Colin Hanna

CPAC Boycotters Kick Off Anti-Gay "Full Power Conservativism" Campaign

With CPAC beginning tomorrow with the inclusion of GOProud, a group which represents gay conservatives, the American Principles Project is launching a last-ditch effort to discredit the conference and express their outrage over the participation of a group with gay and lesbian members. Even some conservatives planning to address CPAC, such as Phyllis Schlafly of Eagle Forum, Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness, and Colin Hanna of Let Freedom Ring, signed on to a “Conservatives for Unity” letter condemning GOProud’s involvement in CPAC. The letter “was signed by about two dozen leaders,” including Ken Blackwell of the Family Research Council and Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center, who both represent groups boycotting CPAC, and “argued that there can be no common ground between gay rights conservative activists and social-issues conservatives.”

The APP, which was founded by anti-gay marriage activist Robert George, was the first to demand a boycott of the American Conservative Union’s CPAC over GOProud’s inclusion, launched a new website, GetConservative.com.

The mission of GetConservative is to create a “unified” and “full power conservativism” that would leave out groups sympathetic to LGBT rights like GOProud. Religious Right organizations like the APP have also been angered by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels’s call for a social issues “truce,” which they see as part of “an increasing trend among GOP elites to try to undermine social issues.”

For the APP, CPAC’s inclusion of GOProud was “slap in the face to social conservatives and an injury to conservatism as a whole,” and giving Daniels a speaking spot made matters even worse. According to their mission statement:

Get Conservative is an initiative of the American Principles Project (APP), an organization dedicated to upholding the fundamental principles on which this country was founded. During the 2010 election cycle, APP noticed an increasing trend among GOP elites to try to undermine social issues like traditional marriage, the right to life, and religious liberty and thereby quiet the voice (and influence) of social conservatives. In response to these efforts, the American Principles Project found itself with a new mission–to defend and promote social conservatism and be sure that it remains a vibrant part of the conservative movement.

When it became clear that the organizers of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) had joined the effort to marginalize social conservatives by allowing GOProud to be a prominent part of their 2011 event, APP led a boycott of CPAC to protest the inclusion of a group that actively opposes fundamental conservative principles (like the defense of traditional marriage). The point of the CPAC boycott was not to urge others not to attend, nor was it an effort to dictate who should be permitted to be part of the conference. The point of the boycott was to state unequivocally that for conservatism to have meaning, the fundamental principles of it (including the defense of traditional values) must be respected, and that to invite an organization that actively worked against one of those principles was a slap in the face to social conservatives and an injury to conservatism as a whole. The problem was then compounded when CPAC invited Mitch Daniels (who in 2010 famously called for a “truce” on social issues) to be the speaker at the Reagan dinner. This was an invitation that underscored the second-class status to which CPAC was assigning social issues and social conservatives.

But despite the furor that arose from the CPAC boycott, the American Principles Project remains committed to being part of a strong and vibrant conservative movement. This site challenges all conservatives to stand together and speak out in defense of social issues.

CPAC Boycotters Kick Off Anti-Gay "Full Power Conservativism" Campaign

With CPAC beginning tomorrow with the inclusion of GOProud, a group which represents gay conservatives, the American Principles Project is launching a last-ditch effort to discredit the conference and express their outrage over the participation of a group with gay and lesbian members. Even some conservatives planning to address CPAC, such as Phyllis Schlafly of Eagle Forum, Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness, and Colin Hanna of Let Freedom Ring, signed on to a “Conservatives for Unity” letter condemning GOProud’s involvement in CPAC. The letter “was signed by about two dozen leaders,” including Ken Blackwell of the Family Research Council and Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center, who both represent groups boycotting CPAC, and “argued that there can be no common ground between gay rights conservative activists and social-issues conservatives.”

The APP, which was founded by anti-gay marriage activist Robert George, was the first to demand a boycott of the American Conservative Union’s CPAC over GOProud’s inclusion, launched a new website, GetConservative.com.

The mission of GetConservative is to create a “unified” and “full power conservativism” that would leave out groups sympathetic to LGBT rights like GOProud. Religious Right organizations like the APP have also been angered by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels’s call for a social issues “truce,” which they see as part of “an increasing trend among GOP elites to try to undermine social issues.”

For the APP, CPAC’s inclusion of GOProud was “slap in the face to social conservatives and an injury to conservatism as a whole,” and giving Daniels a speaking spot made matters even worse. According to their mission statement:

Get Conservative is an initiative of the American Principles Project (APP), an organization dedicated to upholding the fundamental principles on which this country was founded. During the 2010 election cycle, APP noticed an increasing trend among GOP elites to try to undermine social issues like traditional marriage, the right to life, and religious liberty and thereby quiet the voice (and influence) of social conservatives. In response to these efforts, the American Principles Project found itself with a new mission–to defend and promote social conservatism and be sure that it remains a vibrant part of the conservative movement.

When it became clear that the organizers of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) had joined the effort to marginalize social conservatives by allowing GOProud to be a prominent part of their 2011 event, APP led a boycott of CPAC to protest the inclusion of a group that actively opposes fundamental conservative principles (like the defense of traditional marriage). The point of the CPAC boycott was not to urge others not to attend, nor was it an effort to dictate who should be permitted to be part of the conference. The point of the boycott was to state unequivocally that for conservatism to have meaning, the fundamental principles of it (including the defense of traditional values) must be respected, and that to invite an organization that actively worked against one of those principles was a slap in the face to social conservatives and an injury to conservatism as a whole. The problem was then compounded when CPAC invited Mitch Daniels (who in 2010 famously called for a “truce” on social issues) to be the speaker at the Reagan dinner. This was an invitation that underscored the second-class status to which CPAC was assigning social issues and social conservatives.

But despite the furor that arose from the CPAC boycott, the American Principles Project remains committed to being part of a strong and vibrant conservative movement. This site challenges all conservatives to stand together and speak out in defense of social issues.

Dozens of GOP Leaders Declare Solidarity With Those Who Want To See Homosexuality Outlawed

Last week when Jeremy Hooper discovered that the Family Research Council was planning to roll out a campaign fighting back against the Southern Poverty Law Center's designation of the organization as an anti-gay hate group, we noted that FRC was asking people to sign on to the campaign to "stand in solidarity with Family Research Council, American Family Association, Concerned Women of America, National Organization for Marriage, Liberty Counsel and other pro-family organizations that are working to protect and promote natural marriage and family."

By doing so, we pointed out, any one who added their name was essentially declaring that they stood shoulder-to-shoulder with groups that proclaim:

Today, FRC announced that it was running this open letter [PDF] in both Politico and The Washington Examiner and that the effort had the support of dozens of Republican members of Congress and conservative leaders:

Family Research Council (FRC) announced the placement of a full-page open letter in today's print editions of Politico and the Washington Examiner responding to the Southern Poverty Law Center's (SPLC) recent attacks on FRC and other groups.

SPLC has targeted FRC and other organizations that uphold Judeo-Christian moral views, including marriage as the union of a man and a woman. The open letter, signed by more than 150 organizational leaders, Members of Congress and other elected officials, calls for a "vigorous but responsible exercise of the First Amendment rights of free speech and religious liberty that are the birthright of all Americans."

The open letter was signed by many current and former elected and government officials including Speaker-designate John Boehner, Majority Leader-elect Eric Cantor, U.S. Reps Mike Pence (R-IN), Michele Bachmann (R-MN), John Carter (R-TX), John Fleming (R-LA,) Trent Franks (R-AZ), Louie Gohmert (R-TX,) Gregg Harper (R-MS), Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Steve King (R-IA,) Don Manzullo (R-IL), Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Joe Pitts (R-PA), Peter Roskam (R-LA), Lamar Smith (R-TX,) Steve Scalise (R-LA,) Fred Upton (R-MI), U.S. Senators Jim DeMint (R-SC), Jim Inhofe (R-OK,) David Vitter (R-LA), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Sam Brownback (Gov.-elect, Kansas), Governor Bobby Jindal, former Governor Mike Huckabee, Governor Tim Pawlenty, former Senator Rick Santorum, Edwin Meese III, former Attorney General of the United States, and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

For the record, here is the complete list of leaders who have publicly declared their solidarity with SPLC-designated anti-gay hate groups who want to see gays barred from serving in public office and homosexuality made illegal: 

Alaska Family Council Jim Minnery - President
American College of Pediatricians Tom Benton, MD - President
American Conservative Union Foundation Cleta Mitchell - Chairman
American Decency Association Bill Johnson - President
American Family Association Tim Wildmon - President
American Family Association of Pennsylvania Diane Gramley - President
American Principles Project Andresen Blom - Executive Director
American Values Gary Bauer - President
Association of Maryland Families Derek McCoy - President
Best-Selling Author and Host of Morning in America Dr. William J. Bennett
Calvary Chapel Jack Hibbs - Senior Pastor
Cardinal Newman Society Patrick Reilly - President
Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights Bill Donohue - President
CCV of Indiana PAC Joseph Sergio, Ph.D - Chairman
Center for Arizona Policy Cathi Herrod - President
Center for Law and Social Strategy Mark Spengler - Executive Director
Center for Security Policy Frank Gaffney - President and CEO
Center for Urban Renewal and Education Star Parker - President
Christian Civic League of Maine Carroll Conley - Executive Director
Christian Medical Association David Stevens - CEO
CitizenLink Tom Minnery - Senior Vice President, Public Policy
Citizens for Community Values Phil Burress - President
Citizens for Community Values of Indiana Patrick Mangan - Executive Director
CNSNews.com Chris Johnson - News Correspondant
CNSNews.com Eric Scheiner - Senior Video Producer
Coalition for Marriage and FamilyTom Shields - Chairman
Colorado Family Action Jessica Haverkate - Director
Committee for Justice Curt Levey - Executive Director
Concerned Citizens for Family Values of Connecticut Ray Kastner - President
Concerned Women For America Penny Nance - CEO
Concerned Women for American Wendy Wright - President
ConservativeHQ.com Richard Viguerie - Chairman
Coral Ridge Ministries Robert Knight - Senior Writer
Coral Ridge Ministries Hector Padron - Executive Vice President
Cornerstone Action, NH Kevin Smith - Executive Director
Cornerstone Family Council of ID Julie Lynde - Executive Director
Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D. - National Spokesman
Delaware Family Policy Council Nicole Theis - Executive Director
Design4 Marketing Communications Clint Cline - President
Eagle Forum Phyllis Schlafly - President
Ethics and Public Policy Center Rick Santorum - Senior Fellow
Faith Christian Fellowship Church The Rev Dr. R. Edgar Bonniwell - Senior Pastor
Family Action Council of Tennessee David Fowler - President
Family First (Nebraska FPC) Dave Bydalek Bydalek - Executive Director
Family Institute of Connecticut Peter Wolfgang - Executive Director
Florida Family Policy Counci lJohn Stemberger - President and General Counsel
ForAmerica David Bozell - Executive Director
Generals International Cindy Jacobs - President
Illinois Family Institute David Smith - Executive Director
Iowa Family Policy Center Chuck Hurley - President
Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality Elaine Silodor Berk - Director
Judicial Action Group Phillip Jauregui - President
Kansas Sam Brownback - Governor-elect
Kansas Family Policy Council Donna Lippoldt - Executive Director
Kingdom Warriors Ministry William Boykin - LTG(R) USArmy
Landmark Legal Foundation Mark Levin - President
Leadership Institute Morton Blackwell - President
Let Freedom Ring Colin Hanna - President
Liberty Center for Law and Policy Mandi Campbell - Legal Director
Liberty Counsel Matt Barber - Director of Cultural Affairs
Liberty Counsel Mathew Staver - Founder and Chairman
Liberty Institute Kelly Shackelford
Louisiana Bobby Jindal - Governor
Louisiana Family Forum Action Gene Mills - President
Massachusetts Family Institute Kris Mineau - President
Media Research Center Matthew Balan - news analyst
Media Research CenterL. Brent Bozell - Founder and President
Media Research Center Kyle Drennen - News Analyst
Media Research Center Matthew Hadro
Mike Huckabee - Former Governor, TV/ Radio Commentator
Minnesota Family Council David Eaton - Chairman
Minnesota Family Council John Helmberger - Chief Executive Officer
Mission America Linda Harvey - President
Missouri Family Policy Council Joe Ortwerth - Executive Director
National Organization for Marriage Brian Brown - President
National Organization for Marriage Maggie Gallagher - Chairman
National Organization for Marriage - Rhode Island Christopher Plante - Executive Director
National Review Rich Lowry - Editor
Nationally Syndicated Radio Talkshow Host Janet Parshall
Nevada Concerned Citizens Richard Ziser - Director
New Jersey Family First Len Deo - Founder & President
New Yorker's Family Research Foundation Rev. Tom Stiles
New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms Rev. Jason McGuire
North Dakota Family Alliance Tom Freier - Executive Director
Ohio Faith and Freedom Coalition Ken Blackwell - Chairman
Priests For LifeFr. Frank Pavone - National Director
Prison Fellowship and The Colson Center for Christian Worldview Chuck Colson - Founder
Public Service Research Foundation David Denholm - President
Radio America Franklin Raff - Sr. Executive Producer
Rappahannock Ventures WillIam Walton - Chairman
ReAL Action Rick Tyler - Chairman
RedState Erick-Woods Erickson - Editor
Renewing American Leadership Jim Garlow - Chairman
Republican Party of Louisiana Roger Villere, Jr. - Chairman
Restore America David Crowe - President
Retired Rensselaer Broekhuizen - Pastor
RightMarch.com William Greene - President
Shirley & Banister Public Affairs Diana Banister - Vice President
Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission Dr. Richard Land - President
State of Minnesota Tim Pawlenty - Governor
The American Spectator Alfred Regnery - Publisher
The Coalition of Conscience Michael Brown, Ph.D. - Director
The Diana Davis Spencer Foundation Abby Moffat - Vice President and COO
The Family Foundation of VirginiaVictoria Cobb - President
The Family Policy Council of WVJeremiah Dys, Esq. - President and General Counsel
The National Legal Foundation Steven Fitschen - President
THE New Voice, Inc.Herman Cain - CEO and President
The Oak InititativeRick Joyner - President
The Washington Examiner Mark Tapscott - Editorial Page Editor
TheCall Louis Engle - President
Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.C. Preston Noell III - President
Traditional Values Coalition Jody Hutchens - Regional Director
Traditional Values Coalition Andrea Lafferty - Executive Director
U.S. Congress Senator David Vitter - (R-LA)
U.S. Congress Senator Roger Wicker - (R-MS)
U.S. House of Representatives Congresswoman Michele Bachmann - (R-MN)
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker-designate John Boehner - (R-OH)
U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader-elect Eric Cantor - (R-VA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman John Fleming, M.D. - (R-LA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Trent Franks - (R-AZ)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Louie Gohmert - (R-TX)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Jeb Henserling - (R-TX)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Jim Jordan - (R-OH)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Steve King - (R-IA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Donald Manzullo - (R-IL)
U.S. House of Representative sCongressman Kevin McCarthy - (R-CA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman-elect Alan Nunnelee - (R-MS)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Mike Pence - (R-IN)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Joe Pitts - (R-PA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Peter Roskam - (R-IL)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Steve Scalise - (R-LA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Lamar Smith - (R-TX)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Fred Upton - (R-MI)
United States SenateJim DeMint - Senator
Virginia Ken Cuccinelli - Attorney General
Western Center for Journalism Floyd Brown - President
Wisconsin Family Action Julaine Appling - President
WMtek Corp. Dan Pennell - CEO
WND.com Joseph Farah - Chief Executive Officer

CPAC Emcee: Mt. Vernon Statement Is Ideal Vehicle For Merging Tea Party and Conservatives

Colin Hanna, president of Let Freedom Ring, while serving as emcee of CPAC, makes the case that the Mount Vernon Statement which was released yesterday is "the foundation of the entire [conservative] movement" and, as such, a perfect vehicle for which the Tea Party movement can unite with the established conservative movement:

Surprise! The Right Opposes Sotomayor

In a move that nobody could have ever predicted, 150+ right-wing activists have signed on to a letter to the Senate opposing the confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court:

156 conservative and constitutional cause leaders and citizens have signed a letter to members of the U.S. Senate expressing opposition to the confirmation of President Obama's nominee to be an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Sonia Sotomayor.

One of the letter's signers, Richard A. Viguerie, said, "The media and Republicans aren't defining President Obama as an extremist politically and constitutionally; therefore, it is up to us conservatives. It is also important that a message be sent that, while Republicans may not be unified in opposing Obama's dangerous and unconstitutional agenda, conservatives and other constitutionalists are united."

"President Obama has nominated a radical judicial activist who apparently feels the need to mask her outrageous statements, rulings and writings over the years with the soothing words of a constitutionalist," said Kay Daly, president of the Coalition for a Fair Judiciary. "Perhaps the Left has discovered that the American people most certainly do not want the Constitution to be radically altered on the whims of empathy. Sotomayor's extremist actions throughout the years speak far more loudly than the pretty words she spoke at her confirmation hearing. A 'no' vote for Sotomayor is a 'yes' vote for the Constitution," Daly said.

...

Among the 156 who signed the letter are: Curt Levey of the Committee for Justice and Manny Miranda of Third Branch; plus: Gary Aldrich, Bob Barr, Morton Blackwell, Brent Bozell, Floyd Brown, KellyAnne Conway, Janice Shaw Crouse, Marjorie Dannenfelser, Elaine Donnelly, Joseph Farah, Alan Gottlieb, Colin Hanna, Andrea Lafferty, Jeffrey Mazzella, Chuck Muth, Tony Perkins, Larry Pratt, William Redpath, Al Regnery, David Ridenour, Ron Robinson, Ilya Shapiro, Rev. Lou Sheldon, Matt Staver, Herb Titus and Wendy Wright.

The letter itself can be found here [PDF]:

We urge the Senate to reject Judge Sotomayor. Judge Sotomayor should remain a judge on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals where her decisions would be subject to the check of the Supreme Court.

President Obama should nominate another candidate whose views of judicial power are demonstrably consistent with Article III of the Constitution. That means the next nominee’s views of the judiciary should be demonstrably inconsistent with the President’s, whose views are not consistent with Article III, even before that nominee’s confirmation hearings.

Given that Manuel Miranda is involved and that this letter is very much in keeping with how he operates, one is inclined to assume that this is another Third Branch Conference effort, though it may not be as neither the letter nor the press release list Miranda or the Conference as organizers, as is normally the case.

Perhaps it is some joint effort among various groups, which seems likely given that Richard Viguerie, Curt Levey of the Committee for Justice, and Kay Daly of the Coalition for a Fair Judicary are all featured and listed as contacts on the press release.

Noticeably, once again nobody from the Judicial Confirmation Network has signed on to the letter, which suggests that JCN either refused to join these activists or continues to be being shunned by them (Miranda recently dismissed them as "an arm of [the] Republican leadership.")

So despite the fact that, out of every right-wing group trying to rally opposition to Sotomayor, the JCN was by far the most tenacious and high-profile, nobody in this coalition seems to view them as a legitimate force.  Instead they align themselves with the likes of Kay Daly and her phony Coalition for a Fair Judiciary, which has been utterly AWOL and did, quite literally, nothing during the entire Sotomayor nomination.

Interesting strategy.

The Right Lines Up Behind Blackwell for RNC Chair

Over the weekend, a gaggle of Right Wing powerbrokers came out in support of Ken Blackwell’s candidacy to become the next chairman of the Republican National Committee, announcing that they “intend to contact grassroots conservatives across the country and ask them to urge the three RNC members from each state and U.S. territory to vote for Ken Blackwell for RNC chairman.”  The list of those endorsing Blackwell is a veritable who’s who of the Religious Right and conservative movements, including James Dobson, Tony Perkins, Phyllis Schlafly, Tim LaHaye, Pat Toomey: 

Gary Aldrich, Chairman, CNP Action Inc.

Morton C. Blackwell, Virginia Republican National Committeeman

Robert B. Bluey, Contributing Editor, RedState

L. Brent Bozell, Founder and President, Media Research Center

Kellyanne Conway, CEO and President, the polling company, inc./WomanTrend

T. Kenneth Cribb Jr., Former Domestic Adviser to President Reagan

James C. Dobson, Ph.D., Founder and Chairman, Focus on the Family

Becky Norton Dunlop, President, Council for National Policy

Stuart W. Epperson, Chairman, Salem Communications Corp.

Steve Forbes, Chairman & CEO, Forbes Media

Dr. Ronald Godwin, Vice Chancellor, Liberty University

Rebecca Hagelin, Author and Conservative Columnist

Colin Hanna, President, Let Freedom Ring

David Keene, Chairman, American Conservative Union

Tim LaHaye, Founder and President, Tim LaHaye Ministries

Ed Meese, Past President, Council for National Policy

James C. Miller, Past President, Council for National Policy

Tony Perkins, President Family Research Council

Ken Raasch, Chairman & CEO, Creative Brands Group

Alfred S. Regnery, Publisher, The American Spectator

Phyllis Schlafly, President, Eagle Forum

Pat Toomey, President, Club for Growth

Richard Viguerie, Chairman, ConservativeHQ.com

Interestingly, one name that doesn’t appear on the list is Rod Parsley who, as we’ve noted before, has a deep and very public connection to Blackwell.  Perhaps Parsley is a little gun-shy about issuing endorsements considering that the last time he did so, it ended with his humiliating rejection.

When Did Religious Right Leaders Become Experts on Terrorism?

I seem to remember a time, not all that long ago, when any effort by Democrats or liberals to try to forge unified a approach with Republican neocons and right-wing leaders on how to deal with the issue of terrorism would have been shot down amid screams from the Right that they had no intention of working with a bunch of America-hating, terrorist-appeasing traitors. 

But times have changed and now it looks like Gary Bauer, who has recently been fancying himself something of a national security expert, has taken it upon himself to round up a bunch of other Religious Right leaders and magnanimously offer to meet with President-Elect Barack Obama so they can share their suggestions:

Gary L. Bauer, president of American Values, and 12 other conservative leaders are seeking to work with President-elect Barack Obama on a unified agenda designed to produce an enduring national consensus in support of policies designed to defeat Islamist terrorism.

In a letter sent today to President-elect Obama, the conservative leaders write: "In a heartfelt spirit of cooperation, we are eager to work with you and your administration to identify, advocate, and implement an innovative and robust agenda designed to achieve a lasting victory over the violent Islamists committed to killing Americans on a mass scale."

In addition to Mr. Bauer, signatories include: Donald E. Wildmon, Chairman, American Family Association; Chuck Donovan, Executive Vice President, Family Research Council; Paul Weyrich, Chairman, Free Congress Foundation; Jonathan Falwell, Pastor, Thomas Road Baptist Church; Janet Parshall, Nationally-Syndicated Talk Show Host; Tom Minnery, Senior Vice President of Government and Public Policy, Focus on the Family; Rod D. Martin, Chairman, TheVanguard.Org; Chris Brown, Executive Vice President, National Federation of Republican Assemblies; Bishop Harry Jackson, Chairman, High Impact Leadership Coalition; John Hagee, National Chairman, Christians United for Israel; Colin Hanna, President, Let Freedom Ring; and Phil Burress, Chairman, Citizens for Community Values Action.

The letter concludes: "It is imperative that Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, join together, first, to recognize the threat and, second, to forge a national policy embraced by a broad coalition. We stand ready to work with you to advance a policy agenda designed to challenge radical Islam wherever it jeopardizes the interests of America and her allies."

Commenting on the letter, Mr. Bauer remarked, "In the spirit of President Truman's efforts to unite the nation against Soviet communism, it is time to forge the enduring national consensus that will be needed to sustain an unshakable, long-term commitment to prevailing over Islamist terrorism. Many conservatives are eager to work with President-elect Obama in advancing the objective of defeating Islamist aggression. I hope he will embrace this effort to build a unified policy premised on the recognition of radical Islam as a distinct, immediate, and fundamental threat to our nation."

While Obama is all for working with those who disagree with him and forging consensus, I fail to see what he could possibly learn from meeting with a gaggle of socially conservative, militantly anti-Islamic right-wing leaders such as Bauer, Hagee, Falwell, Weyrich, and Wildmon other than that he should hurry up and bomb Iran.

But more importantly, just when did the Religious Right decide that they were now experts on national security and foreign policy? 

Do you suppose that President Bush would have agreed to meet with People For, Americans United, NARAL, the NAACP, the Alliance for Justice, the ACLU, and others if we'd wanted to share our views about an issue like this ... or any other issue, for that matter?  I kind of doubt it.

A Star is Born

You have to admit that it is rather amazing that an unknown, one-term governor of a sparsely populated state can not only be tapped as a major ticket vice-presidential candidate but can, in doing so, simultaneously become the new de facto leader of the conservative movement:

Gov. Sarah Palin has seemingly overnight become the leading candidate for future leader of the conservative movement in the nation - regardless of whether she and running mate Sen. John McCain capture the White House in November.

Mr. McCain and Mrs. Palin, the governor of Alaska, were invited to address this weekend's Values Voters Summit in Washington but are expected to be no-shows, leaving only Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich as two of the biggest political names scheduled to address the conclave of social conservatives.

Yet, neither the former Massachusetts governor nor the former House speaker tops the list of people conservatives are talking up as the next top leader of their movement.

Asked who that leader would be, Mr. Gingrich gave The Washington Times a two-word answer: "Sarah Palin."

Even more amazing is that Palin, with almost no discernable record of actually pushing or accomplishing anything on the Right Wing's agenda during her short time in office, has somehow managed to displace proven right-wing stalwarts like Tony Perkins and Mike Huckabee as the new leader of the movement: 

[Tony] Perkins has his admirers, but he and Mr. Romney look almost puny going up against Mrs. Palin - at least for now.

"The movement has a reasonably strong bench but no clearly identified leader coming from that bench right now," said Let Freedom Ring President Colin Hanna. "Tony Perkins is as close to being that next generation of leader as anyone."

Eagle Forum President Phyllis Schlafly, conservative cause prompter Richard Viguerie and Free Congress Foundation President Paul M. Weyrich - all considered movement founders - each gave The Times the same two-word answer to the question about the emerging leader of the right: "Sarah Palin."

"None of the above names - Romney, Gingrich, Huckabee, DeLay - will be the conservative movement's leader in the coming years," Mr. Viguerie said. "Governor Palin's VP nomination is huge. It changes conservative, Republican and American politics for the next 20 years."

Perkins and Huckabee have dedicated nearly their entire political careers to advancing the conservative agenda and yet, in the span of two weeks, have seen their rightful positions at the movement's forefront entirely usurped by someone who, just two weeks ago, nobody had ever heard of.  

The Right Weighs In On Iraq

It looks as if the Right has taken some time out of its never-ending war against gays, abortion, and the secular culture to issue a “Declaration” calling on the US to stay in Iraq and warning of “catastrophic consequences” should US forces withdraw.   

Operating under the name The Forgotten American Coalition, Gary Bauer, Don Wildmon, Pat Robertson, Paul Weyrich, John Hagee, Lou Sheldon, Tim and Beverly LaHaye, Janet Folger, Rick Scarborough, Wendy Wright, Morton Blackwell, Gary Cass, Star Parker, Mathew Staver and other have issued the following Declaration:

Texas “Patriot Pastors

Rick Scarborough, an influential Religious Right advocate whose Vision America has been trying to organize “Patriot Pastors” in Texas to mobilize their congregations at the ballot box, is now setting his sights on Missouri. In an e-mail to supporters, Scarborough writes that “God has chosen to bless and anoint our efforts” to build up “Patriot Pastors” – who were critical in the passage of an anti-gay marriage amendment last year and are poised to play a similar role in Gov. Rick Perry’s re-election campaign.

Much of what we have been able to do so quickly can be attributed to a small number of large donors who have been gracious to assist our efforts.  But what Vision America needs now more than ever, are hundreds of small, but faithful Patriot Partners, who will invest a minimum of $1 a day, to help solidify our base operations so we can function without facing the ups and downs of one time large gifts.

“During the next five months we will be focusing most of our efforts on the state of Missouri,” he writes, “where the next major battle for the soul of America is being waged” in the form of a referendum on stem-cell research, which Scarborough describes as “allowing human cloning for the first time in American history,” a characterization disputed by supporters of the bill. Writes Scarborough:

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Colin Hanna Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Wednesday 02/09/2011, 12:22pm
With CPAC beginning tomorrow with the inclusion of GOProud, a group which represents gay conservatives, the American Principles Project is launching a last-ditch effort to discredit the conference and express their outrage over the participation of a group with gay and lesbian members. Even some conservatives planning to address CPAC, such as Phyllis Schlafly of Eagle Forum, Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness, and Colin Hanna of Let Freedom Ring, signed on to a “Conservatives for Unity” letter condemning GOProud’s involvement in CPAC. The letter “was... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 02/09/2011, 12:22pm
With CPAC beginning tomorrow with the inclusion of GOProud, a group which represents gay conservatives, the American Principles Project is launching a last-ditch effort to discredit the conference and express their outrage over the participation of a group with gay and lesbian members. Even some conservatives planning to address CPAC, such as Phyllis Schlafly of Eagle Forum, Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness, and Colin Hanna of Let Freedom Ring, signed on to a “Conservatives for Unity” letter condemning GOProud’s involvement in CPAC. The letter “was... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 12/15/2010, 11:21am
Last week when Jeremy Hooper discovered that the Family Research Council was planning to roll out a campaign fighting back against the Southern Poverty Law Center's designation of the organization as an anti-gay hate group, we noted that FRC was asking people to sign on to the campaign to "stand in solidarity with Family Research Council, American Family Association, Concerned Women of America, National Organization for Marriage, Liberty Counsel and other pro-family organizations that are working to protect and promote natural marriage and family." By doing so, we pointed... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 02/18/2010, 4:25pm
Colin Hanna, president of Let Freedom Ring, while serving as emcee of CPAC, makes the case that the Mount Vernon Statement which was released yesterday is "the foundation of the entire [conservative] movement" and, as such, a perfect vehicle for which the Tea Party movement can unite with the established conservative movement: MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 07/23/2009, 10:38am
In a move that nobody could have ever predicted, 150+ right-wing activists have signed on to a letter to the Senate opposing the confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court: 156 conservative and constitutional cause leaders and citizens have signed a letter to members of the U.S. Senate expressing opposition to the confirmation of President Obama's nominee to be an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Sonia Sotomayor. One of the letter's signers, Richard A. Viguerie, said, "The media and Republicans aren't defining President Obama as an extremist politically... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 01/05/2009, 12:25pm
Over the weekend, a gaggle of Right Wing powerbrokers came out in support of Ken Blackwell’s candidacy to become the next chairman of the Republican National Committee, announcing that they “intend to contact grassroots conservatives across the country and ask them to urge the three RNC members from each state and U.S. territory to vote for Ken Blackwell for RNC chairman.”  The list of those endorsing Blackwell is a veritable who’s who of the Religious Right and conservative movements, including James Dobson, Tony Perkins, Phyllis Schlafly, Tim LaHaye,... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 12/04/2008, 2:25pm
I seem to remember a time, not all that long ago, when any effort by Democrats or liberals to try to forge unified a approach with Republican neocons and right-wing leaders on how to deal with the issue of terrorism would have been shot down amid screams from the Right that they had no intention of working with a bunch of America-hating, terrorist-appeasing traitors. But times have changed and now it looks like Gary Bauer, who has recently been fancying himself something of a national security expert, has taken it upon himself to round up a bunch of other Religious Right leaders and... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 09/12/2008, 9:26am
You have to admit that it is rather amazing that an unknown, one-term governor of a sparsely populated state can not only be tapped as a major ticket vice-presidential candidate but can, in doing so, simultaneously become the new de facto leader of the conservative movement:Gov. Sarah Palin has seemingly overnight become the leading candidate for future leader of the conservative movement in the nation - regardless of whether she and running mate Sen. John McCain capture the White House in November.Mr. McCain and Mrs. Palin, the governor of Alaska, were invited to address this weekend's... MORE >