CPAC 11 has come to end. We spent the weekend listening to many so called presidential hopefuls and others within the conservative movement. We also listened to Donald Trump of all people, who no one there thinks is a conservative. He said the right things in some cases, but I doubt it fooled many people. Don't get me wrong, I liked the speech but it wasn't convincing in any way.
We all know there was controversy surrounding this year's conference. Mainly due to the inclusion of GOProud as a sponsor. Many social conservative groups and politicians decided to forgo attending. As you may know I questioned if it was a good idea for these groups to forgo, the answer to bad speech is more speech. I firmly believe that.
Even though I don't like to, I will admit when I am wrong. This is one of the times. GOProud shouldn't have been allowed to be a sponsor. The question of homosexuality aside, the real problem with them being there is identity politics. Conservatives don't particularly care for putting people into groups. This is exactly what they were trying to do, and they did it aggressively, too aggressively. They also went way too far and started a dust up on Friday of the conference. Did they really expect that there wouldn't be people in attendance that were against them being there? Did they really expect that those people wouldn't protest it? Protest is part of our political process and part of the American lexicon. How they handled this was disgraceful and can't be tolerated. I have this feeling that controversy won't be an issue next year. No one is saying that they can't attend the conference, or can't vote republican. But, stop trying to get the republican party to accept identity politics. We want no part of that, if we did we may as well be liberals.
I had the honor of meeting fellow blogger Right Klik and his beautiful family. His little daughter is just too cute and she was very well behaved during our lunch. I know of another little girl just about the same age who wouldn't have been too happy to be sitting in a restaurant for that period of time.
Jill over at Pundit and Pundette came across something that said that the issue of abortion of was being made passe at CPAC. I and others who attended have assured her that is not the case with the people who were there. That is still a very important issue among conservatives and regardless if you personally agree with or not, it won't be going away anytime soon. Virtually every major speaker brought up the issue of life and got huge applause when they did. Many of the exhibitors and sponsors were solidly pro life.
I had a funny incident happen after the final speech. I was having dinner with some fellow Smart Girls and needed to use the ladies room. I go and the stalls are towards the back of the room and around a corner. I just went to the closest stall, the door was open and because of the angle I couldn't see anything. I open the door and to my surprise Bill Schutlz of Red Eye fame was in there doing his business. I think I am scarred for life. He was so drunk he didn't even know I was there. I just turned around and went to the next stall.
The Straw Poll results came as no shock to me. I knew before the conference started that Ron Paul would win. Truly, I have found Ron Paul to be the SEIU of the right. He buses in his fans and sells tickets at Campaign for Liberty's website at much lower prices than anyone else. Which I don't think is right, but it is out my control. Although with the new leadership at CPAC this may very well change. My understand is that the new president is far less libertarian leaning than the outgoing one. CPAC is meant to be a conservative gathering and Paulites in many ways are not conservative. They are almost cult like in some respects. That is why Ron Paul can't win. People may agree with many parts of message, but he has many followers who are anti-Semitic and 9/11 truthers. They didn't do themselves any favors when they couldn't help themselves and called the former Vice President a war criminal. That smacks of the same vitriol that we hear from the likes of the Code Pink ladies. You are not going to ingratiate yourselves to the right when you are saying and doing things like that. If you are one of those people who think that Paulites are somewhat cult like, just wait until you see them travelling in packs like they do at CPAC. Out of nowhere they just yell "Ron Paul", it is freaky. Personally, I find them even scarier than the Obamanonts.
A few people told me that they felt that Allen West giving the Keynote Speaker on Saturday night was anti-climantic since in the past they have had such names as Glenn Beck, Rush, and others. While Allen West isn't the name that most of the keynote speakers of the past have been, he may very well be in the future. Allen West is the future of the conservative movement. So maybe CPAC can one day say, I knew him when.