Republican Establishment figures are getting nervous about the conservative behemoth arising from the ashes of the 2012 election defeat: Matthew Dowd, former chief strategist for the 2004 George W. Bush campaign, made scathing remarks about CPAC and Sarah Palin on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.
When ABC host Martha Raddatz asked Dowd, “Matt, you’re just shaking your head. The whole thing, it makes you nervous, what do you say?” Dowd retorted:
To me, imagery and who’s there [at CPAC] and what you say is important, and I don’t think divisions are a bad thing. I actually think that a conservative message that is built for the 21st century would be a good thing. CPAC to me reminds me of, you know, ‘Land Before Time,’ and it’s like going to a Flintstones episode in my opinion.
Raddatz, graciously urging Dowd to clarify his remarks, asked if Dowd meant that those who were at CPAC were dinosaurs. Dowd took the hint:
It’s like a bunch of dinosaurs, most of them are like throwbacks in times, it’s like who’s running for Grand Poohbah of the Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes is what it looks like to me. When you have Sarah Palin, who, it’s an amazing situation to me, between her and the Kardashians, I think you add it up. Between a Palin connection and the Kardashians, there’s 10 reality shows that have been built around that. I don’t think it’s helpful to the Republican Party. I think there are some people, like Marco Rubio there who will become, and are, stars of the party. I think CPAC’s time has come and gone and it’s time for somebody to put together a 21st century conservative agenda.
First Karl Rove, and now Dowd. They weren’t happy when the Tea Party ran roughshod over the Dems in 2010 without them and they’re not happy now with CPAC highlighting the furious return from the dead of true conservatism.
They’re nervous. That’s a good sign.