New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is a conservative heretic. His sin? Appearing with President Obama in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy as the two inspected the widespread destruction along the Jersey shore.
This is the same Christie who, just a few months earlier, was the toast of the GOP, hailed as one of its leading lights, a man who could help conservatives win back the White House.
"EXCLUSIVE: Chris Christie to Headline CPAC Chicago in June," the conservative Townhall web site breathlessly announced last spring.
But this year, Christie hasn't and probably won't be invited by the American Conservative Union to its national confab in Washington. Optics like those of last fall, a Democratic president and a Republican governor putting aside political differences to confront a huge natural disaster, can mean only excommunication from the conservative movement for Chris Christie.
Compromisers need not apply.
Instead, in the center ring, CPAC will present the very same people who helped Republicans lose the 2012 presidential election, starting with Mitt Romney.
Newt Gingrich, Michelle Bachmann, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Paul Ryan, and the man who put the clown show together, GOP Chairman Reince Priebus, will all be speaking.
The CPAC sideshow will include failed vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, unhinged Obama conspiracy theorist Wayne LaPierre, and one-term Florida representative Allen West.
“As we extend our second round of invitations to these conservative leaders, it is easy to see why CPAC 2013 is shaping up to be one the best conferences yet,” said ACU Chairman Al Cardenas.
If you say so, Al.
Meantime, Christie's snub by the ACU is the perfect prism through which to view today's American conservative movement. When you lose an election, you should become introspective and examine and question what it was the voters rejected. You should look in the mirror and see what the voters saw: anger, intolerance and intransigence. You should consider modifying or moderating past positions.
Not this crowd. They believe you do the same thing over again and, this time, expect a different result. So Christie is out. Romney is in.
Good luck with that.