Some of the nation's most prominent conservative leaders will gather today to unveil what they propose as a manifesto for a growing movement against the political establishment.
The "Mount Vernon Statement," to be signed on the Alexandria, Va., estate once owned by George Washington, is billed as a declaration of conservative values and beliefs. Organizers say it is modeled after the 1960 Sharon Statement, signed at the Connecticut home of William F. Buckley Jr., which helped usher in the modern conservative movement.
"We don't talk about specific issues or parties or the current political situation," said Alfred Regnery, publisher of American Spectator magazine. He helped draft the statement as part of the Conservative Action Project, a new group seeking to coordinate the chorus of voices. "It's a philosophical foundation, based on the concept of constitutional conservatism. It's written so most conservatives can say, 'Yeah, this is just what I think.' ''
The gathering of more than 80 leaders, to be led by Reagan-era Attorney General Edwin Meese, comes as the conservative movement's many strands are joining together in opposition to President Barack Obama's policies — and to moderate Republicans they see as insufficiently conservative.