South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint will skip this year's Conservative Political Action Conference, making him the most prominent conservative figure yet to express objections to what critics see as a pro-gay, libertarian tilt to the 38-year-old event.
"With leading conservatives organizations not participating this year, Sen. DeMint will not be attending. He hopes to attend a unified CPAC next year," DeMint spokesman Wesley Denton said in an e-mail.
Prominent social conservatives have dropped out of the event and criticized it for its inclusion of the gay conservative group GOProud. Rep. Jim Jordan, who heads the House's Republican Study Committee, also has joined the boycott.
As ones who could be described as socially conservative (among other perjorative terms) and fans of Senator DeMint, we find this to be a disheartening development.
Forgive us for thinking that CPAC should be for the exchange of ideas, debate and finding common ground rather than for a display of ideological purity.
To stand with others for the cause of limited government, free markets and individual liberty does not also carry with it a condonement of any particular personal behavior.
Though we believe marriage is that between a man and woman you will never see us at a rally demonstrating for the same as we believe the real threat in this whole debate is judges fashioning "rights" out of thin air in order to advance an obviously personal agenda.
If same-sex marriage ever becomes the law of the land (or state) by popular demand via the ballot box then so be it.
Again, when we should be coalescing around the battle against an authoratative regulatory regime, we are allowing a bit player in the grand scheme of things to apparently stall progress and momentum.
From the Michael Barone political demographics perspective, conversations with fellow SLOBS (San Diego Local Order of Bloggers) and other personal observations, this reveals the geographical split in the conservative big tent where there is much more of a libertarian streak in the Goldwater sagebrush conservatism out West than that of our more so-con-minded brethren in the South.
H/T: Left Coast Rebel