Mike Huckabee

Right Wing Round-Up - 11/27/13

Right Wing Leftovers - 11/27/13

  • Mike Huckabee will be ending his daily three hour radio program in early December.
  • The US is moving its Vatican embassy, so we can probably expect to hear lots of Religious Right leaders screaming about how this is more evidence of President Obama hates Christianity or something.
  • Peter LaBarbera says that no matter how widespread marriage equality becomes, "it has nothing to do with our Judeo-Christian tradition, so this is not marriage and we cannot pretend that this is marriage."
  • A conservative polling firm claims that "Christian conservative activist Bob Vander Plaats would become the Republican frontrunner were he to run for U.S. Senate."
  • Finally, FRC prays against the Nuclear Option: "Just as a wind from heaven prevailed against Cornwallis 232 years ago, may our God-fearing Senators be given winds of wisdom to navigate their way amid this new, even more hostile environment. May God protect us from judges who oppose what God calls right!"

Right Wing Leftovers - 10/17/13

  • Larry Klayman stands by the crazy remarks he made at a White House protest last weekend because "the truth needed to be said."
  • This feud between John McCain and Louie Gohmert is getting more entertaining by the day.
  • Mike Huckabee's PAC has endorsed anti-gay activist Gary Glenn in his run for Michigan State Representative.
  • Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute says that anti-bullying programs are "a strategic means to silence us."
  • Finally, can you imagine how Glenn Beck would react to news that MSNBC had opened an office and was renting space from Media Matters?

Religious Right Will Cheer Tea Party Extremism at Values Voter Summit

Boehner threatens the global economy w/ default, the Tea Party shutdown continues & a new Supreme Court term could do harm to campaign finance, reproductive choice & church-state separation...perfect week for the Values Voter Summit!

Rod Parsley's Religious Right Allies Hail New Book

Religious Right leaders are lining up to endorse Rod Parsley’s new book, The Cross, which is about how American culture and even Christian churches have “degraded the significance of the cross.” Parsley, who has also authored works such as Silent No More, Culturally Incorrect and Living On Our Heads, is best known for his Prosperity Gospel preaching, opulent living and right-wing politics.

The flamboyant Ohio-based televangelist was highly involved in organizing pastors and evangelical voters in 2004 to back George W. Bush’s re-election (an effort that drew IRS scrutiny). The anti-gay pastor also was a critical player in the campaign to pass Ohio’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex unions.

After he endorsed John McCain in the 2008 election, McCain ended up disavowing the endorsement due to Parsley’s extremist rhetoric.

But while McCain may have renounced Parsley, few others on the right have.

Mike Huckabee recorded a video promoting Parsley’s new book, and interviewed him on his radio show:

Harry Jackson said Parsley’s book is a rebuke to churches that approve of “loose lifestyles”:

Parsley also received an endorsement from Pat Robertson, who said Parsley speaks through the “post-modern clamor” to issue a “call for a return to the discarded values of the past”:

Right Wing Leftovers - 8/30/13

  • Liz Cheney wants Republican primary voters in Wyoming to know that she is “not pro-gay marriage,” which we guess means she is against the marriage between her sister and her wife. 
  • Who could’ve guessed that Mike Huckabee and Rep. Robert Pittenger’s anti-Obamacare interview was replete with inaccuracies
  • Even though Sen. Tim Scott turned down an invitation to Wednesday’s March on Washington event, conservatives won’t stop falsely accusing march organizers of not inviting him. 
  • Joseph Farah is sad that Americans no longer “burst out in laughter” over the “preposterous” idea of same-sex marriage. 
  • Russell Moore wants Religious Right activists to “prepare” to live “in a post-Bible Belt America” as they can no longer “assume that we are a moral majority in this country.” 

Right Wing Leftovers - 8/29/13

  • Mike Huckabee has endorsed Sen. Mitch McConnell and Steve Deace is not impressed, saying that Huck is "now working against us."
  • John Stemberger promises that his new scouting organization will be more than just an anti-gay version of the Boy Scouts.
  • If you are running for public office and say of President Obama that you hope somebody will "shoot the Ni**er," you are going to get a nice visit from the Secret Service.
  • Sandy Rios will be headlining Peter LaBarbera's AFTAH Dinner-Banquet on Nov. 16.
  • Finally, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant is very appreciative of what "the American Family [Association] does for all of us."

Right Wing Round-Up - 8/26/13

Right Wing Round-Up - 8/16/13

Huckabee and Nugent Joke about Hunting Democrats

Mike Huckabee invited NRA board member Ted Nugent onto his radio show today where they kicked off the interview by discussing Nugent’s “mystical, wonderful hunting dog” Gonzo.

“Maybe we ought to turn him loose on some Democrats and see if he can hunt them too,” Huckabee joked, to which Nugent replied: “There’s a lot of varmints out there and I think he would do good pointing [out] varmints and then we can vote them out of office.”

Right Wing Round-Up - 8/8/13

Right Wing Leftovers - 7/30/13

  • Gary Glenn, the anti-gay president of the American Family Association of Michigan, is running for a seat in the state legislature.
  • Speaking of the AFA, Mike Huckabee will be speaking at their annual retreat in October.
  • "Ex-gay" activists will be in to Washington, DC tomorrow to meet with members of Congress and "demand equal rights as ex- homosexuals."
  • Gabriel Gomez, the Massachusetts Republicans who lost last month’s special Senate election, will join the board of directors of GOProud.
  • Finally, the Louisiana sheriff who has been arresting gay men on charges of violating the state's anti-sodomy statute has apologized ... now that he has realized the arrests were unconstitutional.

Right Wing Leftovers - 7/24/13

  • Mike Huckabee continues his feud with the Club For Growth.
  • Last night, Glenn Beck donated $100,000 to John Hagee's Christians United for Israel.
  • You know, it would be interesting to see The Blaze write a story like this about the things that appear on Glenn Beck's own program.
  • Rick Joyner weighs in on the Trayvon Martin murder case verdict and the problems of racism, admitting that "with the recent controversy over the Martin/Zimmerman tragedy, I have had many racist thoughts surface in my own heart."
  • Finally, "Coach" Dave is out with a new video in which he speculates that every new member of Congress is, upon taking office, immediately greeted by a gang of thugs who threaten them and their families with blackmail or violence.

Republican Presidential Hopefuls' Favorite 'Christian Nation' Extremist

Senators and presidential hopefuls Rand Paul and Ted Cruz will head to Iowa this week as featured speakers at a closed-door event for conservative pastors that has been organized by David Lane, an anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-Mormon, Christian-nation absolutist who has declared war, not only on secularism and separation of church and state, but also on establishment Republicans who don’t embrace his vision of an America in which the Bible serves as “the principle textbook” for public education and a “Christian culture” has been “re-established.” He decries Supreme Court rulings on prayer and Bible reading in public schools, and says, “It’s easily defended that America was founded by Christians, as a Christian nation.”

Cruz and Paul may be motivated by the fact that a similar David Lane-organized pastors briefing is credited with Mike Huckabee’s win in the 2008 Iowa caucus.  Evangelical political strategist Doug Wead has described Lane as “the mysterious, behind the scenes, evangelical kingmaker who stormed into Iowa in 2008 and tilted the whole thing from Romney to Huckabee,” even though subsequent renewal projects failed to deliver South Carolina and Florida to Huckabee.

Still, Lane, a self-described “political operative,” has plans that go well beyond Iowa.  The “Rediscovering God in America” event scheduled for July 17 and 18 is just one of an ongoing series of pastors briefings that are central to the American Renewal Project’s 12-state strategy to turn out conservative evangelical voters in the 2013-2014 election cycle.  (Those states: Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, South Carolina, Alaska, Arkansas, North Carolina, Nevada, South Dakota, Virginia, and West Virginia.) 

In December, Lane described his project’s goal this way: “to engage the church in a culture war for religious liberty, to restore America to our Judeo-Christian heritage and to re-establish a Christian culture.” And he has a clear message to representatives and senators: “Vote to restore the Bible and prayer in public schools or be sent home. Hanging political scalps on the wall is the only love language politicians can hear.”

Lane is abundantly clear about his belief that the choice facing America is a return to its founding as a Christian nation or a continued descent into what he describes as paganism. He wrote  in December:

America was a Christian nation. The Mayflower Compact declared, “In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten, having undertaken – for the glory of God, and the advancement of the Christian faith…”

Let’s decide if America is a Christian nation or a pagan nation – and get on with it; the sooner the better.

Lane told the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody that “America has left God” and that “unrighteousness” is “the greatest threat to freedom.” Brody says Lane “believes it’s time to remove politicians from office who have led America down this immoral and unsustainable broken path.” 

A Christian-Nation Warrior Within the GOP

To be fair to Paul and Cruz, they are only the latest Republican presidential hopefuls who have allied themselves with the zealous David Lane in order to tap his network of politically engaged pastors. Lane has been holding “pastors briefings” in 15 states since the mid-1990s. He wrote last year that state Restoration and Renewal projects had hosted more than 10,000 pastors and spouses in ten states since 2005 alone, in events that have been used to engage pastors in anti-gay initiative battles and introduce them to politicians favored by Lane. Pastors’ expenses are covered with money from the American Family Association and other religious right mega-donors. The American Renewal Project operates as a project of the AFA; Lane also operates the California-based Pastors and Pews. 

Texas Governor Rick Perry is also reportedly scheduled to participate in this week’s Iowa gathering, which may confirm his apparent interest in another run for the presidency.  Perry has a long-term relationship with Lane.  In 2005 and 2006, Lane and his network played a huge role in mobilizing support for Perry’s re-election as governor. Six pastors briefings were held around the state, and all six were addressed by Perry.  As Governor, Perry hasn’t disappointed Lane and his friends.

Heading into the 2012 election cycle, Mike Huckabee, Michele Bachmann, Haley Barbour, and Newt Gingrich spoke to 600 pastors, ministry leaders and spouses at a March 2011 Iowa Renewal Project Pastor’s Policy Briefing. But as the primaries approached, Lane was not satisfied with the field. He played a key role in organizing conservative religious leaders to push Perry into the presidential race.  And he masterminded and served as national finance chair for “The Response”, an August 2011 prayer rally that served as Perry’s unofficial campaign launch.

Lane enthusiastically applauded anti-Mormon attacks on Mitt Romney made by Perry backer Robert Jeffress at the Values Voter Summit in October 2011.  The Daily Beast revealed emails between Lane and religious broadcaster Dick Bott in which Lane praised Jeffress, saying the message “juxtaposing traditional Christianity to the false god of Mormonism, is very important in the larger scheme of things.”

After Perry’s candidacy imploded, Religious Right leaders split between Gingrich and Santorum, dooming last-ditch efforts to prevent Romney from becoming the GOP nominee.  Lane backed Gingrich.  He organized a conference call in Florida in late January 2012 to which he said he invited some 125,000 Florida evangelicals, including 2,400 pastors; the call reportedly had 1,000 participants and a recording was emailed to the other 124,000. But obviously he failed to prevent Romney from becoming the nominee.

During the flap over Perry backers’ attacks on Romney’s Mormonism, Lane had actually told broadcaster Bott that he would sit out the 2012 elections rather than vote for Romney. But whether or not Lane actually cast his personal vote for Romney, he continued mobilizing conservative Christians in an effort to defeat Barack Obama.  In Ohio, for example, Lane was part of a major effort by Republican evangelicals to put Romney over the top in that state.  Lane organized “several glitzy mass rallies for the state’s churchgoers featuring high-profile religious and political leaders,” the Washington Times reported last November. Lane and Ralph Reed each produced voter guides for “Ohio’s faithful.”

Although Perry’s tanking disrupted Lane’s plans to get conservative evangelicals to coalesce around a single candidate in 2012, it seems clear that he has similar intentions for 2016. He told the Houston Chronicle in June, “We’re going to try to eliminate the stuff that they [GOP leaders] do to us every four years, which is picking somebody who has no chance of being viable and they kill us off and we have the McCains and Romneys left.”

At War With the GOP

Lane’s comment about “the McCains and Romneys” is just the tip of the iceberg of contempt that he has for what he sees as a cowardly, compromising Republican establishment. He denounces moderate Republicans who are “bound and determined to deposit homosexuality – and homosexual marriage – into the Grand Old Party.” And he insists, “Those doing this to our country must be removed from office and from leadership.” (These aren’t necessarily idle threats: Lane was at the center of the successful 2010 campaign to remove from office three Iowa Supreme Court justices who had been part of a unanimous ruling in favor of marriage equality. “Lane called the judges “Judicial Gods” who believe they have the “right to rule a free people” and “impose their will” however they see fit.”)

Lane was outraged last year when many Republican Party leaders abandoned Senate candidate Todd Akin in the wake of his infamous comments about “legitimate rape”— Lane was especially indignant because at the same time the GOP was backing openly gay Senate candidate Richard Tisei in Massachusetts.  Lane mobilized support for Akin among conservative pastors and complained loudly about the GOP. “Following the pounding of Todd Akin by the GOP kings and lieutenants in the last 36 hours, I’ve come to the conclusion that the real issue is the soul of America,” he wrote in an email to activists. In October, almost 400 pastors who had gathered for a Pastors’ Policy Briefing in Missouri prayed over Akin, whose cause Lane said was “the opening battle for the soul of the Republican Party.” After all, he argues, “someone’s values must reign supreme.”

After the 2012 elections, Lane drew his battle lines:

The moderate GOP chieftains and lieutenants’ philosophy of government and set of values – in the long run – are incompatible with Christian morality and principles. As these secular “pastors” – the GOP chieftains and lieutenants – seek to bully and dictate their worldly, amoral ethics – according to their importance, omnipotence and power of the purse – there can be no amicability and meeting of minds….

Christian conservatives are coming to their moment of truth within the Republican Party. Be friendly and disarm, or annoy and aggravate the GOP kings and lieutenants by laying down the law on Christian principles and Christian values.

….

Another way to put it is: I don’t think that “restoring America” is a Christian imperative. Being a witnesses [sic] to the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus is the imperative. If that restores America, wonderful; if it means that America collapses – like Rome – the byproduct of the Permanent Republican Majority or a decadent, sinful, immoral culture and people, the church is God’s permanent “nation.” 

Lane writes that after launching a public fight for putting the Bible, Jesus, the Ten Commandments back into public schools, “then we will watch Providence call for ‘punishment executed by angels‘ to those who oppose His word.”

Lane says he believes there is “good news in the current Republican collapse and failure – brought about as a byproduct of the amoral, empty philosophy of the Permanent Republican majority” – and that is a political opening for evangelicals. In February, Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody said that Lane’s battle against Republicans who are more worried about the party than “sustaining a moral and righteous nation” is “the next confrontation to watch.”

Pastors as Cause of and Solution to America’s Descent into Hell

It is a recurring theme at Religious Right gatherings that the real reason for America’s slide from greatness into moral decay is that its preachers aren’t preaching aggressively enough. Lane is also in this camp. The relatively media-shy Lane told the New York Times in 2011, “From my perspective, our country is going to hell because pastors won’t lead from the pulpits.”

He complains that the “the Church didn’t even shudder when the Bible, prayer, Jesus, and the Ten Commandments were removed from the public schools in 1963.” And he says there was “not a peep from the Christian Church” in response to the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, when the church “should have initiated riots, revolution, and repentance.”

Lane is fond of quoting Peter Leithart’s Between Babel and Beast. Last fall he included this segment in one of his frequently repetitive online commentaries: 

American churches have too long discipled Christians in Americanism, and that makes Christian involvement in the American polity far smoother than it ought to be. Churches must repent of our Americanism and begin to cultivate martyrs—believers who are martyrs in the original sense of ‘witness’ and in the later sense of men and women ready to follow the Lamb all the way to an imperial cross.

In a different commentary, this one for WND, Lane also quotes from Between Babel and Beast:

Until American churches actually function as outposts of Jesus’ heavenly empire rather than as cheerleaders for America – until the churches produce martyrs rather than patriots – the political witness of Christians will continue to be diluted and co-opted.

Lane also quotes Leithart in a June 2013 commentary that seemed to be too much even for the virulent WND, which has removed the post. Here’s part of the Leithart he approvingly quotes:

Americanists cannot break Babelic or bestial power because they cannot distinguish heretical Americanism from Christian orthodoxy. Until we do, America will lurch along the path that leads from Babel to Beast. If America is to be put in its place – put right – Christians must risk martyrdom and force Babel to the crux where it has to decide either to acknowledge Jesus [as] imperator and the church as God’s imperium or to begin drinking holy blood.

To that bracing section Lane adds his own words:

Where are the champions of Christ to save the nation from the pagan onslaught imposing homosexual marriage, homosexual scouts, 60 million babies done to death by abortion and red ink as far as the eye can see on America? Who will wage war for the Soul of America and trust the living God to deliver the pagan gods into our hands and restore America to her Judeo-Christian heritage and re-establish a Christian culture?...

As to the future of America – and the collapse of this once-Christian nation – Christians must not only be allowed to have opinions, but politically, Christians must be retrained to war for the Soul of America and quit believing the fabricated whopper of the ‘Separation of Church and State,” the lie repeated ad nauseum by the left and liberals to keep Christian America – the moral majority – from imposing moral government on pagan public schools, pagan higher learning, and pagan media….

Christian America is in ruins…

You ask, “What is our goal?” To wage war to restore America to our Judeo-Christian heritage with all of our might and strength that God will give us. You ask, “what is our aim?” One word only: victory, in spite of all intimidation and terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory, America will ultimately collapse.

He sees the solution as the political organizing he does among pastors.  “Bible-believing pastor,” he wrote last fall, “without overstating it, the survival of America is on your shoulders.” According to the New York Times, at a 2011 briefing in Iowa Mike Huckabee “lavished praise on Mr. Lane for ‘bringing pastors together so they go back to their pulpits and light them on fire with enthusiasm, to make America once again the greatest country on earth under God.’”

Lane’s increasingly war-like rhetoric has given people pause. Lane frequently closes his commentaries – including the one recently pulled from WND -- with the question, “Will a Gideon or Rahab the Harlot please stand.” In the Old Testament, Gideon is called by God to defeat the armies of enemies of the Israelites and end the worship of false gods. Rahab the Harlot is another Old Testament character: she enabled the Israelites’ conquest of the city of Jericho by helping two spies sent into the city by Joshua. She and her family were the only ones spared when the city was destroyed and every other man, woman and child was killed. Politicians who stand with Lane might consider asking him just what he means by his frequently repeated calls for a Gideon or Rahab to stand up among American evangelicals.

This IS the Religious Right – and the GOP’s Dominant Right Wing

Sadly, Lane’s extremist views and rhetoric do not make him much of an outlier among today’s hard-right political figures. He is closely allied with major Religious Right leaders and has no problem attracting current and former members of Congress and Republican presidential aspirants to his closed-door gatherings.  Among those scheduled to take part in this week’s Iowa event are Christian-nation “historian” David Barton, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, and the American Family Association’s Don Wildmon.  In 2010, Lane joined Barton and anti-gay activist Jim Garlow, and Lane offered a 12-day, $4000, Next Great Awakening Tour of historical sites in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington.

Also part of this week’s program in Iowa is Lane’s friend Laurence White, who says “if we do not stop abortion then God will destroy and God should destroy America.” Another participant is Ken Canfield, who ran for Governor of Kansas in 2006 on a platform calling for a “no exceptions” ban on abortion; he came in second in a crowded GOP primary .

Lane, like other Religious Right leaders, sees the acceptance of homosexuality as a sign that America has turned its back on God. In one column he approvingly cites an author who describes gays and lesbians as “parasites, depending for their cultural survival on couples that birth the next generation.” Last summer he asked pastors to “exhort the flock, entrusted to you by the Living God, to refrain from shopping at Target Stores until its leadership ends pushing homosexual marriage in America.”

He’s even got the Tea Party’s anti-big-government rhetoric down. He wrote in February as sequestration approached,  “we should immediately begin the mobilization of pastors and pews to contact—read tongue-lash and rail against – local Congressman and U.S. Senators to decry the immoral debt being piled on our kids and grandkids because Congress lacks the guts to make hard, painful decisions and cut spending.”

In fact, Lane covers all the issues important to the modern day right, connecting them to court decisions upholding the separation of church and state, which he says created a religion of secularism:

This ‘religion of secularism’ has produced red ink as far as the eye can see, homosexuals praying at the Inauguration, tax-funded abortion, homosexual marriage in several States, Evangelicals held in contempt, and God expelled from the classrooms of America – and the public square.

Lane is connected to Champion the Vote, a project of United in Purpose, which had aimed to unseat President Obama with an effort “to mobilize 5 million unregistered conservative Christians to register and vote according to the Biblical worldview in 2012.” United in Purpose produced DVDs of Lane’s 2011 event in Orlando to distribute for house parties. In the wake of Rick Perry’s supposedly non-political “Response” rally, the American Family Association sent out emails to those who registered for the event  to engage them in Champion the Vote.  It said the Response “was just the beginning of a nationwide initiative to return America to the principles on which she was founded, with God at the center of our nation.”

Politicians like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul should be held to account for partnering politically with David Lane. But given the increasingly small differences between the GOP’s right wing and it’s really right wing, we probably shouldn’t expect politicians cozying up to Lane to show any discomfort with his extremism. As Ted Cruz said in another context, “If standing for liberty , if standing for free market principle and the Constitution makes you a wacko bird, then, then I am a very proud wacko bird.”

Right Wing Leftovers - 7/8/13

  • Glenn Beck, David Barton, and others are organizing some sort of "rapid response" effort through which to mobilize activists to turn out in protest of right-wing outrages.
  • Anti-Mormon activist Bill Keller wants to know "why Christians would provide much of the funding for Mormon cult member Glenn Beck's "Man in the Moon" event this past weekend at the home of his cult in Salt Lake City, Utah, which really was Beck's coming out party and a showcase for his Mormon cult."
  • For some reason, the RNC decided not to show this awesome Donald Trump video during the convention.
  • Mike Huckabee, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, Marilyn Musgrave, Penny Nance and others are rallying in Texas in support of the state's restrictive anti-abortion legislation.
  • On a related note, Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst appeared on Bryan Fischer's radio program where he guaranteed that the legislation will be passed.
  • Coincidentally, today Gov. Rick Perry announced that he will not seek re-election.

Teavangelicals Told to Be ‘Happy Warriors’ Against Liberals, Big Govt, GOP Nay-sayers

Here’s a question for Ralph Reed and the ‘Teavangelical’ wing of the conservative movement: how can you portray yourselves as serious about governing when the keynote speakers at last week’s “Road to Majority” conference were Donald Trump and Sarah Palin?

Palin’s conference-closing remarks on Saturday featured a breathtakingly offensive joke about the Syrian civil war, which has taken an estimated 100,000 lives. She said we should just “let Allah sort it out.” Palin also had choice words for the bipartisan immigration reform bill moving through the Senate, which she dismissed as “a pandering, rewarding-the-rule-breakers, still-no-border-security, special-interest-written amnesty bill.” She was one of many conference speakers rhetorically crapping on Marco Rubio and the bipartisan “Gang of 8” reform bill and burning the bridges that conservative Latinos are trying to build.

At Friday night’s “gala” Reed bestowed a lifetime achievement award on Pat Robertson, who is increasingly difficult to take seriously, and who devoted his remarks to trashing President Obama.  Trump, who also addressed the gala, spoke mostly about his own Trumpian greatness and how Mitt Romney might have been president if he had the guts to run Trump’s anti-Obama “you’re fired” ad.  Trump shared plenty of pablum and piercing political insights, such as the Republicans needing to be “really smart” in choosing a “great candidate” in 2016. Trump also criticized the immigration reform bill as a “death wish” for the Republican Party, saying “every one of those people, and the tens of millions of people they will bring in with them, will be absolutely voting Democratic.”

There’s no question Ralph Reed still has pull. His conference opened with a luncheon featuring four Tea Party senators and he got a handful of Republican House members to speak along with former and future presidential hopefuls like Mike Huckabee, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, and Ted Cruz.  Rick Perry, who was introduced as a “Renaissance man,” bragged about the law he recently signed to protect the ostensibly threatened right of public school students to wish each other “Merry Christmas” Perry said, ““I hope my state is a glowing example of men and women who believe that those traditional values are how you make a stronger society.” Stronger society? Not so much.

In addition to the divide on immigration, relentless attacks on President Obama (Dick Morris said of the president, “he doesn’t care about national security”), and the unsurprising rhetoric on abortion, marriage, and supposed threats to religious liberty, there were some other major themes:

Government Bad

The conference was infused with the Tea Party’s anti-federal-government themes. Jonah Goldberg of the National Review reminded people of a video shown at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, which he recalled saying the government is the one thing we all belong to.  “Now, as sort of a Tea Party-ish kind of guy, that makes me want to flip the safety on my rifle.”

Speakers urged activists to take advantage of the recent scandals surrounding the IRS, the Justice Department, and the National Security Agency. Santorum urged activists to “think big” and “seize the moment” provided by the IRS scandal. Sen. Ron Johnson said he would like Americans to apply their disgust about the scandals to the federal government in general. Rather than trying to restore faith in government, Johnson said, activists should be fostering distrust of the government.

Grover Norquist is known for his quip that he wants to shrink the government until it is small enough to drown in the bathtub.  At Road to Majority he spelled out his plan to complete the strategy he embarked on with the Bush tax cuts and the no-tax-increase pledge he demands Republican candidates sign. He noted that “thanks to the marvels of modern redistricting,” Republicans are likely to have a Republican House until 2022, which means they have several chances to get a Senate majority and a Republican in the White House before then. Whenever that happens, he says, Republicans can put the Ryan budget into law and dramatically curtail government spending. He calls it “completely doable.”

Meanwhile, he said, in the 25 states where Republicans control the legislative and executive branches, activists should push for the passage of more anti-union legislation, and for laws that encourage people to obtain concealed carry permits, home school their children, and participate in stock ownership, three things that he said make people more Republican. He called this changing the demographics by changing the rules.

Obamacare: Will it Destroy America or Obama?

House Republicans have made repealing the Affordable Care Act – “Obamacare” – an obsession. Rick Santorum said opposition to the law should have been the centerpiece of the 2012 campaign. And many speakers repeated the demand that the health care reform law be repealed in its entirety.  Stephen Moore, founder of the Club for Growth and a Wall Street Journal editorial board member, said repealing Obamacare is the single most important thing that has to happen in Washington over the next two years. But a number of speakers had a slightly different take, suggesting that the implementation of the complex law would be its undoing, and that public outrage at rising insurance rates would bring down the Obama administration. Dick Morris predicted Obama would be “destroyed” by the law’s implementation.

GOP: Friend or Foe?

One running theme of the conference was conservative activists’ distrust for national Republican leaders, particularly around opposition to abortion and LGBT equality. Several speakers made reference to the notorious RNC “autopsy” on the 2012 election and the perception that some party leaders want social conservatives to tone it down. Reed himself complained that while self-identified evangelicals represented 45 percent of the Republican ticket’s vote, some party leaders were saying they are the problem and should “ride in the back of the bus.” He vowed that on issue of abortion and man-woman marriage, social conservatives would not be silent, “not now, not ever.”

It’s not just Ted Cruz who mocks his fellow Republicans. Gary Bauer complained that the last two Republican nominees had a hard time talking about sanctity of life issues, and he said party officials in Washington spend too much time taking the advice of “cowardly pollsters and political consultants.”  Mike Huckabee complained that “Republicans have been, if not equal, sometimes more guilty than Democrats in thinking the brilliant thing to do would be to centralize more power in the hands of the central government.” He said he’s “sick of hearing” that people think the GOP needs to move away from a conservative message.

There was enough grumbling that when it was RNC Chairman Reince Priebus’s turn to speak on Saturday, the Wisconsin Faith & Freedom official who introduced him felt a need to vouch for Priebus’s faith and commitment to conservative causes. He said angrily that it is “an absolute lie” that Priebus is not a social conservative and insisted that there is no division in the party.

Priebus started his remarks by establishing his religious credentials: “I’m a Christian. I’m a believer. God lives in my heart, and I’m for changing minds, not changing values.” He added, “I’m so grateful that we’ve got a party that prays, that we’ve got a party that puts God first, and I’m proud to be part of that.” He said he “gets it” that conservative Christians are a “blessing” to the party. He said the GOP needs to have a permanent ground game in place all across the country. 

Priebus defended his plan to shorten the presidential primary season and move the party convention from August to June from critics who call it an insider move against grassroots conservatives. It isn’t an establishment takeover, he insisted, but a way to prevent a replay of the 2012, when Romney went into the summer months broke after a long primary season but not yet able to tap general election funding.

Still, not all the conservative are convinced that national Republicans are with them.  Palin portrayed Republicans in Washington as being overly fond of government spending: “It doesn’t matter if it’s a Republican or a Democrat sitting atop a bloated boot on your neck, out of control government, everyone gets infected, no party is immune. That’s why, I tell ya, I’m listening to those independents, to those libertarians who are saying, you know, it is both sides of the aisle, the leadership, the good old boys….”

Phyllis Schlafly talked about having waged internal battles to make the GOP a solidly anti-abortion Party and encouraged activists not to be seduced by talk of a conservative third party but to work within the Republican Party to make sure the right people on the ballot. Norquist insisted that activists had helped brand the GOP as the party that will not raise your taxes, and he said Republican elected officials who vote for tax increases damage the brand for everyone else. They are, he said, “rat heads in coca-cola.”

Message Envy

It might surprise many progressives, who have spent years bemoaning the effectiveness of Republicans’ emotion-laden rhetoric, that speaker after speaker complained that Democrats are so much better than Republicans at messaging.  Of course complaining about messaging is easier than admitting that there may be something about your policies that voters don’t like.

At a panel on messaging strategies, author Diane Medved said that when defending traditional marriage, she would love to say “what is it about ‘abomination’ that you don’t understand?” But she knows that won’t reach people who don’t already agree with her. She argued that conservatives should marshal the “science” that supports their positions.  She also tried out a new messaging strategy, saying that opposition to marriage equality is a feminist issue because it is empowering to women to affirm that they are different than men. “Women deserve to have credit for being who they are as a separate gender and they are not interchangeable with men.”

Ryan Anderson, co-author of a book on marriage with Robert George, the intellectual godfather of the anti-marriage-equality movement, took issue with the name of the panel, which was “Don’t Preach to the Choir.” Anderson said the choir needs to be preached to, because too many Christians are giving up on marriage. There is no such thing as parenting, he insisted, there is mothering and fathering. Anderson said that anti-marriage equality forces have only been fighting for five years, while proponents have been fighting for 20 to 30 years. “It’s not that our argument for marriage has been heard and been rejected,” he said. “It’s that it hasn’t been heard at all.”  Anderson promoted the widely discredited Regnerus study on family structures as evidence that science is on his side.

Eric Teetsel, executive director of the Manhattan Declaration, encouraged activists to be careful with their rhetoric. “I don’t believe that there are very many, if any, people in this movement, certainly not in public life, who have any ill will toward the same-sex community, at all. But sometimes we say things that make it sound like we do.” If Teetsel really believes that, he needs to spend some more time actually listening to conservative religious leaders, pundits and politicians who regularly charge that gay-rights advocates are Satan-inspired sexual predators who are out to destroy faith and freedom if not western civilization itself.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy or Arguing as a Lover with Stupid Liberals

Anyone who pays attention to religious right groups has been seeing the word “winsome” a lot. Conservative evangelical leaders are well aware of polling data that shows young Christians are turned off by the anti-gay bigotry they see in the church.  So there’s a push on for everyone to make conservative arguments in a “winsome” way, to be “happy warriors” like Ronald Reagan, to be cheerful when arguing with liberals. Being cheerful was a big theme at Road to Majority. Said Rick Perry, “when we fight for our county, we need to do it with joy.” 

The Manhattan Declaration's Teetsel took this theme to new heights in the messaging panel in which he called for “arguing as a lover” when “trying to woo people over to our side”: be respectful, self-effacing, funny, give people an opportunity to save face.  But he doesn’t seem to think much of his audience, saying America is no longer a society of ideas, and that in our celebrity-crazed culture it doesn’t make sense to appeal to 18th Century sources of authority like the Federalist Papers, which “are not considered authorities in my generation. People do not care what these men in wigs thought 300 years ago.”

“We serve a God who condescended to become a man in order to share his gospel. And I think that’s an example that we can learn from. Romans 12:16 advises us, do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. So we have to bite the bullet.  We have to recognize some of these facts and condescend to watching Glee from time to time so that we can talk to people about it.”

 

Huckabee Claims Gay Unions Twist Marriage into 'Perversion' and an 'Unholy Pretzel,' Chides Jason Collins

Mike Huckabee delivered a politically charged speech at the annual Southern Baptist Convention meeting on Monday, telling attendees that “holy matrimony” will be “twisted into perversion” and “formed into an unholy pretzel” as a result of same-sex marriage. Huckabee went on to criticize the armed forces and the Boy Scouts for becoming “test labs for social experiments” and Jason Collins, whom he mockingly called “a hero for announcing his sexual proclivities.”

Baptist Press, the media arm of the SBC, further reports that Huckabee urged pastors to speak out against the “ungodly and unholy” culture and put the Republican Party on notice in case they “ease off” on “issues like the sanctity of life and the holiness of marriage.” The future of abortion rights, Huckabee said, would determine “whether or not our civilization will survive as a nation” and if “our nation will stand or fall.”

"Jesus is talking about good food, biblical food," Huckabee noted, lamenting that "we are living in a time of biblical ignorance."

"People who attend church, especially young people, have an extraordinary lack of biblical depth," he said. "According to recent surveys, the kids who grow up in our evangelical churches do not really know the biblical definition of marriage, and that really does concern me."

"We need to be clear that, when holy matrimony is formed into an unholy pretzel, twisted into perversion -- and when the military and the Boy Scouts become test labs for social experiments -- we need to be very clear that, male and female, [God] created them," Huckabee said.



Citing veteran NBA center Jason Collins, who revealed his homosexuality on a sports website, Huckabee said the national media called Collins "a hero for announcing his sexual proclivities."

Huckabee asked, where are the "accolades for Tim Tebow who announced that he follows Jesus? He was told to shut up."

"It should concern us that we're living in a culture where a person announces a sexual preference and it's heroic" and another "announces he loves Jesus Christ, and he's told ... to keep that to yourself."



Clarifying that the hope of America is not in the next election, Huckabee said, "I would never suggest, ever, that you would turn your pulpit into some political podium. But I would urge that the pulpit would be a powerful, prophetic and purposeful punch in the gut to a culture that is ungodly and unholy."

Huckabee then lamented abortion, where "every year more than a million babies lose their lives in what ought to be the safest place on earth in their mother's own womb. How can we be silent?"

Abortion is not a political issue, but is one of "whether or not our civilization will survive as a nation that honors the God who created that precious life" or whether that life is "expendable, disposable."

"This is an issue upon which our nation will stand or fall," he said, "and the pulpits of America must not be silent." Christians must have "broken hearts not just for the babies, but for the mothers who are often exploited and twisted and turned and forced and cajoled into having the abortion that deep down in their maternal souls they know they don't want to have."

Regarding evangelicals' stance on social and moral issues, Huckabee said some in the Republican Party are saying "that maybe we need to dial it back a little bit when it comes to issues like the sanctity of life and the holiness of marriage, and maybe just ease off."

The crowd erupted into sustained applause when Huckabee said, "Well, I've got a news flash for the GOP: I plan to take my last ride in life on a white horse, not on an elephant and not on a donkey. And I will stick with the Word of God. And if the party, any party, goes a different way, I stick with Jesus. I believe He is forever."

Mike Huckabee Sad He Has To See Gays on TV

Mike Huckabee was joined by Concerned Women for America head Penny Nance yesterday to discuss CWA’s new campaign, Willing 2 Stand, designed to reach out to young people on their opposition to abortion rights and marriage equality. During most of the interview, Nance maintained that conservatives on college campuses were “bullied” and had trouble articulating their views on topics like gay rights.

The former governor and presidential candidate said that “every fear that people had” about the consequences of legalizing same-sex marriage “has in fact come true,” arguing that people have lost “their rights” in states with marriage equality.

Huckabee seemed especially sad that he now has to see “television commercials portraying same-sex couples” while textbooks are “forced” to mention gay marriage.

The very thing that many people and I know CWA was a part of this, saying, this is why the legalization of same-sex marriage is going to be a much bigger issue than just saying we let people love whoever they want to love, that’s not the issue. Will it force businesses—of course everyone will say, oh no people still have their rights, but they don’t. And every fear that people had has in fact come true, that this is being forced in textbooks on how marriage is depicted, we’re now even seeing television commercials portraying same-sex couples, that’s something I guess I didn’t expect to see anytime soon.

Boykin: 'Sexualization of our Military with Social Engineering' Responsible for Assaults

Mike Huckabee hosted Family Research Council vice president Jerry Boykin today to discuss a report on the rise of sexual assault cases in the military between 2010 and 2012, which Boykin linked to the “sexualization of our military with social engineering” policies like the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell 

While Boykin correctly stated that “there are actually more men that have been sexually assaulted than women,” as we have noted, women represent a higher percentage of assault cases since there are only 200,000 women in the active-duty military.

He repeated the false claim that the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is linked to the number of assaults on men. However, CNN reports the 2012 rate “remained unchanged for active duty men” from 2010, the year before the law was repealed.

The two also tied the rise in assaults to the end on the ban on women in combat, a decision that was made in 2013 — before the study’s release — and hasn’t even been fully implemented.

Huckabee: General, there has been such a rash of sexual assault in the military and it’s become virtually epidemic. I wanted your assessment, do you think this has anything to do with the fact that we’ve so liberalized the policies of everything from women in combat, the whole conception of the separation of the gender, as well as saying we’re not going to have any restrictions on homosexuals in the military? Does that have anything at all to do with this?

Boykin: Well I think it has everything to do with it, Governor. We have seen, if I may use this term, a sexualization of our military with social engineering. One of the things that most of the people don’t realize is in a recent survey there are actually more men that have been sexually assaulted than women. We are trying to violate the laws of nature, failing to recognize that these young men and women are at the peak of their sex drive when we try to mix the genders for reasons that to me are illogical and in doing so what we are doing is we are inviting this kind of behavior, it’s not acceptable and it has to be punished and dealt with. But I think that this social engineering has manifested in a number of ways and this is certainly one of the clearest.

Right Wing Leftovers - 5/16/13

  • Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) claimed that the Obama administration had tapped the phones of members of Congress, then quickly backtracked, saying he was misunderstood.
  • James Dobson tries to get in on the IRS-victimization game.
  • Mike Huckabee says that if the Obama administration had just asked the AP nicely to hand over information about their source, the AP would have gladly done so.
  • FRC prays that God will "move upon the members of the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America to vote overwhelmingly in favor of keeping the Scout's historic moral standards!"
  • Finally, Bryan Fischer and his guest speculate that President Obama may have "sold out" American soldiers and intentionally sent them to their deaths "as a political favor" to someone in the Middle East.
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Mike Huckabee Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Friday 02/28/2014, 5:30pm
Another leader of the right-wing Quiverfull movement is now in danger of losing his post over a sex scandal. Homeschooling advocate Bill Gothard has been put on administrative leave from the organization he heads, the Institute in Basic Life Principles, in response to allegations from thirty-four different women that he engaged in sexual harassment and failed to notify Child Protective Services about abuse claims. The allegations against Gothard are chronicled on the website Recovering Grace, which aims to expose the activist’s record of “emotional, spiritual, and sexual abuse.... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 02/05/2014, 6:38pm
Josh Feldman @ Mediaite: Stewart Tears into Obama Scandal Obsession at ‘Spite-Driven Anger Machine’ Fox News. Rachel Tabachnick @ Public Research Associates: Ted Cruz & ALEC: Seceding from the Union One Law at a Time. Luke Brinker @ Equality Matters: Washington Times Columnist: It's "Lurid Propaganda" To Teach Students That Homosexuality Exists. CJ Werleman @ AlterNet: 5 of the Christian Right's Favorite and Most Dangerous New Recruits Running for Congress. Ellie Sandmeyer @ Media Matters:  Laura Ingraham's Attacks On Sonia... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 01/24/2014, 6:34pm
Jacob Fischler @ BuzzFeed: Dinesh D’Souza Charged With Election Fraud. David Ferguson @ Raw Story: Conservatives blame Dinesh D’Souza’s indictment on ‘Nazi Germany’-like conspiracy. Eric Boehlert @ Media Matters: Shorter Glenn Beck: Media Matters Was Right About Me. Steve Benen @ The Maddow Blog: Huckabee vs. Huckabee. Zack Ford @ Think Progress: Focus On The Family: Nondiscrimination Protections Discriminate Against Christians. Alan Colmes: Victoria Jackson Wants To Throw Muslims Out Of The United States. MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 01/23/2014, 3:10pm
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee claimed today that the GOP isn’t partaking in a “war on women,” and that it is actually Democrats who “insult the women of America” by making them believe they “can’t control their libido.” Huckabee, who is considering a 2016 presidential bid, made the remarks at a Republican National Committee summit just as the party has been stressing greater “sensitivity” to women voters. The Fox News pundit claimed, “Democrats think that women are nothing more than helpless and hopeless creatures... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 01/22/2014, 6:45pm
Looks like Glenn Beck has become the victim of his own chalkboard-style paranoia.  Ralph Reed will soon unveil a new book, which Mike Huckabee promises will contain “the ultimate answer to what ails America.”  Televangelist Rick Joyner is convinced that the “overwhelming evidence shows that the 2012 election was not a legitimate election.”  MassResistance’s Brian Camenker wants the three openly gay Republican congressional candidates out of the GOP.  Lastly, the Klansman who wanted to kill Muslims with a “... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 01/17/2014, 6:31pm
Tom DeLay says "it’s just unbelievable and scary who this president thinks he is and the tyranny that he is beginning to inflict on the American people." FRC prays for the passage of the State Marriage Protection Act "and that lawlessness will be restrained." Focus on the Family's Jim Daly predicts that votes in Colorado will eventually repeal the legalization of marijuana. Scott Lively declares that Martha Coakley "is complicit in the murders of these helpless children and unfit for public office.  I pray for her to repent from the evil... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Thursday 12/26/2013, 12:55pm
If you’re already tired of the Duck Dynasty flap, I have some bad news for you: Religious Right leaders aren’t going to drop it. On Christmas Eve, while millions of Americans were finishing Christmas preparations and gathering with loved ones, Janet Porter and Rick Scarborough were holding an emergency conference call to launch Porter’s latest gimmicky scheme: sending rubber ducks to A&E executives to protest the suspension of Phil Robertson. Porter has been warning about a war on American Christians for years – she even wrote a book called The Criminalization of... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 12/17/2013, 6:31pm
Mike Huckabee, fresh off of ending is radio program, will soon be launching a website called "Huckabee Post" early next year. Dennis Prager laughably claims that "no religion practiced in America – indeed, no world religion – has ever banned interracial marriage." MORE >