by Don Feder, GrassTopsUSA.com
The trouble with CPAC (the annual Conservative Political Action Conference) can be summed up in six words – gays, Grover, knee-jerk libertarianism, and Islamist connections.
What started in 1973 as a modest meet-and-eat for insiders and the faithful has evolved into an extravaganza – 130 co-sponsors and exhibitors this year, marquee speakers (Newt Gingrich, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and Ann Coulter among them), and an expected turnout of 10,000, heavily weighted towards conservatives in their 20s and 30s.
But all won’t be Ronnie and Rush when CPAC opens on February 10 at a D.C. Marriott. Panels will include “Traditional Marriage and Society.” At the same time, CPAC will provide a forum for those who think marriage is two men and a kumquat.
For conservatives who understand that conservatism is about more than the Laffer Curve and Obama’s birth certificate, a group of allegedly conservative homosexuals has become a dinosaur bone of contention.
For the third year in a row, GOProud will be a participating organization at CPAC. It opposes the Federal Marriage Amendment and favors repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which would allow the federal judiciary to impose gay “marriage” on the nation, negating the will of voters in 30 states who have passed their own marriage-protection amendments.
GOPoof also worked for the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, facilitating military service by individuals who (according to the Centers for Disease Control) are 44 times more likely to be HIV-carriers than their “breeder” counterparts. Webmaster Andrew Breitbart thinks this is so skippy that he’s throwing a CPAC party for those of the fern-bar persuasion – Come Dance Leviticus Away!
GOProud’s presence has, at least in part, led to a boycott by many A-List conservative groups and leaders, including Family Research Council, the Heritage Foundation, American Family Association, Gov. Mike Huckabee, Sen. Jim DeMint and Sean Hannity.
David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union (which sponsors CPAC) offers a lobbyist’s spin on alternative lifestyles at the increasingly un-conservative conference. “We try to give an umbrella for all groups that are legitimately conservative on most issues,” Keene explained to The New York Times, as reported on January 27.
“Legitimately conservative on most issues,” doesn’t mean CPAC will compromise on things that really matter. “If you’re for socializing the country or stripping our national defense, you’re probably not a conservative,” Keene cautioned.
In other words, economics, not morality, is the bench mark of conservatism. No to confiscatory taxation, yes to undermining the one social institution that makes capitalism possible – the family. No to slashing defense spending; yes to attacking the natural family, which gives young men something to fight for – besides enterprise zones and marginal tax rates.
In the same story, Keene explained that, as the Times put it, “He would not oppose participation (in CPAC) by a group that shared conservative views on free enterprise and defense but favored abortion rights.” Give us liberty and happiness. The life part is negotiable.
Keene, GOProud and CPAC not only deny the significance of the family but the transcendence of natural law. The nine most important words in the Declaration of Independence are “And endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…” Without God-based morality, what is conservatism but another ism – a grubby market-centered materialism which substitutes limited government for the class struggle in its dialectic.
Antonio Gramsci would have been tickled pink (or red) by the “conservatism” of Keene and Grover Norquist. An Italian Marxist who died in one of Mussolini’s prisons in the 1930s, Gramsci lived through the Bolshevik revolution and the aborted communist regimes in Central Europe.
The Marxist theorist was one of the first to ask why workers didn’t follow their class interests and shrug off their capitalist chains. He answered it was because they had been conditioned by family and church to accept the prevailing order. Thus, said the forerunner of Saul Alinsky, the revolution won’t triumph until these institutions are subverted, co-opted and eventually destroyed.
Enter Grover Norquist – Harvard MBA, founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform, friend of Newt and Rove, and one of the most powerful members of the ACU Board. If there was ever a mole, burrowing away at the core of the conservative movement, it’s the diminutive, bearded Bay State native.
I met Grover in 1977, when we both were part of the anti-tax movement. For almost 25 years, we were friends and colleagues. That’s when his libertarian gene was recessive and he still had most of his brain intact. Today, Norquist is a one-man fifth column, working to deconstruct the movement with which he’s ostensibly aligned.
If there was an MVP for political power players, Norquist would be the equivalent of a Heisman Trophy winner. His Wednesday Center/Right Coalition networking meetings are the rendezvous of choice for DC conservatives with a cause to sell. CPAC planning meetings are held at his offices.
The ATR honcho is an impresario of gay Republicans, supporter of drug legalization and amnesty, critic of the war on terrorism and facilitator of Islamist infiltration of the Right.
In a September 21, 2010, commentary posted on FoxNews.com Norquist warned that, despite promising portents, Republicans could still lose the last election if we were beguiled by “shiny things” – fads that distract us from issues which really count.
He offered two examples – Arizona’s new immigration law and the Ground Zero Mosque (quite coincidentally, Norquist opposes the first and supports the second). “Arizona’s immigration law would distract attention from federal spending,” the open-borders, uber libertarian counseled – never mind the billions that illegal immigration costs Washington and the states annually.
Grover’s message is Taxes-Taxes-Taxes, Spending-Spending-Spending – and don’t be diverted by the illegals pouring over our broken border, the jihadists undermining our republic with Sharia, or the gay lobby taking a sledgehammer to society’s foundation.
If Norquist had his way, the conservative movement would look like a pot party at a bathhouse, located next to an Islamic cultural center.
Norquist is a member of GOProud’s advisory council. In 2005, he was the keynote speaker at a fundraiser for the Dallas Log Cabin Club. Part of the money raised went to an unsuccessful campaign against a pending marriage-protection amendment to the Texas constitution. He’s also speaking at the Log Cabin Republicans (GOProud is an offshoot) National Convention, which opens on April 28, putting him in danger of being mistaken for Nathan Lane’s older brother in a burka.
In 2005, presumably through Grover’s influence, the Soros-funded Drug Policy Alliance was a CPAC co-sponsor.
In April of that year, Soros addressed Norquist’s Center/Right Coalition. When asked why he’d invite the most dangerous man on the left to one his meetings, Norquist said he was hoping to find “common ground” with the billionaire bolshie – translation: Soros’s money for one of his myriad organizations.
According to a Jan. 28, 2006, article by Fred Gardner on Alexander Cockburn’s Counterpunch (“Grover Norquist, Drug Policy Reformer”): “Trustworthy sources say that Norquist and Soros met in New York subsequent to Soros’s appearance at the Wednesday brownbag. Norquist was seeking $20 million to drum up rightwing support for drug legalization.” With Grover, ideology and business interests often coincide.
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.
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 percent of voters who oppose the mosque – most who actually vote Republican (unlike the 89 percent 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.
One of those Muslim Americans who cherishes the aforesaid Republican principles is Abduirahman Alamoudi – presently serving a 23-year sentence for fundraising for foreign terrorist groups, including the Libyans.
In 1998, Alamoudi helped to launch Norquist’s Islamic Free Market Institute, once a regular presence at CPAC, with gifts and loans totaling $20,000.
But that wasn’t the anti-tax activist’s only experience with jihadist money men.
In The American Thinker, Pam Geller writes: “Norquist was an honoree at an event held by Sami Al-Arian’s National Council to Protect Political Freedom in July 2001, two months before 9/11. The award was for being a ‘champion of the abolishment movement against secret evidence.’ In 2006, Al-Arian pleaded guilty (to) ‘conspiracy to make or receive contributions of funds to or for the benefit of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.’” – which makes Hamas look like Nathan Lane in a burka.
For those who question the glaringly obvious connections between orthodox Islam and terrorism, Norquist has a ready reply – racism. (He’s perfected the Al-Sharpton quick-draw technique.)
Suhail Khan, who Norquist helped to put on the ACU Board, also has colorful ties.
According to the Discover the Networks website, the Norquist protégée “has repeatedly been a featured speaker at MSA, ISNA and CAIR (the Muslim Students Association, Islamic Society of North America and Council on American Islamic Relations) events, all linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.” In 2001, Khan also received an award from Islamic-Republican Alamoudi, who referred to him as “a dear brother.”
Khan learned from the master how to handle skeptics of Islamic wonderfulness.
Appearing on MSNBC with Rachel Maddow in 2009, Khan charged that some in the media were using the Fort Hood massacre (13 dead, dozens wounded) to incite anti-Muslim bigotry and were “exploiting a tragedy for a very ugly and bigoted (sic.) means.”
Soldiers are shot and killed in cold-blood by a devout Muslim, who worshiped at a radical mosque, had ties to a militant imam in Yemen, distributed copies of the Koran before the shootings and shouted “Allahu Akabar” during the bloodbath, and those who point out the obvious are “exploiting a tragedy for very ugly and bigoted means.”
If you attend CPAC 2011, you’ll probably find Khan hanging out at the Muslims for America/Hasan Family Foundation exhibit.
This is what the Conservative Political Action Conference has become – gay Republicans and Muslim-apologists-for-really-bad-stuff tap-dancing to the Cole Porter tune “Anything Goes.” The question is: Would Ronald Reagan, who spoke at CPAC in 1977, be comfortable there today?
Reagan, who spoke of conservatism’s interdependent three-legged stool (economic, social and national security), Reagan who forthrightly confronted America’s enemies – and called the Soviet empire “evil. Reagan who understood that, ultimately, both conservatism and America are guided by a higher power: “Without God, there is no virtue, because there’s no prompting of conscience. Without God, we’re mired in the material, that flat world that tells only what the senses perceive. Without God, there is a coarsening of the society. And without God, democracy will not and cannot endure.”
At CPAC 2011, they’ll be celebrating the 100th. anniversary of the Gipper’s birth without any real understanding of the man, and while serving other gods.