polls

Third Time Will Not Be The Charm For Personhood Colorado

When the right-wingers behind Colorado's effort to eliminate abortion back in 2008 received a mere 27% support, they proclaimed themselves encouraged by their showing and vowed to try again.

Which they did this year, upping the ante by comparing abortion to slavery, President Obama to the Angel of Death, and choice to Nazism ... and this time they managed to secure a whopping 28% support en route to losing by a 3-1 margin.

Which, of course, means they are planning trying again in the next election:

Amendment 62 was defeated by a wide margin, but Keith Mason, head of the campaign, regards positive aspects as more people were informed that life starts at its biological beginning.

"Babies have been saved; women have chosen to give their children life because of the outreach of the campaign," he points out. "We've made over a million and a half calls to people, educating them about the personhood of the preborn child."

So as the public becomes better educated, Mason believes the proposal will eventually win in Colorado. "Our plan is to just to come right back and to do it again," he reports.

Personhood Colorado: From Slavery, to Demons, to Nazis

First, the activists behind Colorado's Amendment 62 tried to generate support for their effort by running a radio ad featuring a "former slave" speaking out against abortion.

Then they upped the ante with a web video calling President Obama the "Angel of Death."

So, of course, the next logical step is to invoke the Nazis:

A volunteer for the “Yes on 62” campaign is using graphic pictures of dying Jews in concentrations camps to get you to vote yes on the anti-abortion measure.

The Facebook page was created earlier in October; at first Parenthood Colorado told TARGET 13 that they were aware of the site and no one on staff took part in its creation.

“I’ve seen the comparison before,” said Roberto Garcia-Jones, Director of Personhood Colorado. When asked if he agreed with the concept, Garcia-Jones said, “I support the notion that what Nazis did to Jews is like what were doing to pre-borns today.”

At first Garcia-Jones was unaware of the person behind the postings, but when asked about key staffers and supporters who “liked” the site, he told us he would get one of the supporters we asked about to call us back.

A few minutes later, TARGET 13 received a call from Keith Mason, co-founder of Personhood USA. He admitted to TARGET 13 that it was one of campaign’s volunteers who created the site. Mason said, “This is not what we are about.”

Mason also said he was unaware that key staffers were made administrators of the Facebook page. After the calls, any tie to Parenthood Colorado was taken down from the Facebook page and Mason said key staffers no longer had administrative privileges.

Not surprisingly, these over-the-top tactics don't seem to be working, as even anti-choice news outlets like LifeNews.com are reporting that the effort appears poised to suffer another crushing defeat:

A second poll shows Amendment 62, the personhood amendment that would ban all abortions in the state if upheld in court, will likely lose when voters head to the polls next week.

SurveyUSA conducted a poll or 540 voters from October 19-21 for the Denver Post and 9-NEWS and the survey has about a 4/2 percent margin of error.

The poll shows just 20 percent of Colorado residents support Amendment 62 while 56 percent say they are opposed to it. Another 25 percent of Colorado voters were still undecided, even as early voting began in the state. 

In 2008, a similar effort received only 27% support, and it looks like it might actually do even worse this time around.

Christine O'Donnell: Pray "That The Eyes of the Voters Be Opened"

CBN's David Brody has posted his interview with Christine O'Donnell in which she explains that "God called me" to run for office and that prayer leads to improvements in her polling numbers:

David Brody: How do you see God’s role in all of this because you’ve had some ups and you’ve had some downs. Where is God in all of this? How do you see all of that?

Christine O’Donnell: God is the reason that I’m running. If I didn’t believe that there were a cause greater than myself worth fighting for, if I didn’t believe that it takes a complete dying of self to make things right in this Election cycle I would not be running and when you die to yourself you rely on a power greater than yourself so prayer is what’s gotten us all through. The day that we saw a spike in the polls was a day that some people had a prayer meeting for me that morning for this campaign so I believe that prayer plays a direct role in this campaign and I always ask please pray for the campaign; please pray for our staff; please pray specifically that the eyes of the voters be opened.

Pat Toomey: The Real Extremist in Pennsylvania

Watching his once formidable lead in the polls crumble, Pennsylvania Senate candidate Pat Toomey asserted, “It’s very clear. The person who is the extreme candidate that is so far out of touch with Pennsylvania is Joe Sestak.”

A huge part of Pat Toomey’s campaign strategy seemed to be based on remaking his image to come across as a moderate Republican. In an election year with the likes of Ken Buck, Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell, and Joe Miller, even solidly conservative Republicans could come-off as “moderate” due to the elevated extremism on the Right.

But Pat Toomey is certainly no moderate on either economic or social issues:

• Pat Toomey was rated one of the most right-wing members of Congress: “more conservative voting record than J.D Hayworth, Jim DeMint, and was about as conservative as Jesse Helms,” and “had a considerably more conservative voting record than Rick Santorum.” Toomey is so far to the Right that he even felt that Mike Huckabee was too moderate.

• An anti-choice zealot, Pat Toomey called for doctors to be thrown in jail for performing abortions. Furthermore, Toomey doesn’t just want a Constitutional Amendment to ban gay marriage, but even tried to prohibit gay and lesbian couples from adopting children.

• He led the Club for Growth for four years, a vehemently pro-corporate advocacy group that recently exclaimed: “Privatize Social Security? Hell Yeah!” Toomey himself has worked to privatize Social Security throughout his career.

• Back in 2006, Toomey described his pro-corporate advocacy as “all about protecting our Christian heritage” and “a culture that is under assault.” For Toomey, “protecting our Christian heritage” also includes preventing oversight on Wall Street’s reckless “derivatives trading.” Not only is Toomey a staunch opponent of Wall Street Reform, but worked a derivatives trader.

• He stood with Phyllis Schlafly, Tony Perkins, James Dobson and Tim LaHaye to support the Family Research Council’s Kenneth Blackwell to become Chair of the Republican National Committee. When leading Focus on the Family, James Dobson enthusiastically campaigned for Toomey when he ran for Senate in 2004.

Pat Toomey’s ultraconservative views have made him a darling of pro-corporate groups and the Religious Right. His plan to come across as a moderate is as absurd as it is scary.

The Warped Feminism of the Susan B. Anthony List

Although a number of media narratives describe 2010 election as revealing the rise of conservative woman, the "Awakening of the Conservative Woman," or the "Year of the Mama Grizzly," and what Sarah Palin calls “the emerging conservative, feminist identity,” it’s easy to forget that women have always played a prominent role in the conservative movement: Phyllis Schlafly, Clare Boothe Luce, and Beverly LaHaye, just to name a few.

But are women really running to embrace the rightwing agenda in 2010? Most polls show that the growing support for Republican candidates is a result of disproportionate backing from men, while Democrats still lead among women voters; Sarah Palin, the foremost Republican woman, is viewed favorably by an abysmally low 22% of Americans. But it is true that more and more women are running as Republicans for elected office, and the Religious Right has embraced the fiercely anti-choice Republican Senate candidates like Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell, Kelly Ayotte and Carly Fiorina. While it is difficult to say that women are turning to the GOP, at least one group is pushing the narrative that women will be at the center of the Right’s resurgence.

The Susan B. Anthony List was founded by Marjorie Dannenfelser and Jane Abraham, two women long-tied to Republican politics and anti-choice activism. Dannenfelser compared her fight against “the oligarchy of pro-choice women” to Susan B. Anthony’s campaign against second-class citizenship for women, and claims that Susan B. Anthony and the original women’s movement were all “strongly pro-life.”

Of course, real  historians and experts have thoroughly debunked Dannenfelser’s interpretation of women’s history: “Anthony spent no time on the politics of abortion. It was of no interest to her, despite living in a society (and a family) where women aborted unwanted pregnancies.” But the SBA List is now appropriating the legacy of Anthony and the women’s movement to serve their political agenda.

In 2010, SBA List has become a critical voice in the Religious Right in not only transforming the notion of “feminism” but also running extremely deceptive political ads. The group teamed up with the National Organization for Marriage to launch a $200,000 ad campaign against Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer targeted at the Latino community, claiming that Boxer opposed Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Naturally, PolitiFact rated their anti-Boxer ad to be “false” and “highly misleading,” as the Senator is one of the leading advocates of immigrant-rights in Washington.

Now, SBA List has just initiated a campaign targeting anti-choice Democrats who voted in favor of Health Care Reform by employing the immensely discredited and deceptive charge that the new law leads to “taxpayer funding of abortion.” Politico reports that the group plans to spend millions of dollars on television and radio advertisements, billboards, and a bus tour. SBA List has invested heavily in Carly Fiorina of California, New Hampshire GOP nominee Kelly Ayotte, a star of the anti-abortion rights movement, and said that the ultraconservative Nevada Republican Sharron Angle represents an “authentic, pro-life feminism that puts the ‘feminine’ back in the word” who would make “Susan B. Anthony proud.” Yes, the SBA List has such a warped view of feminism that they call the same Sharron Angle who described the situation of a girl impregnated by her father as “really [turning] a lemon situation into lemonade” an “authentic” feminist. Their other top candidate, State Rep. Jackie Walorski of Indiana who is running for the House, is a staunch Religious Right advocate who notoriously sunk hate-crimes legislation by trying to add “fetuses” as a protected class of citizens.

Sarah Palin has emerged as the symbolic head of SBA List, and the group founded the Team Sarah website to attract more women to their brand of “feminism.” “It’s only natural that women like these are responding to someone like Sarah Palin,” writes Dannenfelser, and “now millions of Americans, men and women, are going to the polls to make 2010 not only the Year of the Pro-Life Woman but the dawn of the Decade of Pro-Life Women.”

While SBA List’s view of feminism is different from the more openly anti-feminist groups like Eagle Forum and the Independent Women’s Forum, the groups essentially share the same reactionary ideas and principles. SBA List merely cloaks their anti-women’s rights agenda around a right-wing understanding of “feminism” and a misconstrued view of history.

Scarborough: Pastors Must Use Politics To Maintain Order Until Jesus Returns

You have to admire Vision America's Rick Scarborough for finally giving up the pretense of being "nonpartisan" and openly admitting that he votes Republican 90% of the time.

Scarborough claims to be a "Christocrat," but since he freely admits that he votes Republican as a "matter of principle," it's pretty obvious that when he tells people to vote a followers of Jesus Christ, he is really saying "vote Republican."

As such, it comes as no surprise that he is sending out emails seeking to get other pastors likewise commited to voting Republican in the coming elections:

Next year Texas will receive four additional Congressional Seats in the House of Representatives. Currently Republicans hold a slim three vote majority in the Texas House of Representatives and the party that holds the majority in the Texas House will control how the new seats are allocated through redistricting. Both parties decry the politics involved in redistricting, but the fact remains that either the Republicans or the Democrats will draw those lines and you can rest assured they will draw them up in such a way to affect outcomes. Right now millions of dollars from liberals are pouring into Texas from around the country seeking to buy enough seats in our state legislature to assure a liberal outcome.

I believe that Pastors and Christians are the secret to making sure these efforts fail.

Are both parties the same? According to the non-partisan American Conservative Union, Democrats vote for abortion and for the redefinition of traditional marriage approximately 85% of the time while the Republicans vote exactly opposite. That means that if Democrats control our state legislature, Texas will send a majority of liberal Democrats back to Washington DC in 2012 and for the next ten years.

Your vote on November 2nd does matter. And what your Pastors says and does matters even more because of the tremendous influence for good or bad that he possesses. I am a Minister who believes that every Pastor should address moral issues from the pulpit, including encouraging their congregations to vote, not as Republicans or Democrats but as sons and daughters of Jesus Christ.

And to that end, Scarborough has also recorded this accompanying video in which he explains that while Jesus might be returning at any moment, pastors are called up to maintain order and establish righteousness until he does ... and the way that they do that is by getting people to vote for Godly conservative candidates in the upcoming election:

My name is Rick Scarborough and I want to give you a greeting in Jesus' name. We're here in my office in Nacogdoches, Texas where I headquarter an outreach to pastors all across America.

I'm speaking to you because I need your help. A lot of times preachers won't listen to anyone talk about politics. I want to speak to your pastor for two or three minutes, so I want to ask you if you find worth in this - watch it all - if you think it's worthy, to send it when an email covering personally to your pastor and urge him to watch what I am about to say.

Pastor, when the people go to the polls on November the second, just three weeks away from the time of this taping, they're going to choose either conservative leadership or continued liberal leadership. I think most of us who preach and pastor and minister to people and pick up the remains of the liberal agenda through broken lives, abortions, homosexuality, and all the attendant ills that go with all of these things that are happening in our country, shake our heads in disbelief and say "how did this happen and how can it be stopped?"

So of us believe that a lot of these things have to happen before Jesus returns and I live every day of my life anticipating the return of Christ. But frankly, a thousand years with the Lord is like a day, and a day is but a thousand years and while we anticipate the imminent return of Christ, it may be another generation or longer before Christ comes. And what you and I have got to do is maintain order, establish righteousness in the public place until he comes.

I'm not asking you to depart from preaching the Gospel, I would never do that and I know you wouldn't do it if I asked. But I am asking you to see the urgency of this election. I am asking you to encourage your people to vote not as Republicans or Democrats but as followers of Jesus Christ and particularly this election year on November the second.

I urge you to stand in your pulpit and remind the people that their rulers will make the laws under which they will live. And the only way to reverse the direction of this country is to elect righteous men and women.

We are providing though our organization, at VisionAmericaAction.org, down-loadable free voter guides, I'll be sending you emails with all the right information where you can download nonpartisan voter guides. We're hosting luncheons across the state that many of you pastors will get invitations to over the next couple of weeks. I want to urge you that when you get that invitation to respond to it. And I want you to pray for the redemption of this nation. It is now or never for the church and the only hope of this church being mobilized that you and I attend is for you and I to stand before those people and say "vote your values on November the second."

Pastor, would you help me?

Our website is VisionAmericaAction.org. We have another educational website, VisionAmerica.org. Please look at what we have to say there and download the materials. We even have preaching materials there for you.

God bless you, dear brother. I wish you well and look forward to meeting you soon.

Right Wing Round-Up

Barton, Gingrich, and AFA Launch "Restoration Project" in Nevada

As we noted back in 2008, every election season sees a return of the so-called "Restoration Projects," supposedly nonpartisan events that are, in reality, aimed a mobilizing pastors to get their flocks to the polls on Election Day.

Well, as Wayne Slater of the Dallas Morning News reports, the Restoration Project is back once again and is heading to Nevada where David Barton, Newt Gingrich, and the American Family Association are hoping to help Sharron Angle defeat Harry Reid:

Four years ago, Rick Perry cultivated a network of conservative pastors - the Texas Restoration Project - to scare off Kay Bailey Hutchison in the primary and to help win reelection. The project has pretty much fallen off the political radar in Texas since then. This year, the energy on the right is from the tea party - which is focusing on fiscal themes, not the social issues of abortion and gay marriage . Now, the Texas-tinged event has emerged in a most unlikely place - Las Vegas. Next month, Christian historian David Barton of Aledo and the Rev. Laurence White of Houston are headlining a "Nevada Renewal Project" event in Las Vegas. Both were regulars at Texas Restoration events. The keynote speaker will be Newt Gingrich.

The Nevada event is nonpartisan, but appears aimed at helping Republican tea-party favorite Sharon Angle against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in one of the country's hottest Senate races. Polls indicate the race is close. An email by American Family Association chief Tim Wildmon inviting pastors to the two-day event suggested which side it's on: "At a time when Congress is buy trying to legislative defeat ... the Nevada event is aimed at energizing pastors "to help them and their congregations engage in the battle."

2010 Right Wing Candidates Weekly Update 9/29

Your update on the right-wing candidates running for US Senate for 9/22-9/29.

Sharron Angle

Government: Angle and her husband are both covered by government health care plans (Alternet, 9/28).

Health Care: Criticized for mocking “Autism” coverage (The Plum Line, 9/27).

Fundraising: Comedian Dennis Miller to raise money for Angle (LVRJ, 9/28).

House: Angle’s unpopularity may hurt Nevada’s GOP House candidates (The Hill, 9/28).

Poll: One poll shows Reid leading Angle by 5%, other finds a tie (Las Vegas Sun 9/25, LVRJ 9/28).

Ken Buck

Poll: DSCC poll shows Buck trailing Bennet by 2% (Politico, 9/29).

GOP: Senators McConnell and Cornyn host fundraiser for Buck (AP, 9/28).

Right-wing: Tries to portray himself as more moderate after primary (RCP, 9/24).

Carly Fiorina

Corporate: Rightwing Koch brothers take interest in Fiorina’s campaign (LA Times, 9/25).

Outside groups: Chamber of Commerce and FreedomWorks to bolster Fiorina (LA Times, 9/28).

Poll: Trails Boxer by 8% in new poll of California voters (San Jose Mercury News, 9/25).

Ad: New ad labels Boxer as “arrogant” (The Atlantic, 9/23).

Joe Miller

Government: Expresses support for increased spending for public health and education in 2004 survey (KTUU, 9/24).

Controversy: Classified himself as “low-income” on hunting license application (Anchorage Daily News, 9/27).

Outside groups: Tea Party Express to help Miller against McAdams, Murkowski (Daily News-Miner, 9/28).

Christine O’Donnell

Finances: CREW looks into O’Donnell’s poor financial record (News Journal, 9/29).

Science: Declares evolution “a myth” on Politically Incorrect (Huffington Post, 9/25).

Controversy: Falsely claims she attended Claremont McKenna and Oxford for graduate school (Mediaite, 9/29).

GOP: Shames Republican leadership for not supporting complete repeal of Health Care Reform (ABC News, 9/28).

Rand Paul

Ad: Blasted for supporting $2,000 Medicare deductible (Herald Leader, 9/29).

Right-wing: Member of ultraconservative medical group (Courier Journal, 9/24).

Poll: Leads Conway by just 2% in latest poll of Kentucky voters (TPMDC, 9/27).

Economy: Speaks out against raising taxes on wealthy (Huffington Post, 9/27).

Dino Rossi

Controversy: BIAW fined for illegally supporting Rossi’s gubernatorial campaign (Seattle PI, 9/24).

Ad: CommonsenseTen hits Rossi on housing crisis (Politico, 9/24).

Marco Rubio

Controversy: Releases Spanish-language ad despite support for English-only policies (Florida Independent, 9/29).

Social Security: Reverses himself on Social Security privatization (St. Petersburg Times, 9/28).

Finances: New questions about Rubio’s expenses flare (Orlando Sentinel, 9/24).

Pat Toomey

Poll: Toomey holds slight lead, but one-third of Pennsylvania voters still undecided (WPVI, 9/29).

GOP: Distances himself from spending under Bush Administration (AP, 9/27).

Right-wing: Columnist examines Toomey’s far-right beliefs while leading Club for Growth (Inquirer, 9/26).

The GOP’s Desperate Smearing of Chris Coons

Having to defend a candidate like Christine O’Donnell is an exhausting task. Finding her bizarre beliefs and troubled financial history almost impossible to defend, the right-wing has moved to demonize her Democratic opponent Chris Coons.

On the face of it, the County Executive of New Castle County appears to be a talented, progressive Democrat.   Before he became involved in local politics, Coons has a long history in the non-profit field: he participated in relief work in Kenya, assisted the Protestant anti-apartheid South African Council of Churches, and in the US worked for the National Coalition for the Homeless and the “I Have a Dream” Foundation.

But according to conservative commentators, he is a crypto-Marxist boogieman who make “community organizers” look like Republicans!

Although he came to Amherst as a young Republican, his political views became more progressive, especially after his time in Kenya.  Coons’ Republican friends joked with him about becoming a “bearded Marxist,” and he included the joke in his college newspaper profile which he wrote as his Class’s Commencement Speaker: “My friends now joke that something about Kenya, maybe the strange diet, or the tropical sun, changed my personality; Africa to them seems a catalytic converter that takes in clean-shaven, clear-thinking Americans and sends back bearded Marxists.”

Of course innocuous sarcasm doesn’t stand a chance in the conservative echochamber: Sean Hannity on Fox News said that Coons “made some very anti-American statements, apologizing for America and calling himself a bearded Marxist,” and Glenn Beck called him a “staunch anti-capitalist.”

The American Spectator’s Jeffrey Lord took umbrage with the fact that Coons wrote about studying “under a Marxist professor at the University of Nairobi,” which effectively makes him a Marxist! Now back from Kenya (more than 20 years later), Coons is “determined to get to the Senate and be an agent of the Obama radical redistributionist agenda.” R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. also of The American Spectator finds suspicion in his “African sojourn” that made him into an anti-American Marxist. Tyrrell says that he “loves taxes” and “shows no scruples about keeping his hands off other people's property.”

Aaron Klein of WorldNetDaily claims that Coons “himself may have ties to Black Liberation Theology” and even discovered another “avowed Marxist” professor that Coons took a class with: Cornel West. Of course, West is one of the country’s most prominent philosophers and thinkers alive today, and studying under a professor does not make you bound to his or her views. Yet none of this makes a difference for right-wing smear artists.

With the GOP’s radical candidate Christine O’Donnell trailing Coons by wide margins in all of the recent polls, is it any wonder that they are now using jokes to disingenuously discredit her opponent?

2010 Right Wing Candidates Weekly Update

With the Tea Party on the march, RightWingWatch will now feature weekly updates every Wednesday detailing the activities and controversies of the right-wing candidates running for US Senate this year.

Sharron Angle

Polls: Mason Dixon shows Reid leading 46-45%, and Ipsos has Reid up 46-44% (Politics Daily, 9/12; Reuters, 9/14).

Ad: Reid calls out Angle for controversial vote on domestic violence (CNN, 9/13).

Debate: Asserts that she withdrew from debate because she wants “an informed electorate” (Las Vegas Sun, 9/14).

Lawsuit: Las Vegas Review-Journal sues Angle for printing stories without the newspaper’s permission (AP, 9/14).

Palin: Hopes that Sarah Palin will rally the NV GOP base (Las Vegas Sun, 9/14)

Latinos: Angle’s problems finding Latino supporters (AP, 9/10).

GOP: Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Sandoval distances himself from Angle in interview (Las Vegas Sun, 9/10).

Ken Buck

Website: After primary, Buck’s website changes language on issue-pages regarding abortion, stem-cell research and immigration (Denver Post, 9/8).

Debate: Holds aggressive debate with Bennet in Grand Junction (ABC, 9/12), a second debate is scheduled for Friday.

Carly Fiorina

Economy: Refuses to support Small Business Lending bill, but says it has “many good aspects (AP, 9/14).

Poll: Trails Boxer by 2 percentage points, 46-44%, in latest Fox News poll (San Francisco Chronicle, 9/14).

Joe Miller

GOP: Mitch McConnell sends Miller a $5000 contribution, asks Sen. Murkowski to “move on,” NRSC pledges to spend $170,000 (Anchorage Daily News, 9/14; Fairbanks Daily News-Miner; 9/10).

Government: Miller criticized for views on federal government’s land ownership (The Mudflats, 9/13).

Christine O’Donnell

Victory: Upsets Congressman Mike Castle, 53-47% (Politico, 9/15).

Abstinence: Video from MTV shows O’Donnell, then head of Savior's Alliance for Lifting the Truth, speaking against masturbation (TPM, 9/14).

Rove: Trades barbs with Karl Rove (Washington Post, 9/15).

GOP: Castle unlike to endorse, campaign suggests that NRSC stays out of race (The Hill, 9/14).

Rand Paul

GOP: Calls out Republicans in Congress for failing to cut spending (AP, 9/12).

Ad: Claims that Health Care Reform “puts Washington bureaucrats in charge” in new ad, NRSC also on the air criticizing HCR (CBS News, 9/8; HuffPo, 9/14).

Palin: Fundraiser with Sarah Palin set for 9/16 (Courier-Journal, 9/13).

Dino Rossi

Poll: Murray leads Rossi 50-41% in new Elway poll (Seattle Times, 9/13)

Trial: Building Industry Association of Washington, a big Rossi backer, on trial for skimming finances for campaign purposes (Bellingham Herald, 9/14).

Economy: Says that Obama’s $50 billion infrastructure plan “makes no sense whatsoever” (King 5, 9/6).

Marco Rubio

Religious Right: David Barton of WallBuilders to headline event with Rubio (Orlando Politics Press, 9/14).

Poll: Rubio leads by double-digits in new Fox News poll (Political Wire, 9/14).

GOP: State Party’s internal audit clears Rubio on abusing Party-issued credit card, Crist campaign cries foul (St. Petersburg Times, 9/13).

Social Security: Says he opposes privatization but supports Bush-proposed “personal retirement accounts” (ReidReport, 9/14).

Economy: Supports extending all of the Bush tax-cuts (Orlando Sentinel, 9/14).

Ralph Reed's Spiritual Battle Plan for Political Victory

Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition held a conference in Washington, D.C. this past Friday and Saturday. It attracted some of the expected Religious Right figures – Ken Blackwell, Gary Bauer, etc. – and featured such goodies as Dinesh D’Souza discoursing on the source of President Obama’s “rage.”

This was also the weekend for a FreedomWorks Tea Party rally in D.C., and Reed didn’t pull a huge crowd – a couple of hundred people. Maybe that’s because his event was sandwiched between Glenn Beck’s pre-Labor Day gathering at the Lincoln Memorial and next weekend’s Values Voter Summit, traditionally the big item on the Religious Right political calendar, which could easily attract ten times as many activists as Reed got. 
 
But Reed is interested in different kinds of numbers. He says he’s all about building a grassroots organization that turns out targeted voters. Reed puffed with pride when he recounted the surprise 2002 victory of Georgia GOP Gov. Sonny Purdue, who was behind in the polls right up until Election Day. The pollsters’ likely voter models couldn’t and didn’t take account, Reed says, of the fervent voter registration and turnout work he was organizing in evangelical churches. And he told participants that if conservatives implement his model across the country this fall, it won’t just be a big victory for conservatives, but a historic, earth-shaking victory including races nobody thinks are even in play.
 
He said he regretted that liberals out-organized conservatives in 2006 and 2008 and he pledged never to let that happen again in his lifetime. He gave activists detailed marching orders and the ability to pull up both fiscal and faith-based conservatives from a massive voter database he is compiling.
 
He’s hoping that House Republicans will help the cause when they unveil their reform agenda later this month, and that new candidates will build bridges to voters that haven’t always been comfortable with the conservative movement, including women, African Americans, and Latinos. Reed talked excitedly about Florida’s Marco Rubio, who conservative leaders see as their movement’s Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama rolled into one appealing right-wing package.
 
Reed places himself and his activists squarely within both the Tea Party and Religious Right movements, saying their two goals are to return America to the “Constitutional limited government” our founders intended and return America to God. Of course, spiritual warfare is all the rage on the Religious Right, and Reed is no exception, telling workshop participants “this is ultimately a spiritual battle” and endorsing Pastor Jim Garlow’s prescription for 40 days of prayer and fasting before the election.

NOM: Desperate in DC

As we’ve been reporting, the National Organization for Marriage has been pumping money into Washington D.C.’s Democratic Party primaries in order to make good on its threat to punish elected officials who supported the District’s marriage equality law. With NOM’s mayoral candidate Leo Alexander barely registering in the polls (one percent among likely voters), and its candidate for the at-large council seat knocked off the ballot for failing to collect sufficient valid signatures, NOM’s last best hope seems to be helping Ward 5 council candidate Delano Hunter make a respectable showing this Tuesday, September 14. 

To make that happen, NOM is pouring its resources into attacks on Ward 5 Councilmember Harry ‘Tommy’ Thomas. We recently noted the chutzpah it took for NOM, which has bragged about efforts to get “white suburban Christian Republicans”  to fund anti-equality candidates in DC, to send voters a flyer complaining about a fictional flood of “outside” money from San Francisco and New York supposedly attacking Hunter.
 
NOM’s latest flyer is even worse. It seems calculated for maximum divisiveness, featuring a rich, snooty, white guy looking down his nose at voters with claims that “DC Elites” are disrespecting voters in majority-Black Ward 5 by preventing a referendum on marriage equality. The flyer’s theme fits with comments by Bishop Harry Jackson, who has worked tirelessly to inflame racial divisions over the issue.
 
Hunter, who lost badly to Thomas in a recent straw poll of Ward 5 Democrats, didn’t help himself during a Friday debate on “The Politics Hour,” a local public radio show. He's the only one of four candidates who does not support marriage equality and had a hard time giving a clear answer about his position. By the end of the show he was pushed into promising that if elected he wouldn’t try to change the law. So what exactly is NOM hoping to get from its six-figure investment in DC’s elections? I guess an Election Day margin between Thomas and Hunter that will allow NOM leaders to come up with some face-saving spin about their failed efforts to start the “war” that Jackson promised marriage equality would bring to D.C.:
 
 

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Leftovers

  • The group responsible for last week's ridiculous list of 25 worst Americans in history will now be sponsoring GOProud's Homocon 2010.
  • CBN's David Brody says President Obama's apparent support of the right of Muslims to build a facility near Ground Zero "may be the fatal blow" in making him a one-term president.
  • Remember Steven L. Anderson?
  • For some reason, the LA Times decided to give space to the AFA's Tim Wildmon to complain about the Prop 8 ruling.
  • Mike Huckabee continues to lead in Iowa polls.
  • Charles Colson and the Manhattan Declaration will be featured at the 2010 New Mexico Biblical World View Conference.
  • Finally, the quote of the day from Richard Land, vowing never to give in to gay marriage: “Let me spell it out for you, If they say that telling what the Bible says about homosexuality is hate speech, and cannot be allowed -- we will be arrested in our pulpits. We will obey God rather than man."

The Right's Plan For Stopping Gay Marriage: Intimidate The Supreme Court

Take one guess what the topic of James Dobson's radio program was yesterday

With his ruling this week that Proposition 8 is “unconstitutional,” Judge Vaughn Walker nullified the will of 7 million Californians who voted to pass the state constitutional amendment in November ’08. On today’s broadcast, Dr. Dobson is joined by Chuck Colson, Dr. Robert George, and Professor Timothy George in a passionate discussion regarding imperious judges, what this ruling means, and what America might look like in the future if Judge Walker’s ruling is not overturned by a higher court of law. The panel also points out that this dramatic turning point in our nation’s history might finally stir believers to stand up and defend religious liberties in America.

Aside from all the outrage and hand-wringing about how the ruling is destroying religious freedom in American, the discussion did provide an interesting revelation into how the Religious Right plans to lay the groundwork for fighting gay marriage as this case makes its way to the Supreme Court.

It seems that for the Right, the role of the Supreme Court is not to make decisions based upon the Constitution's fundamental principles and values, but is rather to hand down decisions that reflect the baises of the people.  As such, the Right plans to start laying the groundwork now to make it clear to the Justices on the Supreme Court that they will not tolerate any decision that recognizes marriage equality:

Chuck Colson: The Supreme Court has not, ever, handed down a decision which flew into the face and teeth of a strong moral consensus against it. I don't think, if we build a real groundswell of opinion now over the next several months, that the Supreme Court will rule in supporting what happened in California two days ago. I don't believe it; I believe that this is an opportunity that we have to build a groundswell of support that will cause the Supreme Court not to legalize gay marriage.

Robert George: What we have here is an unconstitutional, indeed anti-constitutional decision, of a lower court judge and we have to hope that the Supreme Court of the United States, when the issue reaches them, will reverse the judge's holding. Chuck Colson's right: it might very well depend on whether we make clear to the Justices that the redefinition of marriage, the destruction of historic understanding of marriage as the union of man and woman simply will not be accepted by us, we the people, as legitimate.

Colson: I think we have to make an appeal to our secular neighbors and I really believe that if we present this case well, Jim ... believe me, if we present it well and if we speak to the common good and we speak to what is just and right in society, if we do that, we're going to get a lot of people joining us. And we're going to see those polls continue to show what they have been showing consistently, and that is that the American people do not want marriage to be anything other than a man and a woman. And when this case gets to the Supreme Court, if we have built a groundswell, we're going to win this case.

It seems that for the Religious Right, the only legitimate court decisions are ones that support their agenda and so the proper way to make sure that courts issue correct decisions is to seek to intimidate judges by making clear that any decision they don't like "will not be accepted by us, we the people, as legitimate."

So keep that in mind the next time you hear the Religious Right talking about the sanctity of the Constitution and the proper role of the courts.

Right Wing Reactions to Prop 8 Decision

I'll be updating this post as more statements are released reacting to the decision to oveturn Prop 8, but Focus on the Family is out with the first statement blasting the ruling (if you don't count Harry Jackson, who Tweeted a statement hours ago):

“Judge Walker’s ruling raises a shocking notion that a single federal judge can nullify the votes of more than 7 million California voters, binding Supreme Court precedent, and several millennia-worth of evidence that children need both a mom and a dad.

“During these legal proceedings, the millions of California residents who supported Prop 8 have been wrongfully accused of being bigots and haters. Nothing could be further from the truth. Rather, they are concerned citizens, moms and dads who simply wanted to restore to California the long-standing understanding that marriage is between one woman and one man – a common-sense position that was taken away by the actions of another out-of-control state court in May 2008.

“Fortunately for them, who make up the majority of Californians, this disturbing decision is not the last word.

“We fully expect the judge’s decision to be overturned upon appeal. The redeeming feature of our judicial system is that one judge who ignores the law and the evidence must ultimately endure the review and reversal of his actions from the appellate courts.

“We do want Americans to understand the seriousness of this decision, however. If this judge’s decision is not overturned, it will most likely force all 50 states to recognize same-sex marriage. This would be a profound and fundamental change to the social and legal fabric of this country.

“Our Founders intended such radical changes to come from the people, not from activist judges. Alexander Hamilton, in advocating for the ratification of our Constitution in 1788, argued that the judiciary would be ‘the least dangerous’ branch of government. Today’s decision shows how far we have come from that original understanding.”

Randy Thomasson and Save California:

"Natural marriage, voter rights, the Constitution, and our republic called the United States of America have all been dealt a terrible blow. Judge Walker has ignored the written words of the Constitution, which he swore to support and defend and be impartially faithful to, and has instead imposed his own homosexual agenda upon the voters, the parents, and the children of California. This is a blatantly unconstitutional ruling because marriage isn't in the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution guarantees that state policies be by the people, not by the judges, and also supports states' rights, thus making marriage a state jurisdiction. It is high time for the oath of office to be updated to require judicial nominees to swear to judge only according to the written words of the Constitution and the original, documented intent of its framers. As a Californian and an American, I am angry that this biased homosexual judge, in step with other judicial activists, has trampled the written Constitution, grossly misused his authority, and imposed his own agenda, which the Constitution does not allow and which both the people of California and California state authorities should by no means respect."

Concerned Women for America:

Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America (CWA), said:

“Judge Walker’s decision goes far beyond homosexual ‘marriage’ to strike at the heart of our representative democracy. Judge Walker has declared, in effect, that his opinion is supreme and ‘We the People’ are no longer free to govern ourselves. The ruling should be appealed and overturned immediately.

“Marriage is not a political toy. It is too important to treat as a means for already powerful people to gain preferred status or acceptance. Marriage between one man and one woman undergirds a stable society and cannot be replaced by any other living arrangement.

“Citizens of California voted to uphold marriage because they understood the sacred nature of marriage and that homosexual activists use same-sex ‘marriage’ as a political juggernaut to indoctrinate young children in schools to reject their parent’s values and to harass, sue and punish people who disagree.

“CWA stands in prayer for our nation as we continue to defend marriage as the holy union God created between one man and one woman.”

CWA of California State Director Phyllis Nemeth said:

“Today Judge Vaughn Walker has chosen to side with political activism over the will of the people. His ruling is slap in the face to the more than seven million Californians who voted to uphold the definition of marriage as it has been understood for millennia.

“While Judge Walker’s decision is disappointing it is not the end of this battle. Far from it. The broad coalition of support for Proposition 8 remains strong, and we will support the appeal by ProtectMarriage.com, the official proponent of Proposition 8.

“We are confident that Judge Walker’s decision will ultimately be reversed. No combination of judicial gymnastics can negate the basic truth that marriage unites the complementary physical and emotional characteristics of a man and a woman to create a oneness that forms the basis for the family unit allowing a child to be raised by his or her father and mother. Any other combination is a counterfeit that fails to provide the best environment for healthy child rearing and a secure foundation for the family. It is this foundation upon which society is – and must be – built for a healthy and sustained existence.”

Family Research Council:

FRC President Tony Perkins released the following statement:

"This lawsuit, should it be upheld on appeal and in the Supreme Court, would become the 'Roe v. Wade' of same-sex 'marriage,' overturning the marriage laws of 45 states. As with abortion, the Supreme Court's involvement would only make the issue more volatile. It's time for the far Left to stop insisting that judges redefine our most fundamental social institution and using liberal courts to obtain a political goal they cannot obtain at the ballot box.

"Marriage is recognized as a public institution, rather than a purely private one, because of its role in bringing together men and women for the reproduction of the human race and keeping them together to raise the children produced by their union. The fact that homosexuals prefer not to enter into marriages as historically defined does not give them a right to change the definition of what a 'marriage' is.

"Marriage as the union between one man and one woman has been the universally-recognized understanding of marriage not only since America's founding but for millennia. To hold that the Founders created a constitutional right that none of them could even have conceived of is, quite simply, wrong.

"FRC has always fought to protect marriage in America and will continue to do so by working with our allies to appeal this dangerous decision. Even if this decision is upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals-the most liberal appeals court in America-Family Research Council is confident that we can help win this case before the U.S. Supreme Court."

Liberty Counsel:

Although Liberty Counsel has defended the marriage laws in California since the battle began in 2004, the Alliance Defense Fund, representing the Prop 8 initiative, opposed Liberty Counsel’s attempt to intervene on behalf of Campaign for California Families. The California Attorney General did not oppose Liberty Counsel’s intervention, but ADF did. Liberty Counsel sought to provide additional defense to Prop 8 because of concern that the case was not being adequately defended. After ADF actively opposed Liberty Counsel, ADF presented only two witnesses at trial, following the 15 witnesses presented by those who challenged the amendment. Even Judge Walker commented that he was concerned by the lack of evidence presented by ADF on behalf of Prop 8. Liberty Counsel will file an amicus brief at the court of appeals in defense of Prop 8.

The California Supreme Court previously stated, “The right of initiative is precious to the people and is one which the courts are zealous to preserve to the fullest tenable measure of spirit as well as letter.” Moreover, the U.S. Constitution cannot be stretched to include a right to same-sex marriage.

Except for this case, since Liberty Counsel was excluded by ADF, Liberty Counsel has represented the Campaign for California Families to defend the state’s marriage laws since 2004 and has argued at the trial, appellate and state Supreme Court levels.

Mary McAlister, Senior Litigation Counsel for Liberty Counsel, commented: “This is a classic case of judicial activism. The Constitution is unrecognizable in this opinion. This is simply the whim of one judge. It does not reflect the Constitution, the rule of law, or the will of the people. I am confident this decision will be overturned.”

Alliance Defense Fund:

“In America, we should respect and uphold the right of a free people to make policy choices through the democratic process--especially ones that do nothing more than uphold the definition of marriage that has existed since the foundation of the country and beyond,” said ADF Senior Counsel Brian Raum.

“We will certainly appeal this disappointing decision. Its impact could be devastating to marriage and the democratic process,” Raum said. “It’s not radical for more than 7 million Californians to protect marriage as they’ve always known it. What would be radical would be to allow a handful of activists to gut the core of the American democratic system and, in addition, force the entire country to accept a system that intentionally denies children the mom and the dad they deserve.”

...

“The majority of California voters simply wished to preserve the historic definition of marriage. The other side’s attack upon their good will and motives is lamentable and preposterous,” Raum said. “Imagine what would happen if every state constitutional amendment could be eliminated by small groups of wealthy activists who malign the intent of the people. It would no longer be America, but a tyranny of elitists.”

“What’s at stake here is bigger than California,” Pugno added. “Americans in numerous states have affirmed--and should be allowed to continue to affirm--a natural and historic public policy position like this. We are prepared to fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.”

Capitol Resource Institute:

"Today's ruling is indicative of an out-of-control judiciary willing to circumvent California's direct democracy by imposing their point of view," said Karen England Executive Director of Capitol Resource Institute (CRI). "Family values are under constant assault now more then ever. CRI was instrumental in passing proposition 22 in 2000 and we fought to get proposition 8 on the ballot and subsequently in California's Constitution. We will continue to battle interest groups who wish to redefine one of our oldest institutions; the institution of marriage. We will continue to represent the 7 million Californians who took to the polls in favor of marriage."

American Family Association:

“This is a tyrannical, abusive and utterly unconstitutional display of judicial arrogance. Judge Walker has turned ‘We the People’ into ‘I the Judge.’

“It’s inexcusable for him to deprive the citizens of California of their right to govern themselves, and cavalierly trash the will of over seven million voters. This case never should even have entered his courtroom. The federal constitution nowhere establishes marriage policy, which means under the 10th Amendment that issue is reserved for the states.

“It’s also extremely problematic that Judge Walker is a practicing homosexual himself. He should have recused himself from this case, because his judgment is clearly compromised by his own sexual proclivity. The fundamental issue here is whether homosexual conduct, with all its physical and psychological risks, should be promoted and endorsed by society. That’s why the people and elected officials accountable to the people should be setting marriage policy, not a black-robed tyrant whose own lifestyle choices make it impossible to believe he could be impartial.

“His situation is no different than a judge who owns a porn studio being asked to rule on an anti-pornography statute. He’d have to recuse himself on conflict of interest grounds, and Judge Walker should have done that.

“The Constitution says judges hold office ‘during good Behavior.’ Well, this ruling is bad behavior - in fact, it’s very, very bad behavior - and we call on all members of the House of Representatives who respect the Constitution to launch impeachment proceedings against this judge.”

Traditional Values Coalition:

"It is an outrage that one arrogant and rogue federal judge can take it upon himself to overturn a centuries old definition of marriage and family," said Rev. Lou Sheldon, chairman and founder of Traditional Values Coalition (TVC). "On November 4, 2008, 7 million voters of California cemented into the state constitution a definition of marriage for one man and one woman only. Now with US District Court Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling today he has completely undermined the expressed will of voters at the ballot box. Direct Democracy has been blatantly attacked today."

"First it was the California Supreme Court's decision in 2008 to overturn Prop 22 and force the people of California to accept homosexual marriages. Well, the people adamantly rejected their ruling and homosexual marriages and they passed Prop 8, which was designed to forever tie the hands of judges from redefining marriage. Now one judge has yet again slapped the people in the face, even though the state constitution now clearly tells them what marriage means; we spelled it out for them in black and white," Sheldon added. "This is a blatant sign of judicial activism and lack of judicial restraint."

Sheldon added: "There is more at stake than just traditional marriage and the centuries long definition of the family. This ruling seriously undermines the expressed vote and will of the people on initiatives and proposed amendments they approve at the ballot box. This judge's ruling says that any vote of the people will have no weight, credence, sovereignty, value or worth at all. On appeal, the courts will either realize their limits and not undermine the constitutional power of the vote, or they will continue to demonstrate the most blatant arrogance and impose judicial tyranny by declaring that they alone, and not the people, have the ultimate final say on all matters of the state. Democracy, the constitution and the people would be beneath them."

TVC state lobbyist Benjamin Lopez, who was publicly credited by homosexual State Senator Mark Leno for the defeat of his proposed homosexual marriage bill in 2005, echoed Sheldon's statements:

"The issue at hand now is whether the will of 7 million voters outweighs that of either 7 Supreme Court justices or any one judge anywhere in the state. Homosexual marriage advocates may kick and scream the loudest demanding that Prop 8 be struck down, but they should be drowned out by the deafening voice of 7 million Californians who settled this issue not once, but twice already. We are hear because homosexual radicals continue to act like immature children who throw tantrums when they do not get their way."

"Same-sex marriage supporters repeatedly beat the drum of civil rights to equate their cause to the legitimate struggles of minority groups and say the public is on their side. Yet not even in 'liberal' California have they won over the people so they must resort to sympathetic, liberal black-robed activists who sit on the bench to force same-sex marriage on the people.

"If folks think that the Tea Party movement is a force to be reckoned with now, wait until the silent majority of pro-family voters flex their political muscle once again. Judges beware, you will go the way of Rose Bird, stripped of their robes and kicked off the bench," Lopez added.

The battle of same-sex marriage began in March 2000 when California voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 22. It stated: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." Homosexual marriage advocates challenged Prop 22 in court and in March 2005, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer struck it down ruling it in violation of the equal protection clause. Kramer's ruling was then challenged all the way to the California Supreme Court. In early 2008 the high court upheld Kramer's ruling allowing homosexual marriages to take place. Voters passed Prop 8 in November 2008 cementing Prop 22's language into the state constitution. After challenges to Prop 8 reached the state supreme court, the justices upheld Prop 8 and allowed for some 18,000 same-sex marriages to stand. The current ruling by Judge Walker was the result of a challenge to the California Supreme Court's ruling.

Richard Land:

 “This is a grievously serious crisis in how the American people will choose to be governed. The people of our most populous state—a state broadly indicative of the nation at large demographically—voted to define marriage as being between one man and one woman, thus excluding same-sex and polygamous relationships from being defined as marriage. 

“Now, an unelected federal judge has chosen to override the will of the people of California and to redefine an institution the federal government did not create and that predates the founding of America. Indeed, ‘marriage’ goes back to the Garden of Eden, where God defined His institution of marriage as being between one man and one woman.

“This case will clearly make its way to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and then to the Supreme Court of the United States, where unfortunately, the outcome is far from certain. There are clearly four votes who will disagree with this judge—Roberts, Thomas, Scalia, and Alito. The supreme question is: Will there be a fifth? Having surveyed Justice Kennedy’s record on this issue, I have no confidence that he will uphold the will of the people of California.

“If and when the Supreme Court agrees with the lower court, then the American people will have to decide whether they will insist on continuing to have a government of the people, by the people and for the people, or whether they’re going to live under the serfdom of government by the judges, of the judges and for the judges. Our forefathers have given us a method to express our ultimate will. It’s called an amendment to the Constitution. If the Supreme Court fails to uphold the will of the people of California—if we are going to have our form of government altered by judicial fiat—then the only alternative left to us is to pass a constitutional amendment defining marriage as being between one man and one woman.

“Many senators who voted against the federal marriage amendment the last time it came up said publicly if a federal court interfered with a state’s right to determine this issue, they would then be willing to vote for a federal marriage amendment. Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to vote.

“Despite egregious court rulings like this one, there is nonetheless an unprecedented effort going on across the nation of Christians uniting for sustained prayer, for revival, awakening and deliverance. I encourage everyone to join me in this effort and go to 4040prayer.com for more information.” 

National Organization for Marriage:

"Big surprise! We expected nothing different from Judge Vaughn Walker, after the biased way he conducted this trial," said Brian Brown, President of NOM. "With a stroke of his pen, Judge Walker has overruled the votes and values of 7 million Californians who voted for marriage as one man and one woman. This ruling, if allowed to stand, threatens not only Prop 8 in California but the laws in 45 other states that define marriage as one man and one woman."

"Never in the history of America has a federal judge ruled that there is a federal constitutional right to same sex marriage. The reason for this is simple - there isn't!" added Brown.

"The 'trial' in San Francisco in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case is a unique, and disturbing, episode in American jurisprudence. Here we have an openly gay (according to the San Francisco Chronicle) federal judge substituting his views for those of the American people and of our Founding Fathers who I promise you would be shocked by courts that imagine they have the right to put gay marriage in our Constitution. We call on the Supreme Court and Congress to protect the people's right to vote for marriage," stated Maggie Gallagher, Chairman of the Board of NOM.

"Gay marriage groups like the Human Rights Campaign, Freedom to Marry, and Equality California will, no doubt, be congratulating themselves over this "victory" today in San Francisco. However, even they know that Judge Walker's decision is only temporary. For the past 20 years, gay marriage groups have fought to avoid cases filed in federal court for one good reason - they will eventually lose. But these groups do not have control of the Schwarzenegger v. Perry case, which is being litigated by two egomaniacal lawyers (Ted Olson and David Boies). So while they congratulate themselves over their victory before their home-town judge today, let's not lose sight of the fact that this case is headed for the U.S. Supreme Court, where the right of states to define marriage as being between one man and one woman will be affirmed--and if the Supreme Court fails, Congress has the final say. The rights of millions of voters in states from Wisconsin to Florida, from Maine to California, are at stake in this ruling; NOM is confident that the Supreme Court will affirm the basic civil rights of millions of American voters to define marriage as one man and one woman," noted Gallagher.

Robert George - American Principles Project:

“Another flagrant and inexcusable exercise of ‘raw judicial power’ threatens to enflame and prolong the culture war ignited by the courts in the 1973 case of Roe v. Wade,” said Dr. Robert P. George, Founder of the American Principles Project. “In striking down California’s conjugal marriage law, Judge Walker has arrogated to himself a decision of profound social importance—the definition and meaning of marriage itself—that is left by the Constitution to the people and their elected representatives.”

“As a decision lacking any warrant in the text, logic, structure, or original understanding of the Constitution, it abuses and dishonors the very charter in whose name Judge Walker declares to be acting. This usurpation of democratic authority must not be permitted to stand.”

Judge Walker’s decision in Perry v. Schwarzenegger seeks to invalidate California Proposition 8, which by vote of the people of California restored the conjugal conception of marriage as the union of husband and wife after California courts had re-defined marriage to include same-sex partnerships.

“The claim that this case is about equal protection or discrimination is simply false,” George said. “It is about the nature of marriage as an institution that serves the interests of children—and society as a whole—by uniting men and women in a relationship whose meaning is shaped by its wonderful and, indeed, unique aptness for the begetting and rearing of children.

“We are talking about the right to define what marriage is, not about who can or cannot take part. Under our Constitution the definition and meaning of marriage is a decision left in the hands of the people, not given to that small fraction of the population who happen to be judges.”

“Judge Walker has abandoned his role as an impartial umpire and jumped into the competition between those who believe in marriage as the union of husband and wife and those who seek to advance still further the ideology of the sexual revolution. Were his decision to stand, it would ensure additional decades of social dissension and polarization. Pro-marriage Americans are not going to yield to sexual revolutionary ideology or to judges who abandon their impartiality to advance it. We will work as hard as we can for as long as it takes to defend the institution of marriage and to restore the principle of democratic self-government,” concluded Dr. George.

Newt Gingrich:

"Judge Walker's ruling overturning Prop 8 is an outrageous disrespect for our Constitution and for the majority of people of the United States who believe marriage is the union of husband and wife. In every state of the union from California to Maine to Georgia, where the people have had a chance to vote they've affirmed that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Congress now has the responsibility to act immediately to reaffirm marriage as a union of one man and one woman as our national policy. Today’s notorious decision also underscores the importance of the Senate vote tomorrow on the nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court because judges who oppose the American people are a growing threat to our society.”

Right Wing Round-Up

  • TPM: Reid Opponent Embraces Patriot Group That Warns Of 'Giant Concentration Camps'.
  • Washington City Paper: Anti-Abortion Activist Gets Arrested, Attention.
  • Americans United: Religion At The Polls: Religious Right-Backed Candidates Fail At The Ballot Box.
  • David Weigel: Victory has a thousand fathers, exhibit A.
  • Alan Colmes: Teacher Fired For Conceiving Three Weeks Before Wedding.
  • Think Progress: Rep. Ike Skelton is concerned DADT repeal would harm the children.
  • Michigan Messenger: Hoekstra endorsed by controversial figures.
  • Steve Benen: The Inherent Challenge of "What It All Means"
.

Roy Moore: "You Can’t Be Happy If You Don’t Follow God’s Laws"

Oddly, ever since we noted last year that infamous Ten Commandment judge Roy Moore was seeking the GOP nomination for Governor in Alabama, we haven't written much about him. 

And it is not because we haven't been paying attention, but rather because he seems to have really focused on his race and worked on cutting down on his crazy-talk, resulting in the very real possibility that he might actually be able to come out on top on the primary in two weeks, at least according to recent polls.

Bus as the race comes down to the wire, it looks like Moore is going to be placing more emphasis on how, if elected, he'll make sure that Alabama's follows "God's law": 

Over the clink of plates and cutlery, Republican hopeful and former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore reaffirmed his belief in strict interpretations of the U.S. and Alabama constitutions and an unwavering belief in God’s law as a foundation of American democracy.

...

Moore said the U.S. has the best form of government that has ever existed and one firmly founded on a belief in God as the source of basic rights.

“President after president have recognized that our constitution exists because there is a God,” he said.

Moore also said the happiness mentioned in the Declaration of Independence is synonymous with the idea of justice as defined in the Bible.

“You can’t be happy if you don’t follow God’s laws,” he said. “If you follow God’s law, you can’t help but be happy.”

Wildmon: Polls Are "Hogwash"

The American Family Association's Tim Wildmon says it is "hogwash" to claim that the Tea Party movement is in any way motivated by racism: 

In America, if you are called a racist by certain people you are guilty until proven innocent.

Take nationally syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts, for example. He used a recent column to declare the Tea Party movement one driven by racism due to the fact that President Barack Obama is an African-American. What hogwash.

Pitts wrote a racial profile of the Tea Party movement this way: "They tend to be white, Republican, male, over 45 and wealthier than the rest of us."

Again I say, hogwash!

Of course, Pitts wrote that the Tea Party movement tends to be "white, Republican, male, over 45 and wealthier than the rest of us" precisely because that is what polls have found:

Tea Party supporters are wealthier and more well-educated than the general public, and are no more or less afraid of falling into a lower socioeconomic class, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

The 18 percent of Americans who identify themselves as Tea Party supporters tend to be Republican, white, male, married and older than 45.

But apparently pointing out that polls reveal that Tea Party activists tend to be white, male, Republicans, over 45 is "hogwash" ... says Wildom, a white, male, Republican Tea Party activst (presumably) over the age of 45.

But even worse, it is blatant attempt to play the race card against a bunch of white, male, Republicans over 45 who just so happen to be the only ones capable of seeing that President Obama is destroying America:

And even it were true, what does any of that have to do with being deeply troubled, upset, and angered by the massive expansion of the federal government by both Congress and the White House? Maybe white, Republican males over 45 and wealthier than the rest simply see clearly what is happening to America and they don't like it. That does not make the Tea Party movement racist.

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polls Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 05/10/2011, 12:29pm
Back in March, Maggie Gallagher wrote a column attacking the idea that marriage equality could be a way to foster economic growth for states and today she was the guest on "Wallbuilders Live" to discuss it. To kick things off, hosts David Barton and Rick Green mocked the idea, calling it "wacko on steroids" while Barton, of all people, demanded that we be "logical" about this before asserting that the Disney corporation lost money year after year when it supported gay rights and, once it reversed course, became profitable: Barton: So everything is about... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 05/09/2011, 4:19pm
Patrick Vaughn, the American Family Association’s general counsel, on AFA Report attacked President Obama for meeting with the families of the victims of the September 11th attacks. Following the successful mission to kill Osama bin Laden, Obama visited Ground Zero to honor the victims and met with victims’ families and local firefighters. Vaughn alleged that the President was “spiking the football at Ground Zero” and “feeling his oats” in a political stunt motivated by “calculated political gamesmanship.” Vaughn said: I think our leaders... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 05/04/2011, 11:28am
A few weeks back, Jim Garlow announced that, due to Newt Gingrich's possible presidential run, Gingrich and Rick Tyler had stepped down from their roles of leadership in Renewing American Leadership – leaving Garlow in control as Chairman, CEO & President. Ever since, the updates from ReAL have taken on an even more pronounced Religious Right tone, with Garolw announcing things like the formation of a ReAL prayer team and now sending out messages like this one from Vivian Berryhill, founder/president of the National Coalition of Pastors' Spouses, announcing that the "... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 04/26/2011, 8:28am
Michele Bachmann Media: Included in the Time 100 (Star Tribune, 4/21). 2012: Claims she will reach a decision on presidential bid by June (LA Times, 4/20).  Haley Barbour 2012: Decides against running for president (Politico, 4/25).  Newt Gingrich Energy: Received $300,000 from ethanol lobbying group (Des Moines Register, 4/25). Immigration: Balances outreach to Hispanic voters with GOP's increasing nativism (Politico, 4/22).  Mike Huckabee South Carolina: Leads other candidates among South Carolina Republicans in new poll (The Ticket, 4/25). Media: War of words with... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 04/19/2011, 8:33am
Michele Bachmann Book: Considering a proposal to write her memoirs (AP, 4/18). South Carolina: Rally in South Carolina a bust (CBS News, 4/18).  Birther: Continues to float birther conspiracy on Fox News (The Atlantic, 4/18).  Budget: Falsely claims that the top 1% pay 40% of taxes (PolitiFact, 4/13).  Haley Barbour South Carolina: Wins Charleston County GOP straw poll (The State Column, 4/18).  New Hampshire: Takes two-day swing in New Hampshire (Boston Globe, 4/15).  Mike Huckabee South Carolina: Meets with supporters from the 2008 campaign (RCP, 4/18). ... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 03/29/2011, 11:38am
As part of the Religious Right’s burgeoning anti-union campaign, The Family Research Council’s Super PAC is entering the fight in Wisconsin in the contested Supreme Court race. FRC president Tony Perkins showed his support for the state’s embattled governor Scott Walker, tweeting, “Pro-family voters should celebrate WI victory b/c public & private sector union bosses have marched lock-step w/liberal social agenda.” Walker’s chief ally on the state Supreme Court, David Prosser, is now facing a serious challenge in the judicial election on April 5th.... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 03/18/2011, 4:26pm
A judge has blocked the Wisconsin law designed to strip unions of their collective bargaining rights. I am guessing that the polls showing that more than half of Americans support marriage equality will not get a lot of attention from the Religious Right. Guess what?  Phyllis Schlafly doesn't know what she is talking about. Just so know you know, Herman Cain is the butter that rises to the top. Finally, quote of the day from Rep. Randy Forbes: “The most important thing that we want to establish is not whether or not you are a Christian, but we have to stop the... MORE