Yes, once again the annual “Conservative Woodstock” is underway in Washington, DC. Only this time there’s even less peace and love than usual.
You may recall that last year the organizers of the Conservative Political Action Conference took some flack for allowing the gay Republican group GOProud to participate– and some social-conservative groups withdrew in protest.
Well, none of that soft-headed inclusiveness this year– at least when it comes to organized gays. CPAC’s sponsor, the American Conservative Union, banned GOProud from participating in the 2012 conference. (In what I suppose was an effort at balance, they also banned the wacko John Birch Society, although I fail to see any equivalence.)
You may also remember that Frank Gaffney, a veteran of the Reagan administration, charged last year that CPAC had come under the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood.
That brouhaha seems to have been smoothed over, since Gaffney spoke at a CPAC session on Thursday sponsored by his Center for Security Policy, on the alleged disarming of America. However Gaffney’s arch-enemies, alleged MB enabler Grover Norquist and alleged MB agent Suhail Khan, also participated in CPAC sessions– as did our old acquaintances Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, who confronted Khan at the conference today.
The Southern Poverty Law Center reports on some of the far-right race-baiters, gay-haters and nonwhite-immigrant-bashers participating in CPAC sessions. One of them, Peter Brimelow, is the founder of VDARE.com– which features, among other haters, the antisemitic Kevin MacDonald.
None of this was enough to scare away former and current candidates for the Republican presidential nomination– including the desperately shape-shifting Mitt Romney, who proclaimed that he was a “severely conservative” governor of Massachusetts. (I think the health care plan he helped enact in Massachusetts– a model for President Obama’s plan– is fairly conservative, but Romney’s fellow severe conservatives may disagree.)
If you can’t be at CPAC in person, Talking Points Memo has put together a couple of highlight reels for your viewing pleasure:
Update: Little Green Footballs has more appalling stuff from CPAC.
(Hat tip: Josh Scholar)
Further update: If anyone wants to see prime examples of Obama Derangement Syndrome, check out some of the comments below.