On Tuesday, the Illinois legislature voted to make their state the 15th to allow marriage equality.
The marriage law’s primary opponent, the Illinois Family Institute, did not take it well.
In a blog post emailed to the group’s supporters last night, IFI “cultural analyst” Laurie Higgins offers her “random thoughts” on the “tragic marriage vote,” which range from warning that “public schools will teach about sexual perversion in positive ways” to declaring that “plural unions” are now “inevitable” to lashing out at pro-equality Christians to comparing marriage equality to slavery, segregation, and “Hitler’s reign of terror.”
We can only hope that Illinois will escape the fate of Maine, which IFI told us invoked the wrath of God when it legalized marriage equality.
Random Thoughts on Tragic Marriage Vote
Written By Laurie Higgins | 11.06.13
My random thoughts following the vote on marriage:
1.) Tuesday, cowardly and/or ignorant Illinois lawmakers in defiance of truth, history, logic, compassion, and in some cases, their own religious traditions voted to legally recognize non-marital unions as marriages. In so doing, they have expanded the role of government in the lives of Americans, diminished religious liberty, rendered inevitable the legalization of plural unions, and harmed children in incalculable ways. They have given their stamp of approval on the practice of denying children’s inherent right to have both a mother and father. And they have assured that public schools will teach about sexual perversion in positive ways to children from kindergarten on up.
4.) The Left makes the non-sequitur claim that because heterosexual marriages are failing, homosexual unions should be recognized as marriages. By that “logic,” one could argue that because marriages composed of two people are failing, we should legally recognize plural unions as marriages. Or because marriages composed of biologically unrelated people are failing, we should legalize incestuous marriages. Or because marriages between people of major age are failing, we should legalize marriage between adults and children.
5.) Far too many Christians and their religious leaders were missing in action on this battle and have been for a very, very long time. Churches are not educating either their adult members or their youth on the issue of homosexuality in general and marriage in particular, and this dereliction of duty leaves Christians either confused or, worse, persuaded by the lies of the world.
6.) Far too many religious leaders claim the church should not be involved in “political issues.” But what if political issues are first biblical issues? During the slave era, should churches have remained silent as Scripture was twisted to justify slave-holding (just as it is twisted today to justify same-sex pseudo-marriage)? Was it right that so many Christians refused to stand for truth during Hitler’s reign of terror? Should Christians have refrained from participating in the Civil Rights marches in the 1960’s?
Ohio-based Religious Right activist Linda Harvey is upset that the Ohio Education Association is helping Gay-Straight Alliance clubs get off the ground, which she warns will lead more students into “sinful deviant behaviors that put young people at great risk of disease and other poor outcomes.”
“They deceive younger students who may be drawn to this behavior,” Harvey claims. “Kids are given misinformation that change is never possible and biblically faithful Christians are their enemies.”
The Mission America president says that thanks to GSA clubs’ “trashy, child endangering values,” kids will grow up into “diseased and despondent” adults:
This is terribly harmful to these children and terribly divisive in the school atmosphere. Where is the OEA going to be ten years down the road when some of these kids are diseased and despondent, having gone down this road with multiple broken relationships and needless heartbreak. We taxpayers are indirectly paying for such trashy, child-endangering values.
Writing today in the Christian Post’s “Prophecy and the News” blog, Michael Bresciani warns that America will soon face divine punishment for abortion rights, homosexuality, pornography and “Godless education.”
In fact, according to Bresciani, we are already reaping God’s judgment through the “amateurish and irresponsible handling of America’s economy by Barack Obama.”
What we know is that America has not been listening to the messages of warnings from her best voices. What we should know is that God is not so hard of hearing.
God hears the cries of the nearly sixty million slaughtered unborn human beings who were discarded like so much useless refuse. He hears the cries of those distraught with the breaking down of foundational principles like marriage between one man and one woman. He hears the outcry against the full acceptance and coddling of perversions and porn.
He has done today, what he did in the ancient times, he has measured out a three pronged appeal over a sufficient amount of time (a generation) and he is now entering into stage three. When the three appeals are finished, all that is left is judgment or a chance for us to repent and set the record straight once again. It is the last gas on this road before our little journey comes to an inglorious ending.
Have we used our heads in promoting homosexuality as normal and same sex marriage as good for the nation? Is teaching our children that everything came from nothing using our heads? Is pushing every mention of God out of our schools, homes, public places and our conscience a reasonable thing?
The biblical pattern of Israel and many of the surrounding nations is that after being warned by prophets and faithful voices that appeal to the head and heart; the situation around them will begin changing. The bible says God will use everything we trust, besides him, to draw our attention.
Child bearing, the nuisance of calamities and natural disasters, the interventions and intrusions of an enemy, warfare, disease and pestilence, and finally it comes down to the very everyday necessities of life, or as the bible says – the ‘staff of bread.’
The amateurish and irresponsible handling of America’s economy by Barack Obama is the entrance of Gods [sic] answer to what we have already collectively allowed to enter our hearts and minds.
If we make a prey of our childrens [sic] lives with the slaughter of sixty million un-born little ones - is there no price to pay?
If we make prey of our childrens [sic] minds, with gross Godless education, if we subject them to porn, prurience and perversion, God will ask us to pick up the tab. We will not escape like a band of mischievous kids pulling a trick on Halloween night and running away.
Rep. Steve King (R-IA) told the gathering of young conservatives this summer that liberals “don’t love this country” and will use “keyboard jackhammers” to destroy it.
In an address to the Eagle Forum Collegians, King described how he once took a naturalization test to make sure he could pass it, noting that “Barack Obama would fail [the] question” about the economic system of the US. He added:
Forty-seven percent of the students in college don’t believe in capitalism? What is happening America? That’s because the leftists have done this thing: they have verbal jackhammers, they have keyboard jackhammers and they are chiseling away as if they had a jackhammer at the beautiful marble pillars of American exceptionalism. They don’t like the constitution, they don’t love this country, they don’t appreciate the greatness of America, they don’t think of this country the way I do.
Refurbish those beautiful marble pillars of American exceptionalism. If we all do that, then this country can become something even more than the shining city on the hill. If we fail to do that, the left will take over and we’ll descend down into a place that I don’t think you have imagined yet and if I started to describe it I’d leave you on a down note instead of an up note.
The Iowa Religious Right group that successfully campaigned to unseat three state supreme court justices who ruled in favor of marriage equality has set its sights on a new target: a judge who granted a stay in an influential abortion rights case.
The Family Leader, run by prominent conservative activist Bob Vander Plaats, gained national attention in 2010 when it ran a successful campaign, with plenty of funding from national Religious Right groups, to oust three state supreme court justices in retention elections after the court ruled unanimously to legalize marriage equality in the state. The group tried its luck against another justice last year, but the tide had turned enough that the judge held on to his seat.
Now, the group is taking aim at a District Judge Karen Romano, who ruled this week that Planned Parenthood could continue to use video conferencing to guide women through early-term abortions using abortion-inducing drugs – drugs that are widely considered safe to take at home during the early weeks of a pregnancy – while a ban on the practice is appealed. Planned Parenthood had challenged a ruling by the Iowa Board of Medicine banning telemedicine for chemical abortion, but for no other medical practice. Judge Romano did not rule on the merits of the case.
Vander Plaats’ group issued a statement yesterday claiming that Judge Romano had “not learned a lesson” from the 2010 election and urged voters to remember the judge’s “activism” in her 2016 retention election.
The Family Leader’s Chuck Hurley told the Des Moines Register that his group is “open” to a recall campaign against Romano but hasn’t decided yet whether to go beyond the barely-veiled threats in its press release. Hurley did take the opportunity, however, to allege that Romano was biased because she was appointed by former Gov. Tom Vilsack who “notoriously and admittedly an activist who selects judges who support his liberal viewpoints.”
Romano said Wednesday afternoon that she was not shocked by the Family Leader’s statement.
“I think in the current climate, it doesn’t really surprise me,” she said in a brief interview.
She added, “I understand that the issue the case deals with is a volatile issue.” She said she couldn’t comment any further.
Chuck Hurley, the Family Leader’s vice president, said Wednesday that the group hasn’t decided whether to mount a recall campaign against Romano. “We are definitely discussing it and are open to it,” he said.
He added that he didn’t know much about Romano’s personal views, but he knows she was appointed in 2001 by former Gov. Tom Vilsack. Hurley said Vilsack, a Democrat, was “notoriously and admittedly an activist who selects judges who support his liberal viewpoints.”
UPDATE: The president of the Iowa State Bar Association has denounced Vander Plaats' move, calling it "political bullying," and the Des Moines Register spoke out against his "not-so-subtle" threat to Romano in an editorial.
UPDATE 2: After telling the Register that his group would be "open" to launching a recall campaing against Romano, Hurley followed up with the paper and "clarified" that he in fact meant "we are not launching a campaign against Judge Romano nor do we have any plans to do so at this time. We were simply pointing out that it was this kind of judicial activism by Iowa judges that led to Iowans voting out three Iowa Supreme Court judges in 2010.”
Former chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt, who calls himself “Dr. Chaps,” got our YouTube account terminated today by filing copyright complaints against a handful of our videos, resulting in several thousand of our videos being taken down.
We have filed an appeal to YouTube and hope to get our channel restored shortly. If you would like to help, you can tweet @YouTube and urge them to expedite the review process.
We are confident that our videos are protected under Fair Use, as has always been the case in our previous experience with these sorts of copyright complaints. But this just goes to show the lengths that right-wing activists will go to in an effort to conceal their extremist rhetoric.
UPDATE: Klingenschmitt has now even issued a press release declaring victory over us:
David Takes Down Goliath -- Anti-Jesus Group Right Wing Watch Terminated by YouTube After Chaplain Files Copyright Infringement Claims
WASHINGTON, Nov. 7, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ -- The anti-Christian group Right Wing Watch (RWW) had their YouTube account terminated today after repeated violations of copyright infringement, theft, and allowing followers to issue death threats against a Christian chaplain.
Former Navy Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt, PhD, who is now a candidate for state representative in Colorado successfully persuaded YouTube to terminate the anti-Christian group's account, after RWW repeatedly stole, copied, and re-published without permission as many as 90 videos created and copyrighted by Chaplain's corporation, The Pray In Jesus Name Project.
RWW has been a thorn in the side of countless Christian ministries for years, quoting out of context ministers like James Dobson, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and political leaders like Michelle Bachmann and Alan Keyes. Unless YouTube restores their account, years of defamatory RWW video archives against countless Christians have now been deleted, effectively silencing their hate-speech campaign.
"I reached out in good faith to RWW's leadership at People for the American Way, but instead they published death threats against me," said the Chaplain. "I asked them to stop their theft and piracy of my original content, but instead they blogged against me boasting they could steal without consequences."
RWW even mocked the Chaplain here, claiming he didn't know how the internet works, and daring him to file suit.
Instead, the chaplain politely notified YouTube about 6 of the 90 copyright infringement claims, which crossed their limit of 3 claims.
YouTube properly responded by terminating the RWW account and deleting all their videos, causing panic at RWW headquarters, who blamed others for their own arrogance and theft.
The Bible says pride comes before destruction. That's a lesson for them, in how the internet works.
The Colorado-based pastor and radio host already warned us that “demon-possessed” Mark Twain helped destroy America by writing books mocking Christian hypocrisy on the issue of slavery, and a laudatory WorldNetDaily review of his book informs us that William Shakespeare and Nathaniel Hawthorne are also to blame for the country’s looming collapse.
Swanson writes in “Apostate” that Shakespeare planted the “seedbeds for homosexual themes and homosexual behavior,” and takes issue with Hawthorne’s “psychotic” criticism of the Puritans.
Swanson’s analysis of the roles played by men like Charles Darwin (obvious), John Locke, Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Dewey, and Nathaniel Hawthorne – among others – is so compelling, “Apostate” should be a Bible study in churches across the land.
In a supremely clever and eye-opening bit of writing, Swanson refers to these men as the “Nephilim,” which of course find their fame in the book of Genesis – the mysterious beings who sought to corrupt mankind. It is a precise and descriptive word to explain the dark agendas that unfold in this book.
Let’s take Hawthorne for example. As Swanson writes: “Nathaniel Hawthorne was the 19th century American literary giant who did more to shift the American culture away from its national Christian heritage than anyone else. His hatred of the Puritans was deeply personal, relentlessly bitter and marginally psychotic.”
And I just thought Hawthorne was stone-cold boring.
A lesser-known toxic presence – in the context of “Apostate” – was William Shakespeare.
Swanson has done his research, and shows that the Bard was a somewhat shadowy figure: “Mystery surrounds his education, religious background and his induction into the theater scene in London.”
Swanson also pulls back the curtain on a key plot point with regard to Shakespeare and the influence of theater (which of course has evolved in our day to film): “Since Shakespeare’s day, the theater and the fine arts have become seedbeds for homosexual themes and homosexual behavior.”
Swanson explores the relationship between Shakespeare and fellow playwright Christopher Marlowe, and notes that Shakespeare left his wife, Anne Hathaway.
These are among the amazing profiles Swanson addresses as he shines an important light on the roots of anti-Christian thought in Europe and even America. It’s a critical contribution to the literature and should be studied by anyone interested in the rise and fall of civilizations.
Citing the false claim that the Department of Justice used the George Zimmerman trial to aid “anti-Zimmerman activists,” WorldNetDaily’s Erik Rush predicts that President Obama may be collaborating with members of the press to stage a “‘false flag’ racial incident.”
Rush, who demanded that Mitt Romney put journalists in jail for treason if he won the presidency, warned that “starry-eyed, Obama-worshiping journalists” may help “create” bias crimes.
Last Friday, the New York Times published an item by John Harwood that similarly propagandized the state of race relations and the Republican Party’s deportment with regard to race. Employing clever if furtive suggestions that white Republicans disfavor Obamacare because the president is black, Harwood contextualized the comments of those Republicans he quoted to suit his account, a fanciful if desperately cynical and dangerous one.
As I mentioned, I might have taken this as routine far left race-baiting, but I’m inclined to think it’s more than that. In true community-organizer fashion, the Obama administration has been keenly adroit at capitalizing upon events in order to advance its objectives. If you’ll recall, Obama and Co. were on the February 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin almost within hours, helping to shape the narrative that turned George Zimmerman from an American Latino defending himself against a belligerent young thug into a sinister Wagnerian Anglo huntsman, prowling the night looking for hapless black children to murder. The Department of Justice was even caught funneling funds and personnel to aid anti-Zimmerman activists during his trial.
Inasmuch as this crowd pioneered the orchestrated crisis, in my view it would be profoundly imprudent to dismiss the possibility that the administration might go beyond exploiting tense racial situations (or those that might be construed as such, even if remotely) and actually create some.
It’s been reported that in recent weeks that President Obama has conducted meetings with “select” members of the press. Obviously it’s natural for a president to wish to ingratiate himself to members of the press to some extent and convey his ideas to them, but considering his timing and characteristically aloof manner, I am inclined toward suspicion. The Associated Press recently expressed displeasure at being fed “propaganda” photos by the administration and only being given access to the president for photo ops twice in five years, and there have been other recent indicators that the press at large is finding this White House increasingly difficult to work with.
Then, there’s the fact that the identities of the individuals participating in these powwows have been kept secret.
Is it possible that our propagandist-in-chief “innocently” impressed upon certain starry-eyed, Obama-worshiping journalists how tenuous he believes things are with regard to race in order to manipulate them into bringing these issues to the collective top of mind through their reporting? Further, might he be doing so as a precursor to some manner of “false flag” racial incident or incidents that are in the works? It does seem interesting that in addition to the usual suspects (like Jesse Jackson), we are seeing an upsurge in race-related rhetoric and reportage, despite nothing in particular having transpired in this area lately.
While race-baiting is nothing new for the left, the aforementioned incidents appear to have come somewhat out of left field with regard to the news cycle. Should some high profile, highly unpleasant race-related incident occur in the near future, it wouldn’t be the first time such a thing happened at a juncture that proved to be advantageous to the administration.
At this particular juncture, one might say that the Obama administration could use all the help it can get, considering Americans’ anger over the Obamacare rollout, mounting concern with regard to the several scandals in which the president is involved, his plummeting approval rating and the growing alienation of the press.
Let’s just hope that “help” is not forthcoming, for all our sakes.
Yesterday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which the Senate failed to ratify last year thanks to a startlingly successful religious-right scare campaign.
Showing just how radical the opposition to the treaty is, nearly every witness testifying on behalf of the treaty was a Republican. Pro-treaty witnesses included Republican senators Mark Kirk and Kelly Ayotte, former Republican congressman and Bush homeland security secretary Tom Ridge and former Republican governor and attorney general Dick Thornburgh. Ayotte read a statement from former Republican senator and presidential candidate Bob Dole in support of the treaty, and former Republican senator Bill Frist lent his voice in support of the treaty in a Reuters op-ed published yesterday morning.
The fact that the treaty has wide support from mainstream Republicans left its opponents on the Foreign Relations Committee to reach into the right-wing fringe to find witnesses to testify against ratification.
Susan Yoshihara, vice president of the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute focused her testimony on her fear that the treaty’s protection for “sexual and reproductive health” would promote access to abortions – a major concern for a group dedicated to fighting protections for gay people and reproductive rights around the world.
Yoshihara’s claim has been thoroughly debunked, including by a major anti-choice group, and was debunked again by Frist in his op-ed:
The relevant provisions in the treaty regarding sexual and reproductive health demand nondiscrimination for persons with disabilities.
In many parts of the world, people with disabilities, regardless of age, are believed to be sexually immature or inactive. The assumption can make them targets for rape and other sexual crimes while, at the same time, gynecologic and obstetrical care are withheld and considered inappropriate and unnecessary. In other cases, they are forcibly sterilized or forced to have abortions, simply because they have a disability.
The treaty’s “sexual and reproductive health” language is a necessary provision to protect these people. It does not define services — a ratifying country’s existing law provides the definition. The agreement simply demands that those with disabilities not be denied any treatments based on their disability.
It does not create any new services not previously available or legally sanctioned in an adopting country.
Meanwhile, Michael Farris of the Home School Legal Defense Association continued what Frist called his “impressive fear campaign” claiming that the treaty would somehow endanger the rights of American homeschoolers. Last year, Farris went so far as to claim that the treaty would allow the U.N. to come into American homes and seize children with glasses. At yesterday’s hearing, he claimed that a case involving a homeschooling German family that was denied asylum in the U.S. means that the Obama administration is hostile to homeschooling and would somehow us the disabilities treaty to overturn U.S. homeschooling laws.
In an exchange with Sen. Dick Durbin, Farris was unable to explain how the treaty, which is based on the already-implemented Americans with Disabilities Act and would require no changes to American laws, would in fact destroy homeschooling.
“I struggle with the thought that we are going to stop this effort to extend the rights of the disabled around the world for fear of something which you can’t even clearly articulate when it comes to homeschooling,” Durbin responded.
Former senator Rick Santorum also revived his role in opposing the treaty yesterday, sending out an email claiming, absurdly, that the convention "threatens U.S. sovereignty and parental rights, and if ratified, it would effectively put us under international law when it comes to parenting our special needs children." Needless to say, none of those claims has any basis in reality.
The Florida Family Policy Council announced today that it will host Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) at its 2013 Annual Dinner. The FFPC is led by John Stemberger, the anti-gay activist who most recently helped launch a Boy Scouts splinter group that will ban openly gay youth, and the fundraiser will honor Liberty Counsel head Mat Staver.
Stemberger and Staver are far outside of the mainstream, but with Rubio preparing for a possible presidential run in 2016 he may use this event, much like his speech at the Values Voter Summit, to soothe any doubts about his right-wing credentials.
Stemberger previously chaired Florida for Marriage, which spearheaded the campaign to pass a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex unions, and founded the anti-gay Boy Scout alternative Trail Life USA. Earlier in his career as a lawyer, he was widely criticized for misconduct in the Rifqa Barry case.
Stemberger has a long record of incendiary anti-gay rhetoric. He:
We noted Staver’s radicalism and involvement in a kidnapping case in our profile of him for the 2013 Values Voter Summit:
Mat Staver is the head of the Liberty University School of Law and its legal affiliate, Liberty Counsel, a sponsor of the Values Voter Summit. Liberty Counsel has beenimplicated in the Lisa Miller kidnapping case, where a client kidnapped her daughter and fled to Central America after a court granted custody to her former partner. At a previous Values Voter Summit, Staver claimed that progressives are using LGBT rights and secular government in order to “ultimately implode America” and that the “agenda of the homosexual movement” is to destroy freedom and western civilization. Through his role at Liberty Counsel, Staver has:
Conservative talk show host Steve Deace spent yesterday talking with Michael Peroutka of the Institute on the Constitution, and asked Peroutka what he thought of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which Deace called “the single greatest threat to religious liberty.” After Deace ironically cited the Pilgrims as champions of religious freedom, Peroutka called ENDA an attempt in “federalizing perversion” that is unconstitutional…just like all civil rights laws.
“Nobody has rights because of the kind of sex they engage in,” Peroutka said, “I would include the so-called civil rights laws are not law, they never should’ve been passed, they’re not law now, they weren’t law then, they aren’t law now because there is no such thing as a civil right.”
Later, Peroutka and Deace talked about the legalization of same-sex marriage in Iowa and its supposed devastating effects on the state.
Peroutka said the gay rights movement’s “full blown agenda” will lead to forced homosexuality: “There is no neutral ground, that’s a lie sold to you just to get you to go along with this particular accommodation or that particular accommodation. There is going to be no place left to stand except, I guess, eventually they are going to force you to engage in the perversion, that’s where this goes.”
With Ken Cuccinelli’s conservative backers already crying foul about their failed candidate’s supposed mistreatment, the GOP’s Civil War continues.
Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel is fantasizing about voter fraud despite offering absolutely no proof, and Tea Party Nation head Judson Phillips wants Virginia’s Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling — who refused to endorse Cuccinelli — expelled from the GOP:
The Republican Party of Virginia has bylaws that call for the automatic expulsion of members who support Democrats in contested elections. Bill Bolling’s support of Terry McAuliffe has been well documents [sic].
Had the Republican establishment not worked against Cuccinelli, he would be governor today. Conservatives need to make an example of Bolling. He should be persona non grata at any Republican function in Virginia. His name should be synonymous with being a sell out [sic].
And if the Republican Party of Virginia does not publicly expel Bolling, then conservatives need to find a new political party in Virginia.
John Nolte of Breitbart News attacked Chris Christie for not helping Cuccinelli in Virginia and said that Cuccinelli’s defeat actually helped the Tea Party:
Tuesday night and again Wednesday morning, NBC's Chuck Todd reported that New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie refused to campaign for Ken Cuccinelli, the Virginia Republican who narrowly lost his own governor's race to Democrat Terry McAuliffe. "They begged Christie, and you can make an argument," Todd said on Morning Joe. "That to bring a Chris Christie to Northern Virginia might have helped. But Chris Christie is worried about his own brand."
Part of Christie's brand problem, though, is his behavior during the closing days of last year's presidential campaign. After running one of the most divisive administrations and re-election campaigns in recent memory; in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Barack Obama went to New Jersey seeking bipartisan credibility. And in the eyes of many, Christie went above and beyond to give it to him.
Had Christie taken just a half-day to stump for Cuccinelli, not only would that have helped wash the Sandy stain away, it might have actually made him a hero to the base for both defying the Morning Joe crowd and helping to drag Cuccinelli over the finish line.
If Christie wins the 2016 Republican nomination but loses Virginia, and with it the general election, last night should be remembered as the most short-sighted and spiteful cutting off of the nose to spite the Tea Party in years.
The GOP Establishment and Morning Joe crowd keep lecturing the Tea Party about how it is all about winning elections. In Virginia last night that talking point was laid bare as nothing more than a lie.
Longtime conservative activist Richard Viguerie maintained that Cuccinelli’s loss has nothing to do with his radical views. Viguerie even compared Cuccinelli to Goldwater, who lost the 1964 presidential election in a landslide:
What is clear is that Cuccinelli’s ideas weren’t rejected so much as he was drowned in the sea of money that flowed in to Terry McAuliffe’s campaign to keep Virginia government growing, taxes rising, to roll back the progress social conservatives have made in the state, and most importantly, to keep cronyism as the governing principle at the Virginia state Capitol building.
The betrayal of Ken Cuccinelli by Bolling and other nominal Republicans, such as political consultant Boyd Marcus, mirrors the betrayal of Barry Goldwater by the Republican establishment and their nominal allies in the business community.
George Will once wrote that Barry Goldwater didn't lose in 1964, it just took 16 years, until the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, to count the votes. We expect that the same will be said of Ken Cuccinelli and we believe he will be vindicated in the future.
Ken Cuccinelli did not lose last night because he is a principled limited government constitutional conservative. Cuccinelli lost because he was drowned in a sea of money and undercut by a Republican establishment that would rather see a Democrat in the Governor’s mansion than end the good ole boy politics in Richmond and allow a real conservative anywhere near the levers of power that he might use to make good on Republican promises to govern as limited government constitutional conservatives.
Anti-choice activist Marjorie Dannenfelser said that Cuccinelli was hamstrung by the Star Scientific scandal and “misleading attack ads,” but insisted that the “Republican establishment” is to blame “for abandoning this race.”
Somehow, Dannenfelser thinks that Cuccinelli’s loss shows the need for candidates to emphasize their opposition to abortion rights, even though 61% of Virginia voters [PDF] said they are pro-choice.
In response to Ken Cuccinelli’s close defeat in the Virginia gubernatorial election tonight, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List), told LifeNews that the race shows the pro-life movement needs to spend more time exposing how extreme candidates like McAuliffe are on abortion.
“Despite being woefully outspent and compromised both by the government shutdown and the ethics scandal faced by Governor Bob McDonnell, Cuccinelli came within inches of victory. The political prognosticators that can often drive election results by their predictions ought not to have given up on him. The results make clear that more support from outside groups in the final weeks could have changed the outcome. Shame on the Republican establishment for abandoning this race and failing to push Ken over the finish line.
“Terry McAuliffe spent well over $5 million on misleading attack ads about Ken Cuccinelli and the fictitious ‘war on women,’ including running more than 5,600 spots on the abortion issue alone. Attacks on Cuccinelli were left unanswered, or answered too late, and the negative message stuck.
“This election shows that it is imperative for pro-lifers to be on offense in 2014 against the distortions and extremism of the Left. The Democrat strategy for 2014 is set: demonize pro-life candidates and spend big on ‘war on women’ advertising. The party, candidates, and movement must aggressively expose the other side’s extremism and penchant for putting women and children at risk through their abortion policies.”
Women Speak Out – Virginia, the state PAC of the SBA List, raised and spent $870,000 in support of Ken Cuccinelli’s candidacy, working to turn out the pro-life base. The organization canvassed the homes of 69,700 voters, engaged in volunteer calls reaching 255,000 identified pro-life inconsistent voters, and had get out the vote calls reaching as many as 1 million homes.
UPDATE: Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage accused the Republican Party of abandoning Cuccinelli over his opposition to same-sex marriage:
"Too many leaders of the Republican Party have drunk the Kool-Aid of the consulting class that they should abandon conservatives like Ken Cuccinelli because they have taken principled stances on social issues such as preserving marriage and protecting life," said Brown. "How many elections do they need to lose before they realize they are implementing a disastrous election strategy and ruining their chances of success?"
Brown noted that when the marriage issue has been on the ballot, it has outpolled the Republican ticket by a significant margin. Support for traditional marriage polled an average of seven points higher than Mitt Romney did in the four states it was on the ballot in 2012.
"The GOP elite wants candidates to be silent about their views on marriage and other social issues, but election results show that is exactly the wrong thing to do," Brown said. "Election after election has shown that voters across America, including in deep blue states, support traditional marriage by a significantly higher margin than they support the GOP. For the second election in a row, Republican leaders and consultants have pursued a flawed strategy of urging silence on social issues that has cost their candidates. If they don’t wake up, they could face disaster next year."
After the 2012 election, right-wing activists immediately declared that Mitt Romney lost because he was not conservative enough and that Republican candidates must run to the right if they want to succeed in general elections.
Last night in the swing state of Virginia, however, two extremely conservative candidates both lost in their statewide bids, the first time since 1977 that a candidate from the party that lost the presidential election failed to win the Virginia gubernatorial race.
Not only did the Religious Right dream team in Virginia lose both races, but so did an Alabama Republican who ran even farther to the right than his conservative opponent. These defeats come at a time that the Senate is set to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) with bipartisan support and two states—Illinois and Hawaii—are poised to legalize same-sex marriage.
Cuccinelli & Jackson Flop In Virginia
Virginia Republicans Ken Cuccinelli and E.W. Jackson, two Religious Right favorites, lose their races for governor and lieutenant governor, respectively. Cuccinelli’s deeply anti-choice and anti-gay record hurt him according to exit polls [PDF]: 50% of voters claimed Cuccinelli was “too conservative” and 61% of voters said they supported abortion rights. During the campaign, Cuccinelli advocated for strict restrictions on abortion clinics and the restoration of unconstitutional sodomy laws, even though some conservative activists complained that he shied away from social issues or wasn’t conservative enough.
Jackson’s attempt to downplay his extremist and bigoted rhetoric and policy positions was even more pathetic to watch, as he insisted that criticisms of his candidacy and quoting him verbatim were unconstitutional and even resorted to lying to deny making remarks that are recorded on tape. Yet, he predicted that “disenfranchised” Christians would lead him to “a stunning victory.”
Don’t expect their defeats to change the Religious Right’s skewed mindset about what it takes to win. Cuccinelli surrogate Jim Bob Duggar, who campaigned throughout the state on a Family Research Council-paid tour, claimed that the “vast majority of people in America are pro-life” and conservative voters represent a “sleeping giant.” Despite having Cuccinelli and Jackson leading the ticket, white evangelical turnout dropped seven points, from 34% to 27% of the electorate, compared to the 2009 gubernatorial race.
The Cuccinelli complain will likely complain that he was abandoned by national Republicans (even though the Republican Governor Association donated $8 million to Cuccinelli) and could have won if the “establishment” offered him more support.
Dean Young Defeated
Dean Young, an ultraconservative birther with strong support from local Tea Party groups, lost to former state lawmaker Bradley Byrne, hardly a moderate himself, in the GOP primary for a special congressional election in Alabama. Young made opposition to gay rights a central part of his campaign: he urged his GOP rivals sign a pledge to oppose gay rights and to attend a church that opposes gay marriage, compared homosexuality to murder and demanded gay Alabamians leave the state.
He is also a senior aide for Roy Moore, the Alabama supreme court justice who refused to obey a court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument that he had installed in the court rotunda and warned that gay rights will destroy America. Moore backed Young’s candidacy, as did Mark Levin, Phyllis Schlafly and Bryan Fischer, who fawned over him in an interview the day before the election, where Young continued to criticize “homosexuals pretending to be married” and warned that gay rights will lead to God’s judgment on America.
Young reportedly refused to call Byrne to concede defeat and announced that he may establish a national organization.
Marriage Equality Poised To Pass In Illinois, Hawaii
Anti-gay groups have consistently cited Illinois as an example that Religious Right has become more successful in fighting marriage equality. But the state legislature approved a marriage equality bill yesterday and the governor is a vocal supporter of legalizing same-sex marriage, which means that Americans For Truth About Homosexuality president Peter LaBarbera will soon live in a state with marriage equality.
With Hawaii also expected to pass a marriage equality bill this week, the success of the two gay rights measures represent big setbacks for Religious Right groups such as the Illinois Family Institute and Hawaii Family Advocates, which both employed ugly smear campaigns against the marriage bills.
Even though WorldNetDaily’s Lord Monckton wants Canadian-born Ted Cruz to be the next president, he still believes that President Obama is ineligible because he was secretly born outside of the US. The irony seems to be lost on Monckton.
In his latest column, Monckton demands that Obama be both impeached and put in jail for the supposed birther scandal:
I call Hawaiigate the central ground of impeachment for two reasons. First, the dishonesty is shameless and in your face. Mr Obama’s advisers, once they realized the “birth certificate” was as bogus as a $3 bill, knew that if they simply went on pretending that $3 bills are legal tender the hard-left-dominated news media would carefully and continuously look the other way, pausing occasionally to sneer at anyone who pointed out that, in this constitutionally crucial respect, the “president” has no clothes.
Secondly, not one of the numerous agencies of state, as well as federal government, whose duty was and is to investigate the Mickey-Mouse “birth certificate” has bothered even to respond to the thousands of requests for investigation put forward by U.S. citizens.
In Hawaii last year, I watched as a senior former state senator called the police and, when they came, handed over to them compelling evidence that the “birth certificate” had been forged. The police, correctly, passed the file to the state’s attorney general, a “Democrat,” who did nothing about it.
In Washington, D.C., I watched as a concerned citizen from Texas telephoned the FBI and reported the “birth certificate” as being a forgery. They said they would send two agents to see him within the hour. No one came.
In every instance, the “president” and his fawning courtiers have gone well beyond the level of habitual mendacity that is characteristic of the lesser sort of politician. It is no longer possible for anyone to believe a word they say.
Contrast this shoddy, lying administration with that of the first man to grace the office that Mr. Obama now occupies. George Washington “could not tell a lie.” Barry Soetero, or whatever his real name is, cannot tell the truth. That observation is a measure of how far America under the “Democrats” has fallen from the high ideals and the noble example of the founding president of the United States.
On any objective test, Mr. Obama should not merely be impeached: he should be imprisoned. But no one will do anything to bring him to book. Corruption by inaction is the most corrosive corruption of all.
The following is a guest post from Elder Jabari Paul, a member of People For the American Way’s African American Ministers in Action, following last week’s Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on Stand Your Ground laws.
My perspective on Stand Your Ground laws (SYG) is shaped by my experience and calling as a young African American clergyman and as a native of Florida, the first state to pass this type of legislation. I believe that these laws raise important questions about the moral values of our country.
The debate around SYG comes during challenging times in America – times when the political landscape is starkly divided and mass slayings in public settings are much too frequent. These laws have been divisive policies since the first one passed in October 2005 in Florida. Public contentiousness surrounding SYG can be traced back to the choices of many politicians to ignore the will of the majority on SYG laws and to push the agendas of powerful and moneyed interest groups, like the National Rifle Association. SYG has been a wedge issue because politicians, particularly conservatives, have supported such laws to placate their base in spite of a lack of need for these laws.
Stand Your Ground has been championed by its supporters as a type of law that is necessary to prevent crime in urban areas and to protect citizens from the violence of “thugs.” These arguments have clear racial undertones. Words like “urban” and “thug” have been used since America’s post-Reconstruction days to speak in coded language about African Americans and other minorities. SYG tramples upon the civil rights of those perceived to be a threat. The tragedy of these laws is compounded when the person attacked is killed and only their attacker has an opportunity to tell what happened.
As a Christian, minister and an African American male under 35, my views on SYG are shaped by my culture and my religious beliefs. I believe that SYG perpetuates violence in a society that already knows violence too well. Jesus Christ taught the opposite of violence – love. In His renowned “Sermon on the Mount,” Jesus said, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” In these verses, Jesus is stressing that violence should be the last form of recourse in any situation. SYG, on the other hand, justifies and can even facilitate violence.
Our country deserves better than this. The United States of America is called, and no doubt is, the greatest nation in world. It’s time for our elected officials to drastically amend or repeal Stand Your Ground laws.