Excerpts from article by Chris Hayes, MSNBC [see video]
Yes, the legendary Conservative Political Action Conference had invited yours truly to participate at its 40th annual conference this March. I was specifically invited to be part of a panel called: “CSI Washington, D.C.: November 2012 Autopsy” along with Ann Marie Buerkle, John Fund, Michael Barone and Ralph Reed. I would be among 10,000 hard core conservative activists gracing the same stage as everyone from Marco Rubio to Sarah Palin to Mitt Romney, who have used the occasion to flaunt their conservative bona fides.
My initial reaction was: of course I’ll go! As someone who attempts to convene discussions across various ideological boundaries, I have a special appreciation for CPAC’s willingness to invite someone with my politics to speak to the attendees. And as someone who regularly invites conservatives to sit at our table with a bunch of liberals, leftists and progressives, it seems only sporting (and karmically appropriate) for me to accept.
But then I remembered, thanks to a number of conservatives in my twitter feed, a pretty gross episode from 2011.
That year the board of the American Conservative Union, which sponsors CPAC, voted to ban the gay conservative group GOProud from sponsoring the 2012 conference. GOProud was founded in 2009 by two former Log Cabin Republican staffers and its co-founder Chris Barron told me that one of the first things they did was send a check to the ACU to co-sponsor CPAC. They were accepted as sponsors in 2010 and in 2011, but social conservatives mobilized against them and ultimately prevailed.
...GOProud is not really the point. The point is the principle, which is: it’s not OK to ban organizations for reasons of pure bigotry. But the ACU does this because there’s a powerful constituency within conservatism that won’t have it any other way. It may not even be a majority of conservatives at this point, as a number of conservatives have said to me, but the bigots have enough juice that they call the shots. [MORE including video]
Via Coffee Party USA