As CPAC gets under way, bloggers so far on both sides of the aisle give their take on the rift between some conservative politicians and groups who have boycotted the conference because of the presence of GOProud, a gay conservative organization.
John Cole at liberal blog Balloon Juice:
It’s kind of wild to think about it, but CPAC, which was made up of wingnuts so crazed they cheered Beck and Limbaugh as speakers the past two years, is no longer the nuttiest group of the GOP. There are even more extreme folks who don’t think CPAC is quite bigoted enough and has been too nice to the gays.
And Jim DeMint, tea party extraordinaire, is the leader of thew new wing.
And conservative blogger Erick Erickson at RedState said that he is breaking his silence on the divide because GOProud co-founder and board chairman Christopher Barron criticized the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation, which dropped out of the confab because of GOProud’s participation.
In an interview with Metro Weekly, Barron said of Heritage:
”They’ve chosen to – and it’s a mystery to me why – but they’ve chosen to align themselves with the losers.”
I have done my best to stay out of this business, keep my mouth shut, and appreciate my friends on both sides of the CPAC divide. Had I not seen this particular attack by GOProud against long time solid conservatives I’d continue keeping my mouth shut. But this is too much. And my guess is that there aren’t many if any willing to call foul, so I will do it.
As someone who spent time trying to give them the benefit of the doubt, I accept this as conclusive proof that, while it is a Republican organization, GOProud is not a conservative organization.
Those groups and people who have sat out CPAC this year have done so not because they hate the gays, as Grover Norquist and GOProud would have you believe, but because GOProud is not a conservative organization and its agenda is not a conservative agenda.
For that, they are called losers and nasty bigots.
These losers and nasty bigots have done a lot more for the conservative movement than GOProud. And I am very happy to call them my friends.
This week, I’d much rather be with them than be at CPAC.