The Tea Party movement, and the subsequent Red November, represent an unparalleled chance for conservatives to shape the direction on the country. Unfortunately, a bunch of whiny morons are doing everything in their power to destroy that chance by fracturing the conservative movement.
I speak, of course, about social conservative groups and their decision to boycott CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference. Groups like the Family Research Council are angry because GOProud, a gay conservative group, is co-sponsoring the event. Tony Perkins, head of FRC, is afraid he’ll catch the gay virus, or something like that:
“This year, some have been critical of CPAC because of who will be attending and others because they want others rather than those likely to be featured to speak,” said David Keene, the embattled president of the American Conservative Union, which has hosted CPAC every year since 1973
But Keene said the grumbling and positioning is nothing new for a conference whose attendance last year topped a record 10,000.
“The conservative movement is a coalition of men and women who share important core values, but hold widely differing positions on issues they believe to be very important. The bottom line … is that more organizations are participating this year than ever before and if current projections hold, attendance will exceed last year,” Keene said.
Still, several high-profile groups, including the Media Research Center, the Family Research Council, Rev. Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University and the Heritage Foundation — giants in the galaxy of conservative activism — have pulled out this year, citing more than anything, CPAC’s inclusion of GOProud, a pro-gay Republican group that supported the recent repeal of the military’s don’t ask, don’t tell policy, and unlike other social conservative groups or individuals, supports gay marriage.
“As more fringe organizations rise in prominence then you start wondering if this is what we want to be associated with as strongly we have,” said Heritage spokesman Jim Weidman.
Bryan Fischer, director of issue analysis with the American Family Association, went further, saying CPAC’s inclusion of GOProud was a “fatal mistake” for the event writ large. “For us it was a bridge too far. Homosexuality is not a conservative value, period.”
All of the groups boycotting CPAC are co-sponsoring October’s Values Voter Summit, and actively promoting it as a viable alternative. Sources told FoxNews.com that disgruntled conservatives are also generating interest in building a new conference to serve as a direct competitor to CPAC.
“The fact that CPAC would sell its soul for an extremist organization like GOProud — it’s showing how committed they are to advancing the homosexual agenda,” Fischer said. “I think CPAC is committing Hari Kari here, it’s suicidal.”
GOProud raised the ire of social conservatives in November when in coordination with several Tea Party groups, it sent a letter to the Republican leadership on Capitol Hill saying that they should concentrate on economic policy, and that the recent election was “not a mandate on any social issue.”
“When they were out in the Boston Harbor, they weren’t arguing about who was gay or who was having an abortion,” Ralph King, a Tea Party Patriots national leadership council member, told Politico at the time, referencing the 1773 Tea Party revolt.
GOProud is described as a breakaway group from the pro-gay Log Cabin Republicans, which GOProud Chairman Christopher Barron has said moved too far left for their liking.
“We just felt that they no longer represented the conservative values that we held,” Barron said in a recent interview with Right Wing News. On the CPAC boycotts, he said, “personally, I think CPAC is too important of an event for any conservative organization to say that they’re not going to participate.”