Maggie Gallagher

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 8/5/15

  • Richard Land is steamed that President Obama denounced Kenya’s criminalization of homosexuality, adding that “President Obama being president of the United States is in itself a judgment of God on the United States.” 
  • Ann Coulter insists that “the Republican Party is going to go the way of the Whigs” unless it embraces Donald Trump and anti-immigrant rhetoric. 
  • Alan Keyes attacks “the GOP’s quisling leaders” for failing to successfully defund Planned Parenthood. 

The Anti-Equality Movement's Favorite Laughably Disingenuous Talking Point

Anyone who has paid any attention at all to the marriage equality debate has heard an equality opponent speak some version of this line: “All Americans have the freedom to live as they choose. But no one has the right to redefine marriage for the rest of us.”

There’s a reason for that. The National Organization for Marriage instructs its activists that it is the “most effective single sentence” the anti-marriage-equality movement has:

Extensive and repeated polling agrees that the single most effective message is the following: “Gays and lesbians have a right to live as they choose; they don’t have the right to redefine marriage for all of us.” This allows people to express support for tolerance while opposing gay marriage.

Not surprisingly, people like former NOM President Maggie Gallagher use that talking point. And even as the movement continues to lose public support and legal battles, they have maintained message discipline when it comes to using this sentence. You can find nearly endless examples of it with tiny variations, spanning more than a decade. Here are just a few examples:

  • Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson used the line in his speech at last year’s Conservative Political Action Conference;
  • Kate Sweeney, assistant director of the Colorado-based Catholic women's group ENDOW, used it while opposing a state civil unions bill in 2013;

Of course, the line is not only ineffective, judging by the continued pro-equality swing in public attitudes, but it’s also ridiculously disingenuous coming from people who have tried so hard over the years to restrict the ability of LGBT people “to live as they choose,” as PFAW Senior Legislative Counsel Paul Gordon recently documented.

That includes DeMint, who believes gay people should not allowed to be teachers and slams the Supreme Court for overturning sodomy laws that made gay people criminals. And it certainly includes the Heritage Foundation, which slams landmark equality cases Lawrence v. Texas and Romer v. Evans as examples of unacceptable “judicial activism.”

Heritage, also the professional home of the fresh-faced hope of the marriage equality movement Ryan T. Anderson, opposes the Employment Non Discrimination Act, which would protect people from being fired for being gay, and fought federal hate crimes legislation. Of course, Anderson frequently uses the same poll-tested phrase, as he did in a 2013 briefing paper for Heritage on the perils of “redefining marriage.”

While it is increasingly true that LGBT Americans are “free to live as they choose,” that goal is far from being accomplished nationwide. And whatever progress has been made, it has been over the opposition of people who now smile into the camera and hope to hide their anti-gay agenda with a little deceptive messaging. 

Anti-Gay Activists Reduced To Hoping Future Generations Will Repeal Gay Marriage If America Survives That Long

James Dobson once again dedicated his daily radio program today to a discussion of the Supreme Court's upcoming gay marriage case with anti-gay activists Brian Brown, Maggie Gallagher, and Jim Garlow.

Unlike previous programs in which Religious Right leaders bemoaned the string of calamities that will befall this nation if gay marriage is legalized, today's show had a rather more hopeful feel, as Garlow and Gallagher took solace in the idea that gay marriage will prove to be so utterly horrible for the country that eventually the American people will realize the error of their ways and do away with it, provided that the nation actually survives long enough to do so.

"We, in this country, are learning to gear up for resistance and we are not giving up under any condition," Garlow said. "The devastation from this could come so severely that, years from now, if the nation is not completely destroyed, that we could see a recycling and a re-visiting of God's purpose for marriage."

Dobson was less enthusiastic, wondering just how much "damage will be done to how many people" in the interim.

"Horrific," Garlow said. "Horrific. But wars do that, unfortunately."

Garlow then went on to marvel that we are even having debates over issues like abortion and marriage, declaring that it is "shocking how far we've gone towards Nazi Germany and other kinds of dictatorships of this magnitude," which prompted Gallagher to weigh in and declare that Christians will win this battle in the end.

"I think it's going to get very bad out there," she said. "And I think, just as it did in the early days of the Roman Empire, that there is going to be a sense that, if we do our jobs, that Christianity offers the only real alternative to an increasingly debauched public square":

Maggie Gallagher: Christians Must 'Be Prepared To Rebuild From The Ruins Of The Collapse Of Civilization'

James Dobson continues to prepare for the upcoming Supreme Court arguments on marriage equality by gathering anti-gay activists on his radio program to discuss the various calamities that will befall the United States if the court strikes down state-level bans on gay marriage.

On today's program, Dobson spoke with former National Organization for Marriage president Maggie Gallagher, who warned that a Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality would represent the literal end of civilization and the beginning of an era in which Christians become a persecuted minority.

Declaring that the push for marriage equality is nothing more than "an attempt to impose a new morality on all of America," Gallagher warned Dobson's audience to get ready to live as pariahs in a society in which people of faith and marginalized and persecuted.

"Christianity in this country is going to enter a new phase where we are a hated minority group," she declared, "and I think we had better be psychologically and spiritually prepared for that and be prepared to rebuild from the ruins of the collapse of civilization that we're witnessing. At least one civilization is over with and what the next phase of American civilization will be is yet to be determined":

Maggie Gallagher: Tell Gay Friend He's Driving His Spouse Away From 'God's Plan'

Maggie Gallagher, the former head of the National Organization for Marriage who is now a senior fellow at the American Principles Project, writes in the National Review today that she, unlike Sen. Marco Rubio, would decline to go to a gay or lesbian friend’s wedding and would instead tell them that they are driving the one they love away from “God’s plan” and into sin.

While she praised the “great dignity and kindness” of Rubio’s statement — that he would attend the wedding of a gay or lesbian loved one while still opposing marriage equality as policy — Gallagher said that she would personally tell her loved one that “on your happy day you should be surrounded by people who can honor your vow and help you keep it” and “I can’t do that.”

At the end of her draft speech to her hypothetical gay friend, Gallagher urges, “let us somehow against all odds find a way to love each other as we are, and not how each of us would wish the other to be.”

So I would sit down with my friend and tell them this:

Here’s what I think. We are born male and female, and marriage is the union of husband to wife that celebrates the necessity of the two genders’ coming together to make the future happen. I know you don’t think that. I know the law no longer thinks that. But I have staked my life on this truth.

The problem for me in celebrating your gay wedding, as much as I love you, is that I would be witnessing and celebrating your attempt not only to commit yourself to a relationship that keeps you from God’s plan but, worse, I would be witnessing and celebrating your attempt to hold the man you love to a vow that he will avoid God’s plan. To vow oneself to sin is one thing, to try to hold someone you love to it — that’s not something I can celebrate.

And I would be party to the idea that two men can make a marriage, which I do not believe.

On your happy day you should be surrounded by people who can honor your vow and help you keep it. I can’t do that.

“Porneia” is a word in the Bible that has been much mistranslated. But I think it means a sexual relationship that cannot by its nature become a marriage. That’s why Christ said that marriage is forever, unless it is porneia. I understand that you might well want to rupture our friendship over this, my honest view.

I choose to love you both and keep you in my life. But let us somehow against all odds find a way to love each other as we are, and not how each of us would wish the other to be.

Paranoia-Rama: Satan's 'Homosexual Agenda,' Obama’s Deadly Secrets And Sarah Palin 'Exposes' Fox News

RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.

According to the right-wing media, Sharia law is gaining a foothold in Michigan, President Obama is blocking the sale of miracle drugs and Satan is commanding the gay rights movement. But Sarah Palin has uncovered the most menacing threat to America of them all: criticism of Sarah Palin.

5) ‘Obama’s Deadly FDA Secret Could Kill You’

Emulating Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich, Fox News contributor and RedState founder Erick Erickson sells out his email list to questionable sponsors who prey on the conspiracy-minded and science-averse.

According to Media Matters, one email to Erickson’s list claimed that the federal government is suppressing a miracle cancer cure that healed Ronald Reagan. Another warned that President Obama and the FDA could kill “over 45 million Americans…including you” because they are refusing to release a “secret” cure to cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.

But 45 million deaths is low compared to the potential toll of another “Obama scandal” that a RedState sponsored email warned could “wipe out 281 million Americans.”

4) Fox News Helping … Hillary?

At least according to Sarah Palin. Upset that Fox News host Bill O’Reilly mocked the prospect of Palin and fellow reality television star Donald Trump running for president as a “reality show,” Palin charged that O’Reilly is trying to undermine the conservative movement just as it prepares to take on Hillary Clinton.

Palin fumed that “quasi-right” media outlets like Fox News should wake up to the fact that “this is a war” against Clinton and should help the GOP unify and “surface the competitor who can take on Hillary or whomever it may be and win for this country.”

Palin made the rambling, self-pitying remarks , of course, on Fox News.

3) Sharia Law In Michigan

The preposterous right-wing conspiracy theory that the city of Dearborn, Michigan, is controlled by Sharia law has long been completely discredited, but that of course hasn’t stopped the Family Research Council’sTony Perkins and Jerry Boykin from promoting it.

Perkins recently spoke with Frank Gaffney, a fellow anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist, about the supposed rise of Sharia law in the U.S., and unsurprisingly, Gaffney joined in on the frenzy and referred to the city as “Dearbornistan.” He said the “Muslim-only” city of Dearborn has become a “ghetto” that is “too dangerous” to enter.

This might be news to the city’s residents, including one Army veteran who was able to find no shortage of stores selling haram goods like ham and liquor, along with a gentleman’s club, despite the claims of right-wing activists that the city is now imposing Sharia law.

2) Marriage Equality Turns Kids Into Government Property

A group of Catholic and Protestant leaders signed a statement this week warning that the legalization of same-sex marriage will lead “to the coercion and persecution of those who refuse to acknowledge the state’s redefinition of marriage, which is beyond the state’s competence.”

Signatories, including National Organization for Marriage founder Maggie Gallagher and prominent Proposition 8 supporter Rick Warren, warned that marriage equality for same-sex couples represents an even “graver threat” to society than divorce “because what is now given the name of marriage in law is a parody of marriage.”

By legalizing same-sex marriage, the statement reads, “a kind of alchemy is performed, not merely on the institution, but on human nature itself,” since same-sex marriage apparently “disregards the created order, threatens the common good and distorts the Gospel.” The statement even claims that marriage equality will turn children “in important legal respects, the property of the state.”

1) Gay Demonic Energy

American Family Radio host Bryan Fischer thinks that Satan makes people gay, so of course Fischer believes that Satan is also in command of the gay rights movement.

“I don’t think you will ever find a more directly demonic energy than when you deal with the homosexual agenda,” Fischer said this week. “They’re vicious. They are mean. You literally are staring into virtually the unvarnished energy of Satan himself when you come up against the forces that are pushing the homosexual agenda forward.”

Upset with the coverage of his comments, Fischer said that he feels bad for gay people, since they are “captives, prisoners of war” of Satan.

Stop Persecuting Us! Five Religious Right Tactics On Clear Display At The Values Voter Summit

One thing was clear at last week’s Values Voter Summit: many of the Religious Right’s leaders and allied politicians know that their stances on abortion rights and LGBT equality are becoming more and more toxic to the average voter, and less and less popular within the GOP.

Many speakers at the conference tried to reframe the debate on issues such as same-sex marriage, insisting that opponents of LGBT rights are becoming an oppressed minority in America. This delusion even seeped into matters such as foreign policy, with speakers attacking President Obama as an Islamist sympathizer who refuses to take military action against ISIS, even while he was doing exactly that.

Naturally, one politician was able to prey upon the many fears and fantasies of the far-right: Ted Cruz.

Even as the Values Voter Summit subtly changed its tone on some familiar issues, five tried and true tactics of the Religious Right were unchanged at last week’s event:

5. Make Audacious Persecution Analogies

While addressing the plight of Christians in the Mideast and people such as Meriam Ibrahim in Sudan and Saeed Abedini in Iran — both of whom are actually the victims of shocking anti-Christian persecution — Values Voter Summit speakers often attempted to claim that conservative Christians face similar abuses and comparable treatment in America.

Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel attempted to paint the Obama administration as more malicious than the government of Nazi Germany, and twins Jason and David Benham — who lost a planned HGTV reality show after we reported on their anti-gay political activism — even had the gall to compare themselves to the victims of ISIS.

Todd Starnes and Kelly Shackelford rattled off cases of purported anti-Christian persecution in America, “Duck Dynasty” star Alan Robertson said his family’s reality TV show was briefly suspended as the result of demonic attacks, and a Colorado baker who gained national attention after denying service to a gay couple broke down in tears.

Maggie Gallagher, the founder of the National Organization for Marriage, told attendees that marriage equality opponents will be “oppressed” due to their opinions, and Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel predicted Big Government persecution of Christians on behalf of “the intolerant homosexual lobby.”

4. Demand Religious Freedom… Except For Muslims

For a conference dedicated to protecting religious liberty and addressing the supposed persecution of Christians in America, there sure was plenty of animosity towards Muslims.

Conference speakers including Michele BachmannRobert DeesGary Bauer and Brigitte Gabriel dedicated their remarks to the threat of Islam, with several conflating Al Qaeda and ISIS with all of Islam and suggesting that the U.S. government somehow declare war on the religion.

Prior to the conference, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, whose group was the summit’s chief sponsor, suggested that Muslim-Americans be stripped of their rights under the Constitution.

3. Brazenly Ignore Reality

It was surreal to watch several Values Voter Summit speakers criticize President Obama for not going after ISIS at the same time as a U.S.-led coalition was launching a daily torrent of airstrikes against ISIS and the Al Qaeda-affiliated group Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria and Iraq.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a likely GOP presidential candidate, said Obama doesn’t believe that ISIS leaders need to be “hunted down and killed and destroyed.”

Bachmann declared that the president was ignoring her sage advice on how to handle ISIS: “You kill their leader, you kill their council, you kill their army until they wave the white flag of surrender. That’s how you win a war!”

2. Push Back Against The GOP

There was a palpable fear throughout the conference that the Republican Party is moving away from the Religious Right, as more and more GOP candidates either refuse to highlight the movement’s anti-choice and anti-gay positions or are openly trumpeting support for abortion rights and gay marriage.

Just before the conference took place, Focus on the Family, the National Organization for Marriage and the Family Research Council issued a letter announcing their vow to defeat two openly gay Republican House candidates and the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Oregon, who is pro-choice and running advertisements boasting of her support for marriage equality.

NOM president Brian Brown criticized Republicans for blaming the party’s stances on social issues for losses in the 2012 election. “It’s not our fault,” Brown insisted as he introduced unabashedly anti-gay politician Rick Santorum at the summit.

Later, at a NOM-sponsored panel, Brown accused gay rights supporters of attempting to “hijack” the GOP. While one panel at the summit attempted to explain the potential for libertarians and social conservatives to build a political alliance, it seems many in the audience didn’t want anything to do with the libertarian message.

1. Throw Them Red Meat

Ted Cruz once again won the summit’s presidential candidate straw poll, with Ben Carson, who didn’t attend the summit this year but was well-represented by campaigners from the National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee, finishing in second place. Cruz and Carson notably outpaced Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, two favorites of Religious Right movement who both spoke at the summit.

Cruz packed his speech with warnings about imminent threats to the Second Amendment and religious freedom, and listing objects of conservative derision: IRS, Common Core and Obamacare.

Conference organizers said Jeb Bush and Chris Christie were not welcome at the summit, but they wouldn’t have been able to stand a chance against Cruz’s easy applause lines anyway.

Maggie Gallagher Warns Of 'The Horrible Things The Left Is Going To Do' As They Impose 'This New, Strange Sexual Orthodoxy'

On Saturday, a group of Religious Right activists at the Values Voter Summit were pitched on the possibility and necessity of a stronger union between social conservatives and libertarians, a discussion that was heavily tinged with the rhetoric of anti-Christian persecution that dominated the weekened.

In a panel titled “Moral Decline Causes Big Government,” the American Principles Project’s Maggie Gallagher (formerly of the National Organization for Marriage), the director of Rand Paul’s PAC, Doug Stafford, and conservative pollster Kellyanne Conway made their best case for libertarians to adopt social conservative causes — or, given the makeup of the crowd, for social conservatives to be open to an alliance with libertarian conservatives.

Gallagher brought up the Religious Right’s fears about the persecution of conservative Christians by the LGBT rights movement, warning that with the current Supreme Court she was “not optimistic” about preventing marriage equality from becoming law in all 50 states, and that if that happens, there will be “more cases where people are being oppressed…for their views on marriage.”

Libertarians, Gallagher said, should share the concern of social conservatives about gay rights advocates “using the government to impose this new, strange sexual orthodoxy” and their fears of “the horrible things the left is going to do.” She warned that the window for a stronger alliance was narrow, because if LGBT rights advocates succeed, “there’s not a way to build a winning conservative coalition.”

She also made an ideological case for libertarians to join social conservatives, arguing that  “the decline of marriage” caused the growth of “pretty much every part of government, besides the defense budget, in America.”

“When the family falls apart, the government grows to step in,” she said.

Conway told the crowd that “values voters and libertarians have a great deal in common” from opposition to “big government” and abortion rights to being “sick of lawyers in black robes making stuff up” to a refusal to “redefine” family to be “whatever feels cool.” She also saw an opening to win over libertarians with the Religious Right’s increasing reliance on persecution rhetoric, or what she called the “assault on religious liberty in so many parts of our culture.”

Stafford echoed Conway, explaining that many libertarians oppose abortion rights and putting in a plug for the two groups to work together and with liberals to end the drug war.

Whatever the few libertarians in the room might have thought of the panel’s appeals, however, the bulk of the social conservative crowd seemed deeply skeptical of any attempt to woo libertarians. The biggest round of applause at the event came when a man came to the microphone, introduced himself as a pastor and proceeded to deliver a soliloquy against such “sins” as homosexuality. In an apparent jab at Sen. Paul’s position that marriage equality legislation should be left to the states, the pastor said, “Don’t let the states decide on marriage. God has already decided!”

As the panel ended, after little discussion of the morality of same-sex marriage, the woman next to me turned to me and shook her head. The panelists, she said, “didn’t listen to a thing that pastor said.”

Steve Lonegan Gets Job Pushing Gold Standard With Anti-Gay Group That Supported His Campaign

The Star-Ledger reported earlier this week that Steve Lonegan, the unsuccessful Republican candidate for Senate in last year’s New Jersey special election, has a new job: leading the anti-gay, anti-choice American Principles Project’s sideline effort to bring back the gold standard.

Lonegan told The Auditor he is now the director of monetary policy for the American Principles Project, a conservative advocacy group. He plans to work to spread the gospel about what he says as the Federal Reserve’s “failed policy” and the need to bring back the gold standard.

“We will be working hard in states like Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina to see to it that the (presidential) primary candidates in both parties are forced to talk about this issue,” Lonegan said. “They can’t hide from it.”

The American Principles Project was started in 2009 by Robert George, the intellectual leader of the anti-gay movement, to pressure Republican politicians to embrace both fiscal and social conservative policies. APP currently employs Maggie Gallagher, who founded the National Organization for Marriage along with George and served as NOM’s first president.

In his new job, it seems that Lonegan will unite the main political interests of APP’s chairman Sean Fieler, a little-known hedge fund manager who has become a major donor to the Religious Right and to social conservative causes in New York and New Jersey.

As we noted in a profile of Fieler earlier this year, the gold standard seems to be a pet project of his, so much so that an idea that is widely dismissed among mainstream economists has become a major policy platform of the American Principles Project. The issue was mentioned nowhere in the group’s original mission statement and doesn’t seem to have appeared on the group’s website until Fieler came on board as chairman in 2010.

Fieler and the American Principles Project have a history with Lonegan. Fieler is the major funder of the American Principles Fund , a super PAC affiliated with APP, which last year spent nearly $100,000 running anti-choice ads against Lonegan’s Democratic opponent Cory Booker. Fieler himself has maxed out personal contributions to Lonegan’s recent campaigns, giving his candidate committee $10,400 over the past two years.

Now, Lonegan will bring his unabashed anti-choice and anti-gay politics (remember when he speculated about whether Booker was gay?) to help unite the American Principles Project’s social and economic policy priorities.

The Star-Ledger notes that until this year, APP employed Booker’s current Republican Senate opponent Jeff Bell.

Right Wing Round-Up - 8/15/14

Right Wing Round-Up - 5/2/14

  • Scott Kaufman @ Raw Story: Alabama’s chief justice: Buddha didn’t create us so First Amendment only protects Christians. 

Right Wing Round-Up - 3/21/14

One Year After Release Of Autopsy Report, GOP Still Caving To Voices Of Extremism

Last year, we noted five ways in which Republican leaders were either ignoring or directly contradicting the recommendations put forth in the party’s post-election “autopsy report,” which called for a more diverse and modern GOP with a broader appeal. Today, on the first anniversary of the report’s release, it is clear that those who opposed the plan for a more inclusive party have prevailed, succeeding in moving the GOP even farther to the right.

Republican leaders seem to be accepting — albeit not openly — the pleas of right-wing pundits for the party to embrace ultraconservative views and veer away from outreach to young voters and people of color. These activists have called for the GOP to become a party focused on appealing exclusively to white voters with a mixture of Tea Party populism, Nativism and social conservatism.

This tension within the party has played out the most clearly in the debate over comprehensive immigration reform, in which reform advocates found themselves facing a wall of opposition from vocal activists. Many of these activists used the immigration debate to outline their vision for the party’s future, urging the party abandon immigration reform and instead work to increase its share of the white vote.

The extremists won the debate. The House Republican leadership has refused to even hold a vote on immigration reform and have approved only draconian bills that would curtail the rights of immigrants.

The GOP’s extreme right wing kept the party from taking up immigration reform by putting forward a political strategy argument backed by wink-and-nod racism.

Conservative luminary Phyllis Schlafly spent the year arguing that Latino voters are culturally resistant to Republican principles because they “don’t really understand our country.”

“The people the Republicans should reach out to are the white votes,” Schlafly said, arguing that Latinos are more likely to vote for Democrats over Republicans because they haven’t been sufficiently “Americanized.”

Rep. Michele Bachmann also warned that immigrants will usher in a far-left government that will jeopardize the future of America. Rep. Paul Broun similarly claimed that immigration reform is a plot to “destroy our country” by “keep[ing] Democrats in power for perpetuity.”

Pat Buchanan, true to form, was upfront about the strategy to stop immigration reform and expand the Republican share of the white vote. Buchanan wrote that just as the GOP used the Southern Strategy of racial polarization to win an overwhelming share of the Southern white vote, Republicans should adopt a new strategy “to increase the enthusiasm and turnout among [white voters] for the GOP” by “demand[ing] the sealing of America’s borders against any and all intruders.”

The Center for Immigration Studies, a leading voice on the anti-immigrant Right, also told Republicans no t to bother appealing to the Latino community and instead to frame Democrats as the “party of minorities.”

The GOP has also failed to make good on its promise to appeal to young and LGBT voters by moderating its hardline opposition to LGBT equality.

Last summer, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus reassured the Christian Broadcasting Network that the GOP is not becoming more tolerant and even lauded former governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, a stringently anti-LGBT politician, as “a model for a lot of people in our party” on dealing with social issues.

Priebus was apparently under pressure from social conservatives like National Organization for Marriage founder Maggie Gallagher, who demanded that the party amplify its right-wing social agenda and avoid “adopting a suicidal political strategy.”

While Republican leaders say that the will accept openly gay Republican candidates for Congress, they have not budged on any items important to the LGBT community, blocking even the consideration of legislation to prevent job discrimination or inequality in the immigration system. Republican lawmakers have also pushed bills designed to roll back LGBT rights, such as the State Marriage Defense Act and the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act, and have challenged the Justice Department’s treatment of marriage equality laws.

It seems that the GOP has only committed itself to changing semantics and appearances, but is still committed to the same right-wing agenda that was soundly defeated in 2012.

Right Wing Round-Up - 11/27/13

Right Wing Round-Up - 10/25/13

  • Good As You: ‘If only he’d been more anti-gay…’: A look at Maggie Gallagher & fellows’ silly ‘GOP autopsy.’
  • Towleroad: Baylor University Votes To Remove ‘Homosexual Acts’ From School’s ‘Sexual Misconduct Code.’ 

Gallagher: GOP Will Commit 'Suicide' If It Considers 'Stupid' Social Issues 'Truce'

National Organization for Marriage founder Maggie Gallagher has been sounding the alarm about moves to moderate the GOP’s positions on issues such as abortion rights and LGBT equality.

Gallagher recently harangued Ken Cuccinelli for not adequately advocating for his ultraconservative views on social issues in his foundering gubernatorial campaign. That’s right: Even though over half of Virginia voters consider Cuccinelli to be “too conservative,” she believes he is trailing in the polls because he isn’t playing up his right-wing credentials.

Speaking with radio host Steve Deace last night, Gallagher insisted any shift in the party’s right-wing platform would be “suicidal” and criticized the social issues “truce” proposed — to much Religious Right resistance — by then-Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels in 2010.

“The truce strategy is the stupidest of all possible strategies,” Gallagher said, attacking party “elites” for “adopting a suicidal political strategy.”

Gallagher, who is now with the American Principles Project, recently joined the group in issuing its own report [PDF] about the GOP’s defeats in 2012 to counter the Republican National Committee’s autopsy report, which was not received well by the party’s right flank, to say the least.

Politico reports:

“We believe the conventional explanation emerging from the Republican National Committee’s ‘autopsy’ report gets the core issues exactly wrong,” reads the report from American Principles in Action, a conservative advocacy group. “Accepting this emerging conventional wisdom will, in our view, likely consign the GOP to a permanent minority status.”

The report was authored by social issues activist and author Maggie Gallagher; activist Frank Cannon, who in a separate interview was more measured about the RNC’s effort; and Rich Danker, an economic projects director with the group. All are tied to the affiliated American Principles Project.Set to be released Thursday, their report takes issue with what they call “conventional wisdom” that Republican losses in 2012 stemmed from candidates who focused too much on “extremist” social issues, taking away from the party’s “winning economic message.”

“The Democrats know they will not pay a price for their increasingly aggressive advocacy of their extremist social issues stances, because the GOP will not counterpunch on these issues,” the report says. “Thus they can please their base at no cost.”

Cannon noted that the group agreed with some of the RNC’s recommendations, but differed when it came to emphasis of social issues.

The conservative assessment, titled “Building a Winning GOP Coalition: The Lessons of 2012,” dismisses what former Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-Ind.) called a “truce” on social issues, arguing that even if Republicans stopped fighting over them, Democrats would continue to highlight GOP positions on their terms.

The Virginia governor’s race emerges as one example of that dynamic, the report says.

GOP candidate Ken Cuccinelli, who has a deeply conservative record on social issues, has often declined to wade too deeply into the subject on the stump. The report singles out an instance when Cuccinelli ducked a question about abortion restrictions, suggesting “that his campaign has accepted the conventional wisdom that the best use to make of social issues is to signal to voters that you don’t take your own positions seriously enough to govern with them, so it’s safe for the mushy middle to vote for you.”

Gallagher Urges GOP To Follow Lonegan's 'Winning Strategy' And Talk More About Abortion

National Organization for Marriage founder Maggie Gallagher has a curious op-ed in the Washington Post today in which she insists that Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli is behind in the polls because he isn’t talking enough about his opposition to reproductive rights.

Cuccinelli sure has what Gallagher calls “conservative credentials” on the issue of choice. For instance, when he was in the state legislature, he sponsored a “personhood” bill that would have banned abortions in all circumstances and even criminalized some common forms of birth control. Cuccinelli has, understandably, been trying to run from this record in his effort to win over more moderate voters. But this, Gallagher argues, is what’s hurting him:

There is still time for Cuccinelli to turn things around, but the fact that someone with his conservative credentials speaks this way underscores that there is a conventional wisdom about how candidates ought to address, or avoid, social issues during campaigns. And Cuccinelli’s standing in the race underscores that this approach is dangerous for the GOP.

The truce strategy demoralizes the GOP base and makes it hard for the grass roots to care about Republican candidates. Conservative candidates are advised to deflect or retreat when social issues are raised, and their refusal to speak clearly and hold the line allows Democratic candidates to adopt more extreme positions, energizing their own base and unleashing a flood of money at no political cost. Democrats are confident that their opponents will not make an issue of their positions. Republican candidates’ apparent discomfort discussing such issues makes it look like they have something to hide, confirming to many voters Democratic suggestions that GOP candidates’ positions are extreme.

On an issue such as abortion, about which Americans are fundamentally ambivalent, victory depends on how “pro-life” and “pro-choice” are defined. Republicans’ self-imposed silence allows Democrats to define pro-life in ways that help them politically. Thus, Democrats do not have to justify their positions on infanticide, late-term abortions or permitting unborn baby girls to be killed just because of their gender.

Gallagher suggests that Cuccinelli instead follow the “winning strategy” of New Jersey Senate candidate Steve Lonegan, who enthusiastically attacked Democrat Cory Booker for his pro-choice record…before Booker beat him handily in the general election.

Democrats campaigned on the truce strategy in 2012 and will continue to use it until GOP candidates come up with a more effective political response. The winning strategy would be to aggressively define social issues on Democrats’ weakest grounds, to make them pay for their unqualified support of abortion on any grounds.

Steve Lonegan, the New Jersey Republican whose long-shot Senate campaign stalled when he supported the government shutdown in a blue state, nonetheless had the right idea on this issue. “What abortion would you make illegal?” he asked Cory Booker in a recent debate.

Memo to GOP candidates: The best defense is a good offense. When you are being relentlessly attacked as an abortion extremist by people who support late-term and/or taxpayer-funded abortions, self-imposed silence about your beliefs and values is not an effective political response. Calling Democrats on their own extremism is the pathway to victory.

Right Wing Round-Up - 7/12/13

Gallagher: Supreme Court DOMA Decision a 'Declaration of War' Against Half of America

Not content with just claiming that Justice Anthony Kennedy has proclaimed a “fatwa” against opponents of gay marriage, National Organization for Marriage founder Maggie Gallagher is now blasting the Supreme Court for issuing a “head-on declaration of war against at least half of the American people.”

In an interview with Lars Larson, Gallagher said that the court’s pro-marriage equality rulings limit the “democratic rights” of activists who seek to ban same-sex unions and argued that the justices could “not name” where gay and lesbian couples are protected in the Constitution.

Right Wing Leftovers - 7/3/13

  • Rush Limbaugh says that while “the one in Egypt’s a military coup, here it’s a Democrat Party coup.” 
  • North Carolina Republicans have added far-reaching abortion rights restrictions to a bill banning Sharia law. 
  • Phil Burress of Citizens for Community Values wants Ohio Gov. John Kasich to run for president.
  • Speaking of Ohio, far-right activist Linda Harvey attended the Columbus gay pride parade. 
  • No comment: “Hi, I'm Ted Nugent. I have nine children from seven women, and I'm running for president.”
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