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To me, now more than ever, the conservative movement must purge itself of those in its “leadership” who are not worthy of the cause they claim to champion.
Over the past year I have begun to suspect that David Keene, the head of the American Conservative Union and the Chairman of CPAC (the largest annual gathering of conservatives) may fit into this category.
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John Ziegler on Olbermann, David Keene, and His Critics I have a really hard time with people who claim to be crusaders for the conservative cause but who are really only in it for either personal and/or economic aggrandizement.
Politico reported that it certainly appeared as if the ACU (through a letter from Keene deputy Dennis Whitfield, with whom I had met in 2008 about potentially funding part of “Media Malpractice”) was offering Federal Express Keene’s op-ed support on a legislative issue if they paid ACU a couple of million dollars.
I also became aware of a 2003 National Review article (subtitled, “The ACU Chairman Sells Out”) which focused on his support for then liberal Republican Arlen Specter who was long-time Keene “friend” and, coincidently I am sure, the head of a senate committee in front of which Keene’s lobbying firm regularly does business.
I have spoken at the last three CPACs and it always seemed pretty obvious to me that the vast majority of speaking slots and agenda items were determined by factors that had nothing to do with relevance, talent, worthiness, or benefit to the movement.
Instead it was clear that personal relationships and donations/sponsorships ruled the day.
I will fully acknowledge that I felt badly mistreated by the selection process, but that did not influence my perception of that procedure, but rather only made it easier for to see and voice what I have witnessed about its obvious flaws.
But the ultimate tipping point for me came a few months ago when David Keene made some statements about Sarah Palin after her resignation that sounded like they could have easily come from Keith Olbermann and not an extremely influential conservative leader.
Keene claimed she was “whining” about media coverage, “bitter,” “resentful,” had “bailed out” on her governorship, and was not ready for the “major leagues.” He also mocked her inability to appear at this year’s CPAC (not that I am implying this had anything to do with his motivation! As someone who has dedicated their lives over the past year to trying to correct the historical record about Sarah Palin, almost nothing infuriates me more than having a “conservative’ buy into the media lies about her, especially when they don’t seem to know all the basic facts.