Commentary Magazine


GOProud Speaks Out on CPAC Boycott

Despite the fact that the CPAC boycott has drawn a few big names (the Heritage Foundation and Jim DeMint), the campaign has turned out to be a pretty big bust. On the eve of CPAC, the conference is still expected to draw the usual large crowd of prominent conservatives, and organizers claim that attendance is actually up from last year. So it’s understandable that GOProud — the gay conservative group that boycotters were attempting to ostracize — is taking the opportunity to gloat a bit in the pages of Metro Weekly:

Of the Heritage Foundation’s decision, he says, ”They’ve chosen to – and it’s a mystery to me why – but they’ve chosen to align themselves with the losers.” …

”Look, Heritage does a lot of good work, and I didn’t want — it looks terrible for them, and I didn’t want to have them humiliate themselves. But they’ve seemed hell-bent on it. Their story keeps changing and now we’re down to the truth, which is: It was about us. And they’ve lost donors. They’ve lost supporters.” …

Of those calling for the boycott, Barron says, ”They’re all excited that Jim DeMint is boycotting. And that’s fantastic. I’m glad that he’s willing to be on the Island of Political Misfit Toys with [World Net Daily's Joseph] Farah and the Concerned Women for America.”

Honestly, who can blame them? Obviously GOProud’s won this battle. Social-conservative groups went into the boycott believing that they could turn GOProud’s attendance into a major controversy. And while it may have been a headache for the conference organizers to deal with — especially after DeMint and Heritage dropped out and it looked like the boycott could catch on — the campaign actually had very little impact on the event.

In the end, it’s the boycotters who have to deal with the image problem. If they had taken their concerns to the conference, written op-eds about them, or otherwise engaged in dialogue, they might be in a better position right now. Instead, they look closed-minded, petty, and unwilling to communicate with those they disagree with. The plan could not have backfired more spectacularly.