2012 Candidates Weekly Update 1/4/11

Mitch Daniels

Social issues: Candidates for RNC Chair pan Daniels's "truce" proposal (GOP12, 1/3).

2012: Claims that a potential presidential bid scares his family "to death" (The Hill, 1/3).

Newt Gingrich

Religious Right: Bryan Fischer of AFA thinks his history of extramarital affairs will doom him among social conservatives (RWW, 1/3).

Fundraising: Confirmed to address, along with Mike Pence, Illinois GOP fundraiser celebrating Ronald Reagan's birthday (Chicago Tribune, 1/3).

Mike Huckabee

Arkansas: Enthusiasm builds for a second presidential run in his home state of Arkansas (Politics Daily, 1/2).

Poll: Two out of three Republicans said that they were "very or somewhat likely" to back Huckabee, leading the field (CBNNews, 1/2).

Jon Huntsman

2012: Still open to presidential bid despite his appointment as Ambassador to China (Newsweek, 1/1).

Sarah Palin

Social issues: Re-tweets Tammy Bruce, who said that "the more someone complains about the homos the more we should look under their bed" (Gawker, 1/4).

GOP: Conservative writer George Will and blogger Erick Erickson dismiss Palin's chances of winning the Presidency (Salon, 1/3).

Book: Reviewer of America By Heart finds that "there is no identity she embraces with more alacrity than that of victim" (Religion Dispatches, 1/2).

Tim Pawlenty

2012: With Mark Dayton's inauguration as governor, Pawlenty now "full-time candidate" (The Atlantic, 1/3).

Book: Will begin tour for new book, Courage to Stand (Minnesota Public Radio, 1/3).

Mike Pence

Indiana: Fundraising plans point to potential gubernatorial bid (TPM, 1/4).

GOP: Wins the endorsement of RedState's Erick Erickson (RedState, 1/3).

Fundraising: Confirmed to address, along with Newt Gingrich, Illinois GOP fundraiser celebrating Ronald Reagan's birthday (Chicago Tribune, 1/3).

Mitt Romney

Massachusetts: May have a "Willie Horton" situation from his parole board appointments as Massachusetts governor (UPI, 1/3).

South Carolina: Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) calls Romney "the most electable conservative" (Greenville Online, 1/3).

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Leftovers

  • I just wanted to point it that it has now been one year since Lisa Miller kidnapped her daughter and disappeared.
  • NOM seems quite pleased that most of the candidates for RNC chair oppose marriage equality.
  • Orson Scott Card says Mormon's will never forgive Mike Huckabee's "viciously anti-Mormon mockery of Mitt Romney during the 2008 campaign."
  • Gov. Mitch Daniels stands by his call for a "truce" in the culture wars.
  • Apparently, the fact that a Florida man was allegedly mocked for his faith is a sign of the End Times.
  • The Christian Anti-Defamation Commission's list of the "Top Ten Anti-Christian Events in 2010" seems to consist of only four things.

Fischer: Christians Must Always Vote Against Gays

Bryan Fischer dedicated nearly ten minutes of his radio program to his favorite topic: railing against all things gay.

I have edited it to down to highlight Fischer's claim that what America needs is pastors who are willing to instruct their congregations that homosexuality is an ungodly perversion and that, as Christians, they must always vote accordingly and fight any effort to "accept the normalization of homosexual behavior." 

Fischer goes on to assert that you "cannot, cannot, cannot" call yourself a conservative if support equality because homosexuality is "deviant sexual behavior" and an "abomination in the nostrils of God" that "no rational society should ever endorse": 

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FRC Explains Decision to Skip CPAC

The Family Research Council's Tom McClusky explains why FRC will not participate in this year's CPAC, saying they decided end the relationship years ago because they were tired of having to battle to get their issues included and that the move to allow GOProud to sponsor the event "only cemented our decision":

We left CPAC a couple of years ago (before GOProud was a twinkle in anyone’s eye) in part because we saw they were moving away from conservative principles and also because of a growing concern over the management of CPAC. We know many friends as well as former CPAC employees over the years and know how the place operates. I didn’t hear anyone here at FRC voicing surprise when a leading ACU official was caught embezzling a few weeks ago. GOProud only cemented our decision that we should continue to stay away – just as the inclusion of other non- and anti -conservative groups have done in prior years.

...

When CPAC first launched in 1973, it was a small gathering of dedicated conservatives. The conference was an example of the coalition that elected President Ronald Reagan as our 40th President. The conference embodied what is called the three-legged stool of traditional social values, economic conservatism, and a strong national defense. Traditional moral values, such as marriage between a man and a woman, are a part of longstanding, conservative philosophy. The importance of the institution of marriage between a man and a woman cannot be separated from the discussion of limited government and fiscal conservatism.

Family Research Council has had a long history with CPAC, the American Conservative Union (ACU) and the American Conservative Union Foundation (ACUF). For over a decade, FRC was a cosponsor of CPAC, sponsoring popular panels on marriage and life. Every year, (at least in the eight I have been with FRC,) we have had to push a reluctant ACU to continue these panel discussions. A few years ago, we finally opted out of the event after deciding that the annual fight over conservatism with CPAC officials was a waste of energy and time ..

McClusky also takes issue with claims that GOProud is a gay conservative group, saying that they are, in fact, "a homosexual organization that is marginally conservative":

As for the separate issue of GOProud, they are an organization that opposes basic conservative principles. It’s not a conservative organization that happens to be gay; it is a homosexual organization that is marginally conservative.

GOProud’s website explains just how radical its priorities are. This is a group that opposed the death tax and ObamaCare — not because they aren’t sound economic policies — but because they “discriminate” against “gay families.” Its platform doesn’t end there. One of the group’s top 10 “principles” is to create “enterprise zones” for homosexuals, despite the fact that the average income for gays and lesbians is higher than most everyone else. At least two more of its “principles” call for the overturning of the Defense of Marriage Act. Additional priorities include allowing homosexuals to serve openly in the military and defeating any attempt to protect one-man, one-woman marriage. The group even ran ads criticizing President Obama for not doing enough for the homosexual community.

...

[A]fter the elections GOProud further tried to divide conservatives by releasing a letter demanding that the Republican Party stay away from social issues. Ignoring their own demand, they continued pushing to overturn the law on homosexuals serving openly in the military. Hypocritical much?

You will be hard pressed to find anyone here looking to back down from a debate on the issues but it also isn’t our job to legitimize CPAC or GOProud as if they represent conservative goals and principles.

Lou Engle's War on the Supreme Court

Last week, the International House of Prayer hosted a four-day conference called "One Thing" during which Lou Engle explained that he is leading a spiritual war against the Supreme Court to get abortion outlawed in America and that because of the efforts of his team of prayer warriors, Chief Justice John Roberts was nominated and confirmed and the efforts to filibuster President Bush's judges failed ... and that now they are asking God to visit Justices Sotomayor and Kennedy with dreams and revelation:

IRD Slams State Department for Backing Gay Rights Abroad

Writing for the American Spectator, Jeff Walton of the Institute on Religion and Democracy condemned the State Department for advancing the rights of gays and lesbians abroad. The IRD is a far-right group with a two-pronged strategy to advance its opposition to gay rights: dividing and decrying churches, particularly Mainline Protestant denominations, which favor LGBT equality, while at the same time aiding and promoting groups in Africa and the U.S. that attack gays and even support the criminalization of homosexuality. Most recently, the IRD vilified a North Carolina church group for electing an openly gay layman as the President. In addition to the group’s militant stance on gay rights, the IRD also works against the rights of women and immigrants, and criticizes the environmental movement, and the IRD has ties to major right wing organizations like the Heritage Foundation, Concerned Women For America, Numbers USA, and the American Enterprise Institute.

Walton, the Communications Manager for the IRD who previously alleged that the Episcopal Church could be held responsible for the deaths of Christians abroad because it allows gays and lesbians to serve as Bishops, now is taking to the ultraconservative Spectator to reproach the State Department for “promoting homosexuality overseas.” He blasts Secretary Hillary Clinton for allegedly wanting to “legitimize homosexual practices in those socially traditional countries,” like those in Africa, and maintains that efforts to protect gays from discrimination are affronts to “religious freedom.” Walton denounces the State Department’s work to document anti-gay laws and violence, and the pressure it puts on countries like Uganda to improve the rights of gays:

Although the language of some U.S. officials begins with the legitimate concern for personal safety and freedom from the threat of violence, it often ends by demanding acceptance of homosexual acts as a human right.

"We've come such a far distance in our own country, but there are still so many who need the outreach, need the mentoring, need the support, to stand up and be who they are, and then think about people in so many countries where it just seems impossible," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said during a speech in June as part of "Pride Month" celebrations at the U.S. State Department.

At the event, which was organized by the group "Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies," Clinton said the State Department is supporting efforts to advance homosexual rights around the world. "We celebrate the progress of advancing the rights of LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender] in our country, as we continue to advance the rights of all people around the world," Clinton gushed before the receptive audience, adding that the "struggle for equality is never, ever finished."



During her June address, Clinton stated that her department has formalized reporting on homosexual rights for the first time in the 2009 annual human rights report that was issued in February on every country in the world. But the top U.S. diplomat quickly honed in on Africa, saying that U.S. embassies there had been directed to ask their host government about the status of LGBT rights. A special panel discussion on LGBT rights in Africa was also held later in the day.

He goes on to rebuke Assistant Secretary of State Michael H. Posner, openly gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, and Bishop Christopher Senyonjo, an Anglican Bishop who worked in Ugana to improve the livelihoods of marginalized gay Ugandans and diligently opposed a bill in Uganda’s Parliament that “would make homosexuality illegal, in some cases punishable by death.” Walton says:

In March, Posner introduced the State Department human rights report to Congress, emphasizing what was termed a growing crisis in abuse directed against LGBT people worldwide, and urging the use of diplomacy to counter the alleged trend.

In introducing the report, Posner singled out the case of Uganda, where he alleged that introduction of anti-homosexuality legislation has resulted in abuse. The report further documents LGBT-related incidents in almost every country in the world.

Posner's report met agreement with Robinson and Senyonjo during their conversation at CAP.

“[The] time is coming when we should not work on just one bill, but towards decriminalization," Senyonjo said, adding that he was "very grateful for voices all over the world that work against oppression."

"It is wrong to say, 'Don't interfere, it's a domestic thing,'" the former Anglican bishop said. He compared foreigners working for decriminalization of homosexuality in Africa to aid workers providing earthquake relief in Haiti.



In that commissioning, Senyonjo seems to have found a partner in the U.S. State Department. For them, seemingly sexual freedom is more important than religious freedom. Look for more developments in 2011.

Walton never explains how defending gays from violence and discrimination undermines “religious freedom,” and dismisses Bishop Senyonjo’s religiously-grounded defense of LGBT equality. Just as the IRD demonized many US churches who worked in social justice and anti-apartheid activism in South Africa because they also supported rights for gays and lesbians, Walton and the IRD are criticizing the State Department for working to document and prevent the persecution and oppression of gays outside of the U.S.

IHOP Drops Suits Against IHOP

In September, the International House of Pancakes sued Kansas City's International House of Prayer for trademark dilution and infringement.

But last week, the pancake chain decided to drop its suit and attempt to resolve the conflict out of court:

The International House of Pancakes has dropped its trademark infringement lawsuit against a church, agreeing to resolve its dispute with the International House of Prayer out of court.

On Dec. 21, the restaurant chain dismissed its case against the church, with its lawyers citing "ongoing mediation with the defendants," according to documents filed in federal court in Los Angeles.

The restaurant chain sued the church in September, alleging it misappropriated IHOP trademarks with its website, ihop.org, and in signs and events at its headquarters in Kansas City, Mo., and California ministries. The church also has affiliates in San Jose, Santa Maria, Calif., and Dublin, Calif.

When the lawsuit was filed, restaurant spokesman Patrick Lenow said the church's use of IHOP and related phrases confused customers, undermined trademarked uses and risked publicly linking the chain of 1,500 restaurants with a particular faith or church.

...

Lenow, a spokesman with IHOP parent company DineEquity Inc., declined to discuss the company's expected remedies for the six claims of trademark infringement, or a timeline, for the matter to be resolved.

"We have agreed with House of Prayer not to publicly discuss the case," Lenow said in an e-mail.

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God Tells Robertson 2011 Will Bad For the World, Great For Robertson

Every year God personally tells Pat Robertson what to expect for the coming year ... like back in 2007 when He warned that "some very serious terrorist attacks" were going to rock major American cities.

This year God has told Robertson that America will fall into bankruptcy and turmoil ... but on the bright side, things are going to be great for Robertson's CBN network, Regent University, and American Center for Law and Justice:

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Fischer Says Leading GOP Presidential Hopefuls All Fall Short

The American Family Association's Bryan Fischer takes a look at several of the GOP's presidential hopefuls and declares them all unacceptable and/or unelectable.

Mitt Romney:

Romney will prove unacceptable to genuine social conservatives because of his politics, not his religion. His newfound love affair with the public policy values of the Judeo-Christian tradition has all the marks of a conversion which is based on convenience rather than conviction. Romney knows he cannot win without support from the pro-life, pro-faith, pro-marriage community and so it appears he’s trying to paint himself as a sincere champion for our values. It is unlikely to work.

Mitt single-handedly, by executive fiat, imposed same-sex marriage on Massachusetts in 2004, and toppled the first domino in this disastrous social experiment ... And worse for him, he is the architect of the disastrous RomneyCare, a state-level version of ObamaCare.

Sarah Palin:

Sarah Palin is probably unelectable, because of her resignation as governor of Alaska and the savage and contemptible beating she has taken from the out-of-the-mainstream media. She has been successfully demonized by vicious press outlets, who seem determined to obliterate this woman’s electoral viability. And thanks to a gullible population which doesn’t believe anything the media says unless they say it about a conservative, she probably has too steep a hill to climb.

Newt Gingrich:

Newt’s troubled marital history is going to be his biggest problem. He is a brilliant thinker and strategist, and this seems to be his best role in assisting the conservative cause.

But the minimum social conservatives expect in their standard-bearer is someone who doesn’t just talk the talk when it comes to family values but walks the walk.

Unfortunately, Gingrich is on his third marriage, and left his first two wives while they were battling cancer and MS respectively. By his own admission, he was carrying on an affair with his current wife while leading the impeachment effort against President Clinton for lying about his dalliance with Monica Lewinsky. There likely is simply too much baggage here. If Newt does not run, none of this becomes an issue. The moment he declares, it does become an issue that social conservatives cannot and will not ignore.

Mike Huckabee:

Conservatives remain lingeringly suspicious of his stance on taxes, immigration, and cap and trade. In the past, he’s been on the wrong side on each of these issues, and they are of enormous importance to the Tea Party crowd.

His record of clemencies will also prove to be a problem. He granted clemency to a man who had committed a vicious kidnap, rape, and murder (the killer drove over the girl’s body with his car repeatedly to make sure she was dead and then dumped her body in a swamp) and who then, after receiving clemency from the governor, killed four people in Seattle in cold blood. That’s going to be a tough one for the governor to get past.

We can’t blame the governor for the actions of someone else, but the fact remains that four people would be alive today were it not for this clemency, and this will hurt his campaign to become the chief law enforcement officer in the land.