March 2, 2013

JONAH GOLDBERG ON CPAC, Christie, and Gays.

The sociology of CPAC is hard to describe to people outside the conservative movement. In a sense, it’s the Comic-Con of conservatism, overflowing with stalls and barkers like a Middle Eastern bazaar. It also serves as a de facto political convention for the ideological base of the Republican Party.

And that’s why CPAC’s decision to not invite Christie was probably a mistake. I’ve enjoyed my visits to CPAC. (Heck, I was named its conservative journalist of the year in 2011.)

The problem is that CPAC is the first bottleneck in the Republican presidential pipeline, and at precisely the moment the party should be making every effort to be — or at least seem! — as open as possible to differing points of view, it’s chosen to exclude the most popular governor in the country. (He has a 74 percent approval rating in deep-blue New Jersey.) Why? Because, a source familiar with CPAC’s internal deliberations told National Review Online, Christie has a “limited future” in the Republican party because of his position on gun control.

C’mon, really? The man is going to be reelected as a Republican. That’s a little future right there. Also, CPAC is chockablock with speakers who have a limited future — or even a limited past — in the Republican party.

Read the whole thing.