Voters to Establishment: Hold DeMaio
While the GOP has plenty of victories to celebrate, their stubborn backing of far-Left Republicans isn’t one of them. Against the wishes of their base, House leaders threw their support -- and plenty of cash -- at a handful of extreme anti-values candidates -- who, it turns out, no amount of money could make more attractive to conservatives.
For all the talk of expanding the GOP tent, the openly homosexual trio of Carl DeMaio (Calif.), Richard Tisei (Mass.), and Dan Innis (N.H.) were just as unpopular with voters as they were unfaithful to key issues. In Oregon, the Republicans’ same-sex “marriage” supporters fared just as poorly. Senate candidate Monica Wehby (R), a “social progressive” who made the redefinition of marriage a centerpiece of her campaign, lost handedly to the Democratic incumbent.
FRC and friends sent a letter to House leaders explaining that our concern was not these candidates’ sexual orientation, but their policy orientation, which is openly hostile to the GOP’s stated principles. “Carl DeMaio, Richard Tisei, and Monica Wehby are antithetical to the Republican platform,” the conservative groups wrote. “Mr. DeMaio supports and aggressively advocates for the redefinition of marriage, and welcomed the judicial activism of the federal courts which stripped the people of California of their votes in support of maintaining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”
DeMaio, whose race was arguably the most high-profile of the group, finally lost a nail-biter after more allegations of sexual misconduct tainted what was an already a shockingly anti-life, anti-marriage campaign. In a huge black eye to the House leadership, the people rejected the Establishment’s focus on the politically correct over the morally correct and refused to elect its liberal protégée.
For Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), it was a failed experiment in what they both called “minority outreach.” Fortunately for conservatives, the Republican National Committee took the opposite track, recognizing the grassroots’ pushback to its 2012 strategy. Unlike the RNC, which made a significant course-correction after the base sounded off on the call for greater “diversity,” House leaders went out of their way to recruit anti-platform candidates.
Whether the sting of those losses is enough to keep the GOP from going off script again, no one knows. What we do know is that if they try, conservatives like Jim Garlow will be ready. In California, Pastor Garlow understands that pastors can no longer afford to be silent when candidates for office are openly hostile to religious liberty. Because anyone who’s followed the debate understands that something has to give in the tug-of-war over same-sex “marriage” -- and that something is usually religious liberty. So Pastor Garlow did what every church in America should: he stood against those who want to destroy freedom from the pulpit. Like us, he knows that the threat is no longer on the steps of the church, it’s attempting to kick down its door as we saw in Houston.
In the face of this harassment, America’s pastors have -- not just a right -- but a responsibility to defend freedom by opposing anti-freedom candidates. From D.C. to California and everywhere in between, let’s hope more pastors take their cues from the church’s Watchmen and stand against every attempt to rob Christians of the freedom they came here seeking.
Taking the Election at Faith Value
When it comes to religious liberty, don’t expect Americans to go quietly. That much was clear in Houston, where the momentum from I Stand Sunday continues to fuel a grassroots revival that may have impacted last Tuesday’s election results. From the HHS mandate to marriage, the White House’s assaults all boil down to one consistent theme: religious intolerance.
And the nation knows it. In a new piece on social conservatives’ new motivator, even a liberal columnist recognizes the common denominator behind the church’s new engagement. “White evangelicals turned out in large numbers and voted overwhelmingly Republican in the 2014 midterms… So what drove them? They voted Republican because they have been convinced that Democrats, and the Obama administration in particular, pose a dire threat to their religious freedom.”
Who can blame them? With a White House team stocked with homosexual activists, the fallout has been almost immediate. What we had before the redefinition of marriage was an understanding that homosexual and religious liberty could coexist, as long as neither side imposed their ideology on the other. In the brave new world of political correctness, there is no such accommodation. As Chai Feldblum, the President’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission head, famously said, she “had a hard time coming up with any case in which religious freedom should win” in a clash with sexual liberty.
Although it’s tough to combat this onslaught, it’s not impossible. There are still enough Christians in America to fight back. And last Tuesday, that’s exactly what they did. “Seventy-eight percent of evangelicals voted Republican,” the Daily Beast points out, “… eight points higher than in 2006…” Combine that with the new climate of religious intimidation, the Beast says, and the conservative movement is ripe for re-engagement.
In a recent Pew poll, the Beast explains that “…29 percent called the Obama administration ‘unfriendly’ to religion. That might not sound like much, but consider that today, 57 percent of white evangelicals believe the Obama administration is ‘unfriendly’ to religion. That is up a fairly whopping 19 points from 2009 -- before the administration, in the Christian right’s eyes, proved itself ‘unfriendly’ to religion by enacting the contraception coverage requirement under the Affordable Care Act, supporting marriage equality, and other perceived offenses.”
Unfortunately for the Left, what they meant to silence Christians is only energizing them. Give the people a chance to vote, and they will defend their religious rights, parental rights, economic rights, and every personal liberty that is threatened by the administration’s stampede toward lawlessness.
Faithful to the Corps
“Some people wonder all their lives if they’ve made a difference,” President Ronald Reagan said. “The Marines don’t have that problem.” It’s been 239 years to the day since Captain Samuel Nicholas formed the few and the proud. And while two centuries have passed, the mission of the Corps has not -- first to fight for right and freedom and to keep our honor clean. The U.S. Marines have been the lighters of liberty, the backbone of battle. They are America’s smallest force making, perhaps, the greatest sacrifice. As one who was proud to wear the uniform, I honor my fellow Marines for a 239-year heritage of fearless leadership. Happy Birthday and Semper Fi!
** “President Obama: Irrelevant, Incompetent, or Intentional?” Find out in a new op-ed from FRC’s Ken Blackwell in today’s Daily Caller.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.