David Barton's Utter Disregard for Fact and Accuracy

I've already pointed out how ridiculous David Barton's election analysis has been, but since he keeps spewing his nonsense, I guess I'll just have to keep point it out.

Here is Barton's latest:

New findings show that the 2010 midterm elections saw the highest Christian voter turnout ever.

"We had a very high Christian voter turnout two years ago, but they did not bring their values with them," explains David Barton, founder and president of WallBuilders, which is an organization that supports the moral, religious and constitutional foundation on which America was built.

He says only one percent of voters considered marriage to be an issue in 2008, but that statistic reached 53 percent this year. Moreover, only six percent of voters thought abortion was an issue in 2009, but that margin jumped to 30 percent by last month's elections.

"You [clearly] have Christians showing up. Not only did they show up this time, they actually brought their values with them," Barton notes. "And not only did they bring their values, they voted their values." 

Really?  In 2008, anti-gay marriage amendments passed in California, Arizona, and Florida ... but Barton wants us to believe that only "one percent of voters considered marriage to be an issue"?


What post-election surveys show is that only one percent thought marriage was the most important issue, which is obviously a completely different finding.

But then Barton goes on to comapre that one percent figure to exit polls from 2010 showing that 53% of respondents answered "No" to the question "Should Same-Sex Marriages Be Legally Recognized?" as if that was an accurate comparison.

Similarly, only nine percent considered abortion to be the most important issue in 2008 but Barton compares that to a poll showing that "thirty percent of voters said that abortion 'affected' their vote," despite the fact that considering something "the most important issue" and stating that it to "affected" one's vote are completely different things.

One percent thought marriage was the most important issue in 2008 while nine percent thought abortion was the most important issue - but Barton baselessly compares those figures to completely unrelated figures from 2010 in an effort to make it look like the electorate suddenly cares primarily about his Religious Right agend.

Reaction to DADT Vote: "The Few, the Proud, the Sexually Twisted"

Today, the Senate voted 63-33 to invoke cloture and bring the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell to a final vote later today.  With repeal of DADT all but a foregone conclusion, the Religious Right has begun releasing statements which we are going to chronicle here as they come it.

And judging by the early statements from the likes of Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, this vote is literally going to mean the end of America:

We are now stuck with sexual deviants serving openly in the U.S. military because of turncoat Republican senators ... Had the cloture vote failed, we would still have sane moral and sexual standards governing military personnel policy. But sadly those days are gone, perhaps forever.


The armies of other nations have allowed gays to serve openly in the military. The reason they could afford to do this is simple: they could allow homosexuals to serve in their military because we didn’t allow them to serve in ours.

They knew they could count on the strength, might, power, and cohesion of the U.S. military to intervene whenever and wherever necessary to pull their fannies out of the fire and squash the forces of tyranny wherever they raised their ugly heads around the world.

Those days are now gone. We will no longer be able to bail out these other emasculated armies because ours will now be feminized and neutered beyond repair, and there is no one left to bail us out. We have been permanently weakened as a military and as a nation by these misguided and treasonous Republican senators, and the world is now a more dangerous place for us all.

It’s past time for a litmus test for Republican candidates. This debacle shows what happens when party leaders are careless about the allegiance of candidates to the fundamental conservative principles expressed in the party’s own platform.

Character-driven officers and chaplains will eventually be forced out of the military en masse, potential recruits will stay away in droves, and re-enlistments will eventually drop like a rock.

The draft will return with a vengeance and out of necessity. What young man wants to voluntarily join an outfit that will force him to shower naked with males who have a sexual interest in him and just might molest him while he sleeps in his bunk?

This isn’t a game, and the military should never be used, as is now being done, for massive social re-engineering. The new Marine motto: “The Few, the Proud, the Sexually Twisted.” Good luck selling that to strong young males who would otherwise love to defend their country. What virile young man wants to serve in a military like that?

If the president and the Democrats wanted to purposely weaken and eventually destroy the United States of America, they could not have picked a more efficient strategy to make it happen.

Rarely can you point to a moment in time when a nation consigned itself to the scrap heap of history. Today, when the Senate normalized sexual perversion in the military, was that moment for the United States. If historians want a fixed marker pointing to the instant the United States sealed its own demise, they just found it.

Family Research Council:

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins issued the following statement following the vote:

"Today is a tragic day for our armed forces. The American military exists for only one purpose - to fight and win wars. Yet it has now been hijacked and turned into a tool for imposing on the country a radical social agenda. This may advance the cause of reshaping social attitudes regarding human sexuality, but it will only do harm to the military's ability to fulfill its mission.

"It is shameful that the Democratic leadership, aided by Republican Senators, has forced through such a radical change in a lame-duck session of Congress. The 1993 law which is to be repealed was adopted only after months of debate and at least a dozen Congressional hearings. The repeal has been forced through only eighteen days after the Pentagon released a massive report, which raised more questions than it answered on the impact the overturning of this policy will have on our nation's military.

"It is clear why this was done: not to enhance the military's ability to accomplish its mission or to enhance national security. Rather, it is a political payoff to a tiny, but loud and wealthy, part of the Democratic base. They knew that the Congress elected last month would never adopt such legislation - certainly not without a more thoughtful and deliberative process.

"We thank Senators John McCain, James Inhofe, Jeff Sessions and Jim DeMint, as well as all of those who voted to support our troops over advancing a liberal social agenda. These senators fought hard for our men and women in uniform, and their efforts will not be forgotten."

Peter LaBarbera:

Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, which opposes the “gay” activist agenda, said today’s vote, potentially clearing the way for repealing the military ban, is the most important homosexuality-related congressional vote ever held: “If the lame-duck Congress succeeds in ‘gaying down’ our military this weekend, it will take a disastrous leap toward “mainstreaming” deviant, sinful homosexual conduct – not just in the military but in larger society — thus further propelling America’s moral downward spiral.


Americans are tired of religious phoneys like [Sen. Joseph] Lieberman – politicians who use their religion as a PR prop while actively undermining its moral dictates. Claiming to be an “observant” Jew, Lieberman wears his religion on his sleeve (perhaps he will walk, not drive, on the Jewish Sabbath Day today to cast his pro-homosexuality vote!). Stealing the moral authority of “civil rights” is the only way Lieberman can rationalize his role as a crusader for the ‘Gay’ Lobby on Capitol Hill — when His religion, a form of Orthodox Judaism, condemns homosexual acts as an “abomination”


Said Brian Camenker, founder of the pro-family group Mass Resistance, who attends an Orthodox synagogue in the Boston area:

“Sen. Joseph Lieberman, who has the incredible chutzpah to call himself an Orthodox Jew, will desecrate the holy Sabbath to go to work – the U.S. Senate – and vote to force the integration of homosexuality into the U.S. military. He is a shameful disgrace and an embarrassment to Orthodox Jews everywhere.”

Freedom Federation:

Mathew Staver, on behalf the Freedom Federation, made the following statement in response to the Senate’s vote to repeal Section 654, Title 10, U.S.C. (1993), which is usually mislabeled by the subsequent Executive policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT): "Our armed forces should take heart, because the American people will not turn its back on you. This vote happened because opportunistic Senators – only days before Christmas – put political interest groups above supporting our men and women in uniform."

Staver continued, "This action will be overturned in the next Congress because it breaks the bond of trust that must exist between the military and those who command in the Pentagon and Congress. Today’s vote will prove as costly to its proponents as ObamaCare was to its advocates. We promise a full mobilization of faith-based and policy organizations, veterans, and military families in the states of every Senator who voted for repeal of DADT against the advice of our service chiefs and during a time of war. Those Senators – and the Pentagon leaders responsible for this breach of trust – should understand that they will be the object of concerted political action against them."


The U.S. military took its first step on the sexual slippery slope when it admitted women to the military academies in the mid-1970s. Later, women began serving on the frontlines (just one way Bill Clinton ensured the decline of our once proud military and kowtowed to the radical feminists). The denial of reality—that there was no new element of sexual tension acting as a distraction from discipline—began then.

The incorporation of women at least involved normal sexuality. And if a woman became pregnant, she would be discharged. Still, enormous damage has been done.

Now, with the repeal of the ban on homosexuals serving openly, we will see increased tensions, this time with an unnatural and perverted sexuality endangering discipline—and it will be more pervasive in the daily life of a soldier. Where men and women are at least segregated in their housing, bathrooms, etc., this will not be the case with homosexuals.

What a betrayal by our new Senator Brown to vote for the repeal of this important element of discipline. But then, he probably doesn’t have a problem showering no matter who is ogling him:

 Gordon Klingenschmitt:

"A chaplain friend of mine asked God this week, 'why do you allow evil to grow in America, and open homosexuality to be forced upon our military?' To which God answered him from Psalm 92:7: 'When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is so that they shall be destroyed forever.'

"Homosexual sin will always be a stench in the nostrils of Almighty God, an abomination which God condemns and shall punish with everlasting destruction. Even if the Senate had voted 100 to 0 to legalize sin, they could not remove God from His throne of Judgment, before which every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

"I hereby call upon the new Congress to never certify that the military is ready to implement repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and instead pass strong laws protecting the rights of Christian troops (especially chaplains) to openly speak their opinions about what the Bible calls sin, to refuse common showers, sleeping quarters and 'social re-education' without repercussion, guaranteeing religious freedom even outside of chapel services. If free speech and free religion rights of Christian chaplains and troops are not protected, then the military is not ready to certify or implement repeal, and will quickly begin to persecute good people of Christian conscience.

"I also hereby invite my own network of up to 125,000 patriot pastors across America, to whom I have, and shall again fax free voter guides before the November 2012 election, to mobilize Church voters to throw out these 25 pro-homosexual Senators up for re-election in 2 years: Snowe (R-ME), Scott Brown (R-MA), Ensign (R-NV), James Webb (D-VA), Nelson (D-NE), Nelson (D-FL), McCaskill (D-MO), Tester (D-MT), Conrad (D-ND), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Casey (D-PA), Feinstein (D-CA), Carper (D-DE), Akaka (D-HI), Cardin (D-MD), Stabenow (D-MI), Klobuchar (D-MI), Menendez (D-NJ), Bingaman (D-NM), Gillibrand (D-NY), Whitehouse (D-RI), Cantwell (D-WA), Kohl (D-WI), Lieberman (I-CT), Sanders (I-VT)."

Alliance Defense Fund:

The conservative legal group, Alliance Defense Fund, issued a statement after the vote saying "The Senate's cave-in to pressure from activists to impose homosexual behavior on our military will place our troops' religious liberties in unprecedented jeopardy. Indeed, the first official casualty of this hurried vote may well be the religious freedom of chaplains and Service members." ADF Litigation Counsel, Daniel Blomberg, went on to say " no Americans, and especially not our troops, should be forced to abandon their religious beliefs."

The ADF says it stands ready to defend Service members if they are ever unconstitutionally required to choose between "serving their country or obeying their God as a result of this damaging policy decision."

E.W. Jackson:

The unintended consequences on the military are staggering. Does this include transgender and transvestite individuals? What happens if homosexuals are married in one of the states which allow same sex marriage? Will the military recognize those marriages? There are too many unanswered questions.

"What of Christians who believe that homosexuality is sin? Are they to be silenced? Subjected to discipline or discharge? Will they live in close quarters with men or women attracted to the same sex? When homosexuality is given protected status, Christians are muzzled or persecuted for their beliefs, and their First Amendment Rights are trampled. This has happened in corporations all over America. The message is 'be silent or lose your job.' In the military, you cannot merely find another job. If keeping qualified people is the priority, what about the Christians who may be forced to leave the military because the environment is hostile to their faith? The message from Gates and Mullen is, 'Get out.' The repeal of the 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' law is a disaster of historic proportions and it must be reinstated. My organization and others will to fight to make sure that happens."

Traditional Values Coalition:

The attack against our military through the repeal of the 1993 law is an organized campaign against religion, biblical morality, and military culture.

A vote to repeal is an assault against the moral foundations of our society, which is based on Judeo-Christian values. This is only part of the total war that LGBT activists are waging against our culture.

LGBT activists are doing a victory dance over conquering our U.S. military – but this is only a skirmish in a long battle to homosexualize our entire culture. I expect to see an effort down the road to include "transgenders" in the military. That should be an interesting debate.

In addition, LGBT activists are now turning their guns on passage of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA), which will be a disaster for businesses, charitable groups and Christian organizations. Schools will be forced to hire transgender teachers. They'll also be pushing for repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

One of the new big guns in the LGBT artillery is called Equality Matters, which is a spin-off of the disreputable group known as Media Matters, run by gay activist David Brock. Guess who will be running Equality Matters? Why none other than Richard Socarides, a Fox News contributor and former gay senior advisor on domestic policy for President Clinton.

Equality Matters just launched its web page today and will be a major force in attacking traditional values in the years ahead.

Media Matters is a George Soros front organization designed to smear conservative journalists and to funnel misinformation into the so-called mainstream media. This Soros front currently has a $13 million yearly budget to assault Fox News and other credible news outlets.

All is not lost, however. With Republicans controlling the House in January, it is likely that conservatives will be successful in holding back at least some of the LGBT objectives until we can change Presidents in 2012. If we can elect a strong conservative, we might be able to reverse many of the current victories achieved by Obama and his LGBT friends.

Christian Anti-Defamation Commission:

After a long and difficult fight, the struggle for maintaining the military policy of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” was lost for now. There are some hard truths for those who uphold traditional biblical morality to face. Being able to admit we have a problem is the first step towards making the changes we need to reverse this and other gains made by sexual anarchists and secularists.

The last thing we need to do is surrender biblical moral standards to sexual libertines, as if God’s holy nature has somehow changed with public opinion polls.

Homosexual behavior is intrinsically sinful and we cannot renegotiate God’s moral law. No apologies are necessary for agreeing with Jesus, the Apostles, the Law and the Prophets. History, science, scripture and eternity concur.

Homosexual sin, like every other kind of sin, always results in some kind of death. But sexual sin in general, and homosexual sin in particular, is singled out in the Old and New Testament as particularly deadly. Because of this, the unrepentant person trapped in homosexuality, just like all other sinners, is to be pitied and the object of our compassion.

Spiritually, they are dead to God’s mercy and transforming grace in Christ. Sadly, it was unrepentant homosexual Ellen DeGeneres who emceed the Christmas in Washington TV Show this year with President Obama and family smiling as they blindly celebrated the birth of the Savior. They never saw the incongruence of it all.


Ultimately, we must resolve that Providence has ordained the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” for now. It could not have happened if God had willed otherwise. But why?

In times like these when our nation defies the moral law of the living God, we must ask, “Is God hardening our heart like he did the defiant Pharaoh?” God did it to show His mighty power in the outpouring of ten plagues on the gods of Egypt and by destroying Pharaoh and his army.

Is God letting America ripen in her rebellion before He wields the mighty sickle of His wrath? It’s worth considering as our nation’s military now serves under a shameful, pink flag.

In the meantime Christian, humbly pray, boldly preach and persevere by the power of the Holy Spirit knowing that God is not mocked and one day His righteousness will prevail.

Richard Land:

"This is a very, very sad day for America," Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, told Baptist Press. "It is an honor and a privilege, not a right, to serve in our nation's military. There are multitudes of reasons why the military is the most respected national institution in American life. I have heard from privates and seamen all the way through generals and admirals that this will cause significant numbers of people to resign from the military -- in the middle of two wars."


"The reality is that in America today, an all-volunteer military is significantly disproportionately from red-state America," Land said. "And the resignations from the military will be disproportionately from red-state America. So, quite rapidly the military will go from an organization in which homosexuals are underrepresented in ratio to a percentage of the population to an institution where they are overrepresented, which will only accelerate the rate of resignation. Legislators who voted for this disproportionately never served in the military. The opposition was led by legislators who have served."

Concerned Women for America:

"Instead of answering questions about the rights of homosexuals in this country, rescinding DADT only serves to further muddy the waters. Will Christian chaplains be forced out of the military if they don't accept the repeal? Will homosexual partners receive preference over heterosexual families for military family housing? These are just the first of many questions surrounding implementation of this impending law, not to mention how it could severely affect our military personnel. We hoped our Congress would focus on the needs of the military and the protection of the country rather than force through this social engineering experiment during the lame duck Congress on the weekend before Christmas.

"For the social conservatives of this country, a good majority of whom voted in this new Congress, the fight over homosexual rights does not end at DADT. In no way does this repeal usher in an acceptance of same-sex marriage. Voters in 31 out of 31 states have voted to protect marriage as between one man and one woman, including supposedly liberal states such as Maine, Michigan, Oregon and California (twice). In Iowa this past election, three Supreme Court justices were voted out of office for legalizing same-sex marriage over the heads of the voters. When voters are fully informed, they reject the extreme homosexual rights agenda."

The Utter Pointlessness of Debating Bryan Fischer

As I stated yesterday, "there is nothing more pointless than trying to have a debate about anything with the AFA's Bryan Fischer" because there is quite literally no amount of refutation and debunking that will stop him from spreading his lies.

Case in point: when the Southern Poverty Law Center released its updated list of anti-gay hate groups, they also released a companion piece entitled "10 Anti-Gay Myths Debunked." 

Fischer then responded with a post of this own claiming that the SPLC's "myths" were actually "truths":

TRUTH # 1 - Homosexuals molest children at far higher rates than heterosexuals.

Absolutely true. Homosexuals comprise perhaps two percent of the population, yet according to the Journal of Sex Research, homosexual pedophiles are responsible for 33% of all child sex offenses. Homosexuals molest children at at least 10 times the rate of heterosexuals.

TRUTH # 2 - Same-sex parents harm children.

Research indicates that children raised by homosexuals experiment with sexually aberrant behaviors at a higher rate than children raised by heterosexuals and at earlier ages, and do worse, according to a 1996 study by an Austrian sociologist, in nine of 13 academic and social categories compared to children raised by heterosexual married couples.

A 2001 article in American Sociological Review reported that children raised by lesbians are more likely to engage in homosexual behavior and are "more sexually adventurous."


TRUTH # 4 - Homosexuals don't live nearly as long as heterosexuals.

According to an extensive study of the homosexual community in Vancouver, B.C., active participation in the homosexual lifestyle will rob an individual of a significant portion of his life span. Say the researchers, "[L]ife expectancy at age 20 years for gay and bisexual men is 8 to 20 years less than for all men." In fact, they observe that participation in the homosexual lifestyle knocks life expectancy for a Canadian male back to what it was in 1871.

The Centers for Disease Control reports that homosexuals are 50 to 60 times more likely to become infected with AIDS than other groups. AIDS, of course, is often a fatal disease and thus has a dramatic impact on life expectancy. We spend billions and billions of dollars trying to keep children from taking up cigarette smoking because it will shorten lifespans by six or seven years. If we're going to spend that kind of money, it's time we spend some of it to stop children from taking up homosexual behavior as a habit, and for the same reason: it will kill you.

This piece prompted the SPLC to respond at length to, once again, point out that Fischer was completely full of it:

Fischer displays the sly predilection of anti-gay activists to cite legitimate research as supporting their claims when the researchers themselves explicitly reject them. Fischer is referring to a 1989 Journal of Sex Research article by the late researcher Kurt Freund, who concluded that homosexuals were not any more disposed to pedophilia than heterosexuals — a finding exactly opposite to what Fischer suggests.

Fischer constructs the 33% figure from Freund’s research by assuming that every case of men molesting boys is committed by a “homosexual” man — a conclusion rejected by virtually all legitimate sex researchers. As Freund said, since most pedophiles have no sexual interest in adults of either gender, terms like “homosexual” and “heterosexual” don’t apply at all. It is the child’s prepubescent nature, not his or her gender, that attracts this type of “fixated” pedophile, most of whom will prey on children of either gender. Freund and other researchers have found that those pedophiles who are capable of forming sexual relationships with other adults — so-called “regressive” pedophiles who only resort to pedophilia when under stress — overwhelmingly identify themselves as heterosexual.

Or consider SPLC’s myth No. 2, “Same-sex parents harm children.” Fischer wrote: “Research indicates that children raised by homosexuals experiment with sexually aberrant behaviors at a higher rate than children raised by heterosexuals and at earlier ages, and do worse, according to a 1996 study by an Austrian sociologist, in nine of 13 academic and social categories compared to children raised by heterosexual married couples. A 2001 article in American Sociological Review reported that children raised by lesbians are more likely to engage in homosexual behavior and are ‘more sexually adventurous.’”

Fischer identifies neither report by name — and for good reason.

In the first instance, he is referring to an obscure 1996 study by Sotirios Sarantakos, an Australian, not Austrian, researcher. Anti-gay groups frequently cite this article — yet the article, the journal that published it, and Sarantakos himself, are all but impossible to locate online.

Other social scientists have reviewed Sarantakos’ study. Richard Redding, associate dean for academic affairs at Chapman University School of Law, writing in the Duke Journal of Gender Law and Policy, warned that its conclusions “must be viewed with caution, however, as they are based on a qualitative study involving the reports of teachers who were not blind as to whether children came from heterosexual or homosexual households.” In other words, accounts were gathered from the observations of teachers who knew in advance which students came from which households — and thus could have been influenced by that knowledge. Jenni Millbank, a professor at the University of Technology, Sydney, was more blunt. Testifying before an Australian parliamentary committee, Millbank described Sarantakos’ work as “a perfect example of almost everything that you can do wrong with methodology.”

The other study Fischer cites was conducted in 2001 by professors Timothy J. Biblarz of the University of Southern California and Judith Stacey of New York University (pdf). Fischer neglects to mention that Stacey became so annoyed by how anti-gay groups like Focus on the Family, then headed by James Dobson, were misrepresenting her research, that she publicly denounced them in a video posted online in 2007. Fischer also ignores that the authors updated their research in 2010 (pdf), concluding that “At this point no research supports the widely held conviction that the gender of parents matters for child well-being.”

In an E-mail to Hatewatch this week, Stacey blasted Fischer’s misuse of her research. “They are misrepresenting our 2001 article … by cherry-picking out of context one finding we mentioned that came from one very small British study,” she wrote. “Even so, their claim that children raised by lesbians are more sexually adventurous is also inaccurate. In the small study we mentioned … it was only the daughters who were sexually active a bit earlier than daughters of straight moms. Boys raised by lesbians were less sexually active than sons of straight moms! Our interpretation was that IF this tentative finding were to be replicated, it suggested that lesbians were transmitting a more egalitarian, single standard of sexual behavior to daughters and sons compared with the conventional double standard of sex being more permissible for boys. Moreover, it turns out that the … finding has NOT been replicated. In fact, a new study finds kids raised by lesbians from birth to be less sexually active!”

In response to SPLC’s myth No. 4, “Homosexuals don’t live nearly as long as heterosexuals,” Fischer wrote: “According to an extensive study of the homosexual community in Vancouver, B.C., [Canada] active participation in the homosexual lifestyle will rob an individual of a significant portion of his life span. Say the researchers, ‘[L]ife expectancy at age 20 years for gay and bisexual men is 8 to 20 years less than for all men.’ In fact, they observe that participation in the homosexual lifestyle knocks life expectancy for a Canadian male back to what it was in 1871.”

Again, Fischer ignores that the authors of that 1997 study updated it in 2001, pointing out that advances in treatment of HIV-AIDS even at that point had significantly improved the expected longevity of those infected, which would inevitably narrow any gap between gay and straight life spans caused by the disease. Moreover, the authors explicitly rejected the attempts of anti-gay organizations to construe the 1997 observations to justify denigration of gays.

“These homophobic groups appear more interested in restricting the human rights of gay and bisexuals rather than promoting their health and well being,” the authors wrote in their 2001 update. “It is essential to note that the life expectancy of any population is a descriptive and not a prescriptive measure. Death is a product of the way a person lives and what physical and environmental hazards he or she faces everyday. It cannot be attributed solely to their sexual orientation or any other ethnic or social factor.”

“I am aghast that the misrepresentation of these data continues,” Steffanie Strathdee, associate dean of global health sciences at the University of California, San Diego, and one of the authors of the two reports, told Hatewatch in an E-mail this week.

So how did Fischer respond?  By writing a new post accusing the SPLC of engaging in the "propagation of known falsehoods" about homosexuality ... and simply restating the very same points that the SPLC had already debunked:

I hate to be the one to break this to them, but if this is the criterion, the folks at the Southern Poverty Law Center need to add their own name to the list.

Why? Because they peddle 10 myths about homosexuality right on their own website. They tell ten blatant lies about the nature of homosexual behavior right out there in front of God and everybody.

In other words, they promote the very "propaganda" that qualifies them for their own list. If anybody is guilty of the "propagation of known falsehoods," it's the SPLC itself.

I've gone to considerable lengths in another place to quantify that what the SPLC says are "myths" about homosexuality are in fact truths about the lifestyle, everyone of them.

Here in brief are the "known falsehoods" the SPLC propagates.

1. The SPLC falsely claims that homosexuals do not molest children at higher rates than heterosexuals. But according to the Journal of Sex Research they do. Roughly one-third of all sex offenses against children are carried out by homosexuals despite the fact they comprise just three percent of the population.

2. The SPLC falsely claims that same-sex parents don't harm children. But according to an Australian sociologist, children raised by homosexual parents did worse in nine of 13 academic and social categories compared to children raised by heterosexual married couples ...

4. The SPLC falsely claims that homosexuals live just as long as heterosexuals. But the International Journal of Epidemiology says homosexual behavior knocks "8-20 years" off normal life expectancy, and a gay activist group in Canada, the Canadian Rainbow Health Coalition, declares that the "health issues affecting queer Canadians include lower life expectancy than the average Canadian."

The New York City Health Commission (note: not the research arm of FRC or AFA) has produced a PSA that is so hard-hitting and so devastating for the homosexual agenda that gay activist groups are trying to get the thing pulled down altogether. The text warns homosexuals of the "dozens of diseases" they can contract through homosexual behavior in addition to HIV, including osteoporosis and dementia. Chillingly, it warns gays that they are "over 28 times more likely to get anal cancer" than the general population. The reason for that particular elevated risk factor is obvious.

If this doesn't perfectly encapsulate the utter ridiculousness of trying to have a reasonable debate with Bryan Fischer, I don't know what does.

What the CADC Considers "Anti-Christian Defamation, Discrimination and Persecution"

I have to say that nothing better demonstrates the absurdity of the Religious Right's victimization complex better than Christian Anti-Defamation Commission poll asking readers to help them choose "top 10 most egregious acts of anti-Christian defamation, discrimination and persecution in America" in 2012.

Here are the nominees:

- 88 Pro-Lifers were arrested for protesting President Obama's participation at a leading Catholic university, Notre Dame, and await trial for standing up for true Christian values.

- Michigan Muslims attack AGAIN; Christians attacked, denied their civil rights and falsely arrested for disorderly conduct at a public festival for peacefully sharing the gospel. This happened the previous year, too. They were again acquitted of all charges.

- Pat Robertson; was unfairly criticized after remarks he made were taken out of context concerning the Haiti earthquakes and Haiti's difficult history, in an attempt to raise support to bring aid to its people.

- Southern Poverty Law Center; A liberal ACLU-like organization that has continued to label many Christian organizations that hold traditional values as "hate groups" in lists that include violent racists groups.

- Elena Kagan; President Obama's radical appointment to the Supreme Court bench. While serving under the Clinton Administration, Kagan successfully corrupted unfavorable evidence on partial birth abortion to deceive the Supreme Court.

- Rex Parris; Mayor of Lancaster, California was faced with "hate crime" charges after calling his city "a growing Christian community."

- Brit Hume; Fox News journalist who was met with great opposition when he commented on Tiger Wood's downfall and said that, unlike Buddhism, Christianity offers Tiger true hope.

- Chai Feldblum; a liberal law professor and open lesbian, appointed to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Feldblum stated that in any conflict that might arise between religious liberty and homosexual “rights” she would have a hard time coming up with any case in which religious liberty should win; or "Gay's win; Christians lose."

- Employment Non-Discrimination Act; a proposed federal bill that would force ministries to hire people who oppose their beliefs or who live in open defiance of their values.

- Vaughn Walker; California judge who overturned Proposition 8, a State Constitutional Marriage Amendment, and the will of the people by making homosexual marriage legal.

- Stephen Ocean and Tite Sufra; two young men who were murdered in Boynton Beach, Florida while out sharing the gospel in their neighborhood.

- Virginia Phillips; activist judge out of Riverside, California who repealed the important "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" military law. The law allowed homosexuals to serve in the military, just not openly.

- Larry Grard; Christian journalist fired from his job for sending an e-mail from his personal account on his own time in support of traditional marriage.

- Ken Howell; professor at the University of Illinois Champaign who was fired after teaching to his class on Catholicism that Catholics believe that natural law makes homosexual behavior immoral. Howell was later re-instated after Christians protested.

- Tony Perkins; Christian leader criticized after offering true hope to homosexuals struggling with depression and suicide, found through repentance and faith in Christ.

- Comedy Central; the cable TV was pushing to air a new show called "JC" based on Jesus Christ. With their past treatment of Jesus on their network this could only have turned out to be irreverent and blasphemous.

- Julea Ward and Jennifer Keeton; two women expelled from their respective Master's programs in counseling at two different universities because they wouldn't deny their faith and affirm the validity of the homosexual lifestyle.

Seriously? This is this the best the CADC can come up with? 

The Notre Dame arrests happened in 2009, as did the firing of Larry Grard.  The Comedy Central show "JC" was merely in development, there was no movement on ENDA in Congress, nor was there any evidence at all that the murders of Ocean and Sufra had anything to do with their Christian faith.  Tony Perkins said gay teens are suicidal because they know they are "abnormal" and Pat Robertson said Haiti was hit by an earthquake because the country had made a pact with the Devil. And how exactly are the appointments of Elena Kagan and Chai Feldblum or the Prop 8 and DADT rulings examples of "anti-Christian defamation, discrimination and persecution"?

I think the only conclusion that can be drawn from the fact that these are the "most egregious" examples of "anti-Christian bigotry and hostility in America" that the CADC was able to come up with is that "anti-Christian bigotry and hostility in America" is not very prevalent.

Drake Opposed CA Mosque Because He Doesn't Want Terrorist Pagans In His Back Yard (CORRECTION)

This summer we noted that Tea Partiers and anti-Islam activists were opposing the construction of a proposed Islam Center in Temecula, California and were even using dogs in order to intimidate worshipers because "Muslims hate dogs."

Well, the controversy over the center continues and last night the Temecula Planning Commission voted 5-0 to approve construction of the center after a five-and-a-half hour public hearing during which supporters were told to "go back to Israel" ... and even Wiley Drake weighed in:

The mosque's backers included Yosef Khen, who said he was born in Israel and learned in school that America had a tradition of religious tolerance.

To the mosque's critics, he said: "You're doing damage not to the Islamic people. You're doing damage to yourself."

One person shouted: "Go back to Israel!"


Mosque critic Wiley Drake said Sept. 11 stemmed from the activity of mosques. And John Trautman said Muslims "are not only our enemy but pagans. Why would we want them in our backyard?"

Drake is, of course, the Alan Keyes VP/Birther who is actively praying for God to kill President Obama.

CORRECTION: I obviously misread this and mistakenly attributed the Trautman quote to Drake. My apologies for the error.

AFA's Professional Name-Caller Accuses SPLC of Name-Calling

As we noted earlier, the Religious Right is uniformly livid with the Southern Poverty Law Center's updated list of anti-gay hate groups and seems to be struggling to come up with coherent response as demonstrated by this Concerned Women for America statement which basically accuses the SPLC of calling African Americans bigots:

Concerned Women for America, among several other pro-family, pro-life national groups, has been named a “hate group” by The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) because of our opposition to same-sex “marriage.”

The SPLC began as a civil rights organization in the 1960s, but has been marginalized by “gay rights” organizations. They no longer simply focus on the noble cause of fighting racism and have, instead, become another tool for the left. This time, the SPLC has taken their liberal propaganda too far. By demonizing traditional family groups that support traditional marriage, they just put a huge portion of the African-American community in California in the same category with the rest us so-called bigots.

According to an Associated Press exit poll, 70 percent of African-Americans in California who voted for Barack Obama also voted for Prop 8 and in support of traditional marriage in 2008. The very people the SPLC supposedly seeks to protect from bigotry and “hate crimes” are heavily in favor of the very institution that the SPLC is fighting against.

And the AFA's Bryan Fischer has also decided to weigh in, trotting out his now standard "truth has become hate speech" line as he unveils his own convoluted response:

The Southern Poverty Law Center last week added five members to its list of “hate” groups, one of which is the American Family Association.

This illustrates one point and proves another. The point it illustrates is that the first and last refuge of a man without an argument is name-calling. If you can’t win on the merits of the case, call your opponent a racist or a bigot or a hater and the debate is supposed to be over at that point. So you know as a matter of fact that the moment someone stops debating and starts name-calling, they’ve lost the argument. It’s an admission of defeat.


Thus, in a strange way, it is a badge of honor for these groups to be tagged now by the SPLC as hate groups. It’s a sign of desperation on the part of the SPLC, and a sign that they are so threatened by the truths that these groups speak that they are now flailing about trying to silence them rather than to debate them. They’ve given up winning on points, and so have taken to trying to run them off the field. Their strategy now is not to persuade the public but to demonize their cultural adversaries.

I’ve often maintained that liberals, progressives, Democrats, socialists, Marxists, etc. - they’re all the same under the covers - hate free speech. They hate freedom of religion, and they hate freedom of the press, because such freedoms threaten their stranglehold on public discourse and their goal of indoctrinating the American people with their non-traditional moral values. They hate the First Amendment, for the very reason that it was designed by the Founders to protect robust public discourse on political and social matters.

So, Fischer says name-calling an admission of defeat ... and then proceeds to simply assert that all the Marxists and Socialists on the left just hate free speech and religion and the First Amendment and America in general.

Of course it should also be noted that Fischer's entire professional career is based on calling gays names like nancy-boys and sexual perverts and sexual deviants and pedophiles and domestic terrorists who are part of a "deviancy cabal" who "want to use the anal cavity for sex."

Believers in American Exceptionalism More Likely to Support Torture

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 has granted America a special role in human history,” 58 percent of Americans agree. Not surprisingly, white evangelicals agreed overwhelmingly – 83 percent – along with 76 percent of those who identify with the Tea Party movement and 75 percent of Republicans. Among Democrats, about half – 49 percent – agree. More than two thirds of Americans with no religious affiliation reject the idea that God has given the US a special role in history.
Perhaps more interesting is the survey’s findings that white Americans who affirm this notion of divinely inspired American exceptionalism are much more likely to favor military strength over diplomacy as the best way to preserve peace than those who reject exceptionalism, and significantly more likely to believe that torture can be justified. Americans are about evenly split on the question of whether torture can ever be justified against suspected terrorists, but only about a third of Republicans and those identifying with the Tea Party agree that torture can never be justified. Fifty-five percent of those who believe in a divine role for the US believe torture can sometimes be justified; only 42 percent of those who reject that role are willing to accept torture under some circumstances.
It’s worth noting that half of white evangelicals believe that torture can never be justified, making this one among several issues in which Tea Party supporters are to the right of other Christian conservatives even though there is major overlap between the two groups. E.J. Dionne and William Galston of the Brookings Institution, in a paper commenting on the survey findings, note that “While white Christian conservatives and Tea Party supporters are in broad agreement on many issues, there is a harder edge to Tea Party views on immigration, multiculturalism, and Islam.”
Those differences could contribute to the ongoing public struggles to define what the 2010 election meant and what kinds of issues should be considered part of the Tea Party agenda. The crucial role played by Latino voters in Democratic Senate victories in Nevada, California, and Colorado also point to ways in which the Tea Party movement’s hard-edge positions on immigration and Islam, and its lack of concern about racial discrimination, could interfere with efforts by some GOP and Religious Right leaders to broaden the demographic base of the Republican Party. 

More Good News For Huckabee: James Robison Is Back In Business

For the last several months we've been noting the gradual re-emergence of James Robison, who was an influential leader back at the founding of the Religious Right but who eventually sort of fell off the radar. 

But in the last year or so, he has suddenly become more and more involved in Religious Right activism and I guess nothing better demonstrates that fact like this article, via AU, reporting that a few months back Robison convened a large gathering of leaders to plot how to defeat President Obama in 2012:

Conservative Christian leaders from across the nation met two months ago near the Dallas airport to strategize about replacing President Barack Obama with someone who matches their agenda – a move that paralleled an effort by Christian leaders in 1979 to defeat then President Jimmy Carter.

About 40 conservative Christian leaders gathered in Dallas on Sept. 8-9 to begin laying the groundwork for a religious-political movement similar to the one that helped Ronald Reagan oust the Baptist Sunday school teacher from the Oval Office. Convened by evangelist James Robison – a key figure in the religious effort 30 years ago to promote Reagan's candidacy – the list of attendees included many of the most prominent Christian evangelists and ministers, including several Southern Baptist leaders.

Southern Baptist leaders attending the meeting included: Richard Land (president of the SBC's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission); Richard Lee (pastor and the editor of The American Patriot's Bible); John Meador (pastor of First Baptist Church of Euless, Texas); and Paige Patterson (president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary).

Others at the meeting included: Tony Evans (a megachurch pastor in Texas); Father Joseph Fessio (founder and editor of Ignatius Press); Craig Groeschel (pastor of; Miles McPherson (a megachurch pastor in California who spoke at the 2008 Republican National Convention); Johnnie Moore (a vice president at Liberty University who defended the school's decisions to have Glenn Beck and Newt Gingrich as recent speakers); Tom Mullins (a megachurch pastor in Florida); Doug Napier (legal counsel at the Alliance Defense Fund); Dino Rizzo (a megachurch pastor in Louisiana); Dave Roever (an evangelist who prayed at Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally); Mark Rutland (president of Oral Roberts University); David Stone (a megachurch pastor in Kentucky); and Stu Weber (a megachurch pastor in Oregon).

Several conservative Christian leaders highly active in politics attended the meeting, including: Stephen Broden (a pastor and Republican politician in Texas); Keith Butler (a pastor and Republican politician in Michigan); Maggie Gallagher (a conservative columnist who received tens of thousands of dollars for her work from the George W. Bush administration); Jim Garlow (chairman of Newt Gingrich's organization, Renewing American Leadership); Harry Jackson (pastor of Hope Christian Church in Washington, D.C.); Gene Mills (executive director of the Louisiana Family Forum); and Tony Perkins (president of the Family Research Council).

Some attendees have been guests on Glenn Beck's program on Fox News (including Broden, Garlow, Lee, McPherson, Mullins, Robison, Roever and Stone), and several were involved with his "Restoring Honor" rally (including Jackson, Land, Lee, Gallagher, Garlow and Roever).

Three of the attendees at the meeting have been under investigation since 2007 by Republican U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, a Baptist from Iowa, for perhaps violating IRS tax-exempt rules. Those at the meeting included televangelists Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar and Joyce Meyer.

Other individuals helped plan the September meeting but were unable to attend. They included: Jerry Falwell Jr. (president of Liberty University); Jack Graham (a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention); O.S. Hawkins (head of the SBC's Guidestone Financial Resources); Jack Hayford (president of Foursquare International); and author Ravi Zacharias.

I should point out, also, that Robison's return can only be good news for Mike Huckabee, as Robison was his mentor back in the 1970s, leading Huckabee to drop out of seminary so he could go to work for Robison as his director of communications.

If Robison and crew are looking to replace Obama "with someone who matches their agenda," Huckabee seems like a perfect fit.

Meet Lou Barletta: America's Anti-Immigrant Mayor Heads to Congress

Following last Tuesday's election, RWW will bring you our list of the "The Ten Scariest Republicans Heading to Congress." Our sixth candidate profile is on Lou Barletta, America’s anti-immigrant mayor:

Those disappointed to see anti-immigrant zealot Tom Tancredo off the national political stage will find a similar one-issue firebrand in Pennsylvania congressman-elect Lou Barletta.

Barletta rose to national prominence as the mayor of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, a small working class city that in 2006 enacted some of the most draconian anti-immigrant measures in the country. Hazleton’s law put tough penalties on individuals and businesses who knowingly or unknowingly did business with undocumented immigrants—it revoked for five years the business license of any business caught employing an undocumented immigrant, and slapped landlords renting to undocumented immigrants with a $1,000-a-day fine. The law also declared English the official language of Hazleton, and prohibited city officials from translating documents without permission.

When the law passed, Barletta told the Washington Post, “I will get rid of the illegal people. It's this simple: They must leave." On the day the city passed the measure, Barletta wore a bulletproof vest to illustrate his concern over crimes he said were being committed by undocumented immigrants. Statistics, however, showed that undocumented immigrants were hardly responsible for a crime wave in Hazelton: the city’s data showed that of 8,575 felonies committed in the city between 2000 and 2007, 20 had been linked to undocumented immigrants. Later, forced to admit that he had no proof of an illegal immigrant-caused crime wave, or proof that illegal immigrants were crowding Hazleton’s schools and hospitals, or even any idea how many illegal immigrants were in Hazelton, Barletta responded, “The people in my city don’t need numbers.”

After the law took effect, businesses catering to Latino residents that had revitalized Hazleton’s downtown area saw a sharp drop in business, and Latino residents reported increased hostility from white residents.

A federal judge struck down Barletta’s law in 2007, writing, "The genius of our Constitution is that it provides rights even to those who evoke the least sympathy from the general public. Hazleton, in its zeal to control the presence of a group deemed undesirable, violated the rights of such people, as well as others within the community." An appeals court this year upheld the ruling.

Although Barletta claimed to be defending “the legal taxpayer of any race,” he admitted that he found inspiration for the law from the website of self-described “proud nationalist” Jim Turner, who pushed a similar measure in San Bernardino, California to prevent the state from becoming, as he put it, a “Third World Cesspool.”

As copy-cat laws started to pop up in towns around the country, Barletta became a hero to anti-immigrant and nativist groups. When he ran for Congress in 2008, Barletta’s campaign received $10,920 from the Minuteman PAC, the political spending arm of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, a vigilante border-patrol group that the Southern Poverty Law Center calls “nativist extremist.” It was the largest donation the Minuteman PAC made to a candidate that year.

In 2009, Barletta drew fire for speaking at a conference hosted by The American Cause, a group that had earlier that year released a report urging the Republican Party to not “pander to pro-amnesty Hispanics and swing voters,” and instead to put anti-immigrant policies at the forefront of the party’s strategy. The report was authored by several anti-immigrant advocates, many who had clear records of dabbling in white supremacy. The executive director of the group, and main author of the report, had even been charged with a hate crime against an African American woman. The immigrants’ rights group America’s Voice described the 2009 conference as “a forum for white nationalists to forge ties with ‘mainstream’ media commentators and conservative leaders.”

Although Barletta frames most of his politics through the lens of illegal immigration, he has also embraced Tea Party talking points on social issues, the environment, and the scope of government. In a candidates’ debate, he said his first action as a member of Congress would be to vote to repeal health care reform. He says the Affordable Care Act brought about “nationalized health care” and said it would put “life-affecting health decisions in the hands of bureaucrats,” and echoed the false claim raised by many in the Tea Party that health care reform “will take $500 billion out of Medicare." He told a forum in Pocono, "We're afraid of our government. We're afraid of what our government is going to do” and claimed on his campaign website that President Obama and Democrats in Congress are “spending our country into servitude.”

In terms of government spending, Barletta took particular issue with the comparatively miniscule $1.1 million that was spent to send members of Congress and their staffers to last year’s climate summit in Copenhagen. He claims to be a climate change skeptic, saying, “You know there's arguments on both sides. I'm not convinced that there's scientific evidence that proves that. I believe there's some that can also argue the opposite.”

When Obama created a panel to distribute recovery funds from BP’s $20 billion escrow account after the Gulf oil spill, Barletta said, “It’s exactly what the people of the Gulf don’t need – more bureaucracy.”

Barletta’s record as mayor of Hazleton doesn’t speak well, however, for his future as a fiscal problem solver: his budget for Hazleton last year hikes taxes and fees, and called for laying off government workers—including a number of police officers. As Barletta leaves office, Hazleton has the highest rate of unemployment in Pennsylvania. Despite raising taxes as Mayor of Hazleton, Barletta has signed Americans for Tax Reform’s pledge to never raise taxes in Washington.

Barletta opposes marriage equality, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal, and abortion rights. He has also embraced right-wing conspiracy theories about government-run “death panels” and the imminent risk of human cloning, stating on his website, “I will oppose the efforts of some to increase or expand the protection or establishment of legal euthanasia, abortion, and human cloning. As Congress begins to tackle the issues of Medicare and health care reform, I will never support a program that results in rationing of life-saving procedures to those covered under those programs.”

In his predictably hostile response to the planned Islamic community center in lower Manhattan, he advanced the popular right-wing pseudo-historical theory of Muslim “victory mosques.”

While Barletta, it seems, will be a reliable vote for the Republican Party’s far-right wing, he’s already emerging as a leader on anti-immigrant zealotry. Two days after the election, he went on Fox News to accuse Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of attempting to buy Hispanic votes by introducing the DREAM Act. Watch:





Right Wing Leftovers

  • Rick Santorum says none of the possible 2012 candidates can call themselves Tea Party candidates ... except himself, of course.
  • I'm curious: is Jaime Herrera going to be the first homeschooled member of Congress?
  • Looks like Rep. Michele Bachmann's leadership bid is failing.
  • Since when is Rick Scarborough considered a "California pastor"? Last time I checked, he was located in Texas.
  • The Utah chapter of the Eagle Forum sure is powerful.
  • Finally, the quote of the day from Cape Coral , FL mayor John Sullivan on his effort to place the Ten Commandments inside a government building: “I don’t want to do this in a hap hazard way or open up a can of worms, but I think it is a good idea. I don’t see this as separation of church and state. Our laws were built on the Ten Commandments."

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Just a reminder to GOProud: just because the Left doesn't like you, it doesn't mean that the right-wing does.
  • When even George W. Bish thinks Sarah Palin is a joke, that is saying something.
  • Will the Religious Right please stop screaming about this nonsense now?
  • Randall Terry is already going after John Boehner.
  • Jim Garlow frets that Democrats are going to destroy California.
  • It really is amazing how the Religious Right is fundamentally unwilling to condemn Lisa Miller for kidnapping her daughter and disappearing.
  • I find it quite remarkable how David Barton's election "analysis" so closely mirrors Fox's "news."
  • Finally, quote of the day from David Lane, executive director of AFA Action, responding to the win in Iowa: "For those who impose what we perceive as an immoral agenda, we're going to take them out" ... He said the group would do so again wherever judges "impose their will on free people."

Tealigious Right Gloats, Thanks God for GOP Victories

Two days after the Election Day conservative tide, Newt Gingrich, David Barton, and Jim Garlow held a conference call for conservative Christian pastors to talk about what it all means. The call brought together Gingrich, an establishment Republican who has been courting the Religious Right for a future presidential bid; Barton, a long-time fixture of the Religious Right who has become a Tea Party celebrity thanks to Glenn Beck; and Jim Garlow, who hails from the dominionist wing of the Religious Right and led religious opposition to marriage equality in California. The elections, they said, were a rejection of secularism and evidence of a new religious Great Awakening that would move America to the right for decades to come.

Gingrich, while touting the massive Republican wins in Congress and state legislatures as profoundly historic, also called attention to the million-dollar Religious Right-led campaign that led to the rejection of three marriage equality-supporting Iowa Supreme Court justices in retention elections.  “Taking on the judicial class,” said Gingrich, and telling judges that “we are not going to tolerate enforced secularization of our country,” is “one of the most important things we can engage in.” 
Barton reveled in the Republican takeover of the Iowa house, and said he believed that a constitutional amendment denying gay couples the right to marry would be one of the first things to come before the state legislature. Even though Republicans fell just short of taking the Senate, Barton said he thought enough Democrats would be intimidated by what happened to the judges to let an amendment move forward: “This is what we call hanging a bloody scalp on the gallery rail.”
Gingrich and Barton both gloated that Republican wins in state legislatures and governorships put the GOP in a position to gerrymander voting districts in a way that will make it hard for Democrats to recover during the next decade.
All the speakers spoke of the elections as an embrace of the notion of a divinely inspired “American Exceptionalism” that Glenn Beck has been promoting and that a number of Tea Party-backed candidates were sounding as a campaign theme. Barton said that that 90 percent of the congressional freshman class is “pro-God, pro-life, pro-faith, and pro-family.” He repeated the theme that was pounded by speaker after speaker at the Values Voter summit – that fiscal and social conservatism can’t be separated.
In fact, Garlow and Barton went even further, asserting a biblical underpinning for an approach to economics that is probably even further to the Right than many Tea Party activists. Taxation and deficit spending, they said, amount to theft. The estate tax, Barton said, is “absolutely condemned” by the Bible as the “most immoral” of taxes. Jesus, he said, had “teachings” condemning the capital gains tax and minimum wage.   This, he declared, was “a great election for biblical values.”
Barton and Garlow discussed the many prayer and fasting campaigns that took place around the elections, and whether there was a way to prove their impact. While Barton said it would be tough to come up with empirical data, he called it historically “irrefutable” that there was an impact from so many people praying and fasting for conservative election victories. “There’s no way from a biblical or historical standpoint you can do that and not see God intervene or move.”

Taking the Tea Party Seriously

 In less than two years, the Tea Party movement emerged with an angry shout, became a major player in the national debate over health care reform, toppled incumbent senators and defeated candidates backed by the GOP establishment, and pushed radically right-wing views about the role of government into public debate. And they’re about to see a number of their candidates elected to Congress.

For a while last year, journalists and other political observers weren’t sure whether to take the Tea Party movement seriously as a force in American politics. But Lawrence Rosenthal, head of the Center for Comparative Study of Right-Wing Institutions at the University of California Berkeley, and his colleague Christine Trost decided it was worth a serious look. Last Friday, the Center hosted Fractures, Alliances and Mobilization in the Age of Obama: Emerging Analyses of the Tea Party Movement, the first academic conference on the topic.  It was an interdisciplinary event, featuring historians, sociologists, political scientists, political theorists, scholars of race and gender, and journalists, each taking a look at the movement from a different angle. As a senior fellow at PFAW Foundation, I made a presentation on the connections between the Tea Party and the Religious Right at the leadership, activist, ideological, and political levels.
In his introductory remarks, Rosenthal emphasized the “emerging” nature of the work being presented. The Tea Party is new to the political scene, and the upcoming elections and their aftermath will tell us a lot more about its impact.  It’s impossible to do justice to a day-long conference in a short blog post, so  I’ll mention just a few of the presentations that struck me as particularly interesting.   If you’re interested in more, you can find the conference agenda here, and Berkeley folks expect video of the presentations to be available online shortly at the Center’s website. A volume of conference papers is planned for next year.
A few items from my notes, with apologies to any scholar who feels I’m off-point with any of these hyper-condensed items:
  • From Rosenthal’s opening remarks, a comparison of the role Fox News has played in the Tea Party’s rise with the role of Berlusconi’s media empire in his rise to political power in Italy.
  • From the keynote address by author Rick Perlstein, a reminder that angry reaction to liberal political ascendancy is a regular part of our history, and that the lack of a robust left-wing populism opens the door to the dangers that are particular to right-wing extremism.   
  • Several scholars reporting that one-or-the-other descriptions of the movement (grassroots or Astroturf?) are usually too simplistic; at this point the movement is a fluid mixture not easily categorized.
  • Professor Christopher Parker from the University of Washington presented polling data showing that supporters of the Tea Party movement are more likely to harbor negative attitudes toward Blacks, Latinos, and gay people.
  • Professor Martin Cohen from James Madison University presented a fascinating look at another movement that built power within the GOP: he analyzed the effectiveness and impact of the Religious Right’s “first wave” – think Falwell and Moral Majority – and its “second wave” – think Ralph Reed and the Christian Coalition. He suggested that the Tea Party movement currently sounds more like the first wave in the level of public anger and hostility to compromise, and argues that the movement would have a bigger impact if it takes some lessons from the second wave. (Lessons, by the way, that Reed himself is happily imparting through his new Faith and Freedom Coalition)
  • Professor Alan Abromowitz from Emory University presented evidence that the increasing partisanship of recent decades set the stage for the kind of no-compromise politics of the Tea Party crowd.  Since the 1970s, Republicans have had steadily smaller regard for Democratic presidential candidates, with the biggest fall among the most active.
  • Charles Postrel, San Francisco State University historian and award-winning author, challenged the use of the term “populism” in connection with a movement that is drawing inspiration from the likes of the John Birch Society and right-wing author Cleon Skousen, who is being heavily promoted by Glenn Beck.
  • Chip Berlet, who analyzes right-wing movements for Political Research Associates, discussed ways that right-wing populists use demonization, scapegoating, and conspiracy theories to justify "apocalyptic aggression."
  • Lisa Disch, a University of Michigan professor of political science and women’s studies, gave a fascinating “contrarian” analysis that described the Tea Party and the racial resentments evident in the movement as an outgrowth of the New Deal rather than a rejection of it.
  • Devin Burghart, Vice President for the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights, discussed the group’s recent report, Tea Party Nationalism, and its findings about the infiltration of local Tea Party groups by racist and anti-immigrant activists.
The Berkeley conference raised a lot of questions that will provide scholars with avenues for additional research, including greater analysis of the relationships between the grassroots and grasstops of the movement.
One journalist who has done serious investigative work along those lines is AlterNet’s Washington Bureau Chief Adele Stan (full disclosure – I have written articles for AlterNet and Stan). Stan and AlterNet’s Don Hazen have edited Dangerous Brew: Exposing the Tea Party's Agenda to Take Over America. Dangerous Brew is an anthology of writing from AlterNet contributors on the Tea Party movement.  
On Monday night, Stan was joined by Sarah Posner, associate editor at online magazine Religion Dispatches (more disclosure: I serve on the advisory council and have written for RD) and Stephanie Mencimer of Mother Jones magazine for a conversation about the book and the movement at Washington, D.C.’s Busboys & Poets.  Their conversation touched on some of the same themes discussed in Berkeley, including the outsized role played by News Corp, the impact of economic and cultural anxieties, and the need for progressives to stop being surprised when the far right rises from its dormancy whenever liberals gain political power. 
Posner discussed the interconnections between the Religious Right and Tea Party movements. Mencimer, who has spent a lot of time on the road getting to know Tea Party members, encouraged progressives to recognize that, whatever the motivations and machinations of the corporate interests and GOP strategists who are working to hijack the movement to their own purposes, many Tea Party activists are individuals motivated by love of country and excited about their first intense experience of democratic participation. Stan encouraged members of the diverse crowd, representing many strains of the progressive movement, to introduce themselves to others in the room, because the energized Tea Party movement is going to give progressive activists a lot of reasons to get to know each other in the coming years.

New Ralph Reed Ad Campaign Literally Declares "It's Us Vs Them"

Ever since he was anointed as "The Right Hand of God" fifteen years ago, Ralph Reed has enjoyed a reputation as the Religious Right's leading political operative. 

So influential is Reed, in fact, that even his work exploiting his Religious Right allies on behalf of disgraced criminal lobbyist Jack Abramoff's gambling clients could not sink his career, as he returned last year with a new group called the Faith and Freedom Coalition, which he touted as a more hip, more strident "21st Century version of the Christian Coalition on steroids, married with, with a sprinkling of the NRA." And the rest of the right-wing movement eagerly embraced him once again.

But at heart, Reed is just another right-wing political hack, and a pretty blatant and unoriginal one at that.  And nothing better demonstrates that the FFC is spending half a million dollars to run a more absurdly over-the-top radio ad than you could even imagine: 

The Faith and Freedom Coalition will announce Tuesday evening that it is launching a $500,000 radio ad campaign to increase evangelical and conservative turnout next week.

The socially conservative group, led by Ralph Reed, will target 18 House and Senate races with the independent expenditure effort.

At the top of its list is the Nevada Senate contest, where Republican Sharron Angle is trying to unseat Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid. The group will also debut ads bolstering the Republican nominees in the tight Colorado and Washington Senate races.

Incumbent House Democrats being targeted by the group are Ciro Rodriguez (Texas), Paul Kanjorski (Pennsylvania), Jerry McNerney and Loretta Sanchez (California), Tom Perriello (Virginia), Sanford Bishop and Jim Marshall (Georgia), John Spratt (South Carolina), John Boccieri (Ohio), Allen Boyd and Ron Klein (Florida), John Salazar (Colorado), Leonard Boswell (Iowa) and Lincoln Davis (Tennessee).

Here is ad Reed is running against Harry Reid and its theme is literally "us vs. them" - you really need to listen to it in order to fully understand just how truly awful it is:

It's Us versus Them. Big government versus a big belief in faith and freedom. Sharron Angle versus Harry Reid.

Reid is a "them," like Obama, like Pelosi. He voted for their stimulus plan that only wasted our money, civilian trials for foreign terrorists, and government-run health care.

Angle is one of us. She says it is faith in God and the freedom to become all we want that made America great.

We must choose an "us." Someone who gets it, will protect our freedom, and defend our faith.

Please, vote faith, vote freedom, vote Angle.

It's Us versus Them.

The various other versions of the ad can be found here.

The Right truly has become a parody of itself.

Targeting Iowa Judges To Send A Message To the Supreme Court

Following in the wake of Judge Vaughan Walker's ruling in the Prop 8 case, Chuck Colson declared that the Religious Right must prevent the Supreme Court from ever ruling in favor of gay marriage by building a groundswell of opposition in order to convince the Court that any ruling recognizing the right to marriage equality will not be accepted by the people.

Today, the National Organization for Marriage's Brian Brown was on "Wallbuilders Live" with David Barton and Rick Green and explained that the effort to unseat three judges in Iowa was part of an effort to send just that sort of signal to the Supreme Court:

Barton: I guarantee you, if these judges can be thrown off in Iowa, you watch as state after state after state as people start going and saying "time for accountability, time to get our government back." I'm loving it, it's going to be fun.

Green: It's great, this is really opening the flood gate in a very positive way.

Brown: Many people that have commented on what we're going through right now, especially with the Proposition 8 case in California, are looking at the Iowa judicial retention election - and even though there are many important elections about the country - they're actually saying this is the most important election because it will send a clear signal to the Supreme Court and other judges that they don't have the right to make up the law out of thin air. Their job is to interpret the law, it is not to be out robed masters and judicial activists imposing their will on the rest of us.

And so if the people of Iowa do what I think they'll do and stand up and remove these judges, there will be reverberations throughout the country all the way to the United States Supreme Court.

And just in case you were operating under the delusion that the Religious Right would actually accept any Supreme Court in favor of marriage equality, rest assured that they most certainly will not:

Brown: Ultimately if this Perry vs Schwarzenegger case out of California goes to the Supreme Court - and I'm confident that we will win at the Supreme Court - but if we were to lose and if the Supreme Court was to force same-sex marriage on, for example, Texas or Alabama or states that have voted by something like seventy-five percent to support marriage as a union of a man and woman and you have the US Supreme Court throwing out the vote of these states, I think you're going to have a strong movement for a federal marriage amendment. And that would also be a very clear sign to the courts that they are bound by the law and they don't have the right to simply put into law their own personal preferences.

You also have under Article III in the Constitution the idea that Congress could limit the appellate jurisdiction of some of these federal courts, so that's another way in which, that's already in our law, that Congress could limit the ability of the federal courts to force same-sex marriage on the rest of the country, or any other issue on which the court's overstepping its bounds.

2010 Right Wing Candidates Weekly Update 10/20

Sharron Angle

Terrorism: Angle refuses to apologize to Canadian Ambassador who condemned Angle for saying that terrorists are crossing into the US from Canada (AP, 10/19).

Latinos: Says that Latino students, and herself, look Asian (NYDN, 10/19).

Ad: Claims that Harry Reid is in “the conga line” with Michelle Obama (Slate, 10/19).

Fundraising: Spent over $5 million on fundraising (Salon, 10/18).

Palin: MissesTea Party Express kickoff with Palin, who praises Angle and slams Reid (Nevada News Bureau, 10/18).

Ken Buck

Religious Right: Claims that homosexuality, “like alcoholism,” is a choice (KDVR, 10/19).

Poll: New data shows Buck losing lead, in dead heat with Bennet (HuffPo, 10/19).

Women: Stands by comparison of rape allegation to “buyers remorse (Daily Kos, 10/18).

Carly Fiorina

Religious Right: Courage Campaign asks Fiorina to refuse support from National Organization for Marriage in internet ad (YubaNet, 10/19).

Government: Can’t name spending programs she would cut (LA Times, 10/18).

Palin: Skips rally with Sarah Palin and Michael Steele (NYT, 10/17).

Experience: Fortune magazine exposes Fiorina’s failed record running Lucent Technology (Fortune, 10/15).

Ad: Boxer hits Fiorina for backing Palin, offshore drilling, and repeal of assault weapon ban (Boxer, 10/15).

Joe Miller

GOP: NRSC spends $162,000 on ads to help Miller (WaPo, 10/19).

Ethics: Admits he broke ethics rules while working for Fairbanks; judge set to rule on disclosing more information (ADN, 10/19).

Security: Miller’s security firm under investigation for arresting reporter (Alaska Dispatch, 10/19).

Immigration: Cites East Germany as a success in wall-building (Mediaite, 10/19).

Debate: Skips debate with McAdams and Murkowski (ADN, 10/18).

Christine O’Donnell

Constitution: Questions Separation of Church and State, stumped on the content of 14th and 16th Amendments (ThinkProgress, 10/19).

Taxes: Chris Coons claims that O’Donnell can’t prove assertion that the Democrat wants a $10,000 tax increase (News Journal, 10/19).

Media: Jeffrey Shaffer looks into “Christine O'Donnell and the rise of cable TV politics” (Christian Science Monitor, 10/19).

Rand Paul

Poll: Democratic poll shows Paul trailing Conway by 2% (WaPo, 10/19).

Debate: Heated debate with Jack Conway, might back out of next one (McClatchy, 10/18).

Religion: Conway ad on “Aqua Buddha” spurs debate on religion (NYT, 10/18).

Marco Rubio

Debate: Crist dubs Rubio an “extreme right-wing candidate” in debate (Miami Herald, 10/19).

Outside groups: American Crossroads spends big to back Rubio (The Ledger, 10/18).

Palin: Campaigns with Sarah Palin and Michael Steele on Saturday (Politico, 10/18).

Pat Toomey

Outside groups: Club for Growth, formerly led by Toomey, set to expand pro-Toomey ad campaign (Washington Independent, 10/19).

Tea Party: AP looks into how Toomey won backing from both the tea party and GOP establishment (AP, 10/19).

Poll: Loses lead, now in dead heat with Joe Sestak (LA Times, 10/19).

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 10/19/10

Haley Barbour

Washington: Ranked #1 of GQ’s “DC Power List” (GQ, 10/18).

Mississippi: NYT columnist looks into his record of pardons as Governor (NYT, 10/15).

GOP: Raises $31 million for Republican Governors Association (WaPo, 10/14).

Mitch Daniels

Economy: Hit by conservatives for floating idea of value added tax (Newsweek, 10/18).

2012: Praised by President of US Chamber of Commerce (Courier & Press, 10/13).

Newt Gingrich

2010: Predicts takeover of House and Senate by GOP (KTAR, 10/18).

Fundraising: His 527, which has no cap on donations, raised over $4 million (Politico, 10/16).

Mike Huckabee

Media: Brings Ohio GOP gubernatorial nominee on TV show, says he is “not the least bit objective” (Media Matters, 10/18).

Crime: Seattle Times looks into Huckabee’s pardon of Maurice Clemmons (Seattle Times, 10/17).

Religious Right: Tells “Freedom, Faith and Family” conference that God guided Founding Fathers, condemns abortion (Winston-Salem Journal, 10/16).

2010: Predicts a “tsunami of change” while campaigning for Indiana Republicans (Indiana News Center, 10/13).

Mitt Romney

2010: Campaigns for Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and Minnesota’s Tom Emmer (GOP12, 10/18).

Fundraising: Collects $1.7 million for leadership PAC over summer (Politico, 10/14).

Iowa: May not focus as much attention on Iowa Caucuses in 2012 as he did in 2008 (Des Moines Register, 10/14).

Sarah Palin

Tea Party: Launches Tea Party Express Bus Tour in Reno, NV (Christian Science Monitor, 10/18).

2010: Set to rally in Florida with Michael Steele and Marco Rubio after appearing with Steele in California (Politico, 10/18).

Religious Right: Speaks to Liberty and Freedom Foundation about patriotism, God, and Pat Tillman; knocks First Lady Michelle Obama (Opposing Views, 10/17).

George Pataki

Health Care: Wants 1 million people to sign his petition to repeal reform law (Jackson Citizen Patriot, 10/14; The Hill, 10/14).

Economy: Criticizes Obama Administration’s green-jobs initiatives (Wall Street Journal, 10/14).

Tim Pawlenty

GOP: Holds rally with Mitt Romney in Minnesota (Star Tribune, 10/18).

Government: Criticizes federal government spending but requests money from Washington for flood aid (Up Take, 10/18).

Fundraising: Leadership PAC raised over half a million dollars over the Summer (AP, 10/14).

Rick Santorum

Abortion: Set to address Tennessee Right to Life’s annual dinner (Knoxville News, 10/17).

Religious Right: Spoke Friday to Cornerstone Action fundraiser (CPR Action, 10/15).

2010 Right Wing Candidates Weekly Update 10/13

Sharron Angle

Fundraising: Raised $14 million in three months (WaPo, 10/12).

GOP: Leading Nevada Republicans endorse Reid over Angle (Politico, 10/12).

Religious Right: ADL criticizes Angle for refusing to condemn her pastor’s anti-Mormon comments (KVVU, 10/8).

Extremism: Cites Dearborn, Michigan and a non-existent town in Texas as outposts of Sharia law (CNN, 10/9).

Ken Buck

Controversy: Referred to a rape victim’s situation as “buyers remorse;” suspect even admitted that it was rape (PFAW, 10/12; Colorado Independent, 10/12).

Ad: DSCC launches new ad blasting Buck’s record as a prosecutor (Daily Kos, 10/12).

Religious Right: American Right to Life rescinds endorsement of Buck (CBS, 10/12).

Debate: Blasts Stimulus Plan and Afghan strategy in debate with Bennet (Chieftain, 10/8).

Carly Fiorina

Ad: Boxer hits Fiorina for backing Arizona’s SB 1070 in Spanish-language ad (LA Times, 10/12).

Religious Right: Anti-choice, anti-lgbt equality groups spend money to back Fiorina (SF Gate, 10/12).

Palin: Calls Palin “qualified” to be President but chooses to campaign with McCain over her (Politico, 10/12).

Film: BraveNewFilms tackles Fiorina’s time running HP (NYT, 10/10).

Joe Miller

Poll: In statistical dead heat with Murkowski in Public Policy Polling (Politico, 10/12).

Controversy: Said he won’t answer questions about “personal issues” (Anchorage Daily News, 10/11).

Taxes: Supported higher taxes during pipeline lawsuit (Anchorage Daily News, 10/12).

Ad: New pro-Murkowski PAC airs ads blasting Miller’s “radical ideas” (AP, 10/12).

Christine O’Donnell

Debate: Faces off with Coons in CNN debate tonight at 7:30 (Baltimore Sun, 10/12).

Poll: Coons leads O’Donnell by 16% in Fox News poll (TPM, 10/12).

Ad: Refers to Coons as “The Taxman” in latest ad (NYT, 10/12).

Rand Paul

Ad: PolitiFact confirms Conway’s charge that Paul supports a $2,000 Medicare deductable (St. Petersburg Times, 9/13).

Taxes: Calls for elimination of federal income taxes, backs national sales tax (AP, 9/12).

Clinton: Says the former President, who backs Conway, is a “less than honorable” person (PoliticsDaily, 10/12).

College: Paul’s student group often mocked Christians at Baylor (Politico, 10/12).

Dino Rossi

Outside groups: Crossroads GPS and other pro-GOP groups pummel Murray to help Rossi (Seattle Times, 10/11).

Poll: Elway poll shows Rossi trailing Murray by 13% (PoliticalWire, 10/12).

Ad: Murray campaign blasts Rossi’s extreme views on choice and contraception (CQ, 10/12).

Marco Rubio

Health Care: Dubs reform law a “disaster” (Herald Tribune, 10/8).

Debate: Meek and Crist call Rubio an extreme candidate in debate (WaPo, 10/7).

Tea Party: Crist says only he can “stop the Tea Party mess that Mr. Rubio would bring to Washington” (Miami New Times, 10/12).

Pat Toomey

Climate Change: Disputes notion that human activity contributes to climate change (Think Progress, 10/12).

Tea Party: FreedomWorks to kickstart GOTV efforts for Toomey (FreedomWorks, 10/11).

Ad: Democrats blast Toomey for backing Social Security privatization (HuffPo, 10/12).

The Warped Feminism of the Susan B. Anthony List

Although a number of media narratives describe 2010 election as revealing the rise of conservative woman, the "Awakening of the Conservative Woman," or the "Year of the Mama Grizzly," and what Sarah Palin calls “the emerging conservative, feminist identity,” it’s easy to forget that women have always played a prominent role in the conservative movement: Phyllis Schlafly, Clare Boothe Luce, and Beverly LaHaye, just to name a few.

But are women really running to embrace the rightwing agenda in 2010? Most polls show that the growing support for Republican candidates is a result of disproportionate backing from men, while Democrats still lead among women voters; Sarah Palin, the foremost Republican woman, is viewed favorably by an abysmally low 22% of Americans. But it is true that more and more women are running as Republicans for elected office, and the Religious Right has embraced the fiercely anti-choice Republican Senate candidates like Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell, Kelly Ayotte and Carly Fiorina. While it is difficult to say that women are turning to the GOP, at least one group is pushing the narrative that women will be at the center of the Right’s resurgence.

The Susan B. Anthony List was founded by Marjorie Dannenfelser and Jane Abraham, two women long-tied to Republican politics and anti-choice activism. Dannenfelser compared her fight against “the oligarchy of pro-choice women” to Susan B. Anthony’s campaign against second-class citizenship for women, and claims that Susan B. Anthony and the original women’s movement were all “strongly pro-life.”

Of course, real  historians and experts have thoroughly debunked Dannenfelser’s interpretation of women’s history: “Anthony spent no time on the politics of abortion. It was of no interest to her, despite living in a society (and a family) where women aborted unwanted pregnancies.” But the SBA List is now appropriating the legacy of Anthony and the women’s movement to serve their political agenda.

In 2010, SBA List has become a critical voice in the Religious Right in not only transforming the notion of “feminism” but also running extremely deceptive political ads. The group teamed up with the National Organization for Marriage to launch a $200,000 ad campaign against Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer targeted at the Latino community, claiming that Boxer opposed Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Naturally, PolitiFact rated their anti-Boxer ad to be “false” and “highly misleading,” as the Senator is one of the leading advocates of immigrant-rights in Washington.

Now, SBA List has just initiated a campaign targeting anti-choice Democrats who voted in favor of Health Care Reform by employing the immensely discredited and deceptive charge that the new law leads to “taxpayer funding of abortion.” Politico reports that the group plans to spend millions of dollars on television and radio advertisements, billboards, and a bus tour. SBA List has invested heavily in Carly Fiorina of California, New Hampshire GOP nominee Kelly Ayotte, a star of the anti-abortion rights movement, and said that the ultraconservative Nevada Republican Sharron Angle represents an “authentic, pro-life feminism that puts the ‘feminine’ back in the word” who would make “Susan B. Anthony proud.” Yes, the SBA List has such a warped view of feminism that they call the same Sharron Angle who described the situation of a girl impregnated by her father as “really [turning] a lemon situation into lemonade” an “authentic” feminist. Their other top candidate, State Rep. Jackie Walorski of Indiana who is running for the House, is a staunch Religious Right advocate who notoriously sunk hate-crimes legislation by trying to add “fetuses” as a protected class of citizens.

Sarah Palin has emerged as the symbolic head of SBA List, and the group founded the Team Sarah website to attract more women to their brand of “feminism.” “It’s only natural that women like these are responding to someone like Sarah Palin,” writes Dannenfelser, and “now millions of Americans, men and women, are going to the polls to make 2010 not only the Year of the Pro-Life Woman but the dawn of the Decade of Pro-Life Women.”

While SBA List’s view of feminism is different from the more openly anti-feminist groups like Eagle Forum and the Independent Women’s Forum, the groups essentially share the same reactionary ideas and principles. SBA List merely cloaks their anti-women’s rights agenda around a right-wing understanding of “feminism” and a misconstrued view of history.

2010 Right Wing Candidates Weekly Update 10/06

Sharron Angle

Tea Party: Blasts GOP establishment while talking up “juice” with Senate leaders in talk with Nevada Tea Party nominee (WaPo, 10/4).

Poll: Fox News poll showing Angle up by 3% criticized as weighted towards conservatives (LVRG, 10/5).

Government: Claims that Sharia law is on the march and that “government isn't what our founding fathers put into the Constitution” (PFAW Blog, 10/1).

Ad: New ad maliciously attacks Harry Reid over illegal immigration, DREAM Act (KVVU, 10/5).

Ken Buck

Poll: Bennet leads Buck by 1% in new Colorado poll (Public Policy Polling, 10/5).

Religious Right: Reverses himself on Personhood Amendment, which would ban abortion (CBS, 10/4).

Outside groups: Race leads the nation in spending from outside groups (Denver Post, 10/5).

Carly Fiorina

Religious Right: National Organization for Marriage launches bus tour for Fiorina to win over Latino voters (OC Weekly, 10/4).

Ad: RNC donates $2 million to help put Fiorina back on the air (Oakland Tribune, 10/4).

Poll: Trails Boxer by 4% in latest Reuters/Ipsos poll of California voters (Reuters, 10/5).

Joe Miller

Government: Supports repeal of the 17th Amendment, seeks term limits Amendment (News-Miner, 10/5).

Palin: Attempted to block “troopergate” investigation of Palin (Alaska Dispatch, 10/1).

2012: Todd Palin angry that Miller refuses to confirm if Sarah Palin is qualified to be president (Salon, 10/5).

Unemployment: Although he seeks their elimination, his wife received unemployment (HuffPo, 10/5).

Outside groups: Tea Party Express releases ad targeting Murkowski (The Hill, 10/4).

Christine O’Donnell

China: In 2006, said that China plotted overthrow of US (WaPo, 10/5).

Ad: Tells viewers “I’m not a witch; I’m nothing you’ve heard: I’m you” in new ad (ABC, 10/4).

Rand Paul

Government: Claims Medicaid leads to “intergenerational welfare” (Lexington Herald Leader, 10/4).

Social Security: Suggests raising retirement age in debate (Salon, 10/2).

Ad: DSCC blasts Paul for $2,000 Medicare deductible proposal, non-Kentucky ties (DSCC, 10/5).

Controversy: Calls Conway ad that features father of drug-abuse victim “creepy” (AP, 10/1).

Marco Rubio

Social Security: New Crist ad blasts Rubio for supporting retirement age increase (The Page, 10/5).

Religious Right: Wins endorsement of Florida Right to Life (LifeNews, 10/4).

Finances: New questions raised about Rubio’s expenses (Sun Sentinel, 10/4).

Pat Toomey

Wall Street: MoJo looks into Toomey’s past in derivatives trading (Mother Jones, 10/5).

Social Security: Stands by privatizing Social Security (Crooks and Liars, 9/29).

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