Friday, March 02, 2007

Will Republicans Apologize For Hanging With Hatemongers This Week?

Alright, alright, Republican hypocrisy is as normal as night following day, so I'm not about to tell you that this is a big story… But I think it's worth mentioning in the wake of the non-issue involving Progressive bloggers Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan and how they were savaged by the right wing for some of their writings, that we see the GOP holding themselves to the same gutter-level standards we've come to expect.

Marcotte and McEwan are the two bloggers once working for the presidential campaign of John Edwards who had some of their work seized upon by Republicans and used as a stick with which to beat Edwards into submission -- demanding that he fire the two women, who were called "foul-mouthed bigots" for their allegedly anti-Catholic writings by Bill Donohue, nutcase president of the Catholic League.

The latest example of right-wing hypocrisy involves the American Conservative Union's CPAC 2007 event, being held right now and through the weekend at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC.

The powwow, which they herald as "the largest gathering of conservative political activists in the country," is being held for the 34th year and attendees will hear from the likes of "Shotgun" Dick Cheney, Senator Jim DeMint, Representative Mike Pence and Republican presidential candidates Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney and Sam Brownback.

Sounds pretty normal so far, right? Get a bunch of conservatives together to hear their heroes talk about waging pointless wars, running up huge deficits, widening the gap between rich and poor, ignoring health care and destroying our reputation in the world… Just another day at the GOP office.

But what's interesting is who these Republican stalwarts will be spending some quality time with. Among the roster of stellar human beings is Chickenhawk blusterer-in-chief Sean Hannity and two people so snakelike they would give Indiana Jones the willies -- Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter.

Hannity and Malkin are familiar blowhards and their hateful rhetoric is well know -- including Malkin referring to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and former California gubernatorial candidate Cruz Bustamante, who are both Hispanic, as "Latino supremacists" in a 2006 column.

But they're both pikers compared to Coulter, who's sure to be the rock star of this unsavory gathering. Here's just a few of the charming things we've heard from Coulter over the last few years:
  • On 9/11 Widows: "These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by grief-arazzis... These self-obsessed women seemed genuinely unaware that 9/11 was an attack on our nation and acted as if the terrorist attacks happened only to them... I’ve never seen people enjoying their husbands’ deaths so much." -- From her book Godless: The Church of Liberalism
  • On Affirmative action (and California Congresswoman Maxine Waters): "Congresswoman Maxine Waters had parachuted into Connecticut earlier in the week to campaign against [Sen. Joseph I.] Lieberman because he once expressed reservations about affirmative action, without which she would not have a job that didn't involve wearing a paper hat." -- August 9, 2006
  • On Canada: "[Canadians] better hope the United States does not roll over one night and crush them. They are lucky we allow them to exist on the same continent." -- November 30, 2004
  • On Freedom of Speech: "They're [Democrats] always accusing us of repressing their speech. I say let's do it. Let's repress them. Frankly, I'm not a big fan of the First Amendment." -- October 20, 2005.
  • On Islam: "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity." -- September 12, 2001
  • On The New York Times: "My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times building." -- August 26, 2002.
  • On Aging Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens: "We need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice Stevens's crème brulee." -- January 26, 2006
  • On The Role of Women: "I think [women] should be armed but should not vote...women have no capacity to understand how money is earned. They have a lot of ideas on how to spend's always more money on education, more money on child care, more money on day care." -- February 26, 2001.
  • More on women: "It would be a much better country if women did not vote. -- May 17, 2003.
There's a bizarre double standard in place -- and the corporate media plays dutifully along -- whereby Democrats can be stained by the most remote association or petty, inconsequential reference, but Republicans could host a KKK cross-burning festival and not be taken to task.

Take it to the bank that if an unknown redneck in rural Illinois made a racist remark, you could count the seconds until the right-wing shrieked for Barack Obama to take responsibility for the act, apologize and prove the guy isn't a relative.

While I'm sure they'll stop short of burning crosses or waving confederate flags during their three days in DC, Brownback, Huckabee and Romney have chosen to be key players at a conference where they will hang with people who have a documented and lengthy track record of lies, hate and fomenting the worst in a segment of our population.

Of course, they won’t apologize or express regret and the corporate media will not call upon them to do that. I'm only hopeful that Democrats will take this as another lesson about how they should think twice before caving in to future demands that they apologize for nothing.