CPAC

Erickson Wants Conservative Movement to Abandon Norquist Over CPAC

While the Conservative Political Action Conference may be over, the controversy over the gathering’s handling continues. RedState Editor-in-Chief and CNN commentator Erick Erickson first criticized GOProud, the gay conservative group whose involvement in CPAC sparked a Religious Right boycott, for attacking prominent right-wing leaders. Now, Erickson is going after Grover Norquist, the head of Americans for Tax Reform and a GOProud adviser who knocked CPAC boycotters as “loser organizations.”

Norquist has long been a target of far-right groups for his outreach to Muslim Americans and gays and lesbians, and Erickson believes that his fellow conservatives should abandon and replace the Norquist-led ATR and Wednesday Meetings over his role in the CPAC controversy:

Are you a loser? If you are the Heritage Foundation, Media Research Center, Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, the American Principles Project, Jim DeMint, Jim Jordan, Rush Limbaugh (given his comments yesterday on CPAC), and others — you are losers.

Grover Norquist says so. Norquist, last week, called those who chose not to participate in CPAC and those who share those views “losers.”



The source of Grover Norquist’s power comes from two things: (1) Americans for Tax Reform’s Tax Pledge, which could easily be duplicated by an organization not headed by someone who picked up checks written by a man serving 23 years in jail for financing jihad activities; and (2) the Wednesday morning meeting in which tons of conservative groups participate.

(By the way, did Grover ever give that money back or send it to a charitable cause?)

For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, Grover Norquist has an off the record meeting every Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. in which candidates come to pitch themselves, conservative organizations come to promote their wares, and even Al Gore and George Soros have come to.

It’s become a “see and be seen” sort of meeting and information exchange. Mitch McConnell typically sends someone. The House Republicans send someone. Etc., Etc., Etc.

Grover Norquist’s latest remarks, both regarding principaled [sic] social conservatives and Congressman West, are deeply troubling. If you aren’t troubled yet, google Jack Abramoff Grover Norquist.

I suggest a new Wednesday morning meeting of conservatives — one that combines the fiscal conservative organizations that constantly see their legs cut out from under them when Grover sides with UPS and the unions against FedEx, the national security organizations that continue to be concerned about Grover Norquist’s ties to possible jihadists, and the social conservative organizations Grover Norquist would like to purge from the movement.

Make it the place to plan and strategize within the conservative movement — something that does not really happen any more at Grover’s place. Make it the first step to taking back the conservative movement and moving away from the pay to play concerns that have so plagued the few, but taint so many.

It is time. Losers Unite!

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 2/15/11

Michele Bachmann

New Hampshire: Announces intention to visit New Hampshire at CPAC (Minnesota Independent, 2/14).

CPAC: Uses faulty tax math at her CPAC speech (WaPo, 2/11).

Health Care: Says that repealing reform law is “the driving motivation of my life” (RWW, 2/10).

Haley Barbour

Immigration: Lobbied for Mexico to support the extension of an “amnesty” program (Salon, 2/14).

Lobbying: Politico looks into conflicts of interest as Governor after lobbying for tobacco industry (Politico, 2/14).

Iowa: Plans to address a Republican fundraiser in Iowa on March 15 (The Note, 2/14).

Mitch Daniels

Tea Party: Rush Limbaugh thinks Daniels is trying “to discredit talk radio and the tea party movement” (Politico, 2/14).

CPAC: Speech on debt receives rave reviews from pundits, but Daniels wins just four percent of straw poll votes (Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, 2/14).

Education: Pushes dramatic school vouchers bill despite cuts to public education (Evansville Courier & Press, 2/13).

Jon Huntsman

Utah: The former Utah governor trails Romney among state’s Republicans (Desert News, 2/12).

2012: Hires staff for his leadership PAC (Politico, 2/11).

Mike Huckabee

Religious Right: Criticizes GOProud during CPAC controversy (GOP12, 2/11).

Poll: Leading Republican choice on who would make a good president (The Atlantic, 2/11).

Sarah Palin

Poll: Struggles in polls of early primary states (Politico, 2/14).

Budget: Uses phony data to critique Obama’s proposed budget (CBS News, 2/14).

PAC: Hires chief of staff for leadership PAC (CNN, 2/11).

Tim Pawlenty

Religious Right: Plans to attend Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition meeting in Iowa in March (Iowa Independent, 2/14).

Florida: Set to address Florida’s Republican state legislators (Florida Times Union, 2/11).

CPAC: Attacks President Obama as weak in CPAC speech (RWW, 2/11).

Mitt Romney

New Hampshire: Has support of 40% of New Hampshire GOP primary voters in WMUR Granite State poll (WMUR, 2/14).

Nevada: Meets with supporters in the early caucus state (LVRJ, 2/14).

Health Care: Massachusetts reform law continues to haunt Romney among conservatives (The Plum Line, 2/14).

Rick Santorum

Religious Right: Plans to attend Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition meeting in Iowa in March (Iowa Independent, 2/14).

Palin: Runs away from criticizing Palin after she calls him a “Neanderthal” (PoliticalWire, 2/10).

CPAC: Criticizes judiciary and defends social conservatism at CPAC (RWW, 2/10).

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 2/15/11

Michele Bachmann

New Hampshire: Announces intention to visit New Hampshire at CPAC (Minnesota Independent, 2/14).

CPAC: Uses faulty tax math at her CPAC speech (WaPo, 2/11).

Health Care: Says that repealing reform law is “the driving motivation of my life” (RWW, 2/10).

Haley Barbour

Immigration: Lobbied for Mexico to support the extension of an “amnesty” program (Salon, 2/14).

Lobbying: Politico looks into conflicts of interest as Governor after lobbying for tobacco industry (Politico, 2/14).

Iowa: Plans to address a Republican fundraiser in Iowa on March 15 (The Note, 2/14).

Mitch Daniels

Tea Party: Rush Limbaugh thinks Daniels is trying “to discredit talk radio and the tea party movement” (Politico, 2/14).

CPAC: Speech on debt receives rave reviews from pundits, but Daniels wins just four percent of straw poll votes (Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, 2/14).

Education: Pushes dramatic school vouchers bill despite cuts to public education (Evansville Courier & Press, 2/13).

Jon Huntsman

Utah: The former Utah governor trails Romney among state’s Republicans (Desert News, 2/12).

2012: Hires staff for his leadership PAC (Politico, 2/11).

Mike Huckabee

Religious Right: Criticizes GOProud during CPAC controversy (GOP12, 2/11).

Poll: Leading Republican choice on who would make a good president (The Atlantic, 2/11).

Sarah Palin

Poll: Struggles in polls of early primary states (Politico, 2/14).

Budget: Uses phony data to critique Obama’s proposed budget (CBS News, 2/14).

PAC: Hires chief of staff for leadership PAC (CNN, 2/11).

Tim Pawlenty

Religious Right: Plans to attend Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition meeting in Iowa in March (Iowa Independent, 2/14).

Florida: Set to address Florida’s Republican state legislators (Florida Times Union, 2/11).

CPAC: Attacks President Obama as weak in CPAC speech (RWW, 2/11).

Mitt Romney

New Hampshire: Has support of 40% of New Hampshire GOP primary voters in WMUR Granite State poll (WMUR, 2/14).

Nevada: Meets with supporters in the early caucus state (LVRJ, 2/14).

Health Care: Massachusetts reform law continues to haunt Romney among conservatives (The Plum Line, 2/14).

Rick Santorum

Religious Right: Plans to attend Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition meeting in Iowa in March (Iowa Independent, 2/14).

Palin: Runs away from criticizing Palin after she calls him a “Neanderthal” (PoliticalWire, 2/10).

CPAC: Criticizes judiciary and defends social conservatism at CPAC (RWW, 2/10).

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Ron Paul wins the CPAC straw poll and then gets booted off the board of the Young Americans for Freedom.
  • John Boehner takes a bold stance regarding the Birthers: "It's not my job to tell the American people what to think."
  • Live Action, Susan B Anthony List, 40 Days for Life, Students for Life of America, Concerned Women for America, and the Family Research Council joined together for a protest against Planned Parenthood today.
  • Richard Land, Mat Staver, Elaine Donnelly, Gary Bauer, Penny Nance, Tom McClusky, and Tom Minnery continue to press Republicans to stop the repeal of DADT.
  • Bryan Fischer is apparently immune to irony as he blasts GOProud for being "bigoted" against social conservatives.
  • Finally, what is the difference between Fox News and WorldNetDaily? Nothing.

GOProud's Barron Has No Intention of Apologizing to Tony Perkins or Jim DeMint

In an article last week about the conflict at CPAC over the inclusion of the gay conservative group GOProud and the subsequent boycott by various Religious Right leaders and organizations, GOProud's Chris Barron called ACU board member Cleta Mitchell "a nasty bigot" for opposing the organization's participation.

In a piece on FrumForum the very next day, Barron apologized for the remark, apparently in response to news that incoming ACU Chairman Al Cardenas was reconsidering GOProud's continued participation in the conference.

On Friday, Alan Colmes had Barron on his radio program to discuss the controversy and asked him why he had apologized to Mitchell but not Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, whom he called "a nasty, anti-gay bigot," or to Sen. Jim DeMint, Joseph Farah, or Concerned Women for America, whom he accused of living on "the Island of Political Misfit Toys. " And Barron made clear that he had no intention of apologizing to Perkins or anyone else who participated in the boycott, including DeMint, claiming they had all chosen to side with the crazy, conspiracy theorists over at WorldNetDaily rather than stand with the conservatives at CPAC:

GOProud's Barron Has No Intention of Apologizing to Tony Perkins or Jim DeMint

In an article last week about the conflict at CPAC over the inclusion of the gay conservative group GOProud and the subsequent boycott by various Religious Right leaders and organizations, GOProud's Chris Barron called ACU board member Cleta Mitchell "a nasty bigot" for opposing the organization's participation.

In a piece on FrumForum the very next day, Barron apologized for the remark, apparently in response to news that incoming ACU Chairman Al Cardenas was reconsidering GOProud's continued participation in the conference.

On Friday, Alan Colmes had Barron on his radio program to discuss the controversy and asked him why he had apologized to Mitchell but not Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, whom he called "a nasty, anti-gay bigot," or to Sen. Jim DeMint, Joseph Farah, or Concerned Women for America, whom he accused of living on "the Island of Political Misfit Toys. " And Barron made clear that he had no intention of apologizing to Perkins or anyone else who participated in the boycott, including DeMint, claiming they had all chosen to side with the crazy, conspiracy theorists over at WorldNetDaily rather than stand with the conservatives at CPAC:

CPAC Anti-Choice Panel Pledges to "Drive" GOP's Agenda

CPAC’s anti-abortion rights panel “The Pro-Life Movement: Plans and Goals” was galvanized over the election of a Republican-led House, believing that the GOP leadership was committed to passing anti-choice legislation.

Hosted by Tim Goeglein, the head of Focus on the Family’s policy arm CitizenLink and a former Bush Administration staffer, the panel focused on attacking the health care reform law, Planned Parenthood, and Republicans who aren’t categorically anti-choice.

According to Goeglein, “the pro-life movement is becoming younger,” and the panel featured young leaders like Anna Franzonello of Americans United for Life, Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life, and activist Erin DeLullo.

Goeglein tried to balance his belief that the anti-choice movement was gaining support and energy with his fear that social conservatives may devolve into political obscurity and lose their place in the broader right-wing coalition. He said that smear-artist Lila Rose represents a “new generation” of the movement, but also anxiously insisted that the “pro-life and pro-traditional marriage” positions must “remain central to the conservative movement.”

DeLullo made the case that the anti-choice community needs to quickly mobilize against Republicans like Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels who proposed a “truce” on social issues. She maintained that the Club for Growth, a pro-corporate group best known for funding primary opponents against more moderate Republican incumbents, should serve as a model for a “permanent political organization” that is “dedicated fulltime to make sure the ‘anti-life’ vote is as suicidal as a vote to raise taxes.” “The right to life cannot be put on the backburner,” DeLullo said, arguing that the group must act now to stop “‘trucers’ like Mitch Daniels.” Of course, there are already a plethora of social conservative political action committees, but maybe DeLullo was making a plug for her own firm.

AUL’s Franzonello claimed that “abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women,” and discussed her vehement opposition to emergency contraception and legal exceptions for cases of rape and incest. She also floated the “death panel” conspiracy theory about health care reform, saying that the law jeopardizes the lives of “elderly and disabled persons,” along with pushing the debunked claim that it promotes taxpayer-subsidized abortions.

Later, Hawkins of Students for Life, a self-declared “abortion abolitionist,” discussed ways anti-choice groups can drive the conservative movement. She noted that while young voters tend to generally hold liberal and Democratic-leaning views, they tend to be more opposed to reproductive rights than prior generations. The abortion issue, Hawkins argued, gives right-wing organizations an opening among young voters. Hawkins said that young voters are increasingly opposed to legal abortion because “Planned Parenthood nearly snuffed us out of existence,” and then allegedly tried to coerce young women on college campuses to have abortions.

Hawkins lavished praise on “prayer warriors” and Lila Rose, calling her “a modern day muckraker” who will “go down in history” for her role smearing Planned Parenthood. She said that young anti-choice activists should embrace Rose’s tactics in order to get the attention of Republican politicians and Fox News, saying, “We can drive their agenda.”

CPAC Anti-Choice Panel Pledges to "Drive" GOP's Agenda

CPAC’s anti-abortion rights panel “The Pro-Life Movement: Plans and Goals” was galvanized over the election of a Republican-led House, believing that the GOP leadership was committed to passing anti-choice legislation.

Hosted by Tim Goeglein, the head of Focus on the Family’s policy arm CitizenLink and a former Bush Administration staffer, the panel focused on attacking the health care reform law, Planned Parenthood, and Republicans who aren’t categorically anti-choice.

According to Goeglein, “the pro-life movement is becoming younger,” and the panel featured young leaders like Anna Franzonello of Americans United for Life, Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life, and activist Erin DeLullo.

Goeglein tried to balance his belief that the anti-choice movement was gaining support and energy with his fear that social conservatives may devolve into political obscurity and lose their place in the broader right-wing coalition. He said that smear-artist Lila Rose represents a “new generation” of the movement, but also anxiously insisted that the “pro-life and pro-traditional marriage” positions must “remain central to the conservative movement.”

DeLullo made the case that the anti-choice community needs to quickly mobilize against Republicans like Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels who proposed a “truce” on social issues. She maintained that the Club for Growth, a pro-corporate group best known for funding primary opponents against more moderate Republican incumbents, should serve as a model for a “permanent political organization” that is “dedicated fulltime to make sure the ‘anti-life’ vote is as suicidal as a vote to raise taxes.” “The right to life cannot be put on the backburner,” DeLullo said, arguing that the group must act now to stop “‘trucers’ like Mitch Daniels.” Of course, there are already a plethora of social conservative political action committees, but maybe DeLullo was making a plug for her own firm.

AUL’s Franzonello claimed that “abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women,” and discussed her vehement opposition to emergency contraception and legal exceptions for cases of rape and incest. She also floated the “death panel” conspiracy theory about health care reform, saying that the law jeopardizes the lives of “elderly and disabled persons,” along with pushing the debunked claim that it promotes taxpayer-subsidized abortions.

Later, Hawkins of Students for Life, a self-declared “abortion abolitionist,” discussed ways anti-choice groups can drive the conservative movement. She noted that while young voters tend to generally hold liberal and Democratic-leaning views, they tend to be more opposed to reproductive rights than prior generations. The abortion issue, Hawkins argued, gives right-wing organizations an opening among young voters. Hawkins said that young voters are increasingly opposed to legal abortion because “Planned Parenthood nearly snuffed us out of existence,” and then allegedly tried to coerce young women on college campuses to have abortions.

Hawkins lavished praise on “prayer warriors” and Lila Rose, calling her “a modern day muckraker” who will “go down in history” for her role smearing Planned Parenthood. She said that young anti-choice activists should embrace Rose’s tactics in order to get the attention of Republican politicians and Fox News, saying, “We can drive their agenda.”

CPAC: Unions are ‘Enemies’ that are ‘Bleeding America Dry’

At a Saturday CPAC panel attacking public sector unions, the crowd cheered the news that the new Governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, has set out to destroy public sector unions by moving to strip employees of collective bargaining rights.

Steve Malanga, an author affiliated with the right-wing Manhattan Institute, expanded the target list to include union allies -- community organizers and social service advocates who he decried as part of the “big government coalition.”
 
Tom McCabe from the Building Industry Association of Washington warned of the dangerous consequences of taking on unions and complained that unions and their political allies resisted and retaliated when his association began working to elect conservative politicians.
 
Vincent Vernuccio of the Competitive Enterprise Institute was incensed by the fact that public sector unions – which he urged people to call “government sector unions” – were actively engaged in the last election on behalf of their members. About the unions’ spending, he raged, “It’s the taxpayers’ money and you have no right to spend it to bloat state and federal budgets.”
 
Donald Devine seemed to spend most of his time recounting his glory days in the union-bashing Reagan administration. He reveled in the firing of the air traffic controllers, and said of unions and their supporters in business and academia, “We know who the enemy is – what we need in so much of public life is courage.” He urged CPAC attendees to give lawmakers courage to take on unions.
 
In a separate presentation on "Government Gone Wild," panelists complained about government spending and celebrated New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for "conducting a national seminar on how to beat the unions and the liberals."
 

CPAC: Unions are ‘Enemies’ that are ‘Bleeding America Dry’

At a Saturday CPAC panel attacking public sector unions, the crowd cheered the news that the new Governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, has set out to destroy public sector unions by moving to strip employees of collective bargaining rights.

Steve Malanga, an author affiliated with the right-wing Manhattan Institute, expanded the target list to include union allies -- community organizers and social service advocates who he decried as part of the “big government coalition.”
 
Tom McCabe from the Building Industry Association of Washington warned of the dangerous consequences of taking on unions and complained that unions and their political allies resisted and retaliated when his association began working to elect conservative politicians.
 
Vincent Vernuccio of the Competitive Enterprise Institute was incensed by the fact that public sector unions – which he urged people to call “government sector unions” – were actively engaged in the last election on behalf of their members. About the unions’ spending, he raged, “It’s the taxpayers’ money and you have no right to spend it to bloat state and federal budgets.”
 
Donald Devine seemed to spend most of his time recounting his glory days in the union-bashing Reagan administration. He reveled in the firing of the air traffic controllers, and said of unions and their supporters in business and academia, “We know who the enemy is – what we need in so much of public life is courage.” He urged CPAC attendees to give lawmakers courage to take on unions.
 
In a separate presentation on "Government Gone Wild," panelists complained about government spending and celebrated New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for "conducting a national seminar on how to beat the unions and the liberals."
 

CPAC Immigration Panel: Readying the Fight to Save the GOP and White America

If there is one message to take away from CPAC’s panel on immigration, it’s that White America is in serious jeopardy and may soon succumb to immigration, multiculturalism, and socialism. The panel “Will Immigration Kill the GOP?” featured former congressmen Tom Tancredo (R-CO) and Virgil Goode (R-VA), Bay Buchanan of Team America PAC, and special guest Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA). The group Youth for Western Civilization sponsored the panel, and its head Kevin DeAnna was also a panelist. Youth for Western Civilization is a far-right group that regularly criticizes affinity groups on college campuses, especially those that represent black, Hispanic, LGBT, Native American, and Muslim students.

Tancredo, a star among anti-immigrant activists, started the event by claiming that he wasn’t bigoted against Latinos and that the majority of Hispanic Americans support him and favor Arizona’s draconian SB-1070 law. “I have a lot of people who have Hispanic last names who support me,” Tancredo told the jam-packed room, “I speak for most Americans.” The former congressman, who in 2010 received just 37% of the vote in his bid for governor of Colorado, claimed that the GOP should embrace his nativist politics because immigration is the “ultimate economic issue,” and even claimed that Hispanics supported him over his Democratic opponent, Governor John Hickenlooper.

Responding to a questioner who believed that Democrats would drop their support of immigration reform if immigrants were stripped of their right to vote, Tancredo said that even immigrants without voting rights still pose a grave danger to the country.

“No more of this multiculturalism garbage,” Tancredo said, adding that “the cult of multiculturalism has captured the world” and is “the dagger in the heart” of civilization.

Not to be out done, Goode maintained that immigration in general “will not only kill the GOP but will kill the United States of America.” He went on to say that Democratic politicians support undocumented immigration only in order to introduce “socialized medicine” and gain future voters. The Virginia firebrand maintained that the majority of Americans favor his fervently anti-immigrant views, and wanted every state to emulate Arizona’s SB-1070. He asked, “Who could really be against doing away with birthright citizenship?”

Both Tancredo and Goode agreed that U.S. citizens are now being treated unfairly as undocumented immigrants reap all the benefits of American society.

Tancredo claimed that undocumented immigrants “get better health care in detention centers than some of my constituents,” and Goode argued that “today, being a citizen means you’re second class.”

Later, Bay Buchanan said that Tancredo and his dogmatic Nativism represent a model increasingly followed by Republican politicians, including Sen. John McCain, once an advocate of reform, who she said became a “Tancredo disciple when he ran for reelection.” Buchanan also pointed to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s reelection to demonstrate that anti-immigrant politics can lead to Republican success at the polls, and said that every state should have a governor like Brewer.

DeAnna of Youth for Western Civilization gave a much darker outlook on the success of the Republican Party, and the country as a whole. He said that the “system is stacked against” the anti-immigrant movement, maintaining that an alliance of corporate and Republican elites is preventing the party from moving farther to the right on the issue of immigration. He warned of the rising tide of multiculturalism, especially among young people. “The Left gets power from multiculturalism,” DeAnna said, and “when you lose the culture you lose the policy too.”

He also argued that the GOP is “dead” in California because of the rising population of Latinos, and said that the Democratic Party and their allies in organized labor want further immigration to strengthen their electoral clout.

Rep. Lou Barletta was the final speaker before questions, and he discussed how he saved the city of Hazleton as mayor by cracking down on employers and landlords who do business with undocumented immigrants. “I stood up for the rule of law,” Barletta said, even though his anti-immigrant ordinance was declared unconstitutional. The congressman has a long history of partnering with Nativist groups, and he asked the audience to support him as he pledged to take his case to the Supreme Court.

But while many panelists like Tancredo and Buchanan began their speeches by saying that they were absolutely not bigoted or racist in any way, participants at the event asked many racially-tinged questions.

A questioner asked Goode how to “control immigration from the Islamic and Arab world,” and said that unless that happens there could be “more Keith Ellisons.” Ellison is a Democratic congressman from Minnesota who converted to Islam as an adult, and is not an immigrant, but Goode did write a letter to his constituents saying, “The Muslim Representative from Minnesota was elected by the voters of that district and if American citizens don't wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration, there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran.”

Another questioner discussed how astounded he was that “in the northeast, majority-Caucasian communities” tend to back “support ‘amnesty,’” or at least pro-reform politicians. He asked the panelists how he could turn more “Caucasian communities” against amnesty, and Buchanan assured him that even voters in Massachusetts oppose reform efforts like the DREAM Act.

One member of the audience wondered if Congress could “defund the National Council of La Raza,” a Latino civil rights group, which he said was “just like the Ku Klux Klan.” Goode appeared to agree, and demanded that Congress end the organization’s funding. Asking if “it’s possible that [American] society devolves into South Africa,” one questioner discussed the declining population rate of “European Americans” and floated the idea of ethnic groups living separately. While he directed the question towards Barletta, the congressman ignored the question.

Evidently, while the panel’s speakers see unrepentant Nativism and immigrant-bashing as the way for the GOP’s electoral success, it mainly appealed to the CPAC attendees who feared the demise of White America and the emergence of a more diverse population. All four panelists agreed that unless the Republican Party embraces their hard line anti-immigrant stance, the GOP will become inextricably weakened and the country will dissolve into multicultural dystopia.

Although the panelists all said that it wasn’t about race, it’s easy to see why many audience members thought it was.

CPAC Immigration Panel: Readying the Fight to Save the GOP and White America

If there is one message to take away from CPAC’s panel on immigration, it’s that White America is in serious jeopardy and may soon succumb to immigration, multiculturalism, and socialism. The panel “Will Immigration Kill the GOP?” featured former congressmen Tom Tancredo (R-CO) and Virgil Goode (R-VA), Bay Buchanan of Team America PAC, and special guest Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA). The group Youth for Western Civilization sponsored the panel, and its head Kevin DeAnna was also a panelist. Youth for Western Civilization is a far-right group that regularly criticizes affinity groups on college campuses, especially those that represent black, Hispanic, LGBT, Native American, and Muslim students.

Tancredo, a star among anti-immigrant activists, started the event by claiming that he wasn’t bigoted against Latinos and that the majority of Hispanic Americans support him and favor Arizona’s draconian SB-1070 law. “I have a lot of people who have Hispanic last names who support me,” Tancredo told the jam-packed room, “I speak for most Americans.” The former congressman, who in 2010 received just 37% of the vote in his bid for governor of Colorado, claimed that the GOP should embrace his nativist politics because immigration is the “ultimate economic issue,” and even claimed that Hispanics supported him over his Democratic opponent, Governor John Hickenlooper.

Responding to a questioner who believed that Democrats would drop their support of immigration reform if immigrants were stripped of their right to vote, Tancredo said that even immigrants without voting rights still pose a grave danger to the country.

“No more of this multiculturalism garbage,” Tancredo said, adding that “the cult of multiculturalism has captured the world” and is “the dagger in the heart” of civilization.

Not to be out done, Goode maintained that immigration in general “will not only kill the GOP but will kill the United States of America.” He went on to say that Democratic politicians support undocumented immigration only in order to introduce “socialized medicine” and gain future voters. The Virginia firebrand maintained that the majority of Americans favor his fervently anti-immigrant views, and wanted every state to emulate Arizona’s SB-1070. He asked, “Who could really be against doing away with birthright citizenship?”

Both Tancredo and Goode agreed that U.S. citizens are now being treated unfairly as undocumented immigrants reap all the benefits of American society.

Tancredo claimed that undocumented immigrants “get better health care in detention centers than some of my constituents,” and Goode argued that “today, being a citizen means you’re second class.”

Later, Bay Buchanan said that Tancredo and his dogmatic Nativism represent a model increasingly followed by Republican politicians, including Sen. John McCain, once an advocate of reform, who she said became a “Tancredo disciple when he ran for reelection.” Buchanan also pointed to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s reelection to demonstrate that anti-immigrant politics can lead to Republican success at the polls, and said that every state should have a governor like Brewer.

DeAnna of Youth for Western Civilization gave a much darker outlook on the success of the Republican Party, and the country as a whole. He said that the “system is stacked against” the anti-immigrant movement, maintaining that an alliance of corporate and Republican elites is preventing the party from moving farther to the right on the issue of immigration. He warned of the rising tide of multiculturalism, especially among young people. “The Left gets power from multiculturalism,” DeAnna said, and “when you lose the culture you lose the policy too.”

He also argued that the GOP is “dead” in California because of the rising population of Latinos, and said that the Democratic Party and their allies in organized labor want further immigration to strengthen their electoral clout.

Rep. Lou Barletta was the final speaker before questions, and he discussed how he saved the city of Hazleton as mayor by cracking down on employers and landlords who do business with undocumented immigrants. “I stood up for the rule of law,” Barletta said, even though his anti-immigrant ordinance was declared unconstitutional. The congressman has a long history of partnering with Nativist groups, and he asked the audience to support him as he pledged to take his case to the Supreme Court.

But while many panelists like Tancredo and Buchanan began their speeches by saying that they were absolutely not bigoted or racist in any way, participants at the event asked many racially-tinged questions.

A questioner asked Goode how to “control immigration from the Islamic and Arab world,” and said that unless that happens there could be “more Keith Ellisons.” Ellison is a Democratic congressman from Minnesota who converted to Islam as an adult, and is not an immigrant, but Goode did write a letter to his constituents saying, “The Muslim Representative from Minnesota was elected by the voters of that district and if American citizens don't wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration, there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran.”

Another questioner discussed how astounded he was that “in the northeast, majority-Caucasian communities” tend to back “support ‘amnesty,’” or at least pro-reform politicians. He asked the panelists how he could turn more “Caucasian communities” against amnesty, and Buchanan assured him that even voters in Massachusetts oppose reform efforts like the DREAM Act.

One member of the audience wondered if Congress could “defund the National Council of La Raza,” a Latino civil rights group, which he said was “just like the Ku Klux Klan.” Goode appeared to agree, and demanded that Congress end the organization’s funding. Asking if “it’s possible that [American] society devolves into South Africa,” one questioner discussed the declining population rate of “European Americans” and floated the idea of ethnic groups living separately. While he directed the question towards Barletta, the congressman ignored the question.

Evidently, while the panel’s speakers see unrepentant Nativism and immigrant-bashing as the way for the GOP’s electoral success, it mainly appealed to the CPAC attendees who feared the demise of White America and the emergence of a more diverse population. All four panelists agreed that unless the Republican Party embraces their hard line anti-immigrant stance, the GOP will become inextricably weakened and the country will dissolve into multicultural dystopia.

Although the panelists all said that it wasn’t about race, it’s easy to see why many audience members thought it was.

Herman Cain: "Stupid People Are Ruining America"

After two straight days of watching every speaker at CPAC, fringe presidential candidate Herman Cain became the first person to say something that I actually agreed with: "stupid people are ruining America."

But, it turned out, that he wasn't referring to the attendees at CPAC but rather "the liberals" who do nothing by lie because they want to "destroy America" and have three tactics for doing so which Cain calls "the S.I.N. tactics": shift the subject, ignore the facts, and name-call:

Herman Cain: "Stupid People Are Ruining America"

After two straight days of watching every speaker at CPAC, fringe presidential candidate Herman Cain became the first person to say something that I actually agreed with: "stupid people are ruining America."

But, it turned out, that he wasn't referring to the attendees at CPAC but rather "the liberals" who do nothing by lie because they want to "destroy America" and have three tactics for doing so which Cain calls "the S.I.N. tactics": shift the subject, ignore the facts, and name-call:

Meet The Newer, Tougher, CPAC-Version of Tim Pawlenty

One of the most entertaining things about watching CPAC every year is witnessing generally milquetoast Republicans show up and turn into right-wing bomb throwers in an attempt to prove the conservative bona fides to the ultra-right wing activists who attend the conference.

This year it was Tim Pawlenty's turn to remake himself into a tough guy who is willing to stand up to America's enemies ... and he actually gets a forty five second ovation for simply saying that America needs to project strength: 

Meet The Newer, Tougher, CPAC-Version of Tim Pawlenty

One of the most entertaining things about watching CPAC every year is witnessing generally milquetoast Republicans show up and turn into right-wing bomb throwers in an attempt to prove the conservative bona fides to the ultra-right wing activists who attend the conference.

This year it was Tim Pawlenty's turn to remake himself into a tough guy who is willing to stand up to America's enemies ... and he actually gets a forty five second ovation for simply saying that America needs to project strength: 

CPAC: Merit Selection for Judges is an Evil Leftist Plot

A group of right-wing legal advocates warned CPAC participants – or more accurately, a tiny subset of CPAC participants – about “The Left’s Campaign to Reshape the Judiciary.”

Panelists discussed the meaning of “judicial activism” and why the kind of right-wing judicial activism we’ve seen from the Supreme Court doesn’t qualify. (Overturning health care reform? Also not judicial activism.) But the main thrust of the panel was the supposedly dire threat posed by efforts at the state level to replace judicial elections with a merit selection process. 
 
The increasing tendency of judicial elections to become big-money affairs funded by individuals and groups who regularly appear before judges has increasingly raised concerns about judgeships – including state supreme court justices – being for sale to the highest bidder, such as corporate interests looking for courts that won’t hold corporations accountable for misconduct.
 
But today’s panelists – Liberty Institute’s Kelly Shackleford, American Justice Partnership’s Dan Pero, the Center for Individual Freedom’s Timothy Lee, and the American Civil Rights Union’s Ken Klukowski, warned against merit selection, a nonpartisan alternative that is employed in a number of states and under consideration in others. Pero called merit selection “a power grab by the liberal left,” citing People For the American Way, among others he said were liberals trying to use the courts to impose their vision on America.
 
Timothy Lee, perhaps mindful of the small crowd drawn to the panel, urged participants to explain to others why the courts were important, no matter what other issue they cared about. For example, he said, the Citizens United decision overturning Supreme Court precedent and substantially crippling the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law rested on the fact the Samuel Alito had replaced Sandra Day O’Connor on the high court.
 
Klukowski echoed Lee’s call, saying that the fight for “constitutional conservatism” can’t succeed without the right judges in place: “The U.S. Constitution is only as good as the justices on the U.S. Supreme Court that interpret it.” He complained about the Supreme Court’s rulings that Guantanamo detainees have habeas corpus rights and about other federal courts recognizing marriage equality and ruling against the ban on gay servicemembers.
 
And while panel members celebrated the Supreme Court’s decision overturning the District of Columbia’s handgun ban, Klukowski said it’s not clear that there’s a majority in the Court for overturning other gun restrictions. He specifically complained that it is a felony for someone who went through a “messy divorce” and was under a restraining order to have a gun.
 
Klukowski said that he and Ken Blackwell have written a book called Resurgent: How Constitutional Conservativism can Save America and made an appeal for all stripes of conservatives – social, economic, and national security – to stop fighting each other and work together.

CPAC: Merit Selection for Judges is an Evil Leftist Plot

A group of right-wing legal advocates warned CPAC participants – or more accurately, a tiny subset of CPAC participants – about “The Left’s Campaign to Reshape the Judiciary.”

Panelists discussed the meaning of “judicial activism” and why the kind of right-wing judicial activism we’ve seen from the Supreme Court doesn’t qualify. (Overturning health care reform? Also not judicial activism.) But the main thrust of the panel was the supposedly dire threat posed by efforts at the state level to replace judicial elections with a merit selection process. 
 
The increasing tendency of judicial elections to become big-money affairs funded by individuals and groups who regularly appear before judges has increasingly raised concerns about judgeships – including state supreme court justices – being for sale to the highest bidder, such as corporate interests looking for courts that won’t hold corporations accountable for misconduct.
 
But today’s panelists – Liberty Institute’s Kelly Shackleford, American Justice Partnership’s Dan Pero, the Center for Individual Freedom’s Timothy Lee, and the American Civil Rights Union’s Ken Klukowski, warned against merit selection, a nonpartisan alternative that is employed in a number of states and under consideration in others. Pero called merit selection “a power grab by the liberal left,” citing People For the American Way, among others he said were liberals trying to use the courts to impose their vision on America.
 
Timothy Lee, perhaps mindful of the small crowd drawn to the panel, urged participants to explain to others why the courts were important, no matter what other issue they cared about. For example, he said, the Citizens United decision overturning Supreme Court precedent and substantially crippling the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law rested on the fact the Samuel Alito had replaced Sandra Day O’Connor on the high court.
 
Klukowski echoed Lee’s call, saying that the fight for “constitutional conservatism” can’t succeed without the right judges in place: “The U.S. Constitution is only as good as the justices on the U.S. Supreme Court that interpret it.” He complained about the Supreme Court’s rulings that Guantanamo detainees have habeas corpus rights and about other federal courts recognizing marriage equality and ruling against the ban on gay servicemembers.
 
And while panel members celebrated the Supreme Court’s decision overturning the District of Columbia’s handgun ban, Klukowski said it’s not clear that there’s a majority in the Court for overturning other gun restrictions. He specifically complained that it is a felony for someone who went through a “messy divorce” and was under a restraining order to have a gun.
 
Klukowski said that he and Ken Blackwell have written a book called Resurgent: How Constitutional Conservativism can Save America and made an appeal for all stripes of conservatives – social, economic, and national security – to stop fighting each other and work together.
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CPAC Posts Archive

Peter Montgomery, Monday 02/13/2012, 6:32pm
The main themes from this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference were not terribly surprising to anyone paying attention to the GOP presidential primary.  According to CPAC speakers, President Obama is a “socialist, Marxist president” bent on destroying the country and the Constitution, and the nation will not survive if he is re-elected.  “Compromise” is a four-letter word. Health care reform is tyranny. Contraception is tyranny. TSA searches are tyranny.  You get the idea. But there were also moments of insight into aspects of the... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Saturday 02/11/2012, 5:10pm
During the CPAC panel on the future of the Tea Party, Kevin Jackson said that the conservative movement has a lot to learn from the Left because progressives are so forceful that they have even "changed the definition of pedophilia." Jackson might be referring to frequent right-wing claims that the U.S. should resist the growing social acceptance and civil rights for gays and lesbians because it will lead to the normalization of pedophilia: MORE >
Brian Tashman, Saturday 02/11/2012, 2:45pm
During a CPAC panel on supposed U.S. spending “to promote abortion and homosexuality worldwide,” Austin Ruse of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-Fam), attacked protections for people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity in United Nations studies on violence and execution. Ruse first lamented that an initially-removed reference to sexual orientation was restored to a resolution condemning summary, extrajudicial and arbitrary executions, and went on to bemoan a decision by the Human Rights Council to study “discriminatory laws and practices... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Saturday 02/11/2012, 2:00pm
Focus on the Family's Tim Goeglein, a former Bush Administration official who resigned in disgrace after admitting to plagiarism, told CPAC today that more than any other president "in the history of the United States," President Obama has "savaged and attacked" marriage, life and religious liberty. Watch:   MORE >
Brian Tashman, Saturday 02/11/2012, 1:45pm
During the CPAC panel on the "Phony Divide between Fiscal and Social Conservatives" moderated by former National Organization for Marriage head Maggie Gallagher, new NOM chairman John Eastman attacked the Ninth Circuit Court's recent decision to overturn Proposition 8 as unconstitutional. He warned that legalizing same-sex marriage would have "catastrophic consequences for civil society" and harm children by displacing their role in families. Eastman went on to mock the concept of marriage equality and challenge Justice Anthony Kennedy, seen as a swing vote in a possible... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 02/10/2012, 8:15pm
The Conservative Political Action Conference panel “Islamic Law in America: How the Obama Justice Department Is Selling Us Out,” featured numerous anti-Muslim speakers including Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, Ilaria Pantano and James Lafferty of the Virginia Anti-Shariah Task Force. Lafferty, whose wife Andrea runs the Traditional Values Coalition, dedicated his speech to his activism against mosques in his community and a Muslim Republican’s candidacy for the state House of Delegates. Lafferty told the guests that “we are being outgunned by them, literally and... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 02/10/2012, 6:17pm
Newt Gingrich was the last of the remaining Republican presidential candidates to address the audience at CPAC  this year and during his speech, he brought them to their feet by declaring that 99 weeks of unemployment benefits to those who have lost their jobs violates the Declaration of Independence: MORE >
Josh Glasstetter, Friday 02/10/2012, 6:14pm
Bob Vandervoort’s group, ProEnglish, just tweeted: You’ll recall that Vandervoort, the executive director of Pro-English, was previously the leader of the white nationalist group Chicagoland Friends of the American Renaissance. He is scheduled to appear at a panel tomorrow morning at CPAC along with two Republican members of Congress and the Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach.   Kobach, an outspoken immigration opponent, distanced himself from Vandervoort and ProEnglish this morning: Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said he “had no idea who was going to be on... MORE >