People for the American Way's Right Wing Watch has released a report about the hosts and organizers of this weekend's How To Take Back America Conference in St. Louis, and it's pretty unsettling. Their report -- "Why Are GOP Officials Embracing Extremists at Upcoming ‘How to Take Back America’ Conference?" -- can be read here and at the bottom of this post. Here's a taste:
Mike Huckabee, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Rep. Steve King (R-IA), Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA), and Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) have agreed to speak at the event, which is hosted by activists who are actively promoting the most extreme, inflammatory , and false charges and conspiracy theories now making the rounds on the far right fringes, including claims that President Obama is not an American citizen, that his administration is preparing internment camps for conservatives, that the swine flu vaccine is a pretext for genocide, and even that the “cash-for-clunkers” program was just an excuse for “big brother” to get access to people’s email and other personal information for internal spying purposes.
Yet local politicians like Rep. Todd Akin will be featured guests. Rather than distancing themselves from such dangerous kookiness, leading figures in the Republican Party are happily attending.
Can you think of any analogous events on the other end of the political spectrum? In a media environment where the tenuous connections to controversial figures and organizations are exploited by FOX News and talk radio, I think the answer is no.