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I'll Be A Son Of A Birch...

There's a bit of a dustup among the more excitable members of the left end of the blogosphere (including the exceptionally prissy Charles Johnson) about CPAC's choosing to accept the John Birch Society as sponsors of their upcoming conference. And the whole thing is turning out to be a bit more entertaining than anything else.

Now, if you listen to the Leftists, it's nothing short of an apocalypse that the Global Conspiracy-Mongers of the JBS were not given the back of the hand by CPAC's organizers, and instead allowed into the Inner Circle. But when you hear what CPAC has to say, it becomes considerably less appalling and more entertaining.

When asked about it, CPAC organizers just shrugged and mentioned that another "sponsor" of the convention is OutRight, an organization of gay conservatives. At the time that sponsorship came to light, the CPAC folks said, essentially, "hey, we're not passing judgment. If a group wants so be a sponsor, our criteria are pretty low -- they have to espouse some form of 'conservatism' and not be out to overthrow the government or have a history of breaking laws. If they can do that -- and their check clears -- we'll let them be 'sponsors.' Which means we'll put their name in the programs, let them have a table to hawk their wares, and brag about being at CPAC."

So, when the John Birch Society came up, they said "remember what we said about the gay conservatives? Take that, cross out 'gays' and insert 'John Birch Society.' Same diff."

So, should there have been a different response to the JBS? I don't think so.

The Birchers, to be blunt, are nuts. They have been for decades, and they're showing no signs of getting less nuts any time soon. Years and years ago, my local library used to get their newsletter, "The New American," and I'd read it every now and then just for pure entertainment value -- it was like a political version of "The Weekly World News," but sincere. (Substitute "bat-shit crazy" for "Bat Boy," and "Pat Buchanan" for "Ed Anger." Or was it the other way around? Sometimes it was hard to tell the difference there.)

But they're harmless nuts. They're entertaining nuts. The public comity is far more endangered by Code Pink or ACORN or International ANSWER or the New Black Panther Party than the John Birchers.

And let's not forget that the nutball groups out there are the most effective when they act in the shadows. They win their most passionate converts in dark corners, in private discussions, where they can pass off their lies without being challenged. The Ku Klux Klan's most effective recruiting venue was never the public rallies, but the smoky corners of bars and secret meetings closed to the public.

If CPAC had shot down the Birchers, then they could have used that as a bragging point -- how they're being oppressed and shut out and being denied the chance to "speak truth to power." (Hell, I suspect that was a good portion of why they first asked to be sponsors -- they wanted to be denied.) Instead, they're being treated just like everyone else, given the same rights and privileges and access to attendees as all the others -- especially OutRight (whom I dearly hope is set up very, very close to the JBS table) and other groups I'm sure the JBS can not stand.

The presence of the Birchers at CPAC is not a sign of the leanings of the CPAC organizers. It's a sign of the utter irrelevance of the Birchers. They simply aren't important enough to worry about or even care about.

I'm in no position to speak on behalf of the CPAC organizers, but I suspect that if one of the whacko groups on the left wanted to attend, CPAC, they'd take their money, too. For example, if Media Matters For America (whose motto ought to be "fighting conservative misinformation in the media, to make room for even more liberal misinformation") wanted a table at CPAC, I suspect the CPAC folks would cheerfully cash George Soros' check and give them a spot. (Preferably near a cream-pie concession.)

Naturally, this being American politics, there is a similar event from the Left. But the liberal answer to CPAC doesn't just tolerate their nuts. No, on that side it's literally a case of the inmates running the asylum. I refer, of course, to the Yearly Kos, where the batshit crazy wing runs the whole damned event themselves, and the mainstream left bows and scrapes to get on the attendance list. In fact, in 2004, nearly all the then-candidates for the Democratic nomination for president attended.

Now there's a thought. I wonder if I could get a cream pie concession at Yearly Kos? I could make a fortune..

Anyway, so the Birchers are gonna be at CPAC. Big whoop. If anyone is planning on attending, feel free to grab me as much free swag as they can from the Birchers. Ever since the Weekly World News folded, I've been lacking in my Recommended Daily Allowance of crazy, and I've grown seriously irony-deficient.


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Comments (24)

They had a booth at the Tex... (Below threshold)
lurker9876:

They had a booth at the Texas Republican State Convention. And they were harmless. Not many people stopped by this booth.

I don't see a big deal for them to buy a booth at the CPAC. They probably won't see many people, though.

When I left the left, I was... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

When I left the left, I was mighty disapointed to learn that JBS was not a group for conservative carpenters... never looked at them a second time when they couldn't recomend a good UV blocking spar coating for aspen.

"If a group wants so be a s... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

"If a group wants so be a sponsor, our criteria are pretty low -- they have to espouse some form of 'conservatism' and not be out to overthrow the government or have a history of breaking laws. If they can do that -- and their check clears -- we'll let them be 'sponsors.'"

That alone would prevent ACORN from becoming a sponsor. The Democrat standards are different, simplifying the ground rules to "If their check clears."

By the way, the Klan has not always scurried away from the bright lights. At one time in the 20's and 30's, they were very public, and once held a large (cough) "million man march" (cough) in Washington in full Klan regalia. I don't know for certain, but attendees likely included Senator Robert Byrd.

But you'll be happy ... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:


But you'll be happy to repeat and repeat and repeat the John Birch Society's nutty conspiracy theories whenever you think it's politically advantageous no matter how corrosive to the public discourse.


a browne ...you me... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

a browne ...

you mean the one about the US Govt having knowledge of 9/11 in advance ?

oh, my bad ... thats just the belief Howard Dean and over 25% of the democrat party ...

yeah, THAT wasn't corrosive to the public discourse ...

or the fine liberal ladies on the View who accused John McCain of being a racist on national tv ... thats just spewing truth to power ...

"But you'll be happy to ... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"But you'll be happy to repeat and repeat and repeat the John Birch Society's nutty conspiracy theories whenever you think it's politically advantageous no matter how corrosive to the public discourse."

Who is this "you"? What nutty conspiracy theories is this "you" happy to repeat and repeat and repeat? Where have you seen this "you" do all of this repeating?

And since you mention corro... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

And since you mention corrosive public discourse, when are you going to live by your own rules?

a browne -The day ... (Below threshold)
914:

a browne -

The day you add an intelligent point to any thread discourse is a day will know you fudged up..

The JBS has one goal and th... (Below threshold)
Flu-Bird:

The JBS has one goal and thats to get ourselves out of the UN and have the UN booted out of america since the UN is the biggist supporters of terrorists

Jeff,The failures on... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

Jeff,
The failures on 9/11 is something that needed to be examined and there was a bipartisan commission to do that. Obama "hypnotizing school children" during a back-to-school speech is just bizarre partisan carping.

or just maybe there is something to it . . .

A Browne - We don't need a ... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

A Browne - We don't need a "bipartisan commission". We need a independent NON-partisan commission.

I'm asking seriously Adrian... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

I'm asking seriously Adrian, who is this "you" and what are they repeating and repeating and repeating?

Get US out of the UN!... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

Get US out of the UN!

Impeach Earl Warren!

There. I hope you're satisfied, Adrian.

Oyster,Obviously "... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

Oyster,

Obviously "you" isn't an individual and is just a rhetorical construct -- it refers to the Right Wing media.

Just one example: The endless repetition of Sarah Palin's "Death Panel" figment.

If you want to have a discussion about allocating health care resources starting out by yelling "Obama wants kill your grandmother" isn't helpful.

Just read the wiki post on ... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

Just read the wiki post on the John Birch Society.

You know, those guys aren't ALL wrong. A little nutty around the edges, and way wrong on many topics, but spend a few minutes looking it up.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Birch_Society

Personally, I think I'm going to start a Chicago chapter. Adrian, membership is only $15.00 if you want to be a charter member...free t-shirts and free bumper stickers for your SmartCar...

Gee, maybe they were just ahead of their time...

Bwaaaahahahaha!

"The JBS has one goal an... (Below threshold)
zaugg:

"The JBS has one goal and thats to get ourselves out of the UN and have the UN booted out of america since the UN is the biggest supporters of terrorists"
Where can I sign up? The time is now for the boondoggle that is the UN and the curb to meet the kick.

Sure, JBS is no loonier, an... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

Sure, JBS is no loonier, and far less harmful than the anti-American Marxists now in positions of authority in this Administration.

Still, allowing them to be a "sponsor" of CPAC is guaranteed to generate far more negative publicity than the value of any check they could possibly write. Which is why CPAC cannot be taken seriously . . .

If He does'nt I do.. Your a... (Below threshold)
914:

If He does'nt I do.. Your anti American.

FBI FILES ON BIRCH SOCIETY:... (Below threshold)

FBI FILES ON BIRCH SOCIETY:
http://ernie1241.googlepages.com/jbs-1

What did you just call your... (Below threshold)
Dad:

What did you just call your mother?

If you want to have a di... (Below threshold)
RFA:

If you want to have a discussion about allocating health care resources starting out by yelling "Obama wants kill your grandmother" isn't helpful.

14. Posted by Adrian Browne | December 30, 2009 11:25 AM

But, it is the truth and you can't spin you way out of it. You are a crapweasel and everybody here knows it.

Thanks for the link, ernie.... (Below threshold)

Thanks for the link, ernie. If J. Edgar couldn't stand them but still couldn't get them, that affirms my own opinion of them: nuts, but harmless ones.

J.

The african nation of KANGT... (Below threshold)
Flu-Bird:

The african nation of KANGTANGA was the victim of the pro-soviet UN

Did you mean <a href="http:... (Below threshold)
Joe Yangtree:

Did you mean GOProud when you said OutRight? As far as I know, GOProud is "the only national organization for gay conservatives and their allies" to be a CPAC sponsor.




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