conservative movement

Time For Pro-Lifers To Leave The Republican Party?

As Virginia Republicans meet this weekend for their annual "Advance," there will be plenty to talk about. From this year's election results to this week's stunning announcement in the Virginia's governor race (which we were one of the first to blog about), there's plenty of debate going on between the so-called "establishment" and the "grassroots" of the Republican Party. As usual, the primary target of some in the debate is pro-life voters. Many words have been spilled from pundits and politicians over this debate, not just this year, but in nearly every election cycle as far back as many of us can remember. It's important to recall that in 1980 the political experts told Ronald Reagan to "tone down" the rhetoric on abortion and talk only about the economy. Of course, most will remember that the 1980 election focused almost entirely on the economy, foreign policy and moral decay. Abortion wasn't a major "theme" of the election or of Reagan's agenda.

But when asked, he wasn't ashamed to be pro-life. In fact, he used the opportunities his leadership position presented to persuade people to his position — one he believed most Americans shared. Was he offensive? No. Was he restrained? Never. He simply was willing to talk and sought to convince people of the legitimacy of his position that the unborn should be protected.

Unfortunately, in our culture of "all or nothing" politics, even those seeking to be incremental and strategic in advancing conservative causes with reasoned rhetoric are labeled and attacked as "putting ideology ahead of winning."

It's time we pro-life, pro-family, pro-limited government, pro-religious liberty conservatives require the candidates we support hold strong, principled — dare I say — ideological positions, but who also are able to persuade people in a logical, approachable, reasonable way that those principles are really what is best for America and our commonwealth.

Why must we so often have to choose between angry belligerence and cowardly silence? Is there no room in the Republican Party tent for reasoned, rational and principled pro-life voters? Certainly, as evidenced by this year's Democrat convention, there's little room in that party's tent for pro-lifers.

In a recent opinion piece in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, a well-known political commentator made the statement that wherever I go, "a fight breaks out." Truth be told, I believe The Family Foundation has been very good at using reasonable and logical arguments to persuade people to our position, never personally attacking people or throwing "rhetorical bombs" that drive people away. After 10 years of doing this, we're still attacked by the media as the group that "picks fights," while it falls at the feet in worship of those who were arrested on the Capitol steps in violation of the law, and who daily use vile, vulgar rhetoric (click links to see examples).

Let's face it: We live in a commonwealth where those who believe that women making the sad choice of abortion should enter sanitary facilities with emergency equipment are attacked by the media and secular left as "extreme" and "out of touch." All the while, those who support abortion through the ninth month of pregnancy (as our president does) are considered "centrist." That's the environment, that's the playing field. We can whine all we want about how unfair it is, or we can do something about it.

We live in a culture of cynicism and skepticism making it even more difficult to persuade. But giving up is not an option, and neither is compromising our principles. We, the whole of the conservative movement — not just social conservatives — must figure out a way to improve our message. Then, perhaps more importantly, find new ways to go around the Mainstream Media to get our message out. Blogs aren't enough. Social media isn't enough. Cutesy Facebook posters won't cut it.

Could the answer be going back to the basics (and hard work) of grassroots organization and mobilization? It's how conservatives changed the course of the nation before. Its successes are proven.

So, back to the question at the top. Is it time for pro-lifers to leave the Republican Party? Frankly, trying to answer that question is a colossal waste of time. While many are debating it, secularist liberals are unified and mobilized to take our state. Let's stop arguing about 30-year-old partisan struggles that may never be resolved. Let's start telling others about our principles, and let's put together the plan that will save our commonwealth.

TFF's Victoria Cobb To Appear On Score Radio Network Saturday

Family Foundation of Virginia President Victoria Cobb will appear on the Score Radio Network Saturday (or, perhaps, another time in your market, check local listings as they say), with host Scott Lee. Score is a new statewide conservative media company headed by three of Virginia's most experienced conservative new media commentators. It provides online and over-the-air media services and content. Score's affiliates are WLEE-AM/990 in Richmond (8:00 a.m. Saturday), WLNI-105.9FM in Lynchburg, and WMBG-AM740 in Williamsburg. For those not in those markets, it also can be heard on those stations' web sites as well as on Internet radio sites NetTalkWorld.com, the CB Media Network and Ghost Fighting Network as well as on SRN itself as an archive (see affiliate information here). We hope to have the download here next week as well. Victoria will discuss this past session of the General Assembly and other issues involving the conservative movement.

November Is Coming, Starting Tomorrow, To Virginia

Conservative grassroots activism has never been greater nor more effective than over the last year-and-a-half. Tea Parties, town hall meetings, anti-government-run health care rallies and other events in localities as well as in Washington, D.C., have grabbed the media spotlight, dominated the political debate, sent powerful messages to the big spending politicians, and reshaped and re-energized the conservative movement. Now is not the time to let up. Tomorrow and Friday, our friends at Americans For Prosperity are bringing their November Is Coming bus tour to the commonwealth. Per AFP:

While politicians in Washington are hoping voters are asleep at the wheel, they are trying to hide their big-government spending policies from the public and pass them with ease. Government spending has grown out of control under the current leadership in Congress . . . may soon vote on job-killing cap-and-trade policies against the outspoken voices of millions of Americans. Daily, big government power grabs by the Obama/Pelosi/Reid machine continue.

We must tell Congress very clearly that if they keep voting YES on big government programs, we will vote NO on their re-election this November! We need to tell these big-spending liberals in Washington . . . that "November is coming"!

Here is the November Is Coming bus tour schedule. We hope you can attend one of its stops.

Thursday, September 9:

Charlottesville: 8:30 a.m., Albemarle County Administration Building, 401 McIntire Road

Lynchburg: 11:30 a.m., Liberty University Dining Hall Parking Lot, 1971 University Boulevard

Rocky Mount: 3:00 p.m., Franklin County Courthouse, 275 South Main Street

Danville: 5:30 p.m., Danville Courthouse, 401 Patton Street

Friday, September 10:

Abingdon: 8:00 a.m., Virginia Highlands Community College Higher Education Center, 1 Partnership Circle

Wytheville: 10:15 a.m., Wytheville Courthouse, 225 South 4th Street

Roanoke: 12:30 p.m., Roanoke City Municipal Building, 215 Church Avenue

Virginia News Stand: May 6, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations A Goode Two-Pary Man

Former U.S. Representative Virgil Goode not only shocked the political world yesterday, he confused it as well, saying he joined the Constitution Party, but will remain a Republican. A new twist on political double speak?

We can't seem to stay out of the news, which is good. People, including the Mainstream Media, are paying attention to us. Case in point: The Richmond Times-Dispatch's ace capitol reporter, Jeff Schapiro, based the first article linked below largely on an e-mail alert we released yesterday. It's nice to know that even the Mainstream Media knows who to go to to get the pulse of Virginia's conservative movement. On the other hand, we remain a target for others, as Michael Paul Williams takes fruitless aim. But, unlike the old days, we can respond

I encourage you to take a gander at all that's here. It's one of our best News Stands ever, with lots of state news, including a fair interview with Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli from WSLS-TV, and the reporter Jay Warren's observations of the AG in his blog. In the "What is our country coming to?" category, check out Phil Klein in Commentary. Some students were sent home from school for wearing USA shirts on Cinco de Mayo. We also have columns from such stars as Michael Barone, who discusses the important elections in Britain; Larry Kudlow on the debt crisis (here and abroad); and Michele Malkin on terrorists gaining U.S. citizenship. 

In National News, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint's (R-S.C.) Senate Conservatives Fund decided to get involved in the Kentucky primary after all, especially have Dr. James Dobson was misled about one candidate's pro-life record. Also, the judge who ruled the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional comes under scrutiny.

On a more uplifting note, we hope you all had a meaningful, thoughtful and reflective National Day of Prayer. We all need it right now.

News

*Top conservative activist sees McDonnell victories, work ahead (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

*Commentary: Cuccinelli flap a sign of religion encroaching on government (Michael Paul Williams/Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Ex-Rep. Goode joins a third party, not leaving GOP (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Goode joins 3rd party (Charlottesville Daily Progress)

Goode explains why he joined Constitution Party (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Goode joins Constitution Party (Politico.com)

Louisa social worker to run as Democrat against Cantor (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

AG led food drive: 1.7 million pounds of food donated by Va. lawyers (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell wants jobs panel’s recommendations in October (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Gov. McDonnell: Virginia won’t create high-risk health pool (AP/WSLS.com)

Virginia's love-hate relationship with federal spending (Washington Post)

Video

Ken Cuccinelli sits down with WSLS to talk about first 100 days in office (5:03) (WSLS-TV10/WSLS.com)

Analysis

AG Cuccinelli’s first 100 days in office . . . what have we learned? (Jay Warren/Jay's Take Blog WSLS.com)

National News

Ruling won't stop National Day of Prayer this year (CNN.com)

Judge who struck down Day of Prayer criticized (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Obama wants work on immigration reform this year (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Bennett appeals to GOP to let him keep Senate seat (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Consumer rules, Fed audit next on Senate agenda (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Sen. DeMint endorses Paul in US Senate race in Ky. (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary

Banned in the USA (Philip Klein/American Spectator Blog)

A Spend-and-Borrow Debt Mess (Larry Kudlow/GOPUSA.com)

In Downcast Britain, a Pox on All Three Parties (Michael Barone/GOPUSA.com)

The Jihadists' Deadly Path to U.S. Citizenship (Michelle Malkin/GOPUSA.com)

Conservatives Make A Statement With The Mount Vernon Statement

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council issued the letter below yesterday inviting conservatives to sign the Mount Vernon Statement, a proclamation in which the conservative movement reaffirms itself to America's founding principles (see FRCBlog). A host of conservative leaders signed it in a ceremony yesterday (see FRC news release). Many are saying conservatives have tied themselves too closely with the Republican Party. Which may be true, but was that statement possible before the Tea Party movement? Now, there are options. Conservative movement stalwart Richard Viguerie offers his thoughts on his Conservative HQ Blog (here) while OneNewsNow covers the story here.

More than 100 conservative leaders joined together today to celebrate the release of the Mount Vernon Statement — a document in which the conservative movement has reaffirmed its commitment to Constitutional Conservatism and the principles of the Declaration of Independence: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This is a significant moment as social, fiscal, and national security conservatives joined together to declare the importance of working in partnership to defend our nation's founding principles.

You can become part of history as well by signing the Mount Vernon Statement today.

Sign the Mount Vernon Statement today to stand with us on the historic principles of Constitutional Conservatism

Sincerely,

Tony Perkins

President

An Internet Radio Christmas

Last month, I must have been such a ratings hit on the Tertium Quids Radio Show (hear, here) that host Norm Leahy — he of immense policy wisdom, proficient prose and impeccable taste — has invited me back! Well, perhaps I wasn't such a hit, because the young, yet inestimable, Nick Howard, a blogging and conservative movement star in his own right, will share the mic as we'll form a panel of sorts to discuss 2008 and what to expect at the General Assembly in 2009, with perhaps some light and Christmas fare as well (see TQ, here). The show is live, tomorrow, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern, and will last for 30 minutes. It will be archived for podcast if you miss the live version. All bluster aside, it should be entertaining and informative. Hope you get the opportunity to listen in.