The annual freakout about the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is upon us.
Past controversies over whether the gay conservative group GOProud would be allowed to co-sponsor the event have given way to controversies over speakers. Last year, it was Milo Yiannopoulos (who was invited and then uninvited) who held our attention. This year, the big dustup is over Marion Marechal-Le Pen (niece of right-wing populist French politician Marine Le Pen) who is set to speak Thursday, about an hour after Vice President Mike Pence.
The news was greeted with confusion and consternation. Perhaps sensing another pre-CPAC uprising on the street, American Conservative Union Chair Matt Schlapp took to Twitter, noting that, “This is Marion not her aunt,” and saying that, “Marion is a classical liberal, a conservative” (this may seem confusing, but in political terminology, a “classical liberal” is basically an Adam Smith-style economic conservative).
It’s clear that some people confused the two Le Pens, but it also is worth noting that Schlapp previously told conservative Jamie Weinstein that he probably would have voted for Marine Le Pen if he was French.