CPAC

Right Wing Round-Up

Today's best reporting on the Right from around the web:

  • Was Rick Santelli's televised rant part of some right-wing astroturf plot?
  • Niger Innis takes his bogus "stop the war on the poor" campaign to CPAC where, Media Matters reports, he declared that today's environmentalists are the same as racists who desire to keep minorities from getting an equal opportunity.
  • Mother Jones notes that Mitt Romney wowed the CPAC audience: ""[T]he crowd loved him. It felt a little like a campaign rally. If Romney runs for president in 2012, this will be his base." It also explains why he won the CPAC straw poll.
  • David Neiwert says that CPAC's popularity contests tell us a lot about the current state of the Right.
  • Slate hung out with Grover Norquist at CPAC where he unleashed a stream of metaphors "designed to advertise [conservative ideas that] have never been more out of fashion. It's as if he's trying to sell beepers to a nation of iPhones."
  • Pam reports that other members of the Utah Senate are defending Sen. Chris Buttars, saying that the "people in Utah agree with 90 percent of what he said."

Rick Santorum Just Like All Those Other Losers

Last week we noted that one of the defining messages at the Conservative Political Action Conference was that Republicans have lost control of Congress and the White House not because the voters had rejected the conservative agenda, but because they GOP had failed to fully embrace that agenda.

You see, conservative principles can never and have never failed and so the GOP's political losses can only be attributed to the party's failure to adhere to those principles, leading to strange statements like the one made by Rep. Paul Ryan explaining that Democrats massive victories in the last two elections are proof that it is really conservative values that are winning.

This sort of logic also leads to odd statements such as this

Former Pennsylvania Republican Senator Rick Santorum says conservatives lost the majority in Washington because they were unethical, incompetent and unprincipled.

Santorum told the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington that even though the media claims conservatism failed in 2008, it was “conservatives who failed conservatism and that failed America.”

He said the Republican Party became rife with dishonest politicians who claimed to carry the conservative mantle but were not willing to implement conservative principles.

I see.  So it was all those unethical, incompetent and unprincipled “conservatives who failed conservatism" that were thrown out of office, causing the GOP to lose its majority in Congress and control of the White House? 

An interesting theory, especially coming from Former Pennsylvania Republican Senator Rick Santorum.

Is that how he lost his seat to a Democrat in 2006, by being an incompetent and dishonest politician who failed conservatism? 

Right Wing Round-Up

Today's best reporting on the Right from around the web:

  • Think Progress has video of "Joe the Plumber" suggesting that some members of Congress ought to be shot.
  • Speaking of Joe, Steve Benen reports that, despite the fact that he seems to be the face of the conservative movement these days, nobody actually cares what he has to say.
  • RH Reality Check explains how the Arkansas legislature just rammed through "Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act" by declaring "an emergency and proclaimed the passage of the bill immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety."
  • MY DD takes a look at the ad being run by the global warming deniers at Americans for Prosperity featuring the founder of The Weather Channel.
  • Pam reports on Colorado State Sen. Dave Schultheis, who wants babies to get AIDS because it'll demonstrate the negative consequences of promiscuity. Seriously.
  • Is Barack Obama Hitler or the Antichrist?  Crooks and Liars posts a Daily Show video arguing that he is, in fact, both.
  • The Washington Blade reports that donations from the Gill Action Fund made up nearly one-third of the Log Cabin Republican's budget, which is news that is sure to only sharpen the Right's opposition to the group.
  • The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that the Youth for Western Civilization, which was co-sponsor of CPAC and even held its own reception during the conference, has a variety of ties to white nationalist groups.
  • Finally, the Texas Freedom Network reports that the right-wing Free Market Foundation is looking for a new name and offers up several possible suggestions.

CPAC: President Gingrich Makes His Entrance

While every other speaker at CPAC made their entrance from the stage, Newt Gingrich got the presidential treatment.

As if preparing to deliver his own State of the [conservative] Union address, Gingrich entered from the back of the ballroom and spent three minutes making his way through the throng of well-wishers, hand-shakers, and supporters on his way to the stage while "Eye of the Tiger" blasted over the crowd:

CPAC: You Be Da Man, Michael Steele

UPDATE: Here is the actual footage of her saying it:

 Here is the footage from the end of Michael Steele's address to CPAC where, according to CNN, event moderator Rep. Michele Bachmann told Steele he was “da man"

“Michael Steele! You be da man! You be da man,” she said.

Unfortunately Bachmann's remark is drowned out by the applause and music.

CPAC: If You Don't Have a Gun, You Have Nothing

The NRA's Wayne LaPierre tells the CPAC audience that the 2nd Amendment is the foundation of all of our freedoms and that all rights and freedoms are nothing but "stains on a rotten piece of parchment paper in a museum somewhere" until they are "guarded by the blued steel and dry powder of a free and armed people."

He also proclaims that he knows it is not politically correct to say so, but he doesn't care "if their butts pucker from here to the Potomac, the Founding Fathers understood that the guys with the guns make the rules":

CPAC: We're Cool, Just Ask Us

Sen. Mitch McConnell explains to the attendees at CPAC that there are some 8,500 people registered to attend this year's conference, while last year's progressive Take Back America Conference only drew about a third as many attendees, thus proving that "conservatives are more fun and interesting than liberals." 

After all, he says, who in their right mind would want to hang out with people like Paul Krugman and Robert Reich when they could be kicking it with Rush Limbaugh:

CPAC: Michele Bachmann's Next Career

You know, if her political career doesn't pan out, Rep. Michele Bachmann could always considering making the jump to television, where she'd be sure to quickly find work announcing contestants on a game show:

CPAC: Back to the Future with Sen. DeMint

Were it not for the occasional mention of President Obama and current political developments, you'd be forgiven for thinking that this is a twenty-year old clip of Sen. Jim DeMint, rather than a speech he delivered just this morning, in which he explains that government is the cause of all of our problems and the only solution is more freedom:

"Government is out of control and freedom is the only solution. In America, freedom is built on the principles and values that are derived from Judeo-Christian religious convictions. If we allow this government to continue to purge religion and faith and religious values and the principles that are derived from them from our culture, we will lose our freedom."

DeMint also warns that "if we allow Congress and the President to continue to ignore the Constitution and compromise the rule of law, we will lose our freedom" ... but presumably that is meant as a criticism of the month-old Obama Administration rather than as a call to investigate the actions of the Bush Administration:

CPAC: Marriage Equality Will Create a Generation of Violent Criminals

The Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver explains to the CPAC audience that "same-sex marriage sets forth a fatherless policy" and says that you don't need a bunch of scientific data to know that that is bad. After all, kids without fathers tend to fare poorly ... and if you need proof, all you have to do is take a look at the prison population.

Thus, the logic seems to go, letting two women get married will lead to a whole generation of fatherless children who will inevitably become violent criminals:

CPAC: Carlson Attempts to Defend the New York Times, Gets Booed

Tucker Carlson attempts to convince the audience at CPAC that the New York Times actually cares about the accuracy of its news, but the audience isn't buying it and regularly interrupts him with boos and jeers.

He also says that the conservative movement needs its own news gathering organizations who will create news that reflects its values and wishes there were twenty-five outlets like the Fox News Channel:

CPAC: Huckabee Stands Up for the Social Conservatives

After blasting the bank bailouts for giving taxpayer money to "the geniuses that got us into this mess," Mike Hucakbee took a swipe at all the fiscal conservative who dismissed him during the GOP primary as some sort of populist for daring to suggest that there was a "Wall Street to Washington axis of power that was out of control" and wondering when they will all apologize to him, as his warnings "seem prophetic now."

He then called out those in the conservative movement who are trying to use the GOP's recent string of electoral losses and the economic crisis to throw the social conservatives under the bus, saying that social conservative's values are the key to creating a fiscally conservative government and that the GOP "didn't lose because of social conservatives," but rather because it became the party that forgot what it stood for.

He doesn't say anything particularly radical in this clip, but it is interesting to note that, when he ran for president, Huckabee didn't get much support from the Religious Right power-brokers in Washington DC and got absolutely no support from the limited government/fiscal conservative organizations.  It looks like, as he positions himself for a possible 2012 presidential bid, Huckabee has decided that the group he most needs to win over are the social conservative leaders ... an effort that will undoubtedly be complicated by the fact that, in his last book, he spent several pages calling those leaders a bunch of sell-outs:

Sarah Posner has more on Huckabee's speech.

CPAC: Obama's a Communist and a Foreigner, Bush was a "Pseduo-Socialist President"

Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid, tapped to introduce Rep. Mike Pence, regaled the audience with tales of CPACs past, when the country had a president who was not a communist and was actually born in the United States ... oh, how times have changed.

He also praised Pence for being a conservative before it became "stylish and popular for ... House Republicans and others to suddenly discover fiscal sanity" under Obama.  And to prove it, Kincaid hailed Pence as one of the few Republican members of Congress willing to stand up to "pseudo-socialist president George W. Bush."  Pence then came out and thanked Kincaid for his kind words:

CPAC: Bay Buchanan Calls DC Conservatives a Bunch of Sell-Outs

Speaking on a panel at CPAC entitled "Timeless Principles, New Challenges: The Future of the Conservative Movement," Bay Buchanan blasts the GOP and the conservative movement for giving this nation "the leaders that failed us" and criticizes them all for staying silent and failing to stop them from "taking this nation in a direction it never should have gone."  

She then proceeds to call out the conservative establishment in Washington, saying the future of the conservative movement is not in Washington DC, because the city is filled Republicans and conservatives who have "compromised our values [and] compromised our nation" and always fold when the pressure is on:

Media Matters has more of Buchanan's speech here.

CPAC: Paul Ryan's Pretzel Logic

The Conservative Political Action Conference is currently underway and the first speaker, Congressman Paul Ryan, sought to rally the GOP's shock troops by proclaiming that "the Republican Party's road out of the wilderness leads through CPAC" and then offering up a rather convoluted explanation of why they have been devastated at the polls in recent elections.

One of the articles of faith among those on the Right is that their party has suffered at the polls in recent years because the GOP has abandoned the conservative agenda, not that voters have rejected that agenda. 

Of course, in order for that sort of argument to make sense, you have take it to its logical conclusion by arguing that the massive Democratic wins in the last two election cycles were, in reality, wins for conservative values - which is exactly the argument Ryan made during his speech:

If you are so inclined, you can watch CPAC's live stream here.

CPAC is Coming, Lower Your Expectations

The Washington Times reports that organizers of this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference are expecting record turn-out this year as the movement tries to get its act together after seeing its Republican allies tossed out of office during the last several elections:

CPAC is expected to draw nearly 9,000 activists and college students from across the country, up from the record 7,000 who attended last year, when the main attractions were personal appearances by President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and the four remaining Republican presidential nomination hopefuls - former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

American Conservative Union Chairman David Keene says that CPAC is an opportunity for movement leaders to find ways to overcome its current problems and win back the trust of voters … and he sees hope for them all in the fact that GOP is, at the moment, exhibiting an ability to stay on message:

“In calling President Obama's $787 billion plan a 'spending' rather than a 'stimulus' package, the Republican Party finally is showing signs of doing a better job of formulating its message,” Mr. Keene told reporters at the National Press Club on Tuesday.

If Republicans voting essentially in lock-step in opposition to President Obama’s efforts to ameliorate our current economic crisis because it was a “spending” bill rather than a “stimulus” bill is their best evidence that things are turning around for them, then it look like they are going to be wandering in the political wilderness for several election cycles to come.

Talk about the soft bigotry of low expectations.

Anyway, CPAC starts tomorrow and the American Family Association will be streaming it live, so you’ll be able to watch it here.

One last thing, I am the only one who finds the AFA's choice of image for its CPAC site a little odd:

Was Mitt Romney's speech dropping out of the presidential race really the highlight of last year's event? How sad is that?

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Ken Starr says that President Obama should be prepared for an "uphill battle over his Supreme Court nominees because as a senator he opposed two of President George W. Bush's Supreme Court picks."
  • Some group called Conservatives Students Activists and Policy Makers is having a joint conference during the upcoming CPAC that will reportedly feature Michelle Malkin, Glenn Reynolds, Mike Huckabee, and Joe the Plumber. I have never even heard of them.
  • Richard Land continues to insist that pursuing stem-cell research makes us modern day cannibals.
  • Among the things that will probably not endear John McCain to the Religious Right is the fact that his daughter and former campaign manager are scheduled to speak at the Log Cabin Republican's convention in April.
  • The ACLJ claims that more than 200,000 people have signed onto its anti-Fairness Doctrine efforts and that it is preparing a legal strategy to fight it if it makes a comeback.
  • The Alliance Defense Fund has sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee urging it to reject the nominations of David Ogden, Elena Kagan, Dawn Johnsen, and Thomas Perrelli:
  • "We strongly urge the Senate Judiciary Committee to refrain from appointing David Ogden, Elena Kagan, Dawn Johnsen, and Thomas Perrelli to the Department of Justice, as they have each demonstrated throughout their careers a flawed understanding of the Constitution," said ADF Senior Counsel Gary McCaleb. "Their legal philosophies depart from mainstream views, their professional careers reflect a far-left ideology, and their involvement in the DOJ could jeopardize the proper enforcement of federal law and the development of constitutional doctrines."

Right Wing Round-Up

Today's best reporting on the Right from around the web:

  • Why did Sen. John Cornyn skip yesterday's vote on the stimulus bill?  He apparently thought that hobnobbing with media conservatives and Wall Street Republican donors was a better use of his time.
  • It looks like Sarah Palin won't be appearing at CPAC after all.
  • Box Turtle Bulletin reports that North Carolina is now targeted for an anti-gay marriage amendment.
  • AU reports that Michael Farris, Concerned Women for America, the Eagle Forum and other right-wingers are once again pushing for a Parental Rights Amendment.
  • Media Matters catches Fox News passing off a GOP press release as its own research - typos and all.
  • Finally, via Show Me Progress we get this article quoting Missouri state Rep. Bryan Stevenson declaring Freedom of Choice Act to be the most egregious federal power grab since the “War of Northern Aggression.”

Coulter to Speak, Limbaugh to be Hailed at CPAC

Remember last year when the hosts of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) decided not to give Ann Coulter her traditional speaking role at the event because, the year before, she had called John Edwards a "faggot"? Well, apparently, all has been forgiven

Coulter still spoke last year, of course, but was relegated to a back room where she was the guest of several of the conference's sponsors.  And now, as the conservative movement tries to figure out its course of action under a Democratic president and Congress, it looks like CPAC organizers have decided to place her front and center once again by giving her, and several other right-wing blowhards, prime speaking spots at the event:

The latest schedule for the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. late February: Possible presidential candidates include Rep. Paul Ryan (WI), speaking Thursday, Rep. Mike Pence (IN), speaking Thursday -- he's invited, not confirmed -- Gov. Mike Huckabee, on Thursday, Gov. Sarah Palin, on Thursday -- invited, not confirmed, and Rep. John Shadegg (AZ). On Friday, Sen. John Cornyn speaks in the early morning; Newt Gingrich hosts a screening of a movie about Ronald Reagan. Ron Paul and Mitt Romney speak in the afternoon. On Saturday, Rick Santorum begins the day and Gov. Tim Palwenty is an invites speaker. The lovely Ann Coulter speaks at noon. And Rush Limbaugh finishes the conference.

Indeed, according to the schedule, Coulter and Limbaugh are slotted to speak in the Regency Ballroom, which is the hub of the entire conference, on the final day ... and Limbaugh is going to be awarded with a "Defender of the Constitution Award" to close out the whole event.

Draft Palin Movement Gets an Early Start

President-Elect Obama hasn't even been sworn-in yet and, as we noted a few weeks back, Sarah Palin hasn't even agreed to attend this year's CPAC, but none of that is deterring the 2012 Draft Sarah Committee from promising a big showing for itself and its preferred candidate at the upcoming conservative conference:

While not confirmed, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska is expected to be a key note speaker at 2009 CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) in Washington on Feb. 26-28, 2009.

This conference has featured the heavyweights of the Republican conservative movement.

The 2012 Draft Sarah Committee will have a booth at the Conference. We will distribute flyers, buttons, placards and bumper stickers. We intend to make sure that the GOP and the United States knows that Gov. Sarah Palin is an overwhelming favorite to be the Republican Candidate in 2012 for U.S. President. And that she will occupy the White House the next year.

Considering that a newly released poll out of Alaska shows that, were Palin to run for Senate in 2010, she'd lose badly to Lisa Murkowski,it might be a little premature to start proclaiming her to be the "overwhelming favorite to be the Republican Candidate in 2012." 

Speaking of Palin, she's back in the news, this time complaining to irate "filmmaker" Jason Ziegler about how poorly she was treated by the media during the campaign and a bunch of other stuff:

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CPAC Posts Archive

Peter Montgomery, Friday 02/11/2011, 2:35pm
A group of right-wing legal advocates warned CPAC participants – or more accurately, a tiny subset of CPAC participants – about “The Left’s Campaign to Reshape the Judiciary.” Panelists discussed the meaning of “judicial activism” and why the kind of right-wing judicial activism we’ve seen from the Supreme Court doesn’t qualify. (Overturning health care reform? Also not judicial activism.) But the main thrust of the panel was the supposedly dire threat posed by efforts at the state level to replace judicial elections with a merit... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Friday 02/11/2011, 2:35pm
A group of right-wing legal advocates warned CPAC participants – or more accurately, a tiny subset of CPAC participants – about “The Left’s Campaign to Reshape the Judiciary.” Panelists discussed the meaning of “judicial activism” and why the kind of right-wing judicial activism we’ve seen from the Supreme Court doesn’t qualify. (Overturning health care reform? Also not judicial activism.) But the main thrust of the panel was the supposedly dire threat posed by efforts at the state level to replace judicial elections with a merit... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Friday 02/11/2011, 2:24pm
Early risers got a chance to start the second day at CPAC by quaffing champagne mimosas and rubbing shoulders with a group of freshman GOP representatives. The reception was hosted by the Texas-based Institute for Policy Innovation, a think tank founded in the 1980s by Dick Armey and dedicated to “Advocating lower taxes, fewer regulations, and a smaller, less-intrusive government.”   Greeting the mimosa drinkers was IPI President Tom Giovanetti, who once complained that Republicans “blew it” in the 1990s when they got a congressional majority and failed... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Friday 02/11/2011, 2:24pm
Early risers got a chance to start the second day at CPAC by quaffing champagne mimosas and rubbing shoulders with a group of freshman GOP representatives. The reception was hosted by the Texas-based Institute for Policy Innovation, a think tank founded in the 1980s by Dick Armey and dedicated to “Advocating lower taxes, fewer regulations, and a smaller, less-intrusive government.”   Greeting the mimosa drinkers was IPI President Tom Giovanetti, who once complained that Republicans “blew it” in the 1990s when they got a congressional majority and failed... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 02/11/2011, 12:50pm
CPAC has been remarkably dull so far today, but the Tea Party Express' Amy Kremer livened things up a bit by proclaiming that Tea Party and CPAC activists need to ensure that conservatives retake the White House in 2012 because she doesn't want to have to speak Chinese: MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 02/11/2011, 12:50pm
CPAC has been remarkably dull so far today, but the Tea Party Express' Amy Kremer livened things up a bit by proclaiming that Tea Party and CPAC activists need to ensure that conservatives retake the White House in 2012 because she doesn't want to have to speak Chinese: MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 02/11/2011, 9:45am
Following in the footsteps of right-wing pundit Frank Gaffney, David Horowitz is accusing CPAC of having connections to radical Islam. Horowitz spoke at a CPAC panel in 2009, where he was introduced by notorious anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller, and the David Horowitz Freedom Center is a CPAC participating organization. But Horowitz, who recently defended Glenn Beck in his linking of the progressive movement to the Muslim Brotherhood and claimed that public school teachers encourage the indoctrination of students into “Jihadist doctrines," has now joined other CPAC detractors... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 02/11/2011, 9:45am
Following in the footsteps of right-wing pundit Frank Gaffney, David Horowitz is accusing CPAC of having connections to radical Islam. Horowitz spoke at a CPAC panel in 2009, where he was introduced by notorious anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller, and the David Horowitz Freedom Center is a CPAC participating organization. But Horowitz, who recently defended Glenn Beck in his linking of the progressive movement to the Muslim Brotherhood and claimed that public school teachers encourage the indoctrination of students into “Jihadist doctrines," has now joined other CPAC detractors... MORE >