Posted by Audiegrl
Los Angeles Times/Peter Wallsten—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.”
Frum and other establishment Republicans have spoken out in recent days against the influence of what they view as their party’s fringe elements.
One of the important and surprising parts of the article is the fact that maybe someone in the Republican party is finally starting to understand that the ‘optics‘ of angry Teabaggers can turn into a net-negative for Republicans.
In one symbolic development, organizers of next year’s Conservative Political Action Conference — the country’s biggest annual meeting of activists on the right — said last week that they had rejected a request to schedule a panel on whether Obama was a native-born U.S. citizen.
“It would fill a room,” said event director Lisa De Pasquale. “But so would a two-headed monkey. There really are so many more important issues, and it’s only a three-day conference.”
CPAC officials said WorldNetDaily’s Farah asked the group to hold the panel.
The CPAC decision came after Washington GOP strategist Jon Henke began a campaign against WorldNetDaily, which has published numerous articles giving credence to the birthplace issue and other allegations against the Obama administration.
WorldNetDaily is also soliciting signatures and e-mail addresses for a petition calling on “any and all controlling legal authorities in this matter” to examine Obama’s birth certificate.
Ok, ok, maybe its just one conference panel, but hey, I’m trying to be an optimist, so at least it’s a start in the right direction.
Let me know what you think!