Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Wannabe


T
here are reports that Kevin W. Blier first appeared on the conservative political scene in New Hampshire as a would-be Young Republican leader whose colleagues found had a style that they couldn't quite stomach, even in a Republican. So much so that when it looked as though he had the votes in a multi-candidate race to take a vice-chairmanship, an opponent backed out to throw his support (and votes) to a more rational choice. A few years later Blier took on his present role at The Center for American Cultural Renewal/ Vermont Renewal as its Director and Director of Communications.


Before Blier's arrival there The Center for American Cultural Renewal had staked it's claim as a resource for extremists among Vermont's evangelical Christians, as well as an umbrella organization to assist like-minded bigots in advancing their common exclusionary agenda. Their website is a collection of familiar propaganda from the religious right. Modeled after much more successful anti-gay organizations but every bit their equal in promoting vitriol and hatred by circulating misinformation in a fashion that is now de rigeur among racist and anti-Semetic organizations on the far right.


While at a adjunct seminar to a CPAC conference that Blier attended earlier this year he gave this unsurprisingly bloated assessment of he and his organization's effectiveness on the Vermont political scene:
"My name is Kevin Blier, the director for an organization out of Vermont called (T)he Center for American Cultural Renewal. Let me just say because our operation works out of Vermont, we are working out of the belly of the beast. And a lot of what we are trying to accomplish is competing in the world of ideas in that state and in other states where others are operating in the belly of the beast. Let me just – if I could – bring one military analogy to something that Stephen Moore mentioned not only in his writing but also in his public statements here: the issue of think tanks versus do tanks. And I don’t necessarily think they are in a “versus” type of thing. But let me just make the suggestion that there isn’t anybody in this room who would look at a $400 billion military budget and say let’s send it all to the Pentagon and just pay generals. And what I mean by that is, I look around the room at the people – a lot of the leadership in this room and a lot of the people at this roundtable – and say, these are the people who are part of the intellectual conservative movement who have a lot of great ideas. I think what we don’t do enough of is fund the boots on the ground. And if we want to – if it’s a war for territory – let’s say if it is a culture war – and we’re trying to take territory, we don’t take territory by just having generals come up with great ideas. I think we need to do more focus on having the boots on the ground if we are going to win battles. And I just wanted to throw that out there to those of you who are looking to fund organizations that are going to take ground."


Such repetitive use of self-aggrandizing military metaphors usually is the hallmark of a Republican chickenhawk type of wannabe. No wonder Blier's group touts its endorsement by another Republican chickenhawk, Bill Bennett. Blier's record is one of failures and his failures are beginning to mount up: a failed attempt to unseat Vermont Supreme Court Justice Denise Johnson; a failed attempt to oust Vermont Supreme Court Justice John Dooley; a failed lawsuit aimed at altering a legislative tradition outside of the normal rules making process (what part of losing the November 2004 election does Blier not understand?); and his endless kvetching aimed at gaining some primacy to his hardcore, reactionary views on the editorial page of the Rutland Herald. Despite what he says about his group being a "do tank", he's accummulating the record of a "doesn't do so much tank" that consists primarily of failed efforts and overblown press releases.


If Blier ever expects his organization to ever be taken seriously here in Vermont, he should consider deleting from his website links to groups like the Family Research Council that rely heavily on the "research" of the Family Research Institute, led by de-licensed Dr. Paul Cameron, who had been found by a court to have "made misrepresentations" in his research claims. Even more disturbing is the fact that the Family Research Institute has been identified as a known hate group by the respected Southern Poverty Law Center. It probably wouldn't hurt to also delete references from his site to a certified screwball, "Dr" Judith Reisman the "discoverer" of Erototoxins. Hard to "take ground" when your intelligence comes from sources that the court has found to have lied, are identified as a hate group by an organization that normally tracks the Klan and Nazis, or that are just plain flaky.



What do fellow GOP conservatives say about The Center for American Cultural Renewal? "...(A)n organization with no Washington presence and little clout with social conservatives outside Vermont where it is based."



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