When You're in Bed with Dogs Don't Be Surprised if You Pick Up a Few Fleas
Erick Erickson has a post up at RedState about CPAC sex that is predictably getting attention because, well, anytime anyone writes anything about sex on the internet gets attention:
After RedState got started in July of 2004, blogging on the right became all the rage, though it was correlation and not causation. By 2005, CPAC had a Bloggers Row and I went for my first time. The event was held that year at the Reagan Center in Washington, D.C. Most of the attendees stayed across the street at the JW Marriott. It was not an ideal venue, but it was my first time and I did not know better.
Being the good, intrepid blogger, I ran across the street to a CVS to buy a notepad, having left mine in my office back in Macon, GA. There in line were a half dozen young men, each with CPAC credentials around their necks and each buying condoms.
Erick goes on to lament that for too many attendees CPAC has become akin to a drunken frat party.
Melissa Clouthier responds with strong warnings for women. (And in writing the piece she assumes the "Gen-X Big Sister trying to protect younger Millennials from unchecked male sexuality" archetype I wrote about in reviewing Hannah Sternberg's novel Queens of all the Earth.)
Joy McCann at Little Miss Atilla chimes in, rightfully pointing out that this is not just a problem of young people being stupid, but that strains of thought within the conservative movement mutate to fuel it:
There is, in fact, a sort of intellectual jujitsu that a few conservative males practice, wherein they decline to respect women in the egalitarian John Stuart Mill sense (because, doncha know, that’s feminist, and it’s bad), and yet they decline to do it in an Old-World, gentlemenly sense (because that would be old-fashioned, and we’re all very modern around here). These two approaches can overlap, but in a certain type of male they might both be eschewed . . . and that is a recipe for caddishness.
I’ve seen it, and it isn’t attractive.
Joy is on the money in identifying ideology as a component in the problem. But strident anti-feminism is only one of the dogs conservatives welcome into their bed each year.
Last year was my first and last CPAC. The original plan was to report on the conference and network with others in the blogosphere. That collapsed when I discovered my colleagues down at the booth on the convention floor sabotaged in their efforts to recruit students for their pro-Israel campus campaign. Both college kids and adults with Ron Paul paraphernalia would approach them and spend 15, 20 minutes or even longer explaining why Israel was a fascist state. Thus, I ended up spending most of the conference arguing with antisemites.
It's time to forget about CPAC. There are plenty of other opportunities for activists to network and hear speakers.