CPAC controversies over Christie, gays come from a misreading of group’s purpose.
CPAC is another week distant.
Speakers announced. Cue the usual controversies.
This year’s controversy awards go to the alleged “snubbing” of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie — a speaker last year but not invited this year. Another winner in the controversy department is the decision not to have official participation by a gay group — GOP Proud .
(And full disclosure here, last year I was a panelist at CPAC and, alas, cannot attend this year. I will miss it.)
The other day, Mark Levin posted a link to William F. Buckley Jr.’s original mission statement for National Review. In the way of the Internet world, Mark also cited this piece by Dan Riehl which in turn was a response to Jonah Goldberg’s NR piece on CPAC. Got all that?
If one understands the purpose of CPAC — it is a conservative conference not a political party — these controversies and others over the years (inviting Rush Limbaugh was another controversy for anti-Rush Republicans of the David Frum variety) come in to focus quickly if one asks this question:
What if William F. Buckley were here today to write a CPAC Mission Statement?
As it happens, Mr. Buckley has done almost literally that.
No, WFB hasn’t overturned the grave, a notion he would doubtless find as appalling as amusing, casting him as it would as The Deity.
But Buckley long ago did something that has served conservatives well over the years.
In 1955 Buckley wrote out that mission statement for his new magazine, National Review. There is to be found the famous line about standing “athwart history, yelling Stop.” But there is so much more in Buckley’s clear and concise statement that under the circumstances it begs a reprinting — with a tweaking to bring it up to 2013.
So here’s a link to the Buckley original.
What follows is the modernized 2013 version that one imagines WFB might have penned for CPAC in the Age of Obama, Chris Christie, and gay marriage. Written with a bit of help from CPAC’s own description of its founding. My modernizing tweaks aside, primarily updating for current events in terms of names and issues, 99.999% of this is Buckley himself:
Our CPAC Mission Statement
By William F. Buckley Jr.
March 5, 2013
There is, we like to think, solid reason for rejoicing. Prodigious efforts, by a small group of conservative activists gathered by the American Conservative Union met in Washington to discuss the future of the conservative movement.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online