The 2011 Conservative Political Action Cnference (CPAC), held last week, was in some respects like the previous year's: For example, everyone loved that the place was full of young people, until the kids gave libertarian Ron Paul their straw poll vote.
There were some changes, though. Perhaps hoping to convince people in
preparation for a 2012 Obama challenge they weren't all uptight white
guys, CPAC threw a little multiculturalism into its mix, with gays and
Muslims gaining a sliver of representation.
You can guess what followed -- some of the brethren accused CPAC of selling them out to the gay/Muslim enemy.
The accusations of jihad-friendliness were spurred by the
presence at CPAC of Arab-American former Bush Administration official
Suhail Khan, whom some rightbloggers claim is a member of the militant
Khan took part in a CPAC panel called "The Importance of Faith and Religious Liberty." "Islamic Rights Promoted At CPAC," Judicial Watch warned the nation. "Muslim Brotherhood supporters and sympathizers promoted Islamic tolerance."'
Two ardent anti-Muslim rightbloggers with their own CPAC panels were outraged. Pam Geller
said the whole event had been "corrupted and compromised by the Muslim
Brotherhood... look at the panels, they're either clueless or
complicit." David Horowitz
of NewsRealBlog told his CPAC auditors Khan was "sponsored by his
longtime patron Grover Norquist," implying the former Bush official was
in on the whole dirty Islamicist deal.
was circulated at CPAC; suggesting this two-headed beast was trying to
"boil the Conservative frog slowly" so "he'll stay in the pot till he's
What's especially odd about this is, Norquist's very much a made man in the conservative movement
Watch out for these jihadi-conservatives!
-- he was a buddy of Ronald Reagan, a Bush Administration official, and
the guy who famously said he didn't want to just shrink the government,
he wanted to "drown it in the bathtub." At his own CPAC appearance he denounced liberals as "parasites," just like a good ol' boy.
Nonetheless other rightbloggers felt they, too, had cause to read him out of conservatism on account of the Muslims.
"The fact that Norquist is married to a Moslem wife is not irrelevant here, I think," said Vanishing American. "Is it a chicken-or-egg question, when people who outmarry exhibit this kind of cosmopolitanist attitude?"
"Norquist has done much good," admitted Arlen Williams
at Renew America, "but his aims and influence are exemplary of what is
has been harmful and corruptive in conservatism for a very long while.
That is not because of his marital relations" -- ah, the moderate
approach! -- "but because he is married to unbalanced transnationalism."
To what now? Williams explained: "the century old, relativist,
communitarian, and globalist model of the likes of
Morgan/Rockefeller/H.Ford/Bush. And now, this plan is nearly complete,
with George Soros, Maurice Strong, and Ban Ki-moon, two nation
destroying Marxists and one more coy in his rhetoric, leading the way."
Huh. Well, so much for those "Miss Me Yet?" Bush posters.
announced, "Norquist: Islam completely compatible with US
Constitution... and calls anyone who disagrees Islamophobic!... If
Norquist was sincere in his belief that Muslim goals (shariah!) and our
Constitution were perfectly compatible, he would quit calling those who
disagree with him names."
"Death-cult code could come from any jihadist, from Mohammed Atta in his
night-before-9/11 instructions, to Anwar al-Awlaki in his e-mails
'ministering' to the underpants bomber, Umar F. Abdulmutallab," said The Two Malcontents.
"But could it also come from a former Bush administration appointee?"
Aww, they stole our punchline: "The surprise answer is yes."
Other rightbloggers declined to touch this one, and some even acknowledged the ridiculousness of the controversy. The gay outreach was a much bigger deal.
A group called GOProud was permitted to attend this year's event. It's pretty strong on conservative issues (e.g., "GOProud Calls for End to Taxpayer Funding of Abortion"),
but pretty quiet on gay issues. It doesn't agitate for gay marriage,
asking only that no federal amendment banning it be passed. Also, the
outgoing chairman of CPAC's sponsoring group made them promise not to be too gay at CPAC, which he says they accepted.
Several rightbloggers opposed the boycott, though mostly gently -- this was family they were talking about, after all.
"...But being inclusive of gay conservatives is the right thing to do."
"Social Conservatives, in my mind, lean a little bit too much to the
Classical Conservative model," said Pirate's Cove.
"I don't agree with GOProud's views on gay marriage and Don't Ask Don't
Tell... but, I see no reason to boycott CPAC for including them."
said GOProud was "either socially liberal, or determined to establish a
vacuum at the Federal level into which liberalism will rush with the
help of activist judges," but shrugged, "so, it is self-defeating for
conservatives, though that doesn't mean they shouldn't be allowed to
OK, Rudy -- make with the 2012 outreach!
chairman Chris Barron was less circumspect about the boycotters,
of RedState. "You really should read the whole thing. You'll learn that
should you disagree with GOProud, you are a bigot too," said Erickson.
"...Wonderful trick. Sadly, it is being used on real heros within the
Barron, as you might expect, apologized,
and for a few days all was bliss. To some rightbloggers this was a sign
that conservatism was suddenly gay-friendly. For example, Roger L. Simon
claimed the Andrew Breitbart/GOProud party at CPAC was "as close to a
game changer as things get," and "almost obliterated in one night the
conception that Republicans are anti-gay... Pretty soon it may be cool
to be a Republican and square to be a Democrat."
The Pajamas Media founder Simon got some unaccustomed pushback on his
post, though, because he also mentioned that "I've hardly heard much
talk of abortion or other social issues at the conference," which he
counted a good thing. "The consulting rooms at Planned Parenthood and
the gory scene at Gosnell's butcher shop are also part of 'our modern
world,'" snarled Pundit & Pundette. "If we accept them, too, will that make us 'cool'?"
Nonetheless, removing gay marriage from the mix seemed to take the sting
out of GOProud's presence for CPAC -- so much so that CPAC speakers
still felt comfortable talking about the gay marriage menace even with
the gay group around.
Panelist Rev. Michel Faulkner reiterated that marriage is between "one
man and one woman" and claimed "our liberties, which have made us great,
are now destroying us." The closing speaker, Rep. Allen West, told a
cheering crowd that "if you break down the American family, that leads
to government dependency." ("Keynoter Allen West at CPAC: unhesitating
in opposition to abortion and gay marriage," tweeted Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association. "Smoke that, GOProud!")
And while Ann Coulter told the CPAC crowd that she was a big "friend of
the gays," she claimed to have convinced GOProud to drop gay marriage,
and said liberals "just made up this gay marriage thing" as part of
their plot to "destroy the family."
"I realize that our Libertarian friends are both feeling their oats," said Mark Noonan
at Blogs for Victory, "But mark this fact and never forget it -
libertarianism cannot survive in a non-Christian civilization and
Christian civilization will not have - cannot have - gay marriage and
abortion (along with a score or so other things, but those two are most
And what did GOProud get for their good behavior? Well, the incoming head of the sponsoring group, Al Cardenas, said "it's going to be difficult to continue the relationship" with GOProud because of Barron's harsh words for the people who didn't want him at CPAC in the first place.
at Hot Air thought that was only reasonable. "Although I support
GOProud," he said, "I admit to cringing a bit at Chris Barron goofing on
"Don't GoProud, Just Go Away," wrote Dan Riehl.
"I've been mostly supportive of GoProud in the past," he claimed, but
"this is more about character and lack of judgment for me, than it is
about sexual preference... how can an ass like this purport to front for
a group craving tolerance? I'm not buying it..." Naturally he added,
"This is a shame, really. I bear no ill will, political, or otherwise,
for any gay male, or female conservative and believe all should be
welcome at CPAC and within the movement as a whole."
Guess next year they'll have to find a gay group that doesn't promote
gay marriage, make too much of a fuss, or fight back when attacked. Any