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Poor NOM Marginalized at CPAC

Michelangelo Signorile was at CPAC last week, as he always is, and writes about how the poor, financially strapped National Organization for Marriage was consigned to a nondescript table in the basement of the hotel. In past years, they’ve been center stage. But first, this amusing anecdote:

And last year Brian Brown, NOM’s current president, sat on a panel focused on defending “traditional marriage” that was moderated by Cleta Mitchell, the archenemy of GOProud and all things gay, and an influential board member of the American Conservative Union (ACU), which hosts CPAC.

I spoke with Brown that day in National Harbor, Md., at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, where CPAC was held this year and last, and he was positively giddy. We chatted while seated on a bench next to a faux 19th-century-style general store in a Disneyland-like “old town” center enclosed in a giant, 19-story glass atrium of the hotel. It’s an artificial, hermetically sealed environment, with banana plants and hydrangeas that bloom every day, out of season. It was an appropriate locale for a conversation with a man who wants to keep the world perfectly preserved in the past, seemingly oblivious — or doing a good job of faking it — to what’s happening outside the bubble.

“We are going to win at the Supreme Court!” Brown exclaimed with a beaming smile on that day in March 2013, declaring that taking California’s Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act to the Supreme Court will have been “the biggest strategic mistake” of the gay-rights movement.

How’d that turn out for you, Brian? About this well:

And this year at CPAC there was no panel focused on the evils of gay marriage, nor were Maggie Gallagher or Brian Brown anywhere to be found. NOM, which has reportedly been having major financial issues, operating with a $2-million deficit, did have a small table in the basement of the hotel with the other exhibitors, though nothing as grand as the massive, expensive booths and tents of the gun-rights groups or the anti-tax activists. At the NOM table two chirpy 20-somethings handed out fliers as very few people stopped by. When I was there, one of them was being challenged on marriage equality by a 20-something CPAC attendee.

When I asked for a NOM spokesperson, they called upstairs, and NOM’s Chris Plante, who’d once said that gays “turn children into little teacup dogs” as an “accessory,” came down. He was quite disturbed about the lack of any panel on “traditional marriage” at CPAC.

“There is an obvious absence,” he complained. “And that is a mistake. It’s not representing true conservatives across this country. … CPAC … is not representing what we would call the Republican Party of this country.” He added, “I’ve already spoken with several [conservative Christian leaders] who are concerned with that absence. There are certainly things that are going on within the organizations that back CPAC up. … For CPAC to step away from [marriage] is quite surprising.”

Half the attendees at CPAC were under 25. And even young conservatives tend not to want anything to do with anti-gay politics, with some obvious exceptions of course. NOM is rapidly descending into irrelevance. Brian Brown may actually have to get a real job.

Comments

  1. Al Dente says

    The Catholic Church has its own financial problems and the Mormon Church is preparing for another revelation from “Heavenly Father” so NOM has two of its major backers. I’m not surprised that NOM is having money problems.

  2. says

    Brian Brown may actually have to get a real job.

    It’s easy enough to parlay an anti-gay career in to an anti-some other Unpopular Minority career.

  3. RickR says

    Delicious though it may be, I should lighten up on the Schadenfreude, lest I have to have my pants let out.

    So, what have we got? From what I can see, it’s just a heaping helping of “No True Conservative”. Apparently CPAC is either goin’ full libtard, or they’re succumbing to the bullying of BIG GHEY and abandoning their sincerely held beliefs out of fear of the jackbooted HOMOTHUGZ™. Or something. Maybe some combination of the two.

    Fuck you, NOM. I hope it hurts.

  4. dingojack says

    “NOM’s Chris Plante, who’d once said that gays “turn children into little teacup dogs” as an “accessory,”…”
    Clearly one of Quentin Tarantino’s less successful movie franchises.

    “CPAC … is not representing what we would call the Republican Party of this country….”
    Aww quelle damage. Perhaps they’re representing the reality that the PoG finds themselves actually in.
    Dingo

  5. D. C. Sessions says

    It’s easy enough to parlay an anti-gay career in to an anti-some other Unpopular Minority career.

    Well, right now they have the Muslims, although unlike the LGBT folk they’ll have a harder time with the “not protected by the Constitution” part. They’re still getting some mileage out of Hispanics, too.

    After that, though, it’s going to get kinda thin pickings.

  6. raven says

    Brian Brown may actually have to get a real job.

    May have already happened. I saw some guy on the sidewalk with a cardboard sign. “Will hate for money.”

    As already noted, there are large numbers of groups to hate in fundieland. Atheists, Moslems, women, college students, scientists, Democrats, nonwhites, progressive xians.

    Just about anyone who isn’t an angry, old, white, male, fundie will work.

  7. Randomfactor says

    Half the attendees at CPAC were under 25

    I cannot say how much this depresses me.

  8. caseloweraz says

    At the NOM table two chirpy 20-somethings handed out fliers as very few people stopped by. When I was there, one of them was being challenged on marriage equality by a 20-something CPAC attendee.

    Uh oh — dissension in the ranks! Must have been an agent provocateur maneuvered into place by devious Obama administration operatives.

  9. nancymannikko says

    Half the attendees at CPAC were under 25

    I heard the organizers entice college students to attend, although it’s unclear just what those enticements are. The end result is that the right wingers appear to be more attractive to younger voters than they actually are, at least at CPAC. I hope they’re offering the kids actual money because I’d hate to think they were selling out for just a tote bag and some snacks.

  10. had3 says

    Raven @ 6: at cpac, those are the only ones who do work, the rest are free loaders taking government handouts.

  11. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @7. Randomfactor :

    “Half the attendees at CPAC were under 25″
    I cannot say how much this depresses me.

    Maybe you shoukld ask fitrts how many attendees there were? From what I gather the crowd was pretty small and maybe some of them were also there as carers or family members helping their elderly relatives?

    Anyhow, great to read about NOM being in such delightfully dire trouble – fabulous news and couldn’t happen to a nastier more deserving bunch.

  12. says

    “Anyhow, great to read about NOM being in such delightfully dire trouble – fabulous news and couldn’t happen to a nastier more deserving bunch.”

    The job will not be done until NOM is small enough to strangle in a baby’s bath, a bath filled with their own bile.

  13. dugglebogey says

    If there’s one thing conservatives hate most, it’s the poors. If you are broke, it’s because you are a lazy liberal living off the government teat. If your PAC is broke, then you must be lazy, probably liberal and are looking for a handout, and they want nothing to do with you.

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