Wisconsin

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Brady Swenson @ RH Reality Check: Man Arrested, Charged with Intent to Murder Abortion Providers in Wisconsin.
  • Good As You: Openly gay Bayard Rustin used to put words in MLK's mouth. Now Harry Jackson thinks it's his turn.
  • Towleroad: FOX News Chair Roger Ailes Installed Bombproof Glass in His Office for Fear of Attacks by Gay Activists.
  • Ryan J. Reilly @ TPM: James O'Keefe's Group Gets Non-Profit Status, Took In Only $2,367 In 2010.
  • Joe.My.God: Oh Noes! The Revenge Of GOProud!
  • Simon Maloy @ County Fair: Glenn Beck's timeline of American history.
  • Steve Benen: What happens when a criminal becomes governor.

Right Wing Round-Up

Random Book Blogging: The Biblical Guide to Light Bulbs and Playground Equipment

Lately I have been working my way through Wayne Grudem's textbook-like tome "Politics According to the Bible: A Comprehensive Resource for Understanding Modern Political Issues in Light of Scripture" because I have seen it mentioned by several of the organizations and people we monitor and it's been blurbed by the likes of Chuck Colson and Timothy Goeglein.

In it, Grudem lays out the proper Biblical position on everything from abortion and taxes to tariffs and farm subsidies ... but I haven't gotten to those issues yet as I am still working my way through the introductory chapters where Grudem lays out how the government is stealing precious seconds of his liberty and making the nation's children fat and cowardly:

Every incremental increase in governmental regulation of life is also an incremental removal of some measure of human liberty. When small losses of liberty occur again and again and again over a period of years, people can become essentially slaves to the government without ever realizing its happening.

Here are some examples: If my local government would prohibit grocery stores from providing plastic bags, as San Francisco did in 2007, it would force me to use paper bags. This deprives me of my liberty to choose which kind of bag I want. But I cannot carry nearly as many paper bags as plastic bags from the car to the house, because the paper bags break and tear more easily. Therefore every trip to the grocery store will now require some additional trips between the car and the house, an incremental loss of human liberty for every citizen. The paper bags also take up more storage room an don't work as well for certain other tasks, so there is another small loss of liberty. Perhaps some people thing this is insignificant, and perhaps others think there is an environmental benefit that comes from avoiding plastic bags, and that is worth the price of depriving the citizens of a small amount of liberty in this way. I do not. But my point is simply to note that my freedom to use my time as I wish has been eroded a bit, and no one seems to notice that this has happened.

Almost all of the really fun playground equipment that I loved as a boy growing up in Jim Falls, Wisconsin, has disappeared from playgrounds across America. there are much fewer merry-go-rounds or teeter-totters or high slides or high swings. Because of the threat of bankrupting lawsuits (and the lack of laws that place commonsense limitations on liability and damages for injuries), everything is padded and "safe," and children are growing fat and timid and lazy, and they have lost the excitement of that great adventure of testing your courage and strength and balance and endurance against the playground equipment and against every else playing on it. Because of our nation's failure to have some commonsense legal reforms, our children have lost much of their freedom (and health!) and nobody seems to notice or care.

...

Recently the US government required that all incandescent light bulbs (that fully light instantly) have to be discontinued by 2014. We have started to switch to cheaper energy-efficient bulbs, but when I walk into the closet or the kitchen pantry and turn on the light, it now takes several seconds until the room is fully lighted. So I wait, and another tiny bit of my liberty has been eroded - liberty to choose the kind of light bulb I prefer for each room, and liberty to use those few seconds of time as I wish. 

Scott Walker’s Latest Pro-Voucher Gambit Exposes Dishonesty Of The Voucher Movement

Private school voucher advocates and their allies in the so-called “education reform” movement readily talk about the need for rigorous, constant testing along with the application of free market principles to education: reward high-performing schools and teachers and punish bad ones.

Over the last decade, Milwaukee has been a laboratory for private school vouchers, and the results have been poor: numerous studies have shown that vouchers failed to make any difference in student performance. Just like in Washington, DC and Cleveland, private school vouchers in Milwaukee failed to produce the gains their supporters promised as students, with students in the Milwaukee voucher program actually performing worse than comparable public school students.

But now Republican Gov. Scott Walker wants to expand the ineffective voucher program while cutting funds to public schools. And so much for the emphasis on testing -- voucher students will now be exempted from the tests that revealed the program’s failure.

The Wausau Daily Herald reports:

Milwaukee’s voucher school program would be expanded under a Republican-backed bill expected to pass the state Assembly on Tuesday.



State Superintendent Tony Evers has questioned expanding the voucher program at the same time Walker is proposing cutting public school aid by more than $800 million over the next two years.



Walker is also proposing eliminating in his budget that voucher students take the same statewide achievement tests that public school students must take.

This year, results were released for the first time comparing public school and voucher students. They showed voucher students lagging behind their peers in public schools.

That’s right, even though voucher students are “lagging behind their peers in public schools,” voucher programs are being rewarded with expansion while public schools are punished with cuts. With little care for accountability and testing, this move by Walker and the Wisconsin GOP demonstrates how the push for private school vouchers is really about the Right’s ideological war against public education.

The pro-voucher American Federation for Children is even launching an ad campaign to defend Wisconsin Republicans facing recall votes, and recently hosted an event where they honored Walker for his voucher advocacy. AFC was founded and funded by Betsy Devos, a Religious Right activist and wife of Dick Devos, the son of the founder of Amway and an unsuccessful Republican candidate for governor of Michigan. Today, AFC is one of the most aggressive pro-voucher groups, and aims to fully privatize public education.

Through their advocacy for private school vouchers, the Devos family merged their anti-union and anti-public school beliefs with their mission to chip away at the separation of church and state. The Devos family is a key benefactor of Religious Right groups across the country, financing major social conservative organizations like Focus on the Family and the Council for National Policy, and provided almost the entire funding for Maggie Gallagher’s Institute for Marriage and Public Policy.

With Scott Walker admitting that the private school voucher movement’s emphasis on testing, results and accountability is hogwash, it is abundantly clear what the real goal is: privatizing public education.

Creationists Warn That Teaching Evolution Leads To "Homosexual Indoctrination"

The Creation Studies Institute is warning members that, like the Nazis, gay-rights activists are using public schools to indoctrinate students. While many Religious Right groups have alleged that safe-school and anti-bullying programs lead to “homosexual indoctrination,” the Creationist Studies Institute claims that the “gay agenda” has taken over schools because schools have “fully embraced Darwinian Evolution.”

“Indeed, the rampant teaching of evolution in our schools that is effectively undermining belief in God and absolute moral standards is not only creating an atmosphere of ‘tolerance’ for homosexuality, but for just about anything,” writes Tom DeRosa, the organization’s founder and executive director, who adds: “Of course, in a purely evolutionary world, homosexuals would naturally be bred out of existence.” DeRosa goes on to compare homosexuality with polygamy and pedophilia, and asks members to purchase Focus on the Family’s Secure Daughters, Confident Sons booklet:

Those who hold godless ideologies have long understood that the best way to transform societies and change the way people traditionally think is by indoctrinating children from the earliest stages of education. In the last century, this methodology was effectively employed by those who held the atheistic ideologies of Nazism in Germany and Communism in countries such as the Soviet Union, where the state assumed total control of the educational system—even to the extent of turning children against parents. Of course, both of these worldviews fully embraced Darwinian evolution as a way to justify their actions and nullify the beliefs of their largely Christian populations. While U.S. federal government does not have that kind of authority in our school system (not yet, anyway), is it any wonder that those who lack a biblical worldview in our country, including those with a gay agenda, have seized upon our primary schools as the main vehicle of transforming our nation more to their liking?

In America, the adoption of evolution in our schools has paved the way for the introduction of the gay agenda. Those pushing it understand that nothing will more thoroughly and quickly undermine the traditional biblical foundations of our country than the normalization of homosexuality among our nation’s school children, regardless of their parents’ beliefs. Currently, under the banner of “tolerance” or “equal rights,” states like Massachusetts, New York, California, Wisconsin and Minnesota are actively implementing a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) curriculum in their public schools. But those behind the effort to legitimize LGBT lifestyles won’t be content until this kind of curricula is taught in all of our nation’s schools. So what is being taught, you might ask, that should concern those of us in the creationist community?



From the patriarchal days of Sodom and Gomorrah to the Law of Moses to the New Testament, God’s Word consistently declares that homosexuality is sin and warns of the condemnation it brings to the individuals who practice it and to societies that promote it. Indeed, the rampant teaching of evolution in our schools that is effectively undermining belief in God and absolute moral standards is not only creating an atmosphere of “tolerance” for homosexuality, but for just about anything. As the truism goes, “Without God, everything is permissible.” So, in reality, there’s nothing to prevent the same rationale being used today to justify homosexuality and homosexual marriage from being used tomorrow to sanction polygamy or pedophilia or… As one very honest evolutionist wrote a while back (a piece that quickly disappeared from public view), if evolution is true, then rape is a very valid and/or efficient way for a man to spread his genes. After all, why not? It’s the survival of the fittest. Of course, in a purely evolutionary world, homosexuals would naturally be bred out of existence, as well. But you won’t hear that from pro-evolution advocates.

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 4/19/11

Michele Bachmann

Book: Considering a proposal to write her memoirs (AP, 4/18).

South Carolina: Rally in South Carolina a bust (CBS News, 4/18). 

Birther: Continues to float birther conspiracy on Fox News (The Atlantic, 4/18). 

Budget: Falsely claims that the top 1% pay 40% of taxes (PolitiFact, 4/13). 

Haley Barbour

South Carolina: Wins Charleston County GOP straw poll (The State Column, 4/18). 

New Hampshire: Takes two-day swing in New Hampshire (Boston Globe, 4/15). 

Mike Huckabee

South Carolina: Meets with supporters from the 2008 campaign (RCP, 4/18). 

Iowa: Volunteers from 2008 bid work to build new campaign (The Ticket, 4/15). 

Jon Huntsman

South Carolina: Organizes campaign in the Palmetto State (CNN, 4/18).

Obama: Conservative website features laudatory letters from Huntsman to Obama (Daily Caller, 4/15).

Roy Moore

2012: Forms presidential exploratory committee (AP, 4/18). 

Religious Right: Travels around Iowa with staffer from the far-right The Family Leader (Des Moines Register, 4/18). 

Sarah Palin

PAC: Launches new website for leadership pac (The Caucus, 4/18). 

Tea Party: Addresses small rally for Koch front group in Wisconsin (TPM, 4/16). 

Ron Paul

South Carolina: Tops the field in the Lexington County straw poll (CNN, 4/16). 

2012: Opens fundraising account for potential presidential bid (Politico, 4/14). 

Tim Pawlenty

Tea Party: Keynotes tea party rally in Boston, slams health care reform (Boston Globe, 4/16). 

Budget: Criticizes compromise budget deal (The Fix, 4/13). 

Mitt Romney

Florida: Leads in early poll of Sunshine State Republicans (Taunton Daily Gazette, 4/17). 

Fundraising: Benefits from network of state leadership PACs (Boston Globe, 4/15). 

Donald Trump

GOP: Presidential campaign gains increasing interest among Republican activists (AP, 4/19). 

Tea Party: Addresses Tea Party rally with Florida Congressman Allen West (The State Column, 4/17). 

Poll: Leads other likely candidates in poll of Republicans nationwide (WSJ, 4/15). 

Rick Santorum

Campaign: Rejects pro-union line of Langston Hughes he used as a campaign motto (The Guardian, 4/18). 

Equality: Supports reinstating Don't Ask Don't Tell policy (Think Progress, 4/18). 

Religious Right: Plans to join The Family Leader's Iowa presidential lecture tour (RWW, 4/18).

New Hampshire: Plays in mini golf tournament in Granite State tour (Foster's Daily Democrat, 4/17).

FRC Super PAC To Bolster Right-Wing Wisconsin Justice

As part of the Religious Right’s burgeoning anti-union campaign, The Family Research Council’s Super PAC is entering the fight in Wisconsin in the contested Supreme Court race. FRC president Tony Perkins showed his support for the state’s embattled governor Scott Walker, tweeting, “Pro-family voters should celebrate WI victory b/c public & private sector union bosses have marched lock-step w/liberal social agenda.” Walker’s chief ally on the state Supreme Court, David Prosser, is now facing a serious challenge in the judicial election on April 5th. Justice Prosser, a former Republican state assemblyman, is a leading conservative on the court and called the left-leaning chief justice a “total bitch” and told her, “I will destroy you.”

The FRC’s Faith Family Freedom Fund now plans to air radio ads on thirty-four stations defending Prosser and criticizing his main rival, JoAnne Kloppenburg, along with “liberal special interests.” FRC says that the hyper-partisan Prosser is a vote to “keep politics out of the Supreme Court”:

"Union bosses want to use the Wisconsin Supreme Court to advance their liberal agenda and also recall any elected official who stands in their way. Faith Family Freedom Fund will advocate for these duly elected officials and work to protect the courts from judicial activism," said Connie Mackey, chairwoman of the Faith Family Freedom Fund.

The ad script follows:

"What is happening in this Supreme Court election is outrageous. Liberal special interests want to turn this election into a referendum on the governor. But what's really at stake is what kind of Justice should be on the Wisconsin or any Supreme Court?

"Joanne Kloppenburg does not have the experience. Liberals see her as their best hope to advance their political agenda and strike down laws passed by a legislature and governor elected by the people. Justice David Prosser has the experience that Wisconsin needs in these turbulent times. His experience and qualifications aren't matched by his opponent.

"He believes in judicial restraint and deserves another term on the Supreme Court. A vote for Prosser is a vote to keep politics out of the Supreme Court. Send a message on Election Day - April 5th. Vote for Judicial Restraint. Vote for Justice David Prosser."

Joe Miller Gets New Job Running Conservative PAC

Failed Alaska Senate candidate Joe Miller, who lost to incumbent Lisa Murkowsi even though she wasn’t even on the ballot, has been named the chair of a right-wing political action committee. Western Representation PAC announced today that Miller is coming on as the group’s new chairman, and Miller is also set to appear at a fundraiser for the Committee to Defeat Barack Obama. The Western Representation PAC backed far-right candidates like Miller and Sharron Angle, along with other unsuccessful candidates for Congress.

Currently, Miller’s group is leading a campaign called “Break the Unions” and is running radio advertisements in Wisconsin slamming a “vicious minority…organized by corrupt labor unions and by President Obama’s Organizing for America.” According to Miller’s PAC, the unions are “nothing more than a political arm of a dangerous liberal agenda.”

Miller’s PAC says that its endorsed “candidates must support civil liberty and uphold the Constitution,” which in Miller’s case does not apply to the First Amendment’s protection for the freedom of the press or the or the Fourth Amendment’s ban on arrests without warrants.

Pro-Voucher Group Working Against Recall of Union-Busting Wisconsin Republicans

An organization that backs private school vouchers is campaigning against the recall of the eight Republican Wisconsin senators who backed Governor Scott Walker’s anti-union legislation. The so-called American Federation for Children (AFC) is an ardent supporter of the voucher scheme in Milwaukee, the unsuccessful voucher program which Walker and his GOP allies want to export to other parts of the state as part of bolstering the Republicans’ attacks on public schools and teachers.

Listen to their robocall defending GOP Senator Sheila Harsdorf:

At the same time that Walker and the Republicans proposed a massive $834 million cut to public schools, endangering the state’s esteemed public education system, they seek to spend more taxpayer money on a wasteful voucher program that has been unable to improve the education of Milwaukee students. A comprehensive study in 2009 found “no overall statistically significant difference between [voucher school] and [public school] student achievement growth in either math or reading one year after they were carefully matched to each other,” and that fourth graders in the voucher program were actually performing worse than comparable public school students.

While the private school voucher scheme did nothing to improve education, it did funnel taxpayer dollars to religious schools: of the 120 schools receiving vouchers examined in the study, 95 were religious and 7 operate within a religious tradition.

Renowned education scholar Diane Ravitch, once a proponent of the so-called “school choice” movement, told OnMilwaukee.com that the voucher program “has not worked”:

Milwaukee is indeed the nation's laboratory for assessing the value of school choice. The advocates of school choice predicted that academic performance in choice schools would not only soar, but that the competitive pressure would cause achievement in the regular district schools to improve. None of this has happened. The latest studies show that students in voucher schools and in charter schools do not perform any differently from those in the regular public schools.



"Reformers" in Milwaukee have been pursuing strategies that we now know are ineffective. The more time and resources devoted to ineffective strategies, the less attention there is to finding useful improvements. Choice got the support of foundations and business leaders, but it has not worked.

Even the state schools superintendent Tom Evers agreed that “choice schools have proven to be no more effective and in some cases less effective than Milwaukee Public Schools.”

But organizations like the AFC ignore and dismiss the clear findings that the Milwaukee voucher program is a wrongheaded and ill-designed effort to improve education, and instead want to expand the program to more school districts and tear down the public education system. Now, they want to make sure that Republican legislators keep their jobs and continue to support vouchers and bust unions representing public school teachers.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • A judge has blocked the Wisconsin law designed to strip unions of their collective bargaining rights.
  • I am guessing that the polls showing that more than half of Americans support marriage equality will not get a lot of attention from the Religious Right.
  • Guess what?  Phyllis Schlafly doesn't know what she is talking about.
  • Just so know you know, Herman Cain is the butter that rises to the top.
  • Finally, quote of the day from Rep. Randy Forbes: “The most important thing that we want to establish is not whether or not you are a Christian, but we have to stop the tide that suggests that America has lost its right to trust in God. I don't believe it has lost that right. I think it still has it. We just want to make sure that we are there to protect it and defend it.”

Our Country Deserves Better PAC Launches “The Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama”

The right-wing California political action committee which runs the Tea Party Express and is closely tied to Move America Forward is launching yet another group: the Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama. Both the Tea Party Express and Move America Forward are managed by Sal Russo of Our Country Deserves Better PAC, and the New York Times found that the majority of the Tea Party Express’s funds were “paid to Mr. Russo’s political consulting firm or to one controlled by his wife.”

Seeing that running a political front group is a profitable enterprise, Our Country Deserves Better PAC is kicking off The Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama with the “Political Event of the Year,” a fundraiser featuring failed Alaska senate candidate Joe Miller, notorious Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, and Joe Wurzelbacher, better known as Joe the Plumber. Another unsuccessful tea party senate candidate, Sharron Angle, who recently announced her campaign for an open House seat, is also scheduled to attend. Apparently, the fundraiser is celebrating two of 2010’s most radical candidates who went down to embarrassing defeats.

The Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama is now on the air in Wisconsin with an ad bashing “union thugs” and “Obama’s union goons,” sending a “thank you” to Governor Scott Walker and Republican state legislators for passing union-busting legislation.

Rios: Progressives Acting Like Terrorists for Supporting Wisconsin Workers

Sandy Rios, the president of the Culture Campaign and a former head of Concerned Women for America, is repulsed that progressives are protesting Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s union-busting legislation. Since the group Organizing for America, a Democratic National Committee division that is closely tied to Obama’s presidential campaign, supports the peaceful Wisconsin protest movement, Rios claims that it is responsible for death threats made against Walker and his Republican allies. She goes on to compare Obama and organized labor to Hamas and Hezbollah for opposing Walker’s bill that strips workers of their bargaining rights:

Hamas and Hezbollah are famous for gaining power through providing practical help and humanitarian aid to citizens who are later called upon to further their deeper, more dangerous agenda.

Teachers...laborers...and sympathetic farmers beware. Organizing for America, the SEIU, the NEA and many of America's labor unions have more on their mind than accomplishing your concerns...and more in common with the violence and intimidation of Hamas than with protecting "workers."

You will rue the day you fancied you were being mistreated by losing your ability to quibble over benefits. For we will all live in the midst of ruin if they prevail.

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Heritage Action, Family Research Council and Club for Growth have jointly announced "their opposition to any additional short-term continuing resolutions."
  • Glenn Beck's The Blaze, of all places, exposes the dishonesty behind James O'Keef's NPR sting video.
  • Could we really be so lucky as to see a Michele Bachmann presidential campaign?
  • Gary Bauer says that "If, God forbid, one of the conservative legislators is harmed in any way by a protestor, the blame will rest squarely with the unions and indirectly with President Obama for failing to condemn the climate of hate that the left has been encouraging for weeks."
  • Just let me say to John R. Guardiano that if it were Religious Right anti-choice activists protesting in Wisconsin, the entire right-wing echo chamber would be lauding them as heroes and true American patriots.
  • Finally, the quote of the day from Bryan Fischer: "If you want to trace the recognition of gay marriage in the U.S. to its source, Mitt Romney is it, the man who kick-started the push to legalize sexually abnormal relationships at the state level. The man would be a disaster in the White House on social issues."

Right Wing Round-Up

 

Religious Right Activist Doubts That Martin Luther King Jr. and Christians Would Support Wisconsin Protests

A writer for the far-right Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview wonders whether any of the Wisconsin labor protesters are genuine Christians, and also says she is “pretty certain” that Martin Luther King Jr. would have opposed the Wisconsinites protesting Governor Scott Walker’s plans to dismantle the collective bargaining rights of public employees.

Of course, it was King who condemned so-called “right to work” laws because their “purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by which unions have improved wages and working conditions of everyone,” and also told the AFL-CIO that “our needs are identical with labor’s needs — decent wages, fair working conditions, livable housing, old age security, health and welfare measures, conditions in which families can grow, have education for their children and respect in the community. That is why Negroes support labor's demands and fight laws which curb labor.”

But according to Singer, who used his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” as evidence, King would have disapproved of the demonstrators. Singer even believes that any Christian should disapprove of the protesters who will “lead this nation to anarchy”:

Note that King acknowledged that the Birmingham city government had a legitimate right to require groups to have a permit before leading a peaceful demonstration in their city. However, knowing that his organization had been denied a permit as a way of preventing them from showing their opposition to unjust segregation laws, he willingly broke the permit law, yet he showed his "highest respect for law" by his willingness to pay the penalty.

What, by contrast, have some of the teachers in Wisconsin done? They called in sick (a lie), they accepted fake doctor's excuses in an attempt to cover up their actions (another lie), they forced their schools to close (defrauding their employers, cheating the children they claim to care about, and causing working parents to scramble to find day care), and they now expect to be paid for their deceit (estimates of the cost for paying for their "sick days" range from $6 million to $10 million, which means they are willing to steal from the taxpayers who must foot the bill).

In other words, they want to protest what they consider an unjust law (which is certainly their right and duty as American citizens), they broke the law to do it, but they are not willing to pay the price for their civil disobedience. I seriously doubt King -- who knew something about paying the steep cost of his convictions -- would approve for he knew too well that such cowardly, narcissistic and dishonest actions would only lead to anarchy.

As I watched the demonstrations on television, I had to wonder how many of the people in the crowd consider themselves Christians -- and how many of those Christians were participating in committing this act of fraud against the state of Wisconsin.

I can only hope that those who are guilty will have an attack of conscience: that the Spirit will bring to their mind the list of sins which God hates the most (Proverbs 6:16-18) so they can see their fault, repent, confess, and then make restitution to those they have harmed. If they don't, then they should expect to pay a different price -- one determined by a righteous and just God who never overlooks sin.



However, we won't have the wisdom we need from God if we have put ourselves outside His will by committing the sins He most despises, the sins that will only lead this nation to anarchy.

Perkins: Obama Acting like a Middle East Dictator over DOMA

Opponents of marriage equality continue to demand that Republicans put up a huge fight against the Obama administration’s decision to stop defending DOMA, and Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is even threatening by tweet that “if President Obama won’t redirect Holder’s DOJ to aggressively defend U.S. DOMA law, I will move aggressively to cut their budget.”

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council is meeting with congressional Republican leaders to plot strategy, and yesterday appeared on Bill Bennett’s “Morning in America” to discuss why he believes the Department of Justice made the decision that DOMA is unconstitutional.

Perkins initially likened Obama to a Middle East dictator for his actions on DOMA:

Perkins: The fact that the president is taking this on and saying, ‘look I don’t care what the Congress said,’ really it’s a challenge to the Congress and their authority as to whether or not who’s going to make the laws of the land. This would be fitting if it were in the Middle East in one of these dictatorships that are falling right now, but this is the United States of America.

Later, Bennett and Perkins agreed that the DOMA decision was a manufactured, “dangerous and destructive distraction” to stop Americans from thinking about Obama’s supposed failure to handle problems in the Middle East and at home:

Bennett: You’re analysis is great, you know I’m always very candid with you Tony, I’m just so baffled by this. I can’t recall a time when there’s been more news in a week, you know, to just list all the countries in the Middle East takes half a segment. Then look what’s going on in Wisconsin, and Ohio, and Indiana, and this situation in Libya where we’re trying to get American citizens on a ferry out of that country. I just am dumbfounded, why they picked this moment to do this.

Perkins: They can’t handle them.

Bennett: Part of leadership is priorities, to pick this moment to attack marriage? Go ahead, instruct me.

Perkins: Look, I mean if you can’t handle those problems and solve them then why not create a domestic distraction?

Bennett: I mean that’s the height of irresponsibility.

Perkins: But I think that’s exactly what it is.

Bennett: This is a distraction, and a dangerous and destructive distraction.

Perkins: Obama Acting like a Middle East Dictator over DOMA

Opponents of marriage equality continue to demand that Republicans put up a huge fight against the Obama administration’s decision to stop defending DOMA, and Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is even threatening by tweet that “if President Obama won’t redirect Holder’s DOJ to aggressively defend U.S. DOMA law, I will move aggressively to cut their budget.”

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council is meeting with congressional Republican leaders to plot strategy, and yesterday appeared on Bill Bennett’s “Morning in America” to discuss why he believes the Department of Justice made the decision that DOMA is unconstitutional.

Perkins initially likened Obama to a Middle East dictator for his actions on DOMA:

Perkins: The fact that the president is taking this on and saying, ‘look I don’t care what the Congress said,’ really it’s a challenge to the Congress and their authority as to whether or not who’s going to make the laws of the land. This would be fitting if it were in the Middle East in one of these dictatorships that are falling right now, but this is the United States of America.

Later, Bennett and Perkins agreed that the DOMA decision was a manufactured, “dangerous and destructive distraction” to stop Americans from thinking about Obama’s supposed failure to handle problems in the Middle East and at home:

Bennett: You’re analysis is great, you know I’m always very candid with you Tony, I’m just so baffled by this. I can’t recall a time when there’s been more news in a week, you know, to just list all the countries in the Middle East takes half a segment. Then look what’s going on in Wisconsin, and Ohio, and Indiana, and this situation in Libya where we’re trying to get American citizens on a ferry out of that country. I just am dumbfounded, why they picked this moment to do this.

Perkins: They can’t handle them.

Bennett: Part of leadership is priorities, to pick this moment to attack marriage? Go ahead, instruct me.

Perkins: Look, I mean if you can’t handle those problems and solve them then why not create a domestic distraction?

Bennett: I mean that’s the height of irresponsibility.

Perkins: But I think that’s exactly what it is.

Bennett: This is a distraction, and a dangerous and destructive distraction.

DOMA Decision Becomes Test Of GOP Fealty To Religious Right

When news broke that the Obama administration had decided to stop defending DOMA in court because the law in unconstitutional, the Religious Right went nuts and immediately swung into action to get Congress to step in and take up the fight.

But as both the Washington Post and New York Times report, the GOP establishment doesn't appear particularly eager to wade into this battle:

President Obama’s decision to abandon his legal support for the Defense of Marriage Act has generated only mild rebukes from the Republicans hoping to succeed him in 2012, evidence of a shifting political climate in which social issues are being crowded out by economic concerns.

The Justice Department announced on Wednesday that after two years of defending the law — hailed by proponents in 1996 as an cornerstone in the protection of traditional values — the president and his attorney general have concluded it is unconstitutional.

In the hours that followed, Sarah Palin’s Facebook site was silent. Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, was close-mouthed. Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota, released a Web video — on the labor union protests in Wisconsin — and waited a day before issuing a marriage statement saying he was “disappointed.”

Others, like Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, and Haley Barbour, the governor of Mississippi, took their time weighing in, and then did so only in the most tepid terms. “The Justice Department is supposed to defend our laws,” Mr. Barbour said.

Asked if Mitch Daniels, the Republican governor of Indiana and a possible presidential candidate, had commented on the marriage decision, a spokeswoman said that he “hasn’t, and with other things we have going on here right now, he has no plans.”

But if the GOP thinks it can sit this one out, it had better think again because its Religious Right base is demanding that Republican leaders and candidates step up and make this a central issue heading into 2012:

Angered conservatives are vowing to make same-sex marriage a front-burner election issue, nationally and in the states, following the Obama administration's announcement that it will no longer defend the federal law denying recognition to gay married couples.

"The ripple effect nationwide will be to galvanize supporters of marriage," said staff counsel Jim Campbell of Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative legal group.

On the federal level, opponents of same-sex marriage urged Republican leaders in the House of Representatives to intervene on their own to defend the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, against pending court challenges.

"The president has thrown down the gauntlet, challenging Congress," said Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council. "It is incumbent upon the Republican leadership to respond by intervening to defend DOMA, or they will become complicit in the president's neglect of duty."

Conservatives also said they would now expect the eventual 2012 GOP presidential nominee to highlight the marriage debate as part of a challenge to Obama, putting the issue on equal footing with the economy.

...

Perkins, the Family Research Council leader, suggested that House Republicans would risk alienating their conservative base if they did not tackle the marriage issue head-on.

"The president was kind of tossing this cultural grenade into the Republican camp," he said.

"If they ignore this, it becomes an issue that will lead to some very troubling outcomes for Republicans."

DOMA Decision Becomes Test Of GOP Fealty To Religious Right

When news broke that the Obama administration had decided to stop defending DOMA in court because the law in unconstitutional, the Religious Right went nuts and immediately swung into action to get Congress to step in and take up the fight.

But as both the Washington Post and New York Times report, the GOP establishment doesn't appear particularly eager to wade into this battle:

President Obama’s decision to abandon his legal support for the Defense of Marriage Act has generated only mild rebukes from the Republicans hoping to succeed him in 2012, evidence of a shifting political climate in which social issues are being crowded out by economic concerns.

The Justice Department announced on Wednesday that after two years of defending the law — hailed by proponents in 1996 as an cornerstone in the protection of traditional values — the president and his attorney general have concluded it is unconstitutional.

In the hours that followed, Sarah Palin’s Facebook site was silent. Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, was close-mouthed. Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota, released a Web video — on the labor union protests in Wisconsin — and waited a day before issuing a marriage statement saying he was “disappointed.”

Others, like Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, and Haley Barbour, the governor of Mississippi, took their time weighing in, and then did so only in the most tepid terms. “The Justice Department is supposed to defend our laws,” Mr. Barbour said.

Asked if Mitch Daniels, the Republican governor of Indiana and a possible presidential candidate, had commented on the marriage decision, a spokeswoman said that he “hasn’t, and with other things we have going on here right now, he has no plans.”

But if the GOP thinks it can sit this one out, it had better think again because its Religious Right base is demanding that Republican leaders and candidates step up and make this a central issue heading into 2012:

Angered conservatives are vowing to make same-sex marriage a front-burner election issue, nationally and in the states, following the Obama administration's announcement that it will no longer defend the federal law denying recognition to gay married couples.

"The ripple effect nationwide will be to galvanize supporters of marriage," said staff counsel Jim Campbell of Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative legal group.

On the federal level, opponents of same-sex marriage urged Republican leaders in the House of Representatives to intervene on their own to defend the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, against pending court challenges.

"The president has thrown down the gauntlet, challenging Congress," said Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council. "It is incumbent upon the Republican leadership to respond by intervening to defend DOMA, or they will become complicit in the president's neglect of duty."

Conservatives also said they would now expect the eventual 2012 GOP presidential nominee to highlight the marriage debate as part of a challenge to Obama, putting the issue on equal footing with the economy.

...

Perkins, the Family Research Council leader, suggested that House Republicans would risk alienating their conservative base if they did not tackle the marriage issue head-on.

"The president was kind of tossing this cultural grenade into the Republican camp," he said.

"If they ignore this, it becomes an issue that will lead to some very troubling outcomes for Republicans."

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