It’s not clear yet if either man will has fully embraced the notion that Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy were communists or that fluoridation was a monstrous commie plot, but both Attorney General Jeff Sessions and North Carolina Republican congressman Mark Meadows will be hanging out with extremists from the John Birch Society next month. Both men are among the group of featured speakers at a June conference to be held at Colorado Christian University entitled the “Western Conservative Summit.” Among the other shining lights on the program for the event: former Reagan administration gas bag Ed Meese and crusading anti-immigrant congressman Steve King.
The Birch Society, which, of course, came to infamy during the Cold War as an outpost for the Right’s conspiracy-minded lunatic fringe, is listed among the events sponsors along with the NRA, an anti-federal government group known as the American Lands Council and a bevy of other far right groups — not to mention Boeing Corporation and, depressingly, the Israeli tourism board.
For those who may not remember the Birch crowd, here’s a handy summary from the good folks at People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch project:
“Since its founding, the John Birch Society has been a racist clearinghouse of far-right conspiracy theories.
JBS has accused Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy, Civil Rights Movement leaders and advocates of water fluoridation of advancing a communist plot…a plot that goes all the way back to the founding of the Illuminati. More recently, the group linked the Sandy Hook massacre to “the assault on white men” that includes everything “from ‘affirmative action’ to massive Third World immigration,” and attacked the GOP for turning into the “Gay Old Party.”
Jeet Heer of The New Republic writes that the Birchers’ conspiratorial nature helped set the stage for Trump’s nomination: ‘Far from belonging merely to the lunatic fringe, the Birchers were important precursors to what is now the governing ideology of the Republican Party: Trumpism. Bircherism is now, with Trump, flourishing in an entirely new way. Far from being drummed out of conservatism, it has become the dominant strain.’”
Should be quite a party. Maybe some libertarian from the crowd in attendance can at least secret Sessions off to a legal marijuana shop so that he can see his paranoia on that subject is ill-founded. Let’s hope.