5 of the Christian Right's Favorite and Most Dangerous New Recruits Running for Congress
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Not all that long ago, the establishment wing of the Republican Party had the power to demand obedience from its Christian Right flank, but thanks to Internet fundraising and changes to campaign finance laws, the 2014 elections could be a case of the tail wagging the dog.
The GOP establishment has always had a monopoly on money, thanks to its unfettered access to the Wall Street donor class. As a result of this power differential, the Christian Right, while energized and mobilized, would be forced to sit when told to sit by the party’s big wigs. But those days are history.
Today, the Christian Right is armed with networks and pipelines of unprecedented levels of campaign financing. Its consortium of donor channels includes the Club for Growth, Senate Conservatives Fund, FreedomWorks, and a cadre of hyper-religious organizations such as the Christian Coalition, Christian Broadcasting Network, American Values, and the Family Research Council.
The Christian Right can now raise enough cash to compete and win in Republican primaries against Chamber of Commerce-sponsored establishment candidates. According to the Federal Electoral Commission, Tea Party and social conservative groups raised nearly three times as much as GOP establishment groups in 2013.
The Christian Right is not only an existential threat to the future of the Republican Party, it’s also an existential threat to our secular democracy, for it wishes to transform America into a tyrannical theocracy governed by biblical law. With the warring Republican factions preparing to square off in a series of Senate and House primaries, here are the Christian Right’s most favored candidates for the 2014 election cycle.
1. Matt Bevin: Republican Candidate for U.S. Senate in Kentucky
Matt Bevin, a self-employed businessman, is contesting the GOP primary for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s seat. Bevin, who describes his life as being “built on a bedrock of strong Christian values,” is now leading McConnell by 4 according to the most recent Rasmussen Report poll.
Right-wing blogger and Fox News contributor Erick Erickson says Democrats are “squealing like a stuffed pig” because of polling data that shows Bevin leading Democrat Allison Grimes, while McConnell only draws out a statistical tie. “If the GOP does not gain the Senate in 2014, it will probably be because they lose Kentucky. They only lose Kentucky if Mitch McConnell is the Republican nominee,” says Erickson.
Like all those on the far right, Bevin, who is a Southern Baptist, is obsessed with controlling all matters related to sex and abortion. Earlier this month, on the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Bevin penned an op-ed that read, “The fight for the unborn could not be any more important. Since that dark day in 1973, America has seen more than 55 million babies killed under the guise of 'choice….Being pro-life is more than simply a slogan to us. It is a belief that every life, born and unborn, is so precious to our Creator, that it compels us to action.”
In case you missed it the first time, he’s leading McConnell and the Democrats by a handy margin.
2. Pam Barlow: Republican Candidate for U.S. Congress in Texas Congressional District 10
Pam Barlow is a Tea Party-endorsed candidate contesting a U.S. congressional seat held by establishment incumbent Mac Thornberry.
Barlow is a veterinarian, retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel and small business owner in Bowie, TX. She describes herself as an “unashamed Republican Tea Party Christian Conservative with a loud voice and some rock-solid core values.” You know, values such as opposing women’s reproductive rights, marriage equality, raising the minimum wage and immigration reform.