California

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 MoveOn.org, 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).

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 10/5/10

Newt Gingrich

Government: Bashes the welfare state in Texas speech (Dallas Morning News, 10/4).

2010: Raising money for right-wing Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer (MPR, 10/4).

Mike Huckabee

2010: Says that mid-term elections will be a “political tsunami” (The Page, 10/4).

Florida: Refuses to back Florida GOP gubernatorial nominee Rick Scott (Florida Times-Union, 10/4).

New York: Praises controversial New York GOP gubernatorial nominee Carl Paladino (NewsHounds, 10/1).

GOP: Claims that he backs the Tea Party over the Party “establishment” (The Page, 10/4).

Column: Knocks “Kleptocrats” in Fox News column (Fox News, 10/4).

Sarah Palin

Critics: Tells Mark Levin that she and her husband “bite our tongue” at critics (GOP12, 10/4).

2010: Holding GOP Victory rallies in California and Florida (HuffPo, 9/30).

Alaska: Ties to Senate GOP nominee Joe Miller go back to Troopergate (KTUU, 10/1).

Religious Right: Speaks to “pregnancy crisis center” advertising organization tonight in Houston (Houston First Baptist Church, 10/5).

Tim Pawlenty

Government: Receives an “A” grade from libertarian Cato Institute (Cato, 9/30).

New Hampshire: Campaigns in the Granite State for GOP candidates (NECN, 9/30).

Mike Pence

Religious Right: Speaks to Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition in Iowa (Caffeinated Thoughts, 10/3).

Mitt Romney

Poll: Leads all 2012 GOP presidential hopefuls with 19% of support from Republicans (US News, 9/30).

Iowa: Endorses 38 Republican candidates in Iowa (CNN, 10/1).

Rick Santorum

Iowa: Will visit Davenport’s GOP headquarters next week (Quad-City Times, 10/4).

2010: Talks midterm election with National Review Online (NRO, 10/1).

Right Wing Round-Up

  • PFAW Blog: Rick Santorum’s distorted view of religion and politics.
  • Salon: James O’Keefe said he didn’t plan to follow his plan to “punk” CNN reporter.
  • Krugman: Fox News doesn’t even pretend to be nonpartisan anymore.
  • Mother Jones: An in-depth look at far-right Maine Gubernatorial candidate Paul LePage.
  • TPM: Larry Flynt still calling out hypocrisy on the Right.

Bishop EW Jackson: Democrats Enslave Black People

On a conference call for Rick Scarborough’s Vision America, Bishop E.W. Jackson of STAND (Staying True to America’s National Destiny) America PAC claimed that the Democratic Party “embraces this anti-Christian, anti-God” worldview. Bishop Jackson continued to say that the Democratic Party is “nothing less than a party of dependence, [and] in effect created a new form of slavery on a liberal plantation that it wants to keep black people on.”

Bishop Jackson and Rick Scarborough joined Tom DeLay and Phyllis Schlafly in releasing a voter’s guide that shows the average score of Republican and Democratic members of Congress from the American Conservative Union. Scarborough called himself “a Christocrat” but that “as a matter of principle I simply vote Republican 90 percent of the time.” Schlafly added that “you’re better off to vote the straight Republican ticket than the Democrat ticket.”

All four speakers criticized the Democrats while praising the Tea Party. Bishop Jackson maintained that the Democratic Party represents “godlessness,” and stands for “fiscal irresponsibility, moral relativism or amorality, anti-Christian bigotry, and a foreign policy of surrender and appeasement.” Addressing concerns that the Tea Party was ignoring social issues, Bishop Jackson said that Tea Parties are “very, very socially conservative as well,” and Scarborough asserted that he receives “rousing ovations at Tea Parties when I talk about the God-factor.”

Towards the end of the call, the speakers defended California Republican nominee Meg Whitman, whose campaign is reeling from the scandal surrounding her employment and firing of her family’s maid who was an undocumented immigrant. Scarborough even wondered why Jerry Brown isn’t prosecuting the maid, and DeLay said that “this is the plight of almost every employer in America: you don’t know what you’re hiring.”

ALIPAC: Whitman Should Be Arrested & Tried, Just Like OJ Simpson

Yesterday, Americans for Legal Immigration PAC called for the arrest of California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman for having allegedly hired a housekeeper who was in the country illegally.

Apparently, that stance is not sitting well with a lot of people, which has prompted ALIPAC president William Gheen to explain that he just wants Whitman put on trial so that the truth can be discerned because not doing so would be like letting O.J. Simpson walk free:

ALIPAC has called for arrests so that the courts can make the proper judgments on guilt or innocence in these matters. ALIPAC, the media, and California voters are not in the proper position to weigh Whitman's documents, claims, and alibis.

To accept her mere claim of innocence without a trial would be similar to advocating that OJ Simpson not be charged with murder because he came out and told the press he did not do it after evidence suggested he did.

Right Wing Watch In Focus: "Rogues' Gallery"

Today, People For the American Way released out latest Right Wing Watch In Focus report examining the slate of extremist GOP Senate candidates running for office this year.

Entitled "The Rogues' Gallery: Right-Wing Candidates Have A Dangerous Agenda for America and Could Turn the Senate," the report examines the radical agendas and views held by Joe Miller, Carly Fiorina, Ken Buck, Christine O'Donnell, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Roy Blunt, Sharron Angle, Kelly Ayotte, Richard Burr, Rob Portman, Pat Toomey, Mike Lee, Ron Johnson, and Dino Rossi, plus the role that Sen. Jim DeMint has played in dragging the GOP further and further to the right.

Here is the introduction:

Republicans in the U.S. Senate have already broken all records for unprincipled partisan obstructionism, preventing the administration from putting people into key positions in the executive branch, blocking judicial confirmations, and delaying and preventing Congress from dealing with important issues facing the nation, from financial reform to immigration. Now a bumper crop of far-right GOP candidates threatens to turn the "deliberative body"into a haven for extremists who view much of the federal government as unconstitutional and who are itching to shut it down.

Fueled by the unlimited deep pockets of billionaire anti-government ideologues, various Tea Party and corporate-interest groups have poured money into primary elections this year. They and conservative voters angry about the actions of the Obama administration have replaced even very conservative senators and candidates backed by the national Republican establishment with others who embrace a range of radically right-wing views on the Constitution, the role of government, the protection of individual freedoms, and the separation of church and state.

Recently, Religious Right leaders have been grousing that Republican candidates arent talking enough about abortion and same-sex marriage. But this report indicates that anti-gay and anti-choice activists have little to worry about, as the right-wing candidates profiled here share those anti-freedom positions even if theyre talking more about shutting down federal agencies, privatizing Social Security, and eliminating most of the taxes paid by the wealthiest Americans. A number of these candidates oppose legal abortion even in cases of rape or incest.

Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina is helping to lead the charge with his Senate Conservatives Fund. DeMint, an absolute favorite of both the Tea Party and Religious Right political movements for his uncompromising extremism on both economic and social issues, is at the far right fringe of the Republican Party and has committed himself to helping elect more like-minded colleagues. Sarah Palin, also popular among both Tea Party and Religious Right activists, has also injected her high-profile name, busy Twitter fingers, and PAC cash into numerous Senate races.

Among the right-wing insurgents who defeated candidates backed by national party leadership are Christine ODonnell of Delaware, Joe Miller of Alaska, Marco Rubio of Florida, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Sharron Angle of Nevada, Ken Buck of Colorado, and Mike Lee of Utah. Others, like Carly Fiorina of California, came through crowded primaries where right-wing leaders split their endorsements, but have now coalesced around her candidacy.

And thanks to the conservative Supreme Courts ruling in the Citizens United case, which said corporations have the same rights as citizens to make independent expenditures in elections, right-wing candidates across the board will be benefitting from a massive infusion of corporate money designed to elect candidates who will oppose governmental efforts to hold them accountable, for example environmental protections and government regulation of the financial industry practices that led the nation into a deep recession.

This In Focus provides an introduction to a select group of right-wing candidates who hope to ride a wave of toxic Tea Party anger into the U.S. Senate. The potential impact of a Senate with even half of these DeMint-Palin acolytes would be devastating to the Senates ability to function and the federal governments ability to protect the safety and well-being of American citizens.

Be sure to read the whole thing.

2010 Right Wing Candidates Weekly Update 9/29

Your update on the right-wing candidates running for US Senate for 9/22-9/29.

Sharron Angle

Government: Angle and her husband are both covered by government health care plans (Alternet, 9/28).

Health Care: Criticized for mocking “Autism” coverage (The Plum Line, 9/27).

Fundraising: Comedian Dennis Miller to raise money for Angle (LVRJ, 9/28).

House: Angle’s unpopularity may hurt Nevada’s GOP House candidates (The Hill, 9/28).

Poll: One poll shows Reid leading Angle by 5%, other finds a tie (Las Vegas Sun 9/25, LVRJ 9/28).

Ken Buck

Poll: DSCC poll shows Buck trailing Bennet by 2% (Politico, 9/29).

GOP: Senators McConnell and Cornyn host fundraiser for Buck (AP, 9/28).

Right-wing: Tries to portray himself as more moderate after primary (RCP, 9/24).

Carly Fiorina

Corporate: Rightwing Koch brothers take interest in Fiorina’s campaign (LA Times, 9/25).

Outside groups: Chamber of Commerce and FreedomWorks to bolster Fiorina (LA Times, 9/28).

Poll: Trails Boxer by 8% in new poll of California voters (San Jose Mercury News, 9/25).

Ad: New ad labels Boxer as “arrogant” (The Atlantic, 9/23).

Joe Miller

Government: Expresses support for increased spending for public health and education in 2004 survey (KTUU, 9/24).

Controversy: Classified himself as “low-income” on hunting license application (Anchorage Daily News, 9/27).

Outside groups: Tea Party Express to help Miller against McAdams, Murkowski (Daily News-Miner, 9/28).

Christine O’Donnell

Finances: CREW looks into O’Donnell’s poor financial record (News Journal, 9/29).

Science: Declares evolution “a myth” on Politically Incorrect (Huffington Post, 9/25).

Controversy: Falsely claims she attended Claremont McKenna and Oxford for graduate school (Mediaite, 9/29).

GOP: Shames Republican leadership for not supporting complete repeal of Health Care Reform (ABC News, 9/28).

Rand Paul

Ad: Blasted for supporting $2,000 Medicare deductible (Herald Leader, 9/29).

Right-wing: Member of ultraconservative medical group (Courier Journal, 9/24).

Poll: Leads Conway by just 2% in latest poll of Kentucky voters (TPMDC, 9/27).

Economy: Speaks out against raising taxes on wealthy (Huffington Post, 9/27).

Dino Rossi

Controversy: BIAW fined for illegally supporting Rossi’s gubernatorial campaign (Seattle PI, 9/24).

Ad: CommonsenseTen hits Rossi on housing crisis (Politico, 9/24).

Marco Rubio

Controversy: Releases Spanish-language ad despite support for English-only policies (Florida Independent, 9/29).

Social Security: Reverses himself on Social Security privatization (St. Petersburg Times, 9/28).

Finances: New questions about Rubio’s expenses flare (Orlando Sentinel, 9/24).

Pat Toomey

Poll: Toomey holds slight lead, but one-third of Pennsylvania voters still undecided (WPVI, 9/29).

GOP: Distances himself from spending under Bush Administration (AP, 9/27).

Right-wing: Columnist examines Toomey’s far-right beliefs while leading Club for Growth (Inquirer, 9/26).

Exposing "Unholy Conspiracies" and "Evil Advisors" With Election-Oriented Prayer

Yesterday we were noting that there are at least six different right-wing 40-day prayer efforts under way that are aimed specifically at seeing Republicans elected during the mid-term elections.

Among the various efforts is one being led by Cindy Jacobs and Generals International and today her United States Reformation Prayer Network sent out an email containing a "prayer guide for the next 5 days of our fast, which focuses on the governmental mountain" with this purpose of disrupting the "evil advisors" and breaking the "unholy conspiracies" that are controlling our government and removing them from office. 

In addition, Jacobs offers specific prayers for the victories in Colorado's personhood amendment, California's marijuana initiative and that God will "open the blind eyes of the supporters of the DADT repeal to stop this detrimental measure in its tracks": 

In Jesus' Name, we ask that You raise up those that will yield their heart to righteousness in government matters, that they would be bold and courageous and willing to obey Your word. We pray that they would act fairly, humanely and with insight in the execution of their duties. Grant them Your wisdom, favor and abundant grace as they take a stand in the political courts of men's opinions inwardly acknowledging it was you who called them. Disrupt the counsel of evil advisors and surround our leaders with Godly counsel. Expose the snares of those who would present themselves one way but whose hearts intent is to seduce the people to drink from the waters of deception. Let the upright dwell in our government; let men and women blameless and complete in Your sight remain in positions of authority. God, break unholy conspiracies and let the wicked be cut off from our government and the treacherous uprooted from our land.

...

As we prepare ourselves to cast our vote, show us which ones would advance and uphold policies based upon Biblical standards of righteousness. Give us ears to hear and discern by Your spirit the truth as we listen when issues are being debated at town hall meetings, organized forums and media presentations throughout the nation. As we vote we ask that our decision would reflect our cry to see our nation come into alignment with righteousness such that those who have dishonored the voice of Your word and Your ways would be removed. Father, we thank You that fervent, united prayer and action can and will powerfully affect this election and the nation!

...

· Pray for the passing of the Kansas Constitutional Amendment 62 to uphold and preserve their right to bears arms (On Kansas Ballot for November 2)

· Pray that the California Marijuana Legalization Initiative (Prop 19), allowing the possession, cultivation or transport of marijuana for personal use, would NOT pass (On California Ballot for November 2 mid-term election)

· Pray for the passing of Colorado Fetal Personhood, Amendment 62, to apply the term 'person' as used in those provisions of the Colorado Constitution relating to inalienable rights, equality of justice and due process of law, to every human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being. (On Colorado Ballot for November 2 mid-term election)

· Pray that a "lame-duck" congress would not succeed in their attempts to force through any unrighteous legislation (DADT, embryonic stem cell research, another massive stimulus package, cap and trade bill, etc.) ...

· Pray for the safety of our military-in Afghanistan and elsewhere, and concerning the attempts to repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, thereby allowing homosexuals to serve openly in the military, and requiring military hospitals at home and abroad to perform abortions ... May God open the blind eyes of the supporters of the DADT repeal to stop this detrimental measure in its tracks.

Brownback Admits to Having Concerns Over Some of Lou Engle's Views

As we noted several times in the past, Sen. Sam Brownback lived with Lou Engle for several months after his condo burned down, during which time Engle prophesized that Brownback would become President:

As I was mobilizing for Boston I said to kids in California ‘we need to dig the dwells of revival in Harvard and close the door of false ideologies that have come through Boston’. Amazingly a week later, I received a phone call from the US Senator from Kansas, Senator Sam Brownback, he’s a godly man. He calls me up, he says ‘Lou, I’m in England, you need to dig the dwells of revival in Harvard and close the door of false ideologies that have come through Boston’. Almost word for word. A Senator was prophesizing me, glory to God.

In fact, it was prophesized to me that I would be connected with a man named Senator Sam Brownback from Kansas. But I forgot about the prophecy, so when I rented a condo in DC to mobilize for The Call, a week later I received a phone call from the owner of the condo and he said ‘there’s a man named Senator Sam Brownback. His condo just burnt down, he wants to know if he could stay in your condo’. I became the room mate of Senator Brownback for 7 months. We began to get dreams that he would be the president of the United States and right now, who knows? We are praying.

You can see the video here which, a few months ago, became an issue in Kansas where Brownback is now running for Governor.

And now, as Sam Stein reports, Brownback has been asked about it and admits that some of Engle's views are rather worrisome: 

Voter: Hi Senator, thanks so much for coming out. It's great to meet you. Clarissa Unger.

Brownback: What's your name again?

Voter: Clarissa Unger. It's so nice to meet you. I just have to say that there's one thing that really concerns me about this race, and it's that a minister, Joe Engle has...

Brownback: Lou.

Voter: Lou Engle. Yes, I'm sorry. He claims that you have lived with him. And I was just curious, is that true? Did you live with him while you were in the Senate?

Brownback: Lou and I were...we...Lou and I were...we were...That's when I got burned out of an apartment, I was trying to think of the year...and then I subleased a place for a period of time. [Inaudible]...but yes.

Voter: You did?

Brownback: Yeah.

Voter: Some of his positions really concern me.

Brownback: Yeah, I know, they do me too.

Voter: The views on [inaudible]. Great, well thank you so much again for coming.

Brownback: You bet, thank you.

Maybe someone should follow up with Brownback and ask him which of Engle's views concern him the most:  his Dominionism? or his view that homosexuality should be criminalized? or his fear that President Obama is unleashing demons upon this nation? or that universities are conditioning students to accept the Mark of the Beast? or that Satan has gained control over the US government?

Of course, these concerns didn't prevent him from joining Engle at the Family Research Council's anti-healthcare "Prayercast" last year.

Bryan Fischer Hails Ann Coulter For Getting "Right In The Grill" of GOProud

Last week we noted that, just days before she was scheduled to headline GOProud's "Homocon 2010," Ann Coulter dedicated her most recent column to praising Ronald Reagan for fighting any "government endorsement of homosexuality." 

And, amazing, the theme that gay rights have no place in the conservative movement is a theme that Coulter continued to drill home when she delivered her remarks to GOProud:

Ann Coulter doesn't mince words. And even when speaking to a gay conservative organization, GOProud, at their inaugural Homocon party on Saturday night, she apparently wasn't willing to start.

After a series of jokes about conservative that sounded -- and were received -- more like a stand-up act then a political speech, Coulter told the assembled (and predominantly wealthy) conservative gay crowd why they should oppose same sex marriage, adding, "I should warn you: I've never failed to talk gays out of gay marriage."

And then she did.

First, she ran down the stereotypical stand-up comedian's list of reasons, including that lacking the legal right to marriage allows the less-committed partner to weasel out of it. But in a more serious note, she parroted the losing arguments of the lawyers supporting California's Prop 8 and told the crowd that the reason she opposes (and they should oppose) same sex marriage is that it is strictly for procreation.

In one of a series of racially insensitive remarks that pervaded her speech, Coulter added, "Marriage is not a civil right. You're not black." It was part of a larger argument on which she later elaborated, telling the crowd that the 14th Amendment only applies to African-Americans and that it does not, in fact, apply to women, LGBT people or other minorities.

Despite the laugh lines, Coulter's arguments against same sex marriage were not well-received by much of the crowd: for instance, the question and answer session after the speech was dominated by Homocon attendees grilling her on her position on a range of issues, including whether opposition to same sex marriage was really in line with the conservative principles of limited government and whether she personally believes that homosexuality is a choice -- a question she declined to answer.

Now, you may wonder why anyone would pay good money to attend an event where the keynote speaker would insult them to their faces, but GOProud stands by its decision because, as GOProud's Christopher Barron put it: "We’re the only gay group that had the balls to have someone like Ann Coulter come speak to them."

You know, if GOProud wants to prove just how tough they are, maybe they should invite Bryan Fischer to headline "Homocon 2011" because he really really hates gays. 

In fact, Fischer initially blasted Ann Coulter as a traitor for even agreeing to speak to GOProud, but now that she went and openly insulted all those in attendance, Fischer admits that he was completely wrong about her:

Ann took them straight on and gave them some straight talk I doubt they were ready for. There is no amount of sugar that will help this medicine go down ... This from the keynote speaker at HomoCon, who got at least five figures to get right in the grill of her hosts.

Anybody at HomoCon want their money back?

And Ann, all is forgiven. Humble pie has never tasted so sweet. You are no longer the "Joan of Arc of homosexuality," as I described you last month, you are now Daniella of the Lion's Den. Good on ya, lass.

GOProud can try to spin this debacle all it wants, but the fact that Ann Coulter has become a hero to Bryan Fischer because of the speech she delivered at Homocon 2010 pretty much tells you all you need to know. 

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