CPAC 2011: Big Ol' Gay Party

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 11 2011 9:18 AM

CPAC 2011: Big Ol' Gay Party

WASHINGTON -- On January 7, Andrew Breitbart said he was fed up with the social conservative groups boycotting CPAC over the inclusion of the gay Republican group GOProud and wanted to do something about it.

"I will be the harshest critic of the activist gay left, who I fear more than al Qaeda," said Breitbart . "But for these people not to exist in the two party system, for you tell them they're not welcome in the big tent, I have a huge problem with that, and I'm going to indulge my alt-80s, Depeche Mode, Cure, New Order fetish, and we're going to have a big ol' gay party at CPAC."

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

Advertisement

Thus was born Big Party (a wink at the Big Government/Big Journalism/Big Hollywood Breitbart website naming convention), an invitation-only event at D.C.'s 18th Street Lounge. It was co-sponsored by GOProud, whose Chris Barron and Jimmy LaSalvia took a few hours off from media requests to party in short-sleeved shirts; the Competitive Enterprise Institute, whose president Fred Smith donned an "Enjoy Capitalism" T-shirt under his blazer; and the Poker Players Alliance, who have become semi-controversial* CPAC mainstays. This paid for a completely open bar and the musical stylings of Sophie B. Hawkins.

A word about Sophie B. Hawkins. Michael Steele, who was chairman of the RNC until last month, showed up at the party and stayed a while. Right before I showed up, in an exchange witnessed by several people who described it to me, Steele met Hawkins. She explained her political philosophy to him.

"I'm not a conservative," said Hawkins, "but I'd like to [expletive] Sarah Palin."

Steele reacted quickly. "Well, she's very attractive," he said.

[UPDATE: Hawkins's management disputes the anecdote. A publicist, Lisa Lori, says "Sophie is not crass like this and would never say something so disrespectful about anyone like this." And Steele subsequently denied his part of the conversation. The people who originally shared the story have stood by it, but since Steele and Hawkins both say they never said these words, let the record show that they didn't. I do apologize for causing Hawkins and Steele some angst over this.]

Depeche Mode was played; a fight nearly broke out between two people who were too drunk to explain what they were fighting about; some people were convinced that Dana Loesch, who was wearing leather pants, couldn't have possibly been Dana Loesch, because she was wearing leather pants. If it was any more entertaining, Stephen Glass would have made it up.

*Very semi; they're only controversial among those who see a campaign for Internet taxes in their campaign to legalize more online poker.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

History

Slate Plus Early Read: The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.

Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution

Transparent Is the Fall’s Only Great New Show

The XX Factor

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada

Now, journalists can't even say her name.

Doublex

Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

What a Juicy New Book About Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric Fails to Tell Us About the TV News Business

Does Your Child Have Sluggish Cognitive Tempo? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

  News & Politics
History
Sept. 29 2014 11:45 PM The Self-Made Man The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 29 2014 7:01 PM We May Never Know If Larry Ellison Flew a Fighter Jet Under the Golden Gate Bridge
  Life
Dear Prudence
Sept. 29 2014 3:10 PM The Lonely Teetotaler Prudie counsels a letter writer who doesn’t drink alcohol—and is constantly harassed by others for it.
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 29 2014 11:43 PM Lena Dunham, the Book More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 29 2014 8:45 AM Slate Isn’t Too Liberal, but … What readers said about the magazine’s bias and balance.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 29 2014 9:06 PM Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice Looks Like a Comic Masterpiece
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 29 2014 11:56 PM Innovation Starvation, the Next Generation Humankind has lots of great ideas for the future. We need people to carry them out.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 29 2014 11:32 PM The Daydream Disorder Is sluggish cognitive tempo a disease or disease mongering?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.