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Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Cheney Breaks with Bush on the Hate Amendment

from Americablog: (John Aravosis)

Fundie meltdown over Cheney's gay marriage comments begin
by John in DC - 9:12 PM

They're baaaaack. And none too pleased:

[Cheney's] comments drew criticism from the conservative Family Research Council, with President Tony Perkins saying, "I find it hard to believe the vice president would stray from the administration's position on defense policy or tax policy. For many pro-family voters, protecting traditional marriage ranks ahead of the economy and job creation as a campaign issue."

Perkins added that if Cheney sees a problem with activist judges, "then how can he not endorse the same solution the president and his pro-family allies have proposed? We urge Vice President Cheney to support President Bush and a constitutional amendment on marriage."

Aravosis comments:

Gay marriage is ahead of the economy and job creation? Just shows you how out of the touch the religious right really is with regular Americans.

Also, Cheney's comments were THE TOP STORY on ABC's World News Tonight. And the spin was perfect. Cheney breaks with Bush over gay marriage. And ABC also noted how odd this was coming only days before the GOP Convention.

Genevieve Wood of the Family Research Council added: "The vice president's remarks today are disappointing. The fact is I think it sends a very mixed message to voters where does the administration stand on this issue."

But perhaps my favorite comments were from the White House that, according to ABC, said the vice president made the president's position clear. Yeah, he did. Cheney said that he believes "freedom means freedom for everyone" and apparently the president doesn't believe that, or at least the president doesn't believe freedom means freedom for gay people.

Bush's position is crystal clear.

Gary Bauer (quoted in USA today)

But Gary Bauer, a leading social conservative who heads a think tank called American Values, expressed dismay. "My only concern is that in a very close election, his comments could confuse and demoralize voters that President Bush desperately needs," said Bauer, who was in New York for the platform deliberations.

WH Transcript of these remarks is here:

Q We have a battle here on this land, as well. And I would like to know, sir, from your heart -- I don't want to know what your advisors say, or even what your top advisor thinks -- but I need to know what do you think about homosexual marriages.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, the question has come up obviously in the past with respect to the question of gay marriage. Lynne and I have a gay daughter, so it's an issue that our family is very familiar with. We have two daughters, and we have enormous pride in both of them. They're both fine young women. They do a superb job, frankly, of supporting us. And we are blessed with both our daughters.

With respect to the question of relationships, my general view is that freedom means freedom for everyone. People ought to be able to free -- ought to be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to. The question that comes up with respect to the issue of marriage is what kind of official sanction, or approval is going to be granted by government, if you will, to particular relationships. Historically, that's been a relationship that has been handled by the states. The states have made that basic fundamental decision in terms of defining what constitutes a marriage. I made clear four years ago when I ran and this question came up in the debate I had with Joe Lieberman that my view was that that's appropriately a matter for the states to decide, that that's how it ought to best be handled.

The President has, as result of the decisions that have been made in Massachusetts this year by judges, felt that he wanted to support the constitutional amendment to define -- at the federal level to define what constitutes marriage, that I think his perception was that the courts, in effect, were beginning to change -- without allowing the people to be involved, without their being part of the political process -- that the courts, in that particular case, the state court in Massachusetts, were making the judgment or the decision for the entire country. And he disagreed with that. So where we're at, at this point is he has come out in support of a federal constitutional amendment. And I don't think -- well, so far it hasn't had the votes to pass. Most states have addressed this. There is on the books the federal statute Defense of Marriage Act passed in 1996. And to date it has not been successfully challenged in the courts, and that may be sufficient to resolve the issue. But at this point, say, my own preference is as I've stated. But the President makes basic policy for the administration. And he's made it clear that he does, in fact, support a constitutional amendment on this issue. (Applause.)

From the FRC's Daily Bleating:

FRC Gearing Up for GOP Platform Battles

The Republican Party will begin it's deliberations over the party's platform in earnest this evening. We expect the platform language to be released from the committee sometime tonight. In preparation for the debates, FRC staff members have been working diligently with other pro-family allies to formulate language and amendments on a variety of issues, from marriage and the pro-life plank to embryonic stem cell research. And, as important as it is to get solid pro-family language into the platform, it is equally important to keep out language which attempts to undermine the party's commitment to pro-family issues.

Unfortunately protection of our values is made more difficult when mixed messages emanate from the White House. We support President Bush's commitment to a constitutional amendment on marriage but we are left to wonder why the Vice President is allowed to depart from this position when the top of the ticket is unified on all other issues. Today in speaking to citizens in Davenport, Iowa the VP made the following statement: ".....with respect to the question of relationships my general view is freedom means freedom for everyone...people ought to be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to." The definition of marriage as between one man and one woman is the bedrock of society and should be addressed in a unified manner just as all other issues will be during the convention. Cheney went on to say, "I think his (the President's) perception was that the courts, in effect, were beginning to change, without allowing the people to be involved. The courts were making the judgment for the entire country." If the VP perceives the problem of activist judges and their actions then how can he not endorse the same solution the President and his pro-family allies have proposed? We urge Vice President Cheney to support President Bush and a constitutional amendment on marriage.

Media Note: Tonight FRC's Genevieve Wood will appear on ABC "World News Tonight with Peter Jennings" to discuss Vice President Dick Cheney's remarks on same-sex "marriage" today.

Get over it, Tony - what part of Bush is embarrassed to be seen with you losers can't you understand?

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Deal Hudson, Director of "Catholic" Outreach Resigns in Disgrace

New York Times coverage here.

From the article:

Deal W. Hudson, the publisher of the conservative Roman Catholic journal Crisis and the architect of a Republican effort to court Catholic voters, says he is resigning as an adviser to the Bush campaign because of a Catholic newspaper's investigation into accusations of sexual misconduct involving a female student at a college where he once taught.

"No one regrets my past mistakes more than I do," Mr. Hudson wrote in a column posted yesterday on the online edition of National Review announcing his resignation.

"At the time, I dealt with this in an upright manner, and the matter was satisfactorily resolved long ago," he wrote, without specifying the accusations. Mr. Hudson, 54, said he had been happily married to his current wife for 17 years. Called for comment, he declined.

Mr. Hudson did not name the publication. Others who said they had been contacted by a newspaper doing an investigation said it was The National Catholic Reporter.

Thomas Roberts, editor of The National Catholic Reporter, declined to comment.

At Fordham University, a Jesuit school in New York where Mr. Hudson taught from 1989 to 1995, a university spokeswoman confirmed that the episode had led to Mr. Hudson's resignation. The spokeswoman, Elizabeth Schmalz, said: "Fordham followed its policy rigorously in this matter and initiated an investigation upon receipt of the student complaint. The professor later surrendered his tenure at Fordham." A person involved with the university's investigation said that a freshman in one of Mr. Hudson's classes reported to the university that, after she had become drunk at a bar, Mr. Hudson made sexual advances toward her. After a period of weeks, she charged him with sexual harassment. The accusations were made near the end of a school year, and Mr. Hudson left academia.

Mr. Hudson, a former Southern Baptist who converted to Catholicism at the age of 34, has been an influential adviser to President Bush and a close friend of the White House political strategist Karl Rove since the late 1990's. Mr. Hudson first caught Mr. Rove's attention by publishing a study in Crisis in 1998 arguing that Republican candidates could make inroads among traditionally Democratic-leaning Catholic voters by focusing on regular churchgoers, a strategy that dovetailed with Mr. Bush's emphasis on "compassionate conservatism."

Mr. Hudson signed on as an adviser to Mr. Bush's 2000 presidential campaign. For the last four years, he has been a prominent participant in a weekly conference call held by the Republican National Committee each Thursday with influential Catholic supporters.

This press release was removed from the Catholic League website shortly after it was posted there. A few errors in fact - this was a student of Hudson's - not some random young woman he met at a bar. Fordham University when they heard about these allegations got Hudson to leave - they have "zero tolerance" for sexual harrassment.

Deal Hudson and Bill Donahue of the Catholic League have been pressuring Catholic Bishops to deny communion to Catholic politicians who disagree who support abortion rights, and gay rights.

August 19, 2004


The National Catholic Reporter (NCR), a weekly left-wing newspaper, is now in the business of “outing” past sexual indiscretions committed by orthodox Catholics. To wit: it was its decision to report on a case of alleged sexual misconduct involving orthodox Catholic publisher Deal Hudson that led to his resignation as an adviser to the Bush campaign. Catholic League president William Donohue addressed this issue today:

"Effective today, the Catholic League has a new requirement for all future employees: all candidates must show proof of being immaculately conceived, that is, they must demonstrate that they were conceived without sin.

'We fully understand that we have raised the bar very high, but in light of the revelation that the National Catholic Reporter decided to expose a sexual harassment charge against Deal Hudson­ - one that was made almost a decade ago by a drunken female he met in a bar ­we at the Catholic League are not prepared to take any chances. Unfortunately, we will not be able to make our new requisite retroactive, for to do so would mean the Catholic League would have to shut down. You see, unlike the puritans at the NCR, we at the Catholic League are sinners.

"Tom Roberts, the editor of the National Catholic Reporter, cannot defend a single Catholic teaching on sexuality. I know, because I made this charge to him on national TV and he could not respond. Yet he is the same person who says the reason he decided to 'out' Deal Hudson is because Hudson had criticized Ono Ekeh, founder of Catholics for Kerry. Hudson was critical of Ekeh for defending a champion of abortion (Ekeh was subsequently fired from his job at the bishops' conference). Regarding this incident, Roberts says his newspaper 'decided he's [Hudson] such a public figure and he's been uncompromising in judging other people's behavior.' So this was the trigger that led the NCR to be uncompromising in judging Hudson’s behavior with a drunk almost a decade ago. Take note, people ­this is their understanding of what it means to be Catholic."

Interestly enough, there's been no comment on the National Review's Corner regarding this. I hope when Andrew Sullivan returns from vacation, he will comment.