Michele Bachmann

Right Wing Round-Up

Reed: Cain and Bachmann Will Be The Religious Right's Candidates of Choice

Ralph Reed's "Faith and Freedom Conference & Summit" kicks off on Friday and, as today's New York Times reports, it serves as proof that Reed has been able to shrug off his deep ties to Jack Abramoff and regain his prominence and prestige as a leading Religious Right organizer:

As with the Christian Coalition, this group’s conference roster includes nearly all the likely contenders for the presidential nomination, including former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, Herman Cain, a retired businessman, and Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, as well as a famous almost-candidate, Donald Trump. There will also be evangelical leaders like Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, and establishment Republicans like Speaker John A. Boehner and Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee chairman.

...

Many of the retirees gathered here could not even recall who Ralph Reed was, let alone ponder his past. But they loved his message. Weaving together themes of the Tea Party and evangelical Christians, he called the debt crisis a sign that the country has lost sight of its founding moral principles. He said that by working together, fiscal and cultural conservatives can “begin the process of turning the country around.”

Yesterday Reed appeared on The Jordan Sekulow Show to discuss the upcoming conference, during which he predicted that Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain would be the Religious Right's candidates of choice:

Sekulow: Ralph, let me ask you about the field. Has anyone caught your attention that maybe is a name that people aren't talking about enough or that is really exciting social conservative voters?

Reed: It's awfully early, but there are two that I'm hearing on the ground that are really getting a close look. One is Herman Cain, who is a terrific speaker and has a compelling personal testimony in addition to his conservative credentials. And the other is Michele Bachmann.

I think if they both go - and Cain's in and Bachmann looks like she's going to get in - they're both going to do extremely well among this constituency.

Reed then went on the predict that this event was not only going to change the lives of those in attendance, but the life of the nation as well ... which is the same thing he said last year:

Right Wing Round-Up

  • PFAW: Goodwin Liu Withdraws Nomination; PFAW Blasts Senate GOP's Smear Campaign.
  • Matt Finkelstein @ Political Correction: GOP Freshman Rep. Walsh Attacks American Jews For Not Being "As Pro-Israel As They Should Be."
  • Towleroad: TN Governor Claims He's Not in Favor of Discrimination After Signing Bill Voiding LGBT Anti-Discrimination Law.
  • Rachel Tabachnick @ Talk To Action: Vouchers/Tax Credits Funding Creationism, Revisionist History, Hostility Toward Other Religions.
  • Igor Volsky @ Wonk Room: Pro-Bullying Lobby: Perkins Says School Teaching Gender Acceptance Is ‘Indoctrinating Children’ Into Homosexuality.
  • Eric Kleefeld @ TPM: Michele Bachmann Money-Bomb Fizzles.
  • Alex Seitz-Wald @ Think Progress: Invoking Hitler, Allen West Accuses Obama Of ‘Conscious, Nefarious, And Malicious Intent’ To Destroy Israel.

Minnesota Republicans Invite Bradlee Dean To Deliver Opening Prayer

Andy Birkey of the Minnesota Independent reports that House Republicans invited ultra-right wing anti-gay, anti-Islam activist Bradlee Dean to deliver the morning prayer ... and it went about as well as one would expect:

Minnesota House Republicans invited anti-gay preacher Bradlee Dean of You Can Run But You Cannot Hide to give the morning prayer. The prayer was so offensive to many legislators that House leadership brought in the chaplain to redo the prayer.

Dean has made many controversial statements as pastor of You Can Run, including advocating the incarceration of gays and lesbians, that the LGBT community is trying to usher in Sharia law in Minnesota, that gay men molest an average of 117 children “before they get caught,” and that Muslim nations that execute gays are more moral than American Christians. His prayer on Friday touched off a firestorm at the Capitol as the LGBT community was rallying outside the House chambers against a proposed anti-gay marriage amendment.

Dean said during his prayer, “I know this is a nondenominational chamber,” he said listing off a litany of Christian denominations and leaving off any mention of Judaism.

Then he took a dig at President Obama, insinuating that he is not a Christian. “The head of the denomination is Jesus as every president up until 2008 has acknowledged, in Jesus name.”

Dean and his You Can Run But You Cannot Hide ministry has the support of Rep. Michele Bachmann and Religious Right leaders like Harry Jackson and Bryan Fischer.

UPDATE: Here is Dean's opening prayer:

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Is the Right turning against Michele Bachmann?
  • Shockingly, Bill Keller is not supportive of Glenn Beck's latest effort.
  • Liberty Counsel has launched its Ninth Annual "Friend or Foe" Graduation Prayer Campaign.
  • Bryan Fischer says God wants Christians to be political.
  • The problem with the warning that the world will end this weekend is that it "discourages people from making the necessary preparation for the real event when it actually occurs."
  • Finally, Rick Santorum says John McCain "doesn’t understand how enhanced interrogation works."

Who Will Pick Up Huckabee's Baggage?

Ever since Mike Huckabee announced that he would not be running for president in 2012, countless pieces have been written speculating which remaining candidate benefits the most from his decision.  Is it Michele Bachmann?  It is Tim Pawleny? Is it Herman Cain or Rick Santorum? 

But I have a different question:  which remaining candidate will be the one to welcome the support of the fringe Religious Right leaders who made up Huckabee's Faith and Family Values Coalition the last time around?

In 2008, Huckabee could get no love from the "establishment" Religious Right leaders, but he was adored by the ultra-radical fringe leaders of the movement like Janet Porter, who believes that America has been cursed for electing President Obama and that Obama wanted to commit genocide against the American population and lock conservatives up in internment camps. Porter also believes that Christians should be in complete control of government and that tornadoes are God's wrath against us our nation for our positions on abortion and Israel.

Or what about Rick Scarborough, the self-proclaimed "Christocrat" who believes that AIDS is God's judgment and that it is his duty to "mix church and state God's way" in order to stop the country's "slide further into Communism/Socialism [and] sexual anarchy led by sodomites."

And let's not forget Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel, who is reportedly teaching law students to break the law in order to fight the gay agenda while working to keep "moral perverts" out of the military, defeat the "Antichrist spirit" that seeks to destroy marriage, and prevent Obama from becoming a global dictator.

These kinds of activists were Huckabee's bread-and-butter, along with End Times obsessives like Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, Homeschool champions like Mike Farris, and the boycott-happy head of the American Family Association Don Wildmon.

Where are these activists going to go now that Huckabee is not running? 

They certainly are not just going to sit on the sidelines, so some lucky GOP candidate is eventually going to pick up their endorsement ... and all the crazy right-wing baggage that comes right along with it.

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 5/17/11

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 costs thousands their health care, state millions of dollars (The Faster Times, 5/16).

2012: Members of Indiana Republican Party encourage Daniels to run during state convention (AP, 5/13).

Religious Right: Anti-choice activists upset Daniels weighed Condoleezza Rice as a running mate because she is pro-choice (Life News, 5/13). 

GOP: Reports say that Governors Haley Barbour, Chris Christie and Scott Walker would endorse Daniels (CBS News, 5/12). 

Newt Gingrich

Religious Right: Denies advisers' links to Dominionist theology (RWW, 5/16).

Medicare: Describes Paul Ryan's plan to privatize Medicare as "right wing social engineering" but previously said he would've voted for it (Think Progress, 5/16). 

Health Care: Makes inconsistent remarks over his past support for health care insurance mandates (Politico, 5/16). 

Iowa: Will make swing through Iowa this week following official announcement (Dubuque Telegraph Herald, 5/15). 

Jon Huntsman

Religious Right: Set to address Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition (RWW, 5/16).

South Carolina: Huckabee's former state campaign chair announces his support for Huntsman (Politico, 5/16). 

Florida: Meets with key donors in Florida (St. Petersburg Times, 5/11). 

Roy Moore

Religious Right: Claims President Obama is "pushing his own immoral values without regard to what the people think or believe" (WND, 5/16). 

Campaign: Launches website for exploratory committee (RoyMoore2012.com).

Sarah Palin

PAC: Embarks on new direct mail campaign with focus on 2012 election (WaPo, 5/16). 

2012: Supporters hope that Huckabee's announcement will create an opening for Palin (Commentary, 5/16). 

Tim Pawlenty

South Carolina: Hires political director for South Carolina primary (The Hill, 5/17). 

Environment: Continues to apologize for past support of ‘cap and trade’ system (Minnesota Post, 5/17).

Mitt Romney

Fundraising: Raises over $10 million on Monday call-day in Las Vegas (WaPo, 5/17). 

Health Care: Defends state health plan that is analogous to federal health care law (NYT, 5/13). 

Rick Santorum

Medicare: Criticizes Gingrich for attacking Paul Ryan’s Medicare privatization proposal (The Hill, 5/16). 

Health Care: Knocks Romney for defending his Massachusetts health care law (The State Column, 5/13).

Right Wing Leftovers

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).

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Michele Bachmann Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Thursday 08/16/2012, 4:15pm
Cliff Kincaid of America’s Survival, who recently led the “Lenin and Sharia” conference on the supposed links between Communism and radical Islamists, today joined Frank Gaffney on Secure Freedom Radio to once again defend Michele Bachmann’s anti-Muslim witch hunt. But before they could get to that, the two attacked conservative activist Grover Norquist, whom Gaffney has consistently demonized as a Muslim Brotherhood agent. Gaffney said that his ten part “Muslim Brotherhood in America” course proves that Norquist and his Brotherhood allies are copying the... MORE >
Josh Glasstetter, Monday 08/13/2012, 1:40pm
This, in a nutshell, is your modern Religious Right: The website for the upcoming Values Voter Summit in DC, hosted by the Family Research Council, features Mitt Romney’s running mate side-by-side with “former terrorist” Kamal Saleem, seen here:     I can’t imagine Ryan would appreciate being given equal billing with a “former terrorist,” but Saleem is a big deal to the Religious Right.   Saleem, whose real name is Khodor Shami, claims that he was Muslim Brotherhood operative who “came to the United States of America…to destroy... MORE >
Josh Glasstetter, Wednesday 08/08/2012, 2:22pm
On Friday, Mitt Romney declined to condemn Rep. Michele Bachmann’s witch hunt against Muslim Americans in the federal government, breaking with GOP leaders like Senator John McCain and Speaker John Boehner. He said that “those are not things that are part of my campaign.” If that’s the case, then why did Romney hold a closed-door meeting the evening before with high-profile supporters of Bachmann’s effort, including Jerry Boykin, a leading figure in the anti-Muslim movement?   As Politico reported, Romney met privately on Thursday evening in Denver with a... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 08/03/2012, 12:05pm
If you’re trying to get a McCarthy-like anti-Muslim witch hunt taken seriously, it probably doesn’t help your cause to have an anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist who is nostalgic for the days of Joe McCarthy to get behind your cause. In a letter defending Michele Bachmann’s attacks on Muslim-Americans working in the Obama administration, five former security officials urged Speaker John Boehner, who has condemned Bachmann, to “acquaint yourself with the background and status of the Muslim Brotherhood’s civilization jihad in America.” The letter makes a number... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 08/02/2012, 12:30pm
After adding Rep. Allen West to its advisory board, the Thomas More Law Center has found another rabidly anti-Muslim member of Congress to join its group: Michele Bachmann. The group, best known for its unsuccessful lawsuit against Planned Parenthood and the Shepard-Byrd hate crimes law as well as its botched defense of a Pennsylvania’s school’s Intelligent Design curriculum, as of late has tried to appeal to anti-Muslim sentiments. The group believes that Islam is trying to “destroy America,” demanded a state investigation into the sale of a school to a Muslim group,... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 07/26/2012, 10:30am
Commenting on the right-wing smear campaign targeting Huma Abedin, Adam Serwer noted that the people suggesting Abedin is a secret agent for the Muslim Brotherhood would “have to ignore her marriage to the ardently pro-Israel disgraced New York Congressman Anthony Weiner. (Of course: it's the perfect cover.)” But some anti-Muslim activists are actually using the “perfect cover” line to bolster their own arguments: David Horowitz told American Family Association president Tim Wildmon yesterday that Weiner has either “secretly converted to Islam or Huma Abedin has... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 07/25/2012, 5:45pm
If you need any more evidence that anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney is influencing Republican members of Congress to push a witch hunt against Muslim-Americans public servants, look no further than Gaffney’s interview with Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) today on Secure Freedom Radio. Franks, who is partnering with Rep. Michele Bachmann in her effort to investigate a supposed “penetration” by the Muslim Brotherhood into the U.S. government has apparently adopted Gaffney’s specialty vocabulary. Gaffney regularly warns of “civilization jihad,” “... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 07/25/2012, 1:30pm
Earlier this year, Jerry Boykin pulled out of a speech he was scheduled to deliver at West Point after People For the American Way and others spread the word about his conspiratorial and extremist anti-Muslim views. But while Boykin made a career out of attacking the rights and faith of Muslim-Americans, the Religious Right turned him into a martyr, declaring him a victim of supposed anti-Christian hostility. Frank Gaffney, who collaborated with Boykin on a report called "Sharia: The Threat to America," said at the time that the call for West Point to disinvite Boykin was a... MORE >