I suppose it was inevitable that the litmus test conservatives would begin purging those who don’t measure up to their very narrow, very limiting agenda. But it’s still something of a surprise to see World Net Daily - the rabid right wing online publication that has become famous for promoting the birther issue - canceling an appearance by the Queen of the Conservative Punditocracy Ann Coulter for what WND refers to as a “homoconflict.”
Conservative superstar Ann Coulter today was dropped as a keynote speaker for WND’s “Taking America Back National Conference” next month because of her plan to address an event titled “HOMOCON” sponsored by the homosexual Republican group GOProud that promotes same-sex marriage and military service for open homosexuals.
Joseph Farah, editor and chief executive officer of WND, said the decision was a gut-wrenching one for his team because of their fondness for Coulter as both a person and writer-speaker.
“Ultimately, as a matter of principle, it would not make sense for us to have Ann speak to a conference about ‘taking America back’ when she clearly does not recognize that the ideals to be espoused there simply do not include the radical and very ‘unconservative’ agenda represented by GOProud,” said Farah. “The drift of the conservative movement to a brand of materialistic libertarianism is one of the main reasons we planned this conference from the beginning.”
Can’t have any of that “materialistic libertarianism” - perhaps better described as “tolerance for other people and other points of view” - gumming up the works of the conservative media juggernaut. I happened to stop by the GOProud booth at CPAC a couple of years ago and discovered that these guys are - with the exceptions mentioned above by Farah - about as mainstream conservative as you can get.
From their website:
GOProud represents gay conservatives and their allies. GOProud is committed to a traditional conservative agenda that emphasizes limited government, individual liberty, free markets and a confident foreign policy. GOProud promotes our traditional conservative agenda by influencing politics and policy at the federal level.
In fact, if Farah knew anything of the history of conservatism, he would recognize that GOProud’s “traditional conservative agenda” used to define conservatism. It is only recently that bigots like Farah have added gay marriage and - omigod - “sodomy as an alternative lifestyle” to the ever growing number of no-nos the culturecons have foisted on the conservative movement.
Coulter seems a little bemused by the insult. She’s just interested in the cash:
Farah then asked: “Do you not understand you are legitimizing a group that is fighting for same-sex marriage and open homosexuality in the military – not to mention the idea that sodomy is just an alternate lifestyle?”
Coulter responded: “That’s silly, I speak to a lot of groups and do not endorse them. I speak at Harvard and I certainly don’t endorse their views. I’ve spoken to Democratic groups and liberal Republican groups that loooove abortion. The main thing I do is speak on college campuses, which is about the equivalent of speaking at an al-Qaida conference. I’m sure I agree with GOProud more than I do with at least half of my college audiences. But in any event, giving a speech is not an endorsement of every position held by the people I’m speaking to. I was going to speak for you guys, I think you’re nuts on the birther thing (though I like you otherwise!).”
I have stopped referring to people like Farah as conservatives for the simple reason their views are not reflective of any conservative philosophy of which I am familiar. Radicalism is the antithesis of conservatism as anyone who has ever read Edmund Burke’s wrenching critique of the French Revolution can attest. Their idea of “limited government” is radically limited. Their notion of “free markets” is an economic Darwinian nightmare. And their agitation to bomb just about anyone who threatens US interests reveals an imprudence that is most unconservative.
What has driven me and other conservatives to try and marginalize people like Farah is their radicalism may not be the mainstream of conservatism, but it influences the Republican party and the conservative movement much to their detriment. They are not “fringe” actors by any stretch of the imagination, but neither are they close to a majority. They are loud, and they vote, and that makes them important to politicians.
Rejecting those who agree with your agenda 90% of the time is stupid politics. Hence, despite GOProud’s embrace of traditional conservative issues, their sin of supporting gay marriage and the elimination of “Don’t ask don’t tell” in the military trumps their support for conservative economic and foreign policy issues.
Indeed, the Executive Director of GOProud Jimmy LaSalvia gave a very reasonable, conservative answer to why they support gay marriage:
As long as the government is in the marriage business it should treat gay couples as equal to their straight counter-parts. Accordingly, we are pleased with the outcome of the Prop 8 case.
A no brainer, really - which describes Mr. Farah to a “T.”
Radical right wingers like Farah are in the business of reducing the size of the Republican party until it is a distillation of pure right wing wackery. These folks are beyond “epistemic closure” and are in a full blown epistemological meltdown. The don’t create a reality as much as it oozes up from the muck and detritus of their broken and wildly inconsistent worldview - the result of unreasoning hatred for those who are in any way “different” and an illogical ideology that cannot brook any opposition lest it collapse in a disordered heap.
And Ann Coulter isn’t conservative enough for these guys? Something wrong with that picture.