Michele Bachmann

Huntsman Signs Up For Faith and Freedom Conference

Republican presidential aspirants continue to flock to Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition. Reed today announced that former Utah governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman will speak to the group’s Conference and Strategy Briefing on June 3rd. Other GOP presidential contenders addressing the gathering include Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, and Herman Cain, along with Donald Trump, House GOP leaders John Boehner, Kevin McCarthy, and Paul Ryan, and numerous Republican congressmen.

The Faith and Freedom Coalition seems to be the restoration of Reed’s Christian Coalition, and he has focused on building a presence in key primary and general election states like Iowa, Nevada, South Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida.

Despite Reed’s duplicitous and corrupt background, Republicans persistently seek his support. The Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody today profiled the group’s plans for the 2012 election and collaborations with the Tea Party movement:

"We anticipate we're going to knock on over 2 million doors," Reed, chairman of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, told CBN News.

"We're going to register between 1 million and 2 million new voters so we're going to add 1 to 2 million new voters," he predicted. "And then we'll end up contacting somewhere between 25 and 40 million voters."



The Faith & Freedom Coalition doesn't just focus on social issues. Leaders know that fiscal concerns are huge and will be a major priority but they don't plant to co-opt the Tea Party movement.

"We're saying to them you need to continue to be who you are as Tea Party leaders," conservative strategist Gary Marx told CBN News. "At the same time, there are areas where we can work together and be allied -- like the example of cutting abortion funding for groups like Planned Parenthood," he said.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Everything you ever wanted to know about Herman Cain.
  • FRC's "Watchmen on the Wall" group for pastors is holding a conference later this month featuring Michele Bachmann and Jim DeMint.
  • Gary Bauer says the fact that President Obama would take money from gay donors just "show[s] how vulnerable he is."
  • Honestly, how long before the ACLJ files a suit on behalf of this guy alleging he was discriminated against because of his faith?
  • Finally, the latest prayer update from the Family Research Council: "Please pray that DADT will be restored, and that until then, measures will be put in place to protect the religious conscience and physical safety of our men and women in uniform."

Ohio State Rep Wants To Ban Abortion Because China Has Too Many Smart Kids

During a rally in Columbus for Janet Porter’s Heartbeat Bill, which would criminalize abortion in the vast majority of cases, Ohio Republican State Representative Jarrod Martin came up with an economic rationale to pass the legislation: to help the U.S. compete with China.

Martin argued that since there are far more Chinese students taking AP classes than American students, the U.S. needs to ban abortion so women will have more children in order to rival China’s academic dominance.

Martin: When you look at China and you look at their population, the population growth that China has and other Third World countries have compared to the population growth of the United States; China right now how more children in AP and gifted classes than the United States has in school. Think about that, they have more children in their gifted classes than we have in our entire school system. And we are killing thousands and tens of thousands of babies every year. How do we compete? We have to think about our future. That’s a little bit of economics behind this bill.

Martin was introduced by Porter, a radical dominionist and conspiracy theorist who had fetuses testify for the legislation. The Heartbeat bill, which is backed by leading Republicans like Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann, passed out of committee but has not yet been scheduled for a vote by the full Ohio State House.

Historians Agree: David Barton Is No Historian

David Barton has been in the spotlight lately.  In recent weeks, he was featured in a New York Times profile, interviewed on "The Daily Show," and was even the focus on a long report we released chronicling his career of peddling right-wing pseudohistory for political gain.

The upside of Barton's recent high profile is that bona fide historians who, unlike Barton, actually have training and credentials, are starting to stand up to Barton's flagrant and intentional misuse of history.

For instance, yesterday Paul Harvey, a Professor of History at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, wrote a piece for Religion Dispatches explaining that Barton is not in any sense a historian, but rather a propaganda artist who seeks to create the impression that there is some sort of "debate" over the issue of America's identity as a Christian nation that he can use to promote his right-wing political agenda:

Barton’s intent is not to produce “scholarship,” but to influence public policy. He simply is playing a different game than worrying about scholarly credibility, his protestations to the contrary notwithstanding. His game is to inundate public policy makers (including local and state education boards as well as Congress) with ideas packaged as products that will move policy.

Historical scholarship moves slowly and carefully, usually shunning the public arena; Barton’s proof-texting, by contrast, supplies ready-made (if sometimes made-up) quotations ready for use in the latest public policy debate, whether they involve school prayer, abortion, the wonders of supply-side economics, the Defense of Marriage Act, or the capital gains tax. ...

In short, perhaps the best way to understand Barton is as a historical product of Christian providentialist thinking, one with significant historical roots and usually with a publicly convincing spokesman. He is the latest in a long line of ideologically persuasive spokesmen for preserving American’s Protestant character ... The Christian Nation “debate” is not really an intellectual contest between legitimate contending viewpoints. Instead, it is a manufactured “controversy” akin to the global warming “debate.” On the one side are purveyors of a rich and complex view of the past, including most historians who have written and debated fiercely about the founding era. On the “other side” is a group of ideological entrepreneurs who have created an alternate intellectual universe based on a historical fundamentalism. In their drive to create a usable past, they show little respect for the past as a foreign country.

That point was echoed by Randall Stephens, an Associate Professor of History at Eastern Nazarene College, who has no time for Barton's "kindergarten" understanding of history or his "hyper-politicized work":

Barton does not recognized the idea that the past is like a foreign country. Instead Barton tends to flatten out time and space and make it almost seem as if the Founders are our contemporaries, motivated by the same concerns that motivate us now. Yet people in the past--whether we're talking about leaders of Bronze Age tribes or bewigged 18th century nabobs who tinkered on their mansions, read Montaigne in their spare time, or enjoyed arm-chair speculation about nature and providence--are not the same as us. This seems like a kindergarten point, but it's apparently lost on David Barton.

...

Nearly any trained historian worth his or her salt who takes a close look at Barton and his hyper-politicized work will see glaring gaps in what he writes and talks about. He dresses his founders in 21st-century garb. He's not interested in knowing much about the history of colonial America or the US in the early republic. Why? Because he's using history to craft a very specific, anti-statist, Christian nationalist, evangelical-victimization argument in the present. (Remember the many unconfirmed quotations Barton used in the 1990s? He did so because, first and foremost, he was trying to make a political point.)

In history circles this is what we call "bad history."

Finally, John Fea, author of "Was America Founded As a Christian Nation?: A Historical Introduction," and Associate Professor of American History at Messiah College, has been writing an ongoing series debunking Barton's appearance on "The Daily Show," along with a piece warning Christians not to fall for his propaganda:

Wallbuilders is a political organization that selectively uses history to promote a religious and ideological agenda. Barton believes that America's last, best hope is a return to its so-called Christian roots. In his most famous book, Original Intent, Barton argues that the removal of Christianity from the public square has resulted in a rise in birth rates for unwed girls, a spike in violent crime, more sexually transmitted diseases, lower SAT scores, and an increase in single parent households. And he has convinced thousands and thousands of Christians that he is right.

Barton claims to be a historian. He is not. He has just enough historical knowledge, and just enough charisma, to be very dangerous. During his appearance on The Daily Show, Barton impressed the faithful with his grasp of American history and his belief that Christians are being subtly persecuted in this country. But if you watch the show carefully, you will notice that Barton is a master at dodging controversial questions. He refuses to admit that sometimes history does not conform to our present-day political agendas.

...

Here is the bottom line: Christians should think twice before they rely on David Barton for their understanding of the American founding. Let's not confuse history with propaganda.

As Fea says, "the more popular Barton becomes, the more his views will be debunked by what I am imagining will be an ever-growing chorus of critics" ... but that task sure would be made easier if  Republican leaders like Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, and Mike Huckabee would stop actively embracing and promoting Barton's pseudohistorical propaganda.

Right Wing Round-Up

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 5/10/11

Michele Bachmann

Background: NPR looks into her transition from Jimmy Carter volunteer to right-wing culture warrior (NPR, 5/9).

GOP: Breaks with Speaker John Boehner over debt ceiling (The Hill, 5/9).

Herman Cain

Nevada: Addresses conservative group in the early caucus state (Las Vegas Sun, 5/9).

Debate: Claims his candidacy gained momentum, new supporters after Fox News debate (CBS News, 5/6).

Mitch Daniels

Religious Right: Decision to defund Planned Parenthood will bolster social conservative credentials despite 'truce' talk (TPM, 5/9).

2012: Report claims that Daniels' wife is final hold-out to presidential bid (HuffPo, 5/9).

Newt Gingrich

2012: Expects to make official announcement tomorrow in Atlanta (WaPo, 5/9).

Campaign: Built vast network of political organizations to promote his clout, image (WSJ, 5/9).

Family: Wife Callista to play a pivotal role in campaign (NYT, 5/9).

Mike Huckabee

Background: NPR explores his roots as a pastor and church leader (NPR, 5/8).

Media: Fox News wants answer from Huckabee about 2012 plans (MoJo, 5/5).

Jon Huntsman

Campaign: Launches leadership PAC during swing through South Carolina and New Hampshire (Fox News, 5/9).

Religion: Concerns that Huntsman is distancing himself from his Mormon faith (Salt Lake Tribune, 5/9).

Experience: Defends serving as ambassador to China in Obama administration (Business Week, 5/8).

Sarah Palin

Poll: Most popular among low-income Republicans (CBS News, 5/9).

GOP: Neoconservative Republicans increasingly abandon Palin (TNR, 5/6).

Tim Pawlenty

Environment: Abandons past support for cap and trade policy (Christian Science Monitor, 5/9). 

Foreign Policy: Knocks Obama's handling of Libya crisis (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 5/7). 

Government: Backs aspects of Paul Ryan's plan to privatize Medicare (Politico, 5/6). 

Mitt Romney

Religious Right: Plans to address Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Conference (CNN, 5/9).

South Carolina: Campaign wary that South Carolina primary victory is out of reach (Politico, 5/8). 

Rick Santorum

South Carolina: After winning state convention straw poll, looks to gain support from state's Religious Right, business communities (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 5/8). 

Foreign Policy: Says Obama "doesn't understand what it takes to defend America" (Fox News, 5/5).

Donald Trump

Media: Ratings for reality TV show falling rapidly (Hollywood Reporter, 5/9).

Race: Says he can't be racist because he picked a Black contestant as winner of The Apprentice (Think Progress, 5/9).

Fact Checking Barton Part I: Texas Textbooks

With no academic credentials as a historian, David Barton toldThe Daily Show host Jon Stewart that his involvement in editing textbooks around the country was proof that he is a respected and esteemed historian. However, his work with textbooks if anything reveals his blatant partisanship and pseudo-scholarship.

As Mariah Blake writes in The Washington Monthly, Barton’s Christian nation mythology was indeed just one aspect of his role shaping the Texas textbooks as a consultant for the Texas School Board. Barton wanted to give a positive spin to Joseph McCarthy’s anti-communist politics and “purge the standards of key figures of the civil rights era, such as César Chávez and Thurgood Marshall.” As Blake writes, Barton tried to diminish the work of civil rights leaders like Martin Luther Ling Jr. by arguing “that they shouldn’t be given credit for advancing the rights of minorities. As Barton put it, ‘Only majorities can expand political rights in America’s constitutional society.’ Ergo, any rights people of color have were handed to them by whites—in his view, mostly white Republican men.”

Barton, who was once vice-chair of the Texas GOP and a paid surrogate of the Republican National Committee, tirelessly works to convince black audiences that they should vote for Republicans and oppose the Democratic Party because the GOP is responsible for black civil rights.

But Barton’s claims that he writes about more than just America as a “Christian nation” shouldn’t distract from the reason Texas School Board members invited Barton to edit their textbooks in the first place. In fact, then-Texas School Board member Cynthia Dunbar admitted that it was the board’s goal to promote religion through the state’s textbooks to counteract “a Biblically illiterate society,” and another ex-member Don McLeroy said that it was his job at the School Board to fight “secular humanists” because “we are a Christian nation founded on Christian principles” and “the way I evaluate history textbooks is first I see how they cover Christianity and Israel.”

Barton also told Jon Stewart that he was used to help write textbooks in other states, namely California. However, this is quite an exaggeration. Rob Boston writes that while Barton was invited by a conservative to advise California in its development of textbooks, his proposals went nowhere:

In 1998, a conservative member of the California Academic Standards Commission appointed Barton to an advisory position, asking the Texan to critique proposed social studies/history standards. From that perch, Barton attacked the portion of the standards that discussed the development of religious freedom, trying to remove every reference to separation of church and state.

He almost pulled it off. Commission members, unfamiliar with Barton’s agenda, seemed open to adopting his suggestions. They changed course only after intervention by Americans United’s Sacramento Chapter, AU’s national office and others.

Chris Rodda of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation notes that this isn’t the only time Barton embellished his work with other states, as he also worked with Michele Bachmann when she was a Minnesota state legislator to ensure that schools display the Declaration of Independence.

Such a record of exaggeration demonstrates why real historians, including Christian historians, who have followed David Barton have repeatedly criticized and dismissed his faulty “scholarship.”

Bachmann: Ask God To Assemble and Anoint My Campaign

As Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann prepares to launch her bid for the presidency, she is asking for God to make her campaign staff picks. While speaking to Dan Cella of Financial Issues Stewardship Ministries, who claims to have “developed and uses a Biblically-Responsible system of managing and picking stocks with great success,” Bachmann called upon listeners to pray that God will give her and her husband “a special anointing on how to put our team together” for the campaign and that “He would bring those people to us.”

Cella: So, when are you going to announce?

Bachmann: Well I’ve let people know that in June I will be making that decision and quite literally I am asking your listeners now to please pray for me and my husband and my team. We’re in the process of planning an office decision; we’re putting our team together. Ask that the Lord will give us a special anointing on how to put our team together, who those team people will be, that He would bring those people to us. Because it won’t be easy, it will be a very, very difficult fight. But if this is something that the Lord has called us to, He will make a way where there is no way, and so we’re asking for that prayer.

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 4/26/11

Michele Bachmann

Media: Included in the Time 100 (Star Tribune, 4/21).

2012: Claims she will reach a decision on presidential bid by June (LA Times, 4/20). 

Haley Barbour

2012: Decides against running for president (Politico, 4/25). 

Newt Gingrich

Energy: Received $300,000 from ethanol lobbying group (Des Moines Register, 4/25).

Immigration: Balances outreach to Hispanic voters with GOP's increasing nativism (Politico, 4/22). 

Mike Huckabee

South Carolina: Leads other candidates among South Carolina Republicans in new poll (The Ticket, 4/25).

Media: War of words with Glenn Beck escalates (HuffPo, 4/22). 

2012: Former campaign manager predicts he will run (The Daily Beast, 4/21). 

Jon Huntsman

Foreign Affairs: Wins praise from Chinese leaders as he leaves post as Ambassador (Salt Lake Tribune, 4/21). 

Campaign: Hires prominent GOP pollster (Fox News, 4/20). 

Roy Moore

Iowa: Completes 27-stop tour in Iowa, focusing on religious voters (Iowa Republican, 4/22). 

Religious Right: Addresses militantly anti-gay Cornerstone World Outreach church (Sioux City Journal, 4/22) 

Sarah Palin

Alaska: 61% of home state voters view her unfavorably (Anchorage Daily News, 4/25). 

Family: Estranged ex-future-son-in-law Levi Johnston to write tell-all on Palin family (LA Times, 4/25). 

Religious Right: Set to speak alongside dominionist ex-General William Boykin (HuffPo, 4/25).

Iowa: Campaign in Iowa a one-man operation (WSJ, 4/22). 

Tim Pawlenty

Polls: Fails to increase support among GOP primary voters in polls (Minnesota Public Radio, 4/25). 

Environment: Former adviser and polar explorer disappointed with Pawlenty's move towards climate change denial (Mother Jones, 4/21). 

Mitt Romney

Budget: Wrongly claims that Obama is managing a "peacetime" budget in op-ed (Washington Monthly, 4/25).

Fundraising: Escalates fundraising to build campaign war chest (AP, 4/25). 

Rick Santorum

Equality: Doubles down on opposition to civil rights for gays and lesbians (Crooks and Liars, 4/25). 

Health care: Regrets voting for Medicare prescription drug benefit plan (HuffPo, 4/24). 

Iowa: Hires state campaign manager and field director before embarking on tour (Politico, 4/21). 

Donald Trump

Birther: Claims President Obama's birth certificate is either "missing" or "does not exist" (Daily Caller, 4/25). 

Voting: Has spotty voting record during primary elections (NY1, 4/23).

Iowa GOP Tries To Impeach State Supreme Court Over Marriage Equality

After the Religious Right’s successful campaign, with massive funding from Newt Gingrich, to remove three state Supreme Court justices in the 2010 elections who backed marriage equality, now the Iowa GOP is pushing for the impeachment of the remaining justices. Bob Vander Plaats, the anti-gay activist who led the drive to remove the Justices and heads The Family Leader, has previously called for the resignation of the entire Supreme Court and advocated for their removal over the marriage equality ruling in Varnum v. Brien. He is also building ties with likely presidential candidates as Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul and Herman Cain have either addressed or plan to speak during The Family Leader’s “presidential lecture series.”

Despite the heightened activism of the state’s social conservatives, Lynda Waddington of the Iowa Independent reports that the impeachment resolution faces an uphill battle:

Iowa House Republicans drew an immediate negative reaction late Thursday when they filed four articles of impeachment, one for each remaining member of the Iowa Supreme Court that participated in an April 2009 decision that struck down a legislative ban on same-sex marriage as a violation of the state’s equal protection clause.

The four House resolutions target Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady (HR 48) and Justices Brent Appel (HR 47), Daryl Hecht (HR 49) and David Wiggins (HR 50) for “malfeasance in office” specifically for their ruling in the Varnum v. Brien case, saying that each justice “exercis[ed] functions properly belonging to the legislative and executive departments.” …

The articles of impeachment drafted and filed by the five legislators were also immediately attacked by Justice Not Politics, a nonpartisan group that formed in advance of the 2010 retention election in hopes of bolstering support for the three justices on the November ballot and to stress the non-political nature of the Iowa Judicial Branch.



Opposition to retention was led by Bob Vander Plaats, who formed Iowa for Freedom following an unsuccessful GOP gubernatorial primary bid. The ouster movement was well financed by out-of-state anti-gay interest groups. Currently, Vander Plaats is employed as head of The Family Leader organization, which has traveled the state in hopes of “building on the momentum” of the November ousters.

The three ousted justices were replaced by Gov. Terry Branstad in February, following a winnowing of candidates by the State Judicial Nominating Commission.

Although Republicans hold a majority in the Iowa House, it remains doubtful that the articles of impeachment will live beyond their referral to the Judiciary Committee.

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 4/19/11

Michele Bachmann

Book: Considering a proposal to write her memoirs (AP, 4/18).

South Carolina: Rally in South Carolina a bust (CBS News, 4/18). 

Birther: Continues to float birther conspiracy on Fox News (The Atlantic, 4/18). 

Budget: Falsely claims that the top 1% pay 40% of taxes (PolitiFact, 4/13). 

Haley Barbour

South Carolina: Wins Charleston County GOP straw poll (The State Column, 4/18). 

New Hampshire: Takes two-day swing in New Hampshire (Boston Globe, 4/15). 

Mike Huckabee

South Carolina: Meets with supporters from the 2008 campaign (RCP, 4/18). 

Iowa: Volunteers from 2008 bid work to build new campaign (The Ticket, 4/15). 

Jon Huntsman

South Carolina: Organizes campaign in the Palmetto State (CNN, 4/18).

Obama: Conservative website features laudatory letters from Huntsman to Obama (Daily Caller, 4/15).

Roy Moore

2012: Forms presidential exploratory committee (AP, 4/18). 

Religious Right: Travels around Iowa with staffer from the far-right The Family Leader (Des Moines Register, 4/18). 

Sarah Palin

PAC: Launches new website for leadership pac (The Caucus, 4/18). 

Tea Party: Addresses small rally for Koch front group in Wisconsin (TPM, 4/16). 

Ron Paul

South Carolina: Tops the field in the Lexington County straw poll (CNN, 4/16). 

2012: Opens fundraising account for potential presidential bid (Politico, 4/14). 

Tim Pawlenty

Tea Party: Keynotes tea party rally in Boston, slams health care reform (Boston Globe, 4/16). 

Budget: Criticizes compromise budget deal (The Fix, 4/13). 

Mitt Romney

Florida: Leads in early poll of Sunshine State Republicans (Taunton Daily Gazette, 4/17). 

Fundraising: Benefits from network of state leadership PACs (Boston Globe, 4/15). 

Donald Trump

GOP: Presidential campaign gains increasing interest among Republican activists (AP, 4/19). 

Tea Party: Addresses Tea Party rally with Florida Congressman Allen West (The State Column, 4/17). 

Poll: Leads other likely candidates in poll of Republicans nationwide (WSJ, 4/15). 

Rick Santorum

Campaign: Rejects pro-union line of Langston Hughes he used as a campaign motto (The Guardian, 4/18). 

Equality: Supports reinstating Don't Ask Don't Tell policy (Think Progress, 4/18). 

Religious Right: Plans to join The Family Leader's Iowa presidential lecture tour (RWW, 4/18).

New Hampshire: Plays in mini golf tournament in Granite State tour (Foster's Daily Democrat, 4/17).

Santorum To Join The Family Leader In Iowa

Bob Vander Plaats’s The Family Leader just announced that Rick Santorum will join them for two events in early May. The Family Leader is an obsessive, militantly anti-gay organization that wants to remove the entire Iowa Supreme Court for ruling in favor of marriage equality. Already, likely presidential candidates Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty and Ron Paul have joined Vander Plaats for his religious right group’s Presidential Lecture Series, and Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain plan to address the group this summer:

The goal of the Presidential Lecture Series is to provide an educational platform whereby Iowans can learn about the pro-family vision of national leaders.

Come and hear the pro-family lecture of former Senator Rick Santorum on Monday, May 2, 2011.

University of Iowa Iowa Memorial Union - Ballroom 125 N. Madison St., Iowa City, IA 52242 9:00 AM

Pella Christian High School, 300 Eagle Lane, Pella, IA 50219 Vermeer Auditorium 12:30 PM

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann Dordt College, 498 4th Ave. NE, Sioux Center, IA 51250 Campus Center 4:30 PM

Come hear the following leaders on these upcoming dates:
June 6 - Herman Cain
July 11 - Speaker Newt Gingrich
August - TBA
September - TBA
October - TBA

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Rick Santorum has won the all-important Pacific Homeschool Super Conference straw poll.
  • On a related note, if all the other possible GOP candidates would drop out, Sarah Palin would be in the lead.
  • Rep. Michele Bachmann blasts judges: "They are not put there to make the decisions." Really?
  • It is pathetically obvious that Donald Trump as literally zero understanding of the social conservatives or what they want.
  • Finally, it looks like Sally Kern's anti-Sharia legislation is dead.

Only "The Supernatural Hand Of God" Can Save America

Apparently, April 6 was Virginia Call to Prayer Day ... but we totally missed it.

But fortunately the Virginia Christian Alliance put together a three minute video featuring various members of Congress promoting the event and posted it on YouTube, allowing us to post this edited version here:

You can watch the original here, featuring Michele Bachmann, Randy Forbes, Mike Pence, Trent Franks and many others:

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 4/12/11

Michele Bachmann

Iowa: Slams marriage equality in speech to The Family Leader (Politico, 4/11).

Religious Right: Wins straw poll at Liberty University's The Awakening 2011 (Freedom Federation, 4/11). 

Budget: Refuses to endorse budget compromise (NPR, 4/11). 

Haley Barbour

Background: Experience as a lobbyist may make problems for campaign (AP, 4/12).

New Hampshire: Traveling to Republican events in New Hampshire this week (Boston Globe, 4/11).

Herman Cain

South Carolina: Talks about the "ultimate destruction of the IRS" at Furman University (CSBT, 4/9). 

Background: Discusses the role faith plays in his presidential ambitions (Christian Post, 4/8). 

Newt Gingrich

Georgia: Slated to address Georgia GOP convention (The State Column, 4/11).

Religious Right: Speaks to conservative leaders at Liberty University (Lynchburg News & Advance, 4/8). 

Minnesota: To deliver keynote address to anti-gay Minnesota group along with Bachmann (RWW, 4/11). 

Mike Huckabee

Reproductive Rights: Endorses Janet Porter's "Hearbeat Bill" (RWW, 4/11). 

Religious Right: Faces increasing scrutiny over ties to pseudo-historian David Barton (RWW, 4/7).

Jon Huntsman

Utah: Receives support of just fourteen percent of Republicans in home state of Utah (AP, 4/10). 

South Carolina: Selected to deliver commencement address to University of South Carolina (The Hill, 4/8). 

Sarah Palin

Birther: Lauds Donald Trump's "investigation" of Obama's birth certificate (Mediaite, 4/9). 

Poll: Popularity continues to plunge, even among Republicans (WaPo, 4/8). 

Tim Pawlenty

Campaign: Picks former head of the Republican Governors Association as campaign manager (Star Tribune, 4/11). 

Iowa: Campaign aide arrested for breaking into home while drunk (Des Moines Register, 4/8). 

Mitt Romney

Health Care: Marks fifth anniversary of Massachusetts health care reform law (RCP, 4/12). 

2012: Makes video announcement of exploratory committee (LA Times, 4/11). 

Rick Santorum

New Hampshire: Commits to June 7 presidential debate in New Hampshire (The Hill, 4/11). 

South Carolina: Wins straw poll in GOP-heavy Greenville County (Greenville Online, 4/10). 

Health Care: Says health care reform makes one "less than what God created you to be" (RWW, 4/8). 

Donald Trump

Religious Right: Speaks about faith to David Brody of CBN News (CBN News, 4/11). 

Media: Lashes out at Vanity Fair and the New York Times (Vanity Fair, 4/11).

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Rep. Michele Bachmann won the straw poll at this weekend's Awakening 2011.
  • On a related note, Mitt Romney has officially launched an exploratory committee.
  • CBN's David Brody is actually dedicating an entire episode of his half-hour TV program to Donald Trump's presidential campaign.
  • Did you know that Trump is a lunatic?
  • Finally, I am really getting the feeling that GOProud will not be back at CPAC next year.

Bachmann And Gingrich Will Address Anti-Gay Organization That’s "Proud To Be A Hate Group"

Likely presidential candidates Michele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich are slated to address the Minnesota Family Council’s annual “Reconnecting Faith, Family and Freedom” fundraiser. Andy Birkey of the Minnesota Independent reports that the event will “be held May 17 at the Minneapolis Hilton. Tickets are $100.” In the invitation, Gingrich lauds the MFC for “vigorously defending our God-given freedom in our communities, schools, at the Capitol and the ballot box” and asks people to “join me and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann in rediscovering God and the vital role of faith and family in our American freedoms.”

The MFC is the state’s leading Religious Right group and has increasingly become one of the most strident opponents of anti-bullying bills. Tom Prichard, the MFC’s president, maintained that LGBT youth commit suicide because they live an “unhealthy lifestyle” and that anti-bullying programs are ways to have children “indoctrinated in homosexuality.” Prichard also criticized Gay Straight Alliances, saying “it’s sad and harmful for kids to celebrate homosexuality when in fact it’s not a healthy lifestyle;” he went on to claim that Matthew Shepard’s murder wasn’t a hate crime and that his “death served an important ideological purpose for homosexual activists.”

The MFC’s Barb Anderson told anti-gay activist Peter LaBarbera that “the greatest threat to our freedom and to the health and well-being of our children is from this radical homosexual agenda which is just so pervasive” and that she considers it “a badge of honor to be called a hate group.” Anderson also blamed supporters of gay rights for school bullying, saying that they “are the ones that are contributing to an atmosphere that can even increase bullying as more kids get into this kind of a lifestyle” and that “homosexual behavior is one of the most hazardous behaviors that kids could get into and start practicing.”

Anderson also warned of “targeted” students and that “pro-gay training[s]” are coming “like a tsunami.” In January, the organization hosted a legislative summit with pseudo-historian David Barton featuring courses on “Bullying bills: The homosexual agenda in your child’s public school.”

GOP Congressmen Line-Up To Attend Ralph Reed's Conference

Leading Republicans have signed up to address the conference led by disgraced Religious Right activist Ralph Reed this summer in Washington. Following commitments by potential presidential candidates Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), numerous Republican congressmen are now confirmed to speak to Reed’s 2011 Conference and Strategy Briefing.

Reed, who also plans to speak alongside presidential candidate Herman Cain and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) in Florida next week, has just announced a new list of speakers: Rep. Allen West (R-FL); Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO); Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX); Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL); Rep. Tom Price (R-GA); Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX); Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA); Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA), and Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC).

The freshmen Congressmen slated to speak are strongly tied to the Religious Right: West’s anti-gay and anti-Muslim rhetoric has made him a darling of leaders like Pat Robertson; Hartzler has consistently fought against gay rights in both Congress and Missouri, and even wrote a book about tips for Religious Right activists running for office; Webster is a Christian Reconstructionist and close to David Barton and Phyllis Schlafly, and Mulvaney was a legislative leader of the far-right Palmetto Family Council.

Right Wing Round-Up

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 4/5/11

Michele Bachmann

Iowa: Hires Mike Huckabee’s former state director for campaign (MN Public Radio, 4/4).

Religious Right: Slated to speak at Family Leader events (Des Moines Register, 4/4).

Fundraising: Tops Mitt Romney in fundraising (Time, 4/1).

Obama: Says President Obama is deliberately damaging the economy (RWW, 3/31).

Haley Barbour

2012: Wife concerned about presidential race, says bid “horrifies” her (Reuters, 4/2).

Mississippi: Economic conservatives criticize Barbour’s record as governor (Politico, 4/2).

Poll: Trails Huckabee in poll of home state’s Republican voters (Mississippi Press, 3/31).

Herman Cain

Obama: Says President Obama is “not the president of black people” (Daily Caller, 4/4).

Birther: Joins Donald Trump in questioning President Obama’s birth certificate (Politico, 4/1).

Newt Gingrich

Iowa: Defends financial assistance to Religious Right group in Iowa judicial election (Think Progress, 4/4). 

Obama: Likens Obama's fundraising goal to extortion (CNN, 4/4). 

Religious Right: Poised to kickoff right-wing Awakening conference at Liberty University (RWW, 3/28). 

Rudy Giuliani

2012: Frames himself as an electable Republican candidate (GOP12, 4/4).

Foreign Affairs: Criticizes President Obama’s handling of Libyan crisis (Ozarks Unbound, 4/4).

Mike Huckabee

Campaign: Advisers want Huckabee's 2012 campaign to be less family-run (US News & World Report, 4/4). 

South Carolina: Wins straw poll in heavily GOP county in upstate South Carolina (UPI, 4/3). 

Background: Public records as governor destroyed (Mother Jones, 4/1). 

Sarah Palin

Media: Slated to appear in E! True Hollywood story biopic (Mediaite, 4/4).

New Hampshire: Former GOP Senator from New Hampshire slams Palin as overly ambitious, polarizing (Boston Globe, 4/4). 

Rand Paul

Religious Right: Scheduled to address Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition (RWW, 4/4).

Iowa: Speaks to Iowa GOP’s “Night of the Rising Stars” (Iowa Independent, 4/4).

Tim Pawlenty

Obama: Launches new cinematic video to respond to Obama's reelection announcement (HuffPo, 4/4). 

Background: Left Minnesota with a massive budget deficit (LA Times, 4/2). 

Mitt Romney

Foreign Affairs: Claims his experience in business will help him in foreign policy (RCP, 4/5).

New Hampshire: Set to address Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity forum in New Hampshire (CNN, 4/4). 

Campaign: Runs subdued campaign in order to reintroduce himself to voters (NYT, 4/2).

Rick Santorum

South Carolina: Accepts invitation to appear in South Carolina debate for presidential candidates (CBS News, 4/1).

Religious Right: Blames legal abortion for Social Security problems (RWW, 3/29).

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Michele Bachmann Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Tuesday 07/24/2012, 11:45am
Apparently, pushing a McCarthyite witch hunt against Muslim-Americans serving in the Obama administration is an act of great courage and valor, at least according to the anti-Muslim activist who helped push Michele Bachmann and four Republican allies to send letters to inspectors general — which were rejected — demanding investigations into a number of administration staffers. The Center for Security Policy’s Frank Gaffney, who yesterday warned about “an effort to demonize and take down” Bachmann, took to the Washington Times to praise the Minnesota... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 07/23/2012, 3:35pm
It was only a matter of time before Michele Bachmann’s allies tried to play the victim following the backlash against her latest conspiratorial witch hunt, this time focusing on Muslim-Americans serving in the Obama administration. Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy, who helped launch the attacks on Sec. Hillary Clinton’s aide Huma Abedin and whose report Bachmann and four other Republican members cite in their letters to the inspectors general, spoke today with David Bossie of the right-wing group Citizens United to defend the witch hunt. Bossie said that Bachmann... MORE >
Josh Glasstetter, Friday 07/20/2012, 5:17pm
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is in a league of her own. While she has some kooky and extreme colleagues in the House, no one can see what’s not there with quite the same clarity. After all, this is Michele Bachmann’s world, we just don’t live in it.  This week, Bachmann is making waves with a far-fetched, McCarthyesque conspiracy theory about “deep penetration” of the US government by the Muslim Brotherhood. She’s so far over in right field that John Boehner, John McCain, and her former campaign manager Ed Rollins – among many others –... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 07/20/2012, 1:15pm
Rep. Michele Bachmann’s much-maligned witch hunt against Muslim-Americans working in the Obama administration, including top State Department official Huma Abedin, is the outgrowth of a festering conspiracy theory that has been gaining traction in right-wing circles, where Obama is viewed as an ally of the Muslim Brotherhood if not a secret Muslim himself. One of the main perpetrators is Frank Gaffney, whose Center for Security Policy is cited by Bachmann in her letter to the inspector general [pdf]. Gaffney is a birther have resulted in him being driven out of even conservative... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 07/19/2012, 1:45pm
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s witch hunt against Muslim-Americans working in government, specifically Hillary Clinton’s deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin, has been denounced by not only Democrats like Keith Ellison but also top Republicans such as John McCain, John Boehner, Marco Rubio, Scott Brown and even her former campaign manager. But at least Bachmann still has support from Tea Party Nation head Judson Phillips, who said in an email to members today that “John McCain needs to sit down and shut up.” Phillips also claimed while “Islam is our enemy”... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 06/22/2012, 1:15pm
Michele Bachmann took her propensity for promoting conspiracy theories to another level this week while speaking with the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios, after warning of not just a media plot to use “flattery” to sway the Supreme Court decision on health care reform but also new claims about the Obama administration and the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood. She told Rios that Obama undercut the Magna Carta and “spit at the Constitution and at the will of the American people” with his move to block the deportation of some younger undocumented... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 06/22/2012, 11:30am
While most readers found the recent Time Magazine profile of Justice Anthony Kennedy to be an innocuous piece about the justice who has emerged as a deciding vote on some of the more divisive Supreme Court decisions, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) sees a surreptitious effort by the media to convince Kennedy to uphold the health care reform law. While speaking to Sandy Rios of the American Family Association earlier this week, Bachmann warned that if Kennedy is “succumbing to flattery in the media” then “he could potentially be persuaded to go the way of the left,” as... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 05/04/2012, 2:05pm
Michele Bachmann yesterday sat down with David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network, two days before delivering the commencement address at Regent University (formerly CBN University), where she reiterated her claim that God called her to run for president. Bachmann, who ended her campaign following a sixth place finish in the Iowa Caucus with just 5% of the vote, told Brody that her purpose in the race was to drive the push to repeal the health care reform law, and also agreed with Brody’s analysis that she ran an “impeccable” and “mistake-free campaign.... MORE >