Skeleton in the "big tent" closet. Practically the only expression of real social conservatism was done by a person in a mask. And it was largely ignored.
CPAC gathering demonstrates how America's conservative movement is floundering, lacks a soul.
WASHINGTON DC (MARCH 1-3, 2007) When Ann Coulter made her now-famous remark at the end of her CPAC speech using the word “faggot”, the young conservative audience understood that it was a humorous jab at a very serious and totalitarian movement that stifles free speech on campuses across the country.
But David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union (ACU) which runs CPAC, didn't get it. Like a good RINO, Keene ran for cover and issued a press release saying that “ACU and CPAC do not condone or endorse the use of hate speech.”
That just about says it all. The grandly-named Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) was mostly about a milquetoast conservative movement with no guts, no spirit, and no soul. They’ve become the accountants and talking heads of the political spectrum, not the street fighters.
The ideological sins and lethargy of the national Republican party have seeped down into the mainstream conservative movement, and it was really reflected at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
It’s interesting to see who wasn’t there. None of the big social conservative groups had a presence. The American Family Association, Family Research Council, Traditional Values Coalition, Focus on the Family, Concerned Women for America, National Right to Life and others were all noticeably absent. We were told that in the recent past there has been a fair amount of hostility toward groups discussing “divisive” social issues like homosexuality and even abortion, and after a while they just quit coming.
There was mostly a lot of people politely railing about judicial activism, taxes, the war (pro, not con), immigration, and what nasty people liberals are. There were a few cute anti-Hillary tables and a funny Hillary and Obama cartoon that was shown a lot. We tried to get excited, but there wasn’t much red meat to be had. It was mostly pretty bland.
Neither the National Review nor The Weekly Standard were there, either. One imagines that they’ve become so beltway-oriented that they don’t want to bother with the hoi polloi from the hinterland. The American Spectator and Human Events were both there, but, like the National Review and Weekly Standard, both have watered down their once red-blooded conservatism to a point where they’re no longer even interesting to read.
We spoke with Jed Babbin, the new editor of Human Events, about judicial activism. What a disappointment! He sternly lectured to us that “case law” obviously supercedes the plain wording of the Constitution, because that’s the way we’ve been doing things, and he should know because was a trial lawyer for 30 years. So we should stop, in effect “practicing law without a license” by arguing otherwise. Thus, if there’s a bonehead “ruling” by a judge, it has more legal force than an actual law or even the Constitution, because that’s the way it’s “always” been done. (My father and grandfather fought overseas for that??)
This was the kind of “conservatism” that permeated the place. Bland, uncreative, uninspiring. We felt bad for the armies of young people who had traveled to CPAC to see the “real thing.” They seemed energetic, motivated, and idealistic. They have mostly the right political positions. But they're getting little leadership and grounding in real conservative principles. They’re the future of the movement. But right now there’s no future to go to.
Our conclusion is that if there’s to be a counter-revolution, it needs to start with the conservative movement itself.