Yesterday, Republicans enthusiastically approved the GOP platform, which Phyllis Schlafly said might be "the best one ever adopted," and as someone who had a hand in its creation, I agree. It is, as Phyllis points out, a true reflection of American values. The final document artfully combines the social, fiscal, and defense priorities of the GOP. For me personally, platform week was a proud moment as I watched the FRC Action team work with precision behind the scenes. Thanks to their expertise, we were able to have unprecedented influence on core conservative issues. As a delegate, I had the opportunity to basically rewrite the marriage plank, which led to the committee approving a much stronger version than 2008's.
"The institution of marriage is the foundation of civil society. Its success as an institution will determine our success as a nation. It has been proven by both experience and endless social science studies that traditional marriage is best for children... The success of marriage directly impacts the economic well-being of individuals. Furthermore, the future of marriage affects freedom. The lack of family formation not only leads to more government costs, but also to more government control over the lives of its citizens in all aspects. We recognize and honor the courageous efforts of those who bear the many burdens of parenting alone, even as we believe that marriage, the union of one man and one woman must be upheld as the national standard, a goal to stand for, encourage, and promote through laws governing marriage. We embrace the principle that all Americans should be treated with respect and dignity." (For the full text, click over to page 31).
The media also picked up on FRCA's tough language on adult obscenity and pornography (page 32), meant to combat the Obama's administration's indifference on the issue. Together with our allies, we also moved to protect school-based clinics from the abortion industry (page 36), enforce conscience rights and federal marriage law in the military (page 46), push for faith-based exemptions in health care (page 34), explain how abortion hurts women (page 33), and support the right to self-defense through D.C. gun laws (page 13).
And while some Republicans try to downplay the significance of the platform, a new poll suggests these leaders are underestimating its importance to the American people. More voters are interested in learning about the GOP platform (52%) than hearing its speeches (44%). But if there was one speech that I hope they did catch, it was former Senator Rick Santorum's. Despite an endless parade of presenters--representing some of the best the Republican Party has to offer--Rick's remarks were the only ones of the night to highlight moral and social issues. "I thank God," he said, "that America still has one party that reaches out their hands in love to lift up all of God's children--born and unborn--and says that each of us has dignity and all of us have the right to live the American Dream."
If people want to understand why Santorum's campaign resonated with so many Americans, it's because he shares their passion for homegrown values. On the tough issues, he doesn't run away from his convictions--he runs toward them. And in these next two critical months, the Republican Party would be wise to follow.
FRC Action and the Republican National Coalition for Life found plenty of treasure at the Tampa Aquarium during its joint event Tuesday. As part of Convention week, we took time to honor pro-life heroes Rick Santorum, Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas), Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) at a special reception. The event was called "Treasure Life," and I had the privilege of hosting it with Phyllis Schlafly, who happened to be celebrating her birthday. Reps. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Allen West (R-Fla.), Michael Burgess (R-Texas), and Randy Forbes (R-Va.) were on hand, as well as delegates and elected officials from around the country. After hearing from honorees, who were chosen for their consistent advocacy for life at every stage, the standing-room only crowd serenaded Phyllis with "Happy Birthday." It was a fitting tribute for a woman whose life is dedicated to saving others'.
Despite some reports showing Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) as many as ten points ahead, counting out Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) would be a mistake. A new poll commissioned by the FRC Action PAC shows Akin pulling in front--despite the onslaught of media attacks. The survey, which was conducted by Wenzel Strategies, shows the Congressman with a three-percent (45% to 42%) lead--with 13% of voters undecided. Perhaps even more interesting, it looks like Independents are particularly supportive, giving Akin a 10-point advantage over what was once the Democrats' most vulnerable seat. Fritz Wenzel analyzed the results of the survey and concluded that "Despite the firestorm of news in the Senate race over the past few weeks, most voters have already made up their mind in the race, the survey shows. The fact that 80% said they were firm in their choice certainly indicates that this is a race that will be decided more by ideology and turnout efforts by the campaigns and less by breaking news that flashes..." Obviously, Missouri voters are getting back to the substance of the race and the clear contrast between Todd Akin and Claire McCaskill. Sen. McCaskill came to the Senate claiming to govern from the center, but instead has been one of President Obama's most loyal and liberal supporters. Although the Republican establishment is abandoning Akin over one misstatement (for which he apologized), FRC Action and the FRC Action PAC will continue to support Akin for a 12-year career built on solid conservative success.
** Does living together really hurt couples' chances at real happiness and success? Come to FRC headquarters (801 G Street, NW, Washington, D.C.) tomorrow and find out. Marriage experts Mike McManus and FRC's own Dr. Pat Fagan will explore the "Myths, Risks, and Answers" of cohabitation at noon. If you'd like to see the lecture in person or via live webcast, please click here to register.
Like me, you have probably been appalled at the recent revelations of what goes on behind closed doors at Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). While Cecile Richards, President of PPFA, calls their actions "laudable," most Americans agree that scavenging organs of aborted babies is grotesque, and definitely not something that we should be supporting with our hard-earned tax dollars.