Wendy Wright

Right Wing Leftovers

  • You know what Lou Pritchett? You scare me.
  • Barbara Simpson has been too lazy to get her TV set up for the digital conversion, so now she's mad at the government.
  • Thanks to the Alliance Defense Fund, a local ministry will now be able to hand out religious literature at St. Louis' upcoming PrideFest.
  • Sam Brownback's main primary challenge for Governor has now dropped out.
  • Anti-choice activists are going to recreate the Civil Rights march across the Pettus Bridge in Alabama along with Alveda Kind and 70 pro-life organizations.
  • Sen. Jim DeMint is set to endorse Marco Rubio's bid for Governor of Florida.
  • This column from Kathryn Jean Lopez says that Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America used to work for Operation Rescue, which is something we didn't know.
  • Speaking of K Lo, she is transitioning to a new position at the National Review.
  • President Obama was in Illinois addressing the American Medical Association ... and Peter LaBarbera was there protesting the "radical homosexual agenda."
  • Finally, Pat Boone declares ""Like it or not, believe it or not, the end times seem to be drawing near."

The Religious Right: Always The Victim

It was just over a week ago that Dr. George Tiller was murdered and today his family announced that the clinic he operated in Kansas would be shutting down permanently:

The Wichita clinic of slain abortion provider George Tiller will be "permanently closed," his family said Tuesday.

Operations at Women's Health Care Services Inc. had been suspended since Tiller's death May 31. In a statement released by his attorneys, Tiller's family said it will close, effective immediately.

...

Randall Terry, who founded the original Operation Rescue group, responded to news that Tiller's clinic would remain closed with, "Good riddance." He said history would remember Tiller's clinic as it remembers Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps.

"What set him apart is that he killed late-term babies," Terry said. "If his replacement was going to continue to kill late-term children, the protests would continue, the investigations would continue, the indictments would continue."

In the days that followed, right-wing anti-choice activists were lamenting that Tiller's murder would undermine their cause, warning that "pro-abortion activists and politicians to use this tragedy to manipulate public opinion or our laws," and saying that Tiller was murdered because anti-choice activists feel "helpless" and under attack.

But what has been most remarkable about this is the way that the Right has tried to use Tiller's murder to claim that they are being victimized

Operation Rescue will not stand by and act as if this organization's Pro-Life message has been silenced by Mr. Roeder's egregious act and insidious statements. Operation Rescue will continue to advocate for the sanctity of human life, born and unborn.

While Operation Rescue recognizes the Obama Administration's endeavor of protection of abortion providers we caution that this protection should not be used as a ruse to conduct a witch-hunt against the Pro-Life movement. Neither persecution nor adulteration of the rule of law can be tolerated pursuant to this sad event.

Concerned Women for America's Wendy Wright made a similar complaint

Late Friday afternoon, the DOJ made it clear that it believes other individuals or groups may have been involved in Tiller's shooting on Sunday, May 31. The agency's press release stated it will "work tirelessly to determine the full involvement of any and all actors in this horrible crime, and to ensure that anyone who played a role in the offense is prosecuted to the full extent of federal law." (See earlier story)

Is it a legitimate investigation -- or a political payoff from the Obama administration to the pro-abortion movement? Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America, believes politics could be a motive. But she suspects there may be more behind the announced investigation than meets the eye.

"This may be more of a nefarious effort than it appears on its face," she exclaims, "that in fact, the Department of Justice may be trying to smear pro-lifers, as if we all belong in the same camp, as if we all advocate violence, when it's [actually] just the opposite."

You really have to marvel at the Right's ability to take the cold-blooded murder of the man they routinely demonized as the incarnation of the absolute wickedness of abortion and turn it into a pity party for themselves.

What's Norm Coleman Up To?

I have to say that, in the six years that Norm Coleman was in the Senate, I don't ever recall him showing up at right-wing events and hob-nobbing with grassroots activists.

But times have changed, apparently:

Norm Coleman will be joined by Phyllis Schlafly, Rush Limbaugh's brother, and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's son - a Roman Catholic priest - at a gathering this week in St. Louis for a conference on conservative principles.

Coleman will be the keynote speaker for the Conservative Heartland Leadership Conference, which began Wednesday and concludes Thursday at the Millennium Hotel in St. Louis.

...

Coleman is scheduled to speak Thursday at a luncheon with an introduction by political commentator and author David Limbaugh, brother of talk radio host Rush Limbaugh.

Underwriting the event is the conservative American Issues Project, a nonprofit group that has aired political ads, including one linking candidate Barack Obama to 1960s radical William Ayers.

...

The Rev. Paul Scalia, a Catholic priest of the Arlington, Va., diocese and the Supreme Court justice's son, will host a prayer breakfast featuring Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America; Joe Ortweth of Missouri Family Council; and Don Hinkle of the Missouri Baptist Convention.

Former U.S. Sen. Jim Talent will speak on national security.

Kris Kobach, a candidate for Kansas secretary of state who has helped draft laws sanctioning illegal immigration, will discuss judicial selection in Kansas. Kobach is an attorney and University of Missouri law professor.

For the record, Grover Norquist is also attending.

O'Reilly Was Not Alone In Targeting Tiller

Bill O'Reilly is deservedly getting lots of attention for his years-long vicious crusade against George Tiller:

But it should be pointed out that O'Reilly had a lot of company in this effort to demonize Tiller, as Religious Right groups had been targeting Tiller for years and regularly holding him up as the epitome of the "evil" that is reproductive choice.

For instance, just last month, more than two dozen right-wing groups and activists sent a letter to Senators opposing the nomination of Kathleen Sebelius to be Secretary of Health and Human Services, citing among their primary concerns her "ties" to Tiller:

Governor Sebelius has long close and personal ties to notorious abortionist George Tiller, known for performing late-term abortions in Kansas, include donations from Mr. Tiller of hundreds of thousands of dollars to PACs and organizations controlled by the Kansas Governor. She has also repeatedly interfered in cases brought against Mr. Tiller, including recruiting a candidate to replace the state attorney general who was originally prosecuting the abortion doctor.

Signatories of the letter included the likes of Tom McClusky of Family Research Council Action, Don Wildmon of the American Family Association, Jim Backlin of the Christian Coalition, Phil Burress of Citizens for Community Values, Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America, Brian Burch of Fidelis, Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family, and Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition.

The fact of the matter is that, for years, right-wing groups sought to make Tiller the face of the abortion fight and a quick search of several of the leading organization's websites demonstrates just how often they citied Tiller in their own anti-abortion efforts.

For instance, Tiller's name was mentioned dozens if not hundreds of times on the websites of organization's like Focus on the Family, Faith 2 Action, Vision America, American Family Association, Christian Coalition, American Center for Law and Justice, the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, the Traditional Values Coalition, and the Alliance Defense Fund where he was often referred to with terms like "accused serial abortionist," the most notorious abortionist in America," "George (the Killer) Tiller," and "Tiller the Killer."

There are at least 78 mentions of the name "George Tiller" on the Family Research Council website, often in connection with statements like this from March of this year:

The trial of notorious Kansas abortionist, George Tiller, is now underway. During his career as an abortionist, Tiller has performed over 80,000 abortions, among them thousands of viable, third-trimester babies. Women travel to Kansas from all over the world to obtain late abortions they cannot get elsewhere. Tiller's body count is greater by far than all the American troops killed in Vietnam ... This man should be in jail. Whatever the outcome of the trial now underway, the fact is that jail is the only appropriate place for 'doctors' who kill children" ... May George Tiller finally be brought to some semblance of justice!

But perhaps no organization outside of the single-issue groups like Operation Rescue made Tiller a bigger target than did Concerned Women for America, which has more than 200 mentions of him on its website, including this column by Janice Crouse from just a few weeks ago:

The bloodshed of the thousands of late-term abortions that Dr. George R. Tiller of Wichita, Kansas, performs each year vastly eclipses the death toll from the struggle over the slavery contest in Kansas in the years immediately prior to the Civil War. The slaughter in Tiller's abortion clinic - by his own account he has performed over 60,000 abortions, with a "special interest" and focus on "late-term" abortions - should justly revive the label of "Bleeding Kansas."

It is hard to know what is in the mind of someone like George Tiller, the abortionist who for years has routinely killed the babies of women in the last stages of their pregnancies - seven, even eight months along ... Tiller takes upon himself the role of God and condemns to death any innocent child whose mother chooses to label it as "unwanted." Then he executes them.

As I've been reading the coverage of Tiller's murder over the last two days, I've been asking myself "why do I even know his name?"  

I don't know the name of even one other women's health provider in this country, yet I was well-aware of George Tiller ... and that is because, for years, the Right had demonized Tiller and his perfectly legal practice, turning him into the poster boy for the abortion debate writ large, and routinely holding him up as the incarnation of the absolute wickedness of abortion. 

Right Wing Reaction to Sotomayor

So, anything happen while I was on vacation? 

Oh yeah, President Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor to replace Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court.  And guess what?  The Right already doesn't like her:

Family Research Council:

"President Obama has chosen a nominee with a compelling personal story over judicial pick with a solid constitutional judicial philosophy. A compelling personal story is no substitute for allegiance to the Constitution and its sound application to public life.

"Judge Sotomayor's failure to premise her decisions on the text of the Constitution has resulted in an extremely high rate of reversal before the high court to which she has been nominated.

"With that fact in mind Judge Sotomayor appears to subscribe to a very liberal judicial philosophy that considers it appropriate for judges to impose their personal views from the bench. President Obama promised us a jurist committed to the 'rule of law,' but, instead, he appears to have nominated a legislator to the Supreme Court.

Focus on the Family:

"From what we know about her, Judge Sotomayor considers policy-making to be among a judge’s roles, no matter what the law says," said Bruce Hausknecht, judicial analyst at Focus on the Family Action. "She disregards the notion of judicial impartiality."

...

Hausknecht said: "The president's professed desire for judges with 'empathy' rather than impartiality might deny the country what the Founding Fathers intended and wrote into the Constitution — judges who dispense justice without regard for the status of any party that comes before them."

Traditional Values Coalition:

To no one’s surprise, President Obama has nominated an individual who supports his position of deciding cases based on who you are, rather than on the facts and the law. Although Sotomayor spoke strongly of the importance of the rule of law and principles of the Founding Fathers, her previous decisions contradict this, as do the previous statements and promises of President Obama.

...

Judge Sotomayor fits the “empathy” qualification. During a law conference, she has openly bragged that she views her role as a judge as a policymaker and activist who will impose her leftist political views on the rest of us. She may have empathy for the poor, gays and minorities – but she is likely to ignore the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law. She is clearly the ideal nominee for President Obama but will be a disaster for our legal system.

Concerned Women for America:

CWA President Wendy Wright said, "A necessary quality for a Supreme Court justice is to be committed to equal treatment of the law, regardless of ethnicity or sex. Sonia Sotomayor has an extensive record and several troubling opinions where she seems willing to expand certain 'rights' beyond what the Constitution establishes and the appropriate Supreme Court precedent. Revealing her immodest bias, she stated that a 'Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life.' Congress needs to thoroughly vet Judge Sotomayor and Americans deserve enough time to evaluate her record and her announced bias for certain people. Her high reversal rate alone should be enough for us to pause and take a good look at her record. Frankly, it is the Senate's duty to do so."

Mario Diaz, Esq., CWA's Policy Director for Legal Issues, said, "Much has been made in the media about a Hispanic woman being nominated, but the truth is that none of that should matter as the Senate fulfills its 'advise and consent' role. What matters are the judge's judicial temperament and her view of the Constitution. We must determine if Judge Sotomayor will respect the Constitution as written or legislate from the bench. She has made some disconcerting statements that should require everyone to examine her record with an open mind and reach some conclusions. For example, she said once that 'policy was made at the appellate level,' a very dangerous way of looking at the role of a judge for those of us who value our freedoms as guaranteed in the Constitution."

Judicial Confirmation Network:

"Judge Sotomayor is a liberal judicial activist of the first order who thinks her own personal political agenda is more important than the law as written. She thinks that judges should dictate policy, and that one's sex, race, and ethnicity ought to affect the decisions one renders from the bench.

"She reads racial preferences and quotas into the Constitution, even to the point of dishonoring those who preserve our public safety. On September 11, America saw firsthand the vital role of America's firefighters in protecting our citizens. They put their lives on the line for her and the other citizens of New York and the nation. But Judge Sotomayor would sacrifice their claims to fair treatment in employment promotions to racial preferences and quotas. The Supreme Court is now reviewing that decision.

"She has an extremely high rate of her decisions being reversed, indicating that she is far more of a liberal activist than even the current liberal activist Supreme Court."

Committee for Justice:

Having told colleagues that I thought President Obama was too smart to pick someone with as much baggage as Sonia Sotomayor, I was surprised to learn of her nomination. Many other people were surprised as well, given both the widespread expectation that Obama would choose an intellectual heavyweight and Obama’s own recent statement that he would not make gender or race the major factors in his selection. Liberal law professor Jonathan Turley summed it up well on MSNBC yesterday, expressing bewilderment that Obama chose Sotomayor when heavyweights like “[Seventh Circuit Judge] Diane Wood would have met all his criteria.”

The only plausible explanation for Sotomayor’s selection is that the President was boxed in by demands from Hispanic and women’s groups that he pick one of their own. What else could explain his choice of a nominee who presents such a big target for conservatives and so clearly forces red state Democratic senators to choose between the values of their constituents and those of the nominee?

Priests for Life:

Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, says he has just one question about Judge Sonia Sotomayor as she is nominated by President Obama for the Supreme Court: "Does justice include the right to tear the arms and legs off of babies, crush their skulls, and treat them as medical waste?"

"We all draw the line somewhere. An avowed racist or anti-Semite is not acceptable on the Supreme Court. Why should we give a pass to the violence of abortion?"

Operation Rescue:

"Just as Obama has attempted to abuse the process of law in reshaping America to the far left, so too Sonia Sotomayor believes in the abuse of judicial authority having stated that courts can create social policy," said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. "This philosophy dangerously overreaches the duties of the judicial branch and flies in the face of the separation of powers doctrine."

"Sonia Sotomayor is a far left ideologue that blurs the lines between the legislature and judiciary and will surely be a rubber stamp for Obama's radical abortion agenda, which is opposed by the majority of Americans."

Organized for Life:

Peter Shinn, National Director of Organized for Life, commented that, "Sonia Sotomayor is out of step with the American people. Quoted in 2005 as believing that policy comes from the bench, she stands counter to the American people's desire to end the tragedy of abortion."

Ruben Obregon, President of Organized for Life, added, "In nominating Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama chose to further his own pro-abortion agenda rather than seek common ground on the abortion issue. Instead of faithfully representing America's views, President Obama has added another reliably liberal member to the Court who will continue to impose the Court's will on the people. Pro-life activists, the Davids in this epic battle for life, can only stop the Goliath of the White House by banding together and signing the petition at www.stopsotomayor.com."

Vision America:

Scarborough warned: "At age 54, Sotomayor could be a member of the United States Supreme Court for the next 20 years -- or longer. As a dedicated liberal, we know her views on abortion, gay marriage and reverse-discrimination -- whether or not she's ruled directly on these issues."

"That much power simply can't be bestowed by a compliant Senate," Scarborough observed. "This nomination must be stopped dead in its tracks. Sonia Sotomayor isn't a 'centrist,' she's a disaster at every level."

Susan B. Anthony List:

"Women are best protected by the rule of law -- and blind justice. Their rights are most endangered when personal preference, ideology or painful personal history inform judgment. Susan B. Anthony and her early feminist compatriots fought for a human rights standard sustained only through blind justice. When evidence of personal preference appears in any Supreme Court nominee's judgment, it should give all women pause. Given what we know about Judge Sonia Sotomayor's own judicial philosophy -- including her support of policymaking from the bench -- Americans should be concerned about the role of personal preference in her overall judicial philosophy.

When it comes to protecting all human life, one group is never served by undermining the rights of another. Women will never be served by ignoring the rights of unborn children. Judge Sonia Sotomayor's record of support for judicial activism offers little comfort that she will be a friend to the unborn on the Supreme Court. As the Senate fulfills its Constitutional role to 'advise and consent,' Senators should ask the hard questions to thoroughly assess Sotomayor's judicial temperament, and reaffirm the authentic feminist standard of blind justice for all."

Randall Terry:

"The filibuster trail was blazed by President Obama, VP Biden, Majority Leader Reed, Sec State Clinton, and other Democrat leaders in 2005 with Justice Alito. Do GOP leaders have the courage and integrity to filibuster an activist, pro-Roe judge?

"The Democrats have two weak links in their chain; Senators Nelson (NE) and Casey (PA) who both declare they are 'pro-life.' The question of conscience and courage is on the table: will they choose babies' lives or party loyalty?"

Ken Blackwell:

The White House is telling us all about Judge Sotomayor’s compelling personal story — and it is an amazing story of what is possible “only in America.” But compelling personal stories are not the question. Miguel Estrada, whom President George W. Bush nominated to the D.C. Circuit appeals court and was planning on nominating to the Supreme Court, had a compelling story as a Hispanic immigrant who legally came to this country not even speaking English. Democrats filibustered Mr. Estrada.

Supporters point out that Judge Sotomayor was first appointed by George H.W. Bush for the federal trial court — before Bill Clinton elevated her to the Second Circuit appeals court. That’s true, but George H.W. Bush also gave us Justice David Souter, so clearly he wasn’t too careful about putting liberals on the federal bench. We can’t allow the left to hide behind the Bushes.

But when it comes to gun rights, we don’t need to guess. Judge Sotomayor has put in writing what she thinks. President Obama has nominated a radically anti-Second Amendment judge to be our newest Supreme Court justice.

There are a number of pro-Second Amendment Democratic senators from deeply red states, including Mark Begich from Alaska, Jon Tester and Max Baucus from Montana, Ben Nelson from Nebraska, Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad from North Dakota, and Tim Johnson from South Dakota.

These senators will jeopardize their seats if they vote to support an anti-gun radical for the Supreme Court. Second Amendment supporters will now be up in arms over this radical anti-Second Amendment nominee, and you should never underestimate the political power of American gun owners.

Mike Huckabee (after first mistakenly calling her "Maria Sotomayor"):

The appointment of Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court is the clearest indication yet that President Obama's campaign promises to be a centrist and think in a bi-partisan way were mere rhetoric. Sotomayor comes from the far left and will likely leave us with something akin to the "Extreme Court" that could mark a major shift. The notion that appellate court decisions are to be interpreted by the "feelings" of the judge is a direct affront of the basic premise of our judicial system that is supposed to apply the law without personal emotion. If she is confirmed, then we need to take the blindfold off Lady Justice.

Richard Viguerie actually issued three different releases, including this one:

"The nomination of Sonia Sotomayor unites all wings of the conservative movement--economic, foreign policy, social, traditional, neocon, and libertarian--in a way we haven't seen since the early Clinton years.

"Judge Sotomayor frightens all conservatives. As the debate over her nomination heats up, conservatives will provide the primary opposition to Sotomayor and will quickly launch a massive educational campaign using direct mail, the Internet, talk radio, cable TV, You Tube, and other forms of new and alternative media.

"It was sad to read that Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele's comment on the Sotomayor nomination reflected the typical reaction Americans have come to expect from Republican politicians when he said that Republicans will reserve judgment on Sotomayor.

"No wonder conservatives now look to talk show hosts and other unelected conservatives for leadership, rather then wet-finger Republican politicians who always seeming to be waiting to see the direction of the political winds.

"It remains to be seen how active and effective Republican politicians will be on this historic fight, but conservatives are on the field, engaged, and ready to battle President Obama and all U.S. Senators who support Sotomayor."

This collection is actually just a fraction of the statements made in opposition to Sotomayor by right-wing groups, but it's more than enough to drive home the point that they appear intent on doing everything they can to oppose her nomination.

Every President But Bush Is a Godless Heathen

The National Day of Prayer was established back in 1952 and it wasn't until 1988 that President Reagan decreed that it would be held on the first Thursday of May.

Well, today is the first Thursday of May and, as I noted the other day, President Obama will be issuing the proclamation but won't be holding an official White House event.  That is a change from the last administration, when George W. Bush hosted White House observations annually.

The official Bush events were themselves an anomoly, because no president had ever done anything like that.  But apparently the fact that Bush alone among presidents did it means that it is now a tradition for which Obama can be slammed for desecrating by the likes of the Family Research Council:

A presidential spokesman did make it clear that there would be no NDP event at the White House. That, of course, is a break with the tradition of the Bush administration, which hosted an annual NDP event at the White House.

Should we be surprised? Concerned? No and yes. While there is a long history of Presidents praying and calling the nation to prayer (dating all the way back to George Washington), a de-emphasis on prayer in this administration should not come as a surprise. What can we expect of an administration whose policies cheapen human life, increase dependence upon government and threaten religious freedoms?

And Vision America:

The theme for this year is "Prayer... America's Hope" and is based on the verse from Psalm 33:22 which states: "May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you." Unfortunately for our nation, our current President apparently doesn’t agree. In his press conference on April 6 in Turkey, President Barack Obama stated, "One of the great strengths of the United States is... we have a very large Christian population -- we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values."

So perhaps it’s not surprising that President Obama has now cancelled the annual public observance of the National Day of Prayer! For the last eight years, prominent evangelical and other spiritual leaders were invited to attend an event in the East Room of the White House. But this year, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs announced the Obama administration plans to recognize the National Day of Prayer on Thursday with a paper proclamation, rather than a public event at the White House.

Not to be outdone is Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America, who sees the decision as proof that Obama has no faith and hates everything for which America stands:

"For those of us who have our doubts about Obama's faith, no, we did not expect him to have the service," said Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America. "But as president, he should put his own lack of faith aside and live up to the office."

Referencing a remark the president made at a recent press conference in Turkey that Americans "do not consider ourselves a Christian nation," she added: "That was projecting his own beliefs, but not reflecting what the majority of Americans feel. It's almost like Obama is trying to remake America into his own image. This is not a rejection of Shirley Dobson; it's a rejection of the concept that America is a spiritual nation and its foundation is Judeo-Christian."

Allow me to just point out once again that there have been 12 presidents obligated to proclaim a National Day of Prayer and exactly one of them, George W. Bush, held annual observances at the White House ... something even the sainted Ronald Reagan did not do.

Yet somehow this return to tradition by Obama is seen by the Right as a sacrilege and proof of his own "lack of faith."

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Media Matters has put together a lengthy list of the myths and falsehoods advanced by the media about the Supreme Court.
  • Eric Boehlert reports that the Washington Times has now fully retracted the bogus editorial they wrote last week about President Obama's poll number.
  • Sarah Poser points to evidence of aggressive proselytizing within the US military.
  • AU catches CWA's Wendy Wright saying that Obama's failure to host an official National Day of Prayer event justifies their suspicions about his faith and claiming that "he should put his own lack of faith aside and live up to the office."
  • Steve Benen notes that when Rush Limbaugh says "jump," GOP leaders say "how high?"
  • Jeremy responds to the new Cornerstone Policy Research anti-marriage ad with a good ad of his own.
  • Finally, based on our own experience, I expect that Anonymous Liberal will soon be getting lots of emails from the Ethics and Public Policy Center demanding changes and retractions for daring to write about Ed Whelan.

Day of Prayer Task Force Wants Obama to Be Like Bush

Last week we wrote about how, this year, it didn't look like the National Day of Prayer Task Force, headed by Shirley Dobson, was going to be involved in any formal White House observance of the event. 

And that is now officially the case ... mainly because there will be no White House event:

The National Day of Prayer White House event is history -- for now.

The White House has announced that President Obama will sign a proclamation on the National Day of Prayer, to be held on Thursday, but will not hold any sort of event. This marks a return to the practice of presidents before George W. Bush, who hosted religious leaders for a ceremony in honor of the day.

As Brian Toon, vice chairman of the organization, recently explained to Religion News Service, prior to the last administration, his group had not been involved in any White House event, saying that "there was no East Room event until George W."

Of course, just because George Bush was the only president to hold annual Day of Prayer events in the White House doesn't mean the NDPTF won't take this as an opportunity to slam Obama for not having one, as Dan Gilgoff reports:

The White House notes that presidents previous to Bush, including Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, were not in the habit of holding White House events for the National Day of Prayer ... Today, however, the task force E-mailed me to say it had uncovered evidence for two White House events in pre-Bush administrations: a 1989 breakfast event in the State Dining Room hosted by George H. W. Bush and a 1982 Rose Garden event with Reagan.

As Gilgoff notes, those two events (one held twenty years ago and the other held twenty-seven years ago) are "not exactly evidence that annual National Day of Prayer events were a well-established tradition in the pre-Bush years."

But still the NDPTF has issued a statement voicing its disappointment "in the lack of participation by the Obama Administration":

While there will be tens of thousands of prayer gatherings throughout the nation, on May 7th, the Obama Administration announced there will not be a White House Observance for the National Day of Prayer this year, contrary to the administrations of President George W. Bush, President George H. W. Bush, and President Ronald Reagan. A White House Observance was not held during the administration of President Bill Clinton.

It has been announced the White House will release some kind of proclamation recognizing the National Day of Prayer, but apparently it will not be made available until Thursday, May 7, which makes it too late for organizations to distribute.

...

Shirley Dobson said today, "We are disappointed in the lack of participation by the Obama Administration. At this time in our country's history, we would hope our President would recognize more fully the importance of prayer."

Of course, the Obama administration is still going to issue the proclamation, as it is required to do, it just won't be holding an event or inviting the Task Force to participate - which is pretty much what every other president, save George W. Bush, has done.

And for that, it is being accused of ignoring the "importance of prayer" - though, in reality, what the NDPTF is really angry about is the fact that the administration is ignoring the NDPTF.

UPDATE: See also CWA's Wendy Wright saying that while "President Obama may have problems believing in the Christian faith, he should at least honor the traditions and foundation of our country."

Right Wing Round-Up

  • The Senate Guru takes a look back the disastrous first 100 days of Michael Steele's tenure as Chairman of the RNC.
  • Dan Gilgoff says that Carrie Prejean might not be the best spokesperson for the anti-marriage effort considering that she "can't answer basic questions about whether she supports gay civil unions or gay adoption."
  • Scott_NC over at Pam's notes that "over that 3 year period of time, people donated $1,025,894 [to the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy] – and Maggie [Gallagher] put $345,333 (33%) straight into her own pocketbook."
  • Joseph DiNorcia Jr, of SIECUS says Tony Perkins and Wendy Wright have "forfeited their credibility and any claim they once had to being part of the debate" due to their claims that the timing of the swine flu was designed to help confirm Kathleen Sebelius.
  • As BarbinMD says, you know that the world has turned on its axis when you have a "conservative, southern senator, admitting that his entire party is tainted and calling half of his fellow-conservatives ridiculous."
  • Good as You posts some "highlights" from the recent right-wing anti-hate crimes press conference.
  • Finally, Tips-Q catches the Alliance Defense Fund going through a lot of trouble to cover up the simple fact that they made a typo, though ADF has now admitted as much and corrected it.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Politico reports that there is a rebellion brewing among the GOP's base and that "activists and officials say the party is as resolute as ever, if not more so, on cultural issues – regardless of the soundings of some party elites."
  • Carrie Prejean continues to capitalize on her anti-gay Miss USA fame and has signed on with "one of the country's premier Christian PR firms, A. Larry Ross Communications—which represents such evangelical powerhouses as Rick Warren."
  • You know the times they are a changing when Promise Keepers starts opening its events to women.
  • YouDiligenceTM is teaming with Focus on the Family to provide Internet safety services to families who want to protect their children from online predators and cyber-bullies and inappropriate online exchanges. Maybe they should have put this in place a few weeks ago.
  • Mike Huckabee says George Soros is behind the Obama administration's decision to release the torture memos.
  • Concerned Women for America's Wendy Wright wonders if the timing of the swine flu scare was "a political thing to push the [Kathleen] Sebelius nomination through." Seriously. Glenn Beck makes the same allegation.
  • Finally, there is this, which speaks for itself:
  • Utah County Republicans defeated a resolution opposing well-heeled groups that a delegate claims are pushing a satanic plan to encourage illegitimate births and illegal immigration.

    Don Larsen, a Springville delegate, offered the resolution, titled "Resolution opposing the Hate America anti-Christian Open Borders cabal," warning delegates that an "invisible government" comprised of left-wing foundations was pumping money into the Democratic Party to push for looser immigration laws and anti-family legislation.

Reproductive Choice: Need, Numbers, and Dawn Johnsen

I have already written too many posts about Concerned Women for America’s Wendy Wright and her involvement with the White House’s Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, both in meetings and on conference calls, noting the disconnect between that Obama administration’s assertion that the efforts are aimed at finding ways to reduce the need for abortion and Wright’s insistence that there is no such need. But since she keeps making this point, I feel it is important to keep hammering away at it.

The latest comes from this WorldNetDaily column by anti-abortion activist Jill Stanek in which she declares there is no need for her side to seek common ground or compromise on the issue because they are winning:

If America is as pro-abortion as the other side likes to say, there is absolutely no reason to "reduce the need for abortion." So don't let them gloss over this point. Stick on it. Solutions can't be determined without understanding the problem. What exactly is the problem with abortion?

If they state the problems are merely financial or inconvenience, they lose, because they alienate the vast unwashed they are trying to woo by denying what the vast unwashed consistently polls it knows: Abortion is the taking of a human life.

If they admit there is a moral problem with abortion, they lose by opening a can of worms with both the public and the abortion industry. The next question obviously is, "What is the moral problem with abortion?" And they never ever want to be pinned into going there.

(And by the way, as CWA President Wendy Wright wrote me, don't use their terminology. "Say 'number' rather than 'need,' because 'need' is subjective, whereas 'number of abortions' is quantifiable," stated Wright.)

Always remember, the ones seeking compromise know they are losing, and Obama knows his radical pro-abortion position is a loser.

Ignoring the illogical assertion that the anti-choice position is a winning one, the key here is Wright’s insistence that they never recognize any sort of “need” for abortion, which allows them to push for regulations and restrictions on access to reproductive health services without having to accept the necessity of family planning services and sex ed.

If you need further proof that Wright has absolutely no intention of seeking any sort of compromise or consensus on this issue, you need look no further than her assertion that Dawn Johnsen’s nomination to be Assistant Attorney General for the Office of the Legal Counsel must be stopped because of her past work with NARAL:

Wendy Wright, the head of Concerned Women for America, told LifeNews.com that Obama's selection reveals a lot about his pro-abortion views and that Johnsen should be disqualified because of her work with a leading abortion advocacy group.

“NARAL’s obsession with abortion skews its legal positions, blinding it to the Constitution’s equal protection for all human beings," she said. "The fact that Ms. Johnsen worked for NARAL is a huge black mark against her judgment and exposes her bias."

"Americans will not be able to trust that Department of Justice’s legal opinions or Obama’s executive orders comply with the Constitution when the lead person for making that judgment is incapable of treating all human beings with respect," she added.

In essence, Wright is declaring that anyone with whom she disagrees should be barred from working for the government because they have demonstrated that their judgment cannot be trusted by virtue of the fact that they don’t share her right-wing views about reproductive rights..

Good luck finding common ground on with someone who holds this view.

Fresh Off White House Call, Wright Decries "Abortion Holocaust"

Yesterday, Dan Gilgoff reported that the"White House will kick off its much-discussed plan to reduce abortions tomorrow morning with a conference call to religious leaders and abortion-rights advocates that will feature key White House aides. The call reflects the White House plan to bring faith-based groups, including conservative ones, together with pro-abortion rights organizations to reduce demand for abortion."

The call took place this morning and Gilgoff offers this follow-up of what it entailed:

Led by President Obama's chief domestic policy adviser, Melody Barnes, the White House announced that it would sponsor a series of meetings in coming months in search of common ground on abortion reduction. The meetings would include both supporters and opponents of abortion rights.

"Barnes said that the White House was not going to try to change anybody's mind on abortion and that she knew people had long-held convictions on various sides of the debate," one participant on the call, an abortion-rights foe, tells me. "But she said her assignment from the president was to seek common ground to prevent unintended pregnancies, including teen pregnancy; to reduce the need for abortions; and to support families for whom economic concerns were an issue. They also talked about promoting adoption."

Lifenews talked to Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America, who participated in the call and once again reiterated the point that we have been making all along - namely, that it is rather difficult to find ways to "reduce the need for abortion” by seeking common ground with groups that refuse to recognize that any such need exists:.

The Obama staffers want future meetings with people on both sides of the abortion debate and for them to bring concrete ideas on reducing abortions and that they will assimilate the information into a plan that the administration will present in two to three months, Wright explained.

"They are looking for ideas for legislation, and policies for the 2011 budget. They're interested in what has worked on a community level. They want to find common areas," Wright told LifeNews.com.

The goals of the plan will be to "support families through maternal and child health, and adoption" and "reducing unintended pregnancies and the need for abortion."

Wright says the qualifiers "need" and "unintended" are "completely subjective."

Whether the Obama administration plan will feature realistic ways to cut abortions or merely mirror the Planned Parenthood and pro-abortion agenda is a real question, Wright says.

“They have their work cut out for them in gaining trust from all the stakeholders since the primary people in charge come from the most hard-core abortion groups in the U.S. and the stated goals come straight from those abortion groups’ handbooks," she said after the call.

"To be diverse it’s imperative that they include pro-life leaders in the black community, a group that has been hardest hit by the abortion holocaust," Wright concludes.

Religious Right Tries to Stop Sebelius

A gaggle of Religious Right groups have come out in opposition of Kathleen Sebelius’s nomination as the Secretary of Health and Human Services, releasing a letter [PDF] to Senators asking them to vote against her nomination when it comes up for a vote.

The list of signatories is a who’s who of top-level and lesser known right-wing leaders, including Tom McClusky of Family Research Council Action, Don Wildmon of the American Family Association, Jim Backlin of the Christian Coalition, Phil Burress of Citizens for Community Values, Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America, Brian Burch of Fidelis, Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family, and Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition.

Among the reasons cited in opposing her nomination is this:

Governor Sebelius has long close and personal ties to notorious abortionist George Tiller, known for performing late-term abortions in Kansas, include donations from Mr. Tiller of hundreds of thousands of dollars to PACs and organizations controlled by the Kansas Governor. She has also repeatedly interfered in cases brought against Mr. Tiller, including recruiting a candidate to replace the state attorney general who was originally prosecuting the abortion doctor.

Of course, the “state attorney general who was originally prosecuting the abortion doctor” was Phill Kline, who was bounced out of office because of his anti-abortion zealotry and eventually landed a gig teaching at Liberty University. On top of that, Klein was a Republican and Sebelius was a Democrat, so the idea that she would seek a candidate to challenge him is what is traditionally known as “politics.”

As for her supposed ties to George Tiller and her “interference” in the cases against him, it’s worth pointing out that just last week it took an jury a mere forty-five minutes to acquit him of all the charges.

That, coupled with the fact that both of Sebelius’s home state Senators have already endorsed her, means that the Right’s effort to derail her nomination is, at this point, little more than mere grandstanding.

Wright Recognizes No Such Need

I’ve already written several posts about the meeting last week Concerned Women for America, the Family Research Council, and other right-wing groups and Joshua DuBois, head of the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, at the White House.

The topic of the meeting was abortion reduction and, as I pointed out repeatedly, there is a key difference between “the need to reduce abortions” and “reducing the need for abortion.”  CWA does not recognize that there is ever a “need” for abortion and is fundamentally opposed to things like family planning and sex ed. CWA’s Wendy Wright has been very clear on their position, saying repeatedly that restrictions and regulation on reproductive choice, coupled with funding for crisis pregnancy centers, are the best ways to reduce abortion. 

Last week, Wright appeared on NPR’s “Tell Me More” where she made this point explicitly, saying there is no such thing as a need for abortion:

There are two phrases that have been used: reducing the number of abortions and reducing the need for abortion. Well, no woman wants an abortion – she has a need, and she thinks the abortion will solve that problem. So what we really need to look at is what are those needs? What is it that she needs help with? Does she need housing? Does she need career support? And providing her needs can help her to make the choice of giving life to her child, which then will result in fewer abortions. So it's important that we look at what are the true needs of women and helping to - helping her with those needs rather than just say, here’s an abortion, end of problem - which is not the end of the problem, it's all just the beginning of many more problems.

The White House’s stated goal is to “reduce the need for abortion,” and working with groups to achieve that is generally only efficient if said groups actually recognize that such a need exists.

Wright Dishes On Her White House Meeting

David Brody caught up with Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America following her meeting at the White House yesterday and has posted a short video of an interview he conducted with her and this edited transcript that pretty well covers Wright’s remarks:

“Joshua (DuBois, White House Faith Based Director) is a young and dynamic man and he seems to understand the faith perspective. Our intention with this meeting was to open a dialogue and to ensure that as they are forming their policies and programs that they’re taking into consideration the views of those deeply involved in the faith community and that there also taking into consideration the policies and programs that actually work, that are evidence based that have proof of reducing the number of abortions.”

“We hope that this will be the first of many meetings.”

“It was a very cordial meeting. It was also quite honest. We provided information on the kinds of programs that don’t work in reducing abortions and the programs that do work and so we needed to be very honest in presenting that. It remains to be seen what they will do with that information….the burden now is on them to come up with the kinds of policies that do show respect for the faith based community.”

“I can’t really say I came away with any new information or a new impression. Generally what we heard are the same things that we’ve been hearing…perhaps the information we gave to them was new to them, they’ve not heard it before. I hope that if that’s the case that the information will influence their current positions.”

Wright says their main goal was to give the White House information concerning programs that “actually work” in terms of reducing abortion, by which she means so-called crisis pregnancy centers and regulations and restrictions like parental consent laws and mandatory ultrasounds.

Of course, as we’ve pointed out before there is a key difference between “the need to reduce abortions” and “reducing the need for abortion,” and groups like CWA focus exclusively on the former as they do not recognize the latter and are fundamentally opposed to things like family planning and sex ed.

From Wright’s description of the meeting, it doesn’t sound like they made much headway with the White House, which is good.

But as she says, she hopes to have more meetings and ultimately be able to influence the administration’s positions and get it to embrace the “kinds of policies that show respect for the faith based community.”

The Christian Post and LifeNews have more on the meeting.

Today Is The Day

Just a reminder that today is the day that Concerned Women for America, the Family Research Council, and other right-wing groups head to the White House for a meeting with Joshua DuBois, head of the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

We have already written several posts about this and we'll undoubtedly have more once the meeting is over, but the scheduled meeting is already getting coverage in right-wing media outlets like CNS News and OneNewsNow and CBN, all of which interviewed CWA's Wendy Wright who is vowing that she will not be peddling "politically correct" message and intends to make her case that the best way to reduce abortion is through regulation and restriction clearly and forcefully ... all while anticipating that this meeting will merely be the first of many:

The reason for the meeting is to find ways to actually reduce the number of abortions in the United States.

Wright says groups like the CWA, the Family Research Council and other pro-life groups that will be at the meeting have long years of experience at doing just that, and can show the White House how to find common ground in accomplishing that goal.

"We can find common ground by looking at what do most Americans want," Wright explained. "And polling data shows that things like parental notification, informed consent, no government funding of elective abortions get 60, 70, 80 percent approval by Americans. That should be something we can agree would be common ground. Let's do what the American people want."

Will Schenck Also Get a White House Meeting?

Over the last few days, we've written several posts about an upcoming meeting at the White House between Joshua DuBois, head of the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and representatives of Concerned Women for America, the Family Research Council, and other right-wing groups.

Now, in his daily video update, Faith and Action's Rob Schenck reveals that his organization is also trying to set up a meeting with DuBois.

Schenck explains that he has a busy day ahead of him, entailing a meeting with Tim Goeglein, the former Bush Administration aide who was forced to step down after admitting to plagiarism and was recently hired by Focus on the Family to be their chief lobbyist in DC and with whom Faith and Action shares office space. He then has a meeting with the Salvation Army and then another meeting with the leaders of a new Congressional Prayer Caucus and finally a reception with "Christian members of Congress."

Then, around the 2:50 mark, Schenck reveals that they will also be talking to the White House today about a meeting with the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives and Josh DuBois.  After a bit of rambling, Schenck says that Christian conservatives are losing credibility because when the opposition says or does the right thing, they are reluctant to commend them.

Schenck says he is "finding some stuff that is really good here and I've quoted President Obama recently on his statement that marriage is reserved for a man and a woman. Hey, I 've got to applaud that and I'm using it and I'm complementing him on it and, in fact, using it to reinforce our argument that the sanctity of marriage requires that it be reserved for a man and a woman, exclusively."

Interestingly, before the election the Obama campaign was supposed to participate in an event hosted by Schenck and his group but pulled out at the last minute, which turned out to be a smart move, as Sarah Posner explained:

The meaning of the Declaration of Independence was supposed to take center stage at a forum for religious outreach representatives from both presidential campaigns yesterday, but the lunchtime crowd of conservative activists and congressional staff at the Capitol Hill Club was instead treated to a lineup of speakers tossing out apocalyptic rhetoric about Barack Obama.

The event was sponsored by the Capitol Hill-based Faith and Action's Reese Roundtable, an annual luncheon about the moral meaning of the Declaration of Independence. Faith and Action's motto is "bringing the word of God to bear on the hearts and minds of those who make public policy in America." One of its goals is to "restore the moral foundations of our American culture" through placing Ten Commandments displays in public buildings.

Faith and Action's Rob Schenck, a perennial religious-right adviser and gadfly, moderated and wasted no time in lambasting the Rev. E. Terri LaVelle, the Obama campaign's senior religious adviser, who had committed to attend but cancelled at the last minute. "A snub!" protested Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America.

With McCain's conservative-coalitions director Robert Heckman looking on, and at one point chiming in that Obama's recent faith and values outreach was a "colossal flop," Obama was portrayed by speakers as a figure of evil and doom. No one came right out and called him the Antichrist, but the apocalyptic message was clear.

Bernie Reese, the octogenarian founder of the Reese Roundtable, said, "I grew up during [the] days of Hitler; we've almost got a blueprint to what brought Hitler to power. He rode in on an economic crisis and promised the moon to the middle class. He was a man who had glittering rhetoric; he could sit in the room and have his audience in his hand." Alveda King, niece of the civil-rights icon and an adviser to Priests for Life, the militant anti-abortion group, said abortion in the African American community had been done "deliberately, by genocide." We're "beyond chastisement," she went on. "We're in judgment."

"Lord," prayed Johnny Hunter, an African American pastor who gave the benediction, don't let us elect someone who might "bring this nation down."

The Obama campaign didn't want to be seen with Schenck and Faith and Action during the election—good choice—and let's hope that nothing has changed since then.

We have written about Schenck and his ties to a variety of different right wing groups a number of times, most recently when he, Pat Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition, and Rep. Paul Brown anointed the door at the Capitol before Barack Obama’s inauguration.  While far from a household name, Schenck has seemingly been becoming more influential over the last few years – he met privately with John McCain during the campaign and even received a VIP invitation to McCain’s announcement that Sarah Palin would be his running mate, where he had the opportunity to speak with both of them.  

He also has a history of harassing Democratic politicians, especially former President Bill Clinton, having been arrested back in 1992 for thrusting a fetus at him during the campaign and being stopped by the Secret Service after confronting him outside of the Washington Cathedral in 1996. He was also deeply involved in the early 1990’s in protesting women’s health clinics, including targeting one where a doctor was eventually assassinated.

CWA Says It Would Be Glad to Help the White House Place More Restrictions on Reproductive Choice

We’ve already written a few posts about the upcoming meeting at the White House between Joshua DuBois, head of the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and representatives of Concerned Women for America, the Family Research Council, CareNet, and the Christian Medical Association to discuss reproductive choice and related issues.

Today, we learned a little more about how this meeting was arranged and, judging by the remarks made by Wendy Wright of CWA, it’s pretty clear that those who are participating expect this meeting to focus much more on the former than the latter.

Wright explains that it was through her outreach to the White House that the meeting was arranged and that she choose who would attend it with her, saying that when she learned that the administration was committed reducing the need for abortion, she thought “we can help with that, so I contacted the White House and asked for a meeting with the Faith-Based office and invited the other groups to join with me.  We feel that in order for the Obama Administration to be making good policies, to take positions on legislation regarding reducing the need for abortion, they need to have full information, particularly, information on programs and policies that work, that are effective.  And we know what works: putting regulations on abortions; states that have done that see their abortion numbers go down.”

Wright goes on to say that she does not believe that President Obama will attend the meeting, but that they will explain to the administration that pregnancy resource centers are an effective means of reducing abortions and to discuss the “threat to doctors’ and health care workers’ freedom on conscience,” saying that it is vital to protect their “freedom to not do what is wrong”:

On a semi-related note, CWA, FRC, CareNet, and the Christian Medical Association are all part of a new effort called Freedom2Care which is committed to protecting "the federal 'provider conscience' regulation finalized in December 2008 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services" which was "made necessary by a climate of discrimination and pressures directed at healthcare professionals who follow life-affirming ethical standards such as the Hippocratic Oath and the Judeo-Christian Scriptures."

While we're at it, let's re-post this video CWA put out just before the election called "Operation: Rally The Church" in which Wright explained that if Christians didn't vote, "liberals who mock Christians, support abortion on demand and same-sex marriage, and would prefer that America be weak in the world community" would ruin this country, warning that if "citizens ... who love God don't vote, then the people who will be ruling over us in government will continue the slaughter of unborn babies, weaken marriage, and silence those who love God," thus making it imperative for Christians to go to the polls because all those who have died defending this country are putting "their hope in you ... to keep this a country worth living and dying for":

Palin Gets Heat for Supreme Court Pick

Earlier this month we noted that Gov. Sarah Palin was facing a bit of a dilemma rooted in the fact that her state had a  "Missouri Plan"-like structure for appointing state Supreme Court justices. Palin was required to choose the justice from a set list of candidates, none of whom fully reflected her views. Palin had two candidates to choose from, and she ended up naming the one opposed by the right-wing Alaska Family Council.

The decision has not generated much coverage or engendered much controversy – but that doesn’t mean that the Religious Right did not notice it.  As the Washington Times reports, the Right is not happy with her decision and just might be beginning to rethink its love affair with her due to her unwillingness to “stand up and fight,” with Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America saying it has “caused many of us to take a step back:”

Some conservatives have suggested Mrs. Palin should have rejected both candidates by sending them back to the panel. Former Alaska Gov. Frank Murkowski employed a similar tactic to protest previous judicial candidates, but was unsuccessful in getting the panel to give him more choices … Some conservatives don't see the Alaska Constitution as an excuse.

"The fact she wasn't willing to stand up and fight this is something (they) will seriously question on the national stage," Family Research Council Action Vice President Tom McCluskey said.

Mrs. Wright of CWA said she'd like to give Mrs. Palin the "benefit of the doubt" but said the Alaska governor will ultimately be held accountable if Judge Christen makes decisions hurting the pro-life cause.

"That's the responsibility a person takes if they become governor or president," Mrs. Wright said. "They are responsible for their choices."

"We'll be watching," she added.

White House Rolls Out the Welcome Mat for the Religious Right

To say that the Religious Right has been opposed to Barack Obama’s presidency from the moment he was elected would be something of an understatement.

Since taking office, the Right has opposed just about every aspect of his agenda, from his choice of nominees to the economic stimulus legislation. But nothing has outraged them more than reversals of President Bush’s stem cell and “Mexico City” policies.

When Obama reversed the Mexico City policy, the Family Research Council lashed out, saying that while he was for “banning the torture of terrorists” he was signing “an order that exports the torture of unborn children around the world” and that because of his action “U.S. taxpayers will be forced to take part in exporting a culture of death.” Concerned Women for America likewise claimed that the moved “offends the morality of millions of Americans, funds abortion efforts in countries where abortion is illegal, and breaks a campaign promise to reduce abortions” and also asked why he was “concerned about the higher moral ground with the terrorists who murder for ‘Allah,’ and yet you won’t honor and obey Christ and defend the defenseless unborn baby.”

When Obama reversed the stem cell policy, CWA’s Wendy Wright called it “politics at its worst,” saying it was “driven by hype" and "fuels the desperation of the suffering, and financially benefits those seeking to strip morality from science” while FRC said it was “yet another deadly executive order” and “a slap in the face to Americans who believe in the dignity of all human life.”

Given that FRC’s and CWA’s stance regarding life issues is to vehemently oppose anything that does not move the country toward curtailing, and eventually outlawing, of reproductive choice, what is the Obama administration’s best option for dealing with such groups?

Why, inviting them to White House for a discussion on how to reduce the need for abortion, of course:

The Brody File has learned that conservative Evangelical groups will meet with the head of the White House Faith-Based Office on Tuesday.

Concerned Women for America and the Family Research Council will meet with Joshua DuBois, the man who leads the administration’s office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Wendy Wright, the president of CWA reached out to the Obama administration and they responded by inviting CWA and some of these other conservative Evangelical groups to The White House. The meeting plans to focus on the need to reduce abortions in the country and on responsible fatherhood programs. Also present at the meeting will be Tom McClusky, Senior Vice-President of the Family Research Council as well as representatives from the Christian Medical Association and Care Net, a pro-life Evangelical pregnancy crisis group.

Wendy Wright from CWA sends the following via email to The Brody File:

“The Obama administration says they want to be inclusive and represent all Americans. The White House faith-based office is now tasked with reducing the number of abortions – something that pro-life groups have very good experience in accomplishing. Pregnancy resource centers and regulations on abortion have a terrific track record in helping women choose alternatives to abortion. Funding abortion or abortion providers is one of the worst things that could be done. What the government funds, we get more of. We hope to begin a dialogue that results in policies which actually work, not just financially benefit certain interest groups like abortion providers.”

If the Obama administration thinks that it is going to win support for anything that it does on this issue from groups like CWA and FRC, it is sorely mistaken … which is something they will presumably learn once this meeting takes place.

These are not moderate, open-minded groups looking for common ground – they are militant, anti-choice groups committed to, above all, making abortion illegal everywhere and for everyone, with no exceptions.

It is hard to understand what the administration expects to gain by meeting with such groups to discuss efforts to reduce abortion considering that the only option such groups support is to outlaw them entirely.

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Wendy Wright Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 12/15/2010, 10:21am
Last week when Jeremy Hooper discovered that the Family Research Council was planning to roll out a campaign fighting back against the Southern Poverty Law Center's designation of the organization as an anti-gay hate group, we noted that FRC was asking people to sign on to the campaign to "stand in solidarity with Family Research Council, American Family Association, Concerned Women of America, National Organization for Marriage, Liberty Counsel and other pro-family organizations that are working to protect and promote natural marriage and family." By doing so, we pointed... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 11/29/2010, 10:10am
Last week the Southern Poverty Law Center updated its list of anti-gay groups and added several new organizations to its list of anti-gay hate groups.  Many influential Religious Right groups found themselves placed upon the SPLC's updated list, including the Family Research Council, American Family Association, Concerned Women for American, National Organization for Marriage, and Liberty Counsel.  And to say that they are not happy about it would be a massive understatement. NOM called it an "absurd distraction," saying it stood by its work and that the report was really... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 10/05/2010, 10:03am
Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women of America, explains how health care reform legislation violates each and every one of the Ten Commandments ... including the ones against adultery, graven images, and taking the Lord's name in vain:  #7. You shall not commit adultery. ObamaCare channels millions of dollars to graphic sex education programs which instruct kids as young as kindergartners to be sexually active. Read what some of the comprehensive sex education programs teach. This sets children up to take marriage vows lightly since "it's just sex." ... #4. Remember the... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 08/04/2010, 10:42am
Given that Tea Party activists are, by and large, conservative Republicans, it doesn't come as much of a surprise that conservative Republicans support the Tea Party. Which is now giving rise to pointlessly absurd things like this declaration of Tea Party solidarity: Save America...STOP Obama Tyranny National Coalition Chairman Dr. Rick Scarborough announced the successful conclusion of a petition drive: "In Support of The Tea Parties And Against Defamation." Signers include such notable conservative leaders as Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, Gary Bauer (American Values),... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 04/12/2010, 11:06am
A few weeks ago we noted that an organization called NotMyBathroom.com was formed in Missoula, Montana in order to oppose a proposed city ordinance that would protect people from discrimination in their jobs and homes based on "actual or perceived ... sexual orientation, gender identity or expression." The organization is associated with Concerned Women for America and the focus of its campaign is on the claim that the ordinance will make it legal for men to use women's restrooms, thereby leading to assaults on women and children. While the group's effort is obviously aimed at... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 04/09/2010, 1:06pm
Today, Justice John Paul Stevens announced that he will retire from the Supreme Court after nearly 35 years of service ... and the Right has been quick to issue warnings to President Obama that they are ready to fight. American Center for Law and Justice: "The announcement of Justice Stevens' retirement underscores the reality that President Obama will make a second appointment to the nation's highest court that will impact generations to come," said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. "While there's certain to be much debate about Justice Stevens' replacement, there is... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 03/01/2010, 10:41am
Last week we noted that an episode involving the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins having his invitation to speak at a prayer luncheon at Andrews Air Force Base rescinded was big news on right-wing outlets, with Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association even going so far as to declare it proof that the Constitution is on the verge of collapse and likening it to Dred Scott and McCarthyism. The issue continues to outrage the Right and appears as if it is becoming one of those stories that right-wing media outlets will work covering diligently until they can blow it up into an all... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 02/25/2010, 4:44pm
By now, we are all used to out-of-state Religious Right groups descending on places like Maine, Washington, DC, and elsewhere in order to set up shop in their nonstop effort to fight marriage equality ... but I have to admit that I never expected them to start exporting their efforts abroad. But here they are, setting their sights on now fighting marriage equality in Mexico: In response to a move to institute same-sex marriage in the Federal District which includes Mexico City (on March 4), more than 120 pro-family/pro-life leaders from 35 countries have signed the "World Congress... MORE >