Election 2012

LaHaye: If America Doesn't Bless Israel, 'We're Going to Incur the Curse of God'

End Times enthusiast Tim LaHaye has recorded a Christian voter mobilization video for his wife Beverly's organization, Concerned Women for America, in which he declares the "liberal secularists" control the media, education, and the government and they "are not our friend; in fact I don't think they're friends of America" because they want to "destroy the culture."

But LaHaye's primary concern is America's relationship with Israel, as he claims that America has only been blessed by God "because we have been better to the Jew and Israel than any nation in the history of the world" and warns that "if we change that ...  then we're going to incur the curse of God": 

Todd Akin Looks to Disgraced Pseudo-Historian David Barton for Help following 'Legitimate Rape' Controversy

Embattled Missouri congressman and Republican senate nominee Todd Akin appeared on WallBuilders Live today with David Barton, where the two showered each other with praise. Barton recently appeared with Mike Huckabee on a Missouri Baptist Convention teleconference trumpeting Akin’s candidacy and compared him to biblical figures, just as in an earlier radio show Barton likened Akin to the Founding Fathers. Many called on Akin to drop out of the Senate race after he said, while explaining his opposition to abortion rights in cases of rape, that “legitimate rape” rarely leads to pregnancies as “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Akin told Barton and co-host Rick Green that there has been a “concerted effort to shoot him out of the saddle” by groups like Planned Parenthood, and that he is “looking forward to moving ahead with this race and seeing a great victory in November.”

I really appreciate your prayers and the tremendous encouragement that’s come from all across our country, and this has become in a way a national race. It’s not uncommon when somebody who is a strong conservative gets in a position to run for a different seat that there will be a pretty concerted effort to shoot him out of the saddle. We know who our enemies are, Planned Parenthood has put me on their “Toxic Ten” list and there are other kinds of liberal groups likewise that if you don’t trust the conservative ratings look what the liberals are saying. I really appreciate both of you, you both have been really great patriots, always stood for a good, balanced understanding of freedom, we’re looking forward to moving ahead with this race and seeing a great victory in November.

Barton said “party bosses” despise Akin because of his conservative voting record, and Green maintained that Akin only gets in trouble because he’s an “uncompromising, absolutely solid conservative” and “the kind of guy everybody says they want in Congress, we want that consistent conservative, but it does make it harder on the campaign trail sometimes.”

Barton attempted to explain that “missteps” like Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments are inevitable and therefore people should “blow that off,” and even used the fact that we at Right Wing Watch on a regular basis write about Barton’s dishonest and bizarre statements as an example. He said that Akin’s comments don’t reflect his time in Congress and shouldn’t concern people, however, Akin’s views on rape and abortion clearly reflect on his congressional record and a larger Religious Right worldview.

One of the things that I’ve been pointing out to people that have been asking about Todd and what happened in Missouri is he made a misstep, he said something that shouldn’t of been said, that’s been taken care of, he apologized, asked forgiveness, we move on from that. That misstep would bother me if this was a pattern of behavior and it’s not, it would also bother me if his voting record showed that he had any inclination toward what he said, which it clearly doesn’t. So we say we made a mistake. You and I get quoted all the time by Right Wing Watch for what they call our mistakes, anyone who talks is going to make mistakes and you blow that off especially if you got a record. So the response is: hey let’s not get distracted with this because what happened is liberals in the Republican party and liberals in Democrat party [sic] would love for people to focus on that misstep that Todd said and that way they don’t have to talk about the contrast between him and his opponent, Claire McCaskill.

If Barton is making the case that Akin’s assertion would only bother him “if this was a pattern of behavior,” then maybe Barton should be troubled by his own career as a self-proclaimed historian as his latest book was pulled from publication over its inaccuracies, and as Barton himself notes, has to be frequently called out on this blog (and others) for making clearly false and absurd claims.

NOM Affiliated Pastor Says Obama Wants 'Dictatorial-Style' Rule and has 'Rejected' God

William Owens Jr., whose father William Owens works for the National Organization for Marriage and runs the right-wing Coalition of African-American Pastors, is out with a new article suggesting that President Obama is preparing for a dictatorship and may even be a Muslim. He charges that the “anti-American” Obama wants to “render America decrepit and ripe for a dictatorial-style second four-year term” and to do this the Democrats must do away with God: “The God of the Bible has been rejected by this party as they have welcomed the god of another. With a record increase of Muslims in attendance, the message is clear and President Obama has raised the stakes for the fight for America by throwing in all the chips.”

Owens Jr. also claimed that Obama, simply by personally endorsing marriage equality, intends to “pass laws that would threaten to jail and/or fine pastors who didn’t perform” same-sex nuptials because he “believes pastors to be homophobic and is committed to punishing such thoughts by law” and wants to “destroy the family – by doing away with it.”

“The trajectory of Obama is leading to a tragedy of untold proportions and in less than 60 days,” he writes, “if we don't remove him, I'm afraid that tragedy is set for America.”

The trajectory of Obama's ideology has finally arrived at its dark destination … a godless America, a family-less America, and an un-American America.

Since Obama has taken the White House, he has been effective in his quest to fundamentally change the course of America. He realizes this is not possible unless he removes the fundamentals of America: God, family and country, even if it means going against the wishes of most Americans, which he has done with disdain and contempt.

In 2008, Obama started his first days as president with a world tour apologizing for America's exceptionalism in hopes of propping up other countries by putting America down. He relished the opportunity to vent a well-fostered resentment for the country that voted him in as president. A people who fall prey to both Black pride and white guilt became victims of his twisted ideology. Americans did not expect a president would use the sacred office to dislodge their country with a methodology that smells of corruption, deception and apostasy.

You may kiss the bride," says the pastor as two people of the same sex lean over to kiss each other inside a Bible-believing church. Why? Because Obama's endorsement of same-sex marriage would pass laws that would threaten to jail and/or fine pastors who didn't perform these unions among a group that accounts for less than 2% of the American population. He believes pastors to be homophobic and is committed to punishing such thoughts by law. It is a fact that most Americans, regardless of their religious beliefs, view marriage as being between ONE man and ONE woman. This is how he has purposed to destroy the family – by doing away with it.

It is not Obama's concerns for the homosexual that has prompted him to support same-sex marriage. It is for the vote and the moneybag. Obama is a master at using individuals as well as groups to accomplish his objective, and if it means taking anti-American positions, he will do it. If it means falsifying genuine concern for a group of people to attain their money and their vote, he will do it. How do I know? It's a reality. Just ask Black Americans. Ask Jeremiah Wright. To render America decrepit and ripe for a dictatorial-style second four-year term, Obama must show just who he is and rally to himself two type of supporters: those who get it and love it, and those who don't have a clue and love it any way.



The God of the Bible has been rejected by this party as they have welcomed the god of another. With a record increase of Muslims in attendance, the message is clear and President Obama has raised the stakes for the fight for America by throwing in all the chips.

More than Obama, however, we Americans, evangelicals and pastors of the Judeo-Christian faith have become passive and have not fulfilled our duty to defend our faith and to speak the truth.

The trajectory of Obama is leading to a tragedy of untold proportions and in less than 60 days, if we don't remove him, I'm afraid that tragedy is set for America.

Only God, whom the Democratic Party has rejected, can and will save America. Unless those who believe and honor this God, of which much of America was founded and arise in His name, many believe America's real hope is lost.

It's really not about what Obama will do; it's about what most Americans won't do: stand up for our Freedoms and Liberties given by God not by a man nor by President Obama himself.

NOM even posted a video of Owens Jr. and his father along with right-wing activist Johnny Hunter denouncing Obama in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Bill Federer Wildly Speculates About a Possible 'October Surprise'

Bill Federer was on "Focal Point" yesterday to discuss his new book "Miracles in American History - 32 Amazing Stories of Answered Prayers" but somehow he and Bryan Fischer got sidetracked talking about voter fraud which then led into Federer into a rambling discussion about the possibility of an  "October surprise" in the upcoming election.

Federer claimed that the 2006 scandal involving Ted Haggard was timed to help Democrats retake Congress and that the subprime mortgage crisis was like orchestrated to stop the momentum the McCain campaign had gained by choosing Sarah Palin as its running mate.

He then went on to wildly speculate about what sort of possible surprises could be in store for this election, suggesting that the Obama administration would intentionally bring about war between Iran and Israel which Obama could use as a pretext to take control of the radio, TV and internet.

Or else Obama might fake a plot on his life that can be blamed on the Tea Party, which was just the sort of strategy that Joseph Stalin used as an excuse to kill millions of his enemies! 

Is that something Obama would do, asked Federer ... answering that "if you can vote to kill innocent babies, what can't you justify?"

Garlow: There Are Only '61 Days of America Left' Before it is Gone Forever

Few Religious Right leaders can match Jim Garlow for delivering dire doom and gloom warnings about what is in store for America and Christians if the church does not rise up and make sure that President Obama is not re-elected.

Today, he joined Tony Perkins and Tim Wildmon on "Today's Issues" where he bluntly declared that there are only "61 days of America left" because if Obama is re-elected, America will become permanently unrecognizable. As such, it is imperative that Christians become "unbelievably bold," just as Perkins and Wildmon have been, for which they will one day be hailed by historians: 

Perkins: Dr. Garlow, how critical is the Christian vote in this upcoming election.

Garlow: At the risk of being misunderstood, I am going to say it this bluntly: we have 61 days of America left. I know that sounds melodramatic to some, it sounds alarmist, Chicken Little to some people. But we have 61 days. If we do not see a change at this time, America will be set on a trajectory that will make it unrecognizable in four years; it is almost that today.

We have 61 days of America left. If we do not turn at this point, America as we have known her will be forever gone. It is crisic that people vote, that they activate, that they become informed and they influence every other people they can regardless of how unreceptive people might be to them announcing where they stand on the issues. It is time for us to be unbelievably bold.

And thank you Tim and thank you Tony for what you men do. When historians record what turned America someday, your names are going to be there.

Robertson: Democrats the 'Party of Gays, Godlessness and Whatever Else'

Adding his voice to the faux-outrage that the 2012 Democratic National Platform, while having a section extolling religious faith as “a driving force of progress and justice throughout our history,” doesn’t include mentions of God, televangelist Pat Robertson on the 700 Club today skewered Democrats for representing only “gays, godlessness and whatever else.” “Same-sex marriage is in the platform, they want to go along with that as a right, I’m just astounded,” Robertson said.

Later in his commentary, Robertson said that after having “insulted” Catholics and labor unions, now the Democrats are “going after God, it makes no sense but that’s what they want to do.”

Watch:

Back in the 1850s or 60s there was a charge that one party was the party of rum, Romanism and rebellion. I don’t know what you label the Democrats now but it’s the party of gays, godlessness and whatever else. I mean, same-sex marriage is in the platform, they want to go along with that as a right, I’m just astounded.



They can’t defend it and you ask yourself, you’re going to go before the American people and that’s going to be the face they’re going to present to America. You have insulted the Catholic Church with your rules, you have insulted right-to-work states, you have insulted certain union groups with your stand on the pipeline and now you’re going after God, it makes no sense but that’s what they want to do.

Artur Davis Blames the Left for Perpetuating Racial Divisions

During an interview with Brett Decker of the right-wing Washington Times, former Democratic congressman Artur Davis blamed the left for racial animosity in the U.S. Davis left the Democratic party after he lost the 2010 Alabama Democratic gubernatorial primary by a wide margin, and has reinvented himself as an anti-Obama Republican, possibly with the hope of running for Congress again. Davis told the Washington Times that the “racial divide will fester as long as the left pursues an identity politics of grievance.” He even said that calling out overt and implicit racism is another way the “left adds to the racial divide,” and praised the GOP’s “roll call of Americans of color who have won the privilege to speak for more than their own kind,” like Allen West and Nikki Haley. “In the Democratic Party, with precious few exceptions, minorities are consigned to represent and to speak for their own,” Davis maintained. Apparently Davis didn’t watch the Republican speakers he named as many of them cited their experience as racial and ethnic minorities in their speeches, and it is beyond dispute that the Democratic Party includes a far higher number of voters and elected officials of color.

Decker: Barack Obama’s promise to guide America to a more unified post-racial future has not been fulfilled. In fact, this president has divided the nation to a frightening degree. What do you think needs to be done to heal the racial divide? Is it unfair for me to say the Democratic Party takes the black vote for granted and pursues policies — such as opposition to school choice — that keep many African Americans down?

Davis: The racial divide will fester as long as the left pursues an identity politics of grievance. The left adds to the racial divide every time its politicians or acolytes equate ordinary conservatism with racial intolerance, and link opposition to the Obama administration to racial backlash. The Democratic Party has unwisely distanced itself from policies like parental choice, vouchers and the overhaul of tenure that would have a transformative effect in the lives of black children, and there is an opening for Republicans to appeal to minorities by claiming priorities like education reform in the course of the next decade.

It should be noted that Republicans far more than Democrats are providing a pathway for African-Americas, Latinos and Indian Americans who dare to move beyond being spokespersons for their own communities. Condi Rice, Susanna Martinez, Nikki Haley, Brian Sandoval, Tim Scott, Allen West, Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio: They are a roll call of Americans of color who have won the privilege to speak for more than their own kind, and Mia Love and Ted Cruz will join them this November. In the Democratic Party, with precious few exceptions, minorities are consigned to represent and to speak for their own.

Who's Ted Cruz? Getting to Know the Next Senator from the Tea Party

Cross-posted at AlterNet

The power center that Dick Armey and FreedomWorks have been aggressively building in the U.S. Senate around reigning extremist Jim DeMint will almost certainly welcome Ted Cruz in January. The Republican convention gave most Americans their first look at Cruz, who has become a Tea Party folk hero after crushing the establishment candidate, Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, in a bitterly contested primary.

Ted Cruz loves to portray his victory as an upwelling from the grassroots, as he did during his Tuesday night speech from the platform. “I have the honor of standing before you this evening for one reason, because thousands upon thousands of grassroots activists stood united, not for a candidate, but for the sake of restoring liberty.”

It is certainly true that his impressive come-from-behind primary victory captured the fervor of anti-government Tea Party activists as well as conservative evangelicals that Cruz has been courting for years at religious right gatherings. But it wasn’t an act of spontaneous combustion. Pouring gasoline on the prairie fire were national right-wing super PACs and Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks. Club for Growth Action dropped millions into the race on Cruz’s behalf; Jim DeMint’s Tea Party-backing Senate Conservatives Fund also kicked in with seven-figure spending. (DeMint has since cut his formal ties to the group so that it could create a super PAC.) A FreedomWorks spokesperson said after Cruz’s primary that wins by candidates like Cruz would “force Romney to the right.”

Cruz also benefitted from endorsements by an impressive roster of right-wing figures. During the primary he bragged that he was the only candidate this year supported by all four of his favorite senators: DeMint, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, and Pat Toomey. he Cruz campaign used video of a Palin campaign visit for its GOTV efforts. After his primary win an excited Breitbart blogger quoted Sarah Palin’s celebration on Facebook. She wrote that Cruz's victory was a win "both for Ted and for the grassroots Tea Party movement," and that the “message of this race couldn't be clearer for the political establishment: the Tea Party is alive and well and we will not settle for business as usual. Now, it's on to November!”

While the media accurately describes Cruz as a darling of the Tea Party and its corporate backers, he also had strong backing from religious-right figures. Cruz has campaigned for support at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit and the Freedom Federation’s Awakening conference, where he said “we are engaged in spiritual warfare every day.” James Dobson and David Barton are among the religious-right leaders who backed Cruz; Rick Santorum endorsed Cruz on Glenn Beck’s television show.

Cruz embodies Ralph Reed’s desire to merge the Tea Party and religious right. In his convention speech, Cruz talked about the Tea Party movement as a “Great Awakening” – a not-so-subtle shout-out to religious-right leaders who are calling for a spiritual great awakening that they believe will turn the nation back to God and its Christian roots. At Rick Santorum’s event on Wednesday afternoon, Cruz mocked media conversations about divisions between different “chunks” of Republicans, declaring the party united. “We’re all here because we believe in values and principles bigger than ourselves,” he said.

Perry: 'King' Obama Leading a 'Clear Attack on People of Faith'

During the presidential campaign, Rick Perry was one of the first candidates to embrace the theme that Obama is waging a “war on religion,” a message that was quickly embraced by Mitt Romney. As Perry ponders another run for the presidency, he told Family Research Council head Tony Perkins on today’s Washington Watch Weekly that he believes President Obama thinks he was elected “King” and is leading a “clear attack on people of faith”. How? Perry cited the contraception mandate, the Department of Justice’s stance in the Hosanna Tabor case, where the administration argued that religious groups are not categorically exempt from the Americans with Disability Act, and his own gut instinct.

Yes, Perry said he instinctually feels that the Obama administration is putting together a campaign of “intimidation to churches using IRS as a tool to keep anyone from making any statements about a political election,” even though the rule on church electioneering came about in 1954 and there is no evidence that the administration is actively investigating churches for breaking the rule.

Perkins: You were out on the campaign trail quite a bit early on in the Republican primary, your message obviously on jobs, the economy, which Texas has been leading in the nation in the creation of jobs, but you also touched on the issue of religious liberty and religious freedom. Do you see a growing hostility in America in the wake of this administration towards religious—

Perry: Led by this administration, when you think about the clear messages that they send, whether it’s by fiat—and that’s one of my great concerns about this president, we didn’t elect a King Mr. Obama, we elected a president, we expect the rule of law to be maintained in this country, go to Congress, pass legislation—he’s pushing these programs through whether it’s a clear attack on the Catholic Church and their opposition to contraception, those are purely wars against religion. When you think about the ministerial exception that he went to the Supreme Court to try to overturn, you know thank God he lost 9-0, even his liberal judges wouldn’t go that far, so clear attack on people of faith. My instinct is, I don’t have clear evidence, but my instinct is through other agencies there is this intimidation factor to our places of worship that you best not be in job of anything that we decide is political. For instance, clear intimidation to churches using IRS as a tool to keep anyone from making any statements about a political election.

Another Romney Abortion Flip-Flop: No Exceptions for Health of the Mother

In an interview with CBS News on Monday, Mitt Romney said he disagreed with his own party’s support for criminalizing abortion without exceptions: “My position has been clear throughout this campaign; I’m in favor of abortion being legal in the case of rape and incest, and the health and life of the mother.”

Of course, Romney’s position on the legality of abortion has been anything but clear. Now his campaign denies that he supports allowing abortion when a woman’s health is in jeopardy, as he told reporter Scott Pelley. Instead, they say he only supports allowing abortion when a woman would die without one.

Marjorie Dannenfelser of Susan B. Anthony List, a major anti-choice group, in an interview with Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association insisted that the Romney campaign told her that Romney does not in fact believe in exceptions for the health of the mother, contradicting what he said in the Monday interview. If he did, Dannenfelser said, he would not have received the endorsement of her anti-choice organization.

Watch:

 

New TV Ad! "Mitt Romney's Supreme Court: Too Extreme For America"

Mitt Romney says that a woman's right to choose an abortion even in cases of rape and incest is a "decision that will be made by the Supreme Court." But Romney has promised Supreme Court Justices who would overturn Roe v Wade...
PFAW

Jon Voight: Obama 'is of the Marxist, Socialist Root'

Conservative actor and off-and-on Mitt Romney surrogate Jon Voight told Tom Trento of The United West in an interview at the Republican National Convention in Tampa that he believes “the President is of the Marxist, socialist root.” Voight claimed that Obama’s parents, along with Frank Marshall Davis and Saul Alinsky inculcated him in Marxism and taught him to view America as an “imperialist state.”

Watch:

Trento: We have a president who simply has Marxist, socialist views and wants to remake America in his image; and we have a president [sic] that’s a capitalist and an entrepreneur and a fighter, those are the two positions, that’s it.

Voight: That’s right. The President is of the Marxist, socialist root: from his dad, his mother encouraged his following through on his dad’s Marxism and his dad’s view of America which was of an imperialist state. Then he had the influence of Frank Marshall Davis, who was a communist who was a mentor as a young man, then as he got older he fell in with the work of Saul Alinsky and Alinsky became his mentor. That’s who he is, you should know that.

Anti-Gay, Anti-Obama Pastor Bill Owens Thinks he is 'Taking the Same Stance Martin Luther King, Jr. Would'

William Owens of the Coalition of African-American Pastors, which is not so much a real coalition as it is a right-wing front group, appeared on WallBuilders Live today with David Barton and Rick Green to denounce President Obama for endorsing same-sex marriage. The virulently anti-gay pastor once again compared his political activism to that of Martin Luther King, Jr., agreeing with Green’s suggestion that he is “taking the same stance Martin Luther King, Jr. would.” Owens also reiterated his claim that he was a civil rights figure, despite little evidence of his role in the movement.

He claimed that Obama’s approach to the black community is “not acceptable” following his endorsement of marriage equality and decision to lead America “down a very immoral road,” and doubted that Obama “even believes it himself, but because of the money and catering to the homosexual community” he took the pro-equality stance anyway. To top it all off, Owens said that “my people in Africa killed each other by the thousands so we can’t give him a pass because he’s black.”

Green: So why is this an important enough issue for ya’ll to move forward like this?

Owens: I think it’s important because it’s changing our culture and we feel that the President, being the first black president number one, holding the most powerful position in the world was put their overwhelmingly by black people. I was in the civil rights movement and we marched for civil rights but it was not for a man to marry a man and a woman to marry a woman, and the President has not given us the courtesy of even answering our request. That is improper, it’s disrespect. You cannot ignore that many pastors and their members and cater to the homosexual community, he’s had Lady Gaga in the White House, he gave same-sex marriage a party in the White House, but to ignore thousands of pastors and their members is not acceptable and we will not give him a pass because he’s black.

Green: You know you said something I think is just absolutely correct; you said ‘by embracing same-sex marriage President Obama is leading this country down an immoral path’ and ‘some things are bigger than the next election’ and you also mentioned that the black church has always been the conscience of America, I think that’s absolutely true. To see this stance, being willing to say we may agree with the President on a ton of other issues but this one is just too big, we cannot stand by and allow him to lead us down this immoral path is a courageous stance. How are people responding to you?

Owens: We almost have that 100,000 signatures, believe it or not, and they are responding daily, sometimes three or four hits a minute, supporting our position. As you know, every state that the marriage amendment has been on the ballot, we have won in every state and the blacks have overwhelmingly voted against same-sex marriage in every state. So the President takes it on himself to put his ideas out there for political reasons, I don’t think he even believes it himself, but because of the money and catering to the homosexual community, well I guarantee you the homosexual community doesn’t have as many people as there are Christians, black and white and all colors. I think he’s put himself in a corner, I don’t think he expected us to come out against him so hard because he’s black, but we’re not giving him a pass because he’s black, he’s leading the country down a very immoral road that it will take years to know the ramifications.

Green: It sounds like you’re taking the same stance Martin Luther King, Jr. would, it’s not the color of his skin but the content of character and what are the actual positions.

Owens: That’s right. We can’t give him a pass because he’s black. My people in Africa killed each other by the thousands so we can’t give him a pass because he’s black. Being black does not make him any more honorable, in this case as far as I’m concerned it’s making him less honorable. He was the first black president and this is what he uses his power for.

Sessions Suggests Gay Republican Welcome in House as Long as He Avoids ‘Personal Crusade’

Cross-posted at AlterNet

Pete Sessions heads the National Republican Congressional Committee and in that role his top goal is electing Republicans. To that end, Sessions has worked with Log Cabin Republicans – and was honored by the group with its Barry Goldwater Award in 2010 – in spite of his own strongly anti-gay voting record: during the past three sessions of Congress his rating on HRC’s scorecard has ranged from zero all the way to six percent and now sits at three percent.  Sessions has voted repeatedly for federal constitutional amendments to ban same-sex marriage, and against ENDA and repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

At a press event in Tampa this morning, Sessions was asked about Richard Tisei, an openly gay Republican congressional nominee in Massachusetts.  The questioner specifically asked how Tisei, who is pro-choice and pro-marriage equality, would fit in with the Republican caucus.
 
“I have a litmus test and that’s to be able to get elected,” said Sessions, who said he is in regular communication with Tisei and will be a strategic and tactical partner in his race.  Sessions did not talk about LGBT issues directly, but said it was his sense that Tisei is “not on any personal crusade” but “wants to become a professional member of Congress.” Tisei’s opponent, Rep. John Tierney, has been hurt by financial scandals involving his wife and other family members.
 
Indeed, there’s no “personal crusade” on behalf of LGBT equality evident on Tisei’s campaign website, whose issues page does not mention LGBT issues – it focuses on right-wing talking points on the economy, Medicare, education, and Israel.
 
Sessions’ attitude reflects a growing split between the Republican Party’s conservative evangelical base – which flexed its muscle in this year’s platform committee – and the growing support among Americans, including Republicans, for LGBT equality.  Politico reported in March that Republican congressional leaders have tried to dial back the caucus on marriage, while anti-gay activists continue to battle marriage equality around the country.
 
“I will proud to have him be a member of our conference,” said Sessions.   But if he does win, Tisei probably shouldn’t expect too much support from his colleagues for any “personal crusades” for equality.

GOP Gays have Hope but Perkins has Power

The Log Cabin Republicans group turns 20 this year, but the party’s platform committee did not give them much to celebrate. The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins has been bragging for more than a week about how much influence his group had on the platform, which reflects the religious right’s anti-gay opposition to marriage equality.  Perkins and others shot down an attempt to add support for civil unions to the platform.

But at a Monday afternoon reception co-hosted by Log Cabin and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, the mood is surprisingly upbeat. Talking to people at the reception made me wonder at the fine, fuzzy line dividing optimism from delusion.“This is our party...” LCR’s Clarke Cooper insists. “We are here to make it stronger and more inclusive.” 
 
“[I]t’s a whole new world out there” and in the Republican Party, says former member of Congress Jim Kolbe, who was “outed” while in office.  He contends that the kind of resistance to LGBT equality that is reflected in this year’s platform is a generational issue -- "the last gasp of the conservatives," he calls it -- and boldly predicts that this is the last year in which the platform will contain such language. When I suggest that if Ralph Reed’s turnout operation among conservative evangelicals does as much for the Republicans in November as Reed hopes, the party is not likely to turn its backs on the anti-gay religious right base, Kolbe shrugs and says both parties appeal to their bases for turnout. “We will have the victory,” he says.
 
Sarah Longwell, who serves on the Leadership Committee for Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry, affirms that it was disappointing that Perkins, who is “brutally anti-gay,” was basically allowed to write the part of the platform pertaining to marriage and LGBT rights. Her group and LCR are taking out a full page ad in tomorrow’s Tampa Tribune that quotes Tony Perkins on the importance of marriage, and offering this response:
 
We agree. That's why Log Cabin Republicans and Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry believe that government should stop denying marriage licenses to committed gay and lesbian families. As conservatives, we believe that the freedom to marry is directly in line with the core ideals and principles of the Republican Party.”
Those hoping for the GOP to embrace equality do have a point about generational change. Polling shows that equality is making gains among individual Republicans, especially those under the age of 44, who are now about evenly split on the question of marriage equality. Longwell points to the key role played by Republicans who joined Democrats in advancing marriage equality in New York, New Hampshire, and other states. Longwell says she believes that the crass anti-gay wedge politics employed by the GOP in 2004 played a role in encouraging Republicans like Dick Cheney, Ken Mehlman, and Laura Bush to be more outspoken in their support for marriage equality.  If 2004 was a turning point, she says, 2012 could be a “tipping point,” at which shifting public opinion makes overt anti-gay politicking unfeasible. “You can’t demagogue gay people forever.”  Perkins, however, may have a different opinion on that, and no small measure of power in the G.O.P.
 
The Log Cabin folks are particularly excited about Richard Tisei, a 50-year old former state senator from Massachusetts who is running for Congress this year with backing from the national party. Tisei, who is challenging Rep. John Tierney, is openly gay, pro-choice and pro-marriage equality, but none of these issues appear on his campaign’s issues page, which pushes standard right-wing talking points on “Obamacare,” Medicare, the economy, education, and the Middle East.  Of course, that doesn’t phase the Log Cabin Republicans, who are excited about a member of Congress who would vote to repeal both the Defense of Marriage Act and the Affordable Care Act.

 

Religious Right Groups Launch the 'Life and Marriage Coalition'

A number of Religious Right organizations are coming together for an election season coalition to attack President Obama in swing states. The Family Research Council, National Organization for Marriage, The Family Leader, Concerned Women for America, American Principles Project, the Susan B. Anthony List and Common Sense Issues have joined the “Life and Marriage Coalition,” which FRC head Tony Perkins said is needed to defeat Obama’s “anti-marriage and anti-life policies.”

A coalition of the nation’s most prominent conservative social issue groups (www.lifeandmarriagecoalition.com) today announced that they are coordinating efforts in Ohio, Iowa and North Carolina to talk about the importance of preserving marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and supporting the sanctity of human life. The groups hope to influence voters in key swing states that Barack Obama carried in 2008.

“This is a historic coming together of premiere social conservative groups to coordinate efforts in three swing states most likely to determine the outcome of this fall’s presidential election,” said Tony Perkins, president of FRC Action, the legislative action arm of the Family Research Council. “Many supporters of life and marriage do not realize that their votes could determine the outcome of the election, which in turn could determine the future of marriage and life in this country. We’re working together to ensure they understand that President Obama is anti-marriage and anti-life.”

The Life and Marriage Coalition includes FRC Action, Susan B. Anthony List, National Organization for Marriage, American Principles in Action, Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee and Common Sense Issues. Combined efforts will include independent expenditures for radio advertisements, billboards, phone and bus tour events designed to educate and mobilize socially conservative voters in the three targeted states.

“For millions of Americans, this election is about more than the economy, it’s about the direction our nation takes on foundational principles, like what constitutes marriage, and whether unborn children have a right to life,” said Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage. Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List added, “We will work together as national groups and partner with local pro-family organizations to make sure that voters know that if we value marriage and want to stop government funding of abortion groups, we must defeat Barack Obama.”

State groups that are part of the effort are the North Carolina Values Coalition, and The Family Leader in Iowa.

“Fiscal and social issues are not separate issues and it is our goal to educate voters of this indisputable truth,” said Patrick Davis of Common Sense Issues. “In fact and in practice they are inseparable principles fortifying and empowering each other much like the fiscal, spiritual and emotional union of a man and woman in marriage or the life-long relationship between a mother and father and their child. All fiscal issues have a social element to them.”

The coalition also said its efforts this year are just the beginning. “Our coalition members are determined to defend American values on marriage and life for the long haul, said Davis. “The 2012 election is critical, but it is also important to lengthen the horizon to make sure that we have marriage and life champions running in critical races over the next several election cycles. We’re beginning to talk to prospective candidates now.”

Gingrich Demands Conservatives 'Raise a Whole Range of Questions about Barack Obama,' Such as his College Application

While talking with David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network at the Republican National Convention, Newt Gingrich demanded that President Obama release his college application, senior paper, and other records. “What I said to the conservative movement is we know so little about this President that it’s perfectly reasonable for conservative activists to ask lots of questions: where’s his senior paper at Columbia? Where’s his application to go to Columbia? All sorts of stuff that we don’t know.” Gingrich claimed, “In some ways we know less about this president than almost any president in modern times.” While Gingrich said Mitt Romney “should get involved in that kind of stuff, it’s perfectly legitimate for conservatives as citizens to raise a whole range of questions about Barack Obama.”

Gingrich’s statements appear to leave the door open for questions about the validity of his birth certificate, which Romney doesn’t seem to have a problem doing, along with conspiracies that Obama received poor grades and was a foreign student.

As FactCheck.org notes, “It would be illegal under federal law (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974) for Occidental, Columbia or Harvard Law School to give any former student’s records to reporters or members of the public without that person’s specific, written permission. Obama hasn’t released them, but neither have other presidential candidates released their college records.” Furthermore, his former professor likely lost the only copy of his senior paper, which was about negotiations over nuclear disarmament.

6 Right-Wing Zealots and the Crazy Ideas Behind the Most Outrageous Republican Platform Ever

Note: this story is cross-posted at AlterNet.

The official 2012 Republican Party platform is a far-right fever dream, a compilation of pouting, posturing, and policies to meet just about every demand from the overlapping Religious Right, Tea Party, corporate, and neo-conservative wings of the GOP.  If moderates have any influence in today’s Republican Party, you wouldn’t know it by reading the platform.  Efforts by a few delegates to insert language favoring civil unions, comprehensive sex education, and voting rights for the District of Columbia, for example, were all shot down.  Making the rounds of right-wing pre-convention events on Sunday, Rep. Michele Bachmann gushed about the platform’s right-wing tilt, telling fired-up Tea Partiers that “the Tea Party has been all over that platform.”

Given the Republican Party’s hard lurch to the right, which intensified after the election of Barack Obama, the “most conservative ever” platform is not terribly surprising. But it still didn’t just happen on its own.  Here are some of the people we can thank on the domestic policy front.
 
1. Bob McDonnell.   As platform committee chair, McDonnell made it clear he was not in the mood for any amendments to the draft language calling for a “Human Life Amendment” to the U.S. Constitution and legal recognition that the “unborn” are covered by the Fourteenth Amendment – “personhood” by another name.  McDonnell is in many ways the ideal right-wing governor: he ran as a fiscal conservative and governs like the Religious Right activist he has been since he laid out his own political platform in the guise of a master’s thesis at Pat Robertson’s Regent University. 
 
His thesis argued that feminists and working women were detrimental to the family, and that public policy should favor married couples over “cohabitators, homosexuals, or fornicators.”  When running for governor, McDonnell disavowed his thesis, but as a state legislator he pushed hard to turn those positions into policy.  As the Washington Post noted, “During his 14 years in the General Assembly, McDonnell pursued at least 10 of the policy goals he laid out in that research paper, including abortion restrictions, covenant marriage, school vouchers and tax policies to favor his view of the traditional family. In 2001, he voted against a resolution in support of ending wage discrimination between men and women.”  As governor, McDonnell signed the kind of mandatory ultrasound law that is praised in this year’s platform.  When his name was floated as a potential V.P. pick, Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood decried his “deeply troubling record on women’s health.”
 
2 Tony Perkins.  Perkins heads the Family Research Council, whose Values Voter Summit is the Religious Right’s most important annual conference, at which movement activists rub shoulders with Republican officials and candidates.  Perkins bragged in an email to his supporters how much influence he and his friend David Barton (see below) had on the platform.  Perkins was an active member of the platform committee, proposing language to oppose school-based health clinics that provide referrals for contraception or abortion, and arguing for the strongest possible anti-marriage equality language.  Perkins also introduced an amendment to the platform calling on the District of Columbia government to loosen its gun laws, which Perkins says still do not comply with recent Supreme Court rulings.
 
The media tends to treat Perkins, a telegenic former state legislator, as a reasonable voice of the Religious Right, but his record and his group’s positions prove otherwise.  Perkins has been aggressively exploiting the recent shooting at FRC headquarters to divert attention from the group’s extremism by claiming that the Southern Poverty Law Center was irresponsible in calling FRC a hate group.  Unfortunately for Perkins, the group’s record of promoting hatred toward LGBT people is well documented.  Perkins has even complained that the press and President Obama were being too hard on Uganda’s infamous “kill the gays” bill, which he described as an attempt to “uphold moral conduct.” It’s worth remembering that Perkins ran a 1996 campaign for Louisiana Senate candidate Woody Jenkins that paid $82,600 to David Duke for the Klan leader’s mailing list; the campaign was fined by the FEC for trying to cover it up.
 
3. David Barton.  Texas Republican activist and disgraced Christian-nation “historian” Barton has had a tough year, but Tampa has been good to him.  He was perhaps the most vocal member of the platform committee, and was a featured speaker at Sunday’s pre-convention “prayer rally.” During the platform committee’s final deliberations, Barton couldn’t seem to hear his own voice often enough.  He was the know-it-all nitpicker, piping up with various language changes, such as deleting a reference to the family as the “school of democracy” because families are not democracies.  He thought it was too passive to call Obamacare an “erosion of” the Constitution and thought it should be changed to an “attack on” the founding document.  He called for stronger anti-public education language and asserted that large school districts employ one administrator for every teacher.  He backed anti-abortion language, tossing out the claim that 127 medical studies over five decades say that abortion hurts women.  Progressives have been documenting Barton’s lies for years, but more recently conservative evangelical scholars have also been hammering  his claims about American history.  The critical chorus got so loud that Christian publishing powerhouse Thomas Nelson pulled Barton’s most recent book – which, ironically, purports to correct “lies” about Thomas Jefferson – from the shelves.  Of course, Barton has had plenty of practice at this sort of thing, from producing bogusdocumentaries designed to turn African Americans against the Democratic Party to pushing his religious and political ideology into Texas textbooks. Barton’s right-wing friends like Glenn Beck have rallied around him. And nothing seems to tarnish Barton with the GOP allies for whom he has proven politically useful over the years. 
 
4. Kris Kobach.  Kris Kobach wants to be your president one day; until now, he has gotten as far as Kansas Secretary of State.  He may be best known as the brains behind Arizona’s “show me your papers” law, and he successfully pushed for anti-immigrant language in the platform, including a call for the federal government to deny funds to universities that allow illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition – a plank that puts Kobach and the platform at odds with Kansas law.  Immigration is not Kobach’s only issue. He is an energizing force behind the Republican Party’s massive push for voter suppression laws around the country, and he led the effort to get language inserted into the platform calling on states to pass laws requiring proof of citizenship for voter registration.  He also pushed language aimed at the supposed threat to the Constitution and laws of the US from “Sharia law”; getting this language into the platform puts the GOP in position of endorsing a ludicrous far-right conspiracy theory.  Kobach hopes that will give activists a tool for pressuring more states to pass their own anti-Sharia laws.  In the platform committee, he backed Perkins’ efforts to maintain the strongest language against marriage equality.  Even an amendment to the marriage section saying that everyone should be treated “equally under the law” as long as they are not hurting anyone else, was shot down by Kobach.  Kobach also claims he won support for a provision to oppose any effort to limit how many bullets can go into a gun’s magazine.
 
5. James Bopp.  James Bopp is a Republican lawyer and delegate from Indiana whose client list is a Who’s Who of right-wing organizations, including National Right to Life and the National Organization for Marriage, which he has represented in its efforts to keep political donors secret.  As legal advisor to Citizens United, Bopp has led legal attacks on campaign finance laws and played a huge role in bringing us the world of unlimited right-wing cash flooding our elections.  Bopp chaired this year’s platform subcommittee on “restoring constitutional government,” which helps explain its strong anti-campaign finance reform language. 
 
Bopp is also an annoyingly petty partisan, having introduced a resolution in the Republican National Committee in 2009 urging the Democratic Party to change its name to the “Democrat Socialist Party.”  In this year’s platform committee, Bopp successfully pushed for the removal of language suggesting that residents of the District of Columbia might deserve some representation in Congress short of statehood.  His sneering comments, and his gloating fist-pump when the committee approved his resolution, have not won him any friends among DC residents – not that he cares.  He also spoke out against a young delegate’s proposal that the party recognize civil unions, which Bopp denounced as “counterfeit marriage.”  In spite of all these efforts, Bopp has been at the forefront of Romney campaign platform spin, arguing in the media that the platform language on abortion is not really a “no-exceptions” ban, in spite of its call for a Human Life Amendment and laws giving Fourteenth Amendment protections to the “unborn.” 
 
6. Dick Armey.  Former Republican insider Dick Armey now runs FreedomWorks, the Koch-backed, corporate-funded, Murdoch-promoted Tea Party astroturfing group – or, in their words, a “grassroots service center.” Armey has been a major force behind this year’s victories of Tea Party Senate challengers like Ted Cruz in Texas and Richard Mourdock in Indiana, both of whom knocked off “establishment” candidates – FreedomWorks also backed Rand Paul in Kentucky and Mike Lee in Utah in 2010.  As Alternet’s Adele Stan has reported, FreedomWorks’s goal is to build a cadre of far-right senators to create a “power center around Jim DeMint,” the Senate’s reigning Tea Party-Religious Right hero. 
 
To put Armey’s stamp on the platform, FreedomWorks created a “Freedom Platform” project, which enlisted Tea Party leaders to come up with proposed platform planks and encouraged activists to vote for them online. Then FreedomWorks pushed the party to include these planks in the official platform:
      Repeal Obamacare; Pursue Patient-Centered Care
      Stop the Tax Hikes
      Reverse Obama’s Spending Increases
      Scrap the Code; Replace It with a Flat Tax
      Pass a Balanced Budget Amendment
      Reject Cap and Trade
      Rein in the EPA
      Unleash America’s Vast Energy Potential
      Eliminate the Department of Education
      Reduce the Bloated Federal Workforce
      Curtail Excessive Federal Regulation
      Audit the Fed
 
An Ohio Tea Party Group, The Ohio Liberty Coalition, celebrated that 10 of 12 made it to the draft – everything but the flat tax and eliminating the Department of Education.  But FreedomWorks gave itself a more generous score, arguing for an 11.5 out of 12.  FreedomWorks vice president Dean Clancy said that the platform’s call for a “flatter” tax “opens the door to a Flat Tax” and said that they considered the education section of the platform a “partial victory” because it includes “a very strong endorsement of school choice, including vouchers.”
 
Honorable mention: Mitt Romney.  This is his year, his party, and his platform.  The entire Republican primary was essentially an exercise in Romney moving to the right to try to overcome resistance to his nomination from activists who distrusted his ideological authenticity.   The last thing the Romney campaign wanted was a fight with the base, like the one that happened in San Diego in 1996, when Ralph Reed and the Christian Coalition delighted in publicly humiliating nominee Robert Dole over   his suggestion that the GOP might temper its anti-abortion stance.  Romney signaled his intention to avoid a similar conflict when he named Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell to chair the platform committee. 
 
Keeping Everybody Happy
 
The new GOP platform reflects Romney’s desire to placate every aspect of the party’s base.  It also demonstrates both the continuingpower of the Religious Right within the GOP, as well as ongoing efforts to erase any distinctions between social conservatives and anti-government zealots, as demonstrated by Ralph Reed welcoming Grover Norquist to his Faith and Freedom coalition leadership luncheon on Sunday.

Focus on the Family Kicks off the RNC with 'Prayer Rally for America's Future'

After successfully crafting the Republican Party’s platform to be the “most conservative platform in modern history,” Religious Right activists were out in full force at Focus on the Family’s and the Florida Family Policy Council’s “Prayer Rally for America’s Future” in Tampa’s River Church, led by faith healer Rodney Howard Browne. Along with disgraced pseudo-historian David Barton, who argued that abortion is banned under the constitutional amendment guaranteeing jury trials, and the FFPC’s John Stemberger, who concluded the rally by attacking minority faiths, conservative leaders such as Rep. Michele Bachmann, Vision America’s Rick Scarborough, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver and pastors Jim Garlow, Pam Olsen and Harry Jackson spoke at the prayer rally.

Watch highlights here:

Bachmann told participants that “at this moment in our End Time we are quite literally looking at a hurricane here at Florida, we are looking at political hurricane in our own country, we are looking at a spiritual hurricane in our land,” telling them to “show up and suit up and stand up” and “pour it out for Him.” Scarborough mourned the prominence of Lady Gaga, “the Big Bang Theory,” Jerry Seinfeld, and “Brokeback Mountain,” while Jim Garlow warned that Satan is pushing gay rights in order to “destroy the image of God” and curtail freedom.

Staver said that courts have begun to “deconstruct the foundation of law,” leading to tyranny, legal abortion and same-sex marriage, and Olsen prayed for the Supreme Court to repent: “Lord we cry out for the US Supreme Court, God that these justices will realize that there is a judge higher than they are and God that they will bow before You. We a crying out for a president that will appoint pro-life justices that will stand for truth and this nation will turn back to You, touch the Supreme Court now.” Towards the end of the rally, Jackson asked for participants to pray that Maryland will overturn the new marriage equality law and to “let the fire of Your Holy Spirit to fall upon Mitt Romney.”

Blackwell: Obama is 'Dead Set' on 'Destroying Families' and Replacing God

Today on Washington Watch Weekly, Family Research Council senior fellow Kenneth Blackwell, the Ohio Republican politician and one-time candidate for chairman of the Republican National Committee, chatted with FRC president Tony Perkins about the GOP’s adoption of an ultraconservative party platform. Blackwell said that the Republican platform offers a “direct contrast” with the vision of President Obama, whom Blackwell believes is “dead set” on “destroying families” and advancing the belief that “the family and God can be replaced by a supreme state government.” He contends that the Democrats have embraced ideas that are un-American and “run afoul of what the founders of this nation envisioned 237 years ago.”

President Obama and his party want to transform our market economy into a government-controlled economy but most importantly, they are dead set on making sure that they transform our national philosophy founded upon the primacy of the individual and the supremacy of God to one founded on the primacy of the collective good and the supremacy of the central government. Our document, the GOP document, is a direct contrast; it provides the American people with a choice, not an echo. That is so important because there are two paths that we can go down: we can reinforce our fundamental belief that when we are God-centered, free men and free women and free markets can accomplish much and overcome most hurdles thrown in our way or do we want to go down the path of being a government-controlled economy, destroying families, replacing it with bureaucrat decision makers that would run afoul of what the founders of this nation envisioned 237 years ago.



In our 237th year as being an exceptional nation we are at risk of losing it all. We just can’t afford to have four more years of a President that one, doesn’t understand the nature of our exceptionalism, and two, has a worldview and a set of guiding principles that are in direct contradiction with what has made us an exceptional nation. I’ve always enjoyed the push and pull of the whole process, I think it’s now incumbent upon us to make sure that this is not a document that is put on the shelf and our candidates across the country can just let collect dust and ignore. There is a fault line from the Pacific to the Atlantic and one side are those who believe in big government and who believe that the family and God can be replaced by a supreme state government, and that’s a problem.
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