Indiana

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 9/28/10

Haley Barbour

2012: Political work profiled by TIME Magazine (TIME, 9/23).

New Hampshire: Stumps with GOP gubernatorial candidate (Nashua Telegraph, 9/28).

Mitch Daniels

2012: Fundraising circuit points to presidential bid (Indianapolis Star, 9/28).

Poll: About 75% of Americans haven’t heard of the Indiana Governor (Journal Gazette, 9/28).

Newt Gingrich

Democrats: Calls Democrats “the food stamp party” (Chicago Sun Times, 9/25).

GOP: How Gingrich transformed the Republican Party (Salon, 9/24).

2010: Approves new “Pledge to America” (Politico, 9/23).

Mike Huckabee

2010: Campaigned with Rand Paul over the weekend (BluegrassPolitics, 9/22).

Health Care: Walks back on previous position on coverage for pre-existing condition (The American Prospect, 9/23).

Business: Huckabee-endorsed Goldline company sued by SEC (ABC, 9/23).

Sarah Palin

2012: New poll shows her growing unpopularity among voters (ThePlumLine, 9/27).

2010: Launches “Take Back the 20” campaign against Democrats who supported Health Care Reform (The Hill, 9/27).

Media:  Claims media "piles on" her endorsed candidates (GOP 12, 9/27).

Religious Right: Article looks into Palin’s relationship with Dominionism (Religion Dispatches, 9/26).

Tim Pawlenty

Foreign Affairs: Calls Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad “nutty” (City Pages, 9/24).

New Hampshire: Plans to fundraiser for GOP gubernatorial candidate John Stephen (Concord Monitor, 9/26).

Minnesota: Visits flooded areas of state (WCCO, 9/25).

Mitt Romney

2010: Endorses West Virginia Republicans (The Hill, 9/27).

Obama: Calls Presidency an “abject failure” to New Hampshire GOP (Salt Lake Tribune, 9/26).

Rick Santorum

Media: Santorum, Palin, Gingrich and Huckabee all on Fox payroll (Politico, 9/27).

John Thune

2012: Weekly Standard profiles South Dakota Senator John Thune (Weekly Standard, 10/4).

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 9/21/10

Your update on the potential 2012 Presidential candidates for 9/14-9/21:

Mitch Daniels

2012: Newt Gingrich says Daniels should run for President (Courier & Press, 9/21).

Economy: Attends Chamber of Commerce event in Indianapolis (WIBC, 9/20).

PAC: Leadership PAC runs ads encouraging IN voters to support Republicans (Politico, 9/19).

Newt Gingrich

Religious Right: Demands ban on Sharia Law’s use in US Courts (TPM, 9/18).

Health Care: Calls for HHS Sec. Kathleen Sebelius’ resignation, compares her service to “Soviet tyranny” (Politico, 9/18).

GOP: Headlines fundraiser for the Minnesota GOP (Star Tribune, 9/17).

Obama: Gingrich attacked by critics for pushing over the top anti-Obama rhetoric (NY Daily News, 9/20).

Mike Huckabee

Obama: Criticizes President’s treatment of Christians (Newsmax, 9/17).

GOP: “Thrilled” about the defeat of “establishment” candidate in primaries (Huffington Post, 9/20).

2010: Expects a Republican wave in home state of Arkansas (Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 9/20).

Sarah Palin

Iowa: Speaks at Iowa’s Ronald Reagan Dinner, tells Fox News she may “give it a shot” to Presidential run (NY Daily News, 9/18).

2012: Wins straw poll of presidential prospects at RightNation convention (Chicago Sun-Times, 9/20).

2010: Tweets to Delaware’s Christine O’Donnell with a warning against “appeasing nat'l media” that’s “seeking ur destruction” (The Hill, 9/19).

Religious Right: FRC head Tony Perkins suggests that Palin is a “cheerleader” rather than a presidential candidate (Politico, 9/18).

Media: Claims that journalists disrespect fallen troops when they “tell lies” about her (Des Moines Register, 9/17).

Poll: Rasmussen survey says slight majority of Americans identify more with Palin’s views than Obama’s (Rasmussen Reports, 9/20).

Tim Pawlenty

2010: Fundraising for GOP gubernatorial nominee Scott Walker in Wisconsin (AP, 9/20).

Economy: WSJ profiles Governors like Pawlenty and others who visited China (WSJ, 9/20).

Mike Pence

Religious Right: Indiana Congressman wins a plurality of votes at Values Voter Summit’s 2012 straw poll (MSNBC, 9/18).

2012: Speaks to conservative Hillsdale College about the Presidency (EducationNews, 9/21).

2010: Defends Christine O’Donnell in Delaware from attacks (CNN, 9/20).

Mitt Romney

New Hampshire: Romney’s Leadership PAC endorses and donates to victors of GOP primaries (Politics Daily, 9/18).

Religious Right: Lashes out at Obama’s economic and social policies, “counterfeit” values at Values Voter Summit (Religion Dispatches, 9/20).

Poll: Leads 2012 pack with 22% support from Republicans (Public Policy Polling, 9/12).

2010: Going to Florida to stump for Gov hopeful Rick Scott (Daily Sun, 9/20).

Rick Santorum

South Carolina: Tests message in early primary state (Daily Caller, 9/16).

Religious Right: Says that families don’t exist in poor neighborhoods (CBS News, 9/17).

PFAW Sends Letters to GOP Leaders Urging them to Denounce Fischer, Skip Values Voter Summit

People For's President, Michael Keegan, sent the following letter today to Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Indiana Rep. Mike Pence, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, and Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell, all of whom are scheduled to appear this weekend at the Values Voter Summit, alongside the virulantly anti-Muslim and anti-gay Bryan Fischer.

Dear ________:

I am writing to express my concern about your appearance this weekend at the upcoming Values Voter Summit. Among the participants this weekend will be Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association. We urge you to publically denounce Fischer’s record of hate speech and extremism, and reconsider appearing beside him this weekend.

People For’s RightWingWatch.org blog has tracked Fischer’s career over the past several years. His long and prolific record of hate speech and extremism includes the following recent statements. Just in the past year, Fischer has:

I am attaching the names of over 6,500 concerned citizens who have signed the following letter regarding your participation in the summit:

Values Voter Summit Participants:

Reasonable people can, and do, have reasonable differences of opinion. Bryan Fischer, of the American Family Association, is not a reasonable person.

By sharing a stage with Fischer at this year's Values Voter Summit, public figures acknowledge the credibility of his shameless anti-Muslim and anti-gay propaganda. Any candidate thinking seriously of running for president in 2012 should think twice about standing alongside a man who has called for the deportation of all Muslims in America; insulted Muslim servicemembers; claimed that brave Americans died in vain because Iraq was not converted to Christianity; and called gay people deviants, felons, pedophiles and terrorists. Bryan Fischer is no mainstream conservative. And neither is any person who shares a platform with him while refusing to denounce his hate-filled propaganda.

We urge you to denounce Fischer's extremism and separate yourself from his comments.

For more background on Fischer’s extreme rhetoric, please click here.

Fischer’s appearance with conservative leaders such as yourself lends his extreme hate speech credibility. We urge you to publicly denounce Fischer’s record and to think twice about sharing the stage with him.

Sincerely,

Michael B. Keegan
President, People For the American Way

Americans for Job Security: Corporate Astroturfing Extraordinaire

The same group who hailed the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United as an “unequivocal victory” has launched new ads to promote corporate interests in this year’s election. After spending handsomely to criticize Sen. Blanche Lincoln’s Democratic primary opponent with offensive and inaccurate ads, Americans for Job Security today began to run television ads against Rep. Zack Space (D-OH) and Rep. Jason Altmire (D-PA), along with Democratic candidates Bryan Lentz in Pennsylvania and Trent Van Haaften in Indiana. The group has already spent close to $3 million in the election, and is a huge booster of Republicans such as Pat Toomey and Ken Buck.

Americans for Job Security is a true corporate creation: founded in 1997, it initially received two $1 million contributions from the American Insurance Association and the American Forest and Paper Association. In fact, it is registered as a 501c6 trade association, and consequently does not have to disclose its donors to the IRS.  Also, since it generally runs  “issue ads,” it is not required to disclose its donors to the FEC, although the thin line between political advocacy and lobbying is often difficult to see. The Washington Post writes that even though Americans for Job Security classifies itself as a trade association, it “spends the vast majority of its budget on television and radio ads before elections,” and the vast majority of them are negative.

The ads slam the stimulus package, which improved job growth and Real GDP and prevented total economic collapse, and dishonestly malign progressive legislation. In their ad against Bryan Lentz, who is running to replace Joe Sestak, Americans for Job Security alleges that health care reform cuts $500 billion from Medicare, a claim FactCheck.org forcefully debunked as a gross distortion. When criticizing Rep. Space for backing the American Clean Energy and Security Act (“cap and trade”) in their new ad, the group claims the bill would “kill Ohio jobs.” However, a University of California, Berkeley study found that ACES “would create between 918,000 and 1.9 million new jobs, increase annual household income by $487-$1,175 per year, and boost GDP by $39 billion-$111 billion.”

Like the Club for Growth, Americans for Job Security is not afraid to take on Democrats and even some conservative Republicans who they feel haven’t fully embraced the pro-corporate agenda. Public Citizen claims that “Americans for Job Security is a sham front group that would be better called Corporations Influencing Elections” and also alleged that it was “one of the most egregious offenders” in circumventing FEC rules on “electioneering activity.”

Utilizing hefty and anonymous corporate donations to run a misleading and deceptive ad campaign, Americans for Job Security proves that it is truly the epitome of pro-corporate astroturfing.

Barbour: Religious Right is "Using Up Valuable Time and Resources" On Issues Voters Don't Care About

Earlier this year, Gov. Mitch Daniels came in for all sorts of criticism from the Religious Right for suggesting that truce might be needed in the culture wars so that the nation can focus on addressing economic and security issues.

If there is one thing the Religious Right hates, it is being told that their issues should be placed on a back burner or that they don't motivate voter turn out.  In fact, just yesterday we noted that the Religious Right was warning House Republicans not to ignore social issues as they lay out their issues and agenda, warning that it would be an "electorally costly mistake for the future for the GOP to write off" the anti-choice, anti-gay social conservatives who make up much of the grassroots base.

So I am guessing that this is not going to sit well with them:

Republican Governor's Association Chair Haley Barbour cautioned Republican candidates on Wednesday against bringing social issues into the campaign, arguing that any discussion beyond the economy would prove distracting and problematic to their election hopes.

In a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, the Mississippi Republican was asked for his take on remarks made earlier in the year by Mitch Daniels, the Indiana Governor, who had urged social and fiscal conservatives to reach an informal truce for the purposes of 2010.

"I think what Mitch said is very similar to what I have responded to today," Barbour replied. "The voters have on their mind the economy, jobs, spending, debt and taxes and good campaigns are about the issues that are on the peoples minds.

"I'll put my bonafides up against anybody as a social conservative," he added, noting that as governor, Mississippi was voted the safest state in the country for an unborn child. "But that ain't going to change anybody's vote this year because people are concerned about job, the economy, growth and taxes... you are using up valuable time and resources that can be used to talk to people about what they care about."

You know, Mitch Daniels thought that it was his bonafides as a social conservative that gave him the standing and credibility to be able call for a truce in the culture wars, but that didn't stop him for getting raked over the coal ... so if Barbour thinks that the Religious Right is going to simply accept it when he tells them that they "are using up valuable time and resources" talking about issues nobody cares about, I think he is going to be in for a bit of a surprise.

Pawlenty Requests Stimulus Funds He Criticized

After criticizing Congress for passing a $26 billion aid package to state governments, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has sent a formal request to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for $236 million for Medicaid from the very same funding bill he blasted as a “reckless spending spree.” After pronouncing that “the federal government should not deficit spend to bail out states,” the governor and likely presidential candidate even offered clues that he won’t accept any new money from the federal government (unless that money was for abstinence-only programs).

Pawlenty decided to relent like other “principled” Republican governors before him such as Sarah Palin and Mark Sanford, who proudly disparage government programs and threaten to refuse the federal aid meant to protect the jobs of public employees and salvage state budgets—then agree to accepting stimulus dollars when it’s politically convenient. Similar to the Republican members of Congress who proudly vote against the stimulus and later publicly take credit for providing stimulus dollars in their districts, Pawlenty is attempting to both please the anti-government zealots in the GOP base while also benefiting from Democratic efforts to govern responsibly.

Pawlenty’s backpedaling on the stimulus coincides with the news that Michele Bachmann isn’t the only government spending-critic to receive farm subsidies from the federal government, as Indiana’s favorite Tea Party politician and congressional candidate Marlin Stutzman also obtains federal aid in the form of farm subsidies. Stutzman, who explicitly said that “it’s time to get rid of farm subsidies” in the name of free market orthodoxy, collected $179,370 from the federal government since 1995 for his farm.

For Republicans such as Pawlenty and Stutzman, it’s easy to denounce federal spending to further their political careers and agendas, but they still have no problem with benefiting from the same federal government programs they rail against.

ACLJ, Spiritual Warfare, and Zimbabwe's Constitution

For a while now, we've been covering the fact that Pat Robertson's American Center for Law and Justice has set up offices in Kenya and Zimbabwe for the purpose of shaping the draft constitutions that are being prepared in both nations.

Today, Sarah Posner of Religion Dispatches has an important new report on the intersection between the ACLJ, "Word of Faith" spiritual warfare, and the future of Zimbabwe's government as demonstrated by a recent "Women, Weapons of Warfare conference" that took place in Kentucky:

At the heart of this women’s conference is the concept of “spiritual warfare,” the idea that God has anointed his “generals” to defeat Satan and bring the world to Christ. During this pre-conference prayer session, the group prays for a “mega-breakthrough” and for God to “take down the enemy.” It’s not a war of flesh and blood, conference speakers are quick to point out, but against the evil evident everywhere around us: in the “total moral decay” of America; in the nearby “liberal” Indiana University; in the unexpected frog in the throat of a speaker from Georgia; in the angry outburst of a woman whose husband had left her; and in the fear of failure recounted by speaker after speaker—until they found Jesus, that is. It becomes evident, as the speakers give testimony about their relationship with Jesus, that for many he is not only their savior, but someone they converse with to obtain instructions for most details of their lives. Many call him “Daddy.”

Bourland introduces special guest from Zimbabwe, Pastor Vicky Mpofu, her “spiritual mother” whom she likens to Moses, a figure “God has anointed” to “deal with an affliction on her people.” Mpofu is, says Bourland, “an oracle of God to bring a warning to our country.” She predicts that people, “will wake up and listen”; then she prays for there to be “more than enough to take care of all the children of Zimbabwe.”

...

Mpofu, who co-founded the WWW conference with Bourland, is the executive director of the African Centre for Law and Justice, a branch of the American Center for Law and Justice, founded by Pat Robertson in 1990 as a “Christian” answer to the American Civil Liberties Union ... The African Centre for Law and Justice is injecting itself into the political process of drafting a new constitution that will supposedly pave the way for new elections. The African Centre for Law and Justice is aiming to do in Zimbabwe precisely what the religious right seeks to accomplish in the United States: declare the country a “Christian nation” guided by biblical principles, outlaw abortion, and ostracize and criminalize LGBT people ... Together with the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe, the African Centre for Law and Justice is working to garner the support of religious leaders and activists for constitutional provisions that would “affirm that Zimbabwe is a predominantly Christian nation founded on Biblical principles,” and require application of “the Laws of God in order to prosper and avoid chaos and destruction,” according to a pamphlet prepared by the EFZ and supported by the ALCJ.

Backed by the ACLJ, Mpofu has been traveling Zimbabwe to rally religious support for the EFZ’s constitutional proposals. “We’ve had a lot of support from ACLJ in America because for me to be able to go around the country to visit the ten provinces we’ve received some help financially and also we’ve received some help from the teams from America visiting and working with us,” Mpofu said. “The support has been tremendous.”

...

The EFZ/ACLJ pamphlet also calls for constitutional prohibitions on both abortion, by defining life as “beginning at conception,” and on attempts to reform the country’s laws criminalizing homosexuality. It calls for defining marriage “as being between a man and a woman” and for “any and all definitions of a family or marriages or relationships or legal unions that seek to include or permit same sex unions to be prohibited,” as well as for “sexual relations between partners of the same sex, bestiality, and other perversions to remain a criminal activity.”

Posner also posted video highlights of the conference, which has a Lou Engle/Cindy Jacobs sort of familiarity to it:

Be sure to read the whole thing.

Daniels: "Atheism Leads to Brutality" and Will Destroy America

Over the last several weeks, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels has been under attack from Religious Right activists for his statement that the nation needed to call a "truce" in the culture wars in order to focus on more important issues.

Obviously, social conservatives refuse to accept any such truce, as fighting the culture war is their entire reason for existing and have begun questioning Daniels' conservative bona fides.

But that is clearly unjustified because, as this interview with him from December demonstrates, he clearly shares their worldview:

Mellinger: Is there part of you that is bothered by the aggressive atheism of a [Sam] Harris, a [Christopher] Hitchens, a [Richard] Dawkins? And what I mean is... this atheism is a little different than atheism has been in the past because it does seek to convert people.

Daniels: I'm not sure it's all that new. People who reject the idea of a God -who think that we're just accidental protoplasm- have always been with us. What bothers me is the implications -which not all such folks have thought through- because really, if we are just accidental, if this life is all there is, if there is no eternal standard of right and wrong, then all that matters is power.

And atheism leads to brutality. All the horrific crimes of the last century were committed by atheists -Stalin and Hitler and Mao and so forth- because it flows very naturally from an idea that there is no judgment and there is nothing other than the brief time we spend on this Earth.

Everyone's certainly entitled in our country to equal treatment regardless of their opinion. But yes, I think that folks who believe they've come to that opinion ought to think very carefully, first of all, about how different it is from the American tradition; how it leads to a very different set of outcomes in the real world.

Do Not Underestimate The Right's Opposition to Gov. Daniels' Truce

Several weeks ago, Gov. Mitch Daniels set off a firestorm when he suggested calling a truce in the culture wars in order to focus the nation on addressing economic and security issues. 

Needless to say, that suggestion did not sit well with the Religious Right, since fighting culture war issues is their main priority.  But eventually the story ran its course and the attacks on Daniels subsided as everyone involved moved on to other issues. 

Or so we thought ... but apparently the Family Research Council is still upset about it since FRC Senior Fellow Robert Morrison just wrote an op-ed attacking Daniels once again that ran in the Indianapolis Star

Daniels' supporters had been defending him on the grounds that he has a solid pro-life conservative record and thus he could get away with calling for a truce because nobody could question his credentials.  But it looks like that is not the case, as Morrison slams Daniels for allowing Planned Parenthood to host a fundraiser in the Governor's mansion and slams his "blinkered view [of] prosperity [with] no moral foundation": 

What Mitch Daniels missed in his call for a "truce" in the culture clash -- a call he has adamantly repeated in recent days -- is that we can no more be quiet about the slaughter of innocents than we can about the plundering of the next generation's hopes for prosperity.

Planned Parenthood hosted a fundraiser in the Indiana governor's residence. No pro-life governor would allow that. If we accept that, how can we complain when Gov. Kathleen Sebelius invites the grisliest of partial-birth abortionists to her governor's mansion? Is it somehow OK because Daniels is a Republican?

...

The Republicans have ever been a party of enterprise. This is not wrong. Abraham Lincoln believed passionately in "the right to rise." He unleashed great engines of wealth production in the form of new inventions and a trans-continental railroad. Even with the tragedy and destruction of the Civil War, American industry and agriculture prospered.

But what saved Lincoln's new Republican Party from being dismissed as advocates only for "Golden Calf" politics -- a soulless worship of great wealth -- was its basic commitment to human dignity, to the right of every man to eat the bread his own hands had earned.

Daniels misses all this. He does not understand that human life is the basis for all wealth. President Reagan's Mexico City Doctrine was not just a cutoff of federal funds from the death-dealing minions of Planned Parenthood. It was importantly that, but much, much more.

Reagan's Mexico City Doctrine boldly declared that human creativity and human procreativity were the indispensable sources of all wealth. Every farmer knows you cannot prosper if you eat the seed corn ... We know that where there is no vision the people perish. With Mitch Daniels' blinkered view, the perishing will continue apace, and prosperity will have no moral foundation.

More Right Wing Opposition to Daniels' Call for a "Truce"

Conservative activists continue to pile on Gov. Mitch Daniels for suggesting a "truce" in the culture wars, with Tom McClusky of the Family Research Council citing this statement from Phil Burress, president of Citizens for Community Values:

Unless he knows something we don’t, using the word “truce” when family values are under increasing attack can only mean surrender. Does he have knowledge that the other side is going to stop performing abortions during this “truce”? Are homosexual activists going to stop promoting same-sex marriage during this “truce”? Is what Governor Daniels really wants is for the pro-family movement to stop talking about his record so he can run for President?

For his part, McClusky suggests that Daniels ought to be trying to address fiscal issues by defunding groups that support reproductive choice:

If a President Daniels were to cut funding to these organizations as long as they performed and promoted abortions he could save taxpayers millions of dollars, while also possibly saving hundreds of thousands of lives every year. If he is serious about a “truce” on social issues he needs to make sure that he doesn’t continue taxpayer funding of one side during this so called “truce.” That is something nearly a decade of Republican rule in DC failed to do and would make him a hero of social and fiscal conservatives alike.

Meanwhile, Frank Cannon, who is the President of American Principles Project and Treasurer of the Susan B. Anthony List, calls Daniels' proposal a "profound insult to the public’s intelligence" and likens it to "asking the kid being pummeled by the schoolyard bully to stand down": 

The Hoosier governor’s truce talk is wrong on so many levels. It needlessly demeans one portion of the conservative coalition – the “ethnic, Catholic (and, more recently, evangelical) blue collar” vote that Ronald Reagan led into fealty with the GOP’s traditional hawks and economic conservatives. And social conservatives are not just a portion of that coalition – they hold views on issues like federal abortion funding and protecting the definition of marriage that represent a significant majority.

Second, calling for a truce on social issues is a little like asking the kid being pummeled by the schoolyard bully to stand down. All the kid is doing is holding his hands in front of his face to ward off the blows. Social conservatives did not launch campaigns to exploit the definition of marriage for their own gain, whatever that would mean. Instead, they have only fought to preserve the natural and perennial status of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. They have faced, and in most cases defeated, judicial elites who have sought to impose same-sex marriage on the populace.

...

At the end of the day, Mitch Daniels’ truce talk is a profound insult to the public’s intelligence. Defenders of life in the womb and the marital bond cannot sit back while yet another administration tells them to take a pounding because “bigger issues” like excess government spending deserve all the attention.

Daniels Says He'd Reinstate Mexico City, But Stands By His Call For a Truce

When the story first broke last week that Gov. Mitch Daniels was calling for a "truce" in the culture wars in order to focus on economic and national security issues, he was asked if he would reinstate the Mexico City Policy if he became president, to which he replied "I don't know."

Needless to say, that did not go over well with the social conservatives, so it comes as no surprise that Daniels is now telling Michael Gerson that he would, in fact, reinstate it immediately

"I would reinstate the Mexico City policy," Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels told me, removing an uncertainty of his own creation. Promoting abortion with international family planning funds is one of "a thousand things we shouldn't be spending money on."

But despite his backtracking on this one issue, Daniels is standing by his original call for a truce:

Daniels' clarification on Mexico City shows his realism. But his continued insistence on the idea of a truce shows his stubbornness -- a defining characteristic. "If there were a WMD attack, death would come to straights and gays, pro-life and pro-choice," he told me. "If the country goes broke, it would ruin the American dream for everyone. We are in this together. Whatever our honest disagreements on other questions, might we set them aside long enough to do some very difficult things without which we will be a different, lesser country?

...

Daniels admits, "No one may take the offer. ... But I'm not prepared to give up on the idea we can address this thing. If we can't -- well, the cynics were right. But somebody has to try."

Bryan Fischer Does Not Approve Of Any Potential Truce

The American Family Association's Bryan Fischer slams Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels for suggesting the need for a "truce" in the culture war and explains why Daniels is wrong ... as only Bryan Fischer can:

There are two things that are disastrously wrong with what the governor said.

First, in the culture war, there is no such thing as a "truce." A truce is the same as a surrender. It's no different than the phony truces Muslim nations enter into, which for them are not a prelude to peace but an opportunity to re-arm.

What the governor apparently does not understand is that the other side will never give up, never back down, never quit. They pursue their radical agenda with a mindless persistence, pressing, clamoring, hectoring, demanding, bloviating without ceasing. There can be no truce with such an adversary.

I'm reminded of the homosexuals who demanded sex with Lot's guests, as recorded in Genesis 19:4-10. They "surrounded the house" and "pressed hard against the man Lot" until they were blinded by God. Even that didn't stop them. "They wore themselves out groping for the door."

We are up against tireless adversaries and we ourselves must be tireless and unflagging in our opposition to their life- and culture-destroying agenda.

Apparently, if Christians were to accept any such truce, it would just be used as an opportunity for Muslims and gays to re-arm and rape them.

Daniels: Truce Talk "Just a Suggestion"

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has now responded to the outrage from the Religious Right to his statement that we need to call a "truce" in the culture wars in order to focus on economic issues.

And while Daniels is neither backing down or defending it, he does seem to think that the Religious Right ought to be able to discuss the suggestion like rational adults ... good luck with that approach:

Daniels, talking to reporters in Indiana, said his remarks were “just a suggestion,” and a reflection of the fact that he believes the nation has to focus on the soaring debt and national security threats.

“It’s an expression of the urgency I think all Americans should feel about certain other questions. The debt burden, which I think literally threatens not just our economy but America’s role in the world, and the threat of nuclear terror -- or weapons of mass destruction, I should say, in the hands of people who are perfectly willing to use them,” he said.

“I really believe that for the first time the future of the American experiment is at risk. It’s a thought that maybe we could agree to disagree. I picked the word truce because no one has to change their point of view, no one has to surrender. Just that we might simply try to come together, I think it will take that if we’re going to address what I believe are the most urgent problems of the country.”

Huckabee Joins The Fray, Saying He "Cannot" and "Will Not" Accept a Truce In the Culture Wars

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels is, predictably, getting hammered from social conservatives for his statement that the next president will have to call a "truce" in the culture war in order to focus on economic issues.

He has already been blasted by Concerned Women for America and the Family Research Council and right-wing activists continue to pile on:

Others, like Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute and an early supporter of 2008 presidential hopeful John McCain, says Daniels will have a hard time winning the GOP nomination if he demurs on pro-life issues.

“Something like this will cost him any consideration from one of the key constituencies of the Republican Party," he told LifeNews.com.

...

Kristan Hawkins, the president of Students for Life of America -- a group that has spearheaded efforts to oppose Elena Kagan and the pro-abortion health care bill -- didn't mince words either.

"When it involves life, no one can make no a truce. There is no room for gray area, no time to play dead, and no time to stick out head in the sand. When you realize that 1.3 million babies are aborted every year, Governor Mitch Daniels’ words show a level of cowardice that is not expected from a presidential hopeful," she told LifeNews.com.

Even Mike Huckabee, who has steadily been working to establish himself as the champion of the socially conservative wing of the party, is getting in on the action ... and using it to raise donations for his HuckPAC:

I received an astonishing email today from a concerned friend who has been very influential in the fight to end the scourge of abortion.

Apparently, a 2012 Republican presidential prospect in an interview with a reporter has made the suggestion that the next President should call for a “truce” on social issues like abortion and traditional marriage to focus on fiscal problems.

In other words, stop fighting to end abortion and don’t make protecting traditional marriage a priority.

Let me be clear though, the issue of life and traditional marriage are not bargaining chips nor are they political issues. They are moral issues. I didn’t get involved in politics just to lower taxes and cut spending though I believe in both and have done it as a Governor. But I want to stay true to the basic premises of our civilization.

For those of us who have labored long and hard in the fight to educate the Democrats, voters, the media and even some Republicans on the importance of strong families, traditional marriage and life to our society, this is absolutely heartbreaking. And that one of our Republican “leaders” would suggest this truce, even more so. Governor Daniels is a personal friend and a terrific Governor, and I’m very disappointed that he would think that pro-life and pro-family activists would just lie down.

Are you ready to stop fighting for traditional marriage? I cannot. I will not.

Can you let the tragedy of abortion go unchecked while we get our financial house in order? I cannot. I will not.


A strong leader doesn’t need to focus myopically on one or two issues – but a strong leader is willing to fight for and defend their principles while rising to meet new challenges and solve all of the existing systemic problems confronting us.

For me these issues are critical. Indeed they are founding principles of my personal conservatism and part of the ideological foundation of the Republican Party. If you agree, I am asking you to help me send a signal.

...

Help me raise 2,012 new donations within the next 7 days for Huck PAC. That will help me show the importance of these issues to our Party and give us the financial resources we need to support strong conservatives who are fighting for life, traditional marriage, lower taxes, lower spending, secure borders and a strong national defense.

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Tony Perkins Piles On Daniels For Calling For a "Truce" In The Culture War

Following up on my last post about Concerned Women for America responding "Never!" to Gov. Mitch Daniels statement that there needs to be a truce in the culture war so that the nation can focus on more important economic issues, now comes the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins voicing his own outrage at the suggestion:

In most parts of the country, sitting politicians aren't enjoying much popularity these days. Hoosier Governor Mitch Daniels (R) has been one exception. Some 590 miles away from the eye of Washington's storm, the Indiana leader is about as beloved as an elected official can be in this climate. His approval rating is consistently above 60%, prompting whispers that he might be "the man" for Republicans in 2012. Unfortunately, comments he made this week raise serious questions about his level of commitment to fundamental issues like life-leading many of us to wonder if he has the ability to lead a unified conservative movement.

...

That's astonishing. Not only is he noncommittal about his role as a pro-life leader, but the Governor wouldn't even agree to a modest step like banning taxpayer-funded promotion of abortion overseas-which President Bush did on his first day in office with 65% of the country's support. Let's face it. These aren't fringe issues that stretch moderate America. They're mainstream ideals that an overwhelming majority of the nation espouses. I support the Governor 100% on the call for fiscal responsibility, but nothing is more fiscally responsible than ending the taxpayer funding of abortion and abortion promotion. More than 70% of our nation agrees that killing innocent unborn children with federal dollars is wrong. Yet stopping government-funded murder isn't a "genuine national emergency?" We cannot "save the republic," in Gov. Daniels' words, by killing the next generation. Regardless of what the Establishment believes, fiscal and social conservatism have never been mutually exclusive. Without life, there is no pursuit of happiness. Thank goodness the Founding Fathers were not timid in their leadership; they understood that "truce" was nothing more than surrender.

Anyone want to place a bet on how long it'll be before Daniels issues a "clarification," claiming that his statement was either taken out of context or is being misinterpreted?  I give it a day.

A Truce In The Culture War? CWA Says "Never!"

Just yesterday I was wondering how the Religious Right would react to Gov. Mitch Daniels' statement that a "truce" needs to be called in the culture wars so that our nation can focus on more important economic issues.

Well, today we are starting to get an answer to that question as Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America tells Daniels that is never going to happen:

Republican Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana basically raised the white flag on social issues when, in an interview with the Weekly Standard yesterday, he said that the next president “would have to call a truce on the so-called social issues. We’re going to just have to agree to get along for a little while,” until economic issues are resolved.

So we’re just going to give up the fight on abortion, on euthanasia, on “gay marriage,” on all of our most sacred traditional values and morals that are just “too tough” to focus on right now? I don’t think so.

Conservatives are more revved up than ever before, having come together to fight the health care reform bill and taxpayer-funded abortion. Pro-life leaders are rising up out of college campuses and at the ballot box. Polling shows that more Americans are pro-life than pro-abortion, and pro-lifers are younger and more energetic than the aging pro-abortion feminists.

Why would we ever call a truce now? Why ever actually? Life is something we will never compromise and stop fighting for.

How Will The Right Respond to Mitch Daniels' Calls For a "Truce" in Culture Wars?

The Weekly Standard has a long profile of Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and the question of whether he plans to make a run for the White House in 2012.

If Daniels does plan on running, there are a few issues the might temper support from the Religious Right, like his 1970 arrest for pot possession or his three year divorce and eventual remarriage to his wife Cheri ... but those sorts of things would probably pale in comparison to Daniels' view that a "truce" needs to be called in the culture wars so that our nation can focus on economic issues: 

“There are things that I would advance as a candidate that the playbook says are folly—suicidal,” he said. “We’d have to fundamentally change all the welfare and entitlement programs. What Bush tried to do [in proposing private accounts for Social Security] was mild compared to what needs to be done. You have to have a completely new compact for people under a certain age, for Medicare and Social Security. You’re gonna have to dramatically cut spending across the whole government, including, by the way, national defense. When Bush arrived, we were spending $300 billion on national defense, and he thought that was plenty. Now it’s, what, $800 billion?”

Beyond the debt and the deficit, in Daniels’s telling, all other issues fade to comparative insignificance. He’s an agnostic on the science of global warming but says his views don’t matter. “I don’t know if the CO2 zealots are right,” he said. “But I don’t care, because we can’t afford to do what they want to do. Unless you want to go broke, in which case the world isn’t going to be any greener. Poor nations are never green.”

And then, he says, the next president, whoever he is, “would have to call a truce on the so-called social issues. We’re going to just have to agree to get along for a little while,” until the economic issues are resolved. Daniels is pro-life himself, and he gets high marks from conservative religious groups in his state.

If there is one thing that drives social conservatives crazy, it is the insistance from Republican and conservative leaders that their agenda has to perpetually take a back seat to the party's economic platform ... so the idea of Religious Right leaders supporting a candidate who is calling for that agenda to be set aside in favor of focusing on economic issues seems rather unlikely: 

This morning, at the Heritage Foundation, I asked Daniels if that meant the next president shouldn't push issues like stopping taxpayer funding of abortion in Obamacare or reinstating the Mexico City Policy banning federal funds to overseas groups that perform abortions. Daniels replied that we face a "genuine national emergency" regarding the budget and that "maybe these things could be set aside for a while. But this doesn't mean anybody abandons their position at all. Everybody just stands down for a little while, while we try to save the republic."

To clarify whether Daniels simply wants to de-emphasize these issues or actually not act on them, I asked if, as president, he would issue an executive order to reinstate Reagan's "Mexico City Policy" his first week in office. (Obama revoked the policy during his first week in office.) Daniels replied, "I don't know."

Dobson: "As You Know, I Do Not Personally Endorse Many Political Candidates"

Back in February, James Dobson announced his endorsement of Rep. Todd Tiahrt, who is running for the vacant US Senate in Kansas, claiming that while he normally didn't endorse candidates, 2010 was so important that he had to make an exception: 

As you know, I do not personally endorse many political candidates. However, with the stakes so high in the 2010 elections, I believe it is imperative that we elect Christian leaders who will fight for the principles that promote strong family values. That is why I am enthusiastically endorsing Todd Tiahrt in his race for the United States Senate.

If the idea that Dobson was reluctant to endorse candidates seemed odd to you, you were not alone, considering that he endorsed Mike Huckabee back in 2008 and then all but endorsed John McCain after explicitly and repeatedly declaring that he would not vote for McCain under any circumstances.

Since then, Dobson has gone on to endorse several other candidates heading into the 2010 elections: 

Rick Perry

Gov. Rick Perry today received the endorsement of Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, for re-election in 2010.

“Over the years, Gov. Perry has established a record that is consistently pro-life, pro-marriage and pro-religious liberty,” said Dr. Dobson. “He has demonstrated his deep regard for the sanctity of life by signing more pro-life bills into law than any other governor in Texas history. He demonstrated his support for the God-given institution of marriage by strongly supporting the Texas Marriage Amendment. And he has helped lead the effort to establish the strongest protections for religious liberty in the state of Texas. No other candidate in this race measures up to the high standards established by Gov. Perry on these critical issues of our day.”

Dan Coats

Dr. James Dobson, the influential evangelical and founder of Focus on the Family, is endorsing Republican Dan Coats in the race for Senate in Indiana, the Coats campaign said Monday.

“I have long respected former Senator Dan Coats for his integrity and his legislative influence in the Congress,” Dobson said in a statement. “I also admire his personal commitment to his Christian faith in public life. Dan has been a consistent leader of pro-family causes and a stalwart defender of unborn children. If my wife Shirley and I were Hoosiers, we would definitely vote for Dan Coats in the May 4th primary.”

In addition to the endorsement, Dobson cut a radio ad on Coats’ behalf that is set to run starting on Tuesday.

Trey Grayson

Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, announced today that he is endorsing Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate.

“Trey Grayson is the only candidate with the conviction to lead on the issues that matter to Kentucky families. His unwavering commitment to the sanctity of human life and the family resonates with me. I know that he will be a leader on these issues, not just another Senator who checks the box. As a matter of conscience, I encourage Kentuckians to support Trey Grayson on May 18th,” said Dobson.

You know, for someone who claims not to "personally endorse many political candidates," James Dobson sure does seem to be personally endorsing a lot of political candidates.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Think Progress: Indiana’s ‘sovereign citizens’ renounce their U.S. citizenship, claim to secede from the Union.
  • TPM: Louisiana sheriff forming a citizen militia to defend the parish in the event of a terrorist attack.
  • Adam Serwer: How a smearing of Justice Department lawyers as "terrorist sympathizers" traveled from the conservative media to the United States Senate.
  • Alvin McEwen: Attacks on gay students no big deal to the religious right.
  • Media Matters: Glenn Beck repeatedly likens himself to historical figures of note, including Socrates, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Benjamin Franklin.
  • Finally, if this was satire, it would be absolutely brilliant.  It is not satire:

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Don Wildmon is officially stepping down from his role at the American Family Association due to on-going health problems.
  • Politico got its hands on a rather remarkable RNC fundraising presentation, and the RNC is already furiously backing away from it, calling its images and language "unacceptable" and saying "it will not be used by the Republican National Committee – in any capacity – in the future."
  • Shirley Dobson has been dismissed from the lawsuit against the National Day of Prayer.
  • Rick Perry has been the Governor of Texas for more than a decade, so why is he playing off his primary win last night as some sort of shot at the establishment?
  • Rick Warren and the Jonas Brothers, together at last.
  • Wow, FRC is really producing groundbreaking research.
  • Finally, the quote of the day from Rev. Rob Schenck reacting to marriage equality officially coming to Washington DC today: "Let me remind everyone that there’s nothing new about what happened today at the Superior Court of the District of Columbia Marriage Bureau. In fact, it’s very old. Thousands of years ago, the world at the base of Mount Sinai looked very much like Indiana Avenue, NW, the street outside the Marriage Bureau office. Actually, it was far worse. On the Day of Pentecost, when the Christian Church was born at Jerusalem, Greco-Roman athletes competed in the nude and engaged in homosexual acts to titillate insatiably wild crowds. Worse, Roman men of stature kept wives to sire children by, but young boys as sexual play toys. Temple prostitutes were used and abused as an act of worship. It was into this kind of moral abandon that the Jews first taught God’s moral code and Christians later were called to evangelize. Both remain our challenge today. It was this kind of sin-sick, miserably wretched, often shockingly coarse and even frightening world that 'God so loved,' and to which He 'gave His only begotten son' ... If there’s anything to be disappointed about today here in the Nation’s Capital, it’s that we thought human progress had come so far, but, in fact, it has regressed."
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