Tuesday, October 26, 2010



"WASHINGTON -- Colorado Republican Senate candidate and Tea Party favorite Ken Buck last year said he "strongly" disagrees with one of the bedrock principles of American society: the separation of church and state.

"I disagree strongly with the concept of separation of church and state," said Buck at a forum for GOP Senate candidates last year. "It was not written into the Constitution. While we have a Constitution that is very strong in the sense that we are not gonna have a religion that's sanctioned by the government, it doesn't mean that we need to have a separation between government and religion. And so that, that concerns me a great deal."

In his statement, he also criticized President Obama for calling the White House Christmas tree a "holiday tree." "It's just flat wrong in my mind," he added. His remarks were captured by the site ThinkProgress, which also has video.

As former solicitor general Paul Clement points out, the phrase "separation of church and state" is not technically in the First Amendment. It's a phrase coined by Thomas Jefferson, who wrote in 1801 that "religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God" and argued the Constitution required "building a wall of separation between Church & State." But as ThinkProgress' George Zornick notes, the Constitution does prohibit the endorsement or establishment of a state religion.
This issue of "separation of chuThomas Jefferson has been misquoted, like I've been misquoted, out of context," said Angle. "Thomas Jefferson was actually addressing a church and telling them through his address that there had been a wall of separation put up between the church and the state precisely to protect the church from being taken over by a state religion. That's what they meant by that. They didn't mean we couldn't bring our values to the political forum."
More recently, in a Delaware Senate debate, O'Donnell asked, "Where in the Constitution is the separation of church and state?" When Coons responded that the First Amendment bars the government from making laws respecting the establishment of religion, O'Donnell replied, "You're telling me that's in the First Amendment?" The audience audibly gasped.
Additionally, as FactCheck.org has documented, Buck's claim about the White House Christmas tree is "hooey." The Huffington Post contacted the Buck campaign for comment but did not receive a reply.
UPDATE, 12:17 p.m.: At a July 12 Tea Party meeting, Buck said that "the secularism that is developing in this country is a very scary concept." He has also advocated for the public posting of the 10 Commandments. As a Windsor 912 meeting on June 3, Buck explained in more detail his thoughts on separation of church and state:

Thursday : I thought that this excerpt from wickipedia about this man that is part of this whole think tank of the new republican party and how they have been courting the religious vote... and the backing of sarah Palin as as the new "dumb" spokesperson for the repub party!! They are after courting the very rich and powerful also ...most americans are not aware of how they are getting fucked!

William Kristol (born December 23, 1952) is an American conservative[1] political analyst and commentator. He is the founder and editor of the political magazine The Weekly Standard and a regular commentator on the Fox News Channel.
Kristol is associated with a number of prominent conservative think tanks. He was chairman of theNew Citizenship Project from 1997 to 2005. In 1997, he co-founded the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) with Robert Kagan. He is a member of the board of trustees for the free-market Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a member of the Policy Advisory Board for theEthics and Public Policy Center, and a director of the Foreign Policy Initiative. He is also one of the three board members of Keep America Safe, a think tank co-founded by Liz Cheney and Debra Burlingame, and serves on the board of the Emergency Committee for Israel.

Kristol was key to the defeat of the Clinton health care plan in 1993. In the first of what would become legendary strategy memos circulated among Republican policymakers, Kristol said the party should "kill," not amend, President Clinton's health care plan. Kristol's memo immediately united Republicans behind total opposition to Clinton's reform plan. A later memo advocated the phrase, "There is no health care crisis," which Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole used in his response to Clinton's 1994 State of the Union address.

Kristol was a leading proponent of the Iraq War. In 1998, he and other prominent foreign policy experts sent a letter to President Clinton urging a stronger posture against Iraq. Kristol argued that Saddam Hussein posed a grave threat to the United States and its allies: "The only acceptable strategy is one that eliminates the possibility that Iraq will be able to use or threaten to use weapons of mass destruction. In the near term, this means a willingness to undertake military action as diplomacy is clearly failing. In the long term, it means removing Saddam Hussein and his regime from power. That now needs to become the aim of American foreign policy.".[6]
In the 2000 Presidential election, Kristol was a supporter of John McCain. In response to a question from a PBS reporter about the Republican primaries, he stated, "No. I had nothing against Governor Bush. I was inclined to prefer McCain. The reason I was inclined to prefer McCain was his leadership on foreign policy.".[7]
After the Bush administration developed its response to September 11th, 2001, Kristol said, "We've just been present at a very unusual moment, the creation of a new American foreign policy." [7] Kristol ardently supported the Bush administration's decision to go to war with Iraq. In 2003, he and Lawrence Kaplan wrote The War Over Iraq, in which he described the reasons for removing Saddam.
As the military situation in Iraq began to deteriorate in 2004, Kristol argued for an increase in the number of U.S. troops in Iraq. In 2004, he wrote an op-ed strongly criticizing Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, saying he "breezily dodged responsibility" for planning mistakes made in the Iraq War, including insufficient troop levels.[8] In September 2006, he wrote, with fellow commentator Rich Lowry, "There is no mystery as to what can make the crucial difference in the battle of Baghdad: American troops."[9]
This was one of the early calls for what became the Iraq War troop surge of 2007 four months later. In December 2008, Kristol wrote that the surge was "opposed at the time by the huge majority of foreign policy experts, pundits and pontificators," but that "most of them — and the man most of them are happy won the election, Barack Obama — now acknowledge the surge’s success."[10]
Kristol was one of many conservatives to publicly oppose Bush's second U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Harriet Miers. He said of Miers: "I'm disappointed, depressed, and demoralized. [...] It is very hard to avoid the conclusion that President Bush flinched from a fight on constitutional philosophy. Miers is undoubtedly a decent and competent person. But her selection will unavoidably be judged as reflecting a combination ofcronyism and capitulation on the part of the president."
He was a vocal supporter of the 2006 Lebanon War, stating that the war is "our war too," referring to the United States.
Kristol was an ardent promoter of Sarah Palin, advocating for her selection as the running mate of John McCain in the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election months before McCain chose her.[11][12]
In response to Iran's nuclear program, Kristol supports the strong sanctions. In June 2006, at the height of the Lebanon War, he suggested that, "We might consider countering this act of Iranian aggression with a military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities. Why wait?"[13]
In 2010, Kristol criticized the Obama administration and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen for an unserious approach to Iran. He wrote, "The real question is what form of instability would be more dangerous--that caused by this Iranian regime with nuclear weapons, or that caused by attacking this regime's nuclear weapons program. It's time to have a serious debate about the choice between these two kinds of destabilization, instead of just refusing to confront the choice."[14]

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