Charles Pierce and David Silverman at #CPAC2014


American Atheists still has a presence at the gathering of the wackaloons called CPAC, despite having their booth expelled. This promises to produce some great stories from both of them, but I’m getting a little worried that Silverman is going to try and bring some of the assholes home to atheism with him. Could we try to grow the movement at a progressive conference instead, please?

Comments

  1. otrame says

    I don’t know, PZ. We already have a significant component of assholes and a few more probably won’t matter all that much. At least if conservative atheists join us they will not get away with their heartlessness without being challenged. And just maybe a few will find their fucking hearts. It happens.

  2. says

    Past statements that came out of the CPAC meeting, cross-posted from the Lounge:

    “Even if an alcoholic is powerless over alcohol once it enters his body, he still makes a choice to drink. And, even if someone is attracted to a person of the same sex, he or she still makes a choice to engage in sexual activity with someone of the same gender.” – Rick Perry, 2008
    “After Hurricane Sandy, we saw the hellish world that the gun prohibitionists see as their utopia.” – Wayne LaPierre, 2013

    “One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country … It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.” – Rick Santorum, 2011

    “More background checks? Dandy idea, Mr. President. Shoulda started with yours.” – Sarah Palin, 2013

    “I’m not a scientist, man. I can tell you what the recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that’s [the age of the Earth] a dispute amongst theologians, and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States.” – Marco Rubio, 2012 […]

    “Right now about 60 percent of the American people get more benefits in dollar value from the federal government than they pay back in taxes. So we’re going to a majority of takers versus makers in America and that will be tough to come back from that. They’ll be dependent on government [rather] than themselves.” – Paul Ryan, 2010

    “Terrorism kills, and Barbara Boxer is worried about the weather.” – Carly Fiorina, 2010

    “A well-educated black has a tremendous advantage over a well-educated white in terms of the job market …If I was starting off today, I would love to be a well-educated black because I really do believe they have the actual advantage.” – Donald Trump, 1989 […]

    http://www.salon.com/2014/03/06/cpac_stars_greatest_hits_18_outrageous_things_cpacs_top_speakers_have_previously_uttered/

  3. says

    Forgot to point in my comment #2 that the Salon link is a repetition of the first link in PZ’s post.

    Here’s some news from this year’s CPAC speeches:

    In an energetic and well-received address kicking off CPAC 2014, Texas senator and Tea Party favorite Ted Cruz took shots at “consultants” and Barney Frank, decried that under Obama “the people of Ukraine have seen Russian tanks move into their sovereign land,” and urged the abolition of the IRS, the institution of a flat tax, and the repeal of “every single word of Obamacare.” […]

    Oh, yeah. Not extreme at all, not unreasonable at all.
    Link.

  4. says

    Chris Christie spoke at CPAC, and he claimed that the Republican Party is the party of tolerance.

    Chris Christie told CPAC attendees today that Republican “intolerance on social issues” is nothing but a myth. He insisted that Republicans are the truly tolerant party because they have allowed pro-choice politicians such as Condoleezza Rice and Tom Ridge to address their nominating conventions. Link.

  5. Anthony K says

    So divisive. Why can’t we all just agree that there is no God and big gummint stoled our freedoms?

    The people who believe in ghosts, Mary got pregnant through her ear, homeopathy, dowsing, psychic powers, faith healing, vaccines cause autism, bigfoot, chupacabra, the Bermuda triangle, ergone, the Shroud of Turin, Allah, Vishnu, Inti, Jesus on toast, Q-Ray® Bracelets, perpetual motion machines, exorcisms, climate change is a myth, power lines and cellphone cause cancer, and the secular religion called ‘liberalism’ don’t need the Nanny State telling them how to live their lives.

  6. Anthony K says

    I betcha the kindly CPAC folks wouldn’t have had a problem with AA’s “Slaves Obey Your Masters” billboard at all, unlike some ungrateful sorts I could mention. Hell, I think atheists and evangelical conservatives could both have a good ol’ fap to that one. It’d be a real kumbaya moment for white solidarity.

    Bring ‘em home, Davey! Recruit on!

  7. anteprepro says

    The only people that atheists should think about recruiting at CPAC are the ones that run out of their screaming. Or the ones that are cackling loudly in the peanut gallery.

  8. Anthony K says

    The only people that atheists should think about recruiting at CPAC are the ones that run out of their screaming.

    Hey, just because they hate Dave and American Atheists and kicked him out doesn’t mean that his pathetic “I can still be your friend though, right?” performance isn’t helping.

    Q: Hey, how do you tell an American atheist from an American evangelical?
    A: Forget the liberal arts philosophism and get a job, you lazy steaks-bought-with-foodstamps-eating sponge!

  9. says

    Re anteprepro’s comment #7, that makes me feel sorry for Chris Christie. He didn’t get to brandish a weapon like Mitch McConnell. Of course, Christie would have looked even more ridiculous waving a gun around.

    What’s with the rock-n-roll soundtrack behind McConnell? “Hold on to what you got …”

  10. says

    Here’s part of what Paul Ryan had to say at CPAC:

    “This reminds me of a story I heard from Eloise Anderson. She serves in the cabinet of my friend Governor Scott Walker. She once met a young boy from a poor family. And every day at school, he would get a free lunch from a government program. But he told Eloise he didn’t want a free lunch. He wanted his own lunch — one in a brown-paper bag just like the other kids’. He wanted one, he said, because he knew a kid with a brown-paper bag had someone who cared for him.

    “That’s what the Left just doesn’t understand.”

    Dafuq?

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/paul-ryan-and-the-brown-bag

  11. ck says

    @Lynna,
    That’s why the school lunch program has to end. That way that child will know that he has no one to care for him, and that no one will help him even if he suffers.

  12. Anthony K says

    That’s why the school lunch program has to end. That way that child will know that he has no one to care for him, and that no one will help him even if he suffers.

    Okay, but does that child know that there’s no god either, before she starves to death? Because that’s where American Atheists comes in.

  13. coffeehound says

    Okay, but does that child know that there’s no god either, before she starves to death? Because that’s where American Atheists comes in.

    Or, if Silverman is a libertarian like Ryan,” I brought my lunch today, f*** you”.

  14. kellym says

    On Feb 27th, I received a broadcast email from American Atheists regarding their expulsion from CPAC. It included in bold, “ By discriminating and cramming religion into places it doesn’t belong, they only weaken their influence in the political landscape.” I can’t think of a worse use of resources than attempting to strengthen CPAC attendees’ influence in the political landscape. I’m a bit horrified and repulsed that I’m currently a member of an organization attempting to do so. We do not share the same values. I do not plan to renew my membership in August.

  15. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    Well, Silverman’s already apparently decided that the slymey side of atheism is where his bread is buttered, why not bring in more? Eventually, he can stop even pretending to give a fuck about us social justice types, amiright?

  16. gussnarp says

    Why in the world do they have to make other people’s children to pray? That’s not conservatism. That’s theocracy. Conservatism is that government stays out of lives. It means government doesn’t go into the doctor’s office or into the bedroom. That’s big government. And I’m here to say that that’s big government, and it should be dumped.

    You know, Dave has this misconception of what “conservatism” is that is becoming all too common, and it’s just not true at all. What Dave’s talking about is libertarianism, not conservatism. Reagan created this notion that conservatism was opposed to big government, but it wasn’t true then and it’s still not. Conservatism has nothing to do whatsoever with the size of government, only with its priorities and the priorities of conservatism are fucked up. It happens to share a few of those fucked up priorities with libertarianism, but, for example, conservatism supports a big military and using it to promote the well being of American business interests abroad. Libertarians claim to oppose that. Conservatism also opposes using the power of government to help the poor, minorities and women, and libertarians agree with that.

  17. says

    More quotes from the high points (measured by audience reaction) of the CPAC speeches: Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association shouted:

    In this uncertain world, surrounded by lies and corruption everywhere you look, there is no greater freedom than the right to survive and protect our families with all the rifles, shotguns, and handguns we want!

    LaPierre really had in for the media too. He thinks you might need your guns to fight the media. If that’s the coming battle, MSNBC needs to get some less wimpy new anchors. I mean, we can’t depend on Rachel Maddow to fight them all off alone.

  18. ck says

    Anthony K wrote:

    Okay, but does that child know that there’s no god either, before she starves to death?

    If we have children dying the slow, painful death of starvation, does the question of the existence of god really matter in that scenario?

    On the bright side, the visceral rejection of Silverman and AA at this conservative conference is unlikely to do much harm, and helps clearly demonstrate how the Republican party has positioned itself as the party of Jesus. If this induces even a few people to stop supporting the party that actively hates them, maybe it’s worth it.

  19. says

    Here’s a photo of the CPAC audience that gathered (or rather, failed to gather) for the “Minority Outreach” panel. Dailykos link.

    Yeah, nobody showed up. Not really interested, I guess.

  20. Anthony K says

    If we have children dying the slow, painful death of starvation, does the question of the existence of god really matter in that scenario?

    Why yes, yes it does. You see, we don’t want children starving for religious reasons. Only economic ones (praise Paul Ryan, Prosperity Be Upon Him.)

    If this induces even a few people to stop supporting the party that actively hates them, maybe it’s worth it.

    If. And even if, then what’ll they do? What did religious conservatives disenchanted with the party do? You think conservative atheists who don’t already support lunch programs will start because CPAC hates atheists?

  21. gussnarp says

    @Jackie #22: Thanks for that. I laughed at the title, then I read the article and laughed some more.

  22. kreativekaos says

    Could we try to grow the movement at a progressive conference instead, please?

    (In my best British accent) ‘Here, here good man, I would like to second that suggestion.’

  23. jnorris says

    Seeing Senator McConnell waving a rifle all around made me curious: are CPAC2014 attendees allowed to bring their loaded guns onto the convention floor?

  24. Anthony K says

    are CPAC2014 attendees allowed to bring their loaded guns onto the convention floor?

    Can’t shoot The Other™ with an unloaded gun, can you?

  25. viggen111 says

    Could we try to grow the movement at a progressive conference instead, please?

    Well done Professor Myers, showing once again where your actual affiliation lies. It’s all liberal politics, not about being a candle in the dark. You should realize by now that you can’t grow a movement by preaching to the choir. You will happily shoot your movement in the foot to assure that everybody in it will vote exactly the same way as you. Funny how your ideas of equanimity and equality extend everywhere but to having different ideas or realizing that sometimes compromise is necessary to civilization. We won’t be living in a democracy if we have to worry about the thought police from _any_ ideology, including yours.

  26. Akira MacKenzie says

    It’s all liberal politics…

    So? What part of “…from a godless liberal” didn’t you fucking understand, asshole?

  27. anteprepro says

    You should realize by now that you can’t grow a movement by preaching to the choir.

    You hear that folks? Talking about atheism to a group of progressives is preaching to the choir? Meaning that liberals are already atheists? You know what that means? In fell swoop, with just the gibbering of viggen to warp reality on our behalf, atheists are the number one largest religious affiliation in the United States! WE DID IT! We really did it!

  28. ck says

    Viggen, what’s the point of growing a movement to include people who would vote against their own interests and help promote theocrats who hate us? No, I don’t expect you to answer this because your post wasn’t ever really about anything but sneering at PZ and the folks here.

  29. says

    There are lots of examples up-thread of the Crazy being preached at CPAC. But for some, that amount of Crazy is not crazy enough. Hence, there was a simultaneous shadow convention for those who know the real truth and are not afraid to say it. /sarcasm

    In the bowels of the National Harbor convention center in suburban Maryland on Thursday, a nonprofit called Empact America schooled attendees about the threat of a terrorist attack by way of an electromagnetic pulse. Former Reagan Defense Department official Frank Gaffney articulated his view that anti-tax activist and American Conservative Union board member Grover Norquist is an undercover agent for the Muslim Brotherhood. Ginni Thomas, a Daily Caller contributor and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, alleged that President Barack Obama may be guilty of providing material support for terrorism. At least one panelist suggested that Speaker of the House John Boehner was a part of the Benghazi cover-up. (Who can say?)

    But this gathering of very concerned right-wingers wasn’t an official part of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference underway in the same facility. The panelists were the “uninvited”—a motley crew of conservative activists who had been shunned by CPAC organizers and assembled, for the second consecutive year, as a sort of shadow convention by Breitbart News. […]

    Mother Jones link.

  30. says

    From the Mother Jones link in comment #35:

    […]In 2012, CPAC organizers opened up their conference to folks like John Derbyshire (since fired from the National Review for telling his kids to avoid black people), and the founder of VDare.com, celebrating the first English child born in North America. Last year, Wayne Allyn Root, who attempted to swing the 2012 election by claiming Obama attended Columbia as a foreign exchange student, spoke from a CPAC side stage. Three years ago, Thomas Woods, a founder of the secessionist group League of the South, spoke at a CPAC breakout session and held a book signing. Last year, a Fox News commentator made a rape joke about a rape victim. There have even been CPAC panels on the supposed Muslim Brotherhood takeover of CPAC. […]

    I guess the conclusion is, it could be worse. 2012 CPAC was worse than 2013 CPAC. But the shadow convention was bigger.

  31. Anthony K says

    Ahh, CPAC. Where American Atheists isn’t welcome, white nationalists are.

    viggen111 must be so dismayed PZ is not conducting neo-Nazi outreach. Hitler was, after all, an atheist.

    Keep preaching to your non-white-supremacist choir, PZ, instead of growing the atheist movement!

  32. waldenpond says

    Looks like Silverman is at CPAC because those are his people.

    From Roy Edroso at Rawstory:

    “But why is this his battle? Why not let conservatives be conservatives and just vote for the candidates he likes? “Because I want a choice,” said Silverman. “I don’t get a choice at the voting booth, ever.” He describes himself as a “fiscally conservative” voter who “owns several guns. I’m a strong supporter of the military. I think fiscal responsibility is very important. I see that as pretty conservative. And I have my serious suspicions about Obama. I don’t like that he’s spying on us. I don’t like we’ve got drones killing people…” In the final analysis, “the Democrats are too liberal for me,” he says.

    Reading the whole thing, Silverman is a libertarian.

  33. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    Silverman is whatever benefits Silverman the most at that particular moment. Notice how he was a feminist about a year ago, then suddenly when the ‘Pitter donations started drying up, it’s all “just disagreement” and Justin Vacula’s a real great guy.

  34. Jackie, all dressed in black says

    Viggen,
    Progressive politics is a light in the dark. Liberals aren’t calling for religion to be forced on kids in public schools, Christians to be able to discriminate against women and LGBTQ folks, or for the idea that “Real Americans” are ignorant, Bible toting, gun fondling, flag waving, bigots. That’s coming from your friends on the right. Atheist right wingers only want to take the Christianity out of that scenario. They’ll keep the discrimination, the guns, inadequate public education and protect the status quo in every way because they, like all righties, only care about what directly benefits them. They don’t want to change the system. They just want to make it possible for them to to rise to the top of it, the rest of us be damned.

    No, I’m not interested in working to help them fulfill that desire.

  35. says

    Just to keep topics separate, I’m going to rip into David Silverman over here instead of the hating conservatives thread; not that he’s not conservative enough to call for castigating over there too, but this thread’s about him in particular.

    “But why is this his battle? Why not let conservatives be conservatives and just vote for the candidates he likes? “Because I want a choice,” said Silverman. “I don’t get a choice at the voting booth, ever.”

    Hanuman humping Heimdallr in a hammock am I fucking sick of this fucking meme. Seriously, I hear it all the fucking time, “Oh we need to have a conservative party to balance things, I wish the Republicans weren’t so batshit and we had a reasonable conservative party again”. I hear it from self-described liberals especially and I’m fucking fed up with it. Before that meme has any fucking validity, I’m going to need to hear an example of a reasonable conservative position, which no one has yet been able to provide me.

    He describes himself as a “fiscally conservative” voter who

    “Fiscal Conservative” = “Doesn’t understand Macroeconomics and has a poor grasp of microeconomics as well.”

    “owns several guns.

    What do you do with them? Why do you own several guns?

    I’m a strong supporter of the military. I think fiscal responsibility is very important.

    As others have noted, putting these two things in the same sentence shows a laughable lack of awareness, although it’s a very common one.

    I see that as pretty conservative.

    Yes, blatant hypocrisy and a stunning lack of self-awareness are pretty standard conservative traits, but most of us don’t consider them positives.

    And I have my serious suspicions about Obama. I don’t like that he’s spying on us. I don’t like we’ve got drones killing people…”

    Because it’s totally the Democrat’s fault we’re going around shooting foreigners. All on them, not conservatives or Republicans at all. I love* how people hit on the “OMG Drones!” meme to attack Obama, as though it’s somehow worse to kill people that way than by old-fashioned high altitude bombing or even older fashioned shooting them with rifles.

    In the final analysis, “the Democrats are too liberal for me,” he says.

    Well fuck you too, Chumley. You’ve chosen your side, and I wish you joy of it. You’ll not be getting a good word from me, though.

    *Disclaimer: I use this word sarcastically. I actually loathe these people with every fiber of my being to a degree beyond communication by human language.

  36. anteprepro says

    I’m surprised that no one has yet to remark on the hypocrisy of: “I’m a strong supporter of the military (unlike libruls). Also: OH NOES DRONES!!”

    Either he thinks that drones don’t count as military activity for some reason, or he isn’t so strong of a supporter of the military that he doesn’t caveats and reservations regarding that support. Go figure.

  37. anteprepro says

    Silverman is whatever benefits Silverman the most at that particular moment. Notice how he was a feminist about a year ago, then suddenly when the ‘Pitter donations started drying up, it’s all “just disagreement” and Justin Vacula’s a real great guy.

    He should run for office. Sounds like a politician to the very core.

  38. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    “I support the military! That’s why I’m totally cool with keeping Paul Loebe on staff, even though he goes around being a massive fucking asshole all the time! IT’S JUST DISAGREEMENT GIVE ME YOUR MONEY SO I CAN MAKE MORE AWFUL BILLBOARDS YARRRRRRGHHHHH!”

  39. Pierce R. Butler says

    I never realized before how much Texasism remains in the O’Hair cult.

  40. Pierce R. Butler says

    anteprepro @ # 45: Either he thinks that drones don’t count as military activity …

    Considering how many US killer-drone operations are carried out by civilian contractors working for the CIA, that may count as a valid point (from a legal-literalist point of view, anyhow).

  41. doublereed says

    Honestly, I wouldn’t pay attention to anything he actually says while he’s at CPAC. I feel like he’s just there to troll hahaha

  42. doublereed says

    Btw, hilariousness in the comment section of the third link:

    Pat Healy

    As with the Log Cabin Republicans, this guy has observed (Groucho) Marxism in reverse – he wants to be a member of a club that would never have someone like him as a member.