Archive for ‘CPAC 2009’

March 2, 2009

Dittos from a cab driver

Having previously noted Rod Dreher’s criticism of Rush Limbaugh’s CPAC speech and Andrew Breitbart’s praise now check this from my column today at The American Spectator:

Wally Onakoya drives Fairway Cab No. 1 and said he had hoped to listen to Rush Limbaugh’s speech on WCSP-FM, but was disappointed that Washington’s C-SPAN radio station was not broadcasting it live.
He came to America from Nigeria in 1983. A quarter-century later, he now drives his cab in the nation’s capital to pay tuition for his daughter, Seun, a freshman biochemistry major at Maryland’s St. Mary’s College, whose school emblem adorned the blue hoodie Onakoya wore Saturday with paternal pride.
Onakoya has been a loyal Dittohead for years. He explained that not all who ride in his cab appreciate his radio habit of listening to Limbaugh from noon to 3 p.m. weekdays.
“Some people say he is the second coming of the devil,” Onakoya said with a deep baritone chuckle. . . .

Please read the whole thing. And I am sure that praise from an immigrant cab driver means more to Rush Limbaugh than anything any pundit or critic has to say.

UPDATE: Linked by But As For Me and a big shout-out to Ken Shepherd of Newsbusters.

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March 2, 2009

How to Get Two Million Hits in Your Second Year of Blogging

CPAC face-time with Professor Glenn Reynolds and Dr. Helen probably won’t hurt, but with a face like mine, you never know — this tactic could backfire disastrously.

On the other hand, Ed Morrisey said if I’m ever passing through Minnesota, look him up and he’ll buy me my own brewery.

To be fair to Ed, I should explain that I learned, from studying the online operations of some of my young friends, the Zen of posing the “Classic Facebook Photo”:

  1. Arrange a random group of your buddies, preferably holding beverages;
  2. Have them lean in on each other like a football huddle, to suggest an artificial sense of intimacy; and
  3. Everybody act as if they’re up to mischief and shenanigans.

Bonus points if you can convince either a famous celebrity or the prettiest girl at the party to pose with you and your snowball’s-chance loser buddies. The general idea is for the undergraduate geek with substandard social skills to assemble a series of Facebook photo albums that convey to others the impression that, in fact, he is the all-time mack daddy who hangs with his posse at the coolest venues and gets jiggy with the hotties like an NBA superstar during All-Star break.

At any rate, two photo albums from CPAC 200: The Pink Camera Files and More Delicious Pink Camera Goodness.

March 2, 2009

Tales from a CPAC reception: The transvaluation of all values

An anonymous 21-year-old blogger left a comment at Hot Air (4th comment down, at 7:47 p.m.) denouncing me as a “JERK OFF,” in all caps. He posts no e-mail address at his blog, so I attempted to reply on his “about” page, a reply that — when last checked — was still awaiting moderation:

Sir, as you have no contact information listed on your blog, this is the only venue in which I may address your assault on my character in the comment field at Hot Air.
I do not recall meeting or seeing you at CPAC. If such an interaction as you describe took place — and I doubt it took place as you describe it — perhaps it was because you failed to notice that I was attempting to pose a photo of Jed Babbin and his colleagues and was surprised at an unexpected intrusion.
Please understand that my professional circumstance requires extreme exertions during CPAC, so that after two or three days I’m running so low on sleep that I occasionally become irritable. Furthermore, you may inquire of many young conservative activists about what an easygoing person I am, and how often I have helped and assisted them.
If I was less than the soul of courtesy during our encounter at Friday’s reception, please accept my most sincere apology. And if you were less than courteous or respectful (then or since), please accept my forgiveness and continue to regard me as your most humble and obedient servant,
Robert Stacy McCain

My late mother always told me to mind my manners and be respectful to my elders, an instruction I have on too many occasions sadly neglected. But as my late father often told me, after I had misbehaving children of my own, “Son, you pay for your raising.” Indeed, and that I should be basely insulted by this impudent young whelp is just another installment on my payment schedule, I suppose.

Perhaps our young friend at The Sheikh Down is attempting to employ Rule 4 (“Make some enemies”) from “How to Get a Million Hits on Your Blog in Less Than a Year,” and I’m happy to apply Rule 2 to this situation. Too bad our young friend — though he fancies himself a writer, and has some evident aptitude in that direction — doesn’t have SiteMeter or Technorati on his blog, so as to measure the traffic that will lead to so many encouraging comments (hint, hint, Smitty, Dave, Jimmie, et al.).

I may have more to say about this overnight, so bookmark and check back. Meanwhile, I must upload more photos to Facebook, write an article for the American Spectator, et cetera.

UPDATE: While the photos are uploading (or not) via my much-abused laptop, let me clarify what is meant by the subtitle. Nietzsche once employed a phrase, “the transvaluation of all values,” that expressed the terrifying anti-natural condition of modernity.

It is natural and appropriate that age should command respect of the young, that wealth should be admired by the poor, that weakness should yield way to strength, and that wisdom rule over ignorance. Nietzsche was just crazy-genius enough to perceive, in the helter-skelter tumult of 19th-century Europe, the dawning of an era in which the natural order would be upended. This is a profound and (to use a word that has been worn threadbare) nuanced understanding of what a potentially horrible thing modernity is.

Being raised by perhaps the last generation of non-ironically “old-fashioned” adults, my puerile impudence was relentlessly chastised. My parents, teachers, and coaches had gone through the trial of the Depression and the ordeal of World War II. I was born in the penultimate year of the Eisenhower administration, and the shadow of the Cold War loomed darkly over my youth. It seemed to be the belief of my elders that us young whippersnappers had things entirely too soft and easy, and that we were in danger of absolute effeminacy and dissolution if they did not take it upon themselves to instill some small measure of rigor in our existence.
Hard times make hard men, and my parents’ generation had an adamantine quality that now, in middle age, I appreciate far more than I did when under the lash that they applied to my youth. So excuse me if occasionally I feel the need to give these upstart pups a tiny taste of what it was like, back when youth-league football coaches believed that providing water to their players during summer drills, on afternoons when the temperature was over 100F and we 10-year-olds had been doing Oklahoma drills for an hour.

Bruce Catton, in one of his Civil War histories, recounted the occasion when a rookie Yankee regiment was marched overland in a cold rainstorm, to make their bivouac in a miry field, scarcely able to kindle a fire to boil coffee. A young officer expressed some concern for the health of the troops, a remark that prompted one company’s top sergeant — a grizzled Prussian immigrant — to scoff: “Bah! It is but seasoning for the recruits!”
March 1, 2009

WTF? ‘Red-headed stepchildren’?

“This year’s CPAC was the largest on record. It was encouraging to see the large herds of students moving throughout the hotel. Unfortunately, the constant theme those students heard during this year’s CPAC was that the proper role of the conservative movement is as cheerleader for the GOP. . . .
“What should have been one of the most important events of this year’s CPAC, the appearance by Dutch parliamentarian and anti-jihad activist Geert Wilders, was relegated to the opposite side of the hotel, divorced from all of the other conference proceedings. . . .
“I have no doubt that if Bristol Palin had suddenly come available to address CPAC on the virtues of teen pregnancy, David Keene and the American Conservative Union would no doubt have moved heaven and earth to make room in the schedule for her. But they could not accommodate a man who lives under constant death threats by a long list of Islamic terrorist organizations.”
Patrick Poole, PajamasMedia

(H/T: Dan Collins at PW) The decision-making processes of CPAC are opaque to those not directly involved. Some of my dearest friends are involved in the process, or have been in the past. What has been said of sausages and legislation applies equally to the business of establishing the annual CPAC schedule. Friendships forbid me to elaborate, but if any outsider is naively idealistic, let me merely say that “coalition unity” is at times an ugly and brutal line of work. This is true even in a good year, when conservatives are riding the floodtide of victory, flush with cash and influence; you may let your imagination wander as to how it is in the ebb.

CPAC Director Lisa DePasquale, her boss Mr. Keene, their hard-working staff and a nameless legion of volunteer activists are deserving of the highest commendation for organizing the largest conference in the 35-plus years of this annual gathering. Whatever legitimate disgruntlement, disappointment or dissatisfaction there may be, (a) it is far less than the positive accomplishments of the conference, and (b) it would be better addressed to the conference organizers than to the general public.

Ronald Reagan once said that you can accomplish almost anything, so long as you don’t care who gets the credit. And my art-history professor used to share with us an ancient Persian proverb: The dogs may bark, but the caravan moves on.

March 1, 2009

Attention, New York Times

Ailing G.O.P. Risks Losing a Generation
NY Times headline, Feb. 28

Which party has the strongest youth movement, full of America’s most promising young people? To answer that question, let’s take a look at a few photos of young conservatives taken during the three days of CPAC 2009:

No captions. I’ll leave it to the geniuses at the New York Times to figure out which one of the many young faces in the several photos above is:

OK, probably anybody can guess that last one, even the employees of the New York Times. For myself, I have no doubt that young conservative promise a hopeful tomorrow. Look at those kids — their future’s so bright, they gotta wear shades.

(Attention: “Rule 5 Sunday” will start this afternoon. First, I must have some sleep.)

March 1, 2009

Attractive economist loves . . .?

He’s an Alpha Male, a leading voice of America’s future, and Michelle Lee Muccio is interested in him:

UPDATE: Welcome Hot Air readers. For more on CPAC 2009, please be sure to check out:

February 28, 2009

Full Metal Jacket Saturday

Applying Rule 2 of “How to Get a Million Hits on Your Blog,” we offer this round up of posts from blogs that have linked here in the past week:

This is just the starter list. I didn’t get home from CPAC until 4 a.m. and am very tired. (It’s CPAC Syndrome, a state of extreme exhaustion caused by sleep deprivation.) I’ll try to update to add more linkage this afternoon before I go back to DC for the big Rush Limbaugh event tonight. And don’t forget to do some Rule 5 blogging today for the Sunday roundup.
BTW, a big shout out to Georgia Tech graduates Ruth Malhotra and Orit Sklar, whose victory over political correctness on campus earned them the Reagan Award at Friday’s gala CPAC banquet.
February 28, 2009

On CPAC and ‘image’

Via Donald Douglas, we have Patterico concerned about conservatives projecting the proper “image” at CPAC.

The question you have to ask yourself is, why were Cliff Kincaid and John Bolton selected to give main-room speeches at CPAC? Well, Bolton was a Bush administration official and we don’t know if his jokes were vetted in advance.

Still, the question of who was selected for main-room speeches is interesting. I know lots and lots of conservative activists who would crawl through glass and climb over three strands of concertina wire for the chance to give a main-room speech at CPAC. It is not as if there is any shortage of would-be CPAC speakers. So . . . how are the choices made?

I don’t know the answer, any more than Patterico knows the answer. But it is important to ask the right questions, you see.

February 27, 2009

VIDEO: Ziegler vs. Blumenthal

Thanks to James Joyner of Outside the Beltway for uploading this video.

Max Blumenthal was doing one of his video ambushes in the Omni Shoreham lobby at CPAC, and was confronted by documentary filmmaker John Ziegler. I just happened to be there with my camera when the argument started. I couldn’t overhear much of what was said between them, but Ziegler was very angry, and his body language was very aggressive.

UPDATE 2/28: Savane was there, and I should note that, in a Friday night conversation with Ziegler, he said that it was Blumenthal, not he, who initiated the confrontation I captured on video. I didn’t start rolling the video until after the confrontation began, and quit recording before it ended, so am in no position to say what did or did not happen, other than what’s on the video. Frankly, I’m under such a fog of CPAC Syndrome (a state of severe sleep deprivation and sensory overload) that I would be unable to contradict anyone’s account of events. So the video is what it is.

UPDATE: Donald Douglas has a good roundup of CPAC blogging.

UPDATE II: Some more exclusive videos from CPAC today, starting with Tom DeLay:

“People ask me if I hope [Obama’s economic plan] is gonna fail. I tell ’em, I don’t have to ‘hope’ anything. It’s gonna fail.”
Tom DeLay

(NOTE: Becky Banks of Students for Life asked me to take down her video until further editing can be done.)

John Munger of Imagine Arizona:

Thanks to Kerry Picket for uploading those last three videos.

February 27, 2009

CPAC Day 2: LIVE!

BUMPED; UPDATE 2:31 p.m.: Exclusive video interview with Chris Maligisi, president of the Young Conservative Coalition:

Thanks to James Joyner of Outside the Beltway for uploading the video. (More of that reporting that Tucker Freaking Carlson says conservatives don’t do. I was in the media center when I heard Carlson giving his arrogant lecture and resisted the urge to go down to the Regency Ballroom and beat that elitist punk into a coma, which would have been a Change We Can Believe In.)

UPDATE 3:05 p.m.: Linked by Jimmie at Sundries Shack, who’s having waaaay too much fun at CPAC.

Expect further updates . . .

PREVIOUSLY: Excuse me if I am a bit late returning to blogging at CPAC today. After spending most of Thursday schmoozing networking and introducing my old cronies professional associates to hotties aspiring activists, this morning I had to do some reporting for the American Spectator, about Sen. Jim DeMint and the Young Conservative Coalition.

Just ran into my beer buddy conservative mentor Phil Kent, which means that tonight we will be closing down the lobby bar engaged in political strategizing.