Rightbloggers Welcome Gay, Muslim Diversity at CPAC -- But Not Too Much
There were some changes, though. Perhaps hoping to convince people in preparation for a 2012 Obama challenge they weren't all uptight white guys, CPAC threw a little multiculturalism into its mix, with gays and Muslims gaining a sliver of representation.
You can guess what followed -- some of the brethren accused CPAC of selling them out to the gay/Muslim enemy.
The accusations of jihad-friendliness were spurred by the presence at CPAC of
Arab Indian-American former Bush Administration official Suhail Khan, whom some rightbloggers claim is a member of the militant Muslim Brotherhood -- a charge Khan has denied, which denial Frank Gaffney dismisses as "a bit of taqiyya (lying for the faith)."
Khan took part in a CPAC panel called "The Importance of Faith and Religious Liberty." "Islamic Rights Promoted At CPAC," Judicial Watch warned the nation. "Muslim Brotherhood supporters and sympathizers promoted Islamic tolerance."'
Two ardent anti-Muslim rightbloggers with their own CPAC panels were outraged. Pam Geller said the whole event had been "corrupted and compromised by the Muslim Brotherhood... look at the panels, they're either clueless or complicit." David Horowitz of NewsRealBlog told his CPAC auditors Khan was "sponsored by his longtime patron Grover Norquist," implying the former Bush official was in on the whole dirty Islamicist deal.
A flyer denouncing "Grover Khan" was circulated at CPAC; suggesting this two-headed beast was trying to "boil the Conservative frog slowly" so "he'll stay in the pot till he's cooked." (Geller has referred to "GROVER NORQUIST HISS" and "Grover Norquist's Jihad.")
What's especially odd about this is, Norquist's very much a made man in the conservative movement -- he was a buddy of Ronald Reagan, a Bush Administration official, and the guy who famously said he didn't want to just shrink the government, he wanted to "drown it in the bathtub." At his own CPAC appearance he denounced liberals as "parasites," just like a good ol' boy.
Watch out for these jihadi-conservatives!
Nonetheless other rightbloggers felt they, too, had cause to read him out of conservatism on account of the Muslims.
"The fact that Norquist is married to a Moslem wife is not irrelevant here, I think," said Vanishing American. "Is it a chicken-or-egg question, when people who outmarry exhibit this kind of cosmopolitanist attitude?"
"Norquist has done much good," admitted Arlen Williams at Renew America, "but his aims and influence are exemplary of what is has been harmful and corruptive in conservatism for a very long while. That is not because of his marital relations" -- ah, the moderate approach! -- "but because he is married to unbalanced transnationalism."
To what now? Williams explained: "the century old, relativist, communitarian, and globalist model of the likes of Morgan/Rockefeller/H.Ford/Bush. And now, this plan is nearly complete, with George Soros, Maurice Strong, and Ban Ki-moon, two nation destroying Marxists and one more coy in his rhetoric, leading the way." Huh. Well, so much for those "Miss Me Yet?" Bush posters.
After reading that Norquist "said that the right has to 'marginalize' Islamophobia within its ranks," Potomac Tea Party Report announced, "Norquist: Islam completely compatible with US Constitution... and calls anyone who disagrees Islamophobic!... If Norquist was sincere in his belief that Muslim goals (shariah!) and our Constitution were perfectly compatible, he would quit calling those who disagree with him names."
"Death-cult code could come from any jihadist, from Mohammed Atta in his night-before-9/11 instructions, to Anwar al-Awlaki in his e-mails 'ministering' to the underpants bomber, Umar F. Abdulmutallab," said The Two Malcontents. "But could it also come from a former Bush administration appointee?" Aww, they stole our punchline: "The surprise answer is yes."
Other rightbloggers declined to touch this one, and some even acknowledged the ridiculousness of the controversy. The gay outreach was a much bigger deal.