Top Links: Hey, CPAC, how’s that hopey, changey, rebrand-y thing working out for you?

Updated
VA Gov Bob McDonnell, seen here at CPAC in 2010, was an invitee as recent as last year.
VA Gov Bob McDonnell, seen here at CPAC in 2010, was an invitee as recent as last year.
AP Photo/Cliff Owen

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)

Top Links: Hey, CPAC, how’s that hopey, changey, rebrand-y thing working out for you?

Updated