Republican Party

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.

Religious Right Threatens CPAC Boycott Over Gay Group's Sponsorship

Earlier this year, GOProud, a new gay conservative group, appeared on the scene intent on finding ways to sell the conservative agenda to gays. 

Their approach has been to eschew the "traditional" gay issues like hate crimes protections or the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in favor arguing that healthcare reform would be bad for gays, that "the inheritance tax is really a gay tax," or claiming that the best way to stop hate crimes is to expand gun ownership.

But GOProud does also support things like marriage equality and the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell ... and for that reason the Religious Right's professional anti-gay activists at Americans for Truth and the Liberty Counsel are now threatening to boycott the annual CPAC conference if GOProud is allowed to serve as an official co-sponsor:

Folks, for years religious conservatives have been complaining about getting the shaft from CPAC, the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. There is usually only a token panel or two dealing with “Culture War” social issues like abortion and homosexuality (and rarely one explicitly on fighting the “gay” agenda) – as organizers seek to appease the CPAC libertarians, some of whom support goals like homosexual “marriage” that are anathema to socially conservatives.

Now CPAC’s tenuous ”Big Tent” could collapse altogether as social conservatives led by Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber threaten to launch a boycott of the conference (scheduled for Feb. 18-20, 2010) unless CPAC drops a homosexual activist group, GOProud, as a co-sponsor. Barber, my good friend, an AFTAH Board Member, and the Director of Cultural Affairs at Liberty Counsel, is leading the charge to keep the CPAC sponsorship list … conservative.

...

It boils down to this: there is nothing “conservative” about — as Barber inimitably puts it — “one man violently cramming his penis into another man’s lower intestine and calling it ‘love.’” Or two women awkwardly mimicking natural procreative relations or raising a child together in an intentionally fatherless home. This does not mean that people practicing those and other immoral (and changeable) behaviors cannot think and act conservatively on other issues like lowering taxes, cutting government spending, ending abortion, etc. But let’s be honest: the “proud” in GOProud is not about pride in opposing the death tax, or defending the right to bear arms; it’s about proudly embracing sinful homosexual behavior – and that is hardly a conservative value.

I challenge every thinking conservative to explain why we should jettison our nation’s Judeo-Christian heritage (which clearly rejects homosexual acts as immoral) for some new, secularized brand of “conservatism” that fails to conserve natural, normal, and noble sex within God-ordained marriage. Where does the expansion of “conservatism” stop? Would CPAC welcome “Republicans for Abortion” as a co-sponsor? How about “Conservatives For Higher Taxes”? We doubt it. So let’s stop the double-standard on one issue — homosexuality — that happens to be politically incorrect in this decadent age.

The American Family Association is also voicing its opposition:

Bryan Fischer is director of issues analysis for the American Family Association and host of the radio program Focal Point with Bryan Fischer. He says CPAC chairman David Keene and CPAC organizers have a serious problem on their hands.

"The bottom line is that homosexuality is not a conservative value," Fischer states emphatically. "There are any number of co-sponsoring organizations that I believe are going to have a real problem with the fact that they are giving such a prominent place to an organization which is such an active proponent of gay rights."

"And it's GOProud, they're identifying themselves with the Republican Party...and yet their legislative agenda is directly contrary to the platform of the Republican Party."

As I wrote last year, though there is significant overlap, those who attend the CPAC conference have distinctly different priorities from those who attend the strictly Religious Right conferences like the Values Voter Summit.

It'll be interesting to see how CPAC organizers managed to handle this controversy.  I'm guessing that GOProud will eventually "voluntarily" withdraw their sponsorship.

Welch Apologizes For Failing to Defeat The "Enemy" In Houston's Mayoral Race

Dave Welch, executive director of the Houston Area Pastor Council, was deeply involved in the anti-gay campaign run against Houston mayoral candidate Annise Parker:

“The bottom line is that we didn't pick the battle, she did, when she made her agenda and sexual preference a central part of her campaign,” said Dave Welch, executive director of the Houston Area Pastor Council, numbering more than 200 senior pastors in the Greater Houston area. “National gay and lesbian activists see this as a historic opportunity. The reality is that's because they're promoting an agenda which we believe to be contrary to the concerns of the community and destructive to the family.”

Welch said he had “no doubt” there would be numerous independent advocacy efforts urging voters not to choose Parker, most of which would involve mail.

But their effort failed and Parker won the election over the weekend ... and for that, Welch feels it is necessary to apologize to America for failing to stop the "enemy" from taking control:

I have to first of all ask forgiveness of the rest of the country on behalf of those in Houston who were entrusted with choosing godly leaders and failed to do so. As I have stated often, the first responders in that line are the churches who profess Christianity and adherence to the Bible as our authority. We let our position on the wall be breached by the enemy.

Now to the business of learning from our mistakes and failures – and it was a failure of the church as well as the Republican Party in Houston, in that order. There are some essential lessons that this provides, as all elections do, and those lessons are universal to every city and state.

...

I believe the questions of the hour for pastors in every city are as follows:

1. Does it matter to God who governs us?

2. Does it matter if the laws of our land conform to or violate God's standards of justice?

3. Do we as Christians have personal and corporate responsibility
for choosing godly leaders?

4. Are we willing to call out and equip men of ability, reputation, character, integrity and proven faith to serve in governing positions?

5. Are we willing to establish a clear, bold and unquestioned priority of voting consistently and biblically for every voter in our churches?

Our recipe for transformation is simple, but will cost us the same as our ancestors of faith and country – everything.

LaBarbera on Jennings: "This Is All About Homosexuality"

Recently we released a report entitled "Rise of the New McCarthyism: How Right Wing Extremists Try to Paralyze Government Through Ideological Smears and Baseless Attacks" that examined how "Joseph McCarthy’s ideological heirs in the Republican Party and right-wing media are using the language and tactics of McCarthy to stir fears that the nation is being destroyed by enemies from within."

Among the features of this new McCarthyism is "an obsessive hunt for homosexuals" and one of their primary targets has been Kevin Jennings, the Assistant Deputy Secretary of the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools.

And, as if to prove our point, just yesterday the Washington Times ran this editorial entitled "Obama's buggery czar" that was based largely on this recent Breitbart.tv "exposé" of GLSEN 's recommended reading list, which the times says proves Jennings is unfit for his position:

The readings try to make sex between children and adults seem normal and acceptable. Being exploited by homosexual pedophiles is portrayed as something that can make children happy and fulfilled. Perhaps Mr. Jennings will claim he was too busy to check what his organization was recommending children read. Either way, this is not a man who should have been appointed by the White House to make schools safe.

Media Matters already debunked the editorial's claims, so I just want to highlight this post from Peter LaBarbera, who loved the Times' editorial:

Folks, as one who has worked for more than 15 years with other pro-family groups to expose the insidious and child-corrupting agenda of Kevin Jennings and GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network), I’m overjoyed that conservatives and right-leaning media are finally helping to expose this organization’s truly radical and evil agenda to millions of outraged Americans.

LaBarbera also wants it known that, contrary to the claims from the various other conservatives who are attacking Jennings while claiming that this is not about homosexuality, the attacks are entirely about homosexuality:

One more point: it is now common for conservatives — especially non-religiously-affiliated media leaders like Sean Hannity (who should be applauded for his yeoman’s work exposing Jennings) — to make the odd disclaimer that the GLSEN/Jennings controversy (or whatever “gay”-related culture-war story they are discussing) “is not about homosexuality.” Baloney. This is all about homosexuality and the “gay” activist agenda whose singular goal is to normalize homosexuality as a “civil right.”

Jennings’ role in the wider GLBT movement is to promote homosexuality and gender confusion (transgenderism: cross-dressing, etc.) to impressionable youth through the schools (public and private). It is absurd and intellectually dishonest to claim that this highly organized and well-funded campaign is somehow not about … homosexuality! (Which is not to deny that some or even many homosexuals agree with us that Jennings’ “gay-youth” agenda is reckless.)

Only a Homosexual Movement unified by a morality- and normality-rejecting ideology that aims to mainstream sinful, deviant, and once-taboo behaviors could produce such perverse ‘Recommended Readings’ for students as GLSEN — complete with fictional, “non-judgmental” accounts of man-boy sex. Only a movement that defiantly calls itself “queer” could produce “Fistgate” — a GLSEN-sponsored youth conference at Tufts University in 2000, at which underage children were verbally guided by homosexual adults on how to engage in the vile, sadomasochistic act of ‘fisting’ — hand-anal penetration (yes, truth is stranger than fiction).

The politically correct “not-about-gays” caveat is about illogical as claiming that the effort to expose systematic human rights abuses in China and North Korea “has nothing to with Communism.” Anyone who calls himself “conservative” should know better. Besides, true conservatives should not be ashamed of enthusiastically conserving the age-old Judeo-Christian sexual/marriage ethic — which has served mankind well and which rejects all efforts to approve of unnatural and destructive sexual behaviors condemned by God.

Sen. Johanns Follows "Conspiracy Kook" On Porter's Radio Program

Have you ever seen the movie "They Live," starring professional wrestler "Rowdy" Roddy Piper who, thanks to a special pair of sunglasses, is the only one able to realize that aliens are using subliminal messages to control humanity? 

Well, then have I got a website for you: Boxofsunglasses.com, otherwise known as THEorYofLIVEvolution.com:

Please take a few moments to read this before entering; it may save you some time. The home page is definitely aimed at 'shock value'. This "conspiracy theorist" has already awoken to the "conspiracy". Have no doubt, ultimately IT IS US. I've 'kicked the tires' endlessly here not unlike the Apostle Thomas. Call it conceit or condescension or whatever but I can see 'THEM' a mile away. And so can you, if you care to. Although a minority, I'm certainly not the only one. For example, Rush Limbaugh, a cheerleader for the less than disappointing Republican Party, has received bitter rebuke from "the One" and his minions in Congress for speaking out against our new Messiah. Why? If he's so bad let him shoot his trap. Of course there's an ulterior motive: it's called the Fairness Doctrine (look it up). "We the people" elected this guy; he's only the latest in a long line of "disappointing" leaders. How about corporate jet buying CEO's everyone is so worked up over? Again anyone can see this sham a mile away; if they care to. It is absolutely reprehensible for people to act this way especially in today's economic downturn. However, it should be their right. But it's no longer because it's 'taxpayer money' (a sham in and of itself you can see if you decide to enter the web site). This is classic class warfare brought to us courtesy "our" government. Think about it. They know it's absolutely illegal for the government to 'loan' companies money and this is for a reason: when they loan you they own you. Today everybody is lambasting the CEOs; tomorrow we're going to be lambasting each other when one company gets "more" from Uncle Sam and our Uncle decides how much the bank teller should be paid. In other words, our old Uncle will be all too willing to step and decide what's 'fair' after all 'he' loaned us the money. Of course "The Messiah" and friends will be the ones who decide what 'fair' is and what our 'rights' will be.

Now, this sort of right-wing conspiracy theory insanity is not the sort of thing we generally tend to cover here at RWW ... but we are making an exception in this case because Janet Porter decided to have Rob Roselli, the man responsible for this website, on her radio program yesterday to discuss "Copenhagen and the lies from junk climate science."

Apparently, Roselli considers himself something of an expert on the topic and so Porter decided to have him on the program to enlighten her audience.  Guess how it went?

So there you go:  climate change is really part of a massive conspiracy cooked up by "globalist clowns who hate mankind" and "genocidal maniacs" who are out to destroy humanity while the current political leadership is engaged in simply repackaging Nazi eugenics in an effort to implement it on a massive scale.

Amazingly, Porter's interview with Roselli was followed, on the very same program, by an interview with United States Senator Mike Johanns (R-Nebraska).

If that doesn't sum up the current state of the Republican Party and the right-wing movement, I don't know what does.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Joseph Farah thanks Sarah Palin for taking the Birther issue mainstream.
  • Rick Santorum says he is "absolutely" considering a 2012 presidential run.
  • Republican Party of Texas voted overwhelmingly to place resolution on the March 2010 Primary reading "Sonograms: The Texas Legislature should enact legislation requiring a sonogram be performed and shown to each mother about to undergo a medically unnecessary, elective abortion."
  • The Christian Coalition hails the Manhattan Declaration ... but wonders if the signers really have the commitment to follow through on their pledges.
  • The AFA's Bryan Fischer says it is time to "man up" in the "war against Christmas" because it just may be the "most important" battle of them all.
  • Finally, I have no idea what on earth this ad is supposed to mean:

Huckabee on 2012: Support is Nice, Money is Better

Back when he ran for President in 2008, and even after, Mike Huckabee took great pride in the fact that even though his campaign was never able to raise huge sums of money, he outlasted many of his better-financed rivals and ended the process far less in debt than most.

But while running a shoe-string campaign may have been novel the first time around, he's not interested in doing it again, saying that he won't even consider another run unless a) he can get strong support in the GOP primary and b) that support will be backed up with large sums of money:

What factors will you consider in deciding whether to run for president in 2012?

I think the key factors will be, one, after the midterm elections, whether there is a real sense of frustration with the current administration and a willingness to look for someone else, for one thing. I'd want to know there was real, solid, strong support for me within the Republican Party for a primary, and I can't even consider running again without the level of financial support that a person needs to carry it all the way. To hear a person tell me, "Gee, I'd really like to see you run," is great. But if you can't raise tens of millions of dollars to start and hundreds of millions of dollars to compete, as crazy and as obscene as that is, it really doesn't matter.

The End of Huckabee's Presidential Aspirations?

Over the weekend, Mike Huckabee suggested that he wasn't particularly interested in running for president in 2012, saying that even though he is leading in several polls, he really likes his job at Fox News:

WALLACE: Governor Huckabee, I want to show you a couple of polls that I suspect you already know about, but let’s put them up on the screen.

Seventy percent of Iowa Republicans view you favorably. That is more than any of the other mentioned likely presidential possibilities for 2012. And a national poll of Republicans last month had you in first place -- national poll -- ahead of Romney, and Palin and Gingrich.

So, Governor Huckabee, why wouldn’t you run for president in 2012?

HUCKABEE: Well, there’s obviously a lot of smart people in Iowa and the rest of the country. Let me acknowledge that. But the reason I wouldn’t is because this Fox gig I’ve got right now, Chris, is really, really wonderful.

And you know, it’s easy to say, “Oh, gee, don’t you just want to jump back in it?” But jumping into the pool -- you’ve got to make sure there’s some water in it. And there’s a whole different deal of saying some folks take a poll and whether there’s the financial support.

Howard [Dean] and I have both been there, done that. It’s a wonderful experience. But I am nowhere near ready to say that that’s what I want to do three years from now.

WALLACE: So let me ask you a silly question three years out. What do you -- would you say at this moment are the chances that you will run, 50/50, better, worse, what?

HUCKABEE: It’s hard to say. A lot of it depends on how the elections turn out next year and whether Roger Ailes continues to like my show on the weekends. And if all those things factor in, you know, it’s less likely than more likely, just because I would have to see that the Republicans would be willing to unite behind me.

The last time out, my biggest challenge was with the establishment Republicans who just never showed their support. And while I think a person can possibly win without them, the Republican Party needs to unite if it’s going to win in 2012. And anyone who thinks Barack Obama is an easy mark off, just remember Bill Clinton was just labeled politically dead and came back to win a resounding re-election in 1996.

Given the other tragic event over the weekend, it looks like Huckabee's decision about whether or not to make another run in 2012 might have been made for him:

The man whom police are seeking as a "person of interest" in the slaying of four police officers was released from an Arkansas prison nine years ago after a controversial decision by then-Gov. Mike Huckabee to commute his sentence.

Maurice Clemmons, 37, was identified late Sunday by the Pierce County Sheriff's Office as a man sought for questioning . Clemmons has pending charges in Pierce County Superior Court for second-degree child rape and third-degree assault for an attack on a police officer. He was released from custody in those cases after posting a $150,000 bond, according to the Lakewood Police Department.

Long before coming to Washington, Clemmons was serving a 35-year prison term in Arkansas for armed robbery but his sentence was commuted by then-Gov. Huckabee, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination in his 2008 presidential bid, according to the Arkansas Times Web site.

After his release, he committed two armed robberies and other crimes and was sentenced to 10 years, but was later paroled, according to this column in the Arkansas Leader.

HuckPAC has released this statement, saying that if Clemmons is responsible for this crime, laying that fault of the "criminal justice system": 

The senseless and savage execution of police officers in Washington State has saddened the nation, and early reports indicate that a person of interest is a repeat offender who once lived in Arkansas and was wanted on outstanding warrants here and in Washington State. The murder of any individual is a profound tragedy, but the murder of a police officer is the worst of all murders in that it is an assault on every citizen and the laws we live within.

Should he be found to be responsible for this horrible tragedy, it will be the result of a series of failures in the criminal justice system in both Arkansas and Washington State. He was recommended for and received a commutation of his original sentence from 1990, this commutation made him parole eligible and he was then paroled by the parole board once they determined he met the conditions at that time. He was arrested later for parole violation and taken back to prison to serve his full term, but prosecutors dropped the charges that would have held him. It appears that he has continued to have a string of criminal and psychotic behavior but was not kept incarcerated by either state. This is a horrible and tragic event and if found and convicted the offender should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Our thoughts and prayers are and should be with the families of those honorable, brave, and heroic police officers.

Virginia Foxx's "Revisionist History"

For the last several years, we've been chronicling efforts by far-right activists like David Barton and the National Black Republican Association to claim that throughout American history it has been Republicans who have been the champions of civil rights while Democrats were the party of racists and it seems that this idea has now worked its way into the House of Representatives thanks to Rep. Virginia Foxx:

During a debate on the House floor today over designating 21 miles of the Molalla River as “wild and scenic,” Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), who opposes the legislation, tried to claim a progressive environmental record for her party. “Actually, the GOP has been the leader in starting good environmental programs in this country,” said Foxx.

Foxx then extended her claims of the GOP’s progressive history to the issue of civil rights. “Just as we were the people who passed the civil rights bills back in the ’60s without very much help from our colleagues across the aisle,” said Fox. “They love to engage in revisionist history.”

A few years back, Barton produced an entire video pushing this idea.  Entitled "Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black and White," Barton's presentation chronicled the decades of oppression and discrimination against Blacks for which Barton claimed the Democrats were entirely responsible, only to suddenly stop with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, completely ignoring the political transformation that overtook the country in its wake and the rise of the Republican Party’s "Southern Strategy" as we explained in our report:

Having been so eager to recount every historical Democratic disgrace, Barton falls silent when it comes to mentioning the split that emerged within the Democratic Party in the 1960s between the growing number who embraced the civil rights movement and those who continued to oppose it. Barton does not mention that President Johnson risked his career and his party’s future to do the right thing, nor does he mention that racist and segregationist southern Democrats left the party and were welcomed by the national Republican Party as part of its “Southern Strategy” to building power. Nor, of course, does he mention a particularly shameful modern-era example of that strategy – presidential candidate Ronald Reagan launching his 1980 bid for the presidency with a visit to Philadelphia, Mississippi to declare his support for states’ rights – with no mention of the town’s notoriety as the place where civil rights workers were murdered and townspeople jeered federal investigators.

Even an amateur historian like Barton shouldn’t be able to ignore that sordid history. In fact it’s so well documented that even RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman once openly acknowledged it in the context of his efforts to recruit African Americans into the Party. Mehlman gave an apology of sorts, saying "By the '70s and into the '80s and '90s, the Democratic Party solidified its gains in the African American community, and we Republicans did not effectively reach out. Some Republicans gave up on winning the African American vote, looking the other way or trying to benefit politically from racial polarization. I am here today as the Republican chairman to tell you we were wrong."

Even President Bush acknowledged that whatever prestige the Republican Party once had with African Americans has been squandered, telling the NAACP on July 20, 2006 that he understands why “many African Americans distrust my political party” and that he considers it “a tragedy that the party of Abraham Lincoln let go of its historic ties with the African American community. For too long my party wrote off the African American vote, and many African Americans wrote off the Republican Party” – admissions which were met with rousing applause from the audience.

But that is nothing compared to the efforts of Frances Rice of the National Black Republican Association, who prefers flat out lying about it:

The 30-year odyssey of the South switching to the Republican Party began in the 1970s with President Richard Nixon's "Southern Strategy," which was an effort on the part of Nixon to get Christians in the South to stop voting for Democrats who did not share their values and were still discriminating against their fellow Christians who happened to be black.

As we asked once before:

The obvious question raised by all of this is not why the Democrats are reluctant to discuss it, but why right-wingers who are obsessed with it never manage to explain the so-called “Southern Strategy” employed by Richard Nixon to win over traditional Southern Democrats who were angry by the party’s emerging pro-civil rights positions. As Nixon strategist Kevin Phillips explained it:

From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don't need any more than that... but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That's where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats.

Ronald Regan’s strategist Lee Atwater was even more blunt about the reasoning behind the strategy:

“You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘Nigger, nigger, nigger,’ ” said Atwater. “By 1968, you can’t say ‘nigger’ — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things, and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.”

It's amazing to see this sort of right-wing propaganda being spread on the floor of the House of Representatives. 

Amazing, but sadly not surprising.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced it would support proposed city laws that would prohibit discrimination against gays in housing and employment ... and FRC is angry.
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham has been censured by the Charleston County Republican Party for being insufficiently conservative.
  • In related South Carolina news, a federal district court ruled Tuesday that the "I Believe" license plate approved by the South Carolina Legislature violates the constitutional separation of church and state and cannot be issued.
  • The annual Federalist Society conference is underway.
  • The George W. Bush Oral History Project?
  • Did you know that President Obama despises America? Well, he does.
  • Amazingly, there are people running for office who still seek Alan Keyes' endorsement.

This Is Your Republican Party

TPM reports that a few thousand Tea Party activists have gathered on Capitol Hill today ... all thanks to the efforts of Rep. Michele Bachmann:

Absolutely amazing.

By the way, do you think it is just a coincidence that this is happening today?

The Big Con: How Matt Barber Swindled Me Out of $30

Yesterday, I wrote a post taking issue with right-wing outlets that were claiming that people were giving Matt Barber's new book, "The Right Hook: From The Ring To The Culture War," negative reviews without have read it, claiming that the book isn't even going to be released until next week.

As I noted, I already received a copy that I ordered from Amazon last week.  But now that I've started to read it, I made an interesting discovery: namely, that anybody who has read his columns doesn't need to actually read the book before they review it ... because they have literally already read it, since the book consists entirely of his republished columns! 

Nowhere on the publisher's website or the Amazon page is there any sort of disclaimer that this "book" is really just a collection of Barber's past columns.  Had that been made clear, I certainly would have saved myself the $32.00 I spent on this bound edition of his inane columns.

So, to save prevent anyone else who was thinking of buying this "book" from getting conned and ripped-off, here is the entire Barber book in links:

State Eagle Forum President Becomes Head of Texas GOP

Over the weekend, Cathie Adams was elected the new Chairwoman of the Texas Republican Party. 

Adams also happens to be the President of the Texas Eagle Forum who has deep ties to other right-wing leaders in the state, such as David Barton and, as the Texas Freedom Network notes, has a long history of ultra-right-wing activism:

- Ms. Adams has compared President Obama to Adolf Hitler, suggesting that his speech to American students was “eerily like Hitler’s youth movement.”

- In an e-mail to far-right activists in 2008, Ms. Adams viciously attacked the faith of then-candidate Obama (page 40):

“While many question Barak Hussein Obama’s ‘religion’…, the more important question is whether he has a ‘relationship’ with Jesus Christ because that is the only HOPE that any of us have to obtain eternal life. I personally see NO evidence that Obama has that kind of ‘saving faith.’”

- Two years ago Ms. Adams opposed a ballot measure providing $300 million annually over 10 years for cancer research. Voters approved the measure, which had the support of Gov. Perry and then-President George Bush. But Adams didn’t, falsely claiming that the money would be used in embryonic stem cell research and suggesting that medical researchers are amoral monsters:

“Scientists are on the verge of cloning humans, injecting them with diseases and studying them, then killing them.”

- Defending the dominance of failed abstinence-only programs in Texas schools recently, Ms. Adams blamed the state’s sky-high rates of teen births and sexually transmitted diseases on the supposedly inferior morals of Mexican immigrants:

“If mom had a baby at age 15, are her morals going to be setting different standards than someone who has grown up in the American culture where that is not typical? As a matter of fact, we would look at someone impregnating a 15-year-old as child abuse.”

- She opposes the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which gives children of the working poor access to health care:

“Now illegal aliens will be able to purchase cheap insurance for their children. This is an incentive for them to come here.”

Will Immigration Reform Fracture The Freedom Federation?

Dan Gilgoff reports that efforts are underway to get religious conservatives on board efforts to reform the nation's immigration laws:

Many of the same faith-based groups attacking Obama and the Democrats over healthcare reform's abortion provisions, including the National Association of Evangelicals, the Southern Baptist Convention, and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, are poised to become major players in the president's coming push for comprehensive immigration reform, which would include a path to citizenship for many illegal immigrants. "There is a strong biblical teaching about showing hospitality to the stranger and the alien," says [Galen Carey, chief lobbyist for the National Association of Evangelicals.]

...

The shift follows an intensive effort by Latino evangelical leaders to lobby their white evangelical counterparts. "My stump speech is that this is not amnesty and that this is a biblical issue," says the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. "If you are a devout follower of Christ, you have to support immigration reform." In the years since the last national debate on immigration reform, Rodriguez has met with white evangelical opinion makers like NAE President Leith Anderson and former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. "This is the same constituency Glenn Beck is appealing to," says Rodriguez.

White evangelical leaders have also been influenced by their increasingly Latino congregations. Though nearly 70 percent of Hispanics in the United States are Roman Catholic, Hispanic evangelicals and Pentecostals are among the nation's fastest-growing religious groups. And politically speaking, conservative evangelical activists see Hispanics, who are generally conservative on issues like abortion and gay marriage, as potential allies. "The only thing that can turn them against us is if they are made to feel unwelcome in social conservative circles," says Richard Land, the Southern Baptist Convention's public policy chief.

In an attempt to get Christian-right groups to back comprehensive immigration reform, Rodriguez is working with the dean of the Liberty University's Law School, founded by the Rev. Jerry Falwell, on an immigration summit for conservatives. "The conservative wing of the Republican Party has to understand that it's impossible to win a national election without Hispanics," says Rodriguez. "And it's impossible to win Hispanics without immigration reform."

Frankly, I don't see that any of these developments will do much to influence the overall right-wing opposition to immigration reform, or move the Religious Right at all.

Richard Land has long been something of an outlier on this issue and the recent National Association of Evangelicals' unanimous resolution backing comprehensive immigration reform is already being attacked by Religious Right groups like the Institute on Religion and Democracy, which blasted the NAE for "adopting political stances in God's name and without consideration for their own churches' members."

The one interesting thing is Rodriguez's plans to host an immigration summit with Mat Staver, dean of the Liberty Law School, as both are members of the Freedom Federation, the new right-wing supergroup.

As we pointed out last month, Rodriguez recently began pushing to ensure that healthcare reform contained coverage for those in the country illegally, which is a position that would not go over well with several other members of the Freedom Federation.

If Staver and Rodriguez do start pushing for immigration reform, one would expect that such an effort would ultimately create a lot of tension within the Freedom Federation coalition itself, which could end up undermining the coalition's very reason for existing, considering that it was created specifically in order to unify the Religious Right.

FRC: We'd Rather Lose The Seat Then See a Liberal Republican Win

Yesterday, David Weigel had a good piece on the Republican "civil war" unfolding in New York over the race for the open Congressional seat between Doug Hoffman, the choice of the right-wing base, and Dede Scozzafava, who is being backed by the RNC:

In July, Hoffman bid to become the Republican Party’s nominee for a special election in New York’s 23rd Congressional District. The nominee would be chosen by party leaders in the district’s 11 counties; few people were surprised when they chose Deirdre “Dede” Scozzafava, a five-term assemblywoman who’d voted with Democrats on abortion and labor issues, factors that could help the party hold a historically conservative district that had voted for the Obama-Biden ticket last year. Hoffman, a 59-year-old accountant making his first run for office, forged ahead and grabbed the nomination of the venerable Conservative Party.

Since then, Hoffman’s campaign has become this election cycle’s great conservative crusade. On Sept. 5, the candidate was endorsed by 9-12 Candidates, an offshoot of Glenn Beck’s 9-12 Project, and a reflection of the support he was getting on conservative blogs. On Sept. 28, both Fred Thompson and the Club for Growth put their weight behind Hoffman, with the Club putting $250,000 into TV ads attacking Scozzafava and Democratic candidate Bill Owens. Those endorsements, coupled with reports that Scozzafava was struggling, brought the American Conservative Union and the anti-abortion rights group Susan B. Anthony List into the fray to back Hoffman. On Monday afternoon, FreedomWorks chairman Dick Armey announced that he’d campaign for Hoffman, putting the Tea Party movement’s seal of approval on the upstart campaign.

Two weeks out from the election, the battle in upstate New York is being portrayed in the press as a “civil war” between Republican factions. That might understate how much support for Hoffman, and how little for Scozzafava, there is in the conservative movement. As far as the roiling Republican base is concerned, support for Hoffman has become a test of whether a conservative leader can be trusted. Conservative media, from magazines to blogs, are using the low-stakes special election to test their ability to drive news cycles and raise money.

The Family Research Council is particularly incensed at the RNC's sell-out in this race, saying that what the GOP needs is "good women like Marsha Blackburn and Michele Bachmann in Congress" instead of more "pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, liberal candidate who fails to reflect the values the Republican Party."

In fact, so outraged is FRC that they are now declaring that their goal is to "bring down" Scozzafava rather than see a liberal Republican elected:

"This is ridiculous -- putting a liberal up like that and expecting everybody [in the GOP] to fall in line. It's just not going to happen," says [Connie Mackey, president of the Family Research Council Action Political Action Committee]. "And if we can't elect Doug Hoffman, frankly we do hope that we at least bring down the Republican candidate."

Right Wing Round-Up

  • David Weigel: National Organization for Marriage Chairman Takes On Kevin Jennings.
  • The New Republic: The never-ending lunacy of Betsy McCaughey.
  • Why do right-wingers hate America?
  • Texas Freedom Network: Could the Republican Party of Texas move even farther to the extreme right? Apparently, yes.
  • Why is Stand For Marriage Maine linking marriage equality to an increase in AIDS infections?
  • Why is Mike Huckabee using his position with Fox News to bolster his PAC?

Right Wing Leftovers

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Republican Party Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Monday 01/03/2011, 5:34pm
The Family Research Council's Tom McClusky explains why FRC will not participate in this year's CPAC, saying they decided end the relationship years ago because they were tired of having to battle to get their issues included and that the move to allow GOProud to sponsor the event "only cemented our decision": We left CPAC a couple of years ago (before GOProud was a twinkle in anyone’s eye) in part because we saw they were moving away from conservative principles and also because of a growing concern over the management of CPAC. We know many friends as well as former... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 12/29/2010, 11:43am
As the Religious Right’s boycott of the American Conservative Union’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) builds momentum, Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily has called for exclusion of the ACU from the “conservative movement” as a result of their connections with GOProud, a conservative gay-rights group that is a sponsor of CPAC. Organizations including the American Principles Project, American Values, Capital Research Center, the Center for Military Readiness, Concerned Women For America, Liberty Counsel, Liberty University, the National Organization for... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 12/28/2010, 1:25pm
Writing about education for Townhall, Human Events, and WorldNetDaily, Pat Buchanan refers to the group VDARE to show the disparity between white students and students of color. Buchanan uses statistics from VDARE to show that “U.S. reading scores [broken down] by race,” and then cites VDARE writer Robert Weissberg to explain how “cognitive ability” explains the race gap in U.S. education. VDARE.com is a White Nationalist group that warns of “America’s Darkening Future” where white Americans are the minority and embraces the “Sailer Strategy,... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 12/27/2010, 4:35pm
Back in January the Christian Science Monitor declared “Scott Brown: the tea party’s first electoral victory,” following his surprise win in the special election to fill the Senate seat of the late Ted Kennedy. But now the Boston Globe reports that conservatives and Tea Party activists are mulling over a primary challenge to the Massachusetts Republican. According to the Globe, Brown’s votes in favor of repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, ratifying the START Treaty, and reforming Wall Street (but only after it was watered down to win his support) made him... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 12/21/2010, 12:32pm
The House Republican Leadership recently announced that incoming Pennsylvania Congressman Tom Marino and Arkansas Congressman Tim Griffin have been assigned seats on Rep. Lamar Smith’s Judiciary Committee. Marino and Griffin, who were profiled in Right Wing Watch’s The Ten Scariest Republicans Heading to Congress, are peculiar picks for a committee which has “jurisdiction over matters relating to the administration of justice in federal courts, administrative bodies, and law enforcement agencies” since both Republicans were dogged by corruption and ethics scandals... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 12/20/2010, 1:29pm
After being lifted from fringe figure in the Nevada State Assembly to become an all-star for Religious Right and Tea Party groups across the country, Sharron Angle is now plotting her next move after losing to Harry Reid in November. Even though voters in Nevada rejected Angle in three separate elections, including races for the State Senate, House, and US Senate, Angle is floating another bid for higher office. According to Guy Benson, the political editor of the conservative Townhall.com, Angle may be a candidate for “statewide office” in 2012 despite her humbling loss to Reid... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 12/16/2010, 4:39pm
Politico’s Ben Smith discussed today the unforeseen possibility that right wing activist Herman Cain could be a surprise Republican candidate for president, after he bested all other Republicans in an online straw poll conducted by the conservative blog RedState. Cain, an African American businessman and radio talk show host, even topped Sarah Palin, who came in second, to be the favorite of the right wing blogosphere. Erick Erickson of RedState writes, “I like Herman Cain and, though truth be told I never thought he’d make it past Mike Pence, I am delightfully surprised... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 12/13/2010, 6:30pm
With growing speculation over his presidential ambitions, Indiana Republican Mike Pence is taking the anti-Obama rhetoric into high-gear. Pence is the winner of the Family Research Council’s 2010 Values Voter Summit straw poll, and is seen as a favorite of the Religious Right. By stepping down from his position as House GOP Conference Chair because he couldn’t commit to serving a full term, Pence signaled that he could potentially run for governor of Indiana or President. In an interview with US News & World Report, Pence rejects the social issues “truce”... MORE >