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Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Vast Right Wing Conspiracy Has a Mailing Address-The chattering classes have clamped onto the Council for National Policy as their topic of the day; ABC did a piece yesterday, and Krugman has chimed in on it today. I'm not sure how much we should read into this-a group of prominent conservatives, primarily from the religious conservative camp but not exclusively, get together for off-the-record, no-reporters discussions on the issues of the day. This Canadian piece on the CNP from last year seems to point to a fairly benign group, with a newsletter and non-PAC tax status, but it does have a who's-who of American conservatives. If you're from the liberal camp, such as Atrios or Paul Krugman today, you might see the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy personified; the only thing missing is Richard Mellon Scaife. The closed-door nature of these meetings bother the watchdogs, but it's not just the right that has closed-door policy confabs. I remember President Clinton heading off to Renaissance Weekend every New Years at Hilton Head, a close-door meeting of center-left movers and shakers for a mix of fun and serious talk on various issues. Conservatives wound up setting up a rival Dark Ages retreat. I don't remember the media (even the right-wing media) going into full throat over it, generally allowing him a few days to be off stage and chill out.

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