Republican Party

Corporate Interests Betting Big on the GOP

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

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

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

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

Religious Right Demands Inclusion in GOP Agenda

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

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

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

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

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

Religion and Politics at Beck's Nonpolitical Event

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

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

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

Glenn Beck and God are ready to rock

Right Wing Watch has been watching the recent morphing of Glenn Beck from political hatchet man into messianic religious figure. That self-transformation continued at America’s Divine Destiny, the Friday night warm-up to Beck’s Lincoln Memorial rally. The three-hour program at the Kennedy Center for the Arts combined gospel music, patriotic songs, and speeches about the need for spiritual renewal in America.

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

Compare and Contrast: Sarah Palin's Star Power

Gary Bauer marvels at Sarah Palin's star power:

Gary Bauer, chairman of American Values, thinks it is evident that Palin still has a lot of star power.

"Sarah Palin is the only figure in the Republican Party that can go into any mid-size city in America and put 10,000 people in an arena -- so she's a force to be reckoned with," he notes.

While Julie Ingersoll actually attends fundariser headlined by Palin last night in Jacksonville, Florida:

This was a fundraiser for Heroic Media, a faith-based non-profit that publicizes alternatives to abortion. Originally planned for an auditorium that holds over 2000 people, it was moved to a smaller venue (600 seats) and ticket sales remained low even after ticket prices were cut in half. There were still probably 80 empty seats, and it was clear that some number of attendees had free tickets.

LaBarbera: Mehlman Proves Gays Must Be Kept Out of GOP

Speaking of Religious Rigth activists being upset about the fact that Ken Mehlman has come out, you knew it was just a matter of time before Peter LaBarbera weighed in, which he is doing by blasting RNC Chair Michael Steele for saying he is happy for Mehlman and saying that this is proof of why gays must be kept out of the Republican Party:

Why couldn’t Mr. Steele just have kept quiet about this tragic revelation by which another sexually confused man seeks to rationalize his misbehavior (sin) by declaring homosexuality part of his inherent being? Nope, instead, like a three-year-old boy approaching a puddle, Steele just had to step in it. Pro-family writer Laurie Higgins of Illinois Family Institute observed:

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

...

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

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

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

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

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

That danger cuts both ways.

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

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

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

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

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

Reed Unveils More Speakers at Faith And Freedom Conference

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Interestingly, the email concludes with this:

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

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

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

Camenker and MassResistance Push Scott Lively For Governor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Send a clear message to the RINO establishment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

...

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

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

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

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

Rep. Bachmann Signs on to Fringe Fest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Right Wing Round-Up

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

Right Wing Round-Up

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

Cathie Adams Ousted As Head of Texas GOP

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

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

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

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

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

...

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

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

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

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

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

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

Immigration: Blaming Democrats In Order To Lure Hispanics Into the Conservative Movement

While I appreciate the risk some Religious Right leaders are taking in supporting immigration reform legislation, it would be nice if they were at least willing to admit where the problem lies:  

Southern Baptist ethicist Richard Land and other evangelicals called for Congress and President Obama to set aside partisanship and special interests to resolve the controversy and problems of illegal immigration.

The immigration crisis "is fanning the flames of hostility and animosity and distrust between various elements in our society, and it is time for our representatives in Congress and our president to put aside partisanship, to put aside narrow political interests and do what is best for the country," said Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

"This just takes national will and insistence that our representatives and our senators and our president do what is in the best interest of the nation," Land said.

Both parties have failed on the issue, said Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.

"Democrats are willing to save the auto industry, the housing market, health care and banks but somehow do not find time or the political will to save children from being separated from their parents, securing our borders and integrating 12 million into a legal status that would reconcile our communities," Rodriguez said.

It's not Democrats and the President who have consistantly killed efforts to reform our immigration laws - it's Republicans and conservative activists. 

But you do have to admire how Rodriguez, like Land, is openly admitting that his support for immigration reform is frankly part of an effort to lure Hispanics into the conservative movement:

The Republican Party "stands at the brink of repeating history by completing a wall, not between Mexico and the United States but between Hispanic Americans and the conservative movement. How ironic," he said. "The group that [President Ronald] Reagan believed would invigorate the Republican Party via its traditional values of God, family and country today potentially stands rejected by the party of Reagan. The family values party is alienating the most pro-life, pro-family constituency in America. Go figure."

Gov. Perry: Voters Need to Decide If They Worship Government or God

For years, Cathie Adams has been the President of the Texas affiliate of Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum, until she was elected Chair of the state Republican Party last year.

So I guess it should come as no surprise that Gov. Rick Perry would attend a Texas Eagle Forum event at which Don McLeroy received a "Patriot Award" for his efforts to remake the state's textbooks and curriculum ... or that Perry would use his appearance to demand to know whether voters worship government or God

Gov. Rick Perry painted the upcoming election as a religious crusade to take back the soul of the country during a Thursday night speech to the conservative Texas Eagle Forum.

While Perry has invoked God and country before, his 14-minute speech to the 500 gathered, most of them delegates to the Texas Republican state convention, was stronger and more strident than previously.

"We will raise our voices in defense of our values and in defiance of the hollow precepts and shameful self-interests that guide our opponents on the left," Perry said to the receptive audience.

He said the November election is bigger than "red states and blue states, conservatives or liberals, stimulus or budget cuts."

"We are in a struggle for the heart and soul of our nation," Perry said.

"That's the question: Who do you worship? Do you believe in the primacy of unrestrained federal government? Or do you worship the God of the universe, placing our trust in him?"

...

Featured at the event was national Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly, who said she is heartened by shifts in public attitudes. She cited the diminished influence of big media, the majority of Americans considering themselves conservatives and anti-abortion, and the overall pervasive feeling that come November, "conservatives know they can win."

The group presented its Patriot Award to State Board of Education leader Don McLeroy, who led the board for the past two years as it tackled curriculum standards for English, science and social studies.

Huckabee Joins The Fray, Saying He "Cannot" and "Will Not" Accept a Truce In the Culture Wars

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels is, predictably, getting hammered from social conservatives for his statement that the next president will have to call a "truce" in the culture war in order to focus on economic issues.

He has already been blasted by Concerned Women for America and the Family Research Council and right-wing activists continue to pile on:

Others, like Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute and an early supporter of 2008 presidential hopeful John McCain, says Daniels will have a hard time winning the GOP nomination if he demurs on pro-life issues.

“Something like this will cost him any consideration from one of the key constituencies of the Republican Party," he told LifeNews.com.

...

Kristan Hawkins, the president of Students for Life of America -- a group that has spearheaded efforts to oppose Elena Kagan and the pro-abortion health care bill -- didn't mince words either.

"When it involves life, no one can make no a truce. There is no room for gray area, no time to play dead, and no time to stick out head in the sand. When you realize that 1.3 million babies are aborted every year, Governor Mitch Daniels’ words show a level of cowardice that is not expected from a presidential hopeful," she told LifeNews.com.

Even Mike Huckabee, who has steadily been working to establish himself as the champion of the socially conservative wing of the party, is getting in on the action ... and using it to raise donations for his HuckPAC:

I received an astonishing email today from a concerned friend who has been very influential in the fight to end the scourge of abortion.

Apparently, a 2012 Republican presidential prospect in an interview with a reporter has made the suggestion that the next President should call for a “truce” on social issues like abortion and traditional marriage to focus on fiscal problems.

In other words, stop fighting to end abortion and don’t make protecting traditional marriage a priority.

Let me be clear though, the issue of life and traditional marriage are not bargaining chips nor are they political issues. They are moral issues. I didn’t get involved in politics just to lower taxes and cut spending though I believe in both and have done it as a Governor. But I want to stay true to the basic premises of our civilization.

For those of us who have labored long and hard in the fight to educate the Democrats, voters, the media and even some Republicans on the importance of strong families, traditional marriage and life to our society, this is absolutely heartbreaking. And that one of our Republican “leaders” would suggest this truce, even more so. Governor Daniels is a personal friend and a terrific Governor, and I’m very disappointed that he would think that pro-life and pro-family activists would just lie down.

Are you ready to stop fighting for traditional marriage? I cannot. I will not.

Can you let the tragedy of abortion go unchecked while we get our financial house in order? I cannot. I will not.


A strong leader doesn’t need to focus myopically on one or two issues – but a strong leader is willing to fight for and defend their principles while rising to meet new challenges and solve all of the existing systemic problems confronting us.

For me these issues are critical. Indeed they are founding principles of my personal conservatism and part of the ideological foundation of the Republican Party. If you agree, I am asking you to help me send a signal.

...

Help me raise 2,012 new donations within the next 7 days for Huck PAC. That will help me show the importance of these issues to our Party and give us the financial resources we need to support strong conservatives who are fighting for life, traditional marriage, lower taxes, lower spending, secure borders and a strong national defense.

Help me send a strong signal – life and traditional marriage are NOT bargaining chips. Make a donation today.

David Barton Should Start Taking His Own Advice

Not too long ago, I received an email from someone demanding to know why I constantly referred to David Barton of WallBuilders as a "pseudo-historian" instead of a "historian," given that he has copious original documents to back of his assertions. 

I wrote back to explain that I call Barton a "pseudo-historian" not because he gets his history factually wrong (though he does that, too) but because he uses his history selectively to present a warped and biased view designed specifically to bolster his right-wing political agenda.

Whereas historians examine past events in order to present a coherent and comprehensive explanation of those event, Barton filters history through his own narrow ideology and highlights only those things that support his overall conservative political agenda.

I actually wrote a report about this tactic several years back that examined Barton's "Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black and White" DVD, in which he recounted the Democratic Party's historical hostility to African Americans and insinuated throughout that similarly racist views are still held by the party today. Barton ran through a litany of Democratic sins - ranging from slavery to Jim Crow to segregation to the Ku Klux Klan - while praising the Republican Party as the party of abolition and civil rights ... until his history lesson suddenly ended after the Civil Rights Act of 1965.

Barton made absolutely no mention of the political transformation that overtook the country following the passage of this legislation or the rise of the Republican Party’s “Southern Strategy.” Instead, it simply concluded with Barton telling his audience that African Americans cannot be bound blindly to one party or the other, but must cast their votes based on the “standard of biblical righteousness … the principles of Christianity … and an awareness that voters will answer to God for their vote."

I also posted a video containing excerpts from the DVD to demonstrate exactly how Barton misleadingly uses this history to support the Republican Party:

So imagine my surprise when I saw this quote from Barton praising the new textbook standards in Texas (which, not insignificantly, he helped to draft):

Defenders of the new social studies standards just passed by the Texas SBOE say it will encourage students to go back to the Constitution and First Amendment to learn about religious freedom. WallBuilders founder and president David Barton was among the six advisers the Board brought in to help rewrite the standards.

"You should present history has it happened -- the good, the bad, the ugly; the right, the left, the center; the anything else that is out there," argues the Christian historian. "And I think that's the final product that we got, despite all the media clamor to the otherwise. When you just read the standards, they're extremely balanced, extremely fair, and extremely thorough."

Presenting a balanced, fair, and thorough look at history is exactly the opposite of what Barton does, which is precisely why he has recently become Glenn Beck's go-to historian.  Incidentially, Chris Rodda has a great new piece up debunking Barton's favorite shtick of pulling out a rare Bible printed in 1782 by Philadelphia printer Robert Aitken and claiming that it was printed by Congress for the use of schools.  Among all the other useful information the piece contains is evidence Barton's ties to Beck are really starting to pay off, at least in terms of book sales:

Needless to say, Beck and his audience are just eating this stuff up. Barton's appearances on Beck's show have propelled his fifteen-year-old book of historical hogwash, Original Intent, to bestseller status, reaching as high as #6 on Amazon. Right now, as I sit here writing this post, this masterpiece of historical revisionism is ludicrously, and alarmingly, holding the #1 spot in the category of "Constitutional Law."

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Republican Party Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Monday 08/22/2011, 1:38pm
WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah contends that “the homosexual agenda and the Shariah agenda” are working together to endanger the future of America. Farah claims that both the LGBT community and Muslim-Americans want to alter the institution of marriage, use hate crimes laws to silence critics, and implement Don’t Ask Don’t Tell to weaken the U.S. military. According to Farah, only right-wing activists like him are standing up to the “Muslim Mafia and the Gay Mafia,” but even many leaders of the conservative movement are selling out for “Arab cash... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 08/17/2011, 10:37am
Pamela Geller has a second column out today attacking Texas Gov. Rick Perry for his ties to the Aga Khan, the leader of the Ismaili sect of Shiite Islam, and to one of Geller’s favorite targets, Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform. Anti-Muslim activists have long viewed Norquist as one of the principal architects of Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of the conservative movement and American society at large because of his work to make the political Right more inclusive of Muslim-Americans. Geller writes today in her WorldNetDaily column that she doesn’t “want to see a... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 08/15/2011, 3:23pm
Following Michele Bachmann’s triumph in the Ames Straw Poll, she was immediately crowned the frontrunner in the Iowa Caucus. While winning the Ames Straw Poll does not guarantee a victory at the Iowa Caucus (just ask Mitt Romney), it does show the strength of a candidate’s campaign operation and popular support. But most importantly, victory at Ames does not make a candidate a mainstream political figure. As Tim Murphy writes today in Mother Jones and consistently chronicled on RWW, Bachmann throughout her entire political career has seen herself and acted as an ultraconservative... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 08/12/2011, 12:17pm
When Gov. Rick Perry took to the stage at his prayer rally last weekend, he brought with him two close friends: C.L Jackson and Alice Patterson, whom he publicly praised and thanked: Patterson, as you may recall, is deeply involved in the New Apostloic Reformation where she focuses on "racial healing" in order to get African Americans to leave the Democratic Party, which she believes is literally controlled by demonic spirits. As it turns out, not only is the Democratic Party controlled by such spirits, but the Republican Party is as well.  But whereas the Democrats are... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 08/04/2011, 4:27pm
A few weeks ago we noted that Alice Patterson has been is in charge of "Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma Church Mobilization" for Gov. Rick Perry's "The Response" prayer rally.  Patterson has dedicated her career to "racial healing" and has been working closely with David Barton to convince African Americans to support the Republican Party. In fact, Patterson wrote a whole book about it which I have just finished reading called "Bridging the Racial and Political Divide: How Godly Politics Can Transform a Nation" in which mentions how she... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 08/02/2011, 1:33pm
OnThe 700 Club with Pat Robertson today, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee said that he decided against running for president partly because the Republican base is too “unrealistic.” Robertson, who endorsed Rudy Giuliani in 2008, asked Huckabee if he passed on a second presidential campaign in order to pursue his new career as a Fox News commentator and the head of a line of conservative history videos, which he was promoting on the show. Huckabee responded, “I felt like the atmosphere right now is so toxic and part of it is that I think that many people in my party,... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Wednesday 07/20/2011, 5:30pm
Cross-Posted on the People For blog Here at People For the American Way, we’ve spent the last several weeks marveling as Texas Gov. Rick Perry plans a blockbuster Christian prayer rally in Houston, gathering around him a remarkable collection of Religious Right extremists – from a pastor who claims that the Statue of Liberty is a “demonic idol” to a self-described “apostle” who blamed last year’s mysterious bird deaths in Arkansas on the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Perry claims the event is apolitical, but it is conveniently... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 07/19/2011, 4:22pm
Bryan Fischer has been demanding a ban on the construction of mosques in the United States for a year now and argues that such a prohibition is entirely constitutional because the First Amendment does not apply to Islam. In fact, as Fischer is fond of saying, the First Amendment does not apply to any "non-Christian religions": [T]he First Amendment was written neither to guarantee freedom of religion to Muslims or Buddhists or Hindus nor to prohibit their free exercise of religion. It wasn’t written about them one way or another. It was written for one specific purpose: to... MORE >