Got this in my e-mail today.
“(Washington, DC) – Log Cabin Republicans President Patrick Sammon made the following statement about pundit Ann Coulter's remarks at CPAC:
"Ann Coulter should be embarrassed by her anti-gay remarks at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Coulter's words are not worthy of this event or our nation's political dialogue. Intelligent people engage in political debates using ideas not insults. Unfortunately, she has made a career out of saying increasingly outrageous things just to garner headlines and shill her books. Ann Coulter is more interested in soundbites than substance and she has become more ridiculous than relevant. She obviously has no shame."”
Log Cabin, the club for gays and gay rights within the Republican Party, came out with the above, sent to its membership this morning. I was slightly bemused because the subject line read, “Ann Coulter - Log Cabin Responds - Inclusion West for Melinda” I have been writing about Coulter, the CPAC event, and the NeoCon take over of what was once my home in the Republican Party for the last several days. But nope, this was just their update with my name inserted for that personal touch.
Some changes are definitely not for the better. 30 years ago being a Goldwater Conservative was more like being a Christian Liberal today. The change of direction can best be measured by the number of political operatives and think tanks funded by George W's corporate clientèle over the last 30 years. Think large numbers, including Coulter, David Horowitz, John Fund, Robert Novak and so on. They cost a lot but did the job for their employers. If you celebrate Earth Day in April you were fooled by one of them assigned to suborn the Environmental Movement.
Older people, if not growing forgetful, will often nod, remembering when the environment and rights for women and peaceful relations were not Liberal Plots but ideas we all agreed needed to be put into action. Howard Baker, Jr. was a Republican from Tennessee who headed the first committee on the Environment. There was no controversy; all Americans wanted a clean environment. Many Veterans of WWII were serving in Congress. Veterans of World War II had no illusions on the romance of war. They came home hungry for peace and wanted that peace for their children. But war is far more profitable for corporations. Slowly, things changed.
That was when women still had a respected place in the Republican Party and the ERA was still in our platform because equal rights for all Americans was taken as a matter of course. That was before Phyllis Schlafly reared her ugly head as another NeoCon political operative, funded to divide us on the issue of rights for women through a carefully thought out disinformation campaign. Then, we knew we were finishing the Revolution of 1776, mending the mistakes made by the Founders in putting a higher priority on establishing a government than on preserving the rights with which each of us is born. Schlafly has gotten rich doing that work as those chasms of anger and distrust she dug grew ever deeper. The ERA remains to be ratified and a campaign is active to accomplish that. To find out more contact the ERA Campaign Network. As Susan B. said, “Failure is Impossible.” Women keep trying.
I received the e-mail from the folks at Log Cabin because I joined the Log Cabin Club in the 90s to show solidarity with them as an oppressed minority among Republicans. (What? A gay Republican? Impossible!) Supporting the right of others to live their lives untrammeled by busy bodies was a common value for Conservatives back when I first read, “Conscience of a Conservative” by Barry Goldwater. Most of the Log Cabin members are nice people although I did not attend the parties. I developed an aversion to hot tubs while I was on the State Executive Committee of the Libertarian Party of California, serving the 2nd of six terms. In politics, as in all life, you decline when you are not inclined.
The Log Cabin Club response to the Coulter comment was not unexpected. They were not alone, thank goodness. Some Conservatives, finally fed up with Coulter and her behavior have launched a petition of Conservatives who attended the conference. Sean Hackbarth, The American Mind wrote an open letter. He has been joined by over 200 others, a good thing and long awaited. A return to civility in politics and all social intercourse is long overdue.
The Conservative Union came out with its own statement to distance themselves from Coulter today. It is up on their website though their motives are probably more legal than moral or ethical. Coulter has been speaking there for years, after all.
“ACU, the event’s primary sponsor and CPAC strive to provide a platform and forum for a variety of differing views and personalities. ACU and CPAC do not condone or endorse every speaker or their comments at the conference. As such, ACU and CPAC leave it to our audience to determine whether comments are appropriate or not.
“ Ann Coulter is known for comments that can be both provocative and outrageous. That was certainly the case in her 2007 CPAC appearance and previous ones as well. But as a point of clarification, let me make it clear that ACU and CPAC do not condone or endorse the use of hate speech,” said David A. Keene, ACU Chairman.””
Of course, David A. Keene, is keenly aware that the conference the Conservative Union puts on every year is attended mostly by the people least likely be be able to judge what is appropriate and the most likely to be influenced by what is probably their first exposure to what is unabashedly presented as the culture and values of Conservativism. Young people are vulnerable to drugs presented by attractive pushers, including snorting NeoConservativism.
Steve Frank, a long time Conservative activist and leader in California who does a daily e-zine mailed out widely to Republicans said, “the character of the CPAC conference has changed over the years. Before, it was attended by people of all ages; today attendees tend to be 25 and younger. Coulter has long been popular with college-age Republicans.”
The faggot remark is not the most egregious act, either on the part of Coulter or by the Conservative Union taking place at the conference. Coulter's vicious behavior, her flouting of law, and the way she has encouraged violence towards others has been building for a long time now. We will be talking about that with Lydia Cornell on my show, the Spiritual Politician, this Friday.
At the CPAC conference the treatment of Dan Borchers meted out by Coulter's flunkies and CPAC was far worse than the casual remark about John Edwards. Coulter repeated those remarks the next day to Americans United for Separation of Church and State in a church sanctuary in Fort Lauderdale. The group has moved to disavow the remarks.
So serving up Coulter to the Conservative Union's targeted audience of young people smacks of indoctrination. This may be the last time, the Coulter Swan Song, so to speak. Her prominent position in the NeoCon world has been profitable but indications are that presence is heading towards the dustbin as Republicans take stock across the steady decline of NeoCon power. Some will reject Coulter because they are disgusted; others because she has moved from the column of asset to liability. Markets in icons work that way.
By continuing to feature her for these many years the CU did, in fact, endorse her hate speech and profited from the culture it created, a culture that has as much relationship to Conservatism as I knew it in the 60s as Christianity does to the Inquisition. Republicans, Libertarians and Conservatives await unfolding events.
Conservatives used to believe that the government that governed least was best, that local control was the original idea, that accountability was essential to all human action, and that all of us were born possessed of inherent rights. If you think that is still the case tell David Keene. The contact information is:
The American Conservative Union. | .1007 Cameron Street. | .Alexandria, VA 22314. | .Phone: (703) 836-8602
America: The original idea was freedom for all of us. That is still where real Conservativism should have taken us.
Hear Coulter, her assaults on others, and find a new spiritual direction for Americans discussed this Friday on the Spiritual Politician. 4Pm PST on BBSRadio.com. Our guest will be Lydia Cornell, actress, activist, and a warrior for truth.