Last year, the Conservative Political Action Committee drew a lot of attention by accepting a couple of controversial sponsors. Among the groups who wanted to “buy into” their annual gathering (by paying money and snagging a table) were the John Birch Society (the infamous conspiracy nuts) and GOProud (gay conservatives). They got a lot of heat from both ends over it (the left talked about how the Birchers were “taking over” the GOP, and the social conservatives said CPAC had “sold out to the Sodomites”), but overall it went over pretty well and I thought it was the right move.
Apparently, the bosses at CPAC disagreed, because they’ve announced that neither group will be welcome this year. And the fallout is already coming down — Andrew Breitbart is leading the charge of prominent conservatives saying “nah, I think I’ll give this year a pass.”
Last year, CPAC seemed to have the right idea — they defined “sponsorship” as “any group that can reasonably claim to have some conservative principles and is willing to pony up the bucks can show up and have a table.” They didn’t endorse any specific group, just opened the doors and let the attendees make their own judgments. I liked that. Hell, if I were them, I’d send an invitation to Media Matters or any other Soros puppet group and ask them to come, too — if nothing else, they’d be good entertainment. (That’s like my approval of the Birchers going — I’ve gotten tons of entertainment from their crazy conspiracy theories over the years.)
This, though, I don’t like. And it reminds me of something I’d almost forgotten: there’s one very prominent conservative who’s been quietly distancing herself from CPAC for years, long before the whole gays/Birchers mess appeared on the horizon:
Palin, who has a very keen nose for corruption, got a whiff of something foul after it was revealed that CPAC’s head had tried to shake down FedEx for a couple of million dollars in a “donation” in exchange for CPAC’s support for FedEx in their legislative battle with UPS. And after that, she made a point of publicly declining their invitation to come speak — and cited that as her reason.
CPAC is working very hard to make itself utterly irrelevant, and doing a damned good job so far.
Is there anything I can do to help?