The American Conservative Union’s annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C., reminds us why we are not conservatives but pro-liberty, pro-free market libertarians (for want of a better word).
This year, again, at the behest of the Heritage Foundation and others, CPAC has refused to allow participation by GOProud, the gay conservative group. But that bigotry is just one point of contention we have with the CPAC crowd, which claims to be for limited government, an aggressive foreign policy and traditional values. Points two (often) and three (almost always) work against point one. And with point three, in particular, the CPAC crowd wants activist big government to impose traditional values on the states and on individuals, by forbidding states from recognizing gay unions, for instance, and by making gay people second-class citizens who are denied spousal inheritance and barred from military service and, until recently, treated as criminals.
As this blog has often noted, Republicans seem to delight in driving socially tolerant and fair-minded voters who otherwise favor fiscal sanity into the arms of those who support Obama’s spending frenzy and grotesque budgetary fear-mongering. And without a fiscally conservative, socially liberal center, that pain is just going to keep getting worse.
More. Fortunately, all Republicans don’t march in lockstep. And some represent the future.
Furthermore. Jon Huntsman’s advice to conservatives:
“I believe the American people will vote for free markets under equal rules of the game—because there is no opportunity or job growth any other way. But the American people will not hear us out if we stand against their friends, family, and individual liberty.”
Will it fall on deaf ears?
More still. Another good sign, Republicans Supporting Gay Marriage Write Supreme Court Amicus Brief, although most of those signing are not in office. Still, hurrah for current Congressmembers Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida and Richard Hanna of New York.
And more. Roger Simon weighs in: CPAC Deflates the ‘Big Tent’ over GOProud.
And so does the conservative National Review:
[GOProud's] participation in past CPACs caused only mild disquiet (indeed, much of the scattered criticism of GOProud’s inclusion at the conference was shouted down by other attendees) and was probably salubrious on net. Conservative opinion on the intersection of homosexuality and politics is not monolithic, especially among the college-aged set that makes up the better part of CPAC attendees. And a gathering that hopes to speak for the conservative movement will be better equipped to do so if it represents the overlapping gamut of views included in it.
Yet still more. From Jennifer Rubin: 10 lessons from CPAC’s debacle.