Saturday, March 9, 2013

CPAC: The GOP’s Archipelago of Awkward Confederates

Bill Berkowitz

A parade of the usual suspects (Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich), and wannabees (Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Bobby Jindal, Rand Paul, and Paul Ryan) will grace the stage. NRA President David Keene and its Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre are also scheduled speakers.

The Tea Party’s influence on CPAC will be writ large, according to Devin Burghart, the vice president of the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights. In a piece titled “Tea Party Dominates CPAC 2013 Agenda,” Burghart pointed out that CPAC13 will be dominated by Tea Party leaders, Tea Party organizations, and Tea-Party-supported politicians.

[...] In a recent column, Kincaid supporting the exclusion of GOProud from CPAC, he argued that, “There is no such thing as a ‘gay conservative,’ unless the term ‘conservative’ has lost all meaning. But there is a homosexual movement that has its roots in Marxism and is characterized by anti-Americanism and hatred of Christian values.”

“Rather than debate whether ‘gay conservatives’ exist or ought to have prominent speaking roles, CPAC should be sponsoring a panel on the dangers of the homosexual movement and why some of its members seem prone to violence, terror, and treason,” Kincaid wrote.

And then there’s the case of Pamela Geller, the ever-ready always misunderstood anti-Muslim provocateur that says that for the first time in years will not be attending CPAC. On The Janet Mefferd Show the Atlas Shrugs blogger accused CPAC organizers of enforcing Sharia law against her.

Geller claimed that her attacks against Grover Norquist, the head of Americans for Tax Reform, and Suhail Khan, a former Bush political appointee and Senior Fellow for Muslim-Christian Understanding at the Institute for Global Engagement, for “refus[ing] to address jihad, sharia, the war on freedom in the West,” as the reason for her exclusion.

Geller’s exclusion from CPAC, according to People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch, “represent[s] yet another development in annual conservative gathering’s frequent clashes over Islamophobia. Anti-Muslim activists like Geller, David Horowitz, Frank Gaffney and Robert Spencer claim that the Muslim Brotherhood and its cohorts, namely Grover Norquist and Suhail Khan, are trying to infiltrate the conservative movement.”

Islamophobes shouldn’t fret: Right Wing Watch is reporting that several reliably anti-Muslim speakers will have their moments to shine. Former congressman Allen West will speak as will Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton Apparently Fitton believes that the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department “are all working together with radical Islamists from the Muslim Brotherhood.”

The irrepressible Newt Gingrich, who to the delight of his Sugar Daddy, the billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, “consistently attacked the Muslim community during his presidential campaign and claimed that Muslims in the US are trying to impose Sharia law,” will also perform for the faithful. As will former Pennsylvania Senator, and failed presidential candidate. Rick Santorum. Rounding out the anti-Sharia law warriors is Texas Senator Ted Cruz, the closest thing we currently have to the re-embodiment of Senator Joseph McCarthy.
There are times I wish AG Holder hadn't said Obama can't use drone strikes on Americans inside the U.S. They're bunched up at CPAC and we could get 'em all and solve a lot of problems with one round. Drat that pesky Constitution sometimes.


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