republican party

Sen. Johanns Follows "Conspiracy Kook" On Porter's Radio Program

Have you ever seen the movie "They Live," starring professional wrestler "Rowdy" Roddy Piper who, thanks to a special pair of sunglasses, is the only one able to realize that aliens are using subliminal messages to control humanity? 

Well, then have I got a website for you: Boxofsunglasses.com, otherwise known as THEorYofLIVEvolution.com:

Please take a few moments to read this before entering; it may save you some time. The home page is definitely aimed at 'shock value'. This "conspiracy theorist" has already awoken to the "conspiracy". Have no doubt, ultimately IT IS US. I've 'kicked the tires' endlessly here not unlike the Apostle Thomas. Call it conceit or condescension or whatever but I can see 'THEM' a mile away. And so can you, if you care to. Although a minority, I'm certainly not the only one. For example, Rush Limbaugh, a cheerleader for the less than disappointing Republican Party, has received bitter rebuke from "the One" and his minions in Congress for speaking out against our new Messiah. Why? If he's so bad let him shoot his trap. Of course there's an ulterior motive: it's called the Fairness Doctrine (look it up). "We the people" elected this guy; he's only the latest in a long line of "disappointing" leaders. How about corporate jet buying CEO's everyone is so worked up over? Again anyone can see this sham a mile away; if they care to. It is absolutely reprehensible for people to act this way especially in today's economic downturn. However, it should be their right. But it's no longer because it's 'taxpayer money' (a sham in and of itself you can see if you decide to enter the web site). This is classic class warfare brought to us courtesy "our" government. Think about it. They know it's absolutely illegal for the government to 'loan' companies money and this is for a reason: when they loan you they own you. Today everybody is lambasting the CEOs; tomorrow we're going to be lambasting each other when one company gets "more" from Uncle Sam and our Uncle decides how much the bank teller should be paid. In other words, our old Uncle will be all too willing to step and decide what's 'fair' after all 'he' loaned us the money. Of course "The Messiah" and friends will be the ones who decide what 'fair' is and what our 'rights' will be.

Now, this sort of right-wing conspiracy theory insanity is not the sort of thing we generally tend to cover here at RWW ... but we are making an exception in this case because Janet Porter decided to have Rob Roselli, the man responsible for this website, on her radio program yesterday to discuss "Copenhagen and the lies from junk climate science."

Apparently, Roselli considers himself something of an expert on the topic and so Porter decided to have him on the program to enlighten her audience.  Guess how it went?

So there you go:  climate change is really part of a massive conspiracy cooked up by "globalist clowns who hate mankind" and "genocidal maniacs" who are out to destroy humanity while the current political leadership is engaged in simply repackaging Nazi eugenics in an effort to implement it on a massive scale.

Amazingly, Porter's interview with Roselli was followed, on the very same program, by an interview with United States Senator Mike Johanns (R-Nebraska).

If that doesn't sum up the current state of the Republican Party and the right-wing movement, I don't know what does.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Joseph Farah thanks Sarah Palin for taking the Birther issue mainstream.
  • Rick Santorum says he is "absolutely" considering a 2012 presidential run.
  • Republican Party of Texas voted overwhelmingly to place resolution on the March 2010 Primary reading "Sonograms: The Texas Legislature should enact legislation requiring a sonogram be performed and shown to each mother about to undergo a medically unnecessary, elective abortion."
  • The Christian Coalition hails the Manhattan Declaration ... but wonders if the signers really have the commitment to follow through on their pledges.
  • The AFA's Bryan Fischer says it is time to "man up" in the "war against Christmas" because it just may be the "most important" battle of them all.
  • Finally, I have no idea what on earth this ad is supposed to mean:

Huckabee on 2012: Support is Nice, Money is Better

Back when he ran for President in 2008, and even after, Mike Huckabee took great pride in the fact that even though his campaign was never able to raise huge sums of money, he outlasted many of his better-financed rivals and ended the process far less in debt than most.

But while running a shoe-string campaign may have been novel the first time around, he's not interested in doing it again, saying that he won't even consider another run unless a) he can get strong support in the GOP primary and b) that support will be backed up with large sums of money:

What factors will you consider in deciding whether to run for president in 2012?

I think the key factors will be, one, after the midterm elections, whether there is a real sense of frustration with the current administration and a willingness to look for someone else, for one thing. I'd want to know there was real, solid, strong support for me within the Republican Party for a primary, and I can't even consider running again without the level of financial support that a person needs to carry it all the way. To hear a person tell me, "Gee, I'd really like to see you run," is great. But if you can't raise tens of millions of dollars to start and hundreds of millions of dollars to compete, as crazy and as obscene as that is, it really doesn't matter.

The End of Huckabee's Presidential Aspirations?

Over the weekend, Mike Huckabee suggested that he wasn't particularly interested in running for president in 2012, saying that even though he is leading in several polls, he really likes his job at Fox News:

WALLACE: Governor Huckabee, I want to show you a couple of polls that I suspect you already know about, but let’s put them up on the screen.

Seventy percent of Iowa Republicans view you favorably. That is more than any of the other mentioned likely presidential possibilities for 2012. And a national poll of Republicans last month had you in first place -- national poll -- ahead of Romney, and Palin and Gingrich.

So, Governor Huckabee, why wouldn’t you run for president in 2012?

HUCKABEE: Well, there’s obviously a lot of smart people in Iowa and the rest of the country. Let me acknowledge that. But the reason I wouldn’t is because this Fox gig I’ve got right now, Chris, is really, really wonderful.

And you know, it’s easy to say, “Oh, gee, don’t you just want to jump back in it?” But jumping into the pool -- you’ve got to make sure there’s some water in it. And there’s a whole different deal of saying some folks take a poll and whether there’s the financial support.

Howard [Dean] and I have both been there, done that. It’s a wonderful experience. But I am nowhere near ready to say that that’s what I want to do three years from now.

WALLACE: So let me ask you a silly question three years out. What do you -- would you say at this moment are the chances that you will run, 50/50, better, worse, what?

HUCKABEE: It’s hard to say. A lot of it depends on how the elections turn out next year and whether Roger Ailes continues to like my show on the weekends. And if all those things factor in, you know, it’s less likely than more likely, just because I would have to see that the Republicans would be willing to unite behind me.

The last time out, my biggest challenge was with the establishment Republicans who just never showed their support. And while I think a person can possibly win without them, the Republican Party needs to unite if it’s going to win in 2012. And anyone who thinks Barack Obama is an easy mark off, just remember Bill Clinton was just labeled politically dead and came back to win a resounding re-election in 1996.

Given the other tragic event over the weekend, it looks like Huckabee's decision about whether or not to make another run in 2012 might have been made for him:

The man whom police are seeking as a "person of interest" in the slaying of four police officers was released from an Arkansas prison nine years ago after a controversial decision by then-Gov. Mike Huckabee to commute his sentence.

Maurice Clemmons, 37, was identified late Sunday by the Pierce County Sheriff's Office as a man sought for questioning . Clemmons has pending charges in Pierce County Superior Court for second-degree child rape and third-degree assault for an attack on a police officer. He was released from custody in those cases after posting a $150,000 bond, according to the Lakewood Police Department.

Long before coming to Washington, Clemmons was serving a 35-year prison term in Arkansas for armed robbery but his sentence was commuted by then-Gov. Huckabee, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination in his 2008 presidential bid, according to the Arkansas Times Web site.

After his release, he committed two armed robberies and other crimes and was sentenced to 10 years, but was later paroled, according to this column in the Arkansas Leader.

HuckPAC has released this statement, saying that if Clemmons is responsible for this crime, laying that fault of the "criminal justice system": 

The senseless and savage execution of police officers in Washington State has saddened the nation, and early reports indicate that a person of interest is a repeat offender who once lived in Arkansas and was wanted on outstanding warrants here and in Washington State. The murder of any individual is a profound tragedy, but the murder of a police officer is the worst of all murders in that it is an assault on every citizen and the laws we live within.

Should he be found to be responsible for this horrible tragedy, it will be the result of a series of failures in the criminal justice system in both Arkansas and Washington State. He was recommended for and received a commutation of his original sentence from 1990, this commutation made him parole eligible and he was then paroled by the parole board once they determined he met the conditions at that time. He was arrested later for parole violation and taken back to prison to serve his full term, but prosecutors dropped the charges that would have held him. It appears that he has continued to have a string of criminal and psychotic behavior but was not kept incarcerated by either state. This is a horrible and tragic event and if found and convicted the offender should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Our thoughts and prayers are and should be with the families of those honorable, brave, and heroic police officers.

Virginia Foxx's "Revisionist History"

For the last several years, we've been chronicling efforts by far-right activists like David Barton and the National Black Republican Association to claim that throughout American history it has been Republicans who have been the champions of civil rights while Democrats were the party of racists and it seems that this idea has now worked its way into the House of Representatives thanks to Rep. Virginia Foxx:

During a debate on the House floor today over designating 21 miles of the Molalla River as “wild and scenic,” Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), who opposes the legislation, tried to claim a progressive environmental record for her party. “Actually, the GOP has been the leader in starting good environmental programs in this country,” said Foxx.

Foxx then extended her claims of the GOP’s progressive history to the issue of civil rights. “Just as we were the people who passed the civil rights bills back in the ’60s without very much help from our colleagues across the aisle,” said Fox. “They love to engage in revisionist history.”

A few years back, Barton produced an entire video pushing this idea.  Entitled "Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black and White," Barton's presentation chronicled the decades of oppression and discrimination against Blacks for which Barton claimed the Democrats were entirely responsible, only to suddenly stop with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, completely ignoring the political transformation that overtook the country in its wake and the rise of the Republican Party’s "Southern Strategy" as we explained in our report:

Having been so eager to recount every historical Democratic disgrace, Barton falls silent when it comes to mentioning the split that emerged within the Democratic Party in the 1960s between the growing number who embraced the civil rights movement and those who continued to oppose it. Barton does not mention that President Johnson risked his career and his party’s future to do the right thing, nor does he mention that racist and segregationist southern Democrats left the party and were welcomed by the national Republican Party as part of its “Southern Strategy” to building power. Nor, of course, does he mention a particularly shameful modern-era example of that strategy – presidential candidate Ronald Reagan launching his 1980 bid for the presidency with a visit to Philadelphia, Mississippi to declare his support for states’ rights – with no mention of the town’s notoriety as the place where civil rights workers were murdered and townspeople jeered federal investigators.

Even an amateur historian like Barton shouldn’t be able to ignore that sordid history. In fact it’s so well documented that even RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman once openly acknowledged it in the context of his efforts to recruit African Americans into the Party. Mehlman gave an apology of sorts, saying "By the '70s and into the '80s and '90s, the Democratic Party solidified its gains in the African American community, and we Republicans did not effectively reach out. Some Republicans gave up on winning the African American vote, looking the other way or trying to benefit politically from racial polarization. I am here today as the Republican chairman to tell you we were wrong."

Even President Bush acknowledged that whatever prestige the Republican Party once had with African Americans has been squandered, telling the NAACP on July 20, 2006 that he understands why “many African Americans distrust my political party” and that he considers it “a tragedy that the party of Abraham Lincoln let go of its historic ties with the African American community. For too long my party wrote off the African American vote, and many African Americans wrote off the Republican Party” – admissions which were met with rousing applause from the audience.

But that is nothing compared to the efforts of Frances Rice of the National Black Republican Association, who prefers flat out lying about it:

The 30-year odyssey of the South switching to the Republican Party began in the 1970s with President Richard Nixon's "Southern Strategy," which was an effort on the part of Nixon to get Christians in the South to stop voting for Democrats who did not share their values and were still discriminating against their fellow Christians who happened to be black.

As we asked once before:

The obvious question raised by all of this is not why the Democrats are reluctant to discuss it, but why right-wingers who are obsessed with it never manage to explain the so-called “Southern Strategy” employed by Richard Nixon to win over traditional Southern Democrats who were angry by the party’s emerging pro-civil rights positions. As Nixon strategist Kevin Phillips explained it:

From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don't need any more than that... but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That's where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats.

Ronald Regan’s strategist Lee Atwater was even more blunt about the reasoning behind the strategy:

“You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘Nigger, nigger, nigger,’ ” said Atwater. “By 1968, you can’t say ‘nigger’ — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things, and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.”

It's amazing to see this sort of right-wing propaganda being spread on the floor of the House of Representatives. 

Amazing, but sadly not surprising.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced it would support proposed city laws that would prohibit discrimination against gays in housing and employment ... and FRC is angry.
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham has been censured by the Charleston County Republican Party for being insufficiently conservative.
  • In related South Carolina news, a federal district court ruled Tuesday that the "I Believe" license plate approved by the South Carolina Legislature violates the constitutional separation of church and state and cannot be issued.
  • The annual Federalist Society conference is underway.
  • The George W. Bush Oral History Project?
  • Did you know that President Obama despises America? Well, he does.
  • Amazingly, there are people running for office who still seek Alan Keyes' endorsement.

This Is Your Republican Party

TPM reports that a few thousand Tea Party activists have gathered on Capitol Hill today ... all thanks to the efforts of Rep. Michele Bachmann:

Absolutely amazing.

By the way, do you think it is just a coincidence that this is happening today?

The Big Con: How Matt Barber Swindled Me Out of $30

Yesterday, I wrote a post taking issue with right-wing outlets that were claiming that people were giving Matt Barber's new book, "The Right Hook: From The Ring To The Culture War," negative reviews without have read it, claiming that the book isn't even going to be released until next week.

As I noted, I already received a copy that I ordered from Amazon last week.  But now that I've started to read it, I made an interesting discovery: namely, that anybody who has read his columns doesn't need to actually read the book before they review it ... because they have literally already read it, since the book consists entirely of his republished columns! 

Nowhere on the publisher's website or the Amazon page is there any sort of disclaimer that this "book" is really just a collection of Barber's past columns.  Had that been made clear, I certainly would have saved myself the $32.00 I spent on this bound edition of his inane columns.

So, to save prevent anyone else who was thinking of buying this "book" from getting conned and ripped-off, here is the entire Barber book in links:

State Eagle Forum President Becomes Head of Texas GOP

Over the weekend, Cathie Adams was elected the new Chairwoman of the Texas Republican Party. 

Adams also happens to be the President of the Texas Eagle Forum who has deep ties to other right-wing leaders in the state, such as David Barton and, as the Texas Freedom Network notes, has a long history of ultra-right-wing activism:

- Ms. Adams has compared President Obama to Adolf Hitler, suggesting that his speech to American students was “eerily like Hitler’s youth movement.”

- In an e-mail to far-right activists in 2008, Ms. Adams viciously attacked the faith of then-candidate Obama (page 40):

“While many question Barak Hussein Obama’s ‘religion’…, the more important question is whether he has a ‘relationship’ with Jesus Christ because that is the only HOPE that any of us have to obtain eternal life. I personally see NO evidence that Obama has that kind of ‘saving faith.’”

- Two years ago Ms. Adams opposed a ballot measure providing $300 million annually over 10 years for cancer research. Voters approved the measure, which had the support of Gov. Perry and then-President George Bush. But Adams didn’t, falsely claiming that the money would be used in embryonic stem cell research and suggesting that medical researchers are amoral monsters:

“Scientists are on the verge of cloning humans, injecting them with diseases and studying them, then killing them.”

- Defending the dominance of failed abstinence-only programs in Texas schools recently, Ms. Adams blamed the state’s sky-high rates of teen births and sexually transmitted diseases on the supposedly inferior morals of Mexican immigrants:

“If mom had a baby at age 15, are her morals going to be setting different standards than someone who has grown up in the American culture where that is not typical? As a matter of fact, we would look at someone impregnating a 15-year-old as child abuse.”

- She opposes the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which gives children of the working poor access to health care:

“Now illegal aliens will be able to purchase cheap insurance for their children. This is an incentive for them to come here.”

Will Immigration Reform Fracture The Freedom Federation?

Dan Gilgoff reports that efforts are underway to get religious conservatives on board efforts to reform the nation's immigration laws:

Many of the same faith-based groups attacking Obama and the Democrats over healthcare reform's abortion provisions, including the National Association of Evangelicals, the Southern Baptist Convention, and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, are poised to become major players in the president's coming push for comprehensive immigration reform, which would include a path to citizenship for many illegal immigrants. "There is a strong biblical teaching about showing hospitality to the stranger and the alien," says [Galen Carey, chief lobbyist for the National Association of Evangelicals.]

...

The shift follows an intensive effort by Latino evangelical leaders to lobby their white evangelical counterparts. "My stump speech is that this is not amnesty and that this is a biblical issue," says the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. "If you are a devout follower of Christ, you have to support immigration reform." In the years since the last national debate on immigration reform, Rodriguez has met with white evangelical opinion makers like NAE President Leith Anderson and former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. "This is the same constituency Glenn Beck is appealing to," says Rodriguez.

White evangelical leaders have also been influenced by their increasingly Latino congregations. Though nearly 70 percent of Hispanics in the United States are Roman Catholic, Hispanic evangelicals and Pentecostals are among the nation's fastest-growing religious groups. And politically speaking, conservative evangelical activists see Hispanics, who are generally conservative on issues like abortion and gay marriage, as potential allies. "The only thing that can turn them against us is if they are made to feel unwelcome in social conservative circles," says Richard Land, the Southern Baptist Convention's public policy chief.

In an attempt to get Christian-right groups to back comprehensive immigration reform, Rodriguez is working with the dean of the Liberty University's Law School, founded by the Rev. Jerry Falwell, on an immigration summit for conservatives. "The conservative wing of the Republican Party has to understand that it's impossible to win a national election without Hispanics," says Rodriguez. "And it's impossible to win Hispanics without immigration reform."

Frankly, I don't see that any of these developments will do much to influence the overall right-wing opposition to immigration reform, or move the Religious Right at all.

Richard Land has long been something of an outlier on this issue and the recent National Association of Evangelicals' unanimous resolution backing comprehensive immigration reform is already being attacked by Religious Right groups like the Institute on Religion and Democracy, which blasted the NAE for "adopting political stances in God's name and without consideration for their own churches' members."

The one interesting thing is Rodriguez's plans to host an immigration summit with Mat Staver, dean of the Liberty Law School, as both are members of the Freedom Federation, the new right-wing supergroup.

As we pointed out last month, Rodriguez recently began pushing to ensure that healthcare reform contained coverage for those in the country illegally, which is a position that would not go over well with several other members of the Freedom Federation.

If Staver and Rodriguez do start pushing for immigration reform, one would expect that such an effort would ultimately create a lot of tension within the Freedom Federation coalition itself, which could end up undermining the coalition's very reason for existing, considering that it was created specifically in order to unify the Religious Right.

FRC: We'd Rather Lose The Seat Then See a Liberal Republican Win

Yesterday, David Weigel had a good piece on the Republican "civil war" unfolding in New York over the race for the open Congressional seat between Doug Hoffman, the choice of the right-wing base, and Dede Scozzafava, who is being backed by the RNC:

In July, Hoffman bid to become the Republican Party’s nominee for a special election in New York’s 23rd Congressional District. The nominee would be chosen by party leaders in the district’s 11 counties; few people were surprised when they chose Deirdre “Dede” Scozzafava, a five-term assemblywoman who’d voted with Democrats on abortion and labor issues, factors that could help the party hold a historically conservative district that had voted for the Obama-Biden ticket last year. Hoffman, a 59-year-old accountant making his first run for office, forged ahead and grabbed the nomination of the venerable Conservative Party.

Since then, Hoffman’s campaign has become this election cycle’s great conservative crusade. On Sept. 5, the candidate was endorsed by 9-12 Candidates, an offshoot of Glenn Beck’s 9-12 Project, and a reflection of the support he was getting on conservative blogs. On Sept. 28, both Fred Thompson and the Club for Growth put their weight behind Hoffman, with the Club putting $250,000 into TV ads attacking Scozzafava and Democratic candidate Bill Owens. Those endorsements, coupled with reports that Scozzafava was struggling, brought the American Conservative Union and the anti-abortion rights group Susan B. Anthony List into the fray to back Hoffman. On Monday afternoon, FreedomWorks chairman Dick Armey announced that he’d campaign for Hoffman, putting the Tea Party movement’s seal of approval on the upstart campaign.

Two weeks out from the election, the battle in upstate New York is being portrayed in the press as a “civil war” between Republican factions. That might understate how much support for Hoffman, and how little for Scozzafava, there is in the conservative movement. As far as the roiling Republican base is concerned, support for Hoffman has become a test of whether a conservative leader can be trusted. Conservative media, from magazines to blogs, are using the low-stakes special election to test their ability to drive news cycles and raise money.

The Family Research Council is particularly incensed at the RNC's sell-out in this race, saying that what the GOP needs is "good women like Marsha Blackburn and Michele Bachmann in Congress" instead of more "pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, liberal candidate who fails to reflect the values the Republican Party."

In fact, so outraged is FRC that they are now declaring that their goal is to "bring down" Scozzafava rather than see a liberal Republican elected:

"This is ridiculous -- putting a liberal up like that and expecting everybody [in the GOP] to fall in line. It's just not going to happen," says [Connie Mackey, president of the Family Research Council Action Political Action Committee]. "And if we can't elect Doug Hoffman, frankly we do hope that we at least bring down the Republican candidate."

Right Wing Round-Up

  • David Weigel: National Organization for Marriage Chairman Takes On Kevin Jennings.
  • The New Republic: The never-ending lunacy of Betsy McCaughey.
  • Why do right-wingers hate America?
  • Texas Freedom Network: Could the Republican Party of Texas move even farther to the extreme right? Apparently, yes.
  • Why is Stand For Marriage Maine linking marriage equality to an increase in AIDS infections?
  • Why is Mike Huckabee using his position with Fox News to bolster his PAC?

Right Wing Leftovers

Bush: "I Redefined the Republican Party"

I recall being at the 2008 CPAC Conference on the day before President Bush was set to address the gathering for the only time during his presidency and seeing people lining up outside the main conference room preparing to camp out all night in order to get a seat to see him speak the following morning. 

While attendees were thrilled to have Bush in attendance at CPAC, it looks like Bush did not necessarily share their excitement, at least according to this piece by Byron York on a new book written by former White House speechwriter Matt Latimer:

Bush was preparing to give a speech to the annual meeting of the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC. The conference is the event of the year for conservative activists; Republican politicians are required to appear and offer their praise of the conservative movement.

Latimer got the assignment to write Bush's speech. Draft in hand, he and a few other writers met with the president in the Oval Office. Bush was decidedly unenthusiastic.

"What is this movement you keep talking about in the speech?" the president asked Latimer.

Latimer explained that he meant the conservative movement -- the movement that gave rise to groups like CPAC.

Bush seemed perplexed. Latimer elaborated a bit more. Then Bush leaned forward, with a point to make.

"Let me tell you something," the president said. "I whupped Gary Bauer's ass in 2000. So take out all this movement stuff. There is no movement."

Bush seemed to equate the conservative movement -- the astonishing growth of conservative political strength that took place in the decades after Barry Goldwater's disastrous defeat in 1964 -- with the fortunes of Bauer, the evangelical Christian activist and former head of the Family Research Council whose 2000 presidential campaign went nowhere.

Now it was Latimer who looked perplexed. Bush tried to explain.

"Look, I know this probably sounds arrogant to say," the president said, "but I redefined the Republican Party."

The Oval Office is no place for a low-ranking White House staffer to get into an argument with the president of the United States about the state of the Republican Party -- or about any other subject, for that matter. Latimer made the changes the president wanted. When Bush appeared at CPAC, he made no mention of the conservative movement. In fact, he said the word "conservative" only once, in the last paragraph.

Robert Stacy McCain Should Touch Base With Some People

In a conversation flowing out of Norman Podhoretz’s new book, gadfly blogger Robert Stacy McCain makes a typically ridiculous point:

The demonization of the “Religious Right” was a project developed by Norman Lear and others during the Reagan era, after Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority played such a key role in the 1980 election, and this theme has defined the politics of the Democratic Party ever since.

As a political tactic, it is both amazingly effective and fundamentally false. The Republican Party is chiefly devoted to political policies having nothing specifically to do with evangelical Christianity. Yet there is an entire industry of liberal propagandists who specialize in seeking out various outre pronouncements of “Religious Right” leaders and presenting these views as if they would become firm policy in the next Republican administration. . . .

While we’re always thrilled to hear our founder and board member given credit for “[defining] the politics of the Democratic Party” from 1980 onwards, he might want to check before he claims that the pronouncements of the Religious Right won’t become the firm policy of the next Republican administration. After all, the candidates running for the Republican nomination keep promising exactly that.

Mike Huckabee, Tim Pawlenty, and Mitt Romney--all likely candidates for the presidency--are confirmed guests at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC next week, as are Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader John Boehner. (Sarah Palin is invited but not confirmed, which is surprising as she doesn’t have a full time job at the moment.) If past behavior is any guide, all of these party leaders will take the opportunity to pledge undying fealty to the far right platform espoused by the Family Research Council. And while we were founded on the principle that one could disagree with that right-wing platform without being a “bad Christian,” I’d be surprised any of the attendees of the summit attendees to say it out loud.

If any of those candidates decide to use the opportunity to distance themselves from the “outré pronouncements” of the Religious Right, we’ll be sure to let you know. 

Don’t hold your breath.

Farah Arguing Himself In Circles

WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah continues to fight back against Jon Henke's efforts to get conservatives to boycott his right-wing rag and takes the battle to the pages of the Washington Times:

Joseph Farah, editor of World Net Daily, questioned Mr. Henke's motives and standing in an interview with The Washington Times.

"In the little bit of time I've had to figure out who Jon Henke is and what the Next Right is, I see it's pretty much a Republican establishment group who has worked for the RNC and the Republican Party and I can certainly understand why a group like that would have problems with World Net Daily," he said. "We are not in anybody's pocket and we don't have to take our cues from them. We never have and never will and that will probably bother some people."

He added about the Next Right: "Just looking at their biographies I see these are not journalists, they are political activists who have their own agendas."

So Henke is a Republican lapdog just doing the bidding of the RNC? That is interesting seeing that Henke is currently targeting the RNC for its dealings with WND and trying, unsuccessfully, to get them to explain:

After I argued that credible organizations on the Right should not support the conspiracy peddling of WorldNetDaily, it was pointed out that the RNC appears to have rented access to the WND email list. So I emailed the RNC to inquire about it and encourage them to stop.

My question was: "Is the RNC really renting the World Net Daily email list?" This was the response from the RNC Press Secretary:

Nice to meet you. Pls note that we have already weighed in on the birther issue -- weeks ago. Thanks.

The Press Secretary then appended a NYT story in which this was their response:

“Chairman Steele believes this is an unnecessary distraction and that the president is a U.S. citizen,” said Gail Gitcho, a spokesperson for the Republican National Committee. “He wants to move on and continue talking about real and immediate issues that are facing our nation, like health care and the economy. Chairman Steele has other issues to take up with the president having to do with policy, not a birth certificate.”

So, the sum total of the RNC's response was (a) Obama is "a U.S. citizen", but (b) we want to ignore this Birther story, (c) we're not saying whether or not we're working with the Birthers, and (d) we're just going to completely ignore the actual question you asked.

Also, it takes an amazing amount of gall, or a complete lack of self-awareness, for someone like Farah to claim that his critics are "not journalists [but just] political activists who have their own agendas."

God Wants Sanford To Stay In Office

And he's a victim, just like Sarah Palin:

Embattled South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford acknowledged Tuesday that he has been shaken by the failure of a single fellow Republican to back him in his fight to save his job, but vowed to fight on for conservative causes and for "what God wanted me to do with my life."

The governor, trying to survive a scandal involving a widely publicized extramarital affair, also compared a new ethics probe over his travel and personal expenses to what he called the baseless complaints brought against former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

"I think I now know what Sarah may have been feeling," Mr. Sanford told The Washington Times.

Mr. Sanford vowed not to quit despite growing pressure from South Carolina lawmakers and Republican Party officials to resign or face impeachment. He said he intends to complete his term, not to hold on to power but to fight for conservative principles of governance.

"I feel absolutely committed to the cause, to what God wanted me to do with my life," he said in an interview. "I have got this blessing of being engaged in a fight for liberty, which is constantly being threatened."

McDonnell's Backtracking Angers The Right

Over the weekend, the Washington Post ran an article on the master's thesis written by Robert McDonnell when he was attending Pat Robertson's Regent University back in the last 1980s.  As he is now seeking to become the governor of Virginia by protraying himself as a moderate Republican, McDonnell is wishing this document had never surfaced:

His 1989 thesis -- "The Republican Party's Vision for the Family: The Compelling Issue of The Decade" -- was on the subject he wanted to explore at Regent: the link between Christianity and U.S. law. The document was written to fulfill the requirements of the two degrees he was seeking at Regent, a master of arts in public policy and a juris doctor in law.

The thesis wasn't so much a case against government as a blueprint to change what he saw as a liberal model into one that actively promoted conservative, faith-based principles through tax policy, the public schools, welfare reform and other avenues.

"Leaders must correct the conventional folklore about the separation of church and state," he wrote. "Historically, the religious liberty guarantees of the First Amendment were intended to prevent government encroachment upon the free church, not eliminate the impact of religion on society."

He argued for covenant marriage, a legally distinct type of marriage intended to make it more difficult to obtain a divorce. He advocated character education programs in public schools to teach "traditional Judeo-Christian values" and other principles that he thought many youths were not learning in their homes. He called for less government encroachment on parental authority, for example, redefining child abuse to "exclude parental spanking." He lamented the "purging of religious influence" from public schools. And he criticized federal tax credits for child care expenditures because they encouraged women to enter the workforce.

"Further expenditures would be used to subsidize a dynamic new trend of working women and feminists that is ultimately detrimental to the family by entrenching status-quo of nonparental primary nurture of children," he wrote.

He went on to say feminism is among the "real enemies of the traditional family."

Not surprisingly, McDonnell is now backing away from many of those statements, claiming that his views have changed:

Mr. McDonnell on Monday said he regretted any offensive language.

"Any of the language in there that in any way denigrates the basic dignity or worth of any human being, I very much regret that. It does not at all reflect my views today. I fully believe in equal justice under the law, I believe in civility, and I believe in promoting people based or merit," he said.

"My views on some of these things have changed. There were any number of things in the thesis that the language would be much, much different today. I've been honest with you today that several of those specific points I've repudiated, I feel differently about."

Of course, that effort is now carrying its own risks:

Victoria Cobb is president of The Family Foundation, which once gave McDonnell its "Legislator of the Year" award. Cobb urges McDonnell to be very cautious not to downplay his strong conservative record.

"If he is seen as someone who is flip-flopping on issues or backing away, no matter what the issues are, that is always viewed by the electorate as a negative," she contends. "People want a consistent leader on issues, and they want someone who they knew ten years ago agreed with something and still supports that position. And so, he needs to tread very carefully as he looks at his views."

Cobb says although she understands McDonnell's desire to reach out across the aisle and to other voting blocs, there is no need to distance himself from previous positions.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Carrie Prejean says losing the Miss USA pageant and later her state crown was part of God's plan.
  • The Hill: An aide to former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas), was indicted Friday on public corruption charges related to the wide-ranging case involving Jack Abramoff.
  • Personhood Colorado announces that it is launching an effort to get its "personhood" amendment back on the ballot after its humiliating defeat last year, saying they are "seeing incremental advances for the personhood rights of the preborn."
  • Gary Dull and his Faith and Freedom Institute announce that they will be conducting a "Patriotic Prayer Rally" at Lafayette Park in Washington, DC tomorrow.
  • Janet Porter and gang will be hosting yet another web conference early next month highlighting the upcoming How To Take Back America Conference.
  • Finally, Roy Moore came in second at the straw poll conducted by the St. Clair County [Alabama] Republican Party after a gubernatorial forum featuring all six Republican candidates seeking the party's nomination next year.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Tomorrow the Florida Republican Party will hold its Drive The Discussion event featuring Bruce Jenner, Carrie Prejean, and Jonathan Krohn. Can't you just feel the excitement?
  • AP: A federal judge upheld part of a South Dakota law that requires women to be told abortion ends a human life, but struck down disclosures that the procedure increases the likelihood of suicide and that they have an existing relationship with the fetus.
  • Gary Bauer: Republicans have been handed a great opportunity to appeal to the Vocal Majority of Americans upset over the Democrats’ fixation on government-run health care. Now they must embrace it.
  • The Susan B. Anthony List says that last night it "engaged over 160,000 pro-life Americans in a national teleconference called 'Keeping the Faith with the Unborn' aimed at encouraging citizens "to take action by calling and sending letters to Congress to make their voice heard in the debate over health care reform."
  • Ralph Reed fills in for Dan Gilgoff by simply reposting a post from his own Faith and Freedom Coalition blog.
  • I find it ironic that Mat Staver of the Liberty Counsel says that "People are frustrated — they don't want to be lied to" regarding healthcare reform considering that he and his organization are spreading "pants-on-fire" lies regarding healthcare reform.
  • Finally, starting Monday, we are going to make some minor changes to the way we produce content for this blog by starting to post shorter items linking to things of interest as we find them in an effort to generate more content to supplement our current output.  We think it is be an improvement, and hopefully you will too.
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republican party Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Monday 12/13/2010, 5:30pm
With growing speculation over his presidential ambitions, Indiana Republican Mike Pence is taking the anti-Obama rhetoric into high-gear. Pence is the winner of the Family Research Council’s 2010 Values Voter Summit straw poll, and is seen as a favorite of the Religious Right. By stepping down from his position as House GOP Conference Chair because he couldn’t commit to serving a full term, Pence signaled that he could potentially run for governor of Indiana or President. In an interview with US News & World Report, Pence rejects the social issues “truce”... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 12/07/2010, 3:24pm
Rep. Lamar Smith says that the GOP should go ahead and press it's anti-immigration agenda because Hispanics support the Republican agenda and don't really care about the issue of immigration: "The idea that we need to listen to our liberal Democratic friends who say you have to be for amnesty if you want to get Hispanic votes, we've disproved that this year -- and I hope we've laid that to rest," he adds. With the understanding that "Hispanics have the same values that almost every other American has," he thinks the GOP can attract Hispanic voters by treating... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 12/07/2010, 2:31pm
Steve Kornacki has an article at Salon about liberal disappointment with President Obama and calls to support a challenger to him in 2012 in which he uncovered an article from 1983 that I just want to highlight because I think it is interesting: Hard-line conservatives will meet this weekend in Dallas to discuss complaints against the administration and perhaps lay some groundwork for challenging President Reagan if he seeks re-election in 1984. "We've either got to fish or cut bait," said Howard Phillips, chairman of the Conservative Caucus. "Either we get some changes out of... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 12/07/2010, 1:42pm
I know that Tea Party activists have been working hard to rebut the movement's reputation for racism, so I am sure that this decision will raise a few eyebrows: One day after former Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska declined to throw her hat into the ring to become the Tea Party movement’s choice to lead the Republican National Committee, a leading Tea Party group threw its support behind Saul Anuzis of Michigan. Judson Phillips, the founder of Tea Party Nation, announced in a statement on Tuesday that he was supporting Mr. Anuzis, a former chairman of the Michigan Republican Party... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 11/23/2010, 5:29pm
Good As You: Maggie spearheads law school program; spear's tip purposely pointed at 14th Amendment. Justin Elliott @ Salon: Palin book denounces federal income tax. Huffington Post: Sarah Palin: Katie Couric Interview 'A Waste Of Time.' Paul Bedard @ Washington Whispers: Next Tea Party Target: Corporate America. Wonkette: Christmas-Hating Republican Party Selling ‘Happy Holidays’ Ornaments. Palm Center: Fox News Rejects Ad About Gay Troops. MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 11/23/2010, 1:08pm
Last week the American Principles Project announced that it would boycott the next CAPC convention if organizers allowed the gay conservative group GOProud to participate. Now, the APP has gotten other Religious Right groups to sign on to a letter to announcing their intent to likewise withdraw from the event: A coalition of conservative groups led by the American Principles Project today sent a letter to David Keene, Chairman of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and his fellow board members announcing their withdrawal from participation in the 2011 CPAC. The... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 11/22/2010, 4:37pm
Matt Barber and Shawn Akers dedicated a recent Liberty Counsel "Faith & Freedom Radio" program to pushing back against GOProud's effort to get the Republican Party to ignore the Religious Right's social issues agenda, blasting GOProud as liberal group that is masquerading as a conservative organization in order to divide the conservative movement and explaining that the only true conservatives are those who are conservative on social, fiscal, and national defense issues: Barber: Groups like GOProud are liberal/libertarian organizations that are in place, and I believe... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Friday 11/19/2010, 3:49pm
We have written about the ways that Tea Party candidates, Religious Right leaders like David Barton, and pundits like Glenn Beck have been promoting the idea of a divinely-inspired American Exceptionalism, and attacking President Obama for being an enemy of exceptionalism who is out to destroy it.  A new survey released this week by the Public Religion Research Institute makes it clear that there’s fertile ground for politically exploiting this concept, especially among Republican voters. When voters were asked whether they agree or disagree with the statement that “God... MORE >