tea party

David Perdue: Too Extreme for Georgia

On Tuesday, David Perdue triumphed over longtime representative Jack Kingston in the Republican runoff for Saxby Chambliss’ U.S. Senate seat. The former Dollar General CEO has never run for political office, a distinction he has made the central theme of his campaign. Perdue has boasted that he is a “different kind of candidate,” but we’ve seen a candidate like him before: 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

The similarities between Romney and Perdue are striking: both CEOs, both millionaires, and both completely out of touch. Romney, however, was accused by right-wingers of being one thing Perdue clearly isn’t: moderate. Perdue has made no attempt to seem even relatively moderate and has dragged his extremist ideals as far to the right as he can. Make no mistake: he will not represent Georgia. Instead, he’ll represent those like him: wealthy, anti-immigrant and anti-equality.

Perdue already has proven that he is wrong for Georgia. He signed the FAIR Pledge, a pledge created by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) Task Force, vowing to oppose not only a pathway to citizenship for undocumented students but also any increase in work visas for legal immigrants. He is also anti-choice and anti-equality. With nearly 10 percent of Georgia’s population identifying as Latino and over 260,000 Georgians identifying as LGBTQ, Perdue would have a duty to represent all of his constituents—and that is a duty he won’t fulfill.

David Perdue has made it clear that he does not understand needs of Georgia’s diverse, changing population, which is why PFAW will help to make it clear that he is not the right choice for Georgia.
 

PFAW

War And Peace: The Tea Party And The GOP

It’s not completely clear why Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition, which he created in the wake of Obama’s election, has decided to hold an annual conference in Washington, D.C.  After all, the conservative Christian voters his group works to identify and mobilize already have the Values Voter Summit, the much larger fall event sponsored by the Family Research Council and a gaggle of other right-wing groups.

One reason may be for the once-disgraced Reed to show off his political access: last week’s Road to Majority conference was thick with Republican officeholders and presidential wannabes, and I lost count of how many times Reed told participants how impressed they should be by the lineup.  For the lobby day that preceded the conference itself, he was able to get face time for his participants with Religious Right and Tea Party heroes from the Senate -- Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and  Marco Rubio – and House of Representatives – Louis Gohmert, Steve King, and David Jolly – along with “establishment” Republicans like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen John Cornyn.

In fact, the conference may be seen by Reed as a way for him to play peacemaker among the sometimes warring factions within the Republican Party and encourage unity going into the election year. At last year’s conference, RNC head Reince Priebus had a chance to tell attendees, many of them skeptical, that he was indeed one of them, as a Christian and a conservative; this year he made an appearance via video.

Last Saturday, on panel on the 2014 elections, conservative pundit and author John Fund predicted that Thad Cochran would be defeated by Chris McDaniel. Fund said it would mark a second “humiliating defeat” for the Republican establishment (after Eric Cantor’s stunning primary loss) and should lead to a demand from the grassroots for McConnell and Boehner to work out a “peace treaty” with Tea Party activists so they could stop spending an “insane” amount of resources on internal fights. “The real enemy is in November,” he said.

Of course that’s not what happened on Tuesday. With a boost from the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the Chamber of Commerce, and ads by football great Brett Favre – and more notably with a direct appeal to African American voters – Cochran squeaked out an unexpected victory.

The “humiliating defeat” was now pinned on Tea Party groups and there was little talk about peace negotiations.  Chris McDaniel’s already infamous non-concession speech turned into a rant against the Cochran campaign and Republican officials who sided with him:

There is nothing dangerous or extreme about defending the Constitution and the civil liberties therein. And there’s nothing strange at all about standing as people of faith for a country that WE built, that WE believe in. But there is something a bit strange, there is something a bit unusual, about a Republican primary that’s decided by liberal Democrats.”

“This is not the party of Reagan,” he declared. “But we’re not done fighting. And when we’re done it will be. We have fought too long we have fought too hard to have a voice in this party. And today, the conservative movement took a back seat to liberal Democrats in the state of Mississippi. In the most conservative state in the republic, this happened. If it can happen here, it can happen anywhere. And that’s why we will never stop fighting.”

McDaniel was backed heavily by FreedomWorks, Club for Growth, and the Senate Conservatives Fund, which denounced as “disgraceful” the money spent by the NRSC to back Cochran.

National Review’s Eliana Johnson, who moderated the 2014 panel, said the Establishment / Tea Party split has been vastly overblown by the media slapping the Tea Party label on every gadfly challenger.  But on the night of Cochran’s Democratic-voter-assisted victory, Sarah Palin was talking about a third party.

For those of us outside the movement, who see the overlapping Tea Party and Religious Right movements relentlessly pushing the GOP further to the right, it can be hard to understand why there is so much anger directed at the establishment.  After all, it’s not as if Eric Cantor and Thad Cochran are some kind of liberal Rockefeller Republicans.

But even these conservative leaders are not enough for grassroots activists who imbibe a steady ideological diet, from right-wing media and movement leaders, calling for a radically limited federal government and viewing compromise made in the process of governing as complicity with tyranny. Republican leaders who encouraged an angry grassroots uprising against the “tyranny” of health care reform are now reaping the whirlwind.

If there were a unifying message from Ralph Reed’s conference, it was, “America is in decline and the world is going to hell and it’s all Obama’s fault.” The solution offered was a combination of spiritual and political warfare. While right-wing groups have a common enemy in the White House, and will certainly work together this year to try to give Republicans control of the Senate, it is clear that we haven’t yet seen the end of the struggle over  just how far to the far right the Republican Party will be pushed.

The Right to Vote Under Attack, 2012 Update

Here we detail, as of October 6, 2012, except where otherwise noted, the latest efforts across the country to suppress the vote, as well as some encouraging successes in expanding the franchise.

Tea Party Activist Warns Gay Marriage is a Big Government Plot

Doug Mainwaring of the National Capital Tea Party Patriots took to the Washington Times today to ridicule Rep. Barney Frank’s recent same-sex wedding, asserting that marriage equality for gays and lesbians is an effort by the left to enlarge the role of government. “For them, it’s not about homosexual rights, nor is it about equality, fairness or freedom,” Mainwaring writes. “It is about the weakening of the two most hallowed structures of civil society - family and faith - which often stand in the way of government making further inroads into our lives.”

He said that Rep. Frank’s wedding was “skewering the very concept of marriage” and represented a “mockery, a parody, a staggering caricature of the most fundamental and towering of American Institutions.” Mainwaring concluded that same-sex marriage is nothing but a “joke” to the left and just another sign “of the contempt our liberal establishment harbors for Main Street America.”

Most Americans - yes, even those who may have a divorce in their past, view marriage as something sacred. It’s a solemn moment of commitment before God or, if not God, in front of their families and the community. Clearly, the intelligentsia in attendance were not most Americans.

An irreverent display, this was a scene from a cheesy comedy movie, skewering the very concept of marriage. No one would mistake this for a solemn moment when two souls are joined together for eternity. Instead, it was an absurd frolic, an “Alice in Wonderland” moment.

The politicos and pundits who aggressively promote same-sex marriage, many of whom were present at this event, have revealed something about themselves they perhaps didn’t intend to show: Same-sex marriage is a joke to them. It’s nothing more than political opportunism, straight from the liberal Democrats’ timeworn, dog-eared playbook - an attempt to corral and cordon off yet another minority group for the Democrats, adding yet another square to their patchwork AstroTurf quilt.

Putting their personal seal of approval on this act of contempt toward marriage by virtue of their attendance were House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, former Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry and House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer.

Mr. Frank’s vows are emblematic of the problem with the same-sex marriage lobby in this country: For them, it’s not about homosexual rights, nor is it about equality, fairness or freedom. It is about the weakening of the two most hallowed structures of civil society - family and faith - which often stand in the way of government making further inroads into our lives. The ideal world for liberals would be one where we all became like “Julia” on BarackObama.com - individuals deprived of the influence and support of family and faith. In that way, government can more easily have its way with us.

The New York Times wrote, “Ms. Pelosi said at the reception on Saturday that it was appropriate that a landmark same-sex wedding take place around the Fourth of July. ‘It’s about expanding freedom.’ “

Far from a cherished milestone in the advancement of American freedom, the Frank-Ready wedding was a mockery, a parody, a staggering caricature of the most fundamental and towering of American Institutions.

If this is how Washington’s political class views marriage, we should run - not walk - from its counsels.

The boisterous laughter and snickers among the 300 gathered guests evoked by Mr. Frank’s frivolous vows were a display of the contempt our liberal establishment harbors for Main Street America.

PFAW Shows Support for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

People For the American Way staff, members and activists braved the heat today to showcase their support for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, alongside hundreds of others Americans outside the United States Supreme Court. However, PFAW was not merely standing silently while awaiting the court’s decision. We were busy waving signs reading “Don’t Hijack My Healthcare” and “Fear Romney Court,” and chanting “Health Care for All!”

Finally the clock had struck 10 a.m. and the tea party began celebrating due to premature and incorrect reports. Upon finally learning the court’s actual 5-4 decision to uphold the Act, PFAW and so many of the other supporters outside the Supreme Court began celebrating, cheering, and embracing. The Tea Party had found a microphone to continue spreading their propaganda, but the sounds of progress drowned them out. Today was an important win. To partially quote Vice President Biden, this is “a big…deal.”

 

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