And I’m-a goin’.
So far I haven’t weighed in on any of the controversies swirling around this year’s CPAC, but I feel the need to, now.
I don’t expect everyone at a conservative conference to agree on every issue, so I don’t have a problem with a group like GOP Proud having a seat at the table. In fact, I say, roll out the red carpet. Conservatives are not “anti-gay”. We may not agree with them on every single social issue (gay marriage, DADT), but if we agree on most everything else, I don’t see what the problem is. Melissa Clouthier’s take on this, was explained very thoughtfully, and at length, at Red State.
Now, there’s much ado right now about the Conservative Political Action Conference because an identity-politics group GOProud has been allowed to attend CPAC. Having read founder Chris Barron’s material and seen his activism, it seems that his group fits into two circles (or in the past, referred to as two legs of the Conservative tent)–the fiscal conservative and hawk circles. Here is the group’s belief statement:
What we believe
We are conservatives who believe in limited government, individual liberty, free markets, a strong national defense and a confident foreign policy. We believe that every individual should be equal under the law. Click here to learn about our federal legislative priorities.
I’m pretty sure the “equal under the law” thing is a euphemism for gay people being married like hetero people. Otherwise, this is a fiscally and defense-wise conservative group.
She concludes that CPAC is a good place to hash out our differences:
And I hope social conservatives don’t abandon CPAC. I have strong reservations about identity politics in conservative thought. In fact, I’m pretty sure identity-politics are antithetical to conservatism as a philosophy. Still, we need to reach more minority voters and convince them of conservatism. How do we do that and not balkanize conservatism?
That’s a real discussion that must be had. And CPAC is just the place to have it.
My only concern with this is that CPAC could become a place where we are pressured to change longstanding conservative views from groups within. I don’t go to CPAC to defend my conservatism. I go to share what I have in common with the other attendees, and I’m hoping that’s what GOP Proud is there for, too.
Leon Wolf wrote a somewhat harsher rejoinder to Clouthier’s piece, which you can read, here.
A much more serious concern for me are reports of the influence of radical Muslims groups on the board of directors of the ACU, the group that sponsors CPAC. Ben Howe at Red State wrote at length about that in his eye-popping post: The Muslim Brotherhood and the ACU.
At 1:00 pm on Friday in the Jackson Room, there will be a panel discussion called The Importance of Faith & Religious Liberty in the U.S. & Abroad. It is sponsored by a group called Muslims for America which was founded by the Hasan Family Foundation and runs a blog at muslimsforamerica.us.
It’s at this blog that Muslims for America co-founder Muhammad Ali Hasan, a self-proclaimed “proud democrat” and supporter of the DREAM Act, described the controversy around Park51 Muslim Community Center otherwise known as the Ground Zero Mosque:
Anyone who opposed the Mosque/Islamic Center was clearly being a bigot. These people have not cared for the last 9 years what was happening at Ground Zero.
Under the auspices of “caring,” the writer has labeled any reasonable opposition to the construction of the GZM as intolerant towards Islam. This is not the only time that the group has taken this position as Ali Hasan made similar accusations on the O’Reilly Factor.
As has been discussed often by the opposition to the mosque, if Park51’s stated purpose is to improve Muslim-American dialogue, not ignoring the concerns of a populace that was attacked by the evangelists of your religion would be a great start. But this presupposes that the writer in any way holds followers of Islam responsible for the attack.
He does not.
Read the whole thing.
Pamela Geller has been kept off the agenda for her un-pc views on Islam for years, but last year she rented a room at the Marriott, and had a SRO crowd for her conference on Jihad. She’ll be there again, this year.
Now on a more positive note – Allen West has been named CPAC’s keynote speaker this year, which RS McCain for some inexplicable reason, thinks translates to more beers for him. I’m pretty sure there’ll be no $20 wagers over whether or not this particular keynote speaker will cry during his speech, like last year.
Here are the rest of the confirmed speakers:
Rep. Michele Bachmann
Gov. Haley Barbour
Hon. John Bolton
Gov. Mitch Daniels
Hon. Newt Gingrich
Sen. Mike Lee
Sen. Mitch McConnell
Rep. Ron Paul
Sen. Rand Paul
Hon. Tim Pawlenty
Gov. Rick Perry
Hon. Mitt Romney
Hon. Donald Rumsfeld
Rep. Paul Ryan
Hon. Rick Santorum
Sen. John Thune