The American Conservative Union’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) was dealt a blow last year when several organizations withdrew over the inclusion of a gay conservative group, GOProud, on its roster of sponsors. Having officially banished all gays who so much as make a peep about their rights, however, the annual right-wing shindig is back in business and conservative as all get-out, featuring representatives of a dizzying array of anti-gay, anti-tax, anti-abortion and anti-Muslim organizations, including hate group leaders like Pamela Geller of Stop Islamization of American (SIOA) and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council (FRC).
No guest better illustrates CPAC’s refreshed commitment to hard-line conservatism than Peter Brimelow, founder of VDARE, a race-baiting hate group that warns against the pollution of America by non-whites, Catholics, and Spanish-speaking immigrants. Brimelow, an unabashed white nationalist who argues that white Americans should demand U.S. immigration law be changed to allow in mostly whites, today participated in a CPAC panel on “The Failure of Multiculturalism: How the pursuit of diversity is weakening the American Identity.”
The panel was sponsored by ProEnglish, which wants to make English the official language of the U.S. In public, ProEnglish usually takes care to keep itself at arm’s length from the nativist movement’s more radical factions. In reality, however, the group is but one arm of a sprawling network of organizations founded and/or funded by John Tanton, architect of the modern anti-immigrant movement, among whose other projects are hate groups like The Social Contract Press and the Federation for American Immigration Reform. And Robert Vandervoort, ProEnglish’s recently appointed executive director, has deep ties to white nationalist hate groups: according to the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights (IERHR), while living in Illinois last decade he headed Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance (a white nationalist periodical helmed by racist ideologue Jared Taylor), and often held joint meetings with the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens.
Brimelow was not the only prominent radical figure right in CPAC’s line-up. Other all-stars include:
- This afternoon, Center for Security Policy President Frank Gaffney, the Muslim-fearing former Pentagon official who in 2011 called for the resurrection of the McCarthy-era House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) – this time to target Muslims – spoke on national security and the military budget.
- Also this afternoon, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, who among other things spreads the lie that pedophilia is “a homosexual problem,” gave an untitled presentation.
- CPAC regular Cliff Kincaid, head of the antigovernment “Patriot” group Accuracy in Media (AIM), was to present an award today to CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson. Attkisson, as Media Matters observes, faces much criticism from within the journalism industry for accepting an award from Kincaid, who at CPAC in 2009 suggested that the President is a communist who was not born in the United States. When he’s not advancing conspiracist propaganda, Kincaid spends a lot of energy defaming LGBT people. Pontificating last year on the pending repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” he suggested that openly gay soldiers would “demand sexual favors to rise in the ranks. … [I]t is a recipe for national suicide.” AIM has also published guest columns by Scott Lively, co-author of The Pink Swastika, which advances the utterly false claim that “the Nazi party was entirely controlled by militaristic male homosexuals.”
- Michael Boldin of the Los Angeles-based Tenth Amendment Center, will offer two showings of “Nullification: The Rightful Remedy,” a film which promotes the Center’s thesis that each state has the constitutional right to invalidate and disregard virtually any federal law it dislikes. Popular among among neo-Confederates and antigovernment “Patriots,” the concept of “nullification” relies on a spurious interpretation of the Tenth Amendment (which reserves to the states and the people any power not explicitly given to the federal government), and flies in the face of more than two centuries of jurisprudence.
- Pam Geller and Robert Spencer of the anti-Muslim hate group Stop Islamization of America (SIOA), will speak tomorrow on “Islamic Law in America: How the Obama Justice Department Is Selling Us Out.” Geller is a birther who made a spectacle of herself last Thanksgiving when she accused Butterball Turkey of “stealth jihad,” and last month crossed yet another line by celebrating the U.S. soldiers who were caught on video urinating on dead Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. Spencer, who adopts a more sober and scholarly mien, is an entirely self-taught “expert” in the study of modern Islam and the Koran. His writings were cited dozens of times in the manifesto of Anders Breivik, the terrorist who slaughtered 77 people in Norway last July because he believed they were enabling Muslim immigration.
- On Saturday, a clumsily named panel on “Immigration – High Fences, Wide Gates: States vs. the Feds, the Rule of Law & American Indentity” will feature anti-immigrant superstar Kris Kobach, who, before his election as Kansas’ secretary of state, authored a series of draconian, anti-immigrant “enforcement-only” laws, including Arizona’s S.B.1070 and Alabama’s H.B. 56. Also onstage will be ProEnglish’s Vandervoort.