Case In Point

Earlier today I wrote a post about how the Family Research Council was shifting its focus away from trying to influence public policy toward trying to get more right-wing politicians elected because, frankly, they can’t do the former if they don’t have the latter.

As an example of that, just take a look at today’s confirmation vote for David Ogden.  As Josh noted, Ogden’s nomination to be Deputy Attorney General unleashed a massive right-wing smear campaign to portray him as a tool of the pornography industry and with groups claiming that he’d be little more than an “ally for advocates for death and homosexuality.”

FRC made Odgen a test for Republican senators, announcing that, for the first time ever, they were going to be counting the vote on his nomination on their annual scorecard for members of Congress and, as Greg Sargent reported, even sent a letter [PDF] to all GOP senators warning them that they would be watching how they voted.

Well, the vote was held earlier today and Ogden was confirmed by a vote of 65-28, with 10 Republicans voting for his confirmation. FRC also wanted the senators to vote against Thomas Perrelli’s nomination to be Associate Attorney General and lost that one as well, by an even wider 70-20 vote.

Considering that the FRC could only muster 28 votes on Odgen and 20 votes on Perrelli after explicitly declaring that these nominations were a top-line priority and warning Republican senators that their votes would be noted on their permanent records, it’s pretty good evidence that FRC’s influence is on the wane at the moment and that their best hope for recapturing their former significance lies in working to ensure that candidates who share their right-wing views and will push their right-wing agenda get elected to Congress.