Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Conservatives for Unity at CPAC
The annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), coinciding with the Centennial Celebration of Ronald Reagan’s 100th Birthday, started a re-examination of what it means to be conservative.
• CMR President Elaine Donnelly on Big Peace – Ronald Reagan: Political Confidence and Social Conservatism
The article above was similar to a special letter to the American Conservative Union and the ACU Foundation, signed by over twenty respected conservative leaders, which expressed concerns about the inclusion of the gay activist group GOProud as a "participating organization" at this year's CPAC conference. With the full support of Let Freedom Ring President Colin Hanna and others who shared our concerns, CMR took the lead in organizing this project, which we called "Conservatives for Unity." The persuasive letter that the influential group sent to the American Conservative Union and Foundation boards of directors is linked here:
• Conservatives for Unity Letter re CPAC
CMR did not seek media coverage for our letter, but as we thought might happen, someone leaked the letter and it appeared with a banner headline at the top of Wednesday’s Washington Times. (The reporter missed the constructive tone of our letter, but the coverage was helpful.)
• CPAC Fissure Over Gays Deepens; GOProud Called Incompatible
The letter, addressed to the ACU Foundation Board from "Conservatives for Unity" (hardly indicating a "fissure," as the Times headline read) noted that "[a]lthough it is unlikely that current controversies will be resolved at this time, we wish to lend support to leaders who might lay the groundwork for future success at CPAC by fostering unity among conservatives, not division."
The letter explained how allowing "GOProud to affiliate with CPAC is tantamount to tacitly removing the social conservative leg from the movement's metaphoric three-legged stool," and urged board members "to reconsider the decision to accept GOProud as a participating sponsor, or provide some assurance the board will seriously consider avoiding this sort of divisive dilemma at this time next year." The letter was well-received and had an immediate effect.
In this article, Erick Erickson of Red State nailed GOProud for its intemperate rhetoric and history of support for liberal causes-He was particularly alarmed by the personal slash attacks of GOProud Co-Founder and Chairman Chris Barron against Family Research Council President Tony Perkins and ACU Board member Cleta Mitchell:
• Erick Erickson: This is Too Much for Me
Al Cardenas, the new incoming chairman of ACU, correctly reacted to Barron's intemperate slash attacks against these respected conservative leaders, reiterating ACU's adoption of a resolution endorsing "traditional marriage between a man and a woman," and that supporters of gay marriage were not "Ronald Reagan" conservatives:
• Frum Report: New CPAC Head Distances Group From GOProud
Chris Barron of GOProud subsequently apologized for his personal attacks, but he cannot eat his words convincingly. Liberal media are eager to portray GOProud as "conservative," as in this Politico article: The Complex Legacy of David Keene. The article also begins the process of unfairly attacking Al Cardenas, which is disappointing but no surprise because that is what liberal media always does.
Here are some more commentaries and news articles of interest:
• Kevin McCullough: CPAC's Experiment Gone Wild
• Star Parker: 'Gay Conservative' Is an Oxymoron
• Sandy Rios: What Would Reagan Really Do?
• Floyd Brown: Gay 'Conservative' Group Tears Conservatism Apart
• American Principles Project: "An open Letter to CPAC attendees and presenters."
• The Hill: Conservative Group Wants Answers from Palin on Gay Rights
• Fishbowl DC: Breitbart's Big Gay CPAC Party
• WorldNetDaily: "Conservatives Begin to See the Light"
This article explains the significance of a move by the Young Americans for Freedom to remove Texas Congressman Ron Paul from their board of directors. For the second year in a row, the disproportionate numbers of young attendees following Pied Piper Ron Paul skewed the CPAC straw poll, rendering it worthless. Most have never heard that Ron Paul went back on his 2008 presidential campaign position and voted to impose LGBT laws and policies on our military, where "individual freedom" simply does not exist:
• William J. Upton, American Thinker: Conservatives and Libertarians
This video of Florida Republican Allen West demonstrates why CPAC is important:
• Video: Allen West at CPAC
Elaine Donnelly also participated in a panel titled "How Political Correctness Threatens Our Military," together with Iraq veteran and author Ilario Pantano, who plans to run again for Congress again in North Carolina’s 7th District.
CMR joins with many other conservatives in congratulating Mr. Al Cardenas upon his election as the new Chairman of the American Conservative Union. Having witnessed once again the sheer size and complexity of CPAC 2011, we were reminded once again that this is not an easy job that he has taken on. CPAC is being pulled by liberal forces in the wrong direction, but if what Allen West described as the “pillars” of conservatism unite behind sound principles and values, CPAC 2012 will be the first major event of a successful election year.