Wisconsin

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 2/22/11

Michele Bachmann

South Carolina: Slams Obama's foreign policy and says striking workers should be fired in address to GOP activists (Spartanburg Herald Journal, 2/20).

Health: Criticizes Michele Obama for encouraging breast feeding (WaPo, 2/19).

Veterans: Faces resistance to her plan to dramatically cut funding to veterans (The Daily Beast, 2/18).

Haley Barbour

Iowa: Tells state's governor that he will campaign in Iowa if he decides to run (Des Moines Register, 2/21).

Huckabee: Wins praise on race-issues and political strategy from Mike Huckabee (CNN, 2/21).

Race: Silent on proposed car tag honoring founder of Ku Klux Klan (Clarion Ledger, 2/18).

Religious Right: Attending screening of Creationist movie "The Genesis Code" in New Hampshire (Roll Call, 2/17).

Mike Huckabee

2012: Knocks Tea Party's purity tests; claims it will be difficult for GOP nominee to beat Obama (WaPo, 2/21).

Book: Says he will weight "reaction to the message" of his book tour when deciding presidential bid (The Hill, 2/21).

Religious Right: Blasts Islam and a church that hosts Muslim worshipers on Fox News (Mediaite, 2/19).

Reproductive Rights: Tells anti-choice groups that if he runs, he will emphasize his opposition to abortion rights (RWW, 2/15).

Sarah Palin

Book: Leaked manuscript of ex-aide's book shows Palin as vindictive, mistrustful (Anchorage Daily News, 2/19).

Reality TV: Show received $1.2 million in government subsidies (Fairbanks Daily-News Miner, 2/19).

Labor: Chastises labor unions for protesting in Wisconsin (Facebook, 2/18).

Tim Pawlenty

Economy: Describes national debt as a “pile of poo” (Star Tribune, 2/21).

Tea Party: Addresses Tea Party Patriots policy summit in Arizona (WSJ, 2/18).

Mitt Romney

Huckabee: Former rival denies rumor that he will run just to stop Romney (Politico, 2/21).

Economy: Conservative New York Post bashes Romney's record on Wall Street (NYPost, 2/19).

Rick Santorum

New Hampshire: New Hampshire Journal calls Santorum "Mitt Romney with a soul" (PoliticsPA, 2/21).

Religious Right: Speaks to ultraconservative Ave Maria University, calls Tea Party “a blessing to the country” (Naples News, 2/18).

Internet: Discusses notorious “google problem” (Roll Call, 2/16).

Right Wing Round-Up

  • PFAW: House-Passes Devastating Amendment in Latest Attack in the GOP's War on Women.
     
  • Ezra Klein: Unions aren't to blame for Wisconsin's budget.
     
  • Jim Burroway @ Box Turtle Bulletin: KC Vigil To Tell Lou Engle to Stop Exporting Hate to Uganda.
     
  • Steve Benen: Rove to GOP base: It's a trap.
     
  • Ryan J. Reilly @ TPM: Palin Knocks Obama For Promoting Breastfeeding, But Declared Awareness Month As Gov.
     
  • Alvin McEwen: Family Research Council's 'detailed response' to SPLC's charges leave much to be desired.
     
  • County Fair: Beck Modifies Islam And Communism Symbols To Look More Like UN Emblem.
     
  • Igor Volsky @ Wonk Room: Christian Post: Military Chaplians Don’t See DADT Repeal As ‘A Big Deal.’

Right Wing Round-Up

  • PFAW: House-Passes Devastating Amendment in Latest Attack in the GOP's War on Women.
     
  • Ezra Klein: Unions aren't to blame for Wisconsin's budget.
     
  • Jim Burroway @ Box Turtle Bulletin: KC Vigil To Tell Lou Engle to Stop Exporting Hate to Uganda.
     
  • Steve Benen: Rove to GOP base: It's a trap.
     
  • Ryan J. Reilly @ TPM: Palin Knocks Obama For Promoting Breastfeeding, But Declared Awareness Month As Gov.
     
  • Alvin McEwen: Family Research Council's 'detailed response' to SPLC's charges leave much to be desired.
     
  • County Fair: Beck Modifies Islam And Communism Symbols To Look More Like UN Emblem.
     
  • Igor Volsky @ Wonk Room: Christian Post: Military Chaplians Don’t See DADT Repeal As ‘A Big Deal.’

Gary Bauer Outraged By Incivility of Wisconsin Protests

Gary Bauer is outraged - outraged! - by the "left-wing hate" protests in Wisconsin:

But the big story being ignored by big media is the reaction of the unions and their left wing allies to the Governor’s proposal. Opposition is understandable. But what is taking place is a series of street demonstrations with vicious rhetoric, hateful signs and threats of violence. Posters compare the Governor to Hitler, Mussolini and Mubarak. Teachers have walked out of classes and taken their students with them to the demonstrations. “Activists” have gone to the homes of Republican legislators to harass their families and neighbors. Death threats against conservative legislators and the governor are rampant. You can see a sample video here.

So where is the civility police? Not one word of condemnation has come from any major liberal commentator. Clearly the left’s concern about civility is very selective. It is used to savaging the GOP, conservatives, Sarah Palin and talk radio. But anything goes when the incivility is aimed at conservatives.

The tactics on display in Wisconsin are a microcosm of what will happen when Republicans here in Washington, D.C., try to cut the fat and waste from our federal budget. I predict the left will use intimidation and civil disobedience across the country.

Because right-wing activists would never stoop so low as to compare their opponents to Hitler:

Gary Bauer Outraged By Incivility of Wisconsin Protests

Gary Bauer is outraged - outraged! - by the "left-wing hate" protests in Wisconsin:

But the big story being ignored by big media is the reaction of the unions and their left wing allies to the Governor’s proposal. Opposition is understandable. But what is taking place is a series of street demonstrations with vicious rhetoric, hateful signs and threats of violence. Posters compare the Governor to Hitler, Mussolini and Mubarak. Teachers have walked out of classes and taken their students with them to the demonstrations. “Activists” have gone to the homes of Republican legislators to harass their families and neighbors. Death threats against conservative legislators and the governor are rampant. You can see a sample video here.

So where is the civility police? Not one word of condemnation has come from any major liberal commentator. Clearly the left’s concern about civility is very selective. It is used to savaging the GOP, conservatives, Sarah Palin and talk radio. But anything goes when the incivility is aimed at conservatives.

The tactics on display in Wisconsin are a microcosm of what will happen when Republicans here in Washington, D.C., try to cut the fat and waste from our federal budget. I predict the left will use intimidation and civil disobedience across the country.

Because right-wing activists would never stoop so low as to compare their opponents to Hitler:

CPAC: Unions are ‘Enemies’ that are ‘Bleeding America Dry’

At a Saturday CPAC panel attacking public sector unions, the crowd cheered the news that the new Governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, has set out to destroy public sector unions by moving to strip employees of collective bargaining rights.

Steve Malanga, an author affiliated with the right-wing Manhattan Institute, expanded the target list to include union allies -- community organizers and social service advocates who he decried as part of the “big government coalition.”
 
Tom McCabe from the Building Industry Association of Washington warned of the dangerous consequences of taking on unions and complained that unions and their political allies resisted and retaliated when his association began working to elect conservative politicians.
 
Vincent Vernuccio of the Competitive Enterprise Institute was incensed by the fact that public sector unions – which he urged people to call “government sector unions” – were actively engaged in the last election on behalf of their members. About the unions’ spending, he raged, “It’s the taxpayers’ money and you have no right to spend it to bloat state and federal budgets.”
 
Donald Devine seemed to spend most of his time recounting his glory days in the union-bashing Reagan administration. He reveled in the firing of the air traffic controllers, and said of unions and their supporters in business and academia, “We know who the enemy is – what we need in so much of public life is courage.” He urged CPAC attendees to give lawmakers courage to take on unions.
 
In a separate presentation on "Government Gone Wild," panelists complained about government spending and celebrated New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for "conducting a national seminar on how to beat the unions and the liberals."
 

CPAC: Unions are ‘Enemies’ that are ‘Bleeding America Dry’

At a Saturday CPAC panel attacking public sector unions, the crowd cheered the news that the new Governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, has set out to destroy public sector unions by moving to strip employees of collective bargaining rights.

Steve Malanga, an author affiliated with the right-wing Manhattan Institute, expanded the target list to include union allies -- community organizers and social service advocates who he decried as part of the “big government coalition.”
 
Tom McCabe from the Building Industry Association of Washington warned of the dangerous consequences of taking on unions and complained that unions and their political allies resisted and retaliated when his association began working to elect conservative politicians.
 
Vincent Vernuccio of the Competitive Enterprise Institute was incensed by the fact that public sector unions – which he urged people to call “government sector unions” – were actively engaged in the last election on behalf of their members. About the unions’ spending, he raged, “It’s the taxpayers’ money and you have no right to spend it to bloat state and federal budgets.”
 
Donald Devine seemed to spend most of his time recounting his glory days in the union-bashing Reagan administration. He reveled in the firing of the air traffic controllers, and said of unions and their supporters in business and academia, “We know who the enemy is – what we need in so much of public life is courage.” He urged CPAC attendees to give lawmakers courage to take on unions.
 
In a separate presentation on "Government Gone Wild," panelists complained about government spending and celebrated New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for "conducting a national seminar on how to beat the unions and the liberals."
 

Rand Paul: "My Goal Is To Make DeMint Look Like a Moderate"

During the last election, it seemed that just about every Republican running for office was eager to wrap themselves in the mantle of the Tea Party ... but now that the election is over, it doesn't seem that members of Congress are particularly eager to keep on carrying it:

Although dozens of Republicans sailed into office with the help of the tea-party movement last year, finding a self-identified "Tea Party Republican" on Capitol Hill is harder than you'd think.

The first meeting of the Senate Tea Party Caucus on Thursday attracted just four senators - out of a possible 47 GOP members - willing to describe themselves as members. The event was as notable for who wasn't there than who was.

• Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., once a tea-party darling, has for now declined to join the caucus, whose first meeting was organized by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.

• Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican whose campaign sprang from the small-government movement, has passed for now.

• Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., showed up to address the group of activists Thursday, but then hustled out of the room, ignoring reporters' questions about whether he was in or out.

But those who did show up at the meeting seem eager to demonstrate the bona fides as Tea Party activists pressed Sen. Jim DeMint to cut at least $1.4 trillion in spending per year while Rand Paul burnished his reputation for being one of he most extreme members of the Senate:

[Sen. Rand] Paul's approach - bold, specific and unwaveringly conservative - is exactly what the most engaged activists of the tea party have been seeking. One of the biggest applause lines at Thursday's meeting came when staunch conservative Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., quoted Paul as saying, "My goal is to make DeMint look like a moderate."

Rand Paul: "My Goal Is To Make DeMint Look Like a Moderate"

During the last election, it seemed that just about every Republican running for office was eager to wrap themselves in the mantle of the Tea Party ... but now that the election is over, it doesn't seem that members of Congress are particularly eager to keep on carrying it:

Although dozens of Republicans sailed into office with the help of the tea-party movement last year, finding a self-identified "Tea Party Republican" on Capitol Hill is harder than you'd think.

The first meeting of the Senate Tea Party Caucus on Thursday attracted just four senators - out of a possible 47 GOP members - willing to describe themselves as members. The event was as notable for who wasn't there than who was.

• Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., once a tea-party darling, has for now declined to join the caucus, whose first meeting was organized by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.

• Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican whose campaign sprang from the small-government movement, has passed for now.

• Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., showed up to address the group of activists Thursday, but then hustled out of the room, ignoring reporters' questions about whether he was in or out.

But those who did show up at the meeting seem eager to demonstrate the bona fides as Tea Party activists pressed Sen. Jim DeMint to cut at least $1.4 trillion in spending per year while Rand Paul burnished his reputation for being one of he most extreme members of the Senate:

[Sen. Rand] Paul's approach - bold, specific and unwaveringly conservative - is exactly what the most engaged activists of the tea party have been seeking. One of the biggest applause lines at Thursday's meeting came when staunch conservative Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., quoted Paul as saying, "My goal is to make DeMint look like a moderate."

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 1/25/11

Michele Bachmann

SOTU: Plans to give her own State of the Union Response to a Tea Party Express rally, even though Wisconsin Rep. Jim Ryan is the official Republican speaker (Star Tribune, 1/24).

History: Maintains that skin color didn’t matter in early America at an Iowans for Tax Reform event (TPM, 1/24).

Religious Right: Addressed the “March for Life” Rose Dinner (Politico, 1/24).

Iowa: “Encouraged” by reception at Iowa events (Des Moines Register, 1/22).

Religious Right: Set to attend a meeting of Iowa’s The Family Leader, led by Bob Vander Plaats (RWW, 1/20).

Newt Gingrich

2012: Considering a presidential bid with a campaign based in Georgia (AJC, 1/21).

Religious Right: Set to attend a meeting of Iowa’s The Family Leader, led by Bob Vander Plaats (RWW, 1/20).

Rudy Giuliani

2012: Floats potential presidential bid despite 2008 defeat (TPM, 1/25).

Palin: Claims that a Palin candidacy would increase his chance of running (WSJ, 1/21).

Mike Huckabee

Debates: Won’t attend early debates in order to preserve his summer deadline (Politico, 1/24).

2012: Must decide whether to give up media “mini-empire” for a presidential run (LA Times, 1/21).

Sarah Palin

Texas: Spoke about how Alaska and Texas are both “good beacons of freedom” at a fundraiser for the Lubbock Christian School (Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, 1/25).

Media: Dana Milbank proposes a month-long media boycott of covering Palin (WaPo, 1/21).

Tim Pawlenty

Book: Releases video advertisement promoting new book, Courage to Stand (TPM, 1/24).

Religious Right: Set to attend a meeting of Iowa’s The Family Leader, led by Bob Vander Plaats (RWW, 1/18).

Mike Pence

Religious Right: Addressed the “March for Life” in Washington, DC (Politico, 1/24).

GOP: May be able to unite economic and social conservatives better than Mike Huckabee (Religion Dispatches, 1/21).

South Carolina: Group of South Carolina state legislators launches a “Draft Pence” effort (RWW, 1/20).

Mitt Romney

Poll: Leads all other rivals in national poll of Republican voters with 24% (Rasmussen Reports, 1/24).

New Hampshire: Wins New Hampshire GOP straw poll (Christian Science Monitor, 1/22).

Health Care: Rove says Romney must respond to criticisms about his health care reform law in Massachusetts (Political Wire, 1/20).

Rick Santorum

Reproductive Rights: Defends criticism of Obama’s views on choice in an Op-Ed for the National Review (NRO, 1/24).

Iowa: Set to attend a meeting of Iowa’s The Family Leader, led by Bob Vander Plaats (RWW, 1/20).

Religious Right: Uses Obama’s race to attack his stance on abortion-rights, slams gay adoption (RWW, 1/19).

John Thune

Tea Party: May have trouble with Tea Party voters over his support for ethanol industry subsidies (The Argus Leader, 1/23).

New Hampshire: Thune fundraisers “making calls in New Hampshire on Thune’s behalf” (The Argus Leader, 1/21).

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 1/25/11

Michele Bachmann

SOTU: Plans to give her own State of the Union Response to a Tea Party Express rally, even though Wisconsin Rep. Jim Ryan is the official Republican speaker (Star Tribune, 1/24).

History: Maintains that skin color didn’t matter in early America at an Iowans for Tax Reform event (TPM, 1/24).

Religious Right: Addressed the “March for Life” Rose Dinner (Politico, 1/24).

Iowa: “Encouraged” by reception at Iowa events (Des Moines Register, 1/22).

Religious Right: Set to attend a meeting of Iowa’s The Family Leader, led by Bob Vander Plaats (RWW, 1/20).

Newt Gingrich

2012: Considering a presidential bid with a campaign based in Georgia (AJC, 1/21).

Religious Right: Set to attend a meeting of Iowa’s The Family Leader, led by Bob Vander Plaats (RWW, 1/20).

Rudy Giuliani

2012: Floats potential presidential bid despite 2008 defeat (TPM, 1/25).

Palin: Claims that a Palin candidacy would increase his chance of running (WSJ, 1/21).

Mike Huckabee

Debates: Won’t attend early debates in order to preserve his summer deadline (Politico, 1/24).

2012: Must decide whether to give up media “mini-empire” for a presidential run (LA Times, 1/21).

Sarah Palin

Texas: Spoke about how Alaska and Texas are both “good beacons of freedom” at a fundraiser for the Lubbock Christian School (Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, 1/25).

Media: Dana Milbank proposes a month-long media boycott of covering Palin (WaPo, 1/21).

Tim Pawlenty

Book: Releases video advertisement promoting new book, Courage to Stand (TPM, 1/24).

Religious Right: Set to attend a meeting of Iowa’s The Family Leader, led by Bob Vander Plaats (RWW, 1/18).

Mike Pence

Religious Right: Addressed the “March for Life” in Washington, DC (Politico, 1/24).

GOP: May be able to unite economic and social conservatives better than Mike Huckabee (Religion Dispatches, 1/21).

South Carolina: Group of South Carolina state legislators launches a “Draft Pence” effort (RWW, 1/20).

Mitt Romney

Poll: Leads all other rivals in national poll of Republican voters with 24% (Rasmussen Reports, 1/24).

New Hampshire: Wins New Hampshire GOP straw poll (Christian Science Monitor, 1/22).

Health Care: Rove says Romney must respond to criticisms about his health care reform law in Massachusetts (Political Wire, 1/20).

Rick Santorum

Reproductive Rights: Defends criticism of Obama’s views on choice in an Op-Ed for the National Review (NRO, 1/24).

Iowa: Set to attend a meeting of Iowa’s The Family Leader, led by Bob Vander Plaats (RWW, 1/20).

Religious Right: Uses Obama’s race to attack his stance on abortion-rights, slams gay adoption (RWW, 1/19).

John Thune

Tea Party: May have trouble with Tea Party voters over his support for ethanol industry subsidies (The Argus Leader, 1/23).

New Hampshire: Thune fundraisers “making calls in New Hampshire on Thune’s behalf” (The Argus Leader, 1/21).

Land Resigns From "Mosque Discrimination" Coalition After Being Accused of Promoting Islam

Richard Land has been among the most vocal Religious Right opponents of the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque." Apparently concerned that his opposition was blatantly hypocritical, Land eventually signed on to the Anti-Defamation League's "Interfaith Coalition on Mosques" stating that while he opposed the location of the "Ground Zero Mosque" he believed it was important to "help preserve the First Amendment for all Americans" by ensuring that all people "have the right to the free exercise of our faith without the interference of the government."

If Land's stance of vociferously opposing the construction of a mosque near Ground Zero while supporting the construction of mosques places like California, Wisconsin, and Tennessee seemed rather confusing to you, you were not alone - it was apparently confusing to Southern Baptists as well, and their opposition to Land's "promotion" of Islam has caused him to resign from the ADL's coalition:

Richard Land announced January 21 he had listened to Southern Baptists and as a result was withdrawing his name from a diverse coalition established to monitor “mosque discrimination” in the U.S.

"While many Southern Baptists share my deep commitment to religious freedom and the right of Muslims to have places of worship, they also feel that a Southern Baptist denominational leader filing suit to allow individual mosques to be built is 'a bridge too far,'" wrote Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, in a letter to the Anti-Defamation League, which established the coalition

...

Admitting he was surprised at some of the reaction from fellow Southern Baptists, he explained most of the negative responses at a minimum affirmed "everyone’s right to worship," but drew the line at "denominational leaders filing suit in court to protect those rights when Muslims are the aggrieved party."

Land said his involvement with the interfaith coalition was perceived by many as "crossing the line from defense of religious freedom to advocacy of, or promotion of, Islam itself."

Land Resigns From "Mosque Discrimination" Coalition After Being Accused of Promoting Islam

Richard Land has been among the most vocal Religious Right opponents of the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque." Apparently concerned that his opposition was blatantly hypocritical, Land eventually signed on to the Anti-Defamation League's "Interfaith Coalition on Mosques" stating that while he opposed the location of the "Ground Zero Mosque" he believed it was important to "help preserve the First Amendment for all Americans" by ensuring that all people "have the right to the free exercise of our faith without the interference of the government."

If Land's stance of vociferously opposing the construction of a mosque near Ground Zero while supporting the construction of mosques places like California, Wisconsin, and Tennessee seemed rather confusing to you, you were not alone - it was apparently confusing to Southern Baptists as well, and their opposition to Land's "promotion" of Islam has caused him to resign from the ADL's coalition:

Richard Land announced January 21 he had listened to Southern Baptists and as a result was withdrawing his name from a diverse coalition established to monitor “mosque discrimination” in the U.S.

"While many Southern Baptists share my deep commitment to religious freedom and the right of Muslims to have places of worship, they also feel that a Southern Baptist denominational leader filing suit to allow individual mosques to be built is 'a bridge too far,'" wrote Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, in a letter to the Anti-Defamation League, which established the coalition

...

Admitting he was surprised at some of the reaction from fellow Southern Baptists, he explained most of the negative responses at a minimum affirmed "everyone’s right to worship," but drew the line at "denominational leaders filing suit in court to protect those rights when Muslims are the aggrieved party."

Land said his involvement with the interfaith coalition was perceived by many as "crossing the line from defense of religious freedom to advocacy of, or promotion of, Islam itself."

Personhood Movement Announces 50-State Strategy

The anti-choice movement to use state ballot initiatives to give fetuses and embryos legal rights has announced a nationwide petition drive to bring their radical measure to all fifty states. Opponents of reproductive rights hope to use “personhood amendments” to criminalize abortion, stem-cell research, and common forms of birth control by giving zygotes constitutional protections. While the amendment failed miserably at the polls in Colorado, Personhood USA hopes to bring personhood amendments to states such as Florida, Mississippi, Montana, and Wisconsin, among others.

Personhood activists have their hopes set on Mississippi, where the amendment will be voted on in November. Personhood Mississippi is led by Les Riley, a member of an extreme separatist organization called Christian Exodus, and Riley’s campaign has received the support of notable Republicans like Congressman Alan Nunnelee and Lt. Governor and gubernatorial candidate Phil Bryant, and groups such as the American Family Association and Liberty Counsel.

Now, Personhood USA has launched petition drives in every single state. According to the group, they already have gathered over 900,000 signatures:

"Now in every state in America, prolife volunteers are engaging their communities with the truth of personhood, and are working to change the laws as citizens or lobbying the lawmakers in their state to do their job and protect every person by love and by law, " stated Keith Mason, cofounder of Personhood USA. "We are thrilled to have met our goal to be in all 50 states in just two years, and we are so thankful to be closing in on 1 million signatures defending the personhood of the preborn child."



"Personhood USA functions as a support system, giving as little or as much help as needed, and we have truly been blessed by Jesus Christ as He is accomplishing so much through us in just the past two years. We can't wait to see what He does, in all 50 states, in 2011," added Cal Zastrow, cofounder of Personhood USA. "We will keep working hard for the rights of preborn children, knowing that this is the best chance we've ever had to end abortion in America."

Watch Les Riley explain to the AFA’s Director of Issue Analysis Bryan Fischer back in October about the Personhood movement’s plan to overturn abortion rights:

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Groups Play Games with the Courts, Try to Block Judicial Nominees

As GOP delay-tactics in the US Senate continue to cause and aggravate judicial emergencies in the nation’s courtrooms, right wing activists demand that Senate Republicans persist in preventing members from voting to confirm Obama’s judicial nominees, even those who won significant bipartisan support. Even former Republican judges have condemned Republican games in the Senate as the number of judicial vacancies and emergencies rapidly grow.

But right wing activists are calling on the Senate GOP to stand firm and further weaken the judicial system. In the effort to paint President Obama as the second coming of who else but Jimmy Carter, Eagle Forum’s Phyllis Schlafly blasted Obama’s purportedly “radical” nominees:

One of the greatest risks of the current lame-duck Congress is the possibility of Senate confirmation of President Obama's radical appointments to federal courts, boards and agencies.

Nominees hoping for confirmation include the radical redistributionist Goodwin Liu, who is seeking a spot on the Ninth Circuit; Louis Butler Jr., who was removed from the Wisconsin Supreme Court by the voters in 2008, and Chai Feldblum, an advocate of same-sex marriage and polygamy who is now enjoying a recess appointment to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Appointees to federal circuit and district courts can be almost as important as Supreme Court justices because the Supreme Court takes only about 1% of the cases that seek to reach the high court. Lower federal court judges have been making final rulings on dozens of controversial issues that should be legislative decisions, including marriage, parents' rights in public schools and immigration.

Some have lamented that Jimmy Carter, who served only one term as president, didn't get a chance to make any Supreme Court appointments. But don't cry for Carter — he had plenty of influence on the judiciary.



The historic election of 2010 delivered a clear "shellacking" to President Obama's policies, one of which was his choice of federal judges, including the extremely left-wing Elena Kagan, now on the Supreme Court. The Senate should refuse to confirm any of Obama's judicial or agency nominees in the lame-duck session.

Of course, Goodwin Liu is seen as one of the country’s top legal and constitutional scholars; Louis Butler did lose his 2008 race, but only after a vicious smear-campaign by corporate interest groups, and Chai Feldblum is a prominent law professor and disability-rights activist.

Rick Manning of the pro-corporate Astroturf group Americans for Limited Government is also calling on the Senate to reject Liu, by propagating the false charge that Liu believes health care is a constitutional right.

His views that health and welfare issues are constitutional rights are outside-the-mainstream, pitting those who believe in limited government power against those who would give unfettered power to the federal government.

Liu’s extremism is particularly disturbing because the court system is likely to be confronted by a variety of cases related to health care. Liu’s belief that health care is a right would put him firmly in the position of supporting an even broader expansion of the ObamaCare legislation to eliminate the private provision of health care services.

But as the Alliance for Justice points out, Liu in his legal writings made almost the opposite case about welfare rights such as health care:

[Liu] has argued for a model of judicial restraint, concluding that courts should not interpret the Constitution to create affirmative welfare rights, whether to education, health care, or minimal levels of subsistence. Liu has explained that “such rights cannot be reasoned into existence by courts on their own” and has explained that his understanding of the judicial role “does not license courts to declare rights to entirely new benefits or programs not yet in existence.”

Richard Painter, a former lawyer for the Bush White House, made clear in the Los Angeles times what activists like Phyllis Schlafly and Rick Manning are really up to. He argued that right wing groups are playing political games with the judiciary in their opposition to a renowned scholar like Liu:

A noisy argument has persisted for weeks in the Senate, on blog sites and in newspaper columns over President Obama's nomination of Liu to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. This political spat over a single appellate judge makes no sense if one looks at Liu's academic writings and speeches, which reflect a moderate outlook. Indeed, much of this may have nothing to do with Liu but rather with politicians and interest groups jostling for position in the impending battle over the president's next nominee to the Supreme Court.

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Round-Up

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 10/19/10

Haley Barbour

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

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

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

Mitch Daniels

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

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

Newt Gingrich

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

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

Mike Huckabee

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

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

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

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

Mitt Romney

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

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

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

Sarah Palin

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

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

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

George Pataki

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

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

Tim Pawlenty

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

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

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

Rick Santorum

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

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

Syndicate content