CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, is an event held annually by a group of American right-wing conservative extremists, hell-bent on taking down Barack Obama and the Democratic Party, instilling fear in America, “taking their country back” to the stone age, and propagating so-called “American values” of selfishness, ignorance, and Christian bible-centric governing.
The hallmark culmination of each CPAC are the results of the straw poll, in which the CPAC attendees vote for whom they want the Republican presidential nominee to be, and the closing speech.
Read: “Who Will CPAC Nominate As GOP 2012 Presidential Nominee?” for a full list of this year’s straw poll nominees.
Winners of the CPAC straw poll in years past have rarely won the GOP presidential nomination, much less the presidency. Last year’s winner was Ron Paul, who interrupted Mitt Romney’s three-year streak. George W. Bush did win in 2000, and Ronald Reagan won in 1976, 1980, and 1984.
CPAC closing speakers of recent years past have included right wing extremist icons such as Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter, and Newt Gingrich. Often, the speakers mention the Republican deity, Ronald Reagan, who himself spoke at CPAC a dozen times.
Waning Importance Of CPAC
Despite the fact that this year’s CPAC has drawn its largest crowd ever, an estimated 11,000 attendees, an obvious indicator of the waning importance of CPAC, organized by the American Conservative Union, the oldest conservative lobbying organization in the country, is this year’s closing speaker, Rep. Allen West. An extreme right-wing freshman Republican politician, West is best known for falsely claiming, “I have a clearance that even the president of the United States cannot obtain because of my background.” The closing speaker, by comparison, last year was Glenn Beck, and the year prior, Rush Limbaugh.
This year’s CPAC, which began today and runs through Saturday evening, boasts the following list of confirmed speakers, most of whom represent the GOP of the 20th Century. A few notable exeptions are the Tea Party favorites, such as fraudulent journalist Andrew Breitbart and Rep. Michele Bachmann.
Another obvious indicator of the waning importance of CPAC is that the most-well-known GOP member, Sarah Palin, along with Marco Rubio, Senator Jim DeMint, will not be attending this year’s CPAC. (The Atlantic asks today, “CPAC Begins, but Does It Still Matter?“)
This year’s confirmed speakers include:
Rep. Michele Bachmann
Gov. Haley Barbour
Hon. John Bolton
Gov. Mitch Daniels
Hon. Newt Gingrich
Sen. Mike Lee
Sen. Mitch McConnell
Rep. Ron Paul
Sen. Rand Paul
Hon. Tim Pawlenty
Gov. Rick Perry
Hon. Mitt Romney
Hon. Donald Rumsfeld
Rep. Paul Ryan
Hon. Rick Santorum
Sen. John Thune
Rep. Allen West
Events, Panel Discussion, Speeches
Some of the events during this year’s CPAC include panel discussions and presentations, such as, “The Left’s Campaign to Reshape the Judiciary,” “How Political Correctness is Harming America’s Military,” “Why The Conservative Party Is The Next Step For The Tea Party,” “Lawlessness, Racialism and Terror at Obama’s Department of Justice,” “Reagan at 100: Role Model for the Next Generation,” “Repealing Obamacare: In The States, In Courts, and In Congress,” and “Traditional Marriage and Society.”
Controversaries: God and The Gays
Several large controversies have plagued this year’s event. First, Muslims. As you know, Islamophobia is a big social issue gripping Fox News-based Americans. So, a panel discussion, “The Importance of Faith & Religious Liberty in the US & Abroad,” sponsored by Muslims for America, surely will draw strong reactions, especially as there is another presentation, “The Ground Zero Mosque: The Second Wave of the 9/11 Attacks,” sponsored by the American Freedom Defense Initiative. This event features bigot extraordinaire Pamela Geller, and is the worldwide “special screening” of a trailer for the new AFDI documentary, “The Ground Zero Mosque: The Second Wave of the 9/11.” Talk about a conflict!
But wait, there’s more!
Another Islamophobia event, “The Sharia Challenge in the West,” takes place on Saturday.
Hopefully there’s strong security at these events.
Then there’s the “problem” of “the gays.”
GOProud, a gay Republican organization, is attending this year’s event, and as a result, many right-wing bigots and their organizations, such as the Heritage Foundation and the Family Research Council, Senator Jim DeMint, and other Republican heavyweights decided to not attend.
Erick Erickson, possibly America’s least self-aware citizen, and a CNN contributor and founder of RedState, a right-wing blog, today wrote, “GOProud is not a conservative organization.”
He adds, “GOProud has taken one of the favorite leftist bullet points and brought it straight into CPAC. You oppose affirmative action? You’re a racist. You oppose gay marriage? You’re a bigot.”
“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.”
More anti-gay controversary at CPAC: Politico reports, “A POLITICO reporter just got handed a flier telling parents and young people that “radical homosexual front groups and their supporters will be in attendance to push their perversion on you.” This comes as some social conservative groups are boycotting CPAC in protest of the gay Republican group GOProud’s attendance.
So, does CPAC matter? Yes and no. Yes, because it propagates and celebrates anti-American extremism, and no, because it propagates and celebrates anti-American extremism.
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