abortion rights

FRC: We'd Rather Lose The Seat Then See a Liberal Republican Win

Yesterday, David Weigel had a good piece on the Republican "civil war" unfolding in New York over the race for the open Congressional seat between Doug Hoffman, the choice of the right-wing base, and Dede Scozzafava, who is being backed by the RNC:

In July, Hoffman bid to become the Republican Party’s nominee for a special election in New York’s 23rd Congressional District. The nominee would be chosen by party leaders in the district’s 11 counties; few people were surprised when they chose Deirdre “Dede” Scozzafava, a five-term assemblywoman who’d voted with Democrats on abortion and labor issues, factors that could help the party hold a historically conservative district that had voted for the Obama-Biden ticket last year. Hoffman, a 59-year-old accountant making his first run for office, forged ahead and grabbed the nomination of the venerable Conservative Party.

Since then, Hoffman’s campaign has become this election cycle’s great conservative crusade. On Sept. 5, the candidate was endorsed by 9-12 Candidates, an offshoot of Glenn Beck’s 9-12 Project, and a reflection of the support he was getting on conservative blogs. On Sept. 28, both Fred Thompson and the Club for Growth put their weight behind Hoffman, with the Club putting $250,000 into TV ads attacking Scozzafava and Democratic candidate Bill Owens. Those endorsements, coupled with reports that Scozzafava was struggling, brought the American Conservative Union and the anti-abortion rights group Susan B. Anthony List into the fray to back Hoffman. On Monday afternoon, FreedomWorks chairman Dick Armey announced that he’d campaign for Hoffman, putting the Tea Party movement’s seal of approval on the upstart campaign.

Two weeks out from the election, the battle in upstate New York is being portrayed in the press as a “civil war” between Republican factions. That might understate how much support for Hoffman, and how little for Scozzafava, there is in the conservative movement. As far as the roiling Republican base is concerned, support for Hoffman has become a test of whether a conservative leader can be trusted. Conservative media, from magazines to blogs, are using the low-stakes special election to test their ability to drive news cycles and raise money.

The Family Research Council is particularly incensed at the RNC's sell-out in this race, saying that what the GOP needs is "good women like Marsha Blackburn and Michele Bachmann in Congress" instead of more "pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, liberal candidate who fails to reflect the values the Republican Party."

In fact, so outraged is FRC that they are now declaring that their goal is to "bring down" Scozzafava rather than see a liberal Republican elected:

"This is ridiculous -- putting a liberal up like that and expecting everybody [in the GOP] to fall in line. It's just not going to happen," says [Connie Mackey, president of the Family Research Council Action Political Action Committee]. "And if we can't elect Doug Hoffman, frankly we do hope that we at least bring down the Republican candidate."

The Continuing Right Wing Attacks On Obama's Faith

For the last several years, every time a Religious Right leader or conservative politician or nominee was criticized for their positions or views, the immediate response from the Right was to accuse the critics of attacking that person's faith (see, for example, the Family Research Council's first "Justice Sunday" event.) And these sorts of direct attacks on someone's faith, according to the Religious Right, amounted to a personal affront that was beyond the pale of accepted political discourse.

But then Barack Obama ran for president and suddenly that standard went completely out the window.

So now we have Gary Bauer writing entire op-eds for Politico directly criticizing President Obama's use and interpretation of Scripture:

Obama has referenced the Sermon on the Mount in support of special rights for homosexuals, despite the Scriptures’ clear support of marriage between one man and one woman and its admonitions to celebrate sex inside the married relationship only.

While the Bible details that human beings are fearfully and wonderfully made, and that life is a gift from God, Obama uses Scripture to support a mentality in support of abortion rights. Explaining his decision to lift an executive ban on federal funding of embryo-destructive stem cell research, Obama said, “As a person of faith, I believe we are called to care for each other and work to ease human suffering. I believe we have been given the capacity and will to pursue this research — and the humanity and conscience to do so responsibly.”

At the University of Notre Dame, he told graduates, “Maybe we won’t agree on abortion, but we can still agree that this is a heart-wrenching decision for any woman to make, with both moral and spiritual dimensions.”

Obama has played the faith card during the health care debate, too. When prospects for passing Obamacare started to go south, Obama framed the debate as “an ethical and moral obligation.” “We are God’s partners in matters of life and death,” he told rabbis during a conference call to sell his reform proposals.

Life and death issues became the spark igniting the public backlash against Obama’s plans. They arose from concerns over possible death sentences for the ill and elderly should care be rationed and from concerns about tax-payer funded abortions, to name a few. Obama wrapped himself in Scripture to combat opposition to his plans. At one point, he alleged that Obamacare opponents were not just mistaken but also immoral and “bearing false witness” for worrying about taxpayer funding of abortion under his plan.

Bauer says that he believes that "elected officials should talk about faith" ... but apparently that doesn't apply to cases where the use of Scripture does not reinforce Bauer's right-wing interpretation of it:

I don’t mean to question the sincerity of Obama’s faith. This is a discussion of language. Increasingly, it seems as though the president’s deepest belief is in his own ability to disregard his critics’ moral objections by touting abstract religious principles and embracing empty religious symbolism. Obama seems to think that Americans will accept his out-of-the-mainstream views on moral issues as long as he claims those views arise in part from his religious beliefs.

Of course, if someone were to have written that "Bauer seems to think that Americans will accept his out-of-the-mainstream views on moral issues as long as he claims those views arise in part from his religious beliefs," he and his allies in the Religious Right would have wasted no time in proclaiming the remark to be an attack on Bauer's "deeply held beliefs" and held it up as evidence of anti-Christian bigotry.

Franks: I Meant Obama Was An Enemy of "Unborn Humanity"

To follow-up on our last post about Rep. Trent Franks calling President Obama an "enemy of humanity," a spokesperson for his office attempts to clarify:

Trent Franks of Arizona said in a speech to conservatives Saturday in St. Louis that given Obama's decision to fund international family planning organizations that support legal abortion, "we shouldn't be shocked that he does all these other insane things."

"A president that has lost his way that badly, that has no ability to see the image of God in these little fellow human beings, if he can't do that right, then he has no place in any station of government and we need to realize that he is an enemy of humanity," Franks said to the "How to Take Back America" conference.

Bethany Haley, spokeswoman for Franks, said the congressman was referring to "unborn humanity" and should have clarified his statement. She also said that Franks meant to say that Obama's abortion-related policies have no place in government, rather than that Obama has no place in government.

Haley said she spoke to Franks early Tuesday before he boarded a plane from Arizona to Washington.

"He was just referring to the way President Obama has set himself up as the most pro-abortion president in America's history," Haley said. She ticked off a list of the president's policies and appointments she said were favorable to abortion rights.

"It's a trend — it's not just one or two things. Ever since his days in the Illinois Senate, President Obama has been radical on the issue of abortion," Haley said.

Glad they cleared that up.

It's An Honor Just To Be Nominated

Catholic San Francisco reviews Bill Donohue's latest book, "Secular Sabotage: How Liberals Are Destroying Religion and Culture in America" and I have to say there is a sense of pride in finding out that we rank among the groups and people that he hates:

About saboteurs, for whom he uses “extremists,” “radicals” and “nihilists” as synonyms, Donohue writes, “The goal is not reform: it is an attempt to gut core beliefs and practices. And to a disturbing extent, the secularists have succeeded in turning things upside down and inside out.”

Among those he views as “the radical secular activists out to disable America” are the American Civil Liberties Union, Anti-Defamation League, People for the American Way, National Abortion Rights Defense League, Catholics for Choice and the Democratic Party. Lawyers and Hollywood are named, too. Regarding the latter, he uses films such as “Priest,” “Dogma,” “The Golden Compass” and “The Da Vinci Code,” and refers to the short-lived 1997 TV show “Nothing Sacred.” That chapter also includes an examination of the controversy that surrounded “The Passion of the Christ.”

Operation Rescue: Going Out of Business?

It looks like the battle between Randall Terry and Troy Newman over who owns the rights to the name "Operation Rescue" just might be a battle over a worthless commodity as Newman is warning that the organization is about to go out of business

Operation Rescue has told its supporters it is facing a "major financial crisis" and is very close to shutting down unless emergency help arrives soon.

Troy Newman, the anti-abortion group's president, blamed the economic downturn for its money woes in a desperate plea e-mailed Monday night to donors. But the Wichita-based organization has also been under attack from both fringe anti-abortion militants and abortion rights supporters since the May 31 shooting death of Dr. George Tiller.

"We're now so broke (as the saying goes), we can't even pay attention," Newman wrote.

Newman told The Associated Press in an interview after the mailing that the group has only four paid employees left, compared to nine a year ago. The group typically has an annual budget of $600,000, but donations this year have been down 30 to 40 percent. Newman, who earns $60,000 annually, said he hasn't been paid in two months.

...

Operation Rescue's fundraising letter hinted at a secret project it hoped to launch in the next 30 days that would be a "new phase in the pro-life fight." But while the group's fundraising efforts are often tied to some new anti-abortion activity, its latest letter had an unprecedented tone of desperation.

"Seriously. We struggle to pay every bill," Newman wrote supporters. "I had to borrow money just to send you this letter, in hopes that you will come to our rescue so that we can continue to rescue babies."

Grasping at the Thinnest of Thin Air

It seems that ever since Sonia Sotomayor's nomination, every facet of the right-wing movement has tried to make their mark on the nominee. Everyone from the Judicial Confirmation Network to the Family Research Council have made their views known. However, for a single issue organization opposing abortion rights, this nomination might have made them feel like they would be on the sidelines, since Judge Sotomayor has an almost non-existent record on abortion.

But that hasn't stopped Operation Rescue from pulling out all the stops. And then some. 

Today, in a press release, Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue, brings new meaning to the term "grasping at thin air." The release, titled "Senators Considering Sotomayor Should Take Notice of Delays in Florida Born-Alive Baby Killing Case", outlines the criminal prosecution of an abortion clinic worker from Florida.

The criminal trial of Belkis Gonzalez, who was charged with two felony counts related to the death of a baby born alive during a botched abortion in Hialeah, Florida, in 2006, has been delayed. Just two days before the scheduled July 9th trial date, a new prosecutor, Gail Levine, was assigned to the case, prompting Judge John Thornton to reschedule the trial to begin on October 9, 2009 at 9:00 AM.

Not once does the release mention Sotomayor, until the final paragraph in which Newman goes above and beyond in trying to tie together the prosecution of a Florida man and Judge Sotomayor:

"This is what happens when prosecutors and even judges allow their personal feelings about abortion to interfere with justice. This case should be a lesson to Senators who are considering the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. Sotomayor has shown a similar inclination to allow her personal beliefs to trump the rule of law. That kind of partiality only leads to injustice."

In no way is Sotomayor linked to tthe prosecution of Gonzalez nor does the headline in any way accurately reflect the content of the press release. But that hasn't stopped Newman and Operation Rescue from trying to brand Sotomayor in a way that fits their organization's agenda.

More Right Wing Rallies Cropping Up

Earlier this week, I wrote about a series of upcoming "Winning Matters" conferences, a project of the Family Foundation of Virginia and its affiliated Pastors For Family Values, featuring Harry Jackson, Jonathan Falwell, Mat Staver, and Rick Scarborough designed to activate "values voters" in Virginia ahead of the state's off-year elections.

Today we learned that there is another, apparently somewhat affiliated, series of similar rallies taking place featuring many of these same people, but operating under the name Hope for America, which is a project of Jody Hice's Let Freedom Ring Ministries. Several rallies are scheduled for the coming weeks, mostly in Virginia, and likewise featuring Staver, Scarborough, Falwell, and even Zell Miller.

Last night one was held in Roanoke and, judging by the press coverage, it was pretty much what you'd expect for a rally organized by right-wing groups and featuring right-wing speakers like Staver and Scarborough:

The war for the soul and the government of America needs more Christian soldiers.

That was the message delivered Thursday night to about 100 attendees of the "Hope for America Rally" at Penn Forest Worship Center in Southwest Roanoke County.

"America is on the verge of destruction," the Rev. Rick Scarborough told the crowd in a booming Baptist sermon.

"You, beloved, are the hope," he said.

Scarborough is a well-known Texas minister and conservative political activist with ties to the late Rev. Jerry Falwell and several key Republican lawmakers.

In 1992, the firebrand evangelist waged a high-profile battle over sex education in Texas schools and has written several books arguing against the separation of church and state.

Mathew Staver, dean of the Liberty University School of Law, also spoke.

Sponsored by Atlanta, Ga.-based Let Freedom Ring, Thursday's rally was the first of several that are planned across Virginia. Others have been held in or are scheduled to be held in North Carolina and Georgia. Scarborough is expected to speak at many of them.

Let Freedom Ring is affiliated with Jody Hice, a pastor and conservative Christian radio personality in Atlanta and an adherent to the "Christian worldview."

Let Freedom Ring preaches that America was founded by Christian leaders and that the country's freedoms are based on biblical precepts. In its view secular values, such as the separation of church and state, abortion rights, radical feminism and gay rights, have spurred a moral and political decline that Christians must battle, not just in the pews, but in the political sphere.

...

Aaron Evans, a former Fox News radio producer from Martinsville, organized the Roanoke rally with help from The Family Foundation and other conservative Christian groups.

Scarborough preached to the crowd about the dangers of loosening sexual mores. He warned that gay rights legislation could be used to silence pastors who preach that homosexuality is a sin.

"In my lifetime, we have gone from 'Ozzie and Harriet' and 'Leave it to Beaver' ... to 'Sex in the City' and 'Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.'

"We've gone from spin the bottle to hooking up in the eighth grade," he said.

But, Scarborugh preached, "this nation can be saved if pastors would just understand how much God wants to save it."

This reminds me a lot of the "70 Weeks to Save America" crusade Scarborugh tried to launch a few years back that never amounted to much after his key partner, Alan Keyes, decided to run for president and Vision America ran into financial trouble. 

Apparently, this time around, Scarborough has realized that if he wants this done right, he should let somebody else organize it.

AU has more on this rally.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • The Family Research Council has announced that Tony Perkins, Harry Jackson, Maggie Gallagher, and others would be gathering for an anti-marriage rally tomorrow in Albany, NY.
  • Sen. David Vitter says that his prospects of being re-elected in 2010 are "very good," despite the revelations that he had been involved with a prostitution ring.
  • The Christian Defense Coalition erected a 16 foot cross, the Star of David and a sacred symbol for the name of Jesus in front of the White House on Sunday, June 7 because "the group is troubled and finds hypocritical that President Obama would highlight religious liberty and freedom at his recent speech in Cairo, yet here in America he chooses to cover up Christian religious symbols and trample on religious liberty."
  • Only in Texas is Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, a woman with a "near-perfect scores from anti-tax groups and the gun-rights lobby, and an 89.4 lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union [while] NARAL Pro-Choice America, which advocates abortion rights, has given her a zero the past four years, the same score she gets from gay-rights advocates," considered insufficiently conservative.
  • In its coverage of George Tiller's funeral, the Christian Post notes that the service was being protested by Westboro Baptist Church, which it calls "a virulent cult that has terrorized funerals across the nation."
  • Finally, David Brody has posted a CBN segment on the Reclaiming God in America Conference, featuring quotes from Mike Huckabee saying that the only reason Prop. 8 passed was because of prayer and Newt Gingrich saying he was "compelled to get back into the arena to take on the secular fanatics who are trying to destroy our relationship with God."

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Crooks and Liars reports that former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline sent out a fund-raiser that invokes physician George Tiller and Planned Parenthood in seeking contributions for a campaign against abortion rights.
  • Brian Beutler points out that the National Review's cover caricature of Sonia Sotomayor make her appear "inexplicably Asian."
  • Alex Koppelman says gay marriage foes running out of arguments.
  • Good As You, which has been doggedly following Cornerstone Policy Research's claims that it sampled every household in New Hampshire for its poll showing that 64% of residents oppose gay marriage, points out that its sample size was about 400,000 households less than it claimed.
  • Steve Benen calls Sen. James Inhofe a "walking, talking disgrace."
  • Finally, the Minnesota Independent catches Norm Coleman saying the key for Republican success is to be able to compete “in the ethernet."

Susan B. Anthony List: What's In a Name?

After losing her re-election bid last November, right-wing former Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave quickly teamed up with the Susan B. Anthony List to launch a new anti-choice project called "Votes Have Consequences" that vowed to target pro-choice politicians for defeat:

Former Rep. Marilyn Musgrave will lead a new antiabortion initiative dubbed “Votes Have Consequences” that will target members of Congress in the 2010 election cycle who support abortion rights.

In a case of supreme irony, Musgrave intends to rip a page from the hardball playbook used by the Defenders of Wildlife. The environmental group was credited with helping to defeat the three-term Republican congresswoman with intense local organizing and a $1.6 million barrage of TV attack ads — a strategy that was roundly criticized by Republicans.

Musgrave and her new boss, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, told the Coloradoan they would mimic the same scorched-earth tactics:

“We need to know that the person that we defeat has a scalp that we can hold up high and say their pro-abortion leadership is why they lost,” Dannenfelser said.

But Musgrave's ties to the Susan B. Anthony List continues to deepen, as she has now donated $50,000 to a new effort to get young-people involved in the anti-choice movement called the Young Leaders Board ... or maybe its the Youth Leaders Board, they don't seem to be sure:

Today the Susan B. Anthony List Education Fund (501(c)(3)) launched its first project, the Young Leaders Board, a new outreach effort to engage young people in the pro-life movement. Former Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO) donated $50,000 from her congressional campaign committee, Musgrave for Congress, to launch the board. Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) will serve as the Board's Honorary Chairwoman.

I am so pleased to support the Susan B. Anthony List Education Fund's youth outreach efforts by supporting the new Youth Leaders Board," said Marilyn Musgrave, Director of Regional Outreach for the Susan B. Anthony List. "As technology advances and sonograms continue to offer compelling visual evidence of the humanity of unborn children, we're finding that the younger generation is more pro-life. I'm confident the Susan B. Anthony List Education Fund will effectively marshal the energy and enthusiasm found among young pro-lifers to be a voice for women and the unborn for years to come."

The Youth Leaders Board will be comprised of young pro-life women leaders from across the country. The Board's early focus will be youth leadership training, with a special emphasis on communications, in order to train effective pro-life spokeswomen. The Board will also permanently integrate a youth perspective into existing Susan B. Anthony new media outreach efforts, like Lia's Challenge, the organization's recent YouTube youth video contest.

Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) will serve as Honorary Chairwoman of the Youth Leaders Board.

"One of my priorities in Congress is to encourage women to get involved," said Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA). "Through the use of new media and other communications tools, I look forward to helping the SBA List's Young Leaders Board reach out to young, pro-life women."

Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rogers is a member of the House Pro-Life Women's Caucus. She serves as Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference, making her the fourth-highest ranking Republican and the highest-ranking Republican woman in the House of Representatives. She also works to recruit women candidates for Congress through the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).

Former Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave joined the Susan B. Anthony List (501(c)(4)) in March as Director of Regional Outreach to run the organization's new pro-life voter education effort, Votes Have Consequences.

Once they get this figured out, we hope they let us know because it'll be a lot easier for us to track this effort if we know which of these two names they actually plan on using.

Drake: Tiller's Murder "An Answer to Prayer"

Wiley Drake, the one time second vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention and the man who last year served as Alan Keyes' running mate, weighs in on the murder of George Tiller, calling his assassination the answer to their imprecatory prayers:

While most pro-life leaders condemned the May 31 murder of a controversial abortion provider inside his Wichita, Kan., church, one former Southern Baptist Convention official called it an answer to prayer.

"I am glad George Tiller is dead," Wiley Drake, the SBC's former second vice president, said on his Crusade Radio program June 1.

...

Drake, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park, Calif., called Tiller "a brutal, murdering monster" and said he is "grateful to God" that the physician is no longer around.

"There may be a lot who would say, 'Oh that is mean. You shouldn't be that way,'" Drake said. "Well, no, it's an answer to prayer."

Drake said he prayed nearly 10 years for the salvation of Tiller, medical director of the Women's Health Care Services clinic and an outspoken advocate for abortion rights. About a year ago, Drake said, he switched to what he called "imprecatory prayer."

"I said to the Lord, 'Lord I pray back to you the Psalms, where it says that they are to become widowers and their children are to become orphans and so forth.' And we began calling for those imprecatory prayers, because he had obviously turned his back on God again and again and again," Drake said.

Drake called Tiller "a reprobate" and a "brutal, arrogant murderer" who "bragged on his own website how many babies he had killed."

"Would you have rejoiced when Adolf Hitler died during the war?" Drake asked. "Or would you have said, 'Oh that is terrible for him to be killed'? No, I would have said, 'Amen, praise the Lord, hallelujah, I'm glad he's dead.'"

"This man, George Tiller, was far greater in his atrocities than Adolf Hitler," Drake said. "So I am happy. I am glad that he is dead. Now I am sad that he went to hell, because he had a choice just like everybody else did. He could have chosen Jesus Christ and when he died went to heaven. But he chose the devil. He chose to neglect, he chose to reject Jesus Christ. And therefore on Sunday morning when he breathed his last breath there in the Lutheran church, he breathed his last breath, and he slipped into the presence of the devil. And I have a strange hunch and a strange feeling that there is a special, superheated, super-hot place in hell for people like George Tiller."

The article notes that this is not the first time Drake has called for imprecatory prayer against his enemies - he also issued a similar call in 2007 against Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Right Wing Reactions to Tiller's Murder: From Subdued, to Crass, to Outrageous

The responses to the assassination of physician George Tiller by right-wing groups have run the gamut. 

The most common response has been to decry the murder and say that violence is never the answer, which has been the point made by the likes of the Family Research Council, American Life League, 40 days of Life, Vision America, and National Institute of Family and Life Advocates.

Focus on the Family likewise issued a statement decrying the killing, but did so in a way that seemed to suggest that the problem wasn’t Tiller’s death, but the fact that he hadn’t been convicted of murder first:

"Tiller recently faced serious charges related to the killing of babies in violation of the law, by the most grotesque procedures administered without anesthetics or compassion. We profoundly regretted the outcome of his legal case, believing the doctor had the blood of countless babies on his hands. Nevertheless, he was acquitted by the court and declared "not guilty" in the eyes of the law. That is our system, and we honor it.

And then there self-serving statements, such as this odd one from Alveda King, lamenting that Tiller was killed in church, saying "just as the womb should be a safe haven, so should church" and one from Operation Rescue stating that the suspect in Tiller's murder "has never been a member, contributor, or volunteer with Operation Rescue."

For its part. the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission vowed not to be intimidated in the wake of Tiller's murder:

"The Christian Anti-Defamation Commission will not allow pro-abortionists or their accomplices in the media to exploit the cowardly act of one misguided individual in order to defame millions of peaceful pro-lifers," said Dr. Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission. "Day and night millions of peaceful pro-lifers sacrificially serve women and their unborn babies. We will not tolerate any attempt to exploit this terrible event in order to further restrict pro-life activities or silence pro-life speech or reverse the gains pro-lifers have achieved in the law."

The nation's most notorious late term abortionist, George Tiller, of Wichita Kansas, was shot and killed while in Church on Sunday. Tiller admitted to having aborted tens of thousands of babies.

"Tiller's death at the hands of a lawless vigilante must be unequivocally condemned," said Cass. "But we cannot allow pro-abortion activists and politicians to use this tragedy to manipulate public opinion or our laws."

Still others are worried about how this will inpact their political agenda, especially as it pertains to opposing Sonia Sotomayor:

They also worried that there would now be an effort to stifle anti-abortion viewpoints during questioning of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. Her exact views on abortion aren't known, but conservatives fear she supports abortion rights.

Said the Rev. Patrick Mahoney, an anti-abortion activist: "No one should use this tragedy for political gain."

...

Mahoney said he had been conferring with other anti-abortion leaders about how to deal with any backlash to the Tiller killing that might undercut their cause at a time when they are trying to challenge Obama's support for abortion rights.

"I'd hope they wouldn't try to broad-brush the entire pro-life movement as some sort of extremist movement because of what happened in Wichita," Mahoney said. "That's really important — don't use this personal loss for a political gain."

And then finally, there are those like Randall Terry who essentially believe that Tiller deserved to be murdered, which is pretty much the point made by Pat McEwen of Operation Save America:

"He died the way he lived. His was a bloody death." Rev Rusty Thomas, Operation Save America(OSA). "Someone 'chose' to end George Tiller's life this morning, in his church."

"What was an abortionist doing 'in' church, any church...being allowed, welcomed, even venerated? This man killed babies for a living. He charged large sums of money to do it. Then he went to 'church,' made large contributions, and the 'church' (Reformation Lutheran Church) accepted it??" Pastor Mark Holick, Spirit One Christian Center, & OSA.

This is an apostate church, fully complicit in Mr. Tiller's murderous rampage against preborn children. It has provided cover and respectability for him. We have confronted both pastor and church with this trashing of the Gospel of Christ. I can still recall one board member saying, "We have members who believe both ways (pro-life or pro-choice)." Please!

"A man who stiffens his neck after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed -- without remedy." Proverbs 29:1. "George Tiller has been confronted innumerable times with the claims of Christ." Rev Flip Benham, Director of Operation Save America. "We were in Wichita in 1991, pleading for him to receive Christ and stop murdering children. In April 2001, I wrote him a personal letter with the book, Won By Love hoping to speak with him. Every day outside his abortion mill, gentle Christians pleaded with mothers to choose life and with George to choose Christ. We have been to his home, his church, and his work. He is now bowing before Jesus and confessing that He (Jesus) is right and that he (George Tiller) was wrong!"

No doubt the media will paint every Christian, who loves life and lives out that belief in the streets of his city, as a wild-eyed, lunatic, fanatic bent on shooting abortionists. They will attempt to silence the voice of many by using the violence of one. This ploy is the devil's "straw man."

Beware! The one who murdered George Tiller became exactly what George Tiller was -- a murderer.

 

George Tiller Assassinated, Randall Terry Blames The Victim

As head of the Women's Health Care Services clinic in Wichita, Kansas, George Tiller has long been the most prominent target of anti-abortion activists in this country due to the fact that he was one of the few physicians in the country willing to perform "late-term" abortions. 

His clinic was regularly targeted by anti-abortion activists and, recently, his "ties" to Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius became a right-wing talking point in opposing her nomination to become Secretary of Health and Human Services.

This morning, Tiller was assassinated while attending church:

Late-term abortion doctor George Tiller, a prominent advocate for abortion rights wounded by a protester more than a decade ago, was shot and killed Sunday at a church in Wichita where he was serving as an usher and his wife was in the choir, his attorney said.

Tiller was shot during morning services at Reformation Lutheran Church, attorney Dan Monnat said. Police said a manhunt was under way for the shooter, who fled in a car registered to a Kansas City suburb nearly 200 miles away.

As one would expect, those who had long targeted and demonized Tiller were quick to issue statements - with Randall Terry essentially blaming Tiller for his own murder:

Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue states, "George Tiller was a mass-murderer. We grieve for him that he did not have time to properly prepare his soul to face God. I am more concerned that the Obama Administration will use Tiller's killing to intimidate pro-lifers into surrendering our most effective rhetoric and actions. Abortion is still murder. And we still must call abortion by its proper name; murder.

"Those men and women who slaughter the unborn are murderers according to the Law of God. We must continue to expose them in our communities and peacefully protest them at their offices and homes, and yes, even their churches."

Frank Pavone of Priests for Life also offered his own statement in which he sought to deflect blame from anti-abortion militants by saying that, for all we know, he might have been murdered by a "political enemy" or someone traumatized by abortion

"I am saddened to hear of the killing of George Tiller this morning. At this point, we do not know the motives of this act, or who is behind it, whether an angry post-abortive man or woman, or a misguided activist, or an enemy within the abortion industry, or a political enemy frustrated with the way Tiller has escaped prosecution. We should not jump to conclusions or rush to judgment.

Sotomayor: Right Wing News

Over the last few days, we posted two new Right Wing Watch In Focus pieces analyzing the Right's response to the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court.

A Justice For All: Themes from the Right -- Nomination Day

Right-wing political and legal groups and pundits responded to President Barack Obama’s nomination of federal appeals court Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court by cranking up their well-funded attack machine, following their pre-fab attack script (they have been attacking her for months as a potential nominee), launching ads against her confirmation, and threatening to use the nomination as a political bludgeon against Democrats from more conservative states.

A Justice For All: Themes from the Right -- Day 2

The second day of right-wing attacks on Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor continued many of the themes of the first day’s attacks, mostly distortions of her judicial record and public remarks and distortions of President Obama’s desire for judges who exhibit empathy. National Review published a wave of anti-Sotomayor commentary on its website. (Some of this information may have been distributed on Day 1 but didn’t make our initial analysis.)

We are also going to start regularly posting some of the raw material we use in these RWWIF analysis pieces on the blog, as well.  Here is the news from yesterday:

Committee for Justice

Using Sotomayor to Define Obama

The Democrats have the numbers to make a Sotomayor confirmation all but inevitable, but Ed Morrissey picks up on another opportunity that her nomination affords the GOP.

“They have an opportunity to use the hearings to show Sotomayor as a routine appellate jurist with a spotty record who got elevated to this position as an act of political hackery by a President who couldn’t care less about his responsibilities to find the best and brightest for the job.”

Like many of Obama’s other appointments, it demonstrates a lack of executive talent and intellectual curiosity on his part. This appointment makes an argument for more Republicans in the Senate after the midterms, if for no other reason than to force Obama to start putting a little effort in making his nominations."

Bloomberg - Sotomayor Took Cautious Approach in Cases on Race, Gun Rights

Her detractors say Sotomayor, 54, was trying to divert attention from the cases, hoping to prevent Supreme Court review and possibly enhance her resume for a promotion.

“It makes me wonder whether she’s just cautions by nature or whether she was already thinking about being appointed to a higher court,” said Curt Levey, executive director of the Committee for Justice in Washington and a critic of the Sotomayor nomination. He said Sotomayor might have been “covering her tracks” by limiting the scope and prominence of the opinions.

The Washington Post - Battle over Obama’s nominee begins

Curt Levey, executive director of the conservative legal group Committee for Justice, said her judicial record would probably not be enough to stop Sotomayor's confirmation, given the Democratic dominance in the Senate, but her speeches are another matter.

"The best predictor of whether a controversial nominee can be stopped is whether the case against her is based on more than just her legal analysis," he said.

Although Levey acknowledged that his description of Sotomayor as a "wild-eyed judicial activist" would be hard to extract from her record on the bench, he said "her words are the best indication" of how she would see her role as a justice.

The New York Times - Obama Hails Judge as ‘Inspiring’

Other conservatives said they would focus on her ruling in a New Haven affirmative action case or on how she might rule on same-sex marriage.

“Abortion is in some sense a stale issue that has been fought over many times, but gay marriage is very much up for grabs,” said Curt Levey, executive director of the Committee for Justice, a legal group. “Gay marriage will be bigger than abortion.”

Judicial Confirmation Network

Wendy Long Calls on Obama Administration to Provide Transparency via YouTube

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs' comments yesterday that "We can all move past YouTube snippets and half sentences and actually look at the honest-to-God record" raise an important question for Mr. Gibbs. The Duke University comments by Judge Sotomayor are quite clear and unequivocal. Is Mr. Gibbs suggesting that Judge Sotomayor was lying in the tape or that she really didn't mean it?

President Obama promised the American people a transparent presidency. In that spirit, we are calling on White House Press Secretary Gibbs to post the Duke University video on The White House web site and let the American people judge her comments.

JCN has also launched a website campaigning against Sotomayor, it can be found here.

The Durango Herald - Sonia Sotomayor, Nominee has intriguing history, solid qualifications

Recognizing that personal history is at least a factor - if not a significant one - in judicial decision-making is an important step, and one that Sotomayor has taken.

She has already been criticized for it. Wendy Long, a spokeswoman for the conservative Judicial Confirmation Network, said Sotomayor's background will trump fairness. "Judge Sotomayor will allow her feelings and personal politics to stand in the way of basic fairness," Long said.

Coalition for a Fair Judiciary

Human Events.com - Republicans Withhold Full Judgment on Sotomayor

Conservative grassroots groups began to weigh in on the Sotomayor nomination immediately yesterday, among them the Coalition for a Fair Judiciary, a group of over 350 organizations working together during the confirmation process in support of most of President George W. Bush’s nominees, Harriet Myers being the exception.

“Although Justice dons a blindfold when weighing the scales of justice, Sotomayor admits that she lifts that blindfold so as to peek at her own complexion and the skin color of the parties before her,” said Kay Daly, President of the Coalition for a Fair Judiciary.

“That might explain why she held it was constitutional for white firefighters to be denied promotion based on their skin color. Sotomayor's own words should be her nomination's undoing.”

Gary Bauer

OneNewsNow - Sotomayor-discriminatory and unqualified?

Gary Bauer is chairman of American Values. He says while the American people should celebrate Sotomayor's story of overcoming poverty after growing up in New York City's South Bronx, it is not a reason to select her as a justice for the nation's highest court.

"Unfortunately, when you do look at the reasons for putting somebody on the Supreme Court, their judicial philosophy -- whether they respect the rule of law, whether they'll be impartial or not -- she fails on those criteria, so I'm disturbed by the selection," he notes.

“She is somebody who believes in reverse discrimination,” he contends. “We have evidence that she thinks it's okay to discriminate against white Americans because she's inclined toward believing in quotas.”

Pat Robertson

Newsmax - Pat Robertson: Sotomayor Nomination an ‘Outrage’

Robertson cited Sotomayor’s views on judicial activism as he criticized her nomination during an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity Tuesday.

“I think Obama has reached out to one of the most left-wing judges that there is in the United States,” Robertson said. “I think it's an outrage.”

Richard Land

Christian Post - Justice Sotomayor? – More for Some, Less for Others?

“Lady Justice is blindfolded for a reason: she’s supposed to be impartial, not empathic. Empathy belongs in the legislature and the executive branch, and not in the judicial branch. Sotomayor is a living, breathing example of making the law subjective and relative, rather than objective and impartial.”

Family Research Council

Hill Blog Question of the Day: Will Sotomayor face serious opposition?

I hear all over the place that Ms. Sotomayor has a “compelling story” that makes her more in tune with her feelings. With all due respect to the popular daytime television queen, a judge needs to be more like John Roberts and not Oprah Winfrey.

That is why this process can not be rushed and why the role of the Senate Judiciary Committee is so important in properly vetting any nominee to ensure that the nominee has the requisite competence, temperament, character, knowledge of the law, and experience to make a good jurist.

LA Times - GOP looks for alternate route to block Sotomayor’s path

Conservative critics are already spotlighting a ruling by the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, including Sotomayor, that found that the 2nd Amendment's protection of citizens' gun rights did not apply to state or local regulations.

"These senators will jeopardize their seats if they vote to support an anti-gun radical for the Supreme Court," said Ken Blackwell, a senior fellow with the conservative Family Research Council.

USA Today - Supreme Court pick Sotomayor faces nomination politics

For now, though, it shows Obama has united liberals behind his pick and left conservatives scouring her record for ammunition.

"How aggressive the effort is depends on whether more comes to light," said Tony Perkins of the conservative Family Research Council. "This is still kind of in the discovery process."

Many of Sotomayor's potential opponents, ranging from groups opposing abortion rights to those backing gun rights, have not committed to an aggressive campaign against her.

Bill Donohue: The Gay Divorcee

Today, the New York Times profiles the Catholic League's Bill Donohue and he is loving life right about now.  Donohue has seen a lot of "anti-Catholic," behavior in recent weeks which means he’s spent a lot of time talking to the media about how “outraged” he is ... and that is exactly how he likes it:

It has been a busy week for Mr. Donohue, a contentious and unofficial enforcer of Roman Catholic sensibilities who can grate on enemies and friends alike with his immense ability to be offended on behalf of his church.

In the 16 years since he took the reins of the Catholic League — an organization that claims to have 50,000 paying members nationwide but has no formal connection to the church and no spokesman except Mr. Donohue — he can recall few moments that have so thoroughly tapped his well of combativeness.

With the movie “Angels and Demons” opening on Friday, he has been issuing public broadsides and giving interviews on radio and television by the fistful, pounding at what he says are historical distortions about the church’s history in the book’s plot. “They even have a scene where rats eat a bunch of cardinals,” he said. “Can you imagine any other religion where this would not be viewed as rank religious bias?”

On Sunday, the University of Notre Dame is set to give an honorary degree to President Obama, a supporter of abortion rights, and Mr. Donohue has been vociferous in his criticism. “Not so much against Mr. Obama, but Father Jenkins for inviting him,” he said, referring to the university president, the Rev. John I. Jenkins. “Here is a Catholic priest, bestowing an honor on someone who supports selective infanticide.”

And Mr. Obama’s appointment of Harry Knox, a gay human-rights activist — “an anti-Catholic bigot who has called the pope a liar” — to the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships had Mr. Donohue in overdrive.

“This is fantastic,” said Mr. Donohue, 61, with a gap-toothed smile that he rarely shows on television. “I can’t get enough of it.”

Donohue describes himself as "the Marine forward unit of the church," seeking out the enemy and destroying them ... and by “enemy” he means anyone who says anything critical of Catholics, the Catholic Church, or the Catholic Faith, as determined entirely by him. As Donohue sees it, "if an offense is committed against the communal institution of Catholicism, it is an offense against every individual Catholic.”

But there is nothing that riles him up more than apostasy, especially from Catholics who support reproductive choice: “I hate them," he admits.

Which makes this little nugget all the more interesting:

Before taking up the cause, Mr. Donohue, a divorced father of two grown children who lives in Mineola, on Long Island, was a sociology professor at La Roche College, a Catholic college in Pittsburgh.

A Lesson In Senate Procedure for FRC

We have known for some time now that the Right was targeting Dawn Johnsen, President Obama's nominee to head the Office of Legal Counsel, for defeat.  But what we weren't aware of, until reading this post from the Family Research Council's Tom McClusky, was that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid doesn't have the votes to get her confirmed:

Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is now telling reporters he does not have the votes to confirm Dawn Johnsen for Assistant Attorney General at the Justice Department. Ms. Johnsen has been a long time advocate for abortion rights groups, comparing pregnancy to slavery. She has also been outspoken on counterterrorism measures.

Of course, if you read the article he links to, you find out that Reid didn't say he doesn't have the votes to confirm Johnsen - what he actually said was that he doesn't have the votes to prevent a Republican-led filibuster of her nomination:

As Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) moves to ease a backlog of executive branch nominations, he suggested on Tuesday that he does not have the votes to bring up President Barack Obama’s pick to run the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel.

“Right now we’re finding out when to do that,” Reid said, responding to a question about the status of Indiana University law professor Dawn Johnsen’s nomination to the Justice post. “We need a couple Republican votes until we can get to 60.”

As Reid explained elsewhere:

“We need a couple Republican votes until we can get to 60," Reid added. And it's just a small number, maybe two or three. But at this stage, I don't have all the Democrats. I have virtually all, but not all. And remember, we have 59 Democrats, and that's not enough to do it."

Reid has more than enough votes to confirm Johnsen if she can get an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor, which is exactly what Republicans are trying to prevent with a filibuster. 

According to his bio, McClusky has a long history of working in politics, including a stint as a political analyst for the Republican National Committee, so presumably he knows about Senate procedure and the difference between a confirmation vote and a cloture vote.

In fact, I 'm pretty sure that he does, because just a few years ago, he signed onto a letter calling on Senators to ensure that Bush administration nominees received an up-or-down vote on the floor:

If you cannot support a particular nominee, vote him or her out of committee without a positive recommendation, or vote against confirmation. But please do not deny the nominee a fair up-or-down vote on the Senate floor. In other words, we ask only that you do your job by putting statesmanship above politics and special interests.

Is it too much to ask that the Vice President for Government Affairs at the Family Research Council not hypocritically and purposely mischaracterize what is going on regarding Johnsen's nomination and the GOP's obstruction efforts?

Apparently it is.

NDP Organizers Insisted Any White House Representative Be Pro-Life

Yesterday I wrote a post about the Religious Right blasting the Obama administration for abandoning the "tradition" of hosting an official National Day of Prayer event at the White House, despite the fact that said "tradition" was started and observed by exactly one president: George W. Bush.

So instead of an event at the White House, an event was held at the Capitol and James Dobson, whose wife Shirley heads the pseudo-official National Day of Prayer Task Force, criticized for White House for not only refusing to host an event itself but for not even sending a representative to the event held on the Hill:

Evangelical author and radio host James Dobson said that he is "disappointed" that for the first time in nearly two decades there was no representative from the White House during the National Day of Prayer event.

"I have not asked to meet with the president and certainly he has not asked to meet with me, but I would just like this country to remember its foundation, to remember its heritage and honor it, especially on the day set aside by George Washington in the beginning for prayer in this country," he said. "And I would hope that that would have occurred."

...

"The national day of prayer is important for people all across the country and I think the president missed a wonderful opportunity," he said. "...Not only did he not have any ceremony himself, he did not send any representatives from the White House to this event."

Well, according to Dan Gilgoff, it turns out that that was because Day of Prayer organizers "stipulated that the White House representative had to be opposed to abortion rights:"

"The administration's representative had to be pro-life," says the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "Nobody else was allowed to go."

National Day of Prayer Task Force Marketing and Media Manager Becky Armstrong declined to comment on the report. An E-mail message sent yesterday to Focus on the Family's vice president for media relations, Gary Schneeberger, went unreturned. The prayer day task force operates out of Focus's Colorado Springs headquarters and is chaired by Shirley Dobson, the wife of the Focus founder.

...

[T]he well-placed source said the only Obama cabinet secretary to receive an invite to yesterday's event was Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, an anti-abortion rights Republican. LaHood did not attend the event.

Earlier this week, the Family Research Council weighed in to criticize Obama for not hosting a White House event in a piece entitled "The National Day of Prayer Is Everyone's Day." 

Everyone, that is, except those who don't share the Religious Right's views, apparently.

SCOTUS Round-Up: A Gay Nominee?

Jan Crawford Greenburg reports:

The White House has formalized its short list of Supreme Court contenders and asked six prospects to provide personal background information, with an intensive vetting process well underway, according to sources close to the process.

The leading contenders on the short list: federal appeals court Judges Sonia Sotomayor and Diane Wood, and Solicitor General Elena Kagan, sources close to the process say.

Meanwhile the Washington Post notes that, unlike the last time around, right-wing groups are going to find themselves in the role of the underdog during the next Supreme Court battle:

Conservative groups concede that they have little chance of derailing Obama's choice, barring a scandal. But Supreme Court nominations have long been a rallying point and a fundraising opportunity for interest groups, particularly on the right. And now, at a time of ideological drift among Republicans, a loose coalition of conservative organizations has begun mapping strategies.

The goal, they say, is to fire up supporters and shake up the debate in the Democratic-controlled Senate, in part as preparation for other court fights to come.

Just hours after news of Souter's retirement broke last week, more than four dozen conservative activists hastily put together a conference call to plot their attack. Among other things, they divvied up the jobs of conducting background research on potential candidates, such as Solicitor General Elena Kagan and U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Sonia Sotomayor.

The Committee for Justice and other organizations have issued new fundraising appeals. The Family Research Council, along with other abortion foes, is gearing up to oppose a nominee who, like Obama, is likely to favor abortion rights. The National Rifle Association says it will examine Obama's choice in light of the high court's recent ruling weakening gun laws in the District.

"There's no question the political landscape is different," said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, a conservative legal group. "But the conservatives are not lying down here and just saying, 'Let's give up.' We want real hearings and real debate."

But it seems like most of the talk at the moment is about just how the Religious Right would respond to a nominee who is gay, with many of them suggesting that they won't make it an issue:

In a move that will surprise gay activists and liberals, a spokesperson for Focus on the Family, a top religious right group, tells me that his organization has no problem with GOP Senator Jeff Sessions‘ claim today that he’s open to a Supreme Court nominee with “gay tendencies.”

The spokesperson confirms the group won’t oppose a gay SCOTUS nominee over sexual orientation.

“We agree with Senator Sessions,” Bruce Hausknecht, a spokesperson for Focus on the Family, which was founded by top religious right figure James Dobson, told me a few minutes ago. “The issue is not their sexual orientation. It’s whether they are a good judge or not.”

Their sexual orientation “should never come up,” he continued. “It’s not even pertinent to the equation.”

...

“Our concern at the Supreme Court is judicial philosophy,” FOF spokesperson Hausknecht continued. “Sexual orientation only becomes an issue if it effects their judging.” For example, he said, “If someone says, `I don’t care what the law says, on the next case involving sexual orientation, I’m going to decide the case in favor of the openly gay party,’ that would be a breach of judicial duty.”

Jake Tapper asked the Family Research Coucil, which gave a similar answer:

Peter Sprigg, a senior fellow at the conservative Family Research Council, says that "the real issue would not be the person's private life but the issue would be would they be imposing their personal ideology upon the court. In this case would they be imposing a pro homosexual ideology, a pro-same sex marriage ideology."

But, as Josh Gerstein points out, that was not what Sprigg was saying back in 2006:

"We don't accept that homosexuality is any kind of cultural identity that should be sought in a judge," FRC's Peter Sprigg told the paper back then. "We think it's a behavior, not something that should be held up as a role model."

Of course, while groups like Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council are trying to sound tolerant and fair-minded, there are also people like Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel who have no interest in that sort of thing:

Matt Barber is a spokesperson with Liberty Counsel. "Well, in light of this nation's undeniable Christian heritage, it's hard to believe we're even having a conversation about whether a sitting United States president will count deviant sexual behavior as a favorable qualification in determining a nomination to the highest court of the land," he says.

Brownback's No-Win Situation

We've written several posts over the last few month about how Sen. Sam Brownback's standing among the Religious Right has fallen due to his support of Katheleen Sebelius' nomination to be Secretary of Health and Human Services, leading many right-wing activists to distance themselves from him.

Today, Dave Weigel has a good piece in The Washington Independent noting how, despite seemingly no help from anyone in the Senate, the Religious Right has managed to make the vote on Sebelius' nomination into a "controversy" all on its own:

The battle against Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D-Kans.), President Obama’s nominee to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, has gone better than many pro-life activists had hoped. Yes, it’s true that Sebelius is expected to be confirmed after an eight-hour debate and cloture vote are held in the Senate today. It’s also true that activists have not managed to dislodge the support of Sebelius’s home state senators, Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts, both Republicans — an embarrassing setback that has prevented the Sebelius nomination from becoming quite the abortion rights showdown that they had hoped for. But they can count some small victories.

“Going into this, there didn’t seem to be any opposition,” said Wendy Wright, the president of Conservative Women for America. “I was at her hearing, and that morning, I was reading news reports about how she was going to ’sail through’ the Senate. Now I’m reading reports about the ‘controversy’ around Kathleen Sebelius. You can attribute that to what the grassroots have done here.”

The vote on her nomination is scheduled for today and she is expected to be confirmed and conservative and Religious Right leaders are basically saying it is all Brownback's fault:

Before that vote, the anti-Sebelius coalition will hold a press conference on the Hill making the case against her. Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) will make public a letter of opposition to the nomination that, as of press time, eight other conservatives had signed. Still, opponents of the governor have been frustrated by the early and consistent support for Sebelius from Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kans.), a social conservative who is retiring in 2010 to run for governor of Kansas.

“This nomination should be more unpopular than it is,” grumbled one GOP Senate aide. “Brownback’s hesitation and his months of holding off on substantive criticism of Sebelius has basically frozen the ability of pro-life senators to fight as hard as they would like to. It’s tough. It’s very difficult for the pro-life leader in the Senate to mobilize his allies when he’s moving in the other direction.”

Although recently Brownback has been hinting that he might be rethinking his support for Sebelius' nomination, his explanation for supporting the nomination has been that installing her at HHS will get her out of the state and away from a possible run for Brownback's open Senate seat in 2010 and that whomever heads HHS will be pro-choice, so it may as well be someone from Kansas.

Needless to say, right-wing activists aren't buying his excuses, with one local activist saying its like justifying support of Hitler: 

“We’ll be extremely disappointed if Sen. Brownback doesn’t change his mind,” said Tom McClusky, vice president of government affairs for FRC. “That will play a role in any of our future work with him.”

...

It’s all a bit much for Kansas activists to stomach. “Those guys in Washington don’t think like we do in Kansas,” said David Gittrich, the long-serving state development director of Kansans for Life. “It might be smart politically to get the governor out of Kansas, but it’s really hard for me to wish her on the nation. I’d rather have Hillary Clinton running health care than Kathleen Sebelius.”

According to Gittrich, when Brownback turns his sights on the governor’s race he’ll gave to “reestablish his credentials as a pro-lifer” and explain his vote. “All the pro-life votes in the world don’t make up for supporting Kathleen Sebelius,” said Gittrich. “This is like saying, ‘I’m against the Holocaust and Nazi Germany but I’d like Hitler to be in charge of the health care center.’”

Fresh Off White House Call, Wright Decries "Abortion Holocaust"

Yesterday, Dan Gilgoff reported that the"White House will kick off its much-discussed plan to reduce abortions tomorrow morning with a conference call to religious leaders and abortion-rights advocates that will feature key White House aides. The call reflects the White House plan to bring faith-based groups, including conservative ones, together with pro-abortion rights organizations to reduce demand for abortion."

The call took place this morning and Gilgoff offers this follow-up of what it entailed:

Led by President Obama's chief domestic policy adviser, Melody Barnes, the White House announced that it would sponsor a series of meetings in coming months in search of common ground on abortion reduction. The meetings would include both supporters and opponents of abortion rights.

"Barnes said that the White House was not going to try to change anybody's mind on abortion and that she knew people had long-held convictions on various sides of the debate," one participant on the call, an abortion-rights foe, tells me. "But she said her assignment from the president was to seek common ground to prevent unintended pregnancies, including teen pregnancy; to reduce the need for abortions; and to support families for whom economic concerns were an issue. They also talked about promoting adoption."

Lifenews talked to Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America, who participated in the call and once again reiterated the point that we have been making all along - namely, that it is rather difficult to find ways to "reduce the need for abortion” by seeking common ground with groups that refuse to recognize that any such need exists:.

The Obama staffers want future meetings with people on both sides of the abortion debate and for them to bring concrete ideas on reducing abortions and that they will assimilate the information into a plan that the administration will present in two to three months, Wright explained.

"They are looking for ideas for legislation, and policies for the 2011 budget. They're interested in what has worked on a community level. They want to find common areas," Wright told LifeNews.com.

The goals of the plan will be to "support families through maternal and child health, and adoption" and "reducing unintended pregnancies and the need for abortion."

Wright says the qualifiers "need" and "unintended" are "completely subjective."

Whether the Obama administration plan will feature realistic ways to cut abortions or merely mirror the Planned Parenthood and pro-abortion agenda is a real question, Wright says.

“They have their work cut out for them in gaining trust from all the stakeholders since the primary people in charge come from the most hard-core abortion groups in the U.S. and the stated goals come straight from those abortion groups’ handbooks," she said after the call.

"To be diverse it’s imperative that they include pro-life leaders in the black community, a group that has been hardest hit by the abortion holocaust," Wright concludes.

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abortion rights Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Friday 07/29/2011, 4:26pm
Apparently Rick Perry doesn’t take a hard enough line against abortion rights for the anti-choice Susan B. Anthony List. Perry is trying to make amends with the Religious Right over concerns about his opposition to marriage equality. Just 6,000 people have RSVP’d so far for Perry’s The Response. A Houston judge dismissed the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s lawsuit against Perry. Lastly, Kenneth Copeland will be sending a bus to The Response, no word yet if he will be chartering his $20 million private jet. MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 07/13/2011, 12:39pm
Right-wing activist and former California legislator Steve Baldwin has organized an open letter to “Conservative, Catholic and Evangelical Leaders” asking them to refuse support for Mitt Romney’s campaign for president. Already a number of activists including failed US Senate candidate and Tea Party hero Joe Miller; Rick Scarborough of Vision America; Brian Camenker of MassResistance; Linda Harvey of Mission America; Michael Farris of the Home School Legal Defense Association; Ted Beahr of WND and Movieguide; Gary Glenn of American Family Association-Michigan, Kelly... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 07/12/2011, 11:49am
After Lou Engle claimed that the devastating tornado that hit Joplin, Missouri was God’s punishment for legal abortion, Engle’s youth group Bound4Life now says that God is getting ready to punish America for reproductive freedom. Bound4Life is based in JHOP, the International House of Prayer’s Washington D.C. affiliate, and seeks to end “the holocaust of abortion” through spiritual warfare. Bound4Life’s Susan Tyrrell writes that judges who defend abortion rights will compel God to punish America: Make no mistake, God will hold accountable those who rule... MORE
Brian Tashman, Thursday 06/30/2011, 9:04am
A coalition of groups opposed to abortion rights wants the government to place graphic warning labels on emergency contraceptives and abortion clinics in the same way cigarette packs are now required to display explicit images. Disregarding the fact that abortion is an exceptionally safe medical procedure, a spokesman for the campaign said, “If you’re going to force cigarette manufacturers to put graphic images on every single pack of cigarettes, you should do the same thing with abortion.” In fact, a number of states already force doctors to read false statements that... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 06/22/2011, 9:30am
WorldNetDaily’s Molotov Mitchell is the executive producer of a new film about a future where abortion is outlawed after black terrorists systematically murder abortion doctors. Mitchell is one of the many abortion rights opponents who have embraced the notion of “abortion as black genocide.” This claim, propagated by films like Maafa 21 and numerous billboard campaigns, holds that abortion clinics are attempting to exterminate African Americans. The film is styled as a documentary from 2016 about how in 2014, a Black terrorist group called “Zulu 9” and its... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 05/06/2011, 2:58pm
Radio talk show host and Religious Right activist Penna Dexter was the keynote speaker at the National Day of Prayer event yesterday in Rapid City, South Dakota. Dexter, a member of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, last year blamed a gay California youth who was murdered by another student for his own death. According to the Rapid City Journal, Dexter lamented that while Osama bin Laden is dead, the “the advancing homosexual agenda” continues to flourish: A smaller than expected crowd of about 350 people, including at least two out... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 04/25/2011, 11:20am
Pat Robertson has figured out why President Obama supports the funding of Planned Parenthood and believes in a woman’s right to choose: because progressives want women to have abortions as a way to achieve equality for lesbians. While speaking with co-host Terry Meeuwsen of The 700 Club about the recent debate over Planned Parenthood’s funding, Robertson attempted to use “psychological stuff” to rationalize why progressives back Planned Parenthood and “this culture of death.” According to Robertson, progressives want straight women to “abortion their... MORE