CPAC

Marco Rubio Shines At CPAC

Florida Senate candidate Marco Rubio has recently become the daring of the conservative movement, so it is no surprise that he was given the opening speaking slot at this year's CPAC. 

And it is also no surprise that he gave the gathering exactly what it expected, declaring that Democrats are systematically redefining our government, our economy, and our country and the American people will not accept it any more, which is what gave rise to the Tea Party movement and the election of people like Scott Brown to go to Washington DC and put a stop to it:

The Mystery of Richard Viguerie's Sudden Support For The Mount Vernon Statement

Earlier today I wondered just what Richard Viguerie's name was doing on The Mount Vernon Statement since, on Monday, he called it embarrassing pablum.  But today he went ahead and signed it and even issued his own statement praising it as a good first step:

"I am pleased to be a signer of the Mount Vernon Statement.

"I feel it's a good first step, and I applaud those conservatives who have provided the leadership to produce this statement of conservative principles.

"In the coming weeks, I look forward to working with all principled conservatives, including the newest branch of the small-limited government coalition, the Tea Partiers, to take the steps necessary to maximize our victories in 2010 and beyond.

This doesn't really make any sense; why would he dismiss the statement as a meaningless joke on Monday only to turn around two days later and add his name to it?

I wonder if it might have had something to do with the fact that initially it looks like he wasn't asked to sign on. 

The first mentions of this statement appeared last week, first on The Atlantic and Politico, both of which listed key signers but didn't include Viguerie:

The Atlantic - "Some key conservative luminaries will be in attendance at the Collingwood Library and Museum in Alexandria, VA (an original part of George Washington's Mount Vernon properties): Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, David Keene of the American Conservative Union, former Reagan policy adviser Kenneth T. Cribb, Kenneth Blackwell of Coalition for a Conservative Majority, and Federalist Society co-founder David McIntosh."

Politico - "The big names attached to it include former Attorney General Ed Meese, Heritage Foundation President Edwin Feulner, Family Research Council head Tony Perkins, Media Research Center leader Brent Bozell, Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist and David Keene, head of the American Conservative Union, which is putting on CPAC, among others."

On Monday, the Washington Times wrote about it and quoted Viguerie dismissing the statement as meaningless.

And guess what? The very next day, Politico wrote another article about the statement and guess who's name appeared in the list:

The statement's drafters, who will sign it near George Washington's Mount Vernon home Wednesday afternoon, include figures from differing wings of the movement: former Attorney General Ed Meese, Heritage Foundation President Edwin Feulner, Family Research Council head Tony Perkins, Media Research Center leader Brent Bozell, Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist, direct-mail guru Richard Viguerie and David Keene, the head of the American Conservative Union, sponsor of this week's Conservative Political Action Conference, with which the signing of the Mount Vernon statement is meant to coincide.

This list is nearly identical to the list Politico provided last week, with the exception of the sudden inclusion of Viguerie.

So what happened between Monday, when Viguerie was telling the Washington Times the whole thing was a pathetic joke, and Tuesday when he name was being listed among the statement's primary supporters? 

I'm guessing that organizers reached out to him and asked him to add his name, which was all it took to make this embarrassing pablum into a demonstration of conservative leadership and principles.

Look Who's Joining TFP For DADT Press Conference

In my earlier post about the absurdly anti-gay Tradition, Family and Property "report" opposing the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, I wondered who would be joining them at their press conference tomorrow to unveil it at CPAC.

Now we know

* Elaine Donnelly, President, Center for Military Readiness
* Tom Minnery, Vice President, Public Policy, Focus on the Family
* Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council
* Frank Gaffney, President, Center for Security Policy
* David Keene, President, American Conservative Union
* Penny Nance, CEO, Concerned Women for America
* Matthew Staver, Dean, Liberty University School of Law
* Jordan W. Lorence, Senior Counsel, Alliance Defense Fund
* Adm. James A. “Ace” Lyons, USN (Ret.), Flag & General Officers for the Military

Leaders from other prominent organizations, such as Eagle Forum, Let Freedom Ring, the American Family Association, Traditional Values Coalition, and Tradition, Values & Property (partial list) are lending support to the Military Culture Coalition, an informal network of individuals and organizations who support the 1993 law regarding homosexuals in the military (Section 654, Title 10, U.S.C.).

Just How Meaningless Is The Mount Vernon Statement?

Supporters of The Mount Vernon Statement are calling it the "definitive statement" regarding the central principles of the conservative movement, claiming that it represents a "significant moment as social, fiscal, and national security conservatives come together to declare the importance of partnering to defend our nation's founding principles."

The statement itself is pretty underwhelming, but if you want to get a sense of just how utterly meaningless it is, just note that its unveiling was timed to coincide with the beginning of the annual CPAC conference tomorrow ... where, as Newt Gingrich explains, "the Tea Party Patriots will unveil a grassroots-generated, crowd-sourced, bottom-up call for real economic, conservative and government reform."

The Tea Party document is called "The Contract From America" and starting tomorrow, activists will be allowed to vote to narrow down a list of 22 ideas "down to ten solutions for real change ... which will comprise the Contract From America, will be unveiled at the next round of nationwide Tea Parties on April 15."

Take a look at the 22 ideas from which activists can choose:

DEMAND A BALANCED BUDGET: Begin the Constitutional amendment process to require a balanced budget with a two-thirds majority needed for any tax hike.

STOP THE TAX HIKES: Permanently repeal all tax hikes, including those to income, capital gains, and death taxes, currently scheduled to begin in 2011.

COMMIT TO REAL GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENCY: Every bill, in its final form, will be made public seven days before any vote can be taken and all government expenditures authorized by any bill will be easily accessible on the Internet before the money is spent.

PROTECT THE CONSTITUTION: Require each bill to identify the specific provision of the Constitution that gives Congress the power to do what the bill does.

PASS REAL HEALTHCARE REFORM: Greatly improve affordability of health insurance by permitting all Americans access to all health insurance plans sold anywhere in the United States through the purchase of insurance across state lines and allow small businesses and associations to pool together across state lines to buy insurance.

ENACT FUNDAMENTAL TAX REFORM: Adopt a simple and fair single-rate tax system by scrapping the Internal Revenue code and replacing it with one that is no longer than 4,543 words -- the length of the original Constitution.

END RUNAWAY GOVERNMENT SPENDING: Impose a statutory cap limiting the annual growth in total federal spending to the sum of inflation rate plus the percentage of population growth.

LET US SAVE: Allow all Americans to opt out of Social Security and Medicare and instead put those same payroll taxes in a personal account they own, control, and can leave to whomever they choose.

PROTECT INTERNET FREEDOM: No regulation or tax on the Internet.

GIVE PARENTS MORE CHOICES IN THE EDUCATION OF THEIR CHILDREN: Improve American education by reforming the broken federal role through eliminating ineffective and wasteful programs, giving parents more choices from pre-school to high school, and improving the affordability of higher education.

PASS AN 'ALL OF THE ABOVE' ENERGY POLICY: Authorize the exploration of proven energy reserves to reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources from unstable countries and reduce regulatory barriers to all other forms of energy creation, lowering prices and creating competition.

PROTECT FREEDOM OF THE PRESS: Prohibit the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from using funds to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine in any form, including requiring “localism” or “diversity” quotas.

RESTORE FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY & CONSTITUTIONALLY LIMITED GOVERNMENT: Create a Blue Ribbon taskforce that engages in a complete audit of federal agencies and programs, assessing their Constitutionality, and identifying duplication, waste, ineffectiveness, and agencies and programs better left for the states.

PROTECT PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS: Block state and local governments that receive federal grants from exercising eminent domain over private property for the primary purpose of economic development or enhancement of tax revenues.

REJECT CAP & TRADE: Prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from implementing costly new regulations that would increase unemployment, raise consumer prices, and weaken the nation’s global competitiveness with virtually no impact on global temperatures.

STOP THE PORK: Place a moratorium on all earmarks until the process is fully transparent, including requiring a 2/3 majority to pass any earmark.

NO CZAR REGULATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION: All “lawmaking” regulations must be affirmatively approved by Congress and signed into law by the president, as the Constitution requires for all laws.

AUDIT THE FED: Begin an audit of the Federal Reserve System.

NO MORE BAILOUTS: The federal government should not bail out private companies and should immediately begin divesting itself of its stake in the private companies it owns from recent bailouts.

STOP CAREER POLITICIANS & CURB LOBBYIST POWER: Begin the Constitutional amendment process to require Congressional term limits. No person shall be elected to the Senate more than twice or to the House of Representatives more than four times.

SUNSET REGULATIONS: All regulations will be “sunset” after ten years unless renewed by Congressional vote.

LET US WATCH: Broadcast all non-security meetings and votes on C-SPAN and the Internet.

Do you see anything in that list that would appeal to the concerns of social conservatives?  Maybe the provision about giving parents more choice in the education of the children, but that is it.  And, more than likely, that won't make the cut to be included among the final ten.

So, while some conservatives are busy hailing the Mount Vernon Statement as a grand manifesto that will unite the movement, other conservatives are hailing the Contract From America as a grand declaration of the movement's basic agenda, even though it contains no mention of any issues important to social conservatives.

The conservative movement is so united at the moment that they have dueling documents designed to declare their unity.

AIM's Kincaid Continues to Defend Uganda's "Kill The Gays" Bill

Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid has once again dedicated his latest colmun to not only defending the proposed legislation in Uganda that mandates life in prison and, in some cases, the death penalty for gays, but to attacking Sen. Tom Coburn for opposing the bill and for associating himself with gays: 

In a case of strange political bedfellows, conservative Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma has joined leftist comedian Al Franken, a Democratic senator from Minnesota, in sponsoring a bill denouncing Uganda's Christians for considering passage of legislation to outlaw certain unhealthy and immoral homosexual practices.

The original sponsor of the U.S. Senate bill (S. Res. 409) is Democratic Senator Russell Feingold of Wisconsin, who supports the entire "gay rights" agenda, including forcing Christian-owned businesses to accept homosexual employees under the so-called Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

Echoing the claims of liberals in the media, who have targeted Uganda for isolation and a denial of foreign aid for considering the legislation, Coburn has called it "an absurd proposal to execute gays" that somehow threatens progress against AIDS.

...

Coburn spokesman John Hart confirmed that the senator has also been working with a "gay" Republican group, GOProud, to defeat the Ugandan bill.

On the website of the group, which is co-sponsoring the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C. next week, Jimmy LaSalvia, Executive Director of GOProud, declared, "We were thrilled to have had the opportunity to work with Dr. Coburn back in December when he forcefully spoke out against the proposed Ugandan law, and we are pleased that he continues to lead on this issue."

LaSalvia was previously director of programs and policy at the Log Cabin Republicans, another Republican homosexual group that seeks to water down the GOP's commitment to traditional values.

Conservative and Christian groups have denounced CPAC organizer David Keene of the American Conservative Union for accepting GOProud as a sponsor. Keene previously accepted CPAC sponsorship money from George Soros-funded groups such as the ACLU and the Drug Policy Alliance.

Anxiously Awaiting The Conservative Movement's "Definitive Statement"

It seems that the Right's efforts to unify in opposition to President Obama and the Democratic Congress are continuing ... with yet another coalition/declaration to be unveiled next week at CPAC

They're calling it "The Mount Vernon Statement": a group of leaders of conservative groups will gather in Washington, DC on the eve of the yearly national Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), and sign a pact--a "definitive statement," as it's being billed, defining the principles of the conservative movement.

"A Who's Who of the conservative movement's leaders will unveil and sign the Mount Vernon Statement: a document defining the movement's principles, beliefs and values in light of the challenges facing the country and the need for Constitutional Conservatism since the Obama administration came to power," CRC Public Relations says in a press release announcing the solemn document.

Some key conservative luminaries will be in attendance at the Collingwood Library and Museum in Alexandria, VA (an original part of George Washington's Mount Vernon properties): Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, David Keene of the American Conservative Union, former Reagan policy adviser Kenneth T. Cribb, Kenneth Blackwell of Coalition for a Conservative Majority, and Federalist Society co-founder David McIntosh.

Gee, do you think it'll focus on things like cutting taxes, shrinking government, killing terrorists, opposing gay rights, and outlawing abortion?

Do they want me to write it for them?  Because I am pretty sure that I could.  

Mike Huckabee's Friends And Associates

Because I think it is important to keep pointing out the sorts of Religious Right leaders that Mike Huckabee regularly associates himself with, I just wanted to post this clip from a recent episode of "Huckabee" that featured Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel taking about text books in Texas:

This weekend Mathew D. Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, will appear on Mike Huckabee’s show to discuss potentially dramatic changes to the framework of textbooks that are being discussed by the Texas State Board of Education (TSBOE). Huckabee and Staver will be revealing suggested changes, some of which are still under discussion. TSBOE will soon finalize the language that textbook publishers use to align their textbooks to current standards. As Texas is a leader in textbooks, most other states purchase the same educational materials. The show will begin at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday and 2:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, Eastern Time.

Some of the suggestions that have come forward at various times include:

* Removing references to Daniel Boone, General George Patton, Nathan Hale, Columbus Day, and Christmas.
* Including the cultural impact of hip hop music, ACLU lawyer Clarence Darrow, and the Hindu holiday of Diwali.
* Replacing the term "American" with "Global Citizen"– stating that students need to be shaped "for responsible citizenship in a global society" without any mention of citizenship in American society.
* Replacing expansionism and free enterprise with imperialism and capitalism.

...

Mathew Staver commented: “To have a bright future we must know our past. Those who want to reshape America begin by rewriting our past. We repeat the mistakes of the past when we are ignorant of them. America has a rich past founded on Judeo-Christian values. To forget them, or worse, to distort them, will doom our future. That is why the textbook controversy in Texas affects every American.”

Staver has long been close to Huckabee, having served on his Faith and Family Values Coalition during his presidential campaign. 

Recently, Staver made news when it was announced that Liberty University would be withdrawing from CPAC due to the fact that a gay conservative group was allowed to sign on as a co-sponsor, which made sense considering that at last year's CPAC, Staver declared that marriage equality would inevitably lead to an entire generation of violent criminals. 

Staver and Liberty U will also be hosting a 2-day anti-gay summit later this week, while Staver and Liberty University also represented Lisa Miller, the who kidnapped her daughter and disappeared rather than abide by court ordered custody arrangements.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Politico has an excellent piece on the right-wing groups who have been funding and training activists like James O'Keefe.
  • The Washington Times reports that Janet Parshall is leaving Salem Radio Network to start up a new show with the Moody Broadcasting Network: "Some cited budget reasons on the part of Salem; others said it involved personality clashes and that Mrs. Parshall had gone through a string of producers during her 15 years with the network."
  • The ACLJ has opened yet another foreign office, this one in Kenya.
  • Focus on the Family is intent on wooing "millennials" at the upcoming CPAC conference.
  • Now that Liberty University students seemingly dominate their voting district, it only stands to reason that university officials are trying to get the place their polling place right on campus.
  • Finally, it must be nice to be a conservative activist who can rely on clueless talking points instead of having to worry about facts or having any idea what you are talking about.

The More Moderate, Less Heated Religious Right?

There are certain articles that seem to pop up on a semi-regular basis that I just can never understand. The first are the obligatory "The Religious Right is Dead" articles that get written every time the GOP loses an election ... and they are inevitable followed a few years later by articles marveling at the Right's miraculous resurrection.

The other articles I don't understand are more recent, beginning back when Mike Huckabee was running for president, in which it is asserted that the Religious Right is getting toning down its rhetoric and somehow broadening its agenda.

Articles like this:

Fire and brimstone evangelicalism has simmered down into a broader movement of cooler approaches.

Yet much of what has been said about the expanded political agenda and softer tone of evangelical Christians has missed the point, say observers of the Christian right.

"Every time a Democrat gets elected they say: 'That's the end of the Christian conservatives. They're gone,' " said D.C.-based Ethics and Public Policy Center vice president Michael Cromartie. "But they're not. Broadening their agenda doesn't mean they are suddenly liberal Democrats."

And evangelicals, Cromartie said, are not abandoning their core issues: traditional marriage and sanctity of life. "Climate change does not trump pro-life issues."

Although the rhetoric is gentler, the politics are the same. The money is going to lobby for the same things. The basic voting structure was largely unchanged in 2008, pollsters say.

"We want to be relevant to a new generation, but we plan to stay strong on the pillars Dr. James Dobson built at Focus on the Family," said Tom Minnery, the ministry's senior vice president of government and public policy.

...

Jim Daly, the 48-year-old head of Focus on the Family media ministry, is seen inside the conservative Christian organization as less authoritarian and more approachable than his predecessor, the 73-year- old Dobson.

Outside the organization, Cromartie said, Daly is seen as more affable and willing to seek common ground.

"As (Focus on the Family) tries to reach the next generation of young families, we're trying to use words that work," Minnery said.

What evidence is there that "fire and brimstone evangelicalism has simmered down"?  The article provides none.  

Have they even been paying attention to anything the Religious Right has been saying lately

As for the idea that Focus on the Family is moderating its tone, that remains to be seen.  James Dobson is still, for all intents and purposes, the voice of the organization and will remain so until he finally leaves next month.  If the organization does become more willing to seek common ground and less confrontational under Daly, that will certainly be newsworthy, but for now it is impossible to say.

If journalists want to declare that the Religious Right is moderating its tone and broadening its agenda, they ought to at least provide some evidence, because I haven't seen any.  If anything, the Right is getting more radical and its language more strident under Obama than it has ever been in recent years.

Beck, Bachmann, Farah, Santorum, Schlafly Team Up For Another Right Wing Conference

There sure do seem to be a lot of right-wing conferences coming up.  You have the annual CPAC convention and the first National Tea Party Convention, in addition to first annual Freedom Federation Summit, the Family Research Council's "Faith & Family Summit," and Janet Porter's May Day for America prayer rally at the Lincoln Memorial.

To this list we can add The Constitutional Coalition's 2010 conference entitled "What Makes America Work? Lessons Children and Others MUST hear" which features everyone from Rep. Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum to Phyllis Schlafly and Joseph Farah and will be highlighted by "An Evening With Glenn Beck."

Just check out some of these speakers and topics:

- SENATOR RICK SANTORUM and KEN FERGUSON How to rid your TV of ALL Sexual programs and advertisements

- MICHAEL MEDVED, Lies About America that Must Stop

- PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY Child Abuse in the Classroom

- DAVID HOROWITZ Teaching Revolution on College Campus

- FRANK GAFNEY It is a Dangerous World – America Under Attack

- AN EVENING WITH GLENN BECK

- CONGRESSWOMAN MICHELE BACHMANN Fundamentals of a Good Education That will keep us Free and Strong

- DR. JERRY NEWCOMBE ENDOWED BY OUR CREATOR: The Role of God in America

- SENATOR RICK SANTORUM CREATED LIFE: The Declaration, Life and Liberty

- JOSEPH FARAH FREE IDEAS: America’s Unique Freedom of the Press

- SENATOR JIM TALENT SECURITY: The Constitutional and Moral Underpinnings of National Defense

Liberty Counsel: Still Silent On Lisa Miller

It has been more than two week now since Lisa Miller disappeared with her daughter and yet nobody from Liberty Counsel, which had spent years turning her into a right-wing cause célèbre, has so much as uttered a peep about her disappearance. 

At the same time, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver has been readily available to comment on CPAC and participate in Lou Engle's anti-abortion prayer rally in Houston ... but apparently can't find the time to say one word about this missing girl:

UPDATE: The Burlington Free Press reports that a "Jan. 22 hearing has been set in Rutland about a request from Janet Jenkins of Fair Haven to have her former civil-union partner, Lisa Miller, held in contempt over Miller's refusal to transfer custody to Jenkins of daughter Isabella, as ordered."

Focus Will Not Drop CPAC Co-Sponsorship Over GOProud

Last week, Liberty University Law School announced that it was withdrawing its sponsorship of the upcoming CPAC conference because event organizers refused to cave to their demands that the conservative gay group GOProud be dropped from the list of co-sponsors.

So far, only Liberty Law School has backed out (even the affiliated Liberty Counsel, which is run by Liberty Law School's Dean, Mat Staver, is still participating) and LU doesn't seem to be picking up much support in its effort to boycott the event, with Focus on the Family announcing that it will remain a co-sponsor of the event, if only to counter GOProud's agenda

Tom Minnery, senior vice president of Focus on the Family Action, says he has no problem with the fact that several of the other CPAC co-sponsors disagree with Focus on the Family, including GOProud.

"We think we've got to engage the broader conservative movement and to be salt and light in that environment," he explains. "We believe that social conservatism, biblical Christianity has a lot to say to the political culture -- and we want to be where the action is, so that's why we're engaging it."

Minnery believes boycotting the event is the wrong strategy for social conservatives.

"I dearly hope that Liberty University continues to have its booth and will rethink its co-sponsorship for next year because that group is very important -- and we need all the help we can get to inculcate that conference with conservative Christian values," says the Focus spokesman.

According to Minnery, if all social conservative groups "charge off in a huff, pick up our marbles and go home," there will be no one at CPAC to counter the agenda of GOProud.

How Times Have Changed For Glenn Beck

It was just over a year ago when Focus on the Family yanked a small interview with Glenn Beck off of its website amid complaints that Focus never mentioned that Beck is Mormon and that "Mormonism is a cult."

Well, times sure have changed:

And considering that Beck has become the voice of the Right, it only stands to reason that he'd be closing out this year's CPAC event:

Last year, the Conservative Political Action Conference closed with a speech from Rush Limbaugh. This year, according to CPAC director Lisa De Pasquale, it will close with a speech from Glenn Beck–who really became a national leader of some importance last year, if you talk to Tea Party activists.

Liberty Law School Withdraws From CPAC Over GOProud Sponsorship

For the last few weeks, the militantly anti-gay activists at Liberty Counsel, led by Matt Barber, have been threatening to boycott the annual CPAC convention if organizers didn't force the gay conservative group GOProud to withdraw as a sponsor. 

Event organizers recently declared that they would not do so, so now Liberty University Law School has withdrawn its own sponsorship, though the affiliated Liberty Counsel will still participate:

Liberty University Law School has withdrawn as a co-sponsor of next month's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington because a Republican homosexual activist group is being allowed to co-sponsor the event.

Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. and Liberty Law School Dean Mat Staver had penned a letter to CPAC organizer David Keene last month, requesting that he disallow the homosexual group GOProud from co-sponsoring the conference. The letter was also signed by other evangelical Christian leaders, including Gary Bauer.

GOProud supports, among other things, same-sex marriage and repealing the military's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy.

Staver reports that he never received a formal response to his complaint, so Liberty University is dropping its co-sponsorship. Liberty Counsel, however, will still have a booth at CPAC.

"Obviously as an exhibitor or participant, you don't necessarily have to think that everyone agrees with you, and some people might even work against you," Staver notes. "But as a co-sponsor, even though not everybody would have the same mission, not everyone would agree with the same tactics, and some would actually focus on economics whereas others might focus on social issues and others might focus on national defense - the fact is they're all conservative in nature. You wouldn't expect, however, a co-sponsor to actively work to undermine another co-sponsor, and that is in fact what GOProud does."

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Does Glenn Beck have a tax problem?
  • I expect that Marco Rubio will get a warm reception when he speaks at CPAC.
  • Pat Robertson's CBN is celebrating 50 years of ministry.
  • Day Gardner weighs in on Harry Reid: "I believe the comments made by Senator Harry Reid stems from a time in American history where the shade of a black man's skin determined whether he was a field nigger or a house nigger. Either way, to the slave owner he was still just a slave; a sub-human to be owned and controlled."
  • Finally, guess who Sean Hannity had on his radio program last week?  Kitty Werthmann.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Media Matters: Huckabee violating Fox News' reported order to stop conflict of interest promotions
  • TPM: GOP Rep Launches Terror News YouTube Series, Warns Of Muslim Brotherhood Plot
  • Alex Koppelman: What's Lou Dobbs up to?
  • Steve Benen: Rudy the Clown
  • Finally, GOProud apparently thinks that liberals ought to be cheering them on for co-sponsoring CPAC.

Palin's Incoherent Excuse For Skipping CPAC

Once again, Sarah Palin will be skipping CPAC, traditionally the biggest conservative political gathering of the year, apparently because she's a maverick who doesn't want to be associated with those who place "special interests over core beliefs": 

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Pain is turning down an invitation to speak at one high-profile conservative gathering while accepting another.

Palin is declining an invitation to address the Conservative Political Action Conference next month because, a source said, she does not want to be affiliated with the longtime organizer of the traditional movement confab.

At issue is the role of David Keene, head of the American Conservative Union which organizes CPAC. In September, POLITICO reported that Keene asked FedEx for between $2 million and $3 million to get the group's support in a bitter legislative battle with rival UPS.

A source close to the Palin camp says that request led to a decision to stay away from the upcoming CPAC conference, calling it a forum that will place "special interests over core beliefs" and "pocketbook over policy."

"That's not what CPAC should be about and people are tiring," the source said. "Palin is taking a stance against this just as she did in Alaska."

When asked about the move, Palin spokeswoman Meg Stapleton said: "We support those who advance our core beliefs and lead by principle."

Interestingly, Palin seems to be the only one taking this sort of "principled" stand dozens of conservative groups have signed on as co-sponsors of the event, including Focus on the Family, Concerned Women for America, the National Organization for Marriage, and the Eagle Forum.

Even more interesting is this fact:

While Palin was turning down CPAC, she accepted an invitation to the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans this April.

"I'm looking forward to addressing conservative activists from across the south at the 2010 Southern Republican Leadership Conference," Palin said in a statement announcing her attendance. "This is a great opportunity to listen and speak to those who are helping to set the direction of our party."

Well, take a guess who else is co-sponsoring CPAC.  That's right, the Southern Republican Leadership Conference.

So Palin doesn't want to associate with CPAC because its organizers don't "advance our core beliefs and lead by principle" ... but will speak at a conference hosted by a group that is co-sponsoring CPAC?  

That makes a lot of sense. 

And apparently she believes the folks putting on the National Tea Party Convention do share her core beliefs and lead by principle, which is why she is eager to share the stage with people like Joseph Farah and Rick Scarborough.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Focus on the Family says it is "fully engaged in making our objection known" to CPAC's decision to allow the gay conservative group GOProud to co-sponsor the event.
  • Speaking of Focus, the organization is also reportedly preparing to run an anti-abortion ad during the Super Bowl.
  • James Traficant says that he is going to run for Congress in 2010.
  • Rep. Parker Griffith's entire staff resigned after his recent decision to switch parties and become a Republican.
  • Christian Anti-Defamation Commission released its list of the "Top Ten Anti-Christian Attacks in 2009."
  • Finally, do you know what is causing the delay in the Messiah's appearance in Israel? Abortion, of course.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • What is FRC's New Year's Resolution, you ask? To kill healthcare reform.
  • Joseph Farah is miffed that CPAC will allow a gay group to co-sponsor the event, but won't let him talk about his Birther activism.
  • Concerned Women for America endorses Rand Paul.
  • For a mere $349, you can see Sarah Palin speak at the National Tea Party Convention.
  • A Liberty University professor expects to find Noah's Ark sometime next summer.
  • Blake Lorenz may face charges for harboring Rifqa Bary for two weeks without notifying law-enforcement, as required by law.

CPAC Won't Drop GOProud Sponsorship

David Keene, head of the American Conservative Union, which puts on the Conservative Political Action Conference every year, has responded to the complaints from anti-gay activists who are demanded that the gay conservative group GOProud be removed from the list of CPAC co-sponsors, by refusing to do so but assuring them that GOProud will not be allowed to speak at the event and that the CPAC's overwhelmingly anti-gay bias would not be undermined by GOProud's presence: 

Keene admitted GOProud "has signed on as a CPAC co-sponsor, but will have no speakers and we told them that, in fact, since opposition to gay marriage, etc are consensus positions (if not unanimous) among conservatives, these topics are not open to debate." 

...

"I know that there are those who are as opposed to the sinner as the sin, but our view is that CPAC is inclusive and welcomes all of those who agree with us on most issues. I don't know the GOProud people personally, but we find it difficult to exclude groups because of disagreements on one or two issues no matter how important many of us believe those issues to be … other examples: we have pro-life and pro-abortion co-sponsors, advocates of restrictive and more open immigration, supporters and opponents of the war in Afghanistan and supporters and opponents of some of the restrictions adopted in the war on terror since 9/11," he continued.

"Some of these issues draw significant support on both sides of the question from the broad movement and these we often debate at CPAC … trade policy, immigration are example … while others like abortion are consensus positions and while we accept those who differ from the consensus, we see no reason for further debate. Gay issues fall within this category," he said.

Of course, anti-gay activists aren't buying it and instead see it as proof that the conservative movement is being infiltrated by socialists:

"I would have thought the American Conservative Union would have had a higher standard for groups that cosponsor their pivotal annual event," [radio host Adam] McManus told WND. "If there's one time when conservatives need to be getting their message right and need to be clear about what they believe, it's right now amidst the Obama socialist push."

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CPAC Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 02/22/2011, 3:02pm
On yesterday's episode of Liberty Counsel's "Faith and Freedom Radio," Matt Barber and Shawn Akers discussed reports that GOProud would not be allowed to participate in next year's CPAC , news which Barber hailed as proof that GOProud's effort to infiltrate the conservative movement in order to "divide and conquer" has backfired and ended up unifying the movement in opposition to the gay agenda.  Barber went on to say that any "true conservative" candidate running for office must not only refuse to defend groups like GOProud, but must actively stand against... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 02/18/2011, 6:28pm
Rep. Michele Bachmann is seeking prayerful "inner assurance" about whether she should run for president. Mike Huckabee really likes going to Israel. Alan Keyes says Sarah Palin is a phony and a hypocrite. Rick Santorum warns that multiculturalism will destroy America. Tim Pawlenty will headline the Tea Party Patriots' "American Policy Summit-Pathways to Liberty" in Arizona next week. Looks like CPAC is going to try to win back the support of social conservatives. Finally, you should really take the time to listen to Peter LaBarbera... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 02/17/2011, 6:58pm
Tom Allison @ Equality Matters: Al Cardenas Suggests GOProud Will Not Be Invited To CPAC 2012. Alan Colmes: Republican Congressman Wants To End Funding For President’s Teleprompter. Jodi Jacobson @ RH Reality Check: GOP: Yes to Contraception for Wild Horses, No for Women. Justin Elliott @ Salon: Bachmann comes out as birther-curious. Warren Throckmorton: Uganda defends Anti-Homosexuality bill in embassy cables. Pat Garofalo @ Wonk Room: Republican Officials Cut Head Start Funding, Saying Women Should Be Married And Home With Kids. Media... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 02/17/2011, 6:58pm
Tom Allison @ Equality Matters: Al Cardenas Suggests GOProud Will Not Be Invited To CPAC 2012. Alan Colmes: Republican Congressman Wants To End Funding For President’s Teleprompter. Jodi Jacobson @ RH Reality Check: GOP: Yes to Contraception for Wild Horses, No for Women. Justin Elliott @ Salon: Bachmann comes out as birther-curious. Warren Throckmorton: Uganda defends Anti-Homosexuality bill in embassy cables. Pat Garofalo @ Wonk Room: Republican Officials Cut Head Start Funding, Saying Women Should Be Married And Home With Kids. Media... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 02/17/2011, 2:33pm
During last week's CPAC, Grover Norquist spoke on a panel entitled "It's the Spending, Stupid!" during which he made the claim that what really unites the conservative movement is the desire to just be left alone.  Even social conservatives, he claimed, really just want to be left alone to pray, raise their families, and practice their religion as they see fit ... which made me laugh, because we all know that is not the case at all.  As evidence, all me to point to Georgia, which is only one of three states in the nation to prohibits the sale of alcohol on Sunday.... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 02/17/2011, 2:33pm
During last week's CPAC, Grover Norquist spoke on a panel entitled "It's the Spending, Stupid!" during which he made the claim that what really unites the conservative movement is the desire to just be left alone.  Even social conservatives, he claimed, really just want to be left alone to pray, raise their families, and practice their religion as they see fit ... which made me laugh, because we all know that is not the case at all.  As evidence, all me to point to Georgia, which is only one of three states in the nation to prohibits the sale of alcohol on Sunday.... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Wednesday 02/16/2011, 10:36am
A few tidbits from the piles of stuff picked up at CPAC 2011: The CPAC “Resource Guide,” a spiral-bound booklet with info about sponsors and participating organizations, included several essays, some of which were pleas for peace between libertarian-leaning economic conservatives and social conservatives. Some of the latter, of course, dropped their sponsorships and trashed CPAC leaders over the participation of GOProud, whose leader in turn derided the Religious Right groups as “loser” organizations. Former Reagan official Donald Devine contributed “... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Wednesday 02/16/2011, 10:36am
A few tidbits from the piles of stuff picked up at CPAC 2011: The CPAC “Resource Guide,” a spiral-bound booklet with info about sponsors and participating organizations, included several essays, some of which were pleas for peace between libertarian-leaning economic conservatives and social conservatives. Some of the latter, of course, dropped their sponsorships and trashed CPAC leaders over the participation of GOProud, whose leader in turn derided the Religious Right groups as “loser” organizations. Former Reagan official Donald Devine contributed “... MORE >