South Carolina’s Republican U.S. Senators do seem to be in the business of marginalizing themselves. While generally toeing a conservative line on the Judiciary Committee, Lindsay Graham does sometimes seem often a bit too eager to work with Democrats on regulatory issues — even if it means abandoning conservative principles. Meanwhile, Jim DeMint seems to brush conservative principle aside if it’ll help make him curry favor with some social conservatives on the fringes of the movement.
While, as Allahpundit reminds us, “plenty of big-name social cons are still planning to intend” CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) including “Rick Santorum(!),” DeMint has decided to garner himself a headline by staying away from the conservative confab:
South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint will skip this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, making him the most prominent conservative figure yet to express objections to what critics see as a pro-gay, libertarian tilt to the 38-year old event.
“With leading conservatives organizations not participating this year, Senator DeMint will not be attending. He hopes to attend a unified CPAC next year,” DeMint spokesman Wesley Denton said in an email.
Leading conservative organizations? Well, Heritage isn’t participating. That’s about the only leading conservative organization I can think of that’s passing on the event. Seems some of those supposedly leading groups are up in arms that GOProud is participating organization.
Despite their upset, the confab seems set to be a stellar shindig. According to Ed Morrissey, last year’s CPAC blogger of the year:
Attendance at last year’s CPAC broke records even with a similar boycott in place from GOProud’s initial inclusion as a participating group. This year’s registrations are at the same level as last year’s at this point of days before the event, and last year CPAC had already announced Glenn Beck as their featured speaker and had experienced a big spike in registrations. (Keene didn’t say when CPAC would announce this year’s speaker.) Last year, CPAC had 103 participating groups and sponsors, and so far in 2011, CPAC has confirmed 117.
14 more participating groups and sponsors than last year?!?! Well, I guess none of them are leading conservative organizations.