Sunday, March 17, 2013

Thoughts on CPAC

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The American Conservative Union just finished hosting the 2013 version of CPAC. This was looked at as a meeting where we could turn the tide and put the party back on the winning path after losing an election that should have been a runaway fro every GOP candidate.

The ACU doomed the narrative from the beginning by not inviting the GOP Proud--a group of gay conservatives and republicans--and omitting Chris Christie. The former because they are, well, gay and the religious right still holds sway and the latter because he essentially gave Obama the election by inviting him, praising him and posing with him in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy (a premature declaration of success while thousands of homes are still in ruins, BTW).

We as a party have got to start examining exactly where we stand on issues. Whether it be gay marriage, immigration or drug policy, we have been marginalized because of our lack of inclusiveness. I credited Romney losing to Obama to the fact that the Dems put the GOP in a corner. We are considered by a great many Americans as the party that hates gays, minorities and wants to outlaw abortion over everything else. There was a Facebook article that went viral saying that Romney wanted to ban tampons if he were elected. It was ubiquitous and I believe it helped push the election to Obama. Of course it's ridiculous that anyone would believe it but we have been so marginalized that the non-political junkie type voter would believe it to be true. Think about it, there was outrage that the US military supposedly flushed a Koran down the toilet at Gitmo even though it's physically impossible.

But getting back to CPAC, there was some good things that came out of there: Bobby Jindal, Ted Cruz and Dr. Ben Carson were standouts. Sarah Palin got her shots in at Bloomberg and Obama and the crown failed to take the bait when a set up by supporters of Ashley Judd failed miserably. But we need to shed the image of not being inclusive. The three men I listed above are in order: an Indian-American, a Latino and an African-American; that's inclusive but we fail to get that message out with a clear voice.

We've got a few more years to get the ship righted and an increasingly deep bench but we need to take the steps in that direction starting today.

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