Conservative commentator S.E. Cupp will not attend the Conservative Political Action Conference near Washington, D.C. next month because organizers have excluded the gay conservative group GOProud.
The decision by Cupp — the co-author of “Why You’re Wrong About the Right” — was supported by Jennifer Rubin, author of the conservative “Right Turn” blog of The Washington Post
CPAC, slated for March 14-16, is sponsored by the American Conservative Union. It is billed by organizers as America’s largest gathering of conservative leaders and activists.
In praising Cupp’s decision, Rubin said on Wednesday: “She is following her own stated principles and making a singular point: In excluding otherwise willing conservative allies, CPAC has already done more harm than it could possibly gain from right-wing activists and pols yammering in the echo chamber at one another.”
Rubin quoted an employee of a CPAC sponsor as saying: “CPAC’s in a corner because it can’t afford to cross groups that are big sponsors that have said they’d leave if GOProud is ‘in the building.’”
“Well,” Rubin concluded, “CPAC should get some new sponsors. Entities that would do this do not have the long-term interests of the party at heart.”
She later added, referring to such exclusionary practices, “In a nutshell, this is what is wrong with the GOP and why forward-looking conservatives shouldn’t encourage this nonsense.”
Rubin quotes David Boaz of the Cato Institute: “Are Republicans losing younger voters? Sure. You know the numbers from 2008 and 2012.”
Boaz told her that “conservatives are still paying the price” for such anti-immigrant and anti-gay sentiments — and that “they should try to avoid raising the price by being so dead-set against gay rights and immigration.”
“In some sense, CPAC is the worst possible case,” Rubin noted. “No one is asking CPAC to endorse gay marriage or any other policy … merely to let gays into the room.
“Refusal to do so smacks of the very sort of exclusionary instincts liberals claim conservatives harbor,” she said.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was not invited to this year’s event. ACU president Al Cardenas told Politico that the governor did not receive an invitation because he attacked House Speaker John Boehner and other GOP officials during the debate over the $60 billion Superstorm Sandy relief bill.
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