Republican Party

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


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

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."

The Cycle Continues: Religious Right's Resurrection Begins

Whenever Republicans win elections, the media is fond of attributing the victories to the influence of "values voters" - the Religious Right activists who make up a significant portion of the party's political base.  On the flip side, whenever the GOP loses elections, we start seeing all sorts of articles about the decline in the Religious Right's influence and predictions of their forthcoming extinction.

And inevitably, those sorts of articles are followed some time later by new articles discovering that the Religious Right has not, in fact, disappeared and are extremely motivated heading into the next election. 

Articles just like this:

Angry over health care reform and the abortion fight it reinvigorated, worried about the expansion of gay rights and frustrated by President Obama's criticisms of Israel, religious conservatives are eager to play a key role in the outcome of the 2010 midterm elections.

But many are also not sold on the Republican Party, and analysts are wondering whether some of them will sit out November's elections - something religious conservatives have done in the past when neither party appealed to their interests.

"There certainly seems to be a lot of anecdotal evidence that the Christian right is more energized this year," said Tony Perkins, president of the conservative Family Research Council in Washington. "But I don't think that's necessarily a windfall for the Republicans."

Mr. Perkins said conservative Christians - as well as Orthodox Jews and abortion opponents - are unhappy with Mr. Obama and looking for change; yet sizing up candidates who can deliver is another matter.

"The Republicans could be that change," Mr. Perkins said. "But in a lot of ways, they are not there yet."


Gary L. Bauer, president of the pro-life group American Values, predicts a simmering intensity among values voters. He said "hyphenated conservatives" who accepted Mr. Obama in the last election cycle are dumbfounded by the president's hard tack left and repulsed by runaway spending.

"It's almost like we're witnessing a complete mirror image of 2008, when all the passion was among young voters, minorities and first-time voters," said Mr. Bauer. "Now that energy is with conservatives and older voters. ... There's tremendous intensity out there."

Mr. Bauer, a former presidential candidate who served in the Reagan administration, said values voters consider Mr. Obama an apologist and not a defender of the United States, and dislike "his questioning whether we're even a Judeo-Christian nation" ... "That same week he issued the order to close Guantanamo [Bay prison]. We learned then that he cared more about the rights of jihadists than he did about the rights of unborn babies," Mr. Bauer said.

Abortion is also at the forefront of concerns for the Colorado-based Focus on the Family.

Tom Minnery, senior vice president for Focus' Citizen Link, said his group hasn't endorsed candidates for the fall but plans to be involved.

"We're very, very concerned about the largest expansion in abortion since Roe v. Wade," Mr. Minnery said. "And we are going to let our members know who voted for what."

Wow.  You mean major right-wing groups like FRC, Gary Bauer, and Focus on the Family don't like President Obama or the Democrats and are dedicated to doing all they can to vote them out of office?  Who ever would have guessed that? 

But you really have to wonder about this assessment that the Religious Right is going to throw in with "outsider" candidates like Rand Paul: 

With both parties stumbling, many values voters are supporting "outsider" candidates, such as "tea party" favorite Rand Paul, who won the May 18 GOP primary in Kentucky to run for the U.S. Senate this fall.

Mr. Paul won the primary over a candidate who had been backed by the Republican Party establishment in Kentucky and Washington - and he did it with the help of outsiders such as former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and conservative religious broadcaster James Dobson.

First of all, how many Rand Paul-like candidates are there?  And secondly, Sarah Palin and James Dobson are considered "outsiders"?  Really? Dobson has been among the most influential Religious Right leaders for decades and Sarah Palin was, the last time I checked, the GOP's vice-presidential candidate in the most recent election.

Les Phillip, Like Moses, Has Been Called By God

Inspired by the earlier post about Les Phillip, who is running for Congress in Alabama, and his ad declaring that President Obama "played with terrorists" and allowed his "america-hating pastor to baptize his children," I started to watch some of the other videos Phillip has posted to his YouTube page ... including this one which comes across like something you'd see at a corporate conference, until the music fades away around the 3:30 mark as Phillip explains that he decided to run for Congress after watching President Obama's State of the Union address and seeing more than half of the audience "clapping for things that myself, my buddies, and most people in uniform were willing to die for, to prevent." 

So upset was Phillip by the spectacle that he retreated to the bathroom where he prayed to God to do something to stop America's descent into socialism, to which God responded by calling on Phillip to run for Congress ... just like Moses in front of the burning bush. 

And then out comes Mike Huckabee to declare Phillip a man who will be "one of our national leaders in the Republican party for a long time to come":

Rand Paul, The Right Wing, and the Republican Establishment

On Tuesday, Rand Paul shocked the Republican establishment by winning the GOP Senate primary in Kentucky.

On Wednesday, Paul shocked everybody by suggesting that he doesn't really like the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and thinks that the government has no business fighting discrimination in private enterprises.

Not surprisingly, Republican Senators are not particularly eager to come rushing to Paul's defense, for which they are being criticized by right-wing activists like the Family Research Council's Tom McClusky:

Where the NRSC comes back into play is in how quickly its chairman, Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), threw Rand Paul under the bus. Instead of talking to the candidate directly, or not commenting at all until he did, the Texas Senator told Politico “I don’t know what he means by that. I support non-discrimination of people, so I would need to talk to him to see what precisely his concerns were.” Translation: “I’m not a racist, but Rand Paul might be.” Not exactly strong support for a candidate you are supposed to be supporting now that he has won his primary. It is very likely the Republicans will pick up a few Senate seats this year, and even more likely two of those seats will be candidates the NRSC did not initially support, Mr. Paul and Mr. Rubio. Despite any victories the Senate Republicans might see it will definitely be time for new leadership at the NRSC prior to the 2012 elections. In that year Senate Republicans have an even larger chance of gaining the majority – but only if they play it smarter than they have been so far.

Interestingly, Paul doesn't seem to consider himself a Republican candidate so much as he does a Tea Party candidate, telling CBN's David Brody that he has no intention of blindly supporting the GOP and is instead focused on representing and unifying the Tea Party movement so that it can change the Republican Party:

Many people can be a Tea Party candidate but I think in my case it sort of fits the bill very well. I’ve never run for office, never been elected to office and I really and part of the movement in the sense that from the very beginning I went to all their meetings and many people thought that I just had the vote from the beginning. You have to earn the Tea Party vote. I interviewed with every one of the different committees in the Tea Party and they will ask you: will you be a rubber stamp for the Republican Party and that’s not a good thing because they say sometimes the Republican Party is wrong.


They do need a Tea Party platform and so I say lets coalesce it into some specific things and these are things I want to run on so when the primary is over and we run in the fall I don’t want to run away from the Tea Party I want to define what the tea party is.

If you go around Kentucky every tea party is by city and sometimes by county and sometimes counties have two of them and sometimes they’re not talking so it will be a job and I’m hoping since I’ve been all around the state and met everyone that I can be a conduit for bringing some of them together and I’ve been suggesting for weeks now lets have a Kentucky Tea Party Convention and try to join together and talk about a platform and I don’t see this as outside the Republican Party. I see this as an influence that can be influential within the Republican Party.

You know, it's hard to see why the Republican establishment should come rushing to defend Paul when Paul considers himself to be a Tea Party candidate on a mission to do away with the Republican establishment.

MassResistance Vows to Boycott 2010 Elections

Remember just a few months ago when Scott Brown was elected to the US Senate, winning the seat held by the late Ted Kennedy and everybody was talking about how it signaled the rebirth of the conservative movement, not just in Massachusetts but nationwide? Even Brian Camenker of MassResistance was giddy about it.

Well, it looks like the dream has quickly faded, as Camenker and other Massachusetts conservatives are vowing to sit out the coming election

Social conservatives – abortion foes, gay marriage opponents, transgender rights critics – may sit out the 2010 election, a Massachusetts hard-line conservative activist said Tuesday, arguing that no statewide candidates for office have championed their views.

Brian Camenker, executive director of MassResistance, which pointedly opposes gay and transgender rights, said he hopes social conservatives punish the Republican Party by staying home in November, and he singled out Republican gubernatorial nominee Charles Baker as “tone deaf” on social issues.

“He thinks he can just be Bill Weld again and that’s going to work,” said Camenker, referring to the Republican governor elected in 1990 on a platform that largely eschewed divisive social issues. “It’s not going to be as effective as it used to be. I don’t think he gets it. I don’t think he understands the passion of people on this issue.”

Social conservatives, who typically identify more closely with Republican candidates in Massachusetts, are conflicted this year, with a gubernatorial race that features three major candidates – a Democrat, a Republican and an Independent – who agree on the validity of gay marriage and the right of pregnant women to choose whether to have an abortion.

“We’re certainly going to be telling people to sit out this race,” Camenker said. “The Republican Party needs to be taught a lesson that they can’t consciously take social conservatives for granted.”

Tea Party Tries to Clean Up Its Act, Orly Tatiz Dropped From CA Event

It looks like Tea Party activists are starting to get a little more savvy about the image they portray and trying to counter the movement's growing reputation as the natural home for cranks, as Orly Taitz has been dropped from a Tax Day Tea Party in California at which several GOP candidates are scheduled to speak: 

Several California Republican political candidates, including Senate hopeful Carly Fiorina, were scheduled to share the stage this week with one of the leaders of the "birther" movement that claims President Obama was not born in this country and is thus ineligible for his elected office.

Orly Taitz, an Orange County attorney who has gone to court many times to try to disqualify Obama, was invited to speak Thursday at a Tax Day Tea Party rally in Pleasanton, Calif., that is expected to draw thousands of people. Late Tuesday, organizers said that they had rescinded Taitz's invitation after questions were raised about her presence by candidates who had been contacted by The Times.

Bridget Melson, founder and president of the Pleasanton Tea Party, said the organization had been "getting calls from candidates like crazy."

"It's not worth it," she said. "She's too controversial. This is not what the tea party is about at this point."

While spokespersons for Carly Fiorina, Chuck DeVore, and John Dennis all strongly blasted Tatiz and her Birtherism, not everyone speaking at the event shared such views: 

"I certainly don't have enough information to decide that," said Tom Del Beccaro, vice chair of the California Republican Party. "I've never seen yay or nay either way, so how could I know?"

And a consultant to San Ramon Mayor Abram Wilson, a candidate for state Assembly who is speaking Thursday, declined to say where Wilson believed Obama was born.

"Given the things going on in our state right now, the last thing I am thinking about is where Barack Obama was born," consultant Jason Roe quoted Wilson as saying.

Don't Print Up Those "Rubio 2012" Buttons Quite Yet

Ben Smith reports that Richard Land is apparently quite smitten with Marco Rubio and is tossing out his name as a possible presidential candidate in 2012: 

Marco Rubio's remarkable fundraising haul -- $3.6 million this quarter, he just announced -- is a reminder of the scale of his stardom inside the Republican Party, all of whose core constituencies seem to like the guy.

He's already hearing every day (and brushing it off) that he should run for president in 2012, and at the inevitable moment in the cycle (as in every party, every cycle) when Republicans panic about their field of nominees, he's likely to be uniquely attractive: young, conservative, Hispanic, and from a swing state besides.

The buzz for a Rubio candidacy is broad, and deep. Observers like Matt Lewis have made the case publicly, and my impression is that if a swathe of conservative leaders haven't talked up his candidacy, it's only because they haven't been asked. I was talking to the Southern Baptist Convention's Richard Land earlier this year for another story when he brought Rubio up, unasked.

"The longer nobody catches fire, the more space heir is for Marco," he said. "It wouldn’t be unheard of for a freshman Senator from Florida to be the nominee – particularly one who was Speaker of the [Florida Assembly].

"He's got more experience than Obama had," Land continued. "There are a lot of Hispanics in this country who would find someone with Marco’s ethnic background very appealing. Although I like Sarah [Palin] I think Sarah’s got a lot more impediments to a nomination than Marco Rubio does."

I was surprised to hear it from Land, a leading figure on the Christian right, with which Rubio hasn't been particularly associated. Rubio is more generally seen as the darling of the Wall Street-financed Club for Growth and of the fiscally-oriented Tea Party movement. But Land said he'd heard a great deal about Rubio from Baptist ministers in Florida, who said "he walks the walk."

If Rubio is thinking of plotting a run for the White House before he's even been elected to Congress, it might behoove him to remember that last time around, Land couldn't stop talking about how Fred Thompson was a "Southern-fried Reagan" who possessed "a tantalizing combination of charisma, conviction and electability," while gushing that to "see Fred work a crowd must be what it was like to watch Rembrandt paint.”

House Passes Health Care Reform; Religious Right Melts Down

Last night, the House of Representatives voted to pass the Senate's version of health care reform legislation, making it the latest step in what has been a long and bitter process to overhaul the nation's health care system. 

And given how vehemently opposed the Right has been to this effort, it doesn't come as much of a surprise to see that their response to this development has been nothing short of apoplectic, starting with the Susan B. Anthony List which had been planning on giving Rep. Bart Stupak its "Defender of Life" Award but has now publicly rescinded the offer

In response to Rep. Bart Stupak's announcement that he and other self-labeled "pro-life" Democrats will vote in favor of Healthcare reform legislation with the addition of an Executive Order from the White House to address concerns about abortion funding, Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund President Marjorie Dannenfelser offered the following statement:

"This Wednesday night is our third annual Campaign for Life Gala, where we were planning to honor Congressman Stupak for his efforts to keep abortion-funding out of health care reform-we will no longer be doing so. By accepting this deal from the most pro-abortion President in American history, Stupak has not only failed to stand strong for unborn children, but also for his constituents and pro-life voters across the country.

"Let me be clear: any representative, including Rep. Stupak, who votes for this healthcare bill can no longer call themselves 'pro-life.' The Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund will not endorse, or support in any capacity, any Member of Congress who votes for this bill in any future election. Now through Election Day 2010, these representatives will learn that votes have consequences. The SBA List Candidate Fund will work tirelessly to help defeat Members who support this legislation and make sure their constituents know exactly how they voted. We will actively seek out true pro-life candidates to oppose Members who vote 'yes' on this bill, whether it be in general or primary elections. For these Members, it will be a quick downhill slide to defeat in November.

That sort of over-the-top response was, frankly, the typical response from the Right, with the American Center for Law and Justice promising to file suit and everyone else vowing to vote the Democrats out of office in November:

Family Research Council:

"Passage of this partisan government takeover of health care with all of its Medicare cuts, tax increases, a continued marriage penalty, individual mandates, and abortion funding shows the extreme leftist orientation of this Congress.

"The American people, regardless of their view of its legality, should not be forced to pay for someone's abortion. Those who voted for this legislation cannot legitimately claim to be even neutral on the issue of abortion. This legislation accomplishes this abortion mandate in spades.


"The President's disregard for the unborn is no surprise. It is the betrayal from those who have fought for life within his party that is the biggest shock. Especially Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) who had fought so valiantly in this debate, but folded when it really mattered.

"FRC Action will seek to defeat many of the Members from majority pro-life districts who voted wrong today, and they will have plenty of free time to realize the grave mistake they have committed on the unborn today with their vote."

Eagle Forum:

"Any formerly pro-life Democrat who voted ‘Yes' on the Senate health care bill tonight will be forever remembered as being among the deciding votes which facilitated the largest expansion of abortion services since Roe v. Wade."

"Mr. Stupak and his Democrat followers have now clarified that you cannot be pro-life and be a Democrat. If abortion was truly their biggest issue, they wouldn't willfully align themselves with the Party of Death."

"This vote has exposed the myth of the ‘pro-life Democrat.' With this single vote, the Democratic Party has divided our nation into the Democrat Party of Death and the Republican Party of Life, and future elections will never be the same."

Americans United for Life Action:

"This deal to pass the largest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade is a tragedy for America. We believe that Mr. Stupak's choice to succumb to the intense pressure of the last week has resulted in his endorsement of a charade that does not even begin to address the anti-life provisions in this legislation. The American people do not support taxpayer funding of abortion and Speaker Pelosi and the President have undermined representative democracy by working to pass this legislation with this unprecedented contortion of the legislative process."

Operation Rescue:

"Operation Rescue supports efforts to oppose this ill-conceived abortion-funding scheme in the streets through peaceful protest, in the courts, and at the ballot box," said Newman. "We are taking notes, and will let it be known that a vote for this health care bill is a vote for abortion. It is certain that in spite of the outcome of today's political shenanigans, this is not over yet."

Christian Defense Coalition:

"We are confident this will have a powerful impact on Catholic and Evangelical voters this November.

"After the defeat of the Alamo, a powerful cry was heard across the nation which has inspired Americans for generations. That cry was, 'Remember the Alamo!'

"From the ashes of this defeat, another powerful cry will be heard. 'Remember March 21!' We believe as Americans understand what happened today they will work with unprecedented passion to ensure this bill is reversed and human rights and social justice are once again embraced in this country."

Catholic Advocate:

"Today's vote will go down in history as one of the greatest expansions of abortion since Roe v. Wade," said Catholic Advocate President Deal Hudson. "On November 2, American Catholics need to hold members of the House accountable for this betrayal."

"History has shown no executive order can trump the law of the land passed by Congress. Do the un-born have a champion in the Senate willing to fix the bill and truly stop federal funding for abortion?" asked Catholic Advocate Vice President Matt Smith. "Senator Ben Nelson and others who claim to carry the pro-life mantle now have an opportunity to return their pieces of silver from December."

Concerned Women for America:

"We are not fooled," said Concerned Women for America (CWA) CEO Penny Nance. "This is the biggest expansion of abortion funding since Roe v. Wade. And a flimsy promise of an executive order from the President may make it more comfortable for "pro-life" Democrats like Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Michigan) to vote for the bill, but in the end, such an illusory promise is not even worth the paper on which it's written. Backroom deals and compromises will not soften the blow of this attack on life and liberty as we know and enjoy it. Americans will not forget those Members of Congress who refused to listen to them. They will make their voices heard in November."

Mike Huckabee:

With this vote, Congress decided what kind of health care you have access to and how much it will cost.

They also decided not to respect us and take us for fools.

I am frustrated and I know you are as well. Ten days ago I launched a website called and asked voters to call their representatives and Senators and tell them to vote no. Over 151,000 people visited the website and spent almost 4,000 hours on making calls pleading with their leaders in Washington to vote no. This time Congress listened more to party bosses than to you.

Now there is something else you can and must do: Get personally involved to dump them. Let’s replace this Congress with Republicans that will listen to the people.

Virginia Legislature Honors Pat Robertson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

The Religious Right's Fight For The Tea Party Mantle

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Right Wing Leftovers

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

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

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

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

Ballot Proposition #4: Public Acknowledgement of God 

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

Guess what the result was?

Ballot Prop #4: Public Acknowledgement of God

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

The Unsinkable Ralph Reed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Right Wing Round-Up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Republican Party Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 05/19/2011, 10:02am
Jason Cherkis of The Huffington Posts reports that, according to tax records, David Barton considers himself an expert on Black history: David Barton, the Republican establishment’s favorite amateur historian, claims in tax records reviewed by HuffPost to be something of an expert on African-American history. In filings with the Internal Revenue Service, Barton’s nonprofit, Wallbuilder Presentations, Inc., justified its tax-exempt status by highlighting among its "accomplishments" a video project “of the moral heritage and political history of African Americans.... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 05/17/2011, 8:48am
Michele Bachmann 2012: More likely to run for president following Mike Huckabee's decision against running (CBS News, 5/16).  Constitution: High school student challenges her to a debate on the Constitution as a result of her record of making incorrect statements (Minnesota Independent, 5/13).  Herman Cain Georgia: Wins praise for speech at Georgia GOP convention (Southern Political Report, 5/16).  Florida: Tops field in Fort Lauderdale Tea Party straw poll (Sunshine State News, 5/16).  Mitch Daniels Reproductive Rights: Signs law defunding Planned Parenthood that... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 05/16/2011, 10:24am
Last year, Retired General Jerry Boykin recorded a video for Rick Joyner's Oak Initiative in which he claimed that President Obama was using healthcare reform legislation as cover to establish a private Brownshirt army loyal only to him. At the Oak Initiative Summit last month, Boykin reiterated and expanded upon that claim ... while also explaining that American Jews don't support the Republican Party because they mistakenly believe that Hitler was on the right when he was really "an extraordinarily off-the-scale leftist": We have incrementally moved towards Marxism and now I... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 05/05/2011, 9:54am
Pamela Geller’s rabid anti-Muslim activism helped her win friends in the conservative movement and the Republican Party, and she even had her own panel at CPAC earlier this year. But Geller has now been focusing her efforts on a different issue: Birtherism. Geller accused President Obama of doctoring his birth certificate and took to the Birther website WorldNetDaily to claim that Obama is ineligible to be president because his parents had a sham marriage. Virginia School of Law professor G. Edward White plainly points out that the term “natural born citizen” is “... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 04/19/2011, 8:46am
Today, People For the American Way released a new report entitled "Barton’s Bunk: Religious Right ‘Historian’ Hits the Big Time in Tea Party America" written by PFAW Senior Fellow Peter Montgomery that exposes David Barton's shoddy pseudo-history and why it matters:  Barton’s growing visibility and influence with members of Congress and other Republican Party officials is troubling for many reasons: he distorts history and the Constitution for political purposes; he encourages religious divisiveness and unequal treatment for religious minorities;... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 04/06/2011, 4:44pm
PFAW: Glenn Beck Leaves Fox to Spend More Time with his Chalkboard. Truth Wins Out: TWO Calls On The Republican Party to Denounce The American Family Association After Racist Rant By AFA Radio Host Bryan Fischer. Towleroad: Judge Vaughn Walker Says He is Gay for First Time Publicly, Says Judges Should Never Recuse Themselves Over Sexuality. Lee Fang @ Think Progress: Bristol Palin Responds: Legally Required Nonprofit Disclosure Part Of An Anti-Palin Conspiracy. Andy Birkey @ Minnesota Independent: Herman Cain slams Ellison, says he supports Sharia law. Zack Ford... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 04/04/2011, 1:58pm
Newly elected Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is set to address the Faith & Freedom Conference and Strategy Briefing in June, the hallmark event of Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition. Sen. Paul and his father, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, both appear to be testing the waters for a presidential bid. The younger Paul recently address the Iowa Republican Party’s “Night of the Rising Stars” and the Iowa Campaign for Freedom; he also told The Hill that he feels ready to run for president even though he has only held elected office since January. Paul has also helped... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 03/31/2011, 4:43pm
PFAW: Trent Franks Beyond the Pale: Representing the Extremist Wing of the Republican Party. Bruce Wilson @ Talk 2 Action: The Social Transformation Conference & the 7M Movement. Wayne Besen @ Truth Wins Out: Harvard Vows Hate Conference Speakers Will Whitewash Views. Tanya Somanader @ Think Progress: Indiana GOP Rep Says Women Will Pretend To Be Raped To Get Free Abortions. Warren Throckmorton: Bryan Fischer doubles down on Christianity as a state religion. Evan McMorris-Santoro @ TPM: GOPers Demand Sean Duffy Salary Tape Be Pulled From The Internet... MORE >