Republican Party

Tea Party Nation Backs Hate Party Defender for RNC Chair

I know that Tea Party activists have been working hard to rebut the movement's reputation for racism, so I am sure that this decision will raise a few eyebrows:

One day after former Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska declined to throw her hat into the ring to become the Tea Party movement’s choice to lead the Republican National Committee, a leading Tea Party group threw its support behind Saul Anuzis of Michigan.

Judson Phillips, the founder of Tea Party Nation, announced in a statement on Tuesday that he was supporting Mr. Anuzis, a former chairman of the Michigan Republican Party. Mr. Phillips said the leadership race was a critical “battle for the heart and soul” of the party.

“Capturing the chairmanship of the R.N.C. is important to the Tea Party movement,” Mr. Phillips wrote in a letter to the members of his group, one of the largest Tea Party organizations in the country. He added: “We need a conservative in as chair of the R.N.C. If not, we will end up with the same class of G.O.P. knuckleheads that blew it so badly in 2006 and 2008.”

And the reason it'll raise eyebrows is because of Anuzis' support of Kyle Bristow:

Saul Anuzis, leader of the Michigan GOP until last year, announced earlier this week that he would be challenging Michael Steele for the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee (RNC). Anuzis had made a failed but significant run against Steele, the party’s first black leader, for the same post in 2009.

Writing about his hopes for the RNC, Anuzis, an avid Twitter user and blogger, especially emphasized his tech-savviness at online social networking as an asset for making electoral gains for the party. What Anuzis didn’t mention was the kind of contacts he cultivated offline in Michigan, in particular his vocal support of the right-wing extremist Kyle Bristow. Bristow led the Michigan State University campus branch of Young Americans For Freedom (MSU-YAF) and was so virulent in his politics that the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) began listing it as a hate group in 2006. Bristow also served as a Republican precinct delegate.

Bristow’s MSU-YAF engaged in extensive racist activities. One of its first stunts was presenting a 13-point agenda that would have established a “Caucasian caucus” at MSU and, in turn, eliminated all student government representation for practically every other non-white, non-heterosexual, non-male or non-Christian student group at the university. Bristow was on record saying, “Homosexuality kills people almost to a degree worse than cigarettes. … these [pro-gay rights] groups are complicit with murder.” MSU-YAF sponsored a “Catch an Illegal Immigrant Day” contest, held a “Koran Desecration” competition, jokingly threatened to distribute smallpox-infested blankets to Native American students, and posted “Gays Spread AIDS” fliers across campus. Bristow’s YAF also brought several extremists to speak at the MSU campus, including Holocaust denier Nick Griffin, leader of the whites-only British National Party.

None of this seemed to bother Anuzis. “This [Bristow] is exactly the type of young kid we want out there,” Anuzis, then already the GOP state chair, said on a radio program in May 2007, the year after MSU-YAF’s more outrageous activities were made public. “I’ve known Kyle for years and I can tell you I have never heard him say a racist or bigoted or sexist thing, ever.” Just this past October, Anuzis’ Michigan GOP issued a press release attacking a Democratic candidate for secretary of state because she once interned at the SPLC, which the release said used “fear and intimidation” in its hate group listings.

Since receiving this outpouring of support from Anuzis, Bristow has graduated to the top ranks of the American radical right. Now a law student at the University of Toledo, Bristow recently self-published a novel, White Apocalypse, whose plot revolves around a series of violent revenge fantasies against Jewish professors, Latino and Native American activists. A major subplot ends in the bloody assassination of a character apparently based on an SPLC staffer. Several notable white supremacists and anti-Semites have endorsed the novel.

Just yesterday Anuzis was asked about his past support for Bristow and he again refused to disavow it.

Right Wing Round-Up

More Religious Right Groups to Boycott CPAC, Compare GOProud to John Birch Society

Last week the American Principles Project announced that it would boycott the next CAPC convention if organizers allowed the gay conservative group GOProud to participate.

Now, the APP has gotten other Religious Right groups to sign on to a letter to announcing their intent to likewise withdraw from the event:

A coalition of conservative groups led by the American Principles Project today sent a letter to David Keene, Chairman of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and his fellow board members announcing their withdrawal from participation in the 2011 CPAC.

The letter, signed by leaders of American Values, Capital Research Center, the Center for Military Readiness, Liberty Counsel, and the National Organization for Marriage, cites the decision to allow GOProud to participate in CPAC, explaining that the inclusion of this group that stands in diametrical opposition to a core principle of conservatism made it necessary to take action.

“This is the line in the sand,” stated Frank Cannon, President of the American Principles Project, an organization dedicated to upholding our most fundamental American Principles. “True conservatives and conservative organizations are rejecting the efforts to destroy conservatism from within by those attempting to marginalize social conservatism. And if that means rejecting CPAC, these conservative leaders have the courage to stand by their principles.”

In the letter, the leaders of these organization actually compare GOProud to the John Birch Society:

Exclusion of GOProud would not be without precedent in the modern history of conservatism. In 1962 William F. Buckley, Jr., called on the Republican Party and the conservative movement generally to dissociate themselves from the John Birch Society. There was no doubt then that the Birch Society embraced such principles as anti-communism and limited government. Yet Buckley and others rightly recognized that there were views its founder and leader possessed, and transmitted to the organization, that, as he wrote in the pages of National Review, were “far removed from common sense.” Buckley concluded, “We cannot allow the emblem of irresponsibility to attach to the conservative banner.”

A political generation ago, the John Birch Society embraced conspiracy theories about President Eisenhower, challenging his anti-communist credentials. Today GOProud describes Jim DeMint’s culturally conservative views as “bizarre.”

You know what is the greatest thing about this comparison? 

Last year, the John Birch Society was a co-sponsor of CPAC.

Barber: Religious Right Are The Only "Complete Conservatives"

Matt Barber and Shawn Akers dedicated a recent Liberty Counsel "Faith & Freedom Radio" program to pushing back against GOProud's effort to get the Republican Party to ignore the Religious Right's social issues agenda, blasting GOProud as liberal group that is masquerading as a conservative organization in order to divide the conservative movement and explaining that the only true conservatives are those who are conservative on social, fiscal, and national defense issues:

Barber: Groups like GOProud are liberal/libertarian organizations that are in place, and I believe furtively so, to really create a divide and conquer scheme within the Republican Party, to really divide and separate and try to splinter off people from the Tea Party movement when, in reality, the vast majority are, as I point out, those three-legged Reagan stool conservatives.

Akers: In order to form a complete conservative, you have to have all three of those things. And if any one of those things is missing, you have something but its not a stool. It won't hold you up. You are not a conservative. You have to be fiscally conservative, defense conservative, and socially conservative.

Barber: You are absolutely right.

Akers: [And] those three legs are not created equal. The fact is when we talk about social issues ... name me an issue that is not social. Social simply means that it has to do with society - what we mean is moral. Fine, show me one of those issues that doesn't deal with morality.

We we talk about defense, we're talking about literally when we will take up arms. You'd better have a moral set on why or when you are doing that.

When we're talking about economics, we're talking about who's going to receive what, how you're going to manage money, who's going to get paid what, how we're going to handle all of the things in our lives - there shouldn't even be a moral component, it had better exist in a moral framework or you've got a very bad system on your hands.

So the fact is of those three stools, they're all three social conservative legs. You can't separate social conservatism from the rest.

Barber: And take the hot button social conservative issues, the ones that they really like to talk about: abortion and so-called gay rights.

On the abortion issue, I'm sorry, but if you claim to be a conservative and you're pro-abortion, you're not a conservative.

I don't think anybody who is not pro-life is qualified or fit to serve. If they can't understand a fundamental right to life, they don't belong in office as far as I'm concerned.

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. All, again, inexorably linked. You cannot have one without the other and liberty, of course, was at the forefront. And groups like GOProud seek to remove our liberties, they seek to radically redefine family. They push a radical, leftist homosexual agenda and we're not going to let them get away with it.

Evangelical Christians make up overwhelmingly the base of the conservative movement and even of the Republican Party and it is ill-advised of Republicans to go against, really, the will of the Evangelical conservative movement, of the complete conservatives, of the Reagan conservatives and they do so at their own peril, the conservative movement does so at its own peril.

Believers in American Exceptionalism More Likely to Support Torture

We have written about the ways that Tea Party candidates, Religious Right leaders like David Barton, and pundits like Glenn Beck have been promoting the idea of a divinely-inspired American Exceptionalism, and attacking President Obama for being an enemy of exceptionalism who is out to destroy it. 

A new survey released this week by the Public Religion Research Institute makes it clear that there’s fertile ground for politically exploiting this concept, especially among Republican voters. When voters were asked whether they agree or disagree with the statement that “God has granted America a special role in human history,” 58 percent of Americans agree. Not surprisingly, white evangelicals agreed overwhelmingly – 83 percent – along with 76 percent of those who identify with the Tea Party movement and 75 percent of Republicans. Among Democrats, about half – 49 percent – agree. More than two thirds of Americans with no religious affiliation reject the idea that God has given the US a special role in history.
 
Perhaps more interesting is the survey’s findings that white Americans who affirm this notion of divinely inspired American exceptionalism are much more likely to favor military strength over diplomacy as the best way to preserve peace than those who reject exceptionalism, and significantly more likely to believe that torture can be justified. Americans are about evenly split on the question of whether torture can ever be justified against suspected terrorists, but only about a third of Republicans and those identifying with the Tea Party agree that torture can never be justified. Fifty-five percent of those who believe in a divine role for the US believe torture can sometimes be justified; only 42 percent of those who reject that role are willing to accept torture under some circumstances.
 
It’s worth noting that half of white evangelicals believe that torture can never be justified, making this one among several issues in which Tea Party supporters are to the right of other Christian conservatives even though there is major overlap between the two groups. E.J. Dionne and William Galston of the Brookings Institution, in a paper commenting on the survey findings, note that “While white Christian conservatives and Tea Party supporters are in broad agreement on many issues, there is a harder edge to Tea Party views on immigration, multiculturalism, and Islam.”
 
Those differences could contribute to the ongoing public struggles to define what the 2010 election meant and what kinds of issues should be considered part of the Tea Party agenda. The crucial role played by Latino voters in Democratic Senate victories in Nevada, California, and Colorado also point to ways in which the Tea Party movement’s hard-edge positions on immigration and Islam, and its lack of concern about racial discrimination, could interfere with efforts by some GOP and Religious Right leaders to broaden the demographic base of the Republican Party. 

CPAC Board To Decide GOProud's Fate

As we noted yesterday, the American Principles Project and several other Religious Right goups have been threatening to boycott next year's CPAC conference if the gay conservative group GOProud to participate again this year.

Now WorldNetDaily is reporting that the pressure is getting to organizers at the American Conservative Union, which has decided to put to issue to a vote before CPAC's board of directors, and that more groups are planning on boycotting the event if GOProud is not given the boot:

The Conservative Political Action Conference board of directors is voting whether to permit a homosexual activist group, GOProud, to participate in CPAC again this year.

CPAC's organizer, the American Conservative Union, is under pressure after the American Principles Project issued an open letter announcing its withdrawal from the conference over GOProud's participation.

"If someone is tempted to think for a moment that GOProud is a benign force, then they should examine GOProud's insistence that the Republican party abandon social issues entirely. This makes them the friend of the Democratic party, which long ago embraced every radical sexual expression under the sun," said Robert Knight, senior correspondent for Coral Ridge Ministries.

With several more social conservative groups dropping out or threatening to do so behind the scenes, ACU chairman David Keene called on CPAC's board of directors to decide whether GOProud should be welcomed at the conference for a second straight year, according to a source on the board.

The results of the vote will be announced on Monday.

"We've decided to put our resources elsewhere," said Mat Staver, president of Liberty Counsel. "We're going to attend the Values Voters Summit and Awakening 2011."

Staver explained that the latter conferences would both respect all three legs of the conservative "stool" described by President Ronald Reagan: fiscal responsibility, strong national defense and social conservatism.

With Norquist Grilling RNC Candidates, Will the Social Agenda Be Ignored?

For the last few days we have been noting the battle between the Religious Right and the gay conservative group GOProud set off by the latter's effort to get the Republican Party to ignore the social issues that are at the heard of the former's entire agenda.

This question is obviously going to be a significant one as the GOP prepares to take control of the House and sets out its agenda heading into 2012 ... which makes this announcement rather interesting:

Conservative activist Grover Norquist will quiz candidates running for Republican National Committee chairman at a debate to be held just two weeks before elections, he told Hotline On Call Wednesday.

Norquist, who runs Americans for Tax Reform, will moderate the Jan. 3 debate at the National Press Club. It's an effort, he says, to take the race for chairman beyond the 168 members of the national committee and to bolster transparency.

As you may recall, Norquist was savaged by Religious Right leaders for joining GOProud's advisory council, with Tony Perkins slamming him for selling out the conservative movement.

So I wonder how the Religious Right feels about the next RNC chair being vetted by someone like Norquist who clearly does not care about their social issues agenda and, presumably, has no interest in including such questions in the debate process.

Religious Right Wants Jewish TX House Speaker Replaced With a "True Christian" Conservative

Back in 2009, a battle erupted in the Texas House of Representatives as Republicans fought over which member would serve as Speaker of the House.  The Religious Right lined up behind Tom Craddick, but everyone else supported Joe Straus who ended up winning, leading Rick Scarborough to decry it as a "coup."

And now a similar battle is unfolding yet again, as the same coalition of right-wing activists have mounted an effort to replace Straus with someone more inclined to do their bidding:

A group of conservative groups is trying to capitalize on that frustration, issuing a letter Nov. 4 calling for a new Speaker. The signatories include representatives from a lot of major conservative groups, including Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, Texas Right to Life, Americans for Prosperity, the Texas Eagle Forum, [Vision America,] Liberty Institute, former Republican Party of Texas Chairman Cathie Adams, and former Republican Party of Texas vice-chairman David Barton. Of particular concern to grass roots conservatives is the fate of bills requiring showing photo ID prior to voting and bills that limit property taxes.

And, not surprisingly, the effort has started to take on religious overtones

[A] handful of outside socially conservative groups are running a fairly deceitful but noisy campaign trying to pressure lawmakers who actually like the speaker’s management style to vote against him.

They blame him for the failure of the sonogram bill but the pro-life Texans for Life said the claim is false. They blame him for the failure of voter ID by permitting the Democratic filibuster, but that’s false. Straus followed the direction of his colleagues in the Republican caucus

They said that Straus appointed moderate chairman, but the budget under Straus was more fiscally conservative than the last one under Craddick.

Now, the so-called grassroots effort has crossed over the line with coordinated email and robocall programs calling for a true Christian speaker. Straus is Jewish.

The Texas Freedom Network reports that supporters have also been sending out emails explaining the importance of replaced Straus with a Christian:

Has the religious right’s effort to topple Texas House Speaker Joe Straus become an anti-Semitic smear campaign? Quorum Report (subscription required) has now posted various e-mails from groups and individuals opposed to Straus, who is Jewish. Excerpts:

“Straus is going down in Jesus name.”

“[W]e finally found a Christian conservative who decided not to be pushed around by the Joe Straus thugs.”

Another e-mail calls for replacing Straus as House Speaker so

“…that our nation will again prosper and hold to values that the Christians and Republicans hold so dear in their souls.”

Straus only needs the support of 76 members and has reportedly already secured pledges from nearly twice that number, but his opponents are not giving up. 

In fact, just today, Mike Huckabee through his support behind challenger Ken Paxton:

While Republicans across Texas and across the nation had many great victories on November 2nd, the battle for true conservatism is not over. Now, as the majority Party in many State Houses, and the U.S. House, Republicans have the duty and ability to select strong conservatives to be new Speakers of the House. That position should be filled by one who has the knowledge, ability and relationships to create and push a strong conservative agenda. In Texas, that’s Ken Paxton.

Huck PAC and I are pleased to again endorse Ken, this time for Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives.

Soon to start his fifth term in office, Ken has twice been named "Texas Taxpayer Hero" by Texans for Fiscal Responsibility. Ken proudly believes in the sanctity of life, and supporting conservative family values like traditional marriage between one man and one woman. Ken recognizes that the matters of social issues directly impact our economy, and I’m confident having Ken’s conservative voice lead the new Texas House of Representatives will result in some great accomplishments.

I hope you will join me in supporting Ken Paxton. Texas is fortunate to have him serving in the State House, let’s make sure we make him the next Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives.

The Absurd Hypocrisy of James Dobson

As I mentioned the other day, James Dobson has dedicated the last three days of his radio program to airing a speech he delivered back in 1998 at a gathering of the Council for National Policy in which he laid out his views regarding the GOP's continual abandonment of the Religious Right and the issues they hold dear. 

Today, Dobson aired the final portion of that speech in which he focused largely on attacking the Republicans for ignoring basic moral principles in order to maintain political power and threatened that the Religious Right would leave the coalition if the party continued to do so:

It's a lack of conviction that there is a boss to the universe and that there are moral standards that we are held to and we need officials who will stand up and represent them.

What that conveys to the constituency I'm talking about is that principle does not matter, it's party over principle. That there are some things that you stand for whether it is popular or politically astute to do so or not. That's what that pro-moral community stands for.

And yet it seemed to me that what I heard from the Republicans in Indian Wells was we cannot have power if we stand on principle - please don't take away our power.

What good is it to have power if you don't use it for good?

The Republican Party was born in the crucible of conviction and courage and moral righteousness, that's where the Republican Party started.

It took a stand against slavery in a day that cost six hundred thousand lives in the Civil War. But they knew is was wrong and they took a stand on it, whether win, lose, or draw, that's God business. They took a stand on what was right.

If they party has left that and it is now going to mouth these two things every two years and then go on to something else, I think we need to look for another. And it would be tragic if that happened. I don't want that to happen. There are many state houses of government where Republicans will suffer if that happens. It will be a disaster for the country, but somebody said "if you do that, you have no voice at all." I don't think we have a voice now. I can't hear the voice.

So, to hear Dobson tell it, the problem with the GOP it its utter lack of conviction to stand on principle even if it means losing some political power. 

Of course, that sort of condemnation from Dobson might carry a bit more weight if Dobson didn't repeatedly do the same thing, constantly threatening to abandon the Republican Party only to fall back in line when Election Day approached.

Does anyone remember this?

Should John McCain capture the nomination as many assume, I believe this general election will offer the worst choices for president in my lifetime. I certainly can’t vote for Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama based on the virulently anti-family policy positions. If these are the nominees in November, I simply will not cast a ballot for president for the first time in my life.

That announcement was followed just a few months later by this one:

This has been the most difficult moral dilemma for me. It’s why you haven’t heard me say much about it because I have struggled on this issue. And there are some concerns here that matter to me more than my own life and neither of the candidates is consistent with my views in that regard. But Senator McCain is certainly closer to them then Senator Obama, by a wide margin. And there's no doubt, at least no doubt in my mind, about whose policies will result in more babies being killed. Or who will do the greatest damage to the institution of marriage and the family. I'm convinced that Senator McCain comes closer to what I believe. So I am not endorsing Senator McCain today … But as of this moment, I have to take into account the fact that Senator John McCain has voted pro-life consistently and that's a fact. He says he favors marriage between a man and a woman, I believe that. He opposes homosexual adoption. He favors smaller government and lower taxes and he seems to understand the Muslim threat, which matters a lot to me – I am very concerned about that.

If Dobson is going to spend three days airing a speech blasting the Republican Party for abandoning its principles for the sake of politics, maybe he should spend the rest of the week examining his own blatant hypocrisy.

Neo-Confederate Radical Catches GOP Wave, Elected to Arkansas State House

As the Republican Party lurches farther to the right and comes to the successful conclusion of its Southern Strategy, even the party’s most radical candidates can win elections. In an open Democratic seat in Arkansas, where Republicans made significant gains in the election, Republican candidate Loy Mauch defeated his Democratic opponent. According to the Arkansas Times, State Representative-elect Mauch is a staunch Neo-Confederate who is “a current member of The League of the South,” a white supremacist group, and an avowed opponent of Abraham Lincoln and his legacy. He describes the Confederate Battle Flag as “a symbol of Jesus Christ” and “Biblical government,” and an affiliate of the Sons of Confederate Veterans he led presented a speech entitled “Homage to John Wilkes Booth.” David Koon of the Arkansas Times writes:

For seven years, Mauch was the commander of James M. Keller Camp 648 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. He stepped down as commander last year. In 2004, angered by the city of Hot Springs' refusal to remove a statue of Abraham Lincoln displayed in the Hot Springs Civic and Convention Center, the Keller Camp hosted a conference in Hot Springs called "Seminar on Abraham Lincoln — Truth vs. Myth," with a keynote address called "Homage to John Wilkes Booth."

Mauch said that he believes Lincoln didn't follow the Constitution. Of the statue of Lincoln in the convention center, Mauch said: "I didn't think it had any place down in Hot Springs, Arkansas. He wasn't friendly to Arkansas. He didn't have anything to do with Arkansas. Nobody in Arkansas voted for him."

A prolific writer of letters to the editor (Garland County Democratic Party chair George Hozendorf said one of the only things he knew about Mauch was that he recalled a letter to the Hot Springs Sentinel-Record in which Mauch advocated for enlarging the controversial Confederate flag and Confederate soldier statue at the fork of Central and Ouachita Avenues), Mauch took pen in hand in 2008 during the controversy stirred up by Huntsville businessman James Vandiver's decision to respond to the election of Barack Obama by flying a Confederate battle flag in front of his motel.

"The government has lost its moral authority over God-fearing Americans," Mauch wrote to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. "I wish more patriots like James Vandiver would take their stand for what the Confederate Battle Flag truly symbolizes."

When asked what the Confederate flag symbolizes, Mauch said: "It's a symbol of constitutional government. It's a symbol of Jesus Christ above all else. It's a symbol of Biblical government."

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s profiles of the League of The South, which calls for Whites to “establish a Christian theocratic state and politically dominate blacks and other minorities,” and the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which has ties to extremist groups such as the League and the Council of Conservative Citizens, reveal their radical underpinnings. The SPLC has documented the Southern Republican politicians who have ties to such racist groups, and Mauch appears to be the latest example of a politician who views the Southern Confederacy with nostalgia and praises its history with religious fervor and nationalistic devotion.

Religious Right Blasts GOProud For Trying To Co-Opt Movement and Destroy Society

As we noted yesterday, the gay conservative group GOProud was urging the Republican Party to ignore the Religious Right's social issues agenda and the effort, not surprisingly, was not going over well with the Religious Right.

Concerned Women for America responded by saying that rather than ignoring social issues, such issues must be placed "at the very top of the list," which is a view shared by Gary Bauer, who dismisses GOProud as a "liberal group": 

There has been a lot of talk in recent weeks about the GOP establishment trying to co-opt the Tea Party into abandoning its commitment to fiscal conservatism. Unfortunately, at least one liberal group has already convinced some Tea Party leaders to abandon values issues.

I was very disappointed to read this morning that a pro-homosexual rights group has gotten more than a dozen Tea Party activists to sign on to a letter to new members of Congress. According to Politico, the letter urges them to focus exclusively on fiscal issues, and to oppose the consideration of social issues as part of the agenda for the new Congress. That is terrible advice, and it presents a false choice ... Tonight, I will be attending a reception for new House members. I promise you I will encourage them to fight for the entire conservative agenda — including values issues!

The Family Research Council also weighed in to blast GOProud as a phony conservatives who are out to co-opt the movement in an effort sow anarchy and destroy the fabric of society:

A group that had nothing to do with bringing the Republicans to power suddenly wants to dictate what the party does with it. GOProud, an aggressive pro-homosexual organization that desperately wants to be taken seriously by conservatives, is trying to force its way into the movement by persuading a small handful of tea partiers to sign on to a social truce for the 112th Congress.

...

If anyone's doing the co-opting, it's GOProud--whose "social truce" isn't a truce at all. If Republicans stand down on social issues, it's in this group's interest! GOProud is the one actively fighting for same-sex "marriage," homosexuals in the military, and gay "rights." Essentially they're saying, "We'll keep marching our priorities forward and you" (meaning conservatives) "stand down."

I say, no way! For starters, that won't fly with the broader Tea Party movement which is solidly in the social conservative camp (see DeMint, Jim). Secondly, it's a losing strategy for America. We need to shrink the size of government, but America needs strong families. Those families--not GOProud's phony substitutes--are the backbone of society. Think about the welfare costs associated with the breakdown of social order. Think about the cost in terms of crime and the criminal justice system. What about the loss of human potential? Do these folks really think we can just eliminate those government expenditures overnight? What this crowd is advocating will lead to anarchy, which, ironically, would provide GOProud and friends a perfect environment for their lifestyle.

Dobson: A Decade of Abandonment Issues and Empty Threats

If you want to get a sense of the extent to which the Religious Right is locked in a seemingly fruitless but entirely co-dependent relationship with the Republican Party, just take a listen to James Dobson's radio program this week.

For the next three days, Dobson is airing a speech he delivered back in February 1998 (presumably at the Council for National Policy meeting) laying out the Religious Right's abandonment issues and experience of repeatedly being abandoned by the GOP.

And the reason that Dobson decided to air this speech now is because the big GOP gains in the recent election just might be history repeating itself and Dobson feels the need to issue a "pre-emptive" warning: 

James Dobson (from 1998 speech): In 1995, I was looking for a politician, a Republican leader who had a chance to win the White House who understood what I'd been saying, who understood that moral foundation to the universe, who was willing to articulate it and willing to fight for it.

And I decided that Phil Gramm just might be that man. I heard him on TV, I liked what he said, I thought maybe he might be the one that we could get excited about, and so I asked for an appointment to see him and he agreed to see me.

And I flew to Washington DC from Colorado Springs and with me that day were Gary Bauer, Ralph Reed, and Betsy DeVos. We went in an sat down and I had this on my heart, something I really want to say. And he starts by telling us that he only has forty minutes, he has to go to something, and he begins talking - and he talked, and he talked, and he talked for thirty minutes and we just got ten minutes left and he's still talking.

And so I finally said "Senator, it's not polite to interrupt a Senator when he's talking, but I came a long way to say something to you and if you don't ever let me say it, I'll leave here and you won't ever know what I came to say."

So he talked some more and then he said "okay, what is it you came to say?"

I said "Senator, there are millions and millions and millions of people out there, good family people trying to raise their kids, trying to keep them moral, trying to teach them what they believe, that are very agitated and are very concerned because they don't hear anybody echoing what they believe. And they're not known to the New York Times, they're not represented by the New York Times. And they're not known inside the Beltway, people don't talk about those folks inside the Beltway. It's as though they don't exist, or if they do, they're called names like Hillary Clinton called them last week. And they're not know to the Washington Post who referred to them as poor, uneducated, and easy to control. That's the attitude."

And I said "Senator, if you would hone in on those people and speak their language and talk to their hearts and identify with the things they care about instead of just talking about taxes and the economy and money - they care about more than money. If you will do this, you will have millions of people following you."

I'll never forget what he said. What he actually said was "I'm not a preacher and I can't do that."

And I said "Senator, you will never reach our people." And we got up and left. And Senator Gramm was out of the race in Louisiana just a few weeks later.

Ryan Dobson: That was my dad, Dr. James Dobson, speaking twelve years ago to a large assembly of people concerned about public plicy and, more specifically, about the failure of Republicans to fulfill their promises made to the American people back in 1994.

Dad, that was powerful.

James Dobson: Well, there are times when a speaker is on fire and you ain't heard nothing yet because you can hear where I'm going in the next two days and we will put flesh on those bones.

Ryan Dobson: And, in a way, is this not a warning to the newly elected officials to not abandon their base?

James Dobson: Well Ryan, that's why we're airing it, because this does represent something of a warning to the new Republican majority because it's happened before. They've been there before.

In 1994, they suddenly found themselves in the majority. No one predicted it and there they were and they did it by promising some things to the American people. And immediately set out to abandon them and that is what we're going to be talking about in the next two days.

Ryan Dobson: They immediately started talking about bipartisanship, reaching across the aisle, building bridges. To be honest, I never elect somebody to be bipartisan - I elect somebody to be conservative. I do not elect anybody to reach across an aisle - I elect them to be conservative.

James Dobson: And you expect them to tell the truth about what their values are. And we have not seen anything yet that would indicate the Republicans are about the lie to us, so this is pre-emptive, but that's where we're going because this is history repeating itself.

So, to hear the Dobson's explain it, the real problem with Newt Gingrich and the Republican radicals who took over Congress in 1994 was that they were too committed to "bipartisanship" and "reaching across the aisle" and that is why they eventually lost their majorities.

I would also just like to point out that we have had three presidental elections since Dobson delivered this speech ... and in each one Dobson has supported the Republican candidate despite his deep disappointment with the party and even after vowing repeatedly that never to support John McCain.

So you have to wonder just what kind of "pre-emptive" warning Dobson thinks he is sending to the GOP this time around considering that he's been sending this very same warning to them for more than a decade and yet, inevitably, when it comes time to cast his vote, Dobson swallows his pride, falls in line, and throws his support to the Republicans. 

 

GOProud Urges GOP To Ignore Religious Right's Agenda

There only thing that angers the Religious Right more than being told that their social issues agenda does not matter is seeing the GOP downplay their social issues agenda in order to appease other parts of the conservative coalition.

So I can only imagine that this letter from the gay conservative group GOProud and several Tea Party leaders calling on the GOP to ignore social issues is probably not going to go over too well with the Religious Right:

A gay conservative group and some Tea Party leaders are campaigning to keep social issues off the Republican agenda.

In a letter to be released Monday, the group GOProud and leaders from groups like the Tea Party Patriots and the New American Patriots, will urge Republicans in the House and Senate to keep their focus on shrinking the government.

"On behalf of limited-government conservatives everywhere, we write to urge you and your colleagues in Washington to put forward a legislative agenda in the next Congress that reflects the principles of the Tea Party movement," they write to presumptive House Speaker John Boehner and Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell in an advance copy provided to POLITICO. "This election was not a mandate for the Republican Party, nor was it a mandate to act on any social issue."

...

"For almost two years now, the tea party has been laser-focused on the size of government," said Barron, who said his group and the tea partiers are part of the "leave-me-alone coalition."

"No one has been talking about social issues - not even the socially conservative candidates who won tea party support," [GOProud's Chairman Christopher] Barron said ... "We're not talking about pushing social conservatives out of the tea party movement. Those people aren't only welcome but they're a critical part of this movement." said Barron.

You really have to marvel at the gall of a gay conservative like Barron talking down to the social conservatives in the movement and basically telling them that they are a "critical part" of the coalition so long as they accept that their agenda is going to be completely ignored.

Considering that a large part of the Religious Right's agenda is rooted in militantly opposing "the gay agenda," I am guessing that they are not going to take too kindly to efforts by a gay conservative group to relegate them to the sidelines.

Keyes: GOP Can’t Be Trusted Until They Embrace Birtherism

No stranger to hyperbole, Alan Keyes in his latest column for WorldNetDaily suggests that the war between “Obama’s Mao Zedong-style forced march to socialism” and people who “love liberty” comes down to the question of Obama’s eligibility to serve as President. Keyes claims that while the GOP’s sins of massive spending, elitism, and political moderation are bad, their refusal to endorse Birtherism outright is even worse.

According to Keyes, the Republicans in the House can only defend the “constitutional republic” if they ardently contest Obama’s eligibility to serve as President, and assist Lt. Col. Terry Lakin, the Birther soldier who refuses to obey orders from the military and is facing a dishonorable discharge. Keyes writes:

I see little or no evidence that the GOP embraces the forthright and positive commitment to liberty America has and should always represent. I see strong evidence that they do not. The best proof is their cowardly acquiescence in Obama's contemptuous disregard for the authority of the U.S. Constitution, epitomized by his stubborn refusal to do what's necessary to establish that he is in fact constitutionally eligible to hold the office whose perquisites he presently abuses to defend that refusal. Not content with arrogant legal maneuvers, the Obama faction and its fellow travelers are now doing what all those determined to establish tyranny routinely do. They are seeking to destroy, and so make an example of, an honorable individual whose only "crime" is his refusal to join the jackals who are willing to conspire in Obama's overthrow of the Constitution's authority. Lt. Col. Terry Lakin awaits the commencement of the Stalinesque "show trial," a planned and orchestrated travesty of military justice intended to stifle legitimate public doubts by showing what happens to those who have the nerve to insist that politicians and government officials respect the Constitution's prerequisites for the exercise of power.

All the powers that be in the Republican Party have joined in the conspiracy of silence that allows this good man, this decorated officer, this truly courageous patriot, to be persecuted. Many of them and their cohorts in the Republican-leaning media have joined in the insidious effort to demean and silence anyone who articulates the reasonable arguments that prove the rightness of his cause. They have thus tacitly espoused and abetted the poisonous elite intention to establish by this powerful precedent the liberty-killing notion that the winners of any given election thereby gain a license to treat the Constitution's requirements as optional.

Keyes has previously argued that only Birthers are truly loyal to the Constitution and should be allowed to be President. Despite such resentment, there is growing support for Birther ideas within the GOP:

  • Missouri House Majority Leader, Republican State Rep. Timothy W. Jones, is a close ally and partner of “Birther Queen” Orly Taitz, and was “was listed as a plaintiff in a lawsuit filed by lawyer-dentist Taitz to obtain an original birth certificate, immigration records, passports and other vital records from Obama.”
  • Congressman-Elect Tim Walberg (R-MI) claims that the he “really didn’t know” if Obama was a citizen, and that the President “hasn't resolved” the controversy over his eligibility. He suggested that House Republicans should consider impeaching Obama over the matter.
  • Congressman-Elect Steve Pearce (R-NM) agreed with the Birthers arguments for questioning Obama’s citizenship and said that “Barack Obama raised the most significant questions himself.”
  • US Senator David Vitter (R-LA), who just won reelection, said that he supports Birther lawsuits and called them “the valid and most possibly effective grounds” to contest Obama’s eligibility.
  • Roy Blunt (R-MO), the former GOP Minority Whip and now US Senator-Elect, said: “What I don't know is why the president can't produce a birth certificate. I don't know anybody else that can't produce one. And I think that that's a legitimate question -- no health records, no birth certificate.”

Maybe the Republican Party is moving in Keyes’s direction after all.

Meet Lou Barletta: America's Anti-Immigrant Mayor Heads to Congress

Following last Tuesday's election, RWW will bring you our list of the "The Ten Scariest Republicans Heading to Congress." Our sixth candidate profile is on Lou Barletta, America’s anti-immigrant mayor:

Those disappointed to see anti-immigrant zealot Tom Tancredo off the national political stage will find a similar one-issue firebrand in Pennsylvania congressman-elect Lou Barletta.

Barletta rose to national prominence as the mayor of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, a small working class city that in 2006 enacted some of the most draconian anti-immigrant measures in the country. Hazleton’s law put tough penalties on individuals and businesses who knowingly or unknowingly did business with undocumented immigrants—it revoked for five years the business license of any business caught employing an undocumented immigrant, and slapped landlords renting to undocumented immigrants with a $1,000-a-day fine. The law also declared English the official language of Hazleton, and prohibited city officials from translating documents without permission.

When the law passed, Barletta told the Washington Post, “I will get rid of the illegal people. It's this simple: They must leave." On the day the city passed the measure, Barletta wore a bulletproof vest to illustrate his concern over crimes he said were being committed by undocumented immigrants. Statistics, however, showed that undocumented immigrants were hardly responsible for a crime wave in Hazelton: the city’s data showed that of 8,575 felonies committed in the city between 2000 and 2007, 20 had been linked to undocumented immigrants. Later, forced to admit that he had no proof of an illegal immigrant-caused crime wave, or proof that illegal immigrants were crowding Hazleton’s schools and hospitals, or even any idea how many illegal immigrants were in Hazelton, Barletta responded, “The people in my city don’t need numbers.”

After the law took effect, businesses catering to Latino residents that had revitalized Hazleton’s downtown area saw a sharp drop in business, and Latino residents reported increased hostility from white residents.

A federal judge struck down Barletta’s law in 2007, writing, "The genius of our Constitution is that it provides rights even to those who evoke the least sympathy from the general public. Hazleton, in its zeal to control the presence of a group deemed undesirable, violated the rights of such people, as well as others within the community." An appeals court this year upheld the ruling.

Although Barletta claimed to be defending “the legal taxpayer of any race,” he admitted that he found inspiration for the law from the website of self-described “proud nationalist” Jim Turner, who pushed a similar measure in San Bernardino, California to prevent the state from becoming, as he put it, a “Third World Cesspool.”

As copy-cat laws started to pop up in towns around the country, Barletta became a hero to anti-immigrant and nativist groups. When he ran for Congress in 2008, Barletta’s campaign received $10,920 from the Minuteman PAC, the political spending arm of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, a vigilante border-patrol group that the Southern Poverty Law Center calls “nativist extremist.” It was the largest donation the Minuteman PAC made to a candidate that year.

In 2009, Barletta drew fire for speaking at a conference hosted by The American Cause, a group that had earlier that year released a report urging the Republican Party to not “pander to pro-amnesty Hispanics and swing voters,” and instead to put anti-immigrant policies at the forefront of the party’s strategy. The report was authored by several anti-immigrant advocates, many who had clear records of dabbling in white supremacy. The executive director of the group, and main author of the report, had even been charged with a hate crime against an African American woman. The immigrants’ rights group America’s Voice described the 2009 conference as “a forum for white nationalists to forge ties with ‘mainstream’ media commentators and conservative leaders.”

Although Barletta frames most of his politics through the lens of illegal immigration, he has also embraced Tea Party talking points on social issues, the environment, and the scope of government. In a candidates’ debate, he said his first action as a member of Congress would be to vote to repeal health care reform. He says the Affordable Care Act brought about “nationalized health care” and said it would put “life-affecting health decisions in the hands of bureaucrats,” and echoed the false claim raised by many in the Tea Party that health care reform “will take $500 billion out of Medicare." He told a forum in Pocono, "We're afraid of our government. We're afraid of what our government is going to do” and claimed on his campaign website that President Obama and Democrats in Congress are “spending our country into servitude.”

In terms of government spending, Barletta took particular issue with the comparatively miniscule $1.1 million that was spent to send members of Congress and their staffers to last year’s climate summit in Copenhagen. He claims to be a climate change skeptic, saying, “You know there's arguments on both sides. I'm not convinced that there's scientific evidence that proves that. I believe there's some that can also argue the opposite.”

When Obama created a panel to distribute recovery funds from BP’s $20 billion escrow account after the Gulf oil spill, Barletta said, “It’s exactly what the people of the Gulf don’t need – more bureaucracy.”

Barletta’s record as mayor of Hazleton doesn’t speak well, however, for his future as a fiscal problem solver: his budget for Hazleton last year hikes taxes and fees, and called for laying off government workers—including a number of police officers. As Barletta leaves office, Hazleton has the highest rate of unemployment in Pennsylvania. Despite raising taxes as Mayor of Hazleton, Barletta has signed Americans for Tax Reform’s pledge to never raise taxes in Washington.

Barletta opposes marriage equality, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal, and abortion rights. He has also embraced right-wing conspiracy theories about government-run “death panels” and the imminent risk of human cloning, stating on his website, “I will oppose the efforts of some to increase or expand the protection or establishment of legal euthanasia, abortion, and human cloning. As Congress begins to tackle the issues of Medicare and health care reform, I will never support a program that results in rationing of life-saving procedures to those covered under those programs.”

In his predictably hostile response to the planned Islamic community center in lower Manhattan, he advanced the popular right-wing pseudo-historical theory of Muslim “victory mosques.”

While Barletta, it seems, will be a reliable vote for the Republican Party’s far-right wing, he’s already emerging as a leader on anti-immigrant zealotry. Two days after the election, he went on Fox News to accuse Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of attempting to buy Hispanic votes by introducing the DREAM Act. Watch:
 

 

 

 

 

Fischer Accuses Obama Of "Flipping Off" His Enemies

I don't expect much from the Religious Right ... and I expect even less from the likes of the AFA's Bryan Fischer.  But sometimes I still have to marvel at the conspiracies that he is able to dream up, like his new claim that President Obama has been subtly "flipping off" his enemies:

The president developed a habit during the campaign of subtly flipping people off by scratching his face with his middle finger ... Mr. Obama has been repeatedly videotaped using this form of vulgarity when talking to or about Hillary Clinton or other political enemies. He used the technique to flip off Hillary Clinton, a Hillary Clinton supporter (Mayor John Callahan of Bethelehm, PA), John McCain, and the entire Republican party.

He can, of course, maintain plausible deniability, by saying he was just scratching an itch, but think about it: who naturally scratches his face with his middle finger? Try it yourself, and you’ll see what I mean.

It has happened too often and too strategically to be passed off as simple coincidence. It only seems to happen when he is speaking to or about someone for whom he has particular contempt ...

If this indeed is what is happening, it reveals something dark and thuggish about the president’s character, something far beneath the dignity of the office. The president is beginning to remind me of a juvenile delinquent as much as anything else: immaturity, an absence of moral values, and a perverse delight in destroying things (like the American economy) just for the pleasure of it.

If you are a rational person, you see the President scratching his face at the 2:19 mark - but if you are the the director of Issue Analysis for Government and Public Policy for the American Family Association, you see him giving Jake Tapper "the finger":

Party (Again) At Brent Bozell's House!

Right after the election in 2008, a group of right-wing leaders gathered at Brent Bozell's house to lick their wounds and begin plotting their return.

They are now crediting the meeting with laying the groundwork for the republican gains in the last election and so they are gathering once again to strategize ways to solidify and expand their gains in the next election:

A group of conservative leaders who helped steer their movement away from a painful defeat in 2008 and toward an electoral comeback in 2010, plan to meet privately on Friday to map out their strategy for the next two years.

Led by Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center, a conservative media watchdog group, and the nephew of the late conservative icon William F. Buckley, Jr., the gathering will include a who’s who of right-leaning activists.

Joining Bozell at his mountain retreat in Stanley, Va. will be Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council; Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, one of the most active conservative groups of 2010 election cycle; former Indiana Republican Rep. Dave McIntosh; Becky Norton Dunlop, vice president at the Heritage Foundation; Frank Gaffney, founder and president of the Center for Security Policy; Al Regnery, publisher of the American Spectator magazine; and Leonard Leo, executive vice president of The Federalist Society.

The group includes many of the same individuals who, in the words of one conservative activist, helped define President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as “far leftists” who were tipping the country “toward socialism” -- an idea that energized the conservative base this year.

...

Many of the same individuals who will gather at Bozell’s home this week took part in a similar meeting after the 2008 election, not only to lick their wounds after Obama swept into the White House and Democrats scored big gains in Congress, but also to plot a course out of the political wilderness

After that session, Bozell declared “the moderate wing of the Republican Party is dead,” and his counterpart, Tony Perkins, warned that candidates for elected officials who are “squishy on conservative principles” would no longer be tolerated.

Friday’s discussion will focus on the issues that will continue to drive movement supporters, including an emphasis on limited, constitutional government. The group also plans to look ahead to the 2012 election cycle, identifying some of the rising-star candidates who have the best chance to defeat President Obama.

To pass muster among members of this group, the activist who outlined the meeting’s agenda, said potential 2012 candidates will have to be “full-throttle, across-the-board conservatives."

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.
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Republican Party Posts Archive

Peter Montgomery, Monday 07/13/2015, 2:28pm
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who announced his presidential bid on Twitter this morning and will have a launch event later today in Waukesha, has sent an email to activists declaring that his presidential run “is God’s plan for me.” “My relationship with God drives every major decision in my life,” starts the note, which is clearly designed to appeal to Religious Right voters who make up a major part of the GOP base vote, particularly in the early primary states Iowa and South Carolina. The letter goes on to talk about Walker’s faith as “the guiding... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Friday 06/12/2015, 5:02pm
In pursuit of conservative evangelical voters, GOP candidates embrace far-right political operative who is raising an ‘army’ to fulfill his ‘Christian nation’ vision On Saturday, June 13, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley will host a day-long, Christians-only prayer rally organized by political operative David Lane. Lane, who organized similar events for Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, is trying to recruit 1,000 conservative evangelical pastors to run for office, which he believes would mobilize hundreds of thousands of election volunteers... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Thursday 05/21/2015, 12:59pm
As Brian reported this morning, the Republican National Committee continues to partner with the American Renewal Project, which is run by Christian Nationalist and anti-gay extremist David Lane and is affiliated with the far-right American Family Association. Lane is a busy guy these days. In addition to leading a training session at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, his American Renewal Project is gearing up for its next political prayer rally, this time hosted by South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley in the important early primary state. Previous Response rallies were hosted by Texas... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Wednesday 05/20/2015, 10:02am
In a Republican presidential field crowded with far-right candidates, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is trying to distinguish himself as the far-rightest candidate, especially on issues relating to marriage equality and its supposed threat to the religious freedom of conservative Christians. Jindal’s latest came at the end of the day on Tuesday. Unwilling to accept the legislature’s failure to pass a so-called “religious liberty” bill (it was voted down 10-2 in a House committee), Jindal issued an executive order designed to protect any person who “acts in... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Tuesday 03/17/2015, 11:33am
Religious Right political strategist David Lane, who urges greater political engagement by conservative evangelical pastors and promotes right-wing candidates, has managed a pretty neat trick: he trashes “establishment” Republicans while taking RNC members on junkets to Israel and being embraced by top RNC officials, including GOP Chairman Reince Priebus and Director of Faith Engagement Chad Connelly. Lane is out today with another slam at Republicans who support legal equality for LGBT Americans – a category that does not, to be clear, include Priebus and Connelly. What has... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Monday 01/26/2015, 2:12pm
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal skipped an Iowa stage crowded with Republican presidential wannabes on Saturday so he could host a prayer rally on the campus of Louisiana State University. Jindal and others have mischaracterized objections to the rally, suggesting that its critics were somehow out to silence people of faith. So let’s be clear about the real issue: Bobby Jindal used the power and prestige of his office to promote an event backed by some of the nation’s most religiously divisive and stridently anti-gay activists. And in a bid to boost his own political future, he sent a... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Wednesday 11/05/2014, 1:01pm
After an election night filled with far-right victories, it’s hard to dub any single winner the most extreme. But Michael Peroutka, newly elected to the Anne Arundel County Council in Maryland, would have to be in anyone’s top five. Peroutka is a radical Christian Reconstructionist and southern secessionist. He says “so-called civil rights laws” are not valid because “there is no such thing as a civil right.” He says promoting evolution “is an act of disloyalty to America.” He says of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, “The reason he... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Friday 08/15/2014, 1:18pm
Christian-nation activist David Lane is engaged in a multi-year, multi-state project to get conservative evangelical pastors more involved in electing right-wing candidates, and he is intent on making sure that the GOP nominates a 2016 presidential candidate to the Religious Right’s liking. In spite of his extremism, Lane regularly gets Republican presidential candidates to attend his American Renewal Project events. On Monday night, Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee spoke at a Michigan Renewal Project “Pastors Policy Briefing.” Lane generally tries to stay out of the media... MORE >