Top story: Conservatives, like so many exes, want you to know they’ve changed. But judging by the latest CPAC snub, Bob McDonnell, it’s more like they’ve retrenched.
- The latest snub? Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, he of the “transvaginal ultrasound” fame, who’s received invites in previous years. (Hot Air)
- The problem? McDonnell forced the state legislature to do something about the Commonwealth’s ridiculously bad traffic – but he did it via a deal that is “heavy on taxes and came only after Democrats exacted a written pledge from the governor on Medicaid expansion.” (The Washington Post)
- The snub has a lot of conservatives angry, though. In part for the obvious hypocrisy: “So, ‘strongly pro-choice’ Trump is okay at CPAC, but GOProud, Christie, and McDonnell aren’t?” (Jim Geraghty)
- “Trump has advocated a single-payer health care system (which even ObamaCare doesn’t give us), called for massive tax increases, favored abortion rights, and revealed himself to be hyper-protectionist.” (Peter Wehner)
- Hell, even one of CPAC’s sponsors is upset: “The inexplicable decision by the event’s managers at the American Conservative Union to invite Donald Trump to speak sullies an event conservatives have long held in high esteem – an event that The Washington Examiner sponsors through an earlier agreement.” (The Washington Examiner)
- In fact, let’s quote the final line of that Washington Examiner editorial: “For conservatives reeling from Obama’s re-election and seeking a serious conversation about the future of the conservative movement, this year’s CPAC may not be the place to find it.” Ouch.
- Guess who else is getting a CPAC invite? McDonnell’s ultra, ultraconservative attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli. So, really, it’s a double diss. (The Virginian-Pilot)
- Newt Gingrich: “I don’t know what the purpose of CPAC is anymore” (Laura Ingraham)
- CPAC’s other problem? GOProud and gay conservatives trying to make conservatives’ “big tent” more than just a metaphor. The Daily Caller has a run down of the backroom issues. (The Daily Caller)
- Of course, this three-ring circus manifests itself in the dysfunction in Congress, which is why you see something like this: “Boehner pledges to stick to ‘Hastert rule’ despite violating it three times this year already.” (Taegan Goddard)
- Or like this: “Ryan Budget Plan Draws GOP Flak” (The Wall Street Journal) (Google trick required)
- And while we’re on the subject of conservative dysfunction, we would be remiss if we didn’t point out this in-depth article from Michael Calderone that says part of the movement’s problem is its media machine’s obsessions with “Hookers, Hamas and Hagel.” (The Huffington Post)
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Top Links: Hey, CPAC, how’s that hopey, changey, rebrand-y thing working out for you?