Everyone knows that conservatives and Republicans are struggling at the moment and trying to figure out how to regain their influence in politics, motivate their supporters, and start winning elections.
Nobody seems to be able agree on a course of action or any sort of messaging … but what they can agree on apparently is that what they need are new groups.
A few weeks back a new group called The Faith and Freedom Institute emerged in order to combat “satanic wickedness” and return America to a foundation of Biblical principles. Since that is pretty much the mission of every other right-wing group, why this new one is needed is beyond me.
And just last week we found out that Tony Perkins, Richard Land, Wellington Boone, and Harry Jackson were launching something known as Call 2 Fall … which seems to be some sort of Lou Engle-less version of “The Call.” Again, why this new duplicate effort is necessary remains a mystery.
Now, via Dan Gilgoff, we find out that yet another new right-wing effort in underway:
As religious conservatives are receiving some cold shoulders from the Republican Party, they’re beginning to launch new political organizations of their own. Tonight, coinciding with his debate with Doug Kmiec at the National Press Club—an exchange that began here on God & Country—conservative Catholic legal scholar and activist Robby George will be unveiling one of them: the American Principles Project.
The group’s website says it will hold Republicans to account on conservative positions:
The message of the 2006 and 2008 elections is not that the American people want to be governed by the ultraliberal and statist ideology of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid; rather it is that Americans will not tolerate Republicans and “conservatives” who refuse to honor in practice the principles they purport to affirm—Republicans and “conservatives” who expand government, spend our tax dollars wantonly, do nothing about out-of-control judges who undermine democracy, and sit idly by as marriage is redefined and further weakened.
The key difference between this group and others cropping up to chart a course forward for the GOP is that the American Principles Projects counts opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage among its top priorities.
The American Principles Project seems to be a response to the National Council for a New America, which angered the Religious Right when it unveiled its agenda for the remaking the GOP which contained no mention of the social issues like gay marriage and abortion that make up the core of their mission.
The confusing thing about this is that there are already dozens of right-wing groups for whom opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage are their top priorities.
In fact, this mission statement from the American Principles Project could, literally, apply to just about every other right-wing group currently in existence:
The United States of America does not need new principles. It needs renewed fidelity to the principles set forth in our Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. These are timeless principles: truths that we hold, in Jefferson’s immortal words, to be, “self-evident.” They are, moreover, universal principles, not the historically contingent beliefs or customs of a particular sect or clan or tribe. They are rooted in the nature of man as a being who, by virtue of his God-given dignity and rationality, owns the right to participate in the great project of self-government as a free and equal citizen. Whatever others may say, we at the American Principles Project and all who join with us reaffirm the truth that each and every member of the human family is, “created equal, endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, and among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
If these timeless principles are to be restored and our national commitment to them renewed, then a new voice is needed in American politics, a voice that is unafraid to stand up for what is right and speak out against what is wrong. Indeed, that “voice” must be nothing less than millions of American voices raised in unison in defense of political liberty and economic freedom, the sanctity of human life and the integrity of marriage and the family, and the sovereignty and security of our nation.
The Right already has dozens of national and state-based organizations committed to this very same mission.
Has anyone at the American Principles Project ever heard of the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, Concerned Women for America, the American Family Association, or the Traditional Values Coalition?
What exactly is this new group going to bring to the table that these various other groups don’t?
Whatever the conservative movement’s problems might be at the moment, I can assure them that their dilemma is not rooted in the fact that there are just too few groups pressing the right-wing agenda.