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Pam Geller and Robert Spencer at CPAC
Pam Geller and Robert Spenser (far right) at the close of CPAC's 'Uninvited' panel
I popped into the Uninvited panel, held by the crowd in a rebellious move to, well, highlight the people that are so batshit crazy that even CPAC organizers themselves don't want to be seen with them. You may have heard the stink caused by their passing over of Pamela Geller, Robert Spenser and a few others, when they had been perfectly welcome before. The problem: their insistence that other members of the conservative movement were in fact secret allies of the Muslim Brotherhood and radical Islam. Generic ranting about Americans in cahoots with radical Islam is fine and welcomed here, mind you, but when you start accusing Grover Norquist or individual CPAC board members of being in cahoots with radical Islam, suddenly that's over the line. Point. Noted.

Oh, how the panel did not disappoint. The audience was chock full of reporters, liberal plants all, no doubt, and Geller and Spenser did a fine job of making sure everybody knows they have no intention of backing down on the crazy nutball insanity part. Geller, for her part, says that the CPAC board member in question, Suhail Kahn, is not just as bad as the al Queda figure Anwar al-Aulaqi: "he's worse!" Spenser is in fine form, repeating his accusations that Grover Norquist is an ally of the Muslim Brotherhood; his remarks are so popular with the crowd that it results in a standing ovation. Despite the obvious questions you might have, no, none of these people appeared to be drunk.

Then it is question time, and the professional birther conspiracy theorist Orly Taitz stands up to make a long, rambling, angry speech complaining that nobody is covering the birther crackpot conspiracy, not even the hosts of the panel, and why is that? Even this audience isn't keen on Taitz's sermon, nor the panelists, and someone shouts "sit down." Moderator Steve Bannon, already having pressed her repeatedly to ask an actual question already during her tirade, has no patience for her. "We're not a birther site," he says dismissively, and Taitz angrily leaves the room.

The panel responses to questions are dominated by Spencer and Geller. Spenser says that because the maker of the virulently anti-Islam film that led to protests in the Mideast was put in jail by the Obama administration instead of having his First Amendment rights respected, it shows the administration is "enforcing sharia!" Actually, the twit was jailed for parole violations, not for making an execrable and intended-to-be-offensive movie, but that's the Spencer/Geller style. No mere, easily checked truths will oppress their right to see dark conspiracies under every single drink coaster. Bannon puts an end to things by inviting the birther members of the audience to debate him all in the lobby afterwards.

By audience reaction, the panel was a big success. "I came just for this," a woman says in the hallway afterwards.

Another is praising Orly Taitz. "She's such a hero. I love her accent."

Originally posted to Hunter on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 01:15 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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