CPAC: Conservatives vs. gay conservatives

The various flavors of conservatives at CPAC 2011 are fighting over how big the GOP tent should be. Can just anyone call himself a conservative?

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and several socially conservative groupsa are boycotting this year's CPAC because of GOProud's presence.
(Image credit: Getty)

The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is battling more than just the Democrats this year. Prominent conservative groups, including the Heritage Foundation, and stalwarts like Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) are boycotting CPAC 2011 because of the participation of GOProud, an advocacy group for gay conservatives that's co-sponsoring the conference. And GOProud leaders have hit back, "taunting" the social conservatives. Can either faction win this fight? (See GOProud leaders discuss their cause)

GOProud deserves a seat at the table: Conservatives have the right to be wary of these gay advocates, says B. Daniel Blatt in Gay Patriot. After all, their predecessors, the pioneering gay group Log Cabin, were given to uneven conservatism and had a penchant for "attacking fellow Republicans." But GOProud is different. It vocally "agrees with conservatives at least 80 percent of the time," and holds "near identical positions" on gay issues as featured CPAC speaker Dick Cheney.

"Correcting the problem Log Cabin created"

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GOProud has won — and earned bragging rights: "Honestly, who can blame" GOProud for "taking the opportunity to gloat a bit"? says Alana Goodman in Commentary. The anti-GOProud boycott "has turned out to be a pretty big bust," and the boycotters' refusal to talk the problem out internally "could not have backfired more spectacularly." Now, the critics look "closed-minded" and "petty," and everyone knows "GOProud's won this battle."

"GOProud speaks out on CPAC boycott"

CPAC is for real conservatives: I "appreciate my friends on both sides of the CPAC divide," but I can't "keep my mouth shut any longer," says Erick Erickson in RedState. By attacking "keystones of the conservative movement" as "losers and nasty bigots" just because they oppose the gay agenda, GOProud has adopted "one of the favorite leftist bullet points." In my book, that means "GOProud is not a conservative organization," and has no place at CPAC.

"This is too much for me"

GOProud should start its own conference: "I support GOProud," but yes, its "gratuitously nasty and unfair" taunts were a tactical mistake, says "Allahpundit" in Hot Air. They may have won this fight, but they won't be invited back in 2012. Still, maybe the "GOProuds of the world" should just leave CPAC to the social conservatives, and start their own "alternative conference, organized chiefly around fiscal responsibility."

"New CPAC chief: We might have to dump GOProud for taunting the boycotters"

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