It is exceedingly odd that at the very moment everyone else is declaring the Democrats' amnesty plan dead in the water, CPAC leader Grover Norquist and a handful of Republican lobbyists are conspiring to resuscitate it. It's as though the pilots of an airplane headed to Houston decided instead to take the aircraft to Havana. But instead of a hijacking, conservatism's Beltway Politburo calls it a strategic partnership with Latino activists.
Posted: February 20, 2010 ~ 1:00 am Eastern
It's that time of year again. Pundits, pollsters and lobbyists are gathering in the nation's capital to tell conservative activists how to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
The Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, is meeting in Washington, D.C., this weekend to hear well-known political leaders like Dick Cheney and Newt Gingrich talk about prospects for electoral victories in 2010. This is an annual event dating back to 1974, and I have been there as a speaker myself a few times. But CPAC 2010 is different.
This year, the Beltway leaders of conservatism are racing hard to catch up with a parade they did not launch and cannot control. Across America, grass-roots patriots and anti-Obamaprotests have changed the political landscape in ways conservatism's entrenched Beltway Politburo did not anticipate.
The small Beltway Politburo that runs CPAC is worried. They are witnessing a growing conservative populism that owes its strength to ordinary people who have "had enough," not to policy wonks and lobbyists who must work at the margins of political compromise. The new citizen activists take their moral bearing from the Constitution, not from pollsters and focus groups.
Thus, it was predictable that conservatism's leading beltway Mafioso chose the week of CPAC to release the newly minted Mount Vernon Statement, a consensus document aimed at updating the landmark Sharon Statement of 1960. The justly famous Sharon Statement, midwifed by William F. Buckley Jr., was an eloquent synthesis of principles and policy imperatives, similar in tone to Barry Goldwater's 1959 classic, "Conscience of a Conservative." In contrast, the Mount Vernon Statement calls for a reaffirmation of America's founding principles, but it is largely silent about policy solutions to our most pressing problems.
There is also a telling irony in the political circumstances that gave rise to the two manifestos 50 years apart. The 1960 manifesto was bold and fresh, but the 2010 manifesto is timid and deliberately ambiguous on some key issues. Why is that? Has political success dulled conservatism's cutting edge, or is the Mount Vernon Statement a failed attempt to find consensus where there is none?
READ FULL STORY >
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Commentary from WorldNetDaily: Tom Tancredo rips CPAC for some of them supporting "Obama's insane policy of treating captured terrorists like ordinary criminals with full Miranda rights," and their sabotage of the "potent issues of illegal immigration and border security."