Hard Right Gathers in Washington for Epic Selfie

Hold your hand to your ear this week and listen for the sound of heavy breathing emanating from your nation’s capital. It won’t be a massive orgy; it will be the collective sound of the hard right gathering to celebrate itself.

There will actually be two groups at work and at play. In each case the result will be the same: an epic selfie.

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The first is CPAC — the Conservative Political Action Conference. Several thousand will gather for their trade show and chat fest featuring the rightist of the right. Much of their effort will be devoted to recruiting a new wave of college-age conservatives to their cause.

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The second is AIPAC — the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Again, several thousand will gather for their trade show and chat fast featuring the rightist of the right on all matters Israel. Much of their effort will be devoted to parading a significant majority of the Senate and the House of Representatives before the cameras to show off their clout.

There was a spot of bother for each group leading up to their big weeks.

CPAC was not exactly playing the freedom of religion card when it told a group of atheists that they were not welcome. Conservatives are generally thought to believe in freedom, and freedom of religion might be thought to include the freedom not to be religious. Not so. It appears that those who favor heavy doses of religion in their lives are major CPAC supporters and they prefer not to deal with the competition. Niceties of philosophy and consistency were defeated handily in their battle with financial support.

The AIPAC gathering is pretty much the same year in and year out. Everything on the Likud wish list is unanimously rubber stamped and there is a touching recitation of the names of all the elected officials attending the dinner. This is designed to warn off any opponents should they get feisty.

AIPAC’s spot of bother resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue where the commander of the free world has more or less chosen to downplay if not ignore the wishes (commands?) of the omnipotent lobby. This tends to muddy the message just a bit.

Chalk up a splendid week for the catering industry and for the spinners.

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