Secular Coalition of America Hires ex Bush White House Advisor as Executive Director

Here is the press release from the Secular Coalition of America:

Republican Lobbyist to Lead Atheist Organization
Edwina Rogers to Join Secular Coalition as Executive Director

WASHINGTON, DC—The Secular Coalition for America—the nation’s only full time nontheistic lobbying organization—proudly announced the selection of longtime Republican lobbyist, Edwina Rogers, as its new Executive Director today. Rogers brings two decades of experience on Capitol Hill as a lobbyist and attorney, including roles as General Counsel for several high profile politicians.

“For too long, the 50 million secular Americans have been ignored, underappreciated and undervalued—that’s what drew me to the Secular Coalition for America,” Rogers said. “It’s time to change that. Secular Americans are increasingly pulling together as a voting bloc that demands attention—a constituency that is due formidable representation in Washington, D.C.”

Rogers has been a public policy expert for over 20 years and has worked for two U.S. Presidents and four U.S. Senators. She has served as an advisor to the George H.W. Bush administration and the George W. Bush White House, as well as General Counsel to the National Republican Senatorial Committee. She worked for Senator Trent Lott while he was Majority Leader in 1999 and handled health policy for Senator Jeff Sessions in 2003 and 2004.

Rogers’ background is an ideal fit for the Secular Coalition for America, now in its 10th year. She has a proven track record of managing coalitions and implementing nation-wide strategies. In her most recent roll as Executive Director of the Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative, she organized a coalition that included major employers, consumer groups, labor unions and health care providers. In this position she also planned and implemented a successful 50-state strategy.

The Secular Coalition continues to move forward implementing its own 50-state plan, as well as continuing to focus on advocating for nontheists on Capitol Hill, including expanding recognition of nontheists by lawmakers. Rogers is a strong advocate of the separation of government and religion and is in a unique position to push the secular message to those on both sides of the aisle.

“Secular issues are not partisan issues,” Rogers said. “All Americans should be concerned about protecting our most basic rights and I want to bring that message to politicians of all stripes.”

Secular Coalition President, Herb Silverman, said Rogers has the unique ability to reach out to many of Washington D.C’s power players, who may mistakenly associate secular values with a particular political party or ideology.

“Edwina Rogers is an exciting addition to the organization. Her experience managing non-profit coalitions, along with her lobbying and staffing proficiency on Capitol Hill, are the needed skills that can bring the Secular Coalition to a new level,” Silverman said. “We are confident that Ms. Rogers will help to broaden the base and expand the movement beyond its traditional reach, including to the many conservatives who share our secular values and who have not previously been aware of the Secular Coalition for America.”

The Secular Coalition represents 11 member organizations and their members on Capitol Hill. Rogers’ hire comes on the heels of the Reason Rally in March—a Secular Coalition for America sponsored event that drew tens of thousands of atheists, agnostics, humanists and other nontheistic Americans to Washington, D.C. She will begin her duties as Executive Director on May 3, 2012.

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73 Responses to Secular Coalition of America Hires ex Bush White House Advisor as Executive Director

  1. mutt50 says:

    Maybe the Secular Coalition can now become as corrupt and incompetent as the Bush regime, and the Republican party.
    I want to know which organizations belong to this group so I can make sure I never contribute in any way.

  2. mutt50, you want to cut off the Secular Student Alliance over this? Do you have any idea what kind of good they do?

  3. mutt50 says:

    I don’t trust a person that made her living by working with bigots, torture fans, and war mongers, the Republican party.
    Or is it O.K., as long as it’s secular?

  4. Greg Laden says:

    There is clearly a conflict here. I don’t want to drop support for the SSA, but I also don’t want to support an organization that is so clueless and possibly even mean spirited to hire a person with these credentials as their exec. I’m truly torn on what to do.

    Having said that, I have an outlet for my feelings on this. Bwahahaha. I’ll keep you’all posted on this.

    This has been a real Bwahaha week for me.

  5. mutt50, the only options you can manage to come up with are trust her and deny all support to the individual agencies within the coalition? Really?

  6. Jesse Galef says:

    Hi guys, Jesse with the Secular Student Alliance here. (BTW, thanks so much for the kind words, Stephanie and Greg! I’m also really proud of all the work we do, and it makes me happy to see others recognizing it.)

    It’s definitely an interesting choice with the potential to change the way our movement is viewed. Her extensive experience bringing traditional opponents together (especially in coalition work) working to improve health care for patients is something that looks really good to me and gives me hope that she can reach across the partisan divide.

    But just as an aside, the Secular Coalition for America is its own 501(c)4 nonprofit, with the 11 national organizations forming its board. If you want to support the Secular Student Alliance (or not, but we hope so!), that’s separate from supporting the Coalition we form to lobby. Personally, I think both organizations are worthy of support, but they are separate.

    Thanks again, and feel free to shoot me an email (jesse@secularstudents.org) if you want to talk or if there’s anything I can help with! I’m sure the SCA would also love to hear from you: http://secular.org/contact

  7. John D says:

    A bold and excellent choice in my opinion. What better way to get the message out? She has a compelling story and a good background.

    The main purpose of the Secular Coalition is to strengthen the wall of separation and promote secular government. Sometimes this lines up with liberal policy and sometimes it lines up with conservative policy. There are many secular Republicans and they should come out of the closet too!

    I LOVE this choice. Faircloth was great and I was disappointed when he left, but Rogers has a real opportunity to shake things up.

  8. sundoga says:

    I don’t have a problem with this person’s credentials.
    They worked as an advisor to Bush and others. Advising on what? What areas of responsibility did they have? What specialties? Politicians consider massive areas of public importance. And what did they advise?
    Conemning a person on the basis of the information so far available is to make a whole heck of a lot of assumptions.

  9. Pingback: Controversy comes with the new Secular Coalition for America Executive Director | Blag Hag

  10. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says:

    Is this an onion article?

  11. Greg Laden says:

    Illuminata, the post is a press release verbatim in which I don’t express an opinion. I have an opinion, but it is complicated and will require its own blog post.

    I do agree with what Jesse and Stephanie say; The SSA is not the SCA. And, everything about the SSA seems to be good, and I am not wavering in any way of my support of it. One could bring up the question of whether to get mad at the waiter because the food sucks. No, you don’t becuase the waiter did not cook the food. But eventually you need to let the waiter know that he’s working for a bad cook and you’re not coming back and there’ll be no more tips because you’re not going to be there. But really, at this point, no one has even ordered anything to eat yet.

    Having wrenched that analogy by the neck until dead, I will not go back to my other activities. I’ll have more to say.

    Just one quick thing for sundoga: Not really. People don’t get sorted into party by the sorting hats, they willfully allign themselves with a party and its platform, and being an operative at that level is not casual. She takes with her the baggage of the Republican Party during the time she was a member of it, like it or not. Baggage is just that …. it is not policy, it is not performance, it is not a person’s C.V., but it is still there and for something like party affiliation, it is a willfully chosen set of luggage. I’m not giving out any secrets to simply now that the SCA will have to prove to us progressives, liberals, and Democrats that they did not just screw the pooch. Secular issues do “cross the aisle” but things like torture, unnecessary wars, the war on women, stuff like that don’t. Therefore ….

  12. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says:

    Understood. I was partly kidding, because I’m having trouble believeing what I’m reading.

    the SCA will have to prove to us progressives, liberals, and Democrats that they did not just screw the pooch. Secular issues do “cross the aisle” but things like torture, unnecessary wars, the war on women, stuff like that don’t. Therefore ….

    And this is why. Reserving judgement til we see what she actually does is the right move. But. . . . I can’t deny i’m not very optimistic.

  13. Greg Laden says:

    Reserving judgement til we see what she actually does is the right move.

    Yes, but one can and should still light the fire under the feet. Her appointment was an overt symbolic act. Now, everyone wants to know what the symbol means.

  14. Cory Albrecht (@Bytor) says:

    As a Canadian looking in from the outside, I’m bemused how many American atheists and other non-theists are ready to just drop all support of the SCA at the drop of a hat simply because Edwina Rogers is a Republican. I mean, go through and replace “Republican” with “black” or “gay” in some of the comments I’ve seen about this and ask “is this bigotry?” because the only reason I’ve seen anybody give is “she’s a Republican” rather than her past performance on policy issues.

    After all, “secular” is not synonymous with “liberal” any more than it is synonymous with “atheist”, and while I happen to be liberal and atheist myself, I get tired of these conflations that mean the cutting off of an arm or a leg instead of accepting as allies non-atheists or non-liberals to push for what secularism actually is.

  15. Greg Laden says:

    As a Canadian looking in from the outside, I’m bemused how many American atheists and other non-theists are ready to just drop all support of the SCA at the drop of a hat simply because Edwina Rogers is a Republican. I mean, go through and replace “Republican” with “black” or “gay” in some of the comments I’ve seen about this and ask “is this bigotry?”

    I can understand why you might be confused. The problem is that here in the USA, “Republican” is synonymous with “The largest organization in the world that is not a church dedicated to ramming religion down your fucking throat among other obnoxious things”

    Now, go back and replace that for “Republican” in the previous commentary and adjust. That is why we Americans are unsure about this.

    After all, “secular” is not synonymous with “liberal” any more than it is synonymous with “atheist”

    Whatever. “Anti-secular” is as synonymous with “Republican” as any term is ever synonymous with a major institutional structure.

    This does not mean that this particular woman is that. But it does mean that she has to prove she’s not.

  16. Sivi says:

    As a Canadian, I basically repudiate most of what the last Canadian said, and hope things work out given Rogers voluntarily worked for what counts as the right even down there.

  17. kagekiri says:

    @Cory Albrecht:
    Nah, that’s a horrible analogy.

    Racist or homophobic bigotry is horrible because people of different ethnicities and sexualities DIDN’T CHOOSE THEM.

    You choose to be and stay Republican, though, and it’s reasonable to initially question her secular background considering what Republicans have stood for on the subject for so many years.

    By the way, you could use your bad example for plenty of other things.

    “Change ‘you need to be better qualified to receive this position’ to ‘you need to be blacker/less Jewish/cisgender/heterosexual to qualify for this position’, and presto magico, it’s bigotry!”

    DUH, but that’s not really useful as an observation.

  18. John D says:

    Separation of church and state is often a popular idea for conservatives and liberals both. SCA is NOT a liberal group (except in a tradition “liberal” sense of the definition of liberal… that of having the right/ability to act as an individual sees fit).

    I am old enough to remember when many Republicans were very much against blending church and state. I suspect many current Republicans are disappointed they have to constantly cow-tow to the fundies. The 1980s destroyed much of what was right about the Republican party in my view. Getting church out of the Republican party would be a good thing… even for Democrats.

    I think that if separation is something you desire that a broad consensus from the left and the right is the best approach. SCA is not an advocacy group for all “liberal” issues. They do not have an opinion about environmental, tax, military, or any other issue except as it DIRECTLY relates to separation, and maintaining a secular government.

    Let’s focus here people!

  19. Gregory in Seattle says:

    So even the Secular Coalition of America tacks to the hard corporate right along with every other group in the U.S.

    It is past time to abandon this country and find somehwere sane to live.

  20. Cory Albrecht (@Bytor) says:

    Sivi@16: What is there to repudiate in what I said? I never said it explicitly but it would have thought the implication was clear that I though people should give Rogers a chance instead of the knee-jerk reactions I’ve seen from most people. I think our opinions on this might be closer than you think.

  21. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says:

    Racist or homophobic bigotry is horrible because people of different ethnicities and sexualities DIDN’T CHOOSE THEM.

    Thank you. I’m deeply amused by the assertion that it must be bigotry when its about a chosen political party.

    If that’s the case then distrusting anyone based on something they chose to do is bigotry. Distrusting murderers for example.

  22. Reginald Selkirk says:

    John D. #7: There are many secular Republicans and they should come out of the closet too!

    Anyone who is sane, rational and moral should have left the Republican party by now.

    • John D says:

      In my opinion there is no good reason to belong to either party. I am neither Democrat nor Republican. I usually vote with the Dems, but I often vote for the Reps especially since many Democrat ideas are just a stupid as the Republican ones.

      How nice that the Dems have you so solidly in their pocket. I am sure they love you very much!

  23. Reginald Selkirk says:

    John D #18: Separation of church and state is often a popular idea for conservatives and liberals both.

    The current thoughts on this I hear from conservatives is:
    1) The words “separation of church and state” are not in the constitution.
    2) Freedom of religion is OK, and that means no one should interfere with my “right” to use government entities to force my religious views on others.
    .
    If there are more principled, better informed persons in the Republican Party, I would have to ask: WTF are they still doing there? When you notice that a bunch of insane clowns has hijacked your bus and is driving it straight for the cliff, you should get out. And BTW, you invited those insane clowns onto the bus because you thought you could use them to get the votes you needed, so you don’t even deserve any sympathy.

    • John D says:

      Reg – I am not saying that we should line up with Republicans on everything. I am saying that there are actually many Republicans who do not like the fact that they have been tied to the fundies over the last decades. I sense a change is coming. You can disagree if you want.

      I do think that many atheists only listen to the most outrageous Republican and Tea Party positions. It is not correct to assume all Republicans share the view that church and state should be entwined. I personally know many Republicans who hate that they have to go along with the fundies… and many Reps hate the Tea Party.

      It is more complex that you think. I am suggesting the best way to move toward more separation is to find liberal and conservative friends (at least on this particular issues). I find it interesting that many progressive liberals would rather die than join forces with others to make progress. Polarization happens on both sides in many cases.

  24. bubba707 says:

    Man, these comments sure provide exercise, the conclusion jumping is intense. Hement Mehta already talked with Edwina Rogers about her new job. Read it if you want the straight skinny instead of paranoia.
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/05/03/the-atheist-lobbys-new-executive-director-is-a-female-republican-strategist-who-used-to-work-for-george-w-bush/

  25. Reginald Selkirk says:

    John D #23: How nice that the Dems have you so solidly in their pocket. I am sure they love you very much!

    I’m not sure whom you are addressing. I also am not a member of either major party. This has not kept me from noticing that one party has some good ideas and some bad ideas, and the other major party has gone ****ing insane.

  26. Reginald Selkirk says:

    John D #26: I am saying that there are actually many Republicans who do not like the fact that they have been tied to the fundies over the last decades. I sense a change is coming. You can disagree if you want.

    See previous comment about how the GOP invited in the fundies because they needed the votes. If they split off and form their own party, the GOP is going to really really miss those votes.

    I do think that many atheists only listen to the most outrageous Republican and Tea Party positions…

    I doubt that. If it was just the occasional kook, they could be ignored. Instead, we see laws actually being passed at state, local and federal levels. Look at all the bills in the last 2 years attempting to ruin women’s reproductive health and freedom. Some of them are actually getting passed. And it is consistently Republicans who propose and back these bills. Same on gay marriage, and other topics on which religion has undue influence.
    .
    If you haven’t noticed any of this, then you are so clueless that I don’t care about your opinions.

  27. Greg Laden says:

    If you say something enough times, especially if it is not challenged, it starts to stick, and lots of people are saying that SCA is explicitly non-political. This is patently false. It is a C4 advocacy group …. a lobbying group … with a specific list of clients. The clients are:

    American Atheists, a Liberal group

    American Ethical Union a Liberal group

    American Humanist Association Progressies and liberals

    Atheist Alliance of America Ligerals

    Camp Quest A progressive project

    Council for Secular Humanism … mainly liberal and progressives

    HUUmanists Progressives.

    Institute for Humanist Studies I don’t know who they are

    Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers Not sure if what I’d call them but probably liberal.

    The Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers Not sure

    Secular Student Alliance Seems mostly liberal

    Society for Humanistic Judaism Liberals

    So, SCA is a liberal lobbying group.

    Who may have just made a BRILLIANT move. Or not. Still thinking about it.

  28. Greg Laden says:

    What? Everyone just accepts these labels as I’ve laid them out!?!?? Wow. I guess I got it right the first time. I’m a little surprised ….

  29. Eidolon says:

    On the surface – not having done a lot of research – this actually seems a good move. We see the Republicans apply their litmus test and…poof…the gay guy is gone. Are we to do the same? If this woman improves access to power, we would be foolish to apply some sort of a purity test.

  30. Greg Laden says:

    She is not going to get thrown out of peoples offices as much as, say, August Berkshire or Debbie Goddard would. But will she be more effective in changing the well entrenched Republican position that this is a Christian Nation? At this point, one could argue that the Republicans will never change their position and the only way to change the nature of the Congress is to make the Republicans irrelevant. One could say that acceding to a strategy that makes them very relevant (by putting one at the head of a lobbying effort that focuses on them) is just slowing the death of the opposition. One could say that now is not the time to do this.

  31. John D says:

    Reg – I know plenty of Republicans who do not think church and state should mix. I also live in a midwestern (Michigan) state and there are plenty of moderate Republicans around. Our current Republican governor has no interest in pushing social conservatism for example. I may even vote for him next time.

    To me, it makes sense to try to embrace everyone who wants to protect separation.

    This is the goal of SCA.

  32. Aratina Cage says:

    We see the Republicans apply their litmus test and…poof…the gay guy is gone. –Eidolon

    Very suspicious choice of words there. Anyway, there isn’t a parallel between liberals not liking a former right-wing stooge and right-wingers hating on gays. Not all litmus tests are necessarily bad.

    @Greg Laden

    So, SCA is a liberal lobbying group.

    Who may have just made a BRILLIANT move. Or not. Still thinking about it.

    LOL. This will be interesting. I suppose there could be some good things about her taking the reins, but just look at her documented media appearances on YouTube–most of them are cringeworthy! And she is definitely part of the 1%! Do we really want people like that being spokespeople for secularism (which entails her being a spokesperson for atheism)?

  33. Aratina Cage says:

    John D, first, get out of town, and then wake me when your home can be described as the “Republican Shangri-La”.

  34. Aratina Cage says:

    You’ll let me nap because your home could never be described as such, idiot!

  35. Aratina Cage says:

    @John D
    *ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzz*

  36. imthegenieicandoanything says:

    I’ll be glad if I have to eat my harsh comments about this. Really.

    As likely an event as bacon being derived from winged pigs.

    It’s a classic, backdoor, “executive” decision made by SCA’s resident Wile E. Coyote.

    BTW: that was a terrific bit of Poe-ing, “John D” – even the name! You could have been defending Dick Cheney plucking out the adrenal glands of infants (just for fun!) and not looked any more stuffy and stupid!

    • John D says:

      imthe…. You are not making sense. I have been blogging as John D for over 4 years. I always use this name. Look it up. Some people really do hate me…. and some do not.

      No Poe here. I have been an atheist for over 25 years and I am not a progressive liberal. There are things I like about the Republicans, but I seldom vote Republican because of their ties to religion.

      I just sent an email to SCA to see if I can help with a local chapter. I am genuinely stoked about Rogers.

      PS – If I saw Dick Cheney dying of thirst in the desert I would throw sand in his face. Just to be clear.

  37. Travis says:

    Look at her background I have to wonder if they picked her solely because she is an insider and a Republican. Her secular chops seem to be non-existent and she has supported some rather anti-secular people in the past, giving money to Rick Perry.

  38. tcsf says:

    The problem isn’t that she’s a Republican. The problem is she has recently supported the candidates of the Religious Right. I didn’t hear any evidence of a “road to Damascus” moment from her, if you’ll pardon the expression. I think we’ll get a lot of tone trolling, accomodationism, ineffectiveness, and invisibility. A conservative atheist could be constructive, but I suspect her of being a Republican op first, last, and through and through. Why on earth should we believe she isn’t still loyal to the Republican party? I’m willing to be convinced otherwise, but I’ve not been. Dave Silverman’s facebook page says he’s a “Republican who votes Democrat”–so he’s apparently a Republican too– but with Dave Silverman, we KNOW he’ll shake things up, stand up for us, give ‘em hell on Fox News, and so on–he’s EARNED our trust. Maybe she will, and maybe she won’t. The key is IS SHE WILLING TO MAKE REPUBLICANS LOOK BAD if they’re pushing religious nonsense. Watch close and see.

  39. Arty Morty says:

    Ugh. With this and the Sam Harris thing, it’s like my world has turned upside-down this week.

    Fuck it; I’m going Bahai, or something.

  40. Greg Laden says:

    PS – If I saw Dick Cheney dying of thirst in the desert I would throw sand in his face. Just to be clear.

    So, I take it you did not donate that heart, then.

  41. Arty Morty says:

    And I hope this isn’t going to give accommodationists more fuel to argue that overt activist atheism is akin to right-wing intolerance. If i see a Chris Mooney post about this, I’m gonna puke.

  42. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says:

    uhh, bubba707 – did you read that before declaring everyone else paranoid?

  43. Raging Bee says:

    Why is “reaching across the aisle” so important? If we make that our #1 priority, then we will give the Republicans veto power over our every policy choice: if the Republicans disagree with us, all they have to do is accuse us of being “too partisan” and not “reaching across the aisle,” and that will be that.

    At a time when the Republicans are waging all-out religious war against gay equality, women’s rights (and even women’s ability to get lifesaving medical care!), free speech for atheists, minority rights, and even basic civil-government services that other advanced secular nations take for granted, “reaching across the aisle” is the LAST thing we need to do. Hiring this hack lobbyist, from a failed administration, is nothing but capitulation. It’s nothing but an admission that we can only fight for secular values by doing everything the anti-secularists’ way, with the anti-secularists’ permission.

    So far, it seems to me like she was hired solely because of her lobbying experience — as a Republican lobbyist. That’s all they have to be “proud” and “excited” about. Has she ever fought effectively AGAINST anti-secularist Republican policies?

  44. Raging Bee says:

    Actually, “secular” and “liberal” are pretty much synonymous. “Liberal” means advocating liberty, and one of the things Americans fought to be free of is religious domination of our government and public life. Hiring a lobbyist who opposed stem-cell research — and trashed Michael J. Fox in the process — is not a promising move.

    • John D says:

      The challenge is that there are many different definitions for “liberal”. The modern political definition is far different than the older definition. I agree that the older definition of liberal is more similar to “secular”. This is not the case for the use of “liberal” in a modern discussion of political parties.

  45. Raging Bee says:

    Reg – I know plenty of Republicans who do not think church and state should mix.

    And how much influence do they have on the direction of the Republican Party? The most powerful “moderate” Republican I know of is Mutt Romney — who spent his entire campaign pandering to the teatards and running away from his own “moderate” accomplishments, despite the fact that those accomplishments seem to have done a lot of good.

    “Moderate” Republicans are worthless. All they do is keep on pulling the lever for the extremists they pretend not to be.

  46. Raging Bee says:

    So what’s your definition of “liberal,” John? Can you name one policy the Republicans oppose as “liberal” that doesn’t uphold or increase liberty of one sort or another? Reproductive choice, good sex-ed, civil rights, protection of the environment, sensible financial regs, no religious indoctrination in public schools…all of these are conducive to liberty, and the Republcans oppose all of them.

    • John D says:

      My definition of “liberal” is usually dependent of context. Please see prior note.

      Mitt Romney, as governor of Mass passed one of the most liberal and progressive health care bills in the country. Unfortunately, the national election has forced him to claim he is socially conservative. I believe he is apathetic about the topic of social conservatism, but the fundies in the party would not vote him through the primary unless he toed the line.

      This is where the opportunity lies. Romney would be a much better president if he could go back to the pre-1980s and claim that religion and government do not mix. I think this can happen.

  47. Raging Bee says:

    I have been an atheist for over 25 years and I am not a progressive liberal.

    So you don’t support progress. Got it.

    There are things I like about the Republicans, but I seldom vote Republican because of their ties to religion.

    So you’re an atheist who doesn’t care about the Republicans’ theocratic agenda, and votes Republican because of other issues he thinks are more important than protecting our religious freedom. Got it.

    That’s not the kind of “secularism” America needs.

    • John D says:

      Bee – do you know what a progressive liberal is? Please provide me with your definition of “progressive liberal” and I will tell you if I am one.

  48. Raging Bee says:

    Is there any public record of what this lobbyist has said about the Secular Coalition’s activities before they hired her?

  49. John D says:

    and I can see why you call yourself “raging bee”. This is clear.

  50. Raging Bee says:

    Her extensive experience bringing traditional opponents together (especially in coalition work) working to improve health care for patients is something that looks really good to me and gives me hope that she can reach across the partisan divide.

    Notice how Jesse doesn’t give any specific examples?

    Also, notice how he invites us to comment at his site’s generic “contact us” page, then buggers off? Yeah, that’s how we’d expect an organization led by a former Bush/Rove lobbyist to work.

  51. Raging Bee says:

    and I can see why you call yourself “raging bee”.

    Equating questioning with irrational rage, and dodging substantive questions and issues. Yep, you’re a non-progressive Republican all right.

  52. Raging Bee says:

    If Romney couldn’t stand up for his own record before the nomination, how can we expect him to stand up for himself in the White House?

  53. Raging Bee says:

    Unfortunately, the national election has forced him to claim he is socially conservative.

    If a bunch of right-wing morons in silly costumes can “force” Romney to run away from his own greatest accomplishments, how can we expect him to stand up to, say, the Iranians or the Chinese?

    Thank you for admitting the “moderates” are nothing but capitulators.

  54. Raging Bee says:

    If this woman improves access to power, we would be foolish to apply some sort of a purity test.

    We’re not applying a “purity test,” fool, we’re looking at her past track record. And I, for one, am asking whether they really couldn’t find a better candidate for CEO.

    Also, as anyone in our Washington press corps(s) can tell you (if they were honest enough), “access to power” is not the same thing as actually being heard or exerting meaningful influence over policy decisions.

  55. bubba707 says:

    The way I see this is at worst it’s a chance for the organization to learn from a successful lobbyist and gain useful contacts. At best she’ll do a great deal for the organization. So far I see nothing that indicates she won’t give the job her best efforts. She’s a PROFESSIONAL lobbyist and her resume indicates she does her professional best for her employer. I prefer to be pragmatic rather than idiologic when it comes to the political arena.

  56. Raging Bee says:

    Has anyone else read the interview bubba cited? Her answers are all mush, and practically ZERO specific policy references. Then there’s the standard Republican whinery about how conservatives haven’t been included in the conversation. Silenced after eight years of dominance — who knew?

    I am a nontheist and have always been a strong secularist and a firm believer in the separation of religion and government. I’m not a fan of labels though, because I feel like it creates unnecessary division within the movement.

    Yeah, the Republicans are labellng secularists “atheists,” “socialists,” “anti-God,” and “evil little things,” but we shouldn’t talk about labels, ’cause that’s divisive. (Notice how she calls herself “nontheist,” not “atheist?” What’s the difference?)

    I agree with the mission of the Secular Coalition for America one hundred percent.

    …followed by absolutely no examples of what parts of the mission she agrees with most passionately.

    And this bit was just plain laughable:

    I think in the near future, chances are good to make inroads on issues surrounding health and safety (things like stem cell research — because the upside is so tremendous)…

    This hack OPPOSED stem-cell research, and called Michael J. Fox a dupe for supporting it! Has she suddenly changed her mind on that issue? Or is she just a paid lobbyist who advocates whatever she’s paid to advocate, without having any opinions of her own?

    Oh, and check out this bit:

    I do think that for the vast majority of conservatives and Republicans, they are true believers of secularism — the majority of Republicans believe in the separation of church and state.

    Gee, sounds like something John D could have copied and pasted here…

  57. John D says:

    Rage – you do realize she is a politician and strategist… right? How do you think politics works? You are obsessed with the idea that every Republican is the worst kind of scum on earth. My father, sister, and many of my friends are Republicans. This doesn’t mean they agree with everything every other Republican says. It also doesn’t mean they are lock step with the party and it’s platform. sheeeesh.

  58. beergoggles says:

    Well, since she’s a Republican, I hope we’re at least paying her less. In addition, she’s a woman and what Republican is going to listen to the opinions of someone with a uterus?

  59. John D says:

    Have you folks ever even heard of Olympia Snowe?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympia_Snowe

    Come on. The anti-everything-Republican rhetoric is lame.

    Is everyone here less than 20 or something?

  60. Raging Bee says:

    You are obsessed with the idea that every Republican is the worst kind of scum on earth.

    No, not every Republican — just the ones who matter.

  61. Raging Bee says:

    Not all Catholics are child-rapists either. That doesn’t make criticism of the Church and its leadership any less valid.

  62. John D #69, read the article you linked:

    On Tuesday February 27, 2012, citing excessive partisanship and a dispiriting political environment, the Senator said that she would not run for re-election in November 2012.

    “excessive partisanship and a dispiriting political environment” == the teabaggers are pushing out the moderates.

    And even some not-terribly moderates. Ever thought that Orrin Hatch would face a primary? How about Dick Lugar?

    Your conservatism is showing.

  63. godlesspanther says:

    OK — the issue, we have a Republican who is a long-term lobbyist who has worked for both Bush Presidents and senators Trent Lott and Jeff Sessions on what she has stated to be only economic issues. She has become, not just affiliated with, but the President of the only political lobbying arm of the secular movement.

    Some appear to think that this is a good move: Rogers may be a representative of secularist issues who will be more welcomed and listened to by the republicans who possess political power, perhaps enabling us to get a foot in the door and open up political avenues that have not been easily available to us before.

    This may be a good political strategy. This may actually acquire a good republican base to help advance secularist issues , thereby creating a greater level of awareness and acceptance among the general population.

    There are some who are reserving judgement: We ought to wait and find out. Rogers has proven herself to be an effective lobbyist, just not on issues concerning separation of church and state. We don’t know yet. This may turn out to work well in our favor — if not we can take action at that time.

    There are some who are royally pissed off. Chalk me up as — one for ‘royally pissed off.’

    Here is what I am primarily basing my position on: Hemant Mehta’s interview with Edwina Rogers.

    Robbins knew (and don’t even suggest that she may not have) that her being in this position would be met with some heavy suspicion in the atheist community. This interview has thus far been her biggest opportunity to assure people such as myself that this choice would not be regretted.

    Her first statement was:”I think it’s a misconception that the majority of Republicans are lined up against the secular movement.”

    Case closed.

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