Posts Tagged ‘CPAC’

Allen West Reveals Truth Nobody Else Will Discuss

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

The Truth Others Won't Speak

Congressman Allen West(R-FL) spoke to a group in his home district back in early January, and he was blunt about the future of the country, and the way in which our government’s priorities have been re-ordered under Obama.  He spoke of the massive entitlements spending, and the slashing cuts to the military budget, and the way the United States has become vulnerable under the dysfunctional leftist agenda that is the Obama administration.  A little bit of candor goes a long way, and West is one who doesn’t shirk the responsibility to tell the truth to the American people.  West points out that while the media ignores the real problems we face. It’s not merely the media, but also the permanent political class that dominates Washington.  As Sarah Palin reminded us during her speech to CPAC over the weekend, the establishment inside of Washington does not share our miseries, and cannot know our pain.  West actually mentioned in this clip that he has no intention of spending his life in Washington DC.

Watch the video clip from early January here:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__q45FgZUM4]

West also spoke at CPAC last week, and he delivered his usual fiery performance.  I’ve posted that video below as well:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCoySAJpAbQ]

Remember When Jeb Bush Wanted to Abandon “Nostalgia” for Reagan?

Monday, February 13th, 2012

No Need for Nostalgia?

I try not to be unduly inflammatory when discussing other Republicans, but these remarks, as published in the Washington Times back in May 2009, serve to remind me of why I don’t think much of Jeb Bush.  Saturday, in stark contrast throughout a speech that stirred CPAC to multiple standing ovations, Sarah Palin mentioned Ronald Reagan, and alluded to him as well, but I suppose that in the minds of Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush, she’s just “living in the past,” like so many conservatives.  The thing that crosses my mind as I consider his arguments of nearly three years ago is that what he then proposed was absurd, and as time goes on, his thesis grows only more obnoxious in my view.  How can it be said that Ronald Reagan is irrelevant if he still evokes the sort of passion we saw in the crowd’s reaction to the mention of Reagan’s name throughout the CPAC convention?  Maybe his problem is that the name “Bush” does evoke similar nostalgia.

I dare say that in light of all I know, and all that has happened in this campaign season, the thesis put forward by the former Florida governor is merely evinces the complete and thorough disconnect between the grass roots and the elites in the Republican Party.  Consider what he said in May 2009, as quoted in the Washington Times:

“So our ideas need to be forward looking and relevant. I felt like there was a lot of nostalgia and the good old days in the [Republican] messaging. I mean, it’s great, but it doesn’t draw people toward your cause,” Mr. Bush said.

Here was a former governor of a pivotal state in presidential elections, whose father and brother both boasted of their ties to President Reagan as a matter of their campaigns, and yet now we should ditch all of that in favor of what?  A Bush dynasty?  Is that the legacy of the party to which we should now point with reverence?  Please.  Here is a man who tells us this as he sat alongside Mitt Romney who had been defeated only one year before, and he bothered to tell us who he thinks is no longer relevant?  Please.  Then I consider that Jeb has been out of office for a good little while himself, and then I consider that isn’t Mitt Romney’s clinging to him merely a nostalgic reach back to an earlier time?

After all, I know any number of people who wish to bring back the Reagan era in terms of our governmental affairs, and I don’t know anybody outside the GOP establishment who shares that same view of the Bush clan.  Of course, over the years, there have been any number of people in the GOP who have made statements along these lines, and Jeb Bush wouldn’t be the worst or the first.  I need only remember the man with whom he shared the stage on that day, Mitt Romney, who told us when running for Senate in 1994:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hmzEtCHP0Y]

Of course, one wonders if Jeb remembers that Mitt said “I don’t want to return to Reagan/Bush.” In any case, for the GOP establishment to continue to attempt to ditch Ronald Reagan and his principles is one of the worst political moves they could make, and the sort of statements they make publicly help cement the notion that they’re not really conservatives.

There has been this sentiment withing GOP establishment circles almost before Reagan left office, and it’s based on the fact that they really didn’t like Reagan any better than the left did, but since he was overwhelmingly popular with conservatives, they decided as a matter of expedience to ride on his legacy. The problem is that they don’t believe in it, and they have a bit of a grudge too.  Those around George HW Bush believed then and now that if only the elder Bush had been elected instead of Reagan in 1980, he would enjoy that position of favor with the American people.  Naturally, that’s a preposterous proposition, and it assumes a great deal.  For instance, the elder Bush would have cautioned against the Berlin Wall speech, as delivered, and he wouldn’t have been likely to walk out on Gorbachev at Reykjavik, Iceland.

This is part of the problem a fair number of conservatives have with the Bush family:  There’s a sense that they believe it is their role to be stewards of the party, and the nation, irrespective of whether the American people agree, and they always conclude that we would be better off forgetting Reagan in favor, I suppose, of one of their family.  At this point in history, however, I think most Americans, and perhaps particularly conservatives, simply aren’t in the mood for any more from the Bush family.  While Jeb Bush may have created a cult-like following in some segments of Florida politics, that doesn’t extend to the national stage, and given the performance of his father and his brother, both social liberals when examining their respective domestic policies, it’s clear that conservatism simply isn’t in the market for more of that in its next leader.

Perhaps rather than suggesting that we should abandon the Reagan legacy, or that we should cease looking for his logical, philosophical, and political heir, the Bush family might wish to consider that they’re a bit stuck in a past when their opinions mattered to conservatives, when we still thought there had been a chance they might be more like us. After twelve years of Bush presidencies, I don’t know a single conservative, not one, who seriously suggests that Jeb Bush is the direction we should look for national leadership, although there is no shortage of Bush clan sycophants who can’t wait to push that theme.

You might wonder why I’m reaching back to 2009, nearly three years ago, to make a point about the GOP establishment and the Bush clan, but it should be obvious that after all the nation has endured, the Bushes still think they should be running things, and influencing outcomes.  It was their guy who delivered the response to Obama’s State of the Union address this year, and Romney is their guy, inasmuch as they at least prefer him to the others, but what I frankly find galling is that while I am sure there are a few hands-full of people who can’t wait to see another Bush in office, I don’t know one of them personally.  I’m in Texas, for goodness’ sake, less than thirty miles from Crawford, and the best I can get any Texan I know to say about George W. Bush is:  “Well, he was good on national defense, but he was too liberal on domestic policy.”

Such is the legacy of Bush presidencies, and it is why I look askance at the proposition that we should ditch the legacy or “nostalgia” for Ronald Reagan.  My question is ever: “To be substituted with what?”  Clearly, Jeb Bush has his own ideas, but I don’t think a large number of people outside of Florida share them.  More, I don’t believe he wants us to look all the way back to Ronald Reagan, because I think he fears how much the records of his brother and his father will suffer in the inevitable comparisons.  Modern conservatives are not really enamored with political dynasties, and I think it’s clear that the nation is suffering Bush fatigue that will not be softened much or soon. Of course, the Bush family seems to know this, as they continue to groom a younger generation for eventual political offices, like Jeb’s eldest son, George P.G. Bush.  Whether the American people will ever accept another Bush presidency is unknown, but one thing is clear:  If conservatives are polled on which President for whom they consider worthy of nostalgia, it isn’t a Bush.  As CPAC’s event demonstrated clearly last week, it’s still Ronald Reagan, who was clearly the most-referenced figure from American political history.

Pining For Palin: What Most Conservatives Noticed

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

Still the One

My bride wasn’t home when Sarah Palin spoke at CPAC, so she wasn’t able to view the event live.  When she arrived home, we relaxed in front of the television, and I played the event on the DVR. After watching the event, I asked my wife for her impression.  It matched most of the comments here on my little blog site, and it was comprised of a single question:  “Why in the hell isn’t she our candidate?”  Here we had the person many consider to be the most eminently qualified to lead us out of our national quagmire, and she isn’t a candidate in this race.  Here was the most thoroughly engaging and compelling speech of this entire campaign season, and it was delivered by a non-candidate who some in the GOP establishment tell us is “unelectable.”  By what standard?  For my part, I have lost all patience for this faulty argument.  After attending her speech in Indianola, Iowa last September, and having viewed this speech from afar, if Governor Palin isn’t electable, I have no idea which Republicans can fulfill that definition.

I have read a few criticisms of the speech Palin delivered on Saturday and they all seem focused on superficial nitpicking.  The most frequent of these has been that it was filled with “red meat,” but what of it?  I believe in a balanced diet, and red meat is an important component of any conservative menu.  To criticize this is to suggest what too many Republicans of a more moderate leaning have accepted for far too long: We must never openly and harshly criticize our adversaries lest we be seen as being every bit as unrefined and undisciplined as they.  I reject this too.  The willingness to explicitly and unrepentantly castigate our opponents does not speak to a lack of “refinement” as if the idea of a political campaign is purely to demonstrate one’s social graces, but it is instead to incite a little energetic and vigorous candor into an issue to which the electorate will respond.  If this is the worst of the criticisms, then let those who propose them be damned, because I see no merit in such an argument. In point of fact, I would contend that electability rides on the shoulders of the candidate’s willingness to speak in such language to those whose votes they would solicit.

Still, the reality is that Governor Palin is not now a candidate, and more is the shame of the loss implied for conservatives. When announcing her decision in October last year, she cited her need to observe her values of God, family, and country, in that precise order.  With this as her final answer, despite our desires to the contrary, there is nothing to do but accept it.  This leaves us where we’ve been, and with nothing to do but forge ahead with the remaining candidates.  On the other hand, what this will remind many conservatives is what we had missed.  At some point, as a movement that is a subset of a party, we will need to address this problem we seem to have, where for whatever reason, our best and our most able candidates, dynamic and appealing, get left on the sidelines in the most important contests of our time.

Buck up conservatives, because while it’s apparent that we’re going to be forced to settle, we still have time to decide among those remaining, in order to work out who in this bunch is the best prospect to lead our nation philosophically, and also to win.  It’s my firm conclusion that the former begets the latter.  I don’t believe candidates with alleged “electability” creates a winning philosophy, or George W. Bush wouldn’t have left office with approval in the high twenties.   I believe a candidate with firm and principled beliefs is best suited to election, and is therefore by definition most electable.  The problem in our current race is that the best-suited will not necessarily rise like cream to the top.  Money doesn’t make great candidates either, because as we all know, whomever the Republican nominee, no matter who among those remaining is selected, despite any financial advantage at present, there will be no such advantage when we arrive in the general campaign season, with Obama’s purported war-chest to exceed one billion dollars.

I think we should begin to consider which among these has made the most of the least.  After all, if we follow Governor Palin’s example, we should take note of the fact that she clearly knows how to win while having nothing like the funds of an opponent, as she demonstrated in her political career in Alaska.  Perhaps this is something we ought to consider when looking more closely at the rest because it is fairly certain that none of them will have the sort of cash on hand that will be at the disposal of the Obama campaign.  As this race goes on, we might want to reference Sarah Palin’s successes, because while she may not be running, I think there is much to be learned from her both in terms of selecting our eventual nominee, but also in combating Obama this Fall.

I think almost every conservative who viewed Saturday’s CPAC keynote will have noticed that she stands head and shoulders above our actual candidates, but as I said, that wistful, wishful thinking.  The fact that Governor Palin is not in this race doesn’t preclude victory in November, but it surely will make it a good deal more difficult, as so many viewers concluded on Saturday.  There are those who think if this drags on into summer, and we wind up with a brokered convention, it will spell doom, but I think it also presents a possible opportunity, not merely for an outcome aimed at stopping the establishment, but one more moment of pause to reconsider who all of our alternatives might include.

Breaking: As Overflow Crowd Grows – Palin to Press on Brokered Convention(Updated)

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

View from Inside

The reports coming from CPAC in Washington DC suggest that the theme we have heard, that “Sarah Palin is no longer relevant,” has been exposed irrevocably as a lie.  At present, the lines into the event are being described as enormous, and this is more than two hours in advance of her speech scheduled for 4:30 eastern. CPAC has actually gotten an overflow space set up in an adjacent conference room in order to try to accommodate more of this crowd. As I predicted, Sarah Palin’s speech would be the biggest draw of the event, for all the reasons we’ve discussed.

Matthew Sheffield, posting via Twitter provided the photo at left, and as you can plainly see, the line inside is gargantuan, and it extends out and around the building.  Meanwhile, spotted in an brief press interview, Governor Palin said that a brokered convention would not be a negative for the Republican party.

You can watch the video of that brief exchange here:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQ0-jJjc6j4]

Update: It’s now being reported there are three overflow rooms for the growing crowd waiting to hear Sarah Palin speak at CPAC.

Romney Deck-Stacking At CPAC?

Friday, February 10th, 2012

What Won't He Do To Win?

Mitt Romney has a real problem, and despite denials, it’s clear that he has a real problem with conservatives.  It’s so bad that he met with a number of conservative leaders at the CPAC conference in Washington DC on Thursday, for a meeting in the presidential suite of the Marriott Wardman Park where the CPAC is holding its annual conference.  According to CNN’s report, this meeting included thirty influential Republicans.  With a private list of attendees, one can see why Romney would keep it quiet, and this makes it clear that despite all the denials of Romney and his campaign, they understand that they’re in serious trouble with conservatives, and this may be the start of his attempt to bring reluctant conservatives along.

I doubt this will be all that successful, because while he may appeal to so-called “conservative leaders,” I doubt how influential they will be if they suddenly appear before conservative audiences pushing Mitt Romney.  For any of those who participated, this is a danger too, because it’s just as likely in this volatile election cycle that conservative grass-roots activists will merely see such moves as evidence that the alleged “conservative leader” has sold out to the establishment, and the secret truth is that they will be right.

I’m having a good deal of difficulty viewing Ann Coulter in anything but a negative light since she’s essentially jumped the shark with respect to the GOP field, and also in her views of late on such issues as Romneycare.  Conservative activists are on the look-out for evidence of precisely this kind of shift, and even if it is not so bombastic as Coulter’s has been, it will nevertheless be noticed by the party’s conservative base.  The base is clearly sick of the negative attacks, and also the way in which the establishment has been actively shoving Romney down their throats, so if they persist in this practice and now co-opt other conservatives in an attempt to sway the base, I can see the wheels coming off in a hurry.

If the head of the NRA or other representatives of that organization now come out and make pro-Romney statements forgiving for his earlier anti-second amendment positions, that organization could well suffer because most conservatives now know they can simply pack up and move to a different organization(like Gun Owners of America) that holds the same positions, only more staunchly, but do not get into bed with politicians who have sold them out previously.  While Romney is scheduled to speak Friday, so is Ann Coulter, and it remains to be seen as to how the latter, particularly, will be welcomed by the crowd.  Coulter may catch a little heat.  If so, she deserves it.

One of the reasons this was kept quiet is because it is precisely the sort of acknowledgment of the Romney problem with conservatives he and his campaign have been denying all along.  If this is seen widely for what it is, a blatant attempt to ingratiate himself with high profile conservative leaders, it will be a signal in part about Romney’s desperation.  The longer this race goes on, the harder it is going to be for Romney to sew up the nomination in advance of the convention, and he had hoped to be further along on less money than he is at present.  He’s spending money like water, and it’s going to take a toll on his opponents, but the problem is that no matter what he does, the nagging facts about his less than stellar history as a conservative probably means he’s going to fight this to the bitter end.  It’s a yoke he has earned, and he’s not likely to cast it off easily.

Sarah Palin Announced as Keynote Speaker at CPAC

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

 

Palin to Deliver CPAC Keynote

The American Conservative Union has announced that former Alaska Governor will deliver the keynote address at the 2012 CPAC convention in Washington DC, gathering from the 9th through the 11th of February.  Other speakers throughout the course of the three-day event will include Ann Coulter, Senators Jim DeMint and Marco Rubio, former Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Governors Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney​, Congressmen Jim Jordan, Steve King​, Paul Ryan and Allen West, former Senator Rick Santorum, Governor Scott Walker, and many others.

In 2009, Rush Limbaugh was the Keynote speaker, followed by Glenn Beck in 2010, and Allen West in 2011.

For more information on the conference, visit the American Conservative Union website. For a complete list of confirmed speakers, visit the CPAC site.