Republican Party

Joseph Farah: Mitt Romney Is Worse Than Satan

The Religious Right is already looking to 2012, and Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily is heeding the alarm: if Mitt Romney becomes the GOP Presidential nominee, “America’s toast.” Farah believes that due to Romney’s cardinal sins of supporting a health care reform law in Massachusetts and being close to the GOP establishment make him “the most dangerous man in America.” Social conservatives already worked hard in 2008 to make sure that Mitt Romney was not the Republican Party’s nominee for President, let alone John McCain’s choice for Vice President. But Farah’s rhetoric against the former Massachusetts governor demonstrates the heightened fear that Romney will be the frontrunner in the 2012 Republican nomination contest:

Mitt Romney is the most dangerous man in America today because he is the only GOP presidential contender about whom I can make such an unequivocal statement. If he wins, we lose. America's toast.

I'm serious about this.

All the positive energy that was stirred up throughout middle America because of Obama's misdeeds will have nowhere to be channeled if he's the nominee.

Honestly, if he's the nominee, America's only hope will be revolution.



I wouldn't vote for Romney if he ran against Satan himself for president.

He needs to be the one candidate that faithful, liberty-loving Republicans agree can never be the nominee. His track record of flip-flopping on the major issues of the day is a disqualifier. No one is perfect, but Romney is perfectly awful. I would have expected my friend Robert Ringer to notice that.

I am hoping, as we get closer to 2012, that discerning Republicans heed this warning.

I intend to do everything in my power to alert the American electorate to the threat he poses.

This is not hyperbole: Mitt Romney is the most dangerous man in America today.

Brownback Finally Speaks, Claims He Worked With Engle On "Human Rights" Issues

Earlier today we noted that Sam Brownback was refusing to comment on his ties to Lou Engle despite the fact that the two lived together for several months and that he has attended several events with Engle.

Well, it looks like the pressure has started to get to him and so Brownback finally broke his silence today and attempted to distance himself from Engle while claiming that his work with him was all about "human rights":

U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback expressed uneasiness Wednesday with some elements of controversial evangelist Lou Engle's proselytizing.

The Kansas Democratic Party raised questions about ties between the Republican Party's nominee for governor and the minister with headquarters in Kansas City, Mo. Brownback has participated in religious rallies in Tennessee and elsewhere hosted by Engle, who says Christians may need to martyr themselves in the campaign against abortion and homosexuality.

Engle and Brownback were together as recently as December 2009 when they appeared on the Internet broadcast of a prayer service seeking God's intervention to block Senate passage of health reform.

Brownback, interviewed following a TV appearance in Topeka, said Kansas voters should understand he doesn't agree with all positions expressed by Engle.

"He's said things I don't agree with," Brownback said. "I haven't talked to him in months."

Brownback, of Topeka, said he worked with Engle on adoption by the U.S. Senate of official statements of apology to Native Americans and African-Americans. He said the Native American statement became law.

"Those were the substantive items," Brownback said. "It's all been about human rights and helping people live better."

Brownback said any description of his relationship with Engle shouldn't suggest the senator had minimized his views on abortion and gay rights.

"I'm pro-life," Brownback said. "I support marriage as the union between a man and woman and I support the 'don't ask, don't tell' policies."

Please - Engle is know for a lot of things, but his "substantive" concerns about Native Americans, African Americans, and human rights are not at the top of the list. 

He may very well care deeply about such issues, but Engle is not drawing tens of thousands of prayer warriors to day-long fasting and prayer rallies aimed at apologizing to Native Americans - he mobilizes activists to fight abortion and gay marriage.

So let's ask Brownback again just which of Engle's views concern him the most:  Is it his Dominionism? or his view that homosexuality should be criminalized? or his fear that President Obama is unleashing demons upon this nation? or that universities are conditioning students to accept the Mark of the Beast? or maybe that Satan has gained control over the US government?

Pence Embraces Reed and the Religious Right in Iowa

After winning the Values Voter Summit straw poll of likely 2012 presidential contenders, Indiana Congressman Mike Pence spoke in Iowa to Ralph Reed’s Faith & Freedom Coalition. Pence appeared to reject “the truce” proposed by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, which called on conservatives to play down social issues in order to push their economic agenda, and showed why he is so beloved by the Religious Right. In his remarks, Pence did discuss fiscal issues, calling for a “balanced federal budget” but also for extending the budget-busting Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. He went on to link the right wing social agenda of stopping same-sex marriages and Planned Parenthood to the nation’s budgetary issues:

To those who say we should focus on fiscal issues, instead of the right to life, I say ‘what is more fiscally responsible than rolling back this administration’s effort to expand funding for abortion at home and abroad?

What is more fiscally responsible than denying any and all funding to Planned Parenthood of America?

To those who say that marriage doesn’t matter, I say, ‘you would not be able to print enough money in 1,000 years to pay for the government you would need if the traditional family continues to collapse.

We are at our strongest when fiscal and social conservatives are united. Victory comes when we stand together, fighting arm in arm for fiscal responsibility, a strong national defense and traditional moral values.

Men and women, we must demand, here and now, that those who would lead the Republican Party stand for life and traditional marriage without apology.

This is our moment. Now is the time. It’s time for us to do all that we can to preserve what makes this country great.

Men and women of Iowa, the time has come to take our stand. We must not be afraid, and we must fight for what has always been the source of American greatness: our faith in God and our freedom.

And if we hold that banner high, I believe with all my heart the good and great people of this land will rally to our cause. We will win this Congress back in 2010, and we will win this country back in 2012, so help us God.

Right Wing Watch In Focus: "Rogues' Gallery"

Today, People For the American Way released out latest Right Wing Watch In Focus report examining the slate of extremist GOP Senate candidates running for office this year.

Entitled "The Rogues' Gallery: Right-Wing Candidates Have A Dangerous Agenda for America and Could Turn the Senate," the report examines the radical agendas and views held by Joe Miller, Carly Fiorina, Ken Buck, Christine O'Donnell, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Roy Blunt, Sharron Angle, Kelly Ayotte, Richard Burr, Rob Portman, Pat Toomey, Mike Lee, Ron Johnson, and Dino Rossi, plus the role that Sen. Jim DeMint has played in dragging the GOP further and further to the right.

Here is the introduction:

Republicans in the U.S. Senate have already broken all records for unprincipled partisan obstructionism, preventing the administration from putting people into key positions in the executive branch, blocking judicial confirmations, and delaying and preventing Congress from dealing with important issues facing the nation, from financial reform to immigration. Now a bumper crop of far-right GOP candidates threatens to turn the "deliberative body"into a haven for extremists who view much of the federal government as unconstitutional and who are itching to shut it down.

Fueled by the unlimited deep pockets of billionaire anti-government ideologues, various Tea Party and corporate-interest groups have poured money into primary elections this year. They and conservative voters angry about the actions of the Obama administration have replaced even very conservative senators and candidates backed by the national Republican establishment with others who embrace a range of radically right-wing views on the Constitution, the role of government, the protection of individual freedoms, and the separation of church and state.

Recently, Religious Right leaders have been grousing that Republican candidates arent talking enough about abortion and same-sex marriage. But this report indicates that anti-gay and anti-choice activists have little to worry about, as the right-wing candidates profiled here share those anti-freedom positions even if theyre talking more about shutting down federal agencies, privatizing Social Security, and eliminating most of the taxes paid by the wealthiest Americans. A number of these candidates oppose legal abortion even in cases of rape or incest.

Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina is helping to lead the charge with his Senate Conservatives Fund. DeMint, an absolute favorite of both the Tea Party and Religious Right political movements for his uncompromising extremism on both economic and social issues, is at the far right fringe of the Republican Party and has committed himself to helping elect more like-minded colleagues. Sarah Palin, also popular among both Tea Party and Religious Right activists, has also injected her high-profile name, busy Twitter fingers, and PAC cash into numerous Senate races.

Among the right-wing insurgents who defeated candidates backed by national party leadership are Christine ODonnell of Delaware, Joe Miller of Alaska, Marco Rubio of Florida, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Sharron Angle of Nevada, Ken Buck of Colorado, and Mike Lee of Utah. Others, like Carly Fiorina of California, came through crowded primaries where right-wing leaders split their endorsements, but have now coalesced around her candidacy.

And thanks to the conservative Supreme Courts ruling in the Citizens United case, which said corporations have the same rights as citizens to make independent expenditures in elections, right-wing candidates across the board will be benefitting from a massive infusion of corporate money designed to elect candidates who will oppose governmental efforts to hold them accountable, for example environmental protections and government regulation of the financial industry practices that led the nation into a deep recession.

This In Focus provides an introduction to a select group of right-wing candidates who hope to ride a wave of toxic Tea Party anger into the U.S. Senate. The potential impact of a Senate with even half of these DeMint-Palin acolytes would be devastating to the Senates ability to function and the federal governments ability to protect the safety and well-being of American citizens.

Be sure to read the whole thing.

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 9/28/10

Haley Barbour

2012: Political work profiled by TIME Magazine (TIME, 9/23).

New Hampshire: Stumps with GOP gubernatorial candidate (Nashua Telegraph, 9/28).

Mitch Daniels

2012: Fundraising circuit points to presidential bid (Indianapolis Star, 9/28).

Poll: About 75% of Americans haven’t heard of the Indiana Governor (Journal Gazette, 9/28).

Newt Gingrich

Democrats: Calls Democrats “the food stamp party” (Chicago Sun Times, 9/25).

GOP: How Gingrich transformed the Republican Party (Salon, 9/24).

2010: Approves new “Pledge to America” (Politico, 9/23).

Mike Huckabee

2010: Campaigned with Rand Paul over the weekend (BluegrassPolitics, 9/22).

Health Care: Walks back on previous position on coverage for pre-existing condition (The American Prospect, 9/23).

Business: Huckabee-endorsed Goldline company sued by SEC (ABC, 9/23).

Sarah Palin

2012: New poll shows her growing unpopularity among voters (ThePlumLine, 9/27).

2010: Launches “Take Back the 20” campaign against Democrats who supported Health Care Reform (The Hill, 9/27).

Media:  Claims media "piles on" her endorsed candidates (GOP 12, 9/27).

Religious Right: Article looks into Palin’s relationship with Dominionism (Religion Dispatches, 9/26).

Tim Pawlenty

Foreign Affairs: Calls Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad “nutty” (City Pages, 9/24).

New Hampshire: Plans to fundraiser for GOP gubernatorial candidate John Stephen (Concord Monitor, 9/26).

Minnesota: Visits flooded areas of state (WCCO, 9/25).

Mitt Romney

2010: Endorses West Virginia Republicans (The Hill, 9/27).

Obama: Calls Presidency an “abject failure” to New Hampshire GOP (Salt Lake Tribune, 9/26).

Rick Santorum

Media: Santorum, Palin, Gingrich and Huckabee all on Fox payroll (Politico, 9/27).

John Thune

2012: Weekly Standard profiles South Dakota Senator John Thune (Weekly Standard, 10/4).

AFA: Sen. Cornyn Promoting "Men Having Sex With Men" By Attending LCR Fundraiser

Earlier this week we noted how Sen. John Cornyn was coming under attack from the Family Research Council, which was upset that he will be attending a fund-raising event from the Log Cabin Republicans where he will also be receiving an award.

It looks like the outrage among the Religious Right is spreading, as Cornyn is now getting hammered by the American Family Association as well:

Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association, said Cornyn’s decision was inexplicable, given the fact that the senator has supported Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and traditional marriage in the past--and that the Log Cabin Republicans are far from mainstream.

“I don’t buy it, I don’t understand it and I think he’s making a big mistake,” he told CNSNews.com.

“Would he (Cornyn) go speak to a group that was for a 90 percent federal income tax and say, ‘You know, we need to respect their opinions, and I need to speak to them?’” Wildmon asked.

“If it were a fiscal issue in which they were way out of line with the base of the Republican Party, I really don’t think Sen. Cornyn would go speak to that group,” Wildmon said ... “You’re talking about men having sex with men--that’s what you’re promoting when you go there,” Wildmon said. “These people are for same-sex marriage. They're fundamentally opposed to the core of the Republican Party on that one."

Wildmon also said Cornyn should know that he has angered pro-family conservative Republicans to placate homosexual activists.

“This is an affront to pro-family conservatives who make up a large percentage of the Republican Party to appease – I don’t know who," Wildmon told CNSNews.com.

Of course, it doesn't come as much of a surprise to find that the AFA is upset that Cornyn would meet with a gay group considering that they are one of the most militantly hostile anti-gay groups in existence today and daily give a platform to Bryan Fischer to equate gays with terrorists.

Sen. Cornyn To Receive Award From Log Cabin Republicans

Last week we noted that FRC's Tony Perkins had written a letter to Sen. John Cornyn asking him to withdraw from an upcoming fundraising event for the Log Cabin Republicans. 

Perkins said he could understand going to a LCR event in order to have a debate, but never "to a fundraiser to help them raise money to elect candidates who undermine everything we stand for."  But Cornyn is standing by his decision, saying while he doesn't share the group's views on gay issues, he does shares their views on economic issues and it is his job is to work with any group that is willing to play a role in defeating Democrats.

The Religious Right wasn't buying that explanation ... and I assume they will be even more displeased with Cornyn once they realize that, in addition to rasising money for LCR, he will also be receiving an award from them

Log Cabin Republicans will present the Barry Goldwater Award, which recognizes leaders in the Republican Party who have served their nation with distinction in the model of the late Senator Barry Goldwater to:

* Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), Chairman National Republican Senatorial Committee

PFAW’s Letter to NPR

Yesterday, Kyle pointed out Bryan Fischer’s appearance on Morning Edition, where he was billed simply as a representative of the American Family Association. If a respected media outlet like NPR is going to give a platform to someone like Fischer, it needs to make clear the long record of hate speech he brings with him. PFAW President Michael B. Keegan reached out to Alicia Shepard, the NPR Ombudsman with this note:

Dear Ms. Shepard:

I was surprised yesterday to hear the voice of Bryan Fischer, Director of Issue Analysis at the American Family Association, on Morning Edition. I wonder if the show's producers knew of Mr. Fischer's record of extremism and hate speech against Muslim Americans and gays and lesbians.

People For the American Way's RightWingWatch.org blog tracks Fischer in his roll as a blogger and radio host for the AFA, where he makes no attempt to disguise his extremism. Just in the past year, Fischer has:

Yesterday, in response to People For's call that GOP leaders distance themselves from Mr. Fischer, he repeated his comparison of gay men to domestic terrorists. On Tuesday, Mr. Fischer defended his call for deporting Muslim Americans, saying "we are doing them a favor by repatriating them to their homeland where an entire nation shares their values."

Of course, Mr. Fischer has the right to air his opinions, no matter how hurtful. However, he should not be given air time by a nonpartisan news organization without some disclosure of his record of hate speech.

I also hope that Mr. Fischer is not, as Morning Edition implied, representative of the Tea Party movement as a whole.

This weekend, he will be appearing this weekend alongside leaders of the Republican Party, including Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, and 2012 presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, and Mike Pence. We have alerted these public figures to Mr. Fischer's record and urged them to denounce Fischer's remarks lest they lend credibility to his extremism.

Similarly, I urge NPR to resist lending credibility to an extremist like Fischer by providing him with a national platform without alerting audiences to his record of vocal bigotry.

Thank you for your time,

Michael B. Keegan

President, People For the American Way

 We’ll keep you posted on the response.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Richard Viguerie gloats that "Republican leaders are in a panic because they have lost control of the Republican Party. Grassroots constitutional conservatives are inside the Citadel, and are poised to take over."
  • Sometimes a title just says it all, like this one from Accuracy In Media: "An Ecofascist Crescent Moon Near Ground Zero."
  • FRC is hosting an event entitled "Is There a War Between Social and Economic Conservatives?" with Ross Douthat, Lawrence Reed and Bob Patterson later this month.
  • The anti-immigration nuts at ALIPAC have endorsed Sharron Angle.
  • Bob Peters of Morality in Media is outraged that TLC is promoting polygamy.
  • Huh? Randall Terry says that blaming him for any deaths that resulted from riots over his destruction of the Quran "is like saying that a woman who is abused by her boyfriend or husband is guilty of bringing violence on herself because she said or did something that irritated him."
  • The band The New Pornographers will no longer be performing at a Christian college because their name is just too racy.

FRC Begs Sen. Cornyn Not To Attend Log Cabin Fundraiser

Peter LaBarbera makes no secret of his views that gays have no place in the conservative movement and the Republican Party and has long waged a campaign against the Log Cabin Republicans and any GOP leader who might even consider meeting with the group - a campaign which continues to this day, as he's currently mad at Sen. John Cornyn for agreeing to attend a fundraiser for the group.

But LaBarbera is not alone, as Ben Smith reports that Tony Perkins has written his own letter [PDF] to Cornyn espressing his "profound disappointment" and asking him to withdraw from the event:

I do, however, want to express my profound disappointment in the fact that you are assisting the very organization that sought this decision from Judge Phillips. You are participating in a fundraiser for the Log Cabin Republican (LCR) organization, the lead group in the law suit (Log Cabin Republicans vs. the United States of America).

How can a group that professes allegiance to the GOP at the same time be committed to using judicial activism to advance its radical social policies even at the risk of undermining the U.S. military and, as a result, national security?

...

In light of all this activity against both Republicans and conservatives, it is deeply troubling to me that you would lend your credibility to this organization. Your work in the U.S. Senate on issues important to the family is well known, as is your close association with Family Research Council and the work we do, which makes the association all the more distressing.

In deference to the work you have done against the debasement of our culture, I would ask respectfully that you withdraw from attending the event. Additionally, I would also like to arrange a meeting so we can both discuss this matter and will have my staff contact yours to do so.

As we've noted before, the Religious Right is losing its fight against gay equality ... and nothing better exemplifies this than the fact that a leading conservative group like FRC has to more or less beg a leading conservative Senator like Cornyn not to "lend your credibility" to a gay conservative group.

Flashback: Paladino says Obama "worships himself"

Last night Carl Paladino, the conservative Tea Party-backed businessman, won the New York GOP's gubernatorial nod by a convincing margin.

Back in August, PFAW Blog reported on Carl Paladino smearing Barack Obama's Christian faith:

Right-wing leaders continue to feed into the increasingly-held belief that Obama is not a committed Christian, a view now held by one-fifth of Americans. From a Republican National Committeewoman to the RNC’s new media director and even Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell, the Republican Party has not shied away from feeding into the massive misinformation campaign about Obama’s Christian faith. Glenn Beck, who earlier described the President’s religion as “it's not Muslim, it's not Christian,” claimed on Fox News Sunday that “people aren't recognizing his version of Christianity.”

Now, Carl Paladino, a Republican candidate for governor of New York, flat-out claims in an interview with Capital Tonight that Obama is dishonest about being a Christian, and is deceitful about his faith for political purposes:

Q: You do not believe that the President is a practicing Christian?

CP: No. Not in his heart. I think it’s part of the theater of Mr. Obama. I’m not quite, I’m not saying he’s anything else, but I think Mr. Obama is about himself. I think any religious beliefs that he advocates are part of the theatre to make himself look better to the American people.”

Q: “So, you’re not specifically saying that he is not a Christian. You just don’t believe him when he says he’s a practicing Christian?”

CP: “I don’t believe he… No, I think he worships himself. He’s a very condescending person.”


Paladino’s claim about Obama’s alleged narcissism is extremely close to the description of Obama as “uppity” from conservative figures such as Rush Limbaugh and Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA). With Republican leaders pushing these smears, is it any wonder why one in three self-defined conservatives believe that Obama is not a Christian?

2012 Candidates Weekly Update

Although there are no announced Republican candidates for President, the race for 2012 is already underway with a number of candidates testing the waters. RightWingWatch will begin bringing you weekly updates on new speeches, events, controversies, and activities of potential 2012 contenders.

Haley Barbour

2012: Claims that his lobbyist experience will help him as President (US News & World Report, 9/14).

Civil-rights: Odd history from Barbour on Ole Miss integration (McClatchy, 9/9)

Mitch Daniels

2012: Meets with GOP fundraisers and “well-connected Republican figures” (Politico, 9/14).

Newt Gingrich

Obama: Claims that Obama represents “Kenyan, anti-colonial” worldview citing a D’Souza article in Forbes which says Obama’s agenda is to fulfill the dreams of his father, whom D’Souza calls a “philandering, inebriated African socialist” (WhoRunsGov, 9/12).

2010: Predicts GOP majority in House and Senate, Reid loss (CNSNews, 9/13).

Government: Floats government shutdown if GOP wins majorities (GOP12, 9/12).

Abortion: Gingrich adviser blames legal abortion for unemployment (RightWingWatch, 9/13).

Education: Scheduled to appear on Rev. Al Sharpton’s new show on education issues (Hollywood Reporter, 9/13).

Mike Huckabee

2010: Fundraises for Rob Portman and Steve Chabot in Ohio (Business Courier, 9/13).

2012: Set to address the Michigan Chamber of Commerce on economy, education, and health care (WLNS, 9/14).

Sarah Palin

2010: Holds fundraiser for Rand Paul in Louisville on Thursday (Kentucky Enquirer, 9/13); records robocalls for two Mama Grizzlies: Christine O’Donnell in Delaware and Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire before primaries.

GOP: David Plouffe claims “Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck” lead the Republican Party. “All of these Republican candidates have to pledge allegiance to them, their intolerance and their backwards thinking” (New York Times, 9/13)

Right-wing: Says Statue of Liberty meant to be a “warning” to the US “not to go down the path of other countries that adopted socialist policies” (FireDogLake, 9/13).

Park51: Imam Rauf cites Palin for encouraging a “growing Islamophobia” (NY Daily News, 9/12).

George Pataki

New Hampshire: Tells Bedford audience that “government is intimately involved in creating the problems,” responsible for stoking the economic crisis (Union Leader, 9/13).

Health Care: Writes Op-Ed calling for repeal of Health Care Reform (USA Today, 9/13).

Tim Pawlenty

New Hampshire: Sends six staffers from leadership PAC to the Granite State (AP, 9/14)

Economy: Visits Shanghai World’s Fair, says of China: “They're not racing us to the bottom. They're racing us to the top” (Minnesota Post, 9/13).

Mitt Romney

2010: Fundraiser in the works for GA Senator Johnny Isakson (Atlanta Journal Constitution, 9/13).

Rick Santorum

2012: Calls for infusion of religion into politics, rejects JFK’s 1960 speech defending the separation of church and state (RightWingWatch, 9/13).

Obama: Claims the President is “condescending” to GOP leaders (GOP12, 9/13).

Sheriff Joe To The Rescue!

“Every state needs a least one sheriff like Joe Arpaio,” Sharron Angle told a convention of right-wing bloggers in Las Vegas. And now “Sheriff Joe” of Maricopa County, Arizona, intends to push his hardcore anti-immigrant agenda and promote SB 1070 around the country. After his stint on reality TV with Fox’s “Smile…You’re Under Arrest!” Sheriff Joe is looking to eclipse Tom Tancredo in anti-immigrant politics and demagoguery.

Sheriff Joe will soon address a New Hampshire Republican Party conference and is also slated to speak at the “National Tea Party Unity Convention” in Las Vegas this October. At the Tea Party Convention he will join other right-wing extremists such as Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily, radio talk show host Neal Boortz, and a whole slew of Tea Party fanatics like William Temple, Victoria Jackson and the rapper “Polatik.”

Increasing his political reach, the Los Angeles Times reports that he is “supporting candidates for Michigan governor, California Assembly and congressional seats in Florida and Missouri, among others.” He recently gave his blessing to Tea Party darling Sharron Angle, who will join Sheriff Joe at the Tea Party Convention, although he later admitted: “I don't know too much about her.”

Famous for building “tent cities” for inmates, racial profiling, sweeps and raids of immigrant communities, and glaring civil rights abuses, Sheriff Joe is now an important endorsement for right-wing candidates outside of Arizona. Politics is not unfamiliar to Sheriff Joe, who launched investigations against critical journalists and political opponents, and was blasted for using the law as “a personal tool to target political enemies or avenge perceived wrongs.”

The New York Times in 2009 detailed the Republican Party’s new anti-immigrant hero and his failed record as Sheriff:

Maricopa County has many times more federal prison condition lawsuits than New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston combined. In September of last year, the National Commission on Correctional Health Care revoked its accreditation of the jails Sheriff Arpaio runs on the grounds of failure to provide adequate health care for inmates.

In October, a federal judge ruled that Sheriff Arpaio’s department had violated the Constitution by depriving inmates of medical care, fed them unhealthy food and housed them in unsanitary conditions.

The Goldwater report suggested that the picture beyond corrections was equally grim, citing the department’s tendency to “clear” cases without any resolution or arrest, and suggested that resources were being diverted to efforts to find illegal immigrants through sweeps that other departments characterized as dangerous.

As a result of the raids, Phoenix’s mayor, Phil Gordon, wrote a letter to the United States Department of Justice accusing Mr. Arpaio of “a pattern and practice of conduct that includes discriminatory harassment, improper stops, searches and arrests.”


The Goldwater report suggests that the trade-off for the letting [sic] the sheriff do his thing may not benefit his constituents. Although his department was “adept at self-promotion and is an unquestionably ‘tough’ law-enforcement agency, under its watch violent crime rates recently have soared, both in absolute terms and relative to other jurisdictions.”

Homicides in the county were up 167 percent in the three-year period ending in 2007 and the report stated that the budget for the department, excluding corrections, had doubled since 2001.

“We have 40,000 unserved felony warrants — murderers and rapists — and instead of serving those warrants, we have this buffoon who spends his time popping out from behind curtains for a reality television show,” said Michael C. Manning, a Phoenix lawyer who has sued the department on behalf of clients repeatedly and successfully in wrongful death suits. “He continues to demean our community by chasing publicity and acting the buffoon.”

Authors of Manhattan Declaration Put Pressure On GOP

The other day we noted how the Religious Right was beginning to grow alarmed at the possibility that Republicans were going to focus solely on economic issues as they set out their electoral strategy and governing agenda, ignoring things like abortion and marriage because, as Haley Barbour says, talking about social issues just means the GOP is "using up valuable time and resources that can be used to talk to people about what they care about."

Well, the fear appears to be quite real, prompting the architects of the Manhattan Declaration to send out an email warning that "some high-profile conservative leaders have in recent weeks weakened their support of traditional marriage" and urging activists to contact Republican leaders and demand that they refuse to "backtrack on the Republican Party's commitment to life, liberty, and traditional marriage":

We have just learned that the Republican congressional leadership--feeling supremely confident that they can win back Congress campaigning only on economic issues--seems poised to promote a mid-term election agenda that does not even mention the party's historical commitment to life, marriage, and religious liberty.

The Manhattan declaration is a non-partisan movement of Christians from all denominations and political persuasions. Our fidelity to Scripture, however, compels us to speak on public issues which affect our most fundamental moral commitments--as well as the common good of our nation.

We long for the day when both of our great political parties embrace a culture of life, a defense of the traditional family, and a commitment to religious liberty. For the one party which has in recent years officially supported these issues to now retreat would be a dreadful and highly symbolic act.

So we urge you in the strongest terms possible to talk to or e-mail your congressmen and senators, Democrat and Republican alike, urging them to support the Manhattan Declaration.

We also ask you to e-mail the offices of Republican House leader John Boehner and Republican Whip Eric Cantor urging them not to backtrack on the Republican Party's commitment to life, liberty, and traditional marriage. Or you can call Rep. Boehner's office at (202) 225-4000, or Rep. Cantor's office at (202) 225-0197.

Some high-profile conservative leaders have in recent weeks weakened their support of traditional marriage. We know the supporters of so-called gay "marriage" are well-financed and aggressive. But this struggle within the Republican Party tells us we've got to do a better job of making our case.

Use the arguments so well articulated in the Manhattan Declaration. And remember, your job is not just to sign a statement or even get others to do so, important as that is; it is for you to become an advocate.

This alarming news has been verified to be true. But if you act right now, we believe there is a good chance that the Republican Party will stand by its principled positions.

God bless you, and continue to follow the Manhattan Declaration website for reports on this issue and other resources.

Respectfully,

Chuck Colson
Dr. Robert George
Dr. Timothy George

Corporate Interests Betting Big on the GOP

Two separate reports have revealed the flood of corporate dollars buttressing the Republican Party’s push to retake the House and Senate this November. Big business, whether rewarding Republican endeavors to block progressive legislation such as Wall Street reform or simply expecting a GOP wave, has ramped up efforts to support Republican politicians and expenditure committees.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, “in both the first and second quarters of this year, the broad finance, insurance and real estate sector has favored Republican candidates and committees in its political giving.” Their study indicates “an increased frustration with congressional Democrats by Wall Street interests, many of which are still smarting from passage of federal financial reforms they consider onerous.” Of the 25 leading recipients of money from the three industries, 17 were Republican candidates, and the top 5 includes: “Ohio’s Rob Portman ($820,000); Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey ($728,000); California’s Carly Fiorina ($650,000); Illinois’ Mark Kirk ($618,000) and Florida’s Marco Rubio ($613,000).”

Stewart Powell and Yang Wang in the Houston Chronicle describe the intense efforts of the National Republican Senatorial Committee to recruit donors from the corporate world. Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the head of the NRSC, “has aggressively courted business executives who are disappointed in Obama’s performance and unhappy with the Democratic Congress' legislative agenda.” The NRSC has raked in over $4.4 million from interests related to the security and investment industries, and Goldman Sachs alone “boosted donations to the NRSC by almost 200 percent.”  And with the increasing number of "Super PACs" after Citizens United, corporations have more opportunities than ever to back their preferred candidates.

Republicans in Congress are reaping the benefits of their unfailing defense of corporate interests, as seen when GOP leaders even went out of their way to protect British Petroleum after the Gulf oil spill. With Wall Street’s unfettered access to John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, the prospect of Republican majorities is motivating more and more giving to the Republican cause.

Religious Right Demands Inclusion in GOP Agenda

Earlier this year, House Republicans launched a website called "America Speaking Out," which allowed Americans to "share their priorities and ideas for a national policy agenda" that they wanted Congress to focus on.

In a few weeks, House GOP leaders are expected to roll out set of guiding principles and agenda that is based on the suggestions they have received and reportedly distributed a 22-page draft packet to members earlier this month.  And the draft focuses largely on issues related to jobs, spending, health care, and the economy while almost entirely ignoring social issues ... which, of course, is not sitting well with the Religious Right:

Today, the Susan B. Anthony List announced the launch of its “Life Speaking Out Campaign” aimed at encouraging House GOP leadership to make protecting women and the unborn a priority in its legislative blueprint expected after Labor Day. The campaign includes a website for pro-life activists to lobby House GOP leadership (www.LifeSpeakingOut.com) and an encouraging letter to leadership signed by SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser.

“The Republican Party must show what it is made of this time around. They can do so by acting on their convictions and those of their party, and by making a commitment to passage of common-sense, life-saving legislation,” said Dannenfelser. “Missing from the GOP’s original Contract in 1994 was any emphasis on policies protecting the unborn. Pro-life legislation was not made a priority in the following Congress. With the support of a vibrant pro-life movement that understands the urgency of addressing the tragedy of nearly 4,000 abortions per day coupled with the vast majority of Americans who support a commonsense pro-life agenda, enacting that agenda would not require a heavy lift ... It would be an electorally costly mistake for the future for the GOP to write off one leg of the three-legged stool of Ronald Reagan conservatism. Real leaders multi-task. The strongly pro-life GOP leadership should be able to respond to the economic crisis and enact pro-life legislation,” Dannenfelser said.

Expect to see more of this, as other Religious Right groups started demanding that things like support for "traditional marriage" and religious freedom also be explicitly included in any GOP governing agenda.

Religion and Politics at Beck's Nonpolitical Event

It may seem too obvious to be said, but let’s say it. Beck’s claim that his event was nonpolitical doesn’t pass the smell test, the laugh test, or any other test. He picked Sarah Palin to speak just because she’s a military mom, not because she’s the darling of the Tea Party movement, right? 

Alveda King, who invoked “Uncle Martin” repeatedly with her own “I have a dream” speech (let’s just say his version’s place in history is secure), used her remarks to press two of her major political projects, criminalizing abortion and denying equality to gay and lesbian Americans, decrying that “the procreative foundation of marriage is being threatened, and the wombs of our mothers have become places where the blood of our children is shed in a womb war that threatens the fabric of our society.” King said we will know we have arrived “when prayer is once again welcomed in the public squares of America and in our schools,” which is standard Religious Right rhetoric. 

Beck says God led him away from a political message to a focus on faith, hope, and charity. Beck’s faith award went to Pastor C.L. Jackson, whose long ministry as a preacher is only part of his record. Jackson is also a Republican Party activist. A Texas Freedom Network report described him as “Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s point man in drawing African-American voters in Houston.” In 2004, Jackson bragged to Tavis Smiley about having helped deliver those votes to Perry and pledged to do the same for George W. Bush in Louisiana, Alabama, and Ohio. Among the reasons he cited were “family values” and same-sex marriage. In June of that year, Jackson hosted a Juneteenth celebration featuring Perry and David Barton, whose Christian-nation view of history is getting a huge new audience thanks to Beck. 
 
Jackson’s praise for Beck was remarkable. He called him “servant of God, son of God, Glenn Beck,” and said “God sent his son to this earth so that we could all gather, and I think that’s the dream and the vision of Glenn Beck.” He seemingly compared Beck to Jesus when, telling the story of the woman who washed Jesus’ feet , he urged the audience to “pray, give the best you have for a young man named Glenn Beck.”
 
Rabbi Daniel Lapin, reportedly a pal of Karl Rove and Tom Delay, is another strange choice for a non-political event.  (His record of funneling money through his nonprofit foundation to aid his buddy Abramoff may also make him an odd choice for an event devoted to honor.) Lapin, long the Religious Right’s favorite rabbi, was on stage at both the Friday night “Divine Destiny” event and along with a small group of other religious figure, helping to give the event a veneer of religious pluralism.
 
In the clumsiest effort to give a nod to religious pluralism, a speaker at Renewing Honor followed a song promoting unity by saying, “we are Americans and we stand together, black, white, Jew, Gentile, together in unity as one strong group of people, Americans today in the name of Christ.”

Glenn Beck and God are ready to rock

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 beginning of the end of darkness. We have been in darkness a long time.”  Saturday’s rally, he said, would be a “defibrillator to the spiritual heart of America.” Near the end of the program, he emphatically declared, “We are 12 hours away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America. It has nothing to do with this city or politics, it has everything to do with God Almighty.”
 
Beck’s co-host for the evening event was David Barton, the Religious Right “historian” who has
made a career promoting his theory that America was founded as a “Christian nation.” Beck is clearly enamored of Barton, having recently called him “the most important man in America.” Beck introduced Barton to the Divine Destiny audience as “the best man I know.”
 
Barton’s primary role at tonight’s event was to tell stories and wave copies of old books and sermons to make the case that the nation’s founding documents were cribbed from Christian sermons, and that Jewish and Christian leaders have since the nation’s founding banded together to fight those who would secularize America.   Barton referred to the conflict with the Barbary pirates in the early 19th century as the first time “we had Muslims targeting us.”
 
For anyone who has followed Barton’s long career as a propagandist for the Republican Party in Texas and nationally, his Christian nation rhetoric was no surprise. But it was nothing short of breathtaking to hear Barton repeating “that’s right” when Beck said that “religion and politics must not mix.” 
 
Beck asserted more than once that the weekend was not a political event, no matter what his cynical critics said. That assertion is laughable given the relentlessly political nature of his television show and Barton’s entire career, not to mention Beck’s reliance on the Tea Party movement to turn out attendees for his rally.   Among the other speakers was Rabbi Daniel Lapin, a fixture at Religious Right political events, and college professor Dr. Patrick Lee, who argued that America has no right to alter the “objective” definition of marriage.
 
The closing prayer was given by Pastor John Hagee, whose accepted-and-then-rejected endorsement of John McCain became an embarrassment to the candidate in 2008. Among the nation’s sins for which Hagee asked forgivness was that “under the banner of pluralism we have embraced and worshipped the gods of this world.” Hagee said that scripture commands us to pray for the nation’s leaders, and he prayed that God would lead us “out of this politically correct moral fog” and back to the righteousness of our forefathers by lifting up godly leaders and removing the not-so-godly from office. A fitting send-off for this completely non-political event.
 
 

Compare and Contrast: Sarah Palin's Star Power

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 auditorium that holds over 2000 people, it was moved to a smaller venue (600 seats) and ticket sales remained low even after ticket prices were cut in half. There were still probably 80 empty seats, and it was clear that some number of attendees had free tickets.

LaBarbera: Mehlman Proves Gays Must Be Kept Out of GOP

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-old boy approaching a puddle, Steele just had to step in it. Pro-family writer Laurie Higgins of Illinois Family Institute observed:

So, Steele is “happy” that Mehlman is homosexual and/or happy that he is public about it? Why would he be happy for a friend embracing immoral and dangerous practices or for a friend being public about his embrace of immorality? And why does he respect him for his “difficult” decision to announce his immorality publicly? What fecklessness or cowardice Steele’s comment demonstrates. And this from the leader of the Republican Party…

...

So, we learn that Mehlman used his tremendous influence within the Republican Party to undermine the GOP’s clear platform language in support of preserving traditional marriage. All the while rank-and-file Republican Joes and Janes were assuming that the RNC leader was standing up for marriage between a man and a woman. Mr. Mehlman just proved why homosexual activism should be kept out of the Republican Party: it undermines core conservative values supported overwhelmingly by the GOP grassroots.

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Republican Party Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 06/28/2011, 5:47pm
Despite having accomplished next to nothing legislatively, Rep. Michele Bachmann is running for president. But she is confident that the Republican Party will "be very happy" with her serving as the GOP presidential nominee. Of course, her former Chief of Staff says Bachmann is entirely unready to be president. Herman Cain is looking for people who "have been abused by the EPA" ... so he can put them in charge of the EPA when he becomes president. But before he can do that, he better start looking for people to staff his campaign in New... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Tuesday 06/28/2011, 11:53am
Fox News is apparently getting tired of media watchdog Media Matters  pointing out the network’s inaccuracies and right-wing bias. How else to explain the recent even-less-fair-and-balanced-than-usual attack  on Media Matters and its tax status? While flashing phrases like “Tax-Paid Propaganda” and “Gov’t Funded Group Launching Media ‘War’” on the screen, Fox News’ Steve Doocy complains about Media Matters’ nonprofit status “subsidizing their agenda and their war on Fox News” and asking why the IRS and the... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 06/22/2011, 11:14am
Last week, we released a new report on the unrelenting torrent of bigotry that is spread by the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer on a daily basis and an accompanying video chronicling some of his "highlights," while our colleague Peter Montgomery discussed Fisher and the AFA in the context of Gov. Rick Perry's prayer rally with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC. Fischer has already made it clear that he does not particularly appreciate all of the attention we have devoted to covering him here, so it was not surprising that he spent nearly a half-hour of his program on... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 06/16/2011, 8:13pm
Our colleague Peter Montgomery is scheduled to appear on "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell tonight to discuss the upcoming "The Response" prayer event that Texas Governor Rick Perry is organizing with the American Family Association and stocking with anti-gay activists. To coincide with this appearance, we are also releasing a comprehensive report we have written on the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer entitled "The GOP's Favorite Hate-Monger: How the Republican Party Came to Embrace Bryan Fischer" which chronicles Fischer's long record... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 06/08/2011, 2:19pm
Pseudo-historian David Barton visited the Christian television program Celebration on the Daystar Television Network with host Joni Lamb on Monday to discuss his right-wing, pro-GOP view of American history. Barton, who says that the Founding Fathers like Ben Franklin opposed Net Neutrality, claims he also knows the views of the Founding Fathers in the debate over whether schools should teach Creationism alongside evolution in public schools. Naturally, Barton says that the Founding Fathers “already had the entire debate on creation and evolution,” and sided with Creationism... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 05/19/2011, 11:02am
Jason Cherkis of The Huffington Posts reports that, according to tax records, David Barton considers himself an expert on Black history: David Barton, the Republican establishment’s favorite amateur historian, claims in tax records reviewed by HuffPost to be something of an expert on African-American history. In filings with the Internal Revenue Service, Barton’s nonprofit, Wallbuilder Presentations, Inc., justified its tax-exempt status by highlighting among its "accomplishments" a video project “of the moral heritage and political history of African Americans.... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 05/17/2011, 9:48am
Michele Bachmann 2012: More likely to run for president following Mike Huckabee's decision against running (CBS News, 5/16).  Constitution: High school student challenges her to a debate on the Constitution as a result of her record of making incorrect statements (Minnesota Independent, 5/13).  Herman Cain Georgia: Wins praise for speech at Georgia GOP convention (Southern Political Report, 5/16).  Florida: Tops field in Fort Lauderdale Tea Party straw poll (Sunshine State News, 5/16).  Mitch Daniels Reproductive Rights: Signs law defunding Planned Parenthood that... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 05/16/2011, 11:24am
Last year, Retired General Jerry Boykin recorded a video for Rick Joyner's Oak Initiative in which he claimed that President Obama was using healthcare reform legislation as cover to establish a private Brownshirt army loyal only to him. At the Oak Initiative Summit last month, Boykin reiterated and expanded upon that claim ... while also explaining that American Jews don't support the Republican Party because they mistakenly believe that Hitler was on the right when he was really "an extraordinarily off-the-scale leftist": We have incrementally moved towards Marxism and now I... MORE >