For weeks now, we have been urging someone - anyone - in the press to ask presidential candidate Herman Cain about his role in the offensive 2006 ad campaign for an organization called America's PAC.
The purpose of the ad campaign was to get Black and Hispanic voters to support Republican candidates via radio ads that asked why Democrats were "on the same side of the Iraq war" as a "Ku Klux Klan cracker like David Duke" and another that suggested one of the characters in the ad would never vote Republican since he supported abortion because if "you make a little mistake with one of your ‘hos,' you'll want to dispose of that problem tout suite, no questions asked":
But maybe someone will actually get around to asking Cain about his role, now that we know that he spent $1 million of his own money funding them:
With the balance of power in Congress hanging in the air, a leading African American businessman says black voters in the United States should put their historical pro-life values above political party. That means voting for pro-life candidates rather than supporting Democratic candidates across the board.
Herman Cain is best known as the former chairman and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza. He is a political commentator and was a candidate for the U.S. Senate.
“More and more African Americans are pro-life," Cain said in a statement LifeNews.com obtained. “Our message to African Americans is simple — it’s time you vote for candidates who support our values."
Cain will underscore that message with a $1 million advertising campaign in key states and congressional districts targeting black radio programs and urban radio stations young African Americans enjoy ... The ads are funded by Americas PAC, a Cain-backed organization.
The Bush administration called the ads "inappropriate" and the RNC called them "racist," and the man who paid for them is now the leading frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination ... so this seems like the sort of thing that maybe someone might want to ask Cain about.
Herman Cain has said this week that he is pro-life and that abortion should be made illegal, but also that the government shouldn’t have any role in it and the decision should be left up to the woman and her family. As Kyle notes, it seems that Cain’s position is that abortion should be outlawed but “in situations where a family was deciding whether or not to break the law, it is none of the government’s business to tell them what to do.” Cain seems to be the only person who understands this view, and the Religious Right is not happy, to say the least.
Rick Perry’s campaign suggested that Cain, along with Mitt Romney, has “flip flopped” on the issue and Rick Santorum went so far as to call him “pro-choice.” Concerned Women for America CEO Penny Young Nance said that Cain “needs to decide whether or not he is a social conservative”:
Last week Herman Cain said he didn’t support a federal marriage amendment, this week he has backed away from his earlier position on the sanctity of human life. Herman Cain needs to decide whether or not he is a social conservative. The issue of life is like the issue of slavery, it is an inalienable right. The life issue is a dividing line proving whether or not a leader’s moral compass is intact. This is not a point on which social conservative women will negotiate. Cain needs to figure out what he believes.
Herman seems to be saying that he is pro-life with no exceptions for rape and incest — unless the family wants an exception, and then it’s none of his business.
In other words, Herman’s position on conceived-in-rape is virtually indistinguishable from the typical liberal position: personally pro-life, politically pro-abortion.
Although the rape and incest issue is obviously controversial, and a subset of the larger pro-life debate, this will create real problems for Herman in the campaign. It will be difficult for him to walk this one back.
Christian talk show host Janet Mefferd, like everyone it seems besides Cain, was utterly befuddled, saying that “his answer sounds awfully pro-choice,” charging, “that’s how the pro-abortion side talks!”
Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber later called into Mefferd’s show and urged Cain to clarify:
Guy Benson of Townhall also writes that after watching Cain’s interviews with Piers Morgan and with John Stossel, where Cain said that “abortion should not be legal” but an abortion “is her choice, that is not government’s choice,” it seems that Cain’s position, on the face of it, is pro-choice:
I'm a bit mystified that I'm even asking this question, frankly, because I simply assumed Cain was rock solid on the life issue -- but after a puzzling interview with CNN's Piers Morgan, I'm not sure what to think any more.
He starts out by saying he believes that life begins at conception, and that he supports "abortion under no circumstances." When Morgan presses him on the government's role in enforcing that belief -- an exchange that at least begins with a hypothetical question about a rape exception -- Cain begins to sound a lot like a "personally opposed to abortion, but still pro-choice" candidate. If you didn't know the following quote came out of Herman Cain's mouth, I wouldn't blame you for presuming its source was a Democrat.
Only a few years ago Religious Right groups and Republicans were running as far as possible away from the Personhood Colorado campaign, the effort to pass an extreme anti-choice measure that was twice handily defeated by Colorado voters. Last year, the National Right to Life Committee, Americans United for Life, Colorado Citizens for Life all refused to back the Colorado personhood amendment, and the Colorado Eagle Forum called the personhood campaign a “disaster.”
But now, the Personhood Mississippi campaign –which is nearly identical to the Colorado effort – has received the support of prominent Republican leaders including Mike Huckabee and anti-choice groups such as the American Family Association, Liberty Counsel and the Family Research Council.
The campaign to pass the personhood amendment, called Amendment 26, is led by the head of the extreme Mississippi Constitution Party and a member of Christian Exodus, which wanted to have states secede from the U.S. in order to form a new theocratic system of government. Designed to challenge Roe v. Wade, the amendment would criminalize abortion in all cases and also ban the treatment of ectopic pregnancies, in vitro fertilization, stem cell research and certain forms of birth control.
Huckabee addressed a fundraiser for the personhood campaign and urged activists to give money because pro-choice activists only want to “make people rich” by keeping abortion legal. “This isn’t about elevating women,” Huckabee said, “this is about elevating wealth on behalf of those who profit from the sale of death.”
But here’s what I don’t assume. I do not assume that you comprehend the battle you’re gonna face over the next couple of months in this fight for Amendment 26. You have no idea how many millions of dollars are likely to be poured into your state and it’s not stimulus money and economic development and job creation, it is hardcore political money that is designed to preserve the abortion industry which is a multimillion dollar industry specifically designed in order to terminate life and make people rich. Let’s not kid ourselves; this is not about elevating women this is about elevating wealth on behalf of those who profit from the sale of death.
The reason that America is more pro-life than it ever has been is because the younger generation of Americans are more pro-life than their mothers and their grandmothers. And do you know why? Because science has affirmed what God has been trying to scream to us all along: that is a human life! Thank God for the science that’s affirmed it.
Politico reports today that the prominent Republican politicians and activists are increasingly displeased with the current field of presidential candidates (I wonder why) and are pressuring Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels to jump into the race. “With Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour’s decision not to run, the party’s elites are holding out a desperate hope to persuade Daniels, who is publicly reluctant, in part because of his wife’s concerns,” Mike Allen writes, adding that the one scenario which “terrifies Washington Republicans” is “the possibility that some very conservative, insurgent candidate will become the Romney alternative.”
But Daniels’s proposed “social issues truce” has made him a persona non grata among social conservatives who will play key roles in deciding the party’s nominee.
Religious Right leaders are now taking shots at Daniels as he gets ready to announce his decision on a 2012 bid, and it appears that his support for a law that defunds Planned Parenthood has done little to tamper down criticism.
Micah Clark of the American Family Association’s Indiana chapter knocked his “weakness on the homosexual demands”:
I think he has a bit of a weakness on the homosexual demands. Two months after he was elected, he signed an executive order, elevating gender identity and cross-dressing to the same [level] as race and skin color, which was really unfortunate.
The AFA’s Bryan Fischer called the Indiana governor “toast” among the Republican faithful:
Daniels. Kept foolishly defending his call for a “truce” on social issues. But conservatives know that “truce” is just a euphemism for “surrender.” They’re looking for someone to carry the banner, not run up the white flag. He showed no eagerness to sign the Indiana ban on funding for Planned Parenthood, and showed no leadership on that issue at all. Not a good sign if you’re looking for someone who thinks pre-born babies have a right to life. Daniels ain’t gonna fight for unborn babies, and social conservatives know it. Plus he said he’d pick pro-abort Condi Rice as his VP candidate. Daniels is toast.
Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council was angered by Daniels’s suggestion of running on a ticket with Condoleezza Rice:
I’ve been asked a lot about the chances of Gov. Mitch “Truce” Daniels in 2012. On the heels of signing a bill to defund Planned Parenthood, Daniels managed to poke pro-lifers in the eye again when he answered a question about a possible running mate with Condoleezza Rice. Although she has stellar credentials on national defense, the former Secretary of State has long held pro-abortion views, which makes her a non-starter with social conservatives. It is ironic, however, that Governor Daniels seeks a truce with liberals while he attacks the sensibilities of pro-family conservatives within his own party.
As Kyle noted yesterday, Religious Right leaders are looking for a candidate to rally behind after Mike Huckabee decided against running. If Daniels runs and doesn’t apologize for his ‘truce’ talk, expect social conservative activists to pull out all the stops to defeat his candidacy.
2012: More likely to run for president following Mike Huckabee's decision against running (CBS News, 5/16).
Constitution: High school student challenges her to a debate on the Constitution as a result of her record of making incorrect statements (Minnesota Independent, 5/13).
Georgia: Wins praise for speech at Georgia GOP convention (Southern Political Report, 5/16).
Florida: Tops field in Fort Lauderdale Tea Party straw poll (Sunshine State News, 5/16).
Reproductive Rights: Signs law defunding Planned Parenthood that costs thousands their health care, state millions of dollars (The Faster Times, 5/16).
2012: Members of Indiana Republican Party encourage Daniels to run during state convention (AP, 5/13).
Religious Right: Anti-choice activists upset Daniels weighed Condoleezza Rice as a running mate because she is pro-choice (Life News, 5/13).
GOP: Reports say that Governors Haley Barbour, Chris Christie and Scott Walker would endorse Daniels (CBS News, 5/12).
Religious Right: Denies advisers' links to Dominionist theology (RWW, 5/16).
Medicare: Describes Paul Ryan's plan to privatize Medicare as "right wing social engineering" but previously said he would've voted for it (Think Progress, 5/16).
Health Care: Makes inconsistent remarks over his past support for health care insurance mandates (Politico, 5/16).
Iowa: Will make swing through Iowa this week following official announcement (Dubuque Telegraph Herald, 5/15).
Religious Right: Set to address Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition (RWW, 5/16).
South Carolina: Huckabee's former state campaign chair announces his support for Huntsman (Politico, 5/16).
Florida: Meets with key donors in Florida (St. Petersburg Times, 5/11).
Religious Right: Claims President Obama is "pushing his own immoral values without regard to what the people think or believe" (WND, 5/16).
Campaign: Launches website for exploratory committee (RoyMoore2012.com).
PAC: Embarks on new direct mail campaign with focus on 2012 election (WaPo, 5/16).
2012: Supporters hope that Huckabee's announcement will create an opening for Palin (Commentary, 5/16).
South Carolina: Hires political director for South Carolina primary (The Hill, 5/17).
Environment: Continues to apologize for past support of ‘cap and trade’ system (Minnesota Post, 5/17).
Fundraising: Raises over $10 million on Monday call-day in Las Vegas (WaPo, 5/17).
Health Care: Defends state health plan that is analogous to federal health care law (NYT, 5/13).
Medicare: Criticizes Gingrich for attacking Paul Ryan’s Medicare privatization proposal (The Hill, 5/16).
Health Care: Knocks Romney for defending his Massachusetts health care law (The State Column, 5/13).
While one anti-choice group is using President Obama’s image to attack legal abortion as black genocide, others are coming out saying that President Obama is advocating the extermination of African Americans because he is pro-choice. The abortion as “black genocide” myth is gaining increasing prominence in the anti-choice community, and the Family Research Council even asserted that Planned Parenthood was responsible for Washington D.C.’s shrinking black population.
Jim Sedlak of the American Life League, a champion of the radical personhood laws, argued that statistics showing that black women have a disproportionate number of abortions is proof that the black community is targeted by abortion providers. After D.C. mayor Vince Gray was arrested for protesting the budget deal that prevented the city from using local tax dollars to help low-income women access reproductive healthcare, Sedlak said that that “Margaret Sanger would be proud of her elitist black disciples” like Obama and Gray, asking, “with leaders like the president and the DC mayor, is it any surprise this black genocide continues?”:
With those statistics in mind, the American Life League said it is surprised that “America’s first black president drew a bizarre line in the sand declaring he would shut down the government of the United States to keep federal funding for Planned Parenthood, the organization that aborts over 125,000 black children nationwide each year.”
“The president of the United States champions aborting over one-third of the next generation of African-Americans as empowerment,” said Jim Sedlak, vice president of American Life League. “We do not. We see it as the worst bigotry of low expectations. Margaret Sanger would be proud of her elitist black disciples. We are not.”
Based on its calculations, ALL says Planned Parenthood is responsible for the death of at least 126,601 black unborn children each year.
“With leaders like the president and the DC mayor, is it any surprise this black genocide continues? It needs to stop and the place to start is with the total defunding of the organization where it began: Planned Parenthood,” Sedlak concluded.
Religious Right activists have frequently found themselves at odds with the prominent health organization the American Cancer Society, attacking the group over its support for stem-cell research, the approval of an HPV vaccine, and for an anti-smoking program by an Iowa Planned Parenthood clinic. Josh Braham, the director of Right to Life Central California and the host of Life Report, has taken this antipathy to a new level, calling for a boycott of American Cancer Society activities because of the group’s support for stem cell research. Writing for the anti-choice website LifeNews, Brahm calls for a boycott of the Relay for Life and claims that supporting the group is no different than aiding Nazi scientists:
A friend of mine and strong pro-life advocate, Clinton, found himself in an awkward situation last week. His Christian band had agreed to play at a Relay For Life not knowing that some of the money goes to HESCR. While meeting with Clinton, this question came up: “which is worse, giving up a ministry opportunity where Christian music could be heard by non-believers, or supporting something contrary to one’s beliefs?”
I responded by offering this analogy:
Imagine you’re in a German Christian band in 1941. You’ve happily agreed to play at a rally in support of research and treatments for hypothermia. It sounds like an important cause, raising money to treat a condition that plagues many people around the world every year. However, a few days before the event you learn that a portion of the money raised at the rally will be sent to support the research of Dr. Rascher at the Dachau concentration camp. Dr. Rascher conducted human experiments on Jews, for the purpose of creating treatments for hypothermia, an issue Nazi soldiers were struggling with on the Eastern front. One study forced subjects to endure a tank of ice water for up to five hours. Another study placed prisoners naked in the open air for several hours with temperatures as low as 21°F. Approximately 100 people are reported to have died as a result of these experiments. Would you still play at the rally?
If human embryos are just as human as you or me, than the Dachau analogy is a fair one, except that embryos don’t feel pain when they’re experimented on or killed. This doesn’t affect the moral equation much though, as what Dr. Rascher did would have still been considered a heinous human rights violation even if he anesthetized the Jews before using them for unethical experiments.
It looks like it barely took two months for major Religious Right groups to panic over the GOP leadership’s agenda. Speaker John Boehner decided to pass another temporary continuing resolution that includes funding towards family planning and health services groups like Planned Parenthood, which anti-choice organizations fiercely opposed. With Republican leaders ready to ignore their pleas, many are now on the attack.
Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association did not mince words in his attack on Republican leaders:
The new temporary Continuing Resolution, which will be voted on in the House tomorrow, is perfectly terrible. It does not defund Planned Parenthood, abortions in D.C., ObamaCare, NPR or the EPA. The GOP leadership right now is only agreeing to stuff that Obama said he didn't want anyway. This is an inkling that there may an alarming lack of spine in House GOP leadership. This is the optimum time to strike down funding for Planned Parenthood, after Lila Rose's undercover investigation exposed its willingness to aid and abet those who traffic in child prostitution by arranging for underage girls to get flatly illegal abortions. The question on defunding is simple: if not now, when?
The Family Research Council will score the vote on the continuing resolution in its ratings of members, and Tony Perkins called on the group’s allies in Congress to vote against it:
Much to the displeasure of voters and dozens of organizations like FRC, the proposal sidelines every pro-life provision for which we fought. Apparently, some Republicans are worried that the bill will get hung up by the language to defund Planned Parenthood and D.C. abortions. All the more reason to have this battle now and move on.
Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List said the defunding of Planned Parenthood was a “non-negotiable” issue:
If Congress can’t cut off taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood, a willing partner of the exploitation of women and young girls, how can it be serious about cutting spending anywhere else? The time to end taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood is not next week, or in three weeks, or in a month, it’s now. Ending taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood in both short-term and long-term Continuing Resolution bills is a non-negotiable.
Last month, House Speaker John Boehner stated that, despite the demands from the Religious Right, Republican had no intention of shutting down the government over the issue of defunding Planned Parenthood.
The issue was not included in the last Continuing Resolution, but now that that one is set to expire soon, anti-choice Religious Right activists are warning that they will oppose any resolution that does not include the Planned Parenthood and a related anti-choice provision and will score the vote accordingly:
In a letter FRC provided to LifeNews.com that it sent to House members, FRC Senior Vice President Tom McClusky said, “I want to strongly encourage you to oppose any additional temporary Continuing Resolutions for FY 2011 that fails to prevent government funding of abortion in the District of Columbia and government funding for the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood.”
While FRC did not apply this pressure to House members on the first short-term continuing resolution, it is taking a more intense approach this time.
“FRCAction will score against any such extension of government funding without these key pro-life provisions,” the group promised. “FRCAction will oppose any additional temporary Continuing Resolution that does not include these two pro-life provisions and include any such vote in our scorecard for the First Session of the 112th Congress.”