The Corner

CPAC Tentwatch

Jonah Goldberg, Mark Krikorian and NR’s editors have written here about CPAC’s decision to exclude Chris Christie, GOProud, and those who believe in enforcing the nation’s immigration laws. I know nothing about the organization’s internal machinations, but the latest expulsion I take personally. On the only occasion I’ve ever spoken at CPAC, I had the honor of being introduced by Pamela Geller. Back then, some fellows were trying to rule her beyond the pale and leaning on me to get her kicked off the much coveted (ha!) Steyn-intro spot. I told ‘em to take a hike: She’s a fearless fighter on free speech and other issues, and I wish there were more with her spirit. Yet five years on it seems she too is unacceptable to CPAC:

For the last four years, Pamela Geller of AtlasShrugs.com and the American Freedom Defense Initiative have held events at CPAC featuring guests she invites to discuss the influence of Islamism on America. But this year, the American Conservative Union (ACU) has no room for Geller or her message…

In years past, the events were standing room only thanks to their popularity, but that apparently was not enough to counter pressure brought to bear from somewhere to exclude Geller’s message.

After the fiasco of last November, it’s appropriate for the American right to consider new strategies. Narrowing the message, restricting the debate and enforcing conformity doesn’t seem an obvious winner.

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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