Frank Gaffney Banned from (Another) Conservative D.C. Meeting

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 17 2012 12:37 PM

Frank Gaffney Banned from (Another) Conservative D.C. Meeting

The "Weyrich lunch" is a weekly, off the record meeting of conservatives that happens every Wednesday in Washington. Grover Norquist's meeting is at Americans for Tax Reform's office in the morning; those invited to "Weyrich" head off campus after noon. These meetings are held in safe places, with few leaks, and in general, activists from opposite sides of the movement are able to break bread together. (At the Norquist meeting, it would be more accurate to say they break bagels.)

One exception. 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."

It's the second "no Homers club" moment for Gaffney in just three months. In February, the American Conservative Union blocked Gaffney from the CPAC stage after investigating and dismissing "infiltration" charges he'd made against board members. Does it matter for Gaffney? That's arguable. Maybe he's not invited to a meeting of beltway activists anymore, but he's still got the ear of Rep. Allen West. Now -- which of those pursuits offers more power, more influence?

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.