Republican Party

Virginia Legislature Honors Pat Robertson

Via Americans United, we see that the Virginia legislature has passed a resolution commending Pat Robertson for his many right-wing accomplishments [PDF] in honor of his upcoming 80th birthday:

WHEREAS, Dr. M.G. "Pat" Robertson, an inspirational televangelist and longtime host of the Christian television program, The 700 Club, is recognized in 2010 for his many contributions to the Commonwealth and his fellow citizens; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Robertson was born on March 22, 1930, in Lexington, Virginia, the son of Absalom Willis Robertson and Gladys Churchill Robertson, graduated from Washington and Lee University in 1950, and served his country in the United States Marines during the Korean War; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Robertson returned home after his military service and married Adelia "Dede" Elmer on August 26, 1954; he completed a law degree from Yale University Law School in 1955 and a master of divinity degree from New York Theological Seminary in 1959; and

WHEREAS, committed to helping people in need both spiritually and by improving their quality of life, Dr. Robertson was active as an ordained Southern Baptist minister for many years; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Robertson founded the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) in 1960, serving as the chairman and the public face of CBN, as well as the host of its religious magazine show, The 700 Club, since 1966; and

WHEREAS, in 1977 Dr. Robertson established Regent University in Virginia Beach as one of the nation's leading academic centers for Christian thought and action; and

WHEREAS, in 1978 Dr. Robertson began Operation Blessing International Relief and Development Corporation, a nonprofit humanitarian organization that has provided hunger relief, disaster relief, medical aid, and community development to 193 million people in 96 countries and all 50 states; and

WHEREAS, in 1988 Dr. Robertson made a run to become the Republican Party's nominee for President of the United States; and

WHEREAS, in 1989 Dr. Robertson founded the Christian Coalition, a political organization credited with increasing the influence of conservative Christians in American public policy; and

WHEREAS, committed to protecting religious and constitutional freedom, Dr. Robertson founded the American Center for Law and Justice in 1990; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Robertson has achieved national and international recognition as a broadcaster and was the founder and cochairman of International Family Channel, Inc., which included the Family Channel; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Robertson is a compelling and compassionate spiritual leader, who is guided by Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"; he is devoted to his family, his viewers who are his extended family, his community, and the Commonwealth; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the General Assembly commend Dr. M.G. "Pat" Robertson, on the occasion of his 80th birthday on March 22, 2010, for his many contributions to the Commonwealth; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to Dr. M.G. "Pat" Robertson as an expression of the General Assembly's gratitude for his steadfast service to his fellow citizens and best wishes for a joyful birthday celebration.

Anti-Abortion Right to GOP: Don't You Ignore Us!

There have been several articles recently on the tension between the traditional Religious Right social conservatives and the ascendent Tea Party activists, due primarily to the fact that the lattter has not made the former's anti-gay, anti-choice concerns a part of the agenda. 

And while the Religious Right groups have been working hard to shoe-horn their agenda into the Tea Party movement and claim the mantle, nothing better represents their growing nervousness that they are being left on the sidelines by the GOP than this Washington Post op-ed by the Susan B. Anthony List's Marjorie Dannenfelser in which she warns the Republicans not to get so infatuated with the Tea Party movement that it ignores its anti-abortion base:

Republicans too often treat the abortion issue like an eccentric aunt at Thanksgiving dinner -- if they ignore it, maybe it will go away. And lately, Republican heads have been turned by a new, flashy guest at the table -- the tea party movement, which has been attracting big crowds, high-profile speakers and money with its message of lower taxes and less government spending. Some party leaders sound as if they are counting on this new energy to deliver victory in November all by itself.

That's a risky bet. There is no doubt that the tea party movement has invigorated GOP leaders and given them hope of retaking Congress after the crushing defeat of 2008. However, the movement hasn't been tested nationally at the ballot box; its power to elect or defeat candidates is still largely theoretical. But year in and year out, pro-life voters consistently help carry Republican candidates into office.

...

Party leaders are focused instead on economic issues, cap-and-trade climate legislation, immigration and foreign policy. But while Republican leaders have remained relatively silent, the voters have not ... At the Susan B. Anthony List we've seen letters, e-mails, faxes and phone calls to Congress from activists with our group jump five-fold -- to 1.5 million in just one year.

This grass-roots response shows the real electoral risk of staying mute. Pro-life improves the GOP brand -- and is often the strongest part of the brand ... Pro-lifers provide the swing votes that are so crucial to winning elections. Republican candidates usually can count on the antiabortion vote ... But they won't be taken for granted. We know from past experience that lukewarm candidates who refuse to talk about abortion won't get voters to the polls.

...

Because of the movement's growth in numbers and power, antiabortion voters are likely to provide a much more sizable winning margin on Election Day than they have in previous years. But they can do this only if they know where candidates -- and party leaders -- stand.

Now is the time to tell them ... The next few months of candidate recruitment and messaging will decide whether 2010 is a 1994 moment. The Republican Party seems to have a political advantage today ... But it's not yet clear whether that advantage can translate into electoral success in November. The social-conservative, antiabortion engine combined with an electrified smaller-government, low-tax movement has the momentum. It's Republicans' chance to grab it.

They just need to remind people that theirs is still the pro-life party. If, in fact, it is.

The Religious Right's Fight For The Tea Party Mantle

Ever since Ron Paul won the CPAC straw poll, traditional Religious Right activists have been arguing that the event was overtaken by Libertarians and therefore did not represent "true" conservatives ... a belief that was only reinforced by the fact that Young Americans for Freedom's Ryan Sorba was booed by the audience for his attack from the stage on the conservative gay group GOProud.

For decades, CPAC has been the conservative gathering in Washington, but this year a man who for years had been relegated to the sidelines of the movement suddenly won the event's straw poll thanks largely to the support from Tea Party activists, which re-exposed a basic rift between the economic conservatives and social conservatives that in recent years the movement has been trying hard to bridge ... apparently without much success:

The rise of a new conservative grass roots fueled by a secular revulsion at government spending is stirring fears among leaders of the old conservative grass roots, the evangelical Christian right.

A reeling economy and the massive bank bailout and stimulus plan were the triggers for a resurgence in support for the Republican Party and the rise of the tea party movement. But they’ve also banished the social issues that are the focus of many evangelical Christians to the background.

And while health care legislation has brought social and economic conservatives together to fight government funding of abortion, some social conservative leaders have begun to express concern that tea party leaders don’t care about their issues, while others object to the personal vitriol against President Barack Obama, whose personal conduct many conservative Christians applaud.

“There’s a libertarian streak in the tea party movement that concerns me as a cultural conservative,” said Bryan Fischer, director of Issue Analysis for Government and Public Policy at the American Family Association. “The tea party movement needs to insist that candidates believe in the sanctity of life and the sanctity of marriage.”

...

There’s no centralized tea party organization, and anecdotes suggest that many tea party participants hold socially conservative views. But those views have been little in evidence at movement gatherings or in public statements, and are sometimes deliberately excluded from the political agenda. The groups coordinating them eschew social issues, and a new Contract From America, has become an article of concern on the social right.

The contract, sponsored by the grass-roots Tea Party Patriots as well as Washington groups such as FreedomWorks and Americans for Tax Reform, asks supporters to choose the 10 most important issues from a menu of 21 choices that makes no mention of socially conservative priorities such as gay marriage and abortion.

“They’re free to do it, but they can’t say [the contract] represents America,” said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, a veteran of the Christian right. “If they do it they’re lying.”

Groups such as FreedomWorks, said Perkins, bring a libertarian bias that doesn’t represent the “true tea parties.”

As we noted a few weeks ago, social conservatives like Perkins have long been at war with Tea Party/economic conservatives like Dick Armey, but had recently swallowed their pride and linked up with Armey's FreedomWorks in an attempt to get in on the Tea Party activism which Armey's activism has come to represent:

Tea party activism is so entirely driving the right-wing movement at the moment that the most influential Religious Right organization is willing to co-host an event with a group lead by a man who publicly and repeatedly insulted them as stupid, shallow demagogues just to get in on the action.

If that doesn't tell you just where the Religious Right fits in to the conservative movement, I don't know what does.

And now you have Perkins claiming that FreedomWorks doesn't represent the "true tea parties," which is laughably pathetic and just goes to prove, as we have been arguing all along, that the Religious Right is desperately trying to co-opt the Tea Party narrative and graft their own religious agenda on to a movement that, from its founding, has had no real interest in such issues.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Pat Robertson wants it known that he did not blame the earthquake in Chile on the persecution of Augusto Pinochet.
  • It's amazing how quickly people go from "I don't care who you are, this is funny" to "I deeply apologize" when they get caught for sending out racist emails.
  • Today, California State Sen. Roy Ashburn admitted he was gay, but also defended his anti-gay voting record.
  • Hannah Giles will be a featured speaker at the Franklin County [PA] Republican Party's Lincoln Day Dinner.
  • Conservatives hit back at Liz Cheney and company over their attacks on Justice Department lawyers.
  • Finally, Joseph Farah declares the death of CPAC.

No Surprise Here: Texas Republicans Want To See Public Acknowledgements of God

In addition to voting for candidates, those who participated in the Texas Republican primary earlier this week were also asked to vote on five questions that had been approved by the State Republican Executive Committee. As the Republican Party of Texas explained it, these were "critical issues" and the resolutions, though non-binding, were "the party's way of guaging [sic] support for issues, and for informing voters and elected officials where the party's grassroots stand on the issues."

In addition to questions about taxes and government growth was this one: 

Ballot Proposition #4: Public Acknowledgement of God 

The use of the word “God”, prayers, and the Ten Commandments should be allowed at public gatherings and public educational institutions, as well as be permitted on government buildings and property.

Guess what the result was?

Ballot Prop #4: Public Acknowledgement of God

YES - 95.14% (1,375,899)
NO -  4.85% (70,144)

The Unsinkable Ralph Reed

While Ralph Reed may be contemplating running for Congress in his home state of Georgia, his work with the Faith and Freedom Coalition continues to move forward around the country. 

Yesterday, he was in Tennessee plotting strategy with the likes of Richard Land and Rep. Marsha Blackburn:

FFC Chairman Ralph Reed held an organizational meeting with key grassroots visionaries, pastors, and former and current elected officials in Nashville, Tennessee, on March 1st to launch the Faith and Freedom Coalition of Tennessee. Everyone left the meeting energized about the great promise and potential of the Faith and Freedom Coalition of Tennessee

“I believe that the Faith and Freedom Coalition is going to be one of the most important forces for sound public policy in America in the coming years,” said Dr. Richard Land, President of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. “I’m excited that the Faith and Freedom Coalition has come to Tennessee. It will help concerned Tennesseans to give voice to their convictions in the public policy arena.”

“In its short existence, The Faith and Freedom Coalition has already been effective in identifying and turning out conservative voters and we’re pleased to bring it to Tennessee,” said Chip Saltsman, former Chairman of the Republican Party of Tennessee. “With the help of our grassroots team here, Faith and Freedom will be a force in Tennessee conservative politics for a long time to come.”

Apparently Reed's deep ties to Jack Abramoff's corruption hasn't undermined his political standing in any way among conservative activists and members of Congress.  Amazing.

It's especially amazing that Land would join with Reed in this effort, considering that Land believes that "gambling is a violation of two, possibly three of the 10 commandments," while Reed took tens of thousands of dollars to dupe his former Religious Right allies into supporting efforts that would benefit Abramoff's clients' gambling interests.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Today was James Dobson's final broadcast for Focus on the Family, and to show there are no hard feelings, Focus donated $1 million toward his new venture with his son.
  • Tony Perkins' being uninvited to the prayer luncheon was big news on right-wing outlets today.
  • A collection of Religious Right leaders have sent a letter to Congress asking it to stop DC's march toward marriage equality.
  • "Atheism and Secular Humanism" were to blame for The Holocaust, not Christianity. Good to know.
  • The CADC's Gary Cass,  who continues to insist that the murder of two street preachers in Florida was an act of anti-Christian violence despite an utter lack of evidence, declares that "we need to send a message that this kind of violence against Christians cannot be tolerated in our culture."
  • Finally, quote of the day from WorldNetDaily columnist Robert Ringer attacking Mike Huckabee for interviewing First Lady Michelle Obama: "Mike Huckabee's Slick Willie cleverness makes him hard to pin down, but his interview with Michelle Obama connected a lot of the dots for me. I once speculated that Mike Huckabee could possibly get the Republican nomination without the support of the Republican Party's conservative base if he could put together a coalition of evangelicals and disenfranchised independents and liberal Democrats. Today, I'm here to tell you to forget about that theory. It won't happen. By interviewing Michelle Obama on his show – apparently without concern for Rush Limbaugh's recent chest pains – he lost any chance he may have had for gaining the Republican nomination."

Staver: Real Conservatives Wouldn't Have Booed Ryan Sorba's Anti-Gay CPAC Rant

CBS has an article on GOProud and CPAC that revolves mostly around Ryan Sorba's attack on the group from the stage and the boos it elicited from the audience which quotes Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver saying that GOProud free to be part of the conservative movement so long as they don't expect the movement to actually support their agenda. How kind of him.

But he  was also asked about his views regarding the negative reaction Sorba elicited with his attack, and Staver said that this year's CPAC was dominated by libertarian Ron Paul supporters, suggesting that if it had been dominated by social conservatives, Sorba would not have been booed

Mathew Staver, dean of the evangelical Liberty University School of Law and founder and chair of the Liberty Counsel, says that he and his allies "certainly don't support the idea that anybody would be eliminated from the political process because of their sexual orientation."

But he said Liberty University School of Law felt compelled to pull its sponsorship from CPAC over GOProud's support for the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and other policies.

"Those are not conservative policies, and they are not supported by the Republican Party," he said, noting that the GOP continues to oppose a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal as well as same-sex marriage and hate crimes protections based on gender identity. "I welcome all people being part of the conversation, but I also think that just because of your individual orientation, it does not mean that we change the values that conservatives support."

Asked if he was disappointed with Sorba's reception, Staver noted that Ron Paul won the CPAC straw poll of 2012 presidential candidates - evidence, he suggested, that those in the room were not "reflective of the conservative movement or the Republican Party."

Really!? So if those who booed Sorba "are not reflective of the conservative movement or the Republican party," then isn't Staver saying that "real" conservatives wouldn't have booed Sorba for his anti-gay rant? 

Does Richard Viguerie Support The Mount Vernon Statement?

I have to say I am a little confused to see Richard Viguerie's name on The Mount Vernon Statement:

After all, it was just the other day that he told The Washington Times that the document was a joke:

Not all prominent conservatives are on board.

"This is embarrassing," activist and longtime direct-mail advertiser Richard Viguerie told The Washington Times. "If the people in the leadership of the conservative movement are going to put out pablum like this, the tea party people are going to make them seem irrelevant. And the tea party people are going to march to the forefront."

In a dig at current and former Republican congressional leaders whom many blame for betraying conservative principles of limited government and reduced spending, Mr. Viguerie added, "This is almost as if the movements leaders were taken over by Tom DeLay and John Boehner."

But now he's signed on and is proclaiming it the key to unifying the conservative movement:

Among those in attendance will be Richard Viguerie, the chairman of Conservative HQ.com, who believes the conservative movement "got seriously off track during the big government days of George Bush, Karl Rove and Tom DeLay." This document, Viguerie says, is designed to unite conservatives.

"This is an attempt to draft a document that conservatives -- whether they're Tea Party conservatives or social or economic or foreign policy conservatives -- can get behind and begin the process of reclaiming the Republican Party for small-government conservatives," Viguerie explains.

So which is it: the Mount Vernon Statement is embarrassing pablum that shows the conservative movement has been taken over by people like Tom DeLay, or it is a bold statement of principle that will unite the conservative movement by signaling its break from people like Tom DeLay?

Right Wing Leftovers

  • FRC goes after Dick Cheney for supporting the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
  • Contrary to earlier reports, the Illinois Family Institute is not back on the SPLC's list of anti-gay hate groups.
  • The next Tea Party convention will be held in Las Vegas in July.
  • Focus on the Family claims that its Super Bowl commercial caused 5 million people to "reconsider their views on abortion."
  • HuckPAC announces a new director ("Hogan Gidley, former executive director of the South Carolina Republican Party and communications director for former U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole's re-election campaign") to replace Mike Huckabee's daughter Sarah, who left to run Rep. John Boozman's Arkansas Senate campaign.
  • Finally, Quote of the Day from the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer: "Bottom line: let's not get stuck on stupid. No more Muslims in the military."

The Tea Party and The GOP

The New York Times has a really good, in-depth article taking a look not only at the Tea Party as a movement, which is hard to pin down as just about every right-wing group is trying to attach itself to the effort, but at the people who have become most active in it, noting that many had been apolitical until they were directly impacted by the economic downturn, at which point they began listening to the likes of Glenn Beck and became radicalized:

The ebbs and flows of the Tea Party ferment are hardly uniform. It is an amorphous, factionalized uprising with no clear leadership and no centralized structure. Not everyone flocking to the Tea Party movement is worried about dictatorship. Some have a basic aversion to big government, or Mr. Obama, or progressives in general. What’s more, some Tea Party groups are essentially appendages of the local Republican Party.

But most are not. They are frequently led by political neophytes who prize independence and tell strikingly similar stories of having been awakened by the recession. Their families upended by lost jobs, foreclosed homes and depleted retirement funds, they said they wanted to know why it happened and whom to blame.

That is often the point when Tea Party supporters say they began listening to Glenn Beck. With his guidance, they explored the Federalist Papers, exposés on the Federal Reserve, the work of Ayn Rand and George Orwell. Some went to constitutional seminars. Online, they discovered radical critiques of Washington on Web sites like ResistNet.com (“Home of the Patriotic Resistance”) and Infowars.com (“Because there is a war on for your mind.”).

Many describe emerging from their research as if reborn to a new reality. Some have gone so far as to stock up on ammunition, gold and survival food in anticipation of the worst. For others, though, transformation seems to amount to trying on a new ideological outfit — embracing the rhetoric and buying the books.

Tea Party leaders say they know their complaints about shredded constitutional principles and excessive spending ring hollow to some, given their relative passivity through the Bush years. In some ways, though, their main answer — strict adherence to the Constitution — would comfort every card-carrying A.C.L.U. member.

But their vision of the federal government is frequently at odds with the one that both parties have constructed. Tea Party gatherings are full of people who say they would do away with the Federal Reserve, the federal income tax and countless agencies, not to mention bailouts and stimulus packages. Nor is it unusual to hear calls to eliminate Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. A remarkable number say this despite having recently lost jobs or health coverage. Some of the prescriptions they are debating — secession, tax boycotts, states “nullifying” federal laws, forming citizen militias — are outside the mainstream, too.

Keep that in mind as you read this:

About 50 leaders of the grass-roots "tea party" movement will meet in Washington on Tuesday with Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele and other top GOP operatives to discuss campaign strategies and conservative principles.

The afternoon meeting on Capitol Hill will mark the first time that a broad coalition of tea party organizers -- who have railed against both the Democratic and the Republican establishments -- will sit down with GOP leaders. Top Republican leaders have been openly courting the organizers, looking to marshal grass-roots energy heading into November's midterm elections.

Ralph Reed's Slow, Sad Decline

Once upon a time, Ralph Reed was known as "The Right Hand of God," a man whose political genius was unmatched and whose power and influence was unquestioned. 

Then he left the Christian Coalition to strike out on his own, only to see his former organization collapse and his own political aspirations go up in smoke thanks to his deep ties to corruption [PDF].

But he's still around and active in right-wing politics via his Faith and Freedom Coalition, from where he continues to dispense pathetically cliched political analysis such as this about Sarah Palin ... or, as he calls her, "The Palinator":

This may be Palin’s unique strength. She understands the fiscal and values agendas of conservatism are reinforcing, not mutually exclusive. A nation that relies on God and family for its strength does not seek to expand the federal government to meet every need. Fiscal responsibility and small government are not merely economic principles, they speak to the moral character of a people that believes government has an important but limited function. In this sense, Palin is a fusionist who weaves the various strands of conservatism into a coherent whole.

This is why Palin can act as a bridge between Tea Party activists and the Republican Party and have credibility with both. For now the media is fascinated with whether she will run in 2012. They hope she does, if only because it will make for the most interesting political story since the Obama-Hillary rumble in the 2008 Democratic primaries. That decision is probably a year away. Meanwhile, the MSM is missing the bigger story, at least in the short-term: Palin, who they tried to drive out of respectable political discourse, is re-energizing the grassroots of a Republican Party that they dismissed as dead. Their attacks against her—and the values she symbolizes—not only backfired, they are now working in her and the GOP’s favor.

What ultimately drives the media crazy is they know instinctively they are co-conspirators in her rise. From the Katie Couric interview to the over-the-top attacks by the likes of Shrum, by overplaying their hand they made Palin a bigger force than they ever intended. Had they simply been fair to Palin when she ran for vice president and treated her with decency, she would not be viewed now by so many grassroots conservatives as a victim of irrational elitist hatred. As much as John McCain in selecting her as his running mate in 2008, the MSM made her a force, and she is proving she can use that platform very effectively indeed.

Apparently, providing expert conservative analysis now consists primarily of regurgitating nonsensical right-wing fantasies about how Sarah Palin "is a fusionist who weaves the various strands of conservatism into a coherent whole" who symbolizes everything great about America and will rise of to save this nation.

Amazing.

GOP and Tea Party Merge In South Carolina

At the National Tea Party Convention, organizers announced that they would be starting a new PAC called Ensuring Liberty Corporation which would aim to "endorse, support and elect" conservative candidates for office ... provided they promised to be loyal Republicans: 

The announcement came with an official platform that could help define what the multi-faceted tea party movement stands for and expects from the candidates it supports. The group's leaders plan to support candidates who stand for a set of "First Principles."

Those principles are: fiscal responsibility, lower taxes, less government, states' rights and national security.

Prospective political candidates will be expected to support the Republican National Committee platform. If a particular candidate meets the proposed criteria he or she would be eligible for fundraising and grassroots support.

Once elected to office, members would be expected to join a congressional caucus of "like-minded representatives" who attend regular meetings and are held accountable for the votes they cast. Those who stray from the tea party path would risk losing the new organization's support and a possible re-election challenge.

That is one way of trying to take over the Republican Party. Of coruse, an even more efficient way would be to do what they are doing in South Carolina and simply merge the two:

The South Carolina Republican Party announced Monday that it’s uniting with tea party groups in the state to share resources, coordinate messaging and push the GOP in a more conservative direction.

The points of contact between the state party establishment and the grass-roots will be the Greenville County Republican Party — one of the most conservative wings of the state party — and the Upstate Coalition of Conservative Organizations, an umbrella structure of state tea party groups.

The agreement, as announced by South Carolina Republicans, is designed to serve four goals: increase precinct involvement, improve communication between the state party and grass-roots groups, create liaisons between the state party and the various tea party organizations and to work “closely to make the Republican Party more conservative.”

State Republican Party Chairman Karen Floyd told POLITICO that the arrangement came at the suggestion of a local activist who works with both the state party and local tea party groups.

“This is not something the state party by edict pushed down,” Floyd said. “This is something the grass-roots pushed up with an understanding that we are stronger together than apart.”

Floyd said that working with the groups accomplishes her goals of “growing the Republican Party, electing conservative Republicans and growing the strength of the party,” though she was careful in describing what the party intends to do in working with the tea parties to elect more conservative members.

Frankly, it is hard to see this as anything but a looming sign of the end of Tea Party activism as a movement as it gets entirely co-opted by the existing Republican power structure.  

"Scott Brown May Be Another Arlene [sic] Specter"

As I have noted before, the post-election elation regarding Scott Brown's victory is quickly wearing off for the Religious Right and I am committed to tracking just how long it takes before the Right turns on him and posting on it ... especially things like this press release from the Government Is Not God PAC [GING -PAC] that compares him to "Arlene Specter": 

There has been a lot of enthusiasm for Scott Brown from conservatives and some pro-life leaders have stated that his election saved the nation from the pro-abortion "health care reform" plans of President Barack Obama. Social conservatives should not be celebrating because Senator-elect Scott Brown by his own admission is "pro-choice," not "pro-life."

During his campaign Brown avoided the questionnaires of social conservative and pro-life groups. His campaign did not respond to calls from GING-PAC and Brown did not reply to the GING-PAC questionnaire which asks many sharp questions on pro-family issues such as abortion.

GING-PAC is the nation's oldest social conservative political action committee and does not support any candidate who believes Roe v. Wade should be the law of the land.

While conservatives were still shouting for joy after his election to the Senate, Scott Brown flew to Washington, DC where he told Republican leaders that the party could not count on his vote in several areas including on the abortion issue.

Scott Brown's victory came during a special election and he has only two years remaining in the Senate seat that was vacated by the death of Senator Joe Kennedy. That means he literally must start running for reelection now and he will probably move to the left on social issues despite the fact that he ran as a "conservative." Scott Brown may be another Arlene [sic] Specter who will vote with the party most of the time, but neither the Republican Party nor conservatives will be able to count on him as a full time participant in the conservative movement.

Don't Get Too Comfortable, Scott Brown

It seems that while the pundits and prognosticators are mulling over just what Scott Brown's victory means for President Obama, the Democratic agenda in Congress, and the future of the Republican Party, a theme is starting to emerge among the Religious Right that as exciting as Brown's win may have been, he's really just another RINO.

Randall Terry was first out of the box, saying that Brown's win was better than a Coakley win, but "we must not deceive ourselves or our supporters about Scott Brown, and his true position on child killing. We need to replace Scott Brown as soon as we can with a true defender of babies' lives, not a phony who supports their murder." 

Alan Keyes has made a similar point:

Conservatives working to restore constitution freedom can cheer for Obama's defeat, but take no cheer from Brown's victory because he is a typical RINO (Republican-in-name-only) who:

* has no differences in principle with the socialist-minded Democrats;

* embraces the substance of Obama's socialist agenda, but "opposes" Obama by criticizing his implementation of socialism, especially when it comes to fiscal matters;

* agrees in principle with the Democrats on the fundamental issues of justice and morality but employs the deceptive rhetoric of personal opinion to evade the questions of public law and policy they involve. Such issues include child-murder and other abrogations of the unalienable right to life, as well as the rejection of the God-endowed rights of the natural family.

Matt Barber is likewise of the view that Brown is little more than a "tourniquet"

Many social conservatives (of which I’m one) have complained that the senator-elect is woefully flawed on social issues – particularly abortion. This is true.

Still, to my pro-life, pro-family compatriots, I offer this: While bleeding to death, one may be left no choice but to apply a tourniquet. A tourniquet is less than ideal. It may even cost a limb; however, it’s also likely to save one’s life. Obama has sliced open America’s wrists with his cutting political agenda. Time is of the essence. By providing Senate Republicans the crucial 41st vote needed to filibuster, Scott Brown supplies the tourniquet.

...

Of course, none of this justifies Brown’s indefensible position on abortion, “civil unions” and other social issues. I and others will not rest until he, and all who have been so deceived by the euphemistic language of “choice” and “reproductive freedom,” likewise recognize that all persons – whether born or pre-born – share an “inalienable right to life” that in every instance trumps another’s phantom “right to choose” premeditated murder.

Most importantly, even the Family Research Council admits that they are not happy with many of Brown's views but withheld criticism in pursuit of short term goals: 

Social conservatives held back criticism of Brown's social views--and, in some cases, openly supported him--because they believe a Brown win fulfills a short term goal of blocking President Obama's abominable health bill. Of course, the Republican Establishment would like us to believe that Scott Brown's moderate platform on life and marriage is a recipe for conservative success in 2010.

So it remains to be seen just how long the current infatuation with Brown lasts and if, when he comes up for re-election down the road, right-wing groups who are happy with his election now will be change their tune and end up backing a "true conservative" primary challenger later.

Obviously, that is a long way away ... but given that the Right doesn't really support Brown now, it is entirely possible that he might eventually find himself the next Dede Scozzafava or Charlie Crist.

The Single Most Important Election In American History

I was fully prepared for conservative gloating in the event that Scott Brown won the special election for the Senate seat held by the late Ted Kennedy.  It was, after all, a significant victory ... but according to the early commentary from right-wing analysts, it was not only an impressive upset but rather the single most important election in the history of America, ever - an election which signals the complete and utter downfall of everything from health care to immigration reform, and the end of President Obama and the (still sizable) Democratic majorities in Congress:

The Christian Defense Coalition:

Let me be clear. Tonight a second American Revolution has begun in the great state of Massachusetts. It is a revolution fueled by passion and the belief that the voice of people matters more than the narrow views of the political elite.

"A republican win in Massachusetts for the seat held by Senator Ted Kennedy for over 40 years was unthinkable even a few months ago.

"What changed?

"The American people have become angry and frustrated by the policies of President Obama and Speaker Pelosi and the arrogant way they have completely disregarded the voice of the people.

"You cannot promise to be transparent in the health care debate and ensure it is shown on television and then try to hammer out closed back room deals and expect the American public to sit idly by.

"President Obama has been tone deaf when it comes to the desires, wishes and dreams of the American people.

"For example, 71% of the American people oppose public monies being used to pay for abortions yet President Obama has ignored this fact and pressed forward with this flawed health care reform.

"Tonight is a clear signal that hope and change has turned into anger and frustration and the revolution has begun.

"Bring on November 2010."

Concerned Women for America:

Today's vote in Massachusetts was as much about the Obama/Reid/Pelosi regime as it was to select a new senator. The voters in the bluest of states rejected the candidate who supported the latest power grab of ObamaCare.

"Massachusetts' citizens know what ObamaCare would be like -- their state passed oppressive health care 'reform' that subsidizes abortions. They're paying the high prices and getting less health care because of it.

"But that doesn't mean President Obama, Sen. Reid or Rep. Pelosi will listen to this extraordinary message. They never quit -- they just get sneakier.

Deacon Keith Fournier:

On the day before the anniversary of the swearing in of President Barack Obama, the people of blue collar Massachusetts have sent a strong message. They showed that there is a growing angst in the US electorate over the economy, unemployment, bailouts, deficits and the expansion of the power and role of the federal government.

This special election in Massachusetts will be the subject of continuing speculation among the pundits for months. Already, the finger- pointing has begun in efforts to assess blame. Whether it will spark a wave of retirements among Democrats whose seats are up this year and whether it signals a national trend against the Democratic Party are just two of the many topics which will serve as fodder for talking heads in the days ahead.

However, there is no doubt that Senator Elect Brown’s significant victory is a wake up call to the current national leadership of the Democratic Party. Several media personalities who not only disparaged Scott Brown but ruthlessly savaged him will be eating a lot of crow. Their commentary will most certainly be played over and over again as the pundit class smells blood in the waters.

What is also clear is that the election in Massachusetts signals a major shift in the sentiment of US voters. It is not a sign of a new partisan movement, but a movement away from many of the big government approaches of the current administration. The emergence of the Independent voter in the two Commonwealth States of Virginia and Massachusetts will become the story of the campaigns of 2010 and 2012.

Susan B. Anthony List:

"On the heels of last fall's victories by Bob McDonnell and Chris Christie, Scott Brown's victory is just the beginning of the consequences Congressional incumbents will face this November. Anyone who votes to advance health care legislation that funds abortion on-demand should consider themselves on notice.

"The election of Scott Brown is no accident. This election is about more than parties or candidates. The election is just one more sign of the overreach of the President and Congress. The American people have spoken tonight.

Americans for Legal Immigration PAC:

"The Brown victory not only breaks the Democratic 60 vote hold on the U.S. Senate needed for cloture votes, but it sends a clear message that voters prefer pro-enforcement candidates instead of pro-amnesty candidates." said William Gheen, president of ALIPAC. "We will be working hard to defeat the Amnesty legislation filed in Congress and to repeat the Brown-Coakley scenario in hundreds of races this November."

...

"Americans are sick and tired of politicians who are servants of powerful special interests, instead of the American public." said Gheen. "A political revolution has begun in America, illegal immigration is a core issue fueling that revolt, and a lot of politicians are about to join the unemployment lines."

Fred Barnes:

Oh, yes. The health care bill, ObamaCare, is dead with not the slightest prospect of resurrection. Brown ran to be the 41st vote for filibuster and now he is just that. Democrats have talked up clever strategies to pass the bill in the Senate despite Brown, but they won’t fly. It’s one thing for ObamaCare to be rejected by the American public in poll after poll. But it becomes a matter of considerably greater political magnitude when ObamaCare causes the loss of a Senate race in the blue state of Massachusetts.

Then there’s the House, where Speaker Nancy Pelosi insists some version of ObamaCare will be approved and soon. She’s not kidding. She’s simply wrong. At best, she has the minimum 218 votes for passage. After the Massachusetts fiasco, however, there’s sure to be erosion. How many Democrats in Republican-leaning districts want to vote for ObamaCare, post-Massachusetts? Not many.

And finally Joseph Farah:

I hate to say it, but I really did tell you so.

...

This is just the beginning.

It's not the Republican Party that made this happen.

It was an awakening by the American people.

They don't want to live under socialism.

They don't want to live under tyranny.

They don't want to live in a nanny state.

They don't want to live in misery.

They don't want to live under government's thumb.

They want to be free.

So let's celebrate today. Let's smile and rejoice. Let's take comfort in what appears to be a second chance for America.

Michele Bachmann's Perfect Timing

What can better sum up the current state of the Republican Party and its ties to the Religious Right than the fact that the day after Pat Robertson declared that Haiti suffered a devastating earthquake due to the fact that the nation "swore a pact to the Devil," Rep. Michele Bachmann is profiled on The 700 Club, where Robertson introduces her as "one of the leading conservatives in America":

Now, just three years into the job, Bachmann is a major voice against what she believes is an out of control government threatening the freedom of Americans.

"What we are seeing now is the rise of big government, and so, big government is now oppressing the American people with too much spending, too much taxes, too much regulatory burden," she said. "We just saw the hate crimes law pass...really that bill is more about restricting free speech and free expression of American citizens, in contradistinction to the First Amendment that wants free speech and expression for all of Americans."

Bachmann says the United States is blessed with a unique form of government, but the current administration is straying from what the founding fathers intended.

"Jefferson warned us over 230 years ago, be prepared. The natural way of government is to enslave you," she explained. "And Jefferson said again, bind down big government with the chains of the Constitution. That's what the effort was. Use these beautiful documents to limit man, not to grow man's influence and oppress mankind."

Bachmann believes the current growth of government's influence will backfire.

"We have the most left-leaning, radical president we've ever had in the history of the United States. The most radical, left-leaning speaker of the House than we've ever had in the history of the United States and one of the most radical, left-leaning majority leaders in the Senate," she said. "We have never had this type of radical view of government."

The congresswoman has proven she's not about to be silenced and she relies on God as her source of strength to endure the battle.

However, Bachmann isn't the only one speaking her mind. Much like Sarah Palin, Bachmann has her share of critics who lash out against her in the media, online and on TV.

"Women are very competent, very intelligent. They can be very successful and make it on their own," Bachmann said about why she's under attack. "And I think that the left is very concerned [about] the message that myself and other women would be able to deliver. And I think that's part of the reason why you see the attack to silence us as messengers."

In fairness, Bachmann apparently sat down for this interview with CBN back in early December, around the time that she joined Robertson on-air for the first time, and the segment was finally ready to air today. 

Tea Parties Have a Message ... And a Song

The Washington Times reports that Tea Party activist Dale Robertson has a warning for the GOP that he plans to deliver to RNC Chair Michael Steele:

A founder of the "tea party" movement said Wednesday he had a warning for Republican state leaders: Back conservative candidates or else other states will suffer the same backlash that toppled Florida's Republican Party chairman this week.

"We are turning our guns on anyone who doesn't support constitutional conservative candidates," said Dale Robertson, who operates TeaParty.org out of Houston and helped start the movement nearly two years ago.

He declined to say which states are next on the tea party's hit list. He said party leaders in those states would be warned privately, but the movement's wrath "will be very clear publicly" if they don't listen.

"If they continue to do things like they did in Florida, it's not going to be good for them," Mr. Robertson said. "If they don't get that, and their party chairmen don't get that, they are going to be ostracized."

...

Mr. Robertson planned to deliver the warning in a phone call Wednesday to National Republican Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele, who a day earlier said he supported the tea party activists and that he didn't think their movement had caused a schism within the party.

This would be this Dale Robertson:

In semi-related news, it seems that novelty songwriter Ray Stevens is also a Tea Party activst and his newest song, "We The People" is becoming something of a Tea Party anthem:

Grammy Award-winning music artist Ray Stevens has recorded a song and video that is fast becoming the anthem of the Tea Party Movement ... Stevens told CNSNews.com that “We the People” – though it is a novelty song – expresses his personal beliefs.

...

“To me, it’s pretty obvious that the government is doing a bunch of crap that we don’t need and we don’t want, and they don’t care what we want – they’re going to do it anyway. I think I’ve heard it called ‘progressive.’ I don’t know what’s progressive about it – it seems like to me it’s stupid.”

He added: “But then I believe in freedom, and I believe in the Constitution and I believe in the things that made America great.”

LaBarbera and Martin: Birds of a Feather

I've tried to ignore the latest nonsense from Senate candidate Andy Martin and his allegations that Rep. Mark Kirk is gay because, frankly, Martin is a certified nut. 

If I posted on every crazy thing Martin said, this blog would consist of nothing else ... like his claims that Max Baucus is a "habitual sex offender" or that Wikipedia "is a tax-exempt protosocialist scam that seeks to harass Republicans, conservatives and Obama opponents."

But Peter LaBabera doesn't think that Martin is a loon, which is why Martin participated in the Americans for Truth fundraising banquet earlier this year:

David Smith, Executive Director of the Illinois Family Institute, accepted an award on behalf of Donald E. Wildmon, Founder and Chairman of the American Family Association (AFA) and American Family Radio. [Wildmon, who is recovering from encephalitis, was the recipient of AFTAH's first annual American Truth Teller Award; his son, AFA President Tim Wildmon, thanked Americans For Truth with a video message played at the banquet.]

Though the AFTAH banquet was not a political event, two candidates seeking statewide office were present. Dan Proft, who is running for Governor in the GOP primary and Andy Martin, who is seeking the Republican Party nomination in the U.S. Senate race, joined pro-family supporters at the AFTAH fundraiser.

So that is why it comes as no surprise that LaBarbera seems to think Martin's claims and antics are perfectly acceptable, even though he doesn't mention him by name:

Do voters have a right to know that their Congressman — especially one that bills himself as “pro-family” — is having adulterous affairs with women? Yes. Do the same voters have a right to know if their Congressman is himself a homosexual — especially since he will likely be voting on “gay”-related legislation predicated on the (false) assumption that homosexuality is a “civil rights” criterion? You bet they do.

In this post-Will & Grace age in which vulgar sodomy jokes are aired uncensored on primetime TV, it is unfair, hypocritical and simply odd to enable homosexual candidates to hide their pet sexual sin behind the “gay” “closet” — or to demand that any questions on the topic are inappropriate. I write this as one who hoped for the defeat of Republican “pro-family” politicians who were exposed as philanderers.

So our question to any candidate around which “gay” rumors are swirling is this:

Are you a homosexual — i.e., or have you practiced homosexual behavior or been in “gay” relationships?

There is no easy way to ask this awkward question, but it is as relevant as asking a candidate rumored to be a cad if he has been faithful to his wife. From a Christian perspective, sexual sin is sexual sin, and the politics of homosexuality and “outing” should not be dictated by the needs and wants of pro-homosexuality advocates or the GLBT Lobby.

The problems and ethical implications of secretly “gay” politicians are also exacerbated by the policy of homosexual activist “outers” who specialize in exposing the homosexuality on only the candidates they regard as hypocritical (read: anti-homosexual-agenda) on homosexual issues. This creates an incentive for covertly homosexual pols to vote pro-”gay” on GLBT legislation because that will lessen the likelihood of an embarrasing [sic] “outing” episode.

This is another reason why voters deserve to know if their representative or potential representative has a conflict of interest on homosexuality issues.

If you are a Republican and you think it’s unfair for homsoexual politicans [sic] to have their homosexuality revealed, here’s three words for you: Mark Foley scandal. As one who monitors the “gay” press, I knew about Foley’s homosexuality years before the page scandal happened — and had GOP leaders not swept that under the rug, perhaps the whole sordid Foley episode could have been avoided, and all its bad consequences for the Republican Party in the 2006 elections.

Any candidate hit with the “gay” question can simply answer my question above. We hope they wouldn’t lie about it, but that seems to have happened with one Republican candidate in Illinois who I sought answers from on the homosexual issue.

He's "Doctor" Barton Now?

A few months ago we wrote a post about Wallbuilders' David Barton seemingly suggesting that he was a "professor" despite the fact that his academic credentials consist entirely of a "B.A. from Oral Roberts University and an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Pensacola Christian College."

Now Bob Vander Plaats, the Republican candidate for governor in Iowa, is touting the fact that he received Barton's endorsement with an announcement containing a link to a radio interview with "Dr. Barton":

Nationally known author and political activist David Barton has endorsed Sioux City Republican Bob Vander Plaats in the 2010 Iowa gubernatorial race.

"I’m incredibly excited to have David’s backing because he has such a deep base of supporters across our state. I know several candidates and potential candidates have sought his support because he commands tremendous respect and attention. Having him in our corner will be another crucial tool to motivate and mobilize grassroots Iowans next year," Vander Plaats said.

Barton was recognized by Time magazine in 2005 as "One of the 25 Most Influential Evangelicals" in the United States. He is the founder and president of the Aledo, Texas-based group WallBuilders, an organization which presents "America's forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on the moral, religious, and constitutional foundation on which America was built."

"Bob Vander Plaats epitomizes the leadership our Founding Fathers envisioned when they stood up for our individual liberties," Barton said in a prepared statement. "He knows that it’s the hard work and unfettered creative spirit of individuals made this country and states like Iowa great. He knows that more bureaucracies, more government employees, higher taxes and increased government spending will crush Iowa. And, he’ll articulate that message in winning fashion."

A former vice chairman of the Texas Republican Party and a consultant to the Republican National Committee on outreach to evangelical voters, Barton has been praised by U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback for providing "the philosophical underpinning for a lot of the Republican effort in the country today."

Barton, who speaks to well over 400 groups each year across the country, is the author of numerous best-selling books. His subjects are drawn largely from his massive library of tens of thousands of original writings from the Founding Era. His exhaustive research has led to recognition as an expert in historical and constitutional issues. As a result, he serves as a consultant to state and federal legislators, has participated in several U.S. Supreme Court cases, was involved in the development of the history and social studies standards for states such as Texas and California, and has helped produce history textbooks now used in schools across the nation.

Click here to listen to Dr. Barton’s interview on WHO Radio.

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Republican Party Posts Archive

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 >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 03/02/2011, 11:54am
Legal scholar Goodwin Liu, President Obama’s nominee for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, is receiving a second hearing at the Senate Judiciary Committee today. Liu, who is an Associate Dean and Professor of Law at the Berkeley School of Law and a renowned legal scholar, has unsurprisingly found himself to be a top target of right-wing activists. Ed Whalen of the Nation Review accuses Liu of “trying to fool senators and get himself appointed to the Ninth Circuit, where he would (among countless opportunities for mischief)” overrule California’s Proposition 8. In... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 02/23/2011, 12:21pm
It looks like Arizona’s draconian racial profiling law was only the beginning. Republicans in the State Senate Appropriations Committee just approved a flagrantly unconstitutional bill that would eliminate citizenship by birthright, a right protected by the Constitution’s 14th Amendment. As recently as 1982 in Plyler v. Doe, the Supreme Court ruled that undocumented immigrants are protected by the 14th Amendment, which guarantees birthright citizenship. The debate over the citizenship bill may even show signs of splintering inside the Republican Party, with one leading anti-... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 02/23/2011, 12:21pm
It looks like Arizona’s draconian racial profiling law was only the beginning. Republicans in the State Senate Appropriations Committee just approved a flagrantly unconstitutional bill that would eliminate citizenship by birthright, a right protected by the Constitution’s 14th Amendment. As recently as 1982 in Plyler v. Doe, the Supreme Court ruled that undocumented immigrants are protected by the 14th Amendment, which guarantees birthright citizenship. The debate over the citizenship bill may even show signs of splintering inside the Republican Party, with one leading anti-... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 02/22/2011, 11:46am
Rep. Steve King (R-IA), who previously argued that marriage equality will lead to the downfall of civilization, is bringing together right-wing groups and leading Republicans for his Conservative Principles Conference on March 26th in the premier caucus state. Potential presidential candidates, including Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, and John Bolton, will be joining the virulently anti-gay National Organization for Marriage for the conference. King says that Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), who believes schools should ban gay teachers, will keynote the event. Other participants include... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 02/22/2011, 11:46am
Rep. Steve King (R-IA), who previously argued that marriage equality will lead to the downfall of civilization, is bringing together right-wing groups and leading Republicans for his Conservative Principles Conference on March 26th in the premier caucus state. Potential presidential candidates, including Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, and John Bolton, will be joining the virulently anti-gay National Organization for Marriage for the conference. King says that Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), who believes schools should ban gay teachers, will keynote the event. Other participants include... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 02/11/2011, 7:23pm
If there is one message to take away from CPAC’s panel on immigration, it’s that White America is in serious jeopardy and may soon succumb to immigration, multiculturalism, and socialism. The panel “Will Immigration Kill the GOP?” featured former congressmen Tom Tancredo (R-CO) and Virgil Goode (R-VA), Bay Buchanan of Team America PAC, and special guest Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA). The group Youth for Western Civilization sponsored the panel, and its head Kevin DeAnna was also a panelist. Youth for Western Civilization is a far-right group that regularly criticizes... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 02/11/2011, 7:23pm
If there is one message to take away from CPAC’s panel on immigration, it’s that White America is in serious jeopardy and may soon succumb to immigration, multiculturalism, and socialism. The panel “Will Immigration Kill the GOP?” featured former congressmen Tom Tancredo (R-CO) and Virgil Goode (R-VA), Bay Buchanan of Team America PAC, and special guest Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA). The group Youth for Western Civilization sponsored the panel, and its head Kevin DeAnna was also a panelist. Youth for Western Civilization is a far-right group that regularly criticizes... MORE >