Hey, remember the huge fuss when CPAC — the Conservative Political Action Committee — got all kinds of attention when they accepted sponsorship from the John Birch Society? At the time, the argument was that since the JBS is a bunch of conspiracy nuts with a history of racism and other odious habits, anyone who willingly associated with them was endorsing them, too. CPAC’s defense was simple — essentially, “hey, all ‘sponsorship’ means is ‘give us money, we’ll put your name in the program and let you have a table in the vendor’s room.’ What’s the big deal?” They also noted that they’d also accepted sponsorship from the gay conservative group GOProud — but, sadly, apparently didn’t put the two next to each other.
That didn’t matter. It was the Birchers (who, it must be said, are truly nuts), the magic word “racist” was in play (which, it must also be said, almost is), and it was a done deal. Any and all who attended
That is the message: if you hang with bad people, even if you simply attend an event where they are also welcomed, then you’re a bad person, too. If you don’t shun them and condemn them, then you have tacitly endorsed them, their entire agenda, and their entire history. If you lie down in the same room with a dog, you’re going to get up with fleas — and as a dog yourself.
That was the same tactic used against the Tea Parties. They don’t have any defined leadership or membership, and their events are open to pretty much anyone who shows up. And, naturally, a lot of undesirables show up — the crazies, the liberal plants, and the LaRouchites.
(OK, that’s not fair. The LaRouchites are both crazy and plants, so mentioning them is redundant. Consider that an example, not a third category.)
And again, naturally, the crazies and the plants not only get the lion’s share of the attention, but the entire movement gets tagged as sharing their beliefs.
However, don’t you dare apply that same principle to other situations, such as… oh, say, Barack Obama’s relationship with the New Black Panther Party.
A relationship that goes back years. ‘Cuz that would be wrong, and most likely racist.
In March 2007, there was a march and rally in Selma, Alabama to commemorate the civil rights movement. Invited to attend were representatives of the New Black Panther Party and then-Senator Barack Obama, who had no problems sharing the event and the stage with them.
Further, in 2008, two members of the NBBP designated themselves “security” agents and stationed themselves (armed) in front of a Philadelphia polling station, announcing to any and all that a black man was going to be president, and Whitey better get used to it. The Justice Department took them to court for voter intimidation, which the NBBP didn’t even bother to acknowledge. They won a conviction by default — the NBBP didn’t bother to defend themselves — and went for sentencing. But then the Obama administration took over and decided nah, it wasn’t that big a deal, and dropped the case — which they had already won.
So, is Obama a stealth Black Panther, just using his office to promote their racist agenda? Of course not.
But if you used the same standards in this case as used against CPAC, against the Tea Party, and most recently against Rick Perry over a hunting range he occasionally used, you’d have no choice but to say he’s on their side.