QUOTE OF THE DAY…. The LA Times’ Peter Wallsten reports today about some discontent in Republican circles about inmates running the GOP asylum.
Amid a rebirth of conservative activism that could help Republicans win elections next year, some party insiders now fear that extreme rhetoric and conspiracy theories coming from the angry reaches of the conservative base are undermining the GOP’s broader credibility and casting it as the party of the paranoid.
Such insiders point to theories running rampant on the Internet, such as the idea that Barack Obama was born in Kenya and is thus ineligible to be president, or that he is a communist, or that his allies want to set up Nazi-like detention camps for political opponents. Those theories, the insiders say, have stoked the GOP base and have created a “purist” climate in which a figure such as Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) is lionized for his “You lie!” outburst last week when Obama addressed Congress.
They are “wild accusations and the paranoid delusions coming from the fever swamps,” said David Frum, a conservative author and speechwriter for President George W. Bush who is among the more vocal critics of the party base and of the conservative talk show hosts helping to fan the unrest.
“Like all conservatives, I am concerned about this administration’s accumulation of economic power,” Frum said. “Still, you have to be aware that there’s a line where legitimate concerns begin to collapse into paranoid fantasy.”
That sounds encouraging, but David Frum is David Frum, and he doesn’t have a lot of Republican Party allies right now. Wallsten there are “some” worried “party insiders” who see unhinged radicals making the GOP look bad, but it’s hard not to notice that the LA Times’ article on the subject didn’t find many insiders willing to say anything critical on the record.
That said, there was one development of note. Next year’s Conservative Political Action Conference has decided not to host a “Birther” panel discussion.
“It would fill a room,” said event director Lisa De Pasquale. “But so would a two-headed monkey.”
Update: Right Wing Watch reminds me that while CPAC doesn’t want to host a panel on “Birtherism” at its next gathering, let’s not forget WorldNetDaily’s Joseph Farah’s prominent role at previous CPAC events.