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.

Barber: ENDA And Hate Crimes Laws Will Be Used To Protect Pedophiles

Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel appeared this week on Sandy Rios In The Morning, where he told guest host Wendy Wright that hate crimes laws and the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) will be used to protect pedophiles:

When you have laws like ENDA, the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, being pushed, hate crimes legislation, that are as you point out so well Wendy, that are very vague in their definition of what is sexual orientation, we will arrive at the point where you know these people who define their sexual orientation by a sexual attraction to children want to be lumped in among those who cannot be discriminated against based upon their sexual orientation.

Religious Right activists have regularly employed such bizarre arguments against ENDA and hate crimes laws. Naturally, they can’t point to a single case where a state job discrimination law or a state or federal hate crimes statute was used to protect a child predator.

Nugent: Obama Like A Crack Addict

Ted Nugent compared President Obama to a crack addict and an alcoholic during an interview yesterday with conservative radio host Lars Larson. After attacking Obama for “violating his oath, violating the basics of America, the basics of ‘We The People,’” the NRA board member said Obama reminds him of a “criminal son or daughter asking for more allowance so they can buy more crack.”

“Their spending ways can only be described as a drunken idiot, the waste, the corruption, the fraud, the deceit, the abuse of power, it breaks my heart.”

Rafael Cruz: The Media Is America's 'Ministry Of Misinformation'

Glenn Beck spent the first half of last night's television program freaking out about something called The U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, which he claimed was going to become an American equivalent of the Nazi regime's Ministry of Propaganda and Public Enlightenment, before bringing on Rafael Cruz, the father of Sen. Ted Cruz, to discuss what could be done to defeat this effort to permanently rewrite America's history.

Cruz told Beck that "it almost seemed like I was listening to what was happening in Cuba during Castro," saying it sounded just like "a ministry of misinformation that you have in all the communist countries." In fact, Cruz said, there already is a Ministry of Misinformation in America and it is called the liberal media, which has an evil agenda that seeks to destroy "what this country is all about."

Cruz then went on to trot out the false claim that President Obama omits the phrase "by the creator" when quoting the Declaration of Independence , saying that he does so "because socialism, Marxism requires that government become your god":

Boykin: Obama Creating A 'Marxist Nation'

During an interview this week with the American Family Association’s Fred Jackson, Family Research Council vice president Jerry Boykin reiterated his claim that President Obama is using the military to introduce communism.

Boykin said there is “no question” that the White House is to blame for the supposed “persecution of Christians” in the military, which he said is all part of an effort to create “a society moving to Marxism.”

“This is the Marxist model, if you go back to what Karl Marx said, he said my objective is to dethrone God and destroy capitalism, he also said religion is the opiate of the masses,” Boykin continued, “because we are moving through the socialist agenda to really becoming a Marxist nation, you have to destroy the idea or concept of unalienable rights, which is what we were founded upon, our rights come from God, not from man, not from government.”

Stephen Baldwin To Headline Ex-Gay Summit

Actor Stephen Baldwin will be the featured speaker this month at an ex-gay conference called Rising From The Ashes, sponsored by the Hope for Wholeness Network.

The conference, which will include ex-gay testimonials [PDF] and workshops such as “Healthy Male Same-Sex Relationships” and “Ministering to Teens,” will also feature ex-gay therapist Joe Dallas and McKrae Game, who claims he “relented and came into the homosexual lifestyle” after a neighbor came on to him.

Game claims the new group [PDF] is “developing strategic partnerships with Exodus Global Alliance, Focus on the Family, The Billy Graham Association, and other avenues for referrals and connections” as part of an effort to revive ex-gay therapy following the closure of Exodus International:

I’d like to personally welcome each of you to Hope For Wholeness Network’s First Annual Conference—Rising from the Ashes. Much has happened; with the Defense of Marriage Act being overturned, right at the same time as our beloved Exodus International closed its doors after 38 years of ministry; we felt strongly that we needed to have this event to get together, rally around our shared vision, and encourage each other on our mission.

It was right after our board voted unanimously to create the Hope for Wholeness Network that I learned of Exodus’ closing. I was saddened, but realized that this was a new day for us all. The Hope for Wholeness Network was birthed by Truth Ministry, with our desire to bring ministry leaders from around the country together, in unity with one singular message, regardless of ministry, of “Freedom from Homosexuality through Jesus Christ.” He MUST be our focus to have true freedom. We must be careful not to set fixed expectations on what that freedom might look like, other than a daily repentant and dependent walk with Him.

Daubenmire: Fred Phelps Is Part Of The Body Of Christ

For the second time, "Coach" Dave Daubenmire has posted a commentary in which he defends Fred Phelps and his infamous "God Hates Fags" Westboro Baptist Church, saying they too are part of the body of Christ.

Working off a passage in 1 Corinthians 12 (which he wrongly attributes to Jesus but was actually written by Paul)  that says "just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ," Daubenmire wonders why Christians are so quick to judge people like Phelps or Quran-burner Terry Jones.

They may be "an ugly part of the body that we don't really want to see," Jones says, but they are a part of the Body of Christ nonetheless:

Right Wing Round-Up - 10/17/13

  • Peter Montgomery @ Huffington Post: Explaining the Tea Party.
  • TFN Insider: Important News: Publishers Are Resisting Pressure to Dumb Down Their Biology Textbooks for Texas.
  • Towleroad: South Carolina Mayor Doesn't Want 'Queer' Marriages 'Rammed Down Her Throat.'
  • Zack Ford @ Think Progress: Anti-LGBT Group Admits It Invented Story About Transgender Student Harassing Classmates.
  • Noah Rothman @ Mediaite: Fox & Friends Hosts Ask If Ranting House Stenographer Targeted Because of Her Religious Beliefs.
  • Tom Kludt @ TPM: GOP Rep Looks To Next Showdown: 'We’re Going To Start This All Over Again.'

Right Wing Leftovers - 10/17/13

  • Larry Klayman stands by the crazy remarks he made at a White House protest last weekend because "the truth needed to be said."
  • This feud between John McCain and Louie Gohmert is getting more entertaining by the day.
  • Mike Huckabee's PAC has endorsed anti-gay activist Gary Glenn in his run for Michigan State Representative.
  • Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute says that anti-bullying programs are "a strategic means to silence us."
  • Finally, can you imagine how Glenn Beck would react to news that MSNBC had opened an office and was renting space from Media Matters?

Fischer: Government Licensing Is The Mark Of The Beast

On his radio broadcast today, Bryan Fischer took a call from a listener who suggested that Obamacare's individual mandate was really a Mark of the Beast; an assessment with which Fischer agreed, saying that, in fact, we had already gone pretty far down that road before Obamacare was even passed.

Pointing to a case out of Louisiana where the state board of funeral directors unsuccessfully sought to prevent a local monastery from selling caskets without a funeral director's license, Fischer said that government licensing requirements were actually the Mark of the Beast.

"Well what is that?" Fischer asked. "That's the Mark of the Beast. You can't buy, you can't sell without permission from the Beast, without permission from the government. So anytime you've got the government involved in deciding who gets to engage in commerce and who doesn't and they can't engage in commerce unless they get some kind of official permission from the government, that's the Mark of the Beast":

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