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by Don Feder,


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The trouble with CPAC (the annual Conservative Political Action Conference) can be summed up in six words – gays, Grover, knee-jerk libertarianism, and Islamist connections.

What started in 1973 as a modest meet-and-eat for insiders and the faithful has evolved into an extravaganza – 130 co-sponsors and exhibitors this year, marquee speakers (Newt Gingrich, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and Ann Coulter among them), and an expected turnout of 10,000, heavily weighted towards conservatives in their 20s and 30s.

But all won’t be Ronnie and Rush when CPAC opens on February 10 at a D.C. Marriott. Panels will include “Traditional Marriage and Society.” At the same time, CPAC will provide a forum for those who think marriage is two men and a kumquat.

For conservatives who understand that conservatism is about more than the Laffer Curve and Obama’s birth certificate, a group of allegedly conservative homosexuals has become a dinosaur bone of contention.

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For the third year in a row, GOProud will be a participating organization at CPAC. It opposes the Federal Marriage Amendment and favors repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which would allow the federal judiciary to impose gay “marriage” on the nation, negating the will of voters in 30 states who have passed their own marriage-protection amendments.

GOPoof also worked for the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, facilitating military service by individuals who (according to the Centers for Disease Control) are 44 times more likely to be HIV-carriers than their “breeder” counterparts. Webmaster Andrew Breitbart thinks this is so skippy that he’s throwing a CPAC party for those of the fern-bar persuasion – Come Dance Leviticus Away!

GOProud’s presence has, at least in part, led to a boycott by many A-List conservative groups and leaders, including Family Research Council, the Heritage Foundation, American Family Association, Gov. Mike Huckabee, Sen. Jim DeMint and Sean Hannity.

David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union (which sponsors CPAC) offers a lobbyist’s spin on alternative lifestyles at the increasingly un-conservative conference. “We try to give an umbrella for all groups that are legitimately conservative on most issues,” Keene explained to The New York Times, as reported on January 27.

“Legitimately conservative on most issues,” doesn’t mean CPAC will compromise on things that really matter. “If you’re for socializing the country or stripping our national defense, you’re probably not a conservative,” Keene cautioned.

In other words, economics, not morality, is the bench mark of conservatism. No to confiscatory taxation, yes to undermining the one social institution that makes capitalism possible – the family. No to slashing defense spending; yes to attacking the natural family, which gives young men something to fight for – besides enterprise zones and marginal tax rates.

In the same story, Keene explained that, as the Times put it, “He would not oppose participation (in CPAC) by a group that shared conservative views on free enterprise and defense but favored abortion rights.” Give us liberty and happiness. The life part is negotiable.

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