CPAC 2010: The GOProud Controversy

A couple weeks ago, the American Family Association protested CPAC's inclusion of GOProud - a gay conservative group - as a CPAC 2010 sponsor.  They may say they don't hate homosexuals, but the AFA rhetoric makes it pretty clear that they don't want gay people around.

A spokesman for the American Family Association says a Republican homosexual activist group doesn't belong at a popular conservative political conference in February. ... "The bottom line is that homosexuality is not a conservative value," Fischer states emphatically.

Unsurprisingly, WorldNetDaily is leaping to participate in the bigotry, saying that "A viral alarm [is] spreading among conservatives that the American Conservative Union is accepting homosexual sponsorship for its annual Conservative Political Action Conference..." and adding "Campaign launched to reject support from homosexuals".  AFA Action is demanding other conservative organizations oppose GOProud participation at CPAC, saying "groups that promote the normalization of homosexual behavior should be resisted without reserve or compromise by any genuinely conservative organization."

Know how you can tell this is more about bigotry against gays themselves than principled opposition to any support for gay marriage?

  • Dick Cheney is pro-gay marriage and opposed to federal marriage amendment....just like GOProud.  Go try to find an example of AFA or WorldNetDaily "resist[ing] without reserve or compromise" when he spoke at CPAC.  You can't.
  • Ron Paul is opposed to a federal marriage amendment (he voted against DoMA) or a Constitutional ban on gay marriage...just like GOProud.  Go try to find an example of AFA or WorldNetDaily "resist[ing] without reserve or compromise" when he spoke at CPAC.  You can't.
  • The Libertarian Party opposes government restrictions prohibiting gay marriage (they opposed DoMA and support "marriage equality").  Go try to find an example of AFA or WorldNetDaily "resist[ing] without reserve or compromise" when the LP co-sponsored CPAC.  You can't.
  • Google supports gay marriage (they opposed Proposition 8 in 2008).  Go try to find an example of AFA or WorldNetDaily "resist[ing] without reserve or compromise" when the Google co-sponsored CPAC.  You can't.
  • UPDATE: The Log Cabin Republicans, who support gay marriage, sponsored CPAC in 2005. Go try to find an example of AFA or WorldNetDaily "resist[ing] without reserve or compromise" when the the Log Cabin Republicans co-sponsored CPAC.  You can't.

American Family Association and WorldNetDaily are not defending traditional marriage or conservative principles. They're just being bigots.

I've made my case regarding gay marriage in the past, and I'll line up with Ed Morrissey of Hot Air on this story.  Commending CPAC's courage in accepting and defending GOProud's co-sponsorship, Morrissey writes that "GOProud’s priorities are fundamentally in line with [our key principles].  We should not allow a purity campaign to push away natural allies on the fiscal crisis that grips our country, and the opportunity we have to correct it in 2010."

I hope a CPAC speaker will address this matter and express support for GOProud...or even make the case for gay marriage.  I'm looking at you, Andrew Breitbart. Or perhaps it's time to start a "Draft Dick Cheney to talk about Gay Marriage at CPAC" campaign.

Should GOProud and CPAC face more of this during CPAC 2010, I hope that CPAC attendees, whatever their position on the gay marriage issue itself, will stand against the kind of bigotry that WorldNetDaily and American Family Association are peddling.

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Wait just a minute...

Two points. This...

CPAC's courage in accepting and defending GOProud's co-sponsorship

...is just too much. There was nothing "courageous" whatsoever in what CPAC did. David Keene: "...we told them that, in fact, since opposition to gay marriage, etc are consensus positions (if not unanimous) among conservatives, these topics are not open to debate," and, while taking GOProud's money, barred them from having even a single speaker.

And while America's conservative orgs try to drive CPAC away from even taking money from GOProud (and while CPAC takes their money, condescends to them, and bans them from participation), none of the above seem to have any problem at all with the openly racist and completely insane John Birch Society--yes, that JBS--also co-sponsoring the coming CPAC.

And while America's

And while America's conservative orgs try to drive CPAC away from even taking money from GOProud (and while CPAC takes their money, condescends to them, and bans them from participation), none of the above seem to have any problem at all with the openly racist and completely insane John Birch Society--yes, that JBS--also co-sponsoring the coming CPAC.

This!  I can't imagine why GOProud or anyone else would want to be associated with this event when an org like the John Birch Society is a sponsor.  Very telling about who is 'in' and who is 'out' with these so-called conservatives ... they're not even relying on the dog whistles any more, but proudly advertising the racist ties. 

I can't imagine why GOProud

I can't imagine why GOProud or anyone else would want to be associated with this event when an org like the John Birch Society is a sponsor.

I can't imagine why they'd want to be associated with CPAC even if JBS wasn't a sponsor. The bigotry presently being spewed by these professional reactionary outrage-merchants has only been given greater exposure by the presence of GOProud--it has always been there. Henke's implication that there is such a thing as "principled opposition" to something like gay marriage--opposition which can somehow be separated from outright bigotry--is, of course, laughably false. Anti-gay sentiment is based entirely on bigotry, and that's all it has ever been.  While American conservatism's rank-and-file is evenly divided on the subject, the activist base is virtually drowning in this visceral hatred, and if their orgs decided, as a group, to leave CPAC, the conference would be left a pale shadow of its former self indeed. The reason they've never revolted over the likes of Cheney, Paul, the "Libertarians," etc. is because a) those are people who don't advocate for homosexual issues, and b) American conservatism is, at present, in the process of being entirely consumed by reactionary jihadists, and Henke would do well to take note of the latter--the same spirit that animated the debacle in NY23, which he supported, is what's driving the anti-GOProud campaign right now.

Steps

While I certainly would prefer CPAC to open up that debate, I think there's a signfiicant difference between saying "they shouldn't be allowed to sponsor CPAC" and "we're not going to debate a particular policy area at this CPAC."

While I certainly would

While I certainly would prefer CPAC to open up that debate, I think there's a signfiicant difference between saying "they shouldn't be allowed to sponsor CPAC" and "we're not going to debate a particular policy area at this CPAC."

The latter isn't what Keene said. He said "these topics are not open to debate." Period. And why? Because "opposition to gay marriage, etc are consensus positions (if not unanimous) among conservatives." That's hardly the same as merely saying we don't have the time to debate motorcycle helmet laws this year. It's also a fact that Keene is lying about conservative sentiment with regard to these issues. The CBS News/New York Times poll back in June found that, while  48% of Republicans oppose any legal recognition of homosexual relationships, 13% of them said they favored recognition of marriage, and 35% said they favored recognition of civil unions--combined, that makes for an even split, and puts Keene's position in its proper (and even less flattering) context.

(I use that particular poll because it does make a point of showing the breakdown of the results by party. The obvious caveat: Party affiliation is never exactly the same as ideological affiliation, but the two do tend to track fairly closely.)

And, again--just so the point doesn't go by the wayside--while GOProud is being treated in this manner, the John Birch Society co-sponsorship of the event hasn't drawn a whif of controversy on the right.

As the LP's Communications Director at the time...

...I will state that the only controversy I know of came from libertarian ranks for appearing with a bunch of social conservatives.  Lisa, everyone at CPAC, and other organizations greeted us with open arms or at the very worst, reasonable civil debate across booth dividers.

John Birch Society

Ok, perhaps somebody can explain to me the criticisms of the Birch Society.  Sure, I understand they were loony in the 50's and 60's, but it seems to me that they've sobered up a bit since then.  What am I missing?  What have they done recently?

it seems to me that they've

it seems to me that they've sobered up a bit since then. 

LOL.  Don't want to set that bar too high now, Jon?  If today's "conservatives" are happy to embrace such an organization, I can only stand out of the way while they chug on down the crazy tracks.  Just the leadership our country needs -- semi-recovering nutcases.

I haven't seen anything to indicate they've strayed far from their fabled history of paranoia, conspiracy theories, anti-Semitism and racism.  Behold the "sobered up" wisdom of the JBS:

Was Fort Hood 'Killer' a Victim of Covert Mind Controllers?

In this context, was the Fort Hood massacre actually an occult, subliminally based mind-control operation meant to signify an internal battle between warring secret society members? Since initial reports mentioned multiple shooters, could “hit men” or disgruntled soldiers have been used to further promote a neocon anti-Islamic agenda, while at the same time trying to conceal our military’s growing discontent by blaming it on an “Arab fanatic”?

(American Free Press, 11/23/09 issue)  And the online version of that publication is a scrubbed version of the print issues, which feature blatant anti-Semitic rants, assorted conspiracy theories involving Zionists and bankers, 9/11 and anti-vax craziness, and the list goes on.

But I hear that Ron Paul's group is planning a forum at CPAC that will include a speech by Thomas DiLorenzo against Abraham Lincoln ending slavery.  Maybe you meant that in comparison to other elements of "conservativsm" the Birchers appear to be a sobered-up bunch?

re:

Is American Free Press a Birch Society group?

It's their publication.

It's their publication.

Having trouble with this one.

AFP site doesn't appear to even reference JBS -- got confirmation?

The JBS's publication is the

The JBS's publication is the New American. The American Free Press is, I believe, a retitling of the Spotlight (another notorious right-wing conspiracist rag). It's an easy mistake to make (if, in fact, the mistake isn't mine); the material in which both traffic is substantially the same.

I think you are probably

I think you are probably correct, having looked at the New American site in which the JBS is listed as an affiliate.  I am profoundly embarrassed to admit that my brother is a Bircher and he was the one who told me the American Free Press is their publication.  I don't know anything about its history but agreed to look at some of the AFP articles to placate him (and have continued for a few months out of morbid curiousity and in awe that there is such big money behind all that lunacy).

Interesting find on Google when I was researching The New American.  I got this page on the JBS site discussing a photo taken of Sarah Palin with "one of our publications" (are there multiple publications?) on her desk:  http://www.jbs.org/jbs-news-feed/2995 

Does anyone else find the implication of the "update" at the end of the article hilarious? 

UPDATE 9/22/08:  The Jawa Report indicates this smear may have links back to the PR firm that one David Axelrod owns.  The same David Axelrod that is Barack Obama's chief media strategist.

What made me LOL was that one of the "smears" discussed at the link about Sarah Palin that David Axelrod was supposedly behind was that "Palin was a member of the John Birch Society," given the photo.  Maybe it's just my twisted sense of humor, but I found it hilarious that they linked to an article that identified the claim that she was a member of JBS as a smear.  Good stuff!  They're not only nutty -- also not the brightest bunch.

LOL.  Don't want to set that

LOL.  Don't want to set that bar too high now, Jon?

Yes, I cringed when I read that, as well. The JBS, from its birth to today, has been built around conspiracism. Their premise, which underlies everything they say or do, is a massive, global conspriacy to undermine the U.S. reaching back to the 18th century. Those behind the conspiracy are the usual gang found in such right-wing nonsense--the cabal of Jewish bankers, the Illuminati, Freemasons, the Bilderbergs, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, the "secular humanists," the homosexual conspiracy, and did you know reactionary Islam is really just the continuation of the Soviet communist conspiracy? The JBS does--the collapse of the Bolsheviks in Russia was merely a staged event in JBS scripture. The communist conspiracy continues to work at home through things like the maintenance of civil rights legislation and the "gay agenda," and abroad through things like reactionary Islam (yes, al Qaida and the Taliban are secretly agents of the communist conspiracy). And so on.

Punch a few buttons, if you're so ill-informed, Jon. Here's a news about a JBS conference earlier this year.

(I'd certaintly prefer to believe you were merely ignorant than to believe you've fallen so far as to actually find ANYTHING done by the likes of the JBS "sober." They are, in many respects, the birth of everything you used to rant against, here.)

Wow, the linked article

Wow, the linked article pretty neatly covers the spectrum of the JBS crazy.  If American Free Press isn't a Birch publication (and I concede it may not be), it's still pretty much in sync with the JBS take on the Muslim fundamentalist jihadis not being violent religious fanatics, but instead part of a secret Communist conspiracy. 

I wonder what motivates them to scrub the fanatic fundamentalist stench off Al-Qaeda and other Muslim extremist groups?  

 

Gay Republicans

Many conervatives are excluding a segment of the population with their prejudice. I believe that gay people are born that way, and rejecting them, for their sexual orientation, is wholly consuming to them. Gay people who are market driven fiscal conservatives, who prefer smaller govt, and who recognize the dnagers of radical Islam, will vote Democrat because of that one social issue.

I'm in the Dick Cheney camp on this issue. As my 28 year old daughter told me - "Dad, in another 15-20 years this won't even be an issue. It's like the Civil Rights Movement was big in the 60's and now people my age," she said, "don't even think about people of color."

 

maybe I'm a bit slow...

... but I fail to see how bigotry could account for anyone treating the Log Cabin Republicans one way and GOProud another.  Is one group really that much gayer (or anything-else- that-bigots-care-about-er) than the other?

That was 2005, not 2010.

LCR is not involved in the latest CPAC. GOProud is a splinter group disillusioned with the increasing Democratic tilt of the LCR. If anything, one would expect less skepticism for GOProud.

This is an odd move.

Karl Rove is divorced. Rush Limbaugh has been divorced

three times. Newt Gingrich has been divorced twice. 20% of the Republican Senate delegation is either divorced, or an admitted adulterer, or both. Mark Sanford is still the Governor of South Carolina.

The sight of Republicans pontificating about the sanctity of marriage and portraying themselves as its defenders is nauseating hypocrisy in the extreme.

It's sad, but the hypocrisy

It's sad, but the hypocrisy of the 'family values' crowd is so common it isn't even news anymore.  You can't swing a dead cat without hitting another holier-than-thou politician who is later revealed to be partaking in the same or worse behavior than they've pontificated about in someone else.

But not to worry ... as we've learned, The Family reassures them that any behavior on their part is God's work simply because they're the 'chosen,' and we fallen mortals just can't comprehend their righteousness because we're not the chosen.

CPAC row...

As a libertarian, non-Paultard I might add, conservative I attended CPAC last year and I encountered very little hostility. There were a few who scoffed at "all the libertarians" about but they tended to be AFA/so-con nuts.

I could see the griping about JBS at CPAC, but considering they also are welcoming GOProud as sponsors why is it an issue? I think the frothing conservative tag for CPAC is quite inaccurate these days. CPAC is going out of their way to be welcoming to all ilks of conservatives so they can get together and engage in thoughtful discussion. 

I am on two panels at CPAC and I will make sure to say something about GOProud. I have already privately spoken to a CPAC official on the subject.  

What good has CPAC or the Libertarians done?...

...CPAC has become nothing much more than a frat party/ mutual admiration society get together.  What have they done to help the Conservative Movement?  Look at 11/7/06.  11/4/08.  They're influence is moving our whole dynamic backwards.  And, once more, Conservatives can't wait to scramble to the "table of compromise" even if it means tossing the American family under the bus. And, Mr. Henke, that is what this is all about. 

And the libertarians?  What grand accomplishments there?  Crickets chirping.

Thanks to the AFA for their courage.  DD

CPAC is part of the problem

Remember the hopeful thoughts about developing a center-right coalition that used the best classical conservative principles and time-honored core American ideals to competently govern the nation?  How a return to clear thinking, personal responsibility, an appreciation for the limitations of government programs and awareness of unavoidable unintended consequences could restore people's faith in our civil society?  How modern solutions to old problems could be cautiously developed to expand opportunity for every segment of the society?

Where exactly does CPAC fit into that picture?  They are yet another ossified, old-line organization that maybe served a purpose at one time, but now exist mainly to perpetuate their own existence!  They are part of the snarling combative old line political hack deadwood groups that pile up over time, because it is easier to prolong and continue old brands that no longer fit the needs of the time than it is to create new structures that address current realities, and grow the movement.

Holy moley, why does the John Birch Society even exist anymore?  Saying they have a purpose in this day and age is like saying you know, that Symbionese Liberation Army may have got a little carried away with that whole Hearst kidnapping thing, but their progressive principles have been cleaned up an they still make some telling criticisms of the white power structure.  It would be a shame to exclude them because of some misconceptions about their brand name!

CPAC is a waste, American Family Association are a bunch of bigoted nuts, and the more the Right associates itself with these types (and the Birchers no less!), the longer will be the time in the wilderness.

It is time to create new structures, not prolong corrupt and ineffectual groups who are incapable of building that majority coalition.

And just look at Move On.org, they were formed during the Clinton impeachment mess.  Don't you think it's time they get over it and Move On?  All that Soros etc money, they are going down the same path of outliving their usefullness to the Left.