"This year's CPAC was the largest on record. It was encouraging to see the large herds of students moving throughout the hotel. Unfortunately, the constant theme those students heard during this year's CPAC was that the proper role of the conservative movement is as cheerleader for the GOP. . . .
"What should have been one of the most important events of this year's CPAC, the appearance by Dutch parliamentarian and anti-jihad activist Geert Wilders, was relegated to the opposite side of the hotel, divorced from all of the other conference proceedings. . . .
"I have no doubt that if Bristol Palin had suddenly come available to address CPAC on the virtues of teen pregnancy, David Keene and the American Conservative Union would no doubt have moved heaven and earth to make room in the schedule for her. But they could not accommodate a man who lives under constant death threats by a long list of Islamic terrorist organizations."
-- Patrick Poole, PajamasMedia
(H/T: Dan Collins at PW) The decision-making processes of CPAC are opaque to those not directly involved. Some of my dearest friends are involved in the process, or have been in the past. What has been said of sausages and legislation applies equally to the business of establishing the annual CPAC schedule. Friendships forbid me to elaborate, but if any outsider is naively idealistic, let me merely say that "coalition unity" is at times an ugly and brutal line of work. This is true even in a good year, when conservatives are riding the floodtide of victory, flush with cash and influence; you may let your imagination wander as to how it is in the ebb.
CPAC Director Lisa DePasquale, her boss Mr. Keene, their hard-working staff and a nameless legion of volunteer activists are deserving of the highest commendation for organizing the largest conference in the 35-plus years of this annual gathering. Whatever legitimate disgruntlement, disappointment or dissatisfaction there may be, (a) it is far less than the positive accomplishments of the conference, and (b) it would be better addressed to the conference organizers than to the general public.
Ronald Reagan once said that you can accomplish almost anything, so long as you don't care who gets the credit. And my art-history professor used to share with us an ancient Persian proverb: The dogs may bark, but the caravan moves on.