Republican Party

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.

FRC's Two Kens Warn GOP Not To Even Think About Abandoning Fight Against Gay Marriage

Yesterday, Ken Mehlman, President Bush's campaign manager in 2004 and a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, came out as gay, which is just the latest development signling that the Right is losing its fight against gay marriage.

But don't think for a second that the Right is going to give up without a fight, as Ken Blackwell and Ken Klukowski, both from the Family Research Council, have already written an op-ed telling the GOP not to even think about abandoning social conservatives on this issue: 

Republican leadership is working hard to prevent a party split. Millions of Tea Party supporters are justifiably fed up with the GOP, and threatening to abandon the GOP in favor of a third party if Republicans do not fully attack out-of-control federal spending and power with a commitment to constitutional government.

That danger cuts both ways.

Social conservatives cannot be played as fools by the Republican Party. They are not “useful idiots.” If Republican leaders abandon social conservatives and the party platform, then they will face the same kind of disaster they could be facing if Tea Partiers abandon the GOP -- Millions of social conservatives will either stay home, or will vote for a third-party candidate who takes up the mantle of marriage, life, faith and family.

As we discuss in the introduction of our book, “The Blueprint,” this is exactly what President Obama wants to see. If a majority of Americans reject the agenda of President Obama and his Democratic Party—as they do today—the only way that Obama and the Dems can hold on to power is to split the opposition vote.

If the GOP splits either over economic issues or over social issues, then President Obama could be reelected with as little as 40% of the vote.

Think that sounds preposterous? It’s happened before in American politics, with 1912 as a perfect example. The year 2012 will be the 100-year anniversary of when a Republican split gave America a Democratic president.

If Republicans flinch on marriage, America could have eight years of President Obama.

Reed Unveils More Speakers at Faith And Freedom Conference

Earlier this month I wrote about Ralph Reed's upcoming Faith and Freedom Conference and Strategy Briefing to be held in Washington, D.C., September 9-11 which Reed is calling the "the political equivalent of NFL minicamp."

Today, Reed sent out an email urging activists to register and provided the first look at the line-up of scheduled speakers he has landed:   

  • Gary Bauer, President, American Values
  • Ken Blackwell, Senior Fellow of Family Empowerment, Family Research Council
  • Glen Bolger, Political strategist and pollster
  • Jim Bopp, Legal Counsel, Faith & Freedom Coalition
  • Brent Bozell, President, Media Research Center
  • Herman Cain, Conservative radio talk show host
  • Tucker Carlson, Political correspondent
  • Teresa Collett, Congressional candidate (R-MN 4th district)
  • Kellyanne Conway, President and CEO, Women Trend
  • S.E. Cupp, Author, “Losing Our Religion”
  • Majorie Dannenfelser, President , Susan B. Anthony List
  • Brian Donahue, Founder, CRAFT Media/Digital
  • Erick Erickson, Founder, RedState.com
  • Mindy Finn, E- Media strategist
  • J. Randy Forbes, Congressmen (R-VA-4th district)
  • John Fund, Political journalist and conservative columnist
  • Dr. Jim Garlow, Coauthor, “Cracking Da Vinci's Code”
  • Tim Goeglein, Vice President, Focus on the Family
  • Ed Goeas, Political strategist and pollster
  • Deal Hudson, Director, Morley Institute for Church and Culture
  • Richard Land, President, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
  • Anna Little, Congressional candidate (R-NJ-6th district)
  • Dana Loesch, Conservative radio talk show host
  • Jenny Beth Martin, Tea Party Leader
  • Jack St. Martin, Partner, Orange Hat Group
  • Jason Mattera, Political Blogger and Author of “Obama  Zombies”
  • Thaddeus McCotter, Congressman  (R-MI-11th district)
  • Bob McDonnell, Governor of Virginia
  • Mark Meckler, Tea Party Leader
  • Grover Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform
  • Star Parker, Congressional candidate (R-CA-37th district)
  • Tony Perkins, President, the Family Research Council
  • Tom Price, Congressmen (R-GA-6th district)
  • Karl Rove, Sr. Advisor, White House
  • Patrick Ruffini, E-Media Strategist
  • Chip Saltsman, Former Campaign Manager, Mike Huckabee for President
  • Rick Santorum, Former U.S. Senator
  • Tim Scott, Congressional candidate (R-SC-1st district)
  • Orit Sklar, Executive Director, Fulton County Republican Party
  • Mark Smith, President, Ohio Christian University
  • Matt Smith, Priest
  • Bill Stephens, President, Florida Faith & Freedom Coalition
  • Jim Talent, Former U.S. Senators
  • Hans von Spakovsky, Senior Legal Fellow , Heritage Foundation
  • Jackie Walorski, Congressional candidate (R-IN-2nd district)
  • Lynn Westmoreland, United States Congressman (R-GA-3rd district)

Interestingly, the names Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, and Mike Huckabe are not on this list despite the fact that Reed has been using them in his promos for weeks now: 

Rick Scarborough Blasts Coulter for Speaking At GOProud's Homocon 2010

Earlier this week, Peter LaBarbera called on Ann Coulter to cancel her scheduled speech at GOProud's upcoming HomoCon 2010 because ... well, GOProud is a gay conservative group which means that, by definition, they work "directly against the Republican Party’s pro-family and pro-marriage platform."

Now Rick Scarborough of Vision America is getting in on the action, sending out an email likewise demanding that Coulter withdraw from the event:

She can't appear at a homosexual group's event while disavowing its agenda.

Coulter says she supports the family and disdains elitism. The voters of 30 states have amended their constitutions to prohibit gay "marriage," by an average vote of 67%. GOProud is telling these voters to shut up and obey their judicial masters. By extension, so is Ann Coulter.

Coulter says she's a devout Christian. One of her bestselling books was titled "Godless: The Church of Liberalism." Does she now occupy the front pew?

Ann Coulter has long been one our best and most courageous spokespersons, but she can't have it both ways - She can't hold herself forth as a defender of traditional values while playing footsie with homosexual groups. Does anyone entertain the notion that a spokesperson for the Gay-Lesbian Straight Education Network would be happy to help me raise funds for Vision America knowing my open opposition to their agenda, because we might agree on taxes and fiscal policy? (We don't and I can assure they won't!)

Conservatives should let Coulter know what they think of her support for GOProud and let her know this betrayal to our values is not without cost. If she fails to respond, then I will no longer buy her books and I call you to send her the same message if she speaks at "Homocon 2010."

Interestingly, the email concludes with this:

Please consider joining us at 6:30 p.m. on August 31st in Houston, TX at the Westin Galleria for our annual Heroes of Faith Gala with Governor Mike Huckabee as our keynote speaker. We will also honor him with the National Hero of Faith Award.

You can read more about that gala here, but I just think this provides a good excuse to relive the infamous Huckabee-Coulter debate about whether he is  "pro-gay, pro-sodomy":

So let's see: Coulter is speaking at an event for a gay group while Huckabee is speaking at an event for an anti-gay group that is blasting Coulter for speaking at an event for a gay group ... and yet it is Coulter who accuses Huckabee of not being a real conservative because he is "pro-sodomy"? 

Camenker and MassResistance Push Scott Lively For Governor

Last month we noted that Brian Camenker of MassResistance had been invited to speak at a local Tea Party rally in Massachusetts, only to see the entire rally collapse after other speakers backed out when they learned that he was be participating.

He's been complaining about it ever since and lashing out at the "RINOs" who are trying to keep social conservatives like him out of the movement instead of recognizing the real reason, which is that his organization is listed as an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center

Which makes this new email from MassResistance all the more interesting, as Camenker is urging activists to write in Scott Lively for Governor:

This week we are urging people to write in Scott Lively for Governor, against Charlie Baker.

Scott Lively lives in Springfield and is known as a major pro-family figure not only in the U.S. but internationally. He is an attorney, pastor (with a PhD in theology), pro-family activist, and author of several books. He also spent time as an international consultant on family issues with more than twenty years of ministry opposing the "gay" political agenda around the world.

Dr. Lively is founder of Abiding Truth Ministries, the Pro-Family Law Center, DefendTheFamily.com, and most recently the Redemption Gate Ministry Society in Springfield, Mass.. Over the past 20 years he has also lectured and consulted on pro-family strategies in more than 30 countries.

Like Glenn Beck, Rep. Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, the Tea Party Movement, MassResistance, and many more, Scott Lively has been demonized by the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as a "hate group" - a disgusting tactic meant to marginalize effective conservatives. For his beliefs and activism he has withstood pressure that would overcome most people.

Lively is everything that Charlie Baker is not. He is principled, pro-family, pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-2nd-amendment, pro-religion, pro-parents' rights, and utterly fearless.

Send a clear message to the RINO establishment

There's nothing quite like voting for someone you actually support, rather than the lesser of two (or three) evils.

And by thousands (we hope!) of people voting for Scott Lively as a write-in candidate in the September 14 Republican Primary, a very strong statement will be made to the RINO Republican establishment, especially since relatively few people vote in most primaries. Don't assume you own us. What you're selling, we're not buying. The people running the Massachusetts Republican Party love to use social conservatives to do the grunt work on campaigns, but they arrogantly see themselves as above "dirtying" themselves with the principled issues that conservatives care about.

That's right: the head of one Massachusetts based SPLC-certified anti-gay hate group is urging his supporters to support the head of another Massachusetts based SPLC-certified anti-gay hate group for governor. 

In the same email, Camenker brags that he has been invited to speak at a South Boston Tea Party rally at Fort Independence on August 22 with Don Feder and others. 

Unlike the other cowardly Tea Party activists who didn't want anything to do with Camenker, "South Boston Tea Party president Susan Long invites everyone to come and make a statement: If Tea Partiers upset the Left and the political establishment, well -- so be it."

Will they still feel that way about letting Camenker participate when then learn that he wants to see someone like Lively elected Governor? 

The Hypocrisy At The Heart Of The Right's Complaints About "Judicial Activism"

Given that we are in the middle of Elena Kagan's Supreme Court confirmation hearing and keep hearing all sorts of complaints from the Right about "judicial activism" and "legislating from the bench" and whatever, I just wanted to highlight this article from Focus on the Family because it  perfectly demonstrates just how bogus this entire talking point really is: 

A new front just opened Monday in the political tug-of-war over "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" – a Clinton-era policy prohibiting people who are openly gay or lesbian from serving in the military.

U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips in Riverside, Calif., agreed to hear a case that challenges the military policy. The lawsuit was filed by the Log Cabin Republicans, a fiscally conservative, gay-activist group within the Republican Party.

Bruce Hausknecht, judicial analyst for CitizenLink, is concerned the proceedings could become a show trial – with the underlying intent to solidifying the concept that gay members of the military are a victimized class and in need of special protections.

"Once again, gay activists want to use the courts to impose social change rather than leaving this issue to the democratic process," said Hausknecht. "There never seems a lack of judges who will jump at the chance to legislate from the bench."

Hausknecht is angry that the Log Cabin Republicans are trying to use to the courts to impose this change instead of allowing the democratic process to take care of it.  At the same time, Focus on the Family is vehemently opposing efforts in Congress to repeal DADT, which is the very "democratic process" they say should be used. 

So what happens if Congress does manage to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell?

Robert Maginnis, senior fellow for national security with the Family Research Council, doesn't make much out of this case, as he believes Congress will succeed in repealing the policy well before the November election – and before the court can rule.

"The real decision's going to be made by the Congress," said Maginnis, "and then we have a fight after that – if, in fact, they do repeal."

Hmmm .... is FRC suggesting that they will go to court to fight the repeal of DADT?  

But what about the sanctity of the "democratic process"?  What about using judges to impose decisions contrary to the will of the people?  What about legislating from the bench? 

So apparently the Religious Right is opposed to using the courts to try and repeal DADT ... but entirely willing to use the courts to try and repeal any repeal of DADT. 

Do Not Underestimate The Right's Opposition to Gov. Daniels' Truce

Several weeks ago, Gov. Mitch Daniels set off a firestorm when he suggested calling a truce in the culture wars in order to focus the nation on addressing economic and security issues. 

Needless to say, that suggestion did not sit well with the Religious Right, since fighting culture war issues is their main priority.  But eventually the story ran its course and the attacks on Daniels subsided as everyone involved moved on to other issues. 

Or so we thought ... but apparently the Family Research Council is still upset about it since FRC Senior Fellow Robert Morrison just wrote an op-ed attacking Daniels once again that ran in the Indianapolis Star

Daniels' supporters had been defending him on the grounds that he has a solid pro-life conservative record and thus he could get away with calling for a truce because nobody could question his credentials.  But it looks like that is not the case, as Morrison slams Daniels for allowing Planned Parenthood to host a fundraiser in the Governor's mansion and slams his "blinkered view [of] prosperity [with] no moral foundation": 

What Mitch Daniels missed in his call for a "truce" in the culture clash -- a call he has adamantly repeated in recent days -- is that we can no more be quiet about the slaughter of innocents than we can about the plundering of the next generation's hopes for prosperity.

Planned Parenthood hosted a fundraiser in the Indiana governor's residence. No pro-life governor would allow that. If we accept that, how can we complain when Gov. Kathleen Sebelius invites the grisliest of partial-birth abortionists to her governor's mansion? Is it somehow OK because Daniels is a Republican?

...

The Republicans have ever been a party of enterprise. This is not wrong. Abraham Lincoln believed passionately in "the right to rise." He unleashed great engines of wealth production in the form of new inventions and a trans-continental railroad. Even with the tragedy and destruction of the Civil War, American industry and agriculture prospered.

But what saved Lincoln's new Republican Party from being dismissed as advocates only for "Golden Calf" politics -- a soulless worship of great wealth -- was its basic commitment to human dignity, to the right of every man to eat the bread his own hands had earned.

Daniels misses all this. He does not understand that human life is the basis for all wealth. President Reagan's Mexico City Doctrine was not just a cutoff of federal funds from the death-dealing minions of Planned Parenthood. It was importantly that, but much, much more.

Reagan's Mexico City Doctrine boldly declared that human creativity and human procreativity were the indispensable sources of all wealth. Every farmer knows you cannot prosper if you eat the seed corn ... We know that where there is no vision the people perish. With Mitch Daniels' blinkered view, the perishing will continue apace, and prosperity will have no moral foundation.

Rep. Bachmann Signs on to Fringe Fest

Last year, we wrote a series of posts about the How To Take Back America Conference which was hosted by Janet Porter and Phyllis Schlafly and several other Religious Right groups and featured as speakers everyone from Mike Huckabee to Michele Bachmann to Trent Franks.

This year, the event has been taken over by Joseph Farah and WorldNetDaily and seems to have lost most of its ties to the Religious Right, which is why we had not really mentioned it until now. 

The speaker's list contained just the sort of fringe right-wing activists you'd expect from a WND-organized conference: Birthers like Alan Keyes and Jerome Corsi, fake prostitutes like Hannah Giles, rabidly anti-gay critics like Matt Barber, impeachment advocates like Floyd Brown, and all around kooks like Victoria Jackson.

But recently, Farah announced a few new big-name attendees, including Ann Coulter and now Rep. Michele Bachmann:

Rep. Michele Bachmann, the red-hot rising star of the Republican Party, has joined an all-star lineup of speakers, debaters and presenters, including Ann Coulter, Alan Keyes, Victoria Jackson, Hannah Giles, Joseph Farah and Jerome Corsi, at WND's "Taking America Back" national conference in Miami Sept. 16-18.

"Michele Bachmann is one of the leaders in calling for a repeal of Obamacare," said Farah, editor and chief executive officer of WND. "She's a rock star, a principled, liberty-loving woman of conviction. It will be a treat to see her and hear her and interact with her in Miami."

Other speakers include Gary North, son-in-law of Christian Reconstructionist guru R.J. Rushdoony and an open Reconstructionist himself:

While many Christians believe that biblical law is a guide to morality and public ethics, when interpreted in faith, Reconstructionism is unique in advocating that civil law should be derived from and limited by biblical law. For example, they support the recriminalization of acts of abortion and homosexuality, but also oppose confiscatory taxation, conscription, and most aspects of the welfare state. Protection of property and life needs grounding in biblical law, according to Reconstructionism, or the state set free from the restraint of God's law will take what it wishes at a whim. Accordingly, Reconstructionists advocate biblically derived measures of restitution, a definite limit upon the powers of taxation, and a gold standard or equivalent fixed unit for currency.

Another Reconstructionist also scheduled to speak is Gary DeMar of American Vision, whose mission is to see "an America that recognizes the sovereignty of God over all of life, where Christians apply a Biblical worldview to every facet of society. This future America will be again a 'city on a hill' drawing all nations to the Lord Jesus Christ and teaching them to subdue the earth for the advancement of His Kingdom."

So that is whom Bachmann has signed on with - a bunch of Birthers, fake prostitutes, anti-gay militants, rhetorical bomb-throwers, and Christian Reconstructionists.

PS: Interestingly, DeMar's American Vision is also hosting its own "Sovereignty and Dominion" Worldview Super Conference next month that includes Liberty University Law School among its sponsors:

The Bible tells us in Genesis 1:28 that God created us to multiply, fill the earth, and take dominion of His creation for His Glory. When Jesus came to earth, He gave his disciples the Great Commission and told them to make disciples of all nations, Baptize them, and teach them to obey all that he had commanded (Matthew 28:18-20). These two mandates form the basis for why Christ’s Church exists on this planet. Every square inch of this world belongs to King Jesus. It is our privilege to serve Him by exercising servanthood dominion in every area of life.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • PFAW: Palin Endorses Article Equating Obama with Hitler, Calling Obama Voters ‘Useful Idiots’.
  • See also: Palin takes her cartoonish extremism to the next level, endorses comparison of Obama to Hitler.
  • Edge Boston: Anti-gay pastor holds prayer meetings at St. Louis church.
  • Alan Colmes: U.S. Authorities May Have Deported An American Citizen.
  • AU: Borking Kagan?: Failed High Court Candidate Lashes Out At Latest Nominee.
  • Political Correction: Meet The Texas Republican Party.
  • TPM's Justin Elliot: Sharron Angle's Fringe Third Party Sponsored Virulently Anti-Gay Flier In '90s.
  • Finally, have I mentioned that I'm now writing our Twitter updates?  Because I am.  And have I mentioned that you should follow them?  Because you should.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Religion Dispatches: Generation Joshua, a program run by homeschooling advocates, aims to get young people working to "help America return to her Judeo-Christian foundations."
  • Political Correction: Steve King: Obama Favors The "Black Person" By Default.
  • Warren Throckmorton: Lou Engle expressed support for Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill – Guest Post by Jeff Sharlet.
  • Sarah Posner: The Duggars To Headline Values Voters Summit.
  • TPM: Alabama Tea Partier Defends 'Gather Your Armies' TV Ad.
  • Ed Brayton: Christian ministry loses suit over leafleting at Dearborn Muslim festival.
  • Steve Benen: The Angle to the Right of the Republican Party.
  • Andy Birkey: Bachmann for Senate?
  • SPLC: MCDC Founder Simcox Reported on the Run.

Cathie Adams Ousted As Head of Texas GOP

It was just last October that former Texas Eagle Forum President Cathie Adams was elected Chair of the Texas Republican Party.

On Saturday, less than eight months after taking office, Adams was ousted:

The state Republican Party ousted a longtime social conservative leader and instead elected Houston lawyer Steve Munisteri as its new party chairman Saturday, after a rare floor fight.

Munisteri capitalized on concerns over party financial problems and the lack of grass-roots organizing to overtake Cathie Adams of Dallas, who has held the post for the last eight months.

Munisteri, 52, took more than 59 percent of the votes from more than 7,000 delegates who remained for the ballot as the convention neared its end Saturday afternoon.

...

In her nomination speech, Adams gave a fiery account of her fight of 30 years against abortion, gay marriage and the United Nations, and for maintaining a Christian nation. More recently, she said, "I'm saying no to Barack Hussein Obama."

"I'm not here just to say I'm offering change. We've fallen for that one before," she said.

Adams has played hardball politics for years, creating opponents along the way. Recently, she angered some GOP activists by declining to release financial information about the party.

When a supporter tried to nominate her to be the party's vice chairwoman, many delegates loudly booed.

"As a party, we need to practice what we preach. As a whole over the years, we have drifted away from core values of openness," said Austin delegate Eric Stratton, who supported Munisteri.

Adams has been a good spokeswoman, but the party is now looking for a strong grass-roots organizer, Stratton said.

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Republican Party Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 04/06/2011, 5:44pm
PFAW: Glenn Beck Leaves Fox to Spend More Time with his Chalkboard. Truth Wins Out: TWO Calls On The Republican Party to Denounce The American Family Association After Racist Rant By AFA Radio Host Bryan Fischer. Towleroad: Judge Vaughn Walker Says He is Gay for First Time Publicly, Says Judges Should Never Recuse Themselves Over Sexuality. Lee Fang @ Think Progress: Bristol Palin Responds: Legally Required Nonprofit Disclosure Part Of An Anti-Palin Conspiracy. Andy Birkey @ Minnesota Independent: Herman Cain slams Ellison, says he supports Sharia law. Zack Ford... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 04/04/2011, 2:58pm
Newly elected Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is set to address the Faith & Freedom Conference and Strategy Briefing in June, the hallmark event of Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition. Sen. Paul and his father, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, both appear to be testing the waters for a presidential bid. The younger Paul recently address the Iowa Republican Party’s “Night of the Rising Stars” and the Iowa Campaign for Freedom; he also told The Hill that he feels ready to run for president even though he has only held elected office since January. Paul has also helped... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 03/31/2011, 5:43pm
PFAW: Trent Franks Beyond the Pale: Representing the Extremist Wing of the Republican Party. Bruce Wilson @ Talk 2 Action: The Social Transformation Conference & the 7M Movement. Wayne Besen @ Truth Wins Out: Harvard Vows Hate Conference Speakers Will Whitewash Views. Tanya Somanader @ Think Progress: Indiana GOP Rep Says Women Will Pretend To Be Raped To Get Free Abortions. Warren Throckmorton: Bryan Fischer doubles down on Christianity as a state religion. Evan McMorris-Santoro @ TPM: GOPers Demand Sean Duffy Salary Tape Be Pulled From The Internet... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 03/30/2011, 5:27pm
Rep. Michele Bachmann will be attending a fundraiser hosted by Sheriff Joe Arpaio for the Arizona Republican Party this weekend. Bachmann will also "deliver a special message to the attendees at The Awakening 2011" ... whatever that means. I really am getting tired of hearing the phrase "American Exceptionalism." Janet Porter's "Heartbeat Bill" made it out of committee by one vote. The Oklahoma Family Policy Council is shutting down, mainly because it lost grants it had been receiving to teach abstinence education. Finally, Ken... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 03/25/2011, 10:59am
After an openly gay Republican, Greg Gandrud, was elected to the board of directors of the California Republican Party at their convention, anti-gay organizations were obviously displeased. Similar to the debate over GOProud’s inclusion in the Conservative Political Action Conference, when right-wing groups blasted GOProud because it represents gay and lesbian conservatives, the head of the California Republican Assembly has taken issue with Gandrud’s sexual orientation. Celeste Greig of the California Republican Assembly said that Gandrud shouldn’t “bring his personal... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 03/21/2011, 1:31pm
In yet another example of the deepening anti-Muslim sentiment in the GOP, the keynote speaker for a recent Idaho Republican Party fundraiser was a noted anti-Muslim activist from neighboring Washington. Pastor Shahram Hadian said he converted to Christianity during his childhood and now claims to be an expert on Islam. He unsuccessfully ran as a Republican candidate for state legislature last November and also targeted customers of a café whose employees delivered coffee wearing bikinis by taking their photos and posting their names online. Hadian has addressed local Republican groups... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 03/08/2011, 5:26pm
RWW reported in November on an internal Republican feud in Texas where the Religious Right unsuccessfully tried to push out the Speaker of the House, who is Jewish, in favor of a challenger who was a “True Christian.” Now, Republicans in Arkansas are using a similar tactic against Democrat Jerry Repham in the race to fill a vacancy in the state legislature. The blog Blue Arkansas found a campaign email from Chuck Chatham, a committeeman of the local Republican Party, which contrasts Republican candidate Bruce Cozart with Repham, who Chatham calls a “pro-abortion Jewish... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 03/07/2011, 11:22am
Tonight, the Iowa affiliate of Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition is hosting it's "Spring Kick-off Event" featuring Five potential presidential candidates - Herman Cain, Buddy Roemer, Rick Santorum, Tim Pawlenty and Newt Gingrich. And Reed wants it known that social conservatives have no intention of riding in the "back of the bus": The Iowa political season is set to kick off with Monday’s Faith and Freedom Coalition forum featuring a slew of potential 2012 hopefuls — an event that group’s national chairman says will show that social issues... MORE >