As a longtime buddy of the American Conservative Union's David Keene and recipient of the ACU's "Robert Novak Journalist of the Year Award," it was inevitable that Newsmax's Ronald Kessler would help Keene deflect controversies surrounding CPAC, which the ACU operates, regarding its allowing the gay conservative group GOProud to participate (and completely ignoring claims that Keene's ex-wife embezzled money from the group).
Thus, it's even more inevitable that Kessler would similarly suck up to Keene's replacement as ACU leader, Al Cardenas -- and that's exactly what he does in a Feb. 10 Newsmax column, touting how Cardenas is "a mentor of Sen. Marco Rubio" and once told off Fidel Castro.
Kessler also gives Keene a valedictory toast, declaring that he is "one of the country’s most astute political observers" who is "proud that he leaves the 1 million-member ACU on a sound footing." He also baselessly declares the ACU's ratings for members of Congress "the gold standard for assessing the ideology of members of Congress."
Kessler also serves up another dismissal of CPAC controversies:
Some critics claimed that Cardenas was not socially conservative enough. Others attacked Keene for allowing GOProud, a gay conservative organization, to have a booth at CPAC. Still others criticized CPAC for not putting enough emphasis on national security issues in its selection of speakers.
Given that the conservative movement encompasses those who believe in strong national security, fiscal restraint, and socially conservative values, tensions will inevitably arise among those who wish to advance only one of those causes and don’t recognize the value of combining forces to win elections.
“Unfortunately, we have conservatives who think that the movement ought to be defined in terms of themselves,” Keene says. “But that’s not the way you build a very popular movement. It’s not the way you attract very many people. And it’s certainly not the way you win an election.”
No mention, of course, of Keene's ex-wife's alleged embezzling.