Indiana

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signs civil unions into law, and Focus on the Family is not happy.
  • Michele Bachmann warns that new airport body scanners could result in ‘naked pictures’ on the Internet.
  • Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell will not be boycotting CPAC, so the Family Foundation of Kentucky wants them to address the marriage debate.

Heck: Obama's Support For Reproductive Choice Makes Him a Disgrace To His Ancestors

A few weeks back, Rick Santorum made news when he declared it "almost remarkable for a black man" like President Obama to be in favor of reproductive choice because, in the Religious Right worldview, abortion is just like slavery.

But in case that tortured analogy was not clear enough, right-wing Indiana talk show host Peter Heck has penned a column that has been posted on the AFA's OneNewsNow claiming that Obama's support for reproductive choice means he is an enemy of the likes of Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, and Abraham Lincoln and is therefore a disgrace to "his ancestors":

Only a man terrifyingly unmoved by the injustices perpetrated against his own ancestors could, just a century and a half later, facilitate even worse atrocities without a hint of remorse.

Intellectual honesty demands that we face a harsh and uncomfortable reality: Barack Obama -- our first black president -- has chosen to take up the whip against his fellow man. By doing so, he carves out an eternal legacy for himself far removed from the dignified halls of honor reserved for those with the moral courage to defend the defenseless. By instead regarding them as subhuman, Obama wars against the life work of [Frederick] Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, and Abraham Lincoln.

Imagine how history would regard Lincoln had he chosen to respond to the great moral evil of his day as Barack Obama has chosen to respond to the holocaust of child sacrifice that has occurred with impunity since 1973. Imagine Lincoln proclaiming that determining whether blacks were entitled to human rights was "above his pay grade." Imagine Lincoln pledging to "protect this constitutional right" of slavery, while calling the brutality of plantation masters a "legitimate disciplinary procedure."

How would history have judged such a small man if not for the same way it will soon regard Mr. Obama: an utter coward. When given the incredible opportunity to stand on the shoulders of the Great Emancipator -- an opportunity generations of slaves labored to make possible -- Barack Obama chose not to use it to defend the inalienable rights of all, but to undermine them.

In the final analysis, such an incomprehensible betrayal of human rights for the sake of convenience and political expediency far outweighs any contributions his electoral success has brought to "black America." For what Douglass, Tubman, Truth and so many other courageous black abolitionists fought for was not the day when they would see a man with dark skin pigmentation sitting in the White House. They fought for the day when all men -- black and white, large and small -- would see their inalienable rights protected from those who would callously demean them as less than human.

Obama has failed miserably in living up to their vision, and shamefully discredits their efforts. As he commits himself to what Douglass called the denial of justice, the perpetuation of ignorance, and the organized conspiracy to degrade his fellow countrymen, it can rightly be concluded that Barack Obama disgraces his office, his ancestors, and his place in the eternal struggle for the rights of man.

Heck: Obama's Support For Reproductive Choice Makes Him a Disgrace To His Ancestors

A few weeks back, Rick Santorum made news when he declared it "almost remarkable for a black man" like President Obama to be in favor of reproductive choice because, in the Religious Right worldview, abortion is just like slavery.

But in case that tortured analogy was not clear enough, right-wing Indiana talk show host Peter Heck has penned a column that has been posted on the AFA's OneNewsNow claiming that Obama's support for reproductive choice means he is an enemy of the likes of Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, and Abraham Lincoln and is therefore a disgrace to "his ancestors":

Only a man terrifyingly unmoved by the injustices perpetrated against his own ancestors could, just a century and a half later, facilitate even worse atrocities without a hint of remorse.

Intellectual honesty demands that we face a harsh and uncomfortable reality: Barack Obama -- our first black president -- has chosen to take up the whip against his fellow man. By doing so, he carves out an eternal legacy for himself far removed from the dignified halls of honor reserved for those with the moral courage to defend the defenseless. By instead regarding them as subhuman, Obama wars against the life work of [Frederick] Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, and Abraham Lincoln.

Imagine how history would regard Lincoln had he chosen to respond to the great moral evil of his day as Barack Obama has chosen to respond to the holocaust of child sacrifice that has occurred with impunity since 1973. Imagine Lincoln proclaiming that determining whether blacks were entitled to human rights was "above his pay grade." Imagine Lincoln pledging to "protect this constitutional right" of slavery, while calling the brutality of plantation masters a "legitimate disciplinary procedure."

How would history have judged such a small man if not for the same way it will soon regard Mr. Obama: an utter coward. When given the incredible opportunity to stand on the shoulders of the Great Emancipator -- an opportunity generations of slaves labored to make possible -- Barack Obama chose not to use it to defend the inalienable rights of all, but to undermine them.

In the final analysis, such an incomprehensible betrayal of human rights for the sake of convenience and political expediency far outweighs any contributions his electoral success has brought to "black America." For what Douglass, Tubman, Truth and so many other courageous black abolitionists fought for was not the day when they would see a man with dark skin pigmentation sitting in the White House. They fought for the day when all men -- black and white, large and small -- would see their inalienable rights protected from those who would callously demean them as less than human.

Obama has failed miserably in living up to their vision, and shamefully discredits their efforts. As he commits himself to what Douglass called the denial of justice, the perpetuation of ignorance, and the organized conspiracy to degrade his fellow countrymen, it can rightly be concluded that Barack Obama disgraces his office, his ancestors, and his place in the eternal struggle for the rights of man.

Bryan Fischer At His Anti-Gay Best

Bryan Fischer was in rare form last Friday - first defending Scott Lively and claiming that the murder of gay activist David Kato in Uganda was nothing more than a robbery:

Then Fischer went on a rant about the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, saying that troops would have to accept "sexual deviancy" and "aberrant sex" if they want to advance their careers:

Finally, Fischer weighed in on the news that Indiana University South Bend had cut ties with Chick-Fil-A, seeing it as proof that the gay movement is not interested in tolerance or diversity but really just wants to throw its opponents into jail:

Bryan Fischer At His Anti-Gay Best

Bryan Fischer was in rare form last Friday - first defending Scott Lively and claiming that the murder of gay activist David Kato in Uganda was nothing more than a robbery:

Then Fischer went on a rant about the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, saying that troops would have to accept "sexual deviancy" and "aberrant sex" if they want to advance their careers:

Finally, Fischer weighed in on the news that Indiana University South Bend had cut ties with Chick-Fil-A, seeing it as proof that the gay movement is not interested in tolerance or diversity but really just wants to throw its opponents into jail:

Leading GOP Contenders to Speak At Forums Hosted By Iowa's Leading Anti-Gay Group

The other day, Brian noted that Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty would soon be heading to Iowa to discuss "pro-family issues, all the way from life and marriage to economic policy and energy policy" at a forum being hosted by the right-wing group The Family Leader

The Family Leader is the new group that is being run by Bob Vander Plaats after his successful effort to remove three state Supreme Court justices over the court's gay marriage ruling ... and it looks like Pawlenty will be just the first in a series of GOP presidential hopefuls to participate in such forums for the anti-gay group: 

The series line-up begins with former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty on Monday, February 7. Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, and businessman and radio host Herman Cain have also made commitments to participate. Other invited speakers include former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, South Dakota Senator John Thune, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, and Indiana Representative Mike Pence.

“Iowans play a vital role in hosting the first-in-the-nation presidential caucus, and it is our privilege to offer this Presidential Lecture Series in order to provide our very influential base an opportunity to gain insight into our political process,” said Bob Vander Plaats, president and CEO of The FAMiLY LEADER. “Our base is serious about its role in the political process and the Presidential Lecture Series is a focused strategy to facilitate meaningful exposure to our constituents.”

It is worth pointing out that Vander Plaats' crusade against the Supreme Court continues to this day, leading a former advisor to declare that he has become "obsessed with the gay-marriage issue" and that his effort had deep support from many of the national anti-gay Religious Right groups, including the American Family Association and its bigot-in-chief Bryan Fischer.

Leading GOP Contenders to Speak At Forums Hosted By Iowa's Leading Anti-Gay Group

The other day, Brian noted that Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty would soon be heading to Iowa to discuss "pro-family issues, all the way from life and marriage to economic policy and energy policy" at a forum being hosted by the right-wing group The Family Leader

The Family Leader is the new group that is being run by Bob Vander Plaats after his successful effort to remove three state Supreme Court justices over the court's gay marriage ruling ... and it looks like Pawlenty will be just the first in a series of GOP presidential hopefuls to participate in such forums for the anti-gay group: 

The series line-up begins with former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty on Monday, February 7. Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, and businessman and radio host Herman Cain have also made commitments to participate. Other invited speakers include former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, South Dakota Senator John Thune, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, and Indiana Representative Mike Pence.

“Iowans play a vital role in hosting the first-in-the-nation presidential caucus, and it is our privilege to offer this Presidential Lecture Series in order to provide our very influential base an opportunity to gain insight into our political process,” said Bob Vander Plaats, president and CEO of The FAMiLY LEADER. “Our base is serious about its role in the political process and the Presidential Lecture Series is a focused strategy to facilitate meaningful exposure to our constituents.”

It is worth pointing out that Vander Plaats' crusade against the Supreme Court continues to this day, leading a former advisor to declare that he has become "obsessed with the gay-marriage issue" and that his effort had deep support from many of the national anti-gay Religious Right groups, including the American Family Association and its bigot-in-chief Bryan Fischer.

Brody: “Pence Could Become the ‘Madonna’ of 2012”

After Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN) said he would decide on his election plans by the end of January, the movement to recruit him into the presidential race has moved into high gear. The recently-formed American President Committee launched a “Draft Pence” campaign and a group of Republican legislators from the critical primary state of South Carolina have organized a similar effort to lure the Indiana Congressman into a presidential run. Pence, who won the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit straw poll, has recently been spearheading anti-choice legislation and trashing President Obama. David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network believes that Pence’s energetic support from both the Religious Right and pro-corporate conservatives may turn him “into the ‘Madonna’ of 2012” and predicts that “Evangelicals who don’t know about him may soon fall in love.”

Mike Pence could become the “Madonna” of 2012. Remember the 1980s movie “Desperately Seeking Susan?” starring the pop icon? (Oy, I may be dating myself.) Well, there is a political movement out there that we might want to start calling, “Desperately Seeking Pence”



[W]e should know in the next couple of weeks what Pence plans to do. If he runs, he becomes a legitimate dark horse with a huge upside to surprise a lot of people. He may be the Mike Huckabee of 2012. Evangelicals who know Pence love him. Evangelicals who don't know about him may soon fall in love.

One South Carolina legislator claimed that Pence could “lead this nation back from the precipice of socialism where we find ourselves today.”

Brody: “Pence Could Become the ‘Madonna’ of 2012”

After Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN) said he would decide on his election plans by the end of January, the movement to recruit him into the presidential race has moved into high gear. The recently-formed American President Committee launched a “Draft Pence” campaign and a group of Republican legislators from the critical primary state of South Carolina have organized a similar effort to lure the Indiana Congressman into a presidential run. Pence, who won the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit straw poll, has recently been spearheading anti-choice legislation and trashing President Obama. David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network believes that Pence’s energetic support from both the Religious Right and pro-corporate conservatives may turn him “into the ‘Madonna’ of 2012” and predicts that “Evangelicals who don’t know about him may soon fall in love.”

Mike Pence could become the “Madonna” of 2012. Remember the 1980s movie “Desperately Seeking Susan?” starring the pop icon? (Oy, I may be dating myself.) Well, there is a political movement out there that we might want to start calling, “Desperately Seeking Pence”



[W]e should know in the next couple of weeks what Pence plans to do. If he runs, he becomes a legitimate dark horse with a huge upside to surprise a lot of people. He may be the Mike Huckabee of 2012. Evangelicals who know Pence love him. Evangelicals who don't know about him may soon fall in love.

One South Carolina legislator claimed that Pence could “lead this nation back from the precipice of socialism where we find ourselves today.”

SBA List’s Marjorie Dannenfelser Claims Victory Over “Social Issues Truce”

Indiana Governor and potential presidential candidate Mitch Daniels has taken a pounding from the Religious Right, since June and even up to today, for suggesting that there should be a “truce” over social issues in order to increase attention to the country’s economic problems and debt. Marjorie Dannenfelser, the head of the fiercely anti-choice and poorly named group the Susan B. Anthony List, writes in the National Review that the debate over the next chairman of the Republican National Committee shows that GOP has decidedly rejected any moderation on social issues such as the right to choose and gay rights. She praises the conservative views of the RNC chair candidates and also points out that Daniels himself even backpedaled on his own call for a truce. But while Dannenfelser believes the GOP is united over the importance of social issues, CPAC’s growing crisis reflects otherwise.

The debate was completely devoid of the kind of fireworks that political commentators love. As SBA List and National Organization for Marriage Skype pre-interviews had suggested, each of the five candidates affirmed without hesitation their determination to support the Republican platform’s social-issue stands and to honor that support in the party’s programs, from recruiting candidates to buying ads to micro-targeting votes.

The aura of unity sorely exasperated professional cynics like the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, who fumed for his readers, “The candidates were nearly dissent-free. Abortion? All opposed. Lower taxes? All in favor. Gay marriage? All opposed. Cutting spending? All in favor.” Jon Stewart found comedy in the comity.

Far from being a dull affair, however, the debate proved that the 2011 GOP has an unshakable core — and this core exercises real influence over the expressed convictions of the GOP’s national leaders. After all, only two short years ago, current RNC chairman Michael Steele — who was a board member of the pro-choice Republican Leadership Council — told GQ magazine that he believed abortion was an “individual choice.” Maria Cino, one of the four leading challengers he faced this week, served on the board of WISH List, a political action committee devoted solely to electing pro-choice Republican women.

At the debate, both Steele and Cino expressed profound pro-life conviction and commitment.



Governor Daniels, for his own part, made another attempt just after Christmas to explain away his “truce talk,” saying that his message was not directed at social conservatives but at the people “aggressively trying to change the definition of marriage.” His advice to the liberal activists: “Stand down for awhile” so the country can focus on its deepening fiscal crisis.

All of this is progress — and rapid progress at that. It’s also recognition that the conservative resurgence this past November involved a confluence, and not a divergence, of the social, fiscal, and national-security streams within the GOP. One week into the two-year cycle that leads to the reelection or defeat of Barack Obama, the GOP truce on internal disunity is turning out to be the one that really counts.

Daniels Comes Under Attack For Attending CPAC (UPDATED)

As we have been noting over the last several week, more and more right-wing groups are dropping out of CPAC, angry that organizers have allowed the gay conservative group GOProud to participate.

Many of these same groups have also been angry at Gov. Mitch Daniels ever since he called for a "truce" in the culture war, so I guess it was only a matter of time before groups like the American Principles Project (which kicked off the boycott of CPAC) would start attacking Daniels for agreeing to participate in CPAC:

"Unfortunately, while Governor Daniels is slated to speak at CPAC's 'Reagan Dinner,' he has failed to understand how Ronald Reagan fused the three critical legs of the conservative movement into one coherent governing philosophy," says Andy Blom, executive director of the American Principles Project. "Discarding one makes the whole obsolete."

..."Governor Daniels' selection is an affront to the millions of conservatives who believe that social issues such as abortion and traditional marriage are non-negotiable."

According to CPAC organizers, Haley Barbour, Liz Cheney, Newt Gingrich, Mitch McConnell, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Perry, Paul Ryan, Rick Santorum are all "confirmed speakers" at this year's event, as is Michele Bachmann.

So is their participation an "affront to the millions of conservatives" as well?  Will the Religious Right start also attacking them for participating in CPAC too? 

UPDATE: Upon reading the entire APP statement, it turns out that they were slamming CPAC for inviting Daniels, not Daniels for attending CPAC (which, frankly, makes even less sense): 

The American Principles Project today blasted the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) for giving a major platform to potential 2012 presidential candidate Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, who recently called on Republicans to make a “truce” on social issues, abandoning a key tenet of the conservative movement.

“Unfortunately, while Governor Daniels is slated to speak at CPAC’s ‘Reagan Dinner,’ he has failed to understand how Ronald Reagan fused the three critical legs of the conservative movement into one coherent governing philosophy,” said Andy Blom, executive director of the American Principles Project. “Discarding one makes the whole obsolete.”

In November, the group organized a coalition of conservative organizations protesting CPAC’s inclusion of GOProud because it is “fundamentally incompatible with a movement that has long embraced the ideals of family and faith,” it wrote in a letter to CPAC Chairman David Keene and his fellow board members.

“Governor Daniels’ selection is an affront to the millions of conservatives who believe that social issues such as abortion and traditional marriage are non-negotiable.”

Since APP launched the coalition, concern has grown and other groups have pulled out of the conference, including many past sponsors.

“The Beltway wisdom among Republican insiders boils down to a simple mantra: Social issues are a thing of the past. But this theory falls apart outside of the Washington bubble. The Republican sweep in the House was dominated by pro-life, pro-family candidates, and polling shows large majorities want to see action on these issues,” said Mr. Blom.

APP has already announced that it is boycotting CPAC because it is insufficiently socially conservative.  So what exactly do they think they are going to accomplish by slamming CPAC for inviting someone, like Daniels, who they also think is insufficiently socially conservative?

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 1/11/10

Michele Bachmann

PAC: Vast majority of MICHELE PAC money went to Iowa politicians or PACs (National Journal, 1/10).

Religious Right: Potential 2012 bid wins plaudits from Religious Right activists (RWW, 1/10).

Iowa: Speaks to Iowans for Tax Relief PAC in Des Moines on 1/21 (Iowans for Tax Relief PAC, 1/7).

Mitch Daniels

Indiana: Makes 7th State of the State address with emphasis on education (South Bend Tribune, 1/11).

CPAC: To address the Conservative Political Action Conference along with other 2012 prospects (Politico, 1/6).

Newt Gingrich

Religious Right: Invited to speak at the Freedom Federation’s Awakening 2011 along with other potential 2012 candidates (RWW, 1/10).

Iowa: Listed to address Iowa Renewable Fuels Association in Des Moines on Janurary 25th (Des Moines Register, 1/10).

Mike Huckabee

Iowa: New poll shows Huckabee on top with 24% support from Republicans (TPM, 1/10).

Poll: Gallup finds in nationwide poll that Huckabee has the highest favorable rating among potential GOP candidates (WSJ, 1/10).

Reproductive Rights: Scheduled to address anti-choice fundraise in Tennessee on February, 14th (Knoxville News Sentinel, 1/9).

Sarah Palin

Extremism: Faces torrent of criticism over "bullseye" map with target on Giffords's congressional district, defends herself to Glenn Beck (The Week & NYDN, 1/10).

Reality TV: Doesn't sign on for a second season of Sarah Palin's Alaska (Forbes, 1/10).

Tim Pawlenty

2012: Tells newspaper he is "seriously considering running for president" (St. Petersburg Times, 1/10).

Book: Memoir focuses on his faith, attacks on Obama (MN Public Radio, 1/8).

Palin: Calls Sarah Palin "a force of nature" (Mediaite, 1/7).

Mike Pence

Reproductive Rights: Introduces legislation to de-fund Planned Parenthood (Human Events, 1/10).

2012: Tells an Indiana Rotary Club that he will decide on future political plans by the end of January (The Republic, 1/10).

South Carolina: Keynote speaker for South Carolina’s America Conference (Politico, 1/4).

Mitt Romney

Foreign affairs: Met with Afghan leader Hamid Karzai as plan of tour of Afghanistan and Middle East (Boston Globe, 1/10).

Poll: Pew poll has Romney as most competitive candidate against Obama in Nevada (UPI, 1/10).

Rick Santorum

Religious Right: Speaks with group founded by right-wing activist Ovide Lamontagne (Granite Oath PAC, 1/10).

New Hampshire: Hires GOP Congressman Frank Guinta’s strategist as state director of his America’s Foundation PAC (Union Leader, 1/5).

GOP: Says Romney’s Massachusetts health care law will make it “very hard for us to nominate” him (National Journal, 1/4).

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 1/4/11

Mitch Daniels

Social issues: Candidates for RNC Chair pan Daniels's "truce" proposal (GOP12, 1/3).

2012: Claims that a potential presidential bid scares his family "to death" (The Hill, 1/3).

Newt Gingrich

Religious Right: Bryan Fischer of AFA thinks his history of extramarital affairs will doom him among social conservatives (RWW, 1/3).

Fundraising: Confirmed to address, along with Mike Pence, Illinois GOP fundraiser celebrating Ronald Reagan's birthday (Chicago Tribune, 1/3).

Mike Huckabee

Arkansas: Enthusiasm builds for a second presidential run in his home state of Arkansas (Politics Daily, 1/2).

Poll: Two out of three Republicans said that they were "very or somewhat likely" to back Huckabee, leading the field (CBNNews, 1/2).

Jon Huntsman

2012: Still open to presidential bid despite his appointment as Ambassador to China (Newsweek, 1/1).

Sarah Palin

Social issues: Re-tweets Tammy Bruce, who said that "the more someone complains about the homos the more we should look under their bed" (Gawker, 1/4).

GOP: Conservative writer George Will and blogger Erick Erickson dismiss Palin's chances of winning the Presidency (Salon, 1/3).

Book: Reviewer of America By Heart finds that "there is no identity she embraces with more alacrity than that of victim" (Religion Dispatches, 1/2).

Tim Pawlenty

2012: With Mark Dayton's inauguration as governor, Pawlenty now "full-time candidate" (The Atlantic, 1/3).

Book: Will begin tour for new book, Courage to Stand (Minnesota Public Radio, 1/3).

Mike Pence

Indiana: Fundraising plans point to potential gubernatorial bid (TPM, 1/4).

GOP: Wins the endorsement of RedState's Erick Erickson (RedState, 1/3).

Fundraising: Confirmed to address, along with Newt Gingrich, Illinois GOP fundraiser celebrating Ronald Reagan's birthday (Chicago Tribune, 1/3).

Mitt Romney

Massachusetts: May have a "Willie Horton" situation from his parole board appointments as Massachusetts governor (UPI, 1/3).

South Carolina: Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) calls Romney "the most electable conservative" (Greenville Online, 1/3).

Anti-Choice Groups Intensify Efforts to Restrict Reproductive Rights in States

Energized by gains made by Republicans not only in congressional elections but also in gubernatorial and legislative races, anti-choice organizations are gearing up plans to push new laws restricting women’s right to choose. Already, anti-choice groups hope for more states to replicate Oklahoma’s new law, which compels women seeking to terminate their pregnancies to watch an ultrasound monitor and have a doctor read a state-specified script about the fetus. Slate’s Emily Bazelon writes that Oklahoma’s law stands “at the top of the heap of paternalism that Justice Anthony Kennedy started climbing two years ago, in his opinion in Gonzales v. Carhart,” which upheld the federal ban on late-term abortion. Kennedy “injected into that case the constitutionally novel idea that because some women come to regret their abortions, the court could substitute its judgment for their doctors’ by sparing them from a procedure that women would reject as too gruesome if they only knew the details.”

Now, anti-choice groups hope to use the 2007 decision in Gonzales v. Carhart to advance more restrictive laws across the country. Robert Barnes of the Washington Post reports that anti-choice legislators in Nebraska, led by Speaker Mike Flood, used “that decision as a road map” to ban abortion after 20 weeks without health exceptions. “The importance of Flood's bill is likely to be felt far beyond Nebraska,” writes Barnes, as “abortion opponents call it model legislation for other states and say it could provide a direct challenge to Supreme Court precedents that restrict government’s ability to prohibit abortion before a fetus can survive outside the womb.” Barnes writes:

The importance of Flood's bill is likely to be felt far beyond Nebraska. Abortion opponents call it model legislation for other states and say it could provide a direct challenge to Supreme Court precedents that restrict government’s ability to prohibit abortion before a fetus can survive outside the womb.



“Many in the pro-life movement have become very pragmatic when it comes to the court: “Can you count to five?’” said Mary Spaulding Balch, director of state legislation for the National Right to Life Committee. “With the Gonzales decision, we were happy to see that we could.”

The justices have not revisited the issue of abortion since, but the decision has emboldened state legislators to pass an increasing number and variety of restrictions in hopes that a changed court will uphold them.

“I believe the decision was like planting a bunch of seeds, and we're just starting to see the shoots popping out of the ground,” said Roger Evans, who is in charge of litigation for Planned Parenthood of America.

The Center for Reproductive Rights concluded that in 2010, state legislatures “considered and enacted some of the most extreme restrictions on abortion in recent memory, as well as passing laws creating dozens of other significant new hurdles.”



“We can't say with any certainty that this is going to meet constitutional muster,” said Nebraska Right to Life Executive Director Julie Schmit-Albin. “But you know what, from our perspective, if we aren't bucking up against Roe, we're not doing our job.”

Already, legislators in Iowa, Kentucky, and Indiana are marshalling support for legislation which imitates Nebraska’s restrictive new law, and “abortion opponents are pushing lawmakers in Kansas, Maryland and Oklahoma to do the same.”

In Alaska, anti-choice groups also pressured the governor to resist a judge’s decision that significantly weakened a parental notification law. A federal judge recently threw out parts of a parental notification law that was approved by voters on the same day of the contentious Miller/Murkowski Republican primary in August. According to the Associated Press, the judge “removed provisions calling for a fine of up to $1,000 and imprisonment of up to five years for people who knowingly violate the law” and also made notification easier to obtain and “ struck a section allowing physicians to be liable for damages.”

Jim Minnery of the far-right Alaska Family Council condemned the decision, saying, “We totally opposed his decision to neuter or take the teeth from the law by eliminating all the legal civil penalties for violating the law.” Now, Alaska Governor Sean Parnell filed a motion to reconsider in order to defend a law he claims “reflects the will of the people.”

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Phyllis Schlafly maintains that “nobody’s stopping [gay couples] from shacking up,” the “problem is they are trying to make us respect them.”
  • Religious Right leaders continue to lavish praise on potential presidential candidate and Indiana Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN).
  • Ralph Reed and talk show host Mike Gallagher are headlining a pro-school vouchers event in Orlando to lead “the revolution to restore America’s exceptionalism” in January.
  • After the Alaska Supreme Court ruled against his appeal, Joe Miller said he won’t stop Lisa Murkowski’s reelection from being certified but will continue to appeal his case.
  • Elaine Donnelly says that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal “means that others will have to get used to the idea of being exposed to people who may be sexually attracted to them.”
  • Coral Ridge Ministries’ Karen Gushta takes to the AFA's news site to blast the National Science Teachers Association for their “bias” against teaching creationism in public schools.

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 12/21/10

Haley Barbour

Civil Rights: In Weekly Standard profile, Barbour lauds racist, pro-segregation Council of Conservative Citizens, doesn’t remember Jim Crow era as “that bad” (TPM, The Hill; 12/20).

Mississippi: Tries to shape his legacy as governor (Clarion Ledger, 12/19).

CPAC: Set to address Conservative Political Action Committee conference in February (ACU, 12/16).

Mike Huckabee

Fox News: As a guest, Rep. Anthony Weiner asks Huckabee, “How Much Do You Make Over There At Fox?” (Mediaite, 12/18).

Health Care: Backs 9/11 First Responders care bill blocked by GOP (HuffPo, 12/17).

Religious Right: Signs letter defending SPLC-designated anti-gay hate groups (RWW, 12/15).

Sarah Palin

Obama: Palin continues to knock Michelle Obama in her Reality TV show (LA Times, 12/20).

Poll: New ABC-WaPo poll shows that a majority of Americans would refuse to back Palin for President (The Fix, 12/17).

Foreign Policy: Pens National Review column against START Treaty (NRO, 12/17).

Tim Pawlenty

Labor: Claims about public sector workers receives “pants on fire” rating by PolitiFact (PolitiFact, 12/16).

Health Care: Compares health care reform law to “drug dealing” (Minnesota Independent, 12/15).

Religious Right: Signs letter defending SPLC-designated anti-gay hate groups (RWW, 12/15).

Mike Pence

2012: Will decide in January whether to run for President or Governor of Indiana (Politico, 12/20).

Religious Right: Uses unemployment as a reason to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood; signs letter defending SPLC-designated anti-gay hate groups (RWW, 12/20; 12/15).

Mitt Romney

Health Care: Romney “trying to have it both ways” on health insurance mandate (Boston Globe, 12/19).

GOP: Conservatives debate whether Romney has firm ideas or just panders to base (The Atlantic, 12/17).

Rick Santorum

Iowa: Meets with far-right American Principles Project, touts his socially conservative views (Caffeinated Thoughts, 12/18).

Taxes: Opposes tax compromise, says Republicans didn’t “keep their pledge” (CNN, 12/16).

Religious Right: Signs letter defending SPLC-designated anti-gay hate groups (RWW, 12/15).

John Thune

Congress: Accuses Democrats of “flouting” midterm election by passing major bills during lame duck session (AP, 12/20).

New Hampshire: Says he is considering presidential run during interview on NH radio station (WMUR, 12/17).

Taxes: Criticizes Republican opponents of the tax compromise as “politically expedient” (HuffPo, 12/15).

Pence: Congress Should Defund Planned Parenthood Because of High Unemployment

Empowered by Republican gains and the recent selection of Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) to Chair the Subcommittee on Health, Indiana Congressman Mike Pence is again speaking about ending what he calls “taxpayer funding of abortion.” Pence is the sponsor of the “Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act,” which would cut-off federal finances to health services groups such as Planned Parenthood. However, the title of Pence’s bill is deceiving, as under current law “Title X funds may not be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.” As a result, there is no taxpayer funding of abortion either under Title X or the new health care reform law, another baseless charge frequently used by the right wing activists.

Under Pence’s bill, the government will stop giving taxpayer dollars to organizations which perform abortions or contribute to groups which perform abortions, even though abortion coverage is already banned from using federal dollars. As The Nation points out, Planned Parenthood is one of the largest and most well-known groups working in the extensive field of reproductive and sexual healthcare, and would incur most of the damage from this bill: “The aim is to defund Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest network of clinics for family planning and women’s health, and in many regions the only provider within reach.”

Now Pence, the winner of the Values Voter Summit 2010 presidential straw poll, believes that cutting funds to reproductive healthcare organizations is not just necessary to constrain a woman’s access to healthcare but also to address unemployment. Pence told the anti-choice news service LifeNews:

With a nearly 10 percent unemployment rate, there is simply no reason during these tough economic times why taxpayers’ hard-earned money should fund the activities of abortion providers and equip them with the resources they need to end innocent human life.

The time has come to deny any and all federal funding to Planned Parenthood by passing the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act, which I intend to introduce again in the next Congress.”

Michele Bachmann has also embraced Pence’s bill, and the bill’s 103 co-sponsors include Speaker-designate John Boehner, incoming Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Pitts, who plans to push anti-choice legislation through his Subcommittee on Health. Pence isn’t the first leader on the Right who suggested that anti-choice bills address economic problems like unemployment, as Jim Garlow, the Chairman of Newt Gingrich's Renewing American Leadership, recently claimed that abortion is responsible for high unemployment:

Dozens of GOP Leaders Declare Solidarity With Those Who Want To See Homosexuality Outlawed

Last week when Jeremy Hooper discovered that the Family Research Council was planning to roll out a campaign fighting back against the Southern Poverty Law Center's designation of the organization as an anti-gay hate group, we noted that FRC was asking people to sign on to the campaign to "stand in solidarity with Family Research Council, American Family Association, Concerned Women of America, National Organization for Marriage, Liberty Counsel and other pro-family organizations that are working to protect and promote natural marriage and family."

By doing so, we pointed out, any one who added their name was essentially declaring that they stood shoulder-to-shoulder with groups that proclaim:

Today, FRC announced that it was running this open letter [PDF] in both Politico and The Washington Examiner and that the effort had the support of dozens of Republican members of Congress and conservative leaders:

Family Research Council (FRC) announced the placement of a full-page open letter in today's print editions of Politico and the Washington Examiner responding to the Southern Poverty Law Center's (SPLC) recent attacks on FRC and other groups.

SPLC has targeted FRC and other organizations that uphold Judeo-Christian moral views, including marriage as the union of a man and a woman. The open letter, signed by more than 150 organizational leaders, Members of Congress and other elected officials, calls for a "vigorous but responsible exercise of the First Amendment rights of free speech and religious liberty that are the birthright of all Americans."

The open letter was signed by many current and former elected and government officials including Speaker-designate John Boehner, Majority Leader-elect Eric Cantor, U.S. Reps Mike Pence (R-IN), Michele Bachmann (R-MN), John Carter (R-TX), John Fleming (R-LA,) Trent Franks (R-AZ), Louie Gohmert (R-TX,) Gregg Harper (R-MS), Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Steve King (R-IA,) Don Manzullo (R-IL), Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Joe Pitts (R-PA), Peter Roskam (R-LA), Lamar Smith (R-TX,) Steve Scalise (R-LA,) Fred Upton (R-MI), U.S. Senators Jim DeMint (R-SC), Jim Inhofe (R-OK,) David Vitter (R-LA), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Sam Brownback (Gov.-elect, Kansas), Governor Bobby Jindal, former Governor Mike Huckabee, Governor Tim Pawlenty, former Senator Rick Santorum, Edwin Meese III, former Attorney General of the United States, and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

For the record, here is the complete list of leaders who have publicly declared their solidarity with SPLC-designated anti-gay hate groups who want to see gays barred from serving in public office and homosexuality made illegal: 

Alaska Family Council Jim Minnery - President
American College of Pediatricians Tom Benton, MD - President
American Conservative Union Foundation Cleta Mitchell - Chairman
American Decency Association Bill Johnson - President
American Family Association Tim Wildmon - President
American Family Association of Pennsylvania Diane Gramley - President
American Principles Project Andresen Blom - Executive Director
American Values Gary Bauer - President
Association of Maryland Families Derek McCoy - President
Best-Selling Author and Host of Morning in America Dr. William J. Bennett
Calvary Chapel Jack Hibbs - Senior Pastor
Cardinal Newman Society Patrick Reilly - President
Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights Bill Donohue - President
CCV of Indiana PAC Joseph Sergio, Ph.D - Chairman
Center for Arizona Policy Cathi Herrod - President
Center for Law and Social Strategy Mark Spengler - Executive Director
Center for Security Policy Frank Gaffney - President and CEO
Center for Urban Renewal and Education Star Parker - President
Christian Civic League of Maine Carroll Conley - Executive Director
Christian Medical Association David Stevens - CEO
CitizenLink Tom Minnery - Senior Vice President, Public Policy
Citizens for Community Values Phil Burress - President
Citizens for Community Values of Indiana Patrick Mangan - Executive Director
CNSNews.com Chris Johnson - News Correspondant
CNSNews.com Eric Scheiner - Senior Video Producer
Coalition for Marriage and FamilyTom Shields - Chairman
Colorado Family Action Jessica Haverkate - Director
Committee for Justice Curt Levey - Executive Director
Concerned Citizens for Family Values of Connecticut Ray Kastner - President
Concerned Women For America Penny Nance - CEO
Concerned Women for American Wendy Wright - President
ConservativeHQ.com Richard Viguerie - Chairman
Coral Ridge Ministries Robert Knight - Senior Writer
Coral Ridge Ministries Hector Padron - Executive Vice President
Cornerstone Action, NH Kevin Smith - Executive Director
Cornerstone Family Council of ID Julie Lynde - Executive Director
Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D. - National Spokesman
Delaware Family Policy Council Nicole Theis - Executive Director
Design4 Marketing Communications Clint Cline - President
Eagle Forum Phyllis Schlafly - President
Ethics and Public Policy Center Rick Santorum - Senior Fellow
Faith Christian Fellowship Church The Rev Dr. R. Edgar Bonniwell - Senior Pastor
Family Action Council of Tennessee David Fowler - President
Family First (Nebraska FPC) Dave Bydalek Bydalek - Executive Director
Family Institute of Connecticut Peter Wolfgang - Executive Director
Florida Family Policy Counci lJohn Stemberger - President and General Counsel
ForAmerica David Bozell - Executive Director
Generals International Cindy Jacobs - President
Illinois Family Institute David Smith - Executive Director
Iowa Family Policy Center Chuck Hurley - President
Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality Elaine Silodor Berk - Director
Judicial Action Group Phillip Jauregui - President
Kansas Sam Brownback - Governor-elect
Kansas Family Policy Council Donna Lippoldt - Executive Director
Kingdom Warriors Ministry William Boykin - LTG(R) USArmy
Landmark Legal Foundation Mark Levin - President
Leadership Institute Morton Blackwell - President
Let Freedom Ring Colin Hanna - President
Liberty Center for Law and Policy Mandi Campbell - Legal Director
Liberty Counsel Matt Barber - Director of Cultural Affairs
Liberty Counsel Mathew Staver - Founder and Chairman
Liberty Institute Kelly Shackelford
Louisiana Bobby Jindal - Governor
Louisiana Family Forum Action Gene Mills - President
Massachusetts Family Institute Kris Mineau - President
Media Research Center Matthew Balan - news analyst
Media Research CenterL. Brent Bozell - Founder and President
Media Research Center Kyle Drennen - News Analyst
Media Research Center Matthew Hadro
Mike Huckabee - Former Governor, TV/ Radio Commentator
Minnesota Family Council David Eaton - Chairman
Minnesota Family Council John Helmberger - Chief Executive Officer
Mission America Linda Harvey - President
Missouri Family Policy Council Joe Ortwerth - Executive Director
National Organization for Marriage Brian Brown - President
National Organization for Marriage Maggie Gallagher - Chairman
National Organization for Marriage - Rhode Island Christopher Plante - Executive Director
National Review Rich Lowry - Editor
Nationally Syndicated Radio Talkshow Host Janet Parshall
Nevada Concerned Citizens Richard Ziser - Director
New Jersey Family First Len Deo - Founder & President
New Yorker's Family Research Foundation Rev. Tom Stiles
New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms Rev. Jason McGuire
North Dakota Family Alliance Tom Freier - Executive Director
Ohio Faith and Freedom Coalition Ken Blackwell - Chairman
Priests For LifeFr. Frank Pavone - National Director
Prison Fellowship and The Colson Center for Christian Worldview Chuck Colson - Founder
Public Service Research Foundation David Denholm - President
Radio America Franklin Raff - Sr. Executive Producer
Rappahannock Ventures WillIam Walton - Chairman
ReAL Action Rick Tyler - Chairman
RedState Erick-Woods Erickson - Editor
Renewing American Leadership Jim Garlow - Chairman
Republican Party of Louisiana Roger Villere, Jr. - Chairman
Restore America David Crowe - President
Retired Rensselaer Broekhuizen - Pastor
RightMarch.com William Greene - President
Shirley & Banister Public Affairs Diana Banister - Vice President
Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission Dr. Richard Land - President
State of Minnesota Tim Pawlenty - Governor
The American Spectator Alfred Regnery - Publisher
The Coalition of Conscience Michael Brown, Ph.D. - Director
The Diana Davis Spencer Foundation Abby Moffat - Vice President and COO
The Family Foundation of VirginiaVictoria Cobb - President
The Family Policy Council of WVJeremiah Dys, Esq. - President and General Counsel
The National Legal Foundation Steven Fitschen - President
THE New Voice, Inc.Herman Cain - CEO and President
The Oak InititativeRick Joyner - President
The Washington Examiner Mark Tapscott - Editorial Page Editor
TheCall Louis Engle - President
Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.C. Preston Noell III - President
Traditional Values Coalition Jody Hutchens - Regional Director
Traditional Values Coalition Andrea Lafferty - Executive Director
U.S. Congress Senator David Vitter - (R-LA)
U.S. Congress Senator Roger Wicker - (R-MS)
U.S. House of Representatives Congresswoman Michele Bachmann - (R-MN)
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker-designate John Boehner - (R-OH)
U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader-elect Eric Cantor - (R-VA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman John Fleming, M.D. - (R-LA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Trent Franks - (R-AZ)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Louie Gohmert - (R-TX)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Jeb Henserling - (R-TX)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Jim Jordan - (R-OH)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Steve King - (R-IA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Donald Manzullo - (R-IL)
U.S. House of Representative sCongressman Kevin McCarthy - (R-CA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman-elect Alan Nunnelee - (R-MS)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Mike Pence - (R-IN)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Joe Pitts - (R-PA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Peter Roskam - (R-IL)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Steve Scalise - (R-LA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Lamar Smith - (R-TX)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Fred Upton - (R-MI)
United States SenateJim DeMint - Senator
Virginia Ken Cuccinelli - Attorney General
Western Center for Journalism Floyd Brown - President
Wisconsin Family Action Julaine Appling - President
WMtek Corp. Dan Pennell - CEO
WND.com Joseph Farah - Chief Executive Officer

Mike Pence: Obama Treats Country “Like a Dog”

With growing speculation over his presidential ambitions, Indiana Republican Mike Pence is taking the anti-Obama rhetoric into high-gear. Pence is the winner of the Family Research Council’s 2010 Values Voter Summit straw poll, and is seen as a favorite of the Religious Right. By stepping down from his position as House GOP Conference Chair because he couldn’t commit to serving a full term, Pence signaled that he could potentially run for governor of Indiana or President. In an interview with US News & World Report, Pence rejects the social issues “truce” proposed by Indiana’s governor, defends the prominent role of social conservatives in the Republican Party, and maintains that Obama wants Americans “simply to obey” like a dog:

You’re about to start hearing a lot about a conservative Republican Indiana congressman, Rep. Mike Pence. That’s because the Hoosier, considered a shoo-in to win the GOP gubernatorial nomination in 2012, is weighing a challenge to outgoing Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and about 10 others in the Republican presidential primaries. “We’ve gotten encouragement to run for governor in 2012,” says Pence, a former broadcaster. “We’ve also gotten more than a little bit of encouragement to consider running for president.”

While Pence will decide in the spring, the presidency currently has his attention. Not just because he thinks President Obama is stretching the traditional boundaries of the office and isn’t worthy. “The current administration is the most egregious example of excess,” he says, accusing Obama of treating the nation like “a dog whose duty is not to ask why ...but simply to obey.” As he considers a run, Pence also has become a student of the presidency and recently delivered thoughtful speeches on the office.



But he sees Ronald Reagan as “the last president in my lifetime to really model a traditional American presidency.”

While some may say Daniels is the better-positioned Hoosier for 2012, the social and fiscal conservative Pence senses an advantage. He won’t go along with Daniels’s push for a truce on social issues to let candidates focus on economic topics. “To those who say we should simply focus on fiscal issues,” Pence says, “I say you would not be able to print enough money in 1,000 years to pay for the government you would need if the traditional family collapses.”

DeMint Will Give GOP Incumbents a Pass in 2012, Viguerie Will Not

It has been no secret that many of Sen. Jim DeMint's Republican colleagues have been unhappy with his willingness to back radical candidates to challenge, and in some cases defeat, establishment-backed candidates and to openly attack them for failing to embrace his ultra-right-wing agenda.

Of course, DeMint's ideological zealotry has made him a hero to the Religious Right and the Tea Party Movement. But now comes word that DeMint is privately assuring his Republican colleagues that he will not support any candidates who might decide to offer a primary challenge to a sitting senator:

South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint is privately reassuring his Republican colleagues up for reelection that he won’t recruit or endorse any primary opponent against them, vowing to raise more than $10 million aimed mainly at taking down Democratic incumbents.

In a letter obtained by POLITICO, the tea party favorite appears to be taking steps to soothe post-election tensions with his GOP colleagues, including some who say his political tactics have been counterproductive.

At the same time, however, the South Carolina conservative’s latest move could disappoint some of his most fervent grassroots supporters who are preparing to line up tea-party-backed candidates in states like Indiana, Utah and Maine where Republican senators have become targets of the right wing.

...

“First, despite rumors to the contrary, I want to assure you that I will not recruit or support primary challengers to incumbent Republicans, and you can also be assured I will support all of our Republican nominees for the Senate,” he wrote in the letter he sent Wednesday.

Given that there are several Senators up for re-election in 2012 who are regularly derided as RINOs, this move by DeMint seem likely to anger Tea Party activists ... and, in fact, Richard Viguerie is already declaring that "other conservatives cannot, and will not, give these out-of-touch Republicans a pass":

"Senator DeMint has repeatedly taken heat from establishment Republicans for his strong conservative stances and support for the tea party movement, and no doubt feels tremendous pressure from his colleagues to fall in line with the GOP leadership.

"All small-government, constitutional conservatives are deeply in Senator DeMint's debt for his sacrifices, work, and leadership in behalf of our cause.

"However, four or five of the ten Republican Senators up for re-election in 2012 need to be voted out, and if Sen. DeMint feels that he cannot involve himself in those primary races, then it is up to grassroots conservatives and tea partiers to provide the leadership to replace RINO Republicans or ineffective Republicans with effective and principled conservatives."

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