We've seen how various conservative groups such as the Heritage Foundation have withdrawn from this week's annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) due to the participation of GOProud, a gay conservative organization whose quest for freedom from governmental discrimination, lower taxes, and less regulation proves they are in fact for a stalking horse for a nonstop Village People reunion tour.
And we've seen how other conservatives have pooh-poohed CPAC's inclusion of rock-ribbed, motorcycle-ridin' pols like Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-Ind.) because the head Hoosier has called for a truce in various social wars.
And now, with a tip of the hat to self-described softcore libertarian Nathan Wurtzel, we learn of the final pincer-like movement against CPAC: the insidious "influence of radical Islam over the organization that puts CPAC together, the American Conservative Union’s (ACU) board of directors."
So writes Red State's Ben Howe, who continues:
Unfortunately, it has become apparent that there are Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers, apologists, and fundamentalists sponsoring and speaking at the conference this weekend.
At 1:00 pm on Friday in the Jackson Room, there will be a panel discussion called The Importance of Faith & Religious Liberty in the U.S. & Abroad. It is sponsored by a group called Muslims for America which was founded by the Hasan Family Foundation and runs a blog at muslimsforamerica.us.
Muslims For America supported the building of the "Ground Zero mosque" on the hallowed grounds of a shuttered Burlington Coat Factory (remember, kids, it's not just coats: It's also burkas, hijabs, and phony designer-label items) and has managed to hoodwink none other than Americans for Tax Reform's Grover Norquist, once a widely hailed leader of the vaunted "Leave Us Alone Coalition," and now just another tool of Osama bin Laden's mincing, curly-cue-toed slipper-wearing operatives. Howe quotes columnist Don Feder's lengthy, must-read indictment of the "anti-tax activist":
In an open letter to Republicans last fall, Norquist warned that by opposing the 9/11 Mosque of Triumph, the GOP was “alienating millions of Arab American and Muslim American voters who believe, as we do, in the principles of our party – individual liberty, traditional values and the rule of law.” And the 70% of voters who oppose the mosque – most who actually vote Republican (unlike the 89% of of Muslim Americans who voted for Obama in 2008)? Racists whose views should be dismissed out of hand, in the GOP strategist’s estimation. Republicans would do better taking advice from James Carville.
Feder notes that loving Muslims isn't Norquist's only non-conservative bias:
When even John McCain claimed he’d given up on amnesty, last year, Norquist pushed Obama’s latest open-borders boondoggle. When asked by the "New Yorker" why prominent conservatives like Phyllis Schlafly opposed the measure, Norquist sneered, “I think Phyllis’s theory is; Foreigners suck.” In keeping with this crude smear, one could say the reason he opposes welfare spending is because Grover thinks poor people suck.
Norquist believes the War on Terror shouldn’t interfere with group sensitivity or civil-liberties fetishism. He opposes the use of secret evidence in terror trials, favors closing GITMO and has endorsed Manhattan trials for those accused of involvement in the mass murder of Americans.
Red State's Howe grants that Muslims per se shouldn't be barred from attending CPAC.
It is not their religion that should give one pause. Whether it was Christians, Jews, atheists, or satanists, the concern stems from the undeniable affiliation with groups determined to annihilate our nation.... Make no mistake: There is a huge portion of Islam, some fear all of Islam, that wishes to subjugate the west and supplant our way of life with theirs. Some do it from the barrel of a gun. Some do it from the Mosque. Some do it from within.
And as Glenn Frey warned us in the obscure and long-forgotten "Party Town," which we can only see now as a Cassandra-like warning against Islamic insidiousness, some "even do it out in the hall."
If Norquist should be criticized for anything, it's not his willingness to uphold "conservative" verities against an overreaching state, but his willingness to expend time and energy naming something after Ronald Reagan in every county in the country, which is bound to cost more in tax dollars than it will save by reminding Americans of the president who pioneered the modern approach to deficit spending.
Here's something that the Jim Demints, Jim Jordans, Heritage Foundationers, Brent Bozells, etc. of the right ought to spend some time thinking about while staying gay-free this weekend as CPAC unveils its glory-hole-worthy lineup of conservatives and libertarians such as Ann Coulter, Andrew Breitbart, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Gary Johnson, and more:
According to the Harris Poll, which has been tracking "political philosophy" among voting-age Americans since the early 1970s, many more of us define ourselves as conservative rather than liberal. On average through the 2000s, for instance, just 19 percent call themselves liberal while a full 35 percent say they are conservative. So why isn't the party of conservatives, the GOP, always cleaning up at the ballot box?
I suggest it's because the sort of waste of oxygen documented above - noxious silliness that is clearly at odds with the small-government principles conservatives supposedly care about above everything - alienates the moderates who have long made up a plurality of the electorate. In the 2000s, self-described moderates made up 40 percent of adults. The GOP talks a long game about getting the government out of people's lives and letting markets, not mandates, decide how most things in our lives should go. They're gung-ho about getting the feds and other pols outta the boardroom, a view that resonates quite strongly with most Americans' sensibilities. But then the insistence on a plain-vanilla world when it comes to sexual identity, living arrangements, immigration, and more, is ugly in the extreme.
Back in 1975, in a great Reason interview, St. Ronald Reagan said "I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism," and then went on to describe all the ways he disagreed with the "desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom" which "is a pretty general description...of libertarianism." If the GOP and conservatives want to "win the future" (and remember kids, as Sarah Palin pointed out, you can't spell win the future without WTF!), they'd best start channeling their inner libertarian. Because that's the way the world is going and there's going to be diminishing returns in bashing gays, culture-war peacemakers, and folks who are a shade or two duskier than Antonin Scalia.