Pas D’Enemmi a Droite

It appears a likely collision with Occupy DC members will not be the only source of controversy for the activists gathering to beat the drums and vet the candidates at CPAC ’12, the American Conservative Union’s annual gathering of the wingnut tribes in Washington that kicks off tomorrow. Via the vigilent folk at People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch, we learn that this year’s CPAC will include in the Big Tent an interesting array of people who may be clinically questionable:

Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, along with several Republican senators and congressmen, are set to appear at the American Conservative Union’s Conservative Political Action Conference, but the GOP brass aren’t the only ones set to be at CPAC. As we’ve previously reported, CPAC will play host to anti-gay groups such as the Family Research Council, the birther leader of WorldNetDaily, and the Apartheid-nostalgic Youth for Western Civilization.

But that isn’t all.

Following speeches from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Rep. Michele Bachmann, CPAC is hosting the panel “The Failure of Multiculturalism: How the pursuit of diversity is weakening the American Identity” with Peter Brimelow, the founder and head of VDARE.com.

Oh my. RWW calls Brimelow’s group “white nationalist,” but even if you lean over backwards to doubt that term, it’s reasonably clear VDARE has a pretty unwholesome preoccupation with the declining honkitude of American demography, culture and politics.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for CPAC sponsors and attendees to get defensive about VDARE. Best I can recall, the biggest recent controversies about the inclusiveness of CPAC involve heartburn about gays and Muslims being in the house. Maybe that will change, but on the other hand, this is a time when movement conservatives continue to fret that their presidential field is feeling insufficient pressure from the starboard flank. Besides, when pressed, CPAC attendees can always change the subject to their horrible persecution by the dirty hippies of Occupy.

UPDATE: Should have probably explained that the title of this post is a play on the old Popular Front slogan: “Pas d’ennemi a gauche!” (No enemies to the left!). Sorry for getting pointy-headed on you, particularly in French. Don’t worry, I’m hardly fluent.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.