The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is scheduled for mid-February 2011 – and there is a dust-up about whether is CPAC is “conservative” or not. Apparently it is “not” for some leading conservatives – namely Senator Jim DeMint (R-NC). DeMint plans to skip CPAC this year.
One position, as DeMint said, you can’t be a fiscal conservative and not be a social conservative.” That is my position, as well, although I’m not keen on every position being labeled one way or the other.
Politico points to three issues causing the rift, the first being the primary “gripe:”
1) no platform for inquiries into Barack Obama’s birth certificate
2) Embezzlement of $400,000 by ex-wife of David Keene, the head of American Conservative Union (ACU)
3) the inclusion of GOProud, which Politico characterizes as “the combative gay” group
4) Heated disputes between the two organizers, American Conservative Union’s (ACU)David Keene (who says WorldNetDaily is a “fever swamp,” and Americans for Tax Reform’s (ATR) Grover Norquist. Keene and Norquist are not getting along.
5)WorldNetDaily’s Joseph Farah is also believed to be a problem. Farah said CPAC has become the vision of one man or a small influential group.
6) Farah posted on WorldNetDaily this week:
CPAC has “come under the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is working to bring America under Saudi-style Shariah law,” in the person of a former Bush administration official, Suhail Khan, who sits on ACU’s board.
Former Reagan administration defense officialFrank Gaffney is still waiting for somebody to rebut his allegations that the Muslim Brotherhood, which seeks to impose shariah law around the world, is running an influence operation in Washington, D.C. Instead, he’s being called an anti-Muslim bigot.
After WND reported yesterday that Gaffney accused Muslim Republican Suhail Khan of “infiltrating” the Conservative Political Action Conference on behalf of radical Islamists, Khan and CPAC director Lisa DePasquale fired back with personal attacks on Gaffney in Salon and Politico.
7) Competition between CPAC and The Values Voter Summit sponsored by the Family Research Council
“There are a lot of conservatives who see a larger problem with Grover Norquist and David Keene, and they’ve decided to fight it out and CPAC is a proxy for that…
The gripes with Keene and Norquist are numerous. Keene does work for corporate clients, and many conservatives were particularly unhappy with a leaked proposal to do work on behalf of FedEx in a regulatory fight with UPS.
The parts of the right focused on fears of infiltration of America by radical Muslims object to Norquist’s efforts to bring Muslims into the Republican Party, and speak often – on background – of his Palestinian wife.
We allegedly have the backbones of CPAC allowing a Muslim to serve on the ACU board, and ATR advocating for the inclusion of Muslims into the Republican party
Brent Bozell is quoted accusing Keene of “not just horrible policy, but suicidal politics.” A spokeswoman for Concerned Women for America, which has been in and out CPAC over the years, says their concern is: “a group that is actively working to harm a couple of legs of the conservative movement.”
Senator DeMint’s spokesman told CNN that DeMint “hopes to attend a unified CPAC next year.” Courtesy of CNN, this list of those groups so far opting out, and those which will attend:
Conservative groups including the Heritage Foundation, Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council and Brent Bozell’s Media Research Center are boycotting the event over the inclusion of GOProud, a gay conservative group. Other conservatives are upset Indiana Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels was invited to speak. Daniels called for a “truce” on social issues while the country works through its economic problems.
But the list of attendees for the February event includes Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
For a little Saturday comic relief, the following video is Part 2 of Ann Coulter’s CPAC 2010 speech. Even though it’s a year old, the issues are still relevant.