CPAC has received considerable attention for its exclusion of the gay conservative group GOProud and its refusal to invite New Jersey governor Chris Christie. I agree with not inviting Christie (for me, embracing a leftist president days before the election is a bridge too far), but would have liked to see GOProud included.
However, both decisions can be argued either way, and I can’t get worked up over either.
CPAC’s panel on immigration reform, which has received virtually no attention, is another matter. The panel is called “Respecting Families and the Rule of Law: A Lasting Immigration Policy.” The five participants are:
Dr. Whit Ayers, President, North Star Opinion Research
Daniel Garza, Executive Director, The LIBRE Initiative
Helen Krieble, Founder and President, The Vernon K. Krieble Foundation
Jennifer Korn, Executive Director, American Action Network
Moderator: Helen Aguirre Ferré, Host, “Zona Politica” on Univision Radio
Why no opponents of amnesty and a path to citizenship for illegal aliens? Not because opposition falls outside the bounds of conservatism. As Mark Krikorian points out, a recent survey asked likely voters whether they would vote for a political party that supported enforcing immigration laws as opposed to a party that supports legalizing illegal immigrants. Conservative likely voters favored the hypothetical immigration hawk party by 73 percent to 14 percent.
If CPAC believes that conservative voters want amnesty and citizenship for illegal aliens, they should check with Rick Perry. His primary campaign began to skid when Mitt Romney attacked him for wanting to confer less signicant benefits on illegal immigrants.
So does CPAC seek to expand its tent to include more Hispanics? Maybe. But a big tent rationale wouldn’t exclude GOProud. And it certainly wouldn’t exclude conservatives who aren’t behind the push for amnesty and citizenship for illegal aliens. As noted, such conservatives constitute a majority of the movement.
Most likely, CPAC excluded those not on board with comprehensive immigration reform because it wants to serve big business which, for reasons of self-interest, tends to favor such reform.
In short, the fix seems to be in.