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First things . . . Richard Falknor on 20 May 2012 03:54 pm

Would Paul Weyrich Have Muzzled Outspoken Shariah Critics?

One of the most endearing virtues of the Coalitions for America luncheons under the late Paul Weyrich’s leadership was what they were not: gatherings of cheerleaders for the Beltway GOP.

For example, if press accounts of the Weyrich Luncheon following president George W. Bush’s 2005 nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court are to be believed, Coalitions regulars could be severe and outspoken critics of even a sitting Republican president —

“Weyrich, who hosted one of the meetings, said afterward that he had rarely seen the level of passion at one of his weekly sessions. ‘This kind of emotional thing will not happen’ often, Weyrich said. But he feared the White House advisers did not really grasp the seriousness of the conservative grievance. ‘I don’t know if they got the message. I didn’t sense that they really understand where people were coming from.’”   

We are not revealing any off-the-record exchanges when we say that under Mr. Weyrich’s leadership, these regular gatherings were often measured exercises in accountability for both a sitting GOP president’s senior staff and for many GOP members of the Congress. 

The Banning of Frank Gaffney from the Weyrich Luncheon.

Our sources tell us that Mr. David Weigel’s account in last Thursday’s Slate here of this lamentable action is largely accurate.  An extract —

“This week, the Center for Security Policy’s Frank Gaffney was not present at the Weyrich lunch. He’d been disinvited, after a years-long, public campaign of criticizing Norquist and other movement figures, warning of a ‘concerted Muslim Brotherhood infiltration effort.’ The flash point, according to a Gaffney ally, was the new, 8.5 hour, 10-part documentary about the brotherhood that Gaffney now offers online.

‘He gave a briefing on this topic in the context of Soviet-era subversion outside the Weyrich lunch,’ I’m told, ‘and it was too much for the leadership there.’”

Indeed.

Of the Coalitions board sponsoring the Weyrich Luncheons, only its chairman Colin Hanna courageously declined to support the muzzling attempt. 

Here is Coalitions for America’s Form 990 for 2010 which lists five board members:

In addition to Mr. Hanna, we find Morton Blackwell, Cleta Mitchell, Tim Goeglein, and Tom McCluskey. Possibly there have been some changes since the organization’s 2010 Form 990 was filed just one year ago. But clearly Mr. Blackwell is still there.  What trumped his experience and standing – – beguiling him perhaps even to lead the muzzlers?

Last February we asked in our Savaging Shariah Critic Gaffney:What Is the ACU Up To?

“[F]aithful readers will recall northern Virginia Representative Frank Wolf’s October 4, 2011 statement to the House entitled ‘Grover Norquist’s Relationships Should Give People Pause.’ Readers should scroll down in this link to see what Mr. Wolf terms ‘Terrorist Connections.’

Moreover we call readers attention to David Horowitz’s address to CPAC on February 13 of last year entitled  ‘The Muslim Brotherhood Inside the Conservative Movement.’”

What Were The “Muzzling Four” Board Members Thinking?

They presumed to decide who the Luncheon’s seasoned activists may hear in arguably the one regular and significant Washington, D. C. meeting where robust conservative discussion can take place on topics ranging from supporting traditional values, strengthening defense, reforming taxing and diminishing spending, immigration control, and environmental totalitarianism.

To say that Mr. Gaffney may not present at the Weyrich Luncheon on his view of the imminent danger of Shariah is to say that experts from Andy McCarthy to Paul Sperry are also unwelcome.

Would the “muzzling four” ban Representative Frank Wolf and national voice David Horowitz from speaking about what they see as Grover Norquist’s Islamist leanings at the Weyrich Luncheon?

Or, how about widely acclaimed investigator and Maryland Congressional candidate Ken Timmerman who writes about “Grover Norquist’s New Muslim Protégé.”

The Weyrich Luncheon: Erasing the Shame

Paul Weyrich’s foundational work deserves better care.

We propose that the Luncheon regulars be polled on the Board’s action — not to endorse one position over competing views, but to ensure that views well within the conservative (if not the GOP Beltway) spectrum can be robustly debated.

Most readers are not participants (request form here) in the Weyrich Luncheon. 

But everyone should recognize that this is an institution of singular value to conservatives across America a gathering which should be enhanced, preserved, and protected.

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