The party staged by Andrew Breitbart for GOProud — the gay Republican and conservative group — was as close to a game changer as things get and the most interesting event at CPAC by far, at least to this point — and that’s meant as no insult to CPAC. With sexy Sophie B. Hawkins singing to a boisterous, supportive crowd, the party almost obliterated in one night the conception that Republicans are anti-gay and gave the impression that young libertarians — and some not so young — are taking over the GOP. Pretty soon it may be cool to be a Republican and square to be a Democrat.
Well, maybe that’s what I wanted to see and wanted to feel, but the atmosphere was certainly there Thursday night at DC’s Eighteenth Street Lounge. People wandered the club’s corridors in wonderment at it all. No, there weren’t any leather biker studs or other accoutrements of the more outre gay scene, but there was as much acceptance of our modern world as at Democratic Party events, especially national ones of the scope of CPAC.
Does this indeed mean that libertarianism in its various strains is taking over the GOP? Again, that is possibly wishful thinking (and I wouldn’t want it to be that brand of libertarianism that seems to think the common defense can be accomplished with BB guns in someone’s garage), but there are indications across CPAC. Again, maybe this is anecdotal, but I’ve hardly heard much talk of abortion or other social issues at the conference — and when I have it seems vaguely discordant or anachronistic. Most people wanted to discuss the economy or the looming dangers of the Muslim Brotherhood. And, of course, who would be best to put Barack Obama out of office.