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Sunday, October 23, 2016

If the Conservative Political Action Conference can be expected to accomplish anything more than angry bellowing, it is to reliably embarrass every decent and sane conservative in America. Sometimes the problem is a conspiratorial exremist co-sponsor, like the John Birch Society; sometimes the problem is a certifiable kook giving the keynote address, like Glenn Beck; and sometimes the problem is just vicious bullying of gay conservatives, who have been officially expelled from the conference.

But now the annual Washington showcase of the far right is plunging toward new depths of disgrace, by featuring “white nationalists” among its speakers.

To explain the perils of multiculturalism and (nonwhite) immigration, the CPAC organizers have invited several avowed white nationalists — who will spew their bigotry in the same conference hall that will host speeches by Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul (and has already been visited by Herman Cain, who complained about the damage being done to the nation by “stupid” people).

According to reports by People For the American Way and the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights (IREHR), the CPAC contingent this week will include Peter Brimelow, the notorious race-baiting activist who founded, an anti-immigration website that has long been described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate site. Brimelow’s website regularly publishes the work of white supremacist and anti-Semitic writers.

Joining Brimelow on at least one panel will be Robert Vandervoort, identified by CPAC as executive director of ProEnglish, a group advocating “English-only” policies – but Vandervoort is also the former organizer of the “Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance,” another white nationalist hate group that is affiliated with the same racist authors who appear on Brimelow’s website. Their panel is called “The Failure of Multiculturalism: How the Pursuit of Diversity Is Weakening the American Identity.”

Actually, Vandervoort was slated to appear on two panels at CPAC, including one titled “High Fences, Wide Gates: States vs. the Feds, the Rule of Law & American Identity” where he will be joined by Republican politician Kris Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State. As IREHR recently reported, Vandervoort “was at the center of white nationalist activity during his time in Illinois.” His “Chicagoland” outfit often held joint activities with the local chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens, the group that directly succeeded the White Citizens Councils of the anti-civil rights era in the South and Midwest. In their own nod to diversity, Vandervoort and Kobach’s panel will also include two Latino Republican legislators from Florida, Rep. David Rivera and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart.

Questioned about the invitations extended to such unsavory figures as Brimelow and Vandervoort, a CPAC spokeswoman told Buzzfeed that the American Conservative Union, which operates CPAC with a coalition of other right-wing groups, accepts no responsibility for their presence. “CPAC is proud to have more than 150 sponsors and exhibitors this year,” boasted Kristy Campbell, the CPAC flack, in an email. “This panel was not organized by the ACU, and specific questions on the event, content or speakers should be directed to the sponsoring organization. Cosponsors and affiliated events do not necessarily represent the opinions of the American Conservative Union.”

But CPAC did decide to bar participation by the gay conservative groups such as the Log Cabin Republicans, and to remove the tainted John Birch Society as a co-sponsor. The gays bother them and the conspiracy nuts humiliate them, but evidently they feel no imperative to shun the white supremacists.


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Copyright 2012 The National Memo
  • AnokaTony

    Several of the main Republican candidates are not that different from the White Nationalists in their rhetoric.

  • freethinker

    It must be nice to be able to point the finger at conservatives for having race baiters in their midst, while ignoring the especially loud and prominent race baiters in the Democrat ranks, David Gregory, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Maxine Watters, in fact, most of the CBC, along with most of the liberal commentators.

  • mprevatt

    @freethinker – It must be nice to be ignorant enough to look at people who SPEAK OUT AGAINST racism and call THEM “Race Baiters”!!

    WIFE ABUSERS usually NEVER want to be in a discussion about abusive behavior…ALCOHOLICS usually NEVER want to ADMIT to being alcoholics…and in very much the same way, RACISTS never want to talk about racism!!!….THIS MEANS YOU!!!

  • CarolMartin

    you would think by now that decent/intelligent people would realize that cpac/repub party is just an amalgam of misogenists, biblestomping nut cases, angry fat-butt white boys/stepford girls, kiss-butt black boys and just a general mix of ‘stupid’ people…and where are you herman? mitt? rick? newty? michelle? sarah? etc…

  • kurt.lorentzen

    Please remember that just because someone call themself a “conservative” does not equate to them being a “Republican”. Many conservatives vote republican because they get that small government was the founders intent and democrats seem intent on taking task with the clearest language ever written (all one needs to do is read the 10th amendment). Those conservatives do not identify with, support, or approve of those fringe groups pointed out in the article. Although I’m not sure Herman Cain’s comment was all that far off-base 🙂

  • DavidLloyd-Jones

    Wey-yull, Mitt has used the primaries to shore up his reputation as a serial liar — while still wearing enough Teflon to keep at least shards of his reputation as “decent.” Herman has spoken good sense. For all her weaknesses I don’t think there’s a shred of racism to Sarah Palin — but this would be a good time for her to speak out. Fat-butt Gingrich, the boy who loved dinosaurs until research showed at least some of them to be warm-blooded, is kept alive by the cracker vote, so we can expect him to be silent, if never dignified.

    The rest of that crowd? Step right up layzan gennulmen. We’re waiting to see how you handle this one.


  • G Schmidt

    Let me start by saying that I am an political immigrant from a Latin country, I am white, I am a Catholic and a conservative Republican not above voting Democrat when my party representation is just junk.
    The greatness of our country is based on a blessed geography, natural resources and the foundation of laws and protestant working ethics given to us by our founding fathers.
    USA has also benefited from an string of immigrants that came when we needed their labor to grow and develop. They brought with them their culture and their values, but also they learned English and adopted our culture and adjusted themselves to our laws.They became Americans in many ways.
    The biggest issue now with the current wave immigrants is the same as it always was. People already here do not want other people in taking their jobs and changing their communities.
    As a Latin, I support a comprehensive immigration law which allow a measure amount of right people to come in and work and have a path to citizenship. I also support “English Only” laws. if people want the opportunity to live in the US, they must also adapt to the laws of the land and speak English. In my opinion, the moment you migrate to our country, you embrace the American flag, the ideals that represent and forget the country you ran away from.

  • sleeprn01

    OK, the jig is up, President Obama is guilty, guilty of GWB (governing while black). The right has had their panties in a wad ever since Nov. 2008. They have done everything possible to keep President Obama from accomplishing any of his agenda, even if it would benefit the majority of Americans. For example, those who have health insurance for the remainder of there lives (Congress) can’t even begin to understand what is’s like to not have health insurance. They have stymied every piece of legislation that President Obama has sent to the Congress, to the extent that they have even voted no to propositions that are held near and dear to GOP hearts, such as tax breaks for small business. What hurts the most is when I see in these pages and the news that supporters in 2008 are believing the rhetoric that President Obama is an ineffectual leader and kept none of his campaign promises. You can’t lead or compromise with a group that has vowed to say no at every turn. I think that if President Obama said that the sky was blue the GOP would argue that it’s really green. Just to clear things up, I’m a 60y/o white guy who was a life long Republican until 2004.

  • independantleaningleft

    unlike sleeprn01 I’ve disliked republicans since Reagan (he sucked even more as a president than as an actor) but like him I’m a 60+ white guy who can’t stand what is happening to America because of people like “Whiner Biner” Our illustrious speaker.

  • habibseraj


  • patt

    Are there any Blacks at CPAC except Herman Cain? I didn’t see any people of color in the audience shots on TV. In fact, with the exception of Cain, I never saw people of color anywhere around, or standing on the stage with, any candidate. And then they haul out racist speakers. But if we say they’re racist, WE are race-baiting?? Their token, Cain, was never going to be the candidate, but they had to give a good show, so they get this guy who really wants to be white to perform his minstrel show. Ye gads. Are they insane? Really, if you tell the lie long enough, the only person to believe it will be you, the teller of the lie.

  • Jim Groom

    At least you have to admit that CPAC is up front that they represent the racist and homophobes nutjobs in this country. The mainstream GOP can always point to CPAC and try and claim that this group is just a part of the larger party. What a hoot. The dog whistle works very well and is heard by those who already believe this crap in the first place.

  • Sleipnir

    Two groups that should be banned…..christian conservatives and the tea party. They have done more to divide the country and promote hate than any other groups.

  • snarky

    Great article. I found it very interesting that Hermann Cain was in attendance and had mentioned earlier, that “America has too many stupid people.” Anyway, he did say something along those lines. So, I am assuming, H. Cain showed up at the C-PAC “grope fest” to see these “stupid people” live and in concert.

  • Patrick Labbe

    The inclusion of white racists in the conservative movement is part of the reason Jews, African-Americans and Hispanics are not comfortable weith conservative platforms. Many conservatives are eirther racist or passive in their reaction to racism.

  • Baron Cormac

    Prior to 1965, the most racist elements in America were Southern Democrats. After LBJ got the Voting Rights and Civil Rights Acts passed with Northern Liberal Democrats and the Republicans in Congress, that same Republican party approched the Southern Democrats and said “See how your Party betrayed you? Join us.” And they did. Just about all of the old guard Southern Democrats became Republicans between the years 1966 and 1968. That saw Blacks in the south changing their voter affiliation from Republican to Democrat. The Party of Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt abandoned them, so they joined the party of Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and LBJ. The thing that amazes me is it took two Southern Democrats (Truman and LBJ) to bring about what the Northern Liberal polity could not. To wit – integration of the military and elimination of the Poll Tax.

    • Actually, blacks largely abandoned the Republican Party when the GOP tried the “Southern Strategy” (beta test version) in the 1920s and 30s. Under Hoover, the GOP reached out to southern racists and spurned groups like the NAACP which had up until then been reliable Republican supporters. As a result, almost all African Americans had jumped to the Democrats by 1936. The GOP had betrayed them three times — by giving up on Reconstruction in the 1870s, by forming “Lily White Republican” organizations in the south around the turn of the century, and now Hoover’s open racism.

      They’d only stuck around as long as they had because until FDR the Democrats were no better. Once the Democrats made any move at all towards reconciling with the black community, blacks welcomed the chance to escape the clutches of their Republican betrayers.

      Hoover’s southern strategy scored temporary successes — in 1928 he carried several southern states that had been reliably Democratic since the end of Reconstruction, and the GOP picked up a number of southern House seats. However the Great Depression wiped out all those gains, and it wasn’t until the 1960s when Nixon revived Hoover’s strategy that the GOP made serious, permanent gains in the south.