Religious Right is what they think is in the best interest of the party, then they couldn't find a better chairman than Ken Blackwell.

Confronting David Barton's Revisionism

We've written about right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton on a number of occasions and followed his work closely for several years, so usually when he produces a new piece or shows up to speak at an event, we have a pretty good idea what he is up to. 

But today I was talking a look at his Wallbuilders website and came across this newly released report entitled "Confronting Civil War Revisionism: Why the South Went To War" and was utterly confused.  In it, Barton proclaims that there is an effort underway to to re-write history to convince contemporary Americans that the "Civil War was not a result of the slavery issue but rather of oppressive federal economic policies."

I had no idea that there was such an effort underway ... but I had even less of an idea why Barton would undertake his own effort to refute it in order to "disprove these claims and indisputably show that the South’s desire to preserve slavery was indisputably the driving reason for the formation of the Confederacy."

Yet that is exactly what he did, laying out a series of declarations of succession from southern states that cite the issue of slavery as a primary concern.

But still I couldn't figure out what Barton was so intent on reminding everyone that the reason for the Civil War wasn't "states' rights" or economic oppression or whatever - it was slavery. At least I couldn't figure it out until I came to this section discussing the election of 1860, at which point it all made sense:

Why was the Republican election victory a cause for secession? Because the Republican Party had been formed in May of 1854 on the almost singular issue of opposition to slavery (see WallBuilders’ work, American History in Black and White). Only six years later (in the election of 1860), voters gave Republicans control of the federal government, awarding them the presidency, the House, and the Senate.

The Republican agenda was clear, for every platform since its inception had boldly denounced slavery. In fact, when the U. S. Supreme Court delivered the 1857 Dred Scott ruling protecting slavery and declaring that Congress could not prohibit it even in federal territories, 10 the Republican platform strongly condemned that ruling and reaffirmed the right of Congress to ban slavery in the territories. 11 But setting forth an opposite view, the Democrat platform praised the Dred Scott ruling 12 and the continuation of slavery 13 and also loudly denounced all anti-slavery and abolition efforts. 14

The antagonistic position between the two parties over the slavery issue was clear; so when voters gave Republicans control of the federal government in 1860, southern slave-holding Democrat states saw the proverbial “handwriting on the wall” and promptly left the United States before Republicans could make good on their anti-slavery promises. It was for this reason that so many of the seceded states referenced the Republican victory in their secession documents.

It was not just southern Democrats who viewed the election of Lincoln and the Republicans as the death knell for slavery; many northern Democrats held the same view.

Suddenly it made sense that Barton would produce this sort of document laying out the central role that slavery played in the decision by Southern states to secede from the union because the South was dominated by the Democratic Party at that time.  As such, the rest of the report consists of Barton citing Democratic elected officials from the time vociferously defending the institution of slavery while highlighting the Republicans Party's resolute refusal to "to abandon its anti-slavery positions."

In essence, this new report is merely a continuation of Barton's biased efforts to tie the history of the Democratic Party to slavery, Jim Crow, the Ku Klux Klan, and every other oppression suffered by African Americans in order to insinuate that the party maintains those views to this day.

Of course, as we've pointed out several times before, Barton's history lessons always seem to stop right around the time of the civil rights movement and the contemporaneous rise of the GOP's "southern strategy."

It is interesting that Wallbuilders, which bills itself as "an organization dedicated to presenting America's forgotten history," seems to be organizationally committed to intentionally forgetting the history of the last forty years.

Six Degrees of Mike Huckabee

We haven't really written much about the fringe figures alleging a conspiracy to cover up the fact that Barack Obama is not a natural-born US citizen and is therefore ineligible to be President of the United States other than to note that Janet Porter, former co-chair of Mike Huckabee's Faith and Family Values Coalition, was among them because, frankly, the whole thing was ridiculous and driven by borderline lunatics. 

But Porter has resolutely maintained her ties to them and dedicated her last six WND columns to pressing her case and has turned her daily radio program into a gathering place for the conspiracy theorists to expound upon their delusions, hosting the likes of Philip Berg, Shelli Baker, and Bob Schulz on multiple occasions in recent weeks.

Just yesterday, the Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit on the issue and Slate covered a press conference held by the citizenship-deniers which offers a telling look at just what sort of people make up this movement:

On Friday, about two dozen of them gathered outside the Supreme Court to talk to reporters, wave flags, and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Some of them questioned whether they could prosecute Obama for spending "foreign money" they alleged had been donated to his campaign. One questioned whether Barack Hussein Obama Sr. was the president-elect's real father or whether his real filial relationship to Frank Marshall Davis or Malcolm X had been covered up.

"There aren't a lot of people out here today," admitted Steve Brindle, a Pennsylvanian huddling in the cold. "There are a lot of people talking about this back home. Really, everyone's asking questions."

Robert Schulz, whose We the People Foundation had bought full-page newspaper ads questioning Obama's citizenship, was ready for the high court outcome. On Monday afternoon he asked Donofrio and two other lawyers with outstanding suits about Obama to come to the National Press Club to discuss their next steps. Donofrio didn't show, but Pennsylvania attorney (and occasional 9/11 skeptic) Philip J. Berg joined California attorney Orly Taitz at the podium of the club's Murrow room.

The room filled up early: About half of the small room's overflow crowd consisted of worried Obama skeptics who gasped and nodded at the testimonies of the attorneys and their litanies of facts that the press had covered up. Most members of the media were, themselves, part of the Obama Truth squad. Shelli Baker, the host of AM radio's Morning Song, spent five minutes unspooling a theory that tied Obama to Arab sheiks and world government. "I would be willing to testify," said Baker, "that, indeed, the media has been corrupted by foreign oil money."

Thus corrupted, reporters spent two full hours listening to Schultz, Berg, and Taitz describe their allegations accusing Obama of document forgery, arrogance, radical ties, and "foreign allegiance" to Kenya. "This is the largest hoax in 200 years," said Berg. "Obama knows where he was born. He knows he was adopted in Indonesia. Obama places our Constitution in a crisis situation, and Obama is in a situation where he can be blackmailed by leaders around the world who know he is not qualified."

Slate goes on to report that, after the lawyers had had their say, they turned the podium over to some of their more colorful supporters, at which point an already bizarre press conference when completely off the rails:

Schultz recognized Rev. James David Manning, the Harlem preacher who has called Obama a "long-legged mack daddy," and a member (alongside Jeremiah Wright and Oprah Winfrey) of the "Trinity of Hell." For some reason, Shultz gave Manning a microphone to talk about Obama's parents.

"It is common knowledge," explained Manning, "that African men, coming from the continent of Africa—especially for the first time—do diligently seek out white women to have sexual intercourse with. Generally the most noble of white society choose not to intercourse sexually with these men. So it's usually the trashier ones who make their determinations that they're going to have sex."

Manning grew more intense as he went on. Berg and Taitz seemed to squirm in their chairs; Berg started taking quiet cell phone calls before Manning evoked the memories of Africans who lost their lives "packed like sardines" onto slave ships, now in "a watery grave." "Do you think we want to wake those people up and tell them that the womb of a 16-year-old white girl has produced your redeemer? Has produced your savior? I don't think they want to wake up to that. I think they want to keep sleeping in that grave until true justice might be given."

Not to go all "guilt by association" here, but just keep in mind that Janet Porter willingly associates herself with these people ... and Mike Huckabee willingly associates himself with Porter, praising her in his new book as "one of the main catalysts" for his success in the Republican primary and haling her as among a "new wave of leaders" who will remake the Republican Party in their own image.  

Just something to keep in mind should Huckabee decide to make another run for president down the road.

Two More Culture Warriors Seek RNC Chair

Over the weekend, Family Research Council fellow Ken Blackwell announced that he was seeking to become the next chairman of the Republican National Committee:

Ken Blackwell, a former U.N. ambassador and former Ohio secretary of state, has become the second black man to plunge into the heated contest for Republican National Committee chairman, The Washington Times has learned.

Mr. Blackwell, 60, joins former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele, the other black Republican seeking to be the next national chairman when the 168-member Republican National Committee meets Jan. 28-31 in Washington.

Mr. Blackwell has worked with economic, national security and religious conservatives in his party.

"I am a full-portfolio conservative," Mr. Blackwell, 60, said in a phone interview Saturday from his home in Cincinnati. He noted that he is a board member of of the National Taxpayers Union, the Club for Growth and the National Rifle Association and holds fellowships at the Family Research Council and the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

In a letter to RNC members announcing his candidacy, Mr. Blackwell notes that he "vocally opposed tax increases offered" by his state's Republican governor and "helped to successfully lead the fight to amend the Ohio Constitution to ban government recognition of same-sex marriages."

Blackwell first made a name for himself back in 2006 when he linked up with the “Patriot Pastors” [PDF] in Ohio run by Rod Parsley and Russell Johnson:  

It was during the Issue 1 campaign that Parsley and Johnson began a fruitful collaboration with the amendment’s chief proponent, Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell. Blackwell’s close association with Parsley and Johnson has continued since the passage of the anti-gay constitutional amendment, ranging from public rallies and “Patriot Pastors” policy briefings to flying on a church-owned plane.

With Blackwell’s gubernatorial campaign in full swing, the “Patriot Pastor” events have featured Johnson and Parsley highlighting Blackwell and extolling the candidate’s virtues. At a rally on the state Capitol steps, Parsley boomed over a Jumbotron screen, “Let the Reformation begin! Shout it like you’re going to carry the blood-stained banner of the cross of Christ the length and breadth of the Buckeye State!” Parsley then introduced Blackwell as “a man of great conviction, consistently standing for family, life, marriage, and faith throughout his public service.” At other events, Johnson followed Blackwell’s speech to pastors by presenting the man he called a “leader of leaders” with a “courageous leadership award” in the form of a large, gilded-eagle trophy—a ritual he repeated a number of times before different audiences of pastors.

And today, Mike Huckabee’s campaign manager Chip Saltsman has announced his own bid for the RNC chairmanship and Huckabee is already doing what he can to generate support for his close ally:  

I am proud to endorse Chip Saltsman for RNC Chair.  Chip has proven to be a dynamic leader within the Republican Party over the years.  His youth and experience are combinations that are vital to leading the Party into the 21st Century.  Over the last two years I have seen Chip in action and have observed and admired his talents as a tactician and strategist.  Chip Saltsman's management of my Presidential campaign showed Chip's skills to operate in a very frugal manner, something that will greatly benefit the RNC.

As the Party searches for the leadership skills necessary to lead the Republican Party forward I believe that they will find that Chip Saltsman is the right person for the position of RNC Chair.  Chip's technological skills will be an important part of his accomplishments with the RNC. The national party needs to function so as to empower and assist local and state party organizations and become a more ground-up, grassroots army.  Chip Saltsman will bring energy and a willingness to listen and open doors to new ideas.  I urge you to visit Chip's website at www.chipsaltsman.com and learn more about this uniquely talented man.

The Bitterness That Drives Mike Huckabee

There is a truly exceptional review of Mike Huckabee's latest book up on Religion Dispatches that argues that the driving forces behind Huckabee, his campaign, and his new book tour are resentment and bitterness.  I have to say that I completely agree with that assessment ... probably because I happen to be the one who wrote it:

Billed as an inside look at “the movement that’s bringing common sense back to America,” the book is part campaign memoir, part policy statement, and partly a challenge to all Americans to stop being so fat, lazy, and mean. But mostly it is a means for Huckabee to settle scores with all those who failed to support his candidacy, see its genius and, consequently, to save America from itself.

From the very beginning, Huckabee makes no effort to conceal his disdain for his presidential rivals and seemingly goes out of his way to invoke Mitt Romney wherever he can, mentioning the former Massachusetts Governor by name more than sixty times in the first one hundred pages. While Huckabee doesn’t have anything particularly nice to say about Fred Thompson, Rudy Giuliani, or John McCain—the others barely rate a mention—it is Romney who personifies everything that is wrong with the Republican Party.

It’s clear that Huckabee resents Romney’s wealth and the millions of dollars he pumped into his own campaign. Huckabee and his staff, who were often just scraping by, at one point blasted Romney for attempting “a leveraged buyout of the Republican presidential nomination,” calling him one of those “political wannabes with self-inflicted funding [who] let themselves be sculpted and focus-grouped into what a high-priced pollster thinks is a winning package.” Time and again he mocks the former Massachusetts Governor for spending millions, yet failing to win half the votes that Huckabee and his rag-tag campaign racked up, dismissing Romney’s entire campaign as a fraud perpetuated solely by the fact that his “net worth bought him instant status … [as] a serious contender.”

While Huckabee nurtures a deep personal dislike of Romney, what he truly despises is everything Romney represents: the rich, East Coast, insider elites who dominate the Republican Party. Huckabee, the son of a fireman who struggled to make ends meet, effectively wages class warfare against the party insiders and libertarian “faux-cons” in Washington; he lashes out at the likes of The National Review and the Club for Growth, whom he calls “the silk-stocking crowd,” for looking down their noses at the blue collar “values voters” that Huckabee claims to represent. Two chapters are devoted to holding himself up as the representative of those who shop at Wal-Mart and not Neiman Marcus; of those who eat at The Waffle House rather than Ruth’s Chris Steak House; of those who watch “Touched By an Angel” and not “Desperate Housewives.” He expends several pages rehashing old campaign attacks on his record from the Club for Growth and several more pages striking back at The National Review for their opposition to talk that John McCain might pick him as his running mate. But even here Romney remains representative of everything that “was wrong with our party.”

But you don't have to take my word for it.  Here's Huckabee displaying that bitterness during a book tour stop in Iowa earlier in the week:

Appearing on Christian conservative Steve Deace’s drive-time program, Huckabee said though he was criticized by “establishment Republicans” during his unsuccessful bid for the GOP presidential nomination, he has been proven right time and again.

“When I said the economy was beginning to sputter, I was absolutely pilloried by the Wall Street Journal and the National Review and all the other snobbish folks who thought that I was just a dumb hick from Arkansas who didn’t have a clue,” he said.

...

Huckabee’s book has gotten a lot of attention, mainly due to the portions that discuss his fellow Republicans. He was particularly hard on Gary Bauer, the conservative Christian leader and former presidential candidate, whom he described in the book as having an “ever-changing reason to deny me his support.” He also accuses Bauer of putting national security before social issues like the sanctity of life and traditional marriage.

Deace seemed to share his opinion of Bauer.

“The phrase ‘Better for one man to die than the whole nation to perish’ comes to mind,” Deace said.

Huckabee said he couldn’t pull any punches with the book because if he did he would lose credibility with his supporters.

“I want people to know the truth. I got a reputation during the campaign as someone who was plain spoken, who didn’t try to sugar coat or frost things over,” he said. “I would have lost credibility if I had written this book and not told some of the things that I try to at least bring forth.”

But the passages that discuss his fellow Republicans are just a small portion of the book, and the attention they are getting is disappointing, he said.

“Shouldn’t be surprised that people would take a few passages out of a 240-page book and act like that’s all that’s there,” Huckabee said. “This book lays out not just what’s happened and why we’ve had the problems we’ve had in the conservative movement, but it also lays out how we get our groove back.”

I take issue with Huckabee's repeated assertion that his attacks on Romney and various GOP-insiders constitute just a "few passages" in his book because, in fact, they make up the bulk of the first 130+ pages. 

Huck may like to pretend that the purpose of the book was to help resurrect the conservative movement, but the fact is that it was written to settle scores and position himself for a future run at president.  As such, his relentless trashing of the very Republican institutions from whom he will need support the next time around is inevitably going to grab the bulk of the media's attention.  If he wanted the press to pay attention to his "Fair Tax" proposals or dedicated to bad-mouthing Mitt Romney and the Religious Right.

Religious Right Tells GOP “We’re Not Going Anywhere”

There have been several articles in recent days from conservative Republican and Religious Right leaders arguing about how the GOP can re-establish itself as a viable force in American politics after getting thumped in the last two elections.  Immediately after the election, some voices emerged suggesting that the only hope was for the party to throw the right-wing elements overboard, a suggestion that was not surprisingly met with outrage by the leaders of that section of the base.  

Now it seems as if the GOP’s “culture warriors” have found their voice and decided to fight back on their own terms.  Thus, you have Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina arguing that what the party really needs is to establish tighter control over its “franchise” and just who had the right to call themselves a “Republican” because the party’s “tent cannot be so big as to include political franchisees who don’t act on the core tenets of conservatism.” And you have Katon Dawson, chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party and RNC Chairmanship hopeful, calling on the GOP to “renew our commitment to our Party’s timeless principles…by reconfirming our commitment to be the party of smaller government, lower taxes, individual freedom, strong national security, respect for the sanctity of life, traditional marriage, the importance of family and the exceptionalism of America.” 

Along the same lines, you have Rod Dreher arguing not only that the social conservatives were in no way responsible for the GOP’s current plight, but that they offer the only route to political salvation for the party:

[W]as it the religious right that conceived and executed the disastrous Iraq war? Did preachers deregulate Wall Street? Did evangelical leader James Dobson screw up the Federal Emergency Management Agency's response to Hurricane Katrina? Jack Abramoff — did he concoct his crooked lobbying schemes during long protest vigils outside abortion clinics? To be fair, religious conservatives didn't stand up to any of this. We own a share of the GOP's failure. But to scapegoat us for the Republican implosion is preposterous … far from being the demise of the GOP, the coming generation of evangelicals, Catholics and fellow travelers can be the seeds for the conservative movement's intellectual rebirth.

In case they weren’t being clear enough, the Right is making sure that its place in the party is clearly understood:  

"People are trying to rebrand the GOP; they're trying to find a course for the future. They want to get back in power, and many of the voices that the GOP is listening to are telling them we need to be moderate, we need to jettison the social conservative issues, we need to not talk about life or marriage," [David Nammo, executive director of Family Research Council Action] contends. "And if that is what the direction of the GOP is going to be, I think they're going to find themselves in the minority party for many years to come."

Even James Dobson has gotten in on the action, personally penning a response to Kathleen Parker entitled '”We Won’t Be Silenced”:

[W]e don’t need an embossed note from Ms. Parker — or anyone else — to take part in the political dialogue — of either party. Our invitation to engage the process comes straight from our Founders. We will continue to stand up for the sanctity of human life, the sacredness of marriage and the right to have a say in the principles that will continue to guide this nation founded on biblical  principles. Where Ms. Parker gets it most wrong is in writing that socially conservative Christians are an “element that used to be relegated to wooden crates on street corners.”

We’ve never been that marginalized in our culture and government — and won’t be anytime soon, the efforts and epithets of big media notwithstanding.

If the moderate elements in the Republican Party thought they could just re-brand the GOP by dumping the Religious Right base, that base has now made it abundantly clear that any effort to that will result in an all-out war for control of the party that will likely doom it to minority status for years to come.

Heads We Win, Tails You Lose

The Religious Right is understandably concerned about what a Barack Obama administration will mean for their influence and agenda in the coming years and its leaders are already hard at work trying to reign him in by suggesting that, despite his clear victory, he doesn't have any sort of mandate: 

Wasting little time, conservative Christian groups have already drafted open letters to Obama stressing their opposition to abortion, and are taking steps to reassure supporters that they will fight any attempt to give the new administration a blank cheque -- especially on social issues.

"Barack Obama can clearly claim a mandate from the American people on the economy, maybe even our standing in the eyes of the rest of the world, but he cannot claim a mandate to impose or to advance a liberal social agenda," said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council ...

Though conservative Christians won't have "the same type of relationship we had with the Bush administration," Perkins said the passage of amendments in three states that banned same-sex marriage shows their values have staying power.

"This was, I think, more of a referendum on the Republican Party than conservative values," he said. "We focused upon the marriage amendments in the three states ... They passed in two states (California and Florida), which Barack Obama carried handily."

Fair enough, but what about the various anti-choice issues that were also on the ballot and all lost? Those apparently don't count:  

None of the state referenda on abortion -- including one on parental consent in California and a "personhood" amendment in Colorado -- passed on Election Day, but [Richard] Land said conservative Christians will be undeterred by those losses at the polls.

"Pro-life Catholics and pro-life evangelicals aren't going anywhere," he said.

So the anti-gay amendments that passed prove that Obama has no "mandate to impose or to advance a liberal social agenda," but conversely nothing at all can be concluded about choice issues even though every such initiative failed just because the anti-choice forces say so?  

FRC Tells GOP: It's Us or Them

for the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee.One of the prevailing themes of the Republican Party at the moment is rampant finger-pointing in which just about every faction of the party is blaming every other faction of the party for the fact that they keep losing elections. 

First you had moderates blaming the Religious Right while the Right was blaming the Republican leadership for being insufficiently committed to the right-wing agenda and others were blaming the anti-immigration "nativists."

Now comes the Family Research Council complaining that Rep. Pete Sessions, incoming Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, dared to meet with the Log Cabin Republicans and warning that any moves toward treating them like a legitimate element of the party will only undermine the GOP's efforts to reach out to Black and Hispanic voters and will ultimately doom the Republicans to being in the minority for the foreseeable future:

According to a press release from the pro-gay "marriage" group, Log Cabin Republicans, one of the first stops for the newly elected Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), Congressman Pete Sessions (R-Texas), was the fundraising dinner for the homosexual organization. The release states that Representative Sessions said that the GOP cannot win elections and reach out to voters if it continues to oppose the issues that Log Cabin stands for, presumably including same-sex "marriage." My team sought clarification from Sessions' office and was told he did speak to the Log Cabin group, but that a copy of his remarks was not available. If the Log Cabin portrayal is true, it is disturbing on a number of accounts. One, Sessions' new position as the head of the NRCC is to train and recruit new candidates for the Republican Party. If this is his idea of "campaign advice" then the Republicans better prepare for a longer term in the minority then they faced prior to 1994. Secondly, if the GOP is serious about reaching out to new voters, especially African-Americans and Hispanics, then it should look closely at the exit polls on issues important to families. Both minority groups strongly support traditional family values that embrace life and protect marriage, two things the Republican Party once stood for also. Under these circumstances, pro-family voters should reserve judgment about giving their financial support to either political party.

FRC might soon actually have a lot more say in these sorts of matters now that Ken Blackwell, one of its own Senior Fellows, is contemplating his own run for the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee.

There’s No Such Thing As Free Absolution

It was just last week that the National Black Republican Association unilaterally absolved White Americans of their sins and guilt.  But now it looks like they didn’t just do it out of the kindness of their hearts and are now expecting something in return, namely that Barack Obama issue an official proclamation apologizing for the Democratic Party's 150-year history of racism. And just to make it easier, the NBRA is put together its own draft version for him to use:

We, black American citizens of the United States and the National Black Republican Association, declare and assert:

WHEREAS, the healing of wounds begins with an apology, and the Democratic Party has never apologized for their horrific atrocities and racist practices against black Americans during the past 150 years, nor held accountable for the residual impact that those atrocities and practices are having on us today,

[Dozens of purported examples of Democrats being racist over the last 150 years]

WHEREAS, the Democratic Party's use of deception and fear to intimidate black Americans into voting for Democrats is consistent with the Democratic Party's heritage of racism that included sanctioning of slavery and kukluxery -  a perversion of moral sentiment among leaders of the Democratic Party; and the Democratic Party's racist legacy bode ill until this generation of black Americans,

NOW, THEREFORE, for the documented atrocities and accumulated wrongs inflicted upon black Americans, we submit this petition to the head of the Democratic Party, Barack Hussein Obama, for a formal proclamation of apology for the Democratic Party's 150-year history of racism.

For good measure, the NBRA also worked in its own unique explanation of the Republican Party’s so-called “Southern Strategy,” which it also cites as further proof that the Democrats are racist:

WHEREAS, Democrats expressed little, if any, concern when the racially segregated South voted solidly for Democrats; yet unfairly deride Republicans because of the thirty-year odyssey of the South switching to the Republican Party that began in the 1970's with President Richard Nixon's "Southern Strategy," which was an effort on the part of Nixon to get fair-minded people in the South to stop voting for Democrats who did not share their values, and who were discriminating against blacks.

Of course, as we’ve pointed out before both President Bush and former RNC chair Ken Mehlman have apologized for the party’s use of the Southern Strategy … but apparently it is the Democrats who should be apologizing for not commending Richard Nixon for finally getting voters in the South to stop discriminating against blacks.

The Huckabee Bitterness Tour Rolls On

As Mike Huckabee travels the country promoting his new book, the overarching theme seems to be “It Should Have Been Me,” in that the book is essentially a 200 page gripe about how the Republican Party lost its way and ended up losing the election primarily because it failed to choose him as its nominee:

The former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who won eight states and more than four million votes in the Republican Presidential primaries, spent Election Night at home in Little Rock. Eating takeout in the den with his family and a few staffers, Huckabee wasn’t surprised to see Barack Obama win, although he couldn’t help but think that things might not have turned out the way they did had he been the nominee. “It would’ve been very different,” he said the other day. “Because I would’ve campaigned that the economy was headed toward meltdown. And I was saying this back when I was getting laughed at by the Wall Street Journal and pilloried by the National Review. They were just dicin’ and slicin’ me for not following the company line.”

And while his book is basically an extended attack on Mitt Romney and all that he represents, it looks like Huckabee doesn’t exactly have warm feelings about Sarah Palin - or rather, he’s really miffed that all the insiders who wrote him off suddenly rallied about Palin when the only difference between the two was that, unlike her, he was arguably qualified for the position:

Asked about Sarah Palin, he responded, “She, uh, was an appropriate choice, because she put John McCain back in the game.” That was the get-along answer, but a few minutes later the new, aggrieved Huckabee resurfaced. He recalled, “It was funny that all through the primary—I mean literally up until McCain got enough delegates to win—people said, ‘You know, Huckabee’s really running for Vice-President. Gee, Huckabee would be a great Vice-President.’ And from that day forward, when I actually was no longer running for President, nobody ever said, ‘Gee, Huckabee would be a great Vice-President.’ ” Neither was he quite so unperturbed by the Palin pick: “I was scratching my head, saying, ‘Hey, wait a minute. She’s wonderful, but the only difference was she looks better in stilettos than I do, and she has better hair.’ It wasn’t so much a gender issue, but it was like they suddenly decided that everything they disliked about me was O.K. . . . She was given a pass by some of the very people who said I wasn’t prepared.”

I think that is actually a really smart observation on Huckabee’s part. Why was it that all the Religious Right and Republican insiders who dismissed Huckabee, with his ten years of experience as governor and staunch record on their issues, rallied around Palin with her limited time in office and a record utterly devoid of accomplishments?

And yes, we are looking at you, Gary Bauer.

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Republican Party Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Monday 12/27/2010, 4:35pm
Back in January the Christian Science Monitor declared “Scott Brown: the tea party’s first electoral victory,” following his surprise win in the special election to fill the Senate seat of the late Ted Kennedy. But now the Boston Globe reports that conservatives and Tea Party activists are mulling over a primary challenge to the Massachusetts Republican. According to the Globe, Brown’s votes in favor of repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, ratifying the START Treaty, and reforming Wall Street (but only after it was watered down to win his support) made him... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 12/21/2010, 12:32pm
The House Republican Leadership recently announced that incoming Pennsylvania Congressman Tom Marino and Arkansas Congressman Tim Griffin have been assigned seats on Rep. Lamar Smith’s Judiciary Committee. Marino and Griffin, who were profiled in Right Wing Watch’s The Ten Scariest Republicans Heading to Congress, are peculiar picks for a committee which has “jurisdiction over matters relating to the administration of justice in federal courts, administrative bodies, and law enforcement agencies” since both Republicans were dogged by corruption and ethics scandals... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 12/20/2010, 1:29pm
After being lifted from fringe figure in the Nevada State Assembly to become an all-star for Religious Right and Tea Party groups across the country, Sharron Angle is now plotting her next move after losing to Harry Reid in November. Even though voters in Nevada rejected Angle in three separate elections, including races for the State Senate, House, and US Senate, Angle is floating another bid for higher office. According to Guy Benson, the political editor of the conservative Townhall.com, Angle may be a candidate for “statewide office” in 2012 despite her humbling loss to Reid... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 12/16/2010, 4:39pm
Politico’s Ben Smith discussed today the unforeseen possibility that right wing activist Herman Cain could be a surprise Republican candidate for president, after he bested all other Republicans in an online straw poll conducted by the conservative blog RedState. Cain, an African American businessman and radio talk show host, even topped Sarah Palin, who came in second, to be the favorite of the right wing blogosphere. Erick Erickson of RedState writes, “I like Herman Cain and, though truth be told I never thought he’d make it past Mike Pence, I am delightfully surprised... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 12/13/2010, 6:30pm
With growing speculation over his presidential ambitions, Indiana Republican Mike Pence is taking the anti-Obama rhetoric into high-gear. Pence is the winner of the Family Research Council’s 2010 Values Voter Summit straw poll, and is seen as a favorite of the Religious Right. By stepping down from his position as House GOP Conference Chair because he couldn’t commit to serving a full term, Pence signaled that he could potentially run for governor of Indiana or President. In an interview with US News & World Report, Pence rejects the social issues “truce”... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 12/07/2010, 4:24pm
Rep. Lamar Smith says that the GOP should go ahead and press it's anti-immigration agenda because Hispanics support the Republican agenda and don't really care about the issue of immigration: "The idea that we need to listen to our liberal Democratic friends who say you have to be for amnesty if you want to get Hispanic votes, we've disproved that this year -- and I hope we've laid that to rest," he adds. With the understanding that "Hispanics have the same values that almost every other American has," he thinks the GOP can attract Hispanic voters by treating... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 12/07/2010, 3:31pm
Steve Kornacki has an article at Salon about liberal disappointment with President Obama and calls to support a challenger to him in 2012 in which he uncovered an article from 1983 that I just want to highlight because I think it is interesting: Hard-line conservatives will meet this weekend in Dallas to discuss complaints against the administration and perhaps lay some groundwork for challenging President Reagan if he seeks re-election in 1984. "We've either got to fish or cut bait," said Howard Phillips, chairman of the Conservative Caucus. "Either we get some changes out of... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 12/07/2010, 2:42pm
I know that Tea Party activists have been working hard to rebut the movement's reputation for racism, so I am sure that this decision will raise a few eyebrows: One day after former Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska declined to throw her hat into the ring to become the Tea Party movement’s choice to lead the Republican National Committee, a leading Tea Party group threw its support behind Saul Anuzis of Michigan. Judson Phillips, the founder of Tea Party Nation, announced in a statement on Tuesday that he was supporting Mr. Anuzis, a former chairman of the Michigan Republican Party... MORE >