Last night at our Happy Hour in the nation’s capital, which included Chris Barron from GOProud as well as representatives of various libertarian think tanks inside the Beltway, many of us were speculating about the reasons Heritage had pulled out of CPAC this year. Some (and for good reason) claimed to have inside information while others offered insights based on their experience with the institution.
We all agreed that Heritage often puts out some very good studies, particularly on matters related to the federal budget, and we agreed that the current kerfuffle may well also have undermined its leading role in the conservative movement.
One libertarian scholar found it strange, noting that the foundation presents itself as a “big tent” organization and reminded us that Heritage had participated in past CPACs where the John Birch Society had signed up as a co-sponsor. Does that mean, he asked, that they agree with the Birchers?
We may never know who pushed the non-participation and why he (or she) pushed it, but one thing is clear from this mess is that Heritage has lost its standing as the conservative Beltway establishment holding together the various and diverse stands of the movement.