Nicole Hemmer: Guarding the Right's Flank

Roundup: Historians' Take
tags: Republican Party, conservatism, LA Times, Nicole Hemmer

Nicole Hemmer, a research associate at the United States Studies Center at the University of Sydney, also teaches history at the University of Miami.

To understand what is wrong with today's political right, look no further than the American Conservative Union. The ACU made headlines last month when it snubbed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. A source told National Review that Christie hadn't been invited to the ACU's annual Conservative Political Action Conference, which begins Thursday, because of his "limited future" in the Republican Party.

To put that in perspective: The ACU found ample room at CPAC for Sarah Palin and Donald Trump.

Nor did it stop at Christie. For the second year in a row, the ACU gave the cold shoulder to GOProud, a conservative gay rights group that had participated in previous years. It also excluded Pamela Geller, a past CPAC attendee and vocal critic of Islam.

In preparation for this year's conference, the ACU drew arbitrary dividing lines all over the conservative map. If the group has its way, the realm of "true conservatism" will be a minuscule state with irregular boundaries, constant border skirmishes and ever-diminishing hopes of producing a national leader....

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