Glenn Beck, in a sense, is right. CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, is not and could never be a “big tent.” Neither is the brand of conservatism it tries so hard to sell. The “big tent,” to borrow his circus analogy is usually reserved for acts featuring genuine talent and skill that tend to draw people into the “big tent.”
CPAC, as speaker after speaker demonstrated, is more or less a sideshow — relegated to a small tent, and populated with notions that have no basis in and would never work in reality, and that just don’t stand up to close inspection. Inside that small tent, where people who paid the admission price really want to believe their eyes, it works. But in the cold light of day, not so much.